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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

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 con. the 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 comor assertions of right that might be set up.

We petent hands, and he should, under those do not think that, in order to pass from 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 in the opinion that to make a judicial or quasi- it could not satisfactorily discharge the ad

an amount of business to dispose of that 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 investigation 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 establislied ought, we do not recommend it. It would involve, as in his opinion, to be metropolitan. The has been pointed out in the evidence before us, 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 througirout the country. The reathose who contemplated selling their estates. It is also to be borne in mind that many persons in Commissioners to make such a proposition,

sons, however, which had induced the 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. It would, we think, be highly unjust to call upon

were passed into law. In fact, it would persons in such a situation for strict and technical be impossible, under the operation of that proof of their title, such as alone any public measure, to spread throughout various disauthority charged with certifying titles ought to tricts, as it were, & 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 conòrmed. 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 bis 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 doble and learned Lord was pursuing. He deemed indefeasible at the end of twelve had given votice 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 postings and upon a measure wbich 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 fival 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 upon them. 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

an

which the Legislature were now attempting ments in order that land might be transto do. And what was really proposed ? ferred like stock ; nor is there any anaWhy, when an indefeasible title was ap- logy between this case and the case of plied for, every man was to be called upon a feudal tenant, who was obliged to perto come forward and oppose it. Fancy the form his services for his Lord. The real alarm of owner who found notices owner's settlement would confer only an posted up at his gate inviting everybody equitable estate, and those who took uuder who thought he had a claim to appear at it could not sell or lease, or do anything, such a time and such a place to prefer it, except by virtue of their equitable title. or otherwise to be for over barred from The legal fee would always be vested in doing so! This would be to rouse the sleep- the registered owner. In case of encuming lions who lurked round many men's brances and settlements a man interested estates, and to call forth every imaginable in them must take care that there were kind of claimant, and just advert to the caveats and inhibitions, or he might lose position of a man whose title has been re. his property, and it might happen that jected. Then it should be remembered through the carelessness or dishonesty of that while the Bill would empower the a clerk a caveat or inhibition would not owner to make every claimant come for- be registered. Under such a system a man ward and make his claiin, or else be for would not have that enjoyment of his proever barred, there was no power by which perty which he now possessed. At prethe claimant could make the owner enter sent, if a man make an ordinary settleinto litigation. Thus the whole subject ment of his estate he is really unaware, was surrounded with difficulties-difficulties although only tenant for life, that he has which might possibly be softened, but of settled it, for he still has every possible which, at all events, it was right that their enjoyment of it. We can but enjoy our Lordships and the country should be tho- property during our lives, although we may roughly aware. But now, suppose that a have the fee simple in it. And now the man had acquired through the Court an in- law protects such a settlement. A man defeasible title. The main difficulty would may sit at home at ease, without inquiry then begin. No one must appear on the and without danger; but if his estate is register unless as an owner in fee simple. on the register, he must allow some other Now, there would always be an ambiguity person to appear on the register as owner as to the character of the 'man who was of it, and he must be on the watch against put on the register as the first proprietor, misconduct, and ascertain that by caveats because he might be the mere nominee of or inhibitions that he is so far secure that some one else, and might have no interest if bis nominee attempt to sell or mortgage in the estate, or he might be the owner; but notice will be given to him, and be may this the register would not show. Suppose come forward to protect his rights. Of a man became an owner in fee simple and course he could not, as now, grant legal was so registered, he might then wish to leases or the like, for he would have only make a settlement of his estate according an equitable estate. No man with a good to the every-day practice ; but in such a title need go to the new Court; no one case he must come off the register, be with a bad title can, or, at least, ought to cause, under the settlement, he would succeed there. No estate in settlement, merely be tenant for life. Some other or about to be forth with put in settlement, person must theu be named as the 'regis- could have any benefit from it. Having tered owner, and that nominee would have gone thus far into the question, he would the right to sell the entire estate if he say no more than that the question was one chose to do so. The owner of a vast es- of great importance as affecting the station tate would hardly like to have John Doe and property of individuals, and he had had or Richard Roe registered as the absolute but one object, which was to assist in pointowner of it. The scheme is to separate ing out the dangers which surrounded the the legal and equitable estates, and always proposed Court and Register. to have a legal owner of the fee on the THE LORD CHANCELLOR said, that register, although he may not have any he had taken occasion the other night, beneficial interest in the estate. This is when some remarks were made in reference said to be demanded by the spirit of com. to a Bill not then before their Lordships, merce, but the spirit of commerce would to observe, and as it seemed to him with not require their Lordships, and other the concurrence of their Lordships, on the lauded proprietors, to sacrifice their settle- great inconvenience of anticipating measures which were to come before the House and learned Friend, and his experience in at some future time, and of inviting a ge. all matters connected with the titles to neral discussion which could lead to no land, made him, of course, a great aupractical result ; and, with great deference thority on all these things; but their Lordto his noble and learned Friend, he must ships must observe, that the question of repeat that observation on the present oc facilitating the transfer of titles and the casion. The course which his voble and registration of titles was not a legal ques. learned Friend had adopted appeared to be tion, but was a question of expediency and not only inconvenient, but highly irregular, of social policy, on which many of their for the greater part of the noble and learn- Lordships were quite as competent to ed Lord's observations were directed to decide as his noble and learned Friend. Bills which at present were in the other with respect to the remarks made in reHouse of Parliament, and he believed that ference to the Report of the Commissions it was contrary to their Lordships' rules on the registration titles in 1857, he trustto notice any such measures, and much ed that all their Lordships who took interest more to discuss them and consider them in in the subject would read that Report care. detail, His noble and learned Friend fully, because they would find that its reseemed disappointed that these measures commendations had been embodied in the were not introduced in the first place in measures proposed by the Government. And their Lordships' House, and seemed to who framed that Report ? He did not mean bave taken this mode of indemnifying him- to say that any one lawyer could be placed self for the loss of the opportunity which on an equal line with his noble and learned be would have had of addressing their Friend, but it was no disparagement to him Lordsbips if thuse measures bad been ori- to say that, taking any two lawyers who ginally introduced into this House." Upon joined in that Report, they might be conthis point he would merely observe that it sidered to constitute an equal authority with was thought a proper division of labour in his noble and learned Friend. Upon that respect to the Government measures that Commission were his right hon. Friend the a certain portion should first be originated Secretary of State for the Home Departin their Lordships' House, and that another ment, the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Sir portion should be originated in the other R. Bethell, and other lawyers of considerHouse; and be thought he had undertaken able eminence, together with practical men a task quite sufficient for himself in intro- of business, the present Speaker of the ducing the Bankruptcy Bill and the Bill House of Commons, Mr. Lowe, and a for winding up joint-stock companies. His solicitor of considerable eminence. All noble and learned Friend would, perhaps, these persons united in the Report to which as some atonement for the irregularity he his noble and learned Friend had directed bad committed, allow that the speech made their Lordships' attention, and which he that evening should be taken as applicable trusted would be carefully considered before to the measures commented on when they the Bills, to which allusion had been made, came before their Lordships, and his noble came up to that House for discussion. The and learned Friend would then, probably, giving a Parliamentary title and the regisgive the House the benefit of his great ex- tration of that title were two matters perience and learning, not in discussing totally distinct, though they sometimes apthe general principles of the Bills, but in peared to be confused together. There improving the details and making them as might be a registration of title without a perfect as possible. He did not under- Parliamentary title, and a Parliamentary stand whether his noble and learned Friend title without registration. If Parliament stated that he was not opposed to every determined, however, to follow the plan system of registration. [Lord St. LEO- pursued with such success in Ireland, and SARDS : I am not opposed to every system. ] to give a Parliamentary title in England, He was glad to find that his noble and then, as a complement to such a measure, learned Friend so expressed himself, be it would be necessary to have a registration cause he had collected from his noble and of that title. He felt a difficulty either in learned Friend's works, and from that va- entering into a discussion at the present luable book lately published—which, as it moment or in waiving that discussion after was intended, was eminently practical, the speech of his noble and learned Friend. and was in everybody's hands that his He thought it, he

er, infinitely better noble and learned Friend was of a different not to follow the most inconvenient and opinion. The great learning of his noble most irregular course adopted by his noble which the Legislature were now attempting ments in order that land might be transto do.

And what was really proposed ? ferred like stock ; nor is there any anaWhy, when an indefeasible title was ap-logy between this case and the case of plied for, every man was to be called upon a feudal tenant, who was obliged to perto come forward and oppose it. Fancy the form his services for his Lord. The real alarm of an owner who found notices owner's settlement would confer only an posted up at his gate inviting everybody equitable estate, and those who took uuder who thought he had a claim to appear at it could not sell or lease, or do anything, such a time and such a place to prefer it, except by virtue of their equitable title. or otherwise to be for ever barred from The legal fee would always be vested in doing so! This would be to rouse the sleep- the registered owner. In case of encuming lions who lurked round many men's brances and settlements a man interested estates, and to call forth every imaginable in them must take care that there were kind of claimant, and just advert to the caveats and inhibitions, or he might lose position of a man whose title has been re. his property, and it might happen that jected. Then it should be remembered through the carelessness or dishonesty of that while the Bill would einpower the a clerk a caveat or inhibition would not owner to make every claimant come for- be registered. Under such a system a man ward and make his claiin, or else be for would not have that enjoyment of his proever barred, there was no power by which perty which he now possessed. At prethe claimant could make the owner enter sent, if a man make an ordinary seitleinto litigation. Thus the whole subject ment of his estate he is really unaware, was surrounded with difficulties—difficulties although only tenant for life, that he has which might possibly be softened, but of settled it, for he still has every possible which, at all events, it was right that their enjoyment of it. We can but enjoy our Lordships and the country should be tho- property during our lives, although we may roughly aware. But now, suppose that a bave the fee simple in it. And now the man had acquired through the Court an in- law protects such a settlement. A man defeasible title. The main difficulty would may sit at home at ease, without inquiry then begin. No one must appear on the and without danger; but if his estate is register unless as an owner in fee simple. on the register, he must allow some other Now, there would always be an ambiguity person to appear on the register as owner as to the character of the man who was of it, and he must be on the watch against put on the register as the first proprietor, misconduct, and ascertain that by caveats because he might be the mere nominee of or inhibitions that he is so far secure that some one else, and might have no interest if bis nominee attempt to sell or mortgage in the estate, or he might be the owner; but notice will be given to him, and he may this the register would not show. Suppose come forward to protect his rights. Of a man became an owner in fee simple and course he could not, as now, grant legal was so registered, he might then wish to leases or the like, for he would have only make a settlement of his estate according an equitable estate. No man with a good to the every-day practice ; but in such a title need go to the new Court; no one case he must come off the register, be- with a bad title can, or, at least, ought to cause, under the settlement, he would succeed there. No estate in settlement, merely be tenant for life. Some other or about to be forth with put in settlement, person must then be named as the regis- could have any benefit from it. Having tered owner, and that nominee would have gone thus far into the question, he would the right to sell the entire estate if he say no more than that the question was one chose to do so. The owner of a vast

es- of great importance as affecting the station tate would hardly like to have John Doe and property of individuals, and he had had or Richard Roe registered as the absolute but one object, which was to assist in pointowner of it. The scheme is to separate ing out the dangers which surrounded the the legal and equitable estates, and always proposed Court and Register. to have a legal owner of the fee on the THE LORD CHANCELLOR said, that register, although he may not have any he had taken occasion the other night, beneficial interest in the estate. This is when some remarks were made in reference said to be demanded by the spirit of com. to a Bill not then before their Lordships, merce, but the spirit of commerce would to observe, and as it seemed to him with not require their Lordships, and other the concurrence of their Lordships, on the landed proprietors, to sacrifice their settle- great inconvenience of anticipating mea

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