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transferred to a new trustee on the direction of the registrar. No copy of rules, letter of attorney, receipt, or other document, to be liable to stamp-duty (§ 37) in any society not insuring to an amount of more than 2007. on the death of a member or of annuities not exceeding 301. per annum. Members cannot belong to more than one such society (38), so as to receive more than the above sums; a declaration is required on entering that they have not done so, and any fraudulent declaration is punishable as a misdemeanour. Trustees (§ 39) are empowered to subscribe from the society's funds to an hospital or a provident institution, to such an amount as is agreed upon by a majority of the members, in consideration of the members, their wives, and children, being entitled to the benefits of such hospital or provident institution. Disputes (§ 40) are to be settled according to the rules of the society, and to be without appeal; but in cases of societies already established, whose rules refer the settlement of disputes to justices of the peace, they are to be referred to and decided by the county courts; and where the rules do not prescribe a mode of settling disputes (§ 41), or where arbitrators do not agree, they also are to be decided by the county courts in England, in Scotland by the sheriff, and in Ireland by the assistant barrister, within their respective districts. The order of the county court (§ 42) is to be enforced in the usual manner, and the cause cannot be removed by certiorari or any other process to the superior courts; but the Lord Chancellor, and the Court of Session in Scotland (§ 43), may make orders for regulating the proceedings, so as to make them as inexpensive and as prompt as possible. In the case of societies whose rules are not certified (§ 44), the disputes between the society and its own members are to be settled in the same manner as in those of certified societies. An annual return (§ 45) is to be made in the first three months of each year of the funds and effects of the society during the preceding twelve months, or a copy of the annual report to be sent to the registrar, and every five years a return of the rate of sickness and mortality within that period; the registrar laying before parliament a report of his proceedings, and of the principal matters connected with Friendly Societies annually. Certain societies (§ 46) established for granting annual payments to nominees before the year 1850, are declared to be entitled to the privileges of this Act. Where the rules of any society already established (§ 47) have provided that any member shall be deprived of any benefit by reason of his enrolment or service in the militia, the trustees are to require an extra contribution from such member not exceeding one-tenth of the usual rate, while he is serving out of the United Kingdom, or they may suspend his claim to any benefits, while so serving, together with all claims for contribution, until his return, when he is to be replaced on the same footing as before. This Act (§ 48) is to apply to all societies constituted under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act of 1852.
BILLS OF EXCHANGE AND PROMISSORY NOTES.
An Act to facilitate the Remedies on Bills of Exchange and Promissory
From and after October 21, 1855, it is declared by § 1" that all actions upon bills of exchange or promissory notes, commenced within
six months after the same shall have become due and payable, may be by writ of summons in a form prescribed and given in a schedule, and the plaintiff, on filing an affidavit of personal service, may at once, in case the defendant shall not have obtained leave to appear to such writ, sign final judgment in the form contained in another schedule for any sum not exceeding the sum endorsed on the writ, together with interest and costs; but the defendant (§ 2) on showing a defence on the merits, is to have leave to appear. After judgment (§ 3) the court may, under special circumstances, set aside the judgment, and give leave to the defendant to defend the action. In any proceedings under this Act (§ 4), the judge may order the bill or note to be deposited with the officer of the court, and direct proceedings to be stayed until the plaintiff has given security for costs. Holders of dishonoured bills of exchange or promissory notes (§ 5) retain the same remedies as at present for the cost of noting bills for non-payment. One summons (§ 6) may be issued by the holder of a bill of exchange against all or any of the parties to the bill, such summons to be deemed the commencement of proceedings, in like manner as if separate writs of summons had been issued; the Common Law Procedure Acts and Rules (§ 7) are incorporated with this Act; it applies (§ 8) to the courts of Common Pleas, Lancaster, and Durham; and (§ 9) Her Majesty may, by an Order in Council, direct it to apply to all or any of the Courts of Record in England or Wales. It does not (§ 10) extend to Ireland or Scotland; and the short title (§ 11) is declared to be "The Summary Procedure on Bills of Exchange Act, 1855."
BURIAL GROUNDS (SCOTLAND).
[18 and 19 Victoriæ, cap. 68.-July 23, 1855.]
An Act to amend the Laws concerning the Burial of the Dead in Scotland. This Act is in effect similar to that of England, enabling parishes and places to supply burial-grounds in convenient places, modified so as to adapt it more particularly for Scotland, and providing for the registration of burials.
PUBLIC LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS.
[18 and 19 Victoriæ, cap. 70.-July 30, 1855.]
An Act for further promoting the Establishment of Free Public Libraries and Museums in Municipal Towns, and for extending it to Towns governed under Local Improvement Acts, and to Parishes.
This Act is chiefly confined to details for facilitating the establishment of museums and libraries, without any material alteration of the principles of the previous Acts. The chief important features are, that the City of London is specially included, and that the admission is to be open to the public free of all charge.
STAGE-CARRIAGE DUTIES, &c.
[18 and 19 Victoriæ, cap. 78.—July 30, 1855.]
An Act to reduce certain Duties payable on Stage-Carriages, and to amend the Laws relating to Stamp Duties, and to Bonds and Securities to the Inland Revenue.
The mileage duty on stage-carriages is reduced, by § 1, from 1d. per mile to ld.; and the charge for each supplementary licence from
5s. to 1s.; and the power given to compound for stage-carriage duties is repealed by § 3. By § 4 the Commissioners of Inland Revenue are empowered to stamp paper for covers or envelopes of letters with postage stamps for private persons, on paper provided by them, on payment of such fee, if the amount of stamps required do not exceed 101., as may be directed by the Treasury. Orders for prize-money, bountymoney, &c. (§ 5), are to be chargeable with the same duty as inland bills or drafts (that is, from 1d. upwards, varying with the amount), instead of the duty of is. previously chargeable.
BURIAL OF POOR PERSONS.
[18 and 19 Victoriæ, cap. 79.-July 30, 1855.]
An Act to amend the Law regarding the Burial of Poor Persons by Guardians and Overseers of the Poor.
In cases where the burial of any poor person devolves upon a parish, the burial-ground of which is either closed or overcrowded, the overseers are empowered (§ 1) to bury the body in any public consecrated burial-ground, or in that of a neighbouring parish, but the customary fees are to be paid notwithstanding "to the person or persons who by custom, or under Act of Parliament, are entitled to receive such fees;" and, by § 2, the guardians of any union or parish are empowered to enter into agreements with Cemetery Companies or Burial Boards for the interment of the dead bodies of such poor persons as they may have to bury, or towards the burial of which they furnish a portion of the
OFFICE OF SPEAKER.
[18 and 19 Victoriæ, cap. 84.-August 14, 1855.]
An Act to provide for the Performance of certain Duties of the Speaker during his temporary Absence from the House of Commons.
As previous statutes had made it imperative that certain formalities should take place in presence of the speaker, such as a member taking the oaths previous to taking his seat, this Act is merely to provide that such proceedings shall be valid if performed by or before the deputy speaker during the temporary absence of the speaker, but is not to extend to the appointment of any officer by the deputy speaker, except for such time as he shall so continue.
[18 and 19 Victoriæ, cap. 86.-August 14, 1855.]
An Act for securing the Liberty of Religious Worship.
The preamble declares it expedient to repeal the Acts 1 Wm. and Mary, session 1, cap. 18, and 52 Geo. III., cap. 155, by which it was enacted, "that no congregation or assembly for religious worship of Protestants (at which there shall be present more than twenty persons, besides the immediate family and servants of the person in whose house, or upon whose premises, such meeting, congregation, or assembly shall be had), shall be permitted or allowed unless the place of such meeting is certified as described in such Act; and that every person who shall knowingly permit or suffer any such congregation or assembly as aforesaid to meet in any place occupied by him, until the same shall have
been so certified, shall forfeit, for every time any such congregation or assembly shall meet, a sum not exceeding 207. nor less than 20s., at the discretion of the justices who shall convict for such offence." Therefore § 1 enacts that, from the passing of this Act, nothing contained in the above-mentioned Acts, or in an Act of the 15 and 16 Vict., cap. 36, "shall apply to the congregations or assemblies hereinafter mentioned, or any of them, that is to say, to any congregation or assembly for religious worship held in any parish or ecclesiastical district, and conducted by the incumbent, or in case the incumbent is not resident, by the curate of such parish or district, or by any person authorised by them respectively; or to any congregation or assembly for religious worship meeting in a private dwelling-house, or on the premises belonging thereto; or to any congregation or assembly for religious worship meeting occasionally in any building or buildings not usually appropriated to purposes of religious worship; and no person permitting any such congregation to meet as herein mentioned, in any place occupied by him, shall be liable to any penalty for so doing." By §2 Catholics and Jews are placed upon the same footing as Protestant Dissenters, as far as relates to this Act.
[18 and 19 Victoriæ, cap. 87.-August 14, 1855.]
An Act to amend the Act for the better Care and Reformation of Youthful Offenders, and the Act to render Reformatory and Industrial Schools in Scotland more available for the Benefit of Vagrant Children. The clauses 5 and 6 in the previous Act of the 17 and 18 Vict., cap. 86, relative to charging the parent or step-parent of the youthful offender with the cost of his maintenance, is repealed, and the proceedings for the recovery of the same, and instead thereof it is now enacted that "in every case in which any juvenile offender shall be detained in a reformatory school under this Act, the parent or step-parent, if of sufficient ability, shall be liable to contribute to his support and maintenance a sum not exceeding 5s. a-week;" and any two justices in England or Wales, or two magistrates in Scotland, may make such order for payment by the parent or step-parent, as they may deem reasonable, during the whole or any part of the detention of such juvenile offender in such reformatory school; and in case of default of payment for the space of fourteen days, the amount may be levied on the goods and chattels of the defaulter, or, if no sufficient levy can be found, he may be committed to the house of correction or common gaol for any term not exceeding ten days.
[18 and 19 Victoriæ, cap. 88.-August 14, 1855.]
An Act to facilitate the Erection of Dwelling-Houses for the WorkingClasses in Scotland.
By § 1, any four or more persons may unite for the purpose of erecting or improving dwelling-houses for the working-classes in Scotland, first submitting the plan of management, and the rules for upholding and letting the same, to the sheriff of the county, or the dean of guild in certain burghs, who, if satisfied with the plans, contracts, &c., shall grant his warrant for recording the contract and for proceeding with the undertaking. After registration, the members of the association
and their successors are to be liable for the debts, contracts, and engagements only to the extent of the shares held by them in the capital stock of the association, which stock, with any dividends allocated to shareholders and remaining unpaid, is alone to be liable for the debts and engagements of the association. Such association, when registered, may, with the sanction of the sheriff, acquire, erect, or improve additional dwellings; but, till the houses have been completed, the execution of the work examined by the sheriff, and proof given that the property is duly vested in the association, free from heritable debt or burden other than the feu duty, it is not lawful to let or dispose of the houses or transfer shares. Such associations are restricted from entering into any engagements except for carrying into effect the objects thereof, nor for that purpose beyond the capital subscribed; but if the cost shall in any case exceed the estimate, the capital may be increased to such amount and in such a manner as the sheriff may direct. All shares are to be deemed personal estate, and transfers may be made and registered, the stamp-duty being paid upon the true and full amount of the purchase money. The original contract may provide that the houses may be held and let, or that they may be disposed of in separate lots; but where lots are disposed of, a plan upon a scale of not less than an inch to twenty feet, and a register-book for recording transfers, must be lodged by the association with the sheriff-clerk. The owner of each separate tenement, and the joint owners of the lots or dwellings in each separate tenement, are to have power to uphold, repair, and, when necessary, to rebuild such tenement, the resolutions of the majority of such owners binding the minority, subject to certain rules, and the enforcement of such resolutions is to be by summary process before the sheriff or dean of guild. Each separate dwelling is to constitute a distinct lot, to consist of not less than two nor more than five rooms with fire-places, each such lot or dwelling never to be divided, but at all times to be held or transferred whole and undivided. There are many other clauses relating to specialties connected with Scottish legal forms, but the most curious and important is the following, which we give at length: "Where there shall exist within a town or burgh any building, or range or block of buildings, which, by reason of faults in their original construction, or of the state of dilapidation into which they may wholly or partially have fallen, are unsuitable for dwellinghouses, and the occupation of which, in their existing state and condition, is attended with risk of injury or disease to the inhabitants or the neighbourhood, or which by reason of the abandonment of the whole or part thereof by the parties having the legal title thereto, or of uncertainty or ignorance as to who such parties may be, may have become a receptacle or place of harbourage for persons of dissolute and vicious character, or in any way a nuisance to the neighbourhood, it shall be lawful for any such association as aforesaid desirous of acquiring the same for the purpose of improving and repairing such buildings, or of erecting new dwelling-houses on the site thereof, for dwellings for the working-classes, under this Act, to apply to the magistrates and town council of the town or burgh for their consent to the application to the Court of Session hereinafter mentioned; and the said magistrates and town council, if satisfied, upon such inquiry as they may think necessary, the expense of which shall be borne by the said association, that the state of such building or block of buildings, from one or more of the causes above mentioned, gives occasion to the risk of injury or disease to the inhabitants or neighbourhood, or that they afford har