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the Court in this case of Peebles v. Crosthwaite found that the alteration by the defendant was a substantial one and interfered with the demised right of way. During the hearing of the case the plaintiff had died and the action had been continued by the executors, and these executors sold the business and premises to A. M. Peebles and Son, Limited. The company received possession of the stock, affixed its name thereon, and its address was duly registered at Somerset House ; but the property was not assigned to the company, and no licence for assignment was asked for. So far as concerned this portion of the property sold, the sale was incomplete. The executors were shareholders in the new company, and two were directors. The directors nevertheless claimed that the covenant had been broken, and the lease was terminated, as there had been notice requiring possession. Mr. Justice Romer, however, did not accept this view, and said the defence was not established. The plaintiffs' executors had not parted with the possession. Possession had been retained for one reason, because it was desired that no breach of the covenant should be committed, and also because the purchase by the company was not fully completed, and it was not desired that while the action was pending, the rights of the parties should be interfered with. The executors still had the legal possession, and had merely allowed the company to use the premises for the purposes of the company.
Doing so was not a breach of the covenant. If a lessee retained possession, he did not commit a breach of such a covenant by allowing other persons to use the premises. For the purpose of creating a forfeiture, it was not necessary to hold that persons had given up possession in such a case when it was clearly contrary to their intention to do so.
The plaintiffs were, therefore, entitled to an injunction restraining the defendants from using the staircase and premises in their present condition so far as interfered with the right of way granted by the lease.
Landlords, Tenants and References. “In your letter you state that Mr. F. N. requires a reference. I shall be very pleased to be one, and in the event of your failing to pay, I will undertake to be responsible for it." Is such a letter as this a guarantee of the rent (Kennaway v. Treleaven, 5 M. & W. 498; Brogden v. Metropolitan Railway Company, L.R. 2 A.C. 666) and an agreement to pay the rent, or is the agreement inchoate (MacIver v. Richardson, I M. & S. 537) ? This was the point before Mr. Justice Wright in the case of Nash v. Spencer. The plaintiff desired to let a house, and negotiated with a lady to let it to her at a certain rent, but subsequently, after inquiries, refused to do so on her sole responsibility. She then sent the plaintiff the foregoing letter from the defendant. The plaintiff then let the house to the lady, but such rent having become due and not paid, an action was brought against the defendant on the letter. The letter, however, was held not to be an agreement at all. It simply stated a willingness on the part of the defendant to become bound if asked to do so; so that though the letting was clearly due to the receipt by the plaintiff of the letter, yet the defendant was put under no legal liability by it. As has been aptly stated, there are lots of people who never pay rent, and would not if they could avoid it. The proper course for the landlord to do was to have asked for the guarantee, but, failing that, the letter was no good.
The Intricacies of Statutes.
According to sect. 92 of the Lands Clauses Act, 1845, a party cannot be required to sell a part only of his lands. There have, however, been passed since this statute the Public Health Act, 1875, and the Local Government Boards Provisional Orders Confirmation (No. 2) Act, 1895, and the point was whether an urban district council could require a party to sell part only of his land or garden and not the whole, for, as the council contended!, the statutes of 1875 and 1895 permitted them to do so. The council argued that sect. 176 of the Public Health Act, 1875, did not compel the local authority to put in force any of the compulsory powers of the Lands Clauses Acts other than the procedure powers contained in sects. 16 to 68 of the Act of 1845. Sect. 92 was only, through sub-sect. 5 of sect. 176 of the Public Health Act, 1875, capable of being incorporated in the Confirmation Act by means of some express enactment to that effect to be found therein. Mr. Justice (now Lord Justice) Chitty did not adopt the council's views in this case of Brenckley v. Twickenham Urban District Council. His Lordship preferred to decide in favour of the plaintiff, and held that the provisional order, confirmed by the subsequent Act of 1895, contained on its face no modification of the compulsory powers of the Act of 1845, and that the restriction of sect. 92 remained unaffected. The Act of 1895 removed certain fetters, but did not contain any incorporation of the powers of the Act of 1845. But even if there were any incorporation, the defendants were not right in saying that such powers stopped at sect. 68 and did not go so far as sect. 92, or began at sect. 16 and did not include prior sections. In the latter case, according to the defendants' view, local authorities would be in difficulties, for in the case of vendors under disability the local authorities would not be obtaining, by means of their Acts, the benefit of sect. 9 of the Act of 1845 and the procedure thereunder. Whether the Local Government Board could have modified a provisional order in the way contended was not considered. Possibly it could do so, but then it would be for Parliament to consider, when asked to confirm the order, whether to do so would be just to the owner of the land sought to be taken. It might be added that the present procedure had been in force for a great number of years, though the present point was now heard for the first time. The injunction accordingly issued, but, of course, defendants were not restrained from taking the whole of the premises.
Money Lenders and Heirlooms. If by the terms of a settlement trustees are not to be under any legal liability as to the safe custody of heirlooms, this will not prevent them from interfering by virtue of the legal right which they have in the chattels. They can, therefore, interfere if a tenant for life includes heirlooms in a bill of sale as security for his own debt, and runs the risk of having them seized by a money-lender, more especially if this is done without the consent or knowledge of the trustees. In the case of Von der Heit v. Sir Robert Peel such incidents as these had occurred, and one of the trustees of the settlement moved the Chancery Division for the appointment of a proper person to have the care and custody of the heirlooms subject to the trusts of the settlement. The plaintiff and his co-trustee held the Peel family estates, family heirlooms during Sir Robert Peel's life or until alienation, and the trustees besides letting defendant have the personal use of the mansion house, could retain there the family heirlooms or remove them where they thought fit, and allow defendant their personal use and enjoyment. The defendant borrowed money upon security of a bill of sale, and some of the family heirlooms comprising furniture, pictures, cases and boxes of plate, were included in the security, and defendant delivered some of the cases and boxes to a money-lender, who kept them for a time and then sent them to a safe deposit company. When plaintiff asked for an explanation of the removal of the heirlooms, defendant urged that it had occurred through accident or misapprehension, but as to the plate for motives of safety and economy. Mr. Justice Chitty, however, considered that the defendant's conduct had placed the plate in jeopardy, and that the plaintiff was justified in intervening and asking for the protection of the Court. The plate had, therefore, to be delivered up to the trustees, and a caretaker was appointed for the heirlooms at the mansion house.
T. F. UTTLEY.
Paterson's Practical Statutes of the Session 1896. Horace Cox, London. Price ios.
The Maritime Codes of Spain and Portugal. By F. W. Raikes, LL.D., Q.C. Effingham Wilson, London, 1896. Price 7s. 6d.
The Preservation of Open Spaces and of Footpaths and other Rights of Way. By Sir Robert Hunter, M.A. Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, 1896. Price 7s. 6d.
Confederation Law of Canada. By Gerald John Wheeler, M.A., LL.B. Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, 1896. Price £2 25.
Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States. Vol. I. By Roger Foster. Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner and Co., Ltd., London, 1896.
Etudes de Droit International. By E. Nys. Castaigne, Brussels; Fontemoing, Paris ; 1896.
Principes du Droit des Gens. By Alphonse Rivier. 2 Vols. A. Rousseau, Paris, 1896.
Mortuary Law. By Sidney Perley. George B. Reed, Boston, 1896.
Le Témoignage de la Femme ; L'Epargne de la Femme Mariée ; Les Salaires de la Famille Ouvrière. By Louis Frank. H. Lamertin, Brussels, 1896.
La Femme contre L'Alcool. By Louis Frank. H. Lamertin, Brussels, 1897.
A Biographical Sketch of Lord Bowen. By Sir Henry Stewart Cunningham. John Murray, London, 1897.
Edwards' Compendium of the Law of Property in Land. Third Edition. By Wm. Douglas Edwards. Stevens and Haynes, London, 1896. Price £1.
International Law. A simple statement of its principles. By Herbert Wolcott Bowen. Putnam's Sons, New York and London, 1896. Price 5s.