HL Deb 25 March 1947 vol 146 cc789-91

Enactments of Registration of Business Names Act, 1916, repealed.

In subsection (I) of Section three, the words 'and if that nationality is not the nationality of origin, the nationality of origin', in both. places where they occur.

In subsection (I) of Section eighteen, the words and if his nationality is not his nationality of origin his nationality of origin' in paragraph (a), and the words 'and if the nationality is not the nationality of origin, the nationality of origin' in paragraph (b).

In the Schedule, the words 'and if that nationality is not the nationality of origin, the nationality of origin'.")—(The Lord Chancellor.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Remaining Schedule, as amended, agreed to.


If I might also inconsequentially give the noble and learned Viscount, the Lord Chancellor, a Roland for his Oliver, I may say that we have made great expedition, and we have made it, thanks not only to the courtesy and knowledge of the noble and learned Viscount, but to the way in which he has co-operated with us all through this Bill. I well know that he has had a very great deal of hard work outside. The Lord Chancellor has a great many jobs to do—as all Lord Chancellors have—besides leading the House and taking charge of Bills. I do not think this Bill could have come from a better place than this House. I should think we have discussed eighty pages of Amendments in the Committee and recommittal stages. We have not had a single Division, and I, and all my friends on this side of the House, are most grateful to the noble and learned Viscount for what he has done inside and outside your Lordships' House. I think we have given not only to the lawyers, but to the business community, a really good charter.


May I add my personal thanks to the noble and learned Viscount and his advisers, not only for the help that I have personally received and for the courtesy I have experienced from their hands, but also for the very great deal I have learned. It is perhaps an example of what can be done to a Bill when all the interested parties in your Lordships' House have had but one single object in view, which was to produce the best Bill it was possible for them to produce, on a subject which was reputedly non-controversial hut which does not only contain controversial matters in the usually accepted sense, but where differences of personal opinion were held and were sustained, but upon which there has been no Division and upon which full agreement has been found as the result of experience and of the giving and taking of each other's point of view. I would like to add my most sincere personal thanks to the noble and learned Viscount, to the noble Lord, Lord Chorley, and all his advisers for what they have done for me personally.


I should like to concur entirely with what has been said, but there is one quite general point on this Bill which I would be very grateful if the noble and learned Viscount would take into consideration. I am making this suggestion really on what he said at the last stage of this debate. I hope he will not be angry with me if I say that personally I think -le minority shareholders of unlimited companies have not had their position improved by the Bill. That is a point on which we may differ, but I had that matter under consideration long before we started talking on this Bill. The reason I did not put down an Amendment at this stage was because I could not find the form of words which the noble and learned Viscount's advisers would accept. I think we should have in this Bill something to the effect that the minority shareholder of an unlimited company can call upon the directors to accept or find an acceptor for his shares, subject to notification to the creditors and other shareholders of the company and directors and auditor. My reason for saying that is that a lot of these unlimited companies have secretaries who are given small numbers of shares. Supposing it is the secretary, and supposing the board of that company is managing that company quite contrary to his views and wishes; he is trapped and he can never get out and he has unlimited liability. I would he very grateful to the noble and learned Viscount if he would consider that, because I feel he realizes it is a material point.