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LONDON, OCTOBER 22, 1881.
LEGISLATION OF THE YEAR...................................
fairly entitled the plaintiff to suppose that the wife had authority to pledge the husband's credit except the mere status of marriage, which it is clear is not enough, though the retail tradesman's view always is that it
should be. There are, no doubt, cases on the other CONTENTS.
side of the line which are abundantly clear. If the CURRENT TOPICS ....
921 husband has done anything in the course of the coTHE PRACTICAL EFFECT OF THE CONVEYANCING ACT ..... 922 habitation from which it is a fair inference that he knew
of and assented to his wife pledging his credit, as, for in925 stance, if he allowed her to manage the household and paid
927 debts contracted by her in the course of such manageCASES OF THE WEEK Ind v. Kayler......
ment, such as debts to butchers, bakers, and grocers, he In re The Universities Co-operative Association (Limited). 929 would be liable for debts of a similar nature; if he paid Caruncho v. Stephenson
bills contracted by the wife for clothing he would be Hodges v Laing .............................
929 Evans v Digby ......
liable for debts contracted for clothing; and, in accord. LAW STUDENTS' JOURNAL...........................
930 ance with the general principle of the law of agency, a LEGAL APPOINTMENTS COMPANIES .....................................
retractation of the authority would not be effective unless CREDITORS' CLAIMS .............
communicated to the tradesmen. Again, assuming & COURT PAPERS ....
retractation of authority to be material, a jury may, LONDON GAZETTES, &o., &c...
932 PUBLIC GENERAL STATUTES.
from the conduct of the husband, be oftentimes justified in disbelieving in the existence of such retractation, though alleged. But there are many conceivable cases between the classes which fall well within or well with
out the line. The sort of case we are imagining is one UBIQUE vatibus occurras. While Mr. Serjeant where there is more than the mere fact of cohabitation, BALLANTINE is understood to be preparing for publi
and the wife does manage the establishment, but the cation reminiscences of his career, which it is hoped will
husband makes her a sufficient allowance for the ex. include a translation of the congratulatory verses in penses of such establishment, and forbids her to pledge Gujerati and Marathi which were recited upon his entry | his credit beyond such allowance. We should think, in to Baroda, we hear that one of his brethren of the inner
prudently-managed households, this case is very combar is engaged upon a metrical version of the Psalms mon. But in such a case every husband knows that of David.
things are not actually paid for on delivery. A certain
credit is always given, even if but a week. The wife, THE DISCUSSION at the Brighton meeting on Bills of
in such a case, acts as the husband's agent in incurring
and paying the debts out of the allowance made to her. Sale was particularly well-timed, and the course adopted
The tradesman, no doubt, would in such a case debit of formulating in resolutions the opinion of the meeting
the husband with the goods, and would receive payment cannot be too highly commended. We cannot help re
from the wife as the agent of the husband. Suppose, gretting, however, that the suggestion for the repeal of the 20th section of the Act of 1878 was not adopted.
after this course of dealing has gone on for some time,
a debt is incurred which the wife does not defray out of Mr. DANIEL, Q.C., in his answer to the Lord Chancellor's
the allowance given to her by the husband, having circular, put the matter, as it seems to us, in its true light. Under the old law, he said, “the interests of
spent that on some other purpose. Would, in such a bona fide creditors were to some extent protected in
case, proof of the real circumstances as between the
husband and wife be a defence to an action against the bankruptcy through the operation of the order and
husband? We do not think the case quite clear, disposition doctrine. Under the Act of 1878 that pro
though, from much that is said, especially by Lord tection has been taken away, and the money-lender
BLACKBURN, in Debenham V. Mellon, it would seeni under his bill of sale is now absolutely secure, and enables the debtor to set his other creditors at defi.
that the answer ought to be in the affirmative. ance.” Mr. MILLER, in his excellent remarks in the
But applying the ordinary principles of the law of prin
cipal and agent to the question, it does not seem free course of the discussion at Brighton, affirmed that of the 200 bills of sale which are given in each working day of
| from doubt. Suppose & principal were to employ an the year not less than 150 are the result of this 20th
agent to conduct a business in his name, giving him a section. What necessity was there to improve the
certain sum for expenses, but forbidding him to pledge security of a bill of sale, as was done by this section ?
his principal's credit beyond that sum, could the princi. We print this week a letter from
It may be that pal thus shield himself from liability ?
a well-informed and experienced correspondent which seems to us to contain
the case of a business of which the principal takes the
profit is different. It might be urged, however, that a suggestion well worthy of consideration-viz., that it
the husband having allowed the wife to do acts importshould be rendered illegal for a trader to grant a bill of sale on stock-in-trade and articles in which he deals in
ing a general authority to manage the household, could
not affect the tradesman who gave credit on the strength the ordinary course of his trade.
of such appearance of authority by a private arrange
ment with the wife in limitation of such authority THERE SEEMS to be an impression abroad that the
| unknown to the tradesman. On the whole, it seems to case of Debenham v. Mellon (29 W. R. 141, L. R. 6 App.
us that the case of Debenham V. Mellon may perhaps 31), has laid down a principle upon which all questions
have still left open various nice questions on the law relating to the authority of the wife to pledge the hus with respect to this subject. band's credit may be readily decided, and we have heard of some rather summary decisions in the county courts based upon that case. It may be worth while to point OUR CORRESPONDENT, Mr. JOHN HUGHES, whose letter out that there was really nothing in that case which we printed last week, has returned to the charge. He has written us another letter, in a very courteous and The court may make an order “to give effect to the good-humoured tone, in which he takes some ex- sale"; that is surely the same thing as "to complete ception to our "somewhat summary method of the sale." How on earth does this tend to show that to disposing” of his suggestions. We regret that, in the make a sale is not to complete a sale? We cannot see crowded state of our columns this week, it is impossible that it throws any light upon tae matter whatever. for us to print his lengthy letter in full, but we shall give
Lastly, Mr. HUGHES thinks that, “ remembering the those parts which seem to be material.
distracted session which produced this important measure, The first relates to our interpretation of section 13 of the it may well be that it has defects, and will even have its Act. Mr. HUGHES, relying, as we think unduly, upon the victims'"; but he seems to plead that it has neverthepunctuation, proposes to place upon this section an inter less indisputable merits, and reminds us, in some words pretation which implies a sarcasm upon the Act much of Cardinal NeWMAN, that no mark will be hit if it is more severe than anything which we have written, He never shot at. But the political distractions of the says: “Your reading of the 13th section ignores the session are so far from being any excuse for wbatever commas which mark off the phrase with a leasehold re
defects the Act may show, that they are rather an version,' and set it in apposition to 'a term of years to
aggravation. The time when the attention of the be derived,' &c. The words with a leasehold reversion'
ordinary meddler is distracted by general polities is the constitute an explanation of the manner in which the
| most favourable for safely passing an Act like this with term of years is to be granted, and are not an extension
out his disastrous interference. Besides, we have reason or qualification of the idea 'leasehold interest.'" Can
to know that the Act has been under consideration Mr. HUGHES gravely contend that this is the true con
for nearly two years; and we cannot forget the tradinection of the words, and that the Act talks about
tion that Mr. Brodie, in a more difficult case, reached deriving, out of a lease, a sub-lease with a leasehold re
perfection in six months. And we confess to a profound version ? as if, perchance, some sub-leases might have
| feeling of sympathy with its prospective “ victims," who upon them a freehold reversion! We repeat that we, will be doubtfully consoled for their own loss by the gain, who have come under Mr. HUGHES' censure for our even if it be certain, of other people. alleged severity, have never said anything about the Act half so cutting as this imputation made by a friendly critic. Nor can we quite follow Mr. HUGHES in his next words : “The very expression reversion' | desiderates a term of years." He surely cannot mean
THE PRACTICAL EFFECT OF to affirm that there can be a reversion only upon a THE CONVEYANCING ACT. term of years, and not upon any greater estate. Mr. HUGHES frankly states the objection against his
V.—GENERAL WORDS (continued). curious interpretation of section 13, that it renders the We feel compelled, for the reasons indicated in our last word “ leasehold ” in the pbrase "leasehold reversion" article, to express the opinion that purchasers cannot safely redundant, but, by way of defence, he maintains that by / rely upon the forms of “general words” implied under parity of reasoning in section 3, sub-section (1), the the Act, unless in those cases in which, under the present words “ leasehold reversion" are also redundant; and practice, they would be willing to omit “ general words ** he suggests that the words were used in both sections | altogether. We are not able to satisfy ourselves that
in contradistinction to the freehold reversion, as to these forms contain any provision for re-granting ex. which provision had already been made by the Vendor tinguished easements. Some of our readers might and Purchaser Act, 1874." We cannot admit that the perhaps be inclined to suggest that this may be effected cases are at all parallel. The words “leasehold rever by the phrase "reputed to appertain"; but we cannot sion," referring to an existing reversion, are properly concur in this opinion, for two reasons. In the first used in section 3 for the purpose mentioned by our place, the words are not appropriate. This phrase correspondent. But the construction of section 13 con properly refers, not to extinguished easements, but to tended for by him would make the Act forbid the
easements which are enjoyed by a doubtful title, and we purchaser to call for the title to a reversion which does think that it was probably originally designed with not yet exist.
reference to the danger to which, before the Prescription Act, the claimant of an easement was exposed, in case
the other side could show an origin not lying in express MR. HUGHES Dext returns to the “doubt and am grant and less remote than the first year of Richard I. biguity" which we said surrounded the meaning of the i This would formerly have defeated the claim; and the expression “sale made." This doubt, he now contends, hardships inflicted by the rule in a manner forced the “ may be dispelled by reference to section 5. By sub judges to invent the well-known fiction of a lost grant, section 4, the section applies to 'sales made' after the which the Prescription Act practically confirmed and commencement of the Act. By sub-section 2, the court placed on a legal basis. We think that the phrase "reis empowered to make an 'order for conveyance, or veste puted appurtenants" had its origin in a fear lest the bare ing order, proper for giving effect to the sale.' There-word" appurtenants" might not suffice to carry rights to fore," says Mr. HUGHES, “the contract, and not the comple which only a defective title existed. For this reason, we tion of the sale, is a 'sale made.'” Having gently reminded | do not think that extinguished easements are within the him that he has shifted his ground (for in his former letter meaning of reputed appurtenants. And it must not be he referred us, not to section 5, but to "four previous forgotten that when we use the word "reputed” in this sub-sections" of section 3, which we declared ourselves connection, the only reputation to which we can properly unable to find, and which he now seems to be no more refer is that between the owners and occupiers of the able to find than we were), we reply as follows. In the dominant and servient tenements respectively. The first place, we must decline, so far as regards the mean. reputation of the vicinage is quite irrelevant to easeing of “sole," to interpret section 3 by means of section ments, and would not, properly speaking, be admissible 5, because section 3 contains a special interpretation as evidence to prove them. The rights to which the clause of its own (sub-section 8), specifically dealing with reputation of the vicinage is relevant, are not easements, the meaning of the word "sale" as used in that section. but public righte. And what could be more grotesque This (especially considering the terms in which it is than an owner reputing himself to be able to cross one couched) seems to us to exclude all other sources of in of his own fields because he happened also to possess terpretation derived from the Act. And in the second another? In the second place, the phrase used in the place, even allowing section 5 to be called as a witness, Act is “ appertaining or reputed to appertain"; and we we protest that we cannot see upon what grounds Mr. submit that the time here indicated by “reputed" must HUGHES deduces his inference from the words he cites. be identical with that indicated by “appertaining"; and
this can hardly be any other than the time which is noticing that of what has been done in the past to this directly afterwards indicated more emphatically as “the end, little is due to Acts of Parliament. And the omens time of conveyance.” It is very significant that in many are certainly not obviously in favour of this Act; for a old forms the reader will find the words, " at any time good many Acts have been passed during the last forty heretofore"; and similar expressions. We think that years, bearing a close resemblance in their fundamental the impropriety (to use a studiously mild expression) of ideas and methods to the present Act, all of which have regarding an owner in fee simple as enjoying an ease- been conspicuous failures. The only Act which has ment over one part of his land in respect of another part, been a conspicuous success gives emphasis to this fact, by is so obvious, that it should not lightly be imputed to an the utter diversity of its character. We allude to the Act of Parliament. And since the result of the imputa- Act for abolishing Fines and Recoveries. Fines and tion would be to deprive some very remarkable and common recoveries were formerly among the most emphatically repeated words of all their apparent mean- important of the “common assurances of the realm "; ing, we can feel no confidence that the courts will adopt but a single Act of Parliament superseded these that course.
cumbrous and expensive proceedings by a deed which Another awkward consequence seems to follow from remains quite singular in its brevity and simplicity. the insertion of these words, at the time of conveyance.
Yet we now find the highest legal authorities once These may possibly have been inserted in view of the more coming forward, to try once more by wellfaet that a conveyance does operate from the time of its worn methods which ave repeatedly been tried in execution and affects only rights which the conveying
vain, whether they cannot banish general words and parties at that time either possess or are otherwise
covenants for title from conveyances, and give to mortcapable of granting. The framers of the Act may have
gagees by statute all that they can reasonably demand, inserted these words from a desire to make their impli.
and so forth. We should have thought that a better ·cation of law conterminous in time with the deed's hope would have been offered by another method. We operation in fact. But we seem here to find a confirma believe, indeed, that another method is in some quarters tion of the remarks made by us in a former article upon supposed to have been found in the Solicitors' Remunera. the difficulties inseparable from all attempts to turn
tion Act. But, for our own part, we should rather have these simple matters into abstract and universal proposi.
been disposed to advocate another style of drafting. For tions. What a purchaser bargains for, and what he is
example, instead of making out lists of “general entitled to get, dates, not from the time of conveyance,
words,” it might have been considered carefully what but from the time of the contract. It is true that the
useful functions “ general words” do in fact fuldl; and law knew nothing of the contract, and that the convey
the attempt might have been made to render needless ance operates from the time of its execution ; and the the part of them which is now necessary, by assimilating course rightly pursued by the purchaser is to see that the law in respect of them to the law applicable to the the conveyance expressly includes all that he bar- | part which is universally admitted to be superfluous. It gained for at the time of the contract. This is done would be quite possible to enact that in future, whenunder the common practice as a matter of course, with
ever a once existing easement has become extinguished out any particular notice being taken of the fact that it
by the union in seisin of the dominant with the servient is done. But when the question is, not about adapting tenement, then, upon any conveyance, made within an actual conveyance in express terms to an actual con twenty years afterwards, of either tenement apart from tract, but about devising some universal and abstract the other, the easement should, in the absence of the propositions in an Act of Parliament which are to be expression of a different intention, revive and become
icable to all contracts and to save everybody | appurtenant to the dominant tenement. by implication from the trouble of expressly adapting his conveyance to the state of the facts, difficulties at
VI.--COVENANTS FOR TITLE. once begin to emerge. What are we to say about We have now to turn our attention to section 7, which appurtenants or reputed appartenants, which admit of deals with implied covenants for title, and seems to be being altered, released, extinguished, or interrupted,
regarded by the public with a degree of interest ont of between the time of making the contract and the time
all proportion to its importance, even granting that the of making the conveyance ? does it not seem that these
forms of covenants here supplied, and the mode of supwould pase, if at all, not as they existed at the former
plying them, are such as a prudent man would choose time, but as they existed at the latter time? It is pos.
to rely upon. Even if this much were granted in their sible that this question may become one of grave im.
favour (and we shall presently mention some doubts portance, if the ideal state of things at which the suc.
which we think worthy of serious consideration), it cessive Vendor and Purchaser Acts and the part now
by no means follows that these implied forms will be under consideration of this Act were manifestly aiming,
commonly adopted in practice. The experiment has been should ever be realized in practice; namely, that in all
tried before only to fail ; and it seems to us that those ordinary cases the only contract between the parties
who expect it now to succeed, lie under the necessity of sball be a bare open contract to sell on the one hand and
showing that the present conditions of the trial are such to purchase on the other.
as to warrant the expectation of a different result. We For these reasons we find it very difficult to assert, are quite aware, as we once before observed, that some even upon the most favourable construction of the forms people find in the Solicitors' Remuneration Act the true given in section 6, that their use wculd be free from leverage which is to bring the Conveyancing Act into risk; and cautious persons may not improbably think | common use; but we are not sufficiently cynical to that the gain of omitting“ general words” from a con believe that the failure of former schemes has been due veyance is not great enough to compensate even for the to a selfish cupidity on the part of the profession, or that slightest risk. We regret that so favourable an oppor- | nothing is needed in matters of this sort to attain success tunity of pruning away a mere excrescence should have except the timely and judicious offer of a bribe. Other been lost; but we think it possible that conveyancers causes of a far more respectable kind can be assigned may be induced to venture upon the safe improvement for the complete neglect with which the 8 & 9 Vict. c. of omitting in future those parts of the “ general words" | 119 has in practice been treated. That Act was both which are universally admitted to be superfluous, and well conceived and well executed, and failed, in our inserting only the part which, in our opinion, still re- opinion, from causes which must always interpose very tains an intelligible and useful function.
serious obstacles in the way even of perfect schemes of We hope our readers will not do us the injustice to this kind. In the first place, the gain is much smaller think that we are indifferent to the improvement of con than it is commonly supposed to be. This gain cannot veyancing. This is, on the contrary, a cause which we by any possibility exceed whatever is to be gained by have most seriously at heart. But we cannot help omitting a few folios (exactly four in simple cases) from
LEGISLATION OF THE YEAR,
the conveyance. Against this we have to place the incouvenience of having a deed which, even if perfect in its operation, does not show the mutual rights of the parties upon the face of it. This inconvenience is common to all those well-meant attompts of Parliament
STATUTE LAW REVISION. to confer powers by implication; of which the CAP. 59.-AN ACT FOR PROMOTING THE REVISION OF THE obvious result is to leave the parties more helpless STATUTE LAW BY REPEALING VARIOUS ENACTMENTS CHIZYLI than ever in the hands of their legal advisers, since their RELATING TO CIVIL PROCEDURE OR MATTERS CONNECTED rights, duties, and liabilities depend upon the construc THEREWITH, AND FOR AMEXDING IN SOME RESPECTS THE tion of several difficult Acts of Parliament. We can LAW RELATING TO CIVIL PROCEDURE. not think that anybody will find the interpretation of We dealt recently with the repeal of the 17th section 7 of the Conveyancing Act, and the precise estima.
section of the Statute of Frauds, and the revival of the tion of the rights and liabilities which it confers, by any
60th section of 43 Geo. 3, c. 161, effected by this statute. means so easy an undertaking as the determination of
We will now say a few words upon the statute as similar questions arising under express covenants for title.
whole. It may be described as carrying on, but very Then something must be allowed for the susceptibilities
far from completing, the work of Statute Law Re. of the clients. The family solicitor finds his clients
vision which was begun so far back as 1856 by 19 & 20 apt to mark with uneasiness the omission of clauses with
Vict. c. 64, "An Act to repeal certain statutes which are which they have been familiar (though it may be with
not in use," and followed up in 1861, 1863, 1867, 1870, out fully understanding them) on former occasions and
1871, 1872, 1873, 1874, 1875, and 1878 by the in similar deeds; nor are they always re-assured by Statute Law Revision Acts “for further promoting the hearing that the omission is sufficiently supplied by
Revision of the Statute Law by repealing certain enactstatute. These causes must always prevent the use of
ments which have ceased to be in force or become an. such statutes from becoming by any means universal in necessary," and in 1879 by the Civil Procedure Acts practice, and they suficiently account for the failure of
Repeal Act of that year. the 8 & 9 Vict. c. 119 without the help of any ungracious
The present Act appears to repeal about eighty enactimputations upon the honour of the profession;
ments, of which it is said in the preamble that they it seems also to follow that the removal of the
“ may be regarded as spent or having ceased to be in alleged cause of those imputations is no very strong
force otherwise than by express and specific (why ground for the hope of a different result in the future.
and specific ?] repeal by Parliament, or having by With regard to the earlier Act just mentioned, it did
lapse of time and change of circumstances become anindeed lie under this great disadvantage, that it did not
necessary," or that their subject-matter“ is provided propose to dispense with covenants for title altogether,
for by or under the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, but only to shorten them. This fact still further
1873, and the Acts amending it; so that for these “ or reduced the small gain, both of trouble and of space,
for other reasons” they may properly be repealed. which could be looked for in adopting the Act. The
Amongst the repealed enactments the more historically present Act aims at dispensing altogether with
important are 13 Ed. 1, c. 30, relating (inter alia) to the the insertion of any covenants, and demands nothing
assignment of justices at Nisi Prius; 12 Ric. 2, c. 10, remore from those who use it than that they shall by
lating to the wages of justices [of the peace) and their prescribed methods indicate who are the implied covenan.
clerks, and 12 & 13 Will. 3, c. 2, whereby judges' comtors. So far this is undoubtedly an advantage ; though
missions were first directed to be made out quamdiu se it is one which easily admits of being estimated too
bene gesserint instead of durante bene placito. Amongst highly. But there can be no doubt that no advantage
more modern enactments are Turner's Act (13 & 14 Vict. of this sort can count for anything at all in playing this
c. 35), “except sections 19 to 25," the Petitions of Right game, unless the scheme to which it is annexed attains
Act, 1860, s. 15, and the Legal Practitioners Act, 1876. to the standard of perfection in being absolutely safe,
The Common Law Procedure Acts of 1852, 1854, and and in supplying people, both vendors and purchasers,
| 1860 are conspicuous by their absence, and still remain with that judicious mean which long custom has disposed
to encumber the Statuts Book, but we believe that the one to be willing to give, as not being too much,
it is in contemplation to promulgate certain Rules of and the other to be willing to accept, as not being too
Court which will have the effect of re-enacting such little. Whether the forms given in the Act do in fact
few portions of these Acts as are still practically alire, fulfil these needful preliminary conditions, is the question
and, that done, by a further Revision Act to repeal which we propose next to consider.
these three Acts, and, we hope, all other Procedure Acts anterior to the Judicature Act.
The 6th section of the Act is of some little importIn consequence of the illness of the Lord Chancellor, the
ance. It enacts that “the enactments relating to the Lord Chief Justice of England has been appointed by her
making of Rules of Court contained in the Supreme Majesty to receive the Lord Mayor elect on November 2.
Court of Judicature Act, 1875, and the Acts amending A recent number of the Chicago Legal Adviser, contains
it, shall extend and apply to all matters with respect to the following advice to the Chicago bar : “After the
which rules of procedure or general orders might hare summer vacation, it is expected that the several courts will
been made under any enactment repealed by this Act, be located in the new court-house. In anticipation of this,
and to all proceedings by or against the Croton.** it is ventured to remark, in a friendly way, that the hope The italicised part of the section effects an important is expressed that the members of the bar will not, as some amendment of the Judicature Acts, or rather of ord. 62, have been known to do in the present court-bouse on Adam. promulgated 80 recently as April, 1880, which, we street, convert the tables and railings of the various court. suppose, will shortly be abrogated. rooms into footstools. Outside of a question of manners and good breeding, this should not be done. Such scenes have been witnessed almost daily. It does not become the dignity
NEWSPAPER LIBELS. of a lawyer to perch bis feet on the railing immediately in CAP. 60.-AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW OP NEWSPAPIE front of the judge and clerk, and expect them to have any
LIBEL, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE REGISTRATION OF favourable estimation of the party or his breeding. Pride
NEWSPAPER PROPRIETORS. in having our court-rooms neat and clean should poss988 every lawyer. It should not become necessary in our State
Next to the Conveyancing and Law of Property Act, Courts, as has been done in the United States Court, to place this is the most important English statute of the session. a sign on each table, not to place your feet on the table. The freedom of the “ society" and other newspapers Let self-respect and good breeding govern each attorney in having produced its natural effect in a series of actions, this respect.”
prosecutions, criminal informations, justifications, and
cross-examinations, it has been deemed expedient (1) to
THE CONVEYANCING ACT.
as “any paper containing public news, intelligence, or THE NEW CONVEYANCING Acts. INCLUDING THE Coxoccurrences, or any remarks or observations therein, VEYANCING AND LAW OF PROPERTY Act, 1881, AND THE printed for sale, and published in England or Ireland
SOLICITORS' REMUNERATION Act, 1881, with INTRODUCperiodically, or in parts or numbers at intervals not ex TION, NOTES, AND FORMS. By Sydney E. WILLIAMS, ceeding twenty-six days between the publication of any of Lincoln's-inn, Esq., Barrister-at-Law. Stevens & two such papers, parts, or numbers ; also any paper
Haynes. printed in order to be dispersed and made public weekly The considerable length at which this Conveyancing or oftener, or at intervals not exceeding twenty-six days, Act is now being reviewed in our columns renders it containing only or principally advertisements," the first
unnecessary for us to express any detailed opinion upon object of the Act is sought to be attained in four clauses
the notes and comments of Mr. Williams. But we may (sections 2-6) to the following effect:
say briefly that the notes generally show acuteness and (a.) “ Privilege” is given to fair reports of public good sense; that the cases cited (necessarily not very meetings — thus extending the principle of Davis v.
numerous) are important to the matter in hand, and that Duncan (L. R. 9 C. P. 396).
the introduction contains a fair summary of the Act as (6.) The interposition of the “Director of Public
a whole, though we might ourselves be inclined to view Prosecutions” is required before a criminal prosecution some parts of it with a less hopeful eye than the author can be instituted-a provision entirely new. :
apparently does. We lay some little stress upon the fC.) A court of summary jurisdiction is to have power penultimate word of our last sentence; for we have not to hear evidence on a defence of “justification” before I always found the tone of the introductory remarks quite committing for trial-thus reversing the rule of Reg. v.
easy to reconcile with the criticisms in the notes. Carden (L. R. 5 Q. B. D. 1).
Occasionally we have found something of which we were (d.) A similar court, if of opinion that “though the not auite able to follow the meaning. The
says person charged is shown to have been guilty, the libel (p. 40), in a note upon section 10 of the Conveyancing was of a trivial character, and that the offence may be Act, " The condition of re-entry and all other conditions adequately punished,” ou summary conviction, may are to go with the reversion or any part thereof. This itself convict the offender, and adjudge him to pay a provision extends 22 & 23 Vict. c. 35, 8. 3, which only fine not exceeding £50.
applied to conditions of re-entry, and only where a rent Against the first three of these provisions we have not
had been legally apportioned.” We might perhaps have a word to say. They seem to be perfectly fair and thanked Mr. Williams if he had given us some further reasonable, and recent cases have shown how much they | information about these “other conditions," which, it are required. But the working of the fourth provision,
would seem, are not conditions of re-entry. But if he which arms “courts of summary jurisdiction” with a is not absolutely clear upon this point, he might plead kind of local censorship of the press, will have to be very that Acts of Parliament could be found (and are not far carefully watched. If justices should be inclined to to seek) which are no clearer. Altogether we think that push their powers too far, it is hard to say whera a his work displays intelligence, and is likely to be useful. remedy could be found.
The second object of the Act is carried out in fourteen clauses (sections 7-20) as follows:
(a.) A register of newspaper proprietors is to be kept by the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies, and to be
CORRESPONDENCE. open to public inspection, with power to any person to require copies and extracts.
SHERIFFS AND THEIR OFFICERS. (6.) The printer and publisher of every newspaper [To the Editor of the Solicitors' Journal.] is bound, under pain of a fine of £25, to make an annual
Sir,-I am glad to see that attention has at length return for the purpose of making up the register.
been drawn to the serious difficulties which are, in many (c.) “Every copy of an entry in or extract from the
ways, thrown in the way of obtaining from sheriffs' register purporting to be certified ... shall be
officers moneys which they have received from execureceived as conclusivo evidence of the contents of the
tions levied by them. said register, ... and every such certified copy or
Quite recently very much trouble was experienced, extract shall, in all proceedings, civil or criminal, be ac
and no little expense was incurred, in securing, after a cepted as sufficient primâ facie evidence of all matters
great deal of delay, the fruits of an execution which had and things (why and things ?] thereby appearing unless
some time previously been levied by one of the sheriffs and until the contrary thereof be shown.”
of a home county. This last provision is a vast improvement on the law
The sheriff's officers gave no attention whatever to the as it was before the passing of the Act, under which it was very difficult to “get at" defendants. The rule of
repeated applications, which were made by letter and Reg. v. Holbrook (L. R. 4 Q. B. D. 42), that a proprietor is
personally, and even the under-sheriff himself manifested
a degree of indifference unworthy of his position. nnt criminally liable as such, is, we may observe, left
Indeed, there were so many applications pending against untouched.
the sheriff of this particular county, that the judge We have not noticed any difficulty of construction in
before whom they came threatened to make an order for the Act. Criminal informations, though not named, ap
the personal attendance of the sheriff. Acting upon pear to come within its scope. It might have been
this hint, I wrote to the sheriff myself, but he did nothing better, perhaps, expressly to name them. The marginal
beyond simply courteously acknowledging my letter. Of note to section 8 is, as was said by Bramwell, L.J., in
course the sheriff, as a rule, knows nothing of these Attorney-General v. Great Eastern Railway Company
matters, and if he is communicated with probably only (L. R. 11 Ch. D., at p. 460), of “some" marginal
passes on the letter to his under-sheriff. notes, "grossly inaccurate."
In addition, I wrote to a member of Parliament, who had formerly been a Cabinet Minister, and who represented the constituency to which my client belonged.
He seemed disinclined to take up the matter, and my The late Lord Advocate bas taken his seat on the Scot. client, having ultimately obtained his money, was so sick tish bench as Lord McLaren.
į and tired of the matter that he declined to pursue it any