§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading, read.
, in moving the Second Reading of this Bill, said, that it was a very short Bill of an absolutely non-contentious character, which passed through the Commons unopposed, and, indeed, without comment. It was rendered necessary by reason of the Legislature having enacted that certain Statutes should be read together, the provisions of which did not harmonise. This enactment had created a state of things which had, as might have been expected, been a puzzle to the Judges and to noble and learned Lords, and had provided the Bar with a good deal of work. The point at issue was this. By the Arbitration Act of 1889 an arbitrator was obliged in certain cases to grant an appeal from his award; but under other Acts, and among them the Friendly Societies Act, 1875, which it was sought to amend by this 303 Bill, an arbitrator had the power, if he pleased, to refuse to grant an appeal, and to treat his award as final. By a clause in the Arbitration Act of 1889 the provisions of the Act were to apply to arbitrations under other Acts, except where they were inconsistent with the Act of 1889. Two Judges in the Courts of First Instance held that the provisions of the Act of 1889 were inconsistent with those of an Act similar, as to arbitrations, to the Act of 1875, which this Bill was to amend, and, consequently, did not apply; but on appeal to the Court of Appeal and to this House that decision was reversed, and it was finally decided that the provisions of the Act of 1889 applied to the Act of 1875, and consequently that Friendly Society arbitrations under that Act were, in certain cases, subject to appeal. The Friendly Societies strongly objected to this state of the law, which they wished should be made as short and inexpensive as possible; and this Bill was introduced to restore the law with regard to arbitrations under the Act of 1875 with regard to Friendly Societies to its condition previous to the Act of 1889.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a"—(The Lord Monkswell.)
§ Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House To-morrow.