Page images

had been previous negligence on the part of the bank. In Cliohnomleley v. Clinton (2 Jae. & W. 186) it was laid_down that, upon payment of the mortgage-money, the mortgagee is under an implied trust to surrender the estate to the person entitled t_o demand it, a doctrine which was followed in Pearce v. Morris (5 Ch. 227). Now this the bank had not done. _ The retransfer should have been to A., B., and C., but, without any authority from them, it was made to a stranger. Hence arose the possibility of the subsequent loss, and although this might have been averted by the diligence of the trustees, yet, when it occurred, the court held that the liability fell on the bank_ which first made it possible. There is clearly as much care required in getting rid of a security as in taking one.

Few QUESTIONS probably in recent times have so vexed the minds of trustees of agricultural lands as that of the remission of rents. It is a pity, therefore, that the Scotch Act on this subject which was passed last session was not at the same time made applicable to England. By that it is provided that “ trustees shall have power to make abatement or reduction, either temporary or permanent, of the rent stipulated in any lease of lands let for agricultural or pastoral occupation, or for both purposes, and to accept renunciations of leases of any such subjects.” Of course, this simply confers upon trustees a power which they must in these times exercise in some way or other. If they wish to be perfectly safe, they must doubtless obtain the sanction of the court, thereby further increasing the loss which the estate has to bear. In practice we believe that it is usually considered suflicient to obtain a report from a surveyor in the neighbourhood that the proposed reduction of rent is reasonable and proper, with the idea that this report will be a sufiicient protection to the trustee should his conduct ever be called in question. All the same the trustee is acting at his own risk, and, considering how great already are the liabilities of trustees, it is unfortunate that this particular burden could not have been removed. The Scotch members are understood to have special facilities for passing their own particular Bills in a way not granted to their English and Irish brethren. But when such Bills are of general as well as local importance, it is not unreasonable to wish that the benefit could be extended to the whole country. It will not be too late, however, it a similar Act is passed in some future session, for the third section deals with remissions of rent already made, providing “that no abatement or reduction of rent, or acceptance of renunciation of any such lease, heretofore made by trustees, shall be liable to be challenged, which would have been lawful if made after the passing hereof.” This is an admission that the Act has been passed none too soon for Scotland, and makes the omission with regard to England and Ireland all the more glaring.

[ocr errors]

Wnar IS run MEANING of the latter part of section 6 of the Copyhold Act of last session (50 & 51 Vict. c. 73)‘? The first portion provides that, after the passing of the Act, it shall not be lawful for any lord, without the consent of the Land Commissioners, to grant land not previously of copyhold tenure to any person to hold by copy of court roll. The section then proceeds, “ and whenever any such grant has been lawfully made, the land therein comprised shall cease to be of copyhold tenure, and shall be vested in the grantee thereof to hold for the interest granted as in free and common socage." Does this mean that wherever, before the passing of the Act, such a grant has been “lawfully made” the prescribed result shall follow? That would be a rather startling instance of confiscation, but the words as the

Stand bear that meaning. Or is it possible that “ lawfully ” is a mislr print for “ 11nl_awfully," and that the provision means that wherever, after the a sin f th A

p s g 0 e ct, such a grant shall be unlawfully made, the prescribed result shall follow ‘E’ The latter would seem to be the more probable intention, but how is it to be reconciled with the words of the section ?

[ocr errors][merged small]

addressed not to the court in h' h th '1; '

the husbaiid personally. Accofiiiiilgly, tabhuiatewhhsasgdfiilngiebltbllz treated the point as settled law in Bmmt v. Wood (12 Ch I) 620), and so the matter would now rest but for an unfortuhaté interpolation of Lord Selborne, C., in the argument in Cain]; v, Cahdl (8 App. Gas. 421). This we had better give in full :__

“Hunt v. Hunt is the onl case inwhic ' ‘ '

at the suit of a wife to resti-{in the husbahdlfrhliiliugdrtiyiuhadnbeliild ihlli led the restitution of conjugal rights, the husband having coéenanted not in compel the wife to cohabit with him by any legal proceedings An appeal :gg0::€ gomlthgt decision was fully argued, and everything which House was i w ‘<2; :2 (except Lord Westbury), m an unusually strong

. Bvoura e 0 the appellant, as I myself know, from having argued the case. _ But Lord Westbury persuaded the House to put some question to the judges,_and, meanwhile, the husband died, so that the $2 came to an end. Sir G. J easel seems to have followed that authority

nan! V. Wood.’

What it was that inchned the lords against the decision we are not told, but there stands the casual dictum of Lord Selborne to throw doubt upon the very plain rule laid down by Lord Westbury, andadopted by Su G. Jessel, that when a husband expressly releases his wife from_ the duty of cohabitation he shall not be allowed afterwards to impose it upon her against her will. The balance of authority, however, is clearly m support of Hum! II, Hunt. The whole matter is very clearly put by Mr. Vaizey in

is recent work on Settlements (Yol. IL, p. 1443). He there prrays the authonties. on either side, pomting out finally that ord_Westbury s decision has been twice followed in the Probate Division of the _High Court to which the jurisdiction in matrimonial causes 18' now given-—namely, in Marshall v. Marshall (5 P._D. 19)i_m1 in oz”/t v. om/i (10 P. D. 188). In the latter case it _was said by Bowen, L._J,, that there was nothing in Oahill v. _Oahill to destroy the decision in Besant v. Wood, and that until the House of Lords declared the law to be otherwise, a contract not_to sue for restitution of conjugal rights must be enforced. hAssuming, then, that such a covenant will be enforced against t e_husband, _we must now consider how far it will be enforced a8fl11_1s_t the wife, and also her position with regard to the auxiliary provisions of the deed. The objection founded upon her incapacity to contract was overcome at first by introducing a third party as trustee. With him the husband’s covenant for the wife’s maintenance was_ made, and lie, on the other hand, covenanted with the husband to indemnify him against his wife's debts. So long ago as 1786 it was settled by Stephens v. Olive (2 Bro. C. C. 90) that this latter covenant was a valuable consideration to support the deed '18"-111915 oredlfiors and purchasers. and we have seen how the former was firmly established in Rodney v. Chambers (1802, 2 East. 283). So, too, we have seen that while thecourt rejected the possibility of a contract between husband and wife simply, it was bound to support it when drawn up with the intervention of a trustee. This was the case in legard v. Johnson (1797, 3 Ves. 352) and St. John v. St. John (1305, 11 Yes. 532). It was even thought that the trustee's covenant of indemnity was an essential part of the deed, and so late as 1841 we find Lord Langdale, M.R., considering this point in F"""Pton v. Frampton (4 Beav. 287), and asking whether the °°l1li_Ilwt was merely with the trustee and his covenant the only consideration. This was natural while the deed itself was 5t"188l111g for bare recognition ; it was the auxiliary covenants that fuPl]°1li9d 1'6, if anything did, and these were, therefore, bound to Jllmfy themselves strictly. But after the principle of separation deeds had been fully established the tide turned, and it was thought that a contract in a separation deed might be supported in order to effectuate the intention of the deed even though the contract itself was invalid. So, at least, it was argued in Cahill v. _0}“” (3_App. Cas. 420), where a married woman had released an Interest in real estate without a deed separately acknowledged. Th", however, was not allowed; the validity of each part of the flood must be separately inquired into and established, and hence it 18 necessary to ascertain exactly the extent to which the wifo’s °11pu_city to contract has been admitted. For this purpose we will °°l1B1der first how far the wife is bound by her agreement to live fl_part from _her husband, or in other words not to sue for a restitution of conjugal 1-ig11(;5_ 4 -ghe question was considered in Vansittm-t v. Vansittart (1858, V C8J 62)» Where judgment was given by Sir W. Page Wood, h- - To the general rule that there can be no contract between usband and wife he remarked that there was an exception with


regard to the wife's separate estate, and that that exception extended to any circumstances where she was to be regarded as a /lame sole. Now, when she is suing for a divorce, and is thus at arm s length with her husband, she must, for the purpose of the settlement of the suit, be regarded as a fézmo sole; nor can there he any necessity for the intervention of a trustee, as it would not be in accordance with public policy to make a wife procure a third person to contract for her with her husband. The same argument was adopted by Sir G. Jessel in Besant v. Wood (suprd). Where 8- married woman is allowed to sue. as in divorce or for restitution of conjugal rights, she must be allowed to compromise the suit; and if she can compromise the suit after it has commenced she can also compromise it before it begins—that is, she can contract not to sue at all. More briefly, he said :—

“ It seems to me to follow as a neces coroll the ri ht to sue by herself that she must have the riglituzo contraalcllz tiiot to she, and I should think there would be no difflculty at all about it ” (page 622).

Accordingly there seems to be little doubt that if the covenant not to sue can be enforced at all it can be enforced against the wife as well as against the husband. Moreover, the covenant may bind the wife although not made expressly with her. Thus in Olark v. Clark (supra) it was made between the husband and the trustee. But the wife was a party to the deed in which the agreement was recited, and she had for some time taken the benefit of it. Hence it was held to bind her.

We have seen that the covenant not to sue was formerly enforced by injunction, but since theludicature Act (1873, s. 24 (5)) prohibited injunctions to restrain pending actions this has been impossible, and by Jllars-hall v. Marshall (5 P. D. 19) the more convenient practice has been introduced of pleading the deed itself as a defence in the original action.

[ocr errors][merged small]

50 & 51 Vicr. c. 48.—AN Aer ro FACILITATE THE PROVISION OF Annoriinxrs FOR run Liusoinurvo Cnassas.

The present Act is one of the most important of the late session. Prior Allotment Acts, from 59 Geo. 3, c. 12 to the Extension Act of 1882, authorized the letting in allotments of what was, in some sense, public land already; the essential feature of the present Act is that it authorizes public authorities to acquire new land for that purpose ; and this new land may be acquired to any amount, and, in certaiii circumstances, by compulsory purchase. The only restrictions are the discretion of the local authorities and the obligation that the acquisition of the land may be expected, from the rent which is likely to be obtained, to be remunerative.

The machinery for putting the Act into force is as follows :—By section 2 any six Parliamentary electors or ratepayers oi‘ an urban or rural district may represent to the authority of their district (which authority is in urban districts the town council or local board, and in rural districts the guardians of the union) “ that the circumstances of the district are such that it is the duty ” of such authority “ to take proceedings under the Act.” Thereupon, such authority “ shall take the representation into consideration,” which words, we need hardly point out, impose a duty enforceable by mandamus. If

h th 't “are of 0 inion " “ that there is a demand for allotments

suc an ori y p _ _ for the labouring population " in the district, and that such allotments cannot be obtained “at a reasonable rent and on reasonable condi

th wners and the

tions " by voluntary arrangement between e 0 applicants, they shall "B purchase or hire acquire any suitable land which may be available. whether within or without their district, adequate to provide a suflicicut h land in allotments to perscns belonging

[ocr errors]

' in that we do not think this duty will be

We may observe in pass g _ _ " _ enforceable by mandamus, the words f‘ are of opinion benig of _too discretion-conferring a character, for it would be next to_ impossible

' ' " d i d at, and

for a court to say that an opimon had been malu _/i e arr ve a court would probably decline to_c_orisider such a question. _ The restriction upon the acquisition of land by agreement is as

[ocr errors]

Sanguine authorities will, of course, not be debarred by this

[ocr errors]

restriction, but prudent authorities will, no doubt, be long before forming the “ opinion " which is necessary to remove it.

S0 much for purchase or hire by agreement. As to compulsory purchase, the Legislature has been very cautious. The Lands Clauses Act is incorporated, but its compulsory powers cannot be put in force without the interposition of the “county authority," which, by section 16, is defined as “ any representative body elected by the inhabitants of the county which may be established . . . and until such representative body is established " its powers and duties under the Act are, by the same section, to be exercised and performed by the Local Government Board. In case the compulsory powers should be required, that board may, on petition by the local authority, institute an inquiry and make a provisional order for the purpose, which order is to be confirmed by a Bill which they arc to be bound to introduce. The price to be paid is to be fixed by arbitration only, and, in favour of the owners, it is provided that neither parksnor gardens may be taken, and that the taking of an undue quantity of land from any one owner is, as far as practicable, to be avoided.

The allotments are to be managed under regulations to be made by the sanitary authority under tho supervision of the Local Government Board, and the rents (section 7) " shall be fixed at an amount not less than such as may reasonably be expected to ensure the sanitary authority from loss.” It is expressly provided (section 7, subsection 3) that “ one person shall not hold any allotment or allotments exceeding one acre, and an allotment shall not be sub-let," but it is very sensibly added that if an allotment cannot be let in accordance with the provisions of the Act [i.e., to a resident labourer], it may be let “_to any person whatever at the best annual rent that may be obtained for the same.” The erection of buildings “other than a toolhouse, shed, greenhouse, fowlhouse, or pigstye" is prohibited, and the removal of fruit trees for which no compensation is payable is allowed. The recovery of rent or possession is provided for by allowing (not en]oiniiig) the sanitary authority to determine the tenancy on breach of the regulations or on non-payment of rent for not less than forty days.

A very important section _of the Act (section 10. sub-section 4) confers upon the local authorities power to borrow money for the purposes of the Act, and incorporates for this purpose sections 233, 234, and 236 to 239 of_ the Public Health Act, 1875, and the same section (sub-section 6) directs separate accounts to be kept of the receipts and expenditure under the Act.

The only other provisions which it is necessary to call attention to on tl18,?l‘Q56Rli occasion are those of section 13, by which “ allotment; wardens or allotment trustees” acting under existing statutes may transfer their powers to authorities under the new Act, and we have no doubt that the wardens and trustees in question will in many cases hasten to avail themselves of these provisions.

[ocr errors][graphic][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

any amendment was formlzllay put and agreed to, the whole Bill was first gone through infor ly and all the intended amendments considered. It was thus possible for the draftsman to give these their proper form and position in the Bill before they were put as actual amendments. It is clear, then, that we have here an excellent example of a digest in which Parliament gave every facility to the draftsman’s work. Upon the original ability of that everything depended, and of that ability there is no question. One proof of this is found in the fact that, although the Act has been in operation for nearly five years, yet there has been hardly any litigation upon it. Judge Chalmers says, with pardonable pride, that the Law Reporls contain only one direct decision upon it—namely, Re G|'llespie(1B Q. B. D- 286) (misprinted 246, at p. xxxix.), and, upon referring to that, it will be found that a case not provided for by section 57 was held to be covered by the general words of section 97.

In the book itself everything is done to esplain the law. In the first place the provisions of the Act are w arranged, clear, and minute. As examples of this we may refer to the regulations of sections 41 and 45 respecting presentment for acceptance and presentment for payment. In the next place these are followed by concise illustrations which give us the actual circumstances upon which the law has been based, and where it is clear that there was no intention on the part of the Legislature to alter the previous law, it is probable that these will be allowed their due weight in interpreting it. After these we have explanatory notes, and the author, recognizing the international character of the branch of the law with which he is dealing, has referred continually to the German Exchange Law and to the French Code, noting their points of similarity and divergence in respect to each other and to English law. The usefulness of the book is further increased by the fact that, in certain matters which could not be included in the Act, the author has, nevertheless, supplied a series of rules framed with equal care and in the same manner explained by illustrations and notes. Examples of this will be found in the rules as to Impeachment of Value (p. 85), Rights of Action and Proof (p. 111), and Transmission by Act of Law (p. 114). The various other matters included in the book will be found equally satisfactory. Altogether, as a statement and explanation of the law, it will he found singularly useful.


Barons Trust: WHAT Snouno iin Donn BY A CLIENT, Soniciroiz, AND COUNSEL, FROM A Biiiiiiisriufs Pomr or VIEW. By RICHARD IIARRIS, Barrister-at-Law. Waterlow Brother!-1 51 Layton.

Mr. Harris is already well known by his “Hints on Advocacy." his “ Illustrations in Advocacy,” and other works. In these 118 1155 established a reputation for a peculiar manner of treating legal subjects. His special department is the practical side of a lawyers business, and upon this he offers to his readers a considerable amount of shrewdness and common sense, presented in a style which would be more truly humorous and popular did it not aim too obviously and continually at these qualities. Still, they are, in general. 5° wanting in the books which form a lawyer-’s daily intellectual _i00<l, that it may not be wise to quarrel with an author because he trlei 19° furnish us with something more entertaining. The present_w0rl'1 purports to deal with “ What should be done by client, 8Oll0lI01:r and counsel, from a barrist/er’s point of ,view," and. d°'1bl'1°55v ff each of the three followed the advice here given, the case would be a bad one indeed which their united efl’orts would not win. In gellem-11 it may be said the client isto go at once to a solicitor and be straightforward with him ; the solicitor is to be moderate in l1l8bCl.Blm:_lfi: fear of pre'udicin the ' b exa eration, to e 68'1° in interlocultory pgoceedinlglhryfor yfear I)? shewing his hand t° his opponent and enabling him to prepare his defence: mid to be careful in choosing his counsel for fear of paying B bl? fee, and being left, in the end, without an advocate; while as t0 counsel, he is to look on every case as a work of art, to_discovertl16 proper arrangement and proportion of its parts by patient labour, and to prepare to meet every difficult or weak point. At the beginning of the book it is shewn that mere honesty will not W111 the day unless it fights the knavery opposed to it with legal 1_>Mt_B11d ingenuity; but to state that your opponent's knavery is 11} d{1'°°t proportion to his piety introduces a kind of wit neither very dignified nor very original. The same remark will apply to B 50° deal besides, but, as we have already said, we must be thankful for Whit is really racy and entertaining, and submit to what is bad. All the various stages of the cause up to trial are carefully examined; particiilars, pleadings, evidence, interrogatories, discovery, and inspection, Pm‘ paring the brief, choosing counsel, and many other matters, and "P°" each a quantity of advice is given which abundantly testifies {he author's experience and common sense. In particular we may I\°l»1°° the examples he gives of injudicious interrogatories, by which the


adversary learns what points you wish to examine him 011, 51-Id 8°“


them up accordingly; and his advice never to ask for discovery and inspection of documents until your adversary has already, by his pleadings or affidavits, tied himself to a certain version of the matter in dispute. In the chapter on the choice of counsel. Mr. Harris urges the wisdom of employing someone from the briefless multitude in preference to running after a popular man whose business precludes the possibility of his doing the case properly. “That avails all the skill and ingenuity which have been shewn in its preparation if it falls at last into the hands of a pilot who has no knowledge of the dangers it will encounter? As he truly remarks, the qualities necessary for the successful conduct of a case are a clear mind, careful attention, and common sense, and these are as likely to be found in the back rows as among the favoured few in front, with the advantage that when found they are sure to be available at the right moment. In the interest of clients we hope that the rest cf the advice which Mr. Harris so plentifully gives will be followed more faithfully than this particular piece is likely to be.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

the various cases that have been decided on the subject of registration of voters. The utility of this work to revising barristers, registration agents, and others engaged in the work of registration is already well established, and can hardly be over-estimated. It is, of course, impossible to carry round, when engaged in the work of revision, the volumes of the law reports in which registration cases are contained, and, although the various text-hooks, no doubt, contain references to all the cases, those references are necessarily extremely brief, and in many cases it is hardly ossible to gather from them exactly what was the point decided. Saint’s book gives, in a condensed form, the facts and point decided in each case on the subject. The cases are arranged under various appropriate headings so as to facilitate reference to them, and the index appears to be a reasonably full one. The mode in which the cases are digested seems to us to be very accurate and satisfactory, so far as we have had an opportunity of examining the work.

CORRESPONDENCE. TI-IE LAND TRANSFER BILL. | To the Editor of the Solr'citors’ Journal.]

Sir,—If, as you suggest in your last number, the Land Transfer Bill of last session is to be re-introduced next ear, I hope the principal efforts of the profession will be directedy to secure the withdrawal of those clauses which aim at making the registration of all instruments affecting land compulsory. I am quite aware of the importance the Lord Chancellor and most of the supporters of the measure attach to those clauses; I know that it may seem almost a hopeless task to obtain their abandonment, and yet it does seem to me to be of such vital importance, not so much to our profession as to those classes whose interests it is our duty to protect, that these clauses should be got rid of, that I hope those who specially represent us will persevere in the efforts that were made when the Bill was last before Parliament to get it amended in this particular.

I am quite free to confess that I do not believe any such measure _will reduce the gains of the profession. On the contrary, my own idea is that Lord Halsbnry’s Bill becoming law would lead to busi11955» litigious and other, that would be far from unprofitable. But, after all, it is not our more pecuniary interests that should influence 1l8—we have to consider the consequences to our clients, and it is because I feel convinced that an Act which seeks to compel the registration of eve instrument dealing with land will lead to immense 00I1fu_sion anldy difliculty, and hamper and often prevent sale_s, eslleclally of small properties, that I ask you to allow nie to explain my reasons for attaching so much importance to the elimmation of the compulsory clauses.

That a well-considered scheme for the registration of title in some shape might succeed I have little doubt. There are many properties Whose owners might conveniently be entered on a register and proY1!1_0n made that all dealings with properties once so registered not noticed on the register should be postponed to such as were regis“Ted. but then the success or failure of such a registry must very mild} depend upon the way it is managed.

This, then, brings me to what I look on as the first objection to Winpulsion. If a registry be established open to all the world, but 9118i-‘ing contemporaneously with the present methods of conveyancms. the ofiicials would have an incentive to make their practice as


simple and inexpensive as possible ; red tape would be eschewed, and landowners tempted by a procedure insuring convenience and speed to make use of the registry. If the registrars were paid by fees, they would be still more anxious to make the system popular ; but in any event it would probably be worked on entirely different lines from those which would be adopted under a system of compulsory registration. If the registry has a monopoly, we shall have technical and troublesome rules, heavy fees, and most serious delays.

But if the compulsory clauses are retained, do the authors of the Bill suppose no method will be found to evade them? One might suppose that the Lord Chancellor had forgotten the result of the struggles in times past between the Legislature and the lawyers, and that it had escaped him that Acts passed to hamper the landowners have not unfrequently been defeated by the in enuity of conveyancers. To one such measure I may perhaps calf attention-—the 27 Hen. 8, c. 16, providing for the inrclinent of every bargain and sale of frceholds ; and to the method by which Mr. Serjeant Moore and the great draftsmen who followed him succeeded in evading that statute by the familiar lease and release. Are the oonveyancers of the present day less astute than their predecessors ?

That occasions will arise when it will be desired to evade the Act who can doubt? To say nothin of the desire to insure the privacy, in many cases, of dealings with hand, will large landowners, when about to sell small outlying plots, be willing to register their titles in order to do so? If clause 2 of the Bill of last session becomes law, I suspect such sales will be allowed to rest upon contracts accompanied by possession and undertakings to permit the purchaser to take proceedings for trespass, ejectment, and the like in the name. of the vendor. Let any such practice once become common, and conceive the confusion, dificulty, and litigation that must ensue, if, as I believe will be the case, owners of land offer a passive resistance to the Act, and insist on their advisers finding means to evade rt, f_oi- in many cases there will, I am satisfied, be avery great dislike to register.

Then, again, suppose the land duly registered and fully sub]ected to the operation of the Act, will all t e difficulties be at an end ? _A whole volume would be requisite to discussall the troubles that registration may give rise to; but I may perhaps name one. In the country, more especially in districts where there are many small properties, loans on security of land are very frequent. I do not. refer here to formal mortgages, but to loans for short pcnods on equitable charges. Such loans are very commonly made on a deposit of deeds, with no other evidence of indebtedness than a promissory note, and such transactions are very generally carried out without the intervention of a solicitor. The Qfllllltlg bankers constantly make advances, as they term it, “ on deeds," an when the loan is repaid the deeds are handed to the lender, and there the matter ends. Under the proposed Act, in all such cases there must be a charge reg1ste1'8d. and in addition to the expense thus occasioned there will be the cost o_f clearing the register when the debt rs discharged. In practice this will, I suspect, be frequently neglected. That it is neglected in some countries where registration prevails I can say from my own experience, and I can speak, too, to the trouble, delay, and expense thus occasioned. _ _ _

In the face of obgections such as_those I have mentioned, is it too much to hope that y united and vigorous efforts we may succeed 111 modifying the compulsory clauses? I am quite aware that I have advanced only a few o_f the many arguments that_might be used, and that what I have written has been said, and with more force and effect, before.

But if we are to succeed we must not relax our efi:01't5, and Qld arguments must be repeated and fallacies corrected again and agarlp. Does anyone seriously imagine that if a scheme for simplifying t_6 transfer of land can be suggested, and an Act passed embodyfiigt 111% whether by means of a system of registration or not, a f 6 solicitors in England would be able to prevent langowne?rs Hl'0l11 adopting it, or does anyone suppose they would try tp gi 80 f 139 we not am la evidence of the causes which led tot e 81186 0 6

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[graphic][merged small]

reduction of cost on transfer owing to repeated investigations of title. I have also observed that it seems necessary to provide an insurance fund to make good losses arising from the remedy proposed not being a suflicient protection to transferees.

It may already have occurred to some of your correspondents that, by giving a purchaser, under the present system, the benefit of an insurance fund, he would be willing to dispense with an investiga

" tion of the vendor’s title and thus be independent of any land transfer scheme. Perhaps some of your readers who have given the question consideration will say whether the above idea is capable of being practically worked out. If it is, the cost of transfer need not be greater than under a land transfer scheme, and transfers could be made in less time and without any fear of secrets being disclo:sBed.

THE MIDDLESEX REGISTRY. [To the Editor of the Solicitors’ Joi4rnal.]

Sir,—I do not desire to enter into any further contest with the Middlesex Registry pending the return to the existin mandamus at my instance; but, having regard to the discussion at Sic July meeting of the Law Society. on the complaint of the solicitor to the Metropolitan Board of Works, re the registration of their deeds, and to the fact that circumstances have placed me in a position to ratify such complaint, I should be glad to get the views of my professional friends.

By section 6 of the Statute of Anne the registrar is required, inter alia, to keep an “alphabetical calendar of all parishes within the county with reference to the number of every memorial concerning the hereditaments in every such parish.” I have just completed _a trifling personal purchase from a Middlesex Land Co. possessing alarge number of plots in various parts of the county, and a regular batch of conveyances are about to be registered on sales effected by such company. Now, of course, if the company sells, say, a hundred lots in the North, and another hundred in the South, it would appreciably save time, in making searches, if north and south parishes were kept distinct as required by the Act. We all know too well that such distinct registers are not kept at Great James-street, and the excuse given there (by way of “ confession and avoidance” as the late Mr. Chitty would have said) is that many years ago, at the “ generally expressed wish of the profession," the double register of name and parish was amalgamated! If the Legislature in Queen Anne’s time considered it desirable that the two registers should be kept separate, it is much more needed now when it is no uncommon thing for a Middlesex Land Society to sell a hundred lots at one auction. If the Middlesex Registry is to be continued at all, this question, together with the neglected public index and attractive private one, must be seriously considered at the first Bllltfble Opportunity; FRANCIS K. MUNTON.

90a, Queen Victoria-street, Oct. 3.

FIRES IN THEATRES. [To the Editor of the Solicitors’ Journ/iZ.]

_ Si!‘i—-W_e shall never have effective precautions against these disasters, i_n spite of legislation, until managers are made to feel, by a v_erd_ict with _heavy damages, that they are under just the same liability as railway companies who invite the public to enter carriages in _which,_or on the road over which they are to travel, some defect exists which ought to have been provided against.

_ have no doubt managers o_f theatres may be made liable, both civilly and criminally, who mvite the public to enter while they are not duly and properly protected from all reasonable risk from fire.

0°t' 5- Ci.ii1>niii.L’s A01.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]



[merged small][ocr errors]

In the case of the Jllunioipal Corporations Act, 1882, and the Ekotion uf Revising Assessors for the Borough of Higham Frrrers, before Charles, J ., on the 30th ult., the question arose whether the election of revising assessors was a municipal election. This was a motion er parts on behalf of a ratepayer and bugess of the newly-created borough of Higham Ferrei-s, in the county of orthampton, asking the court to grant a prerogative writ of mamiamus directing the corporation to proceed to the election of revising assessors. Sub-section 2 of section 62 of the Municipal Corporations Act_ 1882, provides that the election shall take place on the lst of March. Notice of the election was duly posted, but, by some oversight, no proper nomination papers were handed in, so that, when the time came to revise the lists, it was found that there were no revising assessors. The list must be revised in the first fifteen days of October, and there must be six days’ notice of the election. Sub-section 2 of section '70 of the Act provides that, if a municipal election is not held on the appointed day, or within the appointed time, or on the next day after that day, or the expiration of that time, or becomes void, the municipal corporation shall not thereby be dissolved orbe disabled from electing, but the High Court may, on motion, grant a imuidarnus for the election to be held on a day appointed by the court. The application was made to Charles, J ., as exercising his jurisdiction as a judge of the Queen's Bench Division, to grant a mandamus. The application was made with the consent of the corporation. Reference was made to the case of The Borough of 0tl1'd\_qd7l under the Municipal Corporations Act, 1835 (reported in the Tomes of the 25th of March, 1879). The reason why they had waited so long was that it did not occur to anyone that no revisin assessors had been appointed. until the time came to revise the lists. ’.[$he corporation was a new one, the limits of which were not included within a Parliamentary borough. Charles, J ., doubted whether a municipal election included the election of revising assessors. illizrtm, Q.C., as amiaus curios, said that, under the interpretation clauses of the Act of 1882, section 7, sub-section l, corporate ofilce meant the ofllce of mayor, alderman, councillor, elective auditor, or revising assessor, and a municipal election meant an election to a corporate ofllce.

Guannas, J ., granted a mandamus directing the corporation to hold the election on Wednesday, the 12th of Octobcr.—OoimsiiL, H. Tm'¢llSoucxroas, Kingqford, Darmim, 4~ Co.

[ocr errors]

In the case of Thompson v. The Mayor and Corporation of S/raI_ford-uponAvon, before Charles, J., on the 30th ult., the question was as to restraining ii corporation from committing a nuisance by the use of certain land as a sewage farm. This was a motion on behalf of Mr. William Thompson. an architect, of Evesham-road, Stratford-on-Avon, to restrain the defendants, their scrvants and workmen, from using or permitting to be iisod ll certain piece of land, their property, situate within the borough of Stratford-upon-Avon, and upon the south-west side of the East and Went Junction Railway, and in the neighbouihood of certain land and ii messuage and hereditaments of the plaintiff, situate at the corner 0! Evesham-road and Sanctus-street, within the said borough, as 8- I°Wl8° farm, or otherwise so as to cause or be a nuisance to the plaintiff and the occupiers of his said messuage, or his workmen or servants, 81141 fi‘°m causing or permitting noxious, offensive, or deleterious smells and "1P°‘“" to escape or emanate from the said sewage farm or any path $116160‘, 5° 5‘ to be or constitute a nuisance to the plaintiff, or such occupiers or _wprkmen or servants as aforesaid, or to cause damage, annoyance, or 1111111’! to the plaintiff or his property. The defendants were sued as the urban sanitary authority of Stratford-upon-Avon. For the plaintiffs it was field that the Public Health Act, 1875 (38 Sc 39 Vict. c. 55). B. 2dld PM permit the corporation to commit a nuisance. Under the Rivers P01l'1t1°n Act, 1876 (39 & 40 Vict. c. 75), s. 3, the corporation, if they shewed thflt they were using the best practical means to render the sewage mime! harmless, could get leave from the Local Government Board to carry the sewage into the river. The plaiiitifi had made out a case ; the defendants had only said that they had mitigated a nuisance. The illch'01’°1'”‘" Asylum District v. Hill (6 App. Oas. 193) was cited. , .

CHARLES, J ., said that he was not satisfied in this case that the plflllmfi was entitled to an interlocutory injunction; having regard to the balance of convenience, he made no order, except that the costs be costs in thfl action.—Counssi., Jlarten, Q.C., and Brinton; Latham, Q,.C., and Baker, SOLICITORS, Roulh, Stacey, 4- Castle, for Ham-y Thompson 4- Son, Grantham , Sharpe, Pnrksrs, Pritcliard, Q Co.

[ocr errors]

In the case of Tuuntan v. Fella, before Charles, J ., on the 30th ult., ll“ question arose as to the practice of the court with regard to tllfl d65°"P‘ tion of stock, the transfer of which it was sought to restrain. It wlw I1 motion on behalf of Charles E. Taunton and Thomas C. Mitchell, the trustees under the sequestration of P. F. Payne, to restrain the defendant, Peter Falls, the administrator of the estate of Thomas Orange, Bud the Bank of England from dealing with certain stocks and funds. Oil the 23rd of September last Charles, J., granted an interim injunction OW! the 28th of September restraining the bank from the transfer of B11! stocks or funds standing in the name of Thomas Orange, of St. LsWI@B‘>°

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »