Page images


CANADIAN JUSTICE.—Mr. Justice Murphy, of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, added the punishment of whipping to a period of ten years imprisonment in sentencing William Bagley, who with four other bandits from the United States, had robbed a bank at Nanaimo, B.C. In pronouncing sentence the learned Judge observed that criminal procedure in Canada was simple and swift and endeavoured to be certain. Canada was not to be made the happy hunting grounds for those who made crime a profession across the border. “The Courts of British Columbia intend to deal drastically with would-be murderers-not that we seek vengeance, but that we intend to demonstrate that here in Canada law is respected."

“Once a verdict is imposed, Canadian sentiment will see to it that the punishment is such as will act as a deterrent, with a view to terminate the perpetration of this sort of thing, which I regret to say has become so common, namely, the organization of bands of criminals from the United States who come to our country to perpetrate murder." Transeat in exemplum!

THE DISEASE OF Divorce.-According to the Report of a Commission on Modern Conditions in Family Life appointed by the Protestant Episcopal Church of America, it appears that there have been 2,250,000 divorces granted in the United States during the fifty years that have elapsed between 1866 and 1916. To realize how, rapidly the number of divorces is increasing one has only to learn that in the year 1906 the number amounted to 593,362, while in 1916 it rose to 975,728. The Report makes the following commentary upon this rapidly growing menace to the social life of the nation:

“ The situation is rendered still more serious because of the unconcern of the average citizen. The nation itself is committed to a lax attitude. Facilities for dissolving marriage abound, inflaming every trifling dispute, inviting discord, encouraging marital infidelity, and stimulating hasty or secret unions. If the ratio of divorce goes on increasing as at present, the whole conception of Christian marriage will fade from the consciousness of the American people. Thousands of young people in the United States, knowing that the law permits a consecutive polygamy, enter the marriage state with the deliberate purpose of breaking it off, should the first attempt be unsatisfactory."

These considerations but serve to enforce the truth of the French apothegm le divorce est le sacrement de l'adultère.

Privy COUNCIL PRECEDENTS IN QUEBEC.-" Privy Council judgments do not make law in this Province,” Mr. Justice Bruneau declared from the bench in the Practice Division of the Superior Court at Montreal on the 17th instant, in commenting on precedents in separation cases. “Privy Council judgments may be binding on the parties involved in this Province," he continued, “but they do not make law. We have in Quebec our own code of law, and our judicial system, according to which judges have not the power to make the laws. While Privy Council judgments may be law in other provinces, they are not so here."

CONSTITUTIONAL POWERS.—The Supreme Court of Canada decided on the 10th instant that the Dominion Government had power to authorize the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario (an Ontario government railway) to cross Quebec Crown lands in the gold mining district of Rouyn.

UNITED STATES AND LEAGUE OF NATIONS.—Debate on the question of the United States becoming a party to the Permanent Court of International Justice was opened in the Senate on the 17th instant by Senator Swanson with a prepared address, requiring nearly three hours for delivery.

“ The world is indebted for the new methods to the vision, genius, persistency and courage of Woodrow Wilson,” he declared. “In passing, I cannot refrain from giving expression to my own individual views and say that the League of Nations to-day is the most potential factor in the world making for peace and betterment, that it is gaining daily in influence and power, and that the day will ultimately come when the United States will desire and be compelled to become a member."

CANADA AND Pan-AMERICA.-A proposal that efforts be made to obtain the admission of Canada into full membership in the Pan-American Union, was one of a group of resolutions for promoting better relations between the three Americas adopted on the 17th instant by the Pan-American Commercial Congress at its final session in New York.

The resolution pertaining to Canada suggested that that country and all other western hemisphere political entities be invited into association with the Pan-American Commercial Congress and that the admission of the Dominion into the Pan-American Union be made “to the end that Pan-America may include really all America."

It also was decided that the Pan-American Congress for 1927 be held in Canada.

DISARMAMENT CONFERENCE.--It is said in Geneva that no negative answer is expected by the League of Nations to its invitations to nonmember nations to take part in the “preparatory commission for a disarmament Conference,” which will convene in that city on February 15, next.

Germany may be the last to reply because of the present ministerial crisis, but she is expected to accept, being herself already hypothetically disarmed.

Soviet Russia with a discontented peasantry and an undependable army, and smarting under Locarno and the more recent financial defeats at London and Paris will, it is believed, at least, state under what terms she might participate, rather than decline outright.

NAVAL OIL LEASE INDICTMENTS.—The Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia refused, on the 19th instant, to reconsider its decision holding valid the bribery indictments against E. L. Doheny, E. L. Doheny, jr., and Albert B. Fall, former Secretary of the Interior.

The indictments, which grew out of the naval oil leases, were quashed by a lower court because an agent of the Department of Justice was in the grand jury room illegally. The Government appealed and the Court of Appeals recently overruled the lower courts. Fall and the Dohenys then asked for a rehearing which was denied as above stated. They may, however, attack the indictments from other angles in the lower courts cr take the case to the United States Supreme Court.


IMPERIAL ITALY.-The interesting report published in London that Premier Mussolini intends to proclaim Italy an empire was received with emphatic denials in official quarters in Rome. The semi-official Stefani Agency announced that it was authorized to declare the report as “ absolutely fantastic."

According to an Associated Press report, received the 21st instant in Canada, it is believed in Rome "that this account of the Premier's intentions originated from the fact that in his speeches he frequently has mentioned his desire that Italy might rise to the status of an empire. It is pointed out that in these passages he did not mean a territorial empire, but an empire of spiritual and cultural influence.

“It is recalled that more than 30 years ago Premier Crispi planned the proclamation of an Italian empire at the time when he thought the kingdom of Abyssinia might become a vassal of Italy. He had even prepared a new coin bearing an effigy of King Humbert with the inscription, King oi Italy and Emperor of Ethiopia.' Signor Crispi's plans, however, were nullified by the reverse suffered by Italy in the war with Abyssinia."

ONTARIO CHURCH PROPERTY COMMISSION.-After an all-day and allevening hearing the Ontario Church Property Commission at midnight on the 21st instant ruled that it would decline to make any finding or recommend action in the matter of property division as between the nonconcurring Presbyterians and those of the church which had voted into union. It is stated there is no appeal from the commission's finding.


Publishers desiring reviews or notices of Books and Periodicals must send copies of the same to the Editor, care of The CARSWELL COMPANY, LIMITED, 145 Adelaide Street West, Toronto, Canada.

The Law Relating to Lunacy. By Sir Henry Studdy Theobald, K.C., M.A.

London: Stevens & Sons, Limited. 1924.

This is a comprehensive volume of over 800 pages, by an author whose 15 years' experience as a Master in Lunacy, peculiarly fitted him to pre pare. Unfortunately, blindness compelled him to resign that office in 1922, and he has had to have the active assistance of several friends in the preparation of the present work. He was already well known to the profession here as the author of The Law of Wills, the seventh and last edition of which was published in 1908, with notes of Canadian Statutes and Cases by the late E. D. Armour, K.C. His appointment to the above office in 1907 has probably accounted for his not having published any further editions of the last-mentioned book.

The work under consideration is divided into six parts, as follows:-Prerogative of the Crown, consisting of 7 chapters; Growth of Legislation, 3 chapters; Existing Administrative Machinery, 6 chapters; Care and Treatment, 9 chapters; Lunacy and the General Law, 19 chapters, and Management and Administration, 29 chapters. To these are added 7 appendices containing the Lunacy Acts and Rules, and the Mental Deficiency Act and Rules. These Statutes and Rules occupy over 300 pages of the book, from which it will be evident that the Imperial Parliament, the Lord Chancellor and the Secretary of State have carefully provided for every possible case that may arise. The comparatively brief and simple provisions contained in the Ontario Lunacy Act and Consolidated Rules of Practice, as regards lunatics and persons mentally incapable, as well as the Hospitals for the Insane Act and the Private Sanitarium Act, may therefore be fairly elucidated by references to the Imperial Statutes and Rules, and the decisions thereunder.

The learned author devotes the first four parts of the book to the discussion of the origin and nature of prerogative and the persons by whom it was exercised, the inquisition and its validity or invalidity, committees of estate and person, and the separation of Chancery and Lunacy, the latter of which was effected by legislation commencing in 1774 and extending down to 1922. The first Masters in Lunacy were appointed in 1846, and several chapters are devoted to their appointment and functions, as well as those of other officials, and to the care and treatment of lunatics and mental defectives. This portion of the book is very interesting from a purely historical point of view, but is not otherwise of any great value to the practitioner.

In Part V., the author enters on the more practical part of his work, and the chapters under this head deal with contracts, disposition by deed and will, lunacy supervening on acts done while sane, torts, crimes, criminal lunatics, offences, liability to provide for pauper lunatics, pro

ceedings by and against lunatics, statutes of limitations and prescription, Chancery jurisdiction over lunatics, effect of Law of Property Act, 1922, on lunacy, probate and administration, lunatics as protectors of settlement, effect of lunacy on persons holding offices and positions of trust and divers legal relations, rights between real and personal representatives, and suits after a lunatic's death. An interesting chapter is also devoted to the subject of "Lunacy of the Sovereign," and the procedure adopted by Parliament during the mental incapacity of George III.

Part VI. deals with jurisdiction in lunacy, and the authorities by whom it is exercised, persons subject to lunacy jurisdiction, general principles and procedure, receivers, creditors, past maintenance, and various elaborate details of practice. Under the chapter dealing with Orders in Lunacy, the author calls attention to the fact that, by virtue of the Act of 1890 and of the Rules of 1919, orders in lunacy omit all reference to lunacy and unsoundness of mind, the particular Acts being referred to by their dates. The index is not very full, and the absence of any list of the numerous forms contained in the book is noticeable. The author has followed the commendable method adopted by him in his book on Wills, of incorporating in the text the various cases cited, instead of relegating them to foot-notes.

M. J. G.

A Treatise on the Investigation of Titles to Real Property in Ontario, with

a Precedent for an Abstract. By Edward Douglas Armour, K.C. Fourth Edition by Archibald Douglas Armour, M.A. Toronto: Canada Law Book Company, 1925. Price $12.00.

It is of interest to the profession to know that this new edition of the late E. D. Armour's useful and appreciated work represents much in the way of revision of the former text by the learned author himself. The undertaking, however, was not finished before his pen had to be laid aside for ever. It was fitting, therefore, that his labours should have been completed by his son, Mr. A. D. Armour, of the Toronto Bar, to a great extent from notes made by the author before his decease. The last edition was brought out some twenty-three years ago, and in view of legislation affecting the subject-matter of the work passed in the interim, there is every justification for the publication of a new edition. Instances of such new legislation occur in the Bankruptcy Act, 9-10 Geo. V. cap. 36; the Power Commission Act, 1924; The Registry Act, as amended by 8 Geo. V. cap. 27; and The Income War Tax Act, 1917, and amendments (Can.). The reviewer has been much informed by Chapter X. (on Doubtful Titles). He thinks the criticism of decided cases to be found there is excellently done. The whole content of the new edition maintains the standard distinguishing the work on its inception. The Index is well made, and that alone is a feature in the usefulness of the work

C. M.

(hilty's Abridgment of Canadian Criminal Case Law, 1892-1925. By

R. M. Willes Chitty. Toronto: Canada Law Book Company, Ltd., 1925. Price $20.00

In England the name Cutty associated with the literature of the law-more especially a publication in the nature of a compendium of

« PreviousContinue »