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The Solicitors' Journal and Reporter.
84 81 83 83 86 87
73 77 66
ROYAL EXCHANGE ASSURANCE.
VOL. XLII., No. 5.
LONDON, DECEMBER 4, 1897.
The Editor cannot undertake to return rejected contributions, aud
copies should be kept of all articles sent by writers who are not on DEATH DUTY POLICIES--Payment Direct to Revenue Authorities before grant of Probate,
the regular staff of the JOURNAL.
WINDING UP NOTICES
Cases Reported this Week.
Bensaude v. Tham’s and Mersey
Marine Insurance Co..
An Arbitration between the London Carlton Steamship Co. v. Castle Mail
London Brewery Co...,
Hy wood, In re. Heywood v. Hey
wood LICENSED PROPERTY
Bateman (Lady) v. Faber
Kıy. In re. Mosley v. Kay To see that the Insurance Covenants include a policy covering the risk of
Hughes, Re. Brandon v. Hughes..
Limbath Overgjers v. London County LOSS OR FORFRITURE OF THE LICENSE.
Humphreys, Re. Ex parte Roberts .
Council uitable clauses, settled by Counsel, can be obtained on application to Lovett v. Lovett
Morley v. Carter
Pullock v. Gurle. THE LICENSES INSURANCE CORPORATION AND Reg. v. Lynch.....
South Afrira u Republic v. La CompagGUARANTES FUND, LIMITED,
Reg. v. William Jouos
nie Franco-Belg: du Chemin de fer Smyth, Re. Leach v. Leach.
81 du Nor de la Republique Sud Afri24, MOORGATE STREET, LONDON, E.C. Mortgages Guaranteed on Licensed Properties promptly, without In the Weekly Reporter.
Strohmenger v. Borough of Finsbury
Permanent Investment Building special valuation and at low rates.
Amalgamated Syndicate (Limited),
63 ALLIANCE ASSURANCE COMPANY. Established 1824. Capital, £5,000,000 Sterling.
Chairman: RIGHT HON, LORD ROTHSCHILD.
WE PRINT elsewhere the notice of the draft order under the LIFE AND FIRE INSURANCES AT MODERATE RATES.
Council. In our comments last week we overlooked a provision
LEASEHOLD AND SINKING FUND POLICIES.
sanctioning both the making of the draft order and the giving
of formal notice to the London County Council. Section 37 of LEGAL AND GENERAL LIFE ASSURANCE that Act runs as follows: SOCIETY.
" Where an Act, passed after the commencement of this Act, is not to come into operation immediately on the passing thereof, and confers
powers so make any appointment, to make, grant, or issile any instru. ESTABLISHED 1836.
ment, that is to say, any Order in Council, order, warrant, scheme, letters patent, rules, regulations, or bye-laws, to give notices, to prescribe forms,
or to do any other thing for the purposes of the Act, that power may, un. FUNDS
less the contrary intention appears, be exercised at any time after the
passing of the Act, so far as may be necessary or expedient for the pur. INCOME
£ 373,000 pose of bringing the Act into operation at the date of the commencement YEARLY BUSINESS
thereof, subject to this restriction, that any instrument made under the
power shall not, unless the contrary intention appears in the Act, or the BUSINESS IN FORCE
· £11,000,000 contrary is necessary for bringing the Act into operation, come into operation
until the Act comes into operation." THE PERFECTED SYSTEM of Life Assurance is peculiar to this Society It will be seen that the power to issue the notice is depenand embraces every modern advantage.
dont on the question whether it " is necessary for bringing the
Act into operation" (not, according to the restriction," into PERFECTED MAXIMUM POLICIES.
operation by or before any particular date). How can it be WITHOUT PROFITS.
said that it is necessary for bringing the Act into operation
that notices should be given before the date at which it comes The Rates for these Whole Life Policies are cery moderate. into operation ?
Age Premium | Age
Premium Age | Premium
According to last results.
THE FEAST of All Souls has from time immemorial been one of the chief events in the year for the judicial bench. This year the judicial bench will be the chief event of the year at the Feast of All Souls. For, within the year, two former Fellows of that college have been raised to seats in the High Court. There are those who persist in believing that the Lord Chancellor, unlike the king, can do no right, and who profess themselves to be over at fault in the attempt to fiad a clue to his mysterious mind. To such wanderers in the labyrinth we may offer the pious hope that they may now find one or more threads which will lead them out of their difficulties. Sir WALTER PHILLIMORE was a Fellow of All Souls; and, in addition to this, he was twice Commissioner of Assize. Here are two criteria of selection which we would suggest that they should apply to certain recent nominations. Let us, however, put aside
"chaff," and congratulate the Lord Chancellor on a graceful act advisers, and that this disability was caused by his own unlawful in appointing a political opponent of a rather violent type, who act. Under these circumstances the trial was postponed, and it is also a popular and a learned man, and has had a large yet remains to be determined what is the proper course to be practice in the Admiralty Court and in ecclesiastical cases, adopted. A most important question, and apparently a novel and a fair practice also on the Western Circuit. He has, one, is raised in this strange case-.e., whether a person can bo no doubt, in him the making of a good judge ; but we may, tried who, though perfectly sane, is utterly unable to make any perhaps, be permitted to hint that he has two tendencies proper defence because of his inability to communicate with his which should be severely curbed. He is too voluble for the counsel or with anyone else. There have been cises somewhat Bench, being overmuch endowed with what has been called similar in wbich deaf and dumb persons were concerned. Thus, the “accursed gift of eloquence"; and he is rather given to in Rex v: Pritchard (7 C. & P. 303), a man was indicted for strong “views
on certain subjects. If he can keep his felony before ALDERSON, B., and in answer to questions the jury eloquence down, and hide with scarlet and ermine his views found that he was mute by visitation of God, that he was able as effectively as his waistcoat, he should go far to justify the to plead, but that he was not of sufficient intellect to comproChancellor, and to bring honour to Westminster, All Souls, and hond the course of proceedings or the details of the evidenco so Oxford.
as to make a proper defence. This finding the learned judge
held to be equivalent to a finding that the prisoner was insane, It has long been perfectly well settled that the receiver of a This case was followed much later in Reg. v. Berry (1 Q. B. D.
and ordered him to be detained during his Majesty's pleasure. letter has no such property in it as to entitle him to publish it against the wishes of the writer, and the same rule applies, of 147), and there are one or two other cases in agreement with course, to persons other than the receiver into whose hands the the prisoner was held to be incapable of taking his trial because
these decisions. It is clear, however, in all theso cases that letter may subsequently come. The judgment of North, J., in Labouchere v. Hess does no more than apply this rule. The
of his inability to defend himself arising from an intellectual argument that the writer of the letter makes a gift of it to the the prisoner seems to be quite able to understand the proceed
incapacity to understand the procaedings. In the present case receiver so as to vest the property in him was met by Lord HARDWICKE in Pope v. Curl (2 Atk. 342) with the remark that ings, but is unable to properly defend himself because he can the receiver has at most a joint property with the writer, and ask, nor in any way take part in the trial. It is submitted that
neither ask a witness a question, nor instruct his counsel what to that this does not give him a licence to publish the letter to the it is contrary to all justice to put a man on his trial in such a world. Following this and other authorities, Lord APSLEY, C., without hesitation, granted an injunction in Thompson v. Stan- his own unlawful act, brought himself into that condition; but
condition. It is true it must be assumed that he has, by hope (Amb. 737) to restrain the publication, without the cinsent of the Earl of CHESTERFIELD's executors, of the of a capital crime when, if he were able to communicate his
even then it would be dangerous to allow a man to be convicted letters of that nobleman to his son. In subsequent cases tho grounds of these decisions have been examined and their cor- thoughts, he might be able to give his advisers such instructions rectness to some extent questioned, but the decisions have never
as would lead to his acquittal. been overruled. The true legal doctrine appears to be that the property in the paper is in the receiver of the letter, and the THE CASE of Re Humphreys, recently decided by a Divisional copyright in the writer. In Perceval v. Phipps (2 Vos. & B. 19) Court (Wright and KENNEDY, JJ.), raised several important PLUMER, M.R., drew a distinction between letters which have a questions as to the power of the court to make charging orders literary value and those which are simply ordinary letters of under section 28 of the Solicitors Act, 1860, though in the result friendship or business. Business letters, he said, it would be a decision was given only upon one point. The section provides very extraordinary to describe as a literary work in which the that, in every case in which a solicitor is employed to prosecute writers have a copyright. But the distinction has not been or defend any suit, matter, or proceeding in any court of justice, adopted, and it would certainly have no chance of recognition at it shall be lawful for the court or judge before whom any such the present day, when the protection of the courts has been suit, matter, or proceeding has been heard, or shall be dependsuccessfully invoked in favour of trade catalogues and Stock ing, to declare such solicitor entitled to a charge on the property Exchange price lists. The right of the author of the letter recovered or preserved for his taxed costs, charges, and expenses. being thus fully recognized, on the ground of his property in In Re Humphreys a farmer in Carnarvonshire, early in 1895, the copyright, it becomes unnecessary to seek for further justi- realized his assets, and sailed for Australia with about £800. fication of it on the grounds of the confidence he reposes in the After his departure a warrant for his arrest was issued on a person to whom the letter is addressed. In our courts of equity charge of forgery, and bankruptcy proceedings were commenced, the maintenance of this confidence, however important in point in the course of which a prosecution was ordered against him for of morals, has not been regarded as a ground for interference; alleged offences under the Debtors Act, 1869. He was arrested though Lord ELLON, in Gee v. Pritchard (2 Swanst., p. 426), at Adelaide and brought back to this country, but a sum of referred to it as an additional reason why he should exercise a £813 which was found upon him was detained by the Adelaide jurisdiction which the court had already claimed to possess on police. The charge of forgery was dismissed by the magistrates, the ground of property. The receiver of the letter may, indeed, and at the assizes the debtor was acquitted of the other offences. publish it for the purpose of clearing his own character (Earl Messrs. LLOYD-GEORGE & Co., of Criccieth, acted as solicitors for of Lytton v. Devey, 52 L. T., p. 122), and the letter is not privi- the trustee in the bankruptcy in these prosecutions and also leged froin production in the course of litigation (Hopkinson v. generally, and, upon their application, the £813 was transmitted Lord Burghley, 2 Ch. App. 447), but, subject to such special to this country by the Adelaide police. This proved to be the only circumstances, the possesser can only use it in the manner con- asset in the bankruptcy, and the solicitors applied to the county templated by the writer at the time it was sent.
court judge for an order in the bankruptcy and under the Solicitors Act, 1860, charging the sum with the costs incidental
to its recovery, including the costs and expenses of the arrest A REMARKABLE state of things had to be dealt with in the case and prosecutions. The county court judge made the order, of Reg. v. Harris last week at the Old Bailey. The prisoner but there is the objection, which, in the opinion of the was indicted for the murder of his wife, and it was alleged that, Divisional Court, was fatal, that the money was recovered on having murdered her, he had attempted to commit suicide by the mere application of the solicitors to the Adelaide police, and cutting his own throat. Anyhow, he was found to be wounded not as the result of the exercise of any jurisdiction by the court. in such a way in the throat that he was unable to speak, and For the purpose of section 28 it seems essential that proceedings being an illiterate person, who could neither read nor write, he should have been commenced for the recovery of the property, was absolutely unable to give any instructions to the solicitor and the conduct of the police made any proceedings unnecessary. retained for his defence by his friends. A jury was sworn, and the immediate compliance of a person against whom a claim is in answer to questions put to them by DARLING, J., they replied made does not appear to give any chance for the operation of that the prisoner was able to plead to the indictment, and that he the statute, and it makes no difference that the claim is made on was sane, but that he was unable to communicate with his legal behalf of a trustee in bankruptcy. The bankruptcy proceedings
are not directed against the holder of the property in question. Ch. 223), the judgment of KEKEWICH, J., in which has this week Had this point been out of the way, it would still have been been affirmed by the Court of Appeal. The defendant sought to necessary to decide whether the bankruptcy court had jurisdic-establish that a married woman was bound by her admission, tion to make an order under section 28 of the Solicitors Act, made in good faith but untrue, that a certain event had taken 1860, and whether the order would extend to all the costs of the place, the occurrence of which would have determined her life bankruptcy and of the prosecutions. Upon the latter point it interest which she was restrained from anticipating. The facts of seems that, if the order can be made in bankruptcy at all, its the case were shortly as follows: The plaintiff was entitled to the effect must be limited to so much of the bankruptcy proceed income of certain property during her life for her separate use ings as have been conducive to the recovery of the property. without power of anticipation, subject however to a proviso that Upon the former, although in Re Suffield & Watts (20 Q. B. D. if at any time she should succeed to an income in her own right 693) and Re Wood (1897, 1 Q. B. 314) charging orders made of £8,000 or more per annum for her separate use, then her life by the judge in bankruptcy have been held to be made by him interest should determine and the property should be held in as a judge of the High Court, and not in the exercise of his trust for her husband. The husband's interest in the property bankruptcy jurisdiction, it is by no means clear that the latter was mortgaged by him as collateral security to a creditor, jurisdiction is not exercisable for the purpose where the pro- whose executor was the defendant FABER. Subsequently, upon ceedings which have resulted in the recovery of the property the death of her brother, the plaintiff became entitled to a life have been solely in the bankruptcy. At the same time the interest in the Korrison estates, and thereupon the question Divisional Court inclined to think that the order for the dis- arose whether the proviso had not taken effect. Acting under tribution of the assets prescribed by rule 125 of the Bankruptcy the advica of her then solicitor, and in order to enable her Rules might form an insuperable difficulty.
husband to obtain easier terms with his creditors, the plaintiff executed a Deed Poll, whereby she admitted that, in the events
which had happened, the proviso had taken effect in consequence IN THE COURSE of a strike promoted by the Seamen and. Fire- of her having fulfilled the condition, and she thereby released men's Union, two men were arrested at a South Wales seaport the first-mentioned property from all claims in respect of her town, and were subsequently indicted at the Glamorgan Assizes, life interest therein. As a result of the Deed Poll, the plainunder section 7 of the Conspiracy and Property Protection Act, tiff's husband was able to arrange with his creditor for a reduc1875, for having intimidated a certain person, watched and tion in the rate of interest on the loan, and for repayment of the beset the place where he was, and followed him with others in a capital on advantageous terms. Subsequently, the plaintiff found disorderly manner, in order to prevent him from serving on a that, owing to prior incumbrances, the income which she derived certain ship as he had contracted to do. Now, section 16 of this from the Kerrison estates did not amount to £8,000 per annum, and Act contains a proviso that nothing in the Act "shall apply to she consequently brought the present action claiming a declaration soamen. Hence, as the accused were admittedly men who fol- that she had not succeeded to the requisito income, and that her lowed the sea as a calling, it was contended in their defence admission in the Deed Poll was not binding upon her. It was that they were not liable to be convicted on this indictment. At to this latter question that the point at issue was confined at the the time of the alleged offence, however, they were not actually trial. The defendants did not deny that the plaintiff was engaged on board any ship, but were out of work. They were restrained from dealing with the property, but they argued that convicted, and the question whether, under these circumstances, the question involved was simply one of fact-namely, Had the the conviction could stand was argued before the Court for plaintiff succeeded to the specified income or not? No better Crown Cases Reserved, on a case stated by RIDLEY, J. Judg- evidence to prove the fact could be produced than the express ment was given last week. It is not reasonable to suppose that admission of the plaintiff herself contained in the Deed Poll. the Legislature could have intended to exclude a large body of The fact of her succession being thus proved by the best evidence men from the provisions of this statute, unless such men were
obtainable, the condition in the proviso had been fulfilled, and capable of being adequately dealt with under some other statute, ipso facto her interest had determined. KEKEWICH, J., howin case they committed the offences aimed at. It is also clear over, said that it made no real difference whether the defendants that the only reason why seamen are excepted is that they put their case in this way, or argued at once that the plaintiff can be dealt with under the Merchant Shipping Acts. Section could evade the restraint on anticipation; whichever way their 225 (e) of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, provides that every case was put, the result was the same--viz., the restraint on
seaman lawfully engaged” shall be liable to a maximum anticipation was disregarded and the life interest was got rid of punishment of twelve weeks' imprisonment, with hard labour by her own act. It might be said that the admission only "if he combines with any of the crew to disobey lawful com- affected the life interest and not the restraint on anticipation ; mands or to neglect duty, or to impede the navigation of the but in his lordship’s opinion this was a fallacy, for the interest ship or the progrees of the voyage. Persons not seamen are and the restraint were insepara hle, an l in destroying the one also liable, under section 236, for persuading or attempting to you destroyed the other; and lo therefore held that the plainpersuade a seaman not to join his ship, but they are only liable tiff, being restrained from anticipation, could not by any act to a fine not exceeding £10. “Seaman” is defined, both in this of hers bring about a cesser of her life interest. As the Master Act and in the repealed Act of 1854, as every person employed of the Rolls said, the result of the decision is that a married or engaged in any capacity on board any ship”-with certain woman can play fast and loose to an extent to which no other exceptions not material to this case. If, then, the argument person can. for the defence were sound, persons like the prisoners, who act as they did, would not be liable at all under the Conspiracy Act,
THE REASONING wbich found favour with RIGBY, L.J., in and would only be liable to a fine under the Merchant Shipping delivering his dissentient judgment in Badische Anilin Fabrik v: Act. Why should such persons be so favoured ? It seems plain Bindschedler (45 W. R. 481) has not prevailed in the House of that " seaman" in the former Act must be construed as referring Lords, and foreigners, or Englishmón carryiog on business to those persons so defined in the latter Act. The Merchant abroad, are perfectly free to make use of the Post Office as a Shipping Acts use the word "seaman, not as equivalent to seafaring man, but as a description of a man actually under German company who have an English patent for an orange
means of infringing English patents. The plaintiffs are a engagement to serve in some capacity on board a certain ship. dye. The defendant is a manufacturing chemist at Basle who There can be little doubt that the court were right in affirming makes a dye which is covered by the patent. In June, 1895, the conviction. Any other decision would lead to the absurdity JOHNSON & Co., a London firm, ordered from BINDSCHEDLER A of a large number of persons being practically exempted from parcel of his dye to be sent by post, and the dye was, in the the provisions of a penal statute for no sort of reason.
usual course of BINDSCHEDLER's business, sent to forwarding agents at Basle and by them despatched through the post to
JOHNSON & Co. The plaintiff company took proceedings for THE RULE that a married woman restrained from anticipation infringement of their patent against both JOHNSON & Co. and cannot by her own act andul the restraint, has received a curious BINDSCHEDLER, but the former at once submitted to an illustration in the recent case of Lady Bateman v. Faber (1897, 2) injunction. BINDSCHEDLER appeared to the writ and contested
the company's claim, on the ground that what he had done was confined to Switzerland where the patent was not in
FALSE PRETENCES. force, and that for the delivery of the dyo to Johnson & A MAN without any monoy in his pocket goes into a restaurant, Co. he was not responsible. However hard this view may be orders a good dinner, eats it, and then tells the proprietor hé for English patentees, it has been accepted as correct by the has no money and cannot pay. How is the law to deal with a majority in the Court of Appeal (LINDLEY and A. L. SMitu, person who deliberately and fraudulently acts in this way? L.JJ.) and unanimously by the House of Lords. JOHNSON & Co. Cases of the kind frequently occur in London and other large had themselves named the Post Office as the agents by whom towns, and the magistrates have found this question very hard the dye was to be transmitted, and, according to the settled rule, to answer in a satisfactory manner. It has, however, now been the dye was delivered to the Post Office as the agents for the answered in a considered judgment of the Court for the Conpurchasers. Upon such delivery BINDSCHEDLER's connection sideration of Crown Cases Reserved. Therefore, as far as with the matter ceased and he was not responsible for the practice goes, the matter is settled; but probably ming lawyers passage of the goods into England. Rigby, L.J., in dissenting will disagree with a good deal of the judgment. from this view, regarded the course pursued by BINDSCHEDLER
The case (Reg. v. Jones) was stated by the Recorder of Woras being the same as if the two countries had been contiguous cester, and the facts, as far as a question of law is concerned, and he had himself thrown the parcel of dye across the border, but the analogy doos not correspond to the actual facts. The were as stated above, and precisely the same as in all these cases.
The prisoner was indicted in two counts. The first charged parcel was brought into England by the purchasers' agents, and him with having falsely pretended to the prosecutor that he was the responsibility was on the purchasers and not on the vendor. then able to pay him for certain food, and that he then Even were the law different, it would as a rule he impossible to had and possessed sufficient money to pay for the food, by proceed effectually against foreign manufacturers. BIND
means of which false pretence he obtained the food from the SCHEDLER chose to appear to the writ, but it would seem to have been perfectly competent for him to object to the jurisdiction of the Debtors Act, 1869, which provides that any person shall and to have got the writ set aside. English patentees will have be guilty of a misdemeanour" if, in incurring any debt to devise some other means of getting over the difficulty.
or liability, ho has obtained credit under false pretences or by means of any other fraud.” The recorder told the jury that,
before convicting the prisoner, they must be satisfied that he The Court of Appeal have had no hesitation in affirming intended to represent his then present ability to pay, that he the judgment of BYRNE, J., in Re Peveril Gold Mines (Limited) knew at the time his inability to pay, that the food was supplied The tendency of the courts is to insist upon the observance of to him in consequence of his representation, and that he had the statutory conditions under which companies are formed, and an intention to defraud. The jury convicted the prisoner on amongst these essential conditions must now be reckoned the both counts. right of members of the company to present a petition for Now, it is quite clear in such a case that the prosecutor winding up the company. Under section 82 of the Companies intends to part with the property in his goods. He knows Act, 1862, contributories of the company: a term which that the goods from their nature can never be recovered, includes paid-up shareholders (National Savings Bank Associa- and, by supplying the customer without asking for prepayment, tion, L. R. 1 Ch. 547)—are entitled to present a winding-up he consents to the goods beiug immediately consumed. The petition ; but the articles of association of the Peveril offence, then, cannot possibly be larceny, whether by a trick Gold Mines (Limited) attempted to restrict this right by or otherwise, and the court intimated that this is beyond requiring that a member of the company should not poti- argument. Those London magistrates, therefore, who have tion unlees by consent of two directors, or in pursuance of a been in the habit of treating this offence as larceny, and resolution passed by a majority at a general meeting, or unless dealing with it summarily, will henceforth have to adopt a the petitioner or petitioners held not less than one-fifth of the different course. If the court had come to the conclusion issued capital. The only way of supporting this article was to that there was evidence that the prisoner had been guilty treat it as a contract binding on all the members of the company, of larceny, the conviction on the first count would certainly but any such contract, so far as it flows from the constitution of have been right, for by section 88 of the Larceny Act, 1861, & the company, and is not peculiar to an individual shareholder, is person is not entitled to be acquitted on an indictment for subject to the limitations imposed by the Acts under which the obtaining goods by false pretences if the evidence shews that company is established. The passage quoted by the Master of he was really guilty of larceny. The question, therefore, the Rolls from the judgment of Lord MACNAGHTEN in Welton v. had to be answered whether or not there was evidence to justify Saffery (45 W. R., p. 515; 1897, A. C., p. 324) puts this point the jury in convicting the prisoner of obtaining the goods by very clearly: “Those companies are the creatures of statute, false pretences. and by the statute to which they owe their being they must It was admitted that he spoke no words which could be be bound in regard to shareholders as well as in regard construed into a false pretence, and that he did no act to to creditors in all matters coming within the conditions of the induce the prosecutor to believe anything false, beyond ordering memorandum of association.” In the present case, indeed, tho the food and consuming it. It was argued that to convicta memorandum of association was not in question, but even person of having made a false pretence by conduct, more than this that document cannot interfere with the statutory conditions must be proved, and that it is necessary to show that he actively inherent in the constitution of the company. Technically share- did something to induce the false belief, and did not merely holders may not be entitled to plead that they have not read the passively allow the prosecutor to form the false impression. articles, but in practice they rarely do read them; and it is This view the court took, and came to the conclusion that, under important that such rights as the Legislature has conferred the circumstances, there was no evidence upon which the should not be interfered with.
prisoner could properly be convicted upon the first count. At the same time, however, the court intimated that it was not
intended in any way to throw doubt upon the cases which decide A dinner was given at the Grand Hotel, Charing Cross, on Wednesday that there may be a false pretence by conduct alone, such as evening, by the justices of the peace for the county of Middlesex and Reg. v. Barnard (7 C. & P. 784), where a person at Oxford, not: members of the Middlesex County Council, to Mr. R. M. Littler, C.B , a member of the university, put on a cap and gown, thereby Q.C., the chairman of the Court of Quarter Sessions, and chairman of the Middlesex County Council. Sir F. Dixon-Hartland, M.P., presided.
obtaining goods on credit as if he were an undergradnate, and
it was held he was properly convicted of obtaining the goods by Notification is given of an intended application to Parliament next Session by the Honcurable Society of the Inner Temple for an Act to
a false pretence. modify and amend section 28 of the Thames Embankment Act, 1862, and Upon the second count of the indictment, the court held that to authorize the society to erect and maintain buildings upon so much of clearly there was an obtaining of credit. The prisoner way tremity of the buildings proposed to be erected in extension of King's supplied with goods on the implied agreement that he would Bench-walk and the northeru side of the tunnel of the Metropolitan Dis- pay for them in the future, that is to say, at the end of the trict Railway.
meal, and the shortness of the time for which credit was given
was not material. The court also held that there was ample sufficient to attract the public attention without resorting to the evidence to prove fraud. The ordinary custom is, that machinery of public advertisernent. persons eating at restaurants shall pay for the food soon
It is evident that, now the authorities have obtained the Act, they after they have consumed it, and before they quit the are resolute and determined to put it into force as extensively as they premises. The prisoner knew that the food was supplied to
possibly can. him in the belief that he would follow the ordinary custom, tion, and Parliamentary promises and assurances will be plainly
Solicitors and their clients are not likely to receive much consideraand he also know when he consumed it that he was not in a disregarded whenever their operation is found to be inconvenient. position to pay for it. This was clearly fraud, and therefore The Lord Chancellor may be well content for his name to be the prisoner was properly convicted on the second count. With associated with the passing of the Act. Having accomplished this this argument it is difficult to find any fault, and it is satisfac- object, one cannot help desiring that all feeling of partizanship hostilo tory to find that the court has approved of one method by which to solicitors and their clients, and in support of officialism, should this offence can be punished, as many magistrates have treated now be dropped, and that the judicial fairness which the great body it as if it were merely ground for a civil action for the price of off the profession may expect to receive from the hands of the Lord the food.
Chancellor and the Attorney-General should be resumed, and that
the ardour of interested officials should be restrained within reasonIt is, however, respectfully submitted that the court was able limits. wrong in holding that there was no evidence to support the The compulsory provisions of the Act are either good or bad. first count. It was allowed by the court that a person may There is a considerable difference of opinion on this point, and make a false pretence by conduct alone, without making any probably the opinion materially preponderates in favour of the false statement in words. It was also recognized that it is the latter view, as is abundantly evidenced from the able references to universal custom for persons dining at restaurants to pay imme- this subject at the last annual provincial meeting of the Incorporated diately after the meal, and it was held in effect) that the
Law Society. prisoner's fraud consisted in taking unfair advantage of this succeed; but if it is bad, by all means let this be discovered with as
If the compulsory system is good, by all means let it be tried and custom. Now, a false pretence is a false and fraudulent repre- little delay and with as few harmful results as possible. sentation as to some existing fact, which may be made either by The Yorkshire people have got in them a good deal of backbone, words or by conduct. Nearly every one who dines at a restaurant, and when they combine they generally manage to get their way. I at the time he orders his dinner has money in his pocket suffi- admire them for this. cient to pay for it. Certainly the customer is supplied by the I hope, however, that London solicitors, their London clients, and restaurant keeper only in the belief that he is then possessed of London, owners of property will not be less wanting in backbons, so much money, and is able and willing, when he has eaten his and will take good care that the London County Council, the Coidinner, to pay the ordinary and reasonable charges. Is it not poration of London, and whoever else it may concern, shall have profair, then, to conclude that a person who enters a restaurant could be better than that they should receive, and be asked to read,
perly put before them all the facts relating to the case. Nothing and orders dinner in the usual way, does, by those very acts, some of the papers read at the recent provincial meeting at Sheffield. hold himself out to the proprietor as one in the position of other What, however, is everybody's business generally results in being no persons who act in a similar manner-i.e., he by his conduct one's business. Hence the necessity of some small informal organizarepresents that he has in his pocket at the time enough tion to educate the authorities with whom rests the responsibility of money to pay for what he orders ? If, after having made determining whether, if a man wants to dispose of his freehold or this representation, it turns out that he has not enough perhaps leasehold interest in his property, he must wait the conmoney, and that he knew it, and intended to defraud, venience of some department of the State, and if he wants unsurely he has made a falso representation as to an exist- friend or to meet an imperative need, he can only have to take with
expectedly and hurriedly to borrow money of his bankers to oblige a ing fact and is liable to be convicted of obtaining the food by a him a piece of paper or parchment, which will supply no real false pretence. The court held that there was evidence of information to the banker, and practically prevent the freeholder, fraud. But in what did the fraud consist ? Unless the fact and perhaps also the leaseholder, from turning to immediate benethat he deliberately acted in such a manner as to get the food | ficial account the property which, by a life of diligence and reasonby leading the prosecutor to believe he was possessed of money able thrift he has managed to secure for the benefit of himself and to pay for it constituted the fraud, it is difficult to see in what it the generation in which he lives. did consist. And if so acting was the fraud, the line between
What with the death duties recently imposed upon landed prosuch a fraud and a false pretence is so fino as probably to be perty and what with this proposal to fetter a man in the disposition invisible to the majority of eyes.
of what is his own, one is apt to think that it may be best after all to follow the example of the spendthrift and spend what you possess on present gratifications and leave the State to support you in your
declining years in case of need. CORRESPONDENCE,
Solicitors in London are so devoted to the business of their clients, THE LAND TRANSFER ACT, 1897.
and so busy, that they are apt to become very apathetic with regard
to the legislation affecting the just interests of themselves and their [To the Editor of the Solicitors' Journal.]
clients. But solicitors, as citizens, have nevertheless duties to disSir,- It may be impolitic for solicitors openly to combine together charge, and I do hope that my professional brethren resident in the for the purpose of offering any purely professional opposition to the metropolis will not fail to remind their representatives in the Corporaadoption of this Act. Those professional persons, however, who are tion of London and on the London County Council that it is well personally, and perhaps pecuniarily, interested in its adoption are worth considering whether the metropolis should be the first place to evidently determined, from the course of action which is being be experimented upon for the purposes of the Act, bearing in mind pursued, to bring it into operation as speedily and as extensively as that the experiment once tried will be practically irrevocable so far possible.
as that district is concerned; and that they will accordingly see that I quite recollect the discussion which took place in the expiring the experiment, if it is to be tried, is confined within reasonable hours of the last Parliamentary Session, when, by a mere fluke, this limits-say, to so much of the large county of Middlesex as is situated Act was considered and passed, in the absence of many of the Parlia- within the jurisdiction of the London County Council, or to some mentary representatives of metropolitan constituencies, who had then smaller area, and that all the facts and circumstances are impartially departed for well-earned repose.
placed before the London County Council and the Corporation of It was distinctly understood that the City of London was to be London. excluded, yet it is a fact that the Privy Council, on the motion of the Many solicitors are owners of property and therefore quite as much Lord Chancellor, are appealing direct to the City of London to give affected as the general public. the measure a trial.
The sole opposition of solicitors to this measure has been caused When this is considered, and also the fact that for some time past by their experimental knowledge of the fact that the system of transfer daily advertisements have appeared in the Times newspaper inviting proposed is not to the real interests of the public, while at the same purchasers and mortgagees to search at the Land Registry, as if they time it may be detrimental to the interests of the profession. could not trust their legal advisers to make such searches, whenever Some informal organization may be necessary, and perhaps it necessary, and so to advertise the business of the department, one would not be out of the way for a few solicitors, owners of property cannot help thinking that the Land Registry officials are a body of in the county of London, to meet in Chancery-lane and discuss the gentlemen who require considerable looking after and watching. position, not from a professional point of view, but solely in the It is not usual for public departments of the State to advertise for interests of the public.
W. J. FRASER. business. The merits of the department are generally supposed to be 2, Soho-square, W., Dec. 1.