The Ashburton Guardian, COUNTY AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 1880.
That our bankruptcy laws are not suited to the requirements of the colony is an axiom which needs no recording by us, and it is only too often that wc are made aware of their utter inutility when those seeking the protection of tho Court appeal to the Judge for a liberation from their debts, by a legal process which can only be characterised as “ legalised robbery.” Those laws have developed a species of “ tradesmen” wo would like tc see become extinct, but while tho laws continue as they are, we must expect them occasionally to come to the front. Men possessed of sufficient effrontery go to a merchant, represent themselves as capable men of business, and obtain credit fur a few boxes of tea, some sugar, a plug or two of tobacco, and other articles in tho way of a grocer’s business, and then at once extend themselves as full blown merchants, and initiate business which could only he carried on by men possessed of considerable capital. A man with, some capital is not usually the kind of individual to embark in desperate undertakings. But- merchants and others are occasionally to be found who have a soft side, and who from a feeling of sympathy, or pity, or goodfcllowship, often give an incompetent man a chance to go into a business he is totally unfitted for, and thus lose their goo Is or their money for no other reason than that they have been over-persuaded by the oily tongue and false representation of- the bankrupt. There lias been a groat deal too much business done in this district in the direction of “ discounting the future,” and the depression of the past bad season ought to have been a caution to merchants. But it seems us me that any charlatan can even now incur largo liabilities, and show a sheet of very dubious assets, and pass clear through the Court without question. A step has, however, been taken by creditors at last. Yesterday a bankrupt, certainly not the most competent to conduct any hind of business where books •were necessary to bo kept, called his creditors together for the second time within a very few months, and as his statement of accounts in his previous collapse showed a very crude idea of book-keeping, and same very novel notions ou meum and tinun his victims on tho present occasion took the unusual but necessary proceeding of putting the bankrupt on his oath as to his transactions. We think the public, more especially tradesmen, owe a debt of gratitude to tho meeting wo allude to, for the stand they have taken in this matter, as wo feel convinced that such proceedings by creditors will tend to a healthier state of things, and drive amateur financiers and quasi-merchants out of the field.