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In the House of Lords, on Monday, the Lord Chancellor moved the first reading of a Bill to amalgamate the Lunacy Department and to transfer the power to make vesting orders to the Judge in Lunacy of the High Court.-The motion was agreed to.
In the House of Commons, Mr. Asquith made his promised statement regarding the course pursued in the appointment of justices of the peace, several questions standing in the names of Liberal members who are dissatisfied with the Lord Chancellor's selection of magistrates appearing upon the paper. After stating that in accordance with the recommendation of the Royal Commission advisory committees were to be established in all the counties, and that this would probably have been done by August, he observed that it need hardly be said that the Lord Chancellor would see that the committees were fairly and properly constituted and were of a representative character. It was intended that the committees should consider any names they might think fit for the Commission of the Peace, the Lord Chancellor himself not proposing to recommend names to them. Lord Lore burn had every expectation that when the committees got to work the results would be satisfactory. Committees were to be appointed in boroughs when they were required or desired. The Lord Chancellor desired greatly that a day should be given for a discussion upon the general question of the appointment of magistrates, but in view of the fact that the changes recommended by the Royal Commission had been so recently introduced, a discussion, in his opinion, would be premature. Mr Asquith also read a letter from Lord Loreburn in which he wrote: principles upon which this business has been transacted in my time were explained in my evidence before the Royal Commission last year. I believe they are sound, and I shall certainly adhere to them. as long as I remain Lord Chancellor, availing myself of the assistance I expect from the committees recommended by the Royal Commission."
Mr. King asked the Secretary for the Home Department when he intended to move the second reading of the Aliens (Prevention of Crime) Bill.-Mr. Churchill: I shall look for a suitable opportunity; but meanwhile the Bill, which has already been sent to a Grand Committee, gives full opportunities for amendment, and may perhaps be made to serve the purposes the Government have in view.-Mr. King: Is the right hon. gentleman aware that a large number of members would not have voted for the second reading of that Bill on Friday unless they thought that his Bill was also going to the Grand Committee?-Mr. Churchill: It will make no difference.
The House of Lords, on Tuesday, went into committee on the Movable Dwellings Bill-a measure of which Lord Clifford of Chudleigh is in charge-Lord Balfour of Burleigh, Chairman of Committees, presiding. The Bill gives power to a county council to prohibit the encampment of movable dwellings in any place where their presence might be dangerous to the public health. Clause 2, however, enables the council to create camping grounds "under such conditions as to area, situation, water supply, and otherwise, as may be approved by the Local Government Board," and it is declared to be the duty of the police to remove offenders.-Lord Clifford of Chudleigh moved a series of amendments which were the result of an understanding arrived at with the Local Government Board, the Home Office, and the Board of Agriculture. One of them proposed the omission of the proviso that it "shall be the duty of the police to remove offenders."-Lord Hylton and the Duke of Northumberland protested against the omission of these words which would cast on the servants of private owners a duty which belonged properly to the police.Lord Allendale said the Home Office insisted on the amendment.-The amendment was agreed to by forty-eight against thirty-three.-In the clause empowering a county council to prohibit or limit the number of movable dwellings which may be brought to any specified place. a further amendment was adopted on the motion of Lord Clifford of Chudleigh to provide that the county council “shall have due regard to the interests of the travelling showmen, so as to secure that they shall not be hampered in the exercise of legitimate business of their calling."-The Bill was reported to the House, with amendments.
In the House of Commons, Mr. Watt asked the Home Secretary whether the Commission set up to inquire into the statements of the London police in a recent murder trial was remunerated for its services; if so, what was the amount of that remuneration and the other costs connected therewith; whether the Commission inquiring into the question of taxi-cabs will be similarly recompensed; and, if not, would he say why this distinction between the two was made. -Mr. Churchill: Mr. Cave, who was good enough to hold the inquiry into the statement of a police witness at the trial of Stinie Morrison has not received any remuneration for his valuable and laborious services to the public. The members of the committee on London taximeter cabs are also giving their time and labour gratuitously. The other questions asked, therefore, do not arise.
Mr. Lansbury asked the Home Secretary for particulars as to the forcible feeding of prisoners during the past year.-Mr. Churchill: During the year ended the 31st March last, the cases of artificial feeding in the prisons in England and Wales were as follows: Suffragists, two males and three females; weak-minded persons, seven males and four females; medical cases in which there was physical inability to take food, three males and one female; cases of other prisoners in which food was refused from motives of perversity or misconduct, eleven males and five females. The total numbers are: twenty-three males and thirteen females. Medical officers were present at all cases except in the cases of one male under the third head and two females under the fourth head. The only extra cost was a fee of one guinea to an outside practitioner in one case.
In the House of Commons, on Wednesday, Mr. Alden asked the Home Secretary whether he was aware that the magistrates at Nailsworth Petty Sessions had committed Mr. Ford to prison for two months because he refused to pay an education rate of 18. 9d., though he offered to pay the poor rate of £1 14s. 3d.; and whether he would, under the circumstances, take steps to mitigate the severity of the sentence. Mr. Churchill replied that the facts were as stated. "The sentence," he added, "is stupid and vindictive, but I am advised that I have no power to annul it, as the prerogative of the Crown does not cover cases of civil debt. Mr. Ford must, therefore, suffer this ill-usage, but it is to be hoped the moral will not be lost upon the public.'
Sir Charles Henry asked the Prime Minister whether, as requests were made to him soon after the report of the Royal Commission on the Selection of Justices of the Peace was published to give the House an opportunity to discuss the terms of the report, he would give an early day for the consideration of that report; and that in the meantime the appointment of the advisory committees should not be proceeded with.-Mr. Asquith: No, sir; as I said on Monday, I should regard the discussion suggested by my hon. friend as inopportune at the present moment. I cannot comply with the request contained in the last part of the question. Mr. King asked the Prime Minister who had the power of appointing the members of Magistracy Advisory Committees ; whether appointments were made for a definite or indefinite period; whether the Lord Chancellor would receive recommendations from them directly or only through the Lords-Lieutenant; who would act as clerks of these committees; and whether the committees would be free to receive direct applications from gentlemen desiring to serve as magistrates. -Mr. Asquith: The Lord Chancellor appoints the advisory committees. In one or two cases they have been appointed for a short definite period, not exceeding two years, but in general no period is fixed, so that fresh members may be added or substituted at any time. Recommendations will doubtless usually come through the Lords, Lieutenant, with a statement that they are sent on the advice of the committee, but any member of the committee can communicate direct with the Lord Chancellor if he so desires, in regard to names or anything else. Each committee will make its own arrangements as to clerical assistance if required. The committees will be free to receive direct applications from any quarter as they may think fit. It is entirely a matter for themselves.
The consideration of the Copyright Bill was begun on the 27th ult. by a Standing Committee of the House of Commons. A long discussion took place on an amendment to exclude lectures from the advantages of copyright, which was ultimately rejected by thirty-three to eleven votes. An amendment exempting architectural designs from the scope of the Bill was also rejected. The committee adjourned till Tuesday, when Clause 1 was added to the Bill. On clause 2 there was considerable discussion on questions of newspaper summaries of copyright matter, pictorial reproductions, and reports of lectures, and varicus amendments dealing with these matters were adopted.
The Standing Committee of the House of Commons on Scottish Bills met for the first time this session on Wednesday, Mr. A. Henderson presiding, and dealt with the Public Health (Scotland) Act (1897) Amendment Bill and the Intestate Husbands' Estate (Scotland) Bill. The first-mentioned Bill extends to statutory bodies of trustees or commissioners the same powers a3 are possessed by local authorities under the Public Health Act with regard to water supply. The second has for its object to secure for widows in Scotland the same rights as were secured to widows in England by the Intestates' Estates Act 1890. Both Bille, after drafting amendments had been introduced at the instance of the Lord Advocate, were passed through committee and ordered to be reported to the House.
The meeting of Liberal members held on Wednesday to protest against the appointments of justices was largely attended. Mr. Silvester Horne presided, and among those present were Mr. Neil Primrose, Mr. Agar-Robartes, Mr. Cecil Beck, Sir G. White, Mr. W. McLaren, Mr. H. McLaren, Mr. Ellis Davies, Mr. Phipson Beale, Mr. A. Rowntree, Mr. Morrell, Mr. Winfrey, Mr. Essex, Sir M. Levy, Sir C. Henry, Mr. Wedgwood, Sir H. Verney, Mr. Markham, Mr. Higham, Mr. G. France, Mr. A. W. Black, Mr. Logan, and Mr. Webb. Profound dissatisfaction was expressed with regard to the constitution of the proposed advisory committees and the position of the LordsLieutenant in relation thereto. A small committee was formed to collect further information and to prepare a statement to be presented to the Prime Minister at an early date, when it is intended to ask for a day to discuss the report of the Royal Commission.
Captain Craig asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant whether he is now in a position to give the House full information as to the steps taken by the law officer of the Crown to trace the whereabouts of Mr. McCann and the children, who were taken away from their Protestant mother in Belfast without her sanction.-Mr. Birrell, in reply, states the police have made careful inquiry, and as the result believe that these children and their father have gone to the United States.
Mr. Burns, in reply to Mr. Essex, says the total number of loans sanctioned for small holdings and allotments since the 1st Jan. 1908 (the date on which the Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1907 came into force) is 1235, amounting to £2,028,430. Of these 1136 loans, amounting to £1,941,329, were sanctioned for small holdings, and ninety-nine loans, amounting to £87,101, for allotments.
The following is the text of Sir C. Henry's Bill to regulate the employment of motor-cars at elections: "1. A person shall not lend or employ for the purpose of the conveyance of electors to or from
the poll any motor-car, and if he lends or employs such motor-car, knowing that it is intended to be used for such purpose, he shall be guilty of an illegal hiring within the meaning of the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Act 1883. 2. A person shall not borrow or use for the purpose of the conveyance of electors to or from the pol! any motor-car, and if he does so he shall be guilty of an illegal hiring within the meaning of the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Act 1883. 3. The expression motor car' shall have the same meaning as in the Motor Car Act of 1903. 4. The Act shall be read as one with the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Act 1883." The Bill is backed by a number of Liberal members.
The Lunacy Bill introduced into the House of Lords by the Lord Chancellor has now been printed [Bill 64]. The memorandum states that the Bill is proposed in pursuance of the recommendation of the Royal Commission on the Feeble-minded, and leaves wholly unprejudiced the large settlement of the care of the insane and feeble-minded which the Royal Commission dealt with in its report. The Bill asks statutory sanction to a scheme set forth in the schedule for amalgamating the Masters in Lunacy, the Lord Chancellor's Visitors, and the Commissioners in Lunacy, with their respective officers, into one body. Another proposal of the Bill is to add two more medical men to the commissioners. The salary of the chairman is to be £2000 and that of each paid commissioner £1500 a year. Women are made eligible for appointment as unpaid commissioners.
A VERY considerable factor in the extraordinary interest created by the trial of the man Stinie Morrison and the commutation in his case of the sentence of death to that of penal servitude for life is undoubtedly the very growing disfavour to the infliction of capita punishment. It is not generally known that among the advocates of the abolition of the death penalty can be numbered a jurist of the great experience and comprehensive intellect of the late Sir William Harcourt, who regretted that public opinion in his time was not sufficiently ripe for the achievement of this change in the criminal law. The reply of Mr. Winston Churchill, the Home Secretary, to a question addressed to him the other day shows the wonderful progress in criminal law reform on humanitarian principles from the time when the multiplication of capital offences made the criminal code a mere sanguinary chaos. Mr. Churchill stated, with reference to the numbers of men and women respectively sentenced to death and the numbers executed in England and Wales in the years 1908, 1909, and 1910, that seventy-four males were sentenced to death in these years, of whom forty seven were executed, and ten females were sentenced to death, of whom not one was executed. In 1786 Sir Samuel Romilly observed that the number of capital offences was not less than 160. At that time it was an ordinary occurrence for ten or twelve culprits to be hanged on a single occasion, and for forty or fifty to be condemned to death at a single assize. In 1732 no less than seventy persons received sentence of death at the Old Bailey, and in the same year eighteen were hanged in one day in the city of Cork. Sir Stephen Janssen, who was Chamberlain for London, preserved a full list of capital convictions at the Old Bailey during the three and twenty years from 1749 till 1772. The number of persons condemned to death in these years was 1121. The number of executions was 678. In 1765 no fewer than ninety-six persons were hanged at the Old Bailey.
METROPOLITAN PRISONERS' AID SOCIETY.
MR. JUSTICE CHANNELL (chairman of the committee) presided at the annual meeting of this society, which was held at Inner Temple Hall on Thursday, the 27th ult. Among those present were the Rev. L. S. Hudson, the Rev R. M. Meiklejohn, Messrs. E. B. Charles, E. H. S. Bligh, A. F. Somerville, H. Brodrick, and C. H. Chadwick (secretary). The forty seventh annual report stated that the total number of cases dealt with in 1910 was 2557, in 986 of which the applicants received help; 238 were transterred to other societies, and 330 were met and taken care of by friends, leaving a balance of 1023 who for various reasons were not assisted. The chief aim of this, as of all similar societies, must be the provision of suitable work for exprisoners, and the difficulty attending efforts in that direction, always very great, tended rather to increase than to diminish. During the year, at the suggestion of the Prison Commissioners, representatives from the three prisoners' aid societies working in London-viz, the
Royal (Wormwood Scrubbs), the Surrey and South London (Wandsworth), and this society (Pentonville)-formed a joint committee to as the Borstal Committee at Wormwood Scrubbs, with the permanent officials of that prison. Each society agreed to provide 78. 6d. in respect of each juvenile adult prisoner committed from their respective districts, and the Home Office consented to add 10s. per head of the juvenile adults discharged from the prison. It was too early yet to predict whether the scheme would become permanent. It had been successful in bringing together the delegates of the three societies and in affording them an opportunity of comparing methods of dealing with the work. The societies which had undertaken the duty of looking after discharged prisoners had not paid sufficient attention in the past to co-operation. The committee had on several occasions called attention to the question of short sentences, especially in their relation to juvenile offenders, and had expressed the opinion that a few days' imprisonment was not only useless but mischievous in the case of a young man under twenty-one. Such a sentence merely familiarised him with the inside of a gaol, which he found to be no bad place. Every year some hundreds of lads were committed to Pentonville for very trifling offences disorderly conduct, begging, gaming, and the like. The term "begging included "glimming," which consisted in calling cabs when the West End theatres closed. The police were bound to keep good order in the streets and the magistrates were bound to punish offenders; but the remedy was at least as bad as the disease. It was now suggested by the authorities that no juvenile offender should enter a prison unless he was to stay there at least a month For offences meriting a lighter penalty he was to be sentenced to "deprivation of liberty" in a police station on successive Saturday afternoons and Sundays, or, as at present, to a few days' imprisonment. In the latter event the operation of the sentence would be suspended, and if the offender behaved himself he would not be called upon to undergo any punishment; if he offended again, the fame process would be followed until his sentences amounted in the aggregate to a month. He would then go to prison for that period. If this plan could be established on workable lines the resulting benefit to the community would be very great. The manufacture of young criminals by the State would cease. It would only be workable if the identity of the offender could be established on each occasion when he appeared in the dock, and in London this would be very difficult. A further proposal was to allow the payment of fines by instalments. Whenever the society was convinced that the immediate release of a juvenile offender from Pentonville was to his real advantage they paid the fine, but this did not very often happen. Most of the youths who came there picked up a precarious living on the streets, and they were better off, both physically and morally, in prison than they would be outside.
Mr. Justice Channell, in moving the adoption of the report, said that the Lord Chief Justice, their president, was always anxious to attend this meeting, but unfortunately he had an engagement on public business and therefore could not be present. The report spoke of a difficulty that was ever present in the minds of the judges, which arose from the fact that continement in prison had somehow grown to be of such a character that it was not altogether unpopular with those who were subjected to it. The report referred to one case where a youth had said that "in the workhouse you had to work hard and got bad food, while they treated you like a gentleman in prison." His own personal experience as a judge was that the cases where persons committed offences because they wanted to get back to prison were somewhat on the increase, and in many cases such persons who had come before him had said that gaol was a much better place than the workhouse. That being so, there clearly must be something wrong either in the workhouse treatment, or in the prison treatment, or in both. Naturally, the counties were not too well disposed towards the tramps who habitually went from town to town, and they did not make matters too pleasant for them in the casual wards where they were lodged for the night. The result was that some of the men who travelled about in that way came to the conclusion that they would try the prison in preference to the casual ward. One thing he noticed was that these offenders were persons who had been in prison already, and they were quite willing to go back there. As far as his experience went, the dread of going to prison for the first time was very keenly feit, and it acted as a strong deterrent to committing crime. But the person who had once been in prison had nɔ such dread, and he would commit some small offence-generally having conscience enough not to do any very great amount of harm-merely for the purpose of being sent there again. Sometimes a man would take a pair of boots, for instance, from outside a shop and would allow himself to be captured, when he would calmly say that his object was to get into prison for the night. Unfortunately, on the other hand, these persons sometimes did very serious mischief, such as setting fire to stacks or other valuable property, and this went on to a considerable extent. He was afraid that while one aspect of punishment-the reformation of the offenderwas kept in view, other aspects were rather ignored. The real object of punishment must be to prevent the accumulation of crime and to secure obedience to the law. One of the best ways, undoubtedly, of doing that was to reform the offender when he had been caught; but it was necessary to consider also the deterrent effect of punishment, and he was afraid that this had come to be lost sight of to a considerable extent. It was difficult to balance all the considerations which had to be taken into account when one was deciding what sentence should be inflicted on a prisoner. It must be equally difficult to determine how to deal with the offender when he was in prison; but it seemed to him that it was absolutely essential that prison should
not be made too pleasant, and he believed that this was a consideration which was somewhat apt to be forgotten in the desire-the very praiseworthy desire to bring about the reformation of the individual, and to turn him into a respectable member of society. Prison, nowadays, was made too pleasant, and he could not help thinking this was producing results which were far from satisfactory. He had visited a great many prisons, and he believed that the officials all did their duty with very great consideration, and with appreciation of the importance of their duties. In his experience the judges found considerable difficulty in making use of the probation officers. In some cases they were non-existent, and in others the judge was told, "We have such a person, but he is no use." The great difficulty in all these matters was to find the right men to do the work:
CRIMINAL LAW AND PRISON REFORM.
THE twentieth annual report of the Humanitarian League contains the following:
The chief event of the year in regard to this subject has been the announcement made by the Home Secretary of certain important reforms in the prison system, all of which have been strongly advocated by humanitarians during the past twenty years. We would especially mention the further modification of the" separate" system, the substitution of fines for imprisonment. the keeping of juvenile offenders out of prison, and the exemption of "political" prisoners from needless degradation. At a public meeting held by the League in the Caxton Hall in November, when an address was given by Mr. H. B. Montgomery, a resolution was passed welcoming Mr. Churchill's reforms. and expressing a hope that they will be made effective and still further developed. The committee was glad to be able to publish a pamphlet by Mr. John Galsworthy, entitled The Spirit of Punishment, a plea for a complete reformation in our methods of treating crime. The subject of the death penalty, owing to the number of recent executions, has been much in the public mind; and here, too, the league has been active. A large amount of literature has been distributed; and at a meeting held in the Caxton Hall on the 2nd Dec. a discussion was opened by Mr. Carl Heath, and a resolution passed in support of Mr. George Greenwood's Law of Murder Amendment Bill.
As in previous years, a strong protest has been made against the practice of flogging, and the League was actively engaged during the autumn months in opposing the attempt to induce the French Government to legalise the use of the cat-o'-nine-tails for "apaches.' The conduct of the English prison authorities in allowing a reactionary French journalist to make use of Wormwood Scrubbs Prison to obtain a tableau vivant of a flogging scene was brought to the notice of the Home Secretary, through a question put by Mr. Greenwood in the House of Commons, with the result that Mr. Churchill gave orders that no such facilities shall be given in the future.
Among other steps taken by the league we may mention the attempt so far unsuccessful-to obtain from the Admiralty an annual return of the number of canings still inflicted in the Royal Navy; a further exposure, in the Times, of the fallacious belief that garotting was put down by the lash; and a continued demand for the repeal of that section of the Vagrancy Act which gives magistrates at quarter sessions the power of flogging so-called "incorrigible rogues for trivial offences. It was also largely through the league's action that an inquiry was instituted into the conduct of the Heswall Reformatory School, which has resulted in very terrible revelations of cruel treatment A new edition of Sir Henry Cotton's pamphlet on Corporal Punishment in India has been very extensively reviewed and quoted in the Indian Press.
LIVERPOOL QUARTER SESSIONS.
JOSEPH JONES AND Co. v. OVERSEERS OF WEST DERBY UNION. Rating-Licensed Premises-Rateable Value-Extra Licence DutiesRate prior to passing of Act-Finance (1909-10) Act 1910 (10 Edw. 7, c. 8).
On the 7th and 21st Jan. last the Recorder of Liverpool (Mr. E. G. Hemmerde, K.C.) heard the above appeal, which raised important questions as to the effect of the extra licence duties imposed by the Finance (1909-10) Act 1910 upon the rating of licensed premises.
Ryde, K.C. and Rigby Swift (instructed by Edwin Berry and Co., Liverpool), for the appellants; Macmorran, K.C. and J. H. Layton (instructed by Cleaver, Holden, and Co., Liverpool) for the respondents.
On the 11th April the Recorder delivered judgment as follows:This is an appeal by Messrs. Joseph Jones and Co. against a rate made on the 1st April 1910 for the township of West Derby. The gross and rateable values appealed against are respectively £200 gross and £180 rateable. The notice of appeal was given on the 15th Dec. 1910, and due service of it was admitted by the respondents. The due publication of the rate was admitted, and the appellants and the respondents also agreed for the purpose of the appeal to assume that the gross value of £200 and the rateable value of £180 were, until the making of the last rate now under appeal, quite correct, and that they would have continued to be correct but for the Finance (1909-10)
Act 1910. Now, it is common knowledge and it is not disputed that this Act has imposed extra licence duties (which are very heavy in amount) in respect of licensed premises, and, consequently, the first point which I have to decide is this, whether the imposition of these new duties has or has not diminished the gross and rateable value of the appellants' premises for the purposes of the poor rate. Mr. Ryde contended, and I think rightly, that the gross and rateable values for the purposes of the rate must necessarily and inevitably be diminished by the imposition of the new duties on the licensed premises, and he cited in this connection the recent case of Rex v. Shoreditch Assessment Committee (103 L. T. Rep. 262; (1910) 2 K. B. 859). In this case the Court of Appeal decided that the heavy increase in the duty imposed by the Finance (1909-10) Act 1910 upon licensed premises in the metropolis is prima facie evidence of a reduction in value within sect. 47 of the Valuation (Metropolis) Act 1869, so as to entitle the tenant, if default is made by the overseers in sending a provisional list to the assessment committee pursuant to sub-sect. 1, to require the assessment committee to appoint a person to make such a list pursuant to sub-sect. 2 of that section. The Master of the Rolls said: "I cannot doubt that the increased duty of £95 must prima facie affect the gross value of the licensed premises; res ipsa loquitur. It is a sum the payment of which is essential to the carrying on of the business of a publican. It may well be that the whole sum will not ultimately fall upon the publican, but at first, at all events, it must be borne by him. It will be for the valuer, when appointed, to consider, not what is the correct value, but what reduction, if any, has taken place by reason of this cause,' starting from the assumption that £260 was the proper sum apart from this charge." And Farwell, L.J. said: One of the chief elements in value of a public house is the licence; the profitable use to which the premises can be put is dependent on the existence of the licence; and, in estimating the amount of such profit as bearing upon the amount of rent obtainable, the price to be paid for the licence necessarily comes into consideration. A privilege which cost £35 is obviously more valuable than the same privilege when it cost £130; and when the question is whether the reasonable man will give the same rent for a licensed house, the licence of which costs him £130, as he would give for the same house, the licence of which costs him £35, the only possible answer is in the negative." The judgments in this case seem to me to show beyond all doubt that the imposition of new increased duties must be taken to diminish the gross and rateable values. In all cases such as this the question resolves itself into what a reasonable man would give in the way of rent when there is an increase of duty to be faced. If the letting value of the premises is affected by the imposition of the new duties, the rateable value will of course be affected in proportion. So that the rateable value of premises really depends upon the amount which a hypothetical tenant might be expected to give for them in the way of rent. This point was really conceded by Mr. Macmorran in the course of his argument when he admitted that in the face of the Shoreditch judgment it would be impossible to say that the imposition of the new duty is not to be taken into account in some way or other, and it is, therefore, in my opinion quite clear that the imposition of the new and increased duties must of necessity cause a diminution in the gross and rateable values-at all events, for the purpose of future rates. But I am asked to go further than that. The rate under appeal was made on the 1st April 1910, and the Finance (1909-10) Act 1910 received the Royal Assent on the 29th April 1910, and by it the new duties were made payable in July of that year. The real point, therefore, which I am now called upon to decide is whether the fact that at the date the rate was made there was a strong prospect of the Act being passed was sufficient to cause & reduction in the rateable value by anticipation, and, after very careful consideration of the arguments on both sides, I feel I must come to the conclusion that that was in itself sufficient to cause such a reduction. At the time when the rate was being made, the problem before the assessment committee was, or ought to have been, this-What rent would a tenant be expected to give on the 1st April 1910 for the premises as they then stood with the licence and, in addition, the certainty or practical certainty of an extra and heavy licence duty? The principle has been laid down by the House of Lords in London County Council v. Erith (69 L. T. Rep. 725; (1893) A. C. 562), and is now firmly established, that the actual occupier is always to be regarded as a possible tenant for the purpose of ascertaining the rateable value of his premises, The definition of rateable value is given in the Parochial Assessment Act 1836 (6 & 7 Will. 4, c. 96), e. 1, and it follows, I think, from that that the rateable value is, in effect, the rent which a tenant might be reasonably expected to pay. Now it does seem to me that the fact that the Budget had been discussed for months prior to April 1910, in fact for a year previously, would of a certainty have influenced any "hypothetical tenant" (including in that term the then occupier), and the fact of the thing then being in the air would inevitably adversely affect and prejudice the value of the premises; and the evidence given by Mr. Wainwright on behalf of the appellants (which was not cross-examined to or in any way contradicted), when he said that he would not advise a tenant taking the premises on the 1st April 1910 to give the same rent before the passing of the Finance (1909-10) Act 1910 as when the passing of the Act was assured, seems to me to be conclusive. It cannot be doubted that even directly the Budget was introduced in 1909, and long before it became law as the Finance (1909. 10) Act 1910, the selling or letting value of licensed premises threatened by it became affected by the possibility of the imposition of heavier burdens in the way of licence duties, and the more the imposition of the new duties became certain and assured the greater would be the effect. The duty of the overseers was obviously to take this important factor into con
sideration, and, as was said by Coleridge, J. in Reg. v. London Brighton, and South Coast Railway Company (15 Q. B. 313, at p. 367) the sessions ought to avail themselves of every light that can be' afforded them down to the latest period antecedent to the actual making of the rate, in order to bring it to the greatest possible accuracy. The overseers, in making a prospective rate, are to make it on the supposed prospective value ascertained by them, as well as they can, from the latest evidence in their power as to antecedent value." The rent and the consequent rateable value, therefore, ought to have been fixed with reference to what the tenant thought was going to happen, which naturally would influence him in determining what he would give as rent for his premises. The person who had to make the calculation of the rateable value ought to have taken this into consideration. The case cited by Mr. Ryde-Bullfa and Merthyr Dare Steam Collieries (1891) Limited v. Pontypridd Waterworks Company (89 L. T. Rep. 280; (1903) A. C. 426)-seems to be somewhat analogous to the present case, and the remarks of Lord Halsbury give support to the proposition I have laid down. Mr. Macmorran argued that, under the provisions of the Union Assessment Committee Act 1862 (25 & 26 Vict. c. 103), ss. 25 and 26, and the Union Assessment Committee Amendment Act 1864 (27 & 28 Vict. c. 39), 8. 1, the objection which a person is entitled to make in respect to the valuation of his property must be an objection which would have held good on the day upon which the rate was made. This, indeed, may be so, but in any event I think that the effect of the Finance (1909-10) Act 1910 was to make the valuation on the 1st April 1910 in fact so wrong that an objection taken at the time would have been a good objection, although apart from that Act the valuation would have been correct. The appellants, it is true, might have taken steps to compel the overseers to bring in a supplemental valuation list under the provisions of the Union Assessment Committee Act 1862, but such a list would have had no retrospective effect and would not have affected the correctness of the valuation as from the 1st April 1910. For the reasons given, therefore, I am of opinion' that the fact of the Finance (1909-10) Act 1910, containing provisions for the imposition of the increased duties, being before Parliament ought to have been taken into account by the overseers when they made the rate on the 1st April 1910, because that fact clearly operated on the minds of the appellants and other licenceholders in such a way as to make them unwilling to give the rent for their licensed premises, which they would otherwise have given. This being the case, the only remaining question is as to how far the proposed imposition of new duties did in fact diminish the value of the licensed premises, and this point is not without difficulty, because the value of the premises, may not have been reduced to the full amount of the increased duty, inasmuch as the tenant might possibly have thought he would gain some compensating advantage in that the new heavy duties might cause some competing or rival licensed house to be shut down owing to the tenant's inability or unwillingness to meet the increased demand upon him in the way of duty. As to this, however, it is not necessary to go further into details, for the evidence given by Mr. Wainwright upon the matter was not seriously contradicted, and Mr. Macmorran to all intents and purposes accepted his figures as correct. It would appear, moreover, from the very recent decision in Wrigglesworth v. The King (27 Times L. Rep. 154) that the new duty is to be calculated upon the old assessment, and the judgment of Channell, J. would seem to justify Mr. Wainwright's method of calculation and the figures he arives at. Taking into consideration the Revenue Act 1911, the parties have now agreed that the rate must be amended accordingly by substituting for the figures £200 gross and £180 rateable, £161 103. gross and £145 10s. rateable.
COUNTY COURTS, EQUITY, AND BANKRUPTCY CASES.-Published quarterly, price 4s.-HORACE Cox, County Courts Chronicle Uffice, Windsor Hour, Bream's-buildings, E C.-ADVT.] WHERE TO FIND YOUR LAW.-Being a Discursive Bibliographical Essay upon the various Divisions and Sub-Divisions of the Law of England, and the Statutes, Reports of Cases, and Text Books containing such Law, with Appendixes for Facilitating Reference to all Statutes and Reports of Cases, and with a Full Index. By ERNEST Arthur Jelf, M.A., of New College, Oxford, Barrister-at-Law of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, and of the SouthEastern Circuit. Third Edition, greatly Enlarged, price 10s. 6d., post free.-HORACE COX, "Law Times" Office, Windsor House, Bream's-buildings, E. C.-[ADVT.]
THE COUNTY COURTS CHRONICLE AND GAZETTE OF BANKRUPTCY.— To enable it to treat more completely of the many matters on which the Judges, Officers, and Practitioners require to be kept_regularly informed and to give to it the importance which, as the Journal of the County Courts, and their long-established official organ, it is entitled to assume, it has been greatly improved and enlarged in accordance with the extension of the Jurisdiction of the County Courts under 30 & 31 Vict. c. 142, 46 & 47 Vict. c. 52, 51 & 52 Vict. c. 43, and 53 & 54 Vict. c. 63. The Reports of Cases relating to County Courts Law decided by the Superior Courts are in octavo form, as more convenient for citation in Court. Communications are specially invited to the department of "Queries," which is designed to do for the County Courts what the "Justice of the Peace" does for the Magistrates' Courts. N.B.-The " County Courts Chronicle" was commenced with the County Courts. It is recognised as the official organ of the Courts. Monthly, price 1s. 6d. -HORACE COX, "Law Times" Office, Windsor House, Bream'sbuildings, E.C.-[ADVT.]
SITTINGS OF THE COURTS. FOR THE WEEK ENDING SATURDAY, MAY 13. Aberayron, Thursday, at 10 Aberystwyth, Wednesday, at 10 Abingdon, Wednesday (Reg., at
Ashborne, Wednesday, at 10
Bath, Thursday (By at 11), at 10
Birmingham, Monday (L.). Tues-
Thursday (L.), and Friday (L.),
Bishop Auckland, Tuesday and
Blackburn, Monday, at 9.30
Blyth, Monday, at 10.30
Bow, Monday, Wednesday, and
Bradford (Yorks), Tuesday, Wed-
Bury, Monday (J.S.), at 9
Clitheroe, Thursday, at 9.45
Deal, Friday, at 10.45
Grays Thurrock, Wednesday, at 11
Halifax, Monday and Tuesday, at
Hitchin, Monday, at 10
Hull, Monday, Thursday, and Fri-
Hungerford, Monday, at 11.15
Lampeter, Wednesday, at 10
Leicester, Friday (R. By), at 11
Llandilo, Tuesday, at 10 Llanidloes, Monday, at 2 Long Eaton, Thursday, at 11 Louth, Friday, at 10 Lowestoft, Wednesday Lymington, Friday, at 10.30 Lynn, Thursday, at 10
Machynlleth, Tuesday, at 10
Mansfield, Friday, at 10
Market Harborough, Monday, at
Ramsgate, Wednesday, at 10
Rawtenstall, Tuesday, at 9
Rhayader, Monday, at 10
Ripon, Saturday, at 9.30
Salisbury, Thursday, at 10
Sevenoaks, Monday, at 9.30
Shipston-on-Stour, Tuesday, at 10
Southampton, Tuesday (By at 11),
Southend, Thursday, Friday, and
South Shields, Thursday, at 10
Spalding, Wednesday, at 10
Stalybridge, Thursday, at 10
Welshpool, Thursday, at 10
Whitchurch, Saturday, at 10
Wednesday, and Thursday
Woodstock, Friday, at 12
Woolwich, Wednesday, at 10.30 Worcester, Wednesday and Friday, at 10
and Thursday (By)
Yarmouth, Thursday and Friday
Other sittings are specially fixed if necessary.
COPNALL ON LOCOMOTIVES ON HIGHWAYS.-Post 8vo. price 3s. 6d. -HORACE Cox, "Law Times" Office, Bream's buildings, E.C.[ADVT.]
DINNER TO THE BENCH AND THE BAR.
THE Fishmongers' Company gave their annual dinner to the Bench and the Bar at the Hall of the company on Wednesday. The Prime Warden (Mr. William Thomas Brand) occupied the chair, and among those present were the Master of the Rolls, Lord Justice Vaughan Williams, Lord Justice Kennedy, Lord Justice Buckley, Mr. Justice Grantham, Mr. Justice Darling, Mr. Justice Joyce, Mr. Justice Eve, Sir Samuel Evans, Mr. Justice Pickford, Mr. Justice Scrutton, Mr. Justice Hamilton. His Honour Judge Sir William L. Selfe, His Honour Judge Woodfall, Sir Thomas Hewitt, K.C., Messrs. T. R. Hughes, K.C.. J. Roskill, K.C., E. C. Clayton, K.C., English Harrison, K.C., A. Pollock, Ernest Baggallay, T. C. H. Hedderwick, C. H. Sargant, Archibald H. Bodkin, S. A. T. Rowlatt, G. W. Ricketts, Sir Nathaniel J. Highmore, the Hon. William Walsh, the Hon. Reginald Walsh, the Hon. Victor Russell, Messrs. Edwin H. Freshfield, Robert Humphreys, S. P. Bucknill (secretary of the Law Society), A. P. Simpson, Travers Humphreys, George Evans (Renter Warden), W. P. Haskett Smith (Warden), and Mr. J. Wrench Towse (clerk).
The loyal toasts having been given from the chair,
The Prime Warden proposed the health of "The Bench and the Bar."
The Master of the Rolls returned thanks for the Bench. He said that the Prime Warden had expressed his satisfaction that England had impartial judges. The judges were proud of their impartiality, but the independence of the judges was even a more vital thing for the State than their impartiality. He regarded the independence and impartiality of the judges as one of the pillars of the State. Time was when the great danger with which the judiciary had to deal was the encroachments of the Crown, and against these encroachments in defence of the rights of the public the judges of those days did much to assert, to defend and to secure those rights. Happily that danger was no longer imminent, but he thought there was another danger which was much more real in the present day than in the days that were past. It was the danger of encroachment by the executive. He had seen some signs, he thought, of attempts by the executive to interfere with the judiciary. Against all such attempts he believed he could pledge his colleagues and himself that they would offer the extremest resistance in their power. But there was another danger, in his opinion, connected with the executive. Of recent years it had been the habit of Parliament to delegate their great powers to Government departments. The real legislation was not to be found in the statute-book alone. It was to be found in the statute-book plus certain rules and orders which were made by some Government departments under the authority of the statutebook itself. He was one of those who regarded that as a very bad symptom, and as one which was attended with very great danger. For what did administrative action mean? Well, it very generally meant something done by a man whose name one did not know sitting at a desk in a Government office, free from all the good influence of public criticism, very apt to be a despot unless he was kept in check by that which was the only possible mode of keeping him in check-the interference of the courts of justice. It had been-he hoped it would always be-the duty of the judges and their endeavour to secure as far as possible that the powers intrusted to departments of Government and to the executive generally should be exercised reasonably and judicially and not for political motives. That was really not more than a small part of their work. Those present knew—and he certainly had no intention of going over the ground-very well what was the daily round of the duties of the judges. He was happy to say that the business of the courts had never in his memory been in such a satisfactory state as at the present time. Practically speaking there were no arrears. The Chancery Division was absolutely abreast of its work. The block in the King's Bench Division which existed last year or the year before had been removed, mainly by reason of the two additional judges appointed last year. It was true that matrimonial disputes were plentiful, but, judging by the rate at which divorces were granted, there was no reason to suppose that there would be any great difficulty in getting through the work of that branch of the law. As for the Court of Appeal, thanks to the strenuous exertions of the Lords Justices, it was impossible to make any complaint with regard to it on the ground of arrears. All this was something of which, he asserted, the members of the Bench had some reason to be proud. But it must not be thought that the judges were so vain as to imagine that the kind things that were said of them deserved to be said because of their own individual merits. No, the judges were the inheritors of great traditions. They really thrived and lived largely upon the reputation of the great men who had gone before them, and was Bure it would ever be their earnest endeavour to do nothing throughout the course of their judicial life to bring discredit upon the high historic post which they filled, or to tarnish or impair the dignity and importance of their office.
Mr. English Harrison, K.C., responded for the Bar. He observed that the functions of the Bar were being a good deal extended in the present day. Its members were not only expected to address the courts of this country, but they had to go abroad, and in such places, for instance, as at the Hague tribunal they were expected to advocate the interests of the country. They were expected to address tribunals
composed of various foreign judges of great distinction, and under circumstances of considerable difficulty. But the records of the Bar showed that its members were always ready to do their duty whether they were addressing the courts of this country or of a foreign country. This seemed to be a matter which was likely to develop, because, owing to treaties which were now under negotiation, the leaders of the Bar might have to go forward and perform the function of advocates in the courts of foreign countries. But there were plenty of the younger men who were coming on who would maintain the prestige of the Bar and would conduct their cases with just as much assurance, vigour, and eloquence in the future as those who had gone before them had done in the past.
Lord Justice Vaughan Williams proposed the health of "The Prime Warden." He said that the City companies had in the course of their career of centuries done wonderful work for the nation. They had done so centuries ago and they did so now, but he thought there never was a time when they had done so much for the country as during the last hundred years, particularly with regard to education, both in founding schools and in assisting the acquirement of knowledge in other ways. He gathered from the speech of the Master of the Rolls that some people were beginning to think that a time had arrived when even the Courts of Justice might be superseded, at all events to a certain extent, by another and a very different tribunal. He had no fear upon that subject. He was an optimist, and he believed that in the long run people would recognise to the full the value of such great institutions as the ancient City companies, and they would be satisfied of the great benefit of the administration of justice by the judges alone. He had not the slightest fear of the substitution of departmental clerks for the administration of justice by the justiciary.
The Prime Warden, having returned thanks, proposed the health of "The Visitors," including in the toast the many solicitors who were present. Sir Nathaniel J. Highmore returned thanks, and the proceedinge
An excellent selection of music was provided at dessert, under the direction of Mr. Harry Stubbs, by Miss Ursula Ray, Miss Adelaide Rind, Mr. Harry Stubbs, Mr. Greeves Johnson, Miss Florence Jennings (violinist), and Mr. H. Hearn (accompanist).
APPOINTMENTS UNDER THE JOINT STOCK
NOTICES OF APPEARANCE AT HEARING MUST REACH THE SOLICITORS BY 6 P.M. ON THE
ALBERT BARKER LIMITED.-Creditors to send in, by May 26, to T. D.
ANONA MINING AND MAHOGANY COMPANY LIMITED.-Petition for windingup to be heard May 16, at Royal Courts of Justice. Woodthorpe, Browne, and Co., 27, Clement's-la, E.C., sols. for pet. Notices of appearance by May 15.
BRITISH SIGARERA LIMITED.-Petition for winding-up to be heard May 9, at Royal Courts of Justice. R. F. and C. L. Smith, 26, Lincoln'sinn-fids, W.C., sols. for pets. Notices of appearance by May 8. BADCOCK, SLADE, AND POOLEY LIMITED.-Creditors to send in, by June 12, to H. J. Richardson, 56, Trilby-rd, Forest Hill, S.E. BIRKENHEAD AND DISTRICT MINERAL WATER MANUFACTURING COMPANY
LIMITED.-Creditors to send in, by May 15, to J. R. Simm, 56, Hamilton-sq, Birkenhead.
COOKE BROTHERS AND THE LIVERPOOL DAIRY COMPANY LIMITED.-Creditors to send in, by May 16, to T. B. Maccabe and A. Thraves, 30, North John-st, Liverpool. EXPRESS MOTOR CAB COMPANY LIMITED.-Petition for winding-up to be heard May 9, at Royal Courts of Justice. A. Benjamin and Cohen, College-hill-chmbrs, College-hill, Cannon-st, E.C., sols. for pets. Notices of appearance by May 8.
G. AND D. MUSGRAVE LIMITED.-Creditors to send in, by June 1, to H. Mather, 10, Acresfield, Bolton.
HAMBURG AMERICAN ROLLER RINK COMPANY LIMITED.-Creditors to send
MINES AND BANKING CORPORATION LIMITED.-Petition for winding-up to
RHONDDA TRAMWAYS CONSTRUCTION SYNDICATE LIMITED.-Creditors to send in, by May 8, to L. B. Schlesinger and W. B. Cownie, Queen Anne'schmbrs, Westminster, S.W.
R. J. PARVIN LIMITED.-Creditors to send in, by May 29, to R. J. Ward, 2, Clement's-inn, Strand.
TEMESVAR MINING COMPANY LIMITED.-Creditors to send in, by May 29, to G. Thomson, 65, London-wall, E.C.
TINTWISTLE WATERWORKS COMPANY LIMITED.-Creditors to send in, by May 27, to S. Fletcher, 39, Norfolk-st, Glossop. VICTORIA MOTOR TYRE MANUFACTURING COMPANY LIMITED.-Petition for winding-up subject to supervision of the court, to be heard May 9, at Royal Courts of Justice. R. Raphael and Co., 59, Moorgate-st, E.C., sols. for pet. Notices of appearance by May S.
CREDITORS UNDER 22 & 23 VICT. a 35. LAST DAY OF CLAIM AND TO WHOM PARTICULARS TO BE SENT. ALLEN (Richard Chapman), Ware. June 30; Gisby and Son, Ware. ALSING (Albin Casimir). Hampstead. June 24; P. W. Chandler, 8, Newct, Lincoln's-inn, W.C.