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perform hie parliamentary duties at the time when he was taken into custody; but it is clear that parliamentary privilege has never been allowed to interfere with criminal justice, for, on the 20th of May, 1675, the House of Commons passed a resolution " that by the laws and usages of Parliament, privilege of Parliament belongs to every member of the House of Commons in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of the peace." On the 29th of November, 1763, a similar resolution was arrived at in the case of Wilkes, and in 1831 a Committee of Privileges reported that since that time [i.e., 1763] "it has been considered as established generally that privilege is not claimable for any indictable offence." In 1815 Lord Cochbane, who was then a member of the House, and who had escaped from the King's Bench Prison, where he had been imprisoned on a conviction for conspiracy, was actually arrested in the House of Commons, although before the business of the House had commenced ; and a Committee of Privileges reported that "the privileges of Parliament do not appear to have been violated." The provision for communicating to the House the arrest of one of its members has been generally introduced in the Acts which have suspended the Habeas Corpus Act, but Sir Erskine Mat states that in cases not falling under such statutes the cause of arrest is usually stated to the House, as was done upon the arrest of Lord Geobge Gordon in 1780, and that of Mr. Smith O'brien in 1848. In the present Act it will be observed that nothing is said about stating the grounds of the arrest, although these will, of course, appear in the next monthly list of prisoners laid before Parliament under section 1, sub-section 4, of the Act.

The Customs And Inland Revenue Bill, recently introduced in the House of Commons, proposes to effect several important changes in the probate and legacy duties. It is provided, by clause 28, that after the 1st of June next the duties imposed by the Act of last year on probates and letters of administration shall cease to be payable, and instead thereof there is to be paid on the affidavit by the person applying for probate or letters of administration, stamp duty at the rate of £1 for every full sum of £50, and any further fractional part of £50, where the estate is between £100 and £300, and at £15s. for each similar sum where the estate is between £300 and £1,000, and at £3 for every full sum of £100 and any further fractional part of £100 where the estate is £1,000 and upwards. Comparing this scale with that in last year's Act, it will be seen that it is a good deal higher. At present £2 is paid on £150 : under the new Bill £3 will be payable; now £15 is payable on £750: under the new Bill £18 15s. will be payable; now £40 is payable on £1,900: under the new Bill £57 will be payable. Of course, however, the scale is much more simple than the scale in the Act of last year. Legacies below £20 are no longer to be exempt from duty (unless, under section 13 of the Act of last year, the whole personal estate is less than £100); but, on the other hand, clause 42 provides that legacy or succession duty, if at the rate of one per cent, only, shall not be payable where the duty imposed by the Bill shall have been paid on the affidavit. As a correspondent pointed out last week, where the whole personal estate, without any deduction for debts or funeral expenses, does not exceed £300 in value, probate or letters of administration may be obtained by delivering to the proper officer of Inland Revenue a notice setting forth the particulars of the estate, and such others as may be required, and depositing with him the sum of fifteen shillings for fees of court and expenses, and also, in case the estate exceed £100, the further sum of thirty shillings for legacy and succession duty. By clause 29 a very valuable reform is proposed to be effected. Instead of the application for a return of probate duty on the ground of debts, it is provided that, in the case of a person dying domiciled in the United Kingdom, the person who applies for probate

or letters of administration may deduct from the valueof the estate, for the purpose of estimating the amountof duty payable, the debts due to persons resident in the United Kingdom and the funeral expenses; but voluntary debts expressed to be payable on the death of the deceased, or payable under any instrument not delivered to the donee three months before the death, or debts in respect of which real estate is primarily liable, or a reimbursement may be claimed from real estate or from any other estate or person, are not to be deducted, and the funeral expenses to be deducted are to include "only such expenses as are allowable as reasonable funeral expenses according to law." The affidavit is to extend to the verification of the account and schedule of debts and funeral expenses. Probateo are in future to bear a certificate setting forth that the affidavit has been delivered duly stamped, and statingthe amount of the gross value of the estate as shown by the account

Voluntary Settlements of personalty in order to escapeduties will be considerably checked if clause 39 of the Bill passes into law. That clause provides that thepersonal property to be included in an account shall include any property which the deceased, having been absolutely entitled thereto, has voluntarily caused to be transferred to himself and any other person jointly, so that the beneficial interest therein passes by survivorship on his death to such other person; alsoproperty passing under any past or future voluntary settlement by deed or other instrument not taking effect as a will, whereby an interest for life, or any other period determinable by reference to death, is reserved, cither expressly or by implication, to the settlor; or whereby the settlor reserves to himself the right, by the exercise of any power, to restore to himself, or to reclaim, the absolute interest in such property. But where an account comprises property passing under a voluntary settlement, and upon production of the settlement it appears that stamp duty has been paid thereon, the amount of such duty is to be returned to the person delivering the account. Property taken as a donatio mortis causa, or uuder a voluntary disposition by the deceased, operating as an immediate gift inter vivos, not bond fide made within three months before the death, is also to be included in the account. The beneficiary or trustee acquiring possession of auy personal property thus required to be included in the account is,, within six months after the death of the deceased, to deliver an account, verified by oath, of such property,, duly stamped under the Act, on penalty of double duty

A meeting of the Incorporated Law Society, convened on the requisition recently published in our columns. "for the purpose of considering the present position of legal procedure, the impending changes in our profession-,, and other incidental matters which to the meeting may appear urgent and important," was fixed to beheld yesterday (Friday) afternoon at the Law Institution.

At a meeting of solicitors residing and practising in the central Middlesex district, held on the 2nd of May at the Law Institution, J. M. Clabon, Esq., President of the Incorporated Law Society, in the chair, it was unanimously resolved : — " That this meeting is of opinion that the office of coroner is one which ought tobe held by a lawyer, as being eminently of a judicial character, and requiring the holders to be well acquainted with the law of evidence and the mode of legal procedure, and that this meeting approves of the candidature of Mr. Thomas Henry Bolton for the office of Coroner of Central Middlesex, and pledges itself to use all possible exertion, and influence to secure his return.""

OUGHT PLEADINGS TO BE
ABOLISHED?

Statements are very generally current to the effect that the new rules which may shortly be expected will, in pursuance of the resolution of the Procedure Committee, abolish pleadings except in cases where leave is given by the court to plead on account of sped al circumstances rendering it desirable, in the particular case, that there should be pleadings. We doubt whether the proposed step is altogether desirable. There is at present a great clamour to the effect that law is too expensive; that, especially in actions for small amounts, the costs bear so large a proportion to the amount at stake as to make the game not worth the candle. It is alleged that this, to a great extent, arises from a number of preliminary steps and interlocutory matters which are not essential, and which seldom produce any real benefit proportionate to the costs incurred by reason of them. There is therefore just now a great feeling in favour of abolishing, as far as possible, these preliminary matters, and proceeding as promptly and directly as possible to I trial. We feel a certain amount of melancholy scepticism with regard to these perpetually-propounded panaceas for the production of a sort of millennium of cheap law which sanguine reformers constantly herald in the newspapers. Something, no doubt, may be done, but we doubt whether such measures as these really hit the blot—assuming that the blot can be hit. The truth is that there is a difficulty, not altogether artificially produced, but, to a large extent, inherent in the nature of the thing, with regard to law costs. An action for a small amount may be as troublesome and anxious a matter in its way as one involving a large amount. If the costs are cut down too unsparingly, though the game may be more worth the candle to the client, it may not be worth the candle to the higher class of solicitor. The question how a solicitor's costs in litigation are to be regulated is one of great difficulty. The apothecary's bill kind of system which at present prevails is a most miserable and unsatisfactory system, but it is difficult to suggest any wholly satisfactory principle.

But to return to tho question of pleadings. We took occasion some time ago, when the new rules first came out, to discuss the new system of pleadings. We then pointed out that the old system of pleadings involved two separable ideas and objects. Perhaps the primary purpose in logical and chronological order is the purpose of informing the court of the facts, and determining the issues upon which its judgment is requested. Pleadings, as every student of the law knows, were at first oral. At the same time as the court was informed of the facts and issues upon which its judgment was requested, of course the collateral purpose was served of informing the other party of the case which he had to meet. When pleadings became documentary, they formed the premisses upon which the judgment was founded as a conclusion, as well as also continuing to serve the purpose of giving information to the other side. The principle of an almost superstitious veneration for records and written instruments, of which our law affords so many instances, is, we think, exemplified in the history of pleading. The notion of the absolute necessity of a written record of the allegations or statements upon which the judgment was founded, as a conclusion on premisses, undoubtedly largely entered into the view of pleadings taken in former days. It seems to us, however, that the usefulness of pleadings for that purpose, and for the purpose of determining the issues (if they ever had any) has continuously dwindled, and, under the Judicature Act, has become reduced to the lowest possible ebb. The true function of pleadings now is that which was originally perhaps a secondary and incidental result of them—viz., giving information previously to the trial to the other side as to the case which will be set up.

Now, it seems to us that the present system is objectionable because it does not sufficiently recognize the substantial nature of the case. A great deal of waste is thus occasioned, both of time, labour, and money. Let us take an illustration. An action is being brought on a charter-party or a building contract. The provisions of the contract are perfectly well known to both parties, or if there is no copy, it cau be made the subject of inspection, yet because it is necessary to make a statement of the case giving rise to a logical legal conclusion on the record, long extracts from the contract have to be made that may be of no advantage to anybody. Why, for all practical purposes, would it not be sufficient to say that the plaintiff, or defendant, as the case may be, will rely on such and such a clause of the charter-party, or specification, of such a date, made between, &c. [describing it], and will say that the terms of such clause have not been complied with; or to make some short general statement of that sort F If further particulars are necessary, detailed particulars of a concretesort can then be given; but the present system frequently involves the setting out of long provisions of the contract, and the denial, in identical terms, of the performance of them, while very little is gained thereby. The ancient bugbear of a variance still troubles the dreams of a pleader.

There is one habit of judges which we believe to be a fruitful source of long-wiudedness and expense. We do wish, as earnestly as that corporate entity the "we" of journalism can wish anything, that any humble remarks of ours could induce them to reconsider their ways in this respeot. A judge makes up his mind—sometimes in fact wrongly, but we will assume for our present purpose rightly—that a litigant's case is not meritorious, and that all truth and justice are on the other side; thereupon, on the principle that any stick does to beat a dog with, he sets himself to refuse to the party whom he considers unmeritorious all the facilities and opportunities which, if his cause were meritorious, he ought to receive as of course. The object is good, but we believe this to be short-sighted policy and an unsound mode of procedure. The right to amendments and such like matters ought to be considered wholly irrespective of what one may call the ultimate merits of the cause. The result of this habit of the judge of taking advantage of slips to further the justice of particular cases is responsible for a great deal of cumbrous complication. A pleader alleges a great many alternatives and sets out a great deal verbatim to make himself safe against the possibility of a judge's conceiving an unfavourable opinion of his case and construing his allegations with anything but benevolent neutrality. We are convinced that additional expense and other mischiefs are, in the long run, occasioned by this, to our mind, bad judicial habit. Judges are, after all, men, and must be affected by the moral aspect of the particular case they, are trying, but it seems to us to be the duty of a judge to consider the general as well as the particular application of everything he does.

To return to our subject. It seems to us that the substantial use of pleadings is by way of being particulars, and that in most cases some short and concise particulars of the case that will be set up ought to be quite sufficient, but we cannot help thinking that these ought to be given by both side?. The complicated series of allegations leading up to formal issues may be, on the whole, unnecessary and mischievous. We are disposed to think that in many cases it is so, but all that there is of advantage in it might be retained (aud, as it seems to us, without its demerits) by a less formal substitute more directly pointed to the substance of the thing. It hardly seems to us to be desirable that the parties should go to trial without any definite information as to the case which the other side mean to set up, except so far as the indorsement on the writ may inform the defendant.

ACTIONS FOR DECEIT.

It was decided by Paaley v. Freeman (2 Sm. L. C, 8th ed., p. 66) that there mast be fraud, by which was meant an intention to deceive, in order to support the action in tort for a misrepresentation of another's credit which has induced the plaintiff to act upon the defendant's recommendation and reoeive damage. This was further insisted upon in Haycraft v. Oreaty (2 East, 92). There the plaintiff had supplied goods on credit to an impostor, a certain Miss Robertson, who had been representing herself as having come into a fortune. Before delivering the goods, the plaintiff had applied to the defendant to know whether it would be safe to give credit to the lady, and had received an answer to the effect that the defendant knew Miss Robertson to be a lady of fortune, and one who might safely be trusted to any amount. It appeared that the defendant had himself been deceived by Miss Robertson, and had lent her £2,000 without security. Miss Robertson had absconded without paying for the goods. At the trial, a verdict for the plaintiff for £475 was given. On the argument on a rule for a new trial, it was held that the action would not lie, because the foundation for such an action was fraud or deceit in the defendant, and damage to the plaintiff by means thereof, and in this case the defendant's representation was bond fide with a belief in the truth of it. Grose, Lawrence, and Le Blanc, JJ., concurred in this view of the case, but Lord Kenyon was inclined to go beyond what had been established by Posley v. Freeman twelve years before. His opinion has now received the approval of ■ the Court of Appeal in the case of Leddell v. McDougal (29 W. R. 403).

The Court of Chancery had applied a different rule in cases of misrepresentation. It had not in early times made any use of this head of equity, but, as Lord Eldon was fond of asserting, the equity had always existed and was not rendered novel by the fact that the circumstances which called for its application had not previously arisen. In equity the defendant was liable for damage sustained by the plaintiff in consequence of the plaintiff having acted on a false statement made by the defendant innocently with intent that it should be acted upon. Suits in equity analogous to the action at law for deceit, therefore, became by no means uncommon, while the action at law was brought less frequently. The equitable principle gave plaintiffs a better chance of success, as it did not require an intention to deceive. There was less difficulty in pleading, and no trouble about the presumption or proof of legal fraud. The cases in equity dealing with misrepresentation became very 'common as soon as joint stock companies began to 'flourish. Most of those cases, however, are complicated by questions of agency, whioh are beyond the present purpose. The law as it now exists is clearly slated by the learned editors of Smith's Leading Cases. "It is not necessary that [the representation] should be false to the knowledge of the party making it; if it be untrue in fact, and not believed to be trae by the party making it, or made recklessly without any kuowledge on the subject, and for the purpose of inducing another person to act upon it, an action may be maintained thereon by the person who has been induced to act upoD it." Even the case of Paaley v. Freeman was one which, in Lord Eldon's opinion {Evans v. Bicknall, 6 Ves. 174), was more fit for a court of equity than a court of law; and it is clear that the observation would apply still more forcibly to Haycraft v. Creasy.

The passage from Lord Kenyon's judgment in that case, which the Master of the Rolls adopted in Leddell v. McDougal, was as follows:—" The case rested on this, that the defendant affirmed that to be true within his own knowledge which he did not know to be true. This is fraudulent, not, perhaps, in that sense

which affixes the stain of moral turpitude on the mind of the party, but falling within the notion of legal fraud such as is presumed in all cases within the Statute of Frauds. The fraud consists, not in the defendant saying; that he believed the matter to be true, or that he had reason so to believe it, but in asserting positively his knowledge of that which he did not know." It seems that at the time when Lord Kenyon delivered this j udgment he was going a little beyond the common law as it existed. It is perhaps to be regretted that the Master of the Rolls should have selected this passage for adoption, raising, as it does, the much-vexed question of legal as opposed to moral fraud. Everybody will recollect the vigorous attack made by Lord Justice Bramwell in Weir v. Barneit (26 "W. R. 746, s.c. sub nom. Weir v. Bell, 3 L. R. Ex. D. 238) upon the expression "legal fraud." It was, he said, to him as if one were to talk of legal heat and legal cold, or legal light and legal shade. Like most very acrimonious contentions it turns out in reality to be a contest about a word. The expression "legal fraud" is one which undoubtedly is more or less an insult to ordinary language. Bat it has become a useful technical phrase, and it is characteristic of our legal phraseology to be unscientific. Oddly enough, one need go no further than the same number of tlio Weekly Reporter iu which Leddell v. McDougal appears for an instance in poiut. In McCollin v. Gilpin (29 W. R. 408) we find Lord Justice Bramwell himself using the word "agreement" in one sentence both for an agreement and the document wherein its terms are expressed.

In saying that he adopted the words of Lord Kenyon the Master of the Rolls did not, it seems, mean that he followed Lord Kenyon's judgment as an authority. Lord Kenyon happened to express what subsequently became the equitable principle, and what is now undoubtedly the law. Leddell v. McDougal is an unusual case, though the principle upon which the Court of Chancery had acted in dealing with misrepresentation was well established. In that case the plaintiff being about to let a house and shop to one Thornton, of whom he knew nothing, applied to the defendant, at Thornton's suggestion, for information as to Thornton's position to meet the responsibility of a lease at a rent of £100 a year, aud asking if the defendant could recommend Thornton as a safe and advisable tenant. The defendant wrote in answer that he had " much pleasure in replying affirmatively." The lease was granted; Thornton did not succeed with his business, and left without paying any rent, takiug his furniture and fixtures with him. The lessor then brought an action for deceit against McDougal, aud the Court of Appeal, reversing the decision of Vice-Chancellor Bacon, held that the plaintiff ought to succeed.

Here was an excellent opportunity for a clear enunciation by the Court of Appeal of the law upon the question of misrepresentation iu the nature of deceit. Unfortunately, not only did the court decline to go into the cases upon the subject, but the judgments, though agreeing iu the result, were not quite consistent. The Master of the Rolls said it appeared that McDougal did not really know whether Thornton was a man of substance or what his means were. He had no particular knowledge of his means. Then the learned judge adopted the language of Lord Kenyon which has already been quoted; and, summing up the matter, said that the defendant must be taken to have known that Thornton was not in a responsible position to meet the responsibility of the undertaking. Lord Justice James, however, thought that thare would have been a good deal of force iu the argument for the defendant if he had represented that Thornton was in a good and responsible position, without having had the precise knowledge of his circumstances which, in fact, he had. Knowing as he did what the state of Thornton's affairs really was, it was impossible that he could have truthfully said that he was in a good aud responsible position. And Lord

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little disagreement aa to the ; of the evidence. Bat all the judges were anxious not to impute to the defendant moral fraud, or an inten tion to deceive. Possibly when the Lords Justices come to revise their judgments for the authorized reports the little differences will be smoothed away. If MoDougal really did know that Thornton had no means, it becomes more difficult to draw the line between legal and moral fraud than if the view of the Master of the Kolls was the correct one. But the drawing of this line belongs more to casuistry than to law, and it is to be regretted that the court could not lay down in clear terms the principle upon which their judgment went, without bringing in the very inconvenient and quite bugbear—legal fraud.

DISCLAIMER OF LEASES UNDER THE BANKRUPTCY BILL. 11.

"we stated last week the result, so far as we can estimate it, of the provisions of the new Bankruptcy Bill as to disclaimer of leases. If we are right in our view, it cannot be said that the framers of the Bill have met all the difficulties of the subject. They have left open a loop-hole by means of which the landlord may be saddled with disadvantageous sub-teuancies, without, so far as we can see, any possibility of obtaining relief from them. Now, the objects to be aimed at in any properly drawn disclaimer clause could not be better stated than they were by our correspondent a fortnight ago:—" To destroy sub-interests by the act of tho representative of the person creating them must be wrong, whilst to return the property to the landlord burdened with charges and sub-tenancies, and stripped of its valuable incidents, must be equally so. The objects of any legislation should be to free the trustee and the bankrupt's estate from liability to the obligations of the lease (subject to rights of proof by persons injured), and to interfere as little as possible with all other rights." The Dew Bill, as we saw last week, fails to carry out these principles, because it provides that the estate and of the bankrupt shall pass to the person thereto on the determination of the or interest of the bankrupt, and the result of this is (or seems to be) to render the position of a sub-lessee impregnable.

The remedy suggested by our correspondent is very simple. He would enable the trustee, by leave of the court, to sign some instrument, or give some notice to all parties interested, the effect of which would be to inform them that he will not adopt the lease, and thereupon, the liability of the trustee, aad (subject to rights of proof) the liability of the bankrupt's estate, should cease. The term will be left subsisting in the trustee, but without any liability on hie part to perform the provisions of the lease. Then the court will be at liberty, at any time afterwards, upon hearing all parties, to make an order vesting the term in any person entitled to it. He proposes to give effect to his *uggestion by the following clause :—

'The trustee may, with the sanction of the court, by "lg under Ms hand, hereinafter called a disclaimer, disany property of the bankrupt acquired by the trustee 'this Act, notwithstanding that he may have endeavoured to sell, or have taken possession of, such property, or exercised any act of ownership in relation thereto. Upon the application by the trustee for leave to disclaim any such .property, he shall furnish the court with such information as to the nature and value of the property, and as to the inon or persons interested therein, a9 may he prescribed,or a the court may direct. * Notice of the execution of any disclaimer by the trustee

shall ho given to such person or persons (if any), or published in such way (if any), as may be prescribed, or as the court shall direct.

"Such disclaimer shall operate as a release to the trustee, and, subject to the right of proof given by this Act, also to the bankrupt's estate, from all obligations affecting the property disclaimed, or the bankrupt, or his estate, in respect thereof, but shall not release or affect the obligations, or the rights or remedies, of any other person or persons, nor divest the property disclaimed from the trustee."

Then follow provisions enabling any person interested to apply to the court, and enabling the court, after notice, to make an order vesting the property in such person aa the court may thiuk fit, subject to provisions—(1) that the court shall vest tho property in the person claiming an interest iu it under the bankrupt , who desires such vesting order in his favour, and the vesting order shall vest the property in such person subject to the duties and obligations affecting it. If more thau one person, claiming under the bankrupt, desires a vesting order, the court shall have power to modify its order as it thinks expedient. And upon any vesting order being made, the rights, estates, and interests in the disclaimed property of all persons claiming under the bankrupt, other than the person or persons in whose favour such order is made, shall cease and determine. (2) If no person claiming under the bankrupt desires to have a vesting order in his favour, then the court shall make a vesting order in favour of any person or persons who may be liable to perform the duties or obligations affecting the disclaimed property who shall desire such order in his or their favour, subject to such duties and obligations [similar supplementary provisions being made]; and (3) if no person desires a vesting order under rules 1 and 2, the court may make such order in favour of any person entitled to the disclaimed property upon the determination of the bankrupt's estate or interest therein, if such person shall desire such vesting order in his favour. And after such last-mentioned vesting order, the rights, estates, and interests in the disclaimed property of all persons who might, under rules 1 and 2, have been entitled to a vesting order shall cease and determine.

The effect of these provisions would be that if any person claiming under the bankrupt—such as a mortgagee or sub-lessee—was content to take the bankrupt's interest, subject to the rents and covenants affecting it, he would be entitled to have it vested in him. If no person claiming under the bankrupt was willing to take the estate, then any person liable (for instance, a previous lessee) to the obligations affecting the property would be entitled to a vesting order. And if no person either claiming under, or liable with, the bankrupt wished to take the property, then the person entitled, subject to the bankrupt's estate, would be at liberty, if he thought fit, to have the property vested in him, and thereupon all prior interests would cease.

We state these proposed provisions as matter for discussion. They are an ingenious mode of dealing with the difficulty, but we are inclined to think with our correspondent that it would be better to leave the court to deal with the facts of each case unfettered by rules. As regards the proposed clause quoted above, however, we are inclined to think that it affords the only mode of satisfactorily dealing with the difficulty preliminary to the application to the court, for a vesting order.

REVIEWS.

LIBEL AND SLANDER.

A DlOEST OF THE LAW OF LlBEL AND SLANDER. By W.

Blake Odgf.rs, Barrister-at-Law. Stevens & Sons.

This appears to be a useful and carefully written treatise, though we are not prepared to say that the author has entirely overcome the difficulties incident to the form which he has adopted for his work. His object, as

announced in his preface, is to state the law on each point in the form of an abstract proposition, citing the decided cases in smaller type merely as illustrations of the abstract proposition. The difficulty in practice that arises is that, in treating the subject systematically after this fashion, a number of fundamental propositions must be enunciated which are rather assumed than expressed by the decisions. The author is driven to the enunciation of these on his own authority, and no cases are forthcoming by way of illustrations in the smaller type, but only hypothetical illustrations by the author. This, even when it occurs in the case of digests by authors of higher authority than, with all respect to the author of the work under discussion, he can be said to be, always seems to us slightly anomalous. We regard a digest, perhaps wrongly, as a work stating propositions for which there is authority. The author in the present case is obliged sometimes to give propositions for which he can adduce no authority. One of the first which he gives might by some be considered doubtful as a matter of theory— viz., that to say A. is a rascal is not defamatory unless it can be proved that some one seriously believed or acted on the assertion to the prejudice of A. These observations are, however, perhaps hypercritical, as the real usefulness of a book does not much depend on such introductory propositions.

The author has not, like some writers of books of reference, heaped together inconsistent decisions without any regard to their inconsistency, and without any attempt to deduce from them any net result. The form of his book, as already stated, precludes such a perfunctory mode of treating the subject. The prevailing fault of writers of law books is perhaps too great timidity; a man shrinks from expressing too distinctly in print an opinion on a doubtful point which a decision may soon show to be erroneous. We think it perhaps would be well if authors were somewhat bolder. It may be sometimes more useful to the reader to discuss a point and express an opinion, even though it may turn out to be erroneous, than to pass over a point in silence. As an instance of Mr. Odgers' mode of dealing with points of this sort we may instance the discussion on p. 146, in which he joins issue with a statement in Addison on Torts. We cannot profess to have considered all the propositions which our author enunciates as the results of conflicting or dubious authorities, but, so far as we can judge, his statements of the law are careful and well considered. Some parts of his book are amusing as well as useful—e.g., the list of expressions which have been held to be defamatory at p. 22. There is one point on which we sympathize with the feeling expressed by the author. He says that in his book he has restored the word "malice" to its simple and ordinary meaning, and has abandoned the technical and fictitious use of the term as meaning "malice in law." We think it very unfortunate that words should come in legal diction to have artificial and non-natural meanings, but it is not always easy, having regard to the historical growth of the law, to ignore entirely the artificial use of words in such meanings.

CORRESPONDENCE.

QUERIES.

22 & 23 Vict. C. 35, s. 21.—A testator by will, after leaving a few pecuniary legacies, directed his trustees, at their discretion, to convert into money all the rest and residue of his real and personal estate, or such part as should not consist of money (with power to continue any investments existing at his decease). And, after directing payment of bis funeral and testamentary expenses and debts, and making trusts for investment, the testator directed the trustees to stnud possessed of the said trust estate, and the investments representing the same, in

trust to pay the income to his wife for life, and after her decease, in trust for his son, T. G. (one of the trustees), his heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns, according to the respective nature and tenure thereof. The testator appointed his trustees executors of his will, and his wife died in his lifetime. The testator has since died, and both his executors proved the will. Part of testator's property consists of leaseholds for lives, and a policy of' assurance on such lives. There is sufficient to pay all the legacies and debts in full, without selling the leaseholds or policy, both of which the son wishes to retain as his own property. And the executors wish to assign these absolutely to the son, who is one of the executors and trustees. I shall be glad if some of your correspondentswill inform me how this is to be done, as the 22 & 23* Vict. o. 35, s. 21, only provides for the assignment from one person to himself and another, and not for the assignment from two persons to one of them. Will two deeds be necessary as formerly, cne to assign from the executors to a trustee, and another to assign from such trustee to the son, or can the property be absolutely vested in the son by a release from his co-executor? Cases or references will greatly oblige. G. H. SI.

CASES OF THE WEEK.

PatentInfringement— Transhipment In England or Article Manufactured AbroadCustom House Agest. —In a case of Nobel's Explosives Company v. Jones, before the Court of Appeal on the 29th ult., a somewhat novel question arose with regard to the infringement of a patent. The plaintiffs' patent was for a method of making safe and practicable the transport of niiro-glycerine, a substance which is liable to explode at the slightest shock. The invention, thesubject of the plaintiffs' patent, consisted in causing the nitro-glycerine to be absorbed in porous inexplosire substances, such as charcoal, the result being a pasty substance, called dynamite, which is insensible to sheets, and can be transported with safety, but which at the same time is equally valuable as an explosive when ignited in the proper way. A firm of Krebs & Co. manufactured abroad a substance which they called litho-fracteur, and at one time soli it in England. In an action brought against them by the plaintiffs it was decided by the House of Lords that tho article manufactured by them was an infringement of tha plaintiffs' patent. After thin, Krebs & Co., though no longer selling their article in England, shipped it to England, consigned to an agent of theirs in England, for the purpose of reshipment for exportation and sale in Australia. The present action was brought against some persons who had acted fot the agent of Krebs & Co., in England, simply as Custom House agents in procuring the necessary documents at the English Custom House authorizing the transhipment to be made in the port of London. It was alleged that by that acting the defendants had infringed the patent, and so it was held by Bacon, V.C., but his decision was reversed by the Court of Appeal (jamf.s, Baooallay, and Lush, L.JJ.). The plaintiffs' case was put in this way. It was said that, the peculiar natare of the invention being the making nitro-glycerine transportable with safety, anyone who moved' the article with safety was in fact using the invention, and anyone who had the control of the article manufactured hy Krebs & Co., though merely for the purpose of transhipment in England and exportation therefrom, was in fact using the invention in England. Kreba & Co., therefore, through their agent in England to whom their goods wo* consigned, were infringing the plaintiffs' patent, and the defendants, by obtaining the necessary documents from the Custom House, were enabling Krebs & Co. to commit the infringement, and were therefore liable as infringers. James, L.J., said that the defendants had no control over the article; the safety or danger of the transportation wasquite immaterial to them. They could not be said to b» using the invention. The court had always held agents liable for the infringement of a patent, but they must be actual agents directly employed in the transmission in question. The doctrine could not be extended beyond the casa of direct agency.—Solicitors, Wotitriit* # Son* j J. i *■ GoU.

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