페이지 이미지

perous condition, and the future holds promises of that can be given them to palliate the extravagant improvement in all particulars.

showing, yet it cannot be hidden that they are outgo,

warranted and unwarranted. THE amount of new business attained Because a number of shareholders have paid up the Eagle by this office during the past year is paltry sum of £10,000, is it a reason that they can Insurance satisfactory, and when the fact that it was Company.

“fool ” away policy-holders' money at this rate ? the first year of the quinquennium is taken The gallant chairman in his speech to the directors

into consideration it is doubly so. In dwells upon what he calls “ a very important point in these days of competition and push for new business, the conduct of life companies, viz., the expenditure it is somewhat of a wrench to the moral system for an question,” but the archsophist himself would scarcely office that has been progressing favourably in the high- be able to explain away satisfactorily this unnecessarily toned and conservative lines that have been handed high expenditure. down for several generations, to unbend itself and enter Whenever one finds a company beating a retreat out into competition with more modern rivals upon modern of a territory once occupied, it means bad management methods. Lord Bacon, however, tells that “a froward No excuses can be accepted for errors of this kind ; for retention of custom is as turbulent a thing as an before a step of expansion of territory is taken, innovation," and no doubt some of the older offices are especially if far afield, the land should be properly realizing this saying, for we find that their results are spied out. Retreat of this sort means defeat, and defeat growing greater during the past few years, than those means disaster. Yet we find the chairman saying immediately previous. The Eagle during 1888 made “having taken steps to give up the Australasian business an increase in the amount of new assurance it put into a saving from this source would be effected.” force over 1887, which again exceeded that of 1886, The London and Lancashire have always spent the which in its turn was considerably in excess of that of policy-holders' money extravagantly. Directors and 1885. There is a signifiance in this information that proprietors as a rule look upon the trust funds committed cannot be ignored, and it indicates plainly that this to their charge as their own money, at least one would office is resuming its foremost position among its think so, to see the expenditure often made of it. As confreres, to which it is entitled both by its age, a matter of fact, the petty sums that appear as paid-up size of funds, and other important qualifications. We capital, with their more petty accumulations, are all have from time to time pointed out that there is that in reality belong to proprietors, and all other funds a great temptation in the way of offices, which have belong to policy-holders. Policy-holders, as a rule, are grown old and very wealthy, to take that otium cum such "Juggins'," to use a slangy and vulgar appellation dig., which is supposed to have been earned when that they cannot see this, to them, at least, important the pulse begins to beat more feebly, and the blood flows fact. slower through the circulating system.

We find in 1881, this office spent nearly 26 per cent. The Eagle, however, has felt that in order to maintain of life premium income in commission and expenses its prestige, it must be up an l doing, and its outlook rf management alone, and since then it has varied but now is one that seems to indicate a close competition little in this percentage, though the premium income with the more active members of the great roll of has steadily increased from £83,250 to £140,761. It is Insurance organizations. During the past year the interesting to note that the death claims paid, with results that have been obtained have been satisfactory. bonus additions, were £52,548, or very little more than The amount of new business secured was £487,845, the £14,000 more than the outgo, as stated. premiums received thereon being £15,354. £179,400 of this, however, was reassured at premiums amounting

An interesting paper on "The Mortality to £4,328. Death claims were considerably less than in General Items. Among Assured Lives Viewed in Rela1887, and were £271,173 in amount. The rate of

tion to the Sums at Risk," was read by interest received on investments averaged £4 8s. per cent Mr. G. C. Stenhouse, F.F.A., of the Scottish Widow's per annum,and the income fromthis source was£126,376. Fund, at the sixth meeting of the current session of Expenses of management, exclusive of commis- the Actuarial Society of Edinburgh, recently held. sion and medical fees, was but 5 per cent. of the total The number of lives dealt with was 39,303 over a period income, an exceedingly low rate. The funds at the end of

of fifty years' experience of the office named. The the year amounted to£2,798,626. There is a ponderousness data, and its treatment, afforded considerable informaabout such figures as these that, despite a slight increase tion and instruction ; and the conclusion arrived at during the year, carries its weight and with it conviction

was that discontinuance was less among policy-holders to the minds of the majority. We may look forward

for large amounts, the average duration of policies to seeing the Eagle before its next quinquennial greater, and mortality more favourable than among valuation resume its towering place among the other those for the smaller sums. companies in regard to activity and progression.

Mr. John Alford Clark, recently manager of the

London Amicable Assurance Society for Manchester, THE 26th annual meeting of this com- is at present serving a two months' term in gaol, with London and Lan-pany was held on the 3rd inst., at its

hard labour, for defrauding the society of the sum of cashire Life offices, Cornhill, E.C., when the report £4, obtained under false pretences, and ostensibly for Assurance Co. and accounts were presented to the pro- the purpose of forming the Royal Exchange, Manchester prietors. Colonel Kingscote, C.B., the

which purpose was never carried out by him. chairman presiding, outlined the report in the usual Mr. George Will, jun., has been appointed superinroseate hue that is always imparted by directors when

tendent of agencies for the National Provident Instituthey annually meet the proprietors to give an account tion for Northumberland, Durham, and York. of their trust. "All the perfumes of Araby," however, Mr. George L. Caird has been appointed inspector of “would not sweeten” the showing that this company

agents of the Dublin agency of the Sun Life Office. makes. Out of a net premium income of £140,761, the Heretofore, he has acted in the same capacity at Cardiff sum of £38,722 was expended, exclusive of life assur- for the same company. ance purposes, as embodied in the net premiums received

Mr. Wm. Roberts, for many years connected with (that is, the premium without the loading for expense). the Provincial Life Company, is now its agencyThe following items are comprised in this total

inspector at Cardiff, having been transferred thence Commission

£13,334 from Wrexham. His many friends and old colleagues Expenses of Management


presented him with handsome testimonials, conTaxes


sisting of a valuable writing desk and a magnificent Expenses of Valuation

1,028 Dividends and Bonus to Shareholders 2,000

tea and coffee service, on the occasion of the change. Pension


Amalgamation seems to be the order of the day.

The Manchester and London Accident Insurance Com

£38,722 pany, Limited, it is announced, will shortly transfer its These amounts can be scattered through the disburse- business and connections to the Standard Accident Inments side of the revenue account under any heading surance Company, Limited.

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]


and Swain v. Ayres and Luck, 21, Q. B. D. 289, that the
test is, would relief by way of specific performance be

decreed. Now specific performance will not, in general, The Temple Newspaper and Review. be decreed until the party seeking it has performed

his part of the contract. We do not imply that in all

cases in which specific performance would be decreed EDITORIAL, ADVERTISEMENT, & PUBLISHING OFFICES,

of the agreement at the date it was entered into, there
33, Exeter Street, Strand, W.C.

the agreement is to be treated as transferring an
equitable interest, but if some mere ministerial act,

which he has the right to enforce, alone remains to be
APRIL 17, 1889.

done by the vendor, then it appears to ns that the
property is equitably vested in the purchaser. This is
put clearly by Jessel, M. R., in Walsh v. Lonsdale
(ubi supra) He says, “That being so it appears to me that
being a lessee in equity, he cannot complain of the
right of distress, merely because the actual parchment
has not been signed and sealed."

The cases, however, to which we have referred,
though valuable for the indications they afford, do not

go very far in considering the question at issue in

Lewis and Sons v. Commissioners of Inland Revenue,
for in each of those cases the legal position was
determined according to the positions of the parties at
the date of the inception of the litigation, whereas in
the case of liability to stamp duty the question had,
we conceive, to be considered according to the facts
existing at the date of the instrument.

The next point is, the conveyance must be of property.
Pro Lege.

Now, goodwill is of various kinds. In Lewis & Sons
this point was not contested, and indeed that goodwill
may be property within the meaning of the Stamp Act,

as shown by the case of Potter v. The Commissioners of

Inland Revenue, 18 Jur. 778, 14 L. J. R. Ex. 345.

The last point is, that it must be on sale. In cases

of company formation, e.g., in the recent case of Rolls v. The case of Lewis and Sons v. The Commissioners of Glasier (see PUMP COUR for March 27th, 1889), it may be Inland Revenue, which we report elsewhere in this

open to question whether, assuming there is a convey. number, is one of great importance to those interested anoe, and of property, it is on sale. In Rolls v. Glasier in company formation. It will be seen that the point (ubi supra) the transaction purported to be a sale, but actually decided in that case was that the agreement for Kekewich, J., held that the so-called vendee was, in fact

, the sale of good will was not, in tbe circumstance of that

the agent of the so-called vendor to float a company, case, chargeable with ad valorem stamp duty as a

and that the “vendor" was liable, as a promoter, for conveyance on sale in respect of the price paid for the

misrepresentations of the “vendee," by reason of goodwill. At first sight this question seems hardly so

his omission to correct them. Had the “vendee" boen far reaching in its results as in fact it is. Under in truth a purchaser, the vendor could not have been section 25 of the Companies Act, 1867, a contract for the

liable for his acts, which he would have had no right to issue of shares as fully paid up must be registered

control. We mention this case to indicate our opinion with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies. But the

that the real question in each case is not whether the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies refused to register

transaction purports, as far as the terms used are cona contract containing such a clause unless in the opinion

cerned, to be a sale, but whether, on the facts and of the Solicitor of Inland Revenue it was sufficiently according to the legal liabilities of the parties to the stamped. In Reg. v. Registrar of Joint Stock Companies,

contract, inter se, and against the public, the relation-
21 Q. B. D. 131, an attempt was made to compel ship created is that of vendor and purchaser.
registration by obtaining a mandamus. But the Court
held the proper course to take was to present the deed
for adjudication under the provisions of section 18 of the LIFE INSURANCE PROTECTION.
Stamp Act, 1870. So much for the history of the transac-
tion. With reference to the question involved, a few
words may not be out of place.

To render an instru-

AND INSPECTION OF mont liable to ad valorem conveyance duty, it must be

LIFE INSURANCE COMPANIES A NECESSITY. (1) a conveyance. (2) Of property. (3) On sale. As to conveyance, however, the words of the Stamp Act,

FROM time to time, in these columns, we have section 70, give an enlarged meaning to the term,

referred to the great and pressing need of increased a meaning widely differing from the popular notion.

security being given to life insurance policy-holders It includes, inter alia, "every instrument whereby any

by Governmental audit and inspection. In order property, upon the sale thereof, is equitably vested in

that our readers may understand that we are not alone the purchaser.

in our opinions, we publish hereunder extracts from It will be seen that the contention was as to whether

other journals. Our desire is to build up life insurance, the contract was a conveyance. In equity, statements

believing it to be a great national blessing to any to this effect may be found, but are undoubtedly too

country, and for that reason we wish to see it placed wide in so stating the doctrine. If, and when it is so

upon such a basis of security by the State, that there regarded, it is because equity looks on that as done

need not exist any apprehensions whatever of insecurity which ought to be done. But, in the first place, that

in any mind. This we feel can only be accomplished maxim only applies in favour of persons who are

by Governmental Supervision. That such a system,

eimiliar to that which has been in force in the United entitled (in cases depending on contract) to enforce the contract, and cannot be envoked by volunteers. In re

States is the burning need of the hour, is undeniable. Austis-Chetwynd v. Morgan, 31, Ch. D.. 596.

Statist, SEPTEMBER 25th, 1886.—Let any suffering policy Then comes another question. Assuming the person

holder or shareholder of an insolvent office look into matters, claiming under the contract is not a volunteer, it would

and he will find out the fact for himself, that the failure is appear from Walsh v. Lonsdale, 21, Ch. D., 9; Levy v.

primarily attributable to directors ignoring or neglecting to

inform theniselves on the condition of affairs, and being not Abercorris Slate and slab Company, 21, Q. B. D. 260, infrequently entirely ignorant of the first principles of insurance



business.--OCTOBER 2nd, 1886. Some twenty years ago the

holders. The United States Insurance Department beyond liquidation of the “ Albert” and “ European Life Offices ascertaining the “net" liability of every life office on its disclosed reckless waste or misapplication of funds belongiug to existing insurance contracts annually by one simple uniform policyholders. The enquiry aroused such public feeling on the table of mortality and rate of interest, efficiently and practically subject of protection by the State of policyholders' interests in audits the assets, and sees that they are set down at their true future, that Parliament took up the matter and passed the Life value in the accounts. The system of supervision and control Insurance Companies Acts, 1870-2. As to any real protection is admirable. In framing a serviceable and practical system of of the interests of policyholders afforded by these Acts, their control by the State, the existing insurance laws of the United framers could safely challenge every Legislature in the world States and Canada would materially assist parliament and to produce a more complete exemplar of “How NOT TO DO IT.” parliamentary draughtsmen. On a study of these, it would be

Notwithstanding the fact that the general condition of found that in them they had no code theories to consider and insurance affairs has not improved since 1874, the Board of Trade discuss, but a most efficient system of control, which had stood officials seem to have accepted the position the above clause gives the test of twenty-eight years practical working.–OCTOBER, them by acting simply as printers' devils, carrying the copy as fur- 30, 1886.-A radically false method of system often attains high nished by the offices to the printer, and from thence to the respectability by being time honoured in its adoption. The House of Commons in Blue Book form. Here the farce of moment, however, anyone ventures to expose the danger arising State supervision without control ends. There are, it is true, from it, with the object of suggesting a truer and safer method, some twenty-seven so called insurance papers, but most of them he has to submit, as in our case, to opposition and abuse for his depend upon insurance offices for their existence, and have not a interference from those who are interested in keeping from the public circulation of any magnitude. Therefore, however public eye matters which the defective system in vogue is desirous they might be of exposing abuses, their efforts would be calculated to effectually cover up.

Insurance journalists may abortive in most instances, as far as policyholders are concerned. continue their attacks upon the position we have taken up in At the time of the Dean Paul and other bank frauds, Punch the matter of “unearned premium liability," but if they cannot described certain accounts as having been kept by “Double- produce better material to support a fallen cause than the mere shuffle entry.” This term coined by Punch aptly describes the abuse which has appeared in some journals, then indeed its accounts and valuations contained in the numerous annual advocates will show themselves weaker than the parliamentary Blue Books issued under the Life Insurance itself. Some of the comments in the insurance journals Companies Acts. As will appear from what has been said, a seemed to have been framed like the counsel's brief company by using one table of mortality instead of another may marked "No case, abuse the plaintiff's solicitor.” In the keep £900,000 in hand instead of £1,000,000 ; by taking a rate of whole insurance world it has too long been the practice interest higher only by 1 per cent. than may be prudent, the to sacrifice principle to expediency, hence the loss and scandal £900,000 would be reduced to £830,000, and taking a business constantly recurring. The practical supervision and control of of the ordinary type, it may be asserted with little chance of all insurance matters in the United States, as exhibited by error that a small reserve of premium income in place of a official reports, bring up striking contrasts between American larger one, may have a final effect so great as to bring the and British office accounts.-MARCH 9, 1889.-The main feature £830,000 down to £600,000. It thus follows that of two com- in the tables we, as usual, give of premium income and proporpapies under the same particulars of business, the one will be tion thereto of expenses and commission is, that the ratio still cautious and keep in hand a million to meet its engagements ; shows an increase. Thus the companies expended 21•6 per cent. the other, perhaps anxious to distribute large bonuses, will deem of premium income in the last year, as compared with 16.6 per it sufficient to keep in hand a fund of £600,000, and will reck- cent. in 1877. Had the ratio in 1888 been the same as in 1877, lessly publish and divide the remaining £400,000 as profit. the item of expenses and commission would have been about This illustration discloses a grand opening for double shuffle £2,905,000, in place of £3,789,000 actually spent. accounts," and one which may be applied also to show how easy

Truth has also published, in pamphlet form, some it would be for an office made insolvent through dissipating £400,000 in jobbery, robbery, and foolery, to pass the precious heading of " How to make assurance double sure."

very good articles upon insurance reform, under the ordeal of “Life Insurance Companies Acts," 1870-1872, and still appear in the eyes of its policyholders and the public as

The extracts from it which follow are to the point :sound and solvent.- -OCTOBER 16th, 1886.-The Assistant

Unfortunately, directors of companies are only too often careSecretaries of the Board of Trade, in their too little known less of their duties, and I venture to state that there is at present Special Report of 1874, disclosed some of the glaring anomalies more than one British Life Office in which the actuary does of Life Office Valuation Returns, and pointed out how easy it was entirely as he likes, and where a similar theft would be possible, under the Life Assurance Companies Act,to cook returns on a large for all the trouble the directors take to guard against it. Comscale. We attack a system en bloc, and not any individual office. pared with these returns, the accounts filed by our co

companies Taking the whole offices, and throwing out those recently put with the Board of Trade are entirely inadequate. I do not by into liquidation, it may be said that 10 per cent. of them are

any means wish to imply that most of the large offices in this delinquents under this third count.

We will avoid country have rotten assets, but I maintain that if all offices had giving clues for identification, otherwise we might "turn the to file full statements of their investments, there would be some cat amongst the pigeons.” The Liquidator of a Company mostly very startling revelations. That the grossest frauds are possible gets a bigger pull out of it than its promoter. The third count in in the case of a secretary of a life office, has been once again the Boa d of Trade indictment, and our remarks on the other proved by the collapse of the two counts give point to the following quotations, which close that bribery may also be within the range of possibility. The the Special Report of 1874, viz. :-" It will readily be under- insurance press also would be very profitably employed in thus stood, then, how wavy it is for the responsible officers of an serving as a real guide to the assurer. But, then, I suppose Assurance company to value up and to produce a flattering actual

those insurance journals and guides would not like to offend balance sheet, and it need hardly be pointed out that the public some of their patrons by exposing the very miserable results of are readily misled by large present bonuses, and this practice is their “ with profit" policies, and the hollowness of their muchapparently sometimes adopted by young offices with a view of vaunted bonus system. I am also aware that the actuaries of attracting business."

As to life insurance business, we certain offices, although these concerns show very badly on this have, we think, conclusively shown that, despite Government test being applied, by a peculiar process of filtration of liabiliintervention in 1870 to protect policyholders' interests, there

ties, are yet able to present decent-looking balance-sheets, is no practical limits at present to the license allowed to life actually disclosing a surplus where there is a deficiency. In offices to value their position at will. In practice, as it was how far the real value of the land advanced upon may in many prior to the scandalous

disclosures of the Albert and European, cases still furnish the amount of the mortgage, or leave a suitso it remains now. “Every life office is a law unto itself.". able margin, it is not possible to determine, but there is no doubt OCTOBER 23, 1886. During the agitation prior to the Life that in this respect a good many balance-sheets do not represent Assurance Companies Act of 1870 for State protection, insur- the real position of the companies. In view of this danger, and ance men argued that State interference with them, or with any of the possibility of the abstraction of securities—such as private enterprise, would cripple or retard the progress of the occurred in the

Life Office—a periodical examination business, and we have no doubt the almost absolute uselessness and valuation of the securities by a Government authority of the Acts is greatly owing to the opposition then given to appears indispensable. This examination should be suppleremedial measures for protecting other interests than those of mented by an independent annual valuation of the companies' life offices. Insurance men may, perhaps, again use the same position by an authority appointed by Government. This kind stale argument against interference with their private enterprise of state supervision is quite feasible, as is proved by its successand its consequences, so we may point out the gigantic strides ful introduction in the United States ; and my more recent inwhich life insurance has made in the United States since

quiry fully confirms what I stated on this subject on a former 1859, or during a period of supervision and absolute con- occasion. In this respect I am glad to find myself in thorough trol of all insurance matters by the State in the

agreement with my excellent contemporary, the Statist, which interests of policyholders and shareholders.

has recently devoted some attention to the question of the We express our belief that the enormous increase of life

necessary amendment of the Life Assurance Act of 1870. It assurance in the United States has been fostered by the public will, I am afraid, be very difficult to obtain any really thorough coutidence, inspired by the close supervision and control exer- amendment of the act, and it would, therefore, be as well not cised by the State in the interests of policyholders and share- to ask too much. I should, moreover, consider that the neces



[ocr errors]

sity of the case would be fully met if state supervision wer introduced on the lines laid down by me, and if, as an addie tional concession to the public, the investments of the life offic were set out in detail, as provided in the American system The mere comparison of life assurance and annuity funds with the sums assured with bonuses, as shown in Article xv., is not a reliable test in all cases, but it will enable the assurer to steer clear of very weak offices, which through actuarial legerdemain, presents decent-looking balance sheets, which are wholly fictitious. It is here where Government valuation would be of the greatest possible vse. Unfortunately, information is not available in the case of all life assurance companies in such a form as to permit a really trustworthy comparison, and in any amendment of the Life Assurance Act the publication of such particulars should be made compulsory. The offices should, moreover, be requested to make up their accounts uniformly at the end of the year. That my task has not been accomplished without giving offence to some of the offices and to that part of the press which rejoices in their patronage, is natural enough. But I am used to tread on people's corns in my criticisms of institutions, and of the men connected with and responsible for them. It is impossible to probe a wound effectually without inflicting some pain, and there are a great many sore spots in life assurance which stand in need of the operator's instrument.

The following additional extracts will suffice for the present :

Saturday Review, MARCH 23, 1889. What makes the comparative stationariness of business in the case of our own companies the more remarkable is that those companies are increasing very largely the cost of obtaining new business. In recent articles we have twice pointed out how serious is the increase in the rates borne by the expenses of management to the premium incomes, and we have urged upon the companies that it is incumbent upon them io keep down this ratio. At all events, it does not appear from the returns published, year after year, that the results obtained compensate for the greatly increased expenditure. . . We cannot too strongly, and too often, urge upon the companies the necessity for keeping down this constant and seriou growth in the expenses. Insurance companies out of their premium incomes have to accumulate a fund sufficient to pay the policies which they contract to make good. They have also to give out of those incomes, bonuses, where such are payable. They have to distribute dividends where there are shareholders. And, lastly, they have to defray all the expenses of management, including commissions. Now, it is obvious that if the expenses of management go on growing at the rate at which they have increased during the past dozen years, it will be difficult for many companies to meet their liabilities. It is not to be forgotten that while the expenses are thus steadily rising, the yield upon investments is constantly falling. It seems to us that the companies are not altogether judiciously incurring these increased expenses. If they were, their business would increase more rapidly than it is increasing at present.

Financial Times, MARCH 28, 1889.-If an unblushing capacity and change of front all at once be the guage of merit,we at once deck with the laural crown the average English actuary and the average insurance journalist. Let an outside critic--qualified or unqualified-but venture to hint that the expenditure in any English office is ruinously high, or even extravagant, and out rush half-a-dozen actuarial champions to denounce him as an ass for not drawing a distinction betwoen the expenditure incurred on old and on new business. When occasion suits, however, a somersault is at once thrown; and somersaults are being thrown all around now. And why? Because, analysed on this basis, the home offices, with perhaps half-a-dozen exceptions, cannot hold a candle to the go ahead institutions which have invaded us from the New World.—OCTOBER, 25, 1888.-Insurance managers, one and all, declare that the mortgages are worth the money advanced on them, plus a considerable margin ; indeed they never lose an opportunity of asserting that the injudicious speculations amount to a mere bagatelle. Curiously enough, however, whenever mortgages are subject to the light of legal or other inquisition they are usually found, as in the instance of the unfortunate New Zealand Bank, to have entailed serious losses. The only answer to the paradox is the supposition that insurance men are divinely infallible and cannot err. The offices dread the establishment of a state department, more so the publicity of a public commission of inquiry ; but reticence in regard to their investments, and the constant exhibition of incompetent audit, is rapidly drifting them to the verge of one or other of these troubles. The accumulated funds in life offices belong to the public, not to the companies or societies, and it is not to be supposed that policyholders in England will be content to know nothing about their property when the American and Colonial offices are compelled to publish far fuller returns.

Financial Critic, MARCH, 23, 1889.-We regret to have to say that if a proper reserve had been made for future expenses, the surplus of £228 would have disappeared, and a large deficit

shown. There is often an erroneous idea put by directors before their policyholders that amalgamations tend to reduces expenses.

Money, August, 3, 1887.- The unfair ratio of cost of life insurance in this country is strikingly shown by comparing the average death rate of the population at large, with the proportion of claims to insurances in force in the British offices. The deaths registered in the year 1885 were in the proportion of 19.0 to 1,000 persons living. From White's Insurance Register for 1887, the approximated amount of life insurance in force, with bonus additions, is given as £420,500,000, the claim and reversionary bonus was £12,250,460, this is equal to 29.13 to 1,000 in force. And this great discrepancy is coincident with an assumed maximum of care in the selection of lives. And yet the American life insurance experience clearly proves that selection, and the great care exercised in that selection, reduces the rate of mortality in comparison to the average mortality of the country. Do not these figures suggest the practical advantage that would accrue from a Government supervision of the life offices, such as prevails in each state of the union ?. We should then obtain exact and reliable information as to the amount at risk, actual death claims paid, the value of their liabilities upon a standard valuation, and should thus compel information very necessary in perfoming an opinion as to a company from offices that have too long withheld it. August 8th, 1888.-Betwixt rectitude and knavery stands a somewhat numerous class of officials who, anxious to disguise the insolvency or weakness of the offices they control, resort to the most barefaced and discreditable tricks--a fact amply proved in these columns. Policy-holders cannot be expected to fathom the intricacies of a valuation, and to see whether it is a mere pretence or genuine-only actuaries can tell what it means ; accordingly, to safeguard posterity's future rights, which in several well-known instances are now seriously imperilled, legislation on the lines laid down below becomes a matter for urgent insistance. What security can policy-holders feel when Government officers tell them that where one office will reckon £10 a proper sum to lay by, another office will content itself with £6. Bnt the reductio ad absurdum of the existing

go-as-you-please " system is brought home in connection with reassurance transactions. Two offices, let us suppose, divide a risk ; the one, say equally strong with the Legal and General, will estimate its liability at £5 ; the other, a weak office that has reassured, eager to make a show, will put aside only £3 to cover its half. Can any fact, we ask, be more inconsistent with common logic or with policy-holders' just rights, or more strenuously call for State interference? To speak truly, the pation has had a perfect sickening of “flattering actuarial balance-sheets ” of “valuing up," and insincere cries for noninterference, and will gladly welcome any legislation deterring dishonesty.

Stock Exchange, MARCH 23, 1889.-In both respects we think the offices would do well to have their assets carefully re-valued so that whatever loss may have arisen since the investments were made should be known and provided for.

Insurance, FEBRUARY, 1888.-When we get an insurance department that is worth anything, we shall be able to understand the value and protection such a thing is to insurers generally, and what is of any good to insurers must be also of good to the companies. Then we shall be able te learn points essential to know to form any practical idea of the real position of a company such as :-(1.) Valuation of assets, eliminating from the same all questionable securities and fictitious value. (2.) The exact amount of insurance risks held each year, the same to be separated from so-called bonus additions. (3.) The actual death claims paid also separated from bonus additions, whereby the correct mortality experience could be definitely known. (4.) Pending or contested claims. Many reading this will say we have all these now, and that the Board of Trade exercises all necessary supervision. If they will only refer to the returns of the offices to the Board of Trade, and know enough to analyse the fumble of figures therein, they will find that there is no possibility of ascertaining one of either of these four most essential points in judging the true position of a company, and I may tell them further that fully seven out of every ten offices would not like to publish them, it would alter the present roseate appearance of their balance sheets and statements too much.

This all shows the need of practical Government supervision, and it is our opinion if that were secured more business would be done by the solvent and trustworthy companies, and the nation derive a benefit from the same.

It is intended to revive Claudian at the Princess's Theatre for a fortnight, commencing on Monday, the 29th of April. These will be positively the last performances in London, previous to Mr. Barrett's departure for America. Miss Grace Hawthorne will produce Mr. Byatt's play, True Heart, in May next, and will herself appear in the leading role.



regard for the moral well-being of its object-an odd, and in this diffident world, a perilous attempt to blend

moral oil and vinegar. The author of The New Eve is The New Eve: a Study in Re

nothing if not realistic and analytic, and as he has cent Evolution. By Mr. Randolph.

chosen illicit passion for his theme and a reckless (London: Spencer Blackett); 2 vols.

woman for his examplar, the outcome, needless to say, -This very clever and entirely

is not the sort of book which is wholesome papulum for remarkable novel possesses the per

every class of mind, but it is undeniably clever, and haps admirable quality, in one

may undoubtedly be read not only with interest but

advantage by men, though it certainly should be tabu sense, of presenting to the reading

to the class of reader to whom the author has addressed public the study of a women utterly

his ironical dedication.
selfish, as heartless as sensuality
can permit one of her sex to be,

Books received : “ House of Commons, 1889," and fickle as the wind, shifting as the

“London County Council," (Pall Mall Gazette Office.) sand, drifting in all danger to a lie, unequally bad even in the prolific gallery of modern heroism of

CORRESPONDENCE. fiction, expressly limned to prove

that nothing in all creation is one [ The Editor does not necessarily agree with the statements and opinions half as had as a bad woman. The author is obviously

of his correspondents.]
a satirist of the most cynical type. Premising his work
with a letter to “ The School-girl of the Period,” as he

is informed that she is nowadays the sole arbiter of the

To the Editor of PUMP Court. fortunes of the novel," and dubbing his story "a study

SIR,—Referring to your issue of the 27th ult., giving the area in recent evolution," Mr. Randolph proceeds to paint in

of the new County of London, shall I be correct or not in desvivid colours the portrait of a woman who, if she is

cribing property situate in any of the parishes therein mentioned

as in the County of London instead of in the Counties of Middlereally the outcome of modern society, must also be considered one of its most pestilent productions. The

sex or Surrey as the case might formerly have been ?-Yours married flirt is no new thing to lawyers. In the annals

A CONVEYANCING CLERK. of the Divorce Court she occupies a conspicuous if not 1, Howard Street, Strand, London, W.C. honourable place. But it is doubtful whether even the

8th April, 1889. united experiences of Hannen and Butt would not be [Speaking on first impressions we should certainly say stick to ransacked in vain to find a parallel to the despicable

the old or geographical divisions. The new County is purely yet irresistible heroine of this romance. Mrs. Vernon

for the purposes of local government.—ED. P. C.]
is lovely as a dream, a selfish Sybarite, who maddens
her lover and betrays her husband more for vanity than

passion. She is without one spark of pity, one ray of
honesty, in her composition. She sins not from
culpable yet natural sensuality, but from what Artemus

THESE investments are now being Ward would have called “sheer cussedness." She Yankee Brewery lavished upon us in a most barefaced wrecks the life of a lover who would save her from Companies. way, and the prospectuses of the Washherself, then laughs at him; and she has only contempt

ington and Bartholomay Breweries are for the long-suffering husband who, out of a chivalrous perfect cautions. How any wise or judicious speculator sense of duty and an inalienable tenderness, is wilfully can have the intrepidity to touch them passes our comblind to her faults until her vileness culminates in flight prehension, and even the American journals themselves with a lover of the most contemptible type. If the chaff us about our gullibility. No wonder. If these story has a moral for men-and it certainly needs one things were so good, or likely to be so profitable, is to justify its existence, for many passages in it are as there any need for these promoters to come here for realistic as Zola—it is that men of honour should steer capital ? Reading through the Bartholomay prospecclear even of a platonic friendship with a woman as tus, we find the late partners in the company require beautiful and as vain as the heroine, and that even an out of the capital of £1,500,000, no less a sum than attempt to save such from themselves is profitless £970,000 as purchase for their properties. So that with Quixotism, fraught only with peril to the man who the amount wanted by the proprietors, promoters, and understakes it. In the life story of Mrs. Vernon we advertising expenses, the working capital will be of the find an almost tragic depth of depravity depicted as most nominal character. The Washington is on exactly existent in the nature of The New Eve. We have a the same basis. The vendor takes £141,000 in cash woman with a devoted husband and attractive children and shares out of a capital of £161,000, thus leaving a flinging herself into the arms of a lover one moment, nominal working capital of £10,000. We write nominal leaving him with inexplicable contempt the next, and intentionally, because by the time the thousand and finally abandoning her home-ties for a libertine of the one expenses in connection with floatation are met, this most vulgar type. This is the sort of love story which sum will be materially reduced. We advise our readers Mr. Randolph dedicates with cruel cynicism to the to leave Yankee breweries alone ; they are not a good school girl of the period. A foil to the callous vicious- purchase. ness of Mrs. Vernon, and a pleasant study of a charming SINCE our last, almost every word we wrote respecttype of woman, is given in Lady Wynne, whose society ing British Rails has been realised. The enormously is as delightful and bracing as that of the heroine is high price to which these securities bad been rushed dangerous ; and there are plenty of clever touches of was, we contended, fatal, and however much interested humour and some graphic word-pictures of scenery to individuals might conspire with each other, the chances relieve the intensely painful study of The New Eve. offered for a “bear account was too good to be missed Indeed, the novel is full of clever things, and shows by the astute speculators who practically control the railboth grace and power, but there can be no question that way market inside the house. The Berlin stock marthe reason why it will assuredly be widely read is that kets are flat in sympathy with our iron ; but, someit gives a ruthless analysis of the character of an utterly what strange to state, prices on the Paris Bourse are heartless, vain, and selfish woman, spurred to desperate firm. The exhibition opens at the beginning of May, deeds by spasms of sensuality as overmastering as they and of course it will not do for it to open on a flat marare evanescent. Colonel Ferrers, the victim of The ket. Business here is very restricted in face of the New Eve, is an admirably drawn type of a class of men Easter holidays, and the present account may be remore numerous than is supposed, whose vice is an garded as practically closed. A new departure will exaggerated sensuousness rather than sensuality, and probably be taken after the holidays for the next whose passion is curiously blended with a scrupulous account.

[merged small][ocr errors]
« 이전계속 »