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were folded by them in difierent ways according to their instructions. After binding or stitching the ends of the folds together in order to keep them straight the cloth was made up into parcels and labels descriptive of the contents were afilxed thereon. All these processes were essential processes in the respondents’ business and were properly called “ hooking, lapping, making up, and packing ” ; but none of the processes were carried on by the respondents as incidental to bleaching or dyeing. All the processes enumerated in schedule 4, part 1, of the Act of 1878, are frequently carried on together in works which are commonly called bleaching and dyeing works ; but some of the processes, and in particular “hooking, lapping, making up, and packing,” are also carried on as separate trades by different employers. One or more of these processes is or are carried on in all bleach and dye works.

Tun Cotnr (DAY and Lswsarrca, JJ.) allowed the appeal, being of opinion that although the respondents’ premises were not bleaching and dyeing works in the ordinary sense of the words, the premises were within the definition given in the section and were therefore a “ factory” within the meaning of the Act.—CouNssr., The Attorney-General and H. Sutton; Lazarus ; Langdon. Somcrrons, Solicitor to Me Treasury; Prilcharrl, Eaglejield, 4» Co., for Hill Q Doughty, Manchester.

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In this case a rule niai had been obtained for a certiorari to quash a licence granted by two of the licensing justices for the Eastington Ward of the county of Durham, on the ground that one of the said justices was biassed. The facts of the case are shortly as follows: Charles Hunting, a justice of the peace for the county of Durham, signed a petition in favour of granting a grocer’s licence to a Mrs. Laidler, of South Hatton, Durham, in which place he lived. At the licensing sessions held at Castle Eden on the 25th of September, 1897, Charles Hunting and another justice constituted the court. At this sessions application was made for Mrs. Laidler’s grocer’s licence, and the petition signed by the said C. Hunting 1n favour of the licence was put in and received by the bench, and the licence was granted. There was no other licensing business transacted at this sessions. From the aflidavit subsequently sworn to by the said C. Hunting it appeared that he only attended the licensing meeting, which was not in his usual division, because the clerk to the justices applied to him to do so in order to make up the number required for the bench. He further stated that he signed the petition for special reasons and because he thought it was desirable that the licence should be granted, but that he had no interest in the matter. He stated that when he signed the petition he had no idea he would be on the bench when the application was made, and that he had no bias in the matter and would have decided in the same way on the application being made even if he had not signed the petition. In showing cause against the rule it was now contended that the fact that one of the justices had signed a petition in favour of the licence did not afiect his conduct on the bench, and that the application was heard on its merits ; and further, that, according to Boullor v. Justices of Kent (66 L. J . Q. B. 787), licensing justices are not a court at all (see judgment of Halsbury, L.G.). In support of the rule it was contended that licensing justices must use their discretion judicially: Allins-on v. Gmaral Medical Oouncil (~12 \V. R. 289; 1894, 1 Q. B. 750). By signing the petition the magistrate had made himself a partizan in the matter before acting as a judge, and therefore there was reasonable ground to suspect him of bias.

Tris Cousr (Dar and Lswmmcs, JJ.) discharged the rule.

Dar, J ., in delivering judgment, said that looking at the facts of the case, no reasonable person could suspect that the magistrate in question was influenced by bias. There was no reasonable ground for suspicion. He lived in a neighbourhood where there was sometimes a diificulty in forming a quorum on the bench, and on this particular occasion he had been requested to assist in doing so. He did not know the particular application was to be made then. He thought the applicant was a proper person to have a licence, and he considered it was wanted in the interests of the neighbourhood. No one could say there was a reasonable suspicion of bias on his part, and the rule would be discharged.

LAWRANCE, J ., concurred. Rule discharged.—Cor:rvsar., Dam-kwerls ; 6'. G. Llls/ttlifllfifl. Somcrroas, J . E. §- H. Scott, for William Bell, Sunderland; Hyman Isaacs, for Isidore Isaacs, Sunderland.

[Reported by E. G. S-m.r.\vsr.r., Barrister-at-Law.]

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At Milwaukee, Wisconsin, says the Albany Law Journal, Robert Wagner was recently on trial, in the Criminal Court, charged with setting fire to his warehouse \Vhen the State closed its testimony, the conviction of the defendant appeared certain, but by the testimony introduced by the defence an alibi was established to the entire satisfaction of the court. The defendant's two daughters did it by moans of his snore. Both testified that they knew their father was at home all night of July 3, on which it was charged he fired the warehouse. They were certain of this fact, because when asleep he had a figuliar snore which was difierent from any musical production of that d rendered by anyone else. They had heard him snoring before they went to sleep, and therefore knew he was in the house at the time, and not at the factory. If he had gone out during the night, they said, he would have had to pass their door, and they would have heard him. So convincing were their statements that when the defence ceased Judge Wallber said to the attorneys there was no use arguing the case, as it was his duty to direct the jury to bring in a verdict of not guilty.

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LAW SOCIETIES.

INCORPORATED LA\V SOCIETY. SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING.

A special general meeting of the Incorporated Law Society was held at the society’s hall, Chancery-lane, on Friday, the 28th ult., the vicepresident, Mr. C. B. Msuosrrs (Huntingdon), in the absence of the president, Mr. Wm. Godden (London), who was unable to be present from illness, taking the chair.

The Vrcn-Paasrnrnrr, in opening the proceedings, expressed his regret at the absence of the president owing to illness.

Tan L/mo Tuasssra Acr.

Mr. Auriwa Mrnnrsrorr (president of the Leeds Law Society) had given notice of the following motion: “ That, having regard to the action of the Council of the society during the passage of the Land Transfer Bill through the House of Commons last year, in not only withdrawing opposition to, but approving such Bill, and taking into consideration the unmistakable position assumed and action taken subsequently by the Yorkshire law societies, this meeting regrets that the Council, before sending in their reply to the circular letter of the county council deprecating the first trial of the Act in London, did not first consult with and consider the wishes of the provincial members through their provincial law societies.” Before moving it he asked the vice-president to request the secretary to read the list of provincial societies and the resolutions they had sent in supporting his motion.

The Vrcs-Pnnsrnarvr said that a number of societies had forwarded resolutions in support of the motion. They were as follows: Bradford Incorporated Law Society, Derby Law Society, Dewsbury Incorporated Law Society, Goole and District Incorporated Law Society, Halifax Incorporated Law Society, Huddersfield Incorporated Law Society, Hull Incorporated Law Society, Leeds Incorporated Law Society, Shefield District Incorporated Law Society, South Durham and North Yorks Law Society, Sunderland Incorporated Law Society, and Wakefield Incorporated Law Society. It the resolution passed by each society was to be read it would occupy a great deal of time.

Mr. G. G. Frsr-ran (Huddersfield) suggested that the mover of the resolution should refer to those parts of the resolutions which he considered applicable to the resolution.

The Vrcs-Pnssrnrn-r said the sense of the resolutions was much to the same efiect in each case.

Mr. Mrnnnsrox said he did not wish that the whole of the resolutions should be read, but the law societies mentioned had sent communications to the Oouncil supporting the motion, he understood.

The Vrca-Passrnarxrz That is so. In substance they did so. All the societies whose names I have just read out support Mr. Middleton’s resolution.

Mr. Gasoorw (Liverpool): That is not so on the part of Liverpool. We did not pass any resolution supporting Mr. Middleton's motion.

Mr. MIDDLETON then moved his resolution. In speaking to it he said that the society represented the profession of the United Kingdom. It was not the Incorporated Law Society of London, and he contended that with regard to subject-matters of importance which came before the Council the members ought to be consulted on every occasion. He did not think that the provinces would ever for one moment raise an objectionto the power, influence, and position of the society being used for the benefit of the London profession on proper occasions. The influence of the society was no doubt very great, and there were many occasions where that power could be used for the benefit of the London profession without in the least manner reflecting upon, or damaging the interests of, the profession in the provinces. But his motion related to a matter which affected the interests of the rovinces as much as those of London, and therefore he was present to-gay. It would be necessary for him to refer to the events of the immediate past. His resolution embodied two thingsthe question of principle, and the question of policy. It was a question of principle as regarded the Council of the society, and it was a question of policy with regard to the subject-matter. The question of principle was simple. In the early part of March, 1897, the provinces suddenly became apprised of the fact that the Council had acted without taking them into consultation, thus reversing the policy of the past. They had abandoned their former policy with regard to the Land Transfer Bill without giving the provinces reasonable intimation of the fact, and before the provinces had had the least opportunity of informing themselves of the fact. The Associated Provincial Law Societies met in London in March, and were asked on that occasion to pass a resolution to the effect “That the country law societies continue their opposition to the compulsory clauses of the Bi1l." To that resolution the following amendment was moved: “ That the clauses of the Land Transfer Bill imposing compulsory registration be opposed unless the following modifications can be obtained: (1) A definite restriction in the Bill itself of the area within which compulsion may be applied: (2) The (a) initiative, or (b) consent of county councils as a condition of the application of compulsory registration: (3) The lapse of a definite experimental period before the area in which compulsion may have been applied is extended : (4) A restriction of the power of practising in the Land Registry for reward to solicitors.” After a discussion the resolution was withdrawn and the amendment was carried, and was then adopted as a substantive motion. The Yorkshire solicitors had not complained very strongly with regard to the matter. This was the first time he had formally uttered a remonstrance. In Yorkshire they had come to the conclusion that their county should not be the first upon which the experiment should be tried, and they had expressed that opinion in plain and emphatic terms. They

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had expressed it not only to the Council but in their own county and in the lobby of the House of Commons and in the House of Commons itself. The action of the Council was in fact responsible for the statement made in the House of Commons that thc Bill would receive the support of the profession. That statement had not been made in the House twenty-four hours when the Yorkshire society took care absolutely to contradict it. That objection was emphasized to-day by the fact that the Council, curiously enough, were now opposing the Act. The Yorkshire society opposed the Bill and they were left to their own devices by the action of t e Council and they concluded it was proper that they should express their opinion. Those opinions were that there wasin existence a Land Transfer Act; there was a Council in London which did not oppose the Bill; further than that, behind the backs of the provincial law societies the Council went a step further and actually supported the Bill. The record of that support appeared in the Annual Report of 1897. Therefore the Council not only withdrew their opposition but actually supported the measure. With that information before them the Yorkshire society laid their views before the Council to the effect that Yorkshire did not want the Act and was not going to have it, that there was a Land Transfer Act which was being administered in London, and if they could make anything of it they were quite at liberty to make their first trial in the South of England. The area was fixed by the Bill, and it was nothing but a fair suggestion that there should be no attempt to bring the Bill into operation against the wish of the lay element, and that the country solicitors should not subject London to that against which they objected to be placed under themselves. It was accordingly left to each county to say what it chose upon the subject. In November last the London County Council took o. very important and prudent course of action. They adopted the policy that the laity should be appealed to as to whether they wanted the Act or not. The county council sent out a circular letter to a number of institutions, amongst them being, unfortunately as he now thought, the Council of the Law Society. The Law Society's Council took that letter into consideration, without, he believed, so much as communicating to the provinces the fact that they had ever received it. There was scarcely a law society which would not have given explicit instructions and spoken its mind about it. The Council considered the matter and appointed a special sub-committee and sent in their reply. The Council discounted by their action the very force of the ogqpsition against the Bill which the Yorkshire law societies had been ma ' g. In Yorkshire they had always said that, although they were themselves very ignorant with regard to land transfer, yet the laity were still more ignorant. There was not on the \Vest Riding County Council six men who understood the question, but it was of importance that the persons interested should understand it in course of time, and in the county of York they were making an endeavour to educate them. He suggested that the Council could have left the matter quite well to the county council without interfering in it. Mr. CHARLES Form, L C.C. (London) : Hear, hear. A very good suggestion. Mr. MIDDLETON said the reply to the county council's circular was of such a character that he doubted very greatly indeed whether there was anyone who would venture to say it was not made in the interest of London and London alone, and whether it would not injure some one or more of the provinces. That was shortly his case. He asserted that the Council had absolutely set aside the interests of the provinces in favour of the interests of London. They had sacrificed every county in England except London. \Vith regard to the question of policy. If the lay element had been let alone it would have spoken as it had spoken for itself. The lait y were 100 per cent. stronger without the assistance of the Council. The Council had discounted the value of the position of the laity, and what was the probable result? That the friends of the measure, whoever they might be-he had not found them yet outside the Land Registry Oifice and the Government itself—whoever these friends might be, and wherever they might be, would have it put into their mouths that this powerful association had been working in London to frustrate the operation of the Bill by preventing its trial here, and that they had been using their machinery for this purpose. He was not saying that this was the fact, but it had been put into the mouths of their foes, and he challenged the Council to deny it. The true policy was to have let the question alone and to have left the lay element to deal with it. It was quite common for solicitors’ clients when they had got an awkward Act of Parliament, and itturned out disadvantageous, to say that it was the legal element in Parliament which had brought it about. They had endeavoured to make it perfectly clear in Yorkshire that it was not the legal element in this case. He was here simply to stand up for the members of the society in the provinces. They were small individually, but he claimed that he represented upwards of 600 solicitors who were the members of the Yorkshire societies, and there were probably an equal number in the L‘l11C8BlI|lI‘6 societies. These solicitors had spoken to the Council in the resolutions which had been referred to inunmistakable terms, and if they had bad the opportunity they would have spoken on equally strong terms before the Council addressed their reply to the county council's circular letter. As a matter of fact resolutions had been passed and had only not been sent because it had been found that the re ly of the Council had been forwarded to the county council weeks previoudly. But resolutions of the whole of the Yorkshire law societies were upon the minute books protesting against the action of the Council. The minds of the Yorkshire societies were perfectly clear, and it would be very difficult to argue their opinions away. He would admit candidly that he had had considerable difficulty in preventing the members of those societies from discontinuing membership with the parent society. He looked upon it as a matter grievous to the interests of the profession that there should be any disruption between the provincial societies and London. When he had asked Yorkshire solicitors to become members of

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the parent society he was very commonly met with the question “ What do they do for us? ” He had tried to make a statementiureply. It was impossible for him to give in detail the services rendered. by the parent society, and naturally the solicitor had to rely upon the bald statement that the Council were of very great use to the profession of the whole of the country. That went without saying. It was admitted everywhere. But what was he to say in future? The action of the Council in this case had been adverse to the interests of the provincial members of the society, and adverse in a manner which was not to be hidden under a bushel at all. The conduct of the Council had been bruited aboutin the broad light of day. The act was one which the Council could not accomplish in any secrecy. It was known throughout all England, and the result would be that there would be increased dilfficulty on the part of country members in obtaining fresh members.

The Vicu-Paizsiniixr reminded Mr. Middleton that the fifteen minutes which, under the regulations, was allotted to the mover of a resolution had expired. Mr. Middleton was a little wandering from the subject.

Mr. VV. MELXOTH \VAi.'i'i:ns (London) suggested that Mr. Middleton should. be allowed to proceed until he had finished his remarks.

Mr. MIDI)LBTON, asked what would be the case if the provincial members said: “ \Vhat is the use of subscribing to the parent society? We can keep our 600 guineas a year in our pockets and can take our own course." He did not think it would be so, and would be sorry if it were. At the same time it must be admitted that there was something due to the provinces, and this was one of the most important questions. He could not sit down without paying a tribute to that which he knewto exist, and had represented in Yorkshire again and again—namely, that the members had no conception of the amount of time and the intelligence and ability devoted by the Council to the benefit of the profession at large. These were all reasons why it was a very great pity indeed that on the present occasion the Council had done much to injure this valuable representation, as the societies feared in Yorkshire.

Mr. J . S. Yocni. (honorary treasurer of the Newcastle-on-Tyne Incorporated Law Society) seconded the motion. He expressed his appreciation of the work done by the Council in the interests not only of the profession but of the country generally. But he asserted, in connection with the acknowledgment, that they had had very material assistance from the members of the provincial law societies hitherto, and they had more than once acknowledged that assistance. They had had on the Council members of the Newcastle society like John Clayton, whose narnc was yet revered, and other members of the society had rendered the Council valuable assistance. On their account and on behalf of his society he regretted that he had to complain of the conduct of the Council in this matter. So far as he knew, from the reply of the Council to the county council, on the 24th of November they receiveds request to give their opinion, and their reply was not sent in until the 21st of December. The Council had, therefore, nearly four weeks within which they might have taken the provincial societies into their counsel, and the provincial solicitors thought they ought to have done so. He feared the action of the Council would have the result of to some extent disassociating the interest of the provincial societies from the parent society. He would exceedingly regret it, but he was here only to express the effect of a meeting of the standing committee of the Newcastle society. He had been asked by the Newcastle society to attend the meeting and support the resolution. He hoped, in the interests of the profession, that the motion might be toned down or smoothed over, and that they in the provinces would, as hitherto, unite in protecting film interests not only of the profession but of the public.

Mr. Srnxnr Genes, llI.P. (London), deprecated the application of the Land Transfer Act to this part of England. He thought their answer to the question put to them in the resolution must depend to a great extent upon the view the took of the Act. If that Act was a blessing, and if the Council considlhred it an unmitigated blessing, then the provincial societies might justly claim that the Council, which was supposed to represent the whole of the country, should not have taken any part in acquiring that blessing for the benefit, not of one, but of all parts of the country. But if, as nearly all the members of the profession considered, so far from its being a blessing the Act was a curse to their clients, they should do their best to prevent its being put into operation. It was a curse, not perhaps to the present generation of solicitors, for he supposed old men like himself, with only a few years more of work, would probably make a great deal out of the Act and out of their clients than if it did not exist. But they should look to those who were to follow, and he said it was a curse to the profession, because it was taking awfii necessary business which had to be done by them and handing it over to a body of officials appointed by the State and nominated by the Lord Chancellor. When the matter was under discussion he had said that he saw no reason why the Act should be tried on a largo county, but rather that the experiment should be carried out on a small county. He considered the Act a curse, and that being the case he did not think they ought to blame the parent society for refraining from asking for its being applied to London and for objecting without consulting the provincial law societies; because if it was not applied to London the Lord Chan06l1°1' must look elsewhere. Then the provincial law societies where the Act was proposed to be put in force would have the same opportunity 05 bringing their reasons against it to bear upon the county councils of their own districts, and the parent society would do all in their power to hell) them, so that each county in its turn may pass u resolution objecting W the application of the Act to it, and so, one by one, every county would object, and the Lord Chancellor would see that when he endeavouredffi force upon the landowners and the profession what they could have had voluntarily years ago, the Act was inoperative. The resclution said: “ Having regard to the action of the Council of the society during the

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passage of the Land Transfer Bill through the House of Commons last year." He was speakii_ig_to those who e ected the Council, and he said without fear of contradiction that the body to which they owed the passis °*.1“‘£’1i."E“i‘&“i’.=“‘“ l’i'“°s§“° ‘i"-3'23‘

eai o r. e eran o ers, one is es a e ageii o e session to prevent the Bill from passing. But at every stage he had been met by the Government and by others with the statement: " Why, your own Council, the Council of the Law Society, have approved it I " That had dtied dhis hangs egg shut iLiBd'lIlOUti;. How could he, one solicitor, stan an say t e i was a in ts operation when he was informed both by the public and ofiicial and private members in the lobby that the Council wfirfi in hfaglopr gt it 11 lit was the action of the Council in supportingt e i w ic a ena e it to be passed. Avery little help, and the absence of that support, would have enabled those opposed to it to throw out the Bill. If a resolution of censure of the Council for their %(ZilO1.l had ttgeen hlzrpgight befloris tlhe sogiiéy he should have supported it,

ecause e oug a grea ea too of the Council to desert them as they did. What reason did the Council give? It was simply a policy of cowardi1<;:ie,b€nd that if they did not allow the Bill to pass something worse wou carried. Not a bit of it. If it was a Reform Bill, or a Deceased W_ife‘s Sister Bill, the position of solicitors would be difierent; ‘b11111’. ant: Bill of this kifid, which clients did not understand, and for w ic ere was no pu ic cry it was a different matter. It must be remembered, too, that aman could register if he chose. In the case of a Bill of this kind, for which there was no public cry, if they had all set to work to influence their representatives in Parliament it might have been thrown out. He could not support the motion.

Mr. J ossru Annrsox (London) said he did not think that any member of tgegouncik nor did he think that any London solicitor, could have the s g test 0 jection to the terms in which Mr. Middleton had moved the resolution. He personally was very glad, and he thought they all were, that the subject, if this was the feeling of the country members, had been brought before _the meeting. Because it would be a most unfortunate thing if their friends in the country believed that they in London had asserted their interests before those of country solicitors, and that they batd tiiken the cplilirzfi of actigp whiclii thfey hadflthought desirable with the in en ion or wi e possi e resu to sacri cing them. That he was sure, was an idea which never would occur either to the Council, which, as Mr. Middleton truly said, represented the whole profession, nor would it be desired by solicitors practising in London or Middlesex that anything of the kind should take place. And he must confess that whatever might be thought, and opinions like that of Mr. Gedge might very well differ as to the course which the Council took with regard to the Land Transfer gillehhe shouldtnot Peale tléoughtl that twc_:)eopinioi:{s could have existed as

e_proprie y o e ounci , upon ing as ed by the constituted authority which by the Act was appointed to determine whether or not the adhrgt BtiLOIl%1ob8.¥l‘%l1gil1§ ilnto corplpulsqry qperation in a particular area, t e unci s ou ave un esita ing y expressed its 0 inion. The Council's opinion had from first to last been always againsgcompulsory reggtratggn. _Whqnl tlie Bill waphbrougltit forward byghe gorilill Clhanceggr in _e iiiningo as session eques ionwasconsi ere w e er, a r the increasing efiorts on the part _of the supporters of the measure to bring it forward, it was or was not desirable that, the Lord Chancellor having limifed the area in which the Bill should be applied, and also allowing the loos authority the veto whether or not the Bill should be lied the question was seriously considered by the Council whether orniigt itwas desirable to consent to the passing of the Bill. Mr. Middleton, he was sure, absolutely spoke what was within his knowledge ; but this was not done in any hurry. The members of the Land Transfer Committee, ll of them men of the greatest experience and who had maintained this afight for years, had considered t is very carefully. The Council, consisting both_of London and country members, considered it. The Council communicated with all the provincial law_ societies. He believed that the draft Bill was_se_nt out to each provincial law society. A meeting of the provincial societies was held in London, and the result of the resolutions i’.§‘.‘,f.?;‘i.?,',‘°“s$'.§’§,§1°.§'§‘y° °.§§.‘*§£.§i'$Z° “E2 °t“$‘§§§.3‘ §E.i§;Z“‘ii§E“?§iZ'.?.‘§ modifications obtained : _a definite restriction in the Bill itself of the area within which compulsion may be applied; the initiative or consent of county councils as a condition of the application of compulsory registration ; the lapse of a definite experimental period before the area in which compulsion may _have been applied i_s extended; the restriction of the pogegnof tprpptising tptthe lgpg fiegistry rewaird to fl0i.l:i1t01'San o _ ese con i ions _ een s ric y an accura e y comp ie with a definite area, and a definite area only, could be selected. No other area could be selected for three years. The county council had the absolute right of veto. Of course there were dissentients amongst the Council as to the policy of keeping up resistance. There was a very large mrljorgly in ftaglpur of l;l€Ci.ilIlgt%i1_:!1pl'%%08l:l(€nkSO made. 1TiIl_:lt1II;;j0lgi7y did no a ve a e cone usion i i wi on 1 ing counse wi em ers o Parliament who represented the legal interests. The meetings were attended by those members, and they expressed to the Council that they fiilight possibly sucpeed m throgmg outfthe _Bill that’ session,‘ bpt thlat

ere was a very arge prepon erance o opinion in avonr 0 i int e House._ _It was supported by the Opposition because they all knew what Sir Wdham Harcourt had_ said about it, and they all knew that his Government had pledged itself to suptport it. They all knew that the present Government were pledged, an they further knew that a Bill :i'i%.’;:*.:*:."ii“‘:‘:i *° “*i."*"'%e °£E“*‘“"“ "-‘Z’-’°°“..§‘l‘i. “W? 0* iiidi

_ _ a ey con no ge _any opposi ion e passing o a Bill in the House of Lords. It was in the face of those difiioulties and in the belief that they could succeed in taking the question away from the arena in which it seemed likely to be prejudged against them to the

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arena of the county which could be afiected by local influences, and which would deal with the question probably according to the views expressed by its constituents they acted, and the council thought they were doing an advisable thing. He quite believed that opinions might differ as to that, and as a Yorkshiremau he sympathized with the action ct Mr. Middleton and others who came up to town and fought most vigorously. The Council did feel very strongly that in the course they had taken there was no kind of desire to injure their country friends or any kind of desire that London should gain an advantage. The Council would repudiate anything of the kind. Their hope was that this would be offered about from constituency to constituency, and that it would be rejected by all. He could promise Mr. Middleton that if there was anything the Council could do in helping to prevent compulsory registration in Yorkshire they would do it and give him every assistance. He moved as an amendment : “ That in the opinion of the meeting the Council acted rightly in responding to the request of the London County Council that they should express their opinion upon the proposed application of the compulsory clauses of the Land Transfer Act, 1897, to the county of London.”

A Mzsmau said it seemed to him that the amendment was entirely unnecessary.

The Vics-l‘iiiisii>iz.\"r z I rule that it is in order. V

Mr. O. H. Mon-i-ox (Liverpool) seconded the amendment. He observed that he was one of the secretaries of the Associated Provincial Law Societies. It was right that he should say that on this particular question the associated societies had not been consulted, and he did not know their mind. He was also one of the past presidents of the Liverpool Law Society, but he did not represent that body on this occasion. He was here as a member of the society, and as such only expressed his opinion, He had a very definite opinion iupon the subject-matter brought for ward by Mr. Middleton. He could not see how the Council could possibly have done otherwise than had been the case. He knew it was very difiicult to be fair and logical when one's personal interests were in danger. With a full knowledge of the possibility that the reply otthe Council might have assisted in confining the application of the Act to London, and with a full knowledge that, having regard to the pledge the Attorney-General gave to Yorkshire, in could not in decency be applied there, and that the next county which would probably be selected would be the county of Lcncashire, in which he practised, he still thought that the Council could have done nothing more than they had done. It must be remembered that the Council represented the metropolis, who numbered nearly onehalf the members of the society, and that the country members joined it knowing that London had no law society proper and peculiar to its own district, and that it represented London par arcellenve, and they did it with their eyes open and knowing at the time that the interests of the metropolis might conflict with the interests of the provinces. He had heard charges made in that hall that the Council never did anything the members wanted, and he ventured to think that if they had not replied ti the county council's letter that charge would have been reasonable. It was impossible to say, when matters came forward which conflicted with different districts, that the Council must do nothing. There was seldom a case where some small section was not injured by some change of the law, and were the Council to be always passive in such cases, and who was to put the test whether or not it afiected the provinces or town sufliciently to say whether the Council should take action. The broad question underlying Mr. Middleton's resolution was that the Council could never take any step which was likely to affect the provinces without the approval of the provincial law societies. Therefore, on this particular question of principle, he could not vote with Mr. Middleton.

Mr. Foan, as a member of the London County Council, had no doubt that the county council would decide to decline to shut out the operation of the Act from the county of London. But he also had no doubt that it would be limited to some part of the county to begin with. He was very much surprised at the amendment. He could not see that it was germane to the question. It seemed to him an attempt to get rid of the real issue, which was whether or not the Council had exercised a wise discretion. Mr. Gedge had called the Bill a curse. This was not avery complimentary epithet when one remembered that the measure had received the support of the Council.

A Miiimau : N o ; of members of the Council.

Mr. Fouii said he was very often in disagreement with the Council; but if ever the Council showed wisdom they showed it when they wished to pass the Bill. There were on the records of the London County Council the views of two most distinguished members of the profession. Mr. Lake was in favour of the area being made to affect so much of the ciunty as lay within the geographical district of Middlesex. Against that there was the view of Mr. Rubinstein, who did not think the Act ought to be introduced at all. He wished to call the attention of the meeting to a most important letter which had been received from the Privy Council on the 18th of January. It stated that the first area, comprising one-fourth or less of the county, would be selected with a view to the utilization of the existing ofiices in Lincoln’s-inn-fields as a land registry, and that was a reasonable solution of the matter. But there was on the agenda 0. matter relating to the Law Club, and he could tell Mr. Middleton that the members of the Law Club would determine his motion, and that if he (Mr. Middleton) had only known as much as he did of their power he would not have taken the trouble to come up from Yorkshire. He could not help thinking it would be beneficial to the Council if the resolution. were passed. It would touch them up, and they would be a little more active in the future. He hoped the meeting would not adopt the ridiculous amendment.

Mr. J . S. RUBINSTEIN (London) said he was heartily in accord with agreat deal that Mr. Middleton had said as to the early history of the matter.

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He was bound to say, asa solicitor not exactly in the confidence of the Council, that he was somewhat amazed when he discovered they were parties to the compromise. At the same time there were reasons, perhaps, which the members were not aware of which might have induced the ‘Councilto take up the matter. As faras the Council's reply to the county council was concerned he thought they were fully justified. The London County Council appointed a sub-committee to consider the matter, and this sub-committee thought it desirable before coming to a conclusion to send circular letters of enquiry to some of the leading representative bodies to ask what they thought of the measure as applicable to London, not as to the country. They sent it to some oi the best known societies and institutions, the City Corporation, vestries, railway societies, Law Society, Institute of Banking, Surveyors’ Institute, Auctioneers’ Institute, School Board, and others. When the Council of the society received that letter he apprehended that it was their duty to consider it as a London body as it applied to London. They were asked for an opinion upon that question. They were not asked to go round the country and ask what they in the country thought of it. They did perfectly right in coming to a conclusion. But Mr. Middleton seemed to have had a wholly exaggerated view of the influence of their reply. He did not think for a moment that the reply of the solicitors influenced one of the bodies that sent in their replies. They sent them in quite independently. He had before him a list of the replies sent in. There were twelve vestries and district bodies in favour. Mr. Lake also appeared on that side, making the unfortunate number thirteen. On the other side there were twenty-one vestries and local bodies far more important. Mr. Form: No, no. Mr. Runmsrars: I have the list. Mr. Form : So have I.

Mr. Runmsrsrx said that there were in addition eight railway companies, including the Great Western and the London and North-Western. There were also six other institutions—the Auctioneers’ Institute, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, the Building Societies’ Association, the Institute of Bankers, the Incorporated Law Society, and Lord Portman. In addition, the matter seems to have created some interest and excitement outside, and other bodies, of their own initiative, had sent in replies. Some of these were the Birkbeck Land Society, the Freehold Land Society, the British Land Society, and the Property and Estates Co. Mr. Ford had told the meeting that his (Mr. Rubinstein's) name appeared on the county counci1’s records. He had interested himself in sending up some material to the county council on which they might form a judgment. He was very much surprised to hear Mr. Ford suggest that the county council would adopt the Act. If they did so, it would be against all the reasoning that could be brought forward ; because, of all the thirteen who supported the Act, only two had given reasons. One reason given by one of the bodies was to the effect that, having regard to the vast number of properties that would be affected, and their immense value, they were in favour of its application to London-the very reason given by a great number of others against it. There were two pages of reasons given as to why the Act should not be adopted. If the Council of the society had omitted to let the county council know that they were not in favour of the application of the Act to London, that would call for a vote of censure, because improper use had been made of the argument that the Law Society were in favour of the Act. He had seen inspired articles in some of the leading journals, written obviously in Lincoln’s-inn-fields, putting that forward. He did not altogether fancy the amendment. It seemed to him a very milk-and-water affair, and, as an independent member, it the amendment should be withdrawn, he would like to mover “ That, having regard to the vast number of properties that would be affected, and the immense value, complexity, and importance of the interests involved, this meeting considers that the Council was fully justified in replying to the London County Council, and in expressing the view that the county of London was not: suitable county for trying the experiment of compulsory registration.

Mr. H. Huoass (Sheffield) said that during the debate there had appeared some amount of feeling which might exist as between London and the provinces in the matter. Mr. Addison’s remarks were not quite apposite to the subject. Their objection to the attitude of the Council with reference to the measure was that it enabled their opponents to say that the profession supported it. That was why provincial solicitors had continued their opposition, and why he had come up to London to-day. Here they had, as a recognized fact, the Council of the Incorporated Law Society withdrawing all opposition to the Bill; nay, more, saying that as amended they were in favour of it. That state of things having existed, he did not think the Council would be much indebted to Mr. Gedge for saying that the Council were opposing the Act in the hope that it would be taken round from place to place and finally abandoned. That would be an attitude that the council would hardly thank anyone for putting them in, because it would be saying that they had changed their minds since last year and intended to opglose it in every district. That the Council had changed their minds he ‘d not believe. The Council they fondly hoped was the mouthpiece of the whole profession. It had been asked by the London County Council to stats its views with reference to the adoption of the Act in the administrative county of London. Before taking the step of opposing it, they should have applied to the provincial solicitors, not for dictation or control, but that the ‘provincial solicitors might have an opportunity of stating their views be ore any irrevocable step should be taken. What he objected to was what had been said by Mr. Rubinstein, when he stated that it was the duty of the Council, as the dlfipgon body, to oppose the existence of the Act in the administrative

Ct.
Mr. Rumssrsix: I said their opinion was asked as a London body.

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Mr. Form : No, no. We asked the Incorporated Law Society as representing the whole of the country.

Mr. B. G. LAKE (London) : Read your own circular.

Mr. Huonss said it was stated by Mr. Rubinstein that the Council as a London body should do this, that, or the other. His point was that there was no queslion of a London body at all, but it was the representative of the United Kingdom, and that as such it was its duty to consult its constituents in matters of great importance. That was the point at issue, and why country solicitors had come up to-day. There wasa feeling, and a very strong one, which, it the Council were wise, they would not act again, whatever they had done in answering the county Council's letter, without previously consulting the provinces. He hoped someone in authority would tell the country solicitors that should such an occasion occur again, they would consult their constituents in the provinces, and let them have an opportunity of expressing their opinion. He did not suppose the motion would be carried, but if the Council wished to allay any feeling of discontent in the provinces they must consult the country solicitors on important points of this description.

Mr. C. T. Sausnsas (Birmingham) said he was the oldest country member of the Council present. He had always been jealous in the extreme of the country interests. No one in the meeting could say he had not. On this occasion he was hound not to give a silent vote, but to say that he thought the Council were justified in the course they had ta en. And for this reason, that silence on their part would have been disastrous. It was impossible for the Council to have supposed that the country members would object to the course they had taken when the qlpestion was one entirely affecting London alone. He quite admitted t at if there had been a body of London solicitors outside their society to whom the county council could have appealed, that then, inasmuch as the society was the representative of the town and country alike, it would have been well for the Council to have acted otherwise. But there was no such body, as was well known, and the only organ of the London branch of the profession was the parent society. Was the London element to be entirely silent on the question when that question was as to the application of the Act to its centre P He thought not, any more than that London should have asked that Yorkshire should have been silentif it was propgsed to extend the Act to Yorkshire. They were greatly indebted to Yor hire for the efforts they had made in the last stages of the Bill to ameliorate it; and the efforts made were successful in ameliorating the Bill, and even more than ameliorating it by compromise on the part of the Council. But Yorkshire should remember that it was a party to that great meeting of the societies where the terms of the compromise were distinctly approved of by those societies, and those terms were carried out faithfully by the Council. The Council gave way at the last moment, not because they approved of the Bill. The Council detested it, and considered it a curse, and believed it would be so; but, nevertheless, in the exercise of that judgment which they were bound to exercise, and on the authority of men in the House of Commons of the highest position and in whom the Council had the highest confidence, they were bound to consider that this struggle had been going on for years and the strain had become impossible. And the Council concluded, in the exercise of that judgment, that this was a time in which a compromise most favourable to the profession and the public could be obtained, and that compromise was obtained. But they did not surrender their right to contest the application of the Act when it came before any centre. And wherever the Act was sought to be imposed, whether in town or country, he hoped that the profession, in the interests of their clients, would be readyto oppose it That influence was as great as in the days of Brougham, when he said that no Registration Bill could be passed if the country solicitors were opposed t/0 it. If the Council had not agreed to the compromise the Bill would have been stopped, but the Council would have for ever alienated the good feeling of the Lord Chancellor. The Upper House and the Lower House on both sides were in favour of the Bill, and the Council could not hope to stop it for ever, and they thought a convenient opportunity had arrived to have the Bill tried on the terms most favourab e to the profession and the public, and were not to blame in so doing. He trusted that in the interests of the town and of the country no vote would be taken to-day. He should be sorry to see a vote either way. H6 hoped the speakers would be satisfied with having aired their grievances. Let there be no division between the town and the country.

Mr. J . W. Boon (London) said the question was addressed by the London County Council to the Council of the Incorporated Law Society as representing the solicitors of the United Kingdom. No member of the Council had at any time suggested that a question of this kind was addressed to them as a London body. They were not a London body, they had a very large representation of the country upon the Council. They had not only the permanent members of the Council, as good representatives as the provinces could wish to have on any body, but they had the assistance of the presidents for the time being of certain provincial law societies whose counsels were of the greatest assistance. The Council claimed that they sat not specially for London or for the provinces, but for the whole body of solicitors throughout the United Kingdom. When questions were addressed to the Council upon which they thought they could obtain a greater appreciation of the views of country solicitors by correspondence with the provincial societies, the Council took that means of arriving at a proper decision. The question submitted to the Council on the present occasion was whether acertain district in London wasn suitable district in which to apply the Act. They felt, and he thought rightly, that they required no assistance from the association of provincial societies—that was to say, from gentlemen dwelling in distant pnrivfl -from beyond that afforded to them by the very ample representation the country had at the Council board, and he thought they were jl1Bl§lfl6d1 and that they had no right to delay the reply to such an important question N

b. . THE SOLICITORS’ JOURNAL.

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this in order to obtain opinions which were amply represented at the Coimcil board. It had never been treated by the Council as a London Question. Of course in this much-vaunted Act they all knew that although it had been brought forward by two successive Governments in the supposed interests of landowners, neither the landowners nor those best calculated to form a judgment thought it was the boon it was supposed to be. No doubt wherever the Privy Council proposed to apply it the people of that district would think it had better be applied somewhere else. The meeting was discussing whether the Council had been guilty of a dereliction of duty in not taking those steps which they invariably took where they thought their minds could be enlightened by so doing. The Council did not consider it desirable and he was quite sure they were fully justified in the course they took. He appealed to the proposer to withdraw the motion.

Mr. H. Roscoii (London) said the metting might have perfect confidence that on every occasion country interests were considered by the Council quite fully, and that the consideration of those interests, he might say, really predominated, because there was an honourable feeling amongst the London members of the Council that, bring a majority, it would be most unfair to use that majority against the country solicitors if they could possibly avoid it. In any quest-ion between town and country the country was much more likely to give the vote than vice rend, and rightly so, because the Council represented the whole of the members, and the bulk of the members were country members. He hoped the motion would be withdrawn. If the solicitors in London had said the Act ought to be applied to London, what chance would there have been for others to have refused the Act? The time would come when the authorities would say, “ London did not object, what possible reason have you for doing so ?” The Council had fought the Act throughout, and the majority of members of the Council would advise every county to object to it every time it was sought to be introduced.

Mr. J . W. ADDYMAN (Leeds) was afraid the Council would not appreciate

the feeling which existed not only in Yorkshire, but in surrounding counties. He represented the Wakefield Incorporated Society. If the London Council persisted in following the course they had taken in the matter he was afraid there would be a large decrease in the number of members of the Wakefield Society who were members of the Incorporated Law Society, and who would secede from the parent society. The Council represented some 3,000 London solicitors and some 7,000 country solicitors. But there was a higher standard than that. They not only represented the members of the society, but of the profession as a whole, and the position they should have taken up was either to have upheld the example of Mr. Lake, or else to have left the thing alone. One could not help feeling that the position of the Council was not altogether an unselfish one. As to having obtained an expression of opinion from the associated law societies, if the Council considered the resolutions adopted then justifled them in the course they had followed, he was exceedingly sorry for them, because, in his opinion, it was nothing more than—to use an expression common in his own part of the country—a put-up job. A circular was sent out from the parent society in January to each secretary of a provincial society, asking whether they were ready to fall into line and assist the Council in formulating the opposition against the Bill. From then until the time when the meeting of the associated societies was held in London no communication was issued to the societies in the provinces. The Council had approved of the Land Transfer Act.

Mr. W. ltlsniiorii Wanrsas (London) said Mr. Addyman should n ot make incorrect statements. It was not true to say that the Council approved the Bill.

Mr. Anin'.\i.\x said that they permitted it to pisi. The Ill corporated Law Society consented to the passing of the Bill.

Mr. \V.\i.'risiis: On conditions.

Mr. ADDYMAN said that then they refused to have it in London. Who, then, was ta be the victim? After consenting to the Act as a whole they meant to kill it in detail. He asserted that that was a dishonest action. The country solicitors were here to tell the Council in plain and unmistakeable terms that if they wished to keep the allegiance of their provincial members they had better not do it again. The country solicitors had been treated in the way they had because the Council thought they had the force of numbers.

A Marmara rose to order. This was not the resolution.

The VICE-PRESIDENT! I rule you out of order. You have no business to make the oflfensive attacks upon the Council. I will put the amendment to the vote.

Mr. Saoxnsas urged Mr. Middleton to withdraw the motion in the interests of peace.

Mr. Middleton did not respond, and the amendment was carried, 160 "votes being given in its favour and 28 against.

b The Vicii-Passinimr then put the amendment as a substantive motion, ut

A Masimzn moved that the meeting proceed to the next business.

Mr. Four) rose to a point of order; but

The \'ici~:-Passions-r said the next business motion took precedence of everything (lee, and it was put and carried.

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to ask for this power, and a circular was sent round to the rovincial members on the subject. Four hundred answers were received: and 160 promised to subscribe. The club then went to the Council and obtained their sanction as far as they could give it to the change. Then they found it necessary to come to the society itself, as under the rules no alteration could be made without the consent of the society.

Mr. V. J . CHAMBERLAIN (London) seconded the motion. The alteration would be of benefit to the club and to the society.

Mr. Foiin moved as an amendment to add the following words “ subject to the approval of the Council of the Incorporated Law Society, such approval to be communicated to the society at its next meeting." The alteration would give more power than ever to the club, and he asked if it was wise to do this. The club could then let in anybody, the officers of phe High Court of Justice or anyone else without paying an entrance

ee.

Mr. J . T. ATKINSON (Selby), as a country member, supported the motion. He regretted that the committee had not taken such a step bgforlab As a country member of the Council he had often felt the want of t e c u .

Mr. \V. H. WINTERBOTIIAM (London) said that Mr. Ford’s statement as to the committee of the club letting anyone in was incorrect, as no persons could become members of the club who were not already members of the society. He believed also that the club could make no alteration in the subscriptions without the aplproval of the Council.

The Yicii-Pinisinsx-r observe that there was no possibility of anyone being elected a member of the club who was not u member of the society.

Mr. Fonn: Honorary members.

Mr. WALTERS said that the resolution would make no alteration whatever in the class of persons who were eligible to become members of the club. Granting that that particular class remained the same the committee might reduce the subscription for country members. That was the only point.

The amendment was rejected ; three votes being given in its favour and a large number against.

The resolution was carried with one dissentient vote.

STAMP DUTIES.

Mr. C. H. Moarox moved, in accordance with notice: “That the present system under which retrospective regulations as to stamp duties are issued is unsatisfactory, and should be amended.”

Mr. W. C. Loni) (Manchester) seconded the motion, and it was carried without discussion.

LEGAL NEWS. APPOINTMENTS.

Mr. Encsn. ALEXANDER BAYLIS, solicitor, until lately the solicitor to the City Commission of Sewers, has been appointed Comptroller of the City of London in the place of Mr. Brand, resigned.

Mr. Hannv BURTON, solicitor, of High-street Burton-on-Trent, has been appointed a Notary Public.

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CHANGES IN PARTNERSHIPS.
DXBBOLUTIONS.

Joim TREVOR-DAVIES and Doi'or..\s HERON MKRRABl.I, solicitors (Trevor-Davies & Marrable), 8A, New-inn, London, Yrovil, and Ilchester. Dec 31.

\Vii.i.iair SLARK and Winnr/nr MAURICE COMPTON Buamrrr, solicitors

(William Slark 8: 00.), 33, Southampton-street, Strand, London. Dec. 31. [Ga:atte, Jan. 28.

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SARAH Amos LEIGH, deceased.—A reward of £10 will be paid for the last will of Miss Sarah Alice Leigh, late of 90, Gordon—road, Ealing, W., recently deceased. Apply to Robert Leigh, 90, Gordon-road, Ealing.

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It is announced that Mr. John Forbes, Q,.C., has retired from practice.

The Master of the Rolls has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

The list of House of Lords appeals consists of seventeen cases, of which only six are English, while eleven are Scotch appeals, there being no Irish cases set down. The hearing of these appeals will be resumed about the middle of next month.

“ A Practitioner," writing to the Times, says that a very considerable proportion of the business now blocking the Chancery Courts consists of actions relating to patents. These actions are, no doubt, of importance to the parties, but they involve no intricate questions of law, while the trial of them frequently runs to somewhat inordinate length, and they prove a very serious obstruction to the ordinary business of the Chancery Courts. A short time ago it was arranged, by the courtesy of the Lord Chief Justice, that a fair proportion of these patent cases should be transferred to the Queen’s Bench Division. After an experience of two or

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