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Limited Partnerships Bill

Volume 181: debated on Monday 19 August 1907

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Lords Amendments considered.

First Lords Amendment agreed to.

Lords Amendment—

"In page 1, line 22, after the word 'partner ship,' to insert the words 'shall not consist in the case of a partnership carrying on the business of banking, of more than ten persons, and, in the case of any other partnership of more than twenty persons,' and the next Amendment, read a second time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Lords Amendment."— Sir ( William Holland.)

said that this Amendment seemed to be one of a most important nature, and they ought to have some explanation as to why the House should concur. As far as he could make out it broadened the scope of the Bill in a very important respect, as it applied to those engaged in banking certain conditions which might or might not be applicable to other forms of business, and on the other hand it proposed a limit of twenty persons in respect of a limited partnership when the question was not about banking. The House ought not to allow a drastic change of this character to be introduced at that stage of the Bill without being satisfied as to the effect of the change.

hoped the hon. Member would not think it necessary to discuss this Amendment. These Amendments had been arrived at in a spirit of compromise and had been finally accepted by those in charge of the Bill, and no one knew better than the hon. Member who had just spoken of the great benefit which this Bill would be when it was passed into law. When the Lords were considering the Amendment a number of leading bankers met the Committee in an interview, and as they all agreed in making this Amendment, he did not think it wise to interpose any objection, and he hoped the hon. Member would not resist the Amendment.

said the hon. Baronet had told them that this Amendment was arrived at as the result of a compromise and of a discussion at which certain bankers were present, and that he hoped they would not discuss the Bill. After all, the Patronage Secretary and his colleagues had put this matter down for discussion. The Amendments might be splendid ones, but the hon. Baronet had not advanced one single argument in their favour except that they were conceived in a spirit of compromise.

said the hon. Baronet seemed to be assuming the functions of the Government. This Amendment was of some importance, and he regretted that the representative of the Government, the President of the Board of Trade, whose business it was to deal with this subject, had not risen to reply. He thought it would be better if some right hon. Gentleman on the Government Benches gave an explanation of this Amendment. It was certainly strange to be asked to consider the whole of this Bill at twenty to four in the morning. He would imagine that never before had a Bill of that kind, after leaving the Lords, been considered at that time in the morning. As the Government had not answered, and as this Bill was of very great importance, and the Amendments were also of great importance, he must, with great reluctance, move that the debate be now adjourned.

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seconded. He said he believed this to be a very good and useful Bill, but there was no doubt that the Amendments they were asked to pass without discussion were very far-reaching and altered the Bill in many respects. They were at least entitled to have some explanation of them before they allowed the Bill to be placed on the Statute Book. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the debate be now adjourned."—(Viscount Turnour.)

said that this was a Bill of a private Member which had been carried through by agreement, and he believed had been endorsed by Members on both sides of the House. It was in no sense a Party Bill, and was not a Government Bill, but it had passed through the Lords, subject to Amendments. The Amendment under discussion was purely a modification. It was not, as the hon. Member for Hoxton seemed to think, a new clause. It was not the introduction of the question of limited partnerships to banking; it was simply providing a maximum, and, on the whole, it was a very reasonable provision for this reason, that if they went beyond ten it really ought to become a limited company.

said that neither the right hon. Genlteman nor the hon. Baronet had given an explanation of why bankers were to have this privilege under this Bill when the number was limited to ten. What reason was there that this number should be limited to ten in regard to bankers and not to others. All they had learned was that certain bankers were present in another place when the Amendment was introduced. They had had no intimation given them as to the value of the Amendment, and he could not help thinking that it must materially alter the scope of the Bill. He could not allow it to pass without protest, particularly as the hon. Baronet was not able to give any explanation on the subject.

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said it seemed curious that on the 19th of August they should be taking Lords Amendments in such a docile spirit, and he supposed it was only because they wanted to get the House adjourned at a certain date. But it was an extraordinary Amendment to be introduced. What was in the noble Lords' minds when they made this Amendment he was at a loss to understand. Banking parnterships very often exceeded ten in number, and his experience was that they constituted a special branch of mercantile and commercial interests and one which did not require to be limited as proposed by tde Amendment. He therefore hoped this House would assert its independence, and not accept an Amendment which would limit one of the most important branches of the mercantile community of this country in the way proposed.

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said he did not agree with his hon. friend about this Amendment, because he thought there was ground for limiting the number of partners in a limited partnership. But apart from that he wanted to say something on the Motion for the Adjournment. He thought they were all willing to do a reasonable amount of work, especially those who took an interest in the somewhat technical Bills now before the House. Nor it was not reasonable to ask them to sit up one night for the purpose. They had already disposed that night of one Bill of great importance, and now they were upon another, and he understood that they were also to be asked to take up a third of very great importance. Had not the time come to say that at the end of this Bill they should adjourn and postpone the Companies Bill until it could be discussed when more Members were present? He was not at all opposed to proceeding with this Bill, as he was very much in favour of it.

THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY
(Mr. GEORGE WHITELEY, Yorkshire, W. R., Pudsey)

said the Bill now remaining on the Paper to which the Government attached most importance was the Companies Bill. The other four Bills, viz., the Limited Partnerships Bill, the Advertisements Regulation Bill, the Prize Courts Bill, and the Rule Committee Bill, were minor Bills, two of them being private Member's Bills, which had been starred in deference to a general desire on the part of the House. It did not matter to the Government if the Limited Partnerships Bill and the Advertisements Regulation Bill were dropped. The Prize Courts Bill was a matter to which the Attorney-General did not attach very much importance, although he would rather see it passed into law than abandoned. The Rule Committee Bill, being opposed, would be dropped altogether, but they must take the Companies Bill. It was not long or controversial, and would be very valuable. Almost all the Bills on the Order Paper the Government attached great importance to, and they, were not going to relinquish them without the greatest struggle. He had not the slightest objection to passing over the Limited Partnerships Bill, the Advertisements Regulation Bill, the Prize Courts Bill and the Rule Committee Bill.

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really thought the Government were asking too much of the House. Since a quarter to four yesterday afternoon they had been engaged on most important Bills. First of all, there was the Transvaal Loan Bill and next the Third Reading of the Appropriation Bill, and although that Bill was as a rule a purely formal one, if the Government chose to have in their Appropriation Bill things which excited comment amongst those who were supposed to be their supporters, he was not responsible. The next Bill was the Court of Criminal Appeal Bill, one of the most important Bills the House could deal with, after which they proceeded to various business Bills, and then at four o'clock they were asked to go on with the Companies Bill. The circumstances attending the nomination of Members to serve on the Grand Committee which considered that Bill made it a farce for discussing it in Grand Committee, and now to ask the House to discuss it at that hour was making an absolute farce not only of the business of the House but of the country. The great bulk of the business men interested in the question were out of the House. This might be the Government way of doing business, but it seemed to him the Government were like a certain number of Cockney sportsmen who took a short lease of some shooting rights and shot at everything to make the best possible bag Having fired blank cartridge at clay pigeons all through the summer, and having by the middle of August obtained what they believed to be a certain amount of proficiency, they went out and tried what sort of a bag they could make. When the Opposition complained of the Order Paper the Government had two arguments, one being that some of the Bills were old Bills and the others very small Bills. It amounted to this, that these gallant sportsmen took their preserve for a year and shot all the old hens not worth eating and made up the bag of what were called "squeakers." His sympathies were not with the right hon. Gentleman and his friend, but with the unfortunate beaters, who he observed were asleep. He must also give a word of sympathy to the hon. Gentleman the head keeper, the Patronage Secretary, who he trusted would get a good tip for what, he was sorry to say, had been a very indifferent season.

complained that on a former occasion the Companies Bill came on for Second Reading at one o'clock in the morning.

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said they were not discussing the adjournment of the Companies Bill, but that of the Limited Partnerships Bill.

appealed to hon. Gentlemen below him to withdraw the opposition as regarded this Bill, which was greatly appreciated and had the approval of all the chambers of commerce throughout the country.

said he did not know if his hon. friend was correct in saying that the chambers of commerce agreed with this Bill. They might have done so, but he did not know whether they agreed with the Amendments, and unless the hon. Baronet or the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade were going to give them some assurance that they would treat the matter seriously, he thought they ought to press the Motion to a division.

hoped the House would not agree to the adjournment of the debate. There had been a great deal of discussion over it, and he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would not give way to the somewhat factious opposition carried on by Members opposite. As regarded the remarks of the right hon. Baronet opposite, and his somewhat mixed shooting metaphors, he might inform him that it was not usual to shoot clay pigeons with blank cartridges and it required a very skilful sportsman to shoot a hen grouse.

said it was perfectly true that this Bill was introduced as a Private Member's Bill and had been taken up by the Government, who were now responsible for it. It might be a good Bill or it might be a bad Bill, personally he believed it to be a good Bill, one of which the country would be glad, but that was no reason why the right hon. Gentleman who was now in charge of the Bill should preserve a silence which was most unusual when they were dealing with important Amendments brought into the Bill by the action of another place.

asked how the right hon. Gentleman knew that if he made a suitable explanation of the Amendment the Motion for the adjournment would not be withdrawn? What they complained of was the silence on the part of the right hon. Gentleman. It was really unreasonable. If this debate were to be adjourned and they were to go home, then there would be a unanimous desire, at any rate on those benches, to agree; but the right hon. Gentleman was only agreeing to adjourn the discussion in order to bring on a Bill of far greater importance—a Bill which really did partake in many respects of a controversial character, and the discussion on which was bound to proceed for several hours. He did not think it fair to keep the House in that way, and he hoped the Patronage Secretary might be induced to reconsider his decision.

said that the Bill had been approved of by various Chambers of Commerce throughout the country. It had been in the House for nine years and the proceedings had been very lengthy. Last week they had sittings of forty-eight hours in four days, and that day they had sat for thirteen hours. It was unreasonable to hope to discuss a Bill such as the Companies Bill, which might reasonably take two or three days in the House at an ordinary time, after this Bill was finished. He hoped the Patronage Secretary would consider whether he could not arrange for the postponement of the Companies Bill.

said that whatever was to be done in regard to the Companies Bill, he would add an appeal to what had been said before, speaking as a member of the Committee who considered the present Bill, that they should complete it that night.

AYES.
Acland, Francis DykeHobhouse, Charles E. H.Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Adkins, W. Ryland D.Horniman, Emslie JohnRussell, T. W.
Arkwright, John StanhopeHoward, Hon. GeoffreySlater, Arthur Clavell
Balcarres, LordIsaacs, Rufus DanielSamuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Balfour, Robert (Lanark)Jones,William (CarnarvonshireSimon, John Allsebrook
Berridge, T. H. D.Kearley, Hudson E.Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)
Burns, Rt. Hon. JohnKing, Alfred John (Knutsford)Turnour, Viscount
Cleland, J. W.Lever,A.Levy (Essex,Harwich)Ure, Alexander
Clough, WilliamLevy, Sir MauriceWalton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)
Cowan, W. H.Lewis, John HerbertWhitehead, Rowland
Crossley, William J.Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. DavidWhiteley, George (York, W. R.)
Elibank, Master ofM`Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)Whiteley,John Henry (Halifax)
Fiennes, Hon. EustaceManfield, Harry (Northants)Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Fuller, John Michael F.Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)
Gladstone, Rt. Hn Herbert JohnNicholson, Charles N.(Done'st'rTELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Goddard, Daniel FordNield, HerbertMr. Hills and Mr. Claude
Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Wore'r)Norton, Capt. Cecil WilliamHay.
Haworth, Arthur A.Pearce, Robert (Staffs. Leek)
Hedges, A. PagetPease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
NOES.
Ainsworth, John StirlingCollins,Sir Wm. J.(S. Pancras, W.Forster, Henry William
Banner, John S. Harmood-Corbett, C. H.(Sussex, E. Grinst'dGill, A. H.
Benn, W.(T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.Courthope, G. LoydGrant, Corrie
Bertram, JuliusCrooks, WilliamGreenwood, G. (Peterborough)
Bottomley, HoratioDavies, Timothy (Fulham)Henderson, Arthur (Durham)
Bowerman, C. W.Dobson, Thomas W.Henry, Charles S.
Bramsdon, T. A.Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-FurnessHigham, John Sharp
Bridgeman, W. CliveDunn, A. Edward (Camborne)Hobart, Sir Robert
Carr-Gomm, H. W.Everett, R. LaceyHolland, Sir William Henry
Cave, GeorgeFell, ArthurIllingworth, Percy H.
Cavendish, Rt Hn. Victor C. W.Fenwick, CharlesKelley, George D.
Clynes, J. R.Ferens, T. R.Lehmann, R. C.

also joined in the appeal that had been made for the purpose of preserving this Bill. He wished to say one word which would meet some of the objections that had been made. The Amendment which was inserted by the Lords with reference to banking partnerships was quoted almost verbatim from the fourth section of the Companies Act, in which there was the same intention that there could not be more than ten in partnership in banking. This Amendment of the other House was inserted for the purpose of meeting the provisions of the Companies Act.

said he was quite willing to withdraw his Motion, if the Patronage Secretary would give an undertaking afterwards to adjourn the House. Question put. The House divided:—Ayes, 51; Noes, 57. (Division List No. 435.)

Lyell, Charles HenryO'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)Silcock, Thomas Ball
Mac Veagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.Pease, Herbert Pike(DarlingtonThompson, J. W. H(Somerset, E.
Markham, Arthur BasilPrice, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)Valentia, Viscount
Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)Rainy, A. Rolland
Marnham, F. J.Rawlinson, John Frederick PeelTELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)Richards, T. F.(Wolverhampt'nColonel Seely and Mr. God-
Micklem, NathanielRidsdale, E. A.frey Baring.
Nicholls, GeorgeRogers, F. E. Newman
Nuttall, HarrySherwell, Arthur James
Original Question put, and agreed to.

said that surely the division just taken showed without the slightest doubt that they ought not to undertake fresh work at tint time in the morning.

pointed out that the House had just decided that it would not adjourn. Lords' Amendment—

"In page 1, lines 24 and 25, to leave out the words incurred in the usual course of the partnership business by or on behalf,'"—read a second time.
Motfon made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

asked for an explanation as to why these words should have been cut out in another place. The hon. Baronet who introduced the Bill ought to explain what the Amendment involved, because it appeared to him to make very important changes in the Bill which would very seriously affect the conduct of business.

said the Amendment was purely a drafting Amendment and made no difference to the sense of the clause. Question put, and agreed to. Lords Amendment—

"In page 2, line 1, to leave out 'or undertake to contribute,'"—read a second time.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agee with the Lords in the said Amendment."

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said the effect of the Amendment was that whereas under the Bill a limited partner might either contribute cash or undertake to contribute cash up to a certain point under this Amendment the money must be wholly contributed in cash. The result would be that whether a firm wanted the whole of thesum which a partner had to find or not, the whole must be paid down in cash, and it would lie idle perhaps for some years instead of being more usefully employed. Unless some explanation was given he would vote against the adoption of this particular Amendment.

said that unless some reason was given why this Amendment should be accepted he thought they had a right to object to it. The effect of the Amendment appeared to be that if a person entered into a partnership and put down £5,000 and undertook at the same time to put down £2,000 a year hence he would be prevented from doing so under the Amendment.

said the noble Lord had entirely misunderstood the Amendment. He (Mr. Lloyd-George) opposed this Amendment when in Committee upstairs, but it was purely a question of saving the Bill. There was some very considerable opposition at the time from banking Members in another place to these particular words. The effect of the Amendment would be to limit the operations of the Bill, though at the same time to limit them rather on the side of safety. If they insisted upon rejecting the Amendment it would have the effect of destroying the Bill, and hon. Members on both sides who promoted it did not wish to run that risk.

said the Government a few minutes ago did not show any marked anxiety to save the Bill. As it was now being supported by the Government, and he claimed that it was their Bill, the responsibility must now devolve upon them. The Amendment was a thoroughly bad one, and might lead not only to considerable difficulties but to hardships. He did not know if the bankers had a better case on this than on the last Amendment, but if the House was to content itself with being told that bankers insisted on this, that, and the other Amendment it ceased to be a Bill with the object for which it was originally introduced, and became a Bill drawn up for the benefit of preventing competition with that interesting body of gentlemen.

said it was perfectly true that the President of the Board of Trade stated upstairs that this Amendment was undesirable, and that it might cause great inconvenience and possibly hardship. Yet this was a Government Bill, and the Government appeared to be the faithful servant of the hon. Baronet who sat behind the President of the Board of Trade. There never had been, since he was a Member of that House, such an exhibition of weakness and incompetence on the part of a Government, which apparently existed to do business between four and five o'clock in the morning, to comply with the wishes of one of its supporters.

asked whether there was any hon. Member who supported this Amendment, because if so he might let them know what was the position with regard to it.

said he hoped the hon. Baronet would let them know what the position was, so that they could get on with the business.

said he was not particularly anxious that the Bill should pass, but he thought it was time that they should be told what this Amendment was. They had come to a state of affairs when it was impossible for them to do any business, and he appealed to the hon. Baronet to explain the reasons for the Amendment.

said that in his judgment adequate reasons had already been given for the inclusion of these words in the Bill, and if he went over the same ground again which had been traversed by the hon. Member for Kingston, or the President of the Board of Trade, his efforts would not appeal to more receptive ears than the previous explanation had. The case was in a nutshell. Under this Bill as it originally stood, a limited partner might contribute or undertake to contribute a certain sum to the partnership. Some people said that an undertaking to contribute a certain sum to the partnership was not always equivalent to a real contribution, and they would rather have it in cash. Whilst it might limit in some cases the operations under the Bill, it was advisable in the interests of safety to insert it. He hoped that explanation would remove a very great anxiety, either real or feigned, on the part of Members on the other side, and would let them get on with the Bill.

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said the basis of a contribution was a cash basis. The basis of an undertaking to contribute was merely a promise which might not be carried out if a man became insolvent.

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said the position of affairs was not a little curious. This Bill was the legislative infant of a private Member and as such now pursued its normal course through the session, but recently it had been taken under the wing of the Government, which became its foster mother. It appeared necessary that this infant must be carefully looked after and its teeth carefully cut, and yet the Government now stood by and saw its teeth being knocked out one by one. They were unable to give any explanation of the Amendment except that it was expedient to save the Bill. He dared say it was expedient, but what a strange position. The lion which roared in March in regard to the other House, was the lamb in August, prepared to accept anything which was done by that Chamber. He invited hon. Members on the Government side to take their courage in both hands. They talked much about the iniquity of the other Chamber and its alleged thwarting of the "people's will," bvt were, it appeared, quite prepared to be the humble servants of that Chamber when it suited them. The fact was that under the present rulers this House was both inexperienced and inefficient in regard to real and. practical legislation. Question put, and agreed to. Subsequent Lords Amendment agreed. to. Lords Amendment—

"in page 2, line 6, after the word 'partnership,' to insert the words 'either directly or indirectly.'"—read a second time.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

said by this Amendment no partner was to be allowed to withdraw from the partnership directly or indirectly. How a man could indirectly withdraw his cash out of a business he did not know. He hoped he would have some explanation.

said the Amendment was to prevent money being paid out by indirect means. Question put, and agreed to. Subsequent Lords Amendment agreed to. Lords Amendment—

"In page 2, lines 12 and 13, to leave out Sub-section (4), and to insert a new sub-section, '(4) a body corporate may be a limited partner,'"—read a second time.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the Said Amendment."

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asked what was the reason for omitting Sub-section 4. A man who entered a limited firm ought to tell his creditors that the firm with which they were dealing was not an ordinary firm but a limited firm. In au ordinary firm the creditors knew that they could not only go against the estate of the firm but also against the partners personally, but they could not do this in a limited firm, and this was a matter with which the public should be acquainted. This was a dangerous Bill. They might get partnerships formed by men of no means at all. The real partners who worked the business would be people who put some absurdly small sum into the firm, creditors would not know it was a limited firm and would have to whistle for their money.

said the words proposed to be left out were quite unnecessary and rather misleading. He supported the Amendment on drafting merits. After all it was not a limited firm in the real sense of the term. It was only limited to the extent of the liability of the particular persons who came within the purview of the Act. The firm itself might be quite unlimited in its liability. A man might be a partner and it might give a wrong impression to the general public as to the liability of the firm. Although they had this limited partnership in Germany and France these words were not used in those cases, and they would convey a wrong impression altogether here, and that was why they were omitted.

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said that persons who formed a firm got credit upon the strength of the wealth and means they were known to possess. Members of the firm were liable in respect of the joint property, and aslo in respect of their separate property. Under this Act new bodies would be created, but to all outward appearance they would be an ordinary firm. They might be dealing with five or six people who appeared to be partners and to be responsible people. They would give them credit, and then find that only one—a poor one—was the real partner and that the others only had invested money. The position of a firm of this kind would be wholly deceptive, and he repeated that the principle was precisely the same as that of a limited liability company.

agreed with the observations of the last speaker. This was a most important alteration. It was of the highest importance that people should know that it was a limited firm with which they were dealing. When they still further limited liability companies it was in the interests of traders to know that it was a limited liability firm. If they looked it up in the trades book and found that certain people were in the firm, they should also be apprised by the title of the firm that certain wealthy members of the firm had only got their private money in it. He also noticed that a new clause was added to the effect that a body corporate should be a limited partner. He wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman how the inclusion of a body corporate could possibly tally with the Amendments accepted by the Lords as to the limitation of the number of persons?

said that was a detail they would come to in the next question. The points were totally different.

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said that supposing a company wanted to limit their liability and not to let the world know it, all they had to do, if this Amendment were accepted, was to get one or two persons of no means to become partners with them under this Bill. They could trade with limited liability but without any intimation of that fact to the public. It was obviously an easy method of avoiding the Companies Act and opened the door to deceit. Why was it that they were told that if they disagreed with that one Amendment the Bill might be wrecked? He did not think that a single disagreement with the Lords would wreck the Bill. He thought it was a dangerous Amendment, and he hoped the House would be allowed to exercise its right anti to say that in this particular the will of the Commons should prevail.

by leave of the House, reverted to the second part of the Amendment, which, he said, was quite a different affair. It was clearly absolutely nothing to do with the Subsection 4, but a substitution of another subsection, dealing with quite another matter. His hon. friend the Member for Birkenhead was anxious that the provident societies should come within the Act. He thought it quite impossible now, as the Bill was a Private Member's Bill, to insist in regard to these Amendments. It might imperil the Bill at this period of the session.

said it would be perfectly ridiculous to say that it constituted one man as a limited partner and the other two men as unlimited partners. As regarded a body corporate, he asked why should not a limited company put £5,000 or £10,000 into a concern in the same way as an hon. Member might? If either of the partners put in that sum of money, as a sum of money to which his liabilities were limited, all the other partners' liability was absolutely unlimited. He thought the Amendment perfectly reasonable.

said he did not think his hon. friend understood the section. A firm might contain any number of limited partners, but only one unlimited partner, who might be a man without any real interest in the business. It was rather difficult to discuss these two Amendments at once, but he understood that the only argument was the desirability of including bodies corporate. If the hon. Member for Birkenhead was so enormously interested in this matter, why was he not present? Personally he would far rather see the Bill lost altogether than see this Amendment carried. He hoped freedom would be given to hon. Members to vote as they liked.

said that when this Amendment was accepted, the responsibility for this new form of firm contained in the words "limited firm" was removed. The hon. Baronet in his Bill added words which were obviously desirable. He contended that under the Bill they would be creating subordinate partnerships, and by so doing they might be doing a very grave thing as regarded the financial aspect of these new limited partnerships. He submitted that a goodprima facie case had been made out at least for reconsideration.

said that many of them were impressed with the force of the argument for retaining Subsection 4, but he was also in favour of the proposition to add the new provision that a body corporate might be a limited partner, though he thought the matter being put in a divided form might be a little difficult.

said he understood that a suggestion had been made whereby the House could adjourn. It was to the effect that this Bill and the Advertisements Regulation Bill and Prize Courts Bill should be taken to-night and that the Companies Bill should be disposed of in two hours as the first order of the day on Wednesday next. With regard to the Rule Committee Bill he understood that the Attorney-General left instructions to stop it altogether, but as there was a great deal of good in the Bill and there was a desire that it should not be stopped altogether, he would not drop it, but would carry it over until another day in the hope that some arrangement might be made whereby it might be passed.

thought the House ought to divide on this Amendment, after which he was sure the Bill would go through that stage, and he also agreed that the Companies Bill should be taken as the first order on Wednesday, two hours to be taken as the approximate time.

Motion made, and Question put, "That this House doth agree with so much of the Lords Amendment as proposes to

AYES.

Acland, Francis DykeGoddard, Daniel FordMarks, G. Croydon(Launceston
Ainsworth, John StirlingGrant, CorrieMarnham, F. J.
Balfour, Robert (Lanark)Haworth, Arthur A.Nichells, George
Banner, John S. Harmood-Hedges, A. PagetNicholson, Charles N.(D'nc'st'r)
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)Henderson, Arthur (Durham)Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Benn, W.(T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.Higham, John SharpO'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Berridge, T. H. D.Hobart, Sir RobertPearce, Robert (Staffs. Leek)
Bertram, JuliusHobhouse, Charles E. H.Price, C.E.(Edinburgh,Central)
Bramsdon, T. A.Holland, Sir William HenryRainy, A. Rolland
Burns, Rt. Hon. JohnHorniman, Emslie JohnRichards, T. F.(Wolverbampt'n)
Carr-Gomm, H. W.Howard, Hon. GeoffreyRoberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Clough, WilliamIllingworth, Percy H.Rogers, F. E. Newman
Clynes, J. R.Isaacs, Rufus DanielRussell, T.W.
Corbett, C. H.(Sussex, E. Grinst'dJones, William (CarnarvonshireSamuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Cowan, W. H.Kearley, Hudson E.Seely, Colonel
Crossley, William J.Kelley, George D.Sherwell, Arthur James
Davies, Timothy (Fulham)Lehmann, R. C.Silcock, Thomas Ball
Dobson, Thomas W.Lever,A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-FurnessLevy, Sir MauriceThompson, J. W. H(Somerset,E.
Elibank, Master ofLewis, John HerbertUre, Alexander
Everett, R. LaceyLloyd-George, Rt. Hon. DavidWhitehead, Rowland
Fenwick, CharlesLyell, Charles HenryWhitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Ferens, T. R.MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)
Fiennes, Hon. EustaceM`Laren, H. D. (Stadord, W.)TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Fuller, John Michael F.Manfield, Harry (Northants)Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J.
Gill, A. H.Markham, Arthur BasilA. Pease.

NOES.

Acland-flood, Rt Hn. SirAlex. F.Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)Ridsdale, E. A.
Arkwright, John Stanhope,Hay, Hon. Claude GeorgeSimon, John Allsebrook
Balcarres, LordHenry, Charles S.Turnour, Viscount
Bowerman, C. W.Hills, J. W.Valentia, Viscount
Bridgeman, W. CliveMason, A. E. W. Coventry)Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Cavendish, Rt Hn. Victor C. W.Micklerm Nathaniel
Courthope, G. LoydNield, HerbertTELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)Nuttall, HarryMr. Cave and Mr. Salter.
Fell, ArthurPease, Herbert Pike(Darlington
Forster, Henry WilliamRawlinson, John Frederick Peel

So much of the Lords Amendment as proposes to insert a new subsection agreed to.

Remaining Lords Amendments agreed to.