§ [SECOND READING.]
§ Order of the day for the Second Reading read.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (The Earl of HALSBURY)
My Lords, in moving the Second Reading of this Bill I shall 1165 not repeat what has been so often said as to the great importance of this subject. I have received a letter from the bankers of London urging the high importance of this measure to the commercial community, and expressing their earnest hope that the Government will pass it into law. The names of the bankers who signed the letter are Robarts, Lubbock and Co., the Union of London and Smith's Rank (Limited), Barclay and Co. (Limited), the National Provincial Bank of England, the London and Westminster Bank (Limited), Glyn, Mills. Currie and Co., Martin's Bank (Limited), the London and County Bank, Parr's Bank (Limited), the Capital and Counties Bank (Limited), the London Joint Stock Bank, the London City and Midland Bank, Williams, Deacons Bank (Limited), the National Bank, the Metropolitan Bank (of England and Wales) (Limited), Lloyds Bank, the London and Southwestern Bank, Cox and Co., Coutts and Co., Child and Co., C. Hoare and Co., Cocks, Biddulph. and Co., and the London and Provincial Bank (Limited). That is a remarkable document, which ought certainly to receive considerable attention. I hope the Government will take care that the Bill shall pass, and shall not be lost again at the end of the session. It deals with a very serious and crying evil, which, by the confession of all persons, requires remedy. I will only Mid that every session I receive additional evidence of the extraordinary degree to which this evil of corrupt commissions is increasing in every department of the State. I beg to move that the. Bill be read a second time.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Lord Chancellor.)
My Lords, I only rise to say that the letter to which the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack has referred is signed by every one of the clearing bankers of London. I would add also that it contains a paragraph to which the Lord Chancellor did not allude, and which expresses our thanks to him for having on more than one occasion carried the Bill through the House of Lords, and for other services rendered to the commercial community.
THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
My Lords, I should like to be allowed, on behalf of those who do not, possess the technical weight and authority of the bankers of London, to say that the Bill has the support of a great many people outside the ranks of business men, who are desirous of promoting a reform urgently needed in the interests of the general morality and well-being of the country. I earnestly hope the Bill will be placed on the Statute-book this session.
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.