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ought to be allowed in all cases of assault with intent to commit a rape ?—I should think it would be reasonable, because that comes within the range of cases that would end in a felony: and assaults to prevent apprehension would also be proper cases for allowance.
When a constable is assaulted or wounded in the execution of his duty, is there any method by which the expenses of the prosecution can be paid ?—Not at present: I would suggest, that in proportion as a power is given of allowing expenses, you probably increase the number of prosecutions; perhaps there might be this check on those cases, that the judges should have the power to allow them if the prosecution was directed Iry the magistrates.
Mr. Baron Hullock All that inconvenience is obviated by the discretion that is now vested in the judges with respect to the allow, ance for felonies.
Mr. Justice Bayi.ey.—But I would have the discretion at both ends, that the person should not have the power to apply for the allowance in those cases in which the magistrates did not direct the prosecution; but when the magistrates did direct the prosecution, then the judges should have the power to allow the costs.
(To Mr. Baron Hullock.)—Do you think the magistrates ought to be empowered to punish offenders guilty of small offences, instead of sending them to trial ?—I much doubt the propriety of such a proceeding. I conceive that such a practice would be altering the constitution of the country to a certain degree. The country is exceedingly jealous of any power of that sort being vested in the magistrates.
Charles John Lawson, esq. examined Was
cJerk of the peace for the county of Surrey. The allowance to prosecutors and witnesses, in felony, at the summer assizes of 1823, and the Lent assizes of 1824, was 1,475/. Id's. !W.; at the quarter-sessions for the county during the year, 570/. 8*. id.; at the quarter-sessions for the borough of Soutliwark, 42/. 8s. CA; at the quarter-sessions for the borough of Guildford, 1/. 18s. In felonies there were no fees payable
to smy body by the prisoner; in misdemeanors, on either acquittal, conviction, or confession, there was a fine to the clerk of the peace of 8s. Sri. It often happened in the county of Surrey that the prisoner, when acquitted, paid a great deal more expense than the prosecutor had been put to. The party who gained the cause paid. If the prisoner was convicted, the prosecutor paid. When he said the prisoner paid, he should explain, that the prisoner formerly paid, but, under the late act of parliament, the county paid the fee. Witnesses were paid 5s. if they came from a distance, 3s. (hi. if they came from the neighbourhood. The effect in Surrey of adjourning the quarter-sessions till just before the assizes, in order to try petty larcenies, would, he thought, be a very considerable saving of expense to all parties, and a great convenience; but he thought it would be attended with great inconvenience to the juries that were summoned for the trial of civil causes if the judges were to proceed to the trial of prisoners in both courts first, and then to the trial of causes at the assizes. He did not see that there would be any objection to throwing the expenses of prosecutions at the assizes upon the genera] funds of the country instead of on the county rate or the receiver-general, unless it should be that larger sums might be allowed than when the county rate was to bear them. As to paying the clerks of the peace by a salary, or on an average of their fees for the last three years, he thought it would be almost impossible to form an average; and that the business would not be so well conducted.
Edward Jeremiah ■Curteis, esq. M. P. examined By a table which had been given him
by the clerk of the peace for Sussex, by the direction of the magistrates, to be laid before the committee, it appeared that the expenses attending prosecutions at the assizes in Sussex were about three parts in five beyond the expenses attending prosecutions at the sessions. He suggested that some power should be lodged with the magistrates of directing the trial of some felonies at quarter-sessions.
ABSTRACT of an Account from the respective Treasurers of the Counties of England and Wales
of the several Sums received for County Rates in the Year 1823, and of their Application, in Payments for Bridges ; Clerk of the Peace; Coroners; building and enlarging Gaols ; building and enlarging Houses of Correction; building and enlarging Lunatic Asylums; build. ing and enlarging Judges' Lodgings; building and enlarging Shire-halls; building and enlarging other County Buildings; ordinary Repair of Prisons; ordinary Repair of other County Buildings; Maintenance of Prisoners ; Conveyance of Prisoners ; Expenses of Prose. cutions; Treasurer's Salary; Apprehension and Conveyance of Vagrants; Apprehension and Conveyance of Scotch and Irish Paupers by Vagrant Pass; Clerk of Assize, and of other Officers of Assizes ; Militia, Local Militia, and Volunteers ; Clerk of Lieutenancy ; Lieutenancy Meetings; Printing, Stationery, and Advertising ; Allowances to King's Bench and Fleet Prisons, by Statute 53 Geo. III.; Parliamentary Returns; Under-Sheriff ; Liberates of Debtors; In. terest of Money borrowed on Mortgage of County Rate; Principal Money borrowed on Mortgage of County Rate paid off'; Incidental Expenses.
Somerset ............... County of Somerset.............. Staffordshire........... County of Stafford .
City and county of Lichfield
County of Surrey............ Sussex... .............
Western division ............
Eastern division ..... Warwickshire ........ County of Warwick ............
County and city of Coventry ... Westmoreland ....... West Ward.....
East Ward .....
City of Worcester ............
North Riding ..
(For Poor Rates, see post p. 677,--Charitable Institutions.)
Substance of the Report of the Select CommUlee of the House of Commons, appointed to consider of the Laws respecting Friendly Societies.
The committee commence their report with an account of the progress and present state of the law affecting friendly societies. The first legislative interference with them was in 1793, when the act passed, which was known by the name of its author, Mr. George Rose. While this act imposed certain restrictions upon friendly societies, it also conferred upon them certain privileges and immunities; all which are detailed in the report. The acts of 1795, 1803, 1809, and 1817, made a variety of further provisions on the subject. To the provisions and operation, however, of the act of 1819, the attention of the committee has been principally directed. In 1815, the members of friendly societies were enumerated at 925,420. The system was nevertheless deficient. The chief defect was the want of sufficient security against error in the original constitution of societies. Another material defect was found in the provision made against a fraudulent or inequitable disposition of the funds, or dissolution of the society. The facility given to combinations was a further abuse of the old system. The preamble of the act of 1819, in its recital, averred the utility of these institutions, as well to the community as to individuals, an aver, ment in which the committee fully concur.
"The opinion," says the report, " which "some persons entertain, hostile to the forma"tion of any common fund by contribution "among the lower classes, and the preference "given to individual savings, induce your com. "mittee to consider the claims of these socie"ties in some detail. It has been observed, "that the hostility to friendly societies has *' been no where more strong or controversial "than among the patrons of saving banks. Of "these institutions, which are not referred to "them for consideration, your committee will "only say, that they are undeniably calculated "for many very useful purposes, some of which "cannot possibly be secured by institutions of "mutual assurance; but your committee affirm, "without hesitation, as equally undeniable, "that it is ' by the contribution of the savings
"'of many persons to one common fund, that "'the most effectual provision can be uutdefisr "'casualties affecting,' or, as it would have "been more correctly said, liable to affect' all "'the contributors.'' This proposition, which "is, indeed, obviously true, has been well "illustrated by a writer on friendly societies. "who asks, whether the advocate* at separate "and exclusive saving ' will be easily persuaded "' to save their annual premium instead at "' securing their houses against fire.' Where"ever there is a contingency, the cheapest way "of providing against it is by uniting with "others, so that each man may subject himself "to a small deprivation, in order that no man "may be subjected to a great loss. He upon "whom the contingency does not fall, docs not "get his money back again, nor does he get for "it any visible or tangible benefit; but he "obtains security against ruin, and consequent "peace of mind. He upon whom the con"tingency does fall, gets all that those whom "fortune has exempted from it have lost in "hard money, and is thus enabled to sustain "an event which would otherwise overwhelm "him. The individual depositor, not the con"tributor to a common fund, is really the "speculator. If no sickness attacks him during "his years of strength and activity, and he "dies before he is past labour, he has been sue "cessful in his speculation; but if he fall sick "at an early period, or if he live to old age, he "is a great loser; for his savings, with their "accumulations, will support him but for a "short time in sickness; or, even if he rruin "something in old age, after having provided "for his occasional illnesses, the annuity which "he can then purchase will be very inferior "indeed to that which he would have ob"tained, if he had entitled himself to the "benefit of the accumulated savings of all those "who, having contributed for many yean ton "superannuation fund, had never reached aa "age to require it. A common fund, in ail "cases of contingency, is not less obviously for "the interest of the public The unsucoasral "speculator described in the last illustrabon, "in other words, the depositor in a saving bonk, "who falls into habitual sickness, or restive "old age, must either starve or come upon h» "friends or neighbours, wholly or partially idr "support. In this country the poor laws ril "bring him upon the parish. The parish will "lose all that the more fortunate speculators "gain. The parochial funds must supply the "difference between the expense of maintaining "the sick and aged poor of the parish, and the "amount of the accumulated deposits of those "sick and aged persons only: whereas, if the "people contribute to a common fund, the "parish will have to supply the difference he. "tween the expense and the accumulated con"tributions of all the people; which difference, "if the society be well constituted, will be "nothing. Your committee are very anxious, ** that in thus comparing, as they feel bound, "saving banks with friendly societies, they "should not be understood to depreciate the "former; all they insist upon is, that for the "particular purposes to which friendly socie"ties are applicable, saving banks are entirely "inefficient, and that those purposes are highly "beneficial to the people and the state."
One of the first endeavours of the framers of the act of 1819 was to define the objects to which friendly societies should be applied. Those were, "the maintenance or assistance of ** the contributors thereto, their wives or child. "ren, in sickness, infancy, advanced age, "widowhood, or any other natural state, or "contingency, whereof the occurrence is sus"ceptible of calculation by way of average." The first enactment of the act was intended to engage the more particular attention of the magistrates in quarter-sessions in its administration, and to point out to them some material objects of inquiry; reminding them, that the proportion between the payments and the attendant benefits was an essential point in every plan which they were required to consider. The act provided that the duties which it prescribed to the justices might be performed, either by the bench collectively, or by any committee of no fewer than three justices. In their report the committee are decidedly of opinion, that this reference to a committee will, in almost all cases, be the more advisable course. The bench, or committee of justices, were to satisfy themselves as to the fitness of the contingencies for which it was proposed to provide. There is reason to believe that due attention has not always been paid to this direction of the law, and that rules have been admitted whereby an allowance has been promised to persons confined for debt. The committee have iio hesitation in pronouncing that all rules of that sort, referring to contingencies not "na"tural," ought in no case to be allowed. In reference to the number of persons of whom a society ought to consist, the committee, observing that it is clear that a very small society cannot be secure, as among a few individuals the law of average will not operate, add that they think it desirable that no society should consist of fewer than 200 members. A more specific provision is necessary with respect to
the form of enrolment, and the authentication of the copies; points upon which there is some discrepancy in the acts and in the practice of the counties; and the committee recommend the example of the county of Kent, where the act appears to have been executed with propriety and judgment. In the opinion of the committee, the bench of Justices have in many counties been satisfied with the signature, to tables of payments or benefits, of persons whose opinion upon the probability of sickness and the duration of life was not to be depended upon. The com. mittee especially call the attention of the house to the inquiries which they have pursued with a view to the formation of accurate tables for the use of friendly societies. They acknowledge, however, that the rate of mortality and sickness in England is not at present sufficiently well ascertained to justify a parliamentary enactment of any particular set of tables. By a petition, referred by the house to the committee, and from other quarters, suggestions were made for establishing a central board, or office, for the approving, in the first instance, of the calculations upon which friendly societies are formed, and subsequently watching over their management. The committee say they are not prepared to adopt this suggestion; but they are of opinion, that the same objects may be accomplished in a mode which will require but little alteration of the law, and which will not excite alarm or jealousy. By the present law, every society which desires to avail itself of the government debentures is required to send to the national debt office copies of the rules, after they have been enrolled at the sessions. The committee propose, that the rules of friendly societies shall be transmitted to the national debt office prevunuly to enrolment; and that the actuary of that office shall perform, either singly or in conjunction with another calculator, to be named by the commissioners, the duty of examining and certifying the tables of payments and benefits, and the rules "connected therewith; and he should be required to accompany his certificate with such observations and suggestions as may appear to him useful towards furthering and securing the object of the society. The enrolment at the sessions would then proceed as at present. The managers of saving banks are required to furnish to that office annual accounts, in a form prescribed. The committee are inclined to think, that there could be no reasonable objection to placing friendly societies on the same footing in this respect as the saving banks, or in requiring them to make to the office in London periodical returns in a prescribed form, whence the state of their affairs might be deduced. If this provision should be thought likely to excite alarm, it would be enough that the office should furnish each society with a form of the return, and with instructions for keeping their books ; and declare a readiness to give an opinion upon (he sufficiency