§ Order of the Day for the Third Reading, read.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 3a."—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ VISCOUNT CROSS
said, he wished to take the opportunity of stating his satisfaction that the Bill was to become law, and of thanking the Lord Chancellor for having taken the wise course of limiting it as it finally stood. He hoped the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack would not forget also that the other part of the Bill was, in the opinion of many people, very essential, and that a much 394 shorter limitation ought to be fixed for bringing actions than the period at present. Evidence was brought before the Commission on the Debtors' Act upon the point, although that was not actually the point before them, and he felt sure that the trading classes would welcome a limitation of the period with regard to contracts.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (Lord HERSCHELL.)
I may assure the noble Viscount that I will bear the matter in mind. It is, of course, a difficult question to deal with, because agreements may have been arrived at. But some shorter period seems to be desirable, and that matter will no doubt be considered as to how far we should go when the question comes to be dealt with hereafter. I beg to move the Amendment of which I have given notice. The first part of it is merely drafting; and the latter portion is that which I stated in Standing Committee my intention to move, with regard to the form in which the action should be brought.
§ Motion agreed to; Bill read 3a.
§ On Question, "That the Bill do pass,"
Amendment moved, in Clause 1, page 1, to leave out all after ("discovered")in line 12 to the end of the clause, and insert—
At the time when it was committed, the period of limitation shall run from the time when the wrong might with reasonable diligence have been discovered in like manner as if the wrong had been then committed: Provided that this shall not extend the time for bringing any action commenced after the passing of this Act for any longer period than would have been applicable if this Act had not passed. This section shall apply to an action founded on contract, where the action is brought in respect of a wrongful act, neglect, or default which might have been made the subject of an action founded on tort."—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Bill passed, and sent to the Commons.