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Mr. Goulburn complained of the delay remedies to detected delinquency. Those of the bill on this subject. He had voted who were of that opinion were perfectly for the suspension of the writ, in conse- consistent in opposing the present Motion, quence of the report of the Committee, but he would declare, that the man was a under the understanding that the bill was feeble or suspicious Reformer who could to be proceeded with. Being placed in maintain, that the only method of purifysuch circumstances,


not do other-ing that House was by the detection of wise than vote for the Amendment, though occasional impurities, in the hope that, he thought it extremely hard on Liverpool probably in a century or two, a few such to be so long deprived of one Repre-cases would be proved against certain bosentative.

roughs. From what the House had alLord Althorp said, it was not fair, be ready seen of such attempts at reformation cause the bill could not be proceeded with they might judge of their practical utility. in the present Session, that that should pre- It was proved that the constituency vent Liverpool from returning one of its of Liverpool had been detected in the Members. He admitted there was a difficulty most extraordinary wholesale bribery. A in sending a writ to a constituency proved more corrupt set of burgesses could not be to be corrupt ; but he thought that was found. It was to correct such delinquencies not a sufficient reason for refusing to issue to give a wholesome rule of correction, and a writ, which would prevent Liverpool prevent such practices for the future, that having its due share of Representation in the late Reform Bill had been passed the House,

through that House by triumphant majoriMr, Cutlar Fergusson could not con- ties. That Bill he had supported, but be sent, whilst the constituency of Liverpool had ever opposed himself to partial and remained so corrupt as it had been de- hypocritical Reforms like the purification scribed by a Committee of that House, of Liverpool because he would not sancto issue a writ for a Representative. Hetion a different measure of justice to be should vote for the Amendment.

dealt out to constituents and patrons, Sir Richard Vyvyan was of opinion punishing the former for receiving a given that the House had no right to suspend sum of money in detail, and allowing the the writ over the prorogation. Such a same amount to be given to the patron of place as Liverpool ought to be fully re- a borough in one whole sum. A noble presented in Parliament, and the present Lord or Jew speculator who put 5,0001., as vacancy was occasioned by accident only. the price of a Member returned by him

Lord Ingestrie said, he should oppose to that House, into his pocket, was issuing the writ, because bribery had engaged in a more odious and profligate been distinctly and fully proved against transaction than the electors who were the majority of the freemen of Liverpool. bribed, and had not the redeeming apology Rather than that place should suffer from of poverty to plead—an apology that might the want of a Representative in conse- generally be urged in favour of those who quence, he was ready to offer any services received small sums for their votes. These,

however, were the persons selected for Sir George Warrender had refused to punishment, and this selection of persons vote for the issue of the writ for East was, that made the present a question Retford for three years, and for the sake of principle. Whether the House issued of consistency, therefore, he must vote the writ for a second Member to be reagainst the issue of the writ for Liverpool : turned for Liverpool was comparatively of the corruption at Liverpool had been very small importance, but the hostility to the great.

measure, and the principle on which it Mr. Hunt declared he would vote against was founded, was of great importance, as the issue of the writ. This Motion would from it arose the question, whether the show the Reformers in that House in their House ought to prosecute a general Reproper colours to the public.

form, which would abrogate corrupt boMr. Daniel Whitile Harvey said, that roughs by wholesale, or only deal with this was not an isolated question, but a those which were so unfortunate as to be question of principle. The opposition to detected in delinquency. That principle the issuing of the writ was founded on the he most fully objected to, for it was the principle, that the only Reform that was principle of those who wished to necessary was the application of adequate nonize a system of nomination. It was

in his power.


a principle well understood by the country | port the issue of the writ. There would be as hypocritical in its pretences, and subver- questions of great importance in the ensusive of real Reform. Upon these grounds ing Session, involving the interests of Liverhe was prepared to support the issuing of pool, which rendered it essentially nethe writ.

cessary that that place should have the Mr. Wrangham wondered how any man benefit of full Representation by persons could vote for this Motion. He could of experience. He trusted the House not consent to give to a corrupt body- a would permit him to say a few words upon body infamously corrupt-a right to re- the remarks made by several hon. Memturn a Member to Parliament. He looked .bers who had opposed the Motion, among with dread to the measure for altering the others his hon. friend, the member for whole system of Representation, but he Honiton (Sir George Warrender), had cast would never besitate to apply a remedy a stone at the electors of Liverpoool. 'The where the guilt of corruption was brought borough his hon. friend represented had home to the parties. The hon. Gentleman the credit of not being one of the who had last addressed the House had purest, for he remembered when Lord endeavoured to mislead it. He had asked, Cochrane had declared in that House; how could any hon. Gentleman defend after being elected for that borough, that 50001. being given to one individual for a he had sent the bellman round the town seat in that House, and yet object to the with a notice that every voter might come freemen of Liverpool receiving that sum and receive 51. He saw the House was among them, divided into small portions, for extremely impatient to come to a decithe exercise of their rights. Without pre. sion, and he would detain them no further tending to answer that question he (Mr. than by saying, he hoped they would reWrangham) would declare, that if the hon. verse their former vote as the present cirMember would prove that any person had cumstances were so different. received 5,0001. for a seat in Parliament by The House divided on the Original Mo. the same evidence as the guilt had been tion, Ayes 93 ; Noes 67 - Majority 26. proved against the freemen of Liverpool, Writ ordered to be issued accordingly. he would vote against any writ being again issued to the place so circum- BANKRUPTCY COURT BILL-COMstanced. It had been urged as a reason MITTEE-SECOND DAY.] The Solicitor for the House now issuing a writ to Liver- General moved, that the House go into a pool, that, at an earlier period of the Ses- Committee on the Bankruptcy Court Bill. sion there was a Bill before the House to Mr. Warburton said, he was of opinion amend the Representation in general, and that an alteration in the present system that prevented the hon. member for of Commissioners was necessary, but he Wiltshire from proceeding with his bill thought the present Bill required many relating to Liverpool alone: but the Re- alterations and modifications which there form Bill was now disposed of, and the was not now time to make with so much hon. Member was ready to proceed, when minuteness and care as the importance of he was met by being told an adjournment the subject demanded. In the first place, was at hand. They had now to consider he thought the fees to be paid under the how their position was altered by this Bill were much higher than they ought announcement. The House had already to be. After comparing their amount twice decided that the electors of Liver with those connected with the present pool were unworthy to exercise their fran- system, he had come to the conclusion, chise, and coupling that with the pledge without fatiguing the House with the dethe noble Lord (Lord Althorp) had given that tails, that the expenses of the new Bill the writ should not issue until the hon. would be greater in the proportion of member for Wiltshire had had an oppor- forty-five to thirty-six than those attunity of purifying the constituency, would tached to the existing methods of managnot the House stultify its own proceedings ing a bankrupt's estate. Another great obby now agreeing to the original Motion ? jection to the Bill he considered to be, the

Mr. Granville Vernon said, he had appointment of four Judges instead of one, heard no arguments to convince him that and he was borne out in this opinion by it was right to leave 5,000 persons unre- the high authority of the late Sir Samuel presented. On the principle of virtual Re- Romilly, who had declared that one Judge presentation all the Members ought to sup- in bankruptcy cases was sufficient; an

increased number led to inattention in the investigation---to have an efficient Court, whole. He feared, therefore, the expenses and there were no facts before the House attending the appointment of these four calculated to show that there was any Judges would be worse than thrown away. chance of the accomplishment of such an In any alteration that was to be made, object by the instrumentality of the meapatronage should be avoided. He fully sure they were now considering. exonerated the noble and learned Lord Mr. John Smith regretted exceedingly with whom the Bill originated, from any that his hon. friend (Mr. Warburton) had desire to increase his patronage thereby, found it necessary to oppose the Bill, for but he should prefer that the number of he knew that the hon. Member invariably Commissioners should be increased by three, acted upon his conscientious opinion upon with but one Judge, which would form an every subject. He anticipated no such additional number to act in times of com- expense from the breaking up of the premercial distress, when the amount of duty sent system as seemed to be apprehended, would be materially augmented. He was and he knew from a long practical expealso of opinion, that the expenses of ap- rience, that the change which must be propeals would be materially increased, and duced by the Bill would be of the most their number augmented. By the existing beneficial nature. One of the most fruitsystem one or two appeals were all that ful sources of litigation was the proof of a could be had, but by the proposed ar- debt under a Commission by the (present rangement there might be four: the first system, and his bon, friend proposed that from the Commissioners to the Subdivision to be continued, as preferable to the imCourt; the second from the Commission proved method now under review. He ers of the Subdivision Court, to the could assure his hon. friend, that the diffiCourt of Review; a third from the Court culties and delays of appeal in such inof Review to the Lord Chancellor; and stances were so great, that creditors were a fourth from the ord Chancellor to disposed to put up with severe loss rather the House of Lords. With every de- than appeal at all. A Court of Review sire to accede to every real improve- would obviate that evil, it was to be sitting ment in the bankrupt-laws, he feared throughout the year, and therefore, there the plan before them could not be con- was a necessity for more than one Judge. sidered such. Instead of effecting any A suit would be decided in a few days inReform in the expense of this branch stead of lasting as many months. Indeof the legislation, the proposed system pendent of this, but with all deference would be found to be much more ex- to the opinion of his hon. friend he had no pensive. Instead of giving credit to the hesitation to declare that he should prefer statements of individuals upon so serious the opinion of two or three sensible and a question, the House ought to appoint a judicious lawyers to the authority of one, Committee, before which professional men and he believed from a Court so constituted might be examined touching its merits. there would be few or no appeals. Those As to the argument that the law would be who were to act under the Bill could have made either cheap or expeditious by the no motive for an improper decision. His Bill, that was, in his opinion, altogether a hon. friend was not, perhaps, although fallacy. If the Bill should not be carried extensively engaged in commercial matters, during the present Session, it was his de- practically experienced in those which untermination to move, at a future time, fortunately terminated in Commissions of that the subject be referred to a Com- Bankrupt. He (Mr. John Smith) had had mittee [ a cry of move, move."] He a long experience of things of the kind, would have no objection to move for the and he could not help declaring that po appointment of a Committee, if the pro- language which he could use could adeposition would not be considered as a quately express his detestation of the mode mode of getting rid of the Bill, but it of decision in use amongst the seventy would, and with the views he enter- Commissioners. The word “execration," tained upon the question of the Bankrupt- more accurately than any other, expressed laws, that would not be a fair way of the sentiments of commercial men as to the meeting the question. He certainly hoped existing state of the Bankrupt-laws. that the Bill would not pass, but he must He really believed that, in nine cases out decline the adoption of such means of de- of ten, bankrupts' cases were not thoroughly feating it. His object was, to have a fair inquired into. A man who had seen the working of the system said, on being con- with certain property, which, according cerned in such a case, “I will take things to his books, he had received, to the as they come, without giving myself any amount of 17,0001. At last he admitted further trouble to inquire, for I am sure, that he had spent it all in the following to do so will only be attended with loss manner :-" Why,” said he, “ I kepta caroftime, trouble, and expense.” Even in the riage for my mother in town, and I kept case of Howard and Gibbs, bad and con- one woman at Brighton, and another at temptible as that case was, if the affairs of Hampstead, and I had two children by the bankrupts had been properly investi- the latter to keep, and I kept a house in gated and managed before the Com-town." In short, the fellow confessed missioners, there would, he most con- that he squandered the money away. scientiously believed, have been a surplus Now he never entertained a notion of signat the winding up; and Howard woulding the certificate of such a man; but the not now be, as he actually was, languishing fellow got his certificate notwithstanding, in poverty. Immense sums of

money were and very soon too; and the Commissionexpended in working that Commission. ers said, in answer to an appeal made to Hundreds of meetings were held, and law them upon the subject, " What can we suit followed law suit without end. He do? We can't help it. He has told us had been called to a meeting of the credi- the truth.” The fellow soon afterwards tors of that firm, with many other unfortu- recommenced business, and had it in his nate and interested persons; when the So- power to pursue a similar course of plunlicitor to the Commission said “ Gentlemen, der. Now it would be most desirable to a certain person owes the estate a large prevent blackguards of that description sum of money, and the only remedy you from obtaining additional facilities, and have is to file a bill against him.” This practising similar frauds, and he did hope was judged, after much discussion, so ex- the establishment of efficient Commissionpensive a remedy, that the creditors de-ers, under a Court of Review, would efclined to prosecute the claim. He had fectually check such fraudulent practices. strong reasons for believing that there A great deal had been said about the exwere, to say the least of it, very frequently pense resulting from the new measure, and a connivance, not to say a conspiracy, be the dissatisfaction with which the public tween the solicitors, the petitioning cre- were likely to view that expense; but he ditors, the accountants, and the bankrupts. I knew it to be a fact that the public would He did not think it necessary here to enter think very little of expense if they could upon the subject of country Commissions, get the affairs of bankrupts equitably that fertile source of fraud; but he must managed, and speedily and satisfactorily be permitted to remark, that it was ne- settled. They were willing to pay for cessary that a bankrupt ought to have his substantial justice, and substantial justice certificate if he had acted honestly and they could not have if the present system, fairly, and given up his property so as to or any part of it, were allowed to continue. satisfy his creditors in the best manner His hon. friend had suggested a Committee circumstances would permit; but if he had up-stairs, and the examination of profesacted nefariously or improperly, there was sional men. He(Mr. John Smith) had sat in no doubt a certificate ought to be with the Chair above stairs upon the very subheld. In some cases whatever the opinions ject, and he had had the assistance of the of the creditors might be, the certificate ablest men; but he could not boast of the ought never to be granted, particularly as progress that was made. As to the exwas often the case when the bankrupt amination of professional men, it should be happened to be a complete and notorious considered that the Bill would go to deblackguard. He would give one instance prive a number of gentlemen of that deof the fact:-a vulgar, ignorant young scription of their profits; and it was very man, whom he might very well call a natural to expect from most of them a deblackguard, happened to become a bank- cided opposition to the measure. He the rupt, and he (Mr. John Smith) happened more firmly relied upon the Bill, as it was to be a creditor. The bankrupt was very the production of the great mind of the obstinate in withholding facts in his state- most extraordinary man in the country ment before the Commissioners, and it of the man possessing the highest powers was a difficult matter to get from him an and the most intense desire to do good to acknowledgment of what he had done I his country,

Mr. Freshfield, having been referred to ditors might be from day to day. But in the course of the debate, felt it neces- supposing that the more natural course sary to make a few remarks upon the ma- was followed, according to the usual pracchinery of the Bill now before them, which tice of the Court of Chancery, that each he was convinced was so defective that dividend was to be paid by the authority the Bill ought not to be passed in its pre- of the Accountant-general, that officer sent state. He was satisfied, that no Com- would take no responsibility, and it would mission of any magnitude could be worked be necessary to identify the creditors by with such machinery as was proposed by the presence of the solicitor to the Comit, under the superintendance of an of- mission, whose fee for attendance would ficial assignee whose duty it appeared was, probably make a large deduction from the to collect as quickly as possible the assets amount of the dividend. Another objecof the bankrupt, and pay them forth with tion to the Bill was, the amount of the into the Bank. But all persons conversant per centage to be paid to these official aswith the business of bankruptcies well signees. It frequently occurred, particuknew, particularly those which were con-larly in West-India bankruptcies that the nected with colonial property, that the aggregate amount of assets was 400,0001. very first and necessary object of the assignee or 500,0001., was an official assignee to have was, to obtain funds, not to distribute a large per-centage upon this immense among the creditors, but to work the sum ? It even appeared by the wording Commission. It would be necessary to of the Bill as if they were to have a per send out means to procure the foreign as- centage upon the gross assets, without resets to be remitted, but under the proposed ference to any deductions, while the proper Bill, this necessary preliminary could only arrangement undoubtedly ought to be, to be obtained by an application to the Court make the per-centage of the official asof Chancery, for the official assignee was signee depend on the sums obtained by bound to pay all the funds, as they were the creditors, so as to make the interest of received, into the Bank. It might also be both parties the same. If the official asfound difficult 10 persuade that Court that signee was to be entitled to his per cenit was necessary to remit 10,0001., or per- tage on the gross sum, and the creditors haps a larger sum, to the West Indies, for received their dividends, of course, only on instance, on the chance of procuring a crop, the nett, it might happen that the differworth much more, from the estate of a bank-ence between the two sums would be exrupt situated in one of the colonies, and tremely large, and there could be no check even if the application succeeded, it could upon the expenses of working the Comonly be successful after much delay and mission. It was his most full and deexpense. Another objection was, as to the liberate opinion that the Bill had been payment of dividends to creditors. Their concocted with too much haste, that many first and great object of course was, to ob- of its arrangements were crude and imtain a division of the funds of the estate, perfect, and although he was well aware which had been paid into the Bank by the that there were errors and imperfections in agency of the official assignee, and how the existing system, yet it did not follow, were the persons interested to obtain this if these could be cured by an alteration money for distribution? Was it meant of the whole arrangements, that those althat a given sum should be issued at the terations could be made at once and offdiscretion of the official assignee, or that hand without the alterations themselves the whole assets were to be handed over being liable to many objections. He was of to the other assignees by him for such opinion, therefore, with the hon. member purpose of distribution? If the last plan for Bridport, that it was adviseable this Bill was to be the method, then the great dan- should be referred to a Select Committee, ger of the present system would be con- who might improve it and make it pertinued, for the assignees would have the fect if possible. management of the fund, and the creditors Mr. Hunt hoped that the Ministers had no security against fraud or failure. would not press a Bill of this consequence If, to prevent the chance of these losses, at the advanced period of the Session. It the first plan was pursued, and a given would be an expensive measure, and he sum issued, then the impossible case must for one could not see what benefit the be supposed of the official assignee know- suitor would derive from it. It was undering what the demands of the various cre- stood that Sir John Bayley was to be the

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