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The second lecture of the course promoted by the City of
London Solicitors' Company will be delivered on Monday next, at
6 p.m., at the Hall of the Pewterers' Company, 15, Lime.
street, E.C, when Sir Philip Gregory will take for his subject
"Conveyancing and Law of Property Bills."

Lord Justice Kennedy will preside at the third lecture of the
present course arranged by the Solicitors' Managing Clerks'
Association, on Tuesday next, at 7 p.m., in the Inner Temple Hall.
Mr. E. W. Hansell will take for his subject "Some Recent
Changes in the Law of Bankruptcy and Deeds of Arrange-

ment.

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The Temple Church will hold a short service on Thursday next and on the following Thursdays, the 17th and 24th inst., at five o'clock pm. Preceding each service Dr. H. Walford Davies will give a short organ recital at 4.30. On Friday, the 18th inst., a special service will be held in the church at five o'clock, after which Bach's Christmas Oratorio (Parts 1 and 2) will be rendered by the choir.

Mr. Justice Shearman will preside at a social meeting of the Royal Courts of Justice and Legal Temperance Society, on Tuesday, the 15th inst, in the Old Hall, Lincoln's-inn, at 6 30. SurgeonGeneral G. I. H. Evatt, C.B, will address the meeting. During the evening vocal and instrumental selections will be given by Miss Winifred Whelen, Mr. Harrington Bamford, and Miss Margaret Scripps (violinist).

The weekly meeting of the Union Society of London was held at the chambers of Mr. W. R. Willson, 3, Plowdenbuildings, Temple, on Wednesday evening. Mr. J. H. Coram, the vice president, was in the chair. Mr. Ravenshaw opened the motion: "That the Press Censorship be abolished." Mr. Quass opposed. Messrs. Rastorjoueff, Baker, Fowler, Bright, and Stevens also spoke. The motion was lost.

At the commencement of hostilities the Bar of Bordeaux equipped a hospital for the wounded. Since the transference of the Government to the port famous from the time of the Romans, Mme. Poincaré has taken her position in the hospital as an ordinary nurse. To mark their appreciation of the labours of Madame la Présidente, the Bâtonnier last week, in the name of the Bar, presented Mme. Poincaré with an address and a gold medal.

By permission of the Benchers, Mr. H. F. Dickens. K C., will give a dramatic recital from his father's works in the Middle Temple Hall on Wednesday, the 9th inst, at eight o'clock, in aid of the funds of the British Red Cross Society. The Benchers have also permitted that tickets, 7. 6d. and 5s. each, should be sold at the Treasury, Middle Temple, where seats can be reserved, and also at the chambers of Mr. Theobald Mathew, 4, Paper-buildings, Temple, E.C. Unreserved seats, 28., payable on admission or at the two addresses above. The recital will be open to other members of the public besides the Bar and their friends.

The lay Press, as far as we have seen, in the biographical notices of Admiral M han have not mentioned a circumstance of interest to jurists. In 1899 Captain Mahan was the United Stites delegate to the Hague Conference when the declaration concerning the employment of projectiles containing asphyxiating or deleterious gas was discussed. Captain Mahan and Sir Julian Pauncefote opposed the recommendation, and, as far as the present writer knows, America has never changed her attitude. Captain Mahan's argument seems unassailable. Briefly it was this: To condemn a missile which had not been invented, and, as a consequence, its powers being unknown, was illogical. From the humanitarian point of view, he failed to recognise the cruelty of asphyxiating an enemy by gas when the use of torpedoes was permitted, whereby a warship might be shattered at midnight, throwing four or five hundred men into the sea to be asphyxiated by water, with barely the remotest chance of escape.

The humorous description by Mr. T. M. Healy, K.C., in criticising the censorship of the Press by the Government in respect of news from the seat of war, of the Solicitor-General, who is responsible for that censorship, as a gentleman not inclined to impart much information as he is an equity lawyer in the habit of drafting affidavits, may recall a good Parliamentary story of affidavits. The late Right Hon. Sir Samuel Walker, who at his death in Aug. 1911 was Lord Chancellor of Ireland, entered the House of Commons for the first time as an Irish law officer of the Crown. His tendency of mind was far more in the direction of legal learning and the work of his profession then in that of Parliamentary debate and procedure. On the day he took the oath and his seat on his return to the House of Commons at a by-election, he was observed to sit listlessly on the Treasury bench and to be evidently confused and perplexed. In reply to a friend, who asked him, on the adjournment of the House after a lively debate interspersed with personal incidents what were his impressions, he replied: "I do not know what to make of the proceedings. It is incomprehensible that gentlemen should be allowed to make statements

which have been contradicted and then reiterated and averred without one line of an affidavit on one side or the other."

The enthusiasm evoked by the presence of an Indian Expeditionary Force at the seat of war, the prowess and gallantry of our Indian troops, and the desire of the people of India that the expenses of the Indian Expeditionary Force should be I defrayed from Indian rather than from British revenues, are in themselves object lessons of the development in the space of a generation of the Imperial sentiment. The universal approbation with which the statement of Mr. Charles Roberts on the 26th ult. was received in the House of Commons and the hearty response then given to his appreciation of the services in the field of the Indian troops, and the patriotism and generosity of the people of India, are in marked controversy with the pungent criticism to which on constitu'ional grounds the announcement of the movement of Indian troops to Malta on the 17th April 1878 was assailed. It was then, indeed, contended that, inasmuch as the Crown was not restricted in the number of native Indian forces it might embody, the practice of importing these native troops into Europe might prevail to render wholly abortive the restrictions on the forces in the employment of the Crown as contained in the Bill of Rights and the Mutiny Act. The complaint in 1878 of the movement of the Indian troops to Malta was based on a desire to prevent the executive from being able to lay its hand, in any event it might please to call an emergency or a case of necessity, upon an indefinite number of troops without having recourse to Parliament-the liberty of the people and the confinement of the functions of the executive within well-ascertained limits being the objects in view. The absolute accord between the Executive and the Legislature and between the Legislature and the people at large on the successful termination of this war as a matter of cardinal policy essential to national existence make the constitutional difficulties with which it was contended in 1878 that the movement of Indian troops to Europe was attended difficult to be realised. The statutory provision that the revenues of India cannot be charged with the expense of Indian forces beyond the external frontiers of His Majesty's Indian possessions without the consent of both Houses of Parliament afforded the oppor tunity for the expression of grateful acknowledgments in Parliament to the people of India, who of their own free will desired to defray their expenses, which without the consent of Parliament they could not be called on to bear.

PARLIAMENTARY PRACTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL LAW.

Writs of Summons to the Lords.

MR. ASQUITH, in reply to a question on the 16th ult. with reference to the Parliamentary status of the Dukes of Cumberland and Albany, said: "No writ of summons has been issued to these persons in respect of their peerages." In a memorandum presented to the Select Committee of the House of Commons (Vacating of Seats 1894) by Mr. George Curzon (Earl Curzon of Kedleston) and circulated by the desire of Mr, Asquith, who was chairman of that committee, the following statement is made as to the practice in the application to the Lord Chancellor of writs of summons to the House of Lords: A preliminary declaration is usually made to the Lord Chancellor by s me relative or representative on behalf of the claimant to the title as to the circumstances of the family (e.g. the death of elder brothers, if any, and certificate of such death) and as to the grounds of claim by the claimant. The Lord Chancellor then asks for evidence, and the heir must produce to his satisfaction (1) a certificate of the marriage of the la'e peer, if he be his son, or of his own father; (2) a certificate of the burial of the late peer; (3) a certificate of his baptism; (4) an extract from the Journals of the House of Lords showing that the late peer or one of his direct predecessors in the title and of the same patent took his seat; (5) the patent of peerage. When the Lord Chancellor has satisfied himself from these documents, he then orders the issue of a writ of summons by the Clerk of the Crown." The memorandum proceeds: "Not only is this true, but so long as such evidence is withheld, though it is intentionally withheld, the Lord Chancellor does not require it and has never compelled it. Vide the cases of the late Lord Tenterden and the present Earl of Iddesleigh, who refrained for several years after their succession to the titles and dignities

of a peerage from applying for a writ of summons to the House of Lords in order that they might continue to hold office in the Permanent Civil Service (Permanent Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Board of Inland Revenue), believed to be incompatible with a seat in Parliament Mr. Justice Coleridge (then Mr. Coleridge, Q.C.), on succeeding to the peerage by the death of his father, Lord Chief Justice Coleridge, in 1894, was a member of the House of Commons for the Attercliffe Division of Leeds. He did not for some time apply to the Lord Chancellor for his writ of summons as he had doubts, which were eventually removed, whether as a member of the House of Lords he could continue to practise at the Bar, but he vacated his seat in the House of Commons by acceptance of the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds.

Adjournment.

THE statement of the Marquis of Crewe on the 27th ult. that the proceedings of the House of Lords with regard to adjournments are not governed by the action of the House of Commons, and the subsequent adjournment of the House of Lords till the 6th Jan. and of the House of Commons till the 2nd Feb., emphasise the fact that adjournment is solely in the power of each House, though the pleasure of the Crown has occasionally been signified that both Houses should adjourn. The pleasure of the Crown was last signified that this course should be pursued on the 1st March 1814, and it is probable that the practice will not be renewed. The statements of Lord Crewe in the House of Lords and of Mr. McKenna in the House of Commons, that, if circumstances arose which might render it advisable that Parliament should meet before the day fixed for the reassembling of either House, Parliament might be specially summoned at six days' notice, will direct attention to the power of interfering with adjournments in certain cases conceded to the Crown by statute. It is enacted by 39 & 40 Vict. c. 14, amended by 33 & 31 Vict. c. 81, that when both Houses of Parliament stand adjourned for more than fourteen days the King may issue a proclamation, with the advice of his Privy Council, declaring that Parliament shall meet on a day than six days from the proclamation, and the Houses of not less Parliament then stand adjourned to the day and place declared in the proclamation, and all orders which may have been made by either House and appointed for the original day of meeting or any subsequent day stand appointed for the day named in the proclamation.

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In the House of Commons on the 26th ult., in reply to a question by Mr. Joynson-Hicks about the trial of undefended divorce causes, the Attorney-General said the work of the Division was proceeding normally. There was at present no unusual number of cases in arrear, and according to the present prospect there would be no difficulty in dealing with the present list. Both judges of the Division would sit next week and take the Divorce Court,

On the Report stage of the Trading with the Enemy Act (1914) Amendment Bill, on the motion of the Attorney-General (Sir J. Simon) a new clause was adopted providing that-"Where a person has given any information to a person, firm, or company, the information so given may be used in evidence against him in any proceedings of trading with the enemy,' After other amendments had been agreed to, the Bill was read a third time.

In the House of Lords, on the 27th ult., the Criminal Justice Administration (Postponement) Bill was read a second time, and then passed through all its stages.

The following Bills were passed through all their stages:Local Au horities (Disqualification Relief) Bill, Trusts Bill, Poor Relief (Ireland) Bill, National Insurance (Navy and Army) Bill, Royal Marines Bill, Navy and Marines (Wills) Bill, Injuries in War (Compensation) Bill, Courts (Emergency Powers) (Ireland) Bill, Law Agents Apprenticeship (War Service) (Scotland) Bill, and Government War Obligations Bill.

On the order for the second reading of the Defence of the Realm Consolidation Bill, Earl Loreburn took objection to the provision empowering courts-martial to try offences under the Bill and to inflict capital punishment where the ordinary

tribunals might be available. It was a dangerous thing to take away the right of trial and to hand it over to military officers, even though the penalty of death might not be infli ted. They ought not to confer such powers on a military court-martial in the case of any British subject who was a civilian while the ordinary tribunals were able to do justice. A debate took place, and the second reading of the Bill was agreed to. The committee stage was negatived. On the third reading, Earl Loreburn moved an amendment providing that every British subject not in military or naval employment should have the right to be tried by the ordinary courts if such courts were available. After discussion, the Lord Chancellor gave an undertaking 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. On this undertaking the amendment was withdrawn, and the Bill was then read a third time.

IRISH NOTES.

ONE of the Dublin daily newspapers complains of the action of the House of Lords in withholding judgment in the case of Lord Clanricarde v. Congested Districts Board for Ireland. When counsel for the plaintiff had concluded, their Lordships informed counsel for the respondents that they did not require to hear them, but adjourned the question sine die. The publication complains that there has been long and serious delay already in this case, and, as the final court had its mind made up, there was no good reason for deferring the matter indefinitely. It must be confessed that the "law's delays" are a great prejudice to business and should, where possible, be avoided. It is over four years since the defendants in this case took the first step to acquire plaintiff's estate, and, though the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords have held that all their steps were rightly taken and that they had jurisdiction to compulsorily acquire the lands, they are still a long way from the completion of the business.

AT the half yearly meeting of the council of the Incorporated Law Society on the 28th ult., the president announced that forty of their younger members had joined His Majesty's forces, and thirty-three apprentices had taken the same course. The council had decided to keep a permanent record of the names of their brother professionals, of whose action it was justly prud.

THE president then proceeded to ventilate the grievances of that branch of the Profession in regard to legal appointments. The figures he produced tell their own story. A total sum of £336,759 was paid in salaries of offices of a legal nature in this country every year, and only one-fifth of this amount came to solicitors. Barristers held 170 legal posts in respect of which salaries of £200,000 a year are paid; solicitors held 126 offices in respect of which only £69,000 a year was paid. Last year 1587 solicitors paid certificate duty, and against that there were 438 barristers who paid no duty whatever. While it is true that these figures are somewhat startling, it must also fairly be acknowledged that the solicitor profession in Ireland within the last ten years has had a better time than it previously had in its history.

A DECISION of far-reaching importance was given in the King's Bench Division on the 27th ult. in reference to the annuities payable un 'er the Irish Land Purchase Acts in a case of Irish Land Commission v. O'Neill. The plaintiffs argued that these annuities, covering principal sum and interest, in respect of the advance to the tenant were Crown debts, and that the Crown was not bound by the Postponement of Payments Act 1914, the moratorium, or the Courts (Emergency Powers) Act 1914. Their second contention was that the amount was due by statute and was not a contract debt. These points had been raised in the County Courts previously and had been differently decided in different cases. The County Court judge of Donegal held that the debts were created by statute and that none of the temporary Acts applied: (137 L. T. Jour. 571). But this was not followed a few days later in the county of Mayo. The argument for the tenant-purchaser in the King's Bench was that the annuity was payable to the Land Commission; it never reached the Crown, and the Crown could not maintain an action for its recovery. The court, consisting of Justices Madden, Kenny, and Boyd. unanimously held that the annuities were Crown debts, and that the Land Commission were simply the collecting agents for the

Crown.

IN a case of Attorney General (at the relation of the Rev. David Humphreys) v. Governors of Erasmus Smith's Schools, before

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Mr. Justice Ross in the Chancery Division on the 28th ult., the relator in person attempted a formidable task. He sought to have the trusts of a certain indenture, dated the 1st Dec. 1657, three years before the Restoration, carried into execution. The purpose of the founder was to establish schools in certain counties in Ireland in which land might be obtained in order, among other objects, that the poor children inhabiting any part of his lands might be "educated in the fear of God, and brought up to speak the English tongue." The matter has long been one of acute controversy among Irish educationalists as to how the trusts of the foundation should now be applied, and it has engaged the attention of more than one commission of inquiry. Twenty years ago it led to a difference between the two judicial members of the Educational Endowments (Ireland) Commission, which was really of historical interest. The two commissioners were the late Lord Justice Fitzgibbon and the late Mr. Justice William O'Brien; they differed upon every material issue as widely as the poles, and they expressed their conclusions in masculine prose. The judgment of the latter especially was a philippic of rare eloquence and power, but it lies buried and almost forgotten in one of the Blue Books of the period.

BUT the revival of the controversy last week had a novel turn. It would occur to any lawyer that a matter of such a public nature could only be prosecuted by the Attorney-General acting on behalf of the public, and, indeed, that was the frame of the action. But the relator sought to make the motion himself and raise the question. Objection was taken at once by counsel for the defendants that the relator was not a party to the action, and that proceedings upon it should be stayed. Mr. Justice Ross said Lord Justice Holmes had stated in the Court of Appeal that it was well settled that where the Attorney-General was the plaintiff, at the relation of some other person, the other person could not move in the case. Under the circumstances the court could not hear the relator. Counsel for the Attorney-General applied to have the action stayed, without prejudice to proceedings on his behalf later to have the issues involved finally disposed of. This course was agreed to.

INTERNATIONAL, FOREIGN, AND
COLONIAL LAW.

The Monroe Doctrine and Neutrality.

IN reply to a question addressed on the 25th ult. by the Earl of Ronalds hay to the Prime Minister, which was answered by Mr. Charles Roberts, the Under-Secretary of State for India, on behalf of the Foreign Office, it was stated that information in the possession of the Government indicated that the Governments of Colombia and Ecuador had in ce tain respects failed to observe an attitude of strict neutrality, and that their failure to do so was likely to be detrimental to the interests of this country. Mr. Roberts added that, representations to the Colombian Government having failed in their object, His Majesty's Government decided to appeal, in conjunction with the French Government, to the good offices of the United States Government to use their influence to secure more correct observance of Colombian neutrality. An appeal for the exercise of the good offices of a Power wholly disinterested in a controversy between States, with a view to an amicable settlement of differences, is not infrequently a course pursued as a last resort for the avoidance of a declaration of war. The appeal of Great Britain and France to the United States in reference to the failure of Colombia to observe strict neutrality in the war now raging is, we apprehend, of a character which differs from the generality of appeals It seems to be made to the United States

in such cases.

by virtue of its primacy or overlordship in the American continent, which is the development of the Monroe Doctrine as enunciated in the special message of the President to Congress on the 17th Dec. 1895 on the occasion of the intervention of the United States in the boundary controversy then pending between Great Britain and the Republic of Venezuela, which terminated, in accordance with the suggestion of the United States, in a submission of the dispute to arbitration. The Monroe Doctrine has, by the message of the President, and as a result of the communications between Great Britain and the United States in respect of the Venezuelan controversy, been restated in such a orm as to warrant the contention that the United States, by

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vi tue of its primacy or overlordship in the New World, has the right to act as final arbiter, and to carry out its decrees by force, if necessary, whenever a controversy is pending between a European Power and an American State whose consequences may threaten an extension of the European system in the American continent. In order fully to develop that idea, the President maintained" that if the balance of power is justly a cause for jealous anxiety among the Governments of the Old World and a subject for our absolute non-interference, none the less is the observance of the Monroe Doctrine of vital concern to our people and their Government." The position was thus clearly enunciated on behalf of the United States that the same supreme directing and arbitratory power which in the Old World is vested in the Concert of Europe is in the New World vested in the Government of the United States acting alone, while Great Britain acknowledged as a matter of fact that such a primacy is vested in the United States by accepting the arbitration on which the Government of the United States insisted, although the interests of this country in the American continent are far vaster than those of any other European Power. It is, of course, true that the Monroe Doctrine is estab'ished for the purpose of preventing permanent occupation by European Powers of the territories in the American continent not included in the European system; but every movement with a tendency, however remote, to such permanent occupation is the subject of the jealous scrutiny of the United States by virtue of its primacy in the New World, which is an essential element of the Monroe Doctrine in the natural and, indeed, necessary course of its development.

NEUTRALS AND SUPPLIES FOR BELLIGERENTS. THERE is no subject of greater interest to the allies at the present moment than the replenishment of the supplies of the enemythat is to say, supplies that can be used for carrying on the war. These supplies may be obtained either by exportation or transit, the terms used by the Hague Convention, the latter being adopted to meet the case of a neutral country situate adjacent to that of one of the belligerents, concerning which reference will be made later. The censor in Paris has fallen foul of some of Me. Edouard Clunet's theories, but has apparently compromised matters by allowing the learned jurist's statement of the law to remain intact. Dealing with the objets exportés ou transités, Me. Clunet says:-To begin with, there are food stuff (cereals, potatoes. rice, salted meat, &c.), and then there are vehicles and combustiles, destined for the armies.

By two public declarations inserted in the Journal Officiel of the 11th Aug. and the 7th Nov. last, the French Governnent has placed foodstuffs in the category of contrebande conditionnelle, and automobiles as well as mineral oils in that of contrebande absolue. But these declarations, made in conformity with the resolutions of the Naval Conference of London in 1899, only find their sanction in maritime war. The sea is a way of publique voirie; each passing over it meets others freely; each ship as it passes another being exercised as to whether it be an enemy direct or indirect. The right to visit neutral vessels and to seize the cargoes suspected is, to a belligerent, a means by the aid of which he is able to parry the nocive action of a neutral, cupidous or ill-intentioned.

In terrestrial warfare the difference of the rules arises from the nature of things themselves. The declarations of contraband of one Power are only made as a manifestation of the interest which she attaches to the articles viséd, lest they reinforce the adversary. But, as the declarant Power is prohibited from entering upon the territory of the neutral, she is without the means of compelling the latter to respect her prohibitions. The neutral has no occasion to consult the belligerents as to the rules which she has laid down for her own conduct.

As to the orders of the Fifth Convention of The Hague of the 18th Oct. 1907, "relative to the rights and duties of neutral Powers in the case of war upon land," a large power of appreciation is left to them. Art. 7 of this Convention is thus conceived: 'A neutral Power is not bound to prevent the export or transit, on behalf of one or other of the belligerents, of arms, munitions of war, or, in general, of anything which can be of use to an army or fleet." It was at the instance of the Belgian delegation that the word "transit" was inserted. In the report of Colonel Borel, of the Swiss War Ministry, which declares upon this point agreement with the French and Belgian delegations, we read: "The rule which calls for this article justifies itself. . . . In principle the neutral States and their peoples should not suffer from the consequences of a war to which they are strangers.

There is no reason to prohibit or fetter (entraver) the commerce of the people of a neutral State": 2 Conf. de la Paix, Actes et Docum., tome 1, p. 141; La Haye, Imprim. Nat. 1907). The international conventional law which governs the Powers engaged in the present conflict, then, leaves to the neutrals the whole power of ne point interdire their subjects from furnishing the belligerents with all that they wish to buy, even to the extent of their military requirements. This power, however, meets with one limitation. The articles which can be qualified in the war maritime as contrebande absolue or conditionnelle must not be furnished by the neutral State itself. Such an act has rothing in common with the liberty which is accorded to private commerce. It would take the turn of, borrowing from the language of the Conventions, an acte peu amical towards the other belligerent. For example, Spain is in law ne point interdire as far as the Andalusian cosechero; is concerned, and may deliver the wine necessary to quench the thirst of the German troops, but she she must not sell, to arm the Germans, the sabres or the bayonets fabricated at Toledo, because the factory established in that city -still so remark ble under other aspects-is a workshop of the State.

During the war of 1870 some arms were sold at auction by the Government of the United States, and bought by an agent of the French Government. A commission appointed by the American Government to inquire into the matter reported that "the American Government, being engaged in this sale before the war, had not violated its neutrality by continuing its operations during the war": (cf. G. Louis, Ambassedeur de France, (l. 1877, p. 303).

Formerly neutral States were free to act as they pleased; they were free to permit their subjects to sell everything, or to interdict them from selling anything to belligerents. They likewise regulated the transit. The neutral had only his own diplomatic propriety to consult, and occasionally it was inconvenient for him to have a clear view of it. Individuals of a country which has not forbidden trade with the belligerents lose nothing of the advantage of neutrality by trading with the belligerents. Art. 18 of the Fifth Convention before referred to protects them, for it enacts (inter alia):-"The following acts shall not be considered as committed in favour of one of the belligerents: (a) The furnishing of supplies or the making of loans to one of the belligerents: (Chap. 3, Des personnes neutres)."

Moreover, this licence does not derogate from the customary law, such as it has appeared in the Déclarations de Neutralité pronounced by the French Government on the occasion of previous wars. France prescribed to her subjects not to commit any hostile act against either of the parties," or to do anything "contrary to a scrupulous neutrality." She forbade them "to take service" in favour "of one or other of the belligerents," but she did not forbid them continuing, at their own risk and peril, to trade with the belligerents, on the conditions that they showed no special favour to one of the contending parties: (vide Georges Louis, Ambassadeur de France, cl. 1877, p. 303; cf. Message of President Pierce to Congress of the United States, Dec. 1854, ibid., note 1). The principles of the French Government have been constant during half a century, as will be seen from the Décret du 10 Juin 1861; Declar. pour la Guerre Russo-Turque de 1877, Cl. 1877, p. 199; pour la Guerre Hispano-Américaine de 1898, CÍ. 1904, p. 471; pour la Guerre Russo Japonese de 1904, Cl. 1904, p. 469; pour la Guerre Italo-Turque de 1912, Cl. 1912, p. 634; pour la Guerre des Balkans, Cl. 1913, p. 278.

The neutral States do not at all use uniformly the economic liberty which the Conventions concede to them, in regard to They contend that the Conventions frequently belligerents embarrass them. Sometimes they forbid absolutely the exportation of such or such an article without any distinction between the neutral purchaser and the belligerent purchaser, for the reason— or on the pretext-that the article is indispensable for home consumption; sometimes they limit the quantity of goods which can be sold for destination to a belligerent or of an interposed neutral. It is the same with the matter of transit. They either permit it in full activity or they restrain it.

The precedents are instructive. Without any obstacle on the part of their respective Governments, the Prussians sold and delivered directly arms and munitions of war, food stuffs, &c., to the Russians during the Crimean War; to the Americans during the War of Secession; the English did the same to the French during the war of 1870-71, and the French to the Russians during the Russo-Japanese War 1904. With a generosity as impartial as it was profitable, the house of Krupp, which honours itself by counting the Emperor William II. of Germany among its shareholders, sold on demand ( bureaux ouverts) cannon, great and mall, to the Russians and Turks alike, the account for which was regulated by the Treaty of Berlin of the 13th July 1878.

The neutral State can, however, intervene in the course of this highly profitable business, and put an end to it by enacting a prohibition-general or special-of exportations for the assistane of belligerente. The Presidents of the United States have

had recourse sometimes to this means, which is equally at the di-posal of the English Government by a simple Order in Council (vide Sir Travers Twiss, tome 2, p. 458, the Paris edition of 1889, Le Droit des Gens). The law of the 13th April 1895, modifying art. 11 of the law of the 14th Aug. 1885, the case happening, enables the French Government to do the same.

PRIZE COURT.
Monday, Nov. 30.

(Before Sir S. T. EVANS, President).

THE SCHLESIEN. (a)

Enemy Ship-Signalling Apparatus fitted to Ship-Apparatus the Property of neutral Company-Part of Ship" Goods' Declaration of Paris-Limited Powers of Prize Court-Discretion of Crown.

THIS was a case in which the Crown claimed the condemnation of the steamship Schlesien, belonging to the Norddeutscher Lloyd Steamship Company. The ship was captured in the Bay of Biscay and taken into Plymouth.

The vessel was fitted with a submarine signalling apparatus which had been supplied by a Bremen agency of an American company, the Submarine Signal Company, and the company asked that the apparatus, although attached to the vessel, should not be condemned as it remained the sole property of the American company and had only been leased to the Norddeutscher Lloyd Company.

Colin Smith (for G. Lawrence, at present serving with His Majesty's Forces) for the Crown.

Leslie Scott, K.C. and Dunlop for the claimants.-The signalling apparatus remained the property of the American company and had only been leased to the German shipping company through their Bremen agency. It was impossible to produce the agreement referring to the matter as it was at present in Germany. The apparatus ought to be treated as goods. If this was so, the apparatus came under the category of neutral goods on an enemy ship, and was not subject to condemnation under the provisions of the Declaration of Paris. There was no authority upon the subject. The matter was one of the greatest importance, as there was a great number of these apparatus on various ships in different parts of the world. If it was held that the signalling apparatus could be condemned, probably the same rule would have to be applied in the case of the Marconi apparatus. In spirit, at any rate, the Declaration of Paris covered the property of the claimants.

Colin Smith in reply.-The apparatus was a part of the ship and was used in navigating the vessel. It could not be considered as coming in any way under the category of goods.

the

The PRESIDENT.-In this case, as far as the vessel is concerned, I condemn her as lawful prize, and there will be an order for her sale. As regards the submarine signalling apparatus which was fixed and fitted in the vessel, it has been said that it is the property of an American company, and in an affidavit which has been put in it is stated that the apparatus was supplied and fixed by an agency of the American company at Bremen. 1 know nothing whatever about the constitution of this so-called company and agency, and the document which was said to constitute the lease has not been produced. It is quite possible that by the constitution of the agency at Bremen German people were the real owners of the apparatus and that the American company had ceased to have any rights in it at all. But the evidence before me is altogether insufficient for me to say to which of the two it really belonged in law. There has been a document exhibited to me, and I am willing to assume that the terms of the lease were the same as those contained in the document, and that the ownership was settled by those terms. But that does not affect my judgment in this case. It has been argued on behalf of the claimants that the apparatus, as being the property of a neutral company, ought to be protected under the express terms of the Declaration of Paris. It is true that the terms "neutral goods" and "enemy goods found in the Declaration; but in every case when the question has arisen up to the present time the word "goods" has invariably been read as applying to cargo, and to cargo only. If reference is made to the French text of the Declaration, it will be seen that the word used is "marchandise," and it is quite clear to my mind that this means, and was intended to mean, merchandise. This submarine signalling apparatus is not merchandise in any

sense of the term.

are

to be

But, says Mr. Leslie Scott, we are at any rate within the spirit of the Declaration. The spirit of the Declaration, however, is to make things during a state of war as easy and as little disturbing as possible to those who are engaged in neutral commerce. It is

(a) Reported by J. A. SLATER, Esq., Barrister-at-Law.

at

obvious that in modern ships, especially those belonging to the same class as the Schlesien, there must be many kinds of apparatus installed, like the signalling apparatus, which actually form a part of the ship itself. Far be it from me to say that, if such apparatus could be easily detached from the ship, the captors of the vessel ought not, if they thought fit to do so, to hand over the same to the rightful owners. Such things as privately owned chronometers and compasses belonging to the captain and the crow of a vessel have been given up, and I have given general directions to the marshal that such things shall be given up. But it is a totally different matter to assert that claimants like those in the present case have a right to come to the Prize Court and say that a particular piece of apparatus which is attached to the vessel belongs to them and cannot be condemned. The claimants would, in fact, be making a request that the court should adjudicate as to their rights if they could be heard in a matter of this kind. The Prize Court does not exist for that purpose. It exists for the purpose of deciding whether, having regard to the ship as it stands, it is a subjectmatter fit for condemnation as prize. I have condemned the ship, and I am not called upon to investigate questions which touch the property in parts of the ship, whether those parts have been leased or whether they remain the property of the original lessors. I am not unmindful of the importance of the point raised, especially as it involves the question of the rights of neutrals. But it seems to me that the matter is one which must be dealt with by the Crown. If the Crown thinks that the apparatus is the property of the American company, no doubt it will be dealt with accordingly. As far as I am concerned, however, I consider that the apparatus forms a part of the ship, and it will be condemned.

Solicitor for the Crown, Treasury Solicitor.
Solicitors for the claimants, Waltons and Co.

Leave to appeal.

GENERAL INTELLIGENCE.

INSURANCE NOTES.

IN the LAW TIMES of the 3rd Oct. a strong appeal was addressed in these notes to the directors and actuaries of life insurance companies, and more especially to those to whose lot it falls to make the usual actuarial valuation at the close of the year. In spite of, nay, because of, the extraordinary depreciation of securities, it was urged that they should face the position courageously, and without seeking, as had been suggested in some quarters, a dispensation from the Government enabling them to avoid at the present juncture the publication of full and frank valuation balance-sheets. Although that appeal has met with warm support in many directions, the offices concerned are still considering their course, and an attempt, rather weakly made, to draw the Chancellor on the point has fortunately been unsuccessful. It is therefore not too late to urge that nothing should be kept from the knowledge of policy-holders. but that balancesheets should be duly published and the offices abide by the result. Where valuations are concerned, if no surplus be shown, no bonus should be divided; or if, as is more likely in the case of strong offices, a smaller surplus than usual be disclosed, then a modified rate of bonus only should be declared.

ONE very important and rather subtle suggestion has, however been put forward which is, on its face, so reasonable that it demands examination. In view of the enhanced earning power of money, it is held by some actuaries that valuations could now justifiably be made upon a higher rate of interest than hitterto; that an office which has been valuing for many years at 3 per cent. and earning an average rate of, say, £3 178. 6d. might to-day, when the average rate is perhaps £4 78. 6d., value upon a basis of 31 per cent. If the question be argued within strictly actuarial limits such a contention is undeniably tenable, but there is another view of the matter. It is upon the stringency of the valuation bases that the strength of the reserves primarily depends, and of all those bases the assumed rate of interest is undoubtedly the most important. It will hardly be contended that those offices which have been valuing at 3 per cent. in the past selected that figure because their rate of interest earned wasper cent. lower than that of the offices valuing at 3 per cent. Assuredly the offices valuing at 2 per cent. did not choose that stringent basis because they were earning £1 per cent. less on their invested funds than the 3 per cent. offices. The simple reason was that those offices were more prosperous, were conducting their business on a more profitable basis than the others, and were determined not to dissipate all their surplus strength in the nine days wonder of a few big bonuses, but to

make the fundamental security of all their contracts as unassailable as possible. They determined, in a word, to amass reserves far beyond any needs visible at that time, and, as a low valuation rate was the most convenient means to hand, that vehicle was widely adopted.

THE increased prosperity of the best life insurance offices and of late years a rise in the rate of interest earned has been one of the causes of increased prosperity-has never yet been used as an excuse for decreasing reserves, but, on the contrary, has been employed to augment them still further. But, brushing aside all technical sophistries, a reduction in the valuation rate of interest is, in reality, only the adoption of a convenient formula for releasing some of the reserves, and so providing a surplus for division as bonus to policy-holders and shareholders. Is the present moment one at which such a step should wisely and rightly be taken? Is there, moreover, any ground for thinking that the present depreciation of securities is a purely a temporary condition?

THE problem for a non-combatant nation is, of course, not the same as our own, but it is nevertheless rather startling to read that in America the Committee on Valuation of Securities of the National Convention of Insurance Commissioners has decided that the basis of valuation for the present year for Stock Exchange securities shall be the quoted prices of the 30th June. The New York Superintendent of Insurance in justifying this determination said: "Conditions prevailing on the 30th June were such that the prices then obtainable represented normal conditions. Immediately thereafter rumours of war and the declaration of war caused a marked decline in the value of securities. It would be unfair to penalise our insurance companies for a condition that is only temporary. There is no doubt at all that the intrinsic value of securities held by insurance companies has remained unchanged and that the decline in prices will be only temporary." It is difficult to understand what the superintendent means by "intrinsic value" in this connection, and one feels instinctively that it might be a somewhat dangerous innovation in connection with valuation balance sheets. When, however he goes on to say dogmatically that the decline in prices will be only temporary, it is impossible to agree with his view, so far, at any rate, as combatant Europe is concerned; and it seems hardly possible, under modern conditions of inter-linked finance, for the United States to exhibit a rapid, independent recovery in which Europe has no share.

WAR is not paid for out of income; the destruction of war is not repaired from current resources; all experience shows that it is only after the turmoil of actual warfare is over that the capital losses are finally declared in the prices of established securities. But already new values are beginning to emerge, and it is not necessary to wait until the Stock Exchange is reopened and the minimum price list withdrawn in order that the present true value of Consols may be appraised. The War Loan, floated upon a 4 per cent. basis, gives a gauge by which one can measure Consols, and so, in their turn, many of the fixed-income investments upon which the balance-sheets of the best of our insurance offices are so largely founded. Peering into the financial future, so dark and yet so fascinating, and where the factor of ti ne is of such supreme importance, one thing at least seems to the present writer to be a certainty, and that is the immensely increased earning power of new capital for many years to come, and the consequent and proportionate decrease in the capital value of the old fixed-income investments. During this great change life insurance offices will need to husband their reserves in every conceivable way, not to deplete them, and the depreciation of existing securities the depreciation both of to-day and of to-morrow-must become the first and constant care of all concerned in the direction of life insurance affairs. A bonus is not, after all, the prime object of a life insurance office, and, although it is in practice a factor of overwhelming importance in the attraction of new business, the actuary's first duty is to safeguard the ultimate interests of the office as a whole. The fact is that the best companies have been for so many years swimming in the prosperity of the long peace which this nation has enjoyed, so far as European war is concerned, that policy holders, shareholders, and actuaries alike have grown to regard a bonus as something natural and inevitable. It is, indeed, not at all an uncommon thing in discussions at the present time to hear it said that it would be very hard on the older policy-holders if thy did not get "their bonus" on the pre-ent occasion after having paid for it." As if the fact of having paid a with-profit premium gave them so strong a claim upon the office that the security of the company and the strength of the reserves should be considered after and not before "their bɔnus."

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