Page images

The other four grounds recommended by the be difficulty in framing the necessary definiCommission are in a different category from tions does not absolve the country from its desertion. If one may say so without pre- duty of doing justice to those who resort to its sumption, they are much more susceptible of Courts. So far as the Church is concern

erned, attack and much more difficult of definition. marriage may be a sacrament, and it is for the Lord Birkenhead declared, in regard to cruelty, Church to determine the nature of that sacrathat when the law was called upon to provide ment. But marriage is also

But marriage is also a civil contract, a definition, it never failed to find one, and he recognised as such under certain conditions by intimated that the Courts would be a great the State and imposing obligations, moral and deal more rigid in their requirements, were financial, on the parties to it. The case made it once enacted that cruelty would entitle a by those who support reform is that this petitioner not merely to a judicial separation contract is effected by the free consent of both but to a decree of divorce. Lord Phillimore, parties, is intended to be for the benefit of both, on the other hand, told some apocryphal tales and that, where one party deliberately evades of the procedure adopted in the United States. the obligations he or she knowingly underDuring a voyage to America he had met an took, it is unfair that they should remain American judge, and the conversation turned binding on the other. Human life is short, unupon divorce. The American deplored the certain, hazardous. In the words of Diderot : laxity of his country. He himself was very Man has the flickering light of reason, as a strict: he would grant one divorce without candle, to guide him: and the theologian much trouble; but if the same party came back comes and blows it out. It is possible that the within twelve months, he took a serious view light of that candle, however vacillating and of it, and refused the application unless good uncertain, is nowhere more needed than in the cause were shewn. Probably the classical case medieval twilight of the divorce laws, and one of cruelty is that of the American husband hopes that the entrenched army of Bishops will who obtained a decree on the ground of his not be permitted to extinguish it. wife's refusal to prepare his breakfast in the However this may be, the man in the street morning. Lord Phillimore also referred to that will be able to derive a certain interest, if not other illustration of "cruelty," which may be satisfaction, from watching the future developtermed the technical box on the ear. However, ment of this movement. Looking to the work as the divorce laws in the United States vary of the Commission, and the patient and careful from State to State, some being lax and others examination given to it by the House of Lords, (for example, in the State of New York) very one can hardly imagine that the problem will strict, these general and floating criticisms are be left where it stands. On the other hand, scarcely fair. The question must always be as Lord Buckmaster has pointed out, a comwhether all remedy is to be denied in cases prehensive measure of divorce reform will of great and admitted hardship only because probably settle the law for, at the very least, the assistance of the law may also be invoked by a period of fifty years. It seems then essential the unworthy. The Church, plunging into the that the reformers should not be content with labyrinths of medieval superstition, has set any half-hearted measure, but should aim at a its face against reform and striven to maintain Bill which adequately fulfils the objects of the unchanged a law which penalises the miserable Commission. I am reminded, in conclusion, but is easily evaded by the less scrupulous. that the authors of “ Williamson Real The adherents of reform prefer to concen- Property" point out the necessity of skilled trate on the miserable and the unhappy, and and timely reform of the law by those who have have complete confidence in the ability of the the necessary competence, in order to escape judges of England to dismiss petitions, founded foolish and disastrous change by the mob. The on alleged cruelty, that are obviously frivolous. divorce law yields nothing in point of im

The remaining grounds — drunkenness, in- portance to the law of real property, so far as sanity, imprisonment for life under a com- the urgency of reform is concerned. muted death sentence-do not require much

C. de B. M. comment here. They were considered and approved by the Commission: they were passed by the House of Lords. The last of these presents no difficulty of any kind. It affects a trifling percentage of the population, and its enactment would be a bare act of justice. Insanity and drunkenness are questions of evidence and proof, to be determined in accordance with the ordinary procedure of the law Courts. The mere fact that there may







[ocr errors]

* Passed with distinction,

An exhaustive article on this subject appeared in our issue of 28th April 1923, and one of the Library of Edinburgh University on 20th

A graduation ceremonial took place in the conclusions arrived at by the writer was that March. Principal Sir Alfred Ewing presided. interest on an award of damages was not taxable The majority of the new graduates, who numin respect that it was not taxable income under bered about seventy, were students in the the statutes. The decision of the First Division Faculties of Law and Science. in the Exchequer case-Inland Revenue v.

Among the graduates in the Faculty of Law Robert Forrest's Factorwhich is reported in who received the degree of Bachelor of Laws our columns this week confirms that view.

were Mr J. L. MʻD. Clyde, B.A. (Oxon.), The Court, however, were obviously disinclined to lay down any broad proposition, and it would of Session; Mr T. P. M‘Donald, M.A., a

son of Lord Clyde, Lord President of the Court appear that in the judgments of Lord Clyde and former senior president of the Students' RepreLord Sands an endeavour is made to restrict sentative Council, and president of the Univerthe effect of the decision to the circumstances sity Celtic Society and Liberal Association. of the particular case before them. At the same time the salient features of the arbitration

BACHELOR OF LAWS. award in question are common to the majority of judicial and arbitral decisions, namely, a Alexander Welch Blair, M.A.; Francis Peter lump sum found due at a particular date and Burns, M.A.; John Cameron, M.A.;

* James interest awarded as from that date. The Lord Latham M‘Diarmid Clyde, B.A. (Oxon.); William

* William Robertson President indicates that it would have been open Barclay Cumming, M.A.; to the arbiter to award the whole sum as

Heggie, M.A. ; Douglas Vivian Irvine-Jones, M.A. ; principal instead of fixing the principal sum at Melvin, M.A. (Aberdeen); * Francis Walter Oakley,

, an anterior date and awarding interest there

M.A. ;

Herbert M‘Douall Small, M.A.; James from. This, however, is no specialty and the Wilson Stewart, M.A. ; * Hugh Watson, M.A.

, course indicated would be open to the tribunal in most disputes. The decision, therefore, may be regarded as definitely fixing the immunity

BACHELOR OF LAW. of such interest from taxation, but the authority of Schulze's case (1916 S.C. 188) is not

Charles James Burnett, Pierce Butler, David impugned and will still apply to support the Calder, Charles Basil M'Call, Cather Munro Paton, taxation of interest on sums due in respect of John Stirling, B.Com. ; Douglas Wood. legitim or jura relictorum where the adjustment of the amount due has resulted in a delayed payment.

M. J.

At a general meeting of the Society of Advocates in Aberdeen, held on Thursday 20th March, Mr Donald Arbuthnot Davidson,

B.L., law agent in Aberdeen, was admitted a At the recent Annual General Meeting of the member. . Society of Procurators and Solicitors in the City and County of Perth, held in terms of the Royal Charter in favour of the Society, the WE regret to record the death, in an Edinfollowing office-bearers were elected for the burgh nursing home, of Mr George Badger, ensuing year.

Sheriff-Clerk of Perthshire. Mr Badger, who President, Mr Duncan Macnab, Perth ; Vice- was between fifty and sixty years of age,

; President, Mr James M'Beth, Auchterarder ; succeeded the late Mr John Ritchie as SheriffHon. Secretary, Mr A. C. Campbell, Perth ; Clerk of Perthshire only some five months ago, Hon. Treasurer, Mr James Mitchell, Perth ; and a tragic coincidence is that he died in the Hon. Librarian, Mr Thomas Logan, Perth ; same nursing home as his predecessor. In 1886 Members of Committee, Messrs J. W. Wyllie, Mr Badger was appointed Depute Sheriff-Clerk David Mackay, A. G. Forrest, Robert Stewart, of Haddington, and in 1918 Sheriff-Clerk at and John Little, all of Perth; Auditors, Selkirk. Mr Badger was a native of HaddingMessrs Walter Anderson and C. P. Campbell, ton, and while residing there he was for over Perth.

thirty years secretary and treasurer of the The treasurer submitted the financial Report Haddington Gas Co., and in his early days shewing the finances of the Society to be in a was a keen Volunteer. Mr Badger is survived satisfactory state.

by a widow and two daughters.

[ocr errors]

MR ALEXANDER DUFFUS, advocate, senior at least being employers to a very limited partner of the firm of Wilson & Duffus, extent. advocates, has died at his residence, 11 Queen's If Mr Taylor desires to see the Law Clerk's Gardens, Aberdeen. Mr Duffus, who was in his salary raised, his course is clear: let him found sixty-fifth year, was a native of Aberdeen. Hela Law Clerks' Union, on the lines of the Unions began business on his own account in 1884, of lesser calling.” From his letter, howand in 1892 joined the late Mr Thomas Wilsone, ever, he has evidently no such intention. His of Messrs Reid & Wilsone, under the firm name admiration of Trades Unions proper appears to of Messrs Wilsone & Duffus. Since 1896 Mr be as limited as his knowledge thereof. Duffus had been law agent for the North of As regards the London dustman with £5 Scotland Bank through the changes which led per week, and no need to dress a part," I to its amalgamation with the Town and County certainly would not do a dustman's most disBank, and more recently with the Midland agreeable job_for the sum mentioned. HowBank. In 1915 he joined the directorate of ever, as Mr Taylor's letter seems to be the the Great North of Scotland Railway Co. and elevation of money upon a pedestal, and as he became chairman in February of last year, and considers the dustman better off than he is, subsequently a director of the London and his remedy is obvious.-Yours faithfully, North - Eastern Railway Co., in which the

C. C. LEARMONTH. Great North Co. was grouped. Mr Duffus also held the position of law agent to the P.S.-Although Mr Taylor lives in London, City of Aberdeen Parish Council and the he evidently has not taken the trouble to Board of Control, clerk to the Dee and Don verify his statement re dustmen's wages ; he Fishery Boards, director of the North British should refer to the case of Rex v. Roberts, and Mercantile Insurance Co., the Ellon Castle ex parte Scurr and Others, recently decided in Estates Ltd., and the Northern Agricultural the King's Bench Division. By this judgment Co. Ltd., while he very efficiently discharged the Poplar Local Authority were surcharged on the duties of chairman of the Aberdeen Royal account of paying dustmen £4 per week. Infirmary, and chairman of the Aberdeen Employment Committee of the Employment Exchange.



[ocr errors]

Letter to the Editor.

Prager v. Blatspiel Stamp & Heacock Ltd. TOWN CHAMBERS,


- The plaintiff, a fur dealer, lived in Bucharest. Dear Sir,—While Mr E. R. M. Taylor's letter The defendants were fur merchants in London, in your issue of 22nd inst. is really delightful, I who acted as agents in the buying and dressing fear that your space is too valuable for any of skins. For some years before the war they reply long enough to point out all the flaws had been agents for the plaintiff

, and had therein.

continued so to act after the outbreak of war. Mr Taylor has evidently a very limited In 1915 and in 1916 they bought for the plaintiff knowledge of Trades Unionism when he likens a large number of skins at a cost of nearly the Legal Societies to Trades Unions, to quote £1900. In substance the plaintiff had paid the his letter,

of lesser calling." (Why “lesser whole of that amount, and in 1916 he was due I am at a loss to know.)

about £380 on account of certain skins which If Mr Taylor considered the matter he would had been dressed for him after purchase. The realise that the Legal Societies stand more or defendants were bound, when required, to less in the same light towards the Law Clerk dispatch the goods to Roumania according as, say, the Coal Owners' Association to the to the plaintiff's directions. Owing to war miner; the demands of each are diametrically conditions it became gradually impossible to opposed. Is it likely that any of the Legal send the skins to Roumania, though the Societies would intervene to inform a public defendants made attempts until, with the body that a certain salary is too low? It German occupation in December 1916, would merely form a precedent against the Roumania


enemy members when advertising for assistants them- state. In the autumn of 1917 the defendants selves. The British Medical Association is in began to sell the plaintiff's skins, and by a different position, not being employers; or November 1918 all had been sold except a few


[ocr errors]

silver fox skins. On 21st January 1919 the drawn in favour of the company, mostly crossed. plaintiff, being now able once more to com- The total value of these cheques was £8502, 48. municate with London, wrote asking for The appellants collected the amounts due on delivery of his goods. To his request the these cheques and credited the proceeds to defendants replied as follows : “We thought Underwood's account. Underwood died in it best to realise your goods as they were November 1922, when a receiver and manager getting stale, and there was no knowing how of the company was appointed by the debenture long these troublous times might last.” The holders. As a result of his investigations this plaintiff thereafter repudiated the action of the action for conversion of these cheques was defendants, and demanded back his goods, brought. Appellants claimed that they were finally raising this action. It was admitted protected by Bills of Exchange Act, 1882, that the defendants had no contractual right section 82, seeing that they had relied on the to sell the goods, but they pleaded agency of ostensible authority of the sole director of the necessity. Held that, while the doctrine of company to act as he did, and that they had agency of necessity was not confined to cases received payment for the cheques in good faith of carriage of goods by land or sea and to the and without negligence. Held that the peculiar acceptor of a bill of exchange for the honour of behaviour of the sole director should have put the drawer, and so could be applied in circum- the bank on their guard and caused them to stances such as those of this case, the agent make some enquiry and that, as they were must prove an actual and definite commercial negligent in failing to make such enquiry, the necessity for the sale, and this the defendants company was entitled to recover. Decision had in fact failed to do.-K.B. Div. (M‘Cardie of Roche J. affirmed. Court of Appeal (Bankes, J.).—23rd January 1924.

Scrutton, and Atkin L.JJ.).—30th January 1924.

A. L. Underwood Ltd. v. Bank of Liverpool

and Martins Ltd.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



Stone's Justices' Manual, 1924. Fifty-sixth Edition. COMPANY OF CHEQUES CROSSED IN FAVOUR OF

Edited by F. B. Dingle, Solicitor. Butterworth THE COMPANY.—BILLS OF EXCHANGE ACT, 1882

& Co.; Shaw & Sons Ltd. Price 32s. 6d. net. (45 & 46 VICT. CAP. 61), SECTION 82.-A. L. Underwood carried on business as an engineer- A Digest of Equity. By J. A. Strahan, of the ing and machinery merchant, which business Middle Temple. Fourth Edition. Butterworth he converted into a limited company in 1919,

& Co. .

Price 22s. 6d. net. he and one Callow being the subscribers, each The Doctrine of Res Judicata. By George Spencer for one share, to the memorandum of associa- Bower, K.C. Butterworth & Co. Price 358. net. tion. By the articles Underwood was appointed sole director, and at a meeting of the company

Famous Crimes and Criminals. By C. L. M'Cluer

Stevens. Stanley Paul & Co. Ltd. held on 15th July 1919, at which Underwood

Price 12s. 6d. was the only person present, the two shares subscribed for were allotted, as well as ten | A Short Treatise on the Law of Bills of Exchange, thousand shares to Underwood. No other Cheques, Promissory Notes, and Negotiable shares were ever allotted, and Callow's share Instruments and generally. By Bertram Jacobs, was, in June 1921, transferred to Underwood's

LL.B. (London). Second Edition. Sweet do
Maxwell Ltd.

Price 10s. 6d. net. wife. At the time of the flotation of the company Underwood had a banking account An Outline of the Rules of Evidence. By L. V. with Messrs King & Co. as well as one with the Holt, Solicitor. Stevens & Sons Ltd. appellants. The account with Messrs King

Price 28. net. & Co. was heavily overdrawn, and in security for the overdraft a debenture in the form of a floating charge over the assets of the company was issued to Messrs King & Co., with whom

EDITOR'S NOTE. the company's bank account was kept. Underwood continued to keep his private account The General Editor will be pleased to consider with the appellants, to whom he was well known Articles of Legal Interest, and if accepted for publicaas a customer of long standing. Between 20th tion these will be paid for, but no responsibility is December 1919 and February 1922 Underwood undertaken for the safe custody and return of MSS. paid into his private account forty-five cheques

[ocr errors]

2. Conversion of ground-annuals to perTHE NEW CONVEYANCING BILL. sonalty as regards succession.

3. Inclusion of heritable securities, real The second edition of the Conveyancing burdens, and ground-annuals in the funds which Amendment Bill has now been tabled. Those contribute to legal rights of spouses and responsible for its production have had the children. very ample period of about four years in which On the whole we accept the view that all to study, assimilate, and adjudicate upon the those proposals are better out than in. This is various and varying pronouncements of the entirely apart from the question whether they different legal bodies and of this and other are in themselves desirable or the reverse. legal journals upon the Bill as it first appeared. The proposed recognition of destinations of We dealt fully at the time with the criticisms heritage to executors (which by the way are on the Bill contained in the reports prepared competent at present, though without all the by the different legal bodies. Those criticisms results somewhat obscurely sketched in the first were of an adverse nature to an extent to Bill) was open to the serious criticism that it which one is not accustomed in the case of was what the Advocates of Aberdeen would purely legal Bills, and some of them were call a "tinkering" at the abolition of primoexpressed with unusual strength of language. geniture. That institution is merely the law's They have certainly borne fruit, but not to non-obligatory presumption of how heritage such a degree as to please all the critics, if ought to descend if the owner has not chosen indeed that were possible. The most refresh- by deed or will to prescribe otherwise. Subject ing vigour of phraseology hailed from the to the confusing fetter of legal rights if extended Society of Advocates of Aberdeen, and it is to such cases, as was proposed in the first Bill, quite certain that their criticism has not been the statutory abolition of primogeniture does met. It might or might not be possible to say not mean that the oldest male branch shall not that, in terms of their advice," the measure as exclude all others if the owner has so willed framed has been dropped," meaning that the it, whether by technical will or by deed. In first Bill has in reality and substance dis- that sense we have no doubt whatever that appeared, and that this second edition is really primogeniture ought to be abolished, for it a new Bill. But, however that may be, it is sometimes works great injustice, and that ought certain that this Bill does not present the not to be the characteristic of the will which Advocates of Aberdeen, not to speak of the the State implies for intestate persons. But a legal profession and the people of Scotland, change of that nature and magnitude is far with what those Advocates desiderated as the better made by an enactment which shall essential connotation of any Conveyancing be of universal scope, and which shall hold Bill worth having, namely, a clarified, self- whether the property be destined to heirs, or contained, cohesive system”; nor is it to executors, or to neither. Under the procomprehensive and consolidating measure of posal in the first Bill the intended beneficial Conveyancing reform," and the same might reform would have applied to no purchases be said even if the conjunctive “and ” were made before the commencement of the Act, replaced by a disjunctive “or”; nor is it less and to no property acquired by succession

” self-exposed, or exposed by its authors, than even after the Act, without the owner going to was the first Bill, to the charges of being the expense of executing a new deed, and if he calculated to produce " bewilderment to the were to do that he might just as well, and much student, doubt and difficulty to even more cheaply, have his will made. But then experienced practitioner," or of being "so ,

comes the question whether we shall soon have vague as to be almost grotesque,” or of amount- a general Succession Bill for Scotland. The ing to nothing more or less than “ tinkering,” thing has, however, been managed in England, always assuming, that is to say, that the Advo- and it is therefore difficult to see why there cates of Aberdeen were correct, even if not should be any serious difficulty or delay in our unduly polite, in preferring those grave charges case.

No doubt there are objectors to everyagainst the first Bill.

thing, and indeed it may even be that some of If the Bill was unheroic before, it is much the rather purist opposition to the succession more so now, for the proposals dealing with proposals in the first Bill was due to the fact substantive property and succession law have that at the back of their minds the objectors been mostly thrown overboard in deference to disliked the ideas themselves apart from the the almost unanimous chorus of disapproval place where they were found. But it is not which greeted their presence in the first Bill. really possible that such principles as primoAccordingly, as the Bill now stands, we hear geniture and the preference of males can be nothing of

longer defended, always holding to the true 1. Destinations of heritage to

“ executors." principle of liberty of testamentary power.

[ocr errors]


even the

[ocr errors]


« PreviousContinue »