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question. It may, therefore, be concluded that Parliamentary orators, like Mr. Maguire and Sir J. Gray, who made out, or endeavoured to make out, a very different case while engaged in discussing the Land Act, were, in fact, highly colouring their case, while urging excessive demands for far more than they were ever likely to get. The difficulty of gaining accurate intelligence on the simplest questions of fact in Ireland, is well illustrated by these conflicting statements as to tenants' improvements. "Fixity of tenure," so vigorously demanded by the advocates of the tenant party, is shown to be utterly opposed to reason and justice, in one of the most forcible and logical divisions of Dr. Longfield's essay; and a watchword so discredited can hardly now be revived with any effect for years to come, and will never be revived with hope of success until the powerful land-owning element in the Legislature shall have been eliminated.
One passage of Dr. Longfield's elaborate paper appears open to exception in a remarkable degree. It will be remembered that under special Acts of Parliament the incumbered estates were sold off, and conveyed to purchasers. One of the commissioners for doing this was Dr. Longfield, who must have executed some thousands of "Parliamentary" conveyances, all of which by virtue of the Act cleared the land conveyed from all estates, interests, claims, and demands whatever-excepting those specified. The purchaser had, therefore, the strongest guarantee which it is in the power of the Legislature to give, against all pre-existing rights. And yet we are told that there would be no injustice in a recognition and allowance of claims for improvements made antecedently. Suppose a horse sold under process by the sheriff, and made over to the highest bidder, who pays the full value, and fancies that he becomes ab solutely the owner of an unincumbered steed. Would he tolerate any pecuniary claim on the part of some ostler or farrier who had "improved" the animal long prior to the day of its judicial sale? Equally unjust is a claim for "improvements" put forward against a purchaser with "Parliamentary title," who was, in fact, induced to buy by the ostensibly final and conclusive nature of the transaction. That so monstrous a proposition should be so supported is strange indeed. For "reasons of State" the golden sovereign might be declared to be worth fifteen shillings, or the penny postage stamp might be rendered value for three farthings. But the last person in the world to recommend such a proceeding ought to be in the one case the ex-master of the Mint who had issued, or in the other, the ex-secretary of the Post Office who had sold, to the public the depreciated commodity. If a contract must as a method of pacification be repudiated, the official who on the part of the public signed that contract comes forward with a bad grace to justify the repudiation.
The essay on the landed system of England, by Mr. Wren Hoskyns, is too brief, yet long enough to show the author's acute perception of the causes which render land the luxury of the few, rather than the heritage of the many. If he could persuade the English nation to take a genuine interest in a question which must
affect the future stability of the kingdom, and if he could induce the legal profession to co-operate in the preparation and successful working out of a good system of registering titles, and thereby of facilitating the acquisition and transfer of land, he would be a public benefactor. Mr. Campbell contributes to the volume a careful sketch of the complicated land system of India. M. de Laveleye, in describing the systems prevalent in Belgium and Holland, enters, as we think judiciously, more minutely into statistical statement than the other essayists. When, however, he estimates the mortgages existing in England at 58 per cent. of the value of the land, he manifestly adopts some very crude statement which it would be utterly impossible to verify. There is no discernible method of arriving at the percentage of incumbrance. If mere guesswork were allowable, M. de Laveleye's guess might be pronounced to be three times too high. There are, as we are informed, statistics in Ireland tending to show that the incumbrances on land, instead of 58, do not amount to 18 per cent. of the value. It appears that in Belgium the tenants hold, for the most part, under leases too short to admit of full justice being done to the soil; and that transfers of land are burdened with an enormous duty of more than 6 per cent. of the value. Notwithstanding these drawbacks, Belgian agriculture is marvellously successful, and strongly supports the argument for subdivision of ownership, and perfect mechanical ease in effecting land transfer. The closing passage of M. de Laveleye (p. 281) especially deserves to be quoted :-"There are no measures more conservative, or more conducive to the maintenance of order in society, than those which facilitate the acquirement of property in land by those who cultivate it.”
The conclusions to be arrived at in the case of Belgium agree with those stated in the case of France by other writers. Again, we find that the cultivation by small farmers is not inferior to that by large farmers; and, again, we are a little startled at the fact, that the tax on land transfer amounts, even in France, to 6 per cent. Probably one effect of the war will be the utter ruin of very many small farmers, and the absorption of their little properties by more wealthy neighbours, who are enabled to tide over the calamities of the German invasion. Space does not allow of any reference to the cases of Germany or Russia, although the great reforms of Stein and Hardenburg ought not to be passed over without notice. Hereafter no one can claim to any extensive knowledge of the landsystem of Europe who has not mastered the contents of the Cobden Club volume of Essays.
The Landlord and Tenant (Ireland) Act, 1870, with Introduction, Notes, Index, &c.; Edited by W. G. Brooke, M.A., Barristerat-law. Second Edition, Revised. Dublin: Hodges & Co. 1870. THE Irish Land Act must in the nature of things be very frequently referred to by the legal advisers of the numerous persons who have inherited, or acquired, landed property in Ireland. For the assist
ance of such, and indeed of all other persons connected with Irish land, there has been published, in Dublin, under the editorship of Mr. Brooke, a very compact, clear, and concise little volume, which contains the Act itself, explanatory notes on the sections, and a very elaborate index. The notes to those sections which define the rights of agricultural tenants to compensation in the event of their being ejected, and which ensure them a recompense for improvements made by them on their farms, are especially valuable. Without such a guide it will be difficult even for a professional reader of the first portion of the Act fully to comprehend its drift and purport. The preface states that the notes to Part II. of the Act (that intended to facilitate the purchase of their holdings by occupying tenants) have been furnished by Mr. Denny Urlin, whose long official employment, under the Incumbered and Landed Estates Acts, has rendered him familiar with all points arising out of land transfer. It must be remembered that any landlord in Ireland, although tenant for life only, is now enabled, with the approval of the court, to sell the fee simple of the land to the occupying tenant. This volume is exactly what it purports to be—an annotated edition of the Act. It abstains from reference to the "Cromwellian confiscation," the "Devon Commission," and all other historical reminiscences, and is in the highest degree terse and practical. It only remains to say that the first edition of this carefully edited little work was exhausted in less than a month; and that the very slight amount of alteration made in the second edition testifies to the industry and care bestowed, in the first instance, on the preparation of a valuable addition to the list of "legal handy books."
A Treatise on the Law of Bankruptcy, containing a full Exposition of the Principles and Practice of the Law, including the Alterations made by the Bankruptcy Act, 1869, with an Appendix comprising the Statutes, Rules, Orders, and Forms. By George Young Robson, Esq. London: Butterworths, 7, Fleet Street. 1870.
THIS work must not be ranked with the many handbooks to the new Act, which have been issued from the press during the last eighteen months. It is, as its title asserts, a treatise on the Law of Bankruptcy. It is not a mere annotated edition of the Act of 1869. The treatise itself occupies 568 pages. Then follow the Bankruptcy Act, 1869, the Bankruptcy Repeal and Insolvent Court Act, 1869, the Debtor's Act, 1869, portions of the Act for the Abolition of Fines and Recoveries, 3 & 4 Will. IV. c. 74, bringing the pages down to 624. The general rules and the bankruptcy forms come next, and a very copious index completes the volume. The time has arrived when the law of bankruptcy may be scientifically treated as a distinct and separate branch of the law. The tendency hitherto has been to regard it as a collection of arbitrary rules without method
or principle. On this account we are glad to welcome the form of Mr. Robson's book. Instead of following the orthodox plan of giving us the sections of the Act with notes in microscopic type, in which are collected, with an infinite expenditure of labour, extracts from every case bearing directly or remotely on the subject, we have here a distinct attempt to discover the principles in accordance with which the law has been built. This method has peculiar advantages to recommend it to the practitioner. It gives him a grasp of his subject with which no mere summary of cases and text will supply him. It is the method, we venture to say, which will distinguish the new school of trained lawyers from those who have gone by, and whose appeal was invariably to precedent rather than principle. But it is to the student to whom a book, dealing with the subject in this form, is peculiarly valuable. The study of the law in the old method required infinite industry, but little brain. The new will require more thought, with less mere cramming of cases.
Mr. Robson has usefully, as it appears to us, sketched the history of the various doctrines and usages connected with bankruptcy. Here, again, we think that his design is right. The interpretation of our law, in any of its departments, can hardly be understood without reference to its growth.
Into the subject of the law of bankruptcy, which is treated of fully in a former page, we do not propose to enter here. Our object is simply to point out that Mr. Robson has furnished a well-written and carefully-planned book. The industry manifest in the collection of cases is quite as great as works which, for all practical purposes, do nothing else. We have great pleasure in giving it the warmest recommendation to our readers.
The Law of Commerce in Time of War, with particular Reference to the Respective Rights and Duties of Belligerents and Neutrals. By Edward James Castle, of the Inner Temple, Barrister-at-Law. London: William Maxwell. 1870.
-THE unhappy war between France and Prussia is an inland rather than a naval war. No court of prize has as yet been erected, or called into existence in either country. Of captures there have been very few, and therefore not many questions of Maritime International Law have arisen likely to perplex the general community of our traders and shipowners; and the need of the work before us is scarcely as great as it would have been during the American or Crimean war. Nevertheless, it is well to have the different branches of the law of nations affecting trade and navigation clearly before us, and Mr. Castle has performed his task with admirable clearness and ability, though we cannot say with sufficient completeness. A loan is now being negotiated in this country by a belligerent power, and we would have expected to find in the work all the cases in point, showing how far it is to be considered a breach of neutrality. The question of the export of contraband is one of great difficulty,
and though the expediency of prohibition or permission is a political, rather than a legal argument, all the precedents bearing on the conduct of neutral States, with reference thereto, would have been useful. And the Foreign Enlistment Act, with its new provisions as regards the building of ships of war, might have been more fully explained. Questions of this character would have been more important for present interest than questions relating to licences. On the whole, however, the law relating to the rights of neutrals, rights of search, law of blockade, &c., is well stated, and the work is likely to be very useful at the present moment.
The Elementary Education Act (1870), with Introduction, Notes, and Index. With an Appendix, containing the Provisions of the Revised Code with regard to Grants for the Building of Schools, the Schools Sites Act, &c. By Hugh Owen, jun. London :
THERE ought to be a large demand just now for the Elementary Education Act, but we can testify from experience that this Act is not by any means easy to understand. The terrific handling it received in both Houses of Parliament has not made it peculiarly symmetrical. Whatever may be its merits, clearness of arrangement and elegantia do not rank among them. Probably this is inevitable when the work has passed through so many hands. Any help, therefore, by means of references from one part to another, or by means of notes, will save those who wish to become school-board representatives, and the many other readers who will have to become acquainted with the Act, a good deal of trouble. The best praise we can give Mr. Owen's book is, that its carefully prepared index, its full notes, and convenient size, will make it much more convenient, and its facts much more accessible, than is the Act as printed by the Parliamentary printers.
Chronological Table of and Index to the Indian Statute Book, from
the year 1834, with a General Introduction to the Statute Law of India. By C. D. Field, M.A., LL.D., late Registrar of the Calcutta High Court. London: Butterworths. 1870.
THIS is a very useful work, similar in most respects to the Chronological Table of and Index to the Statutes of Great Britain, lately published by authority of Her Majesty's Government. The similarity is, however, as it appears, undesigned, and there is this important point of difference between the two works, that Mr. Field's book is the production of a private individual, and possesses no official sanction. It is, however, a valuable addition to the legal literature of India, and will prove extremely useful to any one desiring to investigate a point of Indian Law. The Indian Statute Law is of a very complicated character, a circumstance which renders the services