« EelmineJätka »
THE report of an inquest at Marlborough furnishes some commentary on the perils of which the motor-car may seem to be the cause. A six-year-old child standing in the road was said to have suddenly burst into flames, and it was alleged that the cause was "a spark from a passing motor-car." Most people nowadays have sufficient knowledge of motor-cars to realise that it is unlikely to emit sparks such as are emitted from railway engines or dropped from the fire-boxes of steam tractors. A motor-car had, however, been backed out of a garage into the road, and accordingly tests were made upon it. The child was clothed in flannelette and so a piece of this material was held close to the exhaust pipe and the engine raced. A second test followed in which the material was soaked in petrol. Still nothing happened. Supposing, however, a vicious backfire had chanced to come and had ignited the petrol, there can be small doubt but that coroner's juries in such cases would jump to the conclusion that a new peril had been discovered. There was no evidence apparently that the child was near the car, and none that its clothes had been previously soaked in petrol, and so the test is a remarkable one to enter into the conception of the coroner. Nor was there evidence of the motor misfiring or banging in the silencer when being backed into the road.
THE Home Office is now in possession of certain draft by-laws which have been prepared by the London County Council whereby further means will be found for preventing obstruction busy streets. It is understood that the by-law will not be applied to every road at once, but will be enforced in those streets where there is existing a state of traffic congestion. Now that the London County Council is taking this matter in hand, it might profitably go a step further and consider what can be done to mitigate street noises of all sorts. Complaints are rife as to motor-horns, but no driver blows his horn for the fun of it, but to announce his presence. A rigid prohibition of the horn might only lead to accidents. These, however, are not the only noises to disturb the London resident. Street cries, traction engines, iron tyres, rattling chains, and especially such noisy things as milk carts and mail vans, and a host of other items swell the general volume of sound, and, until some effort is made to compel each and every causer of noise to take steps to abate it, there will be no justice in visiting harshly one item and palliating the others. It might further be possible for the Local Government Board by regulations to ensure that motor-horns are of such a character as not to be unnecessarily insistent. A horn with a clear, low-pitched note (such as that described as d'un ton grave in the International Convention on Motor Cars) might be prescribed, and steps might be taken to prohibit in towns the sirens and whistles affected by some motorists. It is indeed a question well worth consideration whether the time has not arrived for a modern Act of Parliament to consolidate and amend the whole subject of nuisance by noise. Alike in town and country, complaints are made of the selfishness of the individual who subjects his neighbours to annoyance. Where the town resident has some remedy provided in by-laws or statute, in many cases the rural tenant is quite unprotected.
COUNTY OF LONDON QUARTER SESSIONS. GREAT WESTERN AND METROPOLITAN RAILWAY COMPANIES v. KENSINGTON ASSESSMENT COMMITTEE.
SAME. HAMMERSMITH ASSESSMENT COMMITTEE. Rating-Railway Lines-Joint Line-Value as Feeder to other LinesContributory Value-Parochial Principle-Competition. ON the 5th, 6th, and 14th July last the above appeals were heard before Mr. Wallace, K.C, the chairman, and other justices.
The appellant companies are jointly the owners and occupiers of the Hammersmith and City Railway, which is situate in the parishes of Paddington, Kensington, and Hammersmith, in the county of London, and has stations at Westbourne Park, in the parish of Paddington; at Notting Hill, in the parish of Kensington; at Latimerroad, partly in the parish of Kensington and partly in the parish of Hammersmith; and at Wood-lane, Shepherd's Bush, and Hammersmith (Broadway), in the parish of Hammersmith. The appellant companies, feeling themselves aggrieved by the assessment of their property in the valuation lists made in 1910 for the parishes of Kensington and Hammersmith respectively, gave notices of objection to the lists. The assessment committees of Kensington and Hammersmith decided upon the objections, and assessed the "lines" of the railway in the two parishes as separate items and as distinct from stations, &c. In the parish of Kensington the "lines were assessed at £3900 grosз and £1950 rateable value, and in the parish of Hammersmith at
The appellant companie £9580 gross and £4890 rateable value. now appealed against the decisions of the assessment committees so far as the same related to the valuation of the "lines."
The Hammersmith and City Railway was constructed by the Hammersmith and City Railway Company under powers conferred upon them by the Hammersmith and City Railway Act 1861. The company were subsequently empowered to lease or sell their undertaking to the appellant companies by the Hammersmith and City Railway Act 1865, and ultimately conveyed their undertaking to the appellant companies by an agreement dated the 24th June 1867. By sect. 69 of the Great Western Railway (Various Powers) Act 1867 the Hammersmith and City Railway Company was absolutely dissolved and ceased to exist. The undertaking of the Hammersmith and City Railway is carried on by a joint committee of the appellant companies under the powers conferred by the lastmentioned Act. Under the Act of 1867 the appellant companies guaranteed dividends upon the Hammersmith and City Railway preference shares and ordinary stock, these guarantees amounting to an annual sum of £17,600. The lines of railway forming the Hammersmith and City Railway are about three miles in length, and extend (through parts of the parishes of Hammersmith, Kensington, and Paddington) from Hammersmith Broadway to a junction with the Great Western Railway close to Westbourne Park Station, with two short spur lines (both in the parish of Hammeremith) forming junctions with the West London Railway and the London and SouthWestern Railway respectively. At the junction with the Great Western Railway the lines of the Hammersmith and City Railway connect with lines of the Great Western Railway, which in turn connect with the lines of the Metropolitan Railway at or near Bishop's road Station. The Hammersmith and City Railway was opened for traffic on the 13th June 1864, and was intended principally to convey traffic from Hammersmith, Shepherd's Bush, Latimer-road, and Notting Hill to the City of London by way of the lines of the Hammersmith and City Railway, of the Great Western Railway, and of the Metropolitan Railway as described above. At the time of the opening of the Hammersmith and City Railway there was no other railway communication from Hammersmith to the City of London or vice versa. In 1874 the lines of the Metropolitan District Railway were opened for traffic between Hammersmith and the City of London by way of Victoria Station and the Thames Embankment. In 1900 the lines of the Central London Railway were opened, providing a direct communication between Shepherd's Bush and the City of London. In 1906 the lines of the Great Northern, Piccadilly, and Brompton Railway were opened, providing a direct communication between Hammersmith and Piccadilly-circus, and providing (in conjunction with the lines of the Metropolitan District Railway) communication between Hammersmith and the City of London by way of South Kensington Station. From 1908 onwards various services of motor omnibuses have been opened, which provide, in conjunction with various lines of railway, communication between Hammersmith and the City of London.
The appellant companies by their case alleged that the traffic on the Hammersmith and City Railway had suffered severely from the competition of the railways and motor omnibuses above referred to; that since 1899 the gross receipts earned on the whole of the lines of the railway had shown a considerable decrease; that the decrease of the net receipts (arrived at by deducting the working expenditure from the gross receipts) was extremely heavy, the net receipts having declined from £33,844 in 1899 to £6157 in 1909; and that the working expenditure had increased very greatly since the line was opened for electric traction at the end of 1906. And the appellant companies contended that the gross and rateable values of the lines of railway of the Hammersmith and City Railway had by reason of the facts herein before stated (especially of the continued decline in gross and net receipts) been reduced to nil or to a mere nominal value, the ability to carry on a profitable trade on such lines of railway having practically ceased to exist; and that, having regard to the decision of the House of Lords in Great Central Railway Company v. Banbury Union (100 L. T. Rep. 89; (1909) A. C. 87), the lines of railway which were the subject of these appeals ought to be assessed solely with regard to the earning capacities of the lines of railway within the parish in which such lines were assessed. In the alternative the appellant companies contended that there was, in fact, no element of value in the lines (in the parishes of Kensington and Hammersmith) except their earning capacity within such parishes respectively. The appellant companies accordingly contended that the gross and rateable values of the lines in each of the valuation lists should be reduced to nil or to £200 as the gross and £100 as the rateable value. The respondents contended that there was the fact of possible competition to be considered, and that it was not unreasonable to assume that the hypothetical tenant would give by way of rent for the lines at least a sum which would more than justify the assessments appealed against. The respondents also disputed the accuracy of the figures put forward by the appellant companies for the purposes of determining the rateable value of the linee.
Balfour Browne, K.C., Ryde, K.C., and E. M. Konstam (instructed by L. B. Page) appeared for the appellant companies; Clavell Salter, K.C. and H. Courthope-Munroe (instructed by Pontifex, Pitt, and Johnson) for the Kensington Assessment Committee; and Page, K.C. and H. Courthope-Munroe (instructed by Watson, Sons, and Room) for the Hammersmith Assessment Committee.
Ryde, K.C, at the opening of the appeal, referred to Great Central Railway Company v. Banbury Union (ubi sup), in which the House of Lords decided that, in assessing the rateable value of a link line in a parish, evidence of the interest on the cost of construction of
he link line was not admissible. Lord Loreburn, L.C., after referring to the usual method of rating the railway line in a par.sh, aided: "I will only add that there may be exceptional cases, as, for example, where a railway company rents an auxiliary line, not really a part of its system. or a number of railway companies occupy in common a piece of line I do not wish to say anything in regard to such cases unless and until they come to be argued before this House, feeling the danger of general rules beyond the need of the case under consideration." Counsel contended that the logic which the Lord Chancellor laid down in the main part of his judgment applied equally to the cases which he reserved for further considera. tion so 89 to guard against making mistakee, and accordingly applied to the present case. The case of London and North-Western Railway Company v. Ampthill Union (97 L. T. Rep. 869) was also cited.
Evidence was then given as to competition of other railways and of motor omnibuses and trams with the line under consideration, and 88 to the gross receipts and working expenses. general manager of the London and South-Western Railway Company said that his company would not bid for the Hammersmith and City line. The general manager of the Metropolitan Railway Company said that if the line was in the market he would not advise his company to take a lease of it. It offered the line rent free, his company wou'd think very seriously before taking it, but it would be practically impossible to close the line. The general manager of the Great Western Railway Company said that his company would not give a rent for the line to become sole occupying tenants. He thought his company could abandon the line if they liked, but the public would have something to say if they did. The Great Western and the Metropolitan Railway Companies had been paying about £18,000 per annum to work the line.
Clavell Saller, K.C. then referred to the cases of South-Eastern Railway Company v. Overseers of Dorking (1854, 3 E. & B. 491). London and North-Western Railway (ompa'y v. Overseers of Cannock (9 L. T. Rep 325), Reg. v. London and North-Western Railway Company (L. Rep. 9 Q. B. 134), and London and North-Western Railway Company v. Iithlingborough (35 L T. Rep. 327), and submitted that they were authorities to show that in a case like the present the profits made outside a parish could be considered in rating the line in the parish. The present case fell within the exceptions in Lord Lore burn's judgment. In the Banbury case the line in question was a part of a through line with no stations and originating no traffic; here the line was a feeder pure and simple.
Evidence was given that the rateable values appealed against in Kensington and Hammersmith could be supported if the fact could properly be taken into consideration that the line was a feeder to the Great Westeru and Metropolitan lines elsewhere.
The chairman said that there was a good deal of general evidence that the line was practically a feeder to others, and it was perfectly manifest to anyone using his common sense and looking at the line that that was what it was. In his view, if the principle of the case of Great Central Railway Company v. Banbury Union applied, the rateable values in the parishes were practically nil; if contributive value could be considered, the assessments should stand.
Page, K C. contended that where, as here, the line was the subject of competition, the terms under which it was held might be looked at. The Banbury case had not altered the rule of law that competition gives an added value to an hereditament for rating purposes. the Bunbury case there was no competition for the line; here there would be, it the line was in the market. The fact that the Great Western Railway and the Metropolitan Railway Companies bad combined was not material in considering the question of competi tion
Balfour Browne, K.C. referred to the case of London and North. Western Railway Company v. Ampthill Union (ubi sup), where the Court of Appeal held that evidence as to interest on the cost of construction of the line under consideration was too remote to be admi sible, the 1.ne having been constructed many years before. That case applied here. The cases cited on behalf of the respondents with regard to the line having an enhanced value as a feeder were overruled in the Banbury case (see the judgment of Lord Dunedin). The principle to be applied here was exactly the same as that applied in the Banbury case.
The CHAIEMAN, in giving judgment, said:—In my opinion, support d by the witnesses on both sides, who agreed that, taking the parochial valuation system, there was no rateable value in this railway at all, if that be the true test and the only test, then I think the appellan's ought to succeed. There is, of course, what might be called an occupation nominal value of any space of ground. People could put sheds on it. There is a sort of nominal value which I should fix in the case of Kensington at about £60 and in the case of Hammersmith at about £100: That is assuming that the parochial system alone regulates and guides the decision, and, therefore, if that be so, I should enter judgment for the appellants. Then a series of cther questions of fact has been raised. It is said that the parochial is not the only system. There has been the question in regard to the agree ment of 1867. My own view is-having regard to the length of time and having regard to the great changes which have taken place since 1867-that the agreement is valueless for the purpose of guiding one in one's decision in connection with the matter. I also think that the question of competition can be given in evidence if there be com. petitors who can be ascertained as competitors. If it can be shown that there are those who are willing to pay a rent, then I think that vidence would override what is called the parochial value. But I
do not think it is sufficient, in regard to that, for an expert. or anyone, to come and say, " In our opinion there are people who ought to be willing to take this line." Therefore, in regard to the competition part of the case, the evidence has not satisfied me so that I should hold in favour of the respondents. The other, and the only other, outstanding question was the question in regard to what is called contributory value to the line as a feeder. On that my finding of fact is that there is a contributory value as a feeder to both the lines of the Great Western and Metropolitan; that the companies make no profit from the line itself as such, but that they make profit by carrying passengers to the other lines who get through tickets or get tickets on the other lines. The companies are enabled to make a larger profit than they would otherwise have made. That is my view of the result of the evidence. If I am not to take the value as a feeder into consideration on the grounds urged by Mr. Balfour Browne—that that is already taken into account elsewhere in connection with the rateable values of the Great Western and Metropolitan lines ascertained in the various parishes in which they are situate-then, if that be so, I should again find for the appellante. I bave stated all the findings of fact which I propose to make, and the result of it will be that I enter judgment for the appellante, fixing the rateable values in Kensington and Hammersmith at £60 and £100 respectively on the ground stated.
EAST LONDON RAILWAY JOINT COMMITTEE v. GREENWICH UNION ASSESSMENT COMMITTEE.
SAME v. ASSESSMENT COMMITTEE OF BOROUGH OF BERMONDSEY. SAME . ASSESSMENT COMMITTEE OF BOROUGH OF STEPNEY. Rating-hailway-Line leased in Perpetuity to five CompaniesExcess of Expenses over Receipts-Competitive Value-Position, Connections, and Accommodation.
THESE appeals were heard by the deputy chairman (Mr. Loveland Loveland, K C.) and other justices on the 1st June last, and a reserved judgment was delivered on the 19th July.
1 he appellants were a joint committee representing the following railway companiee-namely, the London, Brighton, and South Coast, the South Eastern and Chatham, the Metropolitan, the Metropolitan District, and the Great Eastern, as joint lessees of the East London Railway. The East London Railway runs from the Great Eastern Railway on the north of the Thames to lines of the South-Eastern and Chatham and the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railways on the south of the Thames, and has a connection with the Metropolitan and Metropolitan and District Railways at Whitechapel. The East London Railway was incorporated by an Act passed on the 26th May 1865 entitled "An Act for the construction of railways to connect by means of the Thames Tunnel certain railways on the Surrey side of the river Thames with certain railways on the Middlesex side of the river to be called The East London Railway' and for other parposes. The cost of the line was very considerable. When first opened for traffic, the line was worked by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company under an agreement with the East London Railway Company. The line was worked under this agree. ment down to the 1st Oct. 1884, when it was let to the five companies first mentioned under the provisions of the East London Railway Act 1882, and it has since been worked by the appellants representing these companies. Under the Act of 1882 the line was leased in perpetuity to these companies at a minimum rent of £30,000 per annum. The appellants appealed against the valuation of their lines in the quinquennial valuation lists 1910 as regards six parishes, one in the Greenwich Union, one in the borough of Bermondsey, and four in the borough of Stepney. The rateable value in the Greenwich parish had been fixed by the assessment committee at £2326; the rateable value in the Bermondsey parish at £1580; and the total of the rateable values in the Stepney parishes at £1359, with £75 for a station. The appellants by their case relating to the Greenwich assessment (and, as regards questions of principle, the appeals were all treated as ou the same footing) contended that the East London Railway had in it no element of value other than that represented by its actual earning capacity, if any. They alleged that the object of the lease was to develop what was believed to be an important public route from north to south for the common convenience, but that the anticipations by which the companies were induced to become tenants of the railway on the terms of the lease were now proved to have been ill-founded, and that during the last three years the expenses of working the railway hd considerably exceeded the gross receipts, and the excess of expenses over receipts had increased and continued to increase annually. They further contended that the rent paid under the lease was not admissible as evidence of the value of the line: (Great Central Railway Company v. Banbury Union, 100 L. T. Rep. 89; (1909) A. C. 78). The respondents by their cafe contended that, having regard to the railway being a short link, to its situation in the metropolis, to its connection with so many railways, to its being a means of communication between the two sides of the river Thamee, to the terms on which it and other short lines bad been and were being worked and cocupied, to the competition which would arise if the line were in the market, and to the accommodation afforded by the line, the railway might be reasonably expected to let from year to year at a rent sufficiently high to support the assessment appealed against. The respondents further contended that, as the railway was occupied in common by a number of railway companies and did not form a part of the system or undertaking of any one of such companies, there was upon the facts of the case evidence of possible competition for the occupation of the line and of the rent
possible competitors might give for the line; and further, tha the hereditaments in question were within the description of the hereditaments expressly excepted by Lord Loreburn, L.C. and Lord Dunedin from the principle of the decision of the House of Lords in Great Central Railway Company г. Banbury Union
Sir Alfred Cripps, K.C. and Ryde, K.C. (instructed by Bristows, Cooke, and Carpmael) appeared for the appellants; Balfour Browne, K.C. and E. M. Konstam (instructed by H. W. Saw, agent for 8. Saw, Greenwich) for the Greenwich Assessment Committee: Balfour Browne, K C. and W. Frampton (instructed by Frederick Ryall) for the Bermondsey Assessment Committee; and Balfour Browne, K C. and E. M. Konstam (instructed by Alfred Turner) for the Stepney Assessment Committee.
Evidence was called on behalf of the appellants to establish that since 1906 the expenses of the line had each year exceeded the receipts and that in 1909 the excess amounted to £4036, and this without regard to the yearly rent of £30,000. There was evidence also to the effect that it would not be worth the while of any of the lessee companies individually to give a rent for the line. The respondents offered no evidence.
Sir Alfred Cripps, K.C. contended that upon the evidence the rateable value should be taken as purely nominal-a shilling a yard lineal as in the case of sidings. When an appeal was made against the quinquennial valuation list of 1905, this court took into account the fact that the line was a link line and its geographical position, and the Divisional Court upheld the decision of this court: (East London Railway Joint Committee v. Bermondsey and Greenwich But the case Assessment Committees, | 97 L. T. Rep. 404). Great Central Railway Company v. Banbury Union had not been before the House of Lords, and according to that case the contribu⚫ive There being value of a link line was not to be taken into account. no evidence that any individual company would give a rent for the line-no evidence of a competitive value-the line should be rated at a nominal value only.
Balfour Browne, K.C. said that the position was the same as upon Taking into the last occasion with regard to parochial value. consideration the rent, the line had no parochial value then as now. In 1907 the Court of King's Bench had said that the "position, of the line were matters to be accommodation, and connections " taken into consideration. With regard to the rent, this court had not made the mistake of taking that as a criterion of the value of the line, but had regarded it merely as an indication that the position, accommodation, and connections of the line had value. This case was one of the exceptions alluded to by Lord Lore burn, LC. in Great Central Railway Company v. Banbury Union. The line had a competitive value. It was obvious that someone might be found to rent the line beside the lessee companies; and they themselves, to get rid of competition, had combined.
The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN delivered the following judgment.—It is nnnecessary to go into the history of this line, which is leased to the East London Railway Joint Committee, because the facts have been before this court on previous occasions, when the arrangement under which the joint committee worked the line was fully gone into. Only one point, divided into two parts, was raised by the learned counsel for the appellants in his arguments, and by the evidence called by him at He contended. first, that the gradually the hearing of this case. increasing loss annually sustained by the joint committee justified a nominal assessment only; and, secondly, that the House of Lords decision in the case of Great Central Railway v. Banbury Union ought to alter our previous decision as to the principle involved in this case-namely, that we might take into consideration extraneous circumstances. With regard to the question of principle, when the case stated by us was heard and determined by the High Court in 1907, our view was supported. Darling, J. clearly stated that " were entitled to look at extraneous circumstances," and A. T. Lawrence, J. was of opinion that the position and connections and accommodation of this line are things which no one who was going to take the line as a tenant would shut his eyes to." It appears to as that the case of the Banbury Union in the House of Lords does not in any way affect the question. It certainly does not decide that we are not to take into consideration these extraneous circumstances in a case such as the present. Lord Lore burn at the end of his judgment clearly contemplated a case such as this and refused to lay down any general rule. With regard to the question of values, we have had ample evidence by various officials of the lines represented on the joint committee, and we have no evidence on the other side to contradict it, that the line is indeed carried on at an annual loss, The reduction quite apart from the question of any statutory rent.
in gross receipts in 1910 as compared with 1905 is 28 to 30 per cent., and the reduction in working expenses is only 8 per were at the last hearing in cent. We are of opinion, as 1905, that, in arriving at what a hypothetical tenant would give for are still justified in taking into the we present property, account the position, connections, and accommodation of the line, and we feel that we cannot accept the evidence of the appellants that a shilling a yard of single line nominal value is the proper way of assessing this line. Now, applying the principle approved by the High Court in 1907, and having regard to the lack of evidence given, we are obliged to take the figures of 1905 as the basis of our valuation. It is clear that the 30 per cent. reduction in receipts is considerably less than the actual increased loss in the working of the line. We have accordingly reduced the figures. The effect of this is that the assessments in the various parishes vary considerably when compared in the form of percentage on gross receipts. This is not
SITTINGS OF THE COURTS.
FOR THE WEEK ENDING SATURDAY, AUG. 12.
Aldershot, Wednesday, at 9.30
Barnsley. Tuesday and Wednes-
Wednesday, at 10
Blackpool, Wednesday, at 10
Durham, Tuesday (R. By)
Fleetwood, Thursday, at 9.30
Great Malvern, Friday, at 10
Hull, Thursday and Friday Keighley, Wednesday, at 10 Keswick, Friday, at 2
Kettering, Tuesday, at 10 Kirkham, Friday, at 10.30 Knaresbrough, Friday, at 10
Lambeth, Friday (Reg. at 9.30) and Saturday, at 10 Ledbury, Thursday, at 10 Leeds, Wednesday, Thursday (J.S. & A.O.), and Friday, at 10 Leigh, Friday
Leominster, Saturday, at 10 Liverpool, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (B., A., & W.C.), at
Miliom, Thursday, at 11.45 Newcastle-on-Tyne, Thursday (R. By) and Friday (J.S. & A.O.), at 10
Newport (Mon.), Thursday and Friday, at 10.30
Newport Pagnell, Friday, at 10
North Shields, Thursday, at 10
Friday (R. By), at 10.30
Pontefract Tuesday and Wednesday, at 10
Pontypool, Wednesday, at 10.30 Portsmouth, Thursday (By at 12),
Preston, Tuesday, at 9.30
Reading, Thursday (R By at 2), at 10
Redruth, Thursday, at 10
Salisbury, Thursday, at 10
Skipton, Tuesday, at 9.45
Southampton, Tuesday (By at 11), at 10
South Shields, Thursday, at 10
Thirsk, Wednesday, at 10
Tonbridge, Wednesday, at 9.30
Torquay, Saturday, at 10.30
Towcester, Tuesday, at 10
Tunbridge Wells, Thursday, at 9.30
West London (Brompton), Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, at 10.30
Weston-super-Mare, Thursday, at
Whitechapel, Tuesday, Wednesday,
* Other sittings are specially fixed if necessary.
WHERE TO FIND YOUR LAW.-Being a Discursive Bibliographical Essay upon the various Divisions and Sub-Divisions of the Law of England, and the Statutes, Reports of Cases, and Text Books containing such Law, with Appendixes for Facilitating Reference to all Statutes and Reports of Cases, and with a Full Index. By ERNEST ARTHUR JELF, M.A., of New College, Oxford, Barrister-at-Law of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, and of the SouthEastern Circuit. Third Edition, greatly Enlarged, price 10s. 6d., post free.-HORACE COX, "Law Times" Office, Windsor House, Bream's-buildings, E. C.-[Advt.]
THE COUNTY COURTS CHRONICLE AND GAZETTE OF BANKRUPTCY.To enable it to treat more completely of the many matters on which the Judges, Officers, and Practitioners require to be kept regularly informed and to give to it the importance which, as the Journal of the County Courts, and their long-established official organ, it is entitled to assume, it has been greatly improved and enlarged in accordance with the extension of the Jurisdiction of the County Courts under 30 & 31 Vict. c. 142, 46 & 47 Vict. c. 52, 51 & 52 Vict. c. 43, and 53 & 54 Vict. c. 63. The Reports of Cases relating to County Courts Law decided by the Superior Courts are in octavo form, as more convenient for citation in Court. Communications "Queries," which is are nially invited to the department of designed to do for the County Courts what the "Justice of the Peace does for the Magistrates' Courts. N.B.-The "County Courts Chronicle" was commenced with the County Courts. It is recognised as the official organ of the Courts. Monthly, price 1s. 6d. -HORACE COXx, "Law Times" Office, Windsor House, Bream'sbuildings, E. C.—[ADVT.]
CONGRESS ON INTERNATIONAL LAW.
THE first Universal Races Congress, having for its object "to discuss, in the light of science and the modern conscience, the general relations subsisting between the peoples of the West and those of the East, between so-called white and so-called coloured peoples, with a view to encouraging between them a fuller understanding, the most friendly feelings, and a heartier co-operation," held at London University last week, began with a preliminary congress on International Law on Tuesday, the 25th ult., which was presided over by M, Henri La Fontaine (President de la Bureau International de la Paix, Bruxelles ; Professeur de Droit International). Among those present were: Dr. Walther Schücking (Professor of International Law, University of Marburg), M. Emile Arnaud (Président de la Ligue Internationale de la Paix et de la Liberté, Paris), M. Gaston Moch (Member du Bureau International de la Paix, Berne, Président d'Honneur de l'Institut International de la Paix, Monaco, Paris), Dr. Ivan Tejavtsky, Mr. George C. Chisholm, Mr. N. Darnell Davis (British West Indies). Dr. Paul Carus (Chicago), Señor J. Gascon Y Marin (Professor of International Law, University of Saragossa, Spain), Dr. Stephen Kyraff (Sofia, Bulgaria), Dr. M. F. Levey, Dr. A. Sum (delegate from Bohemia), Baron S. A. Korff (Professeur de Droit, Université de Finlande), Aziz Hanki Bey (Avocat de la Cour d'Appel, Cairo), Professor Uthebedgy (Université de Berne), Prince de Cattano, Rome), Mr. Paul S. Reinsch, Ph.D. (Professor of Political Science, University of Winsconsin), M. Victor Hugo Duras, D.C.L., Professor Dr. M. Popolivov (Sofia), and Captain Rason, R.N.
M. Emile Arnaud (Paris) brought forward a resolution for submission to the general congress to the effect that the congress was of opinion that the principle of protection, or public international law, might be claimed and must be allowed to all nations and even to all groups of people who were able to perform the duties correlative to their rights.
Dr. Stephen Kyraff (Sofia) asserted that, when organisation was begun in the matter, equal rights must be given to every State. He instanced the fact that new nations, whose people were the least prepared to exercise political rights, were inclined to give equal political rights to everybody.
Mr. N. Darnell Davis (British West Indies) objected that the discus. sion of such a resolution at a private gathering without any official status was ultra vires. It was absurd that such States as Hayti and San Domingo should be admitted as the equal of other States, such as Great Britain, which included within its empire millions of the black races, as well as Hindoos, Chinese, Malays, and others. He suggested the desirability of consolidating the various States by, for instance, getting them to agree to and join in general principles in such matters as commercial law. He thought that in course of time this principle might be extended to other matters.
Eventually the resolution was adopted together with others stating the opinion of the congress that the third International Peace Congress, which is to be held at The Hague, should adopt rules of public international law guaranteeing equality of rights to nations of divers races, facilitating the access of policed peoples to the society of nations, and impressing the duty on now existing nations of preparing the emancipation and autonomy of such peoples; that the various Governments should proceed without delay to the study of the questions to be discussed at the Peace Congress, and should pay great attention to the work done by the Peace Societies and juridical and economical associations; that societies of the kind should collaborate with a view of submitting to the preparatory committees and to the Governments the views of the various societies which have been considering the subject.
At the final sitting of the Universal Races Congress on Saturday, the 29th ult., under the presidency of Sulaiman Albustarri (Constantinople), a resolution was submitted by Prince Cassans (Italy) to the effect that in the opinion of the congress cordial relations among all divisions of mankind could be materially advanced by an extension of the powers of the Hague Court.
The Rev. Dr. Thomas A. Walker (Lecturer on International Law, Cambridge) said that what was wanted was a just international law effectively administered. The Hague Conference was a body voicing international law, and it should be a Parliament for all mankind. It could be made such a Parliament if the civilised countries willed it. The motion was adopted.
AMONG the witnesses who gave evidence at the sitting of the Public Records Commission on the 27th ult. was Mr. Rider Haggard. said that his main point was that the State papers generally known as the Rolls Series, and more particularly the calendars of the State papers, were very expensive to buy and very expensive to obtain otherwise. Many of them were out of print. In writing certain tales which dealt with the times of Henry VII. and Henry VIII., he desired to buy the volumes of the State Records dealing with the periods in question. His recollection was that for a good number of them he was asked not less than 30s. per volume. He supposed that was because some of them were out of print, as the quoted official price appeared to be 153. each. The cost was beyond his means, and he ultimately obtained the volumes which he required from the London Library. His argument was that those papers should be accessible to all at the most moderate price possi le. He also suggested that
the volumes might be produced in a more convenient and less bulky form. In answer to a question Mr. Haggard said that it was worthy of consideration whether State Records, which were, after all, the property of the nation, and should be available to the humblest citizen outside the doors of the great libraries, ought not to be made available to them without reference to the commercial matter of the cost of their production. Professor T. F. Tout, of Manchester University, said that the records of this country were not looked after by persons of a high standard of professional competency as archivists. He was of opinion that the people who had to deal with records should have a careful historical training-in fact, they should constitute in themselves a distinct profession, as on the Continent. The English record system was far behind those adopted by a number of Continental countries.
On the 28th ult., Mr. W. Martin, of the Patent Office, Secretary of the Congress of Archæological Societies, in giving evidence, complained of the great want of indexes of public records, and said that great loss of time was occasioned by the absence of them, as well as, very often, inability to find the particular document required. It was his opinion that it would be impossible to find any particular document in a whole day except by accident or unless one had some data to go upon. He remembered once, some years ago, he wished to discover the documents relating to the removal of the original Globe Theatre from Shoreditch to Bankside, but, only having a short time at his disposal, he was quite unable to find them, and it was not until recently that he discovered where they were. What he suggested was that a properly compiled index should be produced-not an ordinary index, but one which gave a short résumé of the subject-matter. In answer to questions, the witness said that such a work would doubtless require a large staff of index clerks, who would have to be highly qualified. He knew that the money for such a purpose would have to be provided by the Treasury, but he believed that if the matter were properly put before that authority there would not be the slightest difficulty. The commission adjourned for the vacation.
The Town Clerk (Sir James Bell), in his annual report to the City Corporation on City Records, states that Dr. Reginald R. Sharpe, the Records Clerk, has prepared and passed through the press & Calendar of Letters concerning the years from 1422 to 1461. Many of the entries are of great public interest, including a description of the reception of the remains of King Henry V. as they passed through the City on their way from the sea coast to Westminster for interment; the City's claim for service at the Coronation of Henry VI., when the Lord Mayor received the customary gold cup and ewer as assistant to the Chief Butler, and the record of the same King's subsequent reception and Coronation as King of France, at Paris. There are letters from the Duke of Bedford and the Earl of Salisbury reporting to the citizens the progress of the war with France; also a letter from Calais in 1435, when the town was being hard-pressed by the enemy, praying the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London "as the principal of all the cities in the realm" to use their influence with the King and his counsel to obtain relief. A record of the Council of Basle in 1432 is preserved at the Guildhall together with a copy of a letter sent by Pope Eugenius in 1438 to Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury, giving details of the Council of Florence. There is also a copy of an indulgence granted in 1442 by the same Pope to the Mayor and Aldermen and their wives to use a portable altar for secret celebration of Mass in places under papal interdict. The Calendar also refers to a right of sanctuary claimed by the Church of St. Martin-le-Grand, and to various economic questions, including the treatment of aliens, the system of apprenticeship, the payment of members of Parliament, and trade unions, describing how the citizens of old dealt with such matters.
THE STUDY OF LEGAL BIOGRAPHY.
By the Hon. HAMPTON L. CARSON, former Attorney-General of Pennsylvania, author of History of the Supreme Court of the United States, The Genesis of Blackstone's Commentaries and their Place in Legal Literature, &c. The address appeared in the Green Bag of July last.
WE take the following from an address delivered before the annual meeting of the Rhode Island Bar Association, at the banquet held the 5th Dec. 1910:
Your president has said that I would say something about the value and the interest of the study of legal biography as an aid to legal education, and to that topic I shall confine myself.
There are several ways of approaching it, and when I say the study of legal biography I do not mean that accidental passing of time which very many of us indulge in, in our otherwise unoccupied hours at night, by picking up a charming volume of legal biography and simply turning the pages to find out when the man was born, and what he did, and how he came to the Bar, and how, in the first month of his practice, he captivated all the bystanders and the juries and astounded them by the extent of his learning and eloquence and how, in the course of three years, he was able to amass, as Thomas Jefferson is said to have done, a sum very much larger than most of us are able to do at the end of fifteen or twenty years, as is the manner of ordinary legal biographies, but I mean, gentlemen, some. thing more serious and much more scientific and systematic than that.
The principle lying at the foundation of any interest in legal biography can be best illustrated by this simple thought. We all know that if we visit the city of Washington and go into the Supreme Court of the United States and see the nine justices upon the Bench, we ask their names, and notice the exact order in which they are
arranged to the right and left of the Chief Justice, and, if we are there on & Monday when opinions are handed down, we listen intently to the tones of their voices, and mark the manner with which they announce their decisions; thus we acquire more or less of a personal acquaintanceship with each man, which leads us to inquire into his mental characteristics, and from that time out no longer do the reports of the Supreme Court of the United States remain mere legal abstractions. Having heard an opinion read by Chief Justice Fuller in mild tones, or by Mr. Justice Harlan or Mr. Justice Brewer in deep bass, or Mr. Justice White with energy, or by Mr. Justice Holmes with the intonations of a scholar, these men no longer are mere dim figures to us. They are living legal personalities, and we attach more importance, and are much more inclined to weigh opinions in the scales of our own judgment based on our own knowledge of the men, than if they were total strangers to us.
Now, of course, with regard to the great body of judges at large, that is an impossibility. With regard to those who are dead it is an absolute impossibility. Their faces cannot be seen, their voices will never sound again, and their hands will no longer take up their pens to write judgments which are to stand as expositions of great principles. The next best thing that can be done is to gather the portraits, the autograph letters, and the documents of those men. In this way we substitute, through the engraver's art and the multiplications of the issues of the printing press, a body of engraved or written images which impress themselves on the mind, which will lead us thereafter to personify the judgments of a court instead of dealing with them as items under the headings in an encyclopædia, or digest, or dictionary. The extent to which this can be carried is an exceedingly interesting study. I confess that I have ridden the hobby for the past thirty years, during which I have been engaged in the serious work of collecting all the portraits and many autograph letters and legal documents, illustrative of the history of the Profession on both sides of the Atlantic, and at the end of some thirty years of accumulation I have all the portraits (so far as they can be had of the Chancellors, the Vice-Chancellors, the Masters of the Rolls, the Chief Barons, the puisne Barons of the Exchequer, the Lord Chief Justices and puisne Justices of the King's Bench, the Chief Justices of the Common Pleas and the Associate Justices, and, since the passage of their Practice Act of 1873 and their Judicature Act as it is called, the Lord Justices of Appeal, as well as those who deal with matters of Admiralty, of probate and divorce-and in that way it becomes perfectly possible to know what manner of men they were. The collection now numbers some 12,000 pictures, some of them superb mezzotints, line engravings, stipple or mixed illustrations, and others, finished with the most perfect skill of the engravers, displaying trials and scenes in court. To them I add everything that can be found in the shape of published trials, curious books, early editions, legal documents, autograph letters, until there is in my mind a storehouse of pictures, so that if a name should happen to be mentioned, that man is no longer a mere abstraction. He represents not only a definite human being, but a human being in the right place in connection with his official position. I could readily fill this room on the one wall with portraits of Lord Mansfield, of Lord Eldon on the other; and of John Marshall, I could not place them all upon this end of the room. That is merely an illustration. When it is found that the art of engraving and the art of painting lend themselves to this work, that a portrait painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, or Sir Thomas Lawrence, or by Sir Peter Lely, or by Holbein, to get back into more ancient days, engraved by the very finest masters of the art of engraving in England, which portray a man in his earliest years, through his successes at the Bar, during his career as solicitor, or Attorney-General, and then after his promotion to the Common Pleas or to the King's Bench, and from there to the Woolsack, and that at every stage of his career we can have a definite impression on the mind as to what he looked like, how he was robed, who his associates were, we are instinctively led to inquire something as to the man himself and learn to know him more vivedly than merely through his decisions. If we pick up books like FOES' Dictionary of the Judges of England, Roscoe's Lives of Eminent Lawyers, Townsend's Eminent Judges, Story's Life of Story, Benjamin Robins Curtis' Life by George Ticknor Curtis, we see the truth of this statement. Biography becomes an essential element in the mastery of a knowledge of our profession. The life of the law, after all, is but the life, in the aggregate, of its various members. We are all familiar with the value of leading cases, not only as live storehouses of principles, but as engines of energy for the affecting of the future whether for weal or for woe. But behind every case stands a judge, and behind every judge stands an occasion, and behind the occasion necessarily stands the century that produced it, because these things are not accidental; and we, in analysing the decisions in a leading case, are necessarily analysing the brain of the judge who pronounced that decision, his ancestral environment, his opportunities of contact with this or that question, until we reach a point in time and the place of discharge of legal force. A leading case becomes a part of the wondrous warp and woof which the judges are perpetually weaving into a fabric like the Ægis for the protection of the liberties of ourselves and our distant posterity.
It is an astonishing thing how much we can learn simply from the exhibition of legal documents. We read about the conflict between Lord Coke and Lord Ellesmere, one the Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench and the other the Chancellor, upon the question of the right of the Chancellor to restrain in equity by injunction the execution of a judgment recovered at law and alleged to have been fraudently obtained, and the conflict between Coke and Ellesmere became of vital importance in the establishment of the superior jurisdiction of Chancery; but I confess that my own appreciation of
the matter was very much intensified when in the course of a collection of autograph documents I finally secured a document upon which the signatures of Lords Ellesmere and Coke stood side by side. When I supplemented that by the collection of their portraite, when I attempted to gather around them the figures, the small simulacra of their associates, then I was impelled to read the history of the times to see what manner of men they were, and what their real contribution to jurisprudence was. I felt that there was a principle at the basis of all this by which, if the study were intelligently conducted, there could be found some method of appraisement-which is of great importance of the value of judicial judgments.
We have had thousands of judges in all parts of the country, even in the short time we have existed as a republic. There have been about 1600 judges in England since the days of William the Norman. To merely take up a volume of reports and to see that Mr. Justice Ashhurst said so-and-so, and Mr. Justice Buller said so and so, and Mr. Justice Patteson said another thing, is a matter of very little real consequence to us unless we have some sort of knowledge of the true value of that man's work in his position as a judge. In this age when we are over-burdened with the multitude of decisions, and where frequently the active practitioner is looking out not for the strong judgment but simply for the last ruling on the case, it must be of infinite assistance to counsel, in discussing intelligently and scientifically before the court of last resort, where they wish to weed out what happens to be ephemeral, or extraneous, or irrelevant, or merely of temporary importance, from those golden strands which alone ehould enter into the imperishable fabric of jurisprudence, to have a clue to a knowledge of the man and to the value of his work. This is a laborious task, but it is a most absorbing and most fascinating one. Cases themselves, unless properly understood as to their history, are sometimes misleading. I recollect being very much impressed, some years ago, by looking into that extraordinary book, so far as its scholarship is concerned, known as The Reporters, by John William Wallace, Reporter of the Supreme Court of the United States, in which, when he was the librarian of our Law Association of Philadelphia, he dealt with most of the old common law reporters and old equity reporters from Atkyns down to Ventris and Vesey. He attempted to give a systematic and illustrative description of the character and the value of the reporter, and there dwelt on two striking instances. One of the cases involved the fate of a throne and was followed by the beheading of a King; and the other involved the foundations of a great branch of equity jurisprudence. When Charles I. was engaged in his unhappy differences with his Parliament, he relied on a learned Attorney-General, Sir William Noy, for guidance, who, in drawing on his recondite knowledge of the law, attempted to justify the King's exercise of his prerogative by certain old cases which he had found in some antiquated reports. He either lacked the requisite knowledge, historically, to be able to properly appraise the circumstances under which those decisions were given, or else he lacked courage to be frank with his Sovereign and tell him that they were dangerous precedents to follow, but he threw his weight in that national struggle upon those precedents against the rising powers of the people. The result was that Charles I. lost his throne. He was beheaded through the ignorance or weakness of his Attorney-General in misreading precedents. The other instance was a case reported in the 4th Wheaton, where even so high an authority as Chief Justice Marshall-and this opinion was concurred in by Mr. Justice Story-went so far as to subvert the foundations of equity jurisprudence with regard to a trust in favour of a charity where the object of the charity was vague and indefinite. The poison crept into the veins of your sister State of Connecticut. It has even, in recent times, affected the jurisprudence of our distant sister State of Oregon. It did not attack you here, nor did it attack Massachusetts, but it did assail us in Pennsylvania, when the great mercbant, Stephen Girard, attempted to establish a charity which at the present time sparkles like a jewel on the brow of the adopted city of the French merchant, and Daniel Webster was brought from Boston to argue the case against Horace Binney. John Marshall's decision-he being then dead-was cited as conclusive authority against the maintenance of the trust; Mr. Binney, through an ample knowledge of the history of Chancery-a branch in which John Marshall was not particularly versed though he was strong on many sides-was able to satisfy Mr. Justice Story, not only of his own original error but of the error of Chief Justice Marshall in misreading a certain ancient precedent as to which there were four conflicting reports in the books, three of which were absolutely unreliable. I mention this as an instance, showing how sometimes, right at the very basis of a great department of jurisprudence, the wholesome growth of a doctrine may be checked and perhaps buried for a time, or utterly destroyed; and its rescue is due to some man having studied the very roots and foundations of the Profession, and learned to estimate at their true worth and value the reporters who have transmitted the decisions of courts for our guidance.
Take, too, an illustration which occurs to me just at this moment. I never knew how it was that an English counsel who had been promoted from stuff to silk and had been made King's Counsel, could defend a prisoner at the Bar against the Attorney-General, the true allegiance of the King's Counsel being to the Crown. I could find no explanation of it in the books. Nobody seemed to have considered the matter, until there happened to come into my possession a document addressed to Sir James Scarlett, afterwards Lord Abinger, the most successful verdict-getter England ever saw, which explained the whole matter. It was a petition on the part of Scarlett, one of the King's Counsel, addressed to William IV., reciting the fact that, as King's Counsel, he owed allegiance to the Crown, but as it was the desire of the Earl