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Stokes v Prance 68 Tucker, Richard 201 Waterland v Serle 68 White, Re, Pennell v Franklin 200, 635 Wynne, Campbell Mountague Edward 512 \Vynne, Llewelyn Malcolm 512
Athlumney (Lord) Re, Ex parte Wilson 740 Bankruptcy Notice, Re an Application for .
the issue of 215 Buckwell v Norman ... 366 Clark, Re, Ex parte Clark .. 15 Clark, Re, Ex parte Schulze 573 Cronmirc, Re, Ex parte \Vaud ; Re Cronmire,
Ex parte Chetham 291 Debtor, A, Re, Ex parte The Debtor 657 Gilbert, Re, Ex parte Gilbert 118 llumphreys, Re, Ex parte Roberts ... 83 Izod, Re, Ex parte Oflicial Receiver 117 Laurie. Re, Ex parte Green 346 Palmer, Re. Ex part/e Brims... 215 Piers, Re, Ex parte Piers v Read 132, 365 Stevens, Re, Ex parte The Board of Trade 703 Watkins v Lindsay 310
COUNTY COURT CASES. Higginson and Deane, Re, Ex parte T. & H.
Littledale & Co 781
Jones v C. 8: W. Walker 833
“ Alpha,” Owners of v Owners of “ Marin Rickmers" --. Bailey v Skinner and Fleming, Reid, & O0. Bristol Tramways Co. v National Telephone Brown v Brown 729, Companies Acts, 1862 to 1890, Re, Re The National Stores (Limited) Companies Acts, 1863 to 1893, and Re The Gee Floor Scrubbing Machine Co. (Limited) Hobbs, Hart, & Co. (Limited) v Grover and Hutchings v Seaford Urban District Council Keeble v Poole 8: Lucas Kennerley v The Owner of the Sailing Yacht “Olga” Oppenheim v Mackenzie Shirebrook Colliery C0. (Limited) v Burke and Others Taylor v The Cambridge Gazette C0. (Limited) and Kilner Varey, W. H. (deceased), Re The Trusts of the Will of, and the Trustee Act, 1833 Victoria Date Co. (Limited), Re \Varr 8; Co. (Limited) v Edwnrdes and Daly
JUDGES’ CHAMBERS. Hallvliaunspach Solicitor, In the Mutter of a, and In the
Matter of the Solicitors Act, 1888
A New Volume commences this week. Subscriptions, PAYABLE TN ADVANCE: Sotrciroxs‘ JOURNAL and Wxaxur Rarolrrn, including Indexes, Digests, Statutes, and Postage, 52s. \VEEKLY
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VOL. XLII., No. I. The Solicitors’ Journal and Reporter.
LONDON, NOVEMBER 6, 1897.
',' The Editor cannot undertake to return rejected contributions, and
copies should be kept or all articles sent by writers who are not on the regular staff of the JOURNAL.
Contents. Cnaanvr Torros ............................ .. 1 Law Boar:-rns .............................. .. 16 Tan Norman or Acrioxs Arn-:r1'nu Law 8-ruoln~|' Jonazur. 17 or rua Oo|u>u|.soaY Srnnoss 1-‘on LIGAL Nlws .................................. .. 18 Dlaxcrioss .................................. .. 4 Tm: LAND Tnsssraa Acr, 1897, silo Juvrour. Barnr. or ras Sarrtao Luv TRANSFER IN Ansrnsnra .... .. 18 Lsxo Acts ............... ............... .. 5 Srsnrmo Drnsrn-ones ................... .. 19 Anwoxc/n"xo.\' sap Dmroriso or I:1- Conar Psraas ............ .. 19 sravlnxrs mmaa rm: Snur Aer... 7 Wnrnrao Ur Noriols 20 Rlvllws ........................................ .. 8 Cannons’ N0rroIs.. 21 Coanasrounrsca ............................ .. 11 Bnnorrcir N01-was .................... .. 21
Cases Reported this Week.
In the Solicitors’ Journal.
In the Weakly Rsportar.
Amslsnmsteé flyndiwte (Lim-). Re 18 Cornwall Minerals Railway 00., In re ‘égvfllgfitgfirm Evans, In re. Ex partc Davies ...... .. 8 Gallagher v_ Rudd 15 Hutton (Appellant) v. Trecby (ResponGray v. Sy1l)\'e:;ter 13 dent) .......................................... .. 8 Lewis v- ‘O98 ---------------- ~- 14 J. e P. Coats (Limited) \-. C0mmilE;:g'Z§eF&::é§D'§1m:€amfig:;e}§§ld' 18 sionsrs of Inland Revenue 1 pen, (y,_ (Lin-,,) v_ 133,0“ gumgg 11 Powell v. Kemptcn Park Racecourse Mo,-|” y_ cu-gs, ____________________________ _, 14 Co. ........................................... .. 8 glurahy v. Arrovtvt. 15 Beg. v. The General Medical Council... 2 en n v. Borne ............................ .. 11 - - I Beg‘ VI Mead’ Em‘ uetmpnuun Police Tibbit-a Settled Estates, In re ......... .. 8 Magistrate. Ex pnrte The Lmmon Turnbnll, In re. Turnbull v. TurnCounty Council ....................... .. 14 bull ........................................... .. 3
W1: rrxonnsrsxn that the practice of entering judgment in default of defence without order, under ord. 27, r. 2, is not to be considered as in any way interfered with by ord. 30, r. 1 (6), and that instructions to that efiect have been received at the Judgment Department of the Central Oflico.
Loan J USTICE WILLIAMS (we hope we may henceforth drop the “ Vsoonsn ”) has well earned his promotion to the bench of the Court of Appeal by his services in the Bankruptcy and Windingup Courts. We believe that he has, during the last few months, from time to time, made observations in chambers indicating that his endeavours to check or punish fraudulent conduct with reference to company formation and business had been almost, if not entirely, abortive, and that he had some thoughts of resigning his seat, not on the High Court bench, but in the \Vinding-up Court. The change of position will, therefore, be peculiarly welcome to him; and his presence in the Court of Appeal is certain to bring to the deliberations of the division in w ich he sits a vigorous and thoroughly independent judgment, not fettered by undue regard to prior decisions. To all appearance we shall continue to have a very strong Court of
Appeal——a matter of no small consequence to suitors and the profession.
Tm: srromrmzsr of the successor to Lord Justice W11.r.1.ms in the Queen’s Bench Division is so ood as almost to condone the last previous nomination.‘ Mr. Cnszmsnr. has long been
known as a learned lawyer, an experienced and skilful advocate, and a man of thoroughly judicial temperament. The fear of his friends was that the entire absence of self-assertion which characterizes him would lead to his fitness for judicial promotion being overlooked, and it is greatly to the credit of the Lord Chancellor that this has not come to pass. Mr. CHANNELL is, we believe, likely to make as good a judge as his father——and that is not saying a little.
WE amt relieved to find that the new order 30 will not in practice interfere with procedure in default of defence to so great an extent as was generally supposed. That the point would have to be dealt with by authority must have been apparent to all who read our recent articles on the working and intention of the new order (ante, vol. 41, pp. 815, 836, 856). Procedure in default of defence works so admirably that it would have been unfortunate if it had been hampered by destroying its automatic character and requiring an application and an order before it could be put in force. The wording of ord. 30, r. l (b) seems to indicate that no judgment in default could be entered except by application to the court: “ (6) Such summons (for directions) shall be taken out after appearance and before the plaintiff takes any fresh step in the action other than application for an injunction, or for a receiver, or for summary judgment under order 14, or to enter judgment in default of defence under ord. 27, r. 2.” The construction generally placed on this sub-rule, as regards default of appearance in particular, was that, omitting its references to other things, it should be read thus : “ Such summons shall be taken out after appearance and before the plaintiff takes any fresh step other than application . . . to enter judgment in default of defence under ord. 27, r. 2." If the rule is read in this way it indicates that an application to the court or a judge would be necessary before entering judgment in default of defence under the last-named rule. We are glad to find that it is not to be so applied.
Ir snnns a pity that procedure in default of defence under ord. 27, rr. 4 to 9, cannot also be rescued from the operation of the new order 30, r. 1. But this is obviously impossible as the rule now stands. Judgments in default under ord. 27, r. 2, are limited to claims for liquidated demands only. Those under rules 4 to 9 are for unliquidated claims and recovery of land and detention of goods. If s defendant makes default of defence in these cases, the plaintiff is still bound, apparently, by the express words of ord. 30, r. 1, to issue a summons for directions, because the exceptions in sub-section (b) of that rule do not include these other default cases. The difficulty which this omission presents, as we pointed out in the articles referred to, is that there does not appear to be any power in order 80 to order judgment to be entered, but merely to give directions as to any " znlerlacutory matter or thing.” A plaintiff, therefore, in such a case, when the defendant makes default, will, according to the rule, have to issue his summons for directions, although the only thing he required—viz., judgment in default of defence under ord. 27, rr. 4 to 9—cannot be given under the summons. We feel sure this was no more intended than was any interference with procedure under ord. 27, r. 2, and we have no doubt that some way will be found to put the matter right.
THERE ARE two other points of interest with regard to the working of the new order 30. Some doubt seems to have existed as to whether rule 8 of that order had been duly issued as an effective rule in accordance with the Rules Publication Act. That rule empowers a defendant to apply to dismiss if the plaintiff does not issue his summons for directions within fourteen days from the entry of appearance. It was passed by the Rule Committee on the 4th of August as a draft rule, and was ordered to come into operation on the 25th of October. In the absence of any certificate of urgency, that would not be sufficient to make it an effective rule. It appears, however. that the rule in question was duly signed by the Rule Committee on the 25th of October, so the doubt as to its validity is laid at rest. The other point is as to the application of the new order 30 to
actions ending at the time it came into operation. We are informed that the view adopted on the Chancery side has not been the same on this point as that which has prevailed on the Queen’s Bench side. We understand that in Chancery no summons for directions is allowed to be issued in any action commenced prior to the 25th of October, while on the Queen’s Bench side summonses for directions are issued and dealt with in actions commenced prior to the 25th of October, provided no pleading has been delivered before that date. This difference of practice in the two divisions is not a matter of any consequence, because it will only remain during the period of transition from the old practice to the new. In the course of another ten days all the Queen's Bench actions in which summonses for directions will be issued will be actions commenced since the new order 30 came into force, and the identity of practice in the two divisions will be restored.
A ooaaasronnnnca, which will be found elsewhere, has passed between the Incorporated Law Society and the Inland Revenue authorities with reference to the increased stamp duty on debentures repayable at a premium which has become enforceable in consequence of the decision last April in Rowzll §~ Son (Lzmaled) v. Cownntiasionara of Inland Rsvrnur (1897, 2 Q. B. 194). Hitherto it has been considered sufficient to stamp £100 debentures with the usual mortgage duty of 2s. 6d., notwithstanding that they are repayable at a premium, and, if they were to be treated altogether as mortgages, this would seem to be correct. 'By section 86 of the Stamp Act, 1891, a mortgage is defined as “ a security by way of mortgage for the payment of any definite and certain sum of money advanced or lent,” &c., and the duty appears to be payable in respect of this sum. But a debenture not transferable by delivery is a “ marketable security ” under the first head annexed to this title in the schedule to the Stamp Act, and is chargeable “in respect of the money thereby secured" with the same ad valorem duty as upon a mortgage. The introduction of the words just quoted induced the Divisional Court (VAUGHAN Wrnuans and KENNEDY, JJ.) to hold that debentures for £l00, repayable with a premium of £7 10s. on a fixed date, were chargeable with a duty of as. Ud., the “ money secured” being £107 10s. In the case before the court the company were bound in any event to pay the £107 10s. on each debenture, but the same reason does not apply—and so the Inland Revenue Commissioners sdmit—where the premium is only payable where the company issuing the debentures exercises an option to redeem before the day fixed for payment. In the case of the former class of debentures, however, the decision settles the law, and the revenue will gain a substantial profit from this unexpected result.
In vmw of the decision in R0well’s case it has, of course, become a matter of importance to determine how the defect in the stamps on existing debentures is to be cured. At the beginning of June the Inland Revenue Commissioners sent a circular to the secretaries of public companies calling attention to the decision, and intimating that it was desirable that companies affected by it should forthwith inform each debenture-holder that his debenture was not duly stamped, and that he must have the additional duty impressed without delay. It was further stated that, in the case of debentures presented within a reasonable period, the duty would be impressed without penalty. The author of this circular seems to have paid no attention to the great inconvenience which would have been involved in getting debentures produced by the multitude of debentureholdersall over the kingdom, and, since the payment of the duty must fall on the companies, it was obviously the easier course for the duty to be paid at once in a lump sum by each company afiected, and for this payment to be available for the debentures whenever produced. A proposal to this effect was made in August by the Incorporated Law Society, and the Commissioners have recently intimated that they are prepared to accede it. It will now only be necessary for the company to pay over the additional duty chargeable by virtue of Rowall’s can against a receipt specifying the debentures covered by the payment, and any debenture so covered will, on production, be
stamped without penalty. The Law Society, in the letter of their secretary, Mr. E. W. Wn.1.1.mso1v, also suggested that, in cases where the duty was not thus paid in advance, it might be paid at any time and the debentures stamped without penalty, provided they had not been improperly withheld from stamping; and further that it would be convenient if a rule in the same direction could be made which would be of general application where the stamp duties on existing deeds are afiected by subsequent decisions. But while the Commissioners profess their readiness to consider favourably any particular application with respect to debentures the additional duty on which has not been paid in advance, they decline to give any pledge as to the course to be adopted, and they decline also to lay down any general rule. Perhaps, under the circumstances, it is not to be expected that they should thus limit their discretion, though it is clear that persons who become liable to pay duty in consequence of the decisions of the courts conflicting with common practice are entitled in the exercise of that discretion to every consideration.
In vrsw of the approaching School Board elections, it seems opportune briefly to consider whether women are legally eligible for election. Hitherto, as is well known, they have frequently been elected without question, and probably, therefore, no returning officer would feel justified in giving effect to any objection made to a female ca.ndidate’s nomination on the score of her sex. Hence, in order to obtain a decision of a binding character as to the validity of such an objection, a petition would have to be presented against the return of a successful female candidate. This, it will be remembered, was the course pursued in Baraeford-Ilope v. Sandhurst (37 W. R. 525, 23 Q. B. D. (C. A.) 79), where it was held that a woman cannot herself become a member of a county council, though she can elect thereto. The ratio deoidendi of that case appears to be that, save by express enactment, a woman cannot exercise any public function, and that, as Parliament has not rendered her eligible to be a county councillor, she is ineligible. On this subject Lord Esnan, in his judgment in the case cited, says: " By neither the common law nor the constitution of the country, from the beginning of the common law until now, can a woman be entitled to exercise any public function.” This doctrine thus enunciated would seem adequately to account for a recent statute —namely, the Poor Law Guardians (Ireland) (Women) Act, 1896 (69 Vict. c. 5)—-which provides that a person otherwise qualified to be elected a poor law guardian shall not be disqualified by sex. Now, in the case of school boards, there is certainly no express statutory provision contained in the Elementary Education Acts or elsewhere entitling women to be elected as members thereof. \Ve therefore venture to submit that, by parity of reasoning, women are as much ineligible to sit on school boards as they undoubtedly are to become county councillors. It is to be hoped that this really important question will, ere long, be judicially determined.
Tm-1 more proved in the case of Rag. v. Stormonth, tried last week before Rrnnnr, .T., at the Old Bailey, are almost identical with those in Reg. v. Alison (8 C. & P. 418). In each case a man and a woman had agreed to die; poison was obtained, they divided it, drank it, and lay down together to die ; but the woman alone died, whilst the man recovered and lived to be indicted for her murder. In the reported case PA'1‘TESON,J., held on the facts that in law the prisoner was guilty of murder, and he was accordingly convicted. In a more recent case, Reg. v. Jmop (16 Cox 204), the facts were again practically the same, though in this case both the persons who agreed to die together by poison were young men. FIELD, J., before whom the survivor was tried for the murder of his friend, in summing up to the jury, said: “A person who administers poison to another with the intention of killing him is guilty of murder if that person dies, and if two persons agree that they will each take poison, each person is a principal and each is guilty.” The prisoner was convicted in this case also, and neither decision has ever been seriously questioned. At one time a person who counselled, aided, or abetted another to commit suicide, but who
was not present when the felo do so put an end to his life, was in q
the position of an accessory before the fact to murder. An accessory before the fact, however, could not at common law be tried until the principal felon had been convicted, unlesfhe were tried along with the principal. Hence it followed in such a~ case that the accessory to the felony of self-murder escaped punishment, as it was not possible to try the principal. The law on the subject has, however, been altered by section 2 of 24 & 25 Vict. c. 94, which provides that an accessory before the fact to any felony may be indicted and convicted as such, “ whether the principal felon shall or shall not have been previously convicted, or shall or shall not be amenable to justice.” If, however, as in the cases noticed, a person aids or abets another in committing suicide, and is actually present when that other takes his own life, he is guilty of murder at common law as a rincipal in the second degree. And as principals in the second degree and accessories before the fact are all in law equally guilty with the principal in the first degree, it follows that anyone who aids and abets another in the crime of suicide is in law guilty of murder and liable to the penalty of death.
A1voT'In~:a case of interest, also involving loss of human life, was tried last week at the same court. The prisoner, who was indicted for manslaughter, was a member of the sect called the Peculiar People. These people have religious objections to calling in medical advice or to using medicine in case of illness, but, instead of this, they call in some of their elders, who pray over the sick person and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. In this case a child of the prisoner's died without having received any medical attention, though it was sworn that the child would probably have recovered under proper treatment. At one time the law seems to have been different on this subject to what it is now. There can be no doubt that if a person who has a duty to another culpably neglects that duty, by reason of which neglect the other dies, such person is guilty of manslaughter at the least. When, however, a parent is kind to, and careful of, his child, but nevertheless in case of illness refuses to summon medical aid, under the Imui fide belief that the anointing with oil and prayer of elders is more likely to be beneficial to the child, it was found hard to say that the parent was guilty of culpable neglect. Therefore in times past it has been held (though the law was never quite settled) that such persons were not guilty of manslaughter, even though a jury was convinced that with proper medical attention the child would have lived. Section 37, however, of the Poor Law Amendment Act, 1868, provided that every parent who wilfully neglected to procure medical aid for his child, so as to seriously injure the health of such child, should be guilty of a misdemeanour, and so imposed upon a parent a positive statutory duty. After this Act became law the case of Reg. v. Downer (24 W. R. 278, 1 Q. B. D. 25) was argued before the Court of Crown Cases Reserved. The facts were precisely the same as in the recent case, and the court held that, whatever the motives of the father were, he had wilfully and intentionally, though perhaps not maliciously, disobeyed the law by neglecting to call in medical aid. This was culpable neglect, and through this neglect the child’s life was lost, therefore the prisoner was guilty of manslaughter. The section of the Act of 1868 referred to above has been repealed, but the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act, 1894, provides that any person having the care of a child under sixteen years of age who wilfully neglects such child in any manner likely to cause the child unnecessary suffering or injury to its health shall be guilty of a misdemeanour. It is clear that this provision includes the provision of the repealed section. It must be noticed, however, that, in order to convict a person of manslaughter by neglect to call in medical aid, it is necessary to satisfy the jury that, if such aid had been called in, the life of the deceased would probably have been saved, or at least prolonged. This was decided by the Court for Crown Cases Reserved in the case of Bag. v. Jlorby (30 W. R. 613, 8 Q. B. D. 571), another similar prosecution of one of the Peculiar People, in which, however, the medical witness would not swear that the deceased child’s life would have been probably prolonged by medical attention. In the recent case at the Old Bailey the prisoner was found guilty of manslaughter, as also was another of the Pecqliar
THE SOLICITORS’ JOURNAL. N .6
People charged with a similar offence. They were both released on their own recognizances to come up for judgment if called upon. We cannot but think that the judge was mistaken in this leniency, though we fully recognize the difficulty of dealing with such people. On the one hand a substantial punishment has the effect of conferring upon the prisoner the crown of martyrdom to his cause, but, on the other hand, it is clear that if these persons are not to be punished they will continue to allow their children to die for want of proper attention.
A $INGULAR dearth of authority exists upon the procedure to be adopted for getting rid of a judgment obtained by fraud, although it has never been doubted that fraud always vitiates a judgment (see The Duo/was of 11'in_qslon’s case, 2 Sm. L. C.). It was decided by the Court of Appeal in the case of Flow:-r v. Lloyd (6 Ch. D. 297) that a judgment obtained by fraud would not be set aside on appeal, but that the proper course was to bring an action putting in issue the fraud, and the fraud only ; and according to the words of James, L.J., the action should charge that “ You,” the defendants, “obtained that judgment in your favour by fraud,” and should claim to have it set aside. The plaintiff in that action adopted the course suggested, as appears from the same case, reported 10 Ch. D. 327, and there Jsrrss, L.J., after holding that no fraud was proved, goes on to say that, even if it were, it is very doubtful whether such an action will lie, because there would never be finality in a judgment, and the defeated party might go on ad infinihun applying to have it set aside on the ground that it was fraudulently obtained. It is impossible to reconcile these two udgments by the same judge in the same case, delivered in_the course of one year, and it is most unfortunate, because no other case can be found of an action brought directly to set aside a judgment on the ground that it was fraudulently obtained. The question generally arises in an action brought upon the judgment, and it is clear law that to such an action it is a good defence that the judgment was obtained by fraud (Aboulqfl v. Oppenlwinwr, 10 Q. B. D. 295), and it is probable that where leave is required to issue execution upon a judgment, such leave would be refused if it could be shewn that the judgment was fraudulently obtained. But cases must arise in which it is desirable to initiate proceedings with the simple object of getting such a judgment set aside, and it is submitted that the course indicated in Flower v. Lloyd is the correct one, and that the doubts expressed in that case on the second occasion by James, L.J., and Tnasresn, L.J , cannot be considered as laying down any binding rule to the contrary. This is indicated by B31211‘, L.J., in his judgment in Aboulqflv. Oppenheimer, and if it is good law that a Court of Appeal has not urisdiction to set aside a judgment on the ground that it was obtained by fraud, it would seem clear that a remedy must exist in the shape of an original action to set aside the judgment.
THE case of Reg. v. Sp)-iggs, tried at the last Ruthin Assizes, illustrates the unreliable nature of evidence as to an alibi. Never did a more unassailable alibi seem to have been established than in that case. The prisoner was charged with highway robbery on a girl riding a bicycle near the Travellers’ Arms, at Rhudellan, in Flintshire. The robbery took place on the 13th of July at ll a.m. By way of defence, a complete record of the prisoner’s movements from the 10th to the 13th of July was given. During all that time, it was proved, apparently without a shadow of doubt, by a number of witnesses, that the prisoner was in London, and that he slept at his own home at Forest Gate on the night of the 12th. None of the witnesses for the defence were in the slightest degree shaken by cross-examination, and the chain of evidence seemed complete. On the other hand, the witnesses for the prosecution were equally positive and precise in swearing to the identity of the prisoner with the man who robbed the prosecutrix in North Wales on the morning of the 13th of July. In consequence of a strong summing up by the judge against the prisoner, a verdict of “guilty ” was returned. It is stated that the prisoner has since confessed his guilt, so that the distrust with which the defence of alibi has always been looked on by those experienced in criminal trials
has in this case been amply justified. False alibi can easily be attested, with every appearance of truth, by witnesses describing the events of some other day than that on which the crime took place, or the same thing can be effected by the witnesses speaking to the movements of some other person than the person accused. In either case the evidence would be such as could not be shaken in cross-examination, and in either case the story might be quite compatible with the honesty of the witness. It seems probable that in Rag. v. Sprzygs the witnesses mistook the prisoner for the prisoner’s brother.
TIIE NUMBER OF ACTIONS AFFECTED BY THE COMPULSORY SUMMONS FOR DIRECTIONS.
IN the course of our previous articles (an/e, vol. 41, pp. 815, 836, 856) on the practical working, intention, and effect of the new order 30, making the issue of a summons for directions compulsory, we mentioned incidentally that although the order in question ostensibly applied to “every action” to which an appearance was entered, it was not to be assumed that the court had taken upon itself the gigantic task of exercising a discretionary power to direct the whole course of procedure in all the vast number of actions commenced in the High Court. We further stated that it was possible, with the help of the judicial statistics, to arrive at an approximate estimate of the number of actions which the new order is primarily intended to affect, and we undertook to perform this task for the benefit of our readers. The figures are extremely interesting, and we may add, in passing, that it is due solely to the completeness of the exhaustive tables in the new Judicial Statistics edited by Master M.s(rDo.\‘£LL that we are able to fulfil our undertaking.
In Part II. of our previous article on this subject we have dealt with the intention of the new order, and have endeavoured to shew that its primary object is to place the court in possession of machinery which will enable it to sift out from all the actions which go to trial in the Queen’s Bench Division those which can and ought to be tried without pleadings, and without being dragged through unnecessary and expensive interlocutory proceedings. In order to arrive at an estimate of the number of these cases, we propose to take the number of actions commenced in a given year, and account for them all, showing how they are disposed of by the court or what becomes of them. To guard against any misapprehension, we may say at the outset that we take all our figures from the Judicial Statistics for 1897, which deal with the returns for the year 1895. If it is said that many actions extend in duration over more than a single year, or cover periods comprised in different years, we admit that such is no doubt the case, but the totals from year to year as to all the stages of actions from commencement to trial vary so slightly that it is possible, by dealing only with the statistics for a single year, to to obtain accurate results with regard to all the stages of the actions commenced in that year. If some, for example, are passed on to the next year before completion, a proportionate number are brought in from the previous year. Therefore the returns for a single year do in fact give us all the information we require.
In the year 1895 the total number of actions (excluding Admiralty, to which order 30 does not apply) commenced by writ in the High Court was 71,309, which were divided between the difierent divisions as follows :
Probate . . . . . . 222 Chancery . . . . . . 3,335 Queen's Bench . . . . . . . . . 67,752
Total . . . 71,309
As we have shewn in our previous articles, the new order 30 is only applied to Chancery and Probate actions as a precaution and not with any intention of interfering with the regular course of procedure in actions properly belonging to those Divisions. We therefore put those actions on one side.
The first question we have to answer is, -“ What became of the 67,752 actions commenced in the Queen's Bench Division in 1895 ? It will be somewhat of a surprise to most people to hear