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Ragged Schools is, that the doing so might make them permanent institutions, and draw down other schools to them, instead of raising the class received by them.
“ It would indeed be right that a Government should guard against such a danger, ’l_lf’l:t really existed. But we believe that such a danger
spwrely imaginarg/. During the twelve years that Ragged Schools have been in operation, we have never heard of a single instance of a National or British School being drawn down to the condition of Ragged School, or of its injury from the proximity of one.
“The Certified Industrial Schools are proposed as a substitute for Ragged Schools. They can never take that position, because a large proportion of the children which attend the latter do not in any way subject themselves to police interference, nor would it be at all desirable that parental responsibility should be withdrawn unless when absolutely necessary for the child’s welfare. But these are placed in even a worse condition than Ragged Schools by the Minute of Dec., 1857. The only additional aid given is £5 per annum for the food of each child sent under Magisterial order; this will barely sufiice for food ; clothing and sleeping accommodation must also be provided with extended industrial training. It cannot be expected that voluntary effort will undertake what ought to be done by the State for children under its sentence.”
Now our pages are not influential, we fear, with the members of the Committee of Council on Education. But many of our readers know the nature and history of juvenile as well as of other crime, and they know, we trow, what it is to contribute to the taxes annually, nay, perennially, perquarterly, and perpetually required for government purposes. They will agree with us, that in aiding such persons as Mary Carpenter to educate the poorest children, and to lift from the deepening slough of ignorance and wickedness the miserable offspring of the unfortunate and degraded, the produce of taxation is better employed than in paying policemen, building jails and “ repressing crime” generally.
We commend the pamphlet we are now noticing to the attention of those of our readers who concern themselves in matters touching the interest of the poor, and the cause of and cure for crimes.
The chief difliculty in effecting good in these aflairs, we have always believed to be the finding of men and women who can and will give themselves to this sort of work. It is the human soul in the few who are active and thorough, by which worthy deeds are wrought. Government, or rich contributors can provide money for any good purpose ; but nought will come of it, unless there be a genuine spirit to direct the scheme and carry out personally the object. Ragged Schools are not got up for amateurs’ amusement or dilletante display. Their character forbids the idea of mock philanthropists having much to do with them ;--they exist through the hearty zeal of honest, brave, and working members of society. Having these, and Government having funds at their disposal for educational purposes, we claim that these schools shall not be cut off from a. share of these funds, of which the narrow and mistaken views of those who oflicially dispense national monies now seem disposed to deprive them.
The Universal Reviewfor J uly.
WE introduced to our readers last quarter this Monthly Review, as promising to supply a possible want they might feel, of a periodical claiming to possess some genuine and thoughtful essays on literary and social topics. We think the promise is being duly performed. Differing as we do from several of the writers in the periodical, we nevertheless welcome an intelligent and not hackneyed treatment of most of the subjects. Perhaps we may except from our praise the article on Modern Divorce, which reproduces a good deal of the pseudomoralists’ twaddle, abundant just now in certain circles, especially those under clerical inspiration. So long as Divorce was afforded under ecclesiastical and parliamentary sanction, and was cruelly, inefiiciently, and partially applied, it was allowed to work in peace ; now it shocks all morality.-—“ Those who have watched, with the eyes of moralists and well-wishers to the society in which they live, the proceedings of the new Divorce Court, must have begun to feel serious alarm at the influence which the fatal facility it affords for dissolving marriages, and for the marriage of participants in guilt, is calculated to exercise.” And then follow the statistics familiar to most of our readers, and which show that what was the privilege of the few is now the right of all who, without the modern Divorce Court, would have been condemned to the worst of all human afiiictions-a faithless and vicious husband or wife, and this for life. Therefore the writer laments and cries aloud for English morality. \Ve do not purpose here to enter upon the discussion; we refer to it chiefly as showing how far a cry will reach when it is apparently moral (though really un-moral), and emanates from quarters where gravity and respectability are supposed to dwell. Here we find a periodical, which commands generally great talent, permitting a temporary abrogation of reason and commonsense to be evinced, that fallacious and commonplace morality may be preached.
“ Illogical Geology ” is a timely and able essay not unwanted, and we commend its perusal to those of our readers who, in the ensuing
vacation, will be practically and theoretically interesting themselves in geological pursuits.
With the résumé of party politics we have nothing to do. It is not denied that it is written in obedience to party feelings.
Crabb’s Precedents on Conveyancing, Common and Commercial Forms.
(Edited by J. T. Christie, Esq.) Fifth Edition, by Leonard Shel
ford, of Middle Temple, Esq. 2 vols. London; Butterworths, 1859.
Ma. C1m1srm’s edition of Mr. Cra.bb's well-known and much-used hook appeared in 1853’. A new one, now edited by Mr. Shelford, is
just published,lout has come to our hands too late for a more extended notice than the present. We will, however, for the behoof of our conveyancing readers state, that in respect of the quantity of matter furnished, the volumes show very considerable, but not unnecessary, increase. Indeed, about one-third more of pages are here added, and the whole work has been carefully revised.
Those who have been in the habit of using Crabb’s work will know that his “ Prefaces " contain practical observations of considerable utility to the professional man. The flow of time carrying with it many changes, and some reforms in the law relating to conveyancing, have imposed the obligation upon Mr. Shelford of carefully revising all, and in many instances has rendered it expedient for him to rewrite not a small portion of some of these prefaces.
Mr. Shelford has also had to exercise, and we doubt not with correct judgment has exercised, his discretion as to where he should reject Forms which he deemed it advisable to omit, and where he should revise them, or introduce new ones to meet the modern exigencies and characteristics of conveyancing. To this important part of his duty—the remodelling and perfecting of the Forms—even with the examination which we have already been able to afibrd this work, we are able to aflirm that the learned editor has been eminently successful, and efliacted valuable improvements.
Further, “ Crabb’s Conveyancing ” originally contained, and succeeding editors, including Mr. Shelford, have preserved many Forms which we do not find in any other collection of precedents. These principally relate to commercial arrangements and dealings, such as are generally, to the dismay of the conveyancer, pressed far more than any other in hot haste by those who seem to think that lawyers should be like post-horses of old, ever ready to do any journey, and undertake the safe carriage of any important freight, at any time, any speed, or any occasion, and then be abused afterwards.
Reserving for future criticism these and other volumes before us, we will only mention the advantages which, both to the critic and to the practical lawyer, accrues from such a convenient and well-devised table of contents and ample indexes, including one to the Prefaces, as we are glad to see in the new “ Crabb’s Conveyancing.”
Mnnmus has in this pamphlet revived a very important subject, and one which must be taken into consideration one day, either when principle has obtained supremacy in the councils of the realm, or when by necessity the discussion of the‘ question becomes inevitable. There is also a third period, perhaps, when the matter may be gone into; viz'., when it is too late. But the alienation of colonies, and the mismanagement of our dependencies, are now known by fatal experience to be subjects of too deep importance, we trust, to prevent the delay being continued to the epoch last referred to.
Mr. Meekins cites ancient constitutional precedent--the opinion of Burke, Franklin, and other great statesmen, in favour of his view, that the British colonies should be represented in parliament. He points to the dangers indicated by Lord Grey in one of his essays, and to the exposition by De Lolme, of the evils of multiplying parliaments. He adverts to the commercial reasons which should weigh much in regarding this subject, as well as to the absolute rights to representation which our colonies possess, in common with the TL st of lkul‘ Majesty’s subjects.
We presume the main obstacle to the views advocated by Mr. Meekins being entertained seriously by the imperial power, is the Colonial Ofiice. We can well believe that this “Department” will find it very annoying to feel the control and interference which the knowledge of colonial subjects by independent members for the colonies, and the opportunity of bringing proper topics before" the House, would necessarily excite. Nevertheless, it would be found very wholesome, we trow, if the influence of the interested parties in the colonies could be brought to bear on the British legislature.
Private Bill Legislation. Can any Thing he now Done to Improve it? By Alexander Pulling, Esq., Barrister-at-Law. London : Longman & Co., 1859.
THE main part of this pamphlet has already appeared as an article in the Edinburgh Review; but it well merits reprinting, especially as the author has now added thereto suggestions for practically remedying the notorious evils connected with the present private bill procedure. “ The evils of our private bill system have been often denounced by law reformers, dealing with the question theoretically ,by members of the legislature, practically conversant with the subject ; and by those who were personally interested in securing an effective and less costly mode of investigating schemes for purely commercial undertakings ; by Bentham in his writings, by Lord Brougham in his speeches, and by indignant directors and disappointed shareholders without number. Hardly any denunciation of the system, however, can be stronger than that of the Committee of Private Bills of 1846 (H. C.),” which reported that the public, being unrepresented in most important proceedings aflecting its interest, a Committee of the House is often dependent for information upon those whose intended representations are least likely to assist any body of‘men in their investigations. Moreover, “provisions of the most objectionable nature, some varying, and interfering with the general statute or common law of the country,” are recklessly introduced into these bills, and evils grave in character, and extensive and uncontrollable, are the rule and not the exception in private bills. Lord Brougham’s proposition, to establish an independent tribunal in substitution for a select committee, and to which every private bill should be referred, was made in the House of Lords in 184 6. Lord Belper submitted to the committee sitting on the subject in 18.58, to appoint a permanent
commission on all railway bills, which should encourage t-he otfice of ad
vising on the bill. But parliament, despite the acknowledged mischief occasioned by the present system, is too jealous to adopt either of the courses thus suggested, and Mr. Pulling now offers a plan of his own, with the object of improving, both in respect of augmenting the accurate investigation of the merits of private bills, and diminishing its cost. He suggests, that a. certain number of Examiners should be appointed, whose ofiice it should be to inquire in the case of each bill, as to the compliance with the standing orders, and into the facts alleged and the evidence to be adduced in each case. The examiner should then make a Report upon the scheme, its advantages, its objectionable features, and how far its proposed provisions affect the general law of the land. This report, Mr. Pulling thinks, would guide the discretion of the legislation in the various stages which the bill would pass through, while it would not interfere with the constitutional privileges of the House, which would still appoint a committee, whose judgment should be aided, but not superseded by the examiner’s report. We are afraid that the jealousy of the privileges of the House being invaded, would not be assuaged by this modification of the propositions of Lord Brougham and Lord Belper. The examiners would either do too much or too little to please the House. If they founded their Report on the entire consideration of the project before them, the committee who received it would themselves have to survey and weigh the evidence in a disputed case, to repeat the processes already gone through, and constitute themselves into a court of error, unless they simply adopted the oflicial statement and counters-igned the judgment therein expressed. This Would probably be held as giving the examiners too great power ; but they would do too little if they merely abstracted the evidence, and performed the unsatisfactory part now played by examiners in Chancery. Whatever design is carried out, care must be taken that two investigations are not made requisite, and doubled expense encountered.
Another suggestion made by Mr. Pulling is, that Parliament should sanction the insertion in private bills of certain general provisions, as in the case of inclosure of waste lauds, the incorporation ofjoint-stock companies, the regulation of railways, dzc. It would doubtless produce much more harmony in our legislation if there were effected a consolidz-.tion of the various sets of clauses requisite in personal and private acts, and usually there found.
During the late session there has been a great abuse on the private bill legislation. Thus, “the Red Sea Telegraph Bill” was introduced last season as a. private bill, and it passed the lower House. This “ private bill” contains among other things a government guarantee of