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IS TAXATION A FAILURE?

II.

THE result of the system detailed last week is pretty much what might be expected. The greater the length of the documents, the greater the profit of the solicitor -the documents, therefore, become unnecessarily long. Affidavits are crammed with verbiage which, profitable as it may be to their concoctors, adds nothing to their credibility. "The truth will leak out, even in an affidavit," as a learned judge lately said, and the brief is converted from the concise statement of facts which the word implies, into an incoherent mass of testimony and argument jumbled together with careful attention, not to brevity, but to length. To this document, indeed, the solicitor mainly looks for indemnity against the ravages of the taxing-master, and long-winded disquisitions upon the law, correspondence which would be instantly struck out of the bill if openly charged as such, and sometimes absolutely irrelevant nonsense are often to be found in it. The story is well known of an eminent counsel who was accustomed to ask the solicitor instructing him to point out the pages of the brief containing the latter's observations, and then to fling the pages indicated into the fire. But it may surprise the uninitiated to hear that in many cases the brief is never drawn at all until required for taxation. Thus, in some Common Law actions, and in nearly all Chancery ones, there are a number of what are termed "interlocutory " applications to the court, which precede the regular trial. These are generally made upon the advice of the junior counsel in the case, who gets such facts as he may require for them from the solicitor in consultation. The written recapitulation of the facts would seldom be of any advantage to him, and his brief in these cases frequently consists of a piece of blank paper marked with his fee, on which he endorses the result of the application. As this would produce nothing to the solicitor except the commission on the fee which has been noticed above, it is supplemented just before taxation by a regular brief made up for the occasion, and with the advantage of an ex post facto knowledge of the grounds on which the application succeeded or failed, and this is annexed to the piece of paper actually delivered to counsel. The taxing master, although he may have his suspicions, is of course without proof as to the date of the annexation, and therefore allows the charges for the supposititious brief to pass without comment.

(and who have therefore a direct interest in increasing that amount), often have to work from very imperfect notes, and seem to be less guided by the record of what has been done, than by what, in their opinion, formed from experience of similar cases, should have been done. They are also not restrained, as the solicitor himself might be, by the fear of professional opinion, or of losing a valuable client, and they have no scruple not only in practising all the usual arts and wiles of costs compounders, but in inventing attendances and letters to an extent which would make even Messrs Dodson & Fogg stare.

It may possibly be urged by some that practices like these, however consonant with the character of the older type of attorney, would not be sanctioned by the modern solicitor, who is generally a gentleman of education and culture. It is, indeed, difficult to believe that a scrupulous mind not hardened by custom would easily stoop to such petty trickeries. But there is no reason at the present day why the young solicitor should know anything about them at all. A graduate (and an increasing number of articled clerks are graduates) has quite enough to learn during his shortened articles of clerkship without troubling himself about such uninteresting details as the principle on which his master's bills of costs are constructed. And when he becomes a partner, he will probably, if it is an old-established firm into which he enters, find the preparation of the firm's bills delegated to one or more old and trusted clerks, who of course see no harm in the system in which they have grown up. The trickery, if it is honestly considered in solicitor's offices as mere trade, or rather professional, technique or form of art, and no more reprehensible than was the old legal fiction of John Doe and Richard Roe. If, on the other hand, the young solicitor begins practice, either alone or in conjunction with a friend of no greater experience than his own, he probably soon finds it to his advantage to avail himself of the services of one of the professional "costs accountants" who have lately sprung up in such abundance. These gentlemen, who are paid by commission upon the amount of the bills prepared by them,

These last items indeed form the most fruitful source of dispute between solicitor and client. However ignorant the client may be of the law, whatever his idea may be of the necessity of the steps that have been taken on his behalf, he yet has a lively recollection, as he notices the number of times that "Attending you" recurs in the bill of the very small amount of comfort that he derived from most of the interviews for which he is expected to pay. One he remembers at which he first unfolded his wrongs to his adviser; and another distinctly enough where the same adviser asked him for a cheque on account; and perhaps a third, when he was taken round the corner by a seedylooking person whom he discovered to be his adviser's clerk, to swear an affidavit that he did not understand; but beyond this he cannot at first remember that he has had any "advice" whatever. Gradually, however, it dawns upon him that he can bring to mind some of the occasions on which he was 66 attended," but how widely does the Solicitor's record of these interviews differ from his recollection! His lawyer, as he then thought, with unpardonable stupidity, did not understand some point which at their first meeting he fancied he had made clear, and wrote to him to call that it might be further explained; yet he finds this put down in the bill as "attending you, as to so-and-so, when you went into the matter in detail and advising thereon." Or, he can remember that more than once, being anxious at his lawyer's silence, he called at his office to enquire as to the progress of the matter: this now appears as, "Attending you on your calling, reporting to you very fully a to the condition in which the matter stood, and advising," the last words evidently referring to a remark made by the lawyer as the client was leaving the room that "the whole affair might be over in a month." Or, again, some document was prepared for his signature which he was requested to call and see in draft; on doing so he pointed out that the christian names of some of the people mentioned therein were wrongly given, or that some other verbal correction was necessary: he now finds this interview described as "Attending you, reading over and explaining so-and-so to you, considering your suggested alterati'ons and advising thereon and taking your instructions.

And in all these cases it should be noticed the client is utterly without the power of retarding the growth of the bill against him. It is the lawyer's letters (or his silence) that compel the client to dance attendance at his office; and it is the lawyer's mistakes for the rectification of which the client pays. So much, indeed, is this the case that it may be safely averred that the attendances and letters in every bill that comes before the taxing master (and a fortiori in those bills which are paid without taxation) are at least twice as numerous as they would be under any system by which the solicitor might frankly charge a lump sum for his services.

And, be it noted, the client is not the only person who suffers from this state of things. The solicitor is obliged to keep himself or competent clerks within reach of his client; the conclusion of the business is delayed by the constant reference backwards and forwards; an expersive staff has to be kept up either by the solicitor or his costs accountant for the regular posting to their proper accounts of the various items in the bill; and, worst of all, the solicitor, or a special clerk deputed for the purpose, must spend no inconsiderable portion of each day in recording his own

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work. A solicitor in good practice often spends an hour or the seventh of each working day in "making his entries." Let us imagine the case of a barrister or physician of corresponding professional rank who is compelled to devote the same portion of his time to the preparation of his own charges.

INSURANCE.

1885

1886

1887

1888

Ar the last valuation of the assets and Law Life. liabilities of this office, which was for the quinquennial period ending December 31st, 1834, the Assurances in force amounted to £7,555,453, and the Funds at the same date were £5,316,626. At the close of the year 1883 the funds were £5,133,216, whilst judging from the new business that has been received, and the claims that have matured since the date of valuation, the assurances in force would not show a more material difference. Taking the figures as they then stool, and reviewing the current yearly history of the office since that time, the exhibit is of a nature that pertinently suggests grave consideration as to the utility of further increasing a sum that history and experience points to as being already enormously large beyond any practical use that can ever possibly be made of it. Policy-holders would have received a much greater amount in profits if the methods of valuation employed had not been of the most stringent character apparently to reduce the surplus-which, even at the reduction, is large-to its smallest possible compass. The interest and dividends earned by the funds exceeded 4 per cent. per annum, and when it is noted that the assurance fund sive of the paid up capital of £100,000, and the proprietors accumulated interest and share of profits on it £900,000) was £4,031,618 against outstanding assurances, with accumulated bonuses, of barely over £7,500,000, there is no sufficient reason why the valuation should not be at a rate of interest approximately equal to that earned, which would result in a handsome increase in profits to policy-holders without the slightest loss of security.

The history for the four past years of premium income, interest earnings, and claims and endowments that have matured, show conclusively that the funds as they stand are redundantly large for the practical purposes for which they have been accumulated. Interest and Claims and Profits (net). Endowments.

Year ending.

Premiums (net). £221,380 219,385

213,208

212,180

£213,555

206,036

208,295

206,236

306,465

414,875

342,136

343,491

866,153

834,122 1,406,967

Here we find that although the premium income shows retrogression, and that this office is lapsing into apathy and indolence as regards new business, yet the claims by death with reversionary bonus added, and those of matured endowments, amount to over 82 per cent. of premiums and interest. This would be considered a bad percentage even under ordinary circumstances, but when we find in the last valuation that the total funds (including only the comparatively petty sum of £100,000 of paid up capital) contained over £70 of assets for each £100 of assurance at risk, including all reversionary bonus that had been added from time to time to the original sums assured; in other words when we find seven-tenths of the money required to pay the assurances at risk, had they all fallen in on one day, on hand, then we are forced to conclude that the accummulated funds as they stand are unnecessarily large, and only place a premium on activity and indolence.

And yet notwithstanding their size, this office is slowly but surely drifting to leeward. Its history for the past few years points to the fact that it is beginning to feel that natural decay that will overtake a Life

Insurance Organization, as surely as it does the human individual, providing new blood is not introduced in sufficient quantities to counteract the sapping of the constitution by the amount which is naturally removed through death and desertion. As the strongest men are doomed to death, so the strongest life offices are bound to succumb to the inevitable, if they ignore those features in their management that alone are life prolonging. Once a society begins to show decadence, the public avoid giving their allegiance to it. We trust that the Law Life will endeavour to recover its position of progression and vigorous new life, before it looses, ground to an irretrievable extent.

THE occasional gathering together of General Items, the workers of an agency has always a beneficial effect on its esprit de corps, and the individual members thereof go away enthused and strengthened by contact and communion with each other. The Refuge recognise the value and importance of such meetings, and there can be no doubt that they have an influence in securing the increasing new business that this company is obtaining. On the 17th inst., at the Falcon Restaurant, Liverpool, the manager and superintendant of the district of Liverpool and Birkenhead, Messrs. J. T. and Thomas Shutt, entertained some seventy of the agents under their direction at dinner. The post-prandial exercises included a review of the history of the company by Mr. Thomas Shutt, particularising the growth of the business in the district, and also the usual afterlude of "musical and histrionic entertainment which was excellently rendered and well received."

THE Sickness and Accident Assurance Association, Limited, has lately experienced a change in the managership, that position having been resigned by Mr. J. B. Black, who, however, will be appointed to another in its service. He has been succeeded by Mr. Henry Brown, who has been acting in the capacity of superintendent of the English branches, and who for some time was the resident secretary at Manchester. The Board of Directors passed a resolution of regret upon Mr. Black's resignation.

IT is always pleasing to note expressions of cordial feeling and good-will between managers and representatives of insurance offices, and we have pleasure in recording the presentation to Mr. F. Norie Miller, manager and secretary of the General Accident Assurance Association of Perth, of a handsome gold watch and chain by the various representatives of the company as "a token of their esteem for his abilities and the unfailing kindliness and courtesy characterising all his relations with them." The date inscribed is April 20th, 1889.

AT Liverpool Police-court on Monday, E. H. Norton, described as manager of the Liverpool and District Insurance Company, was summoned by the Board of Trade for carrying on the business of an insurance company without complying with the provisions of the Life Insurance Companies Act. It was stated that he was dismissed by the United Kingdom Insurance Company, and then started a new company, which was not registered, the defendant being apparently the entire company. It was further stated that he issued policies and became liable for the payments. Penalties amounting to £35 were imposed. The Board of Trade prosecution for infringement of the provisions of the statute does not, however, satisfy the needs of justice or exhaust the resources of the law. If he obtained any money for premiums on the representation that he was an insurance company, we imagine that the criminal law to false pretences could be invoked.

THE directors of the Whittington Life Assurance Company have appointed Mr. Greville E. Joseph to the position of agency manager.

UNDER THE PUMP.

Seung

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Selden Society: Vol. 2. Select Pleas in Manorial Courts, Henry III. and Edward I. Vol. 1, 1888. Edited for the Selden Society by F. W. Maitland. London Bernard Quaritch. 1 Vol.It would not be easy to over estimate the valuable contributions to legal literature and historical information which are being made by the Selden Society, under the presidency of Lord Coleridge. The volume which has just been published and sent to us is of curiously great intrinsic-we had almost said popular-interest, while the light which it casts upon the condition of the law five or six centuries ago is equally clear and convincing. The editor, who, with unnecessary modesty, apologises for shortcomings which it is difficult to discover, gives us a rare store of quaint and authoritative documentary information, by means of which, terse and technical as many of the extracts given necessarily are, a very good notion of certain phases of life under the feudal system may be obtained by all who are able to read between the lines, and, from the dry and formal records. of the law courts of that remote era, construct something like a living picture of the times. Mr. Maitland has been fortunate enough to obtain access, by the courtesy of various gentlemen to whom he expresses his indebtedness in graceful and cordial terms, to many ancient rolls of Manorial and other Seignorial Courts, such as those of the Manors of the Abbot of Bec, A.D. 1246-1296; the Abbot of Ramsey's Honour of Broughton, A.D. 12581293-5; the Abbot of Ramsey's Manor of King's Ripton on the Ancient Demesne of the Crown, A.D. 1288-1303; and other equally quaint and remote sources, and the outcome of his labour is a volume at once peculiarly interesting and indubitably valuable to all students of the law. In compiling this work, Mr. Maitland has aimed not at presenting any of the ancient rolls in full, nor even of giving a full abstract in the original Latin, and in an English translation of the very earliest rolls, but rather to represent as far as possible, by judiciously selected extracts, a number of early and typical rolls, differing widely in character. In our opinion, this is precisely the most useful method which could have been adopted, in dealing with a subject so extensive in area and so diverse in detail. As a matter of fact, Mr. Maitland gives us within the limits of the present volume, significant and interesting extracts from the rolls of ordinary manorial courts, the rolls of a great honour, the rolls of a court on the royal demesne, the rolls of an ancient hundred court fallen into private hands, and the rolls of the court of a fair. Thus, by diversity of selection, he has been able to present us with a highly interesting series of entries, from which, by the exercise of a little imagination, we are able to create for our instruction and

on.

(fine, 6d.); Margaret Stephen's daughter (fine, 12d, pledge Gilbert Richard's son)-was Gilbert Richard's son responsible for twins we wonder, as the fine was doubled-Magot Edith's daughter (fine, 6d,) "-and so Nor is the following an altogether enviable state of things: "A certain unknown man gives the lord 20s. for leave to contract (marriage) with a certain widow." And it is interesting to learn that "John Maberly gives the lord 3s. to have the judgment of twelve men as to certain land whereof Noah deforces him." But John is to be commiserated, as his 3s. proved but a poor investment, for we read further that "The said jurors say that Noah the Fat has right." Lucky Noah! poor John Maberly! long ago become part of the earth, from which neither of you shall be "deforced " until all your disputes shall come before One less fallible than the "twelve men" who took sides with Noah the Fat. We wish that we could deal more fully with this interesting volume, but space forbids, and we will only add a word of hearty commendation to the Editor, and of recommendation to our readers, to one and all of whom Mr. Maitland's work should be of quite exceptional interest and value.

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study a fairly graphic picture of English rural life six centuries ago. Considerations of space forbid us to refer at length to the curiosities of tenure, and the fantastic social phrases which are made apparent by Mr. Maitland's volume. Suffice it that the picture which the reader is able to construct as he rubs shoulders in Mr. Maitland's pages, with William Coslard and John of Senholt, with Christina, daughter of Richard Malevill, with Geoffrey Ingulf, and the men of the Lord Abbot of Bec, is by no means of a nature to inspire regretful yearnings after the "good old times." To instance one feature of social life in which we have decidedly improved since the days of the first Edward, what, we wonder, would those who still think, not without reason, that in the case of seduction the law bears too heavily upon women and too lightly upon men, to this: "The following women have been violated and therefore must pay the leyerwite: Botild Alfred's daughte

The Ordeal of Richard Feverel. By George Meredith. New edition. (Chapman and Hall, Limited). 1 vol. It would perhaps be too much to expect that George Meredith, brilliant, epigrammatic, philosophical, satirical as he is, will ever become a popular novelist. The British public are not prone to take kindly to an author who compels them to think, nor are they disposed to extend a very effusive welcome even to a laughing philosopher disguised as a romancer. None the less, indeed all the more, the highest praise is due to Messrs. Chapman and Hall for at least bringing within the reach of all classes, by the issue of so cheap and excellent edition of his works, the rich story of wit and wisdom which Mr. George Meredith spreads with so lavish a hand before the students of his pages. We say students advisedly, for the novels of George Meredith are very far removed from those ephemeride of fiction which Wilhelmina Gushington devours with avid appetite to-day to forget ere such literary flavour as they may possess has evaporated. George Meredith is a philosopher and a poet, and possibly the time may come when his brilliant work may prove after all the more effective for being clothed in the garb of fiction. At present he speaks to an audience somewhat limited in numbers, but whose appreciation of their Master is unlimited. If, as we must hope, he one day speaks to the great mass of the public, and they prove to have "ears that hear," it will assuredly be due in no small measure to his commandable attempt to popularise his works by bringing them out in so cheap and pleasant a form. Of The Ordeal of Richard Feverel, it is unnecessary to say more here than to remind our readers of the subtle knowledge of human nature which its every page displays, of its teeming store of humour, its touches of inimitable tenderness, its artist-like glimpses of nature in all her moods, its quaintly wise aphorisms drawn from "The Pilgrim's Scrip," its faithful studies of boy-nature and the high lessons to be learned from them, its chivalrous Sir Austin, exquisitely selfish cynic Adrian, terrible Bella, delightful Lady Blandish, and erratic hero, Richard Feverel, whose Ordeal is so terrible, yet so inevitable, from the first insight which we have into his curiously coupled nature. The work is one which it would be an impertinence to pretend to refer to critically in the small space at our disposal. We therefore content ourselves with referring our readers to it, assuring those who are not yet familiar with its pages of an intellectual treat.

LEGAL HONOURS.

Mr. ALAN HENRY BELLINGHAM, barrister, has succeeded to a baronetcy on the death of his father, Sir Alan Bellingham. Called at Lincoln's-inn in November, 1875. YOUNGER, advocate, has been appointed Lecturer of Constitutional Law and History in the University of Edinburgh.

Mr. ROBERT

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Mr. CHARLES RICHARD HOFFMEISTER, Attorney-General of British Honduras, has been appointed to act as Chief Justice of that colony. Called to the bar at Lincoln's-inn in May, 1878. Mr. FREDERICK HARDYMAN PARKER, barrister, has been appointed to act as Attorney-General of British Honduras. Called at the Inner Temple in June, 1880.

Mr. GEORGE CLAVELL FILLITER, solicitor, has been appointed Deputy-Registrar of the Wareham County Court. Mr. Filliter is town-clerk of Wareham. Admitted in 1877.

Mr. DANIEL CHARLES EDWARDS, solicitor, has been appointed Clerk to the Llanelly Board of Guardians, Assessment Committee, School Attendance Committee, and Rural Sanitary Authority, and Superintendant-Registrar for the Llanelly District, Admitted in 1878. He is town clerk and clerk of the peace and elerk to the magistrates for the borongh of Kidwelly,

Mr. JAMES PARKINSON SHEPHERD, solicitor, of Penrith and Appleby, has been appointed by the High Sheriff of Westmereland to be Under-Sheriff of that county for the ensuing year. Admitted in 1861.

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been expressed that some anonymous letters in newspapers are not bona fide outside communications at all, but are written in the newspaper office to support the policy or to gratify the spite of its proprietors : that, in fact, to use the language of Lord Deas in Drew v. Mackenzie & Co., 24 Dunlop, 662, "the veiled prophet sitting behind the curtain" is the same person as the anonymous contributor. This suspicion was converted into fact in the recent case of Duncan v. Jamieson, Feb. 2, 1889, 26 Sc. L.R. 316. The action was one directed against the printers and publishers of a provincial paper for the slanders partly contained in a series of letters which had appeared in the paper, and which were signed by such impressive names as A Trader," "A Baker Street Elector," "Another Trader," &c. The defenders refused to give up the names of their too-modest correspondents, and the pursuer averred that the letters were really written by the defenders, or at least that they procured them to be written. The general charge against the pursuer in the letter was that, being a Town Councillor, he had accepted a bribe from the Caledonian Railway Company to act in a particular way with reference to a Railway Bill. The pursuer said the letters were written as part of a systematic plan to destroy his repuallowing the pursuer to recover documents instructing tation as a public man. The Court had no difficulty in the authorship of the letters, and that without taking any issue as to authorship. This was done because it was said the pursuer was entitled to prove the state of mind of the defenders, with a view to the aggravation. of damages. It is difficult to follow, at first sight, the reasons assigned for this decision, because in the ordinary case as already explained, the publisher accepts the whole responsibility which at the worst could have been established against the anonymous correspondent. The admission of such evidence against the publisher, in the ordinary case, is certainly not justified by the fact that, according to Scots Law, (which on this point has gone far beyond the law of England) the publisher might be entitled to prove in mitigation of damages many facts (e.g., that he got the letter from a well-known correspondent) tending to show that he, the publisher, believed the slander to be true, or had reason to do so. (See Browne v. Macfarlane, Jan. 29, 1889, 26 Sc. L.R. 289.) The true ground of decision of decision seems to be that the newspaper had manufactured a false appearance of independent public opinion, and thus induced the public to attach more importance than they would have done to a mere quarrel with a newspaper. Such conduct on the part of a journal certainly deserves punishment, but it seems a reasonable inference upon which to ask the jury for increased damages, in most cases where the publisher refuses to give up the names of a series of contributors writing to the same effect.-The Juridical Review.

THERE is a good deal of slander perpetrated in anonymous letters to newspapers, because ever since the case of Lowe v. Taylor in 1843, 5 Dunlop, 1261, it has been held that, if the editor and proprietors of a newspaper are willing to accept the whole responsibility for the letters which they publish, they cannot be compelled to produce the original letter or to disclose their correspondent's name, and, upon the whole, editors and proprietors have been wonderfully chivalrous in protecting the confidence reposed in them. This was described by Lord Cuninghame as "A question of great moment in municipal and even in constitutional law." Of course, if the correspondent can be discovered he is also liable in damages, and the newspaper might be forced to give up the original letter, if required as part of the independent case against its author, but the action against the newspaper cannot be used to force the discovery of the author. But where the editor declines to disclose the author, The law is, that the editor accepts the position of the anonymous writer with every liability which could have been laid on that writer if he had been disclosed." (Per Lord President Inglis in Brims v. Reid & Sons, 12 Rettie, 1020.) Of course this means absolute liability, because the writer is not disclosed, and therefore no plea can be founded on his character or interest. It is difficult to see how, as suggested in the case of Brims, the liability of the newspaper could be less where the culumnious statements were adopted in a leading article; and this distinction has been properly questioned by the learned editor of "Bell's Principles," eighth edition, sec. 2055. But the suspicion has often

TEMPLE CHURCH.—MAY, 1889.

May 5.-Second Sunday after Easter.-Morning Service : Te Deum Laudamus, Boyce in A; Jubilate Deo, Boyce in A; Anthem, "Blessed be the God and Father" (Wesley). Evening Service Magnificat, Arnold in A; Nunc Dimittis, Arnold in A; Anthem, "I have surely built Thee an house" (Boyce).

May 12.-Third Sunday after Easter.-Morning Service: Te Deum Laudamus, Attwood in A; Jubilate Deo, Atwood in A; Anthem, "O give thanks" (Purcell). Evening Service: Cantate Domino, Attwood in D; Deus Misereatur, Attwood in D; Anthem, "Sing ye praise" (Mendelssohn).

May 19.-Fourth Sunday after Easter.-Morning Service : Te Deum Laudamus, Smart in F; Jubilate Deo, Smart in F; Anthem, "O rest in the Lord" (Mendelssohn). Evening Service Magnificat, Smart in F; Nunc Dimittis, Smart in F; Anthem, "O sing unto the Lord" (Purcell).

May 26.-Fifth Sunday after Easter.-Morning Service: Te Deum Laudamus, Hopkins in F; Benedictus, Hopkins in F; Anthem, "Rejoice in the Lord alway" (Purcell). Evening Service Magnificat, Hopkins in F; Nunc Dimittis, Hopkins in F; Anthem, "Praise the Lord" (Goss).

May 30.-Ascension Day.-Evening Service.-Divine Service to commence at 8 o'clock p.m.: Cantate Domino, Hopkins in B flat (Unison); Deus Misereatur, Hopkins in B flat (Unison); Anthem, "He was cut off" (Handel),

CAPEL COURT.

British Rails.

OUR caution respecting British Rails was not issued a moment too soon, seeing that since our article of a fortnight ago, the top of the market having been reached at that time, these securities with various fluctuations have gradually depreciated, and are now at much lower figures than were then obtaining. By those who prognosticated an unexampled advance, various reasons are urged for this falling off; the latest and the one on which most stress is laid is the threatening position taken up by the coal miners. It will be in the knowledge of most of our readers that the colliers have demanded an all round advance of 10 per cent on the present rate of wages. Should this demand be submitted to by the masters, the cost of fuel will be greatly increased and the earning powers of the various lines will consequently be taxed to that amount, and in addition, there will come the question-which strange, perhaps, as it may appear-always follows a rise in the price of coals, the demands of the railway servants themselves, drivers and firemen will recommence agitation, and it is not unlikely railway managers may find themselves in face of a serious strike by their employées. The latter contingency may at the present moment appear remote, but it really is much nearer than most people suppose, for should the colliers obtain their 10 per cent. advance, the spirit of disaffection is almost certain to extend to the railway men. On the other hand, should the coal proprietors refuse to meet the wishes of the miners a strike seems almost certain, and on a very extensive scale, too, and this strike must necessarily bring in its wake a limited supply of fuel at greatly enhanced prices. There can be no questioning

the serious state of affairs in the mining districts. The men have thoroughly determined upon fighting out the question of an advance to the bitter end, nor does it seem likely that the masters are any the less de

termined to combat the demands of their workpeople.

We do not wish to enter upon the question of whether an advance in the scale of wages is justified at the present juncture, but we certainly confess we cannot understand on what ground the workmen ask for so large an advance as 10 per cent. However, the demand is made and there seems little probability of its being withdrawn. It seems marvellous that after all the years of suffering caused first by bad trade, then by illadvised strikes, the colliers have experienced, that neither masters nor men seem able to adjust their wage scale without resort to the inevitable strike. This country at the present moment is unquestionably rapidly advancing towards a period of unexampled prosperity in regard to most of her manufactures. There is, or will shortly be, plenty of work for those who are willing to do so, in nearly every branch of business. To expedite to the full extent the arrival of these good. times all that is required is a proper understanding between capital and labour. Yet what do we see hanging over us, a repetition of the bitter struggles of twelve years ago, with, unfortunately, the same inevitable result, viz., trade and capital being driven into the hands of foreigners, and starvation and distress for our women and children.

·

To return to the question of home railways after the depression of last week it was only to be expected that some recovery would make itself apparent on Monday, especially favoured as that day was with a splendid springlike sunshine, consequently we noted a slight ac vance in some of the stocks, principally in Taff Vale, Caledonian, and North Easterns, though falls were recorded. in the case of London and North Western, Manchester and Sheffield, London and South Western, and Midland. Now that we have the full holiday receipts before us, many of us have naturally compared figures, not with the same date as last year with the same holiday period, and here the figures come out quite satisfactory. All the Southern Roads show important increases, but particularly Brighton, and Chatham and Dover. Should

we get anything like genial weather during the next
few weeks we may expect sensible increases on all the
passenger lines, as there can be little question that these
companies were seriously affected last year by the
wretched weather prevailing at this date. So far as the
movements in this market are concerned we cannot ad-
vise purchase of any securities at present, nor should
we do so with a colliers' strike in the air, at the same
time we do not think that prices are likely to fall much
below those obtaining to-day.

THE rise in American rails we have
American
steadily foreshadowed for a month past;
Railways.
it is now in full force, and holders of
these securities, or who have speculative accounts open
in them, may rest quite assured that a handsome profit
will be theirs before the present (May) month is over.
The present slight fall in some of these rails is caused
by two things; first, Tuesday was a holiday in New
York; and to-day (Wednesday) is a holiday on the
London Stock Exchange, and having these circum-
stances in view, several big bulls have closed their bar-
gains. The rise, however, will continue, and those
companies offering the biggest chances are, in our
opinion, Lake Shores, Union Pacifics, Central Pacifics,
Readings, and Chicago and Milwaukee.

THE firmness of Foreign Stocks has
Foreign Stock. been one of the leading features. Al-
though they are high, the public will
continue to buy them, and it is almost safe to predict
further rises. Egyptian Unifieds, which are now at a
price that they never dreamed of before, are pretty
sure to go still higher. They will be at ex dividend
when the Stock Exchange is closed, and are likely to
be 1 per cent. higher when the market resumes on
Thursday. The improvements in Uruguay bonds will
probably not be maintained, but the other South American

stocks are all favourites for lock-ups. Suez Canal
have continued to attract buyers, and the men who
sbares, which everybody says are sure to be divided,
ought to know, say they expect to see them at par
before they have finished. We do not attach much
importance to the revived rumours in favour of Peru-
vian bonds. If the Chilian Government accepts the
Grace Contract, all might he well. But then it will
not. Spanish Fours and Turks, 1871, besides, are both
fairly good purchases. The latter should certainly be
quoted as high as Egyptian Unifieds.

WE have ever in this column advised
Canadian
Railways.
our readers against undve speculation in
Grand Trunks, and we trust those who
took advantage of the spurt shown by these securities
some weeks ago have long since realised. There can be
little question that this line has been the medium of
one of the most extensive rigs known for
some years, and that quantities of stock have
been landed on to the public investors, who
have bought under the impression that top prices had
not been reached. For this mistake a very heavy cost
will have to be paid, as we question very much
whether Grand Trunks will see again this year, at
least, anything like the price they were run up to a month
ago. In addition to this the directors have to contend
against a series of most lamentable accidents on their
system, the last which occurred on Saturday being but
one of a series of three during the past six months.
The excursion train which ran off the line at
Hamilton was a terrible affair, and according to latest
details, resulted in the death of no less than twenty-five
persons, besides most serious injuries to at least four
times that number. From the commercial aspect of an
accident an affair of this kind means a most serious
pecuniary loss to the company, and litigation probably
extending over a considerable period. Then there is the

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