I beg to move, in page 2, line 5, to leave out from the beginning, to "indicating," in line 10, and to insert:
(a) at all premises used or appropriated by the bailee for accepting for repair or other treatment goods of the class to which the goods accepted belong, there is, at the time of the acceptance (whether or not the goods are accepted at any such premises), conspicuously displayed in the part of the premises so used or appropriated a notice.
The Bill as amended in Committee requires a trader who wishes to sell goods of a particular kind under the Bill and who has premises where he accepts goods of that kind for repair or other treatment to put up a notice on those premises that he intends to take advantage of the Bill in respect of goods of that kind. This Amendment is designed to make it clear that where a trader, such as a cleaning firm, has a number of branches and more than one lot of premises where he accepts, for instance, clothes for cleaning, he must put a notice in all the premises where he accepts the clothes before he can sell any goods accepted by him.
It seemed to us that if a trader were not required to put up a notice in all his branches, and he sought to take advantage of the Bill in respect of goods accepted at one branch but not in respect of goods accepted at another branch— and both branches might be in one street —the customer might be misled to his disadvantage.
I support this Amendment, and though I know that my hon. Friend has conferred with those concerned with this Bill, I cannot let it pass without commenting that there may be circumstances in which traders are undertaking by this Amendment a heavy onus. I think that they should fully realise that. As I understand the Amendment, where there is a concern which covers the whole of the country, it would mean that they would have to give notice in every single branch throughout the country.
I appreciate that it is necessary to make provision where two branches might be in the same town, or indeed in the same street. Obviously, that ought to be covered, but I think that in the case of large concerns with branches all over the country this Amendment places a heavy and unnecessary onus upon traders. I merely mention the point. I may be wrong, but my reading of the Amendment, and my hon. Friend's observations upon it, caused me to think that it might be wise to look at this Clause again.
I beg to move, in page 2, line 29, to leave out "otherwise than by auction," and to insert:
in a lot in which goods not accepted by him from the bailor are included or to sell them otherwise than by public auction.
This Amendment prohibits a trader who is selling the goods of a customer under the Bill from including in the transaction goods which he has not received from that customer. It also makes it clear that the auction must be public. Otherwise, there might be some doubt, as the words "public auction" are used in many Acts.
It will be appreciated that where a trader has sold goods, the Bill requires him to account to the customer for any surplus after he has deducted his own charges. It also requires him to keep records relating to the sale. If the trader were allowed to include in a sale the goods of more than one customer, it would be difficult to ensure that a customer was fairly treated; nor could the trader keep satisfactory records. We hope that this Amendment will safeguard that position.
I beg to move, in page 2, line 36, after "by," to insert "public."
This Amendment leaves no doubt that the auction must be held in public. There might otherwise be some doubt, as the words "public auction" are used in many Acts.
I beg to move, in page 3, line 1, leave out from the beginning, to second "if," in line 2, and to insert:
(5) Without prejudice to any other mode of determining a dispute, it shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as having been determined.
The Bill as amended in Committee provides that the only way of determining a dispute for the purposes of the Bill is for a trader to send under Clause 1 (5) a notice to treat the dispute as determined. This Amendment provides that the sending of such notice is to be one way, but not the only way, of determining a dispute. We felt that it would be unreasonable to require a trader who had been successful in proceedings in the courts to send a notice to determine the dispute.
I beg to move, in page 3, line 8, to leave out "at the expiration of that period."
You have given us your permission, Mr. Speaker, to take the next five amendments together, and I need not take up time on this one. All of them are consequential on the Amendment already made in Clause 1 (5), which provides that the notice to treat a dispute as determined is not the only way of determining a dispute.
Further Amendments made: In page 3, line 14, leave out from "is," to" as," in line 17, and insert:
so treated as having been determined, the date on which it shall be so treated as having been determined shall be the date of the giving of the notice.
(6) Where a dispute in relation to any goods is determined (whether by virtue of the last foregoing subsection or otherwise), subsection (3) of this section shall have effect in relation to those goods.