« PreviousContinue »
In Lord Jubtice James the nation has lost a judge who possessed in no ordinary degree that integrity which, as Lord Bacon says, is above all things the " portion nnd proper virtue " of judges. He had a passionate loathing for injustice, oppression, and trickery; restrained only by the strong common sense which tanght him that settled rules of law must not be displaced to avcid individual Hardship. In knowledge of real property law he was fI obably unrivalled on the bench, and in force aud clearness of diction he had few equals. His grasp of the> facts of the most complicated case was singularly rapid and accurate. Perhaps it was this facility of apprehension which led him sometimes into a rather too early expression of opinion as to the legal bearing of f;tcts. He was not always "swift to hear and slow to decide." He was not always patient with counsel whose sense of duty to their clients led them to combat the view which he had taken up. But with all this he was a judge who inspired great confidence. His opinion, if sometimes prematurely expressed, was seldom wrong; aud it was usually suppoited by a clear enunciation of principle and a careful analysis of cases. His place at Lincolu'sinn will be hard to fill.
We Report, with much pleasure, the complimentary dinner given by the Incorporated Law Society to the Provincial Law Societies. The speeches were admirable, aud the tone and spirit of the proceedings afforded a pleasant contrast to some recent meetings within the walls of the Law Institution. The President, with the genial frankness which makes him so popular, alluded to these recent meetings as being among the difficulties of his year of office. We may, perhaps, be pardoned if we speak with equal frankuess, and say that tho council have only themselves to blame for the dissatisfaction expressed at these meetings. The members of the council are men for whom individually the highest esteem is felt. They work hard and conscientiously in the interests of the prfoession, but they spoil all by not taking the profession sufficiently into their confidence. They seem to fancy that they are competent to express the general opinion of the solicitors on public questions without taking any pains to ascertain it. They render occasional curt accounts of their proceedings to the general public (who do not care two straws about them) in paragraphs in the Times, and they print a report, which no one reads, once a year, but they seem to forget that they have a large constituency of educated men who want to know in detail from time to time what is being done in the council chamber, aud who object to being pledged behind their backs to opinions on important legal measures.
The Promotion of Mr. Charles Hall to the rank of Queen's Counsel vacates the ancient office of "Tubman" to which he was appointed by Sir Fitzroy Kellt in 1878. Within the old Court of Exchequer ths Tubman had precedence of the Solicitor-General in all business except Crown business. His name was said to be derived from the box or " tub" which he occupied on the right extremity of the first row of seats for the outer bar. The privileges of the Tubman were maintained in the Exchequer Division, and after the absorption of the Exchequer in the Queen's Bench Division the judges intimated that, whenever a divisional court might be sitting in the old Court of Exchequer, the Tubman would be permitted to retain his right of precedence.
The 6low Progress of the Lower House in legislative business has only been equalled by the blow progress of the Upper House in judicial business. The law lords re-assembled after the Easter recess with a list of fourteen appeals, only oue-half of which number have been argued, and of these three are still standing for judgment. Ouly two English appeals were disposed of, Lee Constrvancy Beard v. Button, and Davis v. Treharne. In the former case the House affirmed a decision of the Court of Appeal which had reversed a judgment of ViceChancellor Malins on the construction of certain private statutes relating to the River Lee, and in the latter the decision both of the Court of Appeal and of Lord ColeRidge as to the construction of a mining lease was upheld by the House. The generally uninteresting nature' of the cases before the House may have been the reason why the two lords of appeal in ordinary were the only law lords who assisted the Lord Chancellor in the hearing of appeals.
"we Commented recently on the practice adopted by the Urban Sanitary Authority of the city of Bristol of Belling their surplus lands under conditions of Bale which preclude the purchaser from requiring any title to be shown, or from obtaining any covenants for title, or any covenant for production of deeds. It appears that the Authority persist in this practice, and they were yesterday to sell no fewer than forty lots under these conditions. The Bristol solicitors held a meeting on the 3rd inst., and passed resolutions (which will be found printed in another column), pointing out the results to the purchaser, and suggesting that the Authority ought at least to give absolute covenants for title. They also requested a number of their body to attend the sale, and to draw public attention to these resolutions. It may seem to be surprising that purchasers can be found for property offered under such conditions, but no doubt people rely on the investigation of title by the Authority. They forget, however, to consider that, as the Authority purchase for street improvements, and eell at once all their surplus lands under conditions freeing them from all risk and responsibility, there is not the same inducement to exercise care in the investigation of titles as if they were buying either to hold or to sell again under t sual conditions. Some purchaser will one day come to P ief, and then there will be no more bidders at these i.uctions of surplus lands.
The Pendinq Govebnment Prosecutions for corrupt practices committed at the last general election have already given rise to questions as to the certificate to be given by Election Commissioners under 26 & 27 Vict, c. 9, s. 7. In tho Macclesfield cose (Ex parte Mair), the applicant had, in the expectation of being examined as a witness before the Commissioners, given certain information to their secretary with reference to his own conduct as an agent, but they ultimately decided not to take his evidence. The court refused a rule for a mandamus to the Commissioners to grant him a certificate under the Act, on tho ground that his examination, :md Mb giving answers to criminating questions, were conditions precedent to the giving of the certificate. The Sandwich cose (B. v. UolT) was a more difficult one, and a rule nisi had been granted. It appeared that the applicant, when first examined before the Commissioners, Lad not disclosed the whole truth, although on a subsequent examination he had answered fully, and given all the information in his power. In the Bridgewater case (B. v. Eulme, 18 W. R. 831, L. R. 5 Q. B. 377) it was held that a witness was not entitled to a certificate unless the Commissioners were satisfied that all bis evidence was truly given; and this authority was followed in the Sandwich case, in which the court discharged the rule. It will be remembered that the mere
production of such a certificate is to be a ground for staying any proceedings subsequently taken against the witness under any of the Corrupt Practices Prevention Acts.
A Correspondent of a daily paper has been much exercised in mind by an anticipated difficulty in procuring copies of the Customs and Inland Revenue Act, which received the Royal assent on Friday week. Writing before the Bill had received the Royal assent, he stated that "on application at the Queen's printers he was informed that it might be a week or more before the Act could be issued to the public." "I have," he added, "numerous orders for copies of the Act, and in the meantime the public and the profession will have to use their own discretion, and subject themselves to the penalties imposed by the delay of the authorities." Another correspondent complains that he could with difficulty obtain a copy of the Bill. We greatly doubt the right of the public to Bills, which are printed for the use of Parliament alone, but it is clear that,although there may be no locus standi in any of the public to inquire after an Act before it has received the Royal assent, any unreasonable delay in printing one after that event is a great public grievance, to which the attention of Parliament ought immediately to be called. In early times it was common for a statute to end with a direction for its being published by proclamation. The spread of printing soon rendered this unnecessary, but it was the law until 1793 that statutes related back to the first day of the session in which they were passed. This "great and manifest injustice " (see Lakers v. Homes, 4 T. R. 660) was remedied by 33 Geo. 3, c. 13, which provides that "the Clerk of the Parliaments shall indorse (in English) on every Act of Parliament the day, month, and year when the tame shall have passed, and shall have received the Royal assent, and such indorsement shall be taken to be the date of its commencement where no other date of commencement shall be therein provided." Other dates of commencement are, as is well known, frequent enough, the usual postponed date being the 1st of January next after an August session. But postponement is the exception, not the rule, and Revenue Acts, which always impose penalties, and are generally (from being hurriedly prepared and passed, and for other reasons) peculiarly difficult to understand, are never postponed. Is not the time come to reverse the order of things, and make postponement the rule, not the exception P A simple statute extending the commencement of all future Acts (unless the contrary should be expressod) to the period of one month after receiving the Royal assent, would be of very great benefit; and the same statute might very reasonably impose upon the Queen's printers a penalty for every day's delay in printing a sufficient number of copies.
We Have Before Us at last a copy of the Customs and Inland Revenue Act, 1881 (44 Vict. c. 12), which received the Royal asieut on Friday last, the 3rd of June, and was issued to the public on the Thursday morning following. The first question is, at what date does it come into operation? The answer is that the Act generally comes into operation on the 3rd of June, the date of its receiving the Royal assent, but that certain Bsctions of it have a retrospective operation, and came into operation on tho 6th of April last, the 24th of May last, and the Ut of June last. The sections which came into operation on the 6th of April and tho 24th of May are sections 19 and 22, which impose income-tax, and regulate the assessment of income-tax and house-tax in England and Scotland. This retrospective operation of the Income Tax sections is by no means without precedent. It occurred for instance in 1877 (see 40 Vict. c. 12), in 1878 (see 41 Viot. c. 15), and in 1879 (see 42 4 43 Vict, c. 21), although it did not occur in 1880 (see 43 Vict. c.
14). The principal sections which Game into operation on the 1st of June last are the sections which impose the ■new probate duties. They are sections 27, 28, 33, 38, find 42. The material part of section 27 is as follows:—
The duties imposed by the Customs and Inland Revenue Act, 1880 [43 Vict. c 14], upon probate of wills and letters of administration in England and Ireland shall not be payable upon probates or Utters of administration granted on -and after the 1st of June, 1881 ; and on and after that day -in substitution for such duties, and in lieu of the duties imposed by the said Act, . . . there shall be charged and paid, &c, &c.
We have already discussed at some length the provisions of the other sections above mentioned. ■Section 28 gives power to deduct debts and funeral expenses from the value of the estate and effects in the probate account. Section 33 contains provisions for ■obtaining probate where the gross value of the estate -does not exceed £300 in the case of a person dying on or after June 1. Section 38 describes what property -is to be included "in an account" in the ca9e of a person dying on or after that date. And section 42 imposes •duty on legacies under £20 under the wills of persons ■dying on or after that date. The Act oontains forty-eight sections in all. The sections of which -we have not already made mention regulate customs -and excise duties on tea and beer, give an interpretation of " servant" and "other person" in section 13 of the Customs and Inland Revenue Act, 1878 (41 & 42 Vict, ■c. 15), and amend the Stamp Act, 1870, in certain small particulars. And last, though not least, it is provided ■aa follows by section 47 :—
"On and after the 1st of June, 1881, any stamp duties of one penny which may legally be denoted by adhesive sta nps not appropriated by any word or words on the face of them <to any particular description of instrument, may be denot-d by adhesive penny postage stamps; and on and after th»t day postage duties may be paid by the use of penny adhesive -stamps not appropriated by any word or words on the face of them to postage duty, or to any particular description of instrument."
The Lord Chancellor has given his authority to the ■view we ventured to express upon the qnostion whether the Revised Version of the New Testament may be read in churches. He says that " if any clergyman reads in his church the lessons appointed for the Sunday and other services from the 'Revised' Version before it has been recommended or authorized by some sufficient public authority, he will incur a serious ri«k of being held to be an offender against law."
It Is Worth While to observe that the form which is sometimes inserted in provisoes for rj-entry in leases, purporting to authorize the lessor to use the proviso as leave and licence to eject the lessee without any process of law, or otherwise authorizing the ejectment of the lessee withont legal process, was a few days ago held by Mr. Justice Fry to be invalid (Edwicli v. Hawkes, ■ante, p. 587), as being contrary to public policy, inasmuch as it purported to authoriza a forcible entry, an net that is made illegal by the Statute of Richard 2.
It is stated that the Leicester County Court Judge, sitting at Hinckley, baa had to decide a curious oaths question. The plaintiff in a money-lending caso, a Jew, was ■sworn on a Church Servioe for lack of an 011 Tes'ament. Defendant's solicitor objected to bis evidence being received on a Church Service oath. Plaintiff considered he had taken an oath which was binding upon his conscience, and his Honour is reported to have said that it was no use raising objections to the form of oath. Judgment was given for plaintiff.
CAUSE OF ACTION ARISING OUT OF A FELONY.
The question how far the fact that a civil injury amounts to a felony interferes with the action foe the civil injury Is one involving considerable doubt and difficulty. In the recent case of Midland [iiturance Company v. Smith (L. R. 6 Q. B. D. 561) Mr. Justice Watkin Williams gave an interesting general returnS of the history of the law on this subject, but though he was able to come to a clear conclusion on the point immediately involved, he by no means solved all the difficulties connected with the matter. He is of opinion that the history of the law shows that it has gone through three distinct phases with regard to the point. They are as follows:—The general effect of the earlier authorities seems to be that in such cases tbo private wrong and injury was considered to be wholly merged in the public wrong, and therefore no cause of action ever arose. At a later period the strictness of this doctrine was tempered, aud it seams to have been thought that, though there was no merger of the private wrong, it was a condition precedent ti the accruing of the cause of action that the public right should have been vindicated by the prosecution of the felon. The third view mentioned by the learned judge is that there is neither a merger of the civil right, nor that it is a strict conditiou precedeut to such right that there should have been a prosecution of the felou, but that there is aduty imposed upon the injured person not to resort to the prosecution of his private suit to the neglect and exclusion of the vindication of the public law. In the opinion of the learned judge this last is the correct view.
The di-itinctions between these views, though very substantial, are so fur subtle that one can easily understand how one view would, without much difficulty, slide into the other. In early days, when felonies were gener illy punishable by death, and a forfeiture of land and goods wag involved, the right of prosecuting au action nfter a conviction would not have been of much advantage to the plaintiff, aud if the felony had not been prosecuted before tho action brought, it is obvious that to allow damages to be recovered would be an interference with the possible rights of the Crown, and therefore it is not very difficult to see how, in early days, when the rights of the individual met with but scant consideration when they might possibly come into collision with those of the Crown, the doctrine of merger might arise, and be handed down to a somewhat later period.
But though this might sound very well as a legal theory in early days, as time went on it was Been to involve a considerable amount of injustice and absurdity. If the last injury were merged, then, though the felon were acquitted, he could not be sued. This is clearly unjust. To convict a man of felony may require, aud rightly require, much stronger evidence than would suffice to ensure a verdict for a civil wrong. It seems absurd to say that the felony entirely merges the civil wrong in such wise that if a man happens to be acquitted of the felony he is then assumed to go free in respect of the civil wrong. Moreover when it came to pass, either by the extension of benefit of clergy or reduction of punishments, that a conviction of felony did not necessarily involve sentence of death, it might happen that it was not necessarily unprofitable to prosecute an action after conviction, and then it was obvious that it was a great injustice to the party injured that, because the party doing the injury had been guilty also of a public wrong, he should be deprived of the remedy for his private injury.
So the original doctrine was modified into the view that the prosecution for felony was a conditiou precodent to the action for the civil injury. This doctrine appears to have prevailed for a considerable time, but in the case of Weill v. Abrahams (L. R. 7 Q. B. 554), great doubt seems to have been thrown on its soundness, and since the case of Ex ■parte flail (L. R. 10 Oh. D. 667), it can hardly be considered law. The view expressed by BngguUay, L.J., in this latter case seems to be substantially identical with the third view mentioned by Mr. Justice Watkin Williams, but we do not know that that view is very distinctly formulated anywhere else. Previously to the case of Ex parte Ball, in the case of Well) v. Abrahams, Blackburn, J., had expressed a doubt as to the soundness of the then prevailing view, and Bramwell, L.J., points out in Ex parte Ball the great difficulties that arise with respect to any theory on the subject. He says that there are only four possible ways in which the impediment to the action could arise:—(1) That no cause of notion arises out of the felony ; (£) that it does not arise until prosecution ; (3) that it nrises on the act, but is suspended until the prosrcution; (4) that there is neither defence to, or suspension of the claim by or at the instance of the felon debtor, but that tho couit, on its own motion, or at the instance of the Crown, may stay proceedings till public justice is satisfied. But he proceeds to point out that the first alternative is contrary to the later authorities; that the second is to suppose that the cause of action is the debt plus the prosecution, which results in many absurdities, and that the objection both to this and the third alternative is that there are no means by which they can be set up, because the defendant cannot plead his own felony—nemo allegans suam iurpitudinem est audiendus. Then with regard to the fourth alternative he points out that practically it too is fraught with difficulties. He says, "Nobody ever heard of such a tiling; nobody in any case or book ever suggested it till Mr. Justice Blackburn did as a possibility. Is it left to the court to find it out on the pleadings? If it appears on the trial, is the judge to discharge the jury f How is the Crown to know of it?"
The view that there is no impediment to the action unless it i9 shown that the plaintiff has neglected the duty of prosecution enabled Mr. Justice Watkin Williams to dispose of the case before him, on the ground that on demurrer to the statement of claim because it showed a felony it could not be assumed that the plaintiff was guilty of neglect in this respect; but it is to be observed that tbo difficulties suggested by Bramwell, L.J., in Ex parte Ball apply just as much to this third view as to the second view alluded to by the learned judge, so that in reality the case of Midland Insurance Company v. Smith leaves the whole subject as much wrapped in doubt and difficulty as ever.
The value to creditors of the process of foreign attachment, as exercised by certain inferior local courts of record, has been materially diminished by the effect of three recent cases, two of which were decided by the Court, of Appeal, and the third by the House of Lords.
The earliest in date of these decisions is Levy v. Lovtll (28 W. B. C02, L. B. 14 Ch. D. 230), and the question before the court in that case was whether a creditoi who had served a writ of foreign attachment in an action in the Mayor's Court, but had not obtained judgment in the action before the commencement of the bankruptcy or liquidation of his debtor, is a creditor holding security on the property of his debtor within the meaning of section 12 of the Bankruptcy Act, 1869. The Court of Appeal unanimously decided the question in the negative, overruling the decision of the Chief Judge in Bankruptcy, and also a decision of Vice-Chancellor Hall in Re The London Cotton Mills Company (25 W. B. 109), on the grounds that foreign attachment is, in its substance, origin, and intention, a process to compel appearance; that such an attachment cannot be
pleaded by the garnishee in a superior court to an action by the debtor, aud that, after the commencement of the bankruptcy or liquidation of the debtor, the debt due by the garnishee to the debtor has ceased, by operation of law, to be due to the debtor aud has been transferred to the trustee.
The other case decided by the Court of Appeal is Ex parte Seear, In re Price (W. N. 16th April, 1881), iu which the decision of Mr. Registrar Hazlitt, sitting as Chief Judge iu Bankruptcy, was overruled by the same Lords Justices who decided Levy v. Lovell. Ex parte Setar differed from tho latter case, inasmuch as the attachment was issued out of the Tolzey Court of Bristol. The question raised was whether, by au attachment followed by seizure of goods after, but without notice of, the act of bankruptcy, and before the adjudication founded thereon, a creditor is plaoed in the position of a secured creditor under section 12 of the Bankruptcy Act, 1869. It was contended for the respondents that the process of foreigu attachment in the Tolzey Court differed iu impoitaut particulars from the process of foreign attachment in the Mayor's Court. It was held, however, upon the evidence, that the processes were identical aud only for the purpose of compelling appearance, and consequently that the present ques tiou was already decided by Levy v. Lovtll in thenegative.
The third and most important case is that of The Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London v. The London Joint Stock Bank (L. R. 1 C. P. D. 1; on app. 28 W. R. 696, L. R. 5 C. P. D. 494; Uouse of Lords, Times of 2nd of April, 1881), which was decided shortly before Ex parte Seear. In this case the bank sued for a prohibition to restrain proceedings iu foreign attachment against them as garnishees, having in their hands moneys of a customer. The mayor and aldermen pleaded the custom, and also that it had been followed. The proceedings to attach the customers' property were carried on without notice to him, according to tho course of foreign attachmeut as practised for the last two centuries, although iu makiDg up the record on the appearance of the garnishee it has been the practico to insert fictitious statement*, such as thnt ceitain proceedings had been taken to procure the defendant's appearance, and that the defendant had made default iu appearing. It was held by the Court of Appeal (affirming tho Divisional Court, who decided the question on a different ground) that the allegations that nertain proceedings had been taken to procure the defendant's appearance, and that the defendant had made default in appearing, were of the Bubstauce of the plea and that, as they were untrue, the custom had not been followed, and n prohibition to restrain the proceedings lind rightly been granted. The majority of the court expressed an opinion (though it wis not necessary in the view they took of the case to decide the point) that proceedings iu foreign a'tachment cannot be taken against a corporation as garnishees. In '.he course of his judgment, Lord Justice James said, "It seems impossible for us, without violating our judicial oaths, to find in point of fact that what has not been done has been done, and to find that that has been followed which has not been followed. The pleas allege a proceeding to compel a man to appear, suit, default, aud proceedings based on that default. The whole of that is admitted now ta be a mere fiction, nothing of the kind having been done, therefore in point of fact, not only are the pleadings not proved, but they are essentially disproved." The mayor and aldermen appealed, and the Uouse of Lords affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeal, deciding that the custom of foreigu attachment was not applicable to a corporation, on the ground that it was only by committing the garnisheo to prison that he could be compelled to obey the order of the court, and inasmuch as the cases showed that a corporation could not be committed to prison, the only compulsory means of enforcing the orders of the court were in their nature absolutely incapable of being applied. In the course of Lis judgment the Lord Chancellor observed that there was no question raised as to the validity of the custom, and that nothing that had taken place below, nor anything that might take place in that House on that occasion, would throw any doubt on the validity of the custom, if properly followed, where a case really fell within it.
Now—as mentioned above, nnd as our readers are •probably aware—the record of foreign attachment made upon the appearance of the garnishee mixes up with the true history of what has been done a number of what are now, at all events, purely fictitious matters, and have for at least two centuries past ceased to be more than formal, such as the statements that certain proceedings have been taken to procure the appearance of the debtor, and that he has made default in appearing. It would seem, therefore, from the Lord Chancellor's judgment that for the custom to apply in any particular case it will be necessary that the record should be substantially a true one, and that for the future all the matters stated upon its face, in so far as they are substantially part of the custom, must be actually carried out. How far this decision may affect the other matters appearing on the record it is impossible to say; but should it become necessary to observe all these, then the custom will have been practically abolished. All that we can at present state with certainty, as to the future, is, that there must be A bond fide return by the Serjeant-at-mace that the defendant is not within the jurisdiction (the very ground of applicability of the custom being the fact that the defendant is out of the jurisdiction) and that the proceedings taken to procure his appearance have failed to procure it. In addition to this, the defendant must be called at three subsequent courts and must have made default.
As a matter of fact, we are informed that for some time past no writs of attachment have been issued out of the Mayor's Court. This circumstance may be attri. buted to the fact that, in most cases, it is praotically impossible for the serjeant-at-mace to certify that the defendant is out of the jurisdiction, and that should he so certify, and the defendant happen to be within the jurisdiction at the time of the attachment, then an action for damages would lie against the serjeantat-mace. We believe that it has been mooted in some quarter? that an attempt should be made to obtain from the Legislature a modification of the custom. As to the desirability of this we do not give any opinion. We trust, however, that the custom, in the form in which it was resorted to recently, will not be revived. The three cases we have referred to plainly limit the application, while they destroy much of the injustice, of the custom, and this we do not regret. For it has been a curious anomaly that while in proceedings in the superior courts creditors have been obliged to wait until they had obtained judgments before they were able to proceed under the garnishee clauses of the Common Law Procedure Acts and of the Judicature Act, In proceedings in the Mayor's Court, they have been able, by means of a series of fictitious statements of an officer of that court, to obtaiu a lien on the effects of their debtors before proceeding to final judgment, and, in fact, by simply issuing writs of attachment; their debtors all the time having had no notice of what was going on. It is high time that the public should be made aware of the effect of these decisions— riz., that foreign attachment, as resorted to for a couple of centuries, is an illegal method of enforcing a creditor's claims.
Up to Saturday, says the Timet, fourteen pnblio Acts and sixty local statutes had received the Royal assent in nstfite months irom the commencement of the present essioD.
THE IRISH LAND BILL.
After our last article on this subject was written, though before it had reached the hands of our readers, the debate on Sir Stafford Northcote's amendment took plaie in the House of Commons. The debate furnished incidentally a striking illustration, if any were needed, of the character of the defect in the Bill which we pointi'd out last week. We do not by any means concur in the proposed amendment, which seems to us to narrow t;ie tenant's interest far beyond the necessities of the case, but it is noteworthy that so able a lawyer as Mr. Davey, when pressed as to what it was which the tenaut wa? to be allowed to sell, and therefore the incoming tenant to buy, could give no better answer than "whatever he has got;" which is, being interpreted, a law-suit. But it would be, to say the least of it, a doubtful boon tj the tenantry of the future—whatever it might prove t) the existing occupiers—to enact that none of tliemshoull have any reasonable chance of acquiring the possession of a farm except by paying a competition price for the privilege of unlimited litigation. We should have preferred, as we have already stated, to have commenced by defining the nature and extent of the tenant's interest, a term which at present has no tangible meaning over the greater part of the country, and which, even in the North, is of too uncertain a character for the good of the community.
We fear, however, that it would be impracticable to attempt so to alter the present Bill, and, though we do not hesitate to state that we think the Government would be well advised in withdrawing it and introducing auother, proceeding on a different plan, we recognize the hopelessness of pressing such a course at the present stage of the session. And as it is not impouiblt, however difficult it may be, so to mould the present Bill as to accomplish somewhat of the desired effect, we think it, on the whole, more advisable to follow, in our succeeding suggestions, the frame of the measure before us. But in so doing we desire our readers ulways to bear in mind the object which, as we have, we think, conclusively shown, such a Bill ought to have principally in view viz., to confer upon every tenant a atatut of practical immoveability, subject to the payment of a rent to be fixed not by competition but by valuation. It will obviously be of little use to limit the amount of that portion of his rent which he pays to the landlord if he is still to be exposed to unrestricted competition as regards that portion which he has to pay to the outgoing tenant, including (as we showed last week would be the inevitable result of the Bill) the landlord himself in the case of lands in hand. Farther, the values of the respective interests of landlord and tenant, which must be ascertained in order to arrive at a fair valuation rent, ought to be ascertainable by the parties themselves, even in the absence of agreement, without theintsrventiou of any external authority. The duty of the oourt should be, not to determine the amount payable in the case of eviction, but merely to enforoe the payment of an amount otherwise ascertained. We have repeated these conditions from time to time, at the risk of becoming wearisome, because they lie, as it seems to us, at the root of the whole question, and because they have been so inexplicably disregarded by the framers of the Bill, some of whom, at any rate, were, as we have before stated, by no means ignorant of them.
Clause 1 then ought to be altered by substituting in line 2 for the word "tenancy" the phrase "tenantright as hereinafter defined," and by omitting altogether sub-clause (3), which enables the landlord le buy up the tenant-right at a price to be fixed by the court, and subclause (5), which states the grounds on which the landlord may refuse to admit a purchaser; and by substituting for sub-clause (4) the following provision:—" Where the I tenancy is sold to any person other than the landlord.