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Sui-rs, Tuonss Hsxar, Cardifl’, Ironmonger Cardiff Pet April 12 Ord April 18 _
Hi-ii.i.sa, Ciisatss Hazinr, Bristol, Beerhouse Keeper Bristol Pet April 6 Ord April 22
S'rii.i.\viii.i., Hsiiar JAIEB, East Ham, Builder High Court Pet Agril 6 Ord April 21
Sriiosns, Josisn ORIAN, Hor ury, Yorks, Fancy Draper Wakefield Pet April 22 Ord April 23
WADDIE, Anraan Gosoos, Liverppol, American Cheese Importer Livergool Pet Marc 22 Ord April 2‘2
WiLi.iAMs, Jsusi-=, arrow in Furness, Dock Gatemln Ulverston Pet April 22 Ord April 22
Wooo, Joux Ssntsa, Coleman st, Chartered Accountant High Court Pet Feb 7 Ord April 2|.
Youxo, J sass, Thornton le Beans, Yorlis Northallerton Pet April 6 Ord April 22
The liver is the largest organ in the body, and has multifarious duties to perform in the internal economy of the digestive system. After the stomach it is the most abused of all the digestive organs. It is inflamed and hardened by the abuse of alco ol. and its functions are hindered and impaired bg the tannic acid, the outcome of tea-drinking. Errors in iet lead to a diminished secretion of bile. It ecomes torpid and sluggish, and the defects react on the blood-current—deleterious products are carried into the circulation—the skin becomes muddy and yellow, the tongue furred. Life becomes a burden and the victim says “Life is not worih living.” He flies to drugs, blue pill, and other quack nostrums, and finds a temporaiay relief, and a rebound to a state worse than before; estroys his digestion by nauseous medicines and liver pills and wonders why he continues dull, languid, cranky, and out of sorts. He never pauses to consider the why and the wherefore, but continues to either doctor himself, or is doctored by others, into a contlrmed melancholy invalid, who invariably shuilles ofl the mortal coil of a miserable life through making his stomach a receptacle for all the so-called liver cures in the pharrnacopcsia.
Thereis only one method to maintain the liver in good working order, and that is attention to Diet and Exercise. Happy is theman or woman who does not know they have a liver! Unless this mighty organ duly performs its principal function of secreting bile, a whoe army of troubles arise.
It cannot be done with medicine.
It can, however, be done with n perfect food beverage such as Dr. Tibbles' Vi-Cocos, which possesses exceptional vitalizing properties. It will save your digestion part of its work, and is far more nourlr-hing and sustenant than tea or the ordinary cocoa, whilst it possesses a tonic and iecuperative force possessed by neither.
Dr. Tibbles’ Vi~Cocoa is pleasant and palatable, and embodyin as it does the numerous principles contained inltlalt, tfops, Kola, and Cocoa, it imparts nourishment Big? builds up strength. As a Food Beverage it is invalua e.
Dr. Tibbles’ Vi-Cocoa can be obtained from all chemists,
rs, and stores, or from Dr. Tibbles‘ Vi-Cocoa, llimited, 60, G1, and 62. Bunhill-row, London. E.C.
As a test of its merit u dainty B'lf11plB tin of Dr. Tibblei' Vi-Cocoa will be sent free on application to any address if when writing (a postcard will do) the reader will name the Souciroas‘ J ouassn.
l '.‘ The work complete, with Supplement, 80s.; cash, 24s. I _
WILDY & SONS, Law Publishers.
LAW FIRE INSURANCE SOCIETY, 114, CHANCBBY-LANE, Losoos, April l‘2th. 1&3.
NOTICE is HEREBY GIVEN that the As.\'i:Ai. Gnxrsu. Mas-ri.\'o of the Shareholders of the Law Fins lsscsiscl Socisrr will be held at the Sociai-r's Housii, Csircrar Lass, on TUESDAY the 3rd day of MAY ssxr, to elm ten Directors in the room of the like number o_f Director: who go out by rotation ; to elect four Auditors in the room of the like number who retire ; and for general purposes.
The Chair will be taken_at One o'clock precisely. The Accounts of the Society, with the Auditors’ Report igion them, may be inspected bkthc Shareholders for H rs previously to the Annual eeting and during one month after it.
The following Directors retire by rotation, nffllizible. and ofler themselves for re—election :—— _ Sir William James Fairer. Harry Wilmot Lee. E-ii. WilliumDawesErcshfield,Esq Sir Richard Nicholson.
Charles Plumptre Johnson, Esq.
Esq- I The Auditors retiring are :— James Frederick Burton, Esq. John Henry Hort-in, Esq. William Tanner Nave. Fmq. Charles Bobert Roberts West, E1-iq. _ who are eligible and offer themselves for re-election. By order of the Board of Directors, GEORGE WILLIAM BELL. Secretary.
In the Solicitors’ Journal. Apthorpe v. Peter Schoenhofen Brewery
Ctmnn-r Tories ......... ... ...... 481 l
VOL. XLII., No. =7. The Solicitors’ Journal and Reporter
LONDON, MAY 7, I893.
',' The Editor cannot undertake to return reiected contributions, and copies should be kept of all articles sent by writers who are not on the regular stafi of tl.e jounnan.
Mxaosa .................................... .. 464 LIOAL News ......... .. Tm: Ls-rs Mn. N. T. Lmvnaxcn .... .. 465 Couar P1u=1ms.... 478 Rlvmws ..................................... .. 4'36 Wmnnw Us NOTIOIH 479 Coanlsronnlx 467 Cnlnrr0as' No'rw:s.. 479 New Onssss, &c. 413 Bunurror Nor1on..... 480
Cases Reported this Week.
Roper v. Koctt .................. .. 489 Royal College of Surgeons, Re ......... .. 472 Waverley Typewriter (Lia-n.), Re.
Co. .. 470 . ~ Attorney-General v. Beech snd Rlfiztine V’ Waverley Typawmer 4,3 Another ..................................... .. 468 ' Cronmire, Re. Ex parte Wand ....... .. 468 Cuclrfleld Rural District Council v. In tho Weekly Reporter. Goring 471 ~ » Du Cane and Nettlefold’s Contract, Re 468 sgllgfle ° Ema °f Wm“ 1:, Reina, Re. Frost v. Lucas ............. .. 458 D)“ ha N'm_m:m 421 Isaacs v. Towell . 463 N‘, ,5] I N, , i’ N. 4,“ Prior v. The Sluilhwuite Spinning Co. 472 _'°‘e_ 5*‘ n re‘ ‘Me 3 V‘ lc e "" " , Reg v_ mm and Omm_s_ Ex Pam I’1azz1Smyl.h, In the Goods of .......... .. 428 Necdes ........................................ .. 471 R‘“b°n steamsmp Co‘ Y‘ London Rep v_ Gotham and Another and Assurance ................................ .. 417 Webb. Ex parte Same .. 470 VB-B Gl‘\lW"1 W F°XW@u -------- -- 4% Reg. v. Edwards 472 Wyatt (Deceased), In the Goods of 425
the purchaser’s solicitor receives the remuneration fined by the Remuneration Order, his remuneration for _reg1ster1n%' a
possessory title thereon shall not exceed £2 2s.1n cases w ere the value does not exceed £5,000, and in cases where the value exceeds £5,000 shall be £5 5s. ; so that practically the scale for “first registration with a possessory title,” to which we referred last week, does not really apply to the case oi a purchase. Other rules provide for the retention of the negotiating fee, and for the remuneration prescribed not including the “d1sbur_sements, extra work, business, or proceedings which, under section 4 of the Remuneration Order, are not to be included in the remuneration prescribed by Schedule 1 of that Order.”
Council of the Incorporated Law Society to procure the modification of the singular provisions afiecting solicitors originally contemplated by the framers of the Act have been attended with great success. It will be remembered that, by paragraph 5 of the second schedule of the Act, it is provided that “Rules of Court may make provision for the appearance in any arbitration under this Act of any party by some otlw-r person.” It is now provided, by rule 32, that a party to any arbitration may appear (a) in person, or by a member of his family; (b) by a solicitor acting generally in the matter for such party, but not by a solicitor retained as an advocate by such first-mentioned solicitor ; (c) by counsel; ((1) by a person in the permanent and exclusive employment of the party; (e) in the case of a company or corporation, by any director, secretary, officer, or person in the permanent and exclusive employment of the company or corporation ; (f) by leave of the judge or arbitrator, by any officer or member of any society or other body of persons of which such party is a member “ or with which he is connected ” [what do these last words mean ?] ; or (g) byleave of the judge or arbitrator, by any other person. And the rule also provides that no person other than a solicitor who appears or acts on behalf of any party in any arbitration under the Act shall be entitled to have or recover from such party any fee or reward for so appearing or acting other than such travelling expenses and (in the case of a workman or a memlwr of his famz'l_1/) allowance for time (if any) as shall be allowed by the judge or arbitrator; fees of counsel being excepted. These provisions appear to go as far in favour of professional assistance as could be done in face of the provision of paragraph 5 of the second schedule.
Tun ronn QUESTIONS put to the jury by Pninniironn, J., on the trial of Mrs. OAMILLA NICHOLLB for manslaughter were undoubtedly the correct ones. In effect they were (1) Was there a duty of the prisoner towards the deceased ? (2) Was the prisoner guilty of a breach of that duty ? (3) Was the death of the deceased caused or accelerated by such breach of duty? (4) \Vas the deceased unable to escape from the prisoner, and so to avoid the consequences of the prisoner’s breach of duty ? The jury were charged that in order to convict the prisoner they must find an answer in the affirmative to each of these questions. Now, there is no room for doubt that it is the duty of a mistress to supply her domestic servant with sufiicient food to support life and health. It is also quite clear that it is no defence to a charge of manslaughter that the death took place from the effects of e. disease which must have caused death sooner or later, if the wrongful act or omission of the accused shortened the life of the deceased. The la iv bearing on the first three questions has been often commented upon judicially, and is well-established. The fourth point, however, has not so often been considered. Suppose a master, whose duty it is to feed his servant, refuses to give that servant any food at all. The natural result would be, not that the servant would die of starvation, but that he would at once leave the house and probably sue his master for breach of contract. Therefore, it is necessary, in order to convict the master of manslaughter, not only to shew that the deceased servant died of starvation, but that he was unable to leave the service if he chose. This was well expressed by Ennn, C J., in a case of Rag. v. Smilll (13 W. R. 816), which in many of its features closely resembled the recent case. He said: “If a person having the custody of another neglects to supply that other with food so that death ensues, it is acriminal offence. But the law is also clear that if such person, having a free will, chooses to stay in a service where bad food and lodging is provided, and death is caused thereby, the criminal responsibility does not attach. The question is then, whether the deceased was so helpless in mind and body as to be unable to withdraw herself from the pris0ner’s dominion." The Court for Crown Cases Reserved held in this case that there was no evidence to support the finding of the jury that the servant was unable to withdraw, and so the conviction was quashed. In Mrs. Niononns’ case the jury were clearly satisfied that the unfortunate girl was so broken by illness, deprivation, and illtreatment that she was entirely under the dominion of her mistress, and unable to exercise her free will. In this opinion most ,
THE DECISION of ROMER, J., in Harrop v. The Mayor of Osselt (1898, 1 Ch. 525) settles a point of great importance to public authorities and to persons engaged in litigation with them. The decision is that the Public Authorities Protection Act, 1893, applies to all actions against public authorities or their oflicers in the Chancery Division, and not merely to actions of tort or actions in which damages are claimed ; and that therefore judgment in any such action for the defendants carries with it the right to costs as between solicitor and client. The Act in question is intended to be a substitute for a number of enactments relating to various public authorities and prescribing the notice of action to be given and the time within which such actions are to be brought, and these enactments are repealed by section 2 of the Act. The substituted provisions differ materially from the repealed enactments : notice of action is abolished in eyery case; a uniform period of six months from the cause of action is prescribed ; and the new provision which was the subject of the decision of Roman, J., is added. The words of the Act are very wide ; stated shortly they cover “ any action, prosecution, or other proceeding ” brought against a public authority or their olficers in respect of anything done in the execution of an Act of Parliament or public duty or in respect of any neglect or default in such execution ; and clause (6) enacts that “ wherever in any such action a judgment is obtained by the defendant, it shall carry costs to be taxed as between solicitor and Oll8l1t.'" Amongst the repealed enactments is section 264 of the Public Health Act, 1875, which enacted that a writ or process should not be sued out against a local authority or their oflicers in respect of acts or omissions under that Act until one month after notice of the cause of action had been given, and that the action should be commenced within six months after the cause of action. It was held by the Court of Appeal in Flowery. Low Leg/ton Local Board (25 W. R. 545, 5 Ch. D. 347) that section 264 did not apply where the object of the action was to restrainthe commission of a nuisance, notwithstanding that compensation for past damage was also claimed. The ground upon which the court seems to have mainly relied was that if the section were held to apply, the defendant authority would have full liberty to continue the nuisance, and perhaps to cause irreparable mischief during the month after the notice of the cause of action. This reason is_n0 longer applicable, for the Act of 1893 contains no provision requiring notice of action to be given. There seems little doubt that the decision of Roiisn, J ., is correct ; there is no indication
_that the operation of the new Act is confined to any particular
class of actions, and the actual words are wide enough to B_mbrace every kind of proceedings. There is even an indication that the Act was intended to apply to actions for an inj unc_t1011» for clause (c) which commences “ where the proceeding is an action for damages” and makes provisions as to the efiectof tender of amends, concludes with the words “ but this pro: vision shall not aflect costs on any injunction in the action. The question involved must of necessity be of frequent occurrence, having regard to the wide terms of the Act and the mat]! of repealed enactments relating to a great variety of_ public authorities, to all of which the Act of 1893 and the decision 111 Ilarrop v. Ossett will apply.
THE M.-iuoions Injuries to Property Act, 186l, after dealing with a large number of cases of injury to property of vcrlolls kinds, provides, by section 52, that “ whosoever shall wilfully 01‘ maliciously commit any damage, injury, or spoil to or upon any real or personal property whatsoever,” in any case not 0lll6l'WlE9 provided for, shall be guilty of an offence punishable summarily. About nine years ago Hall v. Ricltarrlson (54 J. P. 34f’) came before a Divisional Court upon the construction of ill" section. In that case a milk-carrier had accidentally HP!“ some oi his master's milk, and in order to escape blame, but n°t with a fraudulent intent, had filled up the churn with WBW3 and sold the diluted milk to his master’s customers. H6 W" charged with wilfully and maliciously committing damB8° lo the milk. The magistrates refused to convict, and, on appeal t0 the High Court, the late Lord Chief Justice and MATIIEW, -ll, upheld the decision of the magistrates, and held that tlw accused was not liable to conviction. Their grounds for 9°
persons who read the evidence will probably concur. ll
holding were that, although the milk-carrier did what he did
intentionally, and in that sense wilfully, still he had no guilty mind, and did not intend to injure any person, least of all his master, who had in fact suffered no pecuniary loss. Now, it is to be noticed that the words of section 52 are “wilfully or maliciously,” not “ wilfully and maliciously,” as in other sections of the statute. It seems, therefore, that if a person does an act intentionally, which in the natural course of things causes damage to property, it is not necessary to prove that he intended to injure any person ; and that it is quite sufiicient to shew that such an act was done wilfully without also having to shew that it was done maliciously. The act which the milkman committed was clearly done intentionally, in order to benefit himself at the expense of his master’s customers, and it obviously did damage the milk. If, then, it was not wilful damage to property, it is very hard to see what the words mean. For these reasons Hall v. Richardson has generally been considered an unsatisfactory decision, and last Saturday it was overruled by a Divisional Court, consisting of seven judges, in the case of Roper v. Knott. In this case also the accused person was a milk-carrier who had added water to his 1naster’s milk, but he had done so with the fraudulent intention of putting money into his own pocket at the expense of the buyers of the diluted milk, though with no personal malice against his master. His fraud was discovered before he started on his round and the milk was thrown away. The magistrate considered himself bound by Hall v. Richa-rzlaon, and so dismissed the information, but stated a case. When the case came on in the usual course, it was referred to a special court, who allowed the appeal and sent the case back to the magistrate. This court has now interpreted section 52, and held that it applies whenever wilful damage is done to property, even though there is no intention to injure the owner, and even where the owner is not in fact injured; and that the section aims at damage to property independently of loss to any person. Now, although it is not necessary to prove malice in order to convict under this section, might it not be argued that in both these cases the act was in fact done maliciously? In each case the act was done deliberately, knowing that the consequence wouldnecessarily be to impose an adulterated article upon the buyer, and knowing that the consequence might be to submit the master to a prosecution for adulteration. It is submitted that an act committed under such circumstances is done with a guilty mind, and that therefore in law it is done maliciously.
Tnr: msrnrcrrorz between applying for shares and underwriting shares has been illustrated in an interesting manner by the case of Sydney Harbour Collierias (L1'mitcrl)v. Earl Gray, decided by the House of Lords last week. The plaintiff company was, in 1894, about to ofier to the public 23,500 preference shares of £10 each. The defendant nnderwrote 2,000 of the shares upon the terms that, if the public subscribed bond fido for the whole of the shares, his responsibility was to cease. If they subscribed any smaller amount, he was to take up such number of shares as would constitute his pro rata contribution with the other underwriters, to make up the difference between the total amount subscribed by the public and the total amount underwritten. The whole of the 23,500 shares were underwritten, and some of the underwriters had by their underwriting contracts agreed to “ hold firm” a certain number of the shares. The outside public applied for only 4,134 shares, and, in apportioning the balance among the underwriters, differences arose as to the meaning of the expression “hold firm.” The company took the view that the shares to which the expression applied were to be taken by the respective underwriters in satisfaction pro tanto of the shares which they were bound by their agreements to take up. On this basis the quota of shares which the defendant had to take up was 1,470. The defendant, on the other hand, insisted that the agreement by some of the underwriters to “ hold firm ” certain shares was separate from their underwriting agreements, and that the shares to which the words were applied were to be reckoned with those subscribed for by the outside public. This substantially increased the number of shares so subscribed, and correspondingly diminished the number to be taken by the defendant. The matter was referred to Mr. Justice CIIANNELI. as arbitrator, before his elevation to the Bench, and he, deciding in favour of the defendant, fixed the shares to be taken up by
him at 854, but stated a special case. The Divisional Court were of a contrary opinion, but the Court of Appeal and now the House of Lords have supported the arbitrator. It would be difficult, indeed, if the words “ hold firm” are to have any effect given to them, to decide otherwise. An underwriter’s last thought is to hold any shares firm. He hopes to take his commission and see the shares safely absorbed by the public. An agreement to take certain shares in any event is foreign to the spirit of the underwriting agreement, and is indeed a separate contract. The underwriters who made such a contract were bound to carry it out, and, in addition, to take up the shares properly assigned to them under their underwriting agreements. The defenda.nt’s share, therefore, had been properly reduced to the lower of the two figures mentioned above.
Sncrron 43 of the Licensing Act, 1872, provides that any person who appears before the licensing justices and opposes the grant of a new licence, and no other person, may appear and oppose the confirmation of such grant. The same section gives quarter sessions power to “make rules as to the proceedings to be adopted for confirmation of new licences, and the costs to be incurred in any such proceedings, and the person by whom such costs are to be paid.” 1-‘robably almost every quarter sessions has made a rule requiring any person who intends to oppose the confirmation of a grant to give a written notice to the applicant, and also to the clerk of the peace, within a certain number of days of the grant, of his intention to oppose and of the grounds of his opposition. The standing orders of the quarter sessions for the county of London contain such a rule, the number of days being seven. They also by another rule provide that any such intending opposer shall enter into a recognizance with one surety to pay such costs as he may be ordered to pay. Such rules, if they go beyond rules of procedure and seek to put restrictions upon rights bestowed upon a person by Act of Parliament, must be ultra sires. In the recent case of Reg. v. Bird and Ol/Mrs, E2: pm-to Dudes, the validity of these two rules of the county of London was considered. The Act clearly confers upon a person who has opposed the grant a right to oppose when the grant comes before the confirming authority. No notice whatever need be given of intention to oppose the grant at the licensing meeting, and anyone has a right to oppose. It is only those who do so oppose, however, who have a right to oppose at the subsequent proceedings. Undoubtedly, quarter sessions can make rules “ as to the proceedings ”—i.e , rules of practice—but it is going beyond a rule of practice to forbid a man to exercise a right given him by statute unless he gives certain notices, or in case he fails to find some person willing to be his surety for a sum of money. A Divisional Court, accordingly, decided that their rules are ultra vires and granted a mzmla-mus to the justices to rehear the application in question and to hear the opposer who had not observed the rule. This is a decision which clerks of the peace will do well to notice. It may, however, be suggested that quarter sessions can practically effect the purpose of such rules by using their powers as to awarding costs. For example, it would probably be within the powers given them by section 43 to make a rule that an opposer who fails to give certain notices of his intention to oppose shall be in some way penalized as to costs.
Tun QUESTION whether a conveyance of laud abutting on a highway carries with it the right to the soil ad medium filum ciao was raised in the case of Ra Wlu'te‘a C/zarzties before Roman, J. (reported ante, p. 429), under rather peculiar circumstances. Land incumbered with ancient rent-charges had been thrown into a highway, which was a street in the City of London, under statutory powers, in order to widen the street. The Corporation of London afterwards sold property abutting on this street, subject to this rent-charge, but without taking any covenant from the purchaser for its payment, and it was sought to establish that the purchaser was legally liable to pay this rent-charge as terre tenant of the soil, ad merlmm,/ilu.nl vzlw under the conveyance of the property to him. In rl[z'c/elolhwoil v. Newloy Bridge Co. (33 Ch. D. 133, 145), the general rule is
thiis stated by COTTON, L..T.: “The rule of construction is now well settled, that where there is a conveyance of land, even
although it is described by reference to a plan, and by colour,
and by quantity, if it is said to be bounded on one side either by a river or by a public thoroughfare, then on the true con
struction of the instrument half the bed of the river or half of the road passes, unless there is enough in the circumstances or enough in the expressions of the instrument to shew that that is not the intention of the parties." Beckett v. Corpo;-alien of Leeds (20 W. R. 454, L. R. 7 Ch. 421) was cited as an authority for treating conveyances of land abutting on streets in towns as exceptions to the rule thus broadly stated, but Roiuim, J., held
that there was neither reason nor authority for the suggested exception, and showed that it would be diflicult, if not impossible, to define its extent. Another argument was pressed on the court—viz., that as the corporation owned the soil beyond the mediumfilum the presumption, which arose when the vendor was owner ad medium filum, was excluded. But Roman, J., thought that the efiect of that was not to negative the presumption, but to extend it so as to pass the actual interest of the conveying party. His lordship therefore held that the purchaser from the corporation was under a legal liability to pay the rentcharges.
Tim rmsr reported application under Part I. of the Land Transfer Act, 1897, was made to BARNES, J., in Re Barnett, and resulted in the ruling that, where administration is asked for only in respect of real estate and the title of the applicant as heir-at-law is clear, notice need not be given to the next-of-kin of the deceased. Under section 1 real estate, notwithstanding any testamentary disposition, now devolves upon the personal representatives, and probate and letters of administration may be grantedin respect of real estate only, although there is no personal estate. But the expression “ real estate ” for this purpose does not include copyholds. Under section 2 (4) the court in granting administration is to have regard to the rights and interests of persons interested in the real estate of the deceased, and his heir-at law, if not one of the next-of-kin, is to be equally entitled to the grant with the next-of-kin. ln the present case the deceased, who was a bachelor, had died intestate, possessed of freehold and copyhold property, but not possessed of any personal estate; and application was made by his nephew and heir-at-law for a grant of administration of the freeholds. The next-of-kin had not been cited. Since the copyholds were not in question and the evidence was clear as to there being no personal estate, BARNEB, J., directed the grant to issue subject to formal evidence confirming the applicant's title, but he intimated that where the title was doubtful notice to the next-of-kin should be given.
THE Court of Appeal have very satisfactorily disposed of the theory propounded by the Divisional Court in .Attarney- General v. Beach (46 W. R. 44), that the doctrine of merger is a mere conveyancer’s device which cannot for a moment be allowed to have any effect in derogation of the provisions of the Finance Act, 1894. The circumstances which have given rise to the litigation are perfectly simple, and, but for the singular decision just referred to, it could not have been supposed that their legal effect admitted of any doubt. Shortly stated they were as follows : By a settlement made in 1852 on the marriage of Mrs. Bsncu that lady was entitled, in the event of her surviving he
husband, to the income of the trust funds for life, with a po we
of appointing the funds by deed or will among the children of the marriage. The husband died in 1885. There were two children of the marriage, a daughter and the defendant, HOWARD Baron. Part of the trust funds had been realized and advanced to the daughter. By a deed of appointment, made in 1886, Mrs. Bsscri appointed the funds so advanced to the daughter, and subject to her life interest, she appointed the rest . of the protperty to the son. In December, 1894, the trustees of the set ement were WILLIAM BEECH and the son, H. Bnnon. By a deed, dated in that month, Mrs. BEECH surrendered to the trus
tees of the settlement her life interest in all the property appointed to H. BEECH, and such surrender was expressed to be to the intent that the life interest might merge in the remainder of H. Barton, and that, accordingly, the trustees might thenceforth hold the property in trustfor H. BEECH. Mrs. BaEOH_died in August, 1896, and the Inland Revenue Commissioners claimed that the trust property passed upon her death and so became liable to estate duty. _ The sections of the Finance Act, 1894, on which the claim was based are section 1 and section 2, sub-section 1 (I2). §ection 1 in general terms imposes the estate duty upon the principal value of all property, settled or not settled, which passes. on the death of any person, and section 2 (1) specifies various classes of property which are to be deemed to be included in the phrase “property passing on the death.” The first class consists of property of which the deceased was at his death coinpetent to dispose; the second of “property in _which tho deceased or any other person had an interest ceasing on the death of the deceased, to the extent to which a benefit accrues or arises by the cesser of such interest.” For the prcflolib purpose the other classes mentioned are not material. But if these provisions are applied to the circumstances Just narrated, and if at the same time the legal effect of the circumstances is allowed to be governed by the well-settled doctrine of merger, it is at once evident that no duty is payable. The life interest of Mrs. Brzscn was by the deed of December, 1894, merged in the reversion. After the execution of the deed the life interest had ceased to exist, and the trustees of the settlement held the property in trust for H. Base: absolutely. Mrs. BEECH retained no property, and the trust funds were clearly not property of which she was at the time of her death competent to dispose. She had no power over them at all. In the same way she had no interest in the trust funds, which ceased at her death. Prior to December, 1894, she had an interest, and, had matters remained unaltered, this would have been in 1896 an interest ceasing on her death, so that estate duty on the principal value of the property would have become payable. But the state of affairs had been completely changed by the surrender of December, 1894. It was at that date, and not at the death of Mrs. Bacon in August, 1896, that her life interest ceased to exist, and this circumstance makes all the difference. The estate duty is to be levied in cases where the life interest ceases at the death, not where it ceases an indefinite period before death. _ The Divisional Court (POLLOCK, B, and RIDLEY, J.) avoided this result by abolishing for the purpose of the Finance Act the doctrine of merger, and this they did upon the ground that the doctrine was a mere device of conveyancers. A taxing Act, said POLLOCK, B., is not to be construed in accordance with the ordinary language of conveyancers, or with a view to giving efiect to the principles on which conveyanccrs act, but with I1 view to carrying out the intention of the Act and its provisions as expressed by its language. And similarly RIDLEY, J-. declined to allow that authorities relating to the surrender of one interest and its merging in another had a_ny relevance in deciding upon the meaning of the Finance Act. That, he said, was to be judged of by the clear and expressed ob]ect of the Act, and not by the rules of conveyancing. It has probably not before happened that conveyancers have been credited in this way with inventing for the purposes of their art principles of iaw. Conveyancers may take advantage of such principles in order to bring about results which they desire, but the principles of law and the art of conveyancing are totally distinct things. The true way of viewing the matter was put very clearly by Ciii'r1"Y, L.J., at the end of his judgment .11.! tho present case. “In the judgments delivered in the Divisional Court,” he observed, “ some observations were made on conveyancers and the rules of conveyancing. I am unable to s_ee the bearing of those observations. Conveyancers did not invent the rules of merger either at law or in eqiiity, nor are they responsible for them. Their function is to understand_tl1_6 doctrine of merger and to apply it practically where it Ii applicable.” hat the doctrine of merger may still be used for the purp9_5° of extinguishing a limited estate, and accelerating the estate H1 remainder expectant upon it, is shewn very strikingly by $116