HL Deb 13 March 1907 vol 171 cc1-3

Moved, "That this Bill be now read 2a."—(The Earl of Onslow.)


My Lords, I do not like to interfere in a matter of private concern, but I would like to ask the meaning of this Bill. If the machinery of Parliament is to be used in connection with every change that is made in a man's name, we shall be accumulating business about the merest trifles. I always understood that a person could change his name by inserting an advertisement in The Times, by deed poll, or by registration. To have the whole machinery of Parliament invoked in this way to enable a person to change his name strikes me as remarkable. I am sure the noble Earl the Chairman of Committees is not seized of any precise know- ledge of this matter, but I should like to know if an Act of Parliament is really necessary in this case, and whether none of the other methods adopted every day in the week would have sufficed.

The CHAIRMAN of COMMITTEES (The Earl of Onslow)

My Lords, I am sorry my noble and learned friend did not give me notice that he was going to raise this point and therefore enable me to place myself in a position to reply. Every private Bill contains a recital that the object of it cannot be obtained without the consent of Parliament, and unless that recital can be proved it is obvious that the Bill ought not to be further proceeded with. So far as I recollect the Bill—I read it in the month of December and have not looked at it since—it is not so much a question of name as a question of property. If this man cannot quite legally take the name he cannot hold the property, and the object of this Bill is not, as is commonly the case, to change a name, but to enable the person concerned to hold property which he could not otherwise legally possess. I am answering entirely off-hand, but I will look into the question more closely, and if I am satisfied that the object can be obtained without a Bill I shall certainly say the preamble has not been proved.


I am quite satisfied.


I am certain the noble Earl the Lord Chairman will satisfy himself in the matter. Of course, if the change of name involves the acquisition of property and it cannot be done without an Act of Parliament, it means that, indirectly, Parliament is bestowing upon Aproperty which would otherwise belong to B. That may disarrange the ordinary law. I do not say that it is so in this case, but I think it worth looking into.

On Question, Bill read 2a,and committed.

THE LORD CHANCELLOR acquainted the House, That the Clerk of the Parliaments had laid upon the Table the Certificate from the Examiners that the further Standing Orders applicable to the following Bill have been complied with: —Buckhaven Dock [H.L.].

The same was ordered to lie on the Table.

Barnsley, Wombwell, and Wath Tramways Bill [H.L.]. The order of Thursday last, referring the Examiner's Certificate of non-compliance with the Standing Orders to the Standing Orders Committee, discharged.

Ocean Accident and Guarantee Corporation Bill [H.L.]; Cavehill and Whitewell Tramways Bill [H.L.]; Read 2a (according to order), and committed. The Committees to be proposed by the Committee of Selection.

Birmingham Corporation Bill [H.L.]. Leave given to the Select Committee to continue sitting in the absence of the Viscount Iveagh.