HL Deb 24 June 1879 vol 247 cc524-5

(The Lord Aberdare.)


Order of the Day for the Second Reading, read.


in moving that the Bill, which had come up from, the Commons, should be now read a second time, explained that its object was to enable Companies to apply accumulated funds from undivided profits to the reduction of the paid-up capital. Companies sometimes found that, in consequence of a restriction of their business, a diminution of their capital was desirable, and could be made without injury to creditors, if the Companies had legal power to make it. The distribution of a surplus in the form of a bonus led to speculation. The Bill had been examined by the Law Officers of the Crown and had received the assent of the Board of Trade; but ho felt that it required amendment, and ho was prepared to move certain Amendments in Committee. All he asked at present was the confirmation of its principle.

Moved,"That the Bill be now read 2a." —(The Lord Aberdare.)


said, that in the abstract he saw no objection to the principle of this Bill; but he was somewhat surprised to find that in the Bill that principle was unaccompanied by any conditions or safeguards. There ought to be a provision for the making of returns to some public officer, and also one to apply to the case of persons holding shares as trustees in Companies.


concurred with his noble and learned Friend on the Woolsack as to the necessity for a provision relating to trustees. When shares were fully paid up everything was safe for trustees holding such shares; but after the change proposed in this Bill trustees might be saddled with a liability to which they were not now exposed. Nothing would induce him, even for the nearest relative, to be trustee of shares carrying liability.


did not see any great advantage in the Bill. He did not think it would be workable.

Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Tuesday next.