« EelmineJätka »
upon the annual value of the premises and the refusal of the renewal of the licence had reduced the annual value, they were persons interested in the premises within the meaning of sect. 2 (1) of the Licensing Act 1904 and therefore entitled to a share of the compensation money. It was also contended on behalf of the appellants that they were the owners of the fee simple and the registered owners of the licensed premises, and therefore persons interested in the same within the meaning of the section and entitled to a share of the compensation money. It was contended on behalf of the respondents that the appellants were not the persons interested in the licensed premises within the meaning of sect. 2 (1) of the Licensing Act 1904, and were not entitled to any share of the compensation money. The compensation authority held that the appellants were neither owners nor in the position of owners of the licensed premises, and were not persons interested in the same withing the meaning of sect. 2 (1) of the Licensing Act 1904, and therefore not entitled to any share of the compensation money. Held (allowing the appeal), that the appellants were persons interested and entitled to a share of the compensation money.
[Ecclesiastical Commissioners (apps.) v. Page and others (resps ). K. B. Div: Lord Alverstone, C.J., Lawrance and Darling, JJ. July 25-Counsel: Foote, K.C. and Dyer; H. St. J. Raikes. Solicitors: F. A. Manley; George Passingham, Hitchin.]
Local Government-By-law-Keeping Carriage "on the left or near Side of the Road."-Case stated on an information preferred by the respondent against the appellant for that he on the 17th Feb. 1911, then being the driver of a certain carriage-to wit, a lurry-in a certain public street called L.-road in the borough of P., unlawfully did not keep the carriage to the left or near side of the street in passing along the same, he having no occasion to pass any other carriage or actual necessity or some sufficient reason for deviation therefrom, contrary to the by-law for the borough in that behalf duly made and provided. Upon the hearing of the information the following facts were found or admitted: The by-law set out below was duly made at a meeting of the council of the borough of P. held on the 26th Nov. 1857 under and by virtue of the provisions in that behalf contained in the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. The by-law (being a portion of by-law 32), so far as it is material for the purposes of this case, is as follows: "If any person shall drive any carriage within the said borough and shall not keep the same on the left or near side of the road in any street in passing along the same, except in cases in which he shall have occasion to pass any other carriage or of actual necessity or Bome sufficient reason for deviation therefrom. Every person BO respectively offending
shall for every offence forfeit and pay the fine or sum of 20 in case the rider or driver shall not be the owner of such animal or carriage, and in case such rider or driver be the owner of such animal or carriage then any sum not exceeding 40s." The appellant drove his lurry over and along L.-road a distance of 380 yards or thereabouts. The appellant drove his lurry over the distance so that the near wheels of the lurry were about 10ft. from the kerbstone, the off wheels being a few inches from the centre of the road. L. road, at the place in question, varies in width from 29 ft. to 31ft., and is a busy thoroughfare and a part of the highway leading to the north. There are two sets of tramlines along which electric tramcars pass every two or three minutes. The appellant kept his lurry throughout the distance in the left half of L. road, namely, within the space between the kerb on the left side of the road and the centre of the road going south, the off-side wheels throughout the distance never crossing the centre line of the road. There were no other vehicles in L.-road at the time, and the appellant, by so driving as aforesaid, did not cause any obstruction or annoyance or inconvenience to any person or persons. It was contended on behalf of the respondent that the appellant had committed an offence under the by-law, he having failed or neglected to drive his lurry as near to the left kerb of L.-road aforesaid as he might conveniently and reasonably have done, so as to enable quick traffic (if any) travelling in the same direction to pass on the left side of the road. It was contended on behalf of the appellant: (1) That the by-law was no longer in force for the borough; (2) that on the facts there had been no infringement of the by-law; and (3) that the by-law was invalid as being both ultra vires and unreasonable. The justices, being of opinion that upon the true construction of the terms of the by-law an offence had been committed under the by-law, and that the by-law was still in force for the borough and was valid as being intra vires and reasonable, convicted the appellant. Held (allowing the appeal), that as the appellant was on the left or near side of the centre of the road he had not infringed the by-law.
[Bolton (app.) v. Everitt (resp.). K. B. Div.: Lord Alverstone, C.J., Lawrance and Darling, JJ. July 25-Counsel: C. A. Russell, K.C. and H. P. Glover; Ashton, K.C. and Geoffrey Parker. Solicitors: Chester, Broome, and Co., for William Preston, Preston; Smith and Fazuckerley.
Local Government-Private Street Expenses-Disused Chapel-Exemption from Expenses-Private Street Works Act 1892 (55 & 56 Vict. c. 57), s. 16.-Case stated by justices for the county of Lancaster. The case arose out of an objection raised by the respondents to a prɔvisional apportionment of the expenses proposed to be incurred by the appellants in making a street in an urban district under the Private Street Works Act 1892, and proposed to be charged by the appellants against the respondents. The objection was determined by the justices in favour of the respondents. The appellants were the urban district council for the urban district, and the respondente
were the owners or the reputed owners of a building and premises, styled by the appellants "disused Wesleyan Chapel," within the district. The Private Street Works Act 1892 was adopted by the appellants and was in force in the district. In Dec. 1908 the appellants resolved under sect. 6 (1) of the Act to sewer, level, pave, &c., a part of what was a street "within the meaning of sect. 5 of the Act, and a provisional apportionment of estimated expenses among the persons stated to be liable to be charged therewith was duly prepared and approved. In this apportionment the disused Wesleyan Chapel was included. An objection was taken on behalf of the owners of the Methodist Church in the neighbourhood, the ground of the objection being that the premises should be excluded from the apportionment on the ground that they were used for religious worship during the week evenings and on Sundays for school purposes, and that by reason of being used for religious purposes the exemption from expenses contained in sect. 16 of the Act applied. The question was whether the premises were BO exempt from contributing to the expenses under sect. 16, which provided: "The incumbent or minister or trustee of any church, chapel, or place appropriated to public religious worship, which is for the time being by law exempt from rates for the relief of the poor, shall not be liable to any expenses of private street works as the owner of such church, chapel, or place. The respondents claimed that the premises were exempt under that section from the payment of the expenses. It was proved that up to five years ago the premises were used as a chapel. A new chapel was buit on. another site and the religious services have been carried on in the new building. The premises, which were not rated to poor rates, were now used on Sundays for a Sunday school; fon week nights religious services were held, a debating society met there once a week, and a political meeting was held there before the election in Dec. 1910, and some entertainments were given in the premises, one entertainment including the trial scene from "The Merchant of Venice." It was contended for the respondents that the purposes for which the place was used were connected with the religious work of the church and were ancillary to public worship, and for the appellants that the premises were appropriated to public religious worship and by law exempt from rates for the relief of the poor." The justices were of opinion that the premises were exempt under sect. 16 of the Act. Held, allowing the appeal, that the premises did not come within the exemption in favour of a "place appropriated to public religious worship," and were not exempt under sec. 16.
[Walton-le-Dale Urban District Council v. Greenwood and another. K. B. Div. Lord Alverstone, CJ.. Lawrance and Darling, JJ. July 26.-Counsel: C. A. Russell, K.C. and H. P. Glover; T. C. Gibbons. Solicitors: Arkcoll, Cockell, and Chadwick, for W. S. Woodcock, Bamber Bridge; Haslam and Sanders, for Hindle, Son, and Cooper, Darwen.]
Motor-car-Excise Duty payable thereon-Horse-power-Mode of calculating-Treasury Regulations-Horse-power as ascertained by Regu lations-Finance (1909-10) Act 1910 (10 Edw. 7, c. 8), s. 86, sub-8. 2. -Case stated by the metropolitan police magistrate sitting at Clerkenwell Police-court. The respondent appeared in answer to two summonses (1) for failing to insert in a declaration the particulars required by the Finance (1909-10) Act 1910 as to the engine of his motor-car; and (2) for keeping on the 14th Nov. 1910 a motor-car without having a proper licence. The magistrate convicted the respondent on the first summons, but dismissed the second, and, on the application of the appellants, stated this case as to the second summons. By the operation of several statutes and orders the licence duty made payable on the 14th Nov. 1910 by the Finance Act, sched. 5, Part 2, was for motor-cars exceeding 6, but not exceeding 12 horse-power. £3 33.; exceeding 16, but not exceeding 26 horse-power, £6 63. By sect. 86, sub sect. 2, of the Finance (1909-10) Act 1910 it was enacted: "The unit of horse power for the purpose of any rate of duty in the said schedule [the fifth schedule to the Act] shall be calculated in accordance with regulations made by the Treasury for the purpose. Certain regulations were made in accordance therewith, a copy of which was appended to the case, together with a form of declaration to be made thereunder on which certain measurements of cylinders and other matters are required to be set out. The facte were as follows: The respondent kept a motor-car on the 14th Nov. 1910; the car did not exceed 12 horse-power; he had not properly filled in the particulars required as to cylinders on the form of declaration sent; he had paid the duty of three guineas npon such car as not exceeding 12 horse-power; if the particulars required had been duly inserted they would have shown the estimated horse-power to have been 179, and the regulations as applied to this car were erroneous. The respondent pleaded guilty to the first summons for not inserting the particulars required and he was fined, and no question now directly a:ose upon that summons. Upon the second summons the appellants contended that the meaning of horse-power in the statute and schedule must be interpreted according to definitions in the regulations-although in some cases they were erroneous and might make the horse-power too great in old-fashioned cars and too little in new cars-38 that was the only method given by the Act to ascertain horse-power, and no other method was legally open by which the appellants could ascertain the horse-power. It was contended for the respondent that horse power is a known definite scientific quantity, ascertainable in various ways according to the circumstances of each case, and not an indefinite term dependent for its meaning on cther terms or definitions; that the statute had
Jaid down the duty on horse power; that the method of ascertaining horse-power in the regulations was erroneous, and that where there was a variance between the statute and the regulations the statute must prevail, and that the respondent was within the exact words of the statute. The magistrate dismissed the summons, and the question was whether in considering the liability of a defendant the magistrate was bound to interpret the statute according to the regulations even when they were found to be erroneous. The respondent did not appear. Held (allowing the appeal and remitting the case to the magistrate), that, having regard to the provisions in sect. 86, sub-sect. 2, of the Act, the magistrate was wrong, and that he ought to have acted on the basis that the regulations applied. [London County Council (apps.) v. Turner (resp.) K. B. Div.: Lord Alverstone, C.J., Lawrance and Darling, JJ. July 26.Counsel: Bodkin. Solicitor: E. Tanner.]
Section I. Criminal. Stevens and Sons.
Two vols. By T. V. SANJIVa Row. It was the original design of the late Mr. Sanjiva Row to issue this portion of his great digest in one portable volume so that the whole field of criminal law could be before the practitioner when conducting a case. Messrs. P. Ramanatha İyer and P. Hari Rao, who have completed the work, found, however, that the quantity of matter made two volumes necessary. The digest is well arranged, with every convenience for ready reference, and a supplement includes the latest cases in 1910.
Dr. T. Baty has given a clear résumé of the law of the sea in his Britain and Sea Law (G. Bell and Sons Limited), setting forth the simple facts in a plain way. A perusal of his book will help the lay mind to form an opinion on the advantages, or otherwise, of the Declaration of London, and enable him to check the assertions made by the controversialists.
Mr. Sydney L. Phipson has incorporated the effect of a number of recent statutes in the fifth edition of his Lav of Evidence (Stevens and Haynes). Some 500 new cases are dealt with, bringing the total to over 6000, the text has been revised throughout, and the index enlarged.
The sixth edition of Leake on Contracts (Stevens and Sons) is the third prepared by Mr. A. E. Randall, of Lincoln's-inn. In omitting the judicial explanation of Cooke v. Oxley (3 T. R. 653), Mr. Randall remarks that he had long thought the true explanation was that the opinion prevailed in 1790 that offer and acceptance must be contemporaneous to constitute a valid contract. A chance perusal of Kennedy v. Lee (3 Mer. 441), where Lord Eldon voices this opinion, made the matter a certainty. The Marine Insurance Act 1908 is incorporated. Mr. Digby Koe has prepared an elaborate table of cases, and the index has been greatly improved.
We have received vol. 1 of the sixth edition of Chitty's Statutes (Sweet and Maxwell; Stevens and Sons), extending from Act of Parliament to Burial. Mr. W. H. Aggs, who formerly assisted the late editor, Mr. J. M. Lely, is again the editor, and is accomplishing the work with his usual care. A few new subject titles will be found, and the cases are now provided with references to Mews' Digest. Messrs. A. R. Kennedy, H. W. Law, N. W. Sibley, R. K. Chappell, and J. W. Ross-Brown have assisted with various titles.
The seventh edition of Gibson and Weldon's Student's Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty (Law Notes Offices) has been revised and brought down to date by Messrs. H. Gibson Rivington and A. Clifford Fountaine. All recent statutes and cases are included, also the effect of the rules of July 1911 on procedure in chambers on an Admiralty reference.
Criminal Appeal Cases, vol. 6, parts 7 and 8. containing reports of cases from the 10th April to the 20th June, edited by Herman Cohen, can now be had from the publishers, Stevens and Haynes.
We have received Mr. J. M. Easton's Quarterly Noter-Up for the second quarter of the year. It is published by Messrs. Stevens and Haynes.
The last part of vol. 7 and the first of vol. 8 of the Citator have reached us from Madras. As usual, these volumes of reports of civil
Chitty's Statutes. Sixth Edition. Vol. 1. Sweet and Maxwell Limited, 3, Chancery-lane; Stevens and Sons Limited, 119 and 120, Chancery-lane.
Bentwich on Domicil and Succession. Sweet and Maxwell Limited, 3, Chancery-lane. Price 78. 6d. net.
Laws of England. Vol. 17. Butterworth and Co., 11 and 12, Bellyard, Temple Bar.
Roscoe on the Growth of English Law. Stevens and Sons Limited, 119 and 120. Chancery-lane. Price 78. 6d.
Bate on the Declaration of London 1909. Longmans, Green, and Co., 39, Paternoster-row, E.C. Price 18.
Evans on the Insurance Bill. 6d. net.
David Nutt, 57-59, Long Acre. Price
Whitehead on Church Law. Third Edition. Stevens and Sons Limited, 119 and 120, Chancery-lane. Price 10s. 6d.
LEGISLATION AND JURISPRUDENCE.
THE Husband and Wife (Torts) Bill has been introduced by Mr. NEWTON to relieve married men from the liability now attaching to them to be sued in respect of torts or civil wrongs committed by their wives without being authorised by them and without any parti cipation on their parts. Such liability may be exemplified in matters of slander or libel, assault, trespass, malicious prosecution, and so on. It is proposed in general that a married woman should be liable as single women are. The Married Women's Property Acts enable a married woman to be sued, and damages or costs recovered against her in any action could be claimed against her separate property and not otherwise. It has been held that this statutory liability does not free the husband from his common law liability. By the common law the husband was liable, and the wife was not liable, for her torts committed after marriage, and he was further liable, as well as she was, for those committed before marriage to the extent of the property received with her. The Bill deals with this position very shortly, for it has but three operative clauses, one of which merely excludes Scotland from its purview, and it provides that a husband shall not, by reason only of his being a husband, be liable to be joined as defendant, or be made a party to any action in respect of his wife's tort, but the Bill does not affect the liability for any tort committed by her while acting within the scope of any authority intrusted to her by him or for any tort participated in by him. A married is to be liable for torts as
if a feme sole, and sect. 1 (2) of the Married Women's Property Act 1882, as to damages or costs being payable out of her separate property and not otherwise, shall not apply to actions and proceedings in tort. This Bill, if passed, will get over the decision in Earle v. Kingscote (83 L. T. Rep. 377; (1900) 2 Ch. 585), where the Court of Appeal (Lord Alverstone and Lords Justices Rigby and Collins) decided that the Acts affecting married women had not abolished the common law liability, and a husband was held liable in damages for a fraudu. lent representation made by his wife in respect of some shares, the contract being effected prior to and independently of the fraud, and the fraud not being the means of effecting the contract. Justice Rigby confessed to grave misgivings as to the meaning of the Married Women's Property Act 1882, and found it impossible to arrive at any clear conclusions.
SOME interesting questions for the lawyer are arising up and down the country, questions which may not improbably come before judicial tribunals, as sequelae of the Coronation celebration funds raised lɔcally for festivity purposes. Judging from accounts to hand from, various centres, what has happened seems to be much as follows: Meetings were held in May and resolutions passed inviting subscriptions for some local want as a permanent memorial. This has, frequently been some hall, or a fountain, or other material structure. In response to this appeal cheques have been received. As the weeks rolled on, it has been found that many of the richer and older inhabitants, especially in country districts, were enamoured of some purely temporary scheme for feasting the residents, for dancing, bonfires, and so on. Promises of money for these purposes could not well be declined, and hence it has come about that in some cases subscribers who gave money believing that they were supporting a
permanent improvement have found their donations diverted into mere jollification. Some ocnsiderable and justifiable complaint has been raised, therefore, on this score. In other districts a rather more complex situation has arisen, for donors, who were wide awake enough and, being committeemen, influential enough to insist on there being two separate accounts opened for the permanent and temporary schemes, are now asking for a return of their donations. They argue that they gave for a specific purpose, and, now that purses are closed again with the termination of Coronation generosity, that in effect that specific purpose is without any practical substratum. There is a good deal of sound sense in this argument, and there is no good reason to suppose that money will now be forthcoming to erect some permanent memorial when it has been impos. sible to obtain it at an earlier date. So there are a good many sovereigns locked up in banking accounts, the donors of which feel that they have disbursed on grounds which have proved to be misleading. An interesting question might arise whether they could be recovered from the honorary treasurer's grasp, or mast they lie idle until something happens to stir up again local generosity?
THE Imperial Sunday Alliance, the DUKE of DEVONSHIRE being its chairman, is expressing some very strong opinions upon those clauses of the Shops Bill which are concerned with Sunday closing. They argue that for the first time in history the Bill legalises certain forms of Sunday trading. They would prefer that the Bill in this respect should be reversed, and, instead of "closing orders" being made, there should be a universal closing with a provision as to indulgence by giving "opening orders." These are, of course, the two opposing points of view and two paths capable of leading to much the same goal. The suggestion of the alliance is one to treat with all the respect due to those who entertain honourable convictions, but it may be pointed out that it is extremely probable that so vital a remodelling of such debatable clauses at this late hour would spell the ruin of the Bill. With all its defects, and its promoters very fairly admit that is is far from perfect, this Bill doss meet a need, and it would be a pity if an organised attempt were made to wreck it on such pleas as those mentioned. A very practical complaint comes from another society, the Surrey Public. house Trust Company, whose houses in Grayswood, Gomshall, Leith Hill, and elsewhere must be familiar to many of our readers. The trust has certainly done a great deal on practical lines to make the public-house a place to which the most respectable family man could take his wife and children without misgivings. The heavy burden of taxation has, however, entailed such expenses that a bare 2 per cent. profit has been earned instead of the 5 per cent. which was expected. This is no sentimental or political grievance. The point is that, unless some per cent. can be realised, the trust will not gain the commercial status to encourage the extension of the movement on business lines. Ordinary licence-holders know how to push sales and can balance their accounts satisfactorily despite this taxation, but those who do not seek to push the consumption of alcohol, and who rely much on cleaner premises and other amenities, are feeling the pinch. It would be in the wider interests of temperance were some special exemptions made in favour of recognised trusts who would conform to some standard to be settled by a conference between the Chancellor of the Exchequer and their representatives.
A QUESTION full of interest but replete with difficulty and embarrassment might well arise in the event of the House of Lords Reconstitu. tion Bill, introduced by Lord Lansdowne, ever being placed on the statute-book in its present form. In that Bill, while the status of the peerage in its legislative capacity is wholly changed, no provision whatever is made in reference to the House of Lords in its position as a court for the trial of impeachments, or for the trial of peers or peeresses, or in its relation to the court of the Lord High Steward which, during a recess, takes the place of the House of Lords itself for the trial of peers and peeresses. In an impeachment the Commons act as prosecutors, inasmuch as it is the people whom they represent who are injured, and the House of Lords, as at present constituted, forms the tribunal. Whereas a peer may be impeached for any crime, it is at least doubtful whether a commoner can be impeached for any offence cther than a misdemeanour; the House of Lords is the court before which peers and peeress ́s against whom an indictment for treason or felony or for misprision, if either is found, during a session of Parliament; and the court of the Lord High Steward, to which peers who have a right to sit and vote in Parliament are summoned, is the court for trial of such peers and
peeresses during a recess because they are entitled to "tryal of nobility." It would be difficult to contend that the House of Lords as reconstituted under the provisions of Lord Lansdowne's Reconstitution Bill had the powers of the present House of Lords in the matter of impeachments, or of the present House of Lords and its substitute, the court of the Lord High Steward, in the trial of peers or peeresses on charges of treason or felony, having regard to the fact that the members of the new assembly would not have the status of nobility of the members of the old assembly which probably in their capacity of judges in impeachments, and certainly in their capacity as judges of their peers in trials by the House of Lords and the court of the Lord High Steward, is of the very essence of their position.
THE audiences granted by the King to the Marquis of Lansdowne, Mr. Balfour, and Lord Rosebery, with the knowledge and approval of Mr. Asquith, were in strict accordance with constitutional practice Dr. Todd in his monumental work, Parliamentary Government in England, says that the personal interposition of the Sovereign to mediate in extreme cases between contending parties in the State, or to express an opinion in a formal manner upon a question of public policy or Imperial concern, is a commendable and appropriate service, and of benefit to the community. He, however, adds this safeguard : "But it is most needful that he should bear in mind the weight that will naturally attach to every word he utters, and carefully avoid giving expression to any opinions at variance with those entertained by his responsible advisers unless, as in 1783, he is prepared to take the consequences of their resignation or dismissal. Moreover, the substance of any such communication should invariably be communicated to the Prime Minister with as little delay as possible in order to prevent any future misunderstandings or inconvenience" (Todd's Parliamentary Government of England, ii., F. 253).
THE recent outburst of disorder in the House of Commons may well call attention to the question, in the words of Lord Hugh Cecil in debate in 1902, whether "violent conduct in the House of Commons is not only an offence against Parliamentary orders and manners, but an offence against the ordinary law of the land." In 1629 an information was exhibited against Sir John Eliot for words uttered in the House of Commons, and against Mr. Denzil Holles and Mr. Valentine for a tumult on the last day of the session of Parliament which had been dissolved, when the Speaker, having attempted to adjourn the House by the King's command, was forcibly heli down in the chair by some of the members while a remonstrance was voted. They pleaded to the court's jurisdiction because their offences were supposed to be committed in Parliament and consequently not punishable in any other place. Much stress was laid on an Act passed in the fourth year of Henry VIII., in regard to one Strode, who had been prosecuted and imprisoned in the Stannary Court for proposing in Parliament some regulations for tinners in Cornwall, which annuls all that had been done or might hereafter be done towarda Strode in any matter relating to the Parliament and to the demand by the Speaker at the beginning of every Parliament for freedom of speech among the standing privileges of the House. The court was unanimous in holding that they had jurisdiction, and that the defendants were bound to answer. On the parties refusing to put in any other plea, judgment was given that they should be imprisoned during the King's pleasure and not released without giving surety for good behaviour and making submission, and Eliot died in the Tower without yielding to the submission required. The subject way, however, revived a generation later.
the year 1667 the Commons resolved that the Act 4 Hen 8 concerning Strode was a general law 'extending to indemnify all and every the members of both Houses of Parliament in all Parliaments for cr touching any Bills, speaking, reasoning, or declaring of any matter or matters in or concerning the Parliament to be commenced or treated of, and is a declaratory law of the ancient and necessary rights and privileges of Parliament." They resolved also that the judgment given 5 Car. 1 against Sir John Eliot, Denzil Holles, and Benjamin Valentine is an illegal judgment, and against the freedom and privilege of Parliament. To these resolutions the Lords gave their concurrence, and Holles then became a peer. Having brought the record of the King's Bench by writ of
error before them, they solemnly reversed the judgment: (see Hallam's Constitutional History of England, ii, pp. 26), a decision which in part is further etrengthened by the article of the Bill of Rights which declares that freedom of speech and of debate in Parliament ought not to be questioned in any place out of Parliament. Hallam thus comments on the decision in the case of Eliot, Holes, and Valentine, and expounds its effect:
An important decision with respect to our constitutional law which has established beyond controversy the great privilege of unlimited freedom of speech in Parliament-unlimited, I mean, by any authority except that by which the House itself ought always to restrain indecent and disorderly language in members. It does not, however, appear to be a necessary consequence from the reversal of this judgment that no actions committed in the House by any of its members are punishable in a court of law. The argument in behalf of Holles and Valentine goes, indeed, to this length, but it was admitted in the debate on the subject in 1667 that their plea to the jurisdiction of the King's Bench could not have been supported as to the imputed riot in detaining the Speaker in the chair, though the judgment was erroneous in extending to words spoken in Parliament. And it is obvious that the House could inflict no adequate punishment in the possible case of treason or felony committed within its walls, nor if its power of imprisonment be limited to the session in that of many smaller offences: (Hallam's Constitutional History of England, ii, pp. 8, 7).
THE suggestion made by Lord Halsbury in his speech on the 26th ult, at the banquet given in his honour, that the remedy of impeachment might be available in the case of a Minister who advised a misuse of the exercise of the prerogative of the Crown is somewhat startling when it is recollected that there have been only two cases of impeachment in the last hundred and fifty years, those of Warren Hastings and Lord Melville, and none since 1805. From 1459 till 1621, a period of 162 years, there is no instance of an impeachment, and, of the fifty-four impeachments between 1621 and 1805, no fewer than nineteen took place in the first three years of the Long Parliament. The disuse of the remedy of impeachment between 1459 and 1621 was due to the greatly increased judicial power of the Privy Council and to the enormous augmentation to the power of the Crown during the Tudor period. The power of impeachment as an effective remedy in its modern history was at its height in the seventeenth century, and particularly in the reign of Charles I. Impeachment was the weapon by which the Parliament fought their battle from 1610 till 1642. In the eighteenth century its importance declined, and it became 8 subject rather of constitutional and antiquarian interest than of practical importance. "As soon," writes Sir William Anson, "as the House of Commons became a le so to control and review the conduct of Ministers as to make it impossible for them to conduct business without a Parliamentary majority, impeachment lost its value and fell into disuse (Law and Custom of the Constitution, i., Parliament, p. 363). Sir Fitzjames Stephen thinks that it is hardly probable that 30 cumbrous and unsatisfactory a mode of procedure " will ever be resorted to again. "The full establishment of popular government," he writes, "and the close superintendence and immediate control exercised over all public officers whatever by Parliament make it not only unlikely that the sort of crimes for which men used to be impeached should be committed, but extremely difficult to commit them" (History of the Criminal Law of England, i., p. 160).
THE impression is very general, but none the less erroneous, that a very considerable time must necessarily elapse between the conferring of a peerage and the taking of the oath and his seat by the new peer in the House of Lords. In the case of peerages created by letters patent such is the case, and in legal history there are at least two memorable instances of the death of the person on whom a peerage had been conferred before the perfection of the letters patent and the lapse thereby of the peerage. Sir Dudley Ryder was appointed Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench in 1754. A royal letter was signed by George II. on the 24th May 1756 for his elevation to the peerag", but he died the next day, before the completion of the patent, and the peerage lapsed. His eldest son twenty years afterwards was raised to the peerage. Charles Yorke, second son of Lord Chancellor Hardwicke, having been Attorney-General, was appointed Lord Chancellor in Jan. 1770, but died at the moment when a patent conferring on him the title of Baron Morden was in process of completion. The peerage accordingly lapsed, but the eldest son of Charles Yorke, on the death of his uncle, succeeded him as third Earl of Hardwicke. The issue of a writ of summons to the House of Lords without any patent at all would instantly confer a right on the person to whom it been sent to take the
oath and sit and vote in that assembly. Lord Campbel', speaking, when Lord Chief Justice of England, in the House of Lords, on the 7th Feb. 1856, in the Wensleydale peerage debate, put this position most emphatically and challenged contradiction, which was not forthcoming: "The Lord Chancellor [Lord Cranworth] says: Would not the writ of summons without any patent entitle the person named in it to be admitted and to sit and vote as a baron?' Most undoubtedly it would, and, if this person were accompanied by ninetynine others respectively fortified by writs of summons and nothing more, the whole 100 might be admitted to sit and vote, for they would conclusively prove that it was the pleasure of the Crown, in the exercise of an unquestionable prerogative, to confer upon them peerages descendible to their issues, male and female, commonly called peerages in fee."
In the House of Lords, on the 27th ult, the County Courts Bill was read a third time. On the question that the Bill do paes, the Lord Chancellor moved to amend clause 18-which gives authority for the appoinment of assistant judges if the state of business in the courts of any judge so requires-by adding words enabling the appointments to be made in Lancaster by the Chancellor of the Duchy. He said the Bill, as printed, already contained the words, but they had been inserted in error. Therefore, the proper course was now to move them formally, in order that they might lawfully form part of the Bill.-The amendment was agreed to, and the Bill was then passed.
Viscount Haldane introduced the Appellate Jurisdiction Bill, which was read a first time.
In the House of Commons, Mr. Burgoyne asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, since in the case of high-powered cars many owners had already paid in taxes more than their market value, he would consider a graduation of the motor-car tax according to age, fixing a period at which the vehicle, owing to age and lack of market value, should be entirely exempt.-Mr. Hobhouse, who replied, said: My right hon. friend is appointing a committee to advise as to any changes which should be made in the Treasury regulations respecting horse-power, and they will, no doubt, consider whether any concession is called for in respect of a car the effective horse-power of which is diminished through age.
In reply to a question from Mr. Hoare, Mr. Churchill said: Nine hundred and two members of the Metropolitan Police were sent to South Wales last November, 500 to Hull in June, 263 to Salford at the beginning of this month, and 320 are now in Cardiff. In the case of South Wales, the extra allowances granted to the men were paid from Imperial funde, a sum of £15,CCO being voted by Parlia ment for this purpose; the other expenees were charged to the county authority, but have not yet been paid. At Hall, Salford, and Cardiff all expenses will be paid by the local authority. In no case will any extra charge be allowed to fall on the London ratepayer-Mr. Hoare asked if the right hon. gentleman thought there was any likelihood of recovering the amount from the South Wales authorities. Mr. Churchill: Yes; certainly. -Mr. Barlow asked why a difference was made between the treatment of South Wales and of Hull, Cardiff, and Salford, and why the latter towns had not received the consideration extended to South Wales.-Mr. Churchill said the last-mentioned places had agreed to pay the whole. He had every reason to believe that those important municipalities of their own free will desired to do so.-Mr. Remnant asked it the same men were selected again for this particular work.-Mr. Churchill said the men were taken indiscriminately.-Viscount Castlereagh asked if there was always a contingent available for this extra service.-Mr. All Churchill said the Metropolitan Police were a large force. police forces were liable to be called upon, but London was the only place where at short notice 250 men could be found ready. As a matter of tact, the calls on London had been less than on other places.
The House of Commons, on the 28th ult, considered the amendments made to the Copyright Bill in Grand Committee, but had not advanced beyond the fiftu clause when the time came for the adjournment of the debate.
In the House of Commons, on Mondar, Mr. W. Thorne asked the Prime Minister whether his attention had been called to a recent decision of the Court of Appeal to the effect that unless inhabitants of tenements were rated separately they did not comply with the terms of the Franchise Act of 1867; whether he was aware that this decision would affect other classes in addition to latchkey voters, and would be the means of disfranchising many thousands of people in all parts of the country.-Mr. Asquith said the question was receiving serious consideration.
In the House of Lords, on Tuesday, Lord Haldane moved the second reading of the Appeliate Jurisdiction Bill, the object of which was to make further provision with respect to the exercise by the House of Lords and the Privy Council of their appellate jurisdiction. The work of the Appellate Court consisted of two kinds, the appellate work from the home countries and next the appeals from the Dominions and other appeals from the Channel Islands and elsewhere. It was proposed that under the Bill two Lords of Appeal in Ordinary under the Act of 1876 in addition to the four Lords of Appeal in Ordinary ehould be appointed, and the Act further provided for salaries and
pensions-a point which might give rise to criticism from Lord Salisbury-but the necessity for the strengthening of the appellate urisdiction of the Empire would not be challenged. The matter had been debated in the Imperial Conference. In the discussion general approval was given to the Bill, but Lord Courtney criticized it, observing that, for some reason which did not appear, unnecessary expenditure was to be incurred by the appointment of two new Lords of Appeal. -Lord Salisbury admitted the importance of strengthening the appellate jurisdiction of the country, but reminded the House that the existence of the appellate jurisdiction of the House had been used for political purposes, to the prejudice of the House.-The Lord Chancellor, in reference to a remark that this was a Money Bill and that it was strange it should be introduced in that House, said this class of Bill had always been introduced in the House of Lords. It met with general approval. The great causes, often involving great constitutional matters, came before the House and the Privy Council. The work was heavy and they did their best They had the help of Lord Halsbury, but they had no right to ask for his services. He considered that the Bill was thoroughly necessary to lighten the present heavy burden. As to any unpopularity which might have been brought on the House by judgments, he said it was most unfair that any blame should attach to their Lordships owing to the judicial decisions which had been given.-Lord Camperdown, however, insisted that in Radical circles unfair reflections were cast on the House in this connection. He suggested that means should be taken to separate the name of the House of Lords from the highest Court of Appeal.-The Bill was read a second time.
In the House of Commons, Mr. A. S. Benn,' on behalf of Mr. Touche, asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he could report the result of the inquiries which he had been making into the various disciplinary courts connected with the Metropolitan Police, with a view to seeing whether there hould be some modification of the present system; and if in this connection he would take into consideration the formation of an independent Board of Appeal, including men with a judical training, such as barristers or magis. trates, so as to secure that those who were called upon to act as members of the court might not be closely linked with men whose own actions might be in question on some other occasion. Mr. Churchill: I find that in the year 1910 eighteen men were dismissed and seven others were reduced in rank out of a total force exceeding 19,000. I do not believe that so high a state of discipline has ever been maintained throughout so large a force at the cost of so few punishments. Further, in the last ten years the incidence of all punishments, including minor punishments, in the Metropolitan Police fell from 11.3 per cent. to 63 per cent. There are many other figures which could be cited of a similar character, but these are sufficient to satisfy me that it would be difficult to improve upon the results which are obtained under the present system. It must also be remembered that the police authorities have no disciplinary powers other than those possessed by the private employer, and this fact renders the achievement even more remarkable. The formation of the Board of Appeal such as suggested in the question is impracticable; and I am certain it would not be to the advantage of the constables that their failures should be dealt with by persons who have no experience of the difficulties and trials to which they are exposed.
Mr. Austen Chamberlain, on behalf of Mr. Pretyman, asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the original valuation and the revised valuation in the Scottish case stated by Mr. Holmes Ivory applied to different areas; and, if so, what the difference was.-Mr. Illingworth, who replied, said: The original valuation was in respect of a net area of about 586 square yards, and the amended valuation of about 655 square yards. The inclusion of the additional area which had been formerly excluded changed the character of the site and secured the permanency of lights for the main building.-Mr. Austen Chamberlain: Is the hon. gentleman aware that Mr. Ivory denies that there was any alteration in the area of the site between the first and second valuation ?-Mr. Illingworth was understood to refer the right hon. gentleman to the reply he had already given.— Mr. Austen Chamberlain: Has inquiry been made since the debate? -Mr. Illingworth: So I understand.-Mr. Fell asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he proposed to take to prevent the valuers of property for estate duty making valuations showing a value in excess of the valuation made by the valuers under the Finance Act who were valuing for increment duty; and whether all these valuers were acting under the instructions of the Treasury.Mr. Illingworth: Valuations for estate duty purposes of property passing on death, as well as valuations of the same property for the purposes of Part 1 of the Finance (1909-10) Act 1910, are now being made in each case by the same valuer and at the same time, and consequently valuations returned for death duty purposes are being adjusted daily by way either of increase or of decrease. All valuers are acting under the instructions of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue.
In the House of Lords, on Wednesday, the Marquis of Lansdowne said: I beg to give notice on behalf of my noble friend Lord Curzon that on Tuesday next he will move a resolution in the following terms: "That the advice given to His Majesty by His Majesty's Ministers whereby they obtained from His Majesty a pledge that a sufficient number of peers shall be created to pass the Parliament Bill in the shape in which it left the House of Commons is a gros8 violation of Constitutional liberty, whereby, among many other ill consequences, the people will be precluded from again pronouncing on the policy of Home Rule." I beg to give notice also that on Tuesday I shall move the suspension of the Standing Order 21 in order that
my noble friend's motion may take precedence.-Viscount Morley: Of course there will be no objection to that. In moving the adjournment of the House I would suggest it would be convenient that it should not meet again until Tuesday.
After the third reading of the Lunacy Bill, the Lord Chancellor proposed to omit the first clause (Amalgamation of the Lunacy Departments) and to insert a new clause providing for the appointment of two additional Commissioners in Lunacy. He said it had been necessary for him to make orders in three successive years diminishing the number of visits which each commissioner had to make because their number was insufficient, and he thought he ought not to continue doing so longer because, while the number of commissioners was the same as it was in 1845, the patients under their care had increased from 25,000 to 120,000. He had been reluctantly obliged to give up the hope of effecting in this Bill an amalgamation of the Lunacy Departments. Parliamentary time would not suffice for the purpose of effecting this needed reform.-The amendmente were agreed to and the Bill passed. The Official Secrets Bill was read the third time and passed.
In the House of Commons, Mr. Balfour said: I beg to give notice that on Monday next, if that day is not inconvenient to the Government, I propose to move the following vote of censure: "That the advice given to His Majesty by His Majesty's Ministers whereby they obtained from His Majesty a pledge that a sufficient number of peers would be created to pass the Parliament Bill in the shape in which it left this House is a gross violation of Constitutional liberty, whereby, among many other ill-consequences, the people will be precluded from again pronouncing on the policy of Home Rule." I may perhaps give notice that I will ask the Prime Minister on Monday what was the date on which the pledges were given.
The case of Miss Malecka, the British subject who has been detained in prison in Warsaw for four months without any charge made against her, was again considered on Wednesday at a meeting between several members of the House of Commons and a few of Miss Malecka's friends in England. It was decided to make strong representations to the Foreign Office that inasmuch as this lady is undoubtedly by English law a British subject, and has now been in prison for over four months without trial; as the Russian Government has never produced any particulars of the charge against her in spite of repeated requests on the part of His Majesty's Government. and as in consequence it has been impossible for the prisoner to apply for bail, or to consult with her legal advisers for her defence; application should be made for her immediate release. A memorial is being prepared on these lines, and will, it is hoped, be presented to Sir Edward Grey next week.
Among the members of the House recently raised in the peerage Lord Loreburn, the Lord Chancellor, was introduced on Tuesday and took his seat, prior to going to the Woolsack, as Earl Loveburn.
The Naval Prizes Bill, which embodies the law with regard to naval prizes as set forth in the Declaration of London, came before a Standing Comittee. Clause 30 had been reached when the committee adjourned.
TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITIONS IN PENCIL. IN June 1910 M. X- died at Montpellier, in France. He left his estate to his domestic servant, some collaterals and friends enjoying particular legacies. Les dernières volontés of M. X-- were contained in a testament of 1908 and a codicil of 1910 written in pencil.
The brother of the testator contested this testamentary disposition. He urged that the will and codicil presented no character of authenticity, and that such a disposition written in pencil was of no value. When the case came before the court, writing experts were called, who expressed the view that there could be no doubt that the writing of the will and codicil was that of the testator.
The case was decided on the 21st ult. in the First Chamber of the Civil Tribunal at Montpellier, after hearing Me. Bressot and Me. Gauffre for the parties interested.
The court pronounced in favour of the will and codicil impugned, notwithstanding that the writing was in pencil.
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