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“ An objection is sometimes made to the present system of investi- IT IS ANNOUNCED that one of the recipients of the new Afghan gation of title to land on a sale or other dealing-namely, that medal is the Bishop of Lahore, who did duty with the Peshawur the investigation has to be repeated every time there is such a sale Valley field force prior to the signing of the Treaty of Gundamuk. or dealing. The object of clause 2 is to do away, in proper cases, While congratulating the right reverend recipient on his military with the necessity for such repetition. There are cases, for in- decoration, we may perhaps venture to express a respectful hope stance, in which, on the occasion of a purchase, the solicitor for that he will not by wearing it, be led into any difficulties by the intending purchaser knows that the land has only lately been reason of the Constitution of Archbishop STRATFORD, which bought by the intending vendor, and that on that purchase the was intended to obviate the “miscarriage” of “the clergy title was investigated and approved in a manner and under advice apparelling themselves like soldiers rather than clerks”; or with which the intending purchaser's solicitor is satisfied; this the provisions of the 74th Canon of 1603 (which Sir R. clause would enable the second purchaser's solicitor, if he thought PHILLIMORE, in the Purchas case, said was still in force), it expedient, to abstain from repeating the investigation of which prescribes “that in private houses, and in their studies, the title, and to thus save his client expense and delay. At persons ecclesiastical use comely and scholarlike apparel.” A present, a solicitor could not so abstain except on his own war medal may be comely, but it is hardly scholarlike. personal responsibility; while it would be contrary to his professional interest to so abstain. It is true, that with the new system of costs by way of commission or ad valorem to be established under the Solicitors' Remuneration Act of last session,
THE RIGHT OF SUPPORT FOR BUILDINGS these considerations are subject to some qualification ; but clause
BY ADJACENT BUILDINGS. 2 may still operate usefully in diminishing in some cases the
The case of Lemaitre v. Davis (L. R. 19 Ch. D. 281), recently expense of transfer of land." This altogether omits to deal with
an decided by Vice-Chancellor Hall, is an important decision, as being one objection we have always had to this clause. Before a
u | a step further in the same direction as the now celebrated recent case solicitor can dispense with the investigation of title he must place
of Angus v. Dalton (30 W. R. 191, L. R. 6 App. Cas. 740). In himself in a position to prove that “ the title shown to the property
the property this case the question was as to the right of support for buildings
thier purchased has been previous investigated on behalf of a purchaser
from adjacent buildings, and it was suggested that Angus v. Dalton through whom the title is deduced.” In order to ascertain this the
was not in point because it did not decide anything more than solicitor for the second purchaser must obviously require the
the existence of a prescriptive right to support from land. The vendor's solicitor to produce the contract of sale to the vendor, his
Vice-Chancellor, however, very quickly disposed of this suggestion, abstract and requisitions, and the replies to them. The pur
holding that the decision in Angus v. Dalton applied to support from chaser's solicitor has to ask for the production of these before he
| buildings as well as from land. is able to decide whether he will waive further investigation,
The decision in favour of the prescriptive right to support for or whether he will investigate the title afresh. How can the buildin
buildings from buildings seems to involve a somewhat greater vendor's solicitor possibly consent to produce documents which
stretch than that in favour of the right to support from land, will reveal to the purchaser all the questions which the vendor
because there is a difference between the land itself and buildings raised, and all the defects of title which he may have waived,
attached to land which hardly seems to have been as yet fully conupon his purchase ?
sidered-piz., the fact that the latter are apt to decay, and, if not repaired, to fall down. Therefore, if there be a right to support
from a building, it would seem to follow that there is an obligation IT WAS SUGGESTED to us, last week, by a correspondent, to keep that building in repair in order that it may afford support. à propos of the question whether the use of trial by jury should This seems to increase the hardship pointed out by the late not be restricted in civil cases, that it ought to be introduced in Lord Chief Justice in Angus v. Dalton. If it is hard that a class of criminal cases in which trial by judge now prevails— by reason of acts, which are in themselves lawful, and which, thereviz., cases of offences triable at petty sessions. Our correspond- fore, I cannot practically resist, my neighbour should acquire a ent says that the summary jurisdiction of magistrates is anomalous right against me, so that I cannot do what I will with my land, and contrary to all our English notions that a man in a criminal this hardship seems greater when the question of support of buildcase is entitled to be tried by his peers. He also dwells on the ings is involved Not only can I not pull down my building, for tendency of magistrates to rely too much on the testimony of the which I have no further use, but I must, it would appear, keep it police. We feel that there is a great deal in what our corres- in repair for the purpose of supporting my neighbour's building, pondent says, but we cannot, on the whole, agree with his or provide on my land some substitute for the support it afforded. suggestion. It appears to us that it would be, practically, It is true that the acquisition of a right to support from a buildextremely difficult and inconvenient, if not impossible, to carry it ing does not, in the absence of exceptional causes, generally arise out. Petty sessions are held very frequently, and the duty of in the same way as a right to support from land. A building serving as jurymen is already sufficiently troublesome to persons properly constructed should stand of itself without support from whose own business is interrupted thereby. Moreover, it would another building, and the acquisition of any right to support must be impossible to summon jurymen from a distance once a week to generally involve some trespass ab initio which might have been petty sessions, and there are great objections to confining the detected and resisted. But in many cases of ancient buildings choice of jurymen to a small district. Our correspondent calls there may have been settlements of the soil, or from some such attention to the fact that in the county courts a jury may be causes, though there was no trespass originally, one building may required by either party. This is, no doubt, the case, but in have come to lean on the other. In such cases, practically speakpractice, in the vast majority of cases, the parties are satisfied ing, the thing arises from a gradual natural alteration of the with the decision of the judge. If it were otherwise, we are physical circumstances, and, in reality, no action of trespass could disposed to think the system would be found a great burden. be brought. If I erect a house on my soil, and the operation of Admitting, as we do, the propriety of trial by jury in all important natural causes gradually causes it to lean against my neighbour's criminal cases, we think it will be found that there are many house, and, consequently, slightly over my neighbour's land, even criminal cases of smaller moment for the purposes of which a supposing there is a theoretical ground of action, practically it summary jurisdiction is practically necessary, and the dis- would be impossible to bring one. The truth is, that the laws advantages of a jury would outweigh the advantages. The mode which govern actual things will not fit with absolute exactness of administering justice in such smaller cases would cease to be into our legal forms. Therefore, if there is a prescriptive right to properly called summary if trial by jury were introduced. In our support for buildings from other buildings, the hardship we speak opinion, the proper remedy for the evils to which our corres- | of is undoubtedly in some cases involved, and somewhat curious pondent calls attention is the substitution of stipendiary magis questions might follow, which, as far as we know, have never been trates for the unpaid justices of the peace. A professional man much discussed. With regard to land, the question of any is more likely than a layman to be of judicial habits of mind, obligation to actively preserve the existing state of things can but and less likely to be the subject of prepossession in favour of the very seldom arise. The ground generally remains as it was if evidence of the police.
undisturbed by man, but still on a hill side it might be the case that there would be slips. The land of A. slipping, that of B. might slip for want of its support. If such a thing arose from SOME NEW BANKRUPTCY PROPOSALS. some sudden, extraordinary, unexpected operation of natural causes, or was in the natural course of events, however gradual, unavoid
PENDING the introduction by Mr. Chamberlain of the promised Bank. able except by disproportionate expenditure, it could hardly be
ruptcy Bill of the Government this session, two Bills have been intro. suggested that A. was under any obligation to support his own
duced by private members, the first of which, bearing the names of three land in order that it might support the land of B. Even if the members sitting on the Opposition side of the House--viz., Mr. Dixon. catastrophe was reasonably avoidable by taking the proper steps, it Hartland, Mr. Gorst, and Sir E. Lechmere-is based upon the Govern. might be doubted whether A. would in many cases be responsible. ment Bill of last session, which we have recently discussed at considerable It might depend on circumstances. We see considerable difficulty length in these columns. Of course, it is not to be expected that the about the matter. But if this be a doubtful question, wherein
Government will allow this subject to be dealt with by a Bill introduced does the question of support of buildings by buildings differ,
Wildina aiffon | by private members, but it may be useful to consider the modifications in
the Government proposals which are suggested by the Bill now before us, and how can it be put any higher than the natural support of land
as it is probable that the Bill may be relegated to a committee along by land ? Why, because it suited my predecessor in title to with the other Bills introduced or to be introduced. We, therefore, pro. erect a building for which I have no further use, and because it pose to point out shortly and discuss the changes suggested by this Bill suited a neighbour to avail himself for his own purposes of the from the Government Bill of last session. support of that building, should I be bound to obviate in my Clauses 1 to 4 are in the same terms as the same clauses in the Govern. neighbour's interest the natural consequence of the laws which / ment Bill of last year, except that, in sub-clause 1 of clause 4, the govern all physical things, whether natural or artificial-viz., the
amount necessary to constitute a petitioning creditor's debt is fixed
at £50 instead of £20. We have already expressed our approval of decay of the building?
this in our comments upon the Government Bill (ante, p. 70). These are difficult questions from the speculative and theoretical
In clause 5 the following additional fact is proposed to constitute an point of view, but practically there would probably not be much act of bankruptcy-viz., " That the debtor has suspended payment." difficulty or hardship involved. The result of Angus v. Dalton is We are afraid this is a very vague proposition, and it would take conto give effect to that theory of prescription which rests on siderable litigation to determine exactly what would constitute a suspenpractical convenience rather than abstract justice. All experience sion of payment. We do not see any necessity for the proposal, and it shows that it is on the whole for the benefit of the community that would only have the effect of forcing matters into court prematurely and
destroying any attempt to effect an arrangement privately. That may be a long enjoyment should be quieted, and that principle is the basis
consequence which the ultra-reformers of the present day may deem upon which all prescription rests. After a considerable lapse of
beneficial, but we must confess that we do not share in that view. time, that which was in its inception absolutely unjust and
Clauses 6 and 7 are the same as the Government Bill. unlawful becomes lawful and just, and to interfere with it works Clause 8 slightly varies the Government proposals by limiting the practical injustice and wrong. There is, therefore, nothing really appointment of a receiver and manager prior to adjudication to the impossible in the theory that after a considerable period obliga official receiver. tions may arise from the fact that one owner of land has permitted
Clauses 9 to 11 are the same as the Government Bill. another's building to derive support from his. In most cases where |
In place of clause 12 of the Government Bill the following is pro
posed :this question arises—that is to say, in towns or villages—it is generally as much for the benefit of the owner of the servient
“12.-(1.) The official receiver may, if in his opinion the interests of
the creditors require it, appoint an interim manager for the conduct of the tenement to keep it in repair as it is for the owner of the debtor's business, who shall account to him for the game, but the investigadominant tenement that it should be kept in repair.
tion of the debtor's affairs, report concerning them to the creditors, and It is to be observed in passing that the Vice-Chancellor adopts custody of the books, shall be the duty of the official receiver. in a somewhat cursory manner the Lord Chancellor's dictum in
"(2.) The court may continue, or ou the application of any creditor or Angus v. Dalton to the effect that the 2nd section of the Pre- !
creditors, remove or replace such inanager." scription Act applies to negative easements as well as to positive. This appears to us to be a much more workable proposition than the The Lord Chancellor was, we believe, the only law lord who one contained in the Government Bill, but still not without grave expressed an opinion on this point, but the Vice-Chancellor opines
objections as the clanse is drawn. We would suggest that provision
should be made for the nominee of a majority of the creditors to be that Lord Coleridge agreed in it because of his general expres-.
appointed manager in all such cases, and we doubt the policy of sion of concurrence with his brethren. It hardly seems to us
giving the court a power of reviewing the discretion of the official that this very general concurrence is quite sufficient ground for |
receiver. supposing that Lord Coleridge agreed with everything said by In clause 13, sub-clause 1, the only alteration proposed is the omission each of them. The point cannot in many cases be said to be of of the words “or manager" from both the first and second lines. much importance, because the decision in Angus v. Dalton, if it! In clause 14, sub-clause 1 the followiug alterations are proposed :is not to be considered as establishing that negative easements are
In line 4. “ seven days" are inserted for three days”; in line 5, after within the 2nd section of the Prescription Act, must be taken as
the words “make out," the following words are inserted : “with the
Assistance of a professional accountant," and, in substitution for the last so firmly and fully establishing the doctrine of lost grant as to
paragraph, beginning with the words “but where any such statement," render it in many cases immaterial whether the Prescription Act | the following words are inserted : “ The creditors, at their first meeting, applies, but it is observable that in the case we are discussing the shall allow, by ordinary resolution, out of the bankrupt's estate such question was very material for reasons we will point out, and that sum as they shall consider just for the cost of preparation of such statethis case belongs to a class of similar cases, so that the point ment.” We do not see any improvement in this upon the Government decided by the Vice-Chancellor is of some considerable import- | proposals, and think still, as previously expressed by us, that the costs ance with regard to that class of cases. In this case an ecclesi. of preparing the statement of affairs ought to be left to the court. Sub.
clause 2 is not altered. astical corporation had, from time immemorial, been the owners
In clause 15, sub-clause 1, line 1, after the word “summon," the of the servient tenement, and were clearly incapable of alienating. following words are inserted : “at such place as he shall deem the most Therefore the doctrine of lost grant would have been, in this case, convenient to the largest body of creditors," and, in line 2, “fourteen difficult of application. The Vice-Chancellor came to the con- | days" is inserted in place of seven days.” Both of these alterations clusion that the fact that the property belonged to an ecclesiasti- we consider would be an improvement. The remaining sub-clauses are cal corporation was no impediment to a title being acquired | not altered. under the Act. He seems to have decided this point also in al Clause 16 is an entirely new proposal, and requires the trustee to call somewhat cursory way, and without discussing it much. He
a meeting of creditors after the "debtor's " examination for the trustee
to report and take further instructions, and to summon meetings at such cites Earl De La Warr v. Miles (L. R. 17 Ch. D. 535) as an
| intervals as the creditors shall direct, and, failing such direction, then authority for his decision in this respect, but we cannot make for him every six months to submit his accounts and take instructions, out, on referring to that case, that it had much to do with the the notice to be advertised and sent to all creditors who have proved, and point.
the trustee, when called upon by one-fifth in value of the creditors who have proved, also to summon a meeting within eight days after receipt of
| the requisition. If the attendance of creditors at subsequent meetings It is stated that Mr. Edward Clarke, Q.C., M.P., has been elected a could only be ensured, this proposal would be a very beneficial one, but Bencher of Lincoln's-inn, Mr. Clarke was called to the bar in 1864, and our experience shows us tho difficulty of getting them to attend any was made a Queen's Counsel in 1880.
subsequent meeting except under very special circumstances ; so that we fear the proposal would, like the provisions of section 41 of the present latter. Any amount which is inserted as the mivimum composition to Act, become “ more honoured in the breach than the observance thereof." be allowed must necessarily be an arbitrary one, and we think the proposal Still, the suggestion is one which deserves full consideration from the of the Government places it quite high enough. Legislature. The word " debtor" is used instead of “ bankrupt" in this In sub.clause 2 of clause 21 (clause 20 in the Government Bill) the clause, and in all other additions made by the Bill; why, we cannot following words are inserted after the word "trade " in the second line : understand.
“but such security shall be always required unless he has already given Clause 17 takes the place of clause 16 in the Government Bill. Sub a general security for all his appointments under this Act that shall be clause 1 is the same. To sub-clause 2 are added words making provision sufficient in the opinion of the Board, and always when he contracts for particulars to accompany each proof, together with bills of exchange under section 22 of this Act." Sub-clauses 5 to 12 of clause 20 in the and other vouchers. Sub-clause 3 is the same. Sub-clause 4 of the Government Bill are omitted, and provision made for the trustee's re. Government Bill is omitted, and sub-clause 5 thereof numbered 4 in the muneration to be fixed by the creditors in the nature of a commission or present Bill. Sub-clauses 6 and 7 of the Government Bill are also percentage, one-half to be charged upon the net realizations, and oneomitted, and very elaborate provisions made by sub-clauses 5 to 11 for a half on the dividends distributed, subject to confirmation by the Board secured creditor to amend the valuation of his security “on showing to of Trade in case the commission exceed ten per cent, where the assets the satisfaction of the official receiver, or trustee, or of the court on exceed £3,000, unless unanimously adopted by the creditors, and the appeal, that the security has increased or diminished in value since the resolution to state whether the percentage is to cover law, auctioneers', previous valuation”; giving the official receiver or trustee power to and other expenses, in which case the estate not to be liable for any such require a surrender of any security at the valuation price (or, if amended expenses. Clause 22, sub-clause 1, provides that it shall be lawful for a before exercising such option, then at the amended price), or to require trustee so to contract to cover law and other expenses, whilst sub-clause the creditor to take to the security at the valuation or amended 2 is rather unique, and we print it at length:valuation, or to require the security to be sold by public auction, with power to the creditor to bid at the sale; in case of sale the
“ (2.) A trustee shall not, under any circumstances whatever, make any amount realized to be substituted for the valuation made by
arrangement for, or accept from the debtor, or any solicitor, auctioneer, or
any other person that may be employed abont a bankruptcy, any gift, the creditor; in case of amendment of valuation the creditor to
remuneration, or pecuniary or other consideration whatever beyond the refund any excess of dividend received by him in case his proof to be remuneration fixed by the creditors, and payable out of the estate, and in reduced, or, on the other hand, to receive an equalizing dividend, but case of his doing 80 the official receiver shall, as soon as it comes to his not to disturb any previous dividend; a secured creditor to have power knowledge, report the same to the court, who shall direct a criminal prosecuto call on the receiver or trustee to elect which of the three courses he tion to be commenced against both giver and receiver, who shall, on conwill adopt, and in default of intimation to the creditor within two viction, be liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years." months, the security to be the absolute property of the creditor, at the valuation price, to go in reduction of his debt. Sub-clause 12 requires
We forbear commenting upon these proposals beyond stating that they the trustee to make up and submit to the committee or creditors, each
seem to us a very practical and business-like suggestion upon a very six months, a statement of all proofs received with full particulars thereof,
difficult subject, which it would be well for the Legislature thoroughly
to consider. With regard to the sub-clause which we have printed at to be open to inspection to any creditor. Sub-clause 13 gives any person making a proof power to complain to the court of any dealing by the
length, it is certainly stringent enough, so far as the cases mentioned are trustee in regard to the admission of proofs, and gives the court power to
concerned, but there is no provision for the contrà case of a trustee paying
a solicitor a commission. We believe this is a more common occurrence dispose thereof, and visit the trustee personally with costs. Sub-clause 14 is as follows:
than the other, though we hope for the credit of the profession that neither
case is a very common one. A much more frequent case, in our experience, “(14.) A creditor shall not vote at any meeting in respect of any proof is that of two or more accountants joining their forces and becoming unless the same has been lodged with the receiver or trustee at least forty- joint” trustees, one doing the work and allowing the other a share of eight bours before the holding of such meeting. Any creditor who has lodged
the remuneration. The same remark applies also to solicitors. In fact, a proof shall be entitled to see and examine the proofs of other creditors before the first meeting and at all reasonable times.".
the practice has become so much an every day occurrence that solicitors
and accountants of high standing and undoubted respectability do not We think the proposals contained in this clause well-worked out, and hesitate, or are, in many cases, compelled, to follow it. This practice is, a decided improvement upon the Government Bill. Our only doubt is we think, to be deplored, as it is the opportunity which the possession of upon sub-clause 14, but even that, we think, will be much preferable to 1 proxies gives to the holders thereof of making arrangements of this kind, the present system.
which is the chief cause of the touting which is practised by solicitors and Clause 18 is a modification of clause 17 of the Government Bill, and accountants of questionable standing. It would, we admit, be difficult to proposes to restrict the voting rights of the holder of a current bill or suggest a remedy, as there are, undoubtedly, cases where it is desirable note, “unless he is willing to treat the liability to him thereon of every | that two trustees should be appointed or two solicitors employed, but person who is liable upon the bill or note antecedently to the debtor, and these are exceptional, The point is, iu our opinion, one well deserving is not a bankrupt, as a security in his hands, and to estimate the value consideration, as arrangements of kind tend to lower the charaoter of thereof, and deduct it from his proof in which case he shall in case there profession and the respect due to its members. are no subsequent indorsers, but not otherwise, on application within the Clauses 23 to 28 are the same as clauses 21 to 26 in the Government prescribed time," &c., the rest of the clause not being altered. The
Bill, with the following modifications :-At the end of clause 25 (23 in words first printed in italics are substituted for the words “ other than Government Bill) the words “ until the next meeting of creditors only" the debtor," which appear in the Government Bill, and the subsequent are added, and in clause 28 (26 in Government Bill), sub-clause 3, after paragraph printed in italics is new. So far as they go we think these the word “shall," are inserted the words “ each six months.” We alterations very desirable, but that they are not the only amendments think the latter of these additions very objectionable. The proposal of required in the clause as contained in the Government Bill, as we have
the Government upon this point is open to question, but it would be already pointed out (ante, pp. 124, 226).
made considerably worse by the insertion of the words proposed. Clause 19, relating to proxies, is entirely different from clause 18 of the Clause 29 is the same as clause 27 of the Government Bill, "six Government Bill. We print it at length :
months" being substituted for "four months" in the third line, and the “19.-(1.) Every proxy for the purpose of proceedings under a bankruptcy
following words added at the end : "and subsequent accounts shall be petition shall be upon an official form to be settled by the court.
rendered and dividends declared in the same manner every six months " (2.) Any creditor may give a general proxy or authority to act for him to
until the conclusion of the bankraptcy, but such dividends shall not be his manager, clerk, or other person in his regular and sole employ, wbose vote
declared without making sufficient provision for any claims that the on all matters skall be equivalent to his own, the proxy in that case setting trustee has knowledge will be made after any security is realized.” In forth the capacity in which the nominee stands to the creditor.
our opinion the latter proposal is simply impracticable, and if adopted " (3.) Any creditor may give a special proxy to vote for or against any would, like the provision in section 41 of the Act of 1869, soon become a specific resolution, or for any trustee or member of committee, provided the dead letter. The other alteration is not a matter of grave consequence. name of such trustee or member of committee is filled in in his own writing Clauses 30 and 31 (in place of clauses 28 and 29 in the Government before execution.
Bill) make a considerable number of changes from the Government “(4.) No proxy may be used that bas not been deposited with the official
proposals, the effect of which would be for the trustee and receiver to pay receiver or trustee forty-eight hours before the meeting at which it is intended to be used."
the moneys of the estate into such bark as the creditors may appoint,
and failing any appointment “into such bank as previously kept the This proposal is, we think, a very great improvement upon the Govern debtor's account," instead of into the Bank of England as proposed by ment clause, and we would only suggest that in clause 3, line 1, after the the Government Bill. Consequent upon this a number of other changes word "vote," the following words might advantageously be introduced : are also made in those clauses, the effect of which would be to retain for " at any specified meeting or adjournment thereof, or.” This would in. each estate the benefit of any interest the money belonging thereto corporate sub-clause 2 of the Government clause.
might earn by reason of any investment, instead of such benefit going to Clause 20 is the same as clause 19 of the Government Bill, except that the Consolidated Fund as proposed by the Government. We approve of “seven days” is substituted for “three days” in line 5 of sub-clause 2, these amendments in principle, but we think the provision for the investand “ten shillings" for “five shillings” in sub-clause 3. The former ment of surplus funds, except in very rare instances, quite unnecessary, alteration we strongly approve, but equally as strongly disapprove of the as it is clearly the duty of the trustee in such cases to divide the funds
and not to retain them in investments. Another alteration is the reduc- words in italics being new), to audit the trustee's accounts, and to have tion of the time for which a trustee may retain in his hands a sumpower to appoint an interim manager. Following closely the Govern. exceeding £50 from ten to five days. We doubt the advisability of this. ment proposals, these will, we think, be an improvement thereon.
Clause 32 proposes a number of changes in clause 30 of the Govern The remaining clauses--48 to 73—are the same as clauses 47 to 72 of ment Bill by substituting in sub-clauses 1 and 2 the “ official receiver, the Government Bill, with the addition of the following sub-clause to taxing master, or such officer as the Board of Trade may from time to clause 52 (clause 51 in the Government Bill):time appoint,” for the Comptroller in Bankruptcy, as the person to audit
"(3.) Bat if the debtor has carried on business in two or more places the the trustee's accounts, and also requiring the accounts to be “ accom
court,' for the parposes of the principal Act and this Aot, sball, subject to panied by a statement and estimated valuation of all unrealized assets the provisions for the removal of proceedings, be either the High Court of outstanding at date, and of the steps being taken for their realization," Justice, exercising its jurisdiotion in manner provided in this Act, or the & certified copy of the accounts so audited to be forwarded to the county court for the district nearest to where the greatest number of comptroller, and to be open to inspection at the trustee's as well as creditors shall carry on their business, and this county court is referred to the comptroller's office, “and such account shall, when the funds of the as mentioned in sub-section 2 of section 52. estate will permit, be printed and sent by post to each creditor who has
This proposal we consider altogether impracticable and utterly inconproved his debt.” The substitution of the official receiver or taxing sistent with the previous sub-clauses. In case of a hostile petition being master for the comptroller would, we think, effect a decided improve
presented, how is the petitioning creditor to know where the greatest ment, as, thereby, local audits of the trustee's accounts would be held,
number of creditors carry on business? The court in which proceedwhich is what we advocated in our remarks upon the Government Bill
ings are to be instituted must be more clearly defined; but better (ante, p. 152). In sub-clause 1 appears the words “the Commissioners
provisions might, we think, be made for the transfer of the proceedings in Bankruptcy." Who are they? We thought they were abolished by than exist under the present Act. the Act of 1869.
The Bill appears to have been introduced with the particular object The only alteration in clause 33 from clause 31 of the Government
of presenting the various proposed amendments to the Government Bill Bill is consequent upon the changes in clauses 30 and 31 as to the
01 as to the for consideration and discussion, and, in this way, may assist in the bank.
bringing about of a satisfactory settlement. The promoters do not appear Clause 34 is the same as clause 32 of the Government Bill, with the
to have considered the various proposals of the Government, as contained addition, to sub-clause 5, of the following words : "and shall not cover
in the “supplemental" clauses. If they had, we think it scarcely probable any fraud he may have comunitted that may subsequently be dis
that three such consistent Conservatives would give their approval to covered.”
the proposal of the Government with regard to distress for rent, as Clause 35 is the same as clause 33 of the Government Bill with the
appearing in the Bill of last session. In fact, the clauses subsequent to following additions :-To sub-clause 1,“ and such examination shall be clause 52 seem to be taken from the Government Bill, without even a conducted by the court, or, subject to the control of the court, by the consideration whether they require any verbal alterations, consequent trustee, the official receiver, or by any creditor who has proved his debt.
upon the amendments previously introduced, or not. So that in clause The debtor shall answer all questions relative to his estate, and to the 70. notwithstanding the omission of the provisions for the close of a causes which have led to his bankruptcy, as the court may require, and such bankruptcy, reference is made to such close “under the principal Act particulars as the court may think necessary shall be taken down in
or this Act." And, notwithstanding that in consequence of the omission writing and signed by the bankrupt, and such statements may thereafter of the first schedule to the Government Bill, the third schedule to that be used in evidence against him ; "and (sub-clause 5), “The notes of the Bill becomes the second schedule to the present Bill, it is still referred debtor's examination, and the books and accounts of the debtor, shall
shall to as the third schedule in clause 73. (except so far as the court shall order otherwise) be open to the inspec. tion of every creditor, who has proved his debt, at all reasonable times.” These additions would, we think, tend to make the Government proposal more intelligible.
The clause in the Government Bill providing for the close of a bank. ruptcy (clause 34) is omitted from the present Bill, and no provision
CHANCERY DIVISION. proposed in its place. We should like to hear an explanation of the object of this omission. To be consistent we think a number of other
| The returns for the Chancery Division show that the beginning of the alterations would also have to be introduced, but there would not at
| year ending the 31st of October, 1880, there were on the cause books
796 cases for hearing, that 3,386 were set down during the year, that present be any utility in following that point up. Clause 36 is the same as clause 35 of the Government Bill, with a
2,569 were heard, that 946 were otherwise disposed of, and that at the verbal alteration in sub-clause 2, consequent upon the omission of the
end of the year 673 remained. These numbers are all in excess of those clause as to the close of the bankruptcy. The two first lines read as
of the previous year, with the exception of the remanets, which were follows:-." The application may be made any time during the continu.
legs by 123. The number of orders made by the five courts of the
Chancery Division, including those made at chambers, drawn up by the ance of the bankruptcy, but shall not,' &c. There are also some words introduced into sub-clause 6, which slightly modify that provision, but
registrars, was 19,117, the number having been 18,418 in 1879. There
were issued 3,977 certificates of sale or transfer, as against 3,713 in 1879. not to any great extent. Clause 37 is the same as clause 36 of the Government Bill, with a
Including orders made by the Appeal Court there were 20,370) orders verbal alteration in paragraph (c.), consequent on the omission of clause
drawn up by the registrar, and the fees thereon amounted to £13,806 98. 34 of that Bill.
In 1879 there were 18,655 orders drawn up, and the fees thereon Clauses 38 to 40 are the same as clauses 37 to 39 of the Government
amounted to £12,950 17s. The days on which the Chancery Courts Bill, except that the term for which a bankrupt is to be disqualified, as
sat, including 13 days in vacation, amounted to 918. In the previous therein provided, is reduced from seven to five years.
year the courts only sat 770 days; this was principally due to the Clause 41 is entirely new, and is as follows:
absence of Vice-Chancellor Malins on 123 days. During the year there
were 529 cases referred to the conveyancing counsel of the court, and 106 "641.- Where the bankrupt, being a trader, has omitted to keep such books to the official referees. In 1879 the conveyancing counsel had 465 cases of account as fully disclose his business transactions and his financial position
before them and the official referees 65. during the three years immediately preceding his bankruptcy, or has omitted to prepare, once at least in each of those years, a proper inventory or balance.
CHANCERY CHAMBERS. sheet of his property and liabilities, this omission, unless otherwise ordered by
The return of proceedings before the chief clerks of the Master of the court, shall constitute a criminal offence for which the court shall commit the bankropt for trial, and on conviction be shall be liable to imprisonment for
the Rolls and of the three Vice-Chancellors shows that, during 1879-80, a term not exceeding two years.”
there were issued 953 originating summonses and 39,325 other sum
monses, making a total of 40,278 summonses. In the previous We think this proposal altogether too stringent, and that the Govern year the summonses issued numbered 39,533. The several chief ment proposal to make this a ground of objection to the discharge only clerks made a total of 30,483 orders, as against 30,254 in the quite strong enough, if indeed that does not, at the present time at least, previous year. There were 3,385 orders brought into chambers go rather too far.
for prosecution, including 127 for the winding up of companies. The Clauses 42 to 44 are the same as clauses 40 to 42 of the Government accounts passed in chambers were 3,392 in number, including 1,004 by Bill.
receivers ; 902 estates were sold by the court, realizing more than a million The Government proposals as to small bankruptcies (clause 43 of last and a half of money. The chief clerks disposed of 100,965 appointyear's Bill) are omitted, and no provisions proposed in substitution. We ments during the year. At the date of the return 1,084 orders for wind. do not think the excision of the Government clause any detriment to ing up companies were pending in chambers, and 6,158 orders for the Bill, but, at the same time, it will be necessary in some way to accounts and inquiries. The fees collected in chambers amounted to cut down the expenses in small estates.
£19,634, as against £15,136 the previous year. Clauses 45 and 46 are the same as clauses 44 and 45 of the Govern. ment Bill, and clauso 47 is the same as clause 43 of that Bill, with the
CENTRAL OFZICE. addition that the official trustee is also to take part in the public The return of the masters of the Central Office shows that in the examination of the bankrupt, and supervision of his conduct" (the Chancery Division the number of actions instituted was 5,987 as against
THE JUDICIAL STATISTICS.
6,237 in the previous year, being a decrease of 248. Of this number it were taxed off, and £3,663 16s. 5d. allowed. The fees on taxation appears that 4,947 were commenced by writ and 910 by originating amounted to £92 0s. 2d. In the previous year there were no proceedsummons, the remainder consisted of actions transferred from district ings under the Act. registries and county courts. The amount collected by stamps was .£84,188, as against £18,992 in the previous year.
Under this heading we find the number of the causes in the three EXAMINERS.
divisions placed together. It appears that the year commenced with The numbers of witnesses examined in the office of the examiners was 842 remanets, and that 2,181 causes were entered for trial at London 196, as against 171 in the previous year. The fees received by stamps
and Westminster, and 1,222 at Nisi Prius; 1,008 were tried at London Amounted to £246, being $14 less than in the previous year.
and Westminster, and 790 at Nisi Prius, 1,028 were made remanets,
986 were withdrawn or struck out, and 419 were otherwise disposed of. SECRETARY OF THE ROLLS.
MASTERS' RETURNS. There were 2,023 petitions presented at the Rolls' Office for the decision of the chancery judges, and of this number 202 were for the
These returns show the number of judgments to have been 22,203, as winding up of companies. Besides these petitions there were 4,649
against 25,200 in 1878-9. Of this number no less than 13,268 were petitions for orders of course. The amount of the fees received in the taken on affidavit of service, 1,149 on judge's order for substituted office was £2,906 16s. 8d., being an increase on the amount of the
service, and 4,424 under order 14. There were 15,293 writs of fieri previous year of £779 Os. 8d.
facias, 354 writs of possession, and 221 writs of elegit issued during
the year. Of the motions for a new trial, 105 were refused and 194 TAXING MASTERS.
granted nisi, 76 were made absolute, and 63 discharged. There were In the office of the chancery taxing masters the number of orders of 797 special motions made in the three divisions, including 36 motions reference was 4,940; the number of bills taxed was 9,705, and for judgment after trial; there were also 41 special cases heard and 47 the number of certificates and allocaturs made was 4,422 ; in the previous demurrers. year these numbers were respectively 4,815, 9,469, and 4,299, showing
Judges' CHAMBERS. on every one of these three items a considerable increase. The amount of Returns relating to judges' chambers show that 63,677 summonses costs taxed was £1,328,057, and the fees received amounted to £36,786, were taken out in 1879-80 as against 74,569 in the previous year; 49,801 both which items are in excess of those in the previous year.
orders were made as against 62,886. MASTERS IN Lunacy.
OFFICIAL Referees. There were during the period comprised in these returng 117 orders Tho number of cases sent to the official referees was 139 in 1879.80 of inquiry in commissions of lunacy. The amount of lunatius' cash and 91 in 1878.9. Of the 139 cases 77 were disposed of, 34 were part paid into court was £148,029, and the amount of percentage on lunatics' heard, 12 were withdrawn, 5 stood over by order of the court, and 11 income was £20,500.
remained to be disposed of. REGISTRAR IN LUNACY.
DISTRICT REGISTRIES. In the return furnished by the Registrar in Lunacy it appears that
The number of writs issued by district registrars in 1879-80 was 439 petitions were presented during the year, and 679 orders made. The funds directed to be brought into court consisted of $307,134 stock
32,077 as against 39,835 in the previous year. To these writs of sumand £77,600 cash, and during the same period £687,769 stock, and
mons 7,757 appearances were entered, 11,116 judgments were made, and
6,714 executions taken out. The number of actions transferred from £56,371 cash, was directed to be sold, transferred, or paid out.
district registrars to London was 278, and 267 were remitted to county CHANCERY PAY OFFICE.
courts. There were in district registries 13,481 applications in chambers, During the year 1879-80, the amount paid into court was £12,108,970,
The fees received in district registries amounted to £25,226, as against and that paid out was £11,904,410, both of which items are somewhat
£29,764 in the previous year.
[To the Editor of the Solicitors' Journal.] made numbered 2,338, and there were 562 bills of costs taxed. The fees | Sir,-One work on the Conveyancing Act, 1881, gives some variations received amounted to £11,532. Funds to the value of £44,000 were in the statutory mortgage, 3rd schedule, part 1, but I am not aware of brought into court, and to the value of £343,000 paid or transferred any work in which any variation is suggested for the case of a mortgage
to cover further advances. Would the words given below within brackets
meet the case and be free from objection, or can you or some reader QUEEN'S BENCH, COMMON PLEAS, AND Exchequer Divisions.
suggest any improvement ? The form might, it seems to me, run thus:The return made by the Queen's Coroner and Attorney and the Master “ To hold to and to the use of M. in fee simple for securing payment on of the Crown Office show that under this peculiar jurisdiction there was the day of
, 1883, of the principal sum of £ in 1879.80 but one person convicted, on whom a sentence of imprison. | as (part of] the mortgage money, with interest thereon at the rate of ment was passed and a fine imposed. In the previous year five were per cent. per annum and for securing payment on the
day convicted. There were 37 applications for mandamus, and 9 were made of
next after the time of the absolute; 65 other special rules nisi were granted, and 115 were made same being advanced, of any other sum wbich may hereafter be advanced absolute; 33 writs of habeas corpus were applied for, and 26 granted, and by M. to A. as the residue of the mortgage money, with interest thereon 35 writs of certiorari were issued. The fees received for business at the rate aforesaid, from the time of the advance. And for the purpose done in the Crown Office was £1,040 14s. Od., being less than the of section 19 of the Conveyancing and Law of Property Act, 1881, it is amount for the previous year by £30 11s. 8d.
hereby agreed that the mortgage money shall be considered as due on
, 1883 (when present advance is to be re.
B. This portion of tho return shows that after the 31st of March, 1880, the
(We should not insert the words " as part of the mortgage money," writs for the three divisions were all issued from the Central Office, During the year the total number of writs issued was 53,333, as against
which might raise a doubt as to whether, if there are no further
advances, the mortgage money can become due within section 19. Why 59,659 in the previous year; 27,560 appearances were entered ; there
were entered ; there not omit these words, also the words “as the residue of the mortgage were 22,213 judgments, aud 15,868 executions. In the previous year
money," and rely on the last clause? There is no need to specify any the numbers were, appearances, 27,516 ; judgments, 25,200; and execu
sum as the mortgage-money, for under section 21 (3)“ the money which tions, 16,660. The fees taken amcunted to £84,188 ls. 11d., and in the
is received by the mortgagee arising from the sale” is to be held by him previous year to £63,958 18s. 1d. The number of bills of costs taxed in
"in trust to be applied ... in discharge of the mortgage money, the three divisions in 1880, exclusive of bills taxed under the statute, was
interest, and costs, and other money, if any, due under the mortgage. 12,355,
ED. S. J.]
INSURANCE COMMISSIONS. and in 9 valid, in 6 cages no security was given, 9 petitions were with
[To the Editor of the Solicitors' Journal.] drawn, and I had not been tried at the date of the return. The total Sir,—The Times of yesterday contains, under the above heading, a very costs taxed amounted to £7,459 16s. 3d., of which £3,795 198. 10d. extraordinary letter signed “Edm. Beckett,