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unattainable, you may then give secondary evidence. 4. Where a private document is in the possession On this principle secondary evidence is received of the of a person beyond the jurisdiction of the Court, who handwriting of an attesting witness, if you have first refuses to produce it after a proper demand, and á dismade reasonable efforts to find him* Now, surely secondary evidence is receivable.
closure of the object for which the demand is made, you can give secondary evidence of a document which,
5. Objections founded upon the self-criminating being in a foreign country, cannot be procured by sub- tendency of an examination do not affect the compepona, provided you use every reasonable effort to get tency of the witness, but must come from him after it.” The Court, however, were clearly of opinion that he has been sworn. this proviso had not been complied with, and that
6. The improper rejection of a witness is ground for
a new trial. the demand of the document made by a stranger to the cause, who did not even disclose his object in making it, was insufficient for the purpose of letting in se
TIIE TICKET-OF-LEAVE SYSTEM. condary evidence. Upon the second trial it was proved that the Abbé
The following letter from Colonel Jebb has appeared Cognat refused to attend with the document, or to give in The Times: it up for the purpose of its being produced at the trial. Sir,—The release of convicts on license appears to The witness was then desired by the plaintiff's counsel have caused so much apprehension in the public mind, to state the contents from memory, upon which the that, unwilling as I am to intrude upon your columus, defendant's counsel interposed, and handing a docu- |! would venture to beg the favour of a small space, ment to the witness, asked him if that was the letter in order to afford a few needful explanations on the
subject. which he had seen. The witness answered, that if it
I am induced to do this from a sense of duty, not was the original, it had been altered in some respects; only to the convicts themselves, whose means of obwhereupon the defendant's counsel proposed at once to taining employment have been seriously prejudiced by adduce evidence in order to shew that it was the true the adverse opinions which have been expressed, but in original, and ought to be received in evidence, to the the belief that a plain statement, supported by facts, exclusion of secondary evidence from the witness. may lead to more just and favourable views.
I am encouraged to hope for this result from a conThis, however, the judge refused to allow at that viction that the want of accurate information has been stage of the proceedings, saying that the defendant the cause of the misapprehension which exists. might if he pleased give that document in evidence The act which abolished transportation for terms when he came to his own case. Such evidence, how- under fourteen years was passed in 1853. There were ever, was not given, and the jury found for the in the different convict prisons in England at that time plaintiff.
upwards of 6000 convicts under sentences of transporta
tion for seven and ten years, It had previously been Again, the Court of Exchequer held that there determined that no more convicts should be sent to had been a miscarriage of justice, and that as all Van Diemen’s Land, and it was known that the small preliminary questions of fact, on which the admissi- colony of Western Australia could only receive a small bility of evidence depends, must be decided by the proportion of them. Hence arose the question what
was to be done with them. judge, and not by the jury, the judge was bound to
It must be remembered that these men had not been decide the collateral question, whether the document sentenced to imprisonment, but to transportation, and was original or not, and reject or receive the secon- that the commutation of the one sentence into the dary evidence accordingly.
other was no new thing, but had long been a recognised It was also held that sufficient evidence had now practice. Until within a very recent period almost been given to let in parol proof of the contents of every convict who received a sentence of seven years' the document, if it had not been produced.
transportation was, as a matter of course, sent to the
hulks, whence he was released with a free pardon at The cause stood for trial a third time at the last the expiration of one-half
of his sentence. assizes, but was settled by arrangement between the In the years from 1843 to 1847 there were released parties.
no less than 3450 under such a commutation. Now, We have thus narrated the legal history of this the difference between the practice which obtained at case, and it will be seen that the following propositions for carrying out the provisions of the 13 & 14 Vict. is
that time and the system which has been established may be deduced from it:
this--that instead of giving the men a free pardon at 1. All preliminary questions of fact, on which the the expiration of about half their time, they receive admissibility of evidence depends, must be decided by only a revocable pardon, which, in the terms of the the judge, and not by the jury.
act, is called a license, and is popularly designated a
ticket of leave. 2. Where secondary evidence of the contents of a document is duly tendered, and a document is pro- tend for a moment that these men should have been
No one acquainted with the circumstances will conduced by the other party and alleged to be the original, the judge should decide whether it is the original kept in prison, as a general rule, during the whole term or not, and if he ascertains it to be the former, he The feeling of Parliament and of the highest autho
to which they had been sentenced to transportation. should reject the secondary evidence. 3. In order to render secondary evidence of a private the periods of penal servitude set forth in the act as
rities of the law on this point is conclusively shewn in document admissible, it is necessary and sufficient to substitutes for the sentences of transportation. For shew that all reasonable efforts have been made to example, the ordinary minimum term of transportation procure the original.
was seven years, which is represented in the new act by * It is now no longer necessary to call an attesting witness a minimum of four years' penal servitude, and so on. to a document, unless it is one which the law requires to be From these considerations it will be apparent, that if attested. (17 & 18 Vict. c. 125, s. 26).
the Government had not the means of carrying into
effect the sentences which had been passed upon the consideration of the circumstances in which they have men referred to, and that they had completed such a been placed. However good may have been the resoperiod in prison as could, under all circumstances, be lutions they may have formed during their continefairly considered an equivalent or a commutation of ment, or however much they may have dreaded being their original sentences, they were justly entitled to again within the grasp of the law, what were they to their liberty.
do if on their discharge every man's hand was against After due consideration of the existing regulations, them, and they were unable to find the means of earnand the hopes and expectations which had been held ing an honest livelihood? Many instances have occurout of certain remissions of the period of detention in red where a relapse into crime has arisen from the great this country as a reward for industry and exeinplary difficulties they have had to encounter in their search conduct, it was determined by the Secretary of State after employment. that a convict under sentence of seven years' trans- I have already stated that 3629 men have been reportation, whose conduct had been exemplary during leased. Of these only 96 licenses, or about 23 per cent., the whole period of his confinement, should be eligible have been revoked. This, however, does not represent for release on license at the expiration of three years; the number who have been convicted of crime. and a convict under sentence of ten years' transporta
With a view to obtain information on this point the tion should, under like conditions, be eligible in the Secretary of State addressed a circular, dated the 15th minimum period of four years.
February, to the visiting magistrates of all gaols, reThis decision was generally regarded by the convicts questing them to take measures for insuring the transwith more distaste than if the original sentence had mission to the Home Office of a report of every case of been left to take its course; for in addition to a longer the recommittal of a license-holder to prison, stating period of imprisonment, they were to remain under the the nature of the charge, &c. The total number of restrictions of a license for the whole term to which convictions up to the 8th August, 1855, was 97, as they had been transported.
shewn in a return presented to the House of Lords; It may be said that the former plan of getting rid of and the number of such reports received up to the prethem entirely was better; but it has already been slewn sent date, including the 97 before mentioned, does not that, under the exigency of the colonies suddenly re-exceed 130. Among these are included the licenses refusing to receive more, there was no alternative but to voked. release them at home; and the only question, as far Though these returns do not probably contain all as the convicts are concerned, now is, whether it would that might he brought against the holders of licenses have been just and proper to have broken faith with as a class, I believe that a more rigid investigation them entirely, by subjecting them to imprisonment would establish the fact that a far greater number than during a term which they had been led to expect they might have been generally anticipated are doing well should pass with a ticket of leave in one of the colonies, for themselves. or to have released them after such a term of confine- With reference to this point the information obtained ment as was a fair commutation of their sentences. by the governors and chaplains of prisons concerning
The following statement of the numbers already re- the men who have been under their charge has, on the leased on license would, I fear, be calculated to increase whole, been very favourable. The best data on which the alarm which has been felt, it'it did not at the same they have been enabled to form an opinion have been time tend to induce the belief, if not to prove, that a the applications for the balance of gratuities due to large proportion of them have, through their own ex- them, made by the men three months after their disertions and the benevolent assistance which I thank- charge, which will be admitted to have been the period fully acknowledge they have received, entered upon an of their greatest difficulties and trials. In order to obhonest course of industry :
tain this balance it is necessary they should shew, to Between the 8th October, 1853, and the present date the satisfaction of the authorities, that they are obthere have been released on license 3629, leaving only serving the conditions of their licenses, and are emabout 2000 of the original number now in England to ployed. This application is required to be backed by a be so released when they become eligible.
magistrate, clergyman, or other person on whom reliance As regards sentences of penal servitude, it has been can be placed. already explained that the terms mentioned in the act The following is a return of the nature of the inforbeing in the nature of a commutation of corresponding mation received of convicts who have thus applied for terms of transportation, there does not exist the same, the balance of their gratuities from the 30th June, nor indeed any, necessity why they should not be as 1854, to the 30th June, 1855:fully carried out as any other sentences of imprison
From whom. ment.
It is certainly indispensable, in any system of moral discipline, to liold out encouragement to good conduct; and though there may be no boon which can be offered
Name of Prison. as equivalent to a remission of the period of detention, it will, I trust, yet be possible to find some sufficient inducement to good behaviour and willing industry, the Secretary of State having determined, that, as a general rule, every convict shall serve out the whole Portland
205 205 nil. (118) 55 Portsmouth
182 178 132 29 period of his sentence of penal servitude.
9 6 After the release, therefore, of the remainder of those
193 193 nil. 159 23 2 2 3 2 who were under sentences for the shorter terms of trans
Hulk portation at the time when the act passed, its provi
17 sions, in regard to release on license, will be practically Defence IJulk
15) 2 almost a dead letter. In adverting to the conduct of those who have
690 684 6 481 128 5 5 227 42 already been released on license, I may regret, in common with others interested in their fate, that so many Note.--The total number who had left a balance in the cases of relapse into crime have occurred; but if there hands of the Governors was 960; 270 therefore had not apbe matter for surprise, it is the very small proportion plied at the date of this return, the larger portion of whom had that have done so. These men are entitled to a fair I not been discharged the regulated period.
I may add, that hundreds of letters have been re- admitted to have been the period of his greatest difficeived confirmatory of the foregoing statements. culties and trials”—and then only on a certificate of
In my report dated the 27th June, 1854, I thus ex- good conduct, and that it rarely occurs that such certi. pressed my opinion :
ficate is not obtained. Now, in the return referred to “When a case of a return to crime on the part of the by him it is stated, that " of 960 convicts released holder of a license occurs it naturally attracts attention during the year ended the 30th June, 1855, 690 had and the public, who are not generally aware of all the made application at the end of the stipulated period for circumstances, are disposed to judge of the rule by the the balance of the gratuity, and that 684 of the number exceptions; but the true view will only be obtained by produced satisfactory testimonials of their good conlooking closely to the results as a whole.
duct;" and that “ of the 270 who had not applied, the “In arguing the question many might be disposed to greater portion had not been at large the regulated admit, that if 75 or 80 per cent. of those who are released period.” Now, instead of 960 being the number dison order of license do well for themselves, there would charged in that year, the number must have been upbe no great cause for alarm. As far as present expe- wards of 2000, for it appears by two other returns laid rience goes, there is reason to hope that a much more before the House in July, 1854, and March, 1855, that favourable result will be realised, and I confess I shall 1537 convicts had been discharged in the first nine be disappointed if it be otherwise.”
months of such year, of whom 1513 were entitled to I see no reason to change the opinion expressed at gratuities. It is impossible to place any reliance upon that time; and when it is considered that the annual returns so loosely made out; but passing by this diffiaverage of re-committed prisoners to common gaols is culty, the returns prove too much, and shew nothing between 30 and 40 per cent., and in some prisons in a but the facility with which certificates of good conduct much higher ratio, I think it may be fairly stated that are obtained. Upwards of 2000 convicts are discharged: the corrective discipline and industrial training of the of these upwards of 1700 have received the whole amount convict prisons has been attended with marked success. of their gratuities, while four only have failed in their
It would be too much to expect of human nature, or applications; and of the remaining 270 the greater porof human institutions designed for effecting reforma- tion (and I believe, if the returns could be thoroughly tion, that any great proportion of the convicts are re- sifted, it would be found that nearly the whole numformed in the strict and religious acceptation of the ber) have not applied, simply because the time for apterm. It will be enough that they be fairly judged by plication has not arrived. Take, for example, the two the standard applied to others.
prisoners tried before me for housebreaking on Monday Had I not already trespassed upon your space at far Iast: both were cases of recent discharge ; both obtained greater length than I intended, I would have entered the requisite certificates from clergymen-one of them into some explanations on the course of discipline to actually within less than a month of the day on which which the convicts are subjected; but I must refer any he committed the robbery of which he has now been who are interested in the subject to my printed reports, convicted. Is it possible more strongly to demonstrate in which every detail appears.
that the certificate is a mere form? Imagine, if you A consideration of the system or an inspection of the can, 2000 convicts let loose, and 1996 of them immeprisons would, I think, lead any one to the conclusion, diately becoming honest men! that years of patient, persevering industry, of regula- Colonel Jebb next states, that, “ with a view to obrity, cleanliness, and obedience, daily attendance at tain information as to reconvictions of ticket-of-leave chapel, and the zealous efforts of the governors, chap- men, the Secretary of State addressed a circular, in lains, and other officers of the different prisons, coupled February last, to the visiting magistrates of all gaols“ with just and considerate treatment, cannot fail to have requesting them to take measures for insuring the transsome good effect on the habits and feelings of the great mission to the Home Office of a report in every case of body of men who have been subjected to it.
the recommittal of a license-holder to prison, stating I will add, in conclusion, that the experience of all the nature of the charge, &c.; and that the total numwho have the best opportunities of judging will, I am ber of convictions to the 8th August, 1855, (as appears satisfied, coincide with the opinion of the committee of by a return to the House of Lords), was ninety-seven;" the House of Commons, 1850, as expressed in one of and he infers the well working of the system from the their resolutions :
paucity of these convictions. Now, upon examination, “That the committee concurs with some of the most this return proves to be more unsatisfactory-I would experienced witnesses they bave examined in the almost say more delusive--than the last. Unfortuopinion that a great majority of convicted prisoners are nately, it omits to state the gaols from which the returns open to the same good motives and good impulses are made; but it is self-evident, when analysed, that which influence other human beings."
they must be from rural districts, and can relate only I am, Sir,
to prisoners not previously convicted of serious offences; Your obedient servant,
as, for example, (I quote from the returns), of stealing J. JEBB, Colonel,
a pork pie,” or “a duck,” or “a rabbit," and the Chairman of the Directors of Convict Prisons. like. Eleven of the ninety-seven convictions are for
offences against the Vagrant Act, eleven more for asTo which Mr. Serjeant Adams has sent the following saults, three for offences against the game laws, one for reply:
wilful damage, one for using obscene language, one for Sir,—The name of Colonel Jebb at all times com- desertion from the militia, and fifty-three for common mands respect, and especially so in all that regards larcenies, leaving only eleven cases of convictions of a prison discipline ; but the result of my experience of heavier character. It is quite idle to suppose that such the working of the ticket-of-leave system is so at va- a return affords the slightest illustration of the real riance with his views upon the subject that I trust you working of a system which brings within its operation will afford me space in your columns for a short ana- some thousands of offenders, and among them all the lysis of the evidence upon which he seems to found most hardened and desperate of the criminal populathem. He rests his case upon the returns laid before tion. I find no returns have been made from the Midthe House of Lords in 1854 and 1855. One of his main dlesex prisons, and the reason assigned by the governor arguments is grounded on the fact, that one-half of the is, that he does not feel himself warranted to make gratuity to which a convict is entitled is not payable returns upon suspicion only. I entertain no doubt until after the expiration of three months from the date that the number of ticket-of-leave men who have passed of his discharge"a time,” he adds, “which will be through Coldbath-fields alone greatly exceeds the whole
number supposed to have been reconvicted in the whole
to as an act of the fifth year of the reign of kingdom. I would also add, that, exercising the ut
King George the Fourth ; and as the number most diligence, it would be impossible, in the metropo
of the chapter is correctly given, and also the litan or any thickly-populated district, to make any
title at full length, it is conceived that the reports, according to the requisitions of that letter,
terms of the 14 & 15 Vict. c. 92, are a clear which would even approximate to correctness. It
repeal. (See the observations already made would be necessary, not only that the convicts should
as to the 7 Jac. 1, c. 14). always resume their trade in their old haunts, and be (8). The 1 Geo. 3, c. 21, is said to be virtually imprisoned in the same gaols, but that the warders
repealed by the 58 Geo. 3, c. 75; and a note is should remain unchanged, and also possess the rare added, that “the repeal of it was intended by power of remembering and identifying these ticket-of
the 15 Geo. 3, c. 54, but the error of a date leave men after an absence of many years, and when
(3 Geo. 3 for 1 Geo. 3) defeated the intenmany thousand prisoners annually pass through their
tion.” As this act relates exclusively to gaols. The truth is, that while the police courts, and
Scotland, it ought not to have been inserted the courts of quarter sessions, and the assizes are con
in the list at all; but passing over this objectinually producing proofs of “the unmitigated curse
tion, which is not of much consequence, it is (to use your own words) of the system as administered,
to be observed, first, that the reference in the the evidence in its favour is, when sifted, as dust in
note to the 15 Geo. 3, c. 54, is an error-it the balance; and I add, as a concluding proof of the should be 13 Geo. 3; secondly, that the printruth of this assertion, the return of the Secretary of
ciple of construction assumed in the note is State to that part of the order of the House of Lords
erroneous, as in the two other cases already which called for a return of the “ number of convicts
mentioned, the title of the act being given at with tickets of leave who are known by the authorities
full length; and, thirdly, that the 58 Geo. 3, to be now in employment, or conducting themselves c. 75, which inflicts penalties on buying game properly.” His emphatic reply was as follows:-" The only, cannot be said to be a repeal of an act Secretary of State is not in possession of any sufficient which inflicts penalties on killing or selling information upon this point to enable him to make the
game, which the 1 Geo. 3, c. 21, does. Morerequired return."
over, the terms used in the 58 Geo. 3, c. 75, It was my intention to have added some observations
raise a doubt whether it extends to Scotland upon the future working of the system, or rather of the
at all, ultimate consequences to the community of the present It must, however, be admitted, that as no systematic system of secondary punishment-namely, penal servi- examination of the list has been attempted, and as the tude; but my letter is, I fear, already unreasonably instances in which any of the entries have been tested long.
have been but few, sufficient materials have not been Your obedient servant,
collected to justify any inference as to the average acOct. 19.
curacy of the whole work.
At the commencement of this paper it was observed, CONSOLIDATION OF THE STATUTE LAW. that it was the act of printing and publishing the list
in question that was open to so much ohjection, and EXTRACTS FROM THE APPENDIX TO THE RE- who compiled it. The following short account of the
that there was no intention of imputing blame to those PORT OF THE COMMISSIONERS.
circumstances under which the list was prepared will (Continued from p. 408).
shew the necessity and justice of making this dis(4). The 4 Will. & M. c. 2, is entered as either tinction.
expired, obsolete, or repealed, with a reference Soon after the Statute-law Board of 1853 first met, to the 7 Will. 4 & 1 Vict. c. 26, ss. 1, 83, and Messrs. Anstey and Rogers proposed, that among other with a
query” prefixed to the whole. This works for the improvement of the statute law there act is neither expired, obsolete, or repealed. should be passed through Parliament a general repealIt is a partial repeal of the custom of York as ing act of all the statutes which have ceased to be in to personalty, with the exception of the cities force, for the purpose of clearing the Statute-book of of York and Chester, and is now in full force, unnecessary matter. At a later period I thought it except that the exception as to the city of my duty as chief commissioner to advise the Lord York has been repealed by the 2 & 3 Ann. Chancellor to abandon the project of passing such an c. 5. The 7 Will. 4 & 1 Vict. c. 26, (the act, (Second Report of the late Board, 1854); but when Wills Act), does not in any way affect this it was first proposed, seeing that Messrs. Anstey and act, and inoreover contains only thirty-six Rogers were anxious to prepare such a work, and thinksections, so that the reference to sect. 83 is an ing that it would be a useful one for reference, at any
rate, whether made the foundation of a general act or (5). The 2 & 3 Ann. c. 5, just mentioned as being not, I authorised them to proceed with it; and accord
a repeal of the exception in the 4 Will. & M. ingly those gentlemen commenced their examination c. 2, so far as relates to the city of York, is of the statutes, and in the short space of three months stated to be an act about “supply and cus- completed the list, which has now been printed by the
toms duties," and to be expired or obsolete. direction of the House of Commons. (6). The 8 Ann. c. 11, (c. 6 of the quarto edition), For reasons into which it is not necessary to enter,
is said to be expired, or virtually repealed by it was deemed advisable that this list should include the 6 Geo. 4, c. 106. It is not, however, a only the “public general acts” relating to England, temporary act, nor does it appear to be repealed and only those acts of which the whole was no longer by the act referred to.
in force; and Messrs. Anstey and Rogers were instructed (7). Of the 6 Geo. 4, c. 43, it is stated that an un- to prepare their list on that footing.
successful attempt was made to repeal it by It was subject to these instructions, and with rethe 14 & 15 Vict. c. 92, s. 26. The reason ference to, and for the purposes of, their proposal to why that attempt was said to be unsuccessful have a general declaratory act to clear the Statuteis, that it is misdescribed as an act " of the book,” repealing all acts which are not now wanted, fifth year of the reign of King George the whether already repealed or not, (or, if not that, at least Third." This is not accurate; it is referred to have a new edition of the statutes, omitting all acts
not now wanted), that Messrs. Anstey and Rogers Anstey himself, in the letter printed in the same paper entered on their task; and if these facts are borne in as my proposals. mind, it will be perceived that most of the reasons which have been adduced to shew that the work as
With respect to the scheme for a general declaratory now published is to a great extent useless, and at best repealing act, originally contemplated by Messrs. An. very defective, imply no reproach to those gentlemen. stey and Rogers, and now revived by the resolutions of
which Mr. Locke King has given notice, the following In the first place, the list in its present form is are the reasons which in the Second Report of the late merely a first draft, requiring, and intended to receive, Board (1854) were adduced by me against its adopa complete revision before being put forth as fit for use. tion:This they distinctly announced in their joint minute of the 25th July, 1853, (printed in the First Report of
“ There is another view connected with the revision the late Statute-law Board). “It is obvious," they of the statutes which I think it right to notice, as it said, " that so extensive a list, prepared in less than has been, and I believe still is, entertained by two of my three months, will require a careful revision by a fresh colleagues, and probably is entertained by many other hand.". This fact at once relieves them from any persons, namely, that it is the duty of Parliament, if blame in respect of many of the objections urged not itself to republish all those acis which are to reagainst the list. Their instructions being to contine main in force, at least to give ussistance to any editor themselves to “public general ” acts, it was natural who now wishes to make a new edition of the living and proper that when dealing with the period before the law, by passing a comprehensive statute, enumerating modern division of “general” and “local and personal” every one of the laws already repealed, expired, or acts into distinct series, they should notice, for the pur- otherwise not in force, and once more declaring or pose of obtaining further directions, all those acts which enacting them to be repealed. With every respect for would now probably be termed local or personal acts; those who hold this opinion, I must say that I think though to print these queries in a list professing to be an act of this description is quite out of the question, a work of reference for general use was evidently use and that for many reasons, some of principle and others less. The same consideration is a sufficient excuse for practical; they are briefly these:-1. That to ask the the numerous entries to which a “query,” or other Legislature to repeal what is not the law at all is expression of uncertainty, is attached; and also makes futile, and asking it to do what is no part of its office. it unjust to find fanlt even with such positive inaccu- 2. That if passed, such an act would not, after all, be racies as may be detected in a work executed in so of much practical use, and the points in which it would short a time, and which certainly shews, generally be most useful would be better provided for in the speaking, a remarkably extensive acquaintance with course of consolidation, as I shall endeavour to shew the contents of the Statute-book.
further on. 3. That the benefit (which has been much These considerations also justify the insertion of the statutes not in force would only endure for a single
insisted on) of having a chronological list of all the expired and obsolete statules, which (as has been shewn) it was useless to insert'in a work of reference. session, for the repeals of the next session would not The framers of the list conceived that they were pre-number of the defunct acts of Parliainent are of such a
appear in their chronological places. 4. A very great paring for a particular purpose, quite different from that to which it has now been applied, a list of all the nature that it is not proper to declare either that they acts which for any reason are defunct, including those them alone. Such are all acts which are the founda
are repealed or expired; the only proper course is to let which, if not hitherto distinctly repealed, ought to be tions of rights or titles to which it has long ceased to repealed.
be necessary to appeal, but which nevertheless cannot So with regard to the objection that the list does not be declared repealed, which would be equivalent (in always indicate, in the case of repealed acts, the period many cases) to enacting the contrary. The proposed when they were first repealed, the above-mentioned act would therefore, in a great degree, fail in its object, circumstances exonerate the framers of the list. For for it would necessarily leave untouched a vast mass of their purpose it was only necessary to make it apparent statutes which no editor would think it necessary to that the act in question had ceased to be in force some reprint, but which nevertheless are not so absolutely how, so as to justify its insertion in the list.
annulled that the Legislature itself may declare them The foregoing comments will, I hope, have shewn to be for all purposes extinct, is if they had never that the non-publication of this list in its present form been. It may be observed that it is not reasonable or by the late Board, or by the present Commission, was natural to repeal any act of a temporary nature, unless no unfair suppression, but the exercise of a proper dis- it is intended to shorten the original term fixed for its cretion; and that if either of those Boards had caused it duration; or to repeal any of those acts which, though to be published, they would have been deservedly ex- not expressly limited as to duration, were passed to posed to the charge of having wasted a considerable effect an end which has been effected, unless it is inamount of public money in producing a work so crude tended to reverse what has been done under them. and so imperfect as to justily the public in refusing to There is an essential difference between the repeal and place any confidence in their future labours. What the expiration of an act. A repeal implies a change; indeed could be said in defence of the publication the expiration of a temporary enactment is no change, of a work of which the authors themselves in their but belongs to its original condition. It is therefore joint minute already quoted) said, “it is obvious absolutely incorrect in principle to repeal an expired that so extensive a list, prepared in less than three act; it is also nugatory, for the repeal can only mean months, will require a careful revision by a fresh that the act is not to be in force if the conditions of its hand;" and in a subsequent passage, “ we have already existence have terminated--which is a truism, and no remarked that the Expurgatory List is still under re- assistance to any one; or else that it is not to be in vision ?" If it be objected that such revision and com- force whether tlie conditions of its existence have terpletion ought to have been effected, I need only remind minated or not—which is not what is intended. It the Board that a proposal for doing so was submitted will be said that the proposed general clearing statute to them by me on the 13th December last, and that is not a repeal, but only a declaration by the Legis. although they determined to abandon the attempt for lature that the acts have expired. But what can that the present, that determination was not arrived at with mean? The statute must bave some legislative force, out sufficient reasons, and was indeed partly founded on or none. If none, what is the use of it? If any, it must considerations suggested to them with candour by bIr. I be a repeal. If, however, there be a doubt as to whe