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the principles, statutes, and decisions relating to hiring and hire-purchase agreements. The five chapters cover General Considerations; Duties, Rights, and Liabilities under the Contract; Bankruptcy of Hirer and Disposition by Way of Security; Third Party Dealings; and Criminal Acts. The rules relating to interpleader issues are included, and the appendix contains a number of precedents from the Encyclopædia of Forms and Precedents (Butterworth).
Public Health Law. By SIDNEY G. TURNER, Barrister-at-law. St. Bride's Press Limited.
THIS Concise little work has been prepared mainly for the use of all concerned in Local Government work who may find the larger books too elaborate. In twenty chapters it covers the ground sufficiently for its purpose, including such matters as Highways, but omitting Rating, Elections, &c. For students it should be of assistance in preparing for examinations in Public Health Law, while the practitioner will find its arrangement well suited for easy reference.
The second edition of Duckworth's Encyclopædia of Marine Law (Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons) was prepared by the author shortly before his death, and will be found to be much improved in every way and considerably enlarged. Statutes and decisions are included to the end of 1910, and the Marine Insurance Acts 1906 and 1909, the Merchant Shipping Acts 1906 and 1907, and the York-Antwerp Rules are given in full.
In his tenth edition of The Rights and Duties of Liquidators, Trustees, and Receivers (Foulks, Lynch, and Co.) Mr. D. F. de l'Hoste Ranking has effected a great improvement. Recognising that alterations and additions had rendered previous editions somewhat inconvenient in use, he has now entirely recast the work, rewriting a good deal and making considerable additions. Thus, Trustees in Bankruptcy receive fuller treatment and the portions on Receivers are rewritten. The author acknowledges the valuable assistance of Mr. E. Evans Spicer, F.C.A. A very complete index and a practical method of reference by chapter and section are the work of Messrs. Spicer and Pegler. The book is remarkable for its unusually large and clear print with ample margins for notes.
The fourth edition of Feilden's Short Constitutional History of England (Oxford: B. H. Blackwell; London: Simpkin, Marshall, and Co.) has been revised by Mr. D. H. J. Hartley, M.A., of the Middie Temple, who has made numerous additions without altering the arrangement, notably to the chapters on Crown and Courts, and Defences of the Realm. In the appendixes will be found brief references to the self-governing colonies, the Constitutional Question, and the Regency Act.
Mr. C. Y. C. Dawbarn, M A., has just brought out a fourth edition of his able and scholarly treatise on Employers' Liability and Workmen's Compensation (Sweet and Maxwell). Recognising that practitioners are now thoroughly familiar with the Workmen's Compensation Act, he has abandoned the method of dealing with it in subjects and reverted to the more usual annotation by section. Mr. Dawbarn is much more than an ordinary annotator however; he is an acute observer of the judicial mind, and does not hesitate to express his opinions and deductions clearly and forcibly. As he very truly remarks: "The Act is so ambiguous-in many cases so open to a dual construction-that it often becomes of far more importance to know the temperament of the court than to attempt a literal interpretation of the words involved." Mr. N. W. Sibley is responsible for the proof reading, and an excellent index.
From the Nautical Press (Glasgow: James Brown and Son; and Simpkin, Marshall, and Co.) comes a second revised and enlarged edition of Mr. Sanford D. Cole's pamphlet Seamen and Compensation It is a short practical guide to the law of accidents to seafarers under the Workmen's Compensation Act, and should be in the hands of a those connected with the mercantile marine.
The Administration of Justice in Criminal Matters (in England and Wales), by G. Glover Alexander, M. A., LL.M., is one of the Cambridge Manuals of Science and Literature, published at the University Press. In a small compass it gives an intelligent purview of the subject, which is in reality the oldest part of our law, with the exception of law relating to land. It is divided into three parte, giving first the policecourt procedure, then the quarter sessions, and, in the third part, recent legislation and statistice.
We have received the new and revised edition of Mr. David M'Kie's Tables of Compound Interest and Annuities (Edinburgh: Andrew Baxendine), an invaluable work for accountants, bankers, and others. The main tables extend to 120 periods and to nine decimal places. Great care has been exercised in order to secure accuracy, verification baving been obtained by logarithmic computation extending to fifteen figures. Examples are given at the beginning of the use of the tables.
Stevens and Sone
Addison on Contracts. Eleventh Edition. Limited, 119 and 120, Chancery-lane. Price 422. Butterworth's Workmen's Compensation Cases, Vol. 4, Part 2. Butterworth and Co., 11 and 12, Bell-yard, Temple Bar. Price 79. 61.
Behrens on the Companies (Consolidation) Act 1908. Sir Joseph Causton and Sons Limited, 9 Eastcheap, E. C., and 8, Portugal-street, Lincoln's inn. Price le. net.
Devonshire and Samuel on Land Values. Supplement to First Edition. Stevens and Haynes, 13, Bell-yard, Temple Bar. Price
Wilshere's Analysis of Williams on Real Property. Sweet and Maxwell Limited, 3, Chancery-lane. Price 53.
Worley on the Church of the Knights Templars. Second Edition. G. Bell and Sons Limited. Price ls. 6d. net. Macrory's Notes on the Temple Organ. Third Edition. G. Bell and Sons Limited. Price 28. 6d. net.
H. Foulks Lynch Ranking, Spicer, and Pegler on Partnership Law. and Co., 9, Fenchurch-street, E. C. Price 63. net. Borstal in 1911. Borstal Association, 15, Buckingham street, Strand.
LEGISLATION AND JURISPRUDENCE.
A CORRESPONDENT writes: " It is perhaps a significant comment on the mental attitude of the community at large towards national finance that a Budget should be by all party organs considered as humdrum when it continues the present high standard of taxation, except in a matter of comparatively small importance, and on the top of it suggests a complete reversal of the voluntary character of the services rendered by members of Parliament. It is argued that Italy is the only country that does not pay its representatives, and that even there travelling allowances are conceded, but, on the other hand, the countries where the remuneration is high are those also in which the professional politician is the greatest nuisance. The sum of £400 a year is quite large enough to offer a bait for the clap trap and slim agitator, and it holds out no recompense to induce the busy and experienced man, with his wider outlook and superior education, to give a greater measure of time to the State. In a word, the sum seems either too much or too little, whilst the underlying principle is one of great controversy, and, once applied in the Parliamentary arena, may be extended in amount as the years go on until politics and parties become more remunerative trades than the ordinary vocations of life. Demands for the application of the principle to local bodies must certainly follow, and, looking at some of these bodies as they in fact are, the consequences of payments to their members present prospects of a still more undesirable nature."
THE Immoral Traffic Bill repeals in toto the Vagrancy Act 1898 and the Immoral Traffic (Scotland) Act 1902, and makes some further provisions with respect to persons who live on the earnings of prostitution. This offence as well as the solicitation of male persons in public places will be deemed offences punishable as misdemeanours by imprisonment up to twelve months, or, on summary conviction, by imprisonment up to six months. The Bill also hits persons proved to live with, or to be habitually in the company of, a prostitute and having no visible means of subsistence. It also deals with those who exercise, or appear to exercise, in any public place control or influence over prostitutes under such circumstances as to suggest that they are
in collusion. There are conferred wide powers of arrest without warrant either upon a constable's own view or upon information given by anyone who shall give his name and address to the constable. This seems to open up some new and very formidable possibilities. Powers of entry into premises, if needs be by force, and search are also given. "Solicit" will be defined so widely as to cover importunity, and the category of areas covered by such words as "street" and public place " is a long one. The second Bill deals with procuration, and is a re-enactment in a vastly more drastic shape of the 2nd section of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885. The Bill does not, however, enter into the questions, so often discussed, as to the age of consent. The first clause rets out five different aspects, or objects, of procuration, offences against which are to be felonies involving severe penalties up to five years' penal servitude. This maximum term is increased to ten years if it is alleged and proved in the indictment that the girl procured was under the age of sixteen. The Disorderly Houses Bill is the third of this series of measures. In this again a great deal of force is added to the existing law contained in the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, 8. 13. It is to be a misdemeanour to keep, manage, act, or assist in a brothel, or for a tenant to permit such user, or for a landlord or lessor, or for their agent or servant, to let premises under circumstances affording reason to believe that such premises are to be used for the purpose of prostitution. The consequences of summary conviction may be a fine of £50 and (or) imprisonment up to six months, and, upon conviction on indictment, a fine of £200 and (or) imprisonment up to two years. The court is given a power to terminate a lease by making an order on the application of a landlord whose tenant has been convicted of an offence under this measure.
place where more than one person are employed as clerks." The Bill is, however, not intended to refer to domestic factories and domestic workshops. There are thereby brought under inspection many hundreds of thousands of premises, and it would be interesting to learn how it is proposed to administer these proposals, and how many new inspectors will be necessitated, and at what cost, if the measure is not to remain a dead letter.
SOME twenty-eight years have passed by since Parliament dealt with the subject of cheap trains and struck a bargain with the panies whereby a better and cheaper service of trains was provided in return for remissions of passenger duty in respect of fares not exceeding 1d. per mile and reductions of duty on first and second class fares in certain urban areas. Mr. BOWERMAN'S Cheap Trains Bill lays a newer and heavier onus on the railway companies by reducing very largely certain fares and requiring a provision of traine up to an hour later than that as a rule available for workmen's trains. Railway companies are to provide an ample service" (whatever that may mean) for workmen between central and outer suburban stations. Cheap tickets are to be issued at all central and intermediate stations up to 8 a.m., and if by reason of the number of men being such as to make it unnecessary or unreasonable to run a workman's train, then a workman is to be permitted to travel by an ordinary train up to 8 a.m. on the terms applicable to a workman's train. The return journey is to be made by any train carrying third class passengers. The return fare is to be 4d. for twenty miles, 3d. for sixteen, and 2d. for twelve. The Board of Trade are to ascertain local requirements by inquiries of corporations, town councils, county councils, borough councils, trade and labour organisa. tions, and urban district and parish councils. The Royal Commission on the Housing of the Working Classes has, as it will be recalled, urged strenuously that cheap trains should run up to 8 a.m. and thus facilitate communication between now on the areas of work and residence.
THE Vaccination Acts (Repeal) Bill by its title indicates its object, to
FISHERMEN who are not employed on the ordinary system of wages, but on a system of remuneration based on a share in the profits of the fishery, have been excluded from the benefits conferred by the Workmen's Compensation Act 1906. A Bill has now been drafted which will have the effect, if brought into force, of including such fishermen and thereby conferring upon them this particular benefit attached to the status of "workmen." The method of bringing about this result is by repealing sect. 7 (2) of the Act of 1906 and by enacting that the Act shall extend to the master and other members of the crew of a fishing vessel, notwithstanding that they are paid in whole or in part by shares in the profits or gross earnings of the working of the vessel. It is, however, provided that the Act is not to apply where these persons are also owners, part owners, hirers, or part hirers of the vessel, or where they provide wholly or in part the nets or other main fishing equipment of the vessel.
THE Factory and Workshop Act 1901 has done much to affect beneficially the health of the persons for whose special protection it was passed, and some expressions have been heard from time to time which indicate that clerks in offices have found that their surroundings were quite as susceptible of reform as were those of the individuals within the ambit of the factory legislation. Mr. BOWERMAN'S Bill to deal with offices regulation has but one effective and operative clause, but it involves a great deal, for it applies the Factory and Workshop Act 1901 to every office, a term meaning
LORD ROSEBERY's suggestion that the Law Lords should cease to be members of the House of Lords in its legislative capacity is only an echo of the contention of Lord Brougham that the judicial ought to be kept entirely distinct from the legislative and executive power in the State, and that the union of legislative and judicial functions ie wholly to be reprobated and is a great anomaly in the Constitution of England. Mr. Bagehot sees in the office of Lord Chancellor an object lesson of this great anomaly. "The whole office of Lord Chancellor is," he writes, a heap of anomalies. He is a judge, and it is contrary to obvious principle that any plan of administration should be intrusted to a judge; it is of very grave moment that the administration of justice should be kept clear of any sinister temptations. Yet the Lord Chancellor, our chief judge, sits in the Cabinet and makes party speeches in the Lords. Lord Lyndhurst was a principal Tory politician and yet he presided in the O'Connell case. Lord Westbury was in chronic wrangle with the bishops, but he gave judgment upon Essays and Reviews": (Bagehot's English Constitution, pp. 213.214). In his great speech in the House of Commons on the 1st June 1853, Mr. (Lord) Macaulay), when opposing the exclusion of the Master of the Rolls from the House of Commons, thus sketched the influence of the Law Lords: "You shut the Master of the Rolls out of this House, but leave the House of Lords still open to him. Is that not a political assembly? And is it not notoriously the fact that for several centuries judges have always had considerable sway in that House? Is it not perfectly notorious that Lord Hardwicke, a great judge, long ruled that House; that he bequeathed that power to another judge equally famous (Lord Mansfield), and that when his energy decayed he bequeathed the power he had received from Lord Hardwicke to a third judge (Lord Thurlow), who was succeeded in his turn by Lɔrd Eldon? We many of us can remember how powerful a political influence Lord Elden wielded in that House; how he made and unmade Ministers; with what veneration, approaching to idolatry, he was regarded by one great party in the country, with what peculiar aversion by the other. When Lord Eldon's long domination over the Lords ceased, there arose both Whig and Tory Lord Chancellors who divided or contended for power in that House. Some who are here can remember those first ten days of Oct. 1831. In the front rank of either side in the House of Lords, leading the opposite parties,
Lord Brougham, the Lord Chancellor of England, on the one side, and Lord Lyndhurst, the Chief Baron, on the other."
THE objection taken by Mr. Hobhouse on the 19th inst. to the second reading of the Old Age Pensions Bill, moved by Mr. Hayes Fisher, an unofficial member, on the ground that the Bill undoubtedly raised a charge upon the Exchequer, and admitted by the Speaker to be well founded, although under the very special circumstances he refrained from ruling the Bill out of order, calls attention to a cardinal principle embodied in Standing Orders 66-71 ordained by the House of Commons for its self-government. Under the practice thus established, any motion which in any way creates a charge upon the public revenue must receive the recommendation of the Crown before it can be entertained by the House, and then the recommendation, having been given precedence on the motion, must be adjourned to a future day and be referred to a consideration of the whole House. The principle that the sanction of the Crown must be given to every grant of money drawn from the public revenue applies equally to the taxation levied to provide that revenue. No motion can therefore be made to impose a tax save by a Minister of the Crown. In like manner no increase can be considered by the House except on the initiative of a Minister. The Commons do not vote money unless it be required by the Crown, nor do they impose or augment taxes unless such taxation be necessary for the public service as declared by the Crown through its constitutional advisers: (see May's Parliamentary Practice, pp. 545-558). The Imperial Diet of Japan during the session of 1892 distinguished themselves by embody. ing in their procedure the principle of Imperial control over the initiation of public expenditure.
A QUESTION asked in the House of Commons on the 17th inst. as to the meetings of the Board of Trade, which Mr. Buxton, the President of that board, stated had not met in his time, points attention to some of the differences in the practice as compared with the theory of the working of the Constitution. At present, the Board of Trade, as a branch of the Executive Government, means nothing more than the President, who, with the assistance of secretaries and other official staff, transacts all the business which has been assigned to this department. The origin of this department dates from 1660, when Charles II. established two separate Councils, one for trade and another for foreign plantations. After undergoing various changes, this board Was utterly suppressed and abolished in 1782 by the Act 22 Geo. 3, c. 82. From this time affairs of trade were placed under the direction of a committee of the Privy Council which was set apart by Order in Council in 1786 as the office of the Committee of the Privy Council for the consideration of all matters relating to trade and foreign plantations-in other worde, as a Board of Trade with jurisdiction over the colonies of the British Crown. The colonies continued in the charge of this department until the close of the American War, when they were transferred to the care of the Home Secretary. In days gone by, all colonial Acts requiring the confirmation of the King in Council were referred to the Board of Trade and were made the subject of minutes by the President. But now the Colonial Office merely refers to the board such Acts as relate to trade for examination and report thereon. The board or committee is appointed at the commencement of every reign. It consists of a President and Parliamentary Secretary, with certain ex-officio members. In 1835, during the presidency of Mr. Poulett Thompson, meetings of the board used to take place, but it was afterwards considered advisable to dispense with them, partly on account of its being extremely inconvenient for high officers of State to attend, and so by degrees the office became departmental. Nevertheless, it has since happened that several important questions of colonial policy have arisen on which the Government have felt it advisable to consult all the members of the Board of Trade, and by this means the services of various eminent men who were of the Privy Council, though not necessarily of the existing Administration, have been secured for the consideration of grave constitutional questions: (see Todd's Parliamentary Government of England, ii., pp. 789-791; see also Id., ii., p. 639).
THE proposal that members of the House of Commons should be paid out of the public funds and not by a charge locally levied on their constituencies is a departure from the old practice in reference to the source from which the wages of members were derived. When, on the 5th April 1870, Mr. Peter Taylor moved in the House of Commons for leave to introduce a Bill to restore the ancient constitutional practice of the payment of members-a motion which was rejected by 211
to twenty-four-Mr. Gladstone, speaking as Prime Minister, contended that the charge, if necessary, should be defrayed out of local rates. "It appears to me," said Mr. Gladstone, "that if this subject were to be entertained, my hon. friend [Mr. Peter Taylor] would do better if he kept in the road of the ancient Constitution, because the ancient Constitution knows nothing whatever about the little change which he slipped into his proposal of imposing the burden, not on the local rates, but on the Consolidated Fund. He skilfully slipped over, almost in a whisper, that part of the subject, and that is a most important and essential change. When the charge is locally levied, it is an indication of a very strong sense in the local community of the necessity of the measure and of the value of the services of the man, but if these payments are to be made out of the Consolidated Fund, then I must ask whether it is generally desirable that, irrespective of highly exceptional cases which may be counted on one's fingers, we should alter entirely the practice which has so long governed our conduct with regard to the payment of members. My hon. friend does not question that this was originally a local charge, and that each community paid its own members, but he says they were too niggardly and would not continue to do it, and, because they would not continue to do it, he proposes that we should cajole, wheedle, or induce them to do it by paying the charge out of the Consolidated Fund, in which case each community would be entirely insensible of its own share of the burden."
MR. BRIGHT, in a speech delivered in the House of Commons so far back as the 13th April 1858, expressed himself enthusiastically in favour of the payment of members, but concluded, as a matter of course, that such payment, if the system were ever restored, should be made by the constituencies. "One of the purest, highest names," he said, ever placed on the muster roll of Parliament was that of Andrew Marvell, yet he received a regular salary for his services in the performance of his Parliamentary duties. And when the change took place to which the hon. member for Oldham [Mr. Fox] referred, when probably they might get rid of the property qualification and obtain a more extended suffrage, they might possibly have some members of that House who were not men of propertynot, to use a professional phrase, men of station-but men of character and intellect belonging to an order of society that had not been directly represented there hitherto. When such men got into the House, was it not likely-would it not be a thing to be commended and admired-that the constituencies should undertake to furnish them with salaries of £200, £300, or £500 a year that they might be able to subsist and attend to their duties in Parliament? He should be very glad to see such a case, It would show them that the constituencies were improving, as at present the burden lay in the other direction."
A QUESTION addressed to Mr. Lloyd George as to the effect of slack attendance in the House of Commons on the payment of wages to members may recall the fact that by an Act, 6 Hen. 8, c. 16, it was declared that no member should absent himself "without the licence of the Speaker and the Commons, which licence was ordered to be entered of record in the book of the Clerk of Parliaments appointed for the Commons House." The penalty upon 8 member for absence was the forfeiture of his wages (May's Parliamentary Practice, p. 179). Mr. Hatsell records that Mr. Hall, member for Grantham, having published a book in 1580 which gave offence to the House, was ordered to be expelled, fined, and imprisoned. On the 21st Nov. 1586 Mr. Markham, the member for Grantham, informed the House, on the part of the inhabitants of that borough, that Mr. Arthur Hall, at one time their member, had brought a writ for his wages (amongst other times) for his attendance at the late session of Parliament holden at Westminster in the twenty-seventh year of Queen Elizabeth, during which time he did not serve in the House. A committee appointed by the House desired him to remit the said wages, which he did "freely and frankly."
In the House of Commons, on the 18th inst, Colonel Rawson asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether under the National Insurance Bill a member of a friendly society would continue to draw the same benefits from his society as before or would only receive the same as other people who have belonged to no society; and what advantages the present members of a friendly society would receive under the Act.-Mr. Lloyd George: If the hon. member will refer to clause 55 of the Bill he will see that members of existing societies will get the whole benefit of the accumulations which they have made up to the time when the Act comes into force and will in addition get precisely the same advantages as persons not hitherto insured.
In the House of Commons, on Monday, Mr. Bottomley asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of facts recently disclosed in the Law Courts relating to the affairs of the Law Guarantee Trust and Accident Society Limited, he would reconsider the question of taking the necessary steps to secure a compulsory winding up and a public investigation into the affairs of that company. -Mr. Buxton: Before this question was put down the matter referred to was receiving my careful consideration. As at present advised, I doubt whether the position is altered by the evidence given in the recent proceedings. As I have repeatedly stated, the statute provides that the court shall not make a winding up order on the petition of the official receiver unless it is satisfied that the voluntary winding-up cannot be continued with due regard to the interests of the creditors or contributories. I have, however, given instructions that a further case to advise should be laid before the law officers of the Crown.-Mr. Bottomley: Is the right hon. gentleman aware that the Lord Chief Justice has expressed his opinion that there is a strong case for a public investigation, and a thorough and a searching investigation. into the affairs of this company? May I also point out that when I was chairman of a company in liquidation there was not this reticence on the part of the authorities to put the law into motion ?-Mr. Buxton There is no reticence on the part of the Board of Trade, but the advice of the law officers of the Crown, which we took some time ago, restricts our taking action. But I am taking a further opinion from the law officers of the Crown in consequence of what occurred in the courts the other day.
Captain Waring asked the Attorney-General whether, in view of the generally expressed desire that the Public Trustee Act should be 80 widened as to enable beneficiaries to compel their trustees to resign in favour of the Public Trustee, he could see his way to introduce legislation embodying such a proposal.-The Attorney-General replied: This matter is under consideration, but in any event it is not proposed to introduce legislation during the present session.
Mr. Lonsdale asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he was aware that in spite of sub-sect. 7 (b) of sect. 19 of the Finance Act 1907, which defined earned income as including any income from any property which was attached to cr formed part of the emoluments of any office or employment of profit held by the individual, clergymen were still charged at the unearned income rate of 1s. 2d. in the pound upon their rectories and manses, although the enjoyment of the house was part of their earned income; and whether he could see his way to remedy this grievance.-The Chancellor of the Exchequer : Where a clergyman's total income from al sources, estimated according to the several rules and directions of the Income Tax Acts, does not exceed £2000, and a claim for relief in respect of earned income is made in due time, the tax on the rectory or manse is charged at the rate of 9d. in the pound, if the value of the house is part of such income.
Mr. Wedgwood asked the Prime Minister whether he was aware that certain trades and labour councils were asking for some representation of the workers upon the advisory committees set up to consider appointments to the magisterial bench; and whether he would ask the Lord Chancellor to obtain such representation on the county as well as on the borough advisory committees.-Mr. Asquith: I am informed that the Lord Chancellor has already asked some representa. tives of labour to join advisory committees for counties as well as boroughe, and will continue to do so where such representation seems desirable.
In the House of Commons, on Tuesday, Mr. Douglas Hall asked the Home Secretary to state the estimated cost to the public, including the actual fees paid to the counsel who appeared on behalf of the Treasury, in connection with the various inquests on the persons who were killed during the recent shooting affray in Houndsditch, and the magisterial inquiry and trial of the persons alleged to have been implicated in the attempted burglary at the shop of Mr. Harris. —Mr. Masterman, who replied, said: The total fees payable to coursel who appeared on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions at the various inquests and at the magisterial inquiry and trial amount to £738 10s. 6d., and miscellaneous expenses amounting to £69 198. 7d. have also been incurred. It is impossible to estimate the total cost that will ultimately fall on public funds, including, as it will, allowances made to witnesses attending at the various coroners' inquests, the magisterial inquiry, and the trial at the Central Criminal Court, and also, probably, the costs of an appeal.
Mr. Bottomley asked for leave to bring in a Bill to provide for the periodical return of all dormant balances and unclaimed securities in the hands of bankers, and for the handing over of the same to the Public Trustee. He said the Chancellor of the Exchequer was looking for new sources of revenue, and this was one of considerable magnitude. The banks of this country had accumulated enormous sums in the way of unclaimed balances and securities. A member of the Bankers' Institute had estimated it at between £11,000,000 and £12,000,000, but he believed it was a great deal more than that. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had told the House that he had consulted the bankers, and that he did not think there was anything in this. He was almost thinking of designing another stained glass window representing the soul of candour divulging the truth to the spirit of simplicity. The idea of a policeman meeting a burglar and taking his word in regard to what his bag contained was rather novel. The Prime Minister had promised last session that if he was satisfied that the House desired it he would appoint a committee to inquire into this subject. In the hope that the committee would now be appointed, he moved for leave to bring in the Bill.-Leave having been granted, the Bill was introduced and read a first time.
Mr. King asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the treaty of arbitration between the United States and this country would be so drafted as to admit the adhesion of other Powers; whether negotiations are now proceeding with France or any other Power for inclusion as a party to the treaty; and whether he could make any statement as to the progress or probable conclusion of the negotiations.-Sir E. Grey: The full text of a draft treaty is still on its way to me, and I have not yet seen it; but I do not gather that a tripartite treaty is contemplated.—In reply to a question from Mr. Hunt, Sir E. Grey said: I have not yet received the full text of the draft treaty. When it arrives it will receive full consideration before any statements are made about it, and it is then usual in ordinary courtesy to make them to the authors of the proposals before making them public. I may add, however, that from what I gather of the nature of the proposals there is every prospect of a very considerable advance in securing the practical settlement of disputes without resort to war.
In the House of Commons, on Wednesday, Mr. Lees Smith askea the Prime Minister whether, in view of the evidence at the hearing of the East Nottingham election petition, he would consider the advisability of amending the Corrupt Practices Act so as to provide that if the expenditure on gifts and subscriptions within the constituencies of members of Parliament or candidates exceeds a certain maximum sum, the excess above such maximum sum shall be reckoned as part of their election expenses.-Mr. Asquith: The whole of the subject, both law and procedure, in regard to these matters is receiving the careful attention of the Government.
Mr. Lyttelton asked the Prime Minister whether the Bill to amend the law with respect to the objects and powers of trade unions which stood on the paper in the name of Mr. Churchill did not relate to the Osborne judgment, and whether the right hon. gentleman did not think it a Bill of sufficient importance to merit eome explanation before it was presented to the House.-Mr. Asquith: There are two Bills on the subject before the House, and I think it would be more convenient to introduce them in the ordinary way. There will be ample opportunity of debating them on second reading.—Mr. Churchill then presented the Bill, which was formally read a second time.
Mr. Pretyman asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he would state the yield for the financial year 1910-11 of the increment value duty, undeveloped land duty, reversion duty, and mineral rights duty, respectively; and the cost of collection of these duties, including the cost of the valuation upon which the two first-named duties were based. The Chancellor of the Exchequer: As I explained in my Financial Statement last week, practically the only duty which has yielded any considerable sum up to the present time is the minera! rights duty. In the case of the other duties, in consequence of the small number of the settled valuations, the yield has been trifling. the sums paid into the Exchequer on account of increment value duty having been £130, of reversion duty £260, and of undeveloped land duty £2350. The cost of collection for the whole sum of £520,000 was £7230, excluding the non-recurrent expenditure on valuation, which, as I have already mentioned, is more than paid for by the more accurate valuations for death duties.
The Copyright Bill was further considered on Tuesday by Standing Committee A of the House of Commons, of which Mr. GriffithBoscawen is chairman. After further discussion, clause 2, as amended, was added to the Bill. The committee then considered clause 3, which alters the term of copyright as respects all classes of works, and provides that the term, except as otherwise expressly provided, shall be the life of the author and a period of fifty years after his death. An amendment by Mr. Croydon Marks to reduce the term to thirty years raised a discussion on the principle of the clause. Several members contended that the term proposed in the Bill was too long, but Mr. T. P. O'Connor spoke eloquently in favour of the enlargement of copyright, in the interests not merely of authors but of 1 terature itself. It was suggested that a compromise might be arrived at on the basis of an amendment in the name of the President of the Board of Trade to the following effect: "Provided that at any time after the expiration of thirty years from the death of the author of a published work copyright in the work shall not be deemed to be infringed by the reproduction of the work if the person reproducing the work proves that he has given the prescribed notice in writing of his intention to reproduce the work, and that he has paid in the prescribed manner to, or for the benefit of, the owner of the copyright royalties in respect of all copies of the work sold by him calculated at the rate of 10 per cent. on the price at which he publishes the work." Several members of the committee expressed the view that the thirty years referred to in the Government's amendment should be reduced to fifteen or ten years, and the royalty reduced from 10 to 5 per cent. In the result the amendment of Mr. Marks was rejected by twenty to seven, and Mr. Buxton had only time formally to move his amendment when the committee adjourned.
WOMEN AND CHILDREN'S COURTS IN FRANCE. THE French Senate has decided upon an experiment which will be watched with interest by all concerned in the welfare of children who often, from causes for which they cannot be held responsible, develop criminal instincts. In France, says the Temps, not only is the number of births few, but the quality does not compensate for the quantity, for juvenile crime has augmented almost in a ratio equal to the increased cost of living. The French Senate has had under consideration a Bill dealing with Les tribunaux pour enfants. The Bill before the House provided that délits committed by minors under thirteen years should be taken before a civil tribunal, which should hear such cases in the chambre du conseil after an instruction previously conducted by a rapporteur specially selected for the purpose. The rapporteur in this instance-according to the vote (infra) will be a rapporteuse-exercises the functions of a fuge d' instruction. M. Philippe Berger, Senator for Belfort-which made such a splendid defence in the Franco-Prussian War-formerly Professor of Hebrew in the University of Paris, proposed as an amendment that such instructions should be conducted by a woman. This brought up, the Temps says, Les représentants d'un certain traditionalisme étroit, including the garde des sceaux. According to our contemporary, his arguments came to this: "What would the shades of Lamoignon and d'Aguesseau think of such a proposal?" and the writer, who is in agreement with the Senate, which adopted the amendment, pertinently observes: "L'opinion de ces ombres vénérables est assez difficile à connaître," and proceeds: "There should be nothing outrageous in the proposal, for Justice herself is a woman, and this may explain why some decisions Beem to be capricious. For some years WO have had women avocates, the younger sisters of the Portia of Shakespeare and of Marie-Victoire of M. Edmund Guiraud. Ought not she who is able to plead be capable of judging-the robes of the avocats and those of the judges are almost the same ? If the tribunal is a member short, an avocat is invited to take the place of the absent judge, the suggestion being that an avocate might be called to act in an emergency." But, continues the Temps, “this is not the question. In reason and in equity women should have this power if they so desire, and if they possess the same qualifications as men. The decision of the Senate does not open the doors leading to the Bench of the Court of Cassation or even the Court of Appeal to the daughters of Eve. It is astonishing that the Government should have thought fit to oppose a proposal so inoffensive. What is the use of appealing to anoient docteurs és lettres for the direction of crèches and dames' schools? Has not Nature herself designed woman to care for, to manage, and to reprimand the bamhins? The principle adopted by the Senate applies only to children under thirteen years of age, and, says the Temps in conclusion: "Il est évident que des femmes seules pourront bien comprendre ces petits malheureux, leur parler leur langue, amender ceux qui ne sont pas incorrigibles. Le Sénat a décidé selon la sagesse."
A VERY difficult question is now engaging the thoughts of the more responsible members of the various Coronation festivity committees at work all over the country. In almost every centre there is to be some form of feeding, and where (as is very common) the funds available extend to the provision of intoxicants, there is much discussion as to the procedure to adopt. Probably the experience of past Jubilee and Coronation festivities will repeat itself and nothing very objectionable will happen in regard to the midday festivity. The matter is different, however, in the case of the evening. In many rural districts there are discussions afoot as to obtaining occasional licences for the supply of intoxicants on the green or in some field where the dancing, fireworks, bonfires, and so forth, are to take place. We believe that in certain quarters the justices have already decided not to give any such occasional licences under any circumstances whatsoever, whilst a different policy will prevail in other areas. The question is not easy to decide. Certain police authorities consider that the occasional licence will be conducive to the general preservation of order, for it will tend to keep men with their families and to counteract the temptation, otherwise likely to prevail, to wander to and from the nearest inn or to The police introduce private supplies of spirits on a large scale. point of view seems one which should be carefully considered, for it
is not probable that any great accession of force can be added to the one and only constable to be found in many villages. Even if by calling up reserves or appointing specials this force were augmented to half a dozen, it will be no easy task to preserve order at a time of excitement when the whole population is likely to be drawn to a centre. Another problem of no little difficulty is how to associate public conveniences in country places with decency and sanitation. The total neglect of precautions in past celebrations led to incidents such as should not be permitted to recur. We should deprecate in any district a hard-and-fast rule either for or against these occasional licences. The matter seems eminently one for determination having regard to all the local conditions, amongst which is the obvious difficulty of an innkeeper being capable of ensuring satisfactory results alike in his ina and in the locality to which the occasional licence pertains.
IT is not hopeful for the busy London solicitor to read that the chairman of the London County Council regards the problem of Londen traffic as insoluble under present conditions. We share, however, in his desire that a Traffic Board should be formed, as recommended by the Royal Commission years ago, and that by its means steps should be taken to prevent the present evil recurring in newer areas of population. That any reform of a drastic character would be costly is admitted, and it will only be costlier every year it is put off, so, unless this metropolis is to fall behind every other metropolis in Europe, it is urgently necessary to consider what can be done. Two or three recent test cases have shown that carte:s can be convicted for wilful obstruction for refusing to give way to faster vehicles. In certain foreign cities, such as Seville, where the roads are exceedingly narrow, traffic is compelled to flow in one direction only. There are infinite possibilities in relegating horse traffic to the side streets, in regulating the delivery and collection of goods, in removing central standards, in prohibiting "crawling" and street trading, and in many like matters of administration. No one denies that each and all involve hardship to someone, but the question is whether this will not be a lesser evil than placing an enormous burden of debt on tax and rate payers in general in some Herculean effort to make a few wide roads. These will accommodate traffic, but they only lead to congestion when such traffic passes out into the normal narrowness of other streets. The problem can be robbed of much of its difficulty by prompt action on the part of enlightened authorities quick to recognise facts as they are. Road widening here, regulations there, and a general determination to enforce the policy of expediting the flow of traffic and not reducing it to the speed of the slowest market cart would greatly alleviate evils which cost busy men losses of time and temper and, unless dealt with soon, will only become more and more difficult and expensive to tackle.
WHAT DO PRISONERS READ?
IN the report of a departmental committee (published fifteen years ago) on the education and moral instruction of prisoners it is stated: "With regard to libraries, the testimony is unanimously in praise of both the quality and quantity of books, and the commissioners have allowed a wide latitude in their selection."
Apparently it has been deemed necessary to reconsider this not unimportant subject, for another departmental committee has just reported on the supply of books to the prisoners in H. M. prisons and to the inmates of H.M. Borstal institutions.
We may doubtless take it for granted that to the majority of educated prisoners, unfortunate enough to be detained on long sentences, a good book in the cell is a matter of high concern. Intelligent prisoners in the old French prisons of State, for whom no occupation was provided, have left poignant accounts of the pains of enforced idleness in those places; and Mirabeau, in the dungeon of Vincennes, became so bored by his own society that he deliberately gave himself to the composition of indecent fables. Our own State captives, up to the end of the eighteenth century, must usually have had pretty much the same experience, and not a few attempts at prison-breaking were the fruit of sheer boredom.
In our own modern prisons the need of a fair and regular service of books has long been recognised, and during many years the larger establishments at any rate have had excellent works in plenty for the use of all their educated inmates. Nowadays a prisoner is permitted, under certain strict conditions, to receive books from friends outside; and O:car Wilde in Reading Gaol availed himself of this privilege. But the up-to-date collection in a convict establishment or any goodsized local gaol would certainly meet the requirements of the greater