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debtor only, and not a trustee. Soper v. Arnold, ibid. 96, a purchaser of land is not entitled to set aside contract for defect of title, after completion, or, where he has made default and the contract has been rescinded and his deposit forfeited under the conditions, to recover the deposit on discovering, some time after, that vendor's title was defective. In re Jackson and Woodburn's Contract, ibid. 44, the Court can, under Sect. 9 of the Vendor and Purchaser Act, 1874, determine the validity of a notice by vendor to rescind his contract for sale. In re Cameron and Wells, ibid. 32, limitations of land in a settlement made on the second marriage of a widower, in favour of his children by former marriage, are voluntary and void under 27 Eliz., c. 4, against mortgage subsequently created by him. In re Wheal Buller Consols, 38 Ch. D. 42, acceptance of office of director and continuing to act for more than three months, where articles of association provided that the office should be vacated if the number of shares requisite to qualify him were not acquired within three months after election held not to constitute a contract with company to take additional shares requisite for qualification, so as to render person who had acted as director liable as contributory in winding-up. Mutter v. Eastern and Midlands Railway Company, ibid. 92, Sect. 28 of Companies Clauses Act, 1863, gives a right to stockholders, &c., not merely to peruse and inspect register of debenture stockholders, but also to take copies, and Court will not refuse to enforce right because stockholder applying acquired his stock at instance and to serve interests of rival company. Hancock v. Hancock, ibid. 78, where wife became entitled in 1883 to a share in her mother's personal estate which, had her mother died prior to the Married Women's Property Act, 1882, would have been bound by her husband's covenant, contained in an ante-nuptial settlement, to settle it: held that it was still so bound, for that Sect. 19 of M. W. P. Act, 1882, modifies Sect. 5 so as not to deprive persons interested under a settlement of any benefit to which they would have been entitled had Sect. 5 not been passed. Waite v. Morland, ibid. 135, wife obtaining decree for judicial separation is a feme sole only with respect to property acquired, &c., after the decree. Easton v. London Joint Stock Bank, ibid. 25, taxing master has discretion, to be exercised with jealousy, to allow additional fees to counsel on hearing of an appeal from Chancery Division occupying more than one day, though no viva voce evidence adduced before Court of Appeal, by way of daily allowance or otherwise, on ground that original fees have, by miscalculation, been fixed too low. Timson v. Wilson, ibid. 72, neither party to an action in Chancery Division to restrain a nuisance, has even prima facie right to trial by jury, but the application is one to the discretion of the Court under O. xxxvi., r. 7 (a). Millar v. Harper, ibid. 11, where defendant has, and plaintiff has not, means of knowing facts in dispute, he must give discovery before he will be entitled to particulars. In re William Davies, Davies v. Davies, ibid. 210, there is no jurisdiction on an originating summons under R. S. C., 1883, O. lv, r. 3, to decide a question arising between legal beneficial devisees under a will, for such questions only can be determined thereon as could have been decided under a judgment for administration of an estate or execution of a trust. In re West Devon Great Consols Mine, ibid., 51, counsel has authority to consent not to appeal, even after a judgment on the merits. Licensed Vic tuallers' Newspaper Company v. Bingham, ibid. 139, registration at Stationers' Hall of the name of a newspaper gives plaintiffs no exclusive right to it and publication, not preceded by advertisement to that effect, for three days with a very small sale is not sufficient to confer a title by user and reputation. Selwyn v. Garfit, ibid. 273, proviso relieving purchaser under a power of sale, in a mortgage deed, from inquiring as to regularity of a sale, does not protect a purchaser who knows of an irregularity which cannot have been waived by the mortgagor. Ellington v. Clark, Bunnett & Co., ibid. 332, when oral evidence taken in Court below has to be considered on appeal, appellant must apply to one of the judges of Court of Appeal through his clerk, to ask judge to send copy of his notes to Court of Appeal, and if this is not done the appeal will be ordered to stand over at appellant's expense. Court of Appeal will not allow shorthand note of evidence taken by clerk of one of solicitors to be referred to. In re Almada
and Tivito Co., ibid. 415, company limited by shares under Act of 1862, cannot issue shares at a discount so as to render shareholders liable for less than amount fixed as value of shares by memorandum of association, though contract under which shares issued has been registered under Sect. 25 of Companies Act, 1867. Hugill v. Wilkinson, ibid. 480, time begins to run for purpose of barring a foreclosure action, on an equitable charge on a contingent reversionary interest in land, only from time interest falls into possession. Barton v. North Staffordshire Railway Co., ibid. 458, one of two executors cannot, under Companies Clauses Act, 1845, make a valid transfer of railway stock or shares registered in the names of both; and where one executor sold and transferred such stock, forging the signature of the other to the transfer which was registered by Railway Co., on discovery of the forgery more than six years after the transfer and refusal by Company to register those then representing the executors, action to compel registration may be maintained, the statute of limitations not begining to run until the forgeries were made known to Company and they refused to treat the forged transfers as nullities. Stonor v. Fowle, 13 App. Cas. 20, an order which is in reality an order for commitment in respect of past default, and only in form an anticipatory order in respect of future default, may, on proof of means, be made under Debtors Act, 1869: for example, order to commit defendant to prison for ten days, warrant to be suspended if debtor paid monthly instalments, first payment in 14 days, and no renewed proof of means is needful on default in payment of any instalment. Victorian Railways Commissioners v. Coultas, ibid. 222, where a collision was, in consequence of negligence. impending, and the fright caused thereby resulted in a nervous shock, or mental injury, damages therefor are too remote to be recoverable. Great Western Railway v. Bunch, ibid. 31, where a bag was entrusted to a railway porter to be labelled and put into a carriage with passenger, a reasonable and proper time before the train's departure, and was not forthcoming on departure of the train: held that there was evidence of entrusting to porter for present and not for future transit; that receiving it was therefore within the scope of his authority, and that there was evidence that loss was due to negligence and the Company were therefore liable. A railway company accepting passenger's luggage to be carried in a carriage with passenger are liable as common carriers, save so far as his interference with their exclusive control of it has contributed to its loss. Cooper v. Cooper, ibid. 88, the capacity of an intending wife (a minor) to bind herself by a contract of settlement on marriage must be judged by the law of her domicil previous to marriage. Mills v. Armstrong, ibid. 1, where persons were killed in a maritime collision, both ships being to blame, and actions are brought under Lord Campbell's Act, 9 & 10 Vict., c. 93, by their representatives, the deceased persons are not identified with the ship they were on board, or their representatives precluded from recovering damages by negligence of those navigating such ship, and the admiralty rule as to half damages is not applicable to such actions.
We have not dealt with the reports of cases in the . Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division, and are conscious that even with this omission the summary is long; yet we have not endeavoured to do more than extract general principles, and of these to select those that are of more frequent application. In doing so we have not always given the full effect of the case, though we believe the part omitted to be of less importance and to qualify in no way the statement made. Cases which would necessitate a very long statement to adequately represent the scope of the doctrine which they enunciate, have for that reason been omitted or separable parts only referred to. We need hardly say to anyone, that the summary is not intended as a substitute, even of the cases cited, for the reports; for, in the words of Coke, 1 Inst. 3056, "It is ever good to rely on the book at large; for many times compendia sunt dispendia." Yet, taken with these qualifications, we trust the statement will serve to indicate to the reader not merely the need of present reformation of the "masses of accumulated lore which the reports present to him, the aliarum superalias acervatarum legum cumuli,” but also as a guide and reminder in the practical conduct of legal affairs.
WHEN we are told, as we so often are, that gallant little Wales has had her opinions slighted, and her interests neglected, and that an organization on the model of the Irish Land League, and a separate party in the House of Commons, are necessary to redress her grievances, it would be satisfactory to have these grievances distinctly formulated, so that plain folks might judge what foundation there is for the complaint. Dolosus versatur in generalibus—a saw, of which in these days of loose writing and frothy speech one is constantly reminded-is peculiarly true here. Those who, like myself, live much in Wales, and have no feeling other than a kindly one for the people, are much perplexed to know under what disadvantage, due to extraneous causes, the Welsh labour, which is not equally borne by other parts of the United Kingdom. They have a better climate and a kindlier soil than Scotland. Their mutton and their beeves are as good, and they are nearer the markets where the best prices are to be had. Adverse seasons and low prices have certainly told less upon them than upon the farmers of England, who depend more than the Welsh do upon cereal products. They are now well supplied with railways, which, besides giving a free outlet to their produce, bring a large contingent of visitors every summer and autumn, who help to swell the local capital. Their flannel and other wool manufactories thrive. Their coal and iron mines have been very largely developed. Their slate quarries employ large numbers of the population. Rents generally, until the last few bad years, were regarded as moderate; and it is undoubtedly true that landlords have met the fall in prices by equitable deductions. The roads have been well looked after, and the rates have not been squandered either in jobbing or extravagance. Tithes are nothing more than an element of rent; and where they fall to be paid by the tenant, they have always been considered in fixing the residue of the rent to be received by the landlord. The same voting power for the election of members, either of Parliament or of the coming Local Councils, exists in Wales as in England; and no one will say that the voice of the people is less potential there than in other parts of the kingdom.
What, then, are the special grievances which demand extraordinary remedies? What institution requires to be modified or abolished? What remedy to be applied, which is not, equally required elsewhere, or which the British Parliament will not adopt upon good cause shown?
Is it "Wales for the Welsh" that is wanted? What would the denizens of the Principality say, if that cry were met by a cry of “England for the English," and the Welsh were to be forbidden to throw off upon the rest of the kingdom, over-populated already though it be, those of their sons and daughters who find there is no room at home to make a living, or to rise in the world, and who have the enterprise to seek a larger field for their energies elsewhere? Wales for the Welsh! Are all the benefits to be ignored, which have been conferred upon Wales by the capital of Englishmen or Scotchmen, who have bought the lands that Welshmen were unable to keep, built the railways which have multiplied the resources of the country, sunk the coal and iron mines, opened the slate quarries, and turned exhausted or waste lands by their money, their intelligence and their energy, into productive farms; who have improved the breeds of the cattle and the sheep, and beautified and enriched the scenery, and ameliorated the climate by planting timber widely, where all was barrenness before? If this is the meaning of "Wales for the Welsh "—and, if much of what is written in the vernacular press have any purpose or meaning, this is what is really meant-then let the demand be stated openly and plainly, and the country and Parliament will know how to deal with it.
their freeholds any more than the Englishman or Scot, whose estates in Wales have been bought and improved by money, which he could have laid out elsewhere with more profit to himself, and he will turn a very deaf ear indeed to the new doctrines of spoliation, however disguised these may be under claptrap phrases about the restoration of the rights of that mysterious unit, "the people." He is one of the "people" himself; but you will never persuade him of the advantage of having his property taken from him, with no assurance of any compensation to come to him, as one of the people, from the confiscation of the property of all the other land owners in the Principality. The men of Wales are a far way off at present from "the religion of humanity," and they are little likely to surrender the fruits of their industry or self denial to the community, which they see by every-day experience contains a very large contingent of people who are neither industrious nor self-denying. Their wives and children, not to speak of themselves, have the first claim upon their consideration. They will not therefore be misled by doctrines which they see must end, if logically carried out, in ruin to themselves, and also in a social chaos.
No men stickle more stoutly than Welshmen for their right to the property which they have either inherited or purchased. Some of their popular speakers and journalists have been lately preaching, with more than Irish vehemence, an Irish vehemence, that the land does not of right belong to those whom we are in the habit of calling its owners. But let the small Welsh freeholders see that, if this be true, they have no right to
Again, take the case of Welsh tenant farmers. They have not to complain, like the Irish, that permanent improvements are made by them upon the land, for which no allowance is made by the owner. Are their rents too high? Why are they so? If they are, who is to blame? They are under no compulsion to take their farms for more than they are worth. Surely they can protect themselves, as their fathers did, by offering only so much rent as they can afford to pay, and at the same time make a living for themselves. He is a lucky landlord who, in the best of times, can obtain a return of three per cent. for the money invested in Welsh property. With the reductions he has had to allow of late years, two and a-half, or even two per cent., is nearer the figure; in my own case it is even less. Would the tenant be better off, if the "people," that is to say, "the State," were his landlord? Assuredly not, for what Chancellor of the Exchequer would dream of letting the land of the State upon easier terms, or would pay attention to demands for reduction, when a bad year came ? Private landlords, in their own interests, must act upon the doctrine of "live and let live." But the millennium will come before a State official will abate one iota of what the tenant has contracted to give him.
But, say the theorists, give the farmers facilities for becoming owners of their farms. coming owners of their farms. Will this benefit either the individual or the State? Does not the history of the last century in Wales furnish the conclusive answer? What has become of the countless small freehold farms that used to exist? And why are they now so rare? The simple reason is, that their owners could not make a living out of them they were too small to maintain a man and his family, and so money had to be borrowed to enable their owners to stock and work them. Once a loan was contracted, the borrowers' case became hopeless. The interest, which as a rule they could never meet, rolled up, till a fresh mortgage became inevitable; and so things went on till the mortgages and arrears of interest were often in excess of the entire value of the property. It was then sold by the mortgagee, and came into the hands of men who, by adding farm to farm, and spending capital on their improvement, introduced a much wholesomer condition of things than had previously existed. The farms thrown together were of a size that could be worked with profit. The tenant's capital was free to provide the proper means for working it, and his rent was only a small percentage upon the market value of the land. If now the tenant had to buy his farm, he, as a rule, has not the money to pay for it, neither could he find it by loan upon such easy terms; and, bad season or good season, the lender would insist upon the stipulated interest, and would be deaf to any of those appeals for reduction to which the present race of landlords neither is nor can afford to be deaf. What, for example, would "the State" or the money-lender say to a tenant who asked for abatements, as landlords, to my own knowledge, are now sometimes asked, because the tenant's family has grown so large that he cannot make two ends meet, where he used to do so with ease when it was of moderate proportions? Clearly, the fault in such a case is not in the rent, but in the too prolific qualities of the tenant's wife. Yet I have known a
kind-hearted landlord lower his rent on the strength of such an appeal. What would the State or the money-lender have said to it?
The grievance of the existing State Church in Wales, is surely no greater than the grievance of a State Church in other parts of Great Britain. Nonconformists-and nonconformity in Wales is of the most varied shades-are neither persecuted nor looked down upon. They are free to follow their own forms of worship; and if, unhappily, strong language is sometimes used by churchmen and dissenters in speaking of each other, this only shows, as is elsewhere shown throughout Christendom, how little the men "who profess and call themselves Christians" are penetrated by the spirit of the author of their common faith, and how little disposed they are to hold his essential doctrines in the "unity of spirit and bond of peace for which we Churchmen, at least, habitually pray. It is hard to understand how a Church can be a
grievance, whose ministers are not dependent, as so many dissenting ministers are, for mere subsistence upon the people whom it is their duty to instruct, and, if need be, to reprove. How can a man, whose very bread depends upon the favour of his congregation, speak of any prevailing vice, say, intemperance and unchastity, when he knows that to do so will rob him of the contributions of many of their number, and make them seek the tabernacle of some one who will take care not to denounce their "cunning bosom sins" with the same severity? A State Church is surely a boon to a nation, if for no other reason than that its clergy may speak without fear or favour, not measuring their words to humour the prejudices, or conciliate the support, of their parishioners. This only men can do whose income is assured to them. The evil is -for where in any human institution is there unmixed good? -that the Church has its drones, who take their hire without giving its equivalent in the faithful discharge of their parochial duties. Wales naturally has its share of these, and they are little fitted to make head against the more earnest and more eloquent men who are the mainstay of dissent. Such false shepherds the Church must, in its own interests, find the means of deposing; and churchmen will be as eager as dissenters to effect reforms of this nature. But, there can be no doubt that the agitators for disestablishment care nothing for internal reforms: they want to lay hands upon the churches and their endowments, heedless of the fact that these endowments have been given for the special service of the established Church, and in justice can no more be alienated from the Church than the endowments for a College can be diverted to any other institution. The dissenters, I know, are very wary in pushing the disestablishment question as far as disendowment; but, if they find they have the power to effect the one, they will not hesitate to effect the other also.
Then comes the question, Which of the dissenting bodies in a parish is to have the parish church—the Nonconformists, the Congregationalists, the Baptists, the Anabaptists, the Primitive Methodists, the Calvinistic Methodists, or which of the other bodies that has set up its own peculiar standard of doctrine or of worship? The Church numbers within its body infinitely more than any of these dissenting bodies. Why then should it be disturbed, or despoiled of its property, in order that it should be squabbled over and fought for by each of the numerous bodies who claim to be the only true exponents of what Christ came to teach? If, instead of preaching disestablishment, their ministers would devote themselves to preaching down vice, and inculcating Christian conduct and Christian forbearance, Wales would be a much happier country, and its people more well-to-do than they can ever be while rancour and animosity are fostered by the fiery political sermons which are known to constitute a prominent attraction of the chapels.
The difference of language is unquestionably a barrier to the perfect fusion of the Welsh race with the other races of the kingdom. No one would wish to diminish the Welshman's love for his native country, or his delight in his native speech, which is obviously in harmony with his imaginative and excitable temperament. But it would be better for them, if this enthusiasm did not blind them to the advantages of being able to read and speak English with ease. For want of the ability to do s, their sons and their daughters are heavily handicapped when they have to seek
employment where only English is spoken; while the whole country suffers from so many of its inhabitants being cut off from the knowledge of the best English litera'ure, and from the interchange of opinion with residents or strangers, who have no inducement to learn a language so difficult as the Welsh, and without a literature to compensate the exertion. There is some danger that the Eisteddfodds, now so much in vogue, at which the Welsh language and scanty literature are so greatly glorified, may do harm, by making Welshmen think that they can do very well without making themselves familiar with English. The tendency is seen in the demand for Welsh judges and Welsh magistrates, and in short for everything Welsh, landowners included; as if this were the highest triumph of civilization to which the Cymri could aspire.
Better far would it be to urge upon the Welsh communities the advantage of being an integral part of the greatest Empire the world has seen. My own countrymen of Scotland have a passionate devotion to the "land of the mountain and the flood;" and the most persuasive cosmopolitan philosopher would try in vain to "untie the filial band, that knits them to the rugged strand" of their native soil. But this devotion does not prevent them from carrying their gifts of body and of mind to regions where they may help in their degree to maintain the greatness of the empire, to which they are proud to belong. With many of these it is the animating hope of their lives to come back, and die within sight of their native heather and within hearing of their native stream. But these are just the men to turn with a smile from the dreamers who talk of "Scotland for Scotchmen," and rave about the loss of nationality and independence as a consequence of the Act of Union. Let each country retain what is good of its national characteristics; but let it emancipate itself from the pettiness of provincialism, and feel how great is the privilege to form one of the component members of a mighty nation, to defer to whose will, as expressed through an imperial Parliament, can never be to its disadvantage.
Ar the recent Newcastle Law Congress, after considerable debate, a very comprehensive resolution was adopted, to the effect that the large transfer of High Court work makes it expedient to attach the County Courts to the Supreme Court; that the increased duties of the judges should be followed by increased remuneration; that to lighten routine work, the summary process under High Court Order 14 should be extended to County Court default summonses over £10; and that County Court judges should be relieved of the trial of ordinary cases under forty shillings, to admit of their giving adequate attention to really serious business. It cannot be denied that these proposals are of a sweeping character, and it seems desirable to consider shortly the justification for pressing their acceptance on the authorities. The name 66 County Court" was wrongly given at the outset, inasmuch as the 1846 Act was only a consolidation of the law for the "more speedy recovery of small debts and demands." Had the proper name of "Small Debts Court" been retained, the anomaly of heaping up its jurisdiction would have long since been manifest. The elastic title of County Court, one quite as comprehensive as the County Assize, caused it to be treated, from a very early stage, as a "Supreme Court safety valve," capable of performing any amount of work, inferior or superior; nobody making any serious effort to modify its machinery or to increase the emoluments and consequent standard of ability of the judges. It is mere accident that some of the Bench have demonstrated their exceptional fitness for superior work. It would be invidious to mention names, but more than one judge has seen his decisions, after a reversal in the Divisional Court, restored by the Court of Appeal, and even in the House of Lords. The original small debt character of the Court failed, of course, to attract the main body of solicitors, and even when substantial business was added, the admixture of the
old trifling element caused the Court to be avoided; and many practitioners think that nothing but a complete change will root out this antipathy; and, as the Legislature seems determined to gradually send High Court work to the socalled inferior Court, it will be better to annex the Court to the High Court, as far as possible assimilating its procedure, so as once and for all to pull it out of the ruck into which it has fallen, and induce the solicitors generally to take to it. It is hardly possible to select a better example of the tinkering way in which we legislate than the County Court Acts afford. Instead of consulting a committee composed of, say, a few judges, registrars, barristers and solicitors actually engaged in the work, alterations of law and practice are left to mere accident. The legislators engaged in the "amendments "-however eminent some of them admittedly are in other spheres-have little or no personal knowledge of the every-day procedure. The 1888 Act is one of the many instances in modern legislation in which both Houses of Parliament and the Govern
remitted actions, the original jurisdiction in tort has been practically extended from £10 to £20, and there is also increased ejectment and other new work. The result must be, unless some new provision is made, that the Metropolitan and large central County Courts will be flooded with business and unable to get through their work, which must fall into arrear. Such an increase of work in relief of the High Court surely suggests additional remuneration to the present County Court judges, to say nothing of its being necessary to attract capable men to fill the posts. The increased salary of £2,000, unanimously recommended by the Committee of 1878, in regard to populous districts (as proposed in Mr. Norwood's last Bill), would involve an annual expenditure of less than ten thousand pounds. In considering this it has to be borne in mind, that these large Courts realize a profit on fees received-placing them in quite another category to the less important Circuits, some of which, by their paucity of business, are worked at a loss. The resolution to apply the summary procedure of the High Court to County Court "default" plaints (which are always preceded by plaintiff's oath) seems not only reasonable but essential, to check delay and needless clogging of the Court lists with sham "defended" cases. Whether this summary procedure can be applied by "Rules and Orders," or only by express enactment, seems to be a matter of some doubt. The question of dealing compulsorily with demands under 40s. is a most important one, for it must be borne in mind that the litigants interested in these numerous cases are entitled to primary consideration, the Courts being originally established to adjudicate on such claims. Whether it would be right to remit them to registrars or to some newly-constituted official is open to consideration. In the larger Courts, where the registrar does not carry on any private practice, their judgmen's would be respected; but in smaller places difficulties might arise, and the balance of opinion seems to be that an independent officer should be nominated for the purpose, especially as the increased work will necessarily involve some extra machinery, if the business is to be kept under at all. It is well known that on some Circuits efforts have already been made to classify business, by setting aside days for small cases; but this has been found impossible in other places, the work being too large to admit of subdivision where the whole of it has to be performed by one judge. On the whole, the state of things demands serious consideration; and it is rumoured that the Law Society intend to apply to Parliament during the winter session to pass a single clause, postponing the operation of the 1888 Act till new arrangements for working it are perfected. FRANCIS K. MUNTON.
ment have knowingly, so to speak, permitted a wrong. This was hardly concealed by the Lord-Chancellor when he very reluctantly agreed to the amendments of the House of Commons. The original Bill, which has now become an Act with divers amendments, was prepared at least three Parliaments ago by the Treasury Superintendent of County Courts, as a simple consolidation. It was then accompanied by an amendment Bill, providing for the extension of jurisdiction and other matters necessarily required to make it workable, the whole to be engrafted into the Consolidation Bill when its acceptance should be secured. Two preceding occupants of the woolsack failed in passing either, and the present Lord-Chancellor determined to introduce the Consolidation Bill alone. Unhappily he tacked on about half-a-dozen little amendments which technically took away its true original character, although its title of a Consolidation Act was retained when brought before the House of Lords. The House of Commons at once detected this, and some zealous law reformers resolved to introduce further amendments aiming at extension of jurisdiction, come what may, with provisions for stricter performance of duties by certain officials; no regard being paid to the insufficiency of the machinery to bear additional work. The Bill was relegated by the House of Commons to the "Grand Committee," where the Attorney-General, having failed in enforcing a technical objection to these substantial amendments, as not being within the scope of a Consolidation Act, boldly, declared that the Government would assent to none of the proposed additions, even if it prevented the passing of the Bill. Mr. R. T. Reid, nothing daunted, however, moved a clause giving plaintiffs the option of commencing any Actions on Contract in the County Court up to £150 instead of £50, which was practically an intermediate compromise of the proposal in Mr. Norwood's Bill of 1878 and Lord Cairns's Bill in 1880-the former suggesting the limit at £100, and the latter £200. The Grand Committee seemed strongly in favour of Mr. Reid's clause, and, in spite of the AttorneyGeneral's vigorous resistance, it was only rejected by the narrow majority of three. This opened the eyes of the Government, and apparently they felt themselves compelled to treat with their opponents; leading to their ultimately assenting to a clause, moved by Mr. H. H. Fowler, giving the High Court power to refer any ordinary action on contract up to £100 to the County Court. In thus giving way, the Attorney-General did not apparently realise that a far larger increase of business to the County Courts in the metropolis and larger towns would arise under this movement than Mr. Reid's rejected clause. Past experience shows that defendants, and the High Court judges too, are only too anxious to refer to the County Court every High Court claim up to the statutory limit; in some instances indeed the High Court referred cases which they had no power to refer, nor the judges of County Courts any power to try, and which the latter frequently declined to try. The old Acts limited such references to Courts where the action itself "might have been commenced" if brought in the County Court; but the new Act has a sweeping clause giving power to refer to any Court "convenient thereto." This work may possibly demand a new Metropolitan Court, say, the old disused Lincoln's Inn Court, to be presided over in rotation by certain judges. Besides these extended
THE ATTORNMENT CLAUSE IN A
THE question whether the usual attornment clause contained in a mortgage, whereby a power of distress is reserved to the mortgagee, as security for payment of interest in arrears, falls within the provisions of the Bills of Sale Acts, may now, we think, be considered as finally settled by the case of re Willis, Ex parte Kennedy, which is reported in the October number of the Law Reports. The case camé before the Court of Appeal on an appeal by the Baroness Willoughby D'Eresby against an order of Cave (J.) that she should pay to the trustee in the bankruptcy of F. W. Willis the sum of £1,715 175., which she had realised by means of a distress which she had levied upon premises occupied by the bankrupt, by virtue of an attornment clause contained in a mortgage deed executed by him.
By a deed, dated January 28, 1884, the bankrupt, in consideration of £20,000 advanced to him by the Baroness,
RYDE & THOMAS' LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT. Just published. In One Vol., 8vo, 768 pp., price 24s. cloth. THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT, THE COUNTY ELECTORS ACT, 1888, THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS ACT, 1882, with full Explanatory Notes and an Introduction; An Appendix containing the Acts incorporated therewith, and a copious Index. By WALTER C. RYDE, M.A., of the Inner Temple, and E. LEWIS THOMAS, M.A., LL.M., of Lincoln's Inn and the Midland Circuit, Barristers-at-Law. London: BUTTERWORTHS, 7, Fleet Street, Her Majesty's Law Publishers. [Advt.
devised the premises known as Willis's Rooms, and the goodwill carried on upon the same, together with all fixtures and fittings, until the Baroness, by way of mortgage for the unexpired residues of the terms of years granted respectively by two indentures of lease, to secure the repayment of the sum of £20,000 then advanced by her to him, with interest at £5 per cent. per annum.
The mortgage deed contained all usual clauses, and also provided that "the said F. Willis doth hereby attorn and become tenant, from quarter to quarter, to the said Baroness, in respect of the said premises, at a yearly rent of £2,000, by equal quarterly payments, the first payment to be made on the 1st day of the month next after any interest hereby secured shall have become in arrear, but all money received by the Baroness for rent due under the attornment hereinbefore contained, shall be accepted in the first place in or toward satisfaction of the interest then in arrear." A proviso was added, that the attornment should not make it compulsory on the Baroness to collect the rent payable thereunder, and that she should not be accountable to a second mortgagee for any rent recovered under such attornment, and also that she might enter and determine the tenancy. On October 1, 1885, there was due to the Baroness for interest on the mortgage, £1,485 8s. 4d., and on November 7, 1885, Messrs. Wright and Son, Sheriff's Officers, distrained by order of the Baroness, for that amount, as for rent due at that date. The distress realised £1,715 175., of which 230 8s. 8d. was retained by Messrs. Wright for their costs, and the balance of £1,485 8s. 4d. paid over to the Baroness. Willis became bankrupt, and Kennedy, who was appointed trustee of his estate, brought this action to have the money realised by the distress paid over to him, on the ground that the attornment clause was void against him under Sect. 6 of the Bills of Sale Act, 1878, because it had not been registered as a bill of sale. It will be noticed that the attornment clause in the mortgage by Willis is in the usual form, so that the case will govern all mortgages containing
a similar clause.
The 6th section of the Bills of Sale Act, 1878, provides that every attornment, instrument, or agreement, not being a vicarious lease, whereby a power of distress is given, or agreed to be given, by any person to any other person by way of security for any present, future, or contingent debt or advance, and whereby any rent is reserved or made payable as a mode of provision for the payment of interest on such debt or advance, or otherwise for the purpose of such security only, shall be deemed to be a bill of sale within the meaning of this Act; and any personal chattels which may be seized or taken under such power of distress, provided that nothing in this section shall extend to any mortgage of any estate, or interest in any land, tenement or hereditament which the mortgagee, being in possession, shall have demised to the mortgagor, as his tenant, at a fair and reasonable rent! It is evident, and in fact it was admitted at the trial, that if the case fell within the section, and not within the proviso, the distress became, by virtue of the Acts of 1878 and 1882, unlawful, and the trustee was entitled to the money realised.
It has always been our opinion that the ordinary attornment clause in a mortgage, reserving a power of distress, was exactly covered by the words of Section 6, and we think a careful comparison of the clause in this case with the wording of the section will prove this to be so. Willis certainly made an attornment whereby a "power of distress" is given, by way of "security for a debt or advance," and whereby rent is reserved" as a mode of providing for the payment of interest on such debt or advancé." Whether the proviso takes the case out of the earlier portion of the section is perhaps a more difficult question, because the wording of it is a specimen of that remarkable grammar for which our statutes are so justly celebrated. The case contemplated by it is, we think, where the mortga gee has actually taken possession of the mortgaged premises and then made a demise of them to the mortgagor as his tenant at a fair and reasonable rent," and this is what was actually held by both Lindley and Lopes (L. J.J.) It was strongly contended, on behalf of the Baroness, that the case was governed by the recent decision in Hall v. Comfort, 18 Q. B. D., II. In that case a mortgage deed contained a clause by which, for the purpose of securing the punctual
payment of the interest, the mortgagor attorned tenant with the mortgagee, and the mortgagee had a power of re-entry for default in payment. Default was made, and the mortgagee commenced an action for the recovery of the premises, and applied for judgment under O. 14. Upon the hearing of the summons the defendant objected that the attornment clause was void under the Bills of Sale Acts, so that no tenancy had in fact been created. The Court, however, held that the clause was not rendered void by those Acts. It was pointed out by Cave (J.) that the actual decision in Hall v. Comfort has no bearing on the present case; but it was contended that the reasoning on which it was based and the dicta of both Coleridge (C.J.) and Manisty (J.) were conclusive in favour of the Baroness. It was contended in Hall v. Comfort (1), that the attornment clause purported to create a tenancy to which a power of distress is incident, and so gave a power to seize personal chattels, and came within Sect. 3 of Act of 1878; (2), that it amounted to a licence to take possession of personal chattels as security for a debt, and so came within Sect. 4. Apparently it was also contended (3), that it came within Sect. 6, but it is difficult to see how that could be, for no personal chattels had been seized or taken under the distress, and there is nothing in that section to make the attornment itself void. The Lord Chief Justice held that the attornment clause was not a bill of sale within Sect. 3, nor a licence to take possession of personal chattels as security for a debt within Sect. 4; because (1) it had not the character or incidents of a bill of sale properly so called, and because (2) if it were within those sections every lease would be within the Acts. It is quite evident that a lease is not within the section, because the rent in a lease is not reserved or made payable as a mode of providing for the payment of interest on a debt or advance. Manisty (J.) in Hall v. Comfort, appears to have thought that for a case to come within Sect. 6, the power to distrain must be expressly given, and must be a special power, not the usual power of distress incident to a demise. That this is not so is shown clearly by Lindley (L.J.) in his judgment; as his lordship points out, it is obvious that the draftsman was aware of the fact that there are two forms of mortgage which are more or less in use. Sometimes a mortgage deed is made without any attornment clause, but it contains an express power for the mortgagee to enter and distrain. Such a power of distress is not so beneficial to the mortgagee as the power of distress which is by law incident to an attornment clause. Under the express power, the mortgagee can only take the mortgagor's goods; under the implied power, he can as a landlord take any goods he finds on the demised premises. The consequence is that express powers are not so common as they used to be; but Sect. 6 nevertheless includes both kinds.
It may be taken, therefore, to be clearly settled by the Court of Appeal, in accordance with an opinion of Baggallay (L.J.) in Ex parte Jackson (14 Ch. D. 725, 733), that an attornment clause in a mortgage of land, whereby, by reason of the relation of landlord and tenant thereby created, a power of distress is given to the mortgagee as security for the payment of interest in arrear, is a bill of sale within Sect. 6 of the Bills of Sale Act, 1878; and that the proviso to the section only applies to cases in which the mortgagee, having previously taken possession of the mortgaged premises, has demised them to the mortgagor, and not to a case where the demise is created by the mortgage deed itself; and that so far as the decision or the dicta in Hall v. Comfort conflict with this, they must be considered as overruled.
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