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that Scottish insurance companies have long ago divested themselves of the right to be taken before the Scottish Courts, you add "a few; not nearly all the others," and refer to a list upon another page, in which the name of this company appears. May I be allowed to point out that we have divested ourselves of any such right? Every policy bears the following printed clause: "This company admits the jurisdiction of the English Courts in all questions with policyholders in England where arbitration is not prescribed," thus putting them on the same footing exactly as if they were policyholders in an English company, or as our policyholders in Scotland. In the settlement of any claim we must be bound by the conditions of our policy, and I think, therefore, you will admit that our English patrons are amply protected in this respect. I am, dear Sir, yours faithfully,

HY. BROWN, Manager Sickness and Accident Assurance Association, Limited, 24, York Place, Edinburgh, 27th June, 1889.

TO THE EDITOR OF "PUMP COURT." DEAR SIR,-My attention has been drawn to a notice appearing, under the heading "Scottish Companies," in your issue of yesterday's date, in which you venture to advise that this association, amongst many others, should "be left severely alone, except by Scotchmen domiciled in Scotland." This gratuitous piece of advice would not, I should think, have been given in regard to this association if ordinary care had been taken to ascertain the true position.

The association is established in London, with a separate board of directors in Edinburgh. Under our deed of settlement all policies and other contracts, whether signed or executed in England or Scotland, are made binding upon the company in both countries, and monies assured by our policies are expressly made payable at one of the principal offices of the association in London or Edinburgh.

I ask you to do us the justice of giving as prominent publicity to this statement as you have given to the article above referred to, which will necessarily have the effect of prejudicing this company in the eyes of such of your readers as do not know its true position.-I am, dear Sir, yours faithfully,

ARTHUR JACKSON, General Manager English and Scottish Law Life Assurance Office,

12, Waterloo Place, London, S.W., 27th June, 1889.


SIR,-As the remarks on this company in your issue of 26th inst. in connection with the question of Scottish companies and English jurisdiction are calculated to give a false impression regarding our position, allow me to state that the Standard Life Assurance Company, being established in London, with a principal office and board of directors there, and the policies issued for England being payable in London, the company have at all times recognised the right of policyholders to sue them in the English Courts. Nor could they under any circumstances object, on the ground of want of jurisdiction, to the undoubted right at Common Law of claimants to so sue them. I shall feel obliged by your giving this letter a place in your next number.-I am, Sir, your obedient servant, SPENCER C. THOMSON,

Manager Standard Life Assurance Co., London, 83, King William-street, E.C., 28th June, 1889.

unwilling to trust his own judgment as to its sufficiency, and would certainly think it proper to take a lawyer's opinion, which would handicap the cost of the policy to him. Therefore it is in the interest of the Scotch companies outside the pale, if we may be allowed the expression, that we suggest that they should all unite to get one Act passed, which shall apply to all of them. For each to obtain it singly would make the expense rather heavy. With respect to the letter from the manager of the English and Scottish Law Life, he would have done better to have sent us, as other companies have done, an extract, ipsissima verba, from the instrument on which he relies, instead of giving us his interpretation of the effect of it. Mr. Jackson is a lawyer himself, having been a member of both branches of the profession, and he knows quite as well as we do that he has not adopted the proper course to enable the readers of PUMP COURT to judge for themselves. We don't want to be informed that, in Mr. Jackson's opinion, his deed of settlement makes the contracts binding upon the company in both countries; we want to see a quotation from it to judge for ourselves. Is Mr. Jackson's studious avoidance of this done with design? We notice that a contemporary complained a week ago of the vagueness of his reply, and he has had ample time for discovering that something more is wanting from him. It is evidence we want, not a clever lawyer's-letter. We don't want to know where, according to Mr. Jackson, the monies are made payable, but where they are recoverable; in other words, we want to judge for ourselves; and the letter is unsatisfactory. Mark the difference between Mr. Jackson's letter and the straightforward communication we have received from the able secretary of the Edinburgh Life, Mr. Griffith. "I annex," says Mr. Griffith, “extract from our Act, in reference to our being under the jurisdiction of the English Courts. By 8 and 9 Vict., c. 76, it is provided that this company by its corporate name 'shall and may sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, petition and be answered unto, defend and be defended, prosecute and be prosecuted in all and every Courts and Court, and charge and be charged in any part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, or elsewhere within Her Majesty's Dominions.'" This is going straight to the point. The right at Common Law which Mr. Thomson, the Actuary and Manager of the Standard Life, seems so confident about was not of much use to the unfortunate widow in her claim against the Scottish Imperial.-ED. P.C.]

[We publish the above letters as matter of right, for everyone who is criticised is entitled to be heard. At the same time let us once for all point out to the manager of the Sickness and Accident the vast difference which exists between an Act of Parliament such as is possessed by the few Scotch companies we enumerated, and a mere special clause in a policy. For in the first place, assuming that the clause used would be sufficient, they are not bound to insert the clause, and the assurer in ninetynine cases out of a hundred would never notice its omission; secondly, if the assurer were conscious of the necessity of such a clause, he would most likely be

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WE propose to deal in this article with the points to be considered in preparing particulars of sale, the proper office of which is to describe the subject-matter of the contract, and which, when referring to personal effects, are commonly called a catalogue. Now, little difficulty exists in laying down the mode of preparation; the difficulty is in giving effect to the well-recognised principles. In the first place, the description must be sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the Statute of Frauds; but this is not enough. "The particulars should (Dart Vend. and P. 127, 6th ed.) fairly and accurately describe the estate; if, though grammatically correct, they are so obscure as to be likely to deceive an ordinary purchaser, the sale will be liable to be set aside; nor is it sufficient for them merely just to tell what is not actually untrue, omitting a great deal that is true, and leaving the purchaser to ascertain the existence of any error or omission; but they should describe everything which it is material for him to know, in order to judge of the nature or value of the property; and the vendor, before he sells, is bound to make himself acquainted with its peculiarities and incidents, so far as may be necessary, in order to avoid serious error in the description." The general principle is that the vendor knows everything about the subject-matter to be sold; the purchaser, at the outset, nothing; and the particulars are consequently construed strictly against the vendor. Nor will these particulars be allowed, save in very exceptional cases, to be varied by verbal statements made by the auctioneer at the time of sale, for in the words of Lord Ellenborough, "Men cannot tell what contracts they enter into if the written conditions of sals" (and the observation applies.


with some, though not equal, force to particulars also) to be controlled by the babble of the auction-room." The fact that such statements have been made may, and often will, furnish a defence to an action for specific performance, where the plaintiff seeks to have the contract performed without the variation made by the parol statement; but rare are the cases, and very special the circumstances, in which a vendor will be entitled to have a contract, as varied by some statement made at the time of sale, specifically performed. Indeed, so injurious to the conflicting interests of vendor and purchaser alike is it that statements at variance with the particulars should be made at the time of sale, which may, by furnishing a defence to an action for specific performance at the suit of either, practically annul a contract at the option of one. party, that a high authority recommends a condition to the effect that representations made at the time of sale are to be binding only if reduced to writing. We dismiss from present consideration sales of goods, which are simple matters, seldom or never leading to the complex questions not infrequently arising in relation to sales of land. In the first place, the auctioneer and estate agent will remember that the particulars are the basis of the contract, and inasmuch as they are commonly supplemented only by conditions and an agreement often written in haste which incorporates both by express reference; particulars, conditions, and the agreement which incorporates both must define the parties, the subject-matter, the price, and the


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We have, however, mentioned above that a description which may well, vague though it be, satisfy the Statute of Frauds, is not sufficient to avoid other issues being raised on the contract. It is not material to our present purpose to consider the precise effect of erroneous or incomplete particulars, whether they may only enable. compensation to be successfully claimed or rescission to be obtained; the object of the estate agent is to avoid all possibility of contention, as far as lies in his power. Nor is this always an easy task, for the particulars should be at once complete, giving information on all cardinal points, and yet concise. In preparing them, the details to which careful attention should be paid will be the tenure of land, the nature of the property, whether land or houses; if unbuilt on, whether arable, pasture, or meadow; its quantity, boundaries, incidental rights, description, annual income and outgoings, any tenancies and their terms. Information on these points should be coupled with a statement of the name of the vendor, of the parties to whom application should be made to view, and for particulars and conditions, and, of course, the time and place of sale and name of the auctioneer. Nor must we omit to caution the draughtsman against the use of ambiguous phrases. "Brick-built" was held to be a misdescription in the case of a house not built of brick entirely, but partly of brick and partly of timber; lath and plaster. (See Powell v. Doubble, Sugd. 29.) "Farm" was in Portman v. Mill, 3 Jur. 356, held to include woodland, part of the estate, though not in the occupation of the tenant.

Then again it must be borne in mind that an agreement for the sale of land implies, if nothing more be said or is to be inferred from the description, that the vendor parts with the whole of his interest; and further, that that interest is an estate in fee simple, free from incumbrances, and invested with the advantages usually incident to it at law. Such subtractions from or invasions of ordinary rights of property as rights of way and water, and other easements, and such rights as that of sporting over the land agreed to be sold, and " any other right or liability which cannot fairly admit of compensation," should in all cases appear on the particulars. Limitations on the Coctrine enunciated above, that an agreement for sale includes the whole interest of the vendor in the subjectmatter, are to be found in certain statutes; for instance, a sale to a company, subject to the provisions of the Lands Clauses Consolidation Acts, does not include the minerals, unless expressly comprised, but these are not matters which need be considered here. In the preparation of particulars, however, help may be. afforded by incorporating other documents, or attaching a plan. If the property is held under a lease, and where there are restrictive covenants binding the land sold, it will indeed be well not to attempt to epitomise or reproduce the terms of the lease or covenants in any less lengthy form

than the original. The lease or sub-lease, or the fact that the property is subject to restrictive covenants, should be distinctly mentioned, and inspection offered. Plans also are valuable adjuncts. They should, however, be carefully tested beforehand, for though in general merely tantamount to a view of the estate, and affording no guarantee that rights which appear to exist in connection with other property shall be reserved, or intended improvements shall be carried out, yet if a purchaser has been misled by them the vendor may be unable to enforce specific performance against him. With regard to the effect of the plan on the particulars, the case of Nene Commissioners v. Dunkley, L.R. 4 Ch. D. 1, may be referred to. In that case the plan was not referred to in the particulars, but was signed by the parties contemporaneously with the contract, and held to be incorporated with it, and to control the description in the particulars. Then again much which should be stated with reference to the property may well be relegated to be dealt with in the conditions. For instance, if other property is held under the same lease as that to be sold, it is most important to disclose the fact; but the disclosure will in most cases be more conveniently made in a condition which provides that no objection shall be made on that score. Particulars frequentlytake the form of advertisements for tenders, and commonly close with a caution that "neither the highest nor any other tender will necessarily be accepted." This is a prudent practice, for the commonly received notion, though erroneous, is that in the absence of any such clause an action will be maintainable by the person making the highest bonâ fide tender, unless his tender be accepted. It must not, however, be thought that it is necessary to do so, or that any liability will result from its omission. A contract consists of an offer and its acceptance. Now an advertisement for tenders is not an offer, but (as Professor Pollock puts it) an "invitation of offers," which require to be accepted before a contract can be constituted. The matter does not, however, rest merely on application of principle, for in Spencer v. Harding, L.R. 5 Č.P. 561, the case was tested. There the defendant sent out a circular as follows:-"We are instructed to offer to the wholesale trade for sales by tender the stock-in-trade of A., amounting, etc., and which will be sold at a discount in one lot; payment to be made in cash; the tenders will be received and opened at our offices, etc." It was held that this did not amount to a contract or promise to sell to the person who made the highest tender.


Information intended for publication under the above heading should reach us not later than Tuesday morning in each week.


FREDERICK ADOLPHUS PHILBRICK, Q.C., of the SouthEastern Circuit, Recorder of Colchester, has been appointed a Royal Commissioner of Assize, at the ensuing Summer Assizes. As at present arranged, Mr. Philbrick will join Baron Pollock at Shrewsbury on the Oxford Circuit, and will later on join Mr. Justice Hawkins at Birmingham on the Midland Circuit.

Mr. EDMUND LUMLEY, of the Midland Circuit, has been appointed Recorder of Grantham, in succession to Mr. G. G. Kennedy, recently appointed a metropolitan police magistrate. Called at the Middle Temple in 1865.

Sir ARTHUR JOHN HAMMOND COLLINS, Chief Justice of Madras, has been elected Vice-Chancellor of the University of Madras.

Mr. BRET INCE, barrister, has been appointed Secretary to the Royal Commission on the Vaccination Acts. Mr. Ince is the son of the late Mr. Henry Bret Ince, Q.C. Called at Lincoln'sinn in January, 1887.

Mr. NORTON JOSEPH HUGHES HALLETT, solicitor, has been appointed Deputy Clerk of the Peace for Derbyshire, and Deputy Clerk to the Derbyshire County Council. Admitted in 1876.

THE editor of Money in his issue of Saturday opines that neither he nor his paper is worth the space we gave him last week. We agree; but the most insignificant person may sometimes serve to point a moral.

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is at once the peculiarity and the sheet-anchor of Scotch
banking; for leaving out of sight the fractional Scotch

The Temple Newspaper and Solicitors' Review. community of independence in the industries, what is the

backbone of the vast textile industries of Forfarshire, and of the even more vast iron and steel industries of Clydes dale? It is the banks. The tow, flax, and jute spinning and weaving mills and factories, and the blast and puddling furnaces, the rolling mills, and the open hearth steel-making are financed weekly by the banks for wages. and material. Moreover, when there is a bankruptcy, it is found that some bank has a priority; in other words, that some bank is in the position of landlord, and has to be paid out principal and interest to the tune of twenty shillings to the pound. How the Scotch banks in such cases get into the landlords' shoes without in some instances being the actual landlord, is one of a number of peculiarities in Scotch law,


JULY 3, 1889.



Pro Lege.

The effects of this industrial and homestead protection are everywhere apparent. The foreground of each considerable Scottish town displays neither gaol nor workhouse; the landlord keeping a roof over the tenant's head, and the banker supporting the occupation which fills the tenant's belly. How different from a legal state of things waich lets loose upon the carcase of a debtor a horde of creditors! Sir Walter Scott, no enemy of Scotland, but the man who has done more for it than any other Scotchman, always spoke deprecatingly of the Scottish soil and the Scottish climate. He well knew the poverty of the one and the wretchedness of the other. But his admiration for Scotch banking was unbounded. It had made the solitary place to rejoice and to blossom like the rose. When in 1844-5 Sir Robert Peel proposed to abolish the Scotch one-pound notes, and to curtail the franchises of the Scotch banks, Sir Walter's trenchant pen was more potent than the tongue of the great Prime Minister. Sit Robert Peel, perforce, determined on letting well alone; the well being a landlordiem upon which a banking system had become engrafted which had given fertility to a cold barren soil, established manufactures, and given contentment and occupation to a population which before had been idle, hungry, and turbulent.

How different Irish landlordism! How different Irish Irish landlord cannot or will not take his tenant beneath banking, even with its one-pound note issues! Either the his wing, and for the most part both are foes. Roughly, the Irish banks have the right to issue £6,000,000 in notes without being required to provide for their payment by the possession of a single shilling, though roughly they only avail themselves of their privilege to the extent of one-third. The Irish banks are as little in sympathy with the Irish people as are the landlords; the law, in truth, not allowing it. The Irish landlord cannot claim for the full term of a lease and exclude creditors, nor can the a landlord, Irish banker the guise of assume Ireland, and find the money for Irish industries. a country of immense it should be observed, is it does vast industrial capability, possessing The stores of merchantable earths and minerals. sand of Belfast is in use in almost all Scotch foundries for moulding purposes. The banxite deposit of Antrim is the banxite yieldmost extensive and the purest in the world; ing alumina in the highest percentage for the newer processes of steel-making. The water power of Ireland is enormous, and practically it runs waste. Nor are coal and iron wanting; Leinster, Munster, and Tipperary have their coalfields, and Lough Allen, Arigna, and Slieve-a Nieran present in rare abundance magnetic ironstone, clay ironstone, and the hematites. In short, perhaps, Ireland stands in need of nothing but Scotch landlordism to become prosperous and happy.


Crossing the Atlantic, we have a like contrast; a form of landlordism in Canada which offers no cohesion with the tenant, and a form of tenancy in the United States which is defiant both of landlordism and of The Canadian bargains for his pound the creditor. to have it; and the laws of of flesh, and means It accordingly is a place Venice award it him. of gaols and poorhouses, and of immigrants crossing the state line to escape their shadow; whereas American debtor and creditor ideas cannot be better illustrated than by a statement of actual occurrence at a meeting of creditors in the Strand some years ago. An American got heavily in debt in London, and called a meeting of his


SCOTCH and Irish and American and Canadian landlordism
The leading
present some striking points of contrast.
issues raised by these are-why is Canada, in comparison
with the United States, relatively backward and unpro-
gressive? And why is Ireland, in comparison with Scot-
land, in a position analogous to Canada, in its relation to
the United States? For clearness of apprehension it is
imperative that minor considerations should be at once
dismissed; as what may be true of Lower Canada may be
untrue of Upper Canada; and while the Protestantism of
Scotland may have been a worldly and progressive force,
the Roman Catholicism of Ireland may have been retard-
ing and uncommercial. Comparative landlordism, if not
accounting for everything, really accounts for so much that
the other considerations are not worth regarding. In the
presence of comparative landlordism it is impertinence to
cast an Irishman's religion in his teeth; and until
Canadian landlordism becomes assimilated to American
landlordism, emigration to Canada will continue to run
through it to the United States as through a sieve. The
facts and their relations are outside of controversy. They are
unpalatable; but for that circumstance neither we nor even
the present generation may be blamed. With their pre-
sent enunciation there comes the obligation that they
should be reflected on alike by Conservative and Liberal.
Truth and reason are of no party, and the common welfare
is the proper end of politics and statecraft.

A man becomes a tenant of a house in Scotland, and if
he is alive to his personal interests, his landlord may help
him forward in the world; indeed, a mutuality of interest
may be established between them, as against the rest of the
world. Say that the annual rent is £100, and that a
lease for a term of years has been executed, which, sub-
ject to six months' notice, may be determined by either
At the moment
party in three, seven, or fourteen years.
of the execution of such a lease the landlord becomes vested
in a priority, as before other creditor claims, to the extent
of £1,400; in other words, the Scotch tenant's property
within a house becomes vested in the landlord of the
house, the ordinary creditor having only a remedy in
bankruptcy, which obviously might avail him nothing;
therefore, before the household goods of a Scotch tenant
can be taken in execution by an outside judgment creditor,
the landlord's claim for the full unexpired term must first
be provided for.

Under recent legislation there has been a modification in this law of hypothec, in connection with farms, which may be here passed by, with the remark that while Scotch landlordism secures the roof tree of the tenant, it likewise protects the industrial occupations. This last protection

creditors at his offices. In evening dress with a splendid button-hole he received each creditor, and from a wellfurnished sideboard asked what each would take. Not knowing what was in the wind, each took something, and the late Mr. Valentitle, the founder of the first Open Stock Exchange in Lothbury, was the last ärtival. After Mr. Valentine had been helped to something, the debtor walked to the door, turned the key, and put it in his pocket. He then turned to his creditors, and addressing them said: "Gentlemen, I want £500 more, and by God before you leave this room you have got to find it!" Mr. Valentine wrote out a cheque for £100, and the others present made up the remaining £400 among them.

Rightfully or wrongfully, the Pilgrim fathers, on landing in America, enunciated certain principles, obviously long anterior to Socialism or Communism, and not to be confounded with either. Rightfully or wrongfully also, the original North American Colonies placed those enunciations upon their statute-books, where they still remain, and they have since become established upon the statutebooks of every State in the American Union, the later States in some instances embodying the enunciations in their constitutions. Those enunciations may be taken as the life-germs of American development, because while the area of Canada and the other conditions of development are identical with those of the United States, there is no corresponding Canadian vitality. In short, the Canadian landlordism of a pound of flesh is antagonistic to develop ment, while that of the United States is highly stimulating. The Pilgrim fathers' enunciations, curiously mixed up with the penal suppression of witchcraft, were in principle these:

1. Human beings should live.

2. The personal interests of one class should not be allowed to produce victims for other persons to feed, clothe, and house.

Premising that each State in the American Union gives effect to these cardinal principles in its own way, the laws of Minnesota, as that of a middle Western State, may be taken as fairly typical of the others.

Exemptions from attachment for rent, taxes, or debt. The following named property shall be exempt from sale under any execution, wrif of attachment, or any other final process of a Court:-1. All spinning wheels, weaving looms with their apparatus, and all stoves and pipes, together with their utensils, put up or kept in any dwellinghouse. 2. A seat, pew, or slip occupied by any person or family in any house or place of public worship. 3. All cemeteries, monuments, tombs, and rights of burial while in use as repositories of the dead. 4. All arms and accoutrements required by law to be kept by any person. 5. All wearing apparel of any person or family. 6. The miscellaneous library and school books of every individual and family not exceeding in value one hundred and fifty dollars (£30), and all family pictures, 7. To each householder ten sheep, with their fleeces, and the yarn and cloth manufactured from the same; two cows, five swine, and provision and fuel for the comfortable subsistence of such householder and family for six months. 8. To each householder all household goods, furniture, and utensils not exceeding in value two hundred and fifty dollars (£50). 9. The tools, implements, material, stock, apparatus, team, vehicle, horse, harness, library, or other things, to enable any person to carry on the profession, trade, occupation, or business in which such person may be wholly or principally engaged, not exceeding in value two hundred and fifty dollars (£50). The word team in this subdivision shall be construed to mean either one yoke of oxen, a horse, or a pair of horses, as the case may be. 10. A sufficient quantity of hay, grain, feed, and vegetables, necessary for keeping for six months the animals mentioned in the several subdivisions exempted from execution; and any chattel, mortgage, bill of sale, or other lien created upon any part of the property, except such as is mentioned in the ninth subdivision of this section, shall be void unless such mortgage, bill of sale, or lien be signed by the wife of the party making such mortgage, bill of sale, or lien.

Homestead exemption (additional), Minnesota. There shall be exempt from sale on execution or other process of a Court a homestead-that is to say, the land and buildings thereon occupied as a residence and owned by the debtor, he or she being a householder to the value of one

thousand dollars (£200); such exemption shall continue after the death of such householder, some or one of them continuing to occupy the homestead until the youngest child shall be twenty-one years of age, and until the marriage or death of the widow; and no release or waiver of such exemption shall be valid unless the same shall be in writing subscribed by such householder and his wife, if he has one, and acknowledged in the same manner as conveyafices of real estate are required by law to be acknowledged.

If, in the opinion of the sheriff holding an execution against such householder, the premises claimed by him or her are worth more than one thousand dollars (£200), he shall summon six qualified jurors of this county, who shall, upon oath administered to them by such sheriff, appraise said premises; and if in the opinion of the jury the pro perty may be divided without injury to the interest of the owner thereof, they shall set off so much of said premises, including the dwelling-house, as in their opinion shall be worth one thousand dollars (£200), and the residue of such premises may be advertised and sold by the sheriff. Every householder occupying lands and tenements to which he may have but a possessory title by lease or otherwise shall be entitled to the benefit of this Act as fully as if such lands and tenements were held in fee simple.




Ir is gratifying, after a long and patient investigation of the accounts of life assurance offices, extending over many years, to find a large proportion of them thoroughly sound, and well able to meet all their engagements. The failure of the Albert and European offices, many years ago, produced a temporary but widespread distrust of all compaties. One result of the excitement, approaching to a state of panic, was the passing of the Life Assurance Companies Act, 1870, which has been an unmixed good, although an amendment in the direction of increased stringency, requiring the publication in all cases of particulars of new business, an uniform method of dealing with income-tax in the accounts and in other respects, would now be desirable. Prior, however, to the Act of 1870 there was a system of registration of assurance accounts with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies, but the plan was most imperfect and delusive, one grievous defect being that it applied only to companies formed after the commencement of the year 1845, those established previously being excluded from its operations, thus giving the older offices an unfair advantage over the younger ones. Another serious drawback consisted in the absence of any fixed form for the accounts, so that there were almost many forms of account as there were accounts; and it was impossible to compare, with any approach to accuracy, the position of the various offices. A further defect of the system was that although the Act of Parliament required the accounts to be registered, and some of the companies loyally conformed to the requirement (whose names we may publish on another occasion), there was no penalty attaching to neglect, and as a consequence many directors systematically ignored the Act, and made no returns at all. The Act of 1870 was more carefully drawn, and has been carried out with fewer exceptions than before. In the year following the passing of the Act the Board of Trade published the ratio of expenses to premium income in the Government Blue Book; but although the practice was not continued, it was rendered unnecessary by the regular publication of special tables of expense ratios. Suffice it to say that the question of expenses of management has always been regarded as a vital one by the Board of Trade and every actuary and expert in the assurance business. It has been a vexed question for many years, and excessive expenditure has undoubtedly been the rock on which so many offices have split. Unless the expenses of every company are kept well within the loading reserved in the valuation, insolvency must inevitably result sooner or later. The amount of the loading varies considerably from, say, about 15 to 28 per cent. Exact information can be had on reference to the Government returns, There are only six offices which conduct their

Expenses of Life Offices.

business at an expenditure under 10 per cent. of the life premium. It must be remarked, however, that five of these offices pay no commission to agents. These companies, therefore, are placed on an exceptional footing in this respect,, and therefore for our present purpose we shall omit them, and deal with the ordinary commissionpaying offices, omitting industrial companies. We propose to group the companies according to the actual ratio of expenses on premium income, commencing with offices. whose ratios do not exceed 16 per cent. of the total premiums.


Group A.-In this group are forty-four companies: Alliance, Church of England, City of Glasgow, Clerical, Commercial Union, Crown, Eagle, Economic, Edinburgh, Equity and Law, Guardian, Hand-in-Hand, Imperial, Lancashire, Law, Law Union, Legal and General, Life Association of Scotland, Liverpool and London and Globe, London Assurance, National of Ireland, National Life, National Provident, North British, Northern Patriotic of Ireland, Pelican, Provident, Provident Clerks, Prudential, Queen, Royal, Royal Exchange, Scottish Amicable, Scottish Equitable, Scottish Provident, Scottish Union, Scottish Widows, Star, United Kent, United Kingdom Temperance, Universal, University, and Yorkshire.


Group B.-Seventeen companies are comprised in this group: Atlas, Caledonian, English and Scottish Law, Midland Counties, Mutual, Mutual of New York, Norwich Union, Positive, Provincial, Rock, Sceptre, Scottish Provincial, Standard, Sun, Union, West of England, Westminster and General.


Group C.-There are only seven in this group: New York, Equitable United States, General, Gresham, London and Lancashire, Reliance, Scottish Imperial. COMPANIES WHOSE RATIOS OF EXPENSES EXCEED 25 PER


Group D.-In this group are comprised eight companies British Empire, British Equitable, Colonial, Marine and General, Scottish Metropolitan, Scottish Temperance, Victoria, and Whittington.

creasing. In selecting an office regard should be had to the funds in relation to the company's age and liabilities, and to the expenditure in relation to the premium income. A recently-formed company will show a higher rate of expenditure than an older office, and one doing a large new business, and with a rapidly-increasing premium income, will necessarily spend more-and wisely so-than one whose position is almost stationary. The point of greatest importance is to see that the expenditure, at any rate after the first few years of a company's existence, is within the loading, and not in excess of it. In a future issue we propose to analyse the expense ratios in regard to the new business and renewals.

New business has a most important bearing on the subject of expenditure, and it will be found generally that if the new business of an office much exceeds that of the previous year, that the ratio of expenses will also increase. If the new business is stationary and the business permanent, showing a steady increase in premium income, the expense ratio will drop. In the case of an office like the Sun, or New York Life, transacting a large new business, a temporary increase in the ratio is more than fully justified by the results. The supposed increase of the expense ratio generally arises largely from the fact that several of the oldest offices, like the Royal Exchange, had allowed their agencies to decay, with no continuous effort for supplying the waste constantly going on, and mere spurts of energy involve expense. The average ratio has doubtless been going up, but there have been special causes, and several show a decrease. A large office may not be always the best, as the expenses are sometimes disproportionately high. Nor does it follow that an office with the most money is necessarily the best, as the liabilities may be very heavy. Nor is the purely mutual office, dividing the whole of its profits among the members, always the best, as the whole of the profits are sometimes less than the policyholders' proportion in a larger and more prosperous, but differently constituted, company. The offices dividing the largest bonuses cannot always be considered the best, as, unfortunately, some companies anticipate future profits, fail to make the proper reserve for contingencies, and thus imperil, not only future bonuses, but the stability and very existence of the company. The office worked at the smallest cost is not always the safest to assure in, as, through the want of a moderate, judicious, and remunerative expenditure, the income of such companies will often be found to be diminishing year by year, and the ratio of expenses in

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THE Hon. Louis B. Schwanbeck, inMutual Reserve Surance commissioner for and auditor of the State of Colorado, makes an official examination of the affairs, assets, books, and accounts of the Mutual Reserve Fund Life Association, whose chief office in Great Britain is at 90, Queen-street, Cheapside, and renders the oft-repeated verdict by pronouncing the business of the company correct in every particular. The books of the company reveal that six millions of dollars have been paid to more than one thousand five hundred widows, and six thousand orphan children of deceased members; more than two million eight hundred thousand dollars of assets, and over one million six hundred thousand dollars net surplus. The cash reserve or emergency fund approximates to two millions of dollars, while over sixteen million dollars in cash have been saved to its members by reducing the cost of life insurance below the rates charged under the level premium system. The reduction of premiums is nearly 50 per cent. as compared with the rates charged under the old system; and in addition thereto the profits already accumulated, and held in trust for the benefit of its

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