« ForrigeFortsett »
of the debate, had it not been for the re- LORD RANDOLPH CHURCHILL marks of his hon. and learned Friend the said, he considered that the discussion Attorney General on the subject of cedit. had been, on the whole, satisfactory, as He had held the office of County Court opinions had been generally expressed Judge for many years, during which he in favour of a considerable limitation of had had ample experience of the habits the period during which debts should be and necessities of the working classes; recoverable. As far as the present Bill and he was convinced that credit was a was concerned, he would not trouble the great boon to them. There were periods, House to go to a division. His object when from want of employment and was to get an expression of opinion, and from sickness in their families and other that object had been attained. After causes, they were obliged to have credit what the Attorney General had said, for food and clothing. At these times he would ask the House to allow the the tradesman was their best friend; and Amendment to be negatived, and then he must add, from his own long observa- to have the Order read and discharged. tion, that the tradesman was kind and If that were done, he should be quite forbearing to the debtor. If the artizan satisfied. He had not seen the letter could not obtain credit, he would fre- referred to by the hon. Member for quently have to go to the workhouse. Northampton (Mr. Labouchere). The If the Bill of the noble Lord were to hon, and learned Member for Chatham become law, one of two things must (Mr. Gorst) had drawn up the Bill, and it happen. Either the tradesman would was with his consent that his name had not give credit at all, which would leave been put on the back of it. If there was the working man in great stress; or, if any explanation required, it should be the credit were limited to one year, he given by the hon. and learned Member would prosecute his claim for the debt for Chatham. long before the expiration of the 12 MR. DAWSON said, he thought that months—the time to which the Bill such a change as was proposed by the limited credit for small debts. As re- Bill would tend to the improvement of garded imprisonment for debt, he had the condition of the people. had many opportunities, during the Question put, and agreed to. period he had set as Judge-nearly 20
Order for Second Reading discharged. years—of conferring with the artizan on that question, and he had invariably
Bill withdrawn. found that he did not desire the short imprisonment now lawful to be abolished. SUMMARY JURISDICTION (IRELAND) Workmen frequently had neither goods
BILL.-[Bill 33.] nor furniture ; and if the tradesman
(Mr. Litton, Mr. Errington, Mr. Broadhurst.) could not put this pressure upon
ADJOURNED DEBATE. to induce them to keep up their payments, made generally by instalments,
Order read, for resuming Adjourned he would withhold credit from them Debate on Question [6th April],” “That altogether.
the Bill be now read a second time." MR. LABOUCHERE remarked, that Question again proposed. although he differed from the noble Debate arising; Lord on many important questions, he Debate further adjourned till Wednesday had the highest opinion of his views on 25th May. these small, minor matters.
He was surprised to find, however, that the hon. and learned Member for Chatham (Mr. (BIRMINGHAM, TAME, AND REA, &c.) BILL. Gorst), whose name was on the back of
On Motion of Jr. HIBBERT, Bill to confirm the Bill, had written a letter to a news- certain Provisional Orders of the Local Govern. paper stating that his name had been ment Board relating to the Birmingham, Tame, placed there without his authority, and and Rea Main Sewerage District, the Local Gothat he was, in fact, opposed to the mea
vernment Districts of Cowpen and Leigh, the sure. He saw opposite him three Mem- ment District of Risca, ordered to be bronght in
Borough of Nottingham, and the Local Govern. bers of the Fourth Party, or three- by Mr. Hibbert and Mr. Dodsos. fourths of the Party, and he hoped some Bill presented, and read the first time. (Bill 160.] one of them would explain this discre
House adjourned at five minutes pancy.
before Six o'clock. Sir Eardley Wilmot
LOCAL GOVERNMENT PROVISIONAL ORDERS
that very valuable property which had HOUSE OF LORDS, been taken by robbery had never been
traced, a fact which showed that the Thursday, 12th May, 1881. law in its present state was less effica
cious in assisting in the discovery of
stolen property and throwing difficul. MINUTES.)-Public Bills--Second Reading
ties in the way of thieves than it Stolen Goods (60); Charitable Trusts Acts should be. The police authorities of the Amendment (59) Elementary Education Metropolis having communicated with Provisional Order Confirmation (London) * those in various parts of the country (68): Elementary Education Provisional Or- elicited a unanimous opinion that fur
der Confirmation (Clay Lane) * (69). Committee Report-Inland Revenue Buildings
ther legislation was necessary, and that (73).
such a Bill as that before their LordReport-Municipal Franchise (Scotland) • (55). ships would give increased facilities for
checking the evils complained of. He FRANCE AND TUNIS—THE FRENCH was told that at present there was no
real check on the receivers of stolen INVASION.--QUESTION.
goods, and no actual facility for the EARL DE LA WARR asked the Se
of goods which had been cretary of State for Foreign Affairs, stolen. For that state of things he did Whether he had any objection to lay not throw blame on anybody, but it was upon the Table of the House the des- necessary to find a remedy, patch of Lord Lyons containing an assur- respectable trade, the pawnbrokers, were, ance that the object of the French in- it appeared, greatly alarmed at this vasion of Tunis was not the occupation Bill, as if it were directed against themor annexation of any part of the territory selves. When its provisions were careof the Regency; also, whether the noble fully looked into it would be found that, Earl was able to confirm the statement though some amendments might be dewhich had been made in the newspapers, sirable, there was no ground for that that the French troops were within 17 alarm. The first set of provisions were miles of the city of Tunis?
perfectly gencral; the second applied to EARL GRANVILLE: My Lords, I second-hand dealers; and the third to have reason to think that the French second-hand dealers and pawnbrokers. troops are very near Tunis. I propose The pawnbrokers as a body were a highly in the course of next week to lay Papers respectable body of men; but, of course, on the Table of your Lordships' House in so numerous à class there must be some relating to this matter.
persons less scrupulous than others,
while some who were scrupulous might STOLEN GOODS BILL.--(No. 60.) unwittingly receive articles which had (The Lord Chancellor.)
been stolen. He had seen it stated in a SECOND READING.
printed circular which professed to give
reasons why the Bill should not be Order of the Day for the Second Read- passed, that its provisions were based ing read.
on the idea that pawnbrokers and reTHE LORD CHANCELLOR, in crivers of stolen goods were identical. moving that the Bill be now read a That was an error into which certainly second time, said, that as he desired to neither he nor Her Majesty's Government remove considerable misapprehension on had fallen. No one could be more sensible the subject, he would say something than he was of the high character of the both as to the reasons for the introduc- pawnbrokers generally, and of the high tion of the measure and the provisions standing of many of them, and nothing which it contained. It was a Bill to could be further from his intention than increase the powers now possessed by to throw any slur upon them. It was, the police authorities with regard to the however, certain that even the most recovery of stolen goods, and to make upright pawnbrokers might sometimes other provisions calculated to discourage take in pledge articles that had been the receiving of such goods, and to faci. dishonestly obtained, without knowlitate their recovery. He thought that ing that they had been so obtained; and everybody would admit that this was that all pawnbrokers should be exempted desirable. It had frequently occurred from the operation of the Bill was a
suggestion which they themselves could reference to the assistance in recovery not expect to see realized. He had had of stolen articles to be given by pawngreat satisfaction in receiving a deputa- brokers and second-hand dealers, and tion, who very ably represented them. to the duty of those classes of traders That deputation had made many sug- to answer the inquiries of constables. gestions; and, as he was not desirous By the Pawnbrokers' Act of 1872, of unnecessarily harassing the trade, pawnbrokers were under an obligation he proposed, if their Lordships were to keep books, with particulars of the pleased to read the Bill a second pledges received by them. This Bill time, to pass it through Committee pro extended that obligation to second-hand formå, for the purpose of having it re- dealers in precious metals. They were printed with some Amendments, founded also empowered by the Act of 1872 to on those suggestions, which he was hand over to the custody of the police any willing at once to introduce, and after- person whom they suspected of offering wards to have it re-committed to a stolen goods for sale or in pawn ; but Select Committee, which would have that Act contained no indemnity to them power to take evidence, so that every in case the person suspected should opportunity might be given to those prove to be innocent. It was proposed who were interested to show how they by this Bill to give such an indemnity, would be affected by it. The main altera- and the 11th clause gave compensation tion made in the existing law by the first to pawnbrokers and others for loss of part of the Bill was in respect to search timo, and the expense they might be for stolen goods. At present it was ne- put to in giving information. Secondcessary, in order to obtain a search-war- hand dealers were to be required to take rant, that a police-constable should state out a licence, which, in the first instance, on oath reasons for believing that articles was to be obtained on the certificate of a stolen were in the place proposed to be justice; and by Clause 14 it was enacted searched, and should specify what those that no second-hand dealer should purarticles were; and the magistrates did not chase an article from a child under like to grant such a warrant without | 12 years old, or from a person appear. proof of a prima facie case, which it ing to be intoxicated, or employ any was often impossible to establish before person under the age of 16 to receive search. The 3rd clause of the Bill would goods. Similar provisions to these were enable a Court of Summary Jurisdiction already in force as to pawnbrokers. By to grant a special warrant on the oath Clause 15 it was provided that where of an officer of the police, being an inspec- a pawnbroker was convicted of an tor, or an officer of equal or superior rank offence punishable under the Pawn. to an inspector, that he had received in-brokers' Act of 1872, or this Act, and formation, from which he believed that had previously been convicted of the stolen articles--without specifying them same or any other offence under either in detail-- were in a particular place. Act, or where a second-hand dealer On the authority of this warrant the was convicted of an offence under this officer could search, and on discovery of Act, and had previously been convicted of the property and on proof that the per- the same or any other offence, the Court son in possession of it had reasonable before whom he was convicted might grounds for believing it to have been direct his licence or certificate to be enstolen, and had, nevertheless, made no dorsed with a record of the conviction, communication to the police, penalties and if any conviction had been endorsed would be inflicted. In this respect the against him within five years previously Bill did not go beyond the provisions might direct his licence or certificate to of some local Acts already passed--the be forfeited. It had been represented to Glasgow Police Act, for instance. The him that, as that clause stood, it was too provisions of the 4th and 5th clauses severe, as the previous conviction under rendered it penal to deface or alter goods the Pawnbrokers' Act might be for nonpurchased or received by a person who compliance with regulations in some might have some reason to suppose that matters of detail not seriously affecting they had been stolen. Gold and silver the public. He therefore proposed to articles were not to be melted down amend it by providing that the former within three days of the time of pur- penalty must have been over £5, which chase. The 8th and 9th clauses had would' exclude penalties for any but
The Lord Chancellor
serious and repeated offences. There duty to watch vigilantly proposals of
| were three other clauses of great im- this kind, and to see that they were not portance, which he could not help think adopted without careful inquiry. The ing were those which chiefly alarmed public necessity of this Bill rested althe pawnbrokers. It was proposed most entirely on the evidence of the in the Bill that after any conviction, police authorities. He had great respect either under the Pawnbrokers' Act, or for the police as a body ; but a Bill to this Act, or the Public Stores Act, a give the police so much more power reCourt might direct the person convicted quired some other testimony of its neto be registered, the effect of which would cessity. This Bill had given great be to put him under certain specified re- alarm to that very respectable body of strictions, and the commission of any fur- traders, the pawr brokers; but he was ther offence would entail further restric- glad to find from the observations of his tions. It had been represented that noble and learned Friend that the resome of those restrictions were of a kind presentations of that body had had some which, if applied to pawnbrokers, would effect with him. If his noble and learned make it impossible for them to carry on Friend had proposed to push the Bill their business. He thought, on consi- through the House in its present form, sideration, that the objects of these he should have felt it his duty to say clauses would be sufficiently attained, that their Lordships ought to examine without extending them to pawnbrokers: the evidence in its favour with great he intended, therefore, to limit them so care ; but as it had passed from the as not to include pawnbrokers. There hands of the Criminal Investigation Dewas also a provision as to the liabi-partment--where he supposed it origility of agents and servants of pawn- nated—to his noble and learned Friend, brokers and second-hand dealers, which who was willing that it should be conhe thought would be found useful. By sidered by a Select Committee, he need Clause 22 an appeal to Quarter Ses- not detain their Lordships further than sions was given where a fine exceed to express his opinion that the wisest ing £5 was imposed; and Clause 23 course would be to refer the Bill to a provided that a conviction for any offence Select Committee. under this Act should not after five years Motion agreed to; Bill read 22 accordbe receivablo in evidence against the per- ingly, and committed to a Committee of son so convicted. He would only add, the Whole House on Thursday next. in conclusion, that the Bill was conceived entirely in the public interest, to facili- CHARITABLE TRUSTS ACTS AMEND. tate the recovery of stolen property; and,
MENT BILL.-(No. 59.) looking to the fact that its provisions
(The Lord Chancellor.) would be examined by a Select Committee, he trusted their Lordships would now give it a second reading.
Order of the Day for the Second Read.
ing, read. Mored, “That the Bill be now read 24."
THE LORD CHANCELLOR, in mov-(The Lord Chancellor.)
ing that the Bill be now read a second THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY said, timo, said, he was aware that the Bill that the Bill his noble and learned was objected to by many excellent perFriend on the Woolsack had introduced sons who thought that it might have might be accurately described as being a tendency to injure certain charities, of the same class as another Bill and particularly to encroach upon chariwhich he would bring forward shortly ties supported by voluntary contributions; -namely, as an effort on behalf of a but, in his opinion, the alarm which had Department of the Government to in- been created was not justified by the crease its powers, and consequently to clauses of the Bill. At all events, he diminish, in a corresponding degree, should be sorry to be responsible for the rights and privileges of the other any measure which could injure any of subjects of Her Majesty. Everybo‘ly those excellent institutions which were knew that Departments of the State often petitioning against this Bill. It was conceived it to be for the interest of the never intended to affect thnt portion of public that their powers should be in their funds which was derived from creased; but it was their Lordships' voluntary subscriptions. The only YOL. CCLXI. (THIRD SERIES.]
ground for any apprehension on that though the income might exceed £50 score was a provision adopted from a Bill a-year ; to enable the provisions of Acts introduced byhis noble and learned Friend of Parliament—he proposed to limit this (Earl Cairns) in 1.878, that permanent to Private Acts—to be altered by such investments of savings from subscriptions schemes; to enable the Commissioners, should, after the lapse of a certain num- when it appeared by the accounts of ber of years, be regarded in the same charities rendered to them that monies light as original endowments. He was had been misapplied, to order payment willing to modify that clause, if neces- of such monies, subject to an appeal to sary, by extending the time, and also to the Court; and to place the appointment provide that it should not apply to a re- of new trustees of charities by co-optaserved fund set apart to meet future de- tion under such regulations as would ficiencies of income. He disclaimed all secure the appointment of fit persons, intention of injuring these charities. It and prevent unnecessary expense to had been said that ever since the passing the charities. He should be willing to of the Act of 1853 the Charity Commis- exempt incorporated charities, such as sioners had been seeking to increase the great hospitals, and others like them, their power and extend their operations. from those provisions which seemed to No doubt they had always endeavoured have excited their alarm, and which to extend their operations within proper were really intended for cases of a very limits; but no one ought to blame them for different kind. The objects of the Bill that, because if such a body as the Cha- had been very much misunderstood in rity Commissioners was to exist at all it certain quarters; and he thought that, must be their duty to exercise their when this misunderstanding was refunctions in all cases in which they moved, on a fair consideration of the found charities improperly or unwisely provisions of the Bill, it would be apadministered, and to seek from Parlia- proved by the country. ment the removal of all impediments to
Moved, “That the Bill be now read 2.” their efficiency: Without question, the -(The Lord Chancellor.)
. operation of the Act of 1852 had been most beneficial. The manner in which THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY said. the Charity Commissioners had dis- his noble and learned Friend had given charged their duties entitled them to a faithful account of the Bill; but by a public confidence. The Commission had dexterous distribution of light and shade, been in existence for 28 years, and out of in touching on its various provisions, he 7,100 orders which they had made only had withdrawn from the view of their six had been appealed from, and out of Lordships the enormous change it made those six appeals only two had been suc- in the position of the Charity Commiscessful. That showed the value of their sioners towards the various charities of labours. The present Bill proposed, in the country. Their Lordships must reseveral respects, to extend their powers, member what were the original funcbut not, he thought, in any way which tions of the Charity Commissioners. the experience of the past did not The function of the Commissioners was, justify. It contained 26 clauses, of with the consent of the trustees, to deal which 16 were taken from the Bill of with charities all over the country, modi. 1878, introduced by the late Govern- fying provisions which had come down ment. The most important of the pro- from remote times and were no longer posals not taken from the Bill of 1878 suitable to the circumstances of the were, to enable charity funds to be localities. Absolute power was subsevested in the official trustees, without in quently given to them to deal with any way interfering with their adminis- charities of a lower value than £50 atration, by the authority of the Commis- year. For that there was a great deal sioners, though no application might be to be said, because it could not be exmade to them for that purpose; to enable pected that charities of an insignificant the Commisssioners to settle schemes value would receive the same attention for the better administration of chari- as larger ones at the hands of trustees. ties, according to existing trusts, subject But what was proposed now was to take to an appeal to the High Court of Jus- all the charities of the country, from the tice, though the trustees of the charities largest hospital to the smallest village might not themselves desire it, and foundation, and hand them over abso
The Lord Chancellor