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Joint-Stock Trust Companies,
7. The learned counsel adverted to various South Sea Company Bill, and report alto other points connected with the duties of gether against the Executor and Trustee trustees, and the difficulties which a board Bill. If they should not reject the prinof directors would have to encounter, in the ciple in toto of such projects, it may be proper management of the infinite variety presumed they will come to the conclusion of trusts which might come into their that the object should be effected by a hands.
public Bill, in which general rules for the In opposition to the Bill, Mr. Henley, the constitution and management of such commember for Oxfordshire, late President of panies may be laid down for the security of the Board of Trade, was examined. He the Public (and which are not provided stated he had been a trustee in numerous in these Bills), and the Board of Trade instances for many years. He rarely ex- authorised to examine into applications for perienced any difficulty in carrying those charters of incorporation in conformity to trusts into effect ; changes of trustees were such general regulations. seldom necessary; competent persons were We understand that already several life readily found to undertake trusts, and the insurance companies have declared their inespense of new trustees was small. He tention, if these Bills should be passed, to thought a board of directors could not effi- apply for similar powers; and no doubt ciently enter into all the details of private the several insurance offices, whose boards trusts, and that they were unfit to discharge of directors consist equally of barristers and the various duties required.
solicitors, would be at least as competent Mr. Kinderley, the President of the In- as the South Sea Board to administer trusts corporated Law Society, was next examined, and executorships ; and most of them are and stated that he and his partners were already in possession of a capital of suffichiefly engaged as solicitors in trust affairs. cient amount to constitute a guarantee fund. He had been in practice for 23 years, and It appears that the Bank of England at one was not aware of any difficulty in procuring time contemplated accepting trusts, and the competent persons of large property to un- joint-stock banks and numerous other comdertake trusts. He believed that the cestui panies throughout the country might also que trusts were fully as secure, under the compete for this new branch of business. present arrangements, as they would be by But we insist that a numerous and fluctuthe proposed guarantee fund, in lieu of the ating board of directors are radically inunlimited responsibility of the existing competent, effectually and properly, to distrustees.
charge the duties applicable to private Mr. G. B. Gregory was also examined, trusts. The sound and sensible rule proand proved several instances of the failure posed by Sir John Patteson, that trustees of joint-stock banking and other companies, should personally transact the business, occasioned by the speculations and indis- cannot be carried out. The directors, for cretion of the several boards of directors, to the most part, will be uncertain in their an enormous amount. He also deposed to attendance; and old members of the board the management of trusts of large estates will be retiring and new ones coming in ; by private trustees who gave their personal so that the theory of a continuous body of attention to, and superintendence of, the trustees is a practical fallacy. various affairs of the trust.
Interested motives have been ascribed to Mr. Arthur Morgan was also called, as the Law Society acting on the part of their one of the proprietors of the South Sea brethren ; but the probability is, that in Company, who, on behalf of himself and many respects litigation would be increased, many other proprietors, dissented from the and at all events the joint-stock company's company's undertaking trust business and solicitor would only represent the trustees. delaying the winding up of their own The cestui que trusts, tenants for life, reaffairs and the payment of the proprietors versioners, remainder-men, legatees, annuiof the stock.
tants, mortgagees, creditors, lessees, and all
other persons having claims or interests in Thus the case stands upon the evidence the trust would be represented by their repro and con, the substance and effect of spective solicitors. Moreover (as the Law which we have endeavoured fairly to state. Review held out), testators or grantors might We cannot conceive that the Committee direct that their own solicitors should be will report in favour of these alterations of employed whenever legal advice and assistthe Law in a private Bill. It is probable ance are required. Nor is it to be overthey will expunge the trust clauses in the looked that as wills and settlements are pre
Joint-Stock Trust Companies.- Stamp Duties' Bill. pared by the Profession, neither the Bar 17 Geo. 3, c. 30, so far as it extends to drafts nor the Solicitors will be inclined, except in on bankers repealed ; s. 7. very rare cases, to advise their clients to Receipts. By the Act of last Session, c. 59, nominate these joint-stock companies as
a stamp duty of id. was granted and imposed their executors and trustees.
upon any receipt or discharge given for or upon the payment of money amounting to 21. or up
wards, and doubts are entertained as to the Another meeting of the Select Committee receipts to which the said duty extends : it is took place on Thursday, the 1st June, when therefore proposed to enact, that the said lastthe following witnesses were examined :- mentioned duty shall be deemed to extend to Mr. Bell
, of the Imperial Insurance and be payable upon every receipt or acknowCompany, who approved of the measure;
ledgment given for any sum of money of the three merchants from Cape Town who de- be paid or received in discharge or on account
amount aforesaid, whether such money shall scribed a trust society there with five direc- of any debt or legal obligation or other claim tors ; Mr. Bellenden Ker, who prepared the or demand, or as a voluntary or gratuitous gift, South Sea Bill and approved of its principle, or under any other circumstance whatever, but admitted that several clauses were de- subject, nevertheless, to the exemptions from fective; and Mr. Headlam, who deposed the said duty expressly contained in the several in favour of the plan.
Acts in force; s. 8. Mr. Selwyn addressed the Committee on
Under certain Acts relating to stamp duties, the further evidence, and in opposition to safe arrival of any bills of exchange, promissory
letters by the general post acknowledging the the Executor and Trustee Bill; Mr. Hope notes, or other securities for money are exScott replied on both Bills ; and their empted from the stamp duty granted and imLordships intimated their intention of tak- posed on receipts or discharges given for or ing both cases into their consideration, on upon the payment of money : it is now proSaturday the 3rd instant.
posed that this exemption shall be repealed ;
s. 9. STAMP DUTIES BILL.
Receipts for money paid to the Crown ex
empted from stamp duty; s. 10. Bills and notes. It is intended by this Bill
Conveyances.-By the 13 & 14 Vict. c. 97, to alter the amount of the stamp on inland reduced rates of stamp duty were granted and bills and notes, and to extend the enactment to made payable under the respective heads or foreign bills.
titles of “ Conveyance, Duplicate, or CounterForeign bills. Adhesive stamps.
The part” and “ Progressive Duty” in the Scheduties by this Act granted in respect of dule to that Act; and by the 16 & 17 Vict. c. bills of exchange drawn out of the United 63, stamp duties were granted and made payKingdom shall attach and be payable upon all able upon conveyances, charters, dispositions, such bills as shall be paid, indorsed, trans and contracts described under the head or ferred, or otherwise negotiated within the title of “ Conveyance” in the Schedule, but no United Kingdom wheresoever the same may be provision is made for charging the said conpayable, and the said duties shall be denoted veyances, charters, dispositions, and contracts by adhesive stamps, to be provided by the with the said progressive duties, or for chargCommissioners of Inland Revenue for that ing the duplicates or counterparts thereof with purpose, and to be affixed to such bills as here the said reduced duties. It is now proposed, inafter directed ; s. 3.
that the respective stamp duties granted and The holder of any bill of exchange drawn made payable under the several heads or titles out of the United Kingdom, and not having a of “Duplicate or Counterpart” and “Proproper adhesive stamp affixed thereon as herein gressive Duty,” in the Schedule to the 13 & directed, shall, before he shall present the same
14 Vict., and the provisions and regulations for payment, or indorse, transfer, or in any hereby respectively, made payable upon and in
relating thereto, shall be, and the same are manner negotiate such bill, affix thereon a proper adhesive stamp for denoting the duty by respect of, and deemed to apply to, the several this Act charged on such bill; and the person conveyances, charters, dispositions, and conwho shall indorse, transfer, or negotiate such tracts described under the head or title of “Conbill shall, before he shall deliver the same out veyance” in the Schedule to the Act of last of his hands, custody, or power, cancel the Session, cap. 63, which shall be made after the stamp so affixed by writing thereon his name passing of this Act, and any duplicate or counor the name of his firm and the date of the day terpart thereof; s. 11, and year on which he shall so write the same,
Relief to persons who have made duplicates to the end that such stamp may not be again of such conveyances before the passing of this used for any other purpose. Penalty of 501. Act; s. 12. for negotiating such a bill without a stamp
The duty on conveyances for annual sums affixed or neglecting to cancel such stamp;
8.4. payable for lives to be calculated on the gross Bankers' drafts.-Unstamped drafts on ban-value ; s. 13. kers not to be circulated beyond 15 miles of the
Deeds made for several valuable considerabanker on whom drawn, under a penalty of tions to be chargeable in respect of each ; s. 14. 501.
Testamentary Jurisdiction Bill.-Mortmain Bill.
77 The Commissioners, before assessing the form, and the true interests of the public condaty upon any deed, may require proof that the sulted. facts upon which the duty depends are truly “The petitioners view the proposed meastated; s. 15.
sure with considerable fear of the injurious The affidavit not to be used for any other effects likely to be produced to the country purpose ; s. 16.
at large by the withdrawal from the provinces Contracts to serve as artificers, servants, and of so large a portion of the capital at present Labourers in the colonies exempted from staip circulated therein by the local practitioners, duty; s. 18.
for the sole benefit of the London practitioners, Allowance of 74 per cent. on the purchase of which must, as they conceive, be the result of stamps not exceeding the rate of is. duty for the limitation in all cases of the local jurisdicdrafts, bills, and notes amounting to 5l.; s. 19. tion to grants where the effects are under
No charge to be made for paper on sale of 1,5001.; and that, inasmuch as the grants in bill or note stamps where the rate of duty does all cases must be perfected in London, and not exceed 18. ; s. 20.
the course of proceeding does not vary in the The alterations in the amount of stamps on slighest degree with the amount of effects, bills and notes are stated in the Schedule to there does not appear any reason for the rethe Bill.
striction but that of abstracting the most valu
able portion of the business of the provinces TESTAMENTARY JURISDICTION
for the benefit of the metropolis.
“That it should also be borne in mind that BILL.
the cases above 1,5001. are likely to be attended
with far less trouble and difficulty, as the PETITION OF THE ATTORNEYS AND SOLI- parties where property is large almost 'always CITORS OF CHESTER,
have recourse to professional assistance, and This petition states, that the petitioners' universal experience will attest the fact, that view with alarm the provision in the Testa- those cases in which the nicest points arise as mentary Jurisdiction Bill, now before the to the validity of a will, or any portion of it, House of Commons for transferring the whole the appointment of executors and residuary of the original wills, wherever proved, to legatees, &c., are those in which the property London.
concerned is small. “That in the event of a fire, or public dis- “ The petitioners therefore pray that the turbance, the whole of the wills forming the House will provide for the retention of all title-deeds to a great part of the whole pro- original wills within the district in which they perty of the country, would be liable to be in- are proved, and that executors and adminivolved in common destruction, which while strators may in all cases have the option of deposited in different registries could never be resorting to the local Court without reference the case.
to the amount of effects. “That by the periodical transmission to London of copies of all wills and notes of the administration, proved and granted to the local
MORTMAIN BILL. Courts, together with copies of the local indeses, all uncertainty as to the Court in which REASONS a grant had been made would be removed, and every information respecting it would be ob
It is proposed by the Bill to forbid bequests tained with the same facility (or greater, as the indexes would be classified according to the
of personal property of any sort to charitable residence of the deceased) as if the grant itself purposes except under the restrictionhad been made in London.
Ist. That the will is made three months be“The petitioners submit that the original fore death. wills forming title-deeds to so large a propor. 2nd. That in a month after the making of the tion of the property of the country, ought to will the testator gives full notice of the bequest remain in the custody of the local registrars, and its nature. for the more easy inspection of those interested These provisions will prevent legacies to vaunder them who are generally speaking the rious valuable charities. only persons likely to require a personal in- Up to the present time such legacies have spection, and are usually resident in their im- been frequent, and open to no reasonable obmediate neighbourhood.
jection. “That if the peculiar jurisdictions through- Bequests for religious purposes may be out the country be abolished, and the other brought about by religious influence, and if jurisdictions consolidated so as to leave in each they are esteemed pernicious may be restrained. diocese a district attached thereto one Testa- But there is no reason for confounding with mentary Court, and if the law of bona nota-them bequests of mere charity, whose only bilia, which alone causes the present incon. advocates are the testators own charitable imvenience, be abolished, all doubts of the vali- pulses, and which neither in their origin nor dity of the grants of probate or administration their effect can be deemed pernicious. would be removed, great expense saved, the Protection against undue influence is the course to be adopted rendered simple and uni- object of the Bill: its effect will be to destro
AGAINST THE RESTRICTION OF BEQUESTS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY.
Mortmain Bill. - Taxes on the Administration of Justice. bequests uncondected with influence of any rounded bequests for the latter with safeguards sort.
apparently intended to control the former. The impediments created by the Bill are And the stringency which may probably not such as charitable impulse is rarely active suffice to hold the one in check will more than enough to overcome.
suffice to extinguish the other. First, the will is to be made three months before death.
All those who postpone their wills-a very TAXES ON THE ADMINISTRATION numerous class—until their last illness will be
OF JUSTICE. lost as benefactors to charity. Those also who make their wills in health
LORD BROUGHAM'S PROPOSED RESOLU. will be similarly lost as benefactors, if death should intervene within three months after they
TIONS. have made them.
The following were the resolutions proNo foresight can prevent this, and here there posed by Lord Brougham, embodying the will be a testamentary intention defeated as principal statements made in the debate well as a charity deprived. A still greater evil, if possible, is the publicity
which took place on the 16th instant. imposed on the testator.
“1. That the number of suits brought in It will place the testator in the difficulty of the County Courts during the years 1852 and having his object and intentions criticised. 1853, was 959,095, or about 479,000 yearly,
And it may here bring about, in the form of for sums amounting to above 1,494,0001. yearly, importunity by those who have formed expec- whereof above 859,000l. was recovered by tations at variance with the bequest, an influ- judgments or paid into Court, besides the sums ence which will be as undue as that which is paid without any proceedings being had further sought to be corrected.
than service of the plaint. Again, a legacy once given, and the gift puh- “2. That the fees or law taxes levied upon lished, and perhaps gratefully acknowledged in the suitors in the County Courts in the years the testator's lifetime, will be practically irre- 1852 and 1853, amounted to the sum of vocable.
523,3031., or about 261,0001 yearly, being 37 At present, the alteration of such bequests in per cent upon the sums sued for, and 30% per their amount, according to the varying of cent. upon the sums recorded by judgmerts or family circumstances, is very frequent; under paid into Court; but as these are the average the proposed publicity, a diminution of the proportions, while in many cases the per cent, bequest by subsequent will would be un- age is less, so in many cases it is greater, and gracious.
thus sometimes the tax amounts to even more Few charitably inclined testators will like to than the sums in dispute. come under such obligations as these.
“3. That these taxes are applied to paying Another evil is to be apprehended in the the salaries of the Judges and other officers of ignorance of testators that there is any restric- the Courts, the providing of Court-houses in tion by law in disposing of their personal pro- the different parts of the country, and defray, perty, which has hitherto been understood to ing the travelling expenses of the Judges and be the free right of every one, and the wishes officers. of the testator may thus be seriously defeated. “4. That by the several Acts passed in the
There is nothing in the Report of the Com- years 1825 and 1852 (6 Geo. 4, cc. 82, 83, and mittee of the Commons on the Law of Mort- 84, and 15 & 16 Vict. cc. 73 and 87), the main to justify this new system of publicity. salaries of all the Judges and other officers' in
The Bill prescribes a notice, signed by the the Superior Courts of Law and Equity were testator, declaring the bequest and the nature made payable out of the Consolidated Fund, of it to the Charity Commissioners.
and the fees or law taxes levied from the suitIt is not too much to say, that a loss of nine- ors in the said Superior Courts of Law were tenths of the bequests which have hitherto been so far reduced in amount as little, if at all, to received from those who in their lifetime have exceed 50,000l. since the last of these Acts been connected with the most useful and im- passed, and no fees or taxes whatever are levied port charities, is to he expected under such re- on the suitor to pay for the Court-houses, or strictions and conditions.
Judges' lodgings, or other expenses of the The loss will be deeply felt. For a very Judges. considerable portion of the funds, by means of “5. That the fees or law taxes exacted in an which many important and useful charities undefended action in the County Courts,—that have dispensed their aid to the sick poor and is, where the parties agree, and an order is destitute, has hitherto been derived from le- made, or where the defendant does not appeai gacies.
-are the same as in a defended action; and Nor did the Committee take any evidence, those fees or taxes in an action for the sum o or express any opinion against the propriety of 201. amount to 31. 11s. 8d. ; whereas, in an ac. such bequests, which, as they are wholly spon- tion brought in the Superior Courts for the lik taneous, should be wholly unfettered.
By confounding religious uses with what are 1 The Judges only, not the officers, are si purely charitable purposes, the Bill has sur- paid.-ED.
Law of Attorneys and Solicitors.-Causes of the Unpopularity of Allorneys. 79 sum, where judgment is entered by default, the other time as should be necessary to complete fees or taxes amount to 175, only.
the three years' service pursuant to the Statute, "6. That the number of suits brought in the County Courts has been increasing since their and that on the completion of such service the establishment; that 32,506 more were brought present Examiners should be at liberty to issue in 1852 than in 1851, but that in 1853 it was their certificate of the fitness of the applicant only 10,000 more than in 1852, and the actions to be admitted, upon his examination already for sums above 201. fell from 13,006 (the had, without his being examined again,-the average of 1851 and 1852) to 9,207 in 1853, owing, as appears, to the lowering of the fees usual notices of admission being given. Exor taxes in the Superior Courts, as well as the parte Earle, I Lowndes & Maxwell, 180. rules made for allowing more costs than are allowed in the County Court.
CAUSES OF THE UNPOPULARITY “7. That all taxes upon law proceedings are contrary to every sound principle, and of ne
OF ATTORNEYS. cessity work injustice and oppression, but that those which are imposed upon the suitors in We lately had occasion to notice the apCounty Courts are in an especial manner to be peal made by an influential Member of the reprobated as falling upon the classes of the House of Commons—no less than the Chaircommunity the least able to bear the burden, man of the House when sitting in Comand as obstructing the access to those Courts where alone the great majority of causes can
mittee—to the vulgar prejudice which long be tried.”
ago existed against lawyers, and which,
though of late years abated, has evidently We shall take an early opportunity of fur- not ceased. So long as lawyers are the ther discussing this subject. It appears to instruments by which vice and crime are be overlooked that the "Small Debts” Act, punished, and so long as folly must seek under which the new County Courts were protection against fraud and oppression, established, superseded many hundred local the attorneys must endure the abuse of Courts, including the Courts of Request, those whom they bring to justice, whether where small debts and demands were re- in disgorging their fraudulent gains, or decovered at a very moderate expense ; and feating their nefarious projects. the annual number of which was, we be- Mr. Warren, in his “ Ten Thousand a lieve, not inferior to the plaints “ tried " Year,” thus describes the grounds of the (as alleged) in the New County Courts. unpopularity of attorneys :
Although the resolutions were withdrawn, on the Lord Chancellor's suggestion, it will those who will join in abusing and ridiculing
“There will probably never be wanting be material to consider such part of them attorneys and solicitors. Why? In almost as relate to the County Courts, with refer- every action at law, or suit in equity, or proence to the inquiry now in progress before ceeding which may, or may not, lead to one, the County Court Commissioners.
each client conceives a natural dislike for his opponent's attorney or solicitor. If the plain
tif succeeds, he hates the defendant's attorney LAW OF ATTORNEYS AND SO.
for putting him (the said plaintiff) to so much LICITORS.
expense, and causing him so much vexation and danger; and when he comes to settle with
his SERVICE OF GRADUATE ARTICLED CLERK
own attorney, there is not a little heartWITH SPECIAL PLEADER.
burning in looking at his bill of costs, how
ever reasonable. If the plaintif fails, of Ax articled clerk took his B.A. degree at course it is through the ignorance and unskil. Oxford, on Jan. 14, 1850, and was articled for fulness of his own attorney or solicitor ! and three years on Jan. 19 to his father, with whom he hates almost equally his own and his ophe served for two years. He then came up to
ponent's attorney! Precisely so it is with a
successful or unsuccessful defendant. In fact, London and served eight months with his an attorney or solicitor is almost always father's town agents, and then went to a spe- obliged to be acting adversely to some one of cial pleader for four months.
wbom he at once makes an enemy; for an The Examiners had examined the applicant almost invariably at our pockets! He is ne
attorney's weapons must necessarily be pointed conditionally, but refused the certificate on the cessarily, also, called into action in cases when ground that the service to the special pleader all the worse passions of our nature-our was not good under the 6 & 7 Vict. c. 73, s. 7. hatred or revenge, and our self-interest are set
in motion. On an application, a rule was made for liberty
“ Consider the mischief which might be to the applicant to enter into further articles done on a grand scale in society, if the vast for a further term of four months, or such majority of attorneys and solicitors were not