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mission. He found that the very point was expressly decided by the Second Division two years ago. Just fancy the misery of such a state of things to a judge who has been accustomed to see the amount of assistance expected by the bench, and rendered by counsel in the Supreme Court.
Queen's Counsel again.-Our contemporary, the Law Reporter, is very angry with the Journal because of its comments upon his article on Queen's Counsel. So great is his fury that he requires three pages to give vent to it, although his original article on the subject occupied only a page and a half. He denies that he "imputed motives" when he accused those who differed from him of being actuated by mischief, or officiousness, or jealousy." The logic by which this denial is supported is amusing. He says he "cannot understand upon what grounds the proposal to have Queen's Counsel can be resisted"-that the grounds advanced against it are "either unintelligible, or insufficient ;" and that, accordingly, he falls back "on some other cause," viz., mischief, or officiousness, or jealousy. That is to say, A cannot understand why B holds a certain opinion, and considers B's reason for it bad; therefore, when A accuses B. of being actuated by mischief, &c., A is not imputing a motive. The Journal is next accused of making the inuendo that the distinguished person who at the meeting of Faculty stated that the extended proposal would be withdrawn if there was decided opposition to it, made that statement "for the purpose of enticing members away from the division." This is a complete misrepresentation. What was said was this, that the statement made might have led members of the Faculty to leave the meeting before the division. To attempt to twist out of this an accusation of a dishonest motive against the gentleman who made the statement, is creditable to our contemporary's ingenuity, but discreditable in every other respect.
We come now to the matter which seems to have brought the Reporter's rage to the boiling point. The Journal had called a part of his effusion "ungrammatical." At this the Reporter flies off into the following elegant and modest detail of his educational career :
"This argument," he says, "is very effective when attended by proof, but correspondingly weak when it is left, as our contemporary does, to mere assertion. To such proof we invite him, and before applying his mind to the task we beg to inform him, not from any feeling of vanity, but with the view of suggesting to him directions in which he may find material-and in the end it may be instruction-that we learned our grammar in a school where education was not thought to end when the habit of properly linking verbs and nominatives had been acquired, and our power of expression under teachers that had a knowledge of the resources of the English language beyond that of a musketry instructor."
Our contemporary seems to forget that the passage which was called ungrammatical, was quoted at length in the Journal as proof of the assertion. We must decline entering into any proof to satisfy the Reporter's mind on the subject. We cannot hope to teach English to one who could write the passage just quoted, who speaks of the
Journal's "rebuke of the propriety of our conduct," and who says that a certain circumstance is "the consideration above all others that will promote the success" of the scheme.
Another cause of anger is that the Journal took up seriously a "jocular" speech of the Reporter about the rattening of tradesunions. When a gentleman says he was joking, there is nothing for it but to apologise, which we now do, first, for not seeing the joke, although we are obtuse enough not to see it yet; and secondly, for having offended the Reporter by taking him to mean something when he meant nothing.
We have no room to waste on the Reporter's mock heroic statement about the privileges of the Bar, which he gives as if emanating from the Journal, though not one word of it is to be found in our article. If our contemporary's anger had not made him blind, he would scarcely have ventured to accuse us of "treating him to rhapsodies which were of his own composition, and the style of which shewed them to be his, not ours. There was only one sentence in our article bearing on the subject in question.
The latter part of the Reporter's article is directed to the demolition of the proposal made by the Journal for the regulation of seniority in the Faculty of Advocates. It is unnecessary to do more than state that his objection to the proposal is that-" advocates are still to be allowed to judge for themselves, as to when they shall become senior counsel, an extent of individual liberty which we thought objectionable." It will probably cause not a little surprise to those who have been induced to support the Queen's Counsel scheme to learn that the principal purpose of it is to enable the Faculty to compel members to become senior counsel whether they will or not. Yet this is the position which the Reporter gravely takes up. No wonder we were unable to see his joke when he spoke of "rattening."
The Post-Office and Circular Delivery Companies.-Sir Thomas Henry, Chief Magistrate at Bow Street, has fined the messenger of a Circular Delivery Company £5 for delivering a circular, as being an infringement of the privileges of the Post-Office (1 Vict. c. 33 and c. 36.) The conviction is under appeal by a case stated for the opinion of one of the Superior Courts of Law, but no procedure can be taken till November. In the meantime the decision of the Police Magistrate has seriously interrupted the practice of keeping a "little postoffice," which has become very common in large cities, and which it is stated has received in Glasgow the sanction of the Board of Inland Revenue which sends its notices by this Company. It was also stated that the manager of the Company had obtained an opinion from the Lord Advocate in favour of the legality of the company's business. The decision of Sir Thomas Henry has been objected to on the ground that the Post-Office was intended for the transmission of mails to and from places distant from each other, and that it was not intended that persons living in the same towns or villages should
be compelled to send their letters or trade circulars from house to house by the postman. It seems unlikely that the legal validity of the decision will be successfully impugned; but it must be admitted that the Post-Office arrangements for transmission of letters within great cities are of recent adoption and are as yet most imperfectly carried out. For the convenience of the public, the Post-Office must, if it is to retain its monopoly, in this department (which for the sake of the revenue is desirable) make much more frequent deliveries and at a lower charge per letter for letters and packets going from one part of the same city to another.
Scottish Judicial and Legal Statistics.-A discussion at the British Association meeting at Dundee, and a conversation in the House of Commons on Aug. 15, have again called attention to this curious question, which Sir Graham Montgomery promised should be dealt with next session. Colonel Sykes, whose exertions are praiseworthy, says that a similar promise was made some years back by the Lord Advocate, we presume by Mr Moncreiff. Mr Moncreiff at Dundee said that there was difficulty, from the arrangements of the Court of Session and the Sheriff Courts, in obtaining a return, -that there was no proper machinery. The fact is, that in this there would be little difficulty to willing minds. Let Parliament insist on having judicial statistics, and the obstructives, whatever they may be, whether Sheriffs or other big-wigs who dread abolition, or Clerks of Court who dread work,—must give way. Another notable example of the reluctance in certain quarters to throw light on the dark places of the Scottish judicial system is furnished by the history of the return asked for and presented to Parliament of the number of Clerks of Court in Scotland who practise as agents before their own Courts. This is said to be lying unprinted in the library of the House of Commons. We hope that Colonel Sykes, or Mr M'Laren will get it brought to light either now, or, if that is impossible, at the meeting of Parliament.
Obituary.-HENRY HOME DRUMMOND, Esquire of Blair-Drummond Advocate, (1808), died at Blair-Drummond, on September 12, at the age of 84. He was one of the oldest members of the Faculty of Advocates. He was educated at the High School of Edinburgh and took the degree of LL.B. at Oxford. He held the office of Advocate Depute, from 1812, and acted as crown prosecutor in several of the political trials in 1817 and the following years. He resigned this appointment and left the bar in 1821. In 1821 and 1826, he was returned as M.P. for Stirlingshire. In 1840 he was returned for Perthshire, after a contest with Mr George Drummond Stewart. He followed Sir Robert Peel in supporting the repeal of the Corn-Laws, and retired from Parliament at the dissolution in 1852, when he was succeeded by Sir W. Stirling Maxwell. While he sat in Parliament he took a prominent part in the conduct of Scotch business. He carried through the House of Commons the "Home Drummond" Act, 9 Geo. iv. c. 58, to regulate the granting of Publican's Certificates, the
General Turnpike Act of 1831, the Salmon Fisheries Act of 1829. He married Miss C. Moray of Abercairny, who pre-deceased him, and by whom he was the father of Mr G. Stirling Home Drummond of Ardross, who succeeds to the Blair-Drummond estates, as well as of the present Duchess Dowager of Atholl, and of Charles Home Drummond, Esq. of Abercairny. His father was the son of Lord Kames, and his mother was a daughter of Dr Jardine, one of the ministers of Edinburgh, who belonged to the Jardines of Applegarth. Mr Home Drummond took an active part in county business, and in the agricultural improvement of his property.
JOHN GRAY, Esq., Solicitor and Town-Clerk, Ayr, died on the 13th July last, aged 58. During his forty years connection with the legal profession, he held successively the offices of Joint Sheriff Clerk depute of the county, and Town-Clerk of Ayr, the latter for 15 years. He was long the county agent for the liberal party. He was extensively known, and was universally respected for his amiable disposition and his reasonableness in business transactions. From his long experience his authority was often appealed to in questions of court and municipal procedure. In the general intercourse of life he was a man of most kindly temperament,-social, genial and peaceloving, incapable of giving offence, and ever ready to "throw oil on troubled waters." The respect in which he was held was publicly marked by processions of the Magistrates and Council and of the Faculty of Procurators at his funeral.
DAVID CORMACK, Esq., SS.C. (1834), keeper of the Minute Book and Register of Edictal Citations, died at Greenhill Gardens, August 28.
Appointments. If we have blamed Government for its tardiness in filling the vacant Law Chair in the University of Glasgow, we are the more bound to give it credit for the selection they have ultimately made. It would not have been easy to find any one better adapted than Mr Robert Berry to meet the requirements of such a chair in our great commercial capital. Mr Berry's acquaintance with English law cannot fail to be a most important aid to him in his professional capacity, and to render his advice as a counsel especially valuable in a community such as Glasgow, having daily mercantile transactions with the dwellers on the south of the Tweed. At the same time that he is thus an acquisition to the legal profession in Glasgow, he will carry to the University the esprit de corps of an alumnus; and from his connection with the Scottish University Commission as its secretary, and with the University of Cambridge, where he obtained a fellowship, he will bring with him an intimate personal acquaintance not only with all our Scotch colleges, but also with the English University system. Mr Berry was called to the English Bar in 1853, and passed advocate in 1863, at the close of his labours as secretary to the Universities Commission.
The appointment of Historiographer Royal for Scotland, to which a salary or pension of £180 is attached, has been conferred by Her Majesty's Government on Mr John Hill Burton, Advocate (1831),
a political opponent. The merits of Mr Burton's recently published history, a legal view of which we propose shortly to lay before our readers, would have made it almost impossible to pass him over, even if our historians had been more numerous than they are. He already holds the office of Secretary of the General Prison Board with a salary of £700.
APPOINTMENTS-Ireland.-The Attorney-General, Mr Chatterton, has been appointed to the Vice-Chancellorship created by an Act of last session. He is succeeded as Attorney-General, and as M.P. for Trinity College, Dublin, by Mr Warren. The Solicitor-Generalship has been conferred on Mr Harrison, Q.C.
IMPROVEMENT OF THE LAW OF BILLS OF EXCHANGE.-The following suggestions have been made in a short pamphlet by Mr Grain :-
1. That days of grace be abolished. 2. That bills of exchange and promissory notes falling due upon any Sunday, Christmas Day, or Good Friday, or upon any day duly appointed as a close day in reference to bills and notes, whether for the purpose of any solemn fast, thanksgiving, public ceremonial, or holiday, shall be payable on the next working day following such Sunday, &c. 3. That for noting and protesting bills and notes, and for all purposes for which a demand of payment on the day of maturity is now necessary, a demand on the following day shall be sufficient.
The Economist says "The days of grace, originally a sort of absurdity, and inconsistent with the rigid punctuality of payment, which is the sole merit of a bill of exchange, have been abolished in France, Germany, Holland, Italy, and several other countries of Europe, and would certainly be altogether abandoned if we gave them up. The custom in such matters of mercantile countries ought to be uniform, and it can only become uniform by our making the change.
"The second suggestion would lessen the work of Saturdays. Masters now do not stay in the City upon Saturdays, perhaps do not come there; but clerks are detained longer than they would else be, because bills (often in large numbers, as when the 4th is on a Sunday) have to be presented and paid on Saturday, and cause much writing and labour.
"The third suggestion would facilitate the proper noting and protest of bills, which is now, in some cases, an unsatisfactory and hurried matter, and is transacted by notaries' clerks at late hours of the evening, when no other bill business is going on, and when it is not desirable that this should be done either."
SALE OF SHARES IN BANKING COMPANIES.-Mr Leeman's short Act (30 Vict. c. 29) for preventing jobbing in bank shares has already proved its efficiency. It enacts that no contract for the sale of such shares shall be valid unless it states in writing the respective numbers by which the shares are distinguished in the books of the company, or, if none such, the person in whose name such shares stand in the register of the shareholders as the proprietor thereof. It was designed to put a stop to the practice of jobbers, who sold shares they did not possess, then went into the market to procure them, and not unfrequently circulated injurious rumours for the express purpose of lowering the market value of shares they were under obligation to buy, for the fulfilment of the engagement. At first the brokers were indignant and refused to deal in bank shares at all; but they have recently thought better of it, and consented to comply with the requisitions of the law, by which honest dealers will certainly benefit in the end, for it will drive their dishonest rivals from the market.-Law Times.
TO OUR READERS.-We have again to express our regret that the great mass of the statutes of the session greatly so limits our space for original papers. We have it in contemplation to discontinue in future years the publication of Acts of Parliament, both for this reason and on account of the cheap rate at which a more complete collection than ours is provided by Messrs Blackwood. But before finally resolving to take this step, we shall be ready to consider any objections to it which any of our readers may suggest. Of course by discontinuing to publish the statutes we should be enabled to devote a very considerable space to other matter.