§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
TILE LORD CHANCELLOR (VISCOUNT HALDANE)
My Lords, under the law of this country trading with an enemy is illegal, but the remedies which the State possesses in the matter of prosecution are not equally clear. This Bill aims at establishing a proper procedure with regard to this matter. It imposes penalties in the shape of imprisonment and fine, and puts the procedure of the Courts on a definite basis. The Bill also enables the Board of Trade, where an offence under the Bill has been or is to be committed, but where it is in the public interest that the trade or business should continue to be carried on, to apply to the High Court for the appointment of a controller of the firm or company in question. After the Bill has been read a second time, should your Lordships agree to that course, I propose to move a drafting Amendment to provide that the Court shall have power to direct how and by whom the costs of any procedure under this clause should be borne.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2ª.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Bill read 2ª.
§ Moved (Standing Order No. XXXIX having been suspended), That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly.
§ [THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE in the Chair.]
§ Clauses 1 and 2 agreed to.
§ Clause 3:
§ Power of Board of Trade to apply for receiver in certain cases.
§ 3. Where it appears to the Board of Trade in reference to any firm or company—
- (a) that an offence under this Act has been or is likely to be committed in connection with the trade or business thereof; or
- (b) that the control or management thereof has been or is likely to be so affected by the state of war as to prejudice the effective continuance of its trade or business and that it is in the public interest that the trade or business should continue to be carried on;
703 the Board of Trade may apply to the High Court for the appointment of a controller of the firm or company, and the High Court shall have power to appoint such a controller, for such time and subject to such conditions and with such powers as the court thinks fit, and the powers so conferred shall be either those of a receiver and manager or those powers subject to such modifications, restrictions or extensions as the court thinks fit (including, if the court considers it necessary or expedient for enabling the controller to borrow money, power, after a special application to the court for that purpose, to create charges on the property of the firm or company in priority to existing charges.
§ Amendment moved—
At end of Clause 3 add:
The court shall have power to direct how and by whom the costs of any proceedings under this section, and the remuneration, charges, and expenses of the controller, shall be borne, and shall have power, if it thinks fit, to charge such costs, charges, and expenses on the property of the firm or company in such order of priority, in relation to any existing charges thereon, as it thinks fit."—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause 3, as amended, agreed to.
§ Remaining clauses agreed to.
§ Amendment reported.
§ Then Bill read 3ª, and passed, and returned to the Commons, and to be printed as amended. (No. 294.)