« EelmineJätka »
names to pieces of paper upon the representation that it is a mere matter of form, and that they will never hear any more of it. They learn by experience that the form is a painful substance. We
have simply to consider whether, where an agent has committed a fraud, the principal who has trusted that agent, or another person who has dealt with him, has to answer for the consequences of that fraud. • 10 I am of opinion that the rule of equity is the rule of common sense; that the principal must suffer for the fraud of his agent, and not the stranger who is dealing with the agent." Lord Justice Mellish in the course of his judgment said: "It is still a doubtful question at law, on which I do not wish to give any decisive opinion, whether, if there be a false representation respecting the contents of a deed, a person who is an educated person, and who might by various simple means have satisfied himself as to what the contents of the deed really were, may not, by executing it negligently. be estopped, as between himself and the person who innocently acts upon the faith of the deed being valid, and who accepts an estate under it," and, after referring to the case of Swan v. North British Australasian Company (7 H. & N. 603) (in which a broker committed forgery by filling up the transfer with shares differing from those which he was authorised to fill it up with), his Lordship said: "Some of the judges expressed an opinion that in no case where a deed is void in that way could there be an estoppel, but no conclusive opinion was given on that point, and I do not think it necessary for me in this case to give any opinion upon it. When a man knows
that he is conveying or doing something with his estate, but does not ask what is the precise effect of the deed, because he is told it is a mere form, and has such confidence in his solicitor as to execute the deed in ignorance, then, in my opinion, a deed so executed, although it may be voidable upon the ground of fraud, is not a void deed."
That case was followed by Lord Justice Farwell (then Mr. Justice Farwell) in King v. Smith (82 L. T. Rep. 815; (1900) 2 Ch. 425). In Howatson v. Webb (97 L. T. Rep. 730; (1908) 1 Ch. 1, the facts were shortly as follows: The defendant, who had been managing clerk to one H., a solicitor, acted as bia nominee in a building speculation relating to the E. property, of which H. was owner. Soon after leaving H.'s service he was asked by H. to execute certain deeds, and, on inquiring what those deeds were, he was told by H. that they were deeds transferring the E. property. Upon that the defendant signed them. One of them was a mortgage between the defendant as mortgagor of the one part and W. of the other part, and contained the usual covenant for payment of principal and interest. The transferee of the mortgage brought an action against the defendant for payment of the principal and interest; the defendant pleaded non est factum--that is, that the deed was void on the ground that it was executed by the defendant on a false representation made by H. as to its contents. And it was held by the Court of Appeal (affirming the decision of Mr. Justice Warrington) that, as the misrepresentation was only as to the contents of a deed known by the defendant to deal with the property, the plea failed, and that the defendant was liable on the covenant. Lord Justice Farwell in his judgment said: "Mr. Justice Warrington has expressed my view of the law thus: If a man knows that the deed is one purporting to deal with his property and he executes it, it will not be sufficient for him in order to support a plea of non est factum to show that a misrepresentation was made to him as to the contents of the deed.' The deed in the present case is not of a character so wholly different from that which it was represented to be as to come within the principle within which Lord Hatherley held that the case before him"-Hunter v. Walters-"did not fall.' It is difficult to lay down any general rule for deciding when a case falls within the principle of Foster v. M'Kinnon and that class of cases, or Hunter v. Watters and that class; but it is submitted that where the document which has been obtained by fraud relates, and is known by the party defrauded to relate, in some way or other to his own property, it is much more likely to fall within the latter class of cases. But if it does not relate to any particular property, but creates a mere personal obligation, such as a guarantee or a bill of exchange, it is more likely to fall within the former class of cases, in which the plea of non est factum would prevail.
Mr. Justice Lurton, of the United States Supreme Court, has arrived in London and is staying at the Hôtel Métropole.
His Honour Judge Sir Sherston Baker is visiting St. Petersburg and the northern parts of Russia. We understand that he will return to England towards the end of this month.
For the first time for thirty-five years there were no cases for trial at Guildford (Surrey) County Petty Sessions on Friday, [the 11th inst.
Mr. Benjamin Bamber Gardner, M.A., of Beaumont Cote, Lancaster, solicitor, left estate valued at £14,952 gross, with net personalty £14,613.
Mr. R. O. Davies, solicitor, who acted as Mr. Masterman's agent at the West Ham election, was killed on Wednesday by falling out of a carriage of the Holyhead express while it was passing through a tunnel near Stafford.
Mr. William Horace Charles Crump, of 17, Leadenhall-street, E.C., and of Thirsk Lodge, Furze-lane, Purley, solicitor, who died on the 21st ult., aged thirty-eight years, eldest son of Sir William Crump, left estate valued at £4830 gross, with net personalty £4542.
Mr. Robert John Porcher Broughton. of Callipera, Chipperfield Herts, and of Great Marlborough-street, W., of Messrs. Broughton and Holt, solicitors, who died on the 15th June, aged ninety-four, left estate valued at £23,019 gross, with net personalty £22,768.
Mr. William Stephen Daglish, of Tynemouth, Northumberland, solicitor, at one time a member of the firm of Daglish and Mulcaster, who died in July last, in his eightieth year, left an estate of the gross value of £8016. Mr. Daglish was the oldest solicitor in Tynemouth, he having been admitted in Michaelmas Term 1853.
Revision Courts for (the three Parliamentary divisions of the City of Westminster will commence on the following dates: St. George'e, Hanover-square, Sept. 18, at the Public Library, Buckingham Palaceroad, by Mr. P. Tindal-Robertson; Strand, Sept. 22, at the City Hall, Charing Cross-road, by Mr. R. Campbell; and Westminster, Sept. 30, at the Caxton Hall, by Mr. Paul Strickland.
Mr. Justice Lawrance has fixed the following commission days for the ensuing autumn assizes on the South-Eastern Circuit-viz. : Cambridge, Thursday, Oct. 12; Norwich, Tuesday, Oct. 17; Bary, Monday, Oct. 23; Chelmsford, Saturday, Oct. 28; Hertford, Saturday, Nov. 18; Maidstone, Wednesday, Nov. 22; Guildford, Thursday, Nov. 30; and Lewes, Thursday, Dec. 7. Civil business will be taken at Bury and Lewes at these assizes.
By letters patent under the Great Seal the King has issued new Commissions of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Delivery for the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court, replacing_those under which the court was constituted in the last reign. They will be publicly read for the first time at the opening of the next sessions on the 5th Sept. The commissioners empowered to sit are the Lord Mayor, the Lord Chancellor, and His Majesty's judges, the Aldermen, the Recorder, the Common Serjeant, and others named.
Mr. T. Lovel Atkinson, M.A., LL.B., who has been appointed Deputy County Coroner for the Doncaster District, is one of the best-known men in the town and district. He was formerly a scholar of Christ's College, Cambridge, and was fourteenth Wrangler in 1887. He afterwards qualified for the Bar, gaining an Inner Temple Equity Scholarship of 100 guineas. He was a pupil of the late Sir John Lawson Walton, late Attorney-General, and the late Mr. E. L. Pyke, K.C., and has been in practice in Doncaster for over twenty years.
The Débats announces that Jean Cartier, one of a band of masked housebreakers of Bry-sur-Marne, who with others was condemned for a crime committed in Paris, Cartier's sentence being eight years' penal servitude, obtained authorisation to leave the prison for some hours on Tuesday last, in order that he might marry his cousin, Mlle. Blanche B-, at the mairie. No explanation is given for the procedure, which to English lawyers will seem strange, especially in view of the fact that a sentence of penal servitude, passed on a husband or wife, is good ground for the innocent party, in France, to obtain a divorce.
In the City of London Court, on Tuesday, in the case of Robinson v. Davis, Mr. Edwin Robinson, Station-road, Harlesden, sued Mr. E. W. Davis, solicitor, 34, Coleman street, for £3 198. under a guarantee. Plaintiff said he was instructed to levy a distress on the goods of one Greig for rent. He did so. Defendant asked him to hold over the matter, and he extended the time on the defendant giving him a guarantee. On that he abandoned the distress. He made no arrangement with the debtor without the knowledge of the defendant. Defendant said that Greig settled with the plaintiff without his (defendant's) knowledge. Judge Lumley Smith, K.C., decided in favour of the plaintiff with costs.
Under the title of Les surprises de l'examen, a Paris contemporary informs us that at the recent examinations in the Faculty of Law the examiner asked one of the candidates, "What do you understand by the expression floating debt'?" After some moments' profound thought, the candidate, with an aplomb imperturbable, replied: "Ainsi, monsieur-tenez-par exemple, un navire hypothéqué!" The law of hypotheo obtained in Scotland until 1880, and possibly the candidate's embarrassment will be better appreciated north than south of the Tweed. In Wharton, 10th edit., p. 375, we read: "Hypotheque. the right acquired by the creditor over the immovable property which has been assigned to him by his debtor as security for his debt, although he is not placed in possession of it.-Fr. Law." In Sootland, hypothec applied to agricultural crops.
At Marlborough-street, on the 11th inst., Henry Gould, sixty-two, was charged on remand before Mr. Mead with having obtained £5 by false pretences from Harold Otto Seyd, a member of the firm of Roberts, Seyd, and Co, solicitors, of Regent-street, W. On the
10th July the prisoner called at the office of Messrs. Roberts, Seyd, and Co., and stated that he was entitled to certain rents amounting to £200 to £300 a year from an estate in Ireland and suggested that Mr. Seyd should manage the property. This was agreed to. Before leaving the prisoner asked for the loan of £5, and this sum was advanced him. Another charge of precisely similar nature was gone into on the 10th inst. In this case the prisoner obtained £5 from Mr. Henry H. Jennens, a solicitor, of King's Bench-walk and Kentish Town. Mr. Mead asked if there were any other cases against the prisoner, and Detective-sergeant Rixon, D Division, said there were about twenty-four in all. In twelve he succeeded in actually obtaining money from solicitors. He had been sentenced to four months' imprisonment in Dublin. Mr. Mead sentenced the prisoner to six months' imprisonment on each charge, making twelve months in all.
With reference to the Rhodesian murder case, says the Times, the opinion of the South African Press, so far as it has yet been expressed, regards the verdict in the Lewis case as an unfortunate miscarriage of justice. The Argus says: "The moral of this regrettable case is clear. We have never shared the opinion of those who would abolish altogether the right of a man to be tried by his peers, but it is nevertheless plain that in cases of this kind the only satisfactory mode of trial, if justice is to be done without fear, favour, or prejudice, ia to supersede trial by jury by trial before a tribunal of judges.' The Pretoria News also advocates a suspension of the jury system. The Cape Times says that the verdict of "Not guilty Was inexcusable, though in all the circumstances "Guilty " with a strong recommendation to meroy would have met the ends of justice and satisfied the conscience of the community. The Cape Times traces the present temper of the Rhodesian whites to the unfortunate reprieve of the native in the Umtali case, and adds: "Lord Gladstone visits Rhodesia shortly. His Excellency can do more than anyone to put White right with Black and Black with White if, while demanding as of right the assistance of the white population in preventing the degradation of the Courts of Justice, he gives an assurance that, whenever an offence by a Black against a White is accepted as proved by the Rhodesian courts, the punishment inflicted by the judge will follow swiftly and surely."
Lord Halsbury's wonderful exhibition of mental and physical energy, notwithstanding his advanced years, during the late political crisis, both in the House of Lords and on the platforms, is not without its parallels in judicial biography Sir Edward Coke, in 1628, when in his seventy-eighth year, brought in the Bill of Liberties in the House of Commons, out of which grew, apparently at his suggestion, the Petition of Right, and took a leading part in an impassioned speech in the debate on the Grand Remonstrance. Serjeant Maynard, in his eighty-seventh year, was a principal figure in the Convention Parliament of 1689, and, when sworn Commissioner of the Great Seal, still retained his seat in the House of Commons, in whose proceedings he took an active part. The last speech of Lord Lyndhurst, delivered in his ninetieth year, in 1861, in the House of Lords, showed no decline in strong reason and masculine eloquence, while his speech in 1856 against the proposal to create life peerages has been described by Lord Campbell, who took part in the debate in opposition to his views, as "the most wonderful ever heard," and, "for a man of eighty. four, miraculous." Mr. Bagehot, writing with the calm of a philosophic student of political development, says of the speech of Lord Lyndhurst in the Lite Peerages debate of 1856: " The speech he delivered on that occasion lives in the memory of those who heard it. His eyes did not at that time let him read, so he repeated by memory, and quite accurately, all the black-letter authorities bearing on the question. So great an intellectual effort has rarely been seen in English assembly": (Bagehot's English Constitution, p. 123). Lord Halsbury supplies yet another specimen of the magnificent physical and intellectual energy possessed in old age by not a few judicial dignitaries.
The execution of two sailors at Toulon once more calls attention to the anomalous condition of things in France in connection with the carrying out of capital punishment when the condemned happen to belong to either the army or the navy. The question was prominently before the public some months ago, when Mme. Gouin was murdered. The lady was the widow of a high functionary in the Bank of France-an ex-governor, we believe. There were extenuating circumstances, but the capital punishment was not carried out, through one, or both, of the offenders being in the army. It was at the time when capital punishment was but little inflicted, and the offenders escaped with their lives owing to the disinclina. tion of the authorities to make the men's comrades executioners. By an anachronism, a soldier or man-of-war's man in France condemned to death has the privilege of being shot in place of being guillotined. In the present instance the crime for which the sailors suffered was brutal and sordid. Robbery was the motive, and the victim was stabbed mercilessly. Some of the leading organs have taken exception to the way in which the Toulon execution has been carried out, and call for a reform of the law in tkis respect. It is pointed out that in days past, when the services were under a different régime, the privilege of being shot might have been justifiable, but at the present time, when the army comprises the men of the nation, offenders for offences against society should be treated in the same way as other offenders pour crime de droit commun, especially in the time of peace, and that their comrades should not be called upon to perform the office of executioner when the Budget provides for an officer for that purpose.
Paton's List of Schools and Tutors 1911-12. J. and J. Paton, 143. Cannon-street, E.C. Price 2s.
Paton's Guide to Continental Schools 1911. J. and J. Paton, 143, Cannon-street, E.C.
LORD HALSBURY seemed to imply, by a remark interpolated into Lord Rosebery's speech on the 10th inst. in the debate in the House of Lords on the subject of non-insistence on their Lordships' amendments to the Parliament Bill, that if the House of Lords insisted on these amendments, and that there was a creation of peers to overcome opposition, resistance to the measure would in such an event not terminate. To Lord Rosebery's statement, "We acknowledge on both sides that within a month, or six weeks if you like, the Bil must pass," Lord Halsbury instantly interposed with the words "I don't admit it." Lord Halsbury accordingly seems to be of opinion with Mr. F. E. Smith, K.C., that the question of the validity of the patents of the new peerages might be referred to the decision of the Committee of Privileges. In the Wensleydale Life Peerage case this course was taken, but the Government of the day solved the difficulty, not by coming to an issue with the House of Lords on the question of the assertion of their power to exclude anyone with a writ of summons from the Crown from that House, but by conferring on Lord Wensleydale the usual hereditary peerage. Lord Cranworth. speaking, as Lord Chancellor, in the Wensleydale Peerage debates on the 7th Feb. 1856, thus challenged the claims of the House of Lords by its Committee of Privileges, or in any other method, to refuse admission to the House of Lords to anyone to whom the writ of summone to attend had been issued by the Crown,
in words which are generally acknowledged to be a correct exposition of the law on this subject: That which gave the right to a peer to sit in their Lordships' House was not the patent, but the writ of summons which he was entitled to receive in consequence of his patent of nobility, and the question whether a person was or was not entitled to such a writ rested entirely with the Crown to decide. In former times the Crown was in the habit of consulting some of the judges or some of the Privy Council on the question whether anyone claming a writ of summons was or was not entitled to it, but in later times-i.e., during the last century and a half or two centuries-the question had been invariably referred by the Crown to the House of Lords, who report their opinion thereon to the Crown, and the Crown would doubtless be ill-advised if it did not act on the opinion given by their Lordships. But it was laid down in the books as the universal doctrine-and he denied that any authority could be adduced to the contrary-that in this matter the House of Lords had no original jurisdiction. He defied their Lordships to produce a single instance in which the House of Lords had entrenched on the prerogative of the Crown by telling the Crown that the grant it had made was invalid and void. He repeated that the rights conferred by a patent of nobility were rights outside that House." If the House of Lords had insisted on these amendments to the Parliament Bill, the question of the power of the House of Lords to exclude from the Upper Chamber, as Lords of Parliament, persons claiming the right to sit and vote therein by virtue of writs of summons from the Crown would have been brought to the test and finally settled.
THE resolution moved in the House of Commons on the 10th inst., and carried, by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. for the payment of salaries of £100 a year to members of the House of Commons, excepted from its purview salaried Ministers. This exclusion demonstrates very remarkably the identification, in the development of the Constitution, of a Minister with a member of a House of Parliament. There 8 no statute or legal usage of this country which requires that Ministers should hold seats in the one or the other House of Parliament, and accordingly their salaries cannot in strictness be regarded as earned in any degree by service in Farliament. The fact that the exclusion of Ministers with seats in the House of Commons from the category of members to whom it is contemplated that salaries will be voted strengthens the identification of the Minister with the member of a House of Parliament, since the inference is irresistible, that services in Parliament are regarded as part and parcel of the duties for whose discharge these salaries are paid, and that their presence in Parliament is essential in the constitutional system, which Mr. Gladstone, writing in 1878, says has "only within the last fifty years completely settled down."
In this debate a criticism of the proposal was humorously advanced on the ground that provision was not contemplated for the payment of members of the House of Lords. The historic reason of this distinction is of interest. It is thus stated in Dr. Henry's Great Britain, x., p. 63: “All members of the House of Peers always attended Parliaments at their own expense, that being one of the services they were obliged to render for the baronies they held of the Crown. But as soon as the smaller tenants of the King in capite, or freeholders, were permitted to appear by representatives, they were subjected to pay the expenses or wages of these representatives. This custom of representatives receiving and their constituents paying wages commenced with the commencement of representation from a principle of common equity without any positive law. . . . The wages of knights of the shires were always higher than those of citizens and burgesses, because they were really persons of a higher rank and lived in a more expensive fashion. For more than a century the wages of the members of the House of Commons were sometimes higher and Fometimes lower; but at length in the reign of Edward III. they became fixed at 43. a day for a knight and 28. a day for a citizen or burgess, and continued at that rate as long as they continued to be paid.'
THE enforcement of the attendance of members, which is itself a constitutional obligation, by fine or loss of their wages was almost a necessary corollary to the doctrine that attendance in Parliament was in the light of a public service peremptorily required, and that a member had no power of voluntary retirement. By an Act of 1541 it was declared that if any member left the House without the leave of the Speaker before the end of the session he should have no claim for wages from his constituents, and in 1580 the House of Commons resolved to fine all knights of the shire £20 and citizens, burgesses, or barons £10 each if they absented themselves without leave for only part of the session, and that they should forfeit or lose the benefit of receiving their wages. Although these penalties are no longer applicable, the legislative declaration of the duty of a member, to attend Parliament remains on the statute-book.
THE distinction between county members and members for cities and towns has long vanished. In 1872 the ancient terms of knighte, citizens, and burgesses, Barons of the Cinque Ports, and burgesses of the universities, which were used in the writs and returns, were by the Parliamentary and Municipal Elections Act of that year discontinued, and all are alike now termed members in the writs and returns. A curious recognition of the old distinction was made in the provisions of a Reform Bill introduced into the House of Commons by Lord Blandford in 1830, which was supported by the leading Liberal statesmen of the time. In his speech Lord Blandford observed: "As the object of this Bill is to restore the representation to its ancient purity, I propose, among other excellent old laws now either repealed or become obsolete, to restore the principle and practice of paying members the wages of attendance according to the value of money at the present day, which I consider should be £2 a day for citizens and burgesses, and £4 for knights or members for counties."
A QUESTION addressed by Mr. Pointer to Mr. Harcourt as Secretary of State for the Colonies is of singular interest, inasmuch as it directs attention to the fact that grounds of disqualification in former days for election to the House of Commons, long since extinct, are in operation in the Legislative Council of Jamaica, In reply to Mr. Pointer, who asked if in Jamaica it had been declared that permanent residence in a particular parish is a necessary condition of membership of the Jamaica Legislature, or, alternatively, an annual income of £150 from land, Mr. Harcourt said :
Sect. 10 of the Order in Council of the 3rd Oct. 1895 provides that "no person shall be capable of being elected a member of the Legislative Council of Jamaica for any electoral district, or, having been elected, shall sit or vote in the council unless he either bas resided in that electoral district for twelve months immediately preceding the day of election or possesses a clear annual income of £150 arising from lands in that district belonging to him in his own right or the right of his wife.
In this country, residence in their constituencies was required of the knights and burgesses who represented shires and towns by 1 Hen. 5, c. 1. This requirement had fallen into disuse as early as the reign of Queen Elizabeth, but the Act of Henry V. was not repealed till 1774 (14 Geo. 3, c. 20). "There cannot be," writes Sir Edward Creasy, “a more apposite proof of the inefficacy of human institutions to struggle against the steady course of events than this unlucky statute of Henry V., which is almost a solitary instance in the law of England
wherein the principle of desuetude has been avowedly set up against an unrepealed enactment": (Rise and Progress of the English Conetitution, p. 258). In this country, moreover, a property qualification for members of the House of Commons was created by 9 Anne, c. 5, consisting of an estate in land, which ia the case of a knight of the shire must be worth £600 a year and in the case of a burgess £300 a year, and this qualification had to be affirmed on oath, and later by declaration, made by the candidate upon the request of two electore or of a rival candidate at any time before the day fixed in the writ of summons for the meeting of Parliament. This Act was modified by some subsequent statutes, but all the provisions relating to the qualification were repealed in 1858 (21 & 22 Vict. c. 26): (see Anson's Law and Custom of the Constitution, i., Parliament, p. 94).
In the House of Commons, on the 11th inst., the financial resolution in connection with the Indian High Courts Bill was reported to the House. The Bill itself then passed through committee and was read a third time.
In the House of Commons, on Monday, Mr. C. Bathurst asked the Prime Minister whether, in order to put a premium upon the sale by a tenant for life of portions of a large settled estate, and so encourage the creation of small freeholds, he would consider the advisability of an amendment of the Settled Land Acts on the lines of the Danish Land Law of the 21st June 1854, whereby the limited owner of certain classes of settled land was permitted on its sale, and notwithstanding the terms of the settlement, to retain from 8 to 12 per cent. of the proceeds of sale and apply the same for his own purposes.-The Attorney-General (Sir R. Isaacs), who replied, said this proposal would involve drastic interference with existing settlements enabling the tenant for life, who is a trustee for all parties entitled under the settlement, to retain for his own purposes 8 to 12 per cent. of the proceeds of sale, a proposal which certainly would not be welcomed by remaindermen or by incumbrancers. The suggestion does not commend itself to the Government.-Mr. C. Bathurst: Will the right hon. and learned gentleman consider alternatively some method of modifying the Land Act so as to restrict the undue curtailment under existing conditions of agricultural land ?-The Attorney-General : Yes, Sir.
Mr. Cassel asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention had been called to the view that buildings could not increase in value apart from a rise in the cost of material and labour, and whether calculations, for the purpose of arriving at site value on an occasion for collection of increment duty, proceeded on that footing. -The Chancellor of the Exchequer: The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part, the method of arriving at the site value on an occasion is that prescribed by sect. 2 of the Finance (1909-10) Act 1910, and is fully explained in the Instruction to Valuers dated the 21st Jan. 1911.
The order of the 16th June for committing the Merchandise Marks Bill to Standing Committee C was, on the motion of Mr. Hobhouse, read and discharged, and the Bill referred to committee of the whole House.
In the House of Lords, on Tuesday, the Appellate Jurisdiction Bill passed through committee and was reported, without amendment, to the House.
On the motion of the Lord Chancellor, a Bill to amend the Conveyancing and Law of Property Act was read a first time.
In moving the second reading of the Maritime Conventions Bill, Lord Herschell said it was designed to give effect to two International Conventions relating to collision and salvage which were signed in Brussels in September of last year by the representatives of twenty-four countries, including all the principal maritime nations. In regard to collisions when both vessels were in fault, the rule had been applied by which the total of loss was aggregated and each vessel bore one-half of the total. It was proposed to substitute a rule by which the damages would be apportioned in proportion to the degree of fault which each vessel had respectively committed. Where personal injury was suffered by a person on board a vessel owing to a fault of that and any other vessel, the vessels would be jointly and severally liable for damages, but the third clause provided that where damage was recovered against one vessel in excess of the proportion in which she was in fault, that vessel may recover the amount of excess from the other vessel in fault. If vessels A. and B. were in collision and a passenger on A. received injury that passenger could proceed against either vessel for the full amount, and if the passenger recovered from B, then B. could recover from A. the amount of the damage due to the fault of A. This was subject to the proviso that there would be no recovery where there was express exemption from liability. The fourth clause repealed sub-sect. 4 of sect. 419 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1894, and provided that failure to comply with the provisions of sect. 422 of that Act shall not raise any presumption of law that a collision was due to the neglect. In ite provisions in regard to salvage the Bill made very little change from British law. The Bill would extend throughout the Empire, excepting Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Newfoundland. It was an important step in the direction of unification of maritime law, an object in which this country was specially interested.-The Marquis of. Lansdowne, recognising the importance of the Bill, hoped it was not intended to carry it beyond second reading before the adjournment.-Lord Herschell said that was so.-The Bill was then read a second time.
In the House of Commons, Mr. W. Peel asked the Secretary for Foreign Affairs whether his attention had been called to the fact that Sir Edward Fry, G.C.B., Extraordinary Ambassador, member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and Delegate Plenipotentiary for Great Britain to the second Peace Conference at The Hague, had published as his written opinion and conclusion regarding the effect of the Declaration of London on blockade that it must be admitted that the rights of England as a belligerent suffered a limitation; and whether His Majesty's Government were prepared to postpone the ratification of the Declaration of London until they had further considered this question.-Sir E. Grey: I have seen the statement referred to. There was no agreement about the right of blockade before the Dec'aration of London; and the agreement now made is not a limitation but an extension of rights, if by the term "rights" is meant rights recognised as distinct from rights disputed.-In reply to Mr. W. Peel, Sir E. Grev said: There is no inconsistency between arts. 17 and 20. Pursuit by a warship. detailed to render a blockade effective. of a vessel which had attempted to break blockade at a place within the zone which such warship was to watch, extends the area of operations within which the capture of such vessel is legitimate.
In the House of Lords, on Wednesday, on the motion of the Lord Chancellor the Conveyancing Bill, the object of which is to amend the Conveyancing and Law of Property Act 1881, was read a second time.
Earl Beauchamp moved the second reading of the Indian High Courts Bill, by which an increase of the number of judges of the High Court in India is authorised.-The motion was agreed to.
On the motion of Viscount Haldane, clause 2 of the Appellats Jurisdiction Bill was amended by the insertion after "ordinary " of the words "with such salary as in this Act provided."-The Bill was then read a third time and passed.
On the motion of the Lord Chancellor, the following with other amendments were made in the Trustee (Bodies Corporate) Bill: In clause 1, the addition of the words "a corporate trustee shall not be entitled to act under this section as a new or additional trustee unless appointed to act as such by the court." The following new clause was inserted: "Every prospectus, circular, advertisement, or other document issued by or on behalf of a licensed corporation and relating to the undertaking of trusts shall, if such prospectus, circular, advertisement, or other document contains any reference to the Public Trustee or to the Public Trustee Act 1906, contain a separate and distinct statement that no liability attaches to the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom in respect of any act or omission of the licensed corporation."-The Bill was read a third time and passed.
In the House of Commons, Mr. Morton asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he was aware that Messrs. Eyre and Spottiswoode had published a Prayer-book commemorative of the Coronation in which it was stated in the table of affinity that marriage with a deceased wife's sister was forbidden, and, if so, who was responsible for this statement of the law by the Established Church of England.-Mr. Churchill: I have not seen the Prayer-book referred to, but I do not suppose it differs from other Prayer-books. I understand that no authority has issued for the alteration of the table, but that the matter is under consideration.
A Bill to amend the Moneylenders Act 1900 was presented by Mr. Tennant
The Expiring Laws Continuance Bill passed through committee without amendment, and, after having been reported to the House, was read a third time.
In reply to Sir Croydon Marks, the Attorney-General states that the suggestion that there are heavy arrears in the list of appeals to be disposed of by the law officers is without foundation. On the 31st July last, when the last law term came to an end, every appeal entered and ready for hearing by the law officers had been heard and disposed of. Only seven cases remain undisposed of in the list of appeals, and each of these cases is undisposed of, not because the law officer concerned is not willing and ready to hear it, but because of adjournment at the request or for the convenience of parties concerned.
PROMOTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS. Information intended for publication under the above heading should reach us not later than Thursday morning in each week, as publication is otherwise delayed.
Mr. DANIEL THOMAS TUDOR, K.C., Attorney-General of Grenada and St. Vincent. has been appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Bahama Islands.
Mr. GILBERT KENELM TREFFRY PURCELL, Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of the Gold Coast, has been appointed Chief Justice of the Colony of Sierra Leone. Mr. Purcell was called by Lincoln'sinn in 1890.
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CRIMINAL LAW AND THE JURISDICTION OF MAGISTRATES.
DEPARTMENTAL AMENDMENT OF THE PREVENTION OF CRIME ACT 1908.
(From a LEGAL CORRESPONDENT.)
THE Home Secretary in his letter to the 180 police authorities of the country, covering a copy of the rules he has made under sect. 13 of the Prevention of Crime Act 1908 for the carrying out of sentences of preventive detention, says he thinks he may with advantage lay down certain rules for the guidance of the police in the matter. The letter continues: "The Act itself prescribes two conditions: (1) That the offender must, since attaining the age of sixteen, have been at least three times convicted of crime as defined in the schedule to the Aot; and (2) that he must be 'persistently leading a dishonest or criminal life.' There are, in addition to these, three other conditions which should, he thinks, be present in almost every case. As they are not statutory conditions, there may be occasional exceptions; but no case should be presented to the Director of Public Prosecutions where any of these conditions is absent except for strong and special reasons, and the reasons should be explicitly and clearly stated in the applica. tion: (a) The offender must be over the age of thirty years. Below that age, the case can hardly ever be so hopeless as to justify recourse to preventive detention. (b) The offender must have undergone at least one sentence of penal servitude. Unless penal servitude has been tried and failed, it will generally be wrong to propose the prolonged punishment of penal servitude plus preventive detention. (c) The new offence with which the offender is charged must be a substantial and serious crime. On the other hand, the police should carefully consider, with a view to presentation to the Director of Public Prosecutions, every case which comes within the Act and within these three rules. On the question what is to be regarded as a substantial and serious offence, and for further explanation of the whole subject, you are referred to the memorandum prefixed to the draft rules laid before Parliament on the 17th Feb. last, a copy of which is inclosed herewith."
These rules will provoke comment from the lawyer. For (1) there is no power in the Prevention of Crime Act 1908 to make them; and (2) they constitute, in effect, a departmental amendment of the Act in three important particulars. No person will be sent to preventive detention who is thirty years of age or less, or who has not served at least one sentence of penal servitude, or whose new offence or fourth "crime" is not a substantial and serious crime-within the meaning of a Home Office memorandum. There is not a word of any one of these three conditions in the Act. On the trial of a man for being a habitual criminal, the questions put by the judge to the jury are those specified in sect. 10 (2) of the Act-viz.: (1) Has the offender since attaining the age of sixteen years, and before the commission of the "crime" he is now charged with, been at least three times convicted of a "crime"; and (2) Is he leading persistently a dishonest or criminal life? In practice, the prosecution prove the hree previous convictions, making four in all; then a police, officer goes into the box and says that since bis last release from prison the offender has done no work or has constantly associated with thieves. That is the case for the Crown. The one chance the prisoner has is to prove that since his last release from prison he has done some work and so is not leading persistently a dishonest or oriminal life. The old hands in crime have found this out, and are making a point of doing two or three weeks' work after leaving prison. Mr. Churchill writes in his memorandum on this subject published in the Times of the 18th Feb. last: "It is known that some convicts have obtained nominal employment after discharge, not in good faith, but in the hope that they will thereby on their next conviction be excluded from indictment as habitual criminals." It is to this question of whether the prisoner is leading persistently a dishonest or criminal life that the attention of the jury is directed. There is nothing in the Act about an offender being over thirty years of age or having already served a sentence of penal servitude. There is nothing about his fourth orime being a stantial and serious" one-within the meaning of a Home Office memorandum. On the contrary, a "crime under the Act is specifically defined in sect. 10 (6) of the Act as having "the same meaning as in the Prevention of Crimes Act 1871, and the definition of crime' in that Act set out in the schedule to this Act shall apply accordingly." This definition is as follows: "The expression crime means in England and Ireland any felony, or the offence of uttering false or counterfeit coin or of possessing counterfeit gold or silves coin, or the offence of conspiracy to defraud, or any misdemeanour under the 58th section of the Larceny Act 1861." That is what the Act says. But the Home Secretary has made a rule that the Act is only to be put into force when the offender has just committed a fourth 'crime' that is “substantial and serious," and for the meaning of these words he refers the police authorities to his memorandum on the subject. There he says: "The point of most importance and also of most difficulty is to restrict the selection to cases where the last offence is in itself substantial and serious. On the one hand, mere pilfering, unaccompanied by any serious aggravation, can never justify proceedings under the Act. The amount stolen or embezzled is, of course, no certain measure of the criminal's guilt; but where the amount is small and there is no violence or treachery, public feeling is shocked and more harm than good is done by the imposition of a long term of detention. On the other hand, violence conjoined with other crimes, skill in crime, the use of high-class implements of crime, and
the possession of firearms or other lethal weapons will always count as important adverse factors. The general test should be-Is the nature of the crime such as to indicate that the offender is not merely a nuisance, but a danger to society ?"
It is plain that Mr. Churchill seeks to justify his promulgation of these rules by interpreting the Act as if it applied only to "professional as distinguished from "habitual" criminals. He says in his memorandum : Although, therefore, the term 'habitual' is used, it is clear that not all habituals but only the professional class is aimed at by the Act, which not only restricts the use of preventive detention to those already found deserving of three years' penal servitude, but provides many safeguards against the too easy use of the new form of punishment. It appears specially desirable that this should be impressed on the police authorities who have to take the initiative in the proceedings which result in the criminals being dealt with under the Act." There is nothing in the Act to point to this distinction. If a person perpetually pilfers, society has no other course but to send him away for a prolonged term for his and their own protection. There is nothing in the Act from first to last to show that it was not intended to apply to a person who was merely a nuisance to society" and certain to continue as such. No doubt some of the speakers in the House of Commons desired so to limit the scope of the Bill. As Mr. Churchill says: "It was, moreover, repeatedly stated by Lord Gladstone in the course of the debates that the Bill was devised for the advanced dangerous criminal,' for the persistent dangerous criminal,' for the most hardened criminal'; its object was to give the State effective control over dangerous offenders'; it was not to be applied to persons who were a nuisance rather than a danger to society,' or to the much larger class of those who were partly vagrants, partly criminals, and who were to a large extent mentally deficient.' On the 12th June 1908 he explained to the House of Commons that the intention was to deal not with mere habituals, but with professionals. "For 60 per sent. the present system was sufficiently deterrent, but for the professional class it was inadequate. There was a distinction, well known to criminologists, between habituals and professionals. Habituals were men who dropped into crime from their surroundings or physical disability or mental deficiency rather than from any active intention to plunder their fellow creatures, or from being criminals for the sake of crime. The professionals were the men with an object, sound in mind (so far as a criminal could be sound in mind), and in body competent, often highly skilled, and who deliberately, with their eyes open, preferred a life of crime, and knew all the tricks and turns and manœuvres necessary for that life. It was with that class that the Bill would deal."
But whatever was said about the Bill before it was passed, it was open to the Legislature to provide that the Act should not apply to persons of thirty years of age and less, that the offender should already have served a term of penal servitude, and that the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions should not be given unless the fourth crime was "serious or substantial." But the Legislature did not do so. On the contrary, they enacted that the Act should apply (inter alios) to a person of thirty years of age or less, and that the fourth crime Was one for which the court should award penal servitude, not that the offender should have already served 8 term of penal servi. tude. It is plain that "habituals "-men who drop into crime from their Eurroundings or physical disability or mental deficiency rather than from any active intention to plunder their fellow creatures -men who pursue crime from inertia and not as a business-if indicted as habitual criminals, may come within the language used in the Act of Parliament, be convicted as habitual criminals, and sent to preven tive detention. It cannot be contended that the word "persistently' "leading persistently & dishonest or criminal life"-requires a jury to say whether a man is a professional criminal or merely a "habitual." It is true that the language of sub-sect. 1 of sect. 10 of the Act is such that the judge may have a discretion to discharge a prisoner who has been found guilty as a habitual criminal, for the words are, where a person has been found by the jury to be a habitual criminal, and the court passes a sentence of penal servitude for the crime," the court, if of opinion that by reason of his criminal habits and mode of life it is expedient for the protection of the public that the offender should be kept in detention for a lengthened pericd of years, may pass a further sentence" of preventive detention. But these words do not authorise a judge to make Mr. Churchill's distinction, for it may well be that it is expedient for the protection of the public that a criminal who has merely drifted into crime should be kept in detertion for a lengthened period of years. There is not a word in the Act of Parliament giving expression to the distinction drawn by Mr. Churchill in his memorandum and these rules.
Can the action of the Home Secretary be justified? The rules made by him may be excellent; but they should be provided for by a short amending Aot. An Act of Parliament provides that under certain conditions 8 man may be convicted of being a habitual criminal and sent to preventive detention. The Home Secretary ordains that the police shall only take steps to indit such persons if certain other conditions are satisfied-conditions rot to be found in the Act of Parliament. It is true that to prosecute a man as a habitual criminal leave must first be obtained of the Director of Public Prosecutions. But the discretion is his, and his alone. What guarantee is there that the Director of Public Prosecutions takes the same view as the Home Secretary upon this matter? And if he does, he cannot make for himself rules which are, in effect, an amendment of the Act of Parliament. He must exercise his discretion with regard to each particular case. Mr. Churchill promises
to amend the Act still further, for at the end of his memorandum he says: "As time passes and experience of the new system accumulates, it may be possible to lay down more definite rules and to perfect the principles of selection." His last words are: “In any event, however, the Act must not be recorted to as an easy and painless solution of the difficult problem of habitual crime, but must rather be regarded as an exceptional means of protecting society from the worst class of professional criminals." But where is all this in the Act of Parlia
SATURDAY, AUG. 26. Middlesbrough, Monday, and Wed. nesday (C.S.). at 9.30 Monmouth, Tuesday, at 10 Narberth, Tuesday Newark, Monday, at 10
Newcastle-on-Tyne, Thursday (R. By), at 10
SITTINGS OF THE COURTS. FOR THE WEEK ENDING Aberystwyth, Wednesday, at 10 Accrington, Thursday, at 9.30 Blackburn, Saturday (J.S.), at 9.30 Blackpool, Wednesday, at 10 Bournemouth,* Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (if necessary), at 10 Burnley, Friday (R. By), at 10.30 Buxton, Monday, at 10.30 Chepstow, Monday, at 10 Crickhowell, Thursday, at 10.30 Derby, Wednesday, at 10: Thursday (J.S. & A.0.), at 10.30 Durham, Tuesday (R. By) Evesham, Saturday, at 10 Exeter, Tuesday, at 10 Falmouth, Wednesday, at 10 Garstang, Friday, at 11 Haverfordwest, Wednesday Helmsley, Thursday, at 10.30 Ilkeston, Tuesday, at 10; Friday (J.S. & A.O.), at 11 Jarrow, Tuesday, at 10 Kidderminster, Tuesday at 9 Liverpool, Monday (P. E. By), at
Llanelly, Monday and Friday Llanfyllin, Tuesday, at 10 Manchester, Friday (R. By), at 10
Newtown, Monday, at 10
St. Austell, Monday, at 10
Woodstock, Friday (Reg.). at
Worcester, Wednesday and Friday, at 10. Other sittings are specially fixed if necessary.
THE MARITIME CONVENTIONS.
THE Bill now before Parliament "to amend the law relating to merchant shipping with a view to enabling certain conventions to be carried into effect" is the outcome of the International Diplomatic Conference held at Brussels twelve months ago, at which conventions for the unification of certain rules of law respecting (1) collisions and (2) assistance and salvage at sea were signed by the delegates of the Powers. The Bill was introduced into the House of Lords in May, but the second reading was not taken until the 15th inst. The further stages of the measure are deferred until the autumn session. In view of the long course of international discussion, official and unofficial, of which the matters dealt with in the conven. tions have been the subject, the present Bill may be regarded as embodying alterations which will meet with general approval. On broad principles there cannot very well be any substantial difference of opinion at this stage, and the proposed international rules have been so minutely considered and adjusted to meet as far as possible all the smaller points which prolonged discussion has brought out that little
is left to be said.
The amendments proposed in British law by the present Bill, to enable effect to be given to the two conventions, are slight, owing to the fact that our law furnished the foundation for both codes. Regarding collisions, the main alteration will be in the rule as to division of loss where both ships are to blame.
Instead of the present rule of an equal division of the total loss, liability will be in proportion to the degree in which each vessel was in fault, provided that, if different degrees of fault cannot be established, the liability will still be apportioned equally. The other principal change in collision law will be that breach of collision regu lations will no longer cause a legal presumption of fault. This involves the repeal of sects. 419 (4) and 422 (2) of the Merchant Shipping Aot 1894.
As to salvage, two short sections, neither of which makes any substantial difference in the existing law, are all that is required to
make our rules accord with the international code.
The Bill contains a general provision limiting to two years the right to enforce a claim or lien in respect of damage or loss caused by the fault of another vessel, or in respect of salvage services. Hitherto there has been no limitation in this respect, and this will be a very definite alteration of the present law. This trenches somewhat upon the ground covered by another proposed convention dealing expressly with mortgages and liens. That at present is only in draft, and will be further considered at a future diplomatic conference, but one of its articles provides for the imposition of limit of time for the enforcement of maritime liens. The whole series of conventions will, of course, be made consistent throughout. An article in the collision convention which provides that liability attaches to the vessel in cases where the collision is caused by the