COMMERCIAL CONFERENCE. EEOOMMENDATIONS.. v ' (By Telegraph.—Press Association.) WELLINGTON, Wednesday. The present positon of the BankruptcyAct and its administration was further reviewed iby the conference of delegates representing the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce this afternoon when the committee appointed yesterday- submitted the following recommendations: — "The conference having considered a number of questions raised with regard to the Bankruptcy Act and allied Acts, is strongly of opinion that the administration of the present bankruptcy system has been, and is, extremely unsatisfactory, and in respects defective, chiefly for the reasons— (a) That the estaes of bankrupts in many cases have been unduly sacrificed; (b) that there is very frequently undue delay in the realisation of estaes; (c) meeting of creditoTs have not been called ■with sufficient frequency, and creditors have not had sufficient voice in the administration of] estates; (d) the above and other defects are inseparable from a system that is administered by officers who have not had a commercial training, or vfho are not possessed of the required business knowledge and capacity." That it is essential in the interests of traders and of the public generally, that the Government should be asked to take steps to either improve the administration of the bankruptcy law, as it now exists, or, preferably, to alter the scheme of administration completely. In the latter event this conference suggests some such scheme as the following:—(a) That a system be pwmded for with one central control of all bankruptcy and insolvency business; (b) that in lieu of administration by official assignees and their deputies, estates in bankruptcy should be administered by approved and registered trade assignees, -with statutory powers, such assignees to be subject to the central control above-mentioned." The conference expressed the opinion that in the interests of commercial morality, and for the purposes of record, it was desirable that all assignments for the benefit of creditors and all insolvencies should fee registered, and that a complete record of the same be kept either by the registrar-general or by some other officer at Wellington; that statutory provision should : be made for the compulsory registration of all instruments including bailments, and a further provision that an unregistered instrument shaU be void for all purposes except perhaps in cases of such articles as pianos, sewing machines, bicycles cash registers, etc., not exceeding in value, say £30. The provisions of the order and disposition clause of the Bankruptcy Act should also, the conference, considered, be altered in such a way as to prevent their being overridden by any custom respecting furnitui-3 and either articles acquired on the hire purchase system. It was suggested that the provision relating to composition might be made less cumbersome than a$ present, and that the penal provision of the Act should specifically state such hooks of accounts as shall be considered an irreducible minimum for any person to keep. It ivas also suggested that some of the matters mentioned in the penal section should be offences irrespective of whether or not the debtor was adjudged bankrupt. The'conference commended that it be an act of ibankruptcy if a trader sell his business or stock, or the principal part thereof, and allows one or more particular creditors to receive payment in respect of a past debt without notice being given to other creditors, and that if any payment be made to creditors under such circumstances such payment shall be deemed to'be fraudulent preference.
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