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subject. He had been told that what had EARL GRANVILLE remarked, that he been done was illegal, and that there was did not think his noble Friend the Post. an Act of Parliament which made it a master General had answered in a very punishable offence to detain a letter. It satisfactory manner the question of the would, however, be found that by the Act noble Duke. There was no reason why 10 & 11 Vict. the Postmaster General, letters containing property should not be with the consent of the Treasury, was prepaid ; but with regard to letters geneauthorized to refuse to forward letters that rally the option should be left with the were not prepaid. This power
is writer. It had been sail that the change exercised as to all letters above a certain was made for the benefit of the public, but, weight; to all registered letters, and to all so far as he could gather, it seemed only late letters, that is, letters posted within to have been made for the convenience of half-an-hour of the dispatch of the mail. the Post Office. There could be no doubt Also to all letters to the East Indies, to that it would cause very great inconvenithe West Indies, and to the South Ame-ence to the public. He had conversed with rican States ; it is proposed to extend it a great many persons on the subject, and to all inland letters. By this means the he did not think he had met a single person money accounts of the Post Office will be who appreved of the change. He had no simplified, and the deliveries of letters doubt that the feeling of disapprobation by the postmen accelerated. The public prevailed very strongly among the middle will be released from much annoyance, classes, and still more so among the working for it should be borne in mind that cir classes. In some places it was an absolute culars of various kinds, foreign docu- impossibility to find a penny stamp on ments, and valentines were sent unpaid Sundays, and consequently many instances through the Post Office to a very great might cccur in which letters could not be extent, and thus great inconvenience was posted. [Lord COLCHESTER: The Post caused to the public, and much trouble offices are open for a certain number of and delay to the Post Office officials. This bours on Sunday. ] He had certainly seen was so well understood that many people it stated that applications had been made had given orders that unpaid letters should for stamps on Sunday, and that they could not be sent to them, in consequence of the not be obtained. He had merely taken the annoyance to which they were exposed, opportunity of expressing his concurrence and thus occasionally letters of importance in the views laid down by the noble Duke were refused. He had caused a search to on the subject, in order to show that it be made for any opinions that might have was the general wish of the House that been formed by former Postmasters General the noble Lord would reconsider the queson this subject, but had not been able tion. to find any having reference to the in. LORD CAMPBELL said, that so far as. convenience of the system now proposed. he was personally concerned, he should be It is enforced in the United States of glad if the present arrangement were to North America, and in most of our Aus- remain in force, because he received a tralian Colonies who manage their own great number of letters, anonymous and post-offices. All new arrangements caused otherwise, not p.iid, and they gave him no some inconvenience and trouble at first, small annoyance. He continually received but he had no doubt that in time the sys. letters from suitors in the Court of Queen's tem now introduced would be found to work Bench, and from all kinds of persons, and well, and that no real inconvenience would they were very seldom indeed paid. All accrue to the public.
writs issued by the Court of Queen's Bench The DUKE OF RICHMOND said, it was were in the name of John Lord Campbell no doubt a matter of great importance to and in the form of a letter, and as he save trouble and expense to the Post Office, was supposed to be the writer of these but he must say he thought with the noble letters he was continually receiving anDuke that the change which had been swers to them. So far as he was conmade was open to serious objection. He cerned personally, therefore, he ought to thought the less letters were opened and be satisfied with the change ; but on returned to the writers the better, and he public grounds he felt himself compelled should rery much prefer that those which to join in the recommendation of the nowere unpaid should be charged additional bleDuke, that the new order should be postage on delivery. He hoped his noble rescinded, and the former arrangement reFriend would reconsider the question. stored.
THE GALWAY ROUTE TO AMERICA. England, as regarded both the enjoyment
and the transmission of real property. A QUESTION. Lord STANLEY OF ALDERLEY, man might appoint portions for his children after stating that this noble Friend Lord and a jointure for his wife; he might divide Clanricarde had given notice of the follow- settle his property as that it should go to
his estates among his family; he might so ing Motion :
the whole of his issue while his issue should “ To move for a copy of the contract entered endure. No man could set such a settleinto last summer by her Majesty's Government with Mr. Cunard for the conveyance of mails to ment aside, and nothing was better underand from the Continent of America, and copies of stood than the right to make it. Once all previous contracts entered into by her Majety's strike at the authority of the settlements Government for a similar object from the year of their Lordships' estates, and a fatal blow 1839 inclusive ; copies of any communication from would be dealt at the House itself. One the Admiralty or Post Office departments to the Treasury relating to those contracts ; also, copies great object of the law of England in of any tenders for the conveyance of mails to any allowing great latitude in the disposition of part of America from an Irish port, received within property was that it should be kept in the the last two months by ller Majesty's Govern. family. The law of primogeniture was not ment; and of any letters or memorials from individuals or from public bodies in support of such
a thing forced on the people of England, tender, or in favour of the despatch of American but it effectuated their intention where they mails from any port in Ireland'; and also, a copy left the law to operate. This is proved by of the Report made by the Commissioners lately in their actual dispositions. What man ever structed to examine the capabilities and require left his real estate amongst all his chilments of the port and harbour of Galway”
dren? The eldest son is in general seinquired whether any contract for the con
lected, just as the law provides for him in veyance of the American mails viâ Galway
case of an intestacy. If a law abolishing had been entered into ?
primogeniture had passed a century ago, THE EARL OF DERBY replied that ser Majesty's Government had not at present with the wealth and power which properly
their Lordships would not not now be here entered into any definitive contract for
belong to them. Any pretence of only making Galway the port of departure for
providing for cases where the owner bimthe mails. A proposition, however, had
self is silent is the common plan of getting been submitted to the Treasury by one of in the thin end of the wedge and then the the Atlantic steam companies for a regular rest follows. There was this excellency fortnightly service from Galway to some of the law of England, both as regarded port in North America. That proposition real and personal estates, that it provided was under consideration upon the terms
a devolution of both real and personal submitted by the company; but the Lords
estate which accords with the habits and of the Treasury had, of course, reserved to wishes of the people. He hoped never to themselves the power, before any arrange. see the day when any blow would be struck ment was concluded, of making the fullest at settlements as they now stood. A great inquiry as to the extent of the benefits to be obtained from such communication, and properly made, to facilitate the sale of land
many attempts had been made, and very the solvency of the company. Security and to simplify titles; a Bill which he had would also be required for the carrying out introduced with those objects was now in of the conditions of the contract in the ad- | the other House of Parliament, and if passed equate manner in which it was now per- it would save tens of thousands a year to formed by the Cunard Company.
the landed interest. He had last Session
offered to their Lordships a Bill for shortTHE SALE AND PURCHASE OF LAND.
ening abstracts of title and shortening LORD ST. LEONARDS, pursuant to the time of limitation as a bar to outnotice, proceeded to draw the attention of standing or unknown claims as against a the House to the Report of 1857 of the purchaser which he believed would have Commissioners on Registration of Title saved the landed interest £200,000 a year, with reference to the Sale and Purchase of and, he asserted emphatically, would really Land. It seemed desirable, he said, first have damaged no one; but the House would to know how the matter now stood. Per- not shorten the time of limitation, and rehaps there was no other country in the jected the measure. Whatever plan might world whose law of property was at once be adopted for the purpose of simplifying 80 liberal, so large, and yet so circum- titles, it should always be borne in mind scribed by the law itself, as the law of that a man must make out a title, and a good title, before he could ask to parti- his great speech delivered thirty years ago cipate in the benefits proposed to be given in the other House having laid the foundato him by that kind of legislation. It was tion for most of the subsequent improvenot a mode in which bad titles could be ments. That speech was followed by the turned into good. Before quitting that appointment of a Commission, who made branch of the subject he wished to point an elaborate Report, which was succeeded out the difference between real property by an equally elaborate Bill, in which and personal property, because some per- the question of a general registry of sons thought that there was no distinc- deeds was brought before Parliament. tion between them, and that land ought That measure was not passed, but the to be transferred as easily and as simply question came before Parliament five as stock or a £100 bank-note. He de- times between 1830 and 1834. It then nied that there was any analogy between slept for a while, and then was again the two kinds of property. The title to revived in that House, but was not apland must be as fixed and stable as the proved. A subsequent reintroduction of land itself, but other property was not the subject led to a Commission, a Reof a nature to admit of so fixed a title. port, and a Bill, which passed the House Take, for instance, 3 per cent stock; that and was sent to the other House. When was only an engagement on the part of the the noble and learned Lord opposite (Lord Government to pay so much money until Cranworth) succeeded to the Great Seal the debt was redeemed. There was nothing he also introduced a measure upon this subtangible about it—nothing but a piece of ject. He (Lord St. Leonards) had been for paper. One estate was not quite the same thirty years a consistent opponent of a as another, but £1,000 stock was as good general registry, not because he objected as another £1,000. If a man has £1,000 to it in itself, but because he was convinced stock he can from time to time sell a por- that the evils arising from it would more tion of it to meet bis engagements; but if than balance the benefits to be expected be has a real estate he cannot so readily from it. He had opposed it when out of sell off a field or a farm, and therefore he Parliament' with his pen, and when in mortgages the whole, and thus the title be- the House with his voice and his vote. comes involved with incumbrances. There The Bill, however, passed their Lordwas an essential difference between the ships' House ;, but when it reached the two classes of property. There is also a House of Commons a great change of marked distinction not simply between the opinion had taken place, and they would quantities of interest in real estate but be. not even look at it. Another Royal Comtween the qualities of that interest. If a mission was issued, and they unanimously man has the legal interest, without the rejected the idea of registration of deeds. intervention of a trustee, he may lease, | The proposition of the Commissioners of mortgage, or sell his estate, and himself | 1857 was a registry, not of deeds, but of transfer his legal estate; but if his estate title, and they were of opinion that it was is vested in a trustee, although he has the fitting and desirable that power should be equitable or beneficial interest, the legal given to grant an indefeasible, or, as it estate is in the trustee, and he alone can was called, a Parliamentary title. They transfer it. Our ancestors struggled long thought that upon man submitting to prevent the separation of the legal his title to a prima facie exaniination estate from the actual ownership; but in he should be put upon a register as modern times it is not so important, be- owner of the fee simple, but that he should cause the trust appears on the instrument not thereby acquire an indefeasible title, vesting the legal estate in the trustee, and but that his title should remain subject to it is rarely that any mischief arises. This all the charges and equities attaching to it separation of the legal and equitable es at the time of registration. The Commistates their Lordships would presently find sioners, however, thought that there might bears powerfully upon the measure now be cases where, under certain circumbefore them. There had been many stances, a Parliamentary title might be schemes propounded with a view to fa- conferred, and they proposed that when it cilitate the obtaining titles to land, and had been shown that a title was good the nothing could be more desirable than such owner might obtain a warrant upon payan object. His noble and learned Friend ment of a small premium to the country. (Lord Brougham) had been the pioneer of Thus the country would open an insurance all modern improvements in that direction, office for granting titles upon payment of
money. If the plan of the Commissioners was beset. The first point to be conof 1857 was adopted, there would be two sidered, in case an indefeasible title were sorts of registered owners-one without granted, was by whom it was to be conan indefeasible title, and the other with a ferred. The Commissioners were entirely Parliamentary title to be binding on all opposed to the creation of a new Court men. They also thought that registration for the purpose ; nor could they be more should not be compulsory; but that, once indisposed than he was himself to the adopon the register, you must remain there for tion of such a course. The legal tribuall time. He should now proceed to put nals of the country had within his own their Lordships in possession of the grounds time so much increased in number that upon which the Commissioners based their it was extremely inexpedient, unless some objections to the granting of a Parliamen- urgent necessity for doing so could be tary title to the land. They said :- shown to exist, to augment them to any “ It would, we think, be oppressive either, on
greater extent. He was, however, at the the one hand, to require claimants out of pos- same time bound to say that if an indesession to come forward and make assertion of feasible title were to be given, it appeared their rights in order to avoid losing them, or, on to him the Government was right in conthe other, to put the persons in possession to the defence of their rights as against any stale claims fiding the duty of granting it only to conor assertions of right that înight be set up. We petent hands, and he should, under those do not think that, in order to pass froin our pre- circumstances, offer no opposition to the sent system to a register of title, it would be ne- constitution of the proposed new Court. cessary to create a jurisdiction in Commissioners Indeed, one of the grounds of his objection applicable to all land, whether incumbered or not, to the measure of his noble and learned similar to that of the Incumbered Estates Court in Ireland, by which an absolute or Parliamentary Friend (Lord Cranworth) last Session was, title to the land, subject to leases or tenancies, that the Court of Chancery had so large should be declared. On the contrary, we concur an amonnt of business to dispose of that in the opinion that to make a judicial or quasi- it could not satisfactorily discharge the ad. judicial examination of title an indispensable pre- ditional duties which, under the operation liminary to admission to register would greatly narrow the benefits of registration.”.
of the Bill, it would be called upon to per
form. He also observed that he saw no Such were the views of the Commissioners reason why, if an indefeasible title could on the subject; but there was one other be granted by a particular Court on the passage in their Report to which he wished occasion of the sale of real property, it briefly to call their Lordships' attention. might not be conferred, although an imIt was as follows:-
mediate sale should not be in contempla“We think that a compulsory investigatior of tion. With respect to the question of a title, though only, required as a preliminary to register, he could only say that any reregistration, would be highly objectionable, and gister which should be established ought, we do not recommend it. It would involve, as has been pointed out in the evidence before
in his opinion, to be metropolitan. The necessity of having every title to every acre of Commissioners had, it was true, in dealland thoroughly investigated by a competent ju- ing with the subject, recommended that dicial tribunal.' It would be distasteful to land- it should be both metropolitan and local. owners, who would be very reluctant to disclose They would give to the metropolis its own their titles, and it would occasion the bringing forward of many stale and ill-grounded claims, register, and would also have one constiwould give rise to litigation, and would, when com | tuted in each of sixty or seventy locali. pleted, be of no practical benefit to any, except to ties throughout the country.
The reathose who contemplated selling their estates. It sons, however, which had induced the is also to be borne in mind that many persons in Commissioners to make such a proposition, quiet possession of land have bought it under special or restrictive conditions of sale, which and which were based upon the supposihave precluded them at the time of their pur- tion that an indefeasible title to land was chasing from calling for strict or proper evidence not generally to be granted, would have no of the title, and have limited them to some short existence if the Bill of the Government period of the title in their investigation of it. would, we think, be highly unjust to call
were passed into law. In fact, it would
upon persons in such a situation for strict and technical be impossible, under the operation of that proof of their title, such as alono any public measure, to spread throughout various disauthority charged with certifying titles ought to tricts, as it were, a network of persons be satisfied with.”
possessing that degree of knowledge and The two passages which he had just read experience which, in order to carry its propointed out, he thought, very forcibly the visions satisfactorily into effect, it would difficulties by which the whole question be desirable to secure. Now, no such diffi.
culty stood in the way of carrying out the more desirable than to lead the country to proposal of the Commissioners, and he talk over the matter, and to consider the could not help thinking that it would be great change in the law which was probetter, under the altered circumstances of posed. Thus, for example, it would be the case, that the scheme of the Govern- well to remember the great caution which ment on the subject should be withdrawn must be shown in granting an indefeasible than that it should go beyond the estab. title, and the delay which would necessalishment of a metropolitan register ; but rily ensue from the exercise of that caution. the Government should be prepared for a A person who desired an indefeasible title determined struggle to obtain local regis- must apply to the new Court, must furnish tries. As to the indefeasible title itself it with an abstract of title, or, in other which it was proposed to give, he did words, with evidence of ownership, and not know how it could be granted with must prove to the satisfaction of the Court perfect safety ; but he should briefly draw that he had been in possession for at least their Lordships' attention to the precau- five years. This would occupy, say two tions which were adopted by Her Majes. months. If the Court entertained that apty's Ministers in order to guard against plication, it would then be necessary to its being rashly and wantonly conärmed. publish advertisements, and to post notices The measure of the Government in the round about the property in question to first place proposed that any person de- apprise people that the owner had applied sirous of securing such a title should make for an indefeasible title. That would ocapplication with that view to the Court. cupy some two months more, and the Court
LORD CRANWORTH said, he must beg would then, he supposed, address them. leave to call his noble and learned Friend selves to a solid, serious investigation of to order. No course could, in his opinion, the title, and if they approved it they would be more inconvenient than that which the make a provisional order that it should be noble and learned Lord was pursuing. He deemed indefeasible at the end of twelve had given notice that he proposed to call months, unless meanwhile an opposing the attention of the House to the Report claimant came forward. Here, then, would of the Commissioners on Registration of already be some sixteen months of delay. Title, and, instead of confining himself to At the end of the twelve months all parthat subject, had proceeded to comment ties interested would, by new postinga and upon a measure which had been introduced advertisements, be invited to attend, and in the other House of Parliament, but if a final order were made in favour of the which had not as yet been laid upon their title that order must not operate until the Lordships' table. It so happened, indeed, expiration of three months longer, in order that he had himself seen a copy of that to give claimants an opportunity of apmeasure, and so, perhaps, had his noble pealing. Thus nineteen months would be and learned Friend, while it must, of consumed before a final and operative order course, have been brought under the cog. was obtained. But an appeal was given to nizance of his noble and learned Friend the Court of Chancery, which would peron the woolsaek ; but it was probably not haps occupy three months more, and after seen by any other Member of the House, that there might be an appeal to the House and under those circumstances he believed of Lords, which could hardly occupy less that nothing could be more irregular than than fifteen months ; so that, if no imthe attempt then made by his noble and pediment were presented, an indefeasible learned Friend to enter into an examina- title could only be acquired at the end of tion of its provisions.
nineteen months, while if the right of appeal LORD ST. LEONARDS continued :- were made use of the process might occupy He did not think he had been guilty of any some three years. When, too, they rememirregularity in taking the course which he bered that the new court had the power of had adopted; but, in order that his noble sending issues to be tried in a court of and learned Friend might not be shocked, law, it was evident that the investigation, he should suppose that certain propositions working itself into litigation, might be from had been made by the Commissioners in first to last longer and more complicated question, and should proceed to comment than under the old system. In instancing
The public mind ought to be these difficulties, he must not be considered prepared for the measure, and to be en- as finding fault with the plan which had lightened with regard to it, and he should been submitted, but only as showing what have thought that nothing would have been were the obstacles in the way of doing that