§ (The Lord Aberdare.)
§ (NO. 71.) SECOND READING.
§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading, read.
§ LORD ABERDARE,
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.)
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
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 525 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.
§ LORD SELBORNE
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.
§ THE EARL OF REDESDALE (CHAIRMAN of COMMITTEES)
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.