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LAW UNION FIRE AND LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY.
ESTABLISHED IN THE YEAR 18 5 4.
The Funds in hand and Capital subscribed amount to upwards of £1,600,000 sterling.
By express provision in the Company's Deed of Settlement, and by the Conditions of the Policies of the Company, the * Capital and Funds of each Department are kept distinct, and under no circumstances can the Capital or Funds of ode Depart. ment be applied to the payment of Losses or Expenses incurred in the other Department.
CHAIRMAN-JAMES CUDDON, Esq., Barrister-at-Law, Goldsmith Building, Temple.
Extract from the Report of the Directors for the year ended 30th November, 1880. In the Fire Department the number of Insurances effected during the year was 7,251, for an aggregate amount of $6,104,981, and yielding £8,242 78. 73. in new Premiums, and in the Life Department during the same period 364 Proposals were received for insuring £358,721, of which 266 were completed, insuring £260,696, and yielding new Premiums to the amount of $10,383 149. 5d. (£3,644 9s. 3d, thereof being single Premiums).
Twelve Annuities and one Survivorship Annuity were granted, the purchase-money for which amounted to $11,372 5s. Od.
The total Dumber of Life Policies in force at the close of the year was 3,208, insuring the sum of £2,692,487, including * Bonus additions.
The Gross Income of the Company for the year (exclusive of the sums received for Annuities), amounted to £152,351 33. 101., which, added to the sum received for granting Annuities, makes a total receipt of £163,753 8s. 10d.
The average rate of Interest obtained on the total Assets of the Company was £4 8s. Od. per cent.
Every description of Fire and Life Insurance Business transacted.
This description of Policy is simply an undertaking to pay the sum 288ured on the happening of the event on which it is payable, without any condition whatever, except the payment of the Annual Premium,
To Mortgagees the advantages of such a Policy cannot be over-estimated.
Policies of Insurance granted against the contingency of Issue at moderate rates of Premium.
Prospectuses, Forms of Proposal, Reports of the Company's progress, and every information will be forwarded postage free on application to the Secretary, at the Head Office, or to any of the Agents of the Company.
FRANK MCGEDY, Actuary and Secretary.
DRITISH EQUITABLE ASSURANCE COM.
PANY, 4, Queen-street-place, London, E.C.
TWENTY-FIFTH ANNUAL REPORT-MAY, 1880. 2.025 Policies issued for .............................. £103,652 New annual premiums ...
12,155 24,525 Policies in force for ..... Annual premium income Death claims, includirg matured claims and bonuses 56, 477 Laid by in the year .........
61,237 Average Reversionary Bonus, one and a quarter per cent. per annum.
Mutual Assurance without Mutual Liability.
TELEPHONE COMMUNICATION.-The T UNITED TELEPHONE COMPANY (Limited), has entered into an arrangement with the Postmaster-General under which the Company will supply TELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION through. out the METROPOLIS, upon what is known as the EXCHANGE SYSTEM, under a special licence from the Postmaster-General.
The instruments used by this Company are those now in general use in all the Exchanges in America; they are also used by upwards of one thousand firms in Liverpool and Manchester, and in most of the important towns in the United Kingdom, and have given the greatest satisfaction, not only from the distinct manner in which the words of the speaker are heard, but also the ease with which his voice can be recognized.
It may be mentioned as an instance of one of the many ways in which the Telephone may be utilised to save time, labour, and expense, that the Times avails itself of this Company's system to transmit verbally by the Telephone the speeches of the Members from the House of Commons to Printing House Square.
The Postmaster-General having entered into an arrangement with the above Company, the latter are now prepared to establish Ex. changes in all the principal suburbs, so as to afford, not only communication between local subscribers, but also, by connection with their City and West End Exchanges, with subscribers to every other Exchange.
The following districts are to be included in the above arrangement Balham
New Cross Bermondsey
South Kensington Chelsea
Kentish Town St. John's Wood
King's Cross Stratford By this means Merchants, Brokers, and private Individuals residing in any of the above districts can instantaneously communicate with all parts of the Metropolis, and also with any of the subscribers to the Exchange System,
The Company are prepared to run PRIVATE LINES if desired.
36, COLEMAN STREET, E.C.
MELBOURNE, VICTORIA. THE TRUSTEES, EXECUTORS, and AGENCY
T COMPANY (Limited). Incorporated and empowered by special Act of the Parliament of Victoria, No. 614, intituled " An Act to confer Powers upon the Trustees, Executors, and Agency Company (Limited)."
DIRECTORS. The Hon. SIR CHARLES SLADEN, K.C.M.G., Chairman. D. MCARTHUR, Esq., late Inspector Bank of Australasia, Vice
Chairman. John Benn, Esq. (Grice, Sumner, and Company). The Hon James Balfour (E. Henty and Company). F. R. Godfrey, Esq. W. Templeton, Esq., Managing Director. Subscribed capital liability, £150,000, with power to increase up to
£1,000,000. Bankers-Bank of Australasia, Melbourne, and its Branches. This Company is empowered in its corporate capacity to act as trustee, executor, or administrator, receiver, committee under the Lunacy Statute, or as agent for trustees, executors, or administrators, or for principals, who, from absence, ill-health, or other causes, are unable or unwilling to act for themselves, and in this capacity will receive and pay over, as directed, legacies, annuities, dividends, rente, interest on debentures or mortgages, and will buy, sell, or let landed property, &c.
The Company will also invest money, negotiate loans, buy or sell shares, effect insurances, and act generally as agent, as well in Melbourne as in country districts.
The Company derives its profits entirely from commission business, & very important element in estimating its security.
Any further information can be obtained at the office of the Company's agents in England, Messrs. Sladen & Mackenzie, 1, Delahay. s reet, Westminster, Solicitors.
lordship has not yet announced his intention of comLONDON, APRIL 23, 1881.
plying with the request. It is stated that Mr. Justice Fry has intimated that he will follow the practice of
Vice-Chancellor MALINS in this respect, and will adopt
the hour of 10.30.
THE CHANCERY CAUSE LIST, which will be published in TAB OMICIAL RECEIVER UNDER 111 BANKRUPTCY BILL ....
a day or two, will contain 156 appeals, of which 58 RAILWAY RATES AND FARBS ..................................
belong to the Westminster Division. There were, at this NEW ORDERS .........................
time last year, 236 appeals waiting for hearing, of which REVIEWS ......................................
101 were set down for the Westminster Division. It CORRESPONDENCE ....................... CASES OF LAST WEEK
will, therefore, be seen that there has been a large dimi. In re Green ............................
nution in the number of appeals. In the number of
47 In re Goodman's Trusts ............
cases for hearing before the judges of first instance in Bywater v. Clarke ....... .........
the Chancery Division there is also some diminution. Money v. Money.............
Last year there were in all 494 causes for hearing at the In re Manning, Pendrey v. King ............
commencement of the Easter Sittings; this year there C.SIS BEFORE THE BANKRUPTCY REGISTRARS:
are only 428. For the ensuing sittings the Master of Re Boulden, the younger ...............................
the Rolls has 80 witness causes, and 58 non-witness » TIB BAXIRUPTCY BILL....................................
causes ; Vice-Chancellor BAСon has a total of 60 causes; SOCIETIES.............................................
Vice-Chancellor HALL a total of 76 causes ; Mr. Justice OBITUARY............................................... LEGAL APPOINTMENTS .....................
FRY (in succession to Vice-Chancellor. MALINS) has 121. . COWANIBS .................
causes ; and Mr. Justice Kar has 33 causes. COUSTY COURTS ............ ............ ........
... 477 Cover PAPIRS .............................................
... 478 LONDON GAZETTES, &C., &o..........
THE FACTS relating to Lord BEACONSFIELD's connection
with the law in early life are these :-He was articled to CASES REPORTED IN THE WEEKLY REPORTER.
Mr. WILLIAM STEVENS, solicitor, of the firm of SWAIN, “Ampthill," The (Adm.Div.) .................................... 523
STEVENS, MAPLES, PEARSE, & Hunt, of No. 6, Frederick's. Clarke v. Bradlaugh (App.) ....................
place, Old Jewry. The articles of clerkship, which are Dawkins v. Antrobus (App) ................................... 511
still preserved by Messrs. MAPLES, TERSDALE, & Co., the Furber, Ex parte, In re King (Bkcy.) ..............
524 successors to the business of the above-mentioned firm, Hall, In re, Ex parte Castledine (Ch.Diy. Fry, J.) .........
are dated the 10th of November, 1821. Mr. DISRAELI, Madras Irrigation and Canal Company, In re (Ch.Div. M.R.) ..
though articled to Mr. STEVENS, was exclusively emMosse v. Killick (C.P.Div.)! ..................................
ployed in the department of the late Mr. MAPLES, one Plating Company, The, v. Farquharson (App.) .................. 510
of the other partners in the firm, who was an old friend She meld y. Sheffield and Paice (Div.Div.) ..................... Thompson v. Ringer (Ch.Div. V.C.B.) .......
of Mr. DISRAELI's father and mother. It was, indeed,
620 .................... 620
through this friendship that Mr. DISRAELI came into the office. Mr. MAPLES always described Mr. DISRAELI as being most assiduous in his attention to business, and as showing great ability in its transaction. So marked, indeed, was his talent, that Mr. MAPLES advised Mr.
Isaac DISRAELI that his son ought to be allowed to go THE REPORT of the Procedure Committee will be laid to the bar. This advice was not followed, and Mr. on the table of the House of Commons on Monday DISRAELI remained between three and four years in nast.
Messrs. SWAIN & Co.'s office, but left, we believe, about
the beginning of the year 1825. WE ARE ENABLED to publish the Chancery Sittings Paper for the ensuing sittings. It will be observed that Mr. Justice Kay will not sit after May 2, and that ONE OF THE PROVISIONS of the new Bankruptcy Bill, no date is fixed for his return from circuit, but due which has hitherto escaped attention, proposes to cffect notice of such return will be given in the daily court a great inroad on the rights of landlords. At present, papers.
as is well known, the landlord is able at any time, either
before or after the commencement of the bankruptcy, THE FOLLOWING is a list of the new Queen's Counsel,
to distrain upon the goods of his bankrupt tenant for the with their respective years of call to the bar :-One
rent due from such tenant; with this limitation, that if
the distress be levied after the commencement of the member of the North-Eastern Circuit, Mr. HUGH SHIELD,
bankruptcy it will be available only for one year's rent M.P., 1860; three members of the Equity Bar-Mr. JAXES C. WHITEHORNE, 1853; Mr. W. w. KARSLAKE,
accrued due prior to the date of the order for adjudica.
tion. Clause 63 of Mr. CHAMBERLAIN's Bill provides that 1857; Mr. JOHN RIGBY, 1860; and Mr. RÓBERT ROMER,
“ a landlord shall not, after a person has been adjudi. 1867.
cated bankrupt, distrain, or proceed with a distress, for
rent due from him before the adjudication.” Moreover, A REQUEST bas been made to Mr. Justice Kay by the the clause also proposes to restrict the right of the landleaders of his bar that his lordship will fix the hour of lord to distrain for rent which has accrued due since the 10.30, instead of 10 o'clock, for the commencement of adjudication, by requiring the leave of the court to be his daily sittings, in accordance with the practice of obtained, “ on proof that the tenancy has been conVice-Chancellors BALL and Bacon. We believe that his 1 tinued for the benefit of the bankrupt's estate.” It may
be doubted whether a provision which will compel a for the maintenance of a bastard child is to cease attor landlord to distrain for rent as soon as he knows that the marriage of the mother, has been purposely omitted his tenant's affairs are embarraseed, for fear lest he from 35 & 36 Vict. c. 65. I think the only effect of should be deprived of his rights by the bankruptcy of the that omission is to prevent an order duly made from tenant, will be to the interest of creditors.
becoming wholly void on the marriage of the mother, and to leave it in the discretion of the justices to allow the order to continue until the child has reached the pre.
scribed age." It will be seen that these two judgments WE PRINT elsewhere a report of a county court case of differ, and that the court in the recent case has followed Pattimore v. Parker, relating to a point under the the decision of LUSH, J., and practically overruled that Agricultural Holdings Act upon which, but for the of MELLOR, J. hesitation expressed by the judge, for whose opinion The first statute bearing upon this subject, 4 & 5 everyone must entertain sincero respect, we should Will. 4, c. 76, is still in force, and the 57th section bave thought that little doubt could exist. The of that Act provides that every man marrying a plaintiff held land from the defendants as tenant from woman having a child or children, whether legitimate year to year, and he also held, as tenant from or illegitimate, shall be liable to maintain such child year to year, other land, less than two acres in extent or children as a part of his family until the child or from the same defendants, but (as the judge found) children attain the age of sixteen or until the death of the under a separate and independent contract of tenancy. mother of such child or children. This Act is distinct As regards the first-mentioned land the Agricul from the Bastardy Acts, and does not deal with the pos. tural Holdings Act was applicable, but, of course, under sibility of a maintenance order existing at the same time section 58, the Act would not apply to the tenancy of the as the liability which it created by the above-mentioned land of less than two acres, unless, as being held by the provision. But the question of these two liabilities was samo tenant of the same landlord, it could be considered raised in the case of Lang v. Spicer (1 M. & W. 129), as constituting ore "holding" with the other land. It where it was held that the distinct provision made by the was contended that this construction must be adopted, Act of Will. 4 to ease the parish burdens rendered it and therefore that, under section 51, a year's notice to quit impossible to have an order enforced upon a putative the land of less than two acres was necessary. But this father after the mother's marriage to a person able to construction altogether loses sight of the provision of support the child, because the child then ceased to be section 58, that "nothing in this Act shall apply to a chargeable on the parish, and no order could be made holding ..., that is of less extent than two against him except as to a child so chargeable. Baron acres; " "holding” being defined in section 4, as including PARKB distinctly says, “ The putative father can never be only land held " under the same contract of tenancy.” called upon after the marriage." This decision is not Tho decision that the Act was not applicable we should shaken in the subsequent case of Reg. v. Pilkington (2 have thought obviously right, but as possibly other E. & B. 546). The real point there decided was that & persons may share in the doubt expressed by the judge, married woman who had given birth to a bastard child it may be well to call attention to the matter.
in the absence of her husband, as a convict in Van Dieman's Land, could sue as a single woman, and that
the order against the putative father did not cease THE CAss of Sotheron v. Scott (Weekly Notes, March
upon her resuming cohabitation with her husband upon 12) is not likely to attract the attention it de
his return. But ERLE,, J. gives it as his reason for 80 sorves. It is & decision of some interest and im
deciding that “it cannot be said that the woman has portance upon a much-disputed question under the
married again.” It was prior to this decision, but subBastardy Acts. The respondent, a married woman, had
sequently to that of Lang v. Spicer, that the Act of obtained when single a maintenance order against the
7 & 8 Vict. c. 101 was passed, in which it was distinctly appellant for a bastard child, and the appellant had
provided, in section 5, that no maintenance order should made several payments under the order up to the time
have any force or validity after the marriage of the when the respondent married. The appellant then
mother, and this provision has been specifically repealed ceased to pay, and the respondent made an application to
by 35 & 36 Viot. c. 65, schedule 1, and in the clauso dealing che magistrates to enforce the order against him. The
with the cessation of such order the provision as the appellant resisted the application, on the ground that his
mother's marriage is omitted. The effect of this repeal liability as a putative father ceased as soon as the mothor
would seem to be to leave the law in the same state as of the bastard married. The magistrates decided against
before the Act of 7 & 8 Vict. It may be that the dehim, and be appealed to the superior court, but the court,
cision of LUSH, J., in Stacey y. Lintell is the best way of consisting of MANISTY and FIELD, JJ., dismissed the
getting over a serious difficulty, and that for that reason appeal, and affirmed the decision of the magistrates, on
it has been adopted in the case before us. But (assuming the ground that since the Act of 35 & 36 Vict. o. 65, it
that in the recent case the husband was able to support could not be contended that the mother's marriage
the bastard) the conclusion is inconsistent with the invalidated an order proviously obtained against the
reasoning in Lang v. Spicer. putative fatber.
Since the above-mentioned Act was passed no case has arisen which can be treated as a distinct authority upon the point, but the same question was incidentally raised Stephen Prosser Brett, formerly clerk to Messrs. Paul & in the case of Stacey v. Lintell (L. R. 4 Q. B. D. 291). Fearon, solicitors, New-ind, Strand, was charged at Bow. The actual decision there was that no woman could apply street Police Court on Thursday with stealing $18, the for a maintenance order under 35 & 36 Vict. c. 65, n. 3, as property of his employers. It was stated for the prosecution a single woman, after her marriage, if she was, at the that the prisoner had obtained fraudulently large sums of time of the application, living with her husband. But money belonging to his employers. In the present case a MELLOR, J., says in his judgment, “The reasoning fol.
cheque for £18 10s. had been intrusted to him to get cashed, lowed by the court in Lang v. Spicer appears to me to be
and with the money he should have paid certaio Inland applicable to this case--that a woman who marries after
Revenue fees. Only ton shillings had been thus expended. the birth of her child ought not to be allowed to proceed
| A second charge would be made against the prisoner for
stealing a blank cheque, which he filled up for the amount of against the putative father, inasmuch as her husband has
£250 and got cashed. Detective-Serjeani Partridge said be become liable to support the child, and it could not have
arrested the prisoner last night at Bexley Heath, wben he been the intention of the Legislature to establish a double found in an Australian belt he wore round his waist the sum liability for its maintenance." But Lush, J., said, “The of £130 in gold. Mr. Flowers remanded the prisoner for a | roviso to 7 & 8 Vict. c. 101, s. 5, by which an order | week.
Fletcher v. Rylands (L. R. 3 H. L. 340) to this case. LIABILITY INTER SE OF OCCU
That doctrine is that, when one landowner alters the
natural state of things by collecting on his land some PIERS OF DIFFERENT PARTS
agent, such as water, which, if it escapes, must trespass OF THE SAME HOUSE.
on and damage the land of another, he is bound, at his
peril, to keep it in, uniess prevented by the act of God The case of Stevens v. Woodward (29 W. R. 506, L. R.
or vis major : it is not a question of negligence or no 6 Q. B. D. 318) is a case of some interest, as illustrating negligence. But Kelly, C.B., held that the accident occa, the nicety of the distinctions upon which the existence sioned by the rat was analogous to vis major or the act of or absence of legal liability sometimes turns.
God, and Bramwell, B., thought that the case differed from The facts of the case. were simple. The plaintiffs Fletcher v. Rylands, because in that case the defendant occupied premises beneath the offices of the defendants, collected the water solely for his own benefit; but, in who were solicitors. One of the defendants had a room the case before him, the collecting of the water was as in the offices, and in it was a lavatory for his own use, much for the benefit of the occupier of one part of the bis orders to his clerks being that none of them should house as for the occupier of another. It seems pretty come into his room after he had left. A clerk went into clear that this was a substantial distinction, and so the the room to wash his hands at the lavatory after his decision left untouched the question how far the docemployer had left, turned the water tap and negligently trine of Fletcher v. Rylands might be applicable be. left it turned, so that the water overflowed and flowed tween the occupiers of different parts of the same house. into the plaintiffs' premises and damaged them. It was The case of Ross v. Fedden (L. R. 7 Q. B. 661) raised beld that the act of the clerk was not within the scope of points of a somewhat similar description. The plaintiff his authority or incident to the ordinary duties of his there occupied for business purposes the ground floor, employment, and that there was no evidence of negligence and the defendants the second-floor, of the same house, for which the defendants were liable.
rospectively, as tenants from year to year. There was a We do not see how the decision could have been other water-closet on the defendants' premises, to which they wise. The case was put as one of liability of a master alone had access, and of which they alone had the use. for the act of his servant, and the usual discussion took After their respective premises had been closed on a place with regard to the scope of the employment and so Saturday evening, water percolated from the water-closet forth. The court decided, and we cannot help thinking through the first-floor to the plaintiff's premises, and rightly decided, that it was not within the scope caused damage to his stock-in-trade. The overflow of of a clerk's employment to go into a room from the water was owing to the valve of the supply-pipe to entering which he was forbidden, and to use a lavatory the pan of the water-closet having got out of order, and not intended for his use. You might just as well failed to close, and the waste-pipe being choked with say, that if a solicitor, having returned from an autumn paper. These defects could not be detected without trip to the moors, should happen to leave a gun in his examination, and the defendants did not know of them, chambers with cartridges, and a meddlesome clerk and were guilty of no negligence. It was beld that the should get playing with it and trying how it was doctrine of Fletcher V. Rylands did not apply, and loaded, the solicitor would be liable if the gun went that the defendants were not liable. The case was an off and shot somebody on the floor below. It does not appeal from the decision of a deputy county court judge. seem to us that the case can be determined on differ- | We believe the deputy county court judge was Mr. Wilson, ent considerations than would arise if some mis the present Indian judge. He said, in giving judgment, chievous errand boy not in the defendant's employ, “I think, however, that the judgmont in Carstairs v. but having been sent to the premises on an errand, had | Taylor (L. R. 6 Ex. 217), leaves it very doubtful turned on the tap of the lavatory while the clerk's whether the rule of law laid down in Rylands v. Fletcher back was turned, and so the mischief had been occa- | (L, R. 2 H. L. 330) applies to the case of two persons sioned. As was pointed out by the court, the cases occupying two floors of the same house. But assuming about scope of employment run extremely fine. To the rule to apply, is the present case within it? As our thinking, in some cases, the scope of the employ between the occupiers of parts of a house--a thing ment has been carried very far as against the master. wholly artificial-it is rather a straining of language to But whatever the true definition of the scope of the speak of any one state of things as more natural than employment may be for the purpose of determining the | another. But I think that, in the words of Martin, B., liability of the master, the act of the clerk in this case in the case already referred to, 'one who takes a floor of was clearly on the other side of the line, and was not an a house must be held to take the premises as they are.' act done in the scope of the employment.
As far as he is concerned I think the state of things then The case was put in argument entirely on the question existing may be treated as the natural state of things, and of negligence, and the liability of the master for the acts the flow of water through cisterns and pipes then in operaof the servant, but it is obvious that cases of this sort tion as equivalent to the natural flow of water. I think involve other considerations. These considerations, he takes subject to the ordinary risks arising from the use however, have been discussed in two previous cases, of the house as it stands; and that one who merely conthough we confess the law as between occupiers of tinues to use the rest of the house as it stands and in different parts of the same house seems to us, not the ordinary manner does not fall within the rule in withstanding these cases, to require further elucidation. Rylands v. Fletcher, and in the absence of negligence In the case of Carstairs v. Fedden (L. R. 6 Ex. is not liable to the consequences, and in the present case 217), the plaintiffs hired of the defendant the there is nothing to show, nor has it been suggested, that ground floor of a warehouse, the upper part of which the water-closet or anything connected with it has been was occupied by the defendant himself. The water in any way altered by the defendants since they came from the roof was collected by gutters into a box, | into occupation. There is nothing to show, nor has it from which it was discharged by a pipe into the drains. been suggested, that it has been in any way altered since A hole was made in the box by a rat, through which the the plaintiff became tenant of the ground floor, or that water entered the warehouse and wetted the plaintiff's l it has been used in any but the ordinary manner." goods. The defendant had used reasonable care in The judgments of the judges affirming this decision examining and seeing to the security of the gutters and were short, and do little more than express concurrence the box. It was held that the defendant was not liable, l with the reasoning of the deputy county court judge. either on the ground of an implied contract, or on | The terms of his judgment leave open various nice the ground that he had brought the water to the questions which might arise as to the liability of the place from which it entered the warehouse. An at- occupier of one part of a house to the occupier of another tempt was made to apply the well-known doctrine of part of the same house. He expressly guards himself
from expressing any opinion whether the doctrine of in refusing, suspending, orqualifying an order of discharge, Fletcher v. Rylands would apply when the occupier of one he must be familiar with the law of bankruptcy, and accus. part of the house has altered the state of things existing tomed to deal with evidence. His report is to be taken at the time when the occupier of the other part of the into consideration" by the court on hearing an applicahouse became tenant by bringing a dangerous agent, tion for the discharge of the bankrupt (clause 35), but such as a collection of water, upon the premises.
it appears that the court cannot act upon it so as to It seems to us that great difficulty may in future refuse, or suspend, or qualify, the order of discharge arise with regard to the determination of a question of unless on proof of some of the facts mentioned in that sort, but possibly it may turn out that no alteration clause 35. On the other hand, the court is enabled to of the existing state of things, which does not go beyond “ order a prosecution on the report of the official rethe ordinary and reasonable use of the kind of premises ceiver" (clause 41), and where there is, in the opinion which may be in question, would cause the doctrine of of the court, “ground to believe" that the bankrupt Fletcher v. Rylands to apply.
has been guilty of any offence which is by statute made a misdemeanor in cases of bankruptcy, the court may
commit the bankrupt for trial (clause 42). It is obvious THE OFFICIAL RECEIVER UN that, if these provisions are to be effective, the official
receiver must be a person of legal training. DER THE BANKRUPTCY BILL.
No hint, however, is given in the Bill of the qualificaBEFORE we go into the portions of the new Bankruptcy |tions of persons to be selected as official receivers, but Bill which are familiar to our readers, as being more or Mr. Chamberlain stated in his speech, when introducing less founded on the previous attempts at legislation, it the Bill, that the registrars of county courts are to may be well to consider the novel provisions which are fulfil this function. No more fit persons could be selected intended to remedy the evils arising from the apathy or if they can find time for the work. But it must be reignorance of creditors. Amongst the most important of membered that under the Bill (clause 33) every bankrupt them are the clauses relating to the official receiver. must be publicly examined before the court. It is imUnder clause 45 there are to be attached to each court possible to suppose that the judge can or will occupy having jurisdiction in bankruptcy an official receiver, or his time in presiding at these examinations. The official receivers, of bankrupts' estates, who are “ to be duty will doubtless be delegated (clause 52) to appointed by, and to act under, the general authority and the registrars. How they are to combine with this directions of the Board of Trade” ; but are to be and their other important duties the multifarious “ officers of the courts to which they are respectively functions of the official receiver is not explained, attached.”
and perhaps has not been considered. It is, however, The duties of these officials are defined by clause 46 obviously contemplated that the registrar shall not be as follows :-" The principal duty of the official receiver the only official receiver attached to the court, for clause of a bankrupt's estate shall be to make a report to the 11 provides that “where more than one official receiver court as to the conduct of the bankrupt, stating whether is attached to the court, such one of them as is for the there is reason to believe that he has committed any time being appointed by the court for any particular act which constitutes , a misdemeanor in case of bank estate shall be the official receiver for the purpose of that ruptcy, or which would justify the court in refusing, l estate.” suspending, or qualifying an order for his discharge. It! The success of these provisions depends on whether shall also be his duty-(a) pending the appointment of the right class of persons can be induced to accept the a trustee, to act as interim receiver and manager of the office of official receiver, and that mainly depends on bankrupt's estate, where a special receiver and manager the amount of remuneration which will be offered. is not appointed; (o) pending the appointment of a It is provided by clause 20 (sub-clause 12) that if the trustee, to receive proofs of debts, and accept or reject official receiver is appointed trustee, “he shall have rethem, subject to appeal to the court; (c) to summon muneration as hereinafter mentioned." The only proand preside at the first meeting of creditors ; (d) to vision on this subject contained in the subsequent part of issue forms of proxy for use at the first meeting of the Bill is clause 55, which provides (sub-clause 3) that creditors ; (e) to report to the creditors as to any pro- | “there shall be payable to persons appointed by the posal which the bankrupt may have made with respect Board of Trade under this Act such remuneration, by to the mode of liquidating his affairs; (f) to advertise | way of salary, fees, commission, or otherwise, as the the order of adjudication, the bankrupt's examination, Board of Trade, with the concurrence of the Treasury, the date of the creditors' first meeting, and such other
from time to time direct." So that the wbole question matters as it may be necessary to advertise for the pur. of the remuneration of the official receiver is left to be pose of the bankruptcy before the appointment of a settled by the Board of Trade and the Treasury. It may trustee; (g) to take such part as may be directed by be safely affirmed that if the scale at all resembles that the Board of Trade in the public examination of the proposed for trustees in the schedule to the Act, it will bankrupt." And, in addition to this, under clause 20 be found impossible to obtain the services of persons (sub-clause 10), if the creditors or the committee of in- qualified to perform the important duties proposed to be spection do not appoint a trustee within the prescribed time imposed on the official receiver. after the adjudication, “the official receiver for the time! It may, however, be questioned, after all, whether the being shall become, and be deemed to be appointed by elaborate provisions of the Bill relating to the official the Board of Trade, the trustee in the bankruptcy." receiver will become practically operative. By clause 12 And under clause 43, where it appears to the official re- “any creditor" may, upon adjudication or at any time ceiver, from the bankrupt's statement of affairs or thereafter, before the appointment of a trustee, apply to otherwise, that the bankrupt's estate is not likely to the court for the appointment of “a special receiver and exceed £300, the official receiver is, as from the date of the manager," and the court may, “ if in the opinion of the first meeting, “to become, and be deemed to have been court the interests of the creditors require it," apappointed by the Board of Trade, the trustee of the point & special receiver and manager, and in this case estate, unless the creditors at that or any subsequent (clause 46, subclause a.) the official receiver is not to meeting" resolve that some other person be appointed act as interim receiver and manager of the bankrupt' trustee.
estate; and “nothing in this Act shall authorize the It thus appears that the duties of the official receiver official receiver to act in the administration of any propwill be partly judicial and partly adminietrative. In erty of which a special receiver and manager is aporder to ascertain, for the purpose of report to the court, pointed under this Act” (clause 46, sub-clause 3). It is whether the bankrupt has committed any act which easy to see that any creditor, acting in collusion with the constitutes a misdemeanor, or would justify the court bankrupt, may by means of these provisions obtain