Page images
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Act, 1888, or under any other Act for the purpose of enforcing the laws relating to the pollution of rivers.” Under Clause 17 of the Bill, which is taken from part of Clause 14 of the Local Government Act, the Local Government Board may, on application of the council of any of the counties concerned, constitute a joint committee or other body representing all the administrative counties through or by which a river or any portion of it passes. Mr. WILLIS BUND, however, referred to a difficulty he had experienced in the refusal of a county council who contributed pollution above his own district, to join any committee. It may be pointed out that Clause 18 of the Bill provides that every local authority shall, subject to restrictions, have power to enforce the provisions of the Act in regard to pollution of any stream, whether the offence is committed within or without its district.

The satisfactory results mentioned by Lord CROSS, arising from the application of the Mersey and Irwell Joint Committee Act, 1892, encourage the hope that the new Bill, founded on the provisions of that Act, will result in an Act which will ensure the prevention of much pollution which the Act of 1876 failed to put a stop to. At any rate, if, as Mr. WILLIS BUND observed, a River Conservancy Board for each river basin, or combination of basins, would be the only authority that could deal effectually with pollution, the Bill, if it becomes law, may pave the way as regards pollution for a more comprehensive scheme for dealing with river valleys hereafter.


[ocr errors]





On Mr. Freeman's Paper on “The Arbitration
Act, 1889."

("Transactions," Vol. XXV., pp. 235-251.)

In the discussion on Mr. FREEMAN'S Paper, I took occasion to refer to the case of Jackson v. Barry Railway Company, and I now ask to be allowed to put before the Institution, at greater length, the point I referred to.

The question was this: Is an architect precluded from acting as arbitrator between the two parties to a contract by reason of his being actually at the same time, though from another standpoint, the agent of one of them? That an architect or engineer is very frequently put into this position by the express wording of a contract, is matter of common experience. Is the fact that his position as sole arbitrator is defined by the contract, of sufficient force to enable him to justify his award if appealed against, or, indeed, to make any but an invalid award?

Mr. FREEMAN's answer was unhesitatingly clear: it is"distinctly unwise, but exceedingly common for such appoint"ments to be made," and he has "no doubt that if the other "side objected to such an arbitrator being appointed, the "court would support the objection, and revoke the appoint"ment."

It does not seem that Mr. FREEMAN's opinion, although it would commend itself to the layman, is that held by the legal authorities.

The case to which I referred was reported in the Times of November 25th, last year* (Jackson v. The Barry Railway Company), and was argued before a Court of Appeal consisting of Lords Justices LINDLEY, BOWEN, and A. L. SMITH, who decided by a majority (Lord Justice A .L. SMITH dissenting) that the engineer employed by the company was a fit and proper person to act as arbitrator between the company and their contractor, and that, notwithstanding his having expressed a decided opinion upon one of the principal points in dispute, he might still be regarded as possessing the " open mind" necessary to a judge or

arbitrator. Lord Justice A. L. SMITH's dissent is most ably expressed, and carries with it all the weight of his Lordship's well-known common sense and practical ability: but it differs not only from the view of his learned brethren, but from various precedents gathered by Mr. HUDSON, in his valuable work on building contracts, which unanimously favour the view confirmed by this judgment of the Court of Appeal. Mr. HUDSON'S statement, Chap. XIII., sec. 4 (c), is, that "no interest of the arbitrator which is known to the "parties as existing, or likely in the ordinary course of "business to exist, disqualifies him." In support of this, he quotes several strong cases-Ranger v. Great Western Railway Company, 5 H.L. Cas. 72; Stevenson v. Watson, 4 *Professional Notes," vol. vi., p. 69.

C.P.D. 148; Wansbech Railway v. Trowsdale, L.R. 1 C.P. 269, and several others bearing directly upon the matter, though rather with regard to engineers than architects; and gives (under paragraph 9, page 526) a quotation from the LORD PRESIDENT conveying a very similar impression to some of the observations made by Lord Justice BOWEN on the case above mentioned.

It is, no doubt, very unadvisable that an architect should be referee or arbitrator upon a matter in which he has already acted on behalf of one party: but, if no objection to his arbitration should be taken before the contract has been signed and stamped, the contract seems to render his position in so acting, if clearly defined therein, legally inexpugnable. HENRY NORTHCROFT, Fellow.

On Mr. Tom Bright's Paper on “Underwoods; their Growth, and Utilisation."

("Transactions," Vol. XXV., pp. 347-368.)

As the subject of this Paper has considerable attractions for me, and as I think that the question of the utilisation of underwoods is likely to become a much more important one for country surveyors than is now the case, I shall be glad if space may be spared for the following notes:

1. Though I cordially agree that the materially reduced value of hop poles does, as was pointed out in the Paper, and by several speakers at the meetings, considerably affect the prices obtainable for underwoods, I would venture to submit that the prices of other products obtainable from the cutting have also very sensibly declined of recent years, and that it is the effect of the diminished returns from several

of these sources which has caused the very serious diminution in the annual returns from our underwoods.

To take one instance-another source of profit to the purchaser of underwood which has declined in quite as large a ratio as hop poles is, hoops; and as no figures upon this detail of the subject are quoted in the "Transactions," I give the following (taken from accounts in my possession) which may be of interest. The prices realised per cutting tend to confirm the remarkable (though unfortunately only too true) figures given on page 351 of the "Transactions":Prices realised at public auction for underwood (mixed ash and hazel) on a piece of land situate on the chalk on the boundary of Hants and Sussex

[blocks in formation]

£18 5s. Od. £7 10s. Od. £4 0s. Od. per acre.

Prices of hoops ("kilderkins," i.e., of size to go round a kilderkin cask-120 hoops to a bundle, 30 bundles to a load)


£5 0s. Od.



? £2 12s. 6d. per load.

I am, unfortunately, unable to give the price for 1883. Instances of declines in this and others of what may be termed the "manufactured products" of a cutting may be multiplied ad infinitum. Personally, I have thought it very remarkable that by far the larger proportion of the underwood in this district should be cut into "bunts" for firewood, which, naturally, cannot produce a very large return per acre.

2. I have carefully scanned both the Paper and the discussion with a view to ascertaining whether by any means a plan might be devised either for increasing the returns from our existing underwoods, or, in the case of new plantings, whether any member of the Institution could suggest

« EelmineJätka »