« PreviousContinue »
far above such needs. It is unfortunate that Mr. Chance should have to point out the extreme carelessness, to put the case mildly, of our Parliamentary drafting. With all the care which Lord Thring has bestowed upon the subject, the class for whom he has written, and whom he has endeavoured to educate, seems to keep on its old blundering ways, citing schedules which have no existence, and playing similar havoc with facts. But when the "tail" of a Bill, "cut off” in 1868, is “stuck on " a Bill of 1879, the result may be more easily imagined than described, and yet it is only one out of many such cases in what is, it might almost seem satirically, called our Legislation.
The Allotments Act and the Agricultural Labourer. Since the publication of Mr. Dodd's useful Manual (The Allotments Act, 1887, and the Allotments Compensation Act, 1887, Explained, with Notes, Forms, and Precedents. By J. THEODORE DODD, M.A., Barrister-at-Law. Horace Cox, 1888), there has been time to see how the well-meant efforts of the Legislature are accepted by the two classes mainly interested, the landowner and the agricultural labourer. There is evidently a division in both camps. Some landowners seem to meet the Legislature half-way, so to speak, while others will have nothing to do with the innovation. On the estates of the latter class of owners, the position of tenants desiring to avail themselves of the Acts will probably not be very comfortable. There
are often practical difficulties in the way of giving up land for allotments in situations relatively convenient to the tenants. And the tenants themselves seem often to have started with the idea that they were, by a stroke of the pen, going to develop into farmers on their own account, without paying any heed to the questions involved as to time and money. Obtaining an allotment is one thing ; finding the
time and the capital to work it is another thing. Sometimes this difference has early dawned on the agricultural mind, and claims which were boldly put in for four or even six acres have been met, to the satisfaction of the claimants, by the actual allotment of half-an-acre or even a quarter
acre. Mr. Dodd seems to think that create
of small farmers by a mere expression of the will of the Legislature. But in practice this is not possible, and if it were possible we are not so sure that it would be desirable. The Legislature cannot find the capital for these small farmers, and without capital they can hardly work their land so as to be a source of additional prosperity to the nation. They would simply end by getting into the hands of the money-lender, and that would mean ultimate insolvency, which we could hardly reckon a source of strength to the State. Moreover, it seems doubtful whether an ordinary agricultural labourer, even if he habitually and successfully worked a three-acre allotment, such as Mr. Dodd desires him always to be able to obtain, could be properly classed as a small farmer. Nor is it certain that every man who might be able to work one acre successfully, would be equally successful with three acres. In many cases one acre would represent the extent of the individual labourer's potentialities in the matter of farming for himself, and his undertaking more would be neither for his own good nor for that of the State, it appears to us.
There is no doubt that the drafting of both the Acts wants amendment. If it was not intended that a tenant holding an allotment was to be prevented from erecting a cow-house upon it, the Act might well have shewn that the erection was permissible. It might have been better not to have attempted so specific an enumeration as to be apparently exclusive, and thus to minimise the possible meanings of “shed" under the Act. If the “pigstye” had not
been expressly named, the "shed” might perhaps have sheltered cow and pig alike. A “cottage" undefined may be in as bad a case as a "shed.”
The draftsman, perhaps, in some cases fell into the trap, through endeavouring to be very precise, and thus leave no room for doubt, while in other cases, such as "cottage,” he may have thought that the definition, like the celebrated sheep, would come home and bring its tail behind it.
Lord Grey's interesting contribution (Ireland: The Causes of its present Condition and the Measures Proposed for its Improvement. By Earl Grey, K.G. John Murray, 1888) to the literature of a question which this Review has devoted some space, both in a previous issue (No. CCLXV., for August, 1887, Art. Niebuhr and the State of Ireland in 1829) and in the current number, where a very recent phase (The Report of the Special Commission) is treated by one well acquainted with the country, is a welcome addition to our shelves as the result of a long and close study of the subject, carried on in both our Houses of Parliament. The career to which the noble author briefly alludes is one which entitles his writings on any political question to the respectful consideration of those who are not above giving attention to the suggestions of a calm and dispassionate student of politics, whose opinions have the weight of years and experience to back them up. There is no use in commending them to mere partisans, for the mere party man on either side will very likely be dissatisfied with them. The party man is required to vote straight, and not to trouble his head about any such considerations as those which Lord Grey would fain have him weigh. He does not care, for instance, two straws whether Lord Melbourne's
Administration committed a mistake, as Lord Grey thought at the time, and still thinks, it did in regard to Ireland.
It is nothing to the mere party man whether a good measure ought to have been proposed by Lord Melbourne,
even in the face of almost certain failure," as Lord Grey thinks. These are subtleties which the party man is expected to brush aside, and only to stick to his Shibboleth of the moment whatever it be, and whether it involve allegiance to a crowned Queen or to an “uncrowned king."
Lord Grey writes not for such as these, but for the thinker, and for the statesman, as a thinker and a states. man himself. He has made Ireland wliat we might well call a life study, throughout his long and active career. He has been familiar with the details of measures proposed in Parliament and with those who proposed them, and his voice should not fall upon unheeding ears.
There has been, and there is, and there may be again, distress in Ireland, but the remedies are in our hands, Lord Grey urges, and it cannot be doubted that much is capable of being done for the country by the development of its industries, many of which offer the prospect of ultimately high remuneration, and must, if given a chance, lead to material prosperity, and hence, it may fairly be · hoped, to peace and content. The development of seafishing, of agricultural industries, the increase of means of communication and transport, such as the Chief Secretary has been studying during his recent tour of inspection—these, and the like, are all in harmony with Lord Grey's views, and one would think that they ought to commend themselves to Statesmen of whatsoever party, and to all who profess either an elementary knowledge of Economics, or any glimmering of Political Science, as distinguished from Party politics, which so often, unfortunately, obscure the true Aristotelian sense of the word Politics. To those who study the Irish question apart
from the heating influences of partisanship, and who can afford to admit that great mistakes have been made by English administrators of the government of Ireland, and who desire to see an end to the existing state of things, under which it would
that Roman Catholic clergy, who may disapprove of the so-called “Plan of Campaign,” are not free to express their opinion without meeting with treatment such as no Government worthy of the name can be conceived of as permitting with impunity, Lord Grey's thoughtful contribution to the Literature of the Irish question may be commended for the grave and weighty reflections which it contains, and the suggestions which it offers for the solution of one of the most difficult of the many difficult problems which have at different times confronted the Statesmen and Legislators of the United Kingdom.
A Treatise on the Law of Execution in the High Court and Inferior Courts. By T. K. ANDERSON, Esq., of the Middle Temple. Butterworths. 1889.
In the Preface to this book, Mr. Anderson gives, as the reason for its appearance, that the Law of Execution, as a whole, has never before been made the subject of a systematic treatise, but the practitioner was compelled to seek for his information from at least three distinct sources, namely, a Treatise on the Office of Sheriff, an authority on Common Law Practice, and one on Chancery Practice.
Mr. Anderson has produced a book which seems well adapted to supply this defect within the moderate compass of 800 pages. He divides his subject into three parts: I. "Execution by means of the Sheriff or other Executive Officer;" II. “ Execution by means of the Court ; ” III. “Execution as regards the nature of the judgment or order, and the status of the person