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Judges would have felt obliged, if any such occasion occurred, to follow the decision of the Privy Council.” He quotes from Mr. Justice Mignault's recent article, in which the latter declares:—“I think I may say that the decisions of the Privy Council have been accepted by the Quebec Courts as conclusive," and he adds:-" The decision rendered by Mr. Justice Belleau in the case of Plante v. Zannis, is a forcible example of this dictum." I might add that a Judge of the Superior Court in Montreal, to whom I appealed to throw some light on the subject, assured me that, while he know of a number of marriages having been annulled in default cases since the Privy Council decision, he was not aware that any of them had been set aside on the ground on which the annulment had been pronounced by the Provincial Courts in the Tremblay-Despatie case.
I can only say, in explanation of my understanding to the contrary, that I have certainly heard the statement made more than once, that individual Judges in Quebec had not followed the decision of the Privy Council, though I cannot now recall the name of any particular Judge or case that was mentioned. My statement was of course made in perfect good faith, and my suggestion was offered for the sole purpose of inducing some competent person in Quebec to deal with the matter. Mr. Brossard's timely letter, as well as the statement of my judicial friend ought to remove any further misconception on this subject.
Mr. Brossard has also called attention in his letter, to the March number of “La Revue du Droit," published in Quebec, which contains a lengthy article by Mr. Leo Pelland, Advocate, entitled “Nos lois sur le mariage." In this article the writer discusses at considerable length, the decision of the Privy Council, in the light of the recent judgment of Mr. Justice Belleau, and strongly criticises the former. He concludes by appealing to the Legislature to adopt three short amendments to the Civil Code, which would render the law of that Province no longer capable of the interpretation placed upon it by the Judicial Committee.
HALDANE FAMILY CHAPEL.—It is announced that the old chapel of St. Mungo, in the Pass of Gleneagles, Perthshire, is to be restored by the Haldane family and a memorial window erected in memory of members of the family who died in the Great War. The chapel was founded in the reign of King David, 1149. Gleneagles Castle, near which the chapel is situated, was once the home of the Haldanes.
SECURITIES AND CHAMPAGNE RESTORED TO MUMM CONCERN.-An opinion holding that $1,600,000 worth of negotiable paper and seventy-four cases of champagne seized as alien property during the war must be returned to G. M. Mumm & Co. of Rheims, France, has been handed down in the District of Columbia Supreme Court.
Assets of the company at Rheims and elsewhere in France were seized similarly during he war by the French Government. Justice Hoehling, however, held the concern was not domiciled in an enemy country and that its property in the United States had been seized unlawfully.
LAWYERS ACCUSED OF CONSPIRACY.-Leonard W. Horton, fifty, attorney and Standing Master in Chancery for the Superior Court, and Francis P. Dougherty, attorney, who occupy joint offices in Providence, R.I., were arrested recently charged with conspiracy to obtain divorces and also with false making of depositions in a divorce case.
The arrests followed investigations by Attorney-General Sission of divorces in which Mr. Dougherty appeared as counsel and in which the depositions were taken before Mr. Horton as master. Headquarters in New York, where many of the applicants first took steps to obtain a divorce in Rhode Island, are declared to have been maintained by Mr. Horton.
Boou. IN CRIME.-A survey of seventy-seven municipalities in the United States, conducted by insurance statisticians, shows an average of 9.9 murders per 100,000 of population. The figures are about double what they were twenty-five years ago and indicate an annual murder toll of 11,000. Just what affect advocacy of the abolition of capital punishment, and the growing disinclination of juries to convict in murder cases, have in increasing the volume of crime, we leave to our readers.
FREAK LEGISLATION.—Law making in the United States appears to be enjoying a boom period. According to the report of Mr. M. J. Hickey, Assistant Secretary of the National Industrial Council, during the past year in thirty-eight States nearly 11,000 new laws have been placed on the statute books. There were in all 38,844 bills offered for adoption to the legislatures of these States. It is said that the freak legislation sought to be introduced ranged in subject from the taxation of bachelors, spinsters and aliens at the sum of $4.00 a head in Connecticut, to the attempted prevention in Iowa of the sale of “canned heat ” so that users might not drink the alcohol in it as a stimulant. Mr. Hickey stated that while the volume of introduced legislation in the last year did not equal the previous record of 50,000 bills offered to the State legislatures in 1923, the percentage of actual enactments was much higher in 1924. He suggested a nation-wide campaign of public education to prevent the flood of new laws becoming a menace to the nation's institutions.
“HOSTILE" FIRES IN DAMAGE CASES.-In the case of Hansen v. Le Mars Mutual Insurance Association the Supreme Court of Iowa recently decided that in a suit for damages from smoke and soot suffered by the plaintiff it was necessary for the insured to prove that the damage came from a “hostile” rather than from a "friendly" fire. Evans, J., in delivering the opinion of the. court said:—“ Close questions may arise over the dividing line between a hostile' and a “friendly' fire. In ine case before us we think it cannot be said that the evidence was sufficient to justify a finding of a 'hostile' fire within the contemplation of the policy. It was manifestly a case where the wick of an oil stove had been turned too high, from which cause smoke and soot was inevitable from the beginning, and which was at all times subject to control by merely turning back the wick. The only burning or charring of any kind done by the flame was upon the wick. So far as appears, all the smoke and soot came from the wick."
1. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS OF SIR JAMES AIKINS, K.C. When the Canadian Bar Association was formed in 1914, the Members of the Bars of Canada expressed confidence in me when they called me to preside over its undertakings.
Then the constitution limited the tenure of the oflice of President to one year. At its expiration, they struck it out, but I have a vague suspicion that the Manitoba law of ten-year limitation relating to fixtures may apply and that we must protect the Association against a prescriptive right. The members of the Association have always shewn me kindness, always given me encouragement and effective support in my endeavour to express their wishes; thus, the constant care of the Association and its work, sometimes strenuous, have been a pleasure and in themselves an ample reward. With that helpful and happy comradeship, the decade has passed as a comforting dream. Yet, when one has advanced some milestones beyond the three score and ten, both time and wisdom suggest retirement from the Presideney to the elysian meads of greater quietude, and a passing of that office, as long since there should have been, to well-qualified younger men in the Association, and there are many.
Law, and the men of the law have ever had for me an attraction and a charm, and, as an ordinary member of the Association, I hope long to have the good fellowship of the rank and file of our profession who are everywhere swinging along the road of honour and usefulness, advancing through effort, winning through work. It has been my privilege to meet, and know personally, many members of the profession in all parts of Canada, and most of the members of the Association, also to have contact with those of other professions and callings. From that knowledge I have unhesitatingly the conclusion that for moral worth, manhood, instructed minds and gentlemanly instincts and conduct, the Canadian lawyers, as a body, are not excelled by any other class or calling, nor should it be; for it is, and must be kept, a learned profession, the requirements for which are not mere native abilities but intelligence specially trained, high character, well-established, and courage; a profession that exacts fidelity to the client, but, supremely above that, fidelity to truth and to law, and loyalty to the authority and institutions of our nation.
2. C.B.R.-VOL. III.
That does not mean there is no room for improvement in the profession, but given those ideals and requirements the movement will be upward. It does not mean that there are no exceptions. There are, for there are weak characters, weak to resist wrong-doing in the many opportunities offered in our practice, and some decidedly tortuous; among them are the stupid, and the clever, the latter more dangerous, for their expert knowledge of the law and skill in dividing it constitute an instrument of great power liable to be placed at the service of dishonesty and fraud and to be turned against the rights and liberties of a community. The “clever crook of a lawyer,' as he is sometimes called, seems able to beguile ignorant and unwary people who neerl or think they need the services of one learned in the law. They are also sought for by those clients who scheme to erade the law or avoid the consequences of its breach. In the relentless and enduring conflict between right and wrong, between white honesty and multi-coloured fraud, between the sincere toiler and the stealthy stealer, between the law observer and the sinner, (for sin is the transgression of the law) whose legal services will the transgressors seck? Naturally they and that scheming gang will go to the gang's clerer and crafty lawyer. During the bad times resulting from the war and its reactions, cases of misappropriation of client's moneys or of trust funds have become more numerous. Hence some energetic agents of guarantee companies, for their own money-making purposes, have started the propaganda of “bond the attorneys ”—a slur on the honour of our profession which it resents. A black sheep spoils the colour of a white flock, intermediate colours are undesirable, such failures in character cause the profession to be bastinadoed and lampooned by pamphleteers and adversely criticized by the people. They have a standard by which they judge us; that standard is the elevated ideals and ethics which we have fixed for ourselves and announced and seek to realize. As in theology, more is espected