« AnteriorContinua »
duce amendments which would have the accountant. Now, after what had been. effect of encouraging the entry of men said about the untrustworthy character of into the Navy. If anything would induce many Government officers, he hoped premen to enter Her Majesty's service, it cautions would be taken to prevent any would be the holding out of an encourage- objectionable appointment to the post of ment in the shape of bounty. The right Government accountant. If the money hon. Gentleman (Sir J. Graham) had stood in the joint names of the Paymaster stated that it would require a sum of General and the agent of the captors, 200,000l. to give a bounty to men enter- and was paid by them into the Bank of ing the naval service. He denied, how- England, nothing could be more secure or ever, that it would amount to anything satisfactory than such an arrangement. like that, as he would not give the bounty He hoped the right hon. Baronet would to any but able seamen, and half the assent to his proposition. money would be amply sufficient. But a better plan still would be to give the men a pound a year for every year they would enter for, and that would enable them to put the ships to sea and have them employed actively much sooner. A pound a year would only be three farthings per day, and he was sure the services of able seamen were well worth that sum. He objected to the arrangements made in the Bill with regard to the division of prize money, which did not award a fair proportion to the leading and able seamen.
SIR JAMES GRAHAM said, the arrangements now made for the distribution of prize money were in strict accordwith the recommendations of the Navy Committee. As regarded the question of bounty, he would observe that the prize money to which the seamen were now entitled would be a bounty in the most legitimate sense, inasmuch as it would be paid by the enemy instead of by this country. If the scale was compared with that which existed at the beginning of the last war, in 1793, it would be found that the seamen and petty officers received a much larger sum now than then, and that at the expense of the flag officers and captains. He hoped that explanation would satisfy the Committee that the interests of the seamen were not neglected by the present Board of Admiralty.
Clause agreed to; as were also Clauses 5 to 23 inclusive.
MR. OTWAY said, he hoped the right hon. Baronet would agree to report progress, as he had a long Amendment to propose on this Clause.
SIR JAMES GRAHAM hoped the hon. Member would not obstruct the progress of the Bill by his proposition to report progress.
MR. OTWAY said, his Amendment had reference to the payment of prize money into the hands of the Government
SIR JAMES GRAHAM said he must object to the Amendment, because it was totally opposed to the principle on which the Bill was founded.
Clause agreed to; as also were Clauses 25 to 33 inclusive. Clause 34 omitted. Clauses 35 to 40 agreed to. Clause 41 was postponed. Clauses 42 to 58 agreed to: Clause 59 withdrawn; remaining Clauses agreed to.
House resumed; Bill reported; as amended, to be considered to-morrow. The House adjourned at half after One o'clock.
REGISTRATION OF BILLS OF SALE BILL.
Order for Committee read.
MR. MULLINGS said, that the object of this Bill was to protect the fair trader against the fraudulent preference, by which, when pressure came and they could no longer meet their engagements, debtors were in the habit of transferring to particular and favourite creditors the goods and chattels, on the strength of which they had obtained credit, those goods and chattels remaining in possession of the party up to the time when his going on was hopeless; and a bill of sale, carefully concealed from the world up to the last moment, being then put in force, by which the goods and chattels were withdrawn from equal distribution among the creditors generally. The Bill would compel persons, who might hereafter take bills of sale, to register them within twenty-one days from the date of
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL said, he thought the measure calculated for the exigencies of a large class of society, but no legislative Acts required greater care or caution than the category to which this belonged, as otherwise most injurious and mischievous impediments might be interposed to the course of commercial transactions. If this principle were applied to
execution, in the same manner as persons | taken that this Bill should not fetter the were now obliged to do in the case of fair transactions of trade. The Amendjudgments or warrants of attorney. The ment proposed by the hon. and learned Bill had come down from the House of Member for Bath would be a very imporLords, into which it had been introduced tant extension of the measure, and would at the instance of a trade protection so require great consideration. If they apciety in the north of England. In its plied this principle to mortgages or sales operation the Bill was limited to persons of personal property, it would be exceedengaged in trade and liable to the bank-ingly difficult not to apply it to mortgages rupt law. When the Bill was placed in on real property. his hands, he objected to its limitation to traders; but he waved his objection on being informed that the Government did not wish to go further at present. Although the measure had received much consideration in another place, he feared that when the House came to deal with the question of registration, it would be found extremely difficult to carry that principle into effect without inflicting griev-personal property, it did not follow that it ous injury upon persons engaged in trade. Gentlemen connected with Liverpool and other towns in the north had represented that, in the case of a person who might give a bill of sale on goods in bond for a temporary advance, the knowledge of the fact would prove ruinous to the borrower because it would be the means of blasting his character. Anxious to avoid this evil, he had consulted with the Solicitor General on the subject, and he concurred with that hon. and learned Gentleman in thinking that it would be difficult to exclude the class of cases in question without opening the door to frauds in other cases. All he wished the House to do now was to allow the Bill to pass through Committee pro formá, in order that the numerous Amendments which he and others intended to propose might be embodied in the measure and printed.
must be extended to real property. He agreed that the mischief arising from transactions of a fraudulent kind was more extensive, and required more to be guarded against, in the case of the non-trader than in that of the trader. He hoped the hon. Member for Cirencester (Mr. Mullings), to whom they were greatly indebted for the attention he had bestowed on this subject, would succeed in making the Bill completely useful and effective.
MR. HORSFALL said, he was glad to find that the bearing of the Bill on ordinary mercantile transactions was likely to obtain due consideration, and he confidently relied on the exertions of the hon. Member for Cirencester and the hon. and learned Solicitor General, to render the measure an unalloyed advantage to the commercial community.
MR. BOUVERIE hoped that due provision would be made respecting fees, so that the officers of the courts might be adequately remunerated for their trouble, without receiving more than they were properly entitled to.
MR. GROGAN said, he considered that the benefit of the measure should be made to extend to all parts of the United Kingdom.
MR. PHINN said, that the Bill would unquestionably promote the object of encouraging legitimate transactions, by giving protection to the fair trader and providing checks on fraudulent dealing. He therefore trusted that the House would consent to give a greater extension to the measure than it now possessed, in order to avoid having two codes of law on this subject-one for persons engaged in trade, MR. HADFIELD said, he cordially apand another for those who were not. With proved of the Bill, and he was extremely that view he had given notice of an Amend-glad that the hon. and learned Member for ment, which he should move at the proper season, for extending the Bill to those who did not come within the scope of the bankrupt law.
MR. G. BUTT said, he would be happy to contribute towards preventing needless litigation, but he hoped care would be Mr. Mullings
Bath (Mr. Phinn) had proposed to introduce a clause to do away with the distinction between traders and non-traders. He considered that the Bill would be of great beneficial consequence to the country.
MR. MALINS said, he highly approved of the principle of the Bill. Persons were
in the habit of obtaining credit upon the supposition that they possessed valuable property in the shape of furniture and stock in trade, but, when the creditor had obtained judgment and the officer came to levy execution, it oftentimes turned out that the debtor had given a bill of sale of all he possessed. As the Bill at present stood it applied only to traders, but, if the practice of giving these bills was dishonest in traders, he knew not why it was not equally dishonest in non-traders; he therefore very much approved of the Amendment which his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Bath intended to introduce.
The House then went into Committee. The Bill was considered pro formá. House resumed. Bill reported; to be printed as amended.
ment of gaols, the payment of the police, and other things-he proposed to give them also a vote in the management of the boroughs to which they had been attached.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read à Second Time."
THE LORD ADVOCATE said, he admitted that his hon. Friend's object was a very desirable one, and that there were a great many anomalies in the existing state of things which his Bill was intended to cure; but it was altogether impracticable to carry a measure of this kind out, the difficulties in the way of it being absolutely insuperable. Since his hon. Friend brought in a similar Bill last year, and which he afterwards withdrew, he (the Lord Advocate) had made many inquiries into the subject, the result of which was, that he found in almost every instance that each individual burgh would claim to be exempted from the operation of a general Bill like the present. He, therefore, felt it his duty to oppose the second reading, because he did not believe that there was a single burgh in Scotland that wished the Bill to pass in the state it now was. Under these circumstances, while giving his hon. Friend all credit for the attempt he had made, he having made before a similar attempt, but entirely failed, he would urge him not to press the Bill to a second reading. At all events, he (the Lord Advocate) was obliged to move that the Biil be read a second time that day six months.
Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words " upon this day six months."
BURGH BOUNDARIES (SCOTLAND) BILL. Order for Second Reading read. MR. BOUVERIE said, he would now beg to move that this Bill be read a second time. There were seventy-six Parliamentary burghs in Scotland, sixty-three of which were Royal burghs. The boundaries of these sixty-three burghs were fixed by prescription. The Parliamentary Reform Act altered the boundaries of the Royal burghs. Portions of the ancient territory of the burghs were excluded, and other portions of territory, not hitherto belonging to the Royal burghs, were included in the new Parliamentary boroughs. Such was the effect of the Reform Bill. In the year following the Parliamentary Reform Act the Municipal Reform Act was passed, which gave certain rights to persons living within the Parliamentary boroughs. The result, therefore, was this, that the residents within that portion of the ancient burghs which was excluded from the Parliamentary boroughs were deprived of their votes for Members of Parliament, though they still remained subject to the rates and taxes of the ancient burghs. He proposed to remedy that grievance by giving to such persons a vote, which they did not at present possess. In respect to those persons living in that por- MR. DRUMMOND said, he considered tion of the Parliamentary borough which that the grievance complained of by these had not formerly belonged to the ancient boroughs was of their own creating. The burghs, and who therefore had no right to real English of the story was this-that, vote at the election of magistrates acting in order to serve their own party purposes, within the boundaries of the ancient Royal- the ascendant party at the time of the Reties, although by subsequent Scotch legis- form Bill broke through the old boundaries lation they had been made liable to various of the boroughs and extended the new local charges for the support and govern-boundaries into districts which best served
MR. BOUVERIE said, he felt it would be useless for him to press the Bill on the consideration of the House, after what had fallen from his right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Advocate. He would therefore not divide the House on the Motion for the second reading, merely remarking to his right hon. and learned Friend that "where there was a will there was a way.'
their political friends, and now they were feeling the inconvenience of their own contrivances. As this, however, was a little Whig quarrel, the House had better leave it to the two hon. Gentlemen themselves to settle.
MR. KINNAIRD said, he must deny that the statement of the hon. Member was correct. He should support the Bill, which, if not now carried, he hoped would be brought forward again at a future day. Question, "That the word now,' stand part of the Question," put, and negatived. Words added: Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to. Bill put off for six months.
EPISCOPAL AND CAPITULAR ESTATES
BILL-ADJOURNED DEBATE (SECOND
Order read for resuming adjourned Debate on Question [29th March], That the Bill be now read a second time;" and which Amendment was to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months." Question again proposed, That the stand part of the Question."
with the noble Lord the mover of the Bill, and that he only objected to the Bill because it did not go far enough. The hon. Baronet objected to the provision of the present law, by which it was enacted that the surplus funds of the Church should be expended in a manner the most conducive to the efficiency of the Established Church. The hon. Baronet objected to the words "Established Church;" he wished the surplus fund to be applied to the benefit of the dissenting part of the community. When the present Bill was opposed only on such grounds, it ought to make its mover pause and consider whether the day might not come when it would be proposed to appropriate the surplus funds of the Church to very different, if not to merely secular purposes, and whether this Bill would not facilitate such an issue. Even in his short experience, he had witnessed an Act which was calculated to confirm his most serious apprehensions-he meant the Canada Reserves Bill. That measure had been attended with this peculiarity—that when the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer supported it, he assured the House that the property would be devoted LORD ADOLPHUS VANE said, it was entirely to religious purposes; but the hon. with considerable embarrassment that he Gentleman (Mr. Peel) the Under Secretary rose to oppose the second reading of this for the Colonies told the House that there Bill, but he could not help expressing his was every probability that these funds surprise that there should be no leading would be devoted to secular objects. These Member of the Government present on the things gave him reason to apprehend that discussion of so important a measure. if the House sanctioned the principle of The same absence of Ministers was no- the Bill of his noble relative, and removed ticeable on a former occasion, though he the management of Church property encertainly should have thought it due not tirely out of the hands of the Church, and only to the position of the noble Lord, his if, though holding the fee simple in their noble relative (Marquess of Blandford), who hands, the Church should have the entire brought forward the Bill, but to the impor. control taken from them, a day would tance of the subject itself, that some one come when a Motion would be made in the of Her Majesty's Ministers should have House of Commons to devote the Church come down to attend its second reading. property to secular purposes altogether. Under these circumstances he thought he Reflecting on what were the opinions of should be justified in moving that the those who gave their support to this meadebate be now adjourned. With a measure-among whom were to be numbered sure involving so many millions of Church property, it was not right to proceed without the attendance of Her Majesty's Ministers. If he had at any time entertained the former of whom was a warm ada doubt as to the course he ought to vocate for the separation of Church and pursue on this question, the speech of the State; and the latter an advocate for hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets (Sir the exclusion of bishops from the House W. Clay) would have entirely persuaded of Lords and for the abolition of tithes ; him to vote against the Bill, but for very he really thought that the noble Lord, different reasons than those which were the mover of this Bill, should pause beassigned by that hon. Gentleman. The fore he enforced its second reading, and hon. Baronet had said that he sympathised seriously consider whether it was a meaMr. Drummond
the hon. Member for Southwark (Mr. Pellatt), and, on a former occasion, the hon. Member for Cockermouth (Mr. Aglionby)
That was in entire accordance with his own opinion, and he hoped the noble Lord the mover of the Bill, as a sincere Church reformer, would pay some attention to what it suggested, and would consider
properly provided for before he consented to appropriate any portion of its revenues to supply the necessities of another. There was another point to which he wished to refer. On a former occasion, in answer to a question put by him, the noble Lord the Member for the City of London (Lord J. Russell) said that it was the intention of Government to bring in a Bill with regard to Church leaseholds, but that it would not be introduced before the resumption of the present debate. But, to his astonishment, a Bill on that very subject had been brought in by the Lord President in the House of Lords, had been read a second time, and was ordered to be committed last night.
sure calculated to benefit the Established parishes in the cathedral towns connected with Church. What, too, were the views of the cathedrals before appropriating the surplus to the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume) the general fund." in regard to this Bill? When it was under discussion in 1853, that hon. Gentleman, though he stated he was a warm friend of the Church and was willing to go with the noble Lord who introduced it, said that still he considered the question to arise whether one-whether the wants of one diocese were half of the money taken from the purposes of religion might not be applied to the purpose of giving a good secular education to the people. These different views confirm ed him in the opinion that the carrying of the second reading of the Bill would be attended with great danger to the Church. It appeared to him that the Church itself must be the best judge of what was most beneficial for its own interest. He might remind the House that a petition had been presented from the dean and canons of Norwich, stating that the Bill would operate most injuriously for their interests and those of the Church at large, by depriving them of the rightful management of their own property, and severing the union which had existed between the ecclesiastical and the landed interests from time immemorial. Petitions to the same effect had also been presented from the dean and chapter of Exeter, the dean and chapter of Canterbury, the dean and chapter of Bath and Wells, and the dean and chapter of Westminster. There was another reason why the Bill ought not to be pressed at the present time to a second reading. At this moment there was a Commission sitting, of which the noble Lord (the Marquess of Blandford) was a member, on this and kindred subjects; and until that Commission made its Report, he thought it would be unwise to proceed further with the measure. He would quote a short extract from a publication entitled to great respect -the Edinburgh Review-which, upon another branch of this subject, entirely expressed his opinions. In its number for January, 1853, it observed
"And here we would urge very strongly the claim of justice which such encumbrances, in the gift of the cathedral bodies, may advance to be considered first, before the funds derived from the improved cathedral property are scattered over the whole kingdom. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners have acted wisely in pledging themselves, when tithes fall into their hands, to consider before all other claims the wants of the parishes from which the tithes arise. They will act still more wisely, and greatly conciliate the good feeling towards the cathedrals, if they bind themselves in all cases, not of tithes only, but of other property also, to consider the wants of the VOL. CXXXIII. [THIRD SERIES.]
holders of Church property by surprise. This was taking the leaseAs not a single Member of the Government was present to announce either their individual opinions, or the general views of the Administration with respect to this important question, none of them being in the House except the two hard-worked Gentlemen now seated on the Treasury bench (Lord Mulgrave and Mr. G. Berkeley), he should move that the debate be now adjourned.
MR. G. BUTT, in seconding the Motion, said that he entirely approved the principle of the Bill before the House, but he wished to point out to the noble Lord, whose attention had been given with so much care to this important question, that in the present state of the House it would be impossible for him to do any good by proceeding with the debate. On the 29th of March, when the matter had been brought under the attention of the House, one or two Ministers were present, and one of them had spoken of the principle of the Bill as one in which everybody who wished to promote the usefulness of the Church and the well-being of the country must feel interested, and had suggested the postponement of the debate. The debate had accordingly been postponed, and now the only two representatives of the Government who were present were the two hon. Gentlemen opposite. He thought that a Bill the principle of which was so