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the secretary to forward it to the other societies for their approval.

The Bills Committee reported on several Bills lately introduced into Parliament.

Sir Joseph Dobbie, S.S.C., and Sir John Lorne MacLeo i, LL.D., S S.C., were admitted members. of the society.

partner in the firm of Messrs Bell, Bannerman & Finlay, W.S., 4 Randolph Place, Edinburgh, and will carry on practice at that address as a member of that firm.

MESSRS EDMONDS & LEDINGHAM, 1 Golden Square, Aberdeen, intimate that they have. assumed as a partner Mr Robert M. Ledingham, M.A., LL.B., advocate, son of the late Mr Alexander Ledingham.

CONVEYANCING IN SCOTLAND: NEW AMEND ING BILL.-There has been issued the text of the Bill presented by the Secretary for Scotland to amend the law of conveyancing in Scotland. The Bill contains fifty-one clauses and sixteen MESSRS FORBES DALLAS & Co., W.S., Edinschedules, which are essentially technical in burgh, have assumed as partner Mr Henry their nature, dealing with dispositions by persons Percy Gibbons Money, solicitor, who has been uninfeft, the completion of titles to land, amend-associated with them in the conduct of the ments of the law as to reference to conditions of business for many years. title, warrants of registration, abolition, and commutation of grain, etc., feu-duties, abolition of real warrandice, abolition of actions of serving to terce and kenning to terce, assimilation of law as regards legitim and jus relicta, transferring of ground annual, and heritable creditors' remedies for recovery of feu-duties and ground annuals. The Act is to apply to all heritable securities.

MACER IN THE COURT OF SESSION.-The King has been pleased, on the recommendation of the Secretary for Scotland, to approve the appointment of Mr Alexander Miller Stewart as Macer in the Court of Session, in the room of Mr James Gill, who has retired.

SASINE OFFICE APPOINTMENTS.-The Secretary for Scotland, on the recommendation of the Keeper of the General Register of Sasines, has made the following appointments: Mr J. A. Masterton to be an assistant keeper, Mr D. R. Couper to be a chief clerk, and Mr T. Curran to be a first-class clerk.

MR PETER Ross, 127 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, has been admitted a law agent by the Lords of Council and Session.

MR JAMES WILKIE, solicitor, Kirriemuir, announces that he has taken into partnership Mr George Dundas, solicitor, Kirriemuir, who has been his assistant for the past six and a half years. They will carry on business under the firm name of Wilkie & Dundas.

MESSRS HAMILTON, KINNEAR & BEATSON, W.S., Edinburgh, have assumed as a partner Mr W. W. Learmonth, solicitor, who has been associated with the firm for many years.

DEATH OF AIRDRIE SHERIFF-CLERK DEPUTE. The death took place at his residence in Airdrie of Mr Alexander Crawford, Sheriff-Clerk Depute. He was a native of Hamilton, in the Sheriff Clerk's office of which town he was trained, and was for many years thereafter in the County Buildings, Glasgow, being clerk successively to the late Sheriff Spens and Sheriff Boyd. He was appointed to Airdrie in 1905.

THE LATE MR JOHN RUTHERFURD, W.S.-A link with older days in Edinburgh was severed by the recent death at 14 Albany Street, Edinburgh, of Mr John Rutherfurd, W.S. He was in his eightieth year, and was the second son Admitted of the late John Rutherfurd, W.S. he carried on his father's practice for many to the Society of Writers to the Signet in 1866, Turnbull, W.S., as a partner, and retired from years alone. In 1900 he assumed Mr John Mr Rutherford never took a prominent part in business in October 1913. Of a quiet disposition, public affairs, but he was a fine type of the old stamp of legal adviser, and was greatly respected.

DEATH OF PAISLEY'S LATE PROCURATORFISCAL. Mr George Hart, Paisley, who for over half a century had acted as procuratorfiscal, has died at his residence, Deanside, Craw Road. Mr Hart, who was in his eighty-second year, retired from the position of county fiscal in 1913. He was the senior partner of the firm of Hart, Abercrombie & Lang, writers, Paisley.

MR JAMES TAWSE, M. A., the second oldest of the members of the Aberdeen Society of Advocates, died last Friday at the age of eightyseven years, at Lumsden, Aberdeenshire. Mr Tawse graduated in Arts at Marischal College in 1859, having been previously apprenticed to the law with the late Mr John Watt in 1856. MR C. F. M. MACLACHLAN, W.S., 71 George He was admitted a member of the Society of Street, Edinburgh, has been assumed as a | Advocates in Aberdeen in 1863.

THE MARRIED WOMEN'S PROPERTY

(SCOTLAND) ACT 1920.

By W. M. GLOAG, Esq., K.C., LL.D.,
Professor of Law in the University of Glasgow.

The movement for the removal of all disqualifications due to sex has not unnaturally turned the attention of the Legislature to the law relating to married women. Scotland had fallen behind England in this matter; the Married Women's Property (Scotland) Act 1881, even when prior legislation on the subject were taken into account, was a partial and limited measure as compared with the English Act of 1883. If any grievance were involved in this it has certainly been remedied by the Married Women's Property (Scotland) Act 1920, which received the Royal Assent on 23rd December. The experience of the last thirty years has shewn that the remnants of the common law which had survived legislation, while occasionally enabling a married woman, if shrewdly advised as to the law, to escape an obligation which she had deliberately undertaken, was a source of inconvenience to the majority, of positive hardship to those whose relations with their husbands were strained. The public, as well as the legal profession, will welcome the new Act, which, relegating some two hundred pages of Lord Fraser's treatise on "Husband and Wife" to the sphere of the historical, has placed the married woman in Scotland in a legal position even more independent than that which had been attained by her sister in England.

The earlier statutes in Scotland-the Conjugal Rights Act 1861, the Married Women's Property Acts 1877 and 1881-were mainly devoted to questions of property. The theory, mediæval rather than classical, that a wife, as it is put by Erskine (Inst. I. vi. 13), "is by nature itself placed under the direction of her husband" survived, though shorn of many of its practical consequences. The jus mariti, it may fairly be said, was no longer a matter for consideration by those about to marry, but the jus administrationis in large measure remained. A lecturer on the law of contract had still to beseech the close attention of his class while he attempted to explain the meaning of the statement that the personal obligation of a married woman was null. In attempting to indicate how far his task has been simplified by the new Act it may be noted at the outset that none of the earlier statutes are repealed.

Following the order adopted in the Act we first meet with the abolition of the husband's right of administration. By section 1: "After the passing of this Act the property, heritable or moveable, of a married woman shall not be subject to the right of administration of her husband, and that right is hereby wholly abolished, and a married woman shall, with regard to her estate, have the same powers of

disposal as if she were unmarried; and any deed or writing executed by her with reference to her heritable estate in Scotland or to her moveable estate shall be as valid and effectual as if executed by her with consent of her husband according to the present law and practice." By section 7 (1) this enactment applies to the heritable estate of a married woman in Scotland although her husband may not be domiciled here.

The words of section 1 seem to be sufficiently clear and decisive to exclude all doubt as to the right and capacity of a married woman to execute any deed or transfer without the intervention of her husband, to assign the prospective income of her property, or to elect between her legal and testamentary rights in her parent's estate. The decision in Miller v. Galbraith's Trs. (1886, 13 R. 764), where it was held that the acceptance of testamentary provisions and a discharge of legitim by a married woman were not binding without the consent and concurrence of her husband, and in Sillars v. Sillars (1911 S.C. 1207), to the effect that trustees were not bound to accept the election of an "unadvised wife," will not be repeated.

The Act of 1881 drew a distinction between marriages contracted before and after the date when it came into operation (18th July 1881). In the former case, if the husband had, before that date, by irrevocable deed made a reasonable provision for the wife in the event of her surviving him, his jus mariti and jus administrationis were not affected by the statute; if he had made no such provision these common law rights were only limited with regard to any estate which the wife might thereafter acquire. The new Act does not touch the remains of the jus mariti, and therefore there will still be cases of marriages entered into before 18th July 1881 where the moveable property of the wife, and the rents of her heritable property as they fall due, will pass to her husband. At common law, however, the heritable property of a married woman did not pass to her husband under his jus mariti, it was only affected by his jus administrationis, which precluded her from disposing of it without his consent. And as the jus administrationis is now "wholly abolished," without any saving clause for marriages contracted before 18th July 1881, it would appear that any married woman, whatever be the date of her marriage, may now dispose of her heritable property without her husband's consent.

Nothing in the new Act touches the provision in section 1 (4) of the Married Women's Property (Scotland) Act 1881, that any money, or other estate of the wife, lent or entrusted to the husband, or immixed with his funds, shall be treated as assets of his estate in his bankruptcy, with the reservation of the wife's claim after all other creditors are satisfied. It will be remembered that it was decided in Mitchell's Err. v. Mitchell's Tr. (1908 S.C. 1046), that this provision is a general one, applicable to funds

secured to the wife by marriage contract, and the wife was judicially separated or had obtained not limited to property which, before the Act, a protection order under the Conjugal Rights would have fallen to the husband under the jus Act 1861), had been so greatly limited by the mariti. The absence of any corresponding pro-recognition, in Biggart v. City of Glasgow Bank vision for the case where the property of the (1879, 6 R. 470), Burnett v. British Linen Co. husband is lent or entrusted to the wife would (1885, 25 S.L.R. 356) and Laing v. Provincial seem to be the one instance where, under the Homes Investment Co. (1909 S.C. 812), of the new law, a married woman, in questions of pro- principle that a wife's contracts in relation to perty or contract, is still at a disadvantage as her separate estate were binding upon her, that compared with her husband. it might be regarded as the privilege of one class of married women-those who had no scruples in taking unconscientious advantage of the defects of the law. Thus, to take the most recent example (Galbraith v. Provident Bank, 1900, 2 F. 1148), where a married woman, living with her husband, but carrying on a separate business as a dressmaker in her maiden name, signed, in that name, a promissory note, not with reference to her business but as a cautionary obligation for a friend, the rule that her personal obligations were null was successfully invoked in answer to a demand for payment. A principle which led to decisions so glaringly inequit able has now been abrogated in unqualified terms.

Section 2 deals with the position of a husband as curator of his wife: "A husband of full age and subject to no legal incapacity, whose wife is in minority, shall be her curator during her minority but no longer; but where the husband is in minority at the date of the marriage, or subject to some legal incapacity, the wife's father, or other curator, if she has any, shall be entitled to continue to act as such until she attains majority, or her husband's curatory commences." It is somewhat doubtful, on the authorities, whether the provision that the husband's curatory expires on the wife's attaining majority adds anything to the enactment of the preceding section, whereby his right of administration is abolished. Lord Gifford, in Bryce's Tr. (1875, 5 R. 722), treats curatory and right of administration as synonymous; Lord Dunedin, in Sillars v. Sillars (1911 S.C. 1207), uses the term curatorial power when speaking of a right which clearly fell within the jus administrationis. In the leading case of Biggart v. City of Glasgow Bank (1879, 6 R. 470) the Lord President (Inglis), dealing with the capacity of a wife in a case where the jus mariti and jus administrationis were excluded, but there was no express exclusion of the husband's rights as curator, said: "She is not only entitled to the exclusive beneficial enjoyment of her separate estate, but she has the uncontrolled management and administration of it. She not only does not require the consent of her husband to any act of administration, but her husband's consent even if given is utterly valueless. Nay, she may act in direct opposition to his advice and wishes." This would seem to leave no real content to a husband's right of curatory in cases where his right of administration was excluded. There is, however, the alternative view, suggested by Bankton (I. v. 4), as interpreted by Lord Deas in the case of Biggart, that the real substance of the rights of a husband, of which his jus administrationis was only an incident, was his position as the curator of his wife, and in this view the abrogation of his curatory, on the wife's attaining majority, is a real addition to the abolition of his right of administration.

The nullity of the personal obligation of a married woman, which may now, under the provisions of section 3 of the new Act, be classed among the antiquities, indeed among the curiosities, of our law, was a rule which, untouched by prior legislation (except where

Section 3 (1) provides: "A married woman shall be capable of entering into contracts and incurring obligations, and be capable of suing and being sued, as if she were not married, and her husband shall not be liable in respect of any contract she may enter into or obligation she may incur on her own behalf."

This would seem to justify the inference that in every case a debt due by a married woman may be recovered by any of the ordinary forms of diligence, that she may be rendered notour bankrupt, that her estates may be sequestrated. But an express statutory provision on the last point might not have been out of place. In Paull v. Smith (1910 S.C. 1025) the sequestration of a married woman, living with her husband, and not alleged to be carrying on a separate business or to have any separate estate, following on a charge for payment on a decree for expenses obtained against her, was sustained. But the case can hardly be accepted as a conclusive authority, in view of the Lord President's suggestion that the competency of sequestration in such circumstances might be reconsidered by a larger Court, and of the fact that the decision was arrived at on the construction of the terms of a section (section 6 of the Debtors (Scotland) Act 1880) which is repealed by the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1913. As, however, the obligations of a married woman are now to have the same effect as if she were not married it can hardly be doubted that the same means of enforcement must be available. In England, it may be noted, a married woman is subject to the bankruptcy laws only if she carries on a trade or business, whether separately from her husband or not (Bankruptcy and Deeds of Arrangement Act 1913, 3 & 4 Geo. V. cap. 34, section 12). (To be continued.)

LONDON LETTER.

TEMPLE, 29th December 1920.

The Lord Chancellor seems now fortunately to have recovered from the illness which at one time seemed likely to be a severe one. There have recently appeared in the "Times" articles from his pen outlining some legal reforms which he hopes during his tenure of office to be able to carry through. Apart from the question of the desirability or otherwise of the particular reforms he advocates it is undoubtedly a desir able thing that the general public should have some idea of the direction in which our legal reformers are moving and in fact that they are moving at all. It is a lamentable fact that the popular attitude towards the law to-day should be one of impatience as to its form coupled with a complete indifference as to its substance. Public opinion has never applied itself earnestly to legal reform for the simple reason that it has not thought it worth while. Yet there can be no doubt that were the public to take one-tenth of the interest in the subject that it takes in politics a great sweep forward would be made in the processes of codification and simplification that are long overdue. In England there has never been a repetition of the day when every educated man read and knew his Blackstone. It is useless for the layman to sneer at antiquated sections of the law or to be impatient for reform until he knows what it is that should be reformed or how it should be done. Such articles, therefore, as these of the Lord Chancellor cannot but be helpful: they may do something towards awakening an intelligent interest in a subject which affects every layman in the country.

An interesting innovation has been made in allowing King's Counsel to charge a fee without obtaining special leave when appearing in a case against the Crown. This was an age-long rule that seemed unnecessary in the case of criminal trials.

Several women students have attained a place in the Honours List of Part I. of the Bar Examinations. Their favourite "Inn" appears at present to be the Middle Temple, where there are more women students than in the remaining three Inns of Court put together.

It is doubtful whether any criminal trial of recent years has so completely aroused the interest of every person in the country as the trial of Greenwood, the Kidwelly solicitor, on the charge of murdering his first wife by the use of arsenic. There must have been something more than morbid interest and the artificial "sensations" of the daily press to have caused this, and certainly the case has presented some unusual features. There was above all the fact that the accused, after being kept in gaol for over three months and being subjected during the trial to what must have been for an innocent man an almost unendurable strain, was finally

acquitted. Though it may be difficult to see how this state of affairs could be altered, there remains in the mind the conviction that such a prolonged ordeal should either not be possible or should have some sort of compensation. Again, there was the amazing contradiction of the evidence as presented at the trial; there was direct contradiction among servants who should have known as to Greenwood's habit of washing his hands in the pantry; there was direct contradiction among those who should have known as to whether there was or was not a bottle of wine on the table during the fateful Sunday meals. Or again, there was the inherent improbability that a man contemplating such a crime as this would use so absurd a poison as arsenic, would bury his victim in the preservative of a brick grave, would spend months in collecting the poison in the form of weed-killer, and would finally place it on the dining-table in such a form that there was every chance that his daughter as well as his wife would drink it. Unfortunately there is a tendency among many members of the public to distrust the verdict of a jury, with the result that too often a man may theoretically be cleared of all suspicion and yet may still be regarded by a large body of his fellow-countrymen as a man saved by good luck rather than by innocence.

The principle of cy-près as applied to charitable trusts might appear at first sight to have received an extension in the decision of the Court of Appeal in Re Willis (37 T.L.R. 43). But in reality it is merely another example of the custom of judges in following the ratio of a long line of authorities to its logical conclusion although their personal views may be opposed to such a conclusion. In this case a testatrix after appointing a trustee and making provision for her sister directed that three months after her sister's death the residue should be given to such charitable institution or society in England, Russia, or elsewhere as might be selected by her friend W. Both the sister and W. died before the testatrix. Gifts to charity have of course always been regarded with a good deal of leniency by the Courts and have not been so liable to failure for uncertainty as have gifts to individuals, partly as the Master of the Rolls pointed out owing to the religious notions which formerly obtained in this country. In this case, however, there were two obstacles to an application of the doctrine of cy-près-the fact that the selection was to be made within a limited time and by someone other than a trustee. Nevertheless the spirit of Lord Eldon's remark in the leading case of Moggridge v. Thackwell (7 Ves. 36) was carried out, that "where the testator has sufficiently denoted that charity is his legatee, the Court will consider charity as the whole substance of the legacy."

Shortly before this decision, it was held in the case of Re Eades (L.R. [1920] 2 Ch. 353)

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AGREEMENT BY BUYERS NOT TO BID AGAINST

EACH OTHER-ILLEGALITY— PUBLIC POLICY.

SECTION 100, SCHEDULE D, RULES, CASES 4 AND 5 -FINANCE ACT 1914 (4 & 5 GEO. V. CAP. 10), SECTION 5.-Held that income from shares in a foreign company fell to be assessed for income tax as income from foreign possessions, under Case 5 of section 100, Schedule D, of the Income Tax Act 1842, and not as income from foreign securities under Case 4, and further that the computation of the income was to be on a three years' average, the rule to that effect, in Case 5, not having been altered by section 5 of the Finance Act 1914 except to the extent of abrogating the provision that the duty should be computed only on the amounts actually received in the United Kingdom. Decision of the Court of Appeal (1919 S.L.T. 67) affirmed.-House of Lords (Viscount Cave, Lord Atkinson, Lord Shaw of Dunfermline, Lord Wrenbury, and Lord Phillimore).-17th May 1920.

Barry and Others v. Van Den Hurk.

CONTRACT BREACH

CONTRACT OF SALE

An agreement was entered into between two intending buyers of certain Government stores which were to be exposed to public sale by auction, that, with a view to keeping down the price, they would not bid against each other and would share the profits to be made as the result of the arrangement. An action for an account PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT IN FOREIGN CURRENCY of the profits so made and for damages for breach of the arrangement was brought by one of the parties against the other. The defence was that no such agreement had been made. Held that the agreement had been entered into but that it was against public policy and unenforceable.-K.B. Div. (Shearman J.).-13th

May 1920.

Trinidad Shipping and Trading Co. Ltd. v. G. R. Alston & Co.

INTERNATIONAL LAW CONTRACT

- DAMAGES RATE OF EXCHANGE DATE AT WHICH RATE IS TO BE DETERMINED.-Under a contract for the supply of cases of condensed milk by an American firm it was provided that payment was to be made in the United States in dollars. The defendants in March 1918 com

mitted a breach of the contract by refusing acceptance of the goods. In May 1920 judg ment was pronounced against them in an action for damages. Held that the amount of the damages was the sum sterling which would have produced the required sum in dollars at the rate of exchange prevailing at the date of the breach of contract and not at the rate prevailing at the date of judgment.-K.B. Div. (Bailhache J.).

Société Navale de L'Ouest v. R. W. Sutherland

& Co.

SHIP CHARTER-PARTY-NAMED

FREIGHT —REBATE-REBATE ILLEGAL BY FOREIGN LAW. -A shipping company, whose head office was in-17th May 1920. London and who had branch offices in Trinidad and New York, carried goods for a firm of Trinidad merchants to New York. The goods were shipped in terms of the shipowners' freight tariff under which rebates were allowed to traders shipping exclusively by their steamers. A claim having been made by the shippers for payment of the rebate, the claim was refused on the ground that an Act of Congress of the United States had declared the rebates to be illegal. Held that as the lex loci contractus was British and by British law there was no illegality in the rebate agreement, the refusal could not be supported even although the rebate had been made illegal by the Act of Congress.-Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (Viscount Haldane, Lord Moulton, and Lord Parmoor).-14th May 1920.

STEAMER

RIGHT TO SUBSTITUTE SIMILAR STEAMER - SALE oF STEAMER BEFORE DATE OF CHARTER-BREACH OF CONTRACT.-A steamer was chartered under a charter-party in which the defendants were described as owners of a named steamer. The charter-party provided that the defendants might substitute a reasonably similar steamer for the chartered steamer. Before the charterparty was signed the named steamer was sold by the owners but the charterers were not aware of this at the date of signing. Held, in an action for damages for breach of contract, that the primary duty of the defendants was to supply the named steamer and that, as they were not owners at the date of the charter-party, the REVENUE-INCOME TAX-SHARES IN FOREIGN contract had been broken and they were liable COMPANY-BASIS OF COMPUTATION OF INCOME in damages.-K.B. Div. (Bailhache J.).—7th -INCOME TAX ACT 1842 (5 & 6 VICT. CAP. 35), | June 1920.

Singer v. Williams.

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