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National Health Insurance through Approved Societies. By W. ADDINGTON WILLIS. University of London Press. THE number of orders and regulations with which the Insurance Commissioners have filled in the scheme of the already complicated Insurance Acts amounts to no less than 515, and Mr. Willis has rendered great service to the community by dealing effectively with that part of the subject which concerns approved societies and their branches with a view to its simplification. He has produced a practical legal treatise incorporating the operative orders and regulations with reference to all obtainable down to the 21st July. Those issued after this date will be found mentioned in addenda.
Documents Illustrative of International Law. By T. J• LAWRENCE. Macmillan and Co.
THIS is a book intended primarily for British and American students, a fact which has influenced the selection of questions and documents most dwelt upon. It is divided into four parts. The first deals with the nature, origin, and development of international law; the second with questions arising out of the peaceful relations of States; the third with belligerency; and the fourth with neutrality. The learned author has laid a great variety of sources under contribution for his illustrations, and the result is a most interesting and instructive selection.
Law and Usage of War. By Sir THOMAS BARCLAY. Constable and Co. Limited.
SIR THOMAS' book might be called a war law encyclopædia, for it is arranged alphabetically in a series of short and concise articles which makes it easy of reference. It has not been hurriedly written to meet the present emergency, for the book was originally prepared as a treatise on the law of maritime war and prize, and has merely been modified by a selection of material needed for immediate reference. The twenty-six appendices consist of declarations, conventions, and proclamations, from the Declaration of Paris (1856) to the Contraband of War Proclamation of September this year.
as it ought not to be in relation to the poor." The kindly humour makes the book very readable, and those numerous readers of the author's other works will find his present volume equally acceptable.
The current quarterly issue of Mews' Digest of English Case Law (Stevens and Sons and Sweet and Maxwell) contains cases reported from the 1st Jan. to the 1st Oct., this part incorporating and superseding the previous ones for this year. The plan thus adopted saves considerable trouble in consulting Mr. Mews' valuable compilation.
The Workmen's Compensation Act 1906, by Mr. Albert Parsons, K.C. (Messrs. Butterworth and Co.), is a fifth edition of Parsons and Bertram on the Workmen's Compensation Acts. Five or six hundred decisions of the Appellate Courts under this Act have been reported since the last edition appeared in 1910. These have not been set out as an exhaustive digest, but are referred to or cited where they seemed to elucidate or modify the authoritative interpretation of the courts, the only method where case law has grown to such an enormous extent.
Messrs. Stevens and Haynes have published a third edition of Mr. Albert D. Bolton's useful work dealing with the Postponement of Payments Act 1914 and Courts (Emergency Powers) Act 1914. This allows of the inclusion of the later English Rules and Directions, and all reported decisions down to the beginning of November. The introduction has been rewritten, and the whole book carefully revised.
Mr. W. Valentine Ball's work on Bankruptcy and Bills of Sale having been rendered somewhat out of date by reason of the new Bankruptcy and Deeds of Arrangements Acts, he has brought out a new edition (the third) with a revised title--Bankruptcy Deeds of Arrangement and Bills of Sale (Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons Limited). The arrangement of the book has been somewhat altered, and an exhaustive index has been added, while that part relating to the powers, duties, and liabilities of trustees has been very greatly expanded. The author has had the assistance of Mr. George Mills, whose name also appears on the title-page.
From Messrs. Waterlow Brothers and Layton Limited comes the eleventh edition of that valuable book for solicitors, Conveyancing Costs (Rubinstein's), by Mr. J. F. C. Bennett. The tables and precedents have been revised in accordance with the new rules and fee orders issued in relation to work in the Land Registry. All cases bearing upon costs of conveyancing business reported since the tenth edition have. been included in the notes, and the work is now thoroughly up to date.
A fourth edition of Mr. Alfred F. Topham's book on the Principles of Company Law comes from Messrs. Butterworth and Co. and Messrs. Shaw and Sons. The volume has increased in size, but not in complexity, the additions being chiefly some special notes on the duties and position of receivers and liquidators, which are intended for the use of accountants. It is a distinctly useful work for both legal and accountancy students.
In preparing the twelfth edition of his Summary of the Law of Companies (Stevens and Haynes), Mr. T. Eustace Smith has had the co-operation of Mr. Charles Hubert Hicks. Assurance Companies Act 1909 and the Companies Act 1913 have rendered some alterations necessary, and these and other additions have been made, while the chief cases decided since the publication of the last edition have been included.
Willis' Workmen's Compensation (Butterworth and Co.) has reached its fifteenth edition with the present issue. Mr. W. Addington Willis has added references to 150 new decisions given by the appellate tribunals during the last twelve months, being those reported down to the 7th Oct. in Scotland and Ireland. and down to the 24th Oct. in England. The book includes notes, rules, orders, and regulations, and contains a vast amount of practical information in a comparatively small space.
Mr. Frederic M. Goadby's text-book for first-year students at the Khedivial School of Law in Cairo, which he has called an Introduction to the Study of Law (Butterworth and Co.) is in its second edition. After a glance at the distribution of the principal legal systems in an introduction, the author divides his work into two books: (1) Law (Droit au point de vue objectif) and (2) Legal rights and duties (Droit au point de vue subjectif). The present edition contains new matter both in the text and footnotes, and should prove an efficient help to the student, and, indeed, to all who are interested in its subject.
That useful little work, The Solicitor's Clerk, Part II. (Effingham Wilson), by Mr. Charles Jones, is in its sixth edition, which proves that it has been of value to those for whom it was prepared. It embraces magisterial and criminal law, licensing, bankruptcy accounts, book-keeping, trust accounts, &c., and has a glossary of some legal maxims.
The first edition of Messrs. Ranking and Spicer's clear and concise volume on Company Law (H. Foulks Lynch and Co.) being exhausted, the authors have prepared a second, which has given them the opportunity to rewrite the whole text and enlarge the scope of the book. It now proves a text-book, not merely for the accountant student, but also for the practitioner. Certain sections of the Companies Act have been incorporated in the text, and the Act has been included. with full explanations.
Barnstaple, Tuesday, at 10
Bicester, Wednesday, at 10.30
Bishop Auckland, Tuesday and
Blackburn, Tuesday, at 9.30
Bolton, Wednesday, and Saturday (J.S.), at 9.30
Bow, Monday, Tuesday, Wednes day, Thursday, and Friday Brentford, Wednesday and Friday, at 10
Brighton, Thursday, at 10 Bromley, Tuesday, at 9.30 Bromsgrove, Saturday, at 10 Buckingham, Tuesday (Reg.), at 10 Burnley, Thursday and Friday, at
Burton, Monday (R. By), at 11.30;
Carlisle, Tuesday, at 9.30
Chesterfield. Friday (R. By at 2.30), at 9.30
Chorley, Wednesday, at 9.30
Christchurch, Saturday, at 10
Clerkenwell. Monday, Tuesday
and Friday, at 10.30
Coventry, Monday (R. By), at 2.30;
Croydon, Tuesday, Wednesday, and
Darlington, Wednesday. at 9
Durham, Tuesday (R. By)
Eastbourne, Tuesday, at 10
Edmonton, Monday and Tuesday, at 10
Faversham, Friday, at 10.30
Fordingbridge. Tuesday, at 10
Market Rasen, Monday, at 12
Melksham. Wednesday, at 10.30
Merthyr Tydfil, Wednesday, Thurs
Middlesbrough, Monday, at 9.30 Millom, Thursday, at 11.45 Morpeth, Monday, at 10 Mountain Ash, Tuesday Neath, Wednesday and Thursday Nelson, Tuesday, at 9.45 Newark, Monday, at 10 Newcastle-on-Tyne, Thursday (R. By) and Friday (J.S. & A.O.), at 10 New Malton, Thursday
Newport (Salop), Thursday, at 10 Newport Pagnell, Friday, at 10 Northallerton, Saturday, at 9.30 Northampton, Tuesday (R. By), at 12; Friday (Reg.), at 10 North Shields, Thursday, at 10 Norwich, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, at 10 Nottingham, Wednesday,
Thursday (E.L.), at 10 Oldham, Thursday, at 9.30 Oswestry, Friday, at 10 Oxford, Monday, at 10
Plymouth," Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, at 10
Pontefract, Tuesday and Wednesday, at 10
Poole, Monday, at 10
Portsmouth, Thursday (By at 12). at 10.30
Reading. Thursday (R. By at 2), at 10
Rhayader, Monday, at 10
Richmond (Yorks), Thursday, at 10
Rochdale, Friday (Reg.) (By at 11.30), at 9.30
Rochester, Tuesday, Wednesday,
and Thursday, at 9.30
Rugeley, Tuesday (J.S.)
St. Helens, Wednesday
Salford, Monday and Wednesday
Seaham Harbour, Monday, at 9.30
Sheffield, Thursday (By at 2) and
Shoreditch, Tuesday, Wednesday,
Shrewsbury, Monday and Friday,
Skipton, Wednesday, at 9.45
Southampton, Tuesday (By at 11).
Gainsborough, Wednesday, at 10
Gateshead, Tuesday, and Wednes
Southport, Tuesday, at 10
day (J.S. & A.O.), at 10
Gloucester Monday, Tuesday, and
Southwark, Monday, Tuesday, and
Grays Thurrock, Tuesday, at 11
Great Grimsby, Saturday, at 10
Guisborough, Friday, at 10
and Tuesday, at 9.30; Friday (R.
Hayward's Heath. Friday
(Reg. at 9.30), Thursday, Friday (Reg. at 9.30), and Saturday, at 10.30 Leeds, Monday (J.S. & A.O.), at 11: 10; Tuesday (R. By), at Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, at 10
Leicester, Wednesday, at 10
Lincoln, Tuesday, at 10
Llanelly, Monday and Friday
Llanidloes. Monday, at 2
Longton Tuesday, at 9.30
Louth, Friday, at 10
Luton, Thursday, at 10
Macclesfield. Thursday, at 10
Machynlleth Tuesday, at 10
Manchester, Monday. Tuesday, I
Mansfield, Friday, at 10
Thursday, at 10.30
Stamford, Monday at 10.45 Stockton-on-Tees,"
Stoke, Wednesday, at 9.30 Stourbridge, Wednesday, at 10 Stratford-on-Avon, Monday. at 10 Sunderland, Thursday (R. By) Tamworth, Monday (J.S.) Temple Cloud. Saturday, at 11 Tavistock, Saturday, at 10 Tenterden, Monday, at 1 Thame, Friday, at li Todmorden, Wednesday Torrington, Thursday, at 10.50 Truro, Tuesday, at 10.30 Uxbridge, Wednesday, at 10 Wakefield. Tuesday, at 10 Walsall, Wednesday (J.S.) Wandsworth, Monday Warminster, Monday, at 11 Warrington, Thursday Watford, Monday, at 10 Wellington (Salop),
Wisbech, Friday, at 10
Witney, Tuesday, at 10
Woodstock, Saturday, at 10.30
Other sitting are specially fixed if necessary.
Conditions Precedent to an Appeal.
ASSUMING a right of appeal in a County Court action by virtue of sect. 120 of the County Courts Act 1888, some controversy has arisen as to the conditions precedent in the matter of procedure to create that right. It appears that sect. 121, which deals with the request to the County Court judge to take a note, the contents of such note, and the procedure as to the copies thereof for the purposes of appeal, has for its marginal note "Procedure in County Courts to create right of appeal." It would seem that the draftsman of the Act probably considered the request and the note itself as conditions precedent to an appeal, particularly as sect. 120 contains precise direction that the judge on request "shall make a note on any question of law." The courts, however, have held otherwise, and have generally laid it down that the only condition precedent is that the point of law must in fact be raised at the trial. This ruling was again enforced in the case of Abrahams V. Dimmock (ante, p. 106). In that case the judge had not taken a note at the trial, but apparently had supplied one at a subsequent date from recollection. One of the points taken in the Court of Appeal was that neither a note nor a certificate of the County Court judge that no note had been taken were produced before the Divisional Court. On this point the Court of Appeal reaffirmed the principle that these matters were not conditions precedent to an appeal. In so doing, Lord Justice Buckley stated that the decision in Cook v. Gordon (1892, 61 L. J. 445, Q. B.), was wrong as to this point. The ruling of the Court of Appeal is useful in setting at rest a controversy resting on two apparently conflicting decisions of the Divisional Court. On the question of the one condition precedent-namely, the raising of the point of law-it is interesting to note that this is construed strictly against an appellant. In Taylor v. National Amalgamated Approved Society (110 L. T. Rep. 696; (1914) 2 K. B. 352) the court held an appellant precluded from raising on appeal a point involving the whole jurisdiction of the County Court to try the action, because it had not been raised in the County Court.
RISDALE (app.) v. OWNERS OF KILMARNOCK (resps.). Workmen's Compensation Act 1906-Floating Mine-Trawler — Injury to Workman through Vessel being blown up-Alien Enemy. An English trawler in the North Sea was blown up by a German floating mine while passing over a dangerous part of the sea for the master to give voluntary information of the neighbourhood of floating mines to a British ship of war.
Held, that a seaman on board injured by the explosion was not entitled to compensation.
THIS case came before His Honour Judge Sir Sherston Baker, sitting in the County Court of Grimsby, on the 25th Nov.
The applicant, John Fred Risdale, requested arbitration between himself and the owners of the steam trawler Kilmarnock. On the 22nd Sept. last the applicant, who was chief engineer, had just come off watch in the engine room of the trawler and had gone on deck when the vessel struck a floating mine, which exploded with great force and blew up the vessel, throwing him into the sea, causing injury to the kneecap of the left leg, bruising him in several parts of the body, and causing acute synovitis and shock. The result of this was alleged to cause him total incapacity. His weekly earnings were stated to have been £26s. a week and perquisites. The respondents pleaded that the injury to the applicant was not caused by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment.
Knowles for the applicant.
Elliott for the respondents.-The master of the trawler had instructions from the Admiralty as to what portion of the North Sea he might navigate with safety. He saw one or two floating mines and let down a buoy to mark the place. He then proceeded to inform a ship of war some nine miles off, and in so doing met with the accident. Had he kept to the portion of the sea which he had been informed was safe the accident would not have occurred. He had diverted his course in order to act as a messenger to the ship of war, and ceased thereby to be engaged in his ordinary occupation. [His HONOUR.-I would not blame any person for giving notice to a ship of war of a danger on the high seas.] Apart from any sentiment with regard to the patriotism of the master in endeavouring to warn the ship of
war, the liability of the owners of the vessel in its pure legal aspect was gone.
His HONOUR.-These floating mines are a modern invention of warfare, and there is no precedent for me to follow, this being the first case of an arbitration being sought under the Workmen's Compensation Act or otherwise in respect of a floating mine. The contingency of war is not, as I read it, contemplated by the Act. It refers to accidents arising under normal conditions, but not under extraordinary circumstances such as a deluge or earthquake. I trust that the question may be argued before the Court of Appeal, but, sitting here as a judge of first instance, I hold that the respondents are entitled to my award, not on any argument based on a germane occurrence on land, but on the broad principle that an injury caused by the act of an alien enemy is not an accident arising out of and in the course of the employment of a workman. Award for respondents.
Solicitor for applicant, H. K. Bloomer, Grimsby.
Shops Act and Automatic Machines.
MUST automatic machines, like shops, have a weekly halfholiday? This was the problem which confronted the Divisional Court last week in Willesden Urban District Council v. Morgan. An enterprising dairyman had an automatic machine, just outside his shop, which was filled with milk before closing time on the weekly half holiday, and a customer, by inserting a penny, could draw out an equivalent quantity of milk. Proceedings were taken against the dairyman under sects. 4 and 9 of the Shops Act 1912, and it was strenuously argued on behalf of the local authority that the scope of that Act was not merely to ensure a weekly half-holiday for shop assistants, but was intended to do much more-namely, to prevent retail trade being carried on during the particular afternoon. Sect. 4 requires shops to be closed "for the serving of customers" on the half-holiday, and the court, with some hesitation on the part of Mr. Justice Avory decided that this expression implied personal service, and therefore did not touch automatic machines. The position under sect. 9 is not quite the same. That section prohibits "the carrying on in any place not being a shop re ail trade or business of any class at any time when it would be unlawful in that locality to keep a shop open for the purposes of retail trade or business of that class." In the particular case the court held that the dairyman was not hit by sect. 9 as his automatic machine, placed where it was, was really a part of his shop. There is, however, much to be said for the view presented on his behalf that sect. 9 is merely complementary to sect. 4, and that the carrying on in a place not being a shop of retail trade or business means carrying it on by means of personal service. Any other view would produce this extraordinary result employees of the automatic supply companies would require to visit all our railway stations and a multitude of similar places in order to put the machines out of gear for one afternoon in each week and visit them again the following morning to restore them to working condition! Happily, as the late Lord Russell once put it, the law is not absolutely divorced from
THE objection was urged by Lord Loreburn, on the second reading of the Defence of the Realm Consolidation Bill in the House of Lords on the 27th ult., to the power given by the Bill to try British subjects by court-martial instead
of the ordinary tribunals when these courts are open and available, and an undertaking was given by the Government, in compliance with Lord Loreburn's request, that in the interval between the adjournment and reassembling of Parlia ment no British-born civilian subject should be deprived of his life by sentence of court-martial. The position of Lord Loreburn is based on the highest constitutional principle that whereas martial law should not be administered when the courts of law are no longer prevented from sitting by riot or rebellion, so military law, or the law for enabling civilians to be tried by military tribunals, should not be carried into effect when civil tribunals are sitting. Professor Dicey writes that nothing better illustrates the noble energy with which judges have maintained the rule of regular law, even at periods of revolutionary violence, than Wolfe Tone's case: (27 State Trials, p. 614). In 1798 Wolfe Tone, a British subject, took part in a French invasion of Ireland. The man-of-war in which he sailed was captured, and Wolfe Tone was brought to trial before martial in Dublin. He was thereupon sentenced to be hanged. He held, however, no commission as an English officer, his only commission being one from the French Republic. On the morning when his execution was about to take place application was made to the Irish King's Bench for a writ of habeas corpus.
The ground taken was that Wolfe Tone, not being a military person, was not subject to punishment by a court-martial, or, in effect, that the officers who tried him were attemp irg illegally to enforce martial law. The Court of King's Bench at once granted the writ. Professor Dicey declares that, when it is remembered that Wolfe Tone's substantial guilt was admitted, that the court was filled with judges who detested the rebels, and that in 1798 Ireland was in the midst of a revolutionary crisis, it will be admitted that no more splendid assertion of the supremacy of the law can be found than that then made by the Irish Bench. Lord Loreburn's contention was that unconstitutional and illegal actions such as the trial of civilian subjects by military tribunals without legal sanction, as in Wolfe Tone's case, in the exercise of martial law when the courts of law were sitting or capable of sitting, regard being had to the state of the country, should, when rendered legal by Act of Parliament framed to meet a great emergency, be a remedy whose exercise, should as far as possible, be very rarely applied and only resorted to in circumstances of absolute necessity.
IN addition to the measures to which we referred in our issue of the 28th Nov., Parliament has passed at lightning speed a number of other Bills into law which, under normal circumstances, would have evoked some considerable discussion on large questions of policy. There is an Anglo-Portuguese Commercial Treaty Act which is designed to enable the treaty in question to become operative. This treaty is set out in extenso as a schedule, and one of its chief objects is to secure full and complete freedom of commerce and navigation, and each country's subjects are to be at liberty to come with their ships and cargoes into the territories of the other to which native subjects can come. One of the articles calls upon the Government to seek from Parliament a prohibition of the importation into this country and sale for consumption of any wine or other liquor called port or Madeira other than wine being the produce of those localities. The Act therefore makes "Port" and "Madeira," not fulfilling this condition, a false trade description" within the Merchandise Marks Act 1887. It is necessary to note that a defence will be available if it can be shown that the description is applied to a wine intended solely for exportation from the United Kingdom, or if the wine sold within twelve months bore a description lawfully applicable before this Act passed. It should also be noted that an Act of a few lines has been passed to postpone the operation of the Criminal Justice Administration Act 1914. Instead of becoming operative, as proposed, on the 1st Dec. of this year, it
is now enacted that it shall commence on the 1st April next as regards England and Wales and Scotland, except as regards certain sections. The postponement will not affect sects. 1, 18, 21, 22, 23, 25, 30 to 37, both inclusive, except 34, and it does not touch the provisions of sect. 42 by which the Act is modified in respect of those sections in its application to Scotland or any repeal consequential on those sections.
Defence of the Realm.
ANOTHER Act so entitled (being the third of the series) aroused something like a serious debate, and in the result the proposals submitted by the Government were subjected to certain amendments moved by Lord Robert Cecil, whilst in the Lords Lord Loreburn proposed a most important change in regard to courts-martial. The Lord Chancellor undertook that no British subject who had not accepted naval or military employment would be put to death by court-martial until Parliament had had an opportunity of reconsidering the matter. The Act consolidates as well as amends the existing Acts. The important principle is laid down that regulations can be made whereby trials by courts-martial or, in the case of minor offences, by courts of summary jurisdiction can be held to deal with offe ces, and specially to prevent pers ns communicating with the enemy or obtaining information "for any purpose calculated to jeopardise the success of the operations" of any of our forces or of those of our allies, or to assist the enemy. Special stress is also laid on securing the safety of forces and ships and of means of communication and the prevention of the spread of false reports" or reports likely to cause disaffection or to interfere with the success of His Majesties forces by land or sea or to prejudice His Majesty's relations with foreign Powers." It is further desired to secure conformity with regulations concerning the navigation of vessels. The authorities can require the full disposition over the whole or any part of the output of any factory or workshop in which arms, ammunition, or warlike stores or equipment, or any articles required for their production, are manufactured, and they can take possession of the same. As a further direct contribution to defence, the Exportation of Arms Act may be mentioned. The similarly entitled Act of 1900 by sect. 1 enables the prohibition of export of certain articles to any country or place named. By the new Act this section will have effect, while the war lasts, as if "there were included all other articles of every description."
His Majesty's Forces.
THERE are four Acts affecting the personnel in different ways to which reference may have to be made. There is the Attorney-General's measure to prevent the acceptance of a commission being the cause of vacating a seat in Parliament or rendering a person incapable of election to (or sitting and voting therein. There is also the Injuries in War (Compensation) Act (Session 2), whereby pension schemes can be framed to meet cases of disablement abroad in connection with warlike operations where the injured are not officers or men in the regular forces" The earlier Act on this subject passed in the first session is made to extend to pensions, grants, and other allowances in respect of disablement by sickness specifically attributable to the nature and conditions of the employment in like manner as it applies in respect of injuries. The Royal Marines Act 1914 extends the term of service of the Royal Marine Force during the war under the powers conferred by sect. 5 of the existing Royal Marines Act 1847. It is made applicable wherever a marine may be or may have been serving at the expiration of his term of service. The fourth of these Acts is a National Health Insurance Act amendment. It amends in particular sect. 46 of the Act of 1911 as respects the pre ent war, and enacts that the requirements as to proof of state of health under that section are not to apply as conditions in the case of seamen, marines, or soldiers who, on discharge after the war, are certified to be suffering from any disease, disablement, bodily or mental unfitness, but every such man is to be entitled to benefits as from his discharge as if he had satisfied these requirements. If, however, the Insurance Commissioners think that a man's health on discharge will not disqualify him from admission to an
approved society, they can fix a term by which he will cease to be entitled to benefits out of the fund unless he satisfies them that he has been unable through ill-health to join an approved society. Sect. 46 of the Act of 1911 is made to apply to seamen and marines who have entered or enlisted for this war as it applies to Territorials called out on embodiment.
Courts, Local Bodies, and Finance.
AN Act amending the Courts (Emergency Powers) (Ireland) Act requires no comment here, and the same applies as regards the Law Agents Apprenticeship (War Service) Scotland Act, and the Act dealing with the Sheriffs Courts, Scotland. The Poor Relief (Ireland) Act has no interest for our readers, but there is something to be said in regard to the Local Authorities (Disqualification Relief) Act. The Members of Local Authorities Relief Act 1900 relieved members of certain of the forces from disqualification for membership of county and other councils by reason of absence. It is now enacted that this Act shall go further so as to cover the case of all members of naval and military forces employed on any naval or military service, and to any person whose employment in connection with naval or military operations the Local Government Board consider may properly be treated as actual naval or military service. The Land Drainage Act is one giving the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries new powers. If they consider the execution of any work of drainage, embankment, or defence against water desirable for an area, they can constitute a body, corporate or unincorporate, and make such provision for th execution of the work as they may think proper. In certain cases the concurrence of the Board of Trade is essential. The Government War Obligations Act provides for the money to fulfil these obligations, and it exempts from stamp duty certain contracts of reinsurance. The Finance Bill gave an unlimited power to borrow, but limited the power to spend. In committee this somewhat startling arrangement was modified and the Act provides that the excess between the amount raised under the War Loan Act 1914 and the supply granted up to the 31st March 1915 is not to exceed £100,000,000. The Act also deals, as is well known, with the duties on tea, beer, income tax, and super-tax, and relief is afforded in respect of persons whose income is diminished by reason of the war, if the circumstances are attributable directly or indirectly thereto. There is a reference also in favour of persons who are or have been serving in the forces or in any work abroad of the British Red Cross Society or the St. John's Ambulance Association, or any other body with similar objects. The Consolidated Fund Act calls for no comment. It will be seen that the brief sittings of the two Houses have been marked by a considerable accession of emergency legislation.
BANKRUPTCY LAW AND PRACTICE.
Corporation Petitioning by Authorised Officer.
THE two bankruptcy cases that were noted by us last week (see ante, p. 84)—both of which were decided by the Divisional Court, consisting of Justices Horridge and Rowlatt-are of considerable interest to the practitioner, even if in only one of them was a point of real novelty involved. It was the second of the cases that gave rise to a point that does not appear to have previously occurred since the present war began, necessitating the special legislation that has since ensued. But the first, that of Re W., is likewise worthy of close attention. It turned upon the enactment contained in sect. 148 of the Bankruptcy Act 1883 (46 & 47 Vict. c. 52) that "for all or any of the purposes of this Act a corporation may act by any of its officers authorised in that behalf under the seal of the corporation." A resolution was passed under the seal of a company authorising the secretary thereof "to present a petition in bankruptcy on behalf of the company" against a debtor to the company who had committed an act of bankruptcy. The Divisional Court, differing from the view that was entertained by the registrar, placed a somewhat unexpectedly narrow and subtle construction on that resolution, Their Lordships held that it did not authorise the officer of the
company to present a petition founded upon another act of bankruptcy committed after the date of the resolution. As the subsequent act of bankruptcy did not exist at the date of the resolution, it was not, in the opinion of the learned judges, an act of bankruptcy of which the company could avail itself at that date. The authority must have reference to available acts of bankruptcy, they thought. Were it not for that decision, it is conceivable that the general impression would be that a resolution "to present a petition in bankruptcy on behalf of the company was in terms wide enough and would suffice to permit of what was sought to be done in the present case. A repetition of the resolution, however, appears to be essential.
Suspension of Payment and the Moratorium.
THAT great confusion should exist as regards the effect of the provisions of such a statute as the Postponement of Payments Act 1914 (4 & 5 Geo. 5, c. 11) and the proclamations made thereunder was only to be anticipated. When, therefore, it was supposed by the registrar in Re Sahler-the second of the cases to which we are now referring-that, but for the moratorium, an act of bankruptcy would have been committed by the debtor in that case, through his having given notice on the 9th Sept. 1914 to his creditors that he was about to suspend payment of his debts (B. A. 1883, s. 4 (1) (h), there is nothing to be wondered at. On that date there was not a good petitioning creditors debt (B. A. 1883, s. 6 (1) (b), the registrar considered, inasmuch as by virtue of the proclamations made under the Act of 1914 prior to the 12th Sept. the debt, though due or owing, was not payable until the 4th Oct. But as stated in our note, the learned judges of the Divisional Court took an entirely opposite There is nothing in the proclamations, their Lordships said, to stop a debtor from giving notice of supension if he likes. That is an act of bankruptcy which he is at liberty to commit if he thinks proper so to do. The petitioning creditors were consequently held to be entitled to a receiving order in respect of a bankruptcy petition founded upon such an act of bankruptcy. The contention that, notwithstanding the proclamations, the debt was a good petitioning creditors' debt, as being "a liquidated sum, payable either immediately or at some future date," was thus upheld. And the decision will doubtless serve to throw light on a number of analogous, if not exactly similar, cases in
Mr. Justice A. T. Lawrence will open the commission at Lewes, on the South-Eastern Circuit, on Thursday next. When the business at this town is finished he will return to London and remain until the end of the present sittings.
The December Sessions at the Central Criminal Court will commence on Tuesday next, at the Old Bailey, at 10.30. Mr. Justice Darling, Mr. Justice A. T. Lawrence, and Mr. Justice Avory are on the rota to attend.
No session for cases arising in the county of Middlesex will be held during the present month. The next sessi n will com. mence on Saturday, the 9 h Jan. next, at the Guildball, Westminster, at 10.30.
Mr. Henry Blunt Howard, aged seventy-one, of Bark Hart Orpington, Kent, barrister-at-law, left estate valued at £49,663. Mr. Edward Theodore Hirst, aged fifty-five years, of Barnwood, Gloucester, solicitor, left estate of the value of £23,201.
Mr. William Martin Flegg, solicitor, of Chestnut Lodge, Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead, N. W., left estate of the gross value of £31,971. Mr. Julius Berkeley Halle, of 36, Elm Park-gardens, S. W., and of 1, New court, Temple, E.C., barrister-at-law, J.P. for London, left unsettled property valued at £6282.
The annual general meeting of the Solicitors' Benevolent Association will be held at the Law Society's Hall, on Tuesday next, at 2 p.m.
The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple has given a donation of £1000 to the Officers' Families Fund. The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple gave a handsome donation in
On Wednesday, the 9th inst., Lord Mersey will deliver the address at the celebration of the ninety-first anniversary of Founder's Day, at Birbeck College, Bream's-buildings, Chancerylane, E.C., at 8 p.m. Lord Cozens-Hardy, Vice-president, will preside.