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Merest, fees.



Analytical Digest.-Sittings of tke City of London Small Debt Court.Letter Box. award aside in a subsequent term, nunc pro SITTINGS OF THE CITY OF LONDON tunc. Bottomley v. Buckley, 4 D. & L. 157.

SMALL DEBT (OR SHERIFFS') COURT. See Arbitrator's Authority.

See Proof of Submission ; Rule of Court ;

The Court of Common Council, on the 9th Suit in Equity.

September, adopted the report of the committee

on the City of London Small Debts Act. The SUIT IN EQUITY.

report stated that the committee had referred it An agreement to refer, and arbitrators named, to Mr. Bullock, the judge of the Sheriffs' and a covenant not to sue, and a power to ex-Court, to consider and report as to the proamine witnesses upon oath, and to make the posed establishment for the new court and the submission' a rule of court, prevent a party requisite rules and regulations for its governfrom filing a bill with the view of withdrawing ment. the case from the arbitrators. Dimsdale v. Ro

That the committee, having also considered bertson, 2 J. & L. 58.

the 23rd clause in the act, whereby the court Case cited in the judgment: Halfbide v. Fenning, was authorized to order that the judge, clerk, 2 Bro. C.C. 336; 2 Dick. 705.

bailiff, and officers of the court should be paid A party to a suit cannot set up an objection by salaries instead of fees, recommended the which grew out of his own conduct. Dimsdale court to direct that the payment of the chief v. Robertson, 2 J. & L. 58.

clerk should be by a salary of 500l. out of the Cases cited in the judgment: Morse v. 9 Mod. 56; Pope v. Lord Duncannon, 9 Sim.

The report also stated, that the act came into 177.

operation on the 29th of September, and the court must give at least one month's notice of

the place where, and of the day or days on Umpire.-Two arbitrators were named in a

which, the Sheriff's' Courts were to be held; submission to refer; and they, or other the and that the committee, after consulting Mr. persons appointed in their place, were, before Bullock, recommended that till such time as they proceeded, to appoint a third arbitrator ; the Court of Requests may be in readiness, the any two of the arbitrators for the time being, said courts be holden in the Guildhall, and that might, at any time, or from time to time, make the first be held on Tuesday, the 12th of awards or orders, provided the last of such October, at 10 o'clock in the forenoon; the awards should be made before the 1st of July, second, at 10 o'clock on the 19th ; and the 1943, or before such other later time as any third, at 10 o'clock on the 26th of the same two of the arbitrators for the time being should month, the judge having advised that the appoint : and any two of the arbitrators for the holding of the court once in every week will be time being, might extend the time for making sufficient at the commencement. the last award, whether such time should have previously expired or not. And it was provided, that X. should, as soon as conveniently

THE EDITOR'S LETTER BOX. might be, appoint an umpire ; and that if no two of the arbitrators for the time being, should be able to agree in making the award or order concerning any matter which ought to be

We give this week a double number, awarded or ordered by them, such inatter should (without any extra charge,) order to include be a sarıled or clered by the umpire; and if in it the City of London Small Debts Act, at any time befor the several powers, authori- which will come into operation on the 29th ties, covenants, and provisions, in the deed of.

instant. subinission were executed, either of the arbitrators nained by the parties should refuse to act, The case mentioned by “Tacitum,” relating the party whose arbitrator so refused, should

to the validity of a marriage with a deceased appoint another in his place, and if he did not do so within fourteen days, then that the third wife's sister shall be inquired into. The prinarbitrator, and if none such, the umpire should ciple involved in the decision, our corresappoint such arbitrator, The plaintiff's arbi- pondent will observe, is undergoing investitrator refused to act, and nothing was done in gation before commissioners, with a view, the matter of the reference before the 1st of July, 1843. The plaintiff having, after that probably, to the alteration of the law. day, refused to appoint an arbitrator, the de- The forthcoming new edition of the Legal fendant procured X. to appoint an umpire, Almanac and Year-Book for 1848, will be much who appointed an arbitrator on the part of the

enlarged under the several departments of—1st, plaintiff, and the two arbitrators appointed a ihird, and then the time was extended by the The Courts, Commissioners, Officers, &c. 2nd, three arbitrators: Held, that the time was duly Parliamentary. 3rd, The Bar. 4th, Attorneys extended. Dimsdale v. Robertson, 2 J. & L. and Solicitors. 5th, General. The Diary, also, 58.

will be improved in form and extent. New See Time Enlarged.

names for the Lists should be sent soon.




5* Quod magis ad NOS
Pertinet, et nescire malum est, agitamus."


FREEDOM OF MEMBERS OF PAR- assumed maximum of the time during : LIAMENT FROM ARREST. which an indebted M. P., who is not en

gaged in his legislative duties, may be sufThe subject of parliamentary privilege, fered to elude the grasp of his creditors. by which members and ex-members of the There is something very much beneath legislature are enabled to claim exemption the dignity of both Lords and Commons in from arrest for debt, has again been brought their entering thus into a sort of manæuvre into notice by the publicity given to the for the purpose of enabling some twoor three case of one of the honourable members for of their body to escape the ordinary legal Finsbury. We are not about to enter into consequences of contracting pecuniary the question of law, which will be found liabilities without the means or intention stated in a former number of the present of meeting them. If our own were a revolume of our work,a for there is no doubt pudiating legislature, like some of those in that the House of Commons, which is the the United States, we could understand only judge of its own privileges, has been the members claiming for themselves in hitherto determined to regard the con- their private dealings the same glorious tinual freedom of its members from arrest privilege of non-payment that is adopted as a right to be maintained with the wholesale with reference to the public strictest jealousy. It is vain 10 speculate creditor. When, however, we remember upon what the law may be, as it affects the wealth and integrity of which by far those wlio can put upon it whatever inter- the greatest part of the British Parliament pretation they please, and who by a reso- is composed, we cannot help wondering at lution of their own can scatter to the winds the tenacity with which it adheres to an the most elaborate argument that could be invidious distinction, of which in general raised as a reason for the curtailment of none but the unprincipled, or those who their privilege. It is true, they might be from their pecuniary embarrassments ought disposed to pay some attention to prece- not to take any part in legislation, will dents, but these precedents are of their desire to avail themselves. The scandal own making, and we believe not one can brought upon the House of Commons by be found which places any limit on the some recent instances of evasion of the immunity claimed by insolvent legislators ordinary laws of debtor and creditor, will from the penalty of imprisonment. There damage and degrade the parliament to a is no doubt that, in the words of Blackstone, far greater extent than it can possibly gain the privilege “is now in effect as long as in dignity by the possession of a power the parliament lasts,” for the prorogations which requires a somewhat ignominious seem to be expressly arranged with a view occasion for its exercise. to allowing between each not more than No one can pretend that any dignity is dean interval of four-score days, which is the rived from a privilege which enables a mem

ber of the House of Commons, without deny* Ante, p. 336.

ing a debt, to free himself from the conseVOL. XXXIV. No. 1,920.



498 Freedom of Members of Parliament from Arrest.- Construction of Statutes.
quence of those laws which he has made for its never being called into practice, except
pecuniary defaulters such as himself, but for the most disreputable purposes.
when the penalty comes home to him he re-
pudiatesit by virtue of his legislative position. CONSTRUCTION OF STATUTES.
The makers of the laws should be the first
to set an example of obedience, except
when there is good reason for exemption, ACTION AGAINST A RETURNING OFFICER
but there is avowedly none whatever for
permitting a member of parliament to The latest number of the published re-
avoid perpetually his pecuniary liabilities. ports of cases determined in the Common
The old ground upon which the privilege Pleas furnishes an instance of an action
formerly rested was, the necessity for against a returning officer, for not allowing
members being free to go and return at all an elector, whose name was on the register
times to their duties, and the immunity of voters, to vote at an election for a mem-
was supposed to endure as long as might ber of parliament. Although the judg.
be considered sufficient to give time for ment of the court was directed chiefly to
travelling backwards and forwards from questions arising upon the pleadings, the
any part of the kingdom between the construction to be put upon certain pro-
sittings. In these days of rapid locomo- visions of the statute 6 & 7 Vict. c. 18, s.
tion, “ we need not,” as is well observed 81, on which the action was founded, was
by the Times, "point out the impudent incidentally discussed, and as the act had
absurdity of eighty days for the going from not hitherto become the subject of judicial
and coming to parliament. Eighty hours consideration, the views taken by the
would be far more than the menibers would judges, as to its operation and effect, may
be entitled to for any such purposes, even at this time interest many of our readers.
if it were of public benefit that the privi- The facts upon which the action was
lege should be retained."

brought, as they appear upon the pleadWe should be sorry to see anything so ings, were shortly as follow :-A new writ unbecoming as a contest between the public was issued for the borough of Abingdon, and the legislature on such a matter as the Berks, on the 30th June, 1845, upon the power of the former to make the members occasion of Sir F. Thesiger accepting the of the latter answerable for their just debts. office of Attorney-General. The defendIt would never be worth the while of par- ant, Mr. Belcher, was mayor of the liament to enter into such a dishonourable, borough and the returning officer. The not to say dishonest, struggle, for the ad- plaintiff was a burgess of Abingdon, and vantage of a few individuals of less than his name stood No. 216 in the register of doubtful credit, who add nothing to the voters. The election took place on the 8th dignity of the assembly in which they are July, when the candidates were Sir F. only enabled to retain their seats by bid- Thesiger and James Caulfield, Esq. The ding defiance to their creditors. A so- plaintiff tendered his vote for James licitor, writing to the journal we have Caulfield, Esq., and the questions authoalready quoted, suggests the possibility of rised by the act of parliament (6 & 7 Vict. enforcing judgment debts by making a c. 18, s. 81,) were then put to him and claim on the property furnishing the quali- answered in the affirmative. It was obfication required by law to be held by a jected, however, that the plaintiff was not candidate at the time of his election. The entitled to vote, as he did not continue to 1 & 2 Vict. c. 110, s. 13, certainly enacts, reside in the borough, as required by the that all judgments entered up shall operate proviso annexed to the 79th section, and as a charge upon any lands, tenements, the defendant entertained this objection, &c., that the debtor may possess at the entered into an investigation as to the time, or may subsequently acquire; and facts, and finally determined that the we are inclined to believe that the experi- plaintiff was not entitled to vote, and dement proposed would be at all events, clined to reckon the plaintiff's vote

woru w trial. The more satisfactory amongst those tendered for Mr. Caulfield, NEW-course would be, however, to avoid the but inserted it as a vote tendered and not

fcaualot of these unseemly contests be received. The action was brought under
tween captain members of parliament and these circumstances, and the declaration
their debitots, by the renunciation of a contained three counts. The first count-
prwiege dlay has ceased to be useful, and
has becodie positively degrading at last by Pryce v. Belcher, 3 Com. Bench, 58.

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Construction of Statutes.- New Statutes effecting Alterations in the Law. 499 alleged that the defendant wrongfully re- holding of a scrutiny might have had the fused to permit the plaintiff to give his effect of preventing the plaintiff from exervote, or allow the same to be entered and cising his right of voting. The court also recorded, and that a burgess was elected, thought the defendant's second plea was the plaintiff being so excluded. The bad for the reason assigned, by leaving it second count alleged that the defendant in doubt whether the defendant meant to maliciously, &c., instead of entering and rely upon the absence of the plaintiff's recording the plaintiff's vote in the poll name from the register, or upon his want books, refused to receive the same, or to of qualification as a voter. There was admit the same to be entered and re- judgment for the plaintiff, therefore, upon corded, but on the contrary thereof, caused all the points raised on the pleadings, with the vote of the plaintiff io be entered in liberty, however, for the defendant to the column of votes tendered in the poll amend on the usual terms. In the course books, and at the close of the poll refused of the argument the difficulty was pointed to reckon the plaintiff's vote among the out and commented upon by the court, of votes given for that candidate, whereby reconciling the provisions of the statute the plaintiff was deprived of the right to which disentitles a party from voting who vote at that election. The third count has ceased to reside in or within the prealleged, that the defendant, maliciously in- scribed distance of a borough, and yet tending to delay the plaintiff in the exer- prevents the returning officer from rejectcise of his right of voting, allowed a ing a vote in such case.

It would appear, scrutiny to be held with regard to his vote, therefore, that the power of adjudicating and took upon himself to determine, after upon a vote tendered by a person whose such scrutiny, that the plaintiff was not name appears on the register, and who entitled to vote at that election, whereby has ceased to reside within the limited the plaintiff was delayed in the exercise of distance, is reserved exclusively for a comhis privilege of voting, and a burgess mittee of the House of Commons. (See elected, the plaintiff being so hindered. ante, p. 308). To the first count the defendant pleaded not guilty, and also, that the plaintiff was NEW STATUTES EFFECTING ALTERA. not duly qualified or entitled to vote at the

TIONS IN THE LAW. election; and the second and third counts were demurred to on the ground that they disclosed no sufficient cause of action. The plaintiff , on his part, demurred to the

10 & 11 Vict. c. 93. defendant's second plea, on the ground An Act to continue until the 1st Day of Octhat it was ambiguous, as leaving it un- tober, 1848, and to the End of the then next certain in what sense the word “qualified" Session of Parliament, an Act for authorizing was used.

the Application of Highway Rates to TurnThe court thought the second count

pike Roads. [22nd July, 1847.] disclosed a sufficient ground of action, as it

1. 48. 5 Vict. c. 59. Recited act further appeared from it that there was a refusal continued. - Whereas an act was passed in the to receive and give effect to the plaintiff's rize for One Year, and until the End of the

4 & 5 Vict. c. 59, intituled “ An Act to authovote, which was inserted in the column then next Session of Parliament, an Application appropriated, under section 59, to votes of a Portion of the Highway Rates to Turnpike tendered by persons not on the register. Roads in certain Cases,” which act has been Section 82 enacted, that it should not be continued by sundry acts until the 1st day of lawful to reject any vote tendered by any October in the year 1847, and to the end of the person whose name was on the register, then next session of parliament; and it is exexcept it appeared that the person claim- pedient that the same may be further con

tinued : Be it enacted by the Queen's most ex: ing to vote was not the person described cellent Majesty, by and with the advice and on the register, or that he had previously consent of the Lords spiritual and temporal, voted. The plaintiff was properly de- and Commons, in this present parliament scribed on the register, and had not pre- assembled, and by the authority of the same, viously voted, and yet his vote was re- That the said act shall be continued until the jected. The action was also maintainable 1st day of October in the year 1848, and to the on the second count, as the holding a

end of the then next session of parliament. scrutiny was an unlawful act on the part acted, that this act may be amended or repealed

2. Act may be amended, &c.-And be it enof the returning officer, and it was clearly by any act to be passed in this session of parpossible that the delay arising from the liament.



500 New Statutes. Review: Bouyer's Commentaries on the Constitutional Law of England. TURNPIKE ACTS.

markable extent the power of the middle classes. 10 & 11 Vict. c. 105.

There have been returned a greater number of An Act to continue until the first Day of Oc- railway directors, a engineers, and contractors, tober 1848, and to the end of the then next and of political writers and lecturers; while the

of barristers, of merchants, of retail tradesmen, Session of Parliament, certain Turnpike number of naval and military officers, of perActs. [22nd July, 1847.]

sons connected with noble families, and of 1. Continuance of certain acts respecting country gentlemen, has been smaller than in turnpike roads in Great Brituin, except 6 Geo. of the last fifteen years." 4, c. clx.- Whereas it is expedient that the several acts herein-after specified should be Mr. Bowyer appears to be conscious of continued for a limited time : Be it enacted by important projected changes, the discussion the Queen's most excellent Majesty, by and of which may be expected in the next with the advice and consent of the Lords and future sessions, and some of which spiritual and temporal, and Commons, in this present parliament assembled, and by the au- Law of England.

may seriously affect the Constitutional thority of the same, That every act now in force for regulating, making, amending, or re

“The circumstances (he says) of the present pairing any turnpike road in Great Britain time indeed render the study of constitutional which will expire on or before the end of the law peculiarly important. The hitherto more next session of parliament shall be continued or less well.clefined houndaries of party are pntil the 1st day of October in the year 1848, broken and obliterated by a remarkable course and to the end of the then next session of par- of parliamentary events. Men can no longer liament, except an act passed in the 6 Geo. 4, c. look in the same way as they formerly did to clx., intituled " An Act for making and main- the guidance of leaders, and the recognized taining a Turnpike Road from Brompton and tenets of the school of politics, which their own Earles Court in the Parish of St. Mary Abbott's general opinions may have led them to adopt. Kensington in the County of Middlesex, to Party is not indeed extinguished, but it must in communicate with the road called Fulham Fields all probability be for the future more temporary, Road at North End in the same County; and uncertain, and evanescent than it has been. for making another Turnpike Road to commu- We are, therefore, now chiefly left to exercise nicate therewith from the High Road from our individual judgment on particular questions London to Fulham in the same county.

and measures. And the task of forming that 2. Act may be amended, 80.—That this act judgment is rendered more arduous, because a may be amended or repealed by any act to contest for power is going on between two classes be passed in this session of parliament. in the nation; which bids fair to change the

balance of the three powers wherein the maNOTICES OF NEW BOOKS,

chine of the state consists. It is therefore peculiarly necessary that those who enjoy any

political liberty or franchise should consider Commentaries on the Constitutional Law each public question with reference to its proof England. By George Bowyer, constitution. They inust consequently endea

bable effect on the practical working of the D. C. L., Barrister-at-Law. Second

vour to acquire a knowledge, not only of the edition. London : Stevens & Norton. general principles, but of the details of the Pp. 530.

constitution. Whatever ir ay be their views as We noticed the first edition of Mr. that knowledge must be very necessary to en

to the expediency or danger of political changes, Bowyer's work at the time of its publica- able them to see the bearing of those changes tion. The present edition has opportunely which they desire or fear. The study of conappeared prior to the meeting of the new stitutional law will, in many instances, show parliament, in which it may be anticipated that supposed defects in our civil policy are more that

many further alterations in our ancient imaginary than real; and in others it will disinstitutions will be attempted, if not cover what remedies are most agreeable to the carried.

dictates of prudenee, and the lessons of experiIt has not escaped the notice of a mixed form of government. In some cases also

ence, and best calculated to harmonize with our popular contemporary, the Athenæum, that it will point out where the sound principles of the new parliament differs to a very large the common law are imperfectly carried into extent from the last.

effect, and how those principles can best be

brought to their just development." * It is in a special sense new; so many per- Our author further observes, that sons not having been introduced to that body since the first reformed parliament as on this “We must not forget how important a part occasion. In that former assembly there were almost all private persons of any property have 280 new members-in the present there are 223—who had no seats at the previous disso- • It appears that there are nearly seventy lution. But the composition of the house is chairmen or directors of railway companies, of even still more significant; increasing to a re- whom about twenty are new members.

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