« EelmineJätka »
Held, that money paid by the plaintiff owing to a threatened seizure of his goods by the defendant could be recovered from the defendant if there had been no legal obligation on the plaintiff to make the payment, unless it was shown that payment had been made by the plaintiff in order to close the transaction between him and the defendant, and that in this case payment had not been made for the purpose of closing the transaction, and therefore the plaintiff was entitled to recover the amount claimed so far as it was not statute-barred. Appeal allowed.
[Maskell v. Horner. Ct. of App: Lord Reading, C.J., Buckley and Pickford, L.JJ. Jan 22, March 3, 4, and 24.Counsel for the plaintiff, Schwabe, K.C. and G. A. H. Branson; for the defendant, Upjohn, K.C. and Lord Tiverton. Solicitors: H. E. Tudor; Edward Bettesley.]
Will-Construction-Gifts void for Remoteness-Ultimate Gift over-Independent and affirmative Gift-"Without leaving lawful Issue as before mentioned."
A testator died in 1882 leaving a nephew R. D., who was a bachelor at the testator's death. R. D. subsequently married and died in Jan. 1914 leaving his wife surviving him, but without having had issue. By his will the testator, after making certain provisions for R. D. during his life, gave all the residue of his property upon trust for the first son born of the body of R. D. as should live to attain the age of twenty one years (provided such son should be christened J.' and should bear the name of "J. D." or, in case he should not be so christened, should assume and bear that name), the whole of the principal fund or capital to be paid over or transferred to him on his attaining the age of twenty-one years. And if R. D. should have no son so christened or so assuming the name of J. D. as aforesaid, then upon trust for the first son born of the body of either of the daughters of R. D. who should attain the age of twenty-one years (provided he should be christened or assume and bear the name of J. D. as aforesaid). And in default of there being any such son of the body of R. D. or of the body of either of the daughters of R. D. so bearing the name of J. D. as aforesaid, then in trust as to one-half of the capital of his residuary estate with all accumulations therein upon trust for the first daughter of R. D. who should have attained the age of twenty-one years, her ex-cutors and administrators, absolutely for her sole and separate use, such half being taken as far as possible out of such portion of his residuary estate as could not legally be devoted to charitable purposes, and as to the other half thereof as could be legally applied to charitable purposes. And in case of the death of R. D. without leaving lawful issue as before mentioned, then as to the whole thereof upon trust for certain charities as therein specified. In an action for the administration of the testator's estate a petition was presented by his next of kin and heir-at-law asking for payment out. It was decided by Astbury, J. that the ultimate gift was an alternative gift over providing for the event which happened of R. D. dying without leaving him surviving, or alternatively without having had a son, a daughter, or a son of a daughter, and was a valid gift. The petitioners appealed.
Held, that the words "without leaving lawful issue as before mentioned" meant the lawful issue before mentioned-viz : (a) son of R. D.; (b) son of R. D.'s daughter; and (c) R. D.'s daughter to the exclusion of son's daughter and daughter's daughter; that it did not mean lawful issue as before qualified -that was to say, qualified by majority or name so as to import the attainment of twenty-one years of age or the assumption of the prescribed name J. D.; that the event must be ascertained during the life of R. D.; and that therefore the trust for the charities was not void for remoteness. Appeal dismissed.
[Re Davey; Prisk v. Mitchell and Bawden. Ct. of App. : Lord Cozens-Hardy, M.R, Phillimore, LJ., and Joyce, J. Feb. 17 and March 16.-Counsel: P. Ogden Lawrence, K.C. and J. F. W. Galbraith; Sir Stanley Buckmaster (S.-G.), and Austen-Cartmell; P. F. S. Stokes. Solicitors: Robbins, Olivey, and Lake, agents for Grylls and Paige, Redruth; Solicitor to the Treasury; Walker and Battiscombe.]
HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE.-CHANCERY DIVISION. Lunacy-Foreign Lunatic-Securities of, in Hands of Bailees in England-Order to transfer by French Courts to AdministratorRefusal save with Order of English Court-Order as to Costs of Action.
These were two actions arising out of the same set of circumstances, which were as follows: L, a person of unsound mind not so found, deposited with the defendants for safe custody certain securities before he became of unsound mind. L. was a domiciled Frenchman residing in Paris, and, after he became of unsound mind, the plaintiff P. was appointed provisional administrator of his properties by the Civil Tribunal of the Seine, and, by a further order of the same court, was
empowered to receive all securities and moneys in the hands of the defendants, and to issue proceedings in the English courts to recover the same. Despite this order, the defendants required P. to bring this action so that they might have the protection of an order of the English courts in delivering up these securities. These actions were then launched and heard together. The defendants in their defence submitted to act as the court should direct, but claimed their costs of the action.
Held, that the respective defendants had exercised an undue and excessive amount of caution in refusing to hand over the securities without an order of the English courts, and that there would be no order as to costs. Didisheim v. London and Westminster Bank (82 L. T. Rep. 738; (1900) 2 Ch. 15) followed. [Pélegrin v. Coutts and Co.; Pélegrin v. L. Messel and Co. Ch. Div.: Sargant, J. March 18.-Counsel: J. F. W. Galbraith; F. E. Farrer; J. Austen-Cartmell. Solicitors: W. F. Greig ; Farrer and Co; Birchams and Co,]
Will-Construction-Advances by Testator to Son-Benefit given by Will to be taken in full or part Satisfaction of-Release of Debt --Indebtedness exceeds Benefits given-Words of Bequest involve Legacy of Difference.
A testator by his will made in 1900 gave the sum of £25,000 which he had advanced by way of loan at interest to his son T. to him absolutely, and directed that the same or so much thereof as should remain owing at his decease should be taken in full or part satisfaction of the legacy therein before bequeathed, and the testator made certain specific bequests by his will to T., who was also one of the residuary legatees and was entitled to certain contingent reversionary interests under the will. By a codicil made in 1912, after stating that the £25,000 was then owing with a large arrear of interest and that certain further advances with interest which he had made were also due, the testator directed that all advances to his son T. which should remain owing at his decease and all interest that might be owing on any such advances should be taken in full or in part satisfaction (as the case might be) of the legacy of £25,000 and the various other benefits given to his son T. by his will At the date of the death of the testator in 1914 the £25,000 and the further advances with large arrears of interest were still owing by T. and it was doubtful whether the benefits bequeathed to T. were sufficient in amount to satisfy his indebtedness to testator. This was a summons taken out (inter aka) to determine whether T. was liable to make good to the testator's estate such part (if any) as might not be discharged out of the legacy and other benefits given to him by the will of the £25,000 and the further advances and the accruing interest on such sums. The testator, in dividing up the specific gifts to his children, showed that he meant to produce equality and gave his residue among his children equally. Neither the will nor codicil contained any hotchpot clause.
Held, that, having regard to the dicta in Limpus v. Arnold (1884) 15 Q B. Div. 300) and the clear statements made by Lindley and Rigby, L.JJ. in the Court of Appeal in Re Cosier; Humphreys v. Gadsden (76 L. T. Rep. 31, (1897) 1 Ch. 325), there was no alternative but to decide that the words in the codicil amounted to a gift to the son of his indebtedness and were sufficient to involve a legacy to him of the difference of the two sums in the event of the debts exceeding the benefits given to him by the will.
[Re J. H. Trollope; Game v. Trollope. Ch. Div: Astbury, J. March 18 and 24.-Counsel: N. Micklem, K.C. and C. J. Parton; Hon. Frank Russell, K.C. and G. Edwardes Jones; J. AustenCartmell. Solicitors: Trollope and Winckworth; Drake, Son, and Parton.]
KING'S BENCH DIVISION.
Carriage of Goods-Railway-Special Contract to carry by Passenger Train-Carriage by Goods Train-" Owner's Risk "Exception of" wilful Misconduct."
G. sent forty half-bushels of cherries by S. E. and C. Company from Sittingbourne to Glasgow under a consignment note which stipulated that they should be carried by passenger train and "at owner's risk," except in the case of" wilful misconduct on the part of the railway company. The rate charged for the carriage of the goods was an alternative rate lower than the general rate which the company is entitled to charge "for the carriage of fruit by passenger train or other similar service." This alternative rate was higher, however, than it would have been for the carriage of such perishable merchandise by goods train. The cherries were sent off from Sittingbourne by a passenger train, but from London to Glasgow they were carried by an ordinary goods train of the M. Railway instead of a passenger train. In consequence of this their arrival was delayed, and they were damaged to the extent of 5s. per half-bushel. It was provided in the contract that it
should be deemed to be severally made with all companies parties to the through rate under which the merchandise was carried; and it was during any portion of this transit that the sender agreed to relieve the company from liability. At the trial in the County Court the railway company contended that the delay was not due to "wilful misconduct," and that they were therefore entitled to rely on the exception.
Held, that the term providing for carriage by passenger train was of the essence of the contract; that the special contract was no longer being performed, and the goods being carried at "owner's risk," during the transit over the M. Railway Company's line; and, therefore, that the S. E. and C. Railway Company was not entitled to rely upon the conditions in the consignment note. Foster v. Great Western Railway Company, 90 L. T. Rep. 779; (1904 2 K. B. 306) distinguished." [Gunyon v. South-Eastern and Chatham Railway Companies Managing Committee. K. B. Div.: A. T. Lawrence and Sankey, JJ. Feb. 12 and March 25.-Counsel: Hohler, K.C. and A. M. Latter; Lipson Ward. Solicitors: Busk, Mellor, and Norris, for Harris and Harris, Sittingbourne; H. H. Groves.]
Licensing-On-licence-Monopoly Value-Renewal of Licence— Application for new On-licence to diminish Monopoly ValueJurisdict on of Justices to grant-Licensing (Consolidation) Act 1910, s. 14.
By directions of the Attorney-General a writ of certiorari was applied for and granted in respect of an order made at Chelmsford by the confirming authority for the county of Essex on the 16th April 1913 confirming the licence granted to H. A. at the general annual licensing meeting on the 11th March 1913 at Witham in respect of the refreshment rooms at the Great Eastern Railway Station at Witham, and a rule nisi was granted calling on the defendant (A.) to show cause why the order made by the confirming authority confirming the licence should not be quashed. The question was whether the justices had any power to grant a new on licence in respect of these premises under the Licensing (Consolidation) Act 1910. The grounds upon which the writ was applied for were: (1) That the purported licence was a grant by way of renewal of a similar licence in force in respect of the same premises, and therefore the justices had no jurisdiction to grant or confirm such purported licence; (2) that the justices had no jurisdiction to grant or confirm the purported licence because it was not in the form prescribed by the Secretary of State and required by sect. 42 of the Licensing Act of 1910; and (3) that the order confirming the purported licence was bad and ought to be quashed. In 1906 an annual licence was granted in respect of the premises, and the monopoly value was fixed at £30 per annum for the first five years and thenceforward at £40 per annum. The licence was annually renewed in every year up to and including 1912, and was therefore in force on the 5th April 1913, but the licensee, finding that the monopoly value was greater than was warranted by the receipts, desired to have the monopoly value reduced, and gave notice of his intention to apply at the general annual licensing meeting for a new licence. On the 11th March 1913 the justices granted his application for a new on-licence. This new on-licence was granted subject to the following conditions: For a term of five years at a monopoly value of £15, subject to confirmation, and on condition that the existing licence (which was renewed) is surrendered immediately on the new licence becoming effectual," and this
new licence was confirmed by the confirming authority subject to the surrender of the existing licence in respect of the same premises. It appeared that the renewal licence was surrendered for the new licence on the 30th Sept. 1913. The owners of the premises were the Great Eastern Railway Company. The case of Rex v. Taylor raised the same point, the Crown contending in each case that the licensing justices had no jurisdiction to grant the new licence and thereby diminish the monopoly value, and that the confirmation thereof should be quashed. Cur. adv. vult.
Held (making absolute the rule in each case), that the licensing justices had no jurisdiction in the circumstances to grant the new on-licence, and that the order confirming the licence should be quashed.
[Rex v. Amendt and Rex v. Taylor. K. B. Div.: Lord Reading. C.J., Bray and Lush, JJ. March 26-Counsel: Ryde, KC. and C. E Jmes; Wootten, Curtis Bennett, and St. John Hutchinson; Attorney-General, Solicitor-General, and Daldy Solicitors: E. Moore; J. Barrett; Solicitor of Customs and Excise.]
Rating-Graving Dock-Whether Land covered with Water.
The plaintiffs owned certain graving docks adjoining Birkenhead Docks. These graving docks were used for the examination and repair of ships. A vessel to be repaired was floated in and the water was pumped out, the water being readmitted to float the ship out. When idle the docks were generally, but not always, pumped out. Each dock was approached by an entrance which was always covered with water up to the dock gate. An arbitrator, to whom the assessment for rating purposes had been referred by agreement between the plaintiffs and the rating authorities, held that the docks were not " land covered with water" within the meaning of sect. 211 (1) (b) of the Public Health Act 1875 (38 & 39 Vict. c. 55), and were consequently assessable at their full value, but stated a case for the opinion of the court.
Held, that where land is som times covered with water for the purpose of its use, it is a question of degree whether, looking at the nature of that use, it is land covered by water or not. In the present case the main purpose of the docks was to repair ships free from water. Water was necessary for the short time when the ship was being taken in or taken out, but, having been used for this purpose, it was got rid of. In these circumstances the arbitrator's decision was correct; but as the decision was ambiguous with regard to the entran es to the docks the case would have to go back to him on that point. Judgment for the defendants.
[Mersey Docks and Harbour Board v. Birkenhead Corporation. Scrutton, J. March 18.-Counsel; Maurice Hill, K.C. and Lias; Ryde, K.C. and A. H. Maxwell. Solicitors: Rawle, Johnstone, and Co., for W. C. Thorne, Liverpool; F. Venn and Co., for J. Fearnley, Town Clerk, Birkenhead.]
Mr. F. B. Leeming's Guide to the Income Tax (Effingham Wilson) has reached its fourth edition. It is a most efficient help to the perplexed taxpayer to find out his real liabilities.
We have received Part 5 of vol. 11 of Messrs. Stevens and Haynes' Criminal Appeal Cases, containing cases reported on the 25th Jan and the 1st, 8th, 9th, and 15th Feb., edited by Mr. Herman Cohen.
Aggs' Handbook on Bankruptcy. SURREY. Sweet and Maxwell, 3, Chancery-lane; Stevens and Sons, 119 and 120, Chancery-lane. Price 4s. net.
Patrons: HIS Majesty the KING; HER MAJESTY QUEEN ALEXANDRA.
E. C. P. HULL, Esq., J.P., Treasurer and Chairman. An ideal home for those requiring control with expert supervision, and needing Special Training in Useful
SCHOOLS, FARMING, TRADE-WORKSHOPS. Trust Funds available for the Children of Barristers, Solicitors, and Clergy of Church of England. Selected Cases admitted on Reduced inclusive Fees at the rate of One Guinea a Week. Those Unable to Pay admitted by votes of Subscribers, either free or with part-payment.
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Legacies as Endowments, or towards Sustentation Fund create lasting benefits for special needs. Full information of Mr. H. HOWARD, Secretary, 14-16, Ludgate-hill, E.C.
Telephone: 5297 City.
Robson on Trespasses and Injuries by Animals. University Press, Fetter-lane, E.C. Price 5s. net. Stone's Justices' Manual 1915. Butterworth and Co, Bellyard, Temple Bar; Shaw and Sons, 7 and 8, Fetter-lane, E C. Price 25s.
Cleobury Mortimer, Friday, at 10
Hertford, Wednesday, at 10.30
March, Thursday, at 10
Nantwich, Saturday, at 10
Newport (I. of W.), Wednesday, at 10
Newport (Mon.). Thursday and
Soham, Wednesday, at 2
South Shields. Thursday, at 10
Yarmouth, Thursday and Friday. Other sittings are specially fixed if necessary.
ALL legal practitioners whose duties lead them into touch with this branch of the law will do well to study, and carefully to master, the now rules which have been made by the Lord Chancellor in regard to those provisions of the Criminal Justice Administration Act 1914 which came into force on the 1st inst. These rules will supersede all the existing summary jurisdiction rules and forms, and it is hoped that these changes may pave the way to a number of reforms, and especially that the trouble experienced at the prisons through antiquated forms of commitment may shortly become a thing of the past, whilst the volume of time and trouble of a clerical description may be appreciably diminished. One of the main changes to be borne in mind relates to the assessment of fines. "Costs "have frequently formed a large, if not the largest, proportion of the penalty imposed, and the amount thereof is both variable and at times uncertain. With the commencement of April a new arrangement comes into operation, for the court and police fees up to and including conviction will not be imposed in addition to the fine, and in fixing the fine they are to be disregarded. When paid, the fine will be applicable under sect. 5 of the new Act to the satisfaction of those fees in the first instance. The result of the requirement that the courts are expressly obliged to consider an offender's means before fixing the fine may be to throw some difficulties of a practical nature on the benches and their clerks. It is extremely difficult at times to clear up with certainty the earnings of casual workers. Those who have tried know that "earnings may signify gross or net income, or they may mean the sum left for housekeeping after contributions
to clubs or relations or back debts, and many like reservations. So also a man's rent may be what the landlord would specify, or that sum less what a lodger pays, or that sum plus instalments of arrears of back rent, or that sum less allowance for cleaning a staircase. In a word, these requirements, if they are to be complied with, in reality may entail a special inquiry officer with knowledge of the local facts. Sect. 9 of the Prison Act 1898 is superseded, and a revised and extended version of it is supplied in sect. 3 of the new Act. A convicted prisoner committed in default of payment of a fine could reduce his term by part payment. Nowadays any term of imprisonment imposed by the magistrates in default of payment of any sum adjudged to be paid either by a conviction or by an order can be similarly reduced at any time after sentence. Part payment in future, before as well as after committal, will have effect in reducing the term by a period proportionate to the total number of days in the ratio which the sum paid bears to the total sum adjudged to be paid. In brief, the position now is that after sentence each day of imprisonment costs the prisoner some definable sum.
In order to avoid arithmetical problems of a high order, the magistrates may profitably select as a penalty some sum which can, without abstract fractions, be divisible by the number of days imposed by way of alternative to payment. These mathematical problems have already been performed under the earlier law by the prison authorities, and apparently now these will escape from them and the burden will rest on the clerks to the justices, who may confidently be expected to become purchasers of convenient ready reckoners. In working these out it will be necessary to remember that the first day of imprisonment does not count in fixing the amount to be paid, otherwise a prisoner could secure his immediate freedom by paying a sum less than the whole amount of the fine. From the practical working out then of this scheme it follows that a week's imprisonment (which, for these purposes may be treated as six days) may have its pecuniary equivalent fixed at 3s. or some multiple thereof. Similarly, a fortnight's imprisonment (being practically thirteen days) may be treated on a basis of 13s. or some multiple. The Home Secretary apparently desires imprisonment to be expressed in units of days or weeks in place of units of months, the latter being calendar periods under sect. 12 of the Prison Act 1898. Again, the Home Office desires that a defendant should be made to understand, in cases where a fine is not likely to be paid at once, that the payment of a particular sum will secure the reduction of a day, and in this we find an additional ground for magistrates adopting some convenient mathematical scale unless they desire to be at the end of a long day faced with intricate arithmetical figures. A rule will allow the refusal of some sum from the prisoner as part payment which has in itself no convenient equivalent in one or more days of imprisonment.
It has to be noted, however, that these regulations are intended to apply specially where fines are not likely to be paid at once, Where a fine is likely to be paid at once in court or within a short time, these pecuniary equivalents need not necessarily be considered. Where offenders are committed in default of the payment of moneys other than fines, sect. 3 of the new Act applies, which will, of course, be, as a rule, beyond the court's power to fix the amount of the sum in respect of which the committal takes place. It will be necessary to note that express orders will still be made as to damages or compensations or allowances to witnesses for which debts on conviction become liable. While forming no part of the costs affected by sect. 5, these outgoings are to be taken into account There as a portion of the sum adjudged to be paid under sect. 3. is something to note, moreover, in regard to the 28. fee chargeable for a warrant of commitment and the police fee for executing it. Sect. 5 does not touch these, for they are not fees " up to and including conviction," nor, again, does sect. 3 apply to them, for they are within the phrase an amount adjudged to be paid by the conviction." If it is desired to make a defendant pay these, an express order to pay will have to be included in the warrant of commitment. A defendant will have to be informed that this sum is to be paid by him, and that, until it is paid in full, no reduction of the term of imprisonment can be secured by him by part pay ments. The Home Office is not keen that this power should be exercised, but its existence may usefully be kept in mind when
it is apparent that a defendant is postponing the payment of a fine which he can quite well pay till after the issue of the warrant of commitment. In the same way where a distress is ordered the fee for the warrant will not be included. It is, on the other hand, plain under sect. 17 (5) that in no case will a prisoner have to pay for the expenses actually incurred in executing the warrant of commitment in the matter of conveyance to prison.
Among these new rules made by the Lord Chancellor there will be found some very important matter affecting the finding of money on a prisoner. Under sect 4, money so found on a prisoner who has been ordered to pay a fine or to pay money under an affiliation order or for wife maintenance can be applied towards payment if the court thinks well, and the allocation of this money will under these rules be effected on lines similar to those adopted under sect. 3, already mentioned, unless the court otherwise orders. Another power in sect. 4 is conferred whereby a distress issued by a court of summary jurisdiction can operate on money as well as goods, or such court can, instead of issuing a distress, issue a warrant of commitment in any case (not being a case of civil debt) where they think it expedient; but there will be borne in mind that sect. 25 provides for the safeguarding of hardship arising out of this extension of power which goes beyond that already existing by virtue of the Summary Jurisdiction Act 1879, s. 21 (3).
Turning to the subject of imprisonment, practitioners should note the powers afforded to put offenders between sixteen and twenty under supervision during the time allowed for the payment of fines. The object is to obviate committal and at the same time to facilitate the recovery of fines from persons who are often very elusive and blind to their larger interests. Again, it will have to be noted that hard labour can now only be imposed in those cases where the imprisonment is not in default of payment of a fine or other moneys. In this connection also it is not intended that in future questions as to health should determine whether a prisoner should be placed in the second division. Despite Home Office circulars, this seems still to be a paramount factor in determination, whereas the true criterion should be a person's general antecedents and character. The new rules should also be studied in regard to their provisions for working out the policy of the Criminal Justice Administration Act 1914 in connection with bail and remand. Here, again, it is hoped that a number of minor but vexatious difficulties will become forgotten. Much the same thing may be said in regard to payments under affiliation orders, which can be made by post, and there are new provisions in a rule regulating the procedure of attachment of income or pension.
As affecting the more personal interests of justices' clerks, the new Act by sect. 34 (inter alia) makes important changes. The clerks will now by the new rules be relieved of their duty to draw up convictions and orders except when required for special purposes, and magistrates will note a new rule under which the signature of one justice is to be sufficient for any order or conviction. There are further technical and minor alterations in regard to the court register and in the forms prescribed, except those relating to civil debt procedure and those under the Children Act. Magistrates will themselves note an increase of jurisdiction when acting singly in certain cases of drunkenness, and when acting together they have an extension of authority in regard to malicious damage to property and in regard to indictable offences set out in the schedules to the Summary Jurisdiction Acts 1879 and 1899, and also as regards probation orders. Unfortunately, sect. 7 of the new Act, which contemplates the existence of a probation society, is in effect, in a state of suspended animation, for no such society is yet formed. There might possibly be here an opportunity for the Charity Organisation Society to form a new department or to give its valuable experience in the organisation of such a body, for the purpose of such a body as that in contemplation would materially improve the condition of the poor-the object so closely within the ambit of that invaluable society's work.
Practitioners in the courts of summary jurisdiction will find that many of their ancient landmarks have been disturbed by the new Act and rules, and that they must perforce go to school again and learn to readjust their boundaries. Sect. 5 is the most momentous change both in the form and substance of procedure and policy, and it will be essential to grip what evils the Legislature wants to abolish and the means of abolition which it has provided for the purpose.
BANKRUPTCY LAW AND PRACTICE.
Bankrupt's Admissions not Evidence against Trustee.
ADMISSIONS made by a bankrupt in his answers to questions put to him at his public examination in bankruptcy cannot be used in evidence against the trustee in bankruptcy, who represents the creditors and not the bankrupt. Such was the decision of Mr. Justice Horridge in the recent case of Re Bottomley (March 15, 1915). It was required to be definitely pronounced in that case because there was a proposal before the court to read admissions of that description. Otherwise, it would seem that the point was too clear for argument. All the same, the decision may serve as a very useful reminder to the practitioner. It is because of the intervening rights of creditors that the person by whom they are represented cannot have used against him that which the bankrupt has said at his public examination. What he said before his bankruptcy may be admissible in evidence against himself or anyone claiming through or under him. But it is an entirely different matter when it comes to a proper recognition of the rights of his creditors. The statement, indeed, in Taylor on Evidence (10th edit., vol. 1, s. 294) disposes of any uncertainty on the point The circumstances in which in the present case it was sought to use the admissions of the bankrupt were these: The liquidator of a company, concerning the bankrupt's transactions and dealings relating to the shares and debentures in which he had been crossexamined at great length at his public examination, lodged a proof against the bankrupt's estate. The claim was for money had and received by the bankrupt for and on behalf of the company for which no consideration had been given by him. The proof was rejected by the trustee in bankruptcy on the ground that there was no evidence to support the same. Doubtless the bankrupt's admissions at his public examination would have assisted in establishing the liquidator's case if they had been permitted to be read. But when the manifestly sound reason for excluding those admissions is borne in mind, the existence of the rule that necessitates their exclusion becomes intelligible enough.
Second Lieutenant Harold Rolleston Stables. Royal Fusiliers, aged twenty-eight, of Dr. Johnson's-buildings, Temple, E.C., and Linton-road, Oxford, formerly of Horsforth, Leeds, barrister-at-law, who was killed in action "in France or Belgium," left unsettled property valued at £20,779.
Mr. Reginald Arthur Stephen, of Wootton Cottage, Northgate, Lincoln, solicitor, of the firm of Messrs. Tweed, Stephen, and Co., for many years registrar of Lincoln County Court, who died on the 5th Dec. last, aged sixty-one years, left unsettled property of the gross value of £21,214 9s. 7d., with net personalty of £19,638 68. 9d.
The Royal Courts of Justice Volunteer Training Corps is going into training for Easter at Merstham. Excellent quarters have been secured, and practice in shooting with service rifles will be available. There is room for a few more men, and members of other corps are invited. The charge for quarters and meals is 15s. a head. Applicants should communicate immediately with the Sergeant Major, Room 73, Valuation Office, Lincoln's-inn-fields, W.C.
The statements in the lay Press that in political quarters there is a considerable amount of discussion with reference to the date of a General Election may make it of interest to know that the present Parliament must cease to exist on the 31st Jan. 1916. By the Parliament Act 1911 (1 & 2 Geo. 5, c. 13) it is provided that "five years shall be substituted for seven years as the time fixed for the maximum duration of Parliament under the Septennial Act 1715." Under the statute commonly known as the Septennial Act (1 Geo. 1, c. 38, Parliament ceass to exist after seven years (now five years) from the day on which by writ of summons it was appointed to meet. The present Parliament met on Tuesday, the 31st Jan. 1911, and it must cease to exist not later than the 31st Jan. 1916-five years from the day on which it was by writ of summons appointed to meet.
The attention directed to the fact that Prince Howard, Duc de Talleyrand, a French subject, is Prince of the Principality of Sagan in Prussian Silesia, with an hereditary seat in the Prussian
House of Lords, and tofthe anomalous position thus created by the war, may remind us of the difficulties of double nationalities in our own constitutional system. It has happened with us that a person who was a Sovereign over one State was a subject in another, as in the case of the Duke of Cumberland, who, after his accession to the throne of Hanover in 1837, took the oath of allegiance in England and sat as an English peer by hereditary right. The present Duke of Cumberland, who is Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg, whose eldest son is the Kaiser's son-inlaw, and the Duke of Albany, who is reigning Duke of SaxeCoburg and Gotha, are both British subjects and members of the British peerage with bereditary seats in the House of Lords, and are both in active hostility as German princes against the forces of the British Empire. When in November last, by way of Parliamentary interrogation, the anomalous position of the princes as peers of the realm and nevertheless avowed enemies of the British Empire was pointedly brought to the notice of the Government with a view to ascertaining whether their attitude was consistent with their retention of British honours and hereditary seats in the British Legislature, the reply of the Prime Minister was that neither of these persons had ever actually sat in the House of Lords, and that it was not intended to consider their position or to take any steps in relation thereto till the conclusion of the war.
In a recent case in the Prize Court-The Roumanian (ante, p. 147; (195) P. 26)-the President, in the course of his judgment, cited certain cases from what he described as a most valuable and elaborate report in MS. which was drawn up by Mr. Rothery, a former registrar of the Court of Admiralty, during the Crimean War, and presented to one of our public departments in 1857." The President added that the report "represents two or three years' labour, and shows scrupulous care and great skill and learning. Its chief object was to ascertain how and to what extent captors had been rewarded for prizes taken. I could wish it were accessible in print to those interested in these subjects, and that is also the opinion of Mr. Roscoe, the registrar, through whose kindness I have become acquainted with it."
No doubt it is to the suggestion of the President that the work should be made generally accessible that we owe the announcement now made that the Stationery Office have the work in the press, it having been prepared for publication by Mr. Roscoe. As the report contains much information of an historical and legal nature on the subject of the seizure of enemy property at sea and in port, its publication should prove a valuable addition to the by no means copious literature on the subject which during the last few months has acquired a fresh significance. It may be added that Mr. Rothery, the compiler of the report, was for many years registrar of the Court of Admiralty, having been appointed to the office by Dr. Lushington; but perhaps he is best remembered as Commissioner of Wrecks, a position which he held from 1876 till his retirement, at the age of seventy-one, in 1888. He did not long survive his release from official work, as he died on the 2nd Sept. 1888.
A CAREFUL perusal of the addresses of the judges to the grand juries at the assizes now concluded shows that only in three counties in Ireland was there any real criminal business. It is a pity that these three exceptions to peace and order exist, but in the rest of Ireland the criminal statistics have not touched a lower figure since Parliamentary government began.
THE business of land purchase having received a great check on account of the war, and the strong desire of the British Treasury not to devote money to the objects when more serious and pressing demands exist, has raised in an acute form the question of the large staff employed at the office of the Irish Land Commission. The bulk of it was employed temporarily, and the sub-commissioners and inspectors will be able to return to the duties in which they were formerly engaged, but it is a very serious affair for the comparatively large number of barristers employed as examiners of title, who will find it simply impossible in these lean days to recover their position at the Four Courts. The salary of these examiners was fixed at £800 a year. On the o'her hand, they were warned at the time of their appointment that it was to be only temporary, and that the absence of work would lead to their discontinuance.
THE case of Reg. v. Gibson, which was decided by the Tyrone justices sitting at Fintona Petty Sessions last week, is most likely to be heard of again in the King's Bench Divison. The
accused was brought up recently on a charge of assaulting the police, and the court determined to sentence him to a month's imprisonment. When this was pronounced, the defendant opened a furious and scurrilous attack upon the magistrate who adjudicated, and could hardly be persuaded to desist. Thereupon the justices altered their order to six months' imprisonment. The prisoner then memorialised the Lord Lieutenant, and expressed deep regret for the attack upon the justices and for his general misconduct. The memorial was forwarded to the justices for their observations; two of them were in favour of overlooking the man's contempt of court, but the third absolutely refused to recommend that one hour should be taken off the six months' sentence. The chairman said it would have to be unanimous, and, as that was not possible, the defendant must now undergo the full period unless by the Royal clemency he be sooner released.
INTERNATIONAL, FOREIGN, AND COLONIAL LAW.
THE proviso in the Order in Council of the 15th March, that nothing therein shall prevent the relaxation of the provisions of this order in respect of merchant vessels of any country which declare that no commerce intended for or originating in Germany or belonging to German subjects shall enjoy the protection of its flag, contemplates the adoption of an attitude by a neutral Power which is clearly in excess of neutral duty. It is not a breach of neutrality for a neutral State to permit not merely traffic, but even contraband traffic, with a belligerent. Nor is the act of carrying contraband in itself illegal by English law unless prohibited by proclamation or Order in Council (The Helen, 1 A. & E. 1). The belligerent Government is left to confront and exact reparation from the offending neutral individual. Those States which have in fact prohibited the export of contraband, as the Netherlands and Brazil during the Spanish-American War and Sweden during the Russo-Japanese War, are justly regarded as having shown an excess of caution which goes beyond neutral duty. The suspension with a belligerent, during a war, of commercial relations by a neutral State might well be regarded not merely as exceeding the fair limits of neutral duty, but in the light of a distinctly unfriendly act.
Detention of Cargoes.
THERE is in the history of international relations and transactions not, indeed, a parallel, but a strong analogy, between the course adopted by the Government and enunciated in the proclamation of the Order in Council of the 15th March for the prevention of commodities from entering or leaving Germany "by measures to be enforced without risk to neutral ships" and the provisions of a treaty concluded between Great Britain and the United States in Nov. 1794, when it is remembered that the new measures adopted by Great Britain provide that any ship sailing for Germany or carrying goods owned by or intended for Germans will, save in special circumstances, be compelled to discharge her cargo at a British port, though neither the ship nor the cargo will be condemned, but both will be returned to their owners, it not being the intention to confiscate such vessel or cargo unless otherwise liable to condemnation. In 1793 the English Government seized all vessels laden with provisions to French ports> alleging as justification that there was a prospect of reducing the enemy by famine, and that the British nation was threatened by a scarcity of the articles directed to be seized. After the restrictions of 1793 had been revoked, a treaty was concluded between Great Britain and the United States on the 19th Nov. 1794 in which it was provided "that, although the difficulty of agreeing on the precise cases in which alone provisions and other articles not generally contraband may be regarded as such renders it expedient to provide against the inconveniences and misunderstandings which might thence arise, it is further agreed that, whenever such articles so becoming contraband according to the existing law of nations shall for that reason be seized, the same shall not be confiscated, but the owners thereof shall be speedily