§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (VISCOUNT HALDANE)
My Lords, certain classes of cases have arisen and given considerable trouble in respect of contracts which have been entered into before the war but the operation of which is still pending. Legal questions arise as to the effect of the war upon these contracts, and at present the difficulty is that the person is often an alien enemy out of the jurisdiction of the Court. The Bill which I am submitting to your Lordships has been framed in consultation with the Judges to get over the difficulty and to allow substituted service under proper restrictions, and its operation is confined to obtaining the necessary declaration as to the effect of the war upon existing contracts. The Bill is a simple one. But there are one or two small Amendments which I wish to move.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Bill read 2a.
§ Committee negatived: Then (Standing Order No. XXXIX having been suspended) Bill read 3a.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
The Amendments are in Clause 1 to leave out "The Lord Chief Justice shall give directions" and insert "The Lord Chancellor may make such rules as he thinks fit." The purpose of these Amendments is simply this, that the proper authority to make the rule is to be the Lord Chancellor and not the Lord Chief Justice.
§ Amendments made: Bill passed, and returned to the Commons, and to be printed as amended. (No. 57.)