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Of this catalogue the Secretary for Scotland Act is the magnum opus of the Convention of recent years. The circumstances which led to the creation of this great officer of State are interesting. For many years dissatisfaction had been expressed at the way in which business relating to Scotland was treated by the Imperial Government, and prominent among the non-contents was the Free Church leader, the late Rev. Dr. Begg. He had expressed his views in writing to the late Provost Stevenson, of Haddington. After Dr. Begg's death, when every utterance of this patriotic Scotsman was received with marked attention and respect, the provost published the letter in the Scotsman. Dr. Begg was an ecclesiastic of the stern unbending form of Presbyterianism, far removed from Chalmers or Guthrie in attainments and breadth of thought, yet in Scotland he was turris fortissima. The movement which culminated in the creation of a Secretary for Scotland owed its initiation to Dr. Begg, but the bringing it to a successful issue is due to the late Mr. William Officer, S.S.C., then agent of the Convention, who at the time of his death about five years ago was the doven of practising solicitors in Scotland, if not in the United Kingdom. Provost Stevenson's letter came before the Standing Committee of the Convention, and the agent, his office being the most ancient of the Convention, was instructed to convene a great national meeting. The work arduous and colossal, extending over many weeks. Every public man in Scotland was written to from the premier duke to the chairman of the smallest school board, university professors, the heads of all the legal, medical, surgical, scientific, and other learned bodies, with the result that on the 16th Jan. 1884 the Marquis of Lothian presided over a great national meeting in the Assembly Hall of the Free Church College in Edinburgh. From five minutes past one until a quarter past four in the afternoon the various speakers, including men of such diverse views as the present Viceroy of Ireland and the ex-Premier, urged the necessity of a special Scottish Department. As far as the memory of the present writer serves him, only two of the Scottish peers were not in sympathy with the movement-the late Duke of Argyll and the Earl of Wemyss. They feared that the proposal might eventually lead to Home Rule for Scotland. The metaphysical nature of the Scotsmen assembled was no less apparent than the determination displayed, and in less than a year the Duke of Richmond and Gordon was installed as the first Secretary for Scotland.
In conclusion, it may be observed that what Scotland founded seven centuries ago in the time of King David I. should have its counterpart in England in the reign of Queen Victoria, for in 1890 an Act was passed giving legal sanction to the Association of County Councils of England and Wales-a body the objects of which are almost identical with those of the Convention of the Royal and Parliamentary Boroughs of Scotland.
The "Clerk" Publishing Society has brought out a neat little handbook on Public Speaking and Chairmanship, by G. E. O'Dell, which the author calls a litt.e book for propagandists. Much of it has been taken from the pages of The Clerk, where what Mr. O'Dell calle his brief and very unvarnished talks first appeared. The book is the only one that deals both with speaking and chairmanship. It is also the only book giving graduated instruction, and written specially to suit the needs of propagandists.
The Hibbert Journal for July contains an article by James Devon, which constitutes a protest against mechanical methods and abstract rules in the treatment of criminals, and a plea for treatment based on a thorough study of individual cases. The Rev. J. Dawson, writing on aeroplanes, says: "The ambition of the aviator is to sow the sky with machines as thickly as the sea is sown with ships, and when once the fleet of steel-built frames has spread itself across the heavens the beauty of the firmament will die."
Palin and Martin's Chairman's Manual. Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons Limited, 1, Amen-corner, E.C. Price 2s. 6d. net.
Jenkinson on the Promotion and Accounts of a Private Limited Company. Gee and Co., 34, Moorgate-street, E. C. Price 28. 6d. net. Holland's Student's Guide to Company Law. Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons Limited, 1, Amen-corner, E.C. Price 2s. 6d. net.
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LEGISLATION AND JURISPRUDENCE.
THE Second Peace Conference (Conventions) Bill recently presented by Sir EDWARD GREY is intended to enable certain conventions to be carried into effect, and for that reason it is essential to amend the law relating to international tribunals, neutrality, and other matters. The Bill's title is due to the fact that the conventions were drawn up at the second Peace Conference held at The Hague in 1907, but as yet unratified. The Bill gives a Secretary of State power to issue orders enforcing the attendance of witnesses and compelling the production of documents before an international tribunal appointed to settle international questions. These orders are to have the like effect as if the proceedings before the tribunal were an action in court and the order were a formal process issued by the court in the due exercise of its jurisdiction. Disobedience to the order will be visited as contempt of court. A member of such a tribunal, if not a British subject, is to be treated whilst residing or travelling in any part of British dominions for the purpose of his duties as an Ambassador and public Minister of a foreign State, and to enjoy the privileges conferred by law or custom on such persons. Clause 2 empowers His Majesty by Order in Council (without prejudice to other powers exercisable to enforce neutrality obligations) to make regulations as to the supply of fuel and provisions to belligerent vessels, the intern-. ment of belligerent troops, and as to the erection of wireless telegraphic apparatus. Clause 3 prohibits the painting of vessels white outside with a broad horizontal band of red or green so as to resemble a hospital ship, the display of the Geneva flag, a red cross on a white ground, being the reversal of the federal colours of the Swiss Confederation. Clause 4 provides for the delivery up of sick, wounded, or shipwrecked men, being combatants during or after a navab engagement. The master of a British ship having such on board shall on demand being made in person by or on behalf of a commissioned officer actually in command of a belligerent warship deliver to him all such men. This is not, however, to cover the case, except as regards British hospital ships, where the officer is an officer of a warship of a State at war with His Majesty. This measure is to extend to the whole of His Majesty's dominions.
THE withholding of writs of summons from peers, which is the basis of Lord LANSDOWNE'S Bill for the reconstitution of the House of Lords, is not a proposal of startling novelty. It finds already a place in the statute-book. The Bankruptcy Disqualification Act 1871, 8. 8, provides: "A writ of summons shall not be issued to any peer for the time being disqualified from sitting or voting in the House of Lords." The proposal of withholding writs of summons under certain conditions, has proceeded from members of the peerage and has been heard in the House of Lords long before Lord LANSDOWNE's reform proposals were submitted to the judgment of the country. Thus the EARL of DUNRAVEN. in moving the second reading of the House of Lords (Constitution) Bill on the 20th April 1888, said: "In one respect only did he touch the rights of the Crown-namely, by enacting that for the future peers on creation should be entitled to a writ of summons only after election (by their fellow peers)." His proposition involved dissociating in future "a peerage as an honourable distinction from a peerage as necessarily conferring a seat." On the 21st March 1889 Lord CARNARVON moved a Bill, whose title "Lords (Discontinuance of Writs) Bill." plainly shows that such a remedy was, in certain cases, within his contemplation.
LORD LANSDOWNE's Bill, however, presupposes that the possession of an hereditary peerage carries with it the right of its holder to receive a writ of summons to the House of Lords. A man does not become a Lord of Parliament and cannot take his seat in the House of Lords until a writ of summons has been issued under the Great Seal to summon him to Parliament. The Lord Chancellor as a Minister of the Crown issues the writs of summons in that capacity alone. Mr. FREEMAN, in his article on the Peerage in the Encyclopædia Britannica, says: "It is hard to see how, except when they have been taken away by Act of Parliament, any powers which were exercised by EDWARD I., can be refused to Queen VICTORIA." Mr. FREEMAN thinks it is not too much to fix the reign of EDWARD I. as the time when the hereditary Parliamentary baronage began without rigidly ruling that a King could not lawfully refuse a summons to a man who had been summoned already. "One may," he said, "certainly doubt whether EDWARD I., when he summoned a baron to Parliament, meant positively to pledge himself to summon that baron's heirs for ever and ever, or even necessarily to summon the baron himself for every future Parliament. The facts are the other way; the summons still for a while remains irregular: (see Nicolas' Historic Peerage
xxiv., xxv., ed. Courthope; Lords' Report, ii., pp. 29-290). But the perpetual summons, the hereditary summons, gradually became the rule, and that rule may in a certain sense be said to date from 1295. If the Lord Chancellor as a Minister of the Crown, acting with the approval of his colleagues in the Cabinet and backed by the House of Commons, were to withhold writs of summons to the House of Lords, it would be difficult to suggest any method by which the peers could assert or maintain the principle that an hereditary peerage confers a right to a writ of summons.
THE expression of Viscount Midleton in debate in committee of the House of Lords on the Parliament Bill on the 28th ult., that the privileges of the House of Commons have increased, are increasing, and ought to be diminished, is an adaptation of the celebrated resolution of Mr. Dunning (Lord Ashburton) moved in the House of Commons in committee of the whole House on the 6th April 1780: "That the influence of the Crown bas increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished." The Lord Advocate, Mr. Dundas (Viscount Melville) endeavoured to diminish the force of this resolution by the prefatory words: "That it is necessary to declare." The Opposition assented to this amendment, and the resolution was carried by a majority of eighteen. The debate was signalised by the speech in support of the resolution by the Speaker, Sir Fletcher Norton (Lord Grantley), who had a great career at the Bar, bearing his personal testimony to the increased and increasing influence of the Crown. George III., writing to Lord North in reference to this resolution, said: “I wish I did not feel at whom it was personally levelled : (Brougham's Works, iii., p. 144; see May's Constitutional History of England, i,, pp. 52-53).
THE Complaint of Lord Alverstone, the Lord Chief Justice, in discussion in committee of the Parliament Bill on the 29th ult., that the House of Lords would have neither the right of amending nor of rejecting a Money Bill, may recall the fact to recollection that the right to reject Money Bills when the power of amending those Bills could no longer be exercised was regarded by the House of Lords as a very inconsiderable and a merely nominal advantage. When in 1671 the Commons denied the right of amendment of Money Bills by the Lords, in the broadest terms the Lords thus argued : "If this right should be denied, the Lords have not a negative voice allowed them in Bills of this nature, for if the Lords, who have the power of treating, advising, giving counsel, and applying remedies, cannot amend, abate, or refuse a Bill in part, by what consequence of reason can they enjoy a liberty to reject the whole? When the Commons shall think fit to question it they may pretend the same grounds for it" (Hatsell, iii., p. 405). The Lords complained that "a hard and ignoble choice was left to them, either to refuse the Crown supplies when they were most necessary or to consent to ways and proportions of aid which neither their own judgment or interest or the good of the Government or people can admit": (Hatsell, iii., p. 452). In argument Sir Erskine May says: "The Commons were content to recognise this barren right of the House of Lords to reject Money Bills in the seventeeenth century, though it may be questioned whether they would have submitted to its practical exercise": (May's Constitutional History of England, ii., p. 106).
AMENDMENTS standing in the name of Lord Ellenborough to the Parliament Bill in its progress in Committee in the House of Lords, providing that the Sovereign should be invested constitutionally with the power of dismissing his Cabinet or dissolving Parliament, but that such powers should not be exercised on more than one occasion in a year, limit rather than extend the powers in these respects vested in the Sovereign unreservedly, not only in virtue of his prerogative, but by constitutional usage. "There is," writes Mr. Gladstone, one great and critical act, the responsibility for which falle momentarily on the Sovereign; it is the dismissal of an existing Ministry, and the appointment of a new one... Unconditionally entitled to dismiss the Ministers, the Sovereign can of course choose his own opportunity. He may defy the Parliament if he can count upon the people": (Gleanings of Past Years, i.. pp. 230-231). "The King might," writes Sir William Anson, "while Parliament was sitting enter the House of Lords, take his place on the Throne, desire the House of Commons to be summoned to the Bar of the House, and then and there dissolve or prorogue Parliament. These acts would be operative, but the King's Ministers would be held responsible and would decline to accept responsibility for acts done without their
advice. A capricious use of the prerogative in these respects meets with a practical check, for a King would experience much difficulty in finding Ministers to serve him under conditions in which they were credited by the public with acts done without their knowledge and probably contrary to their judgment" : (Law and Custom of the Constitution, ii., The Crown, part i., pp. 47-48). Again, “The right of the King to dissolve Parliament is unquestionable. In fact, one may say that within the limits of the Septennial Act the King holds the life of a Parliament in his hands. But for a dissolution of Parliament effected by the Sovereign proprio motu without the advice or against the advice of his Ministers we must go back to the days before responsible Government" (Law and Custom of the Constitution, i., Parliament, p. 304).
To a question asked by Mr. Grant on the 28th ult. whether in the event of the creation of peers to facilitate the passage of the Parliament Bill through the House of Lords the House of Lords possessed the legal power to refuse to allow such peers to sit and vote, Mr. Asquith replied that it was a matter on which Mr. Grant was as well able to form an opinion as he. In 1856 before the meeting of Parliament Ministers advised Queen Victoria to issue letters patent to Sir James Parke, lately a Baron of the Exchequer, creating him Baron Wensleydale for life. The letters patent were issued, but the Lords loudly protested against the intrusion of a life peer. Lord Wensleydale was disabled by a fit of gout from presenting himself with his writ of summons on the first day of the session, and Lord Lyndhurst proposed to refer his exceptional patent to the Committee of Privileges. This motion was opposed by the Government, whose spokesmen contended that, without reference from the Crown as in the case of disputed titles to peerages, the Lords had no authority to adjudicate upon the right of a peer to sit and vote in the House, but on a decision the patent was referred to the Committee of Privileges by a majority of thirty-three, who made a report to which the House agreed, that "neither the letters patent nor the letters patent with the usual writ of summons issued in pursuance thereof can entitle the grantee to sit and vote in Parliament ": (Clark's House of Lords Cases, v., p. 958). The Crown submitted to the decision of the Lords, and Lord Wensleydale soon afterwards took his seat, on being given another peerage, as an hereditary peer of the realm (see May's Constitutional History, i., pp. 290-298).
THERE is no suggestion in the debates on the Wensleydale peerage that the Lords had power to exclude from sitting and voting in the House of Lords the holder of an hereditary peerage. The ground of interference in the Wensleydale case was the nonhereditary character of the peerage granted. It is implied throughout the discussion that if the peerage had been hereditary the House would not have been competent to interfere. But the decision in the particular case is based on a theory of far wider application which becomes a matter of present interest by the question put to Mr. Asquith by Mr. James Hope immediately after the Prime Minister's reply to Mr. Grant, as to whether he was quite sure that the Lords did not possess a legal power inherent in their House to refuse under certain circumstances to allow certain peers to sit and vote. The House of Lords in the Wensleydale peerage case undoubtedly interfered with the exercise of the prerogative of the Crown. If the decision in that case be accepted there is no reason why the House of Lords should not exclude peers with hereditary grants on the ground that the Royal Prerogative had been improperly exercised. As a prerogative of the Crown can only be limited by legislation, the House of Lords by their action in relation to the Wensleydale peerage had exercised legislative functions. If the precedent of 1856 be regarded as sound in law, there is nothing in the British Constitution to prevent the House of Lords from limiting the number of their own body, and the late Lord Salisbury had, no doubt, the Wensleydale peerage case in his memory when he declared that it would be within the competence of the House of Lords to exclude persons who were created peers if, in the opinion of that House, they had been created with an improper motive-that ie, for the purpose of passing a Bill to which a majority in that House was opposed.
In the House of Lords on the 29th ult. the Parliament Bill again occupied the whole sitting, and a further amendment by Lord Cromer dealing with the joint committee was carried by 192 again forty-eight. The first clause having been passed, the committee entered on the discussion of Clause 2, and adjourned until Monday.
The House of Commons continued, and again adjourned, its debate on the Declaration of London. The Attorney-General was among the principal apeakers.
In the House of Commons Mr. M'Callum Scott asked the UnderSecretary for India whether the Secretary of State for India was
aware that Sir Edmund Cox, late Deputy Inspector-General of the Police in Bombay, had recommended that no confession made by an accused should be admitted in evidence unless made in open court before the tribunal trying his case; and whether, in view of the frequency of the cases in which confessions made to policemen had been shown to have been extorted by torture, and the practice already adopted in the United Provinces, the Government of India was prepared to make such amendment in the law as was necessary to carry out this recommendation. Mr. Montagu: The Secretary of State has seen the recommendation referred to. My hon. friend is no doubt aware that confessions made to policemen are already inadmissible in evidence. As regards confessions made before magistrates, instructions similar to those issued in the United Provinces have been issued in most of the provinces of India. If my hon. friend will refer to the answer that I gave to the hon. member for Leicester on the 28th March he will observe that the Government of India are engaged in the revision of the Criminal Procedure Code and, in view of this, these questions are being carefully considered.
In the House of Commons, on the 30th ult., the Intestate Husband's Estate (Scotland) Bill, which assimilates the law of Scotland to that of England by securing for widows in Scotland the same rights as were conferred on widows in England by the Intestates' Estates Act 1890, was read a third time.
In the House of Lords on Monday the Parliament Bill was again discussed in committee, and a large number of amendments were disposed of.
The House of Commons concluded its debate on the Declaration of London, and rejected Mr. Butcher's amendment to the second reading of the Naval Prize Bill by 301 votes to 231. The Bill was then read a second time. Mr. Balfour, Sir E. Grey, and Mr. Asquith were the principal speakers before the adjournment.
The House of Lords continued its debate in committee on the Parliament Bill on Tuesday. Lord Lansdowne, who moved an important amendment, Lord Morley, and Lord Curzon of Kedleston were among the principal speakers.
In the House of Commons Captain Murray, in asking leave to introduce a Bill to amend the law in respect of warning instruments on motor vehicles, said many residents in London and other urban areas had great difficulty in obtaining a due amount of sleep owing to the excessive and varied nature of the noises made by warning instruments on motor vehicles. He had received many letters from people all over London asking him to press forward this grievance. He thought the columns of the daily Press during the last week or so were sufficient proof that the matter called for imme. diate remedy. It was quite possible that much might be done without legislation if the drivers of motor vehicles were required to keep them under such control as would obviate the necessity of hooting loudly when approaching a corner. The object of the Bill was to give the President of the Local Government Board power to make regulations defining the nature of the warning instruments which might be used in certain areas at certain times-Leave having been given, the Bill was brought in and read a first time.
Mr. Morrell, on the motion for the adjournment, called attention to the detention of Miss Kate Malecka, a British subject, in the prison of Warsaw, in which city she had been earning her living as a teacher of music. This lady, he said, had now been imprisoned for three monthe, and he desired to ask the Foreign Office whether any definite charge had been made against her, and whether there was any truth in the allegation that the British Consul was only permitted to communicate with her in German. -Mr. Noel Buxton supported the request for intervention, and expressed the belief that if Lord Palmerston were in office the lady would have been set at liberty long ago. Mr. KcKinnon Wood said that it was a very difficult question to decide whether Miss Malecka was a British subject. The British Embassy, which had taken up the matter with great energy, was taking the opinion of Russian lawyers on the question. The Russian Government had not met the Foreign Office in an unfriendly spirit. Our Consul at Warsaw had visited the lady in prison and allowed her friends to supply her with necessities. Miss Malecka was charged with an offence of conspiracy against the State. She was allowed to converse with our Consul. What would we say if the Russian Government made such a demand on us ?-Mr. Wedgwood: We would bring her to trial.-Mr. McKinnon Wood said the British Government had asked that should be done, and had requested that the question of her nationality should be decided. What the result of the inquiry was they did not yet know.-The right hon. member was speaking when at 11.30 the sitting was automatically brought to
In the House of Commons, on Wednesday, Mr. MacNeill asked the Prime Minister whether his attention had been directed to reflections cast by Mr. Justice Grantham in a speech at Newcastleupon Tyne on the 28tb ult. on Ministers of the Crown; and whether the Government proposed to take any, and, if so, what, action in this matter. Mr. Asquith: My attention has not been called to the subject referred to otherwise than by this question. I do not propose to take any notice of it.
M. McNeill asked the Speaker whether the motion of censure upon the Home Secretary, which had appeared on the paper for a whol, month, was in order. He submitted that it was not in order, and was incapable of discussion in that House. It was proposed to censure the right hor. gentleman for words pronounced in that House
in reference to the judges in their collective capacity. Such a motion was irrelevant, vague, and contradicted the primary notion of order in that House.-The Speaker: I presume the motion was probably put down by the hon. member for York (Mr. Butcher) in a moment of indignation at some of the language which he heard used here. I shall be glad to use any influence I may have to persuade the hon. member to take it off the paper. I understand that the hon. member does not suggest that the Government should afford him a day for the discussion of the motion, and that being so, I think it is desirable it did not appear. At the same time I must point out to the hon. member that merely because it happens to be a vote of censure upon a distinguished official that is no reason why it should not appear on the paper. If the hon. member looks at the next notice he will find that it is a vote of censure on the Lord Chancellor himself. I have a very distinct recollection that I suffered under this grievance for the space of about two months, when one hon. and distinguished member put a motion down censuring my conduct and never took any opportunity of bringing it forward. I did not care to complain.
Mr. Nield asked the President of the Board of Trade if he would state under what Act the Birkbeck Bank was registered or incorporated a company, and by what authority it carried on its business of banking; and, in the event of there being no such authority, what steps, if any, the Government proposed to take to enforce liability for the debts of the bank against those who were personally responsible for the conduct of its business.-Mr. S. Buxton stated that the Birkbeck Bank was carried on by the Birkbeck Permanent Benefit Building Society, which was formed in 1851 under the Building Societies Act of 1836. Under the society's rules the directors had power to borrow money. Whether this power constituted sufficient authority to carry on a banking business or not was a matter which the liquidator, when appointed, would have to carefully coneider.
Mr. Rendall asked the Prime Minister whether, with a view to the unification of the law throughout the Empire, he would advise the appointment of a Royal Commission to inquire and report what parts of the law were fit to be codified, and how the codification of such parts as were fit for the purpose could best be proceeded with.-Mr. Asquith: The question of uniformity of the laws of the Empire engaged the attention of the Imperial Conferences of 1907 and 1911, and my hon. friend is no doubt familiar with the discussions and resolutions in which stress was laid on the desirability of a larger measure of uniformity. I do not think that any useful purpose would be served by the appointment of a Royal Commission.
LAWYERS IN THE FRENCH CABINET.
THE new French Cabinet consists of sixteen members of whom eight are lawyers, the same number as was in the late Ministry. The complete Cabinet consists of M. Caillaux, Président du Conseil et Ministre de l'intérieur; M. Cruppi, Justice; M. Delcassé, Marine; M. Messimy, Guerre; M. de Selves, Affaires étrangères; M. Klotz, Finances; M. Steeg, Instruction publique; M. Augagneur, Travaux publics; M. René Renoult, Travail; M. Lebrun, Colonies; M. Pams, Agriculture; and M. Couyba, Commerce; and the four UnderSecretaries of State: M. Malvy, Intérieur; M. René Besnard, Finances; M. Dujardin-Beaumetz, Beaux-Arts; and M. Chaumet, Postes et télégraphes.
The lawyers are the following :
M. Jean Cruppi, the Minister of Justice, was born at Toulouse on the 22nd May 1855. He is an avocat à la Cour d'Appel de Paris, and was formerly avocat général à la Cour de Cassation. He has been deputy of Haute Garonne since 1898. In the Clemenceau Cabinet he was Minister of Commerce and in the late Ministry Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was formerly vice-president of the Chamber.
M. de Selves, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, is also a native of Toulouse and sixty-three years of age. He is an avocat and has been bâtonnier of the Montauban Bar. He was nominated prefect of the Seine in 1896, and was elected senator for Tarne et Garonne in 1909. He is a nephew of the late M. de Freycinet, formerly président du conseil (Premier).
M. L. L. Klotz, Minister of Finance, is a Parisian, born in 1868. An avocat à la cour d'appel de Paris. M. Klotz has been Deputy of Somme since 1898. He held the same portfolio in the Briand Cabinet.
M. Jules Steeg, Minister of Public Instruction, who is forty-three years of age, was born at Libourne. He is a professor in the University of Paris, and an avocat à la Cour d'Appel. M. Steeg, who is also a journalist, was first elected a deputy for Paris in 1906. He filled the position he now occupies in the late Cabinet.
M. René Renoult, the Minister of Labour, was born in the French capital in 1867. An avocat à la Cour d'Appel de Paris, M. René Renoult has been returned to the Chamber for Haute Saone since 1902. In M. Briand's Cabinet he was Under-Secretary for Finance. M. Jules Pams, the Minister of Agriculture, a native of Perpignan, was born in 1852. His portfolio in the Monis Cabinet was that which he now holds. He is an avocat and a senator for the PyrenéesOrientales.
M. Malvy, the Under-Secretary of State for the Interior, who was Under-Secretary of State for Justice in M, Monis' Cabinet, is an
avocat à la Cour d'Appel de Paris. He has been deputy for Lot since 1906.
M. René Besnard, who is the youngest of the ministers, was born at Artannes (Indre et Loire) in 1879. He is an avocat of Tours, and has represented that city since 1906 in the Chamber.
THERE is a good deal to be said on either side in regard to the somewhat heated debate in the House of Commons respecting the St. Mary's Church, P:estwich, Bill. The object of this Bill was to enable the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to purchase the advowson for £3700 and to pass the presentation to the Bishop of Manchester. A great deal of the opposition to the proposal was marked by mere abuse and violence of invective, and to this no answer is needed, but there is a very great amount of solid good sense in the plea that patronage of this sort should cease to be a privilege of an individual and should be vested in some body representative of the public. It is certainly not in accordance with modern notions of sound govern. ment that a bishop should be placed nowadays in possession of further indisputable authority to advance this, that, or the other type of thought. It was subsequently understood that a cmmittee would be formed to exercise some influence on the bishop, and on it would serve the bishop himself, the chancellor of the diocese, the churchwardens, and either the sitting member or a nominee. This arrangement enabled the Bill to receive a second reading by a very small majority. This Bill in effect raises a very large and thorny question, and it is quite time that Parliament should go further into the whole subject of ecclesiastical patronage. It may not be possible at present to formulate any compensatory proposals in respect of private patronage, but it is certainly possible to require that the opinion of the parish should be obtained and respected by some inquiry before public patronage is exercised by bishops or the Crown. Even in the case of private patronage, which as a rule is concerned with the better paid livings, it might be feasible to require that its exercise should be limited amongst such a reason. able number of individuals or amongst such a class of persons have been nominated previously by some public and representative body.
(By A SOLICITOR.)
It is no new thing in English history for the civil power to deal as it thinks at in the public interest with ecclesiastical endowments.
The suppression of the alien priories under Henry V., the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII., the extinction of chantries under Edward VI., the confiscations of ecclesiastical property under Elizabeth, and the disendowment of the Irish Church under Victoria are touched upon by Freeman, who adds, "Ours is a land of precedent, and here are precedents enough": (Disestablishment and Disendowment, p. 25). The events of the Reformation period, being of larger extent and covering the whole of the ecclesiastical endowments of the realm, deserve fuller treatment. The abolition of compulsory church rates in 1868 is another instance of the suppression of ecclesiastical revenues by Parliament.
THE TITHE TAX.
There are points of difference between tithe and other ecclesiastical endowments which make it desirable in the first instance to treat shortly of tithe by itself. For tithe is now, and has for centuries been, a national tax.
All writers agree that tithe in its earliest payment was a gift. But mark what it was that was given. There was no gift of a charge on land. There was simply a gift of a tenth of the increase of corn, wool, pigs, peas, milk, &c., which had accrued to the tithe payer in any particular year. In this early period, so far as the law of the land was concerned, no man was forced to pay tithe at all, and a man who had given tithe in previous years might in any succeeding year reduce his church subscription from a tenth to a fiftieth or any other fraction of his increase, or, if he chose, he might give nothing. Sir Alfred Cripps, K C., in his Law of the Church and Clergy, points out that the clergy had only "a precarious existence as long as they were supported by the voluntary offerings of their flocks.
The Legislature took the matter in hand, and a violent change was made. If we seek a reason, we may perhaps find it in Lord Selborne's remark that the political power of the clergy was on the increase": (Ancient Facts and Fictions, p. 183). Accepting our leading date from Lord Selborne (p. 220), we find that a law of King Edgar and his Witan in a D. 970 fixed the time for payment of each description of tithes, and went on to enact that, if any man would not pay the tithe as ordained, the King's reeve and others were to confiscate ninetenths of his goods by force. The clergy who received support from tithe were, as Freeman tells us, "national officers enjoying
the rights and privileges and subject to the responsibilities of national officers" (p. 39). Money forcibly levied by State authority for the
support of national officers is what we call a tax. From the time o King Edgar to the present day innumerable laws have been enacted defining and enforcing the payment of compulsory tithe.
As to the monasterial tithes which were granted to lay impropriators after the dissolution of the religious houses under Henry VIII., it is needless to do more than point out that the ownership in them will not be affected by the disendowment of the State Church. In this connection, however, we may notice Dr. Arnold's often quoted remark that" the only possible way in which there can be robbery of public property is to transfer it to private uses. In varying the particular object to which it is applied there may be great folly, but not the especial crime of robbery or spoliation."
Various Acte, and notably the Act of 1836, have commuted tithe paid in kind into money payments charged on land. But this change in the form of payment has not altered the essential nature of ecolesiastical tithe from the political point of view. Ecclesiastical tithe has for centuries been, and still remains, a tax levied by force of law for public purposes.
It goes without saying that the State can, at any time it pleases, change the purposes for which national taxes are applied; and, provided all existing life interests are fairly dealt with (and in Mr. Asquith's Bill they are to be paid in full), there is no possible ground on which a charge of injustice can be based when the State so acts with regard to a tax.
PRE-REFORMATION ENDOWMENTS GENERALLY.
Let us now deal with the whole of the pre-Reformation endowments, tithes included.
Bishop Welldon in his recent work on Disestablishment and Disendowment says (p. 17): "I do not feel that Churchmen can justly hold up hands of holy horror at disendowment in itself, as if the alienation of ecclesiastical property were always and everywhere a sacrilege. For the Church of England has acquired a great deal of property by alienation. At the Reformation, the State, or the Crown acting in behalf of the State, took away large funds from the Church of Rome and transferred them to the Church of England, or, to put the case more accurately, took them away from a Church in communion with the See of Rome and transferred them to a Church not in communion with the See of Rome." And on p. 20 the Bishop sums up: "A nation may act within its moral as well as within its legal rights when it decides upon disestablishing and disendowing a national Caurch."
Under Henry VIII. a breach was made with Rome. Under Edward VI. Parliament forced the clergy to use the Prayer Book in place of the Mass; allowed the marriage of priests; enacted that the sacrament should be administered in both kinds; and ordered images in churches to be destroyed. The clergy had either to accept these changes or lose all share in the ancient endowments.
Under Mary the Lords Spiritual and Commons in Parliament made humble and abject submission to the Pope's Holiness and the Apostolic See. Again the clergy had to submit or lose their livings.
THE FINAL BREACH WITH ROME.
Under Elizabeth Parliament once more enforced the Prayer Book and the Oath of Supremacy on the clergy; it was made a criminal offence, punishable with fine and imprisonment, to say or hear Mass; and it was made high treason, punishable with death, to withdraw or to persuade others to withdraw "from the religion now by Her Highness' authority established within Her Highness' dominions to the Romish religion": (23 Eliz. c. 1).
Could the State in any way more truly and effectively exercise complete control over the ancient endowments than was done by these Acts?
Under Elizabeth all the bishops, except Kitchen of Llandaff, refused the Oath of Supremacy and were ejected. So were a number of clergy.
Even after the final breach with Rome a ghastly succession of penal laws in matters of religion disgraced our statute-book for many long years. No alternative to the State religion was allowed on any terms, and property given for any religion except the State religion was held to be given lor superstitious uses.
THE ACT OF UNIFORMITY OF 1662.
The Act of Uniformity of 1662 resulted in the ejection of a number of clergy, variously estimated at from 1500 to 2000. But they had the benefit of no doctrine of "vested interests." As they were not prepared to swallow every morsel of rite and ceremony and doctrine and discipline enforced by the State in the new Act, the State at once dispensed with their services and refused to allow them any longer to share in the benefits of the ancient endowments.
THE TOLERATION ACT OF 1689.
When various Protestant Nonconformists were, under the Toleration Act of 1689, freed from criminal penalties for absenting themselves from State Church worship. it might reasonably be expected that they would at the same time have been freed from liability to pay for the support of a Church whose services they rejected. But, on the contrary, it was expressly enacted by sect. 6 that nothing in the Act should exempt them from the payment of tithes and other duties to the Church. And the Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1791, a century later, and the Unitarian Relief Act of 1813 embodied the same provision.
ALL THE ENDOWMENTS, BOTH ANCIENT AND MODERN. We may now leave the consideration of particular funds and special periods. For, whatever period we take, the Church has all along held
the legal and political and constitutional position of the State Church or Established Church, and the bishops and clergy have throughout been, in Freeman's words, "national officere." This fact affects every Church of England endowment from the earliest times down even to the money which recently on the death of a parishioner passed under his will to the rector for the use of the parish church.
Parliament in its ordinary constitutional action has for centuries passed Acts defining from time to time the conditions on which alone the ecclesiastical endowments of the realm are to be held-Acts com. pelling residence of the parochial clergy; Acts against pluralities; Acts as to religious beliefs and declarations; Acts even as to the particular lessons from Scripture to be read in public worship, and fixing the exact words to be used in public prayer. No one can enjoy a single penny of ecclesiastical tithe or a single acre of glebe except on condition of being subject to these laws and to any similar laws which Parliament may at any time choose to pass. The recent Norwich Communion case shows that the Deceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Act 1907 has affected the terms on which the clergy of the Established Church enjoy their benefices. (In striking contrast, admission to the Lord's Supper in the disestablished Church of Ireland is no longer settled by Act of Parliament.) The State has over and over again exercised the power of altering the conditions on which State Church endowments can be enjoyed.
The bishops and clergy who are paid out of ecclesiastical endowments are not owners of such endowments. As Archdeacon Bevan, of Brecon, said the other day, the property is "in trust" and the clergy have only "the right of user : (Church Times, April 28, 1911). For whose benefit was the trust given? The Archbishop of Canterbury shall reply. "It is a trust placed in our hands for the good of all" (Guardian, Nov. 17, 1909); "a trust given in the most sacred way for the good of the country as a whole (Yorkshire Post, April 8, 1911).
All State Church property, whether of ancient origin or only given yesterday, is held for the benefit of the public as territorially divided into parishes, dioceses, and provinces. Every parishioner (altogether apart from creed or confirmation) has a legal right to claim the services of the parish clergyman, and a legal right to a seat in the parish church as long as the church is not full.
Property bestowed for the good of all should continue to be used for the good of all, and cannot in fairness be claimed by a section only of the people. With regard to State Church endowments, the Legislature has for centuries been recognised as the proper organ for deciding what use is the best in the interests of the public as a whole. When, under Edward VI., Parliament thought that Mass priests were no longer a useful public institution they were abolished, and the endowments applied to other purposes. When, under Mary, Prayer Book clergymen were considered harmful to the realm, they in their turn were dispensed with by Parliament and the endowments otherwise used, and so on.
When the State, through its proper organ the Legislature. judging by the interests and needs of the time, decides that a State Church is no longer a desirable political institution, it will cease to employ State Church clergy of any kind, and will apply the endowments to other public purposes.
And as Mr. Asquith's Bill, in addition to fully securing all existing life interests, proposes to hand over to the disestablished Church in Wales all churches (including cathedrals), all ecclesiastical residences, all funds or endowments specially allocated to the repair of such churches and residences, all church plate, furniture and movable chattels belonging to any church or used in Divine worship therein. and all private benefactions given since 1662, it will be difficult for anyone to show that the Church will be treated ungenerously.
PROMOTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS.
Information intended for publication under the above heading should reach us not later than Thursday morning in each week, as publication is otherwise delayed.
The Right Hon. Sir JOHN EDGE, K.C.. has been appointed Member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Sir John was called by the Middle Temple in 1866, and is also a member of the Irish Bar. The Right Hon. SYED AMIR ALI, barrister-at-law, has been appointed Member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Mr. Ali was called by the Inner Temple in 1902.
Mr. ERNEST ARTHUR JELF has been appointed a Revising Barrister for the Ashford Division of Kent, in the place of Mr. J. Digby, resigned. Mr. Jelf is the eldest son of Sir Arthur Richard Jelf, and was called by the Inner Temple in 1893.
The Hon. STEPHEN OGLE HENN COLLINS has been appointed a revising barrister for the Romford division of Essex in the place of Mr. Ernest Arthur Jelf, resigned. Mr. Henn Collins is a son of the late Lord Collins, and was called by the Middle Temple in 1899.
Mr. MAURICE BONHAM-CARTER has been appointed Private Secretary to the Prime Minister in the place of Mr. Meiklejohn. Mr. BonhamCarter was called by Lincoln's-inn in 1909.
Mr. JOHN BICKERSTETH OTTLEY, solicitor, Official Receiver of Wakefield, has been appointed joint Registrar of the County Court at Birkenhead, with Mr. William E. Cave, Registrar of the court for the past twenty-two years. Mr. Ottley was admitted in 1871,
Mr. ARTHUR EDWARD EVES of 7, Mark-lane, has been appointed Clerk and Solicitor to the Penge Urban District Council. Mr. Eves was admitted in 1882.
Bath. Thursday (By at 11), at 10
Bishop Auckland, Tuesday and
Blackburn, Monday and Friday,
Blackpool, Wednesday, at 10
Bow, Monday, Wednesday, Thurs-
Bradford (Yorks), Tuesday and
Braintree, Friday, at 11
Brentford, Tuesday and Friday,
Brentwood, Tuesday, at 11
Friday (J.S. at 11.30), at 10
Daventry, Friday, at 10
Faringdon, Saturday, at 10
Gravesend, Monday, at 9
Halifax, Monday, Tuesday, Thurs-
Hungerford, Monday, at 11.15
(By at 10.30), and Friday (J.S.),
Kendal, Tuesday, at 11
Monday (J.S. & A.O.),
Long Eaton, Thursday, at 11
Manchester, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, at 10
Mansfeld, Monday, at 10
Matlock, Monday, at 10
Newbury, Wednesday (R. By at 2), at 10
Newcastle-on-Tyne, Thursday (R. By) and Friday (J.S. & A.0.), at 10
Friday, at 10.30
Newport Pagnell, Friday, at 10 Newton Abbot, Friday, at 10.30 Northampton, Tuesday (R. By), at 12; Wednesday, at 19
North Shields, Thursday, at 10 Nottingham, Wednesday, at 10; Friday (R. By), at 10.30 Oakham, Thursday, at 9.45 Okehampton, Tuesday, at 10 Oldham, Thursday, at 9.30; Friday (By), at 11
Ormskirk, Tuesday, at 10
Pershore, Thursday, at 10
Petworth, Thursday, at 11.30
Pontefract, Tuesday and Wednes-
Pontypool, Wednesday, at 10.30
Portsmouth, Thursday (By at 12),
Preston, Tuesday, at 9.30
St. Neots, Wednesd ay, at 11
Salisbury. Thursday, at 10
Shipston-on-Stour, Tuesday, at 10
Shrewsbury,* Monday and Friday,
Southam, Saturday, at 10
Spalding. Wednesday, at 10
Tadcaster, Wednesday. at 10
Torquay, Saturday, at 10.30
Torrington, Thursday, at 10.30
Uttoxeter, Friday, at 10
Wakefield, Tuesday, at 10
Walsingham, Friday, at 11
Waltham Abbey, Thursday, at 11
* Other sittings are specially fixed if necessary.
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