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A perusal of this report would undoubtedly be to the advantage of every member of the legal profession from one end of Canada to the other.
ANNUAL MEETING YORK LAW ASSOCIATION.
At the last Annual Meeting of the County of York Law Association, a resolution was passed that members of this Association wait on the Government to request the Government to introduce the “Torrens System * of Land Registration of Titles. This was referred to a Committee composed of Mr. Beverley Jones, Mr. George C. Campbell, Mr. George M. Kelley and Mr. Harold W. A. Foster, for inquiry and report.
By a unanimous vote, the hearty thanks of the meeting were tendered to Mr. Angus MacMurchy, K.C., convener of the committee, with respect to the new registry office, for valuable services rendered during the past year.
The following are the officers of the association for the year 1913: President—John T. Small, K.C.; Vice-president —M. H. Ludwig, K.C.; Treasurer—John H. Moss, K.C.; Secretary—Harold W. A. Foster; Curator—J. D. Falconbridge; Historian—Beverley Jones: Trustees—D. T. Symons, K.C., G. M. Kelley, Chas. Elliott, J. C. Campbell, Shirley Denison, K.C., H. W. Mickle, G. L. Smith, C. B. Nasmith, and E. J. Hearn; Auditors—T. H. Barton and R. D. Hume.
Sarnia, Ont., March 4th, 1913. SIR,-At a recent meeting of the Lambton Law Association it was moved, seconded and unanimously resolved:— “That the secretary be instructed to write to the secretary of the Law Society of Upper Canada, calling attention to the fact that the index to volume 3 of the Weekly Notes, which ended in September last, was not issued to the legal profession until late in February of the present year, and to urge upon them the desirability of having the index issued promptly on the completion of each volume. The volumes are so large, and the cases in each one so numerous, that the labour of finding cases without an index, and the consequent
waste of time, are too great to be endured longer than is absolutely necessary. We would respectfully urge on those who are responsible for the delay the great inconvenience and loss of time thereby occasioned, and the necessity of completing arrangements to ensure promptness in the future. The secretary is also instructed to forward a copy of this resolution to the secretary of each of the county Law Associations with a view to concerted action.” Yours truly, ALEX. SAUNDERs, Secretary County of Lambton Law Association.
Sarnia, Ont., March 1st, 1913.
SIR,-At a meeting of the Bar Association of the county of Lambton, held at the County Buildings, Sarnia, on February 28th, 1913, the following resolution was moved and seconded, and after discussion in which member after member emphatically condemned the dilatory course that had been pursued, was unanimously adopted:—
“That in the opinion of the members of the bar of the county of Lambton, the delay in the revision of the statutes of the province is most unreasonable; that the inconvenience and loss of time to the profession by reason of the delay and the attempt at piece-meal revision is enormous; that the waste of time, inconvenience, and uncertainty inflicted on public officials of all kinds whose duties are regulated by statute, are so great as to be a crying evil; and that we respectfully urge on those entrusted with the responsibility for the work of revision, the urgent necessity for the prompt and speedy completion of the revision and the issue of the revised statutes, which are now about six years overdue ; that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Honourable the Attorney-General of the province, and also to each of the legal periodicals; that a copy be forwarded to the secretary of the Law Society of Upper Canada, and to the secretary of each of the County Law Associations, with a request for concerted effort on the part of the profession directed towards the
removal of the grievance complained of.”
President Lambton Law Association.
PANAMA CANAL TOLLS.
Great Britain's final word to the Taft administration on the Panama Canal tolls dispute just made public, insisted that a case for settlement under the Hay-Pauncefote treaty had arisen, but suggested in effect that there would not be time to discuss the subject further before the United States Government changed hands.
Secretary of State Knox acknowledged receipt of this communication without committing the state department to an answer, reserving to his successor the decision of the question of whether it is proper to make such answer at all, or to await another communication from the British Government continuing the argument.
This latest British note, which was submitted to Secretary Knox yesterday, instead of being a communication from Sir Edward Grey, the foreign minister, was a set of “observations” by Ambassador Bryce. The ambassador explained his reasons for submitting at this stage an objection to the contention in the last American note that Sir Edward Grey was urging a hypothetical case and that there was no reason for his protest in advance of the actual collection of tolls from British ships, while American ships were allowed to pass free.
“His Majesty's Government are unable before the administration leaves office to reply fully to the arguments contained in your despatch of the seventeenth ultimo to the United States charge d'affaires at London regarding the difference of opinion that has arisen between our two governments as to the interpretation of the Hay-Pauncefote treaty, but they desire me in the meantime to offer the following observations with regard to the argument that no case has yet arisen calling for any submission to arbitration of the points in difference between His Majesty's Government and that of the United States on the interpretation of the Hay-Pauncefote treaty, because no actual injury has as yet resulted to any British interest and all that has been done so far has been to pass an Act of Congress under which action held by His Majesty's Government to be prejudicial to British interest might be taken.
Dissents from Knor's View.
“From this view His Majesty's Government feel bound to express their dissent. They conceive that international law or usage does not support the doctrine that the passing of a statute in contravention of a treaty right affords no ground of complaint for the infraction of that right, and that the nation which holds that its treaty rights have been so brought into question by a denial that they exist, must before protesting and seeking a means of determining the point at issue, wait until some further action violating those rights in a concrete instance has been taken, which in the present instance would, according to your argument, seem to mean until tolls have been actually levied upon British vessels from which vessels owned by citizens of the United States have been exempted.
Inconsistent with Treaty.
“The terms of the proclamation issued by the President fixing the canal tolls, and the particular method which your note sets forth as having been adopted by him, in his discretion, on a given occasion for determining on what basis they should be fixed, do not appear to His Majesty's Government to affect the general issue as to the meaning of the Hay-Pauncefote treaty which they have raised. In their view the Act of Congress, when it declared that no tolls should be levied on ships engaged in the coasting trade of the United States, and when, in further directing the President to fix those tolls within certain limits, it distinguished between vessels of the citizens of the United States and other vessels, was in itself and apart from any action which may be taken under it, inconsistent with the provisions of the Hay-Pauncefote treaty for equality of treatment between the vessels of all nations. The exemption referred to appears to His Majesty's Government to conflict with the express words of rule one of article three of the Hay-Pauncefote treaty, and the Act gave the President no power to modify or discontinue the exemption.
Equality of Treatment Denied. “In their opinion the mere conferring by Congress of power to fix lower tolls on U. S. ships than on British ships amounts to a denial of the right of British shipping to equality of treatment, and is, therefore, inconsistent with the treaty irrespective of the particular way in which such power has been so far actually exercised.
“In stating thus briefly their view of the compatibility of the action of Congress with their treaty rights, his Majesty's Government hold that the difference which exists between the two governments is clearly one which falls within the meaning of article 1 of the Arbitration Treaty of 1908.
“As regards the suggestion contained in the last paragraph but one of your note under reply, His Majesty's Government conceive that article 1 of the treaty of 1908 so clearly meets the case that has now arisen, that it is sufficient to put its provisions in force in whatever manner the two governments may find the most convenient. It is unnecessary to repeat that a reference to arbitration would be rendered superfluous if steps were taken by the United States to remove the objection entertained by His Majesty's Government to the Act.
Case for Arbitration.
“His Majesty's Government have not desired me to argue in this note that their interpretation of the HayPauncefote treaty is the correct view, but only that a case for the arbitration of that issue has already arisen and now exists. They conceive that the interest of both countries requires that issue to be settled promptly before the opening of the canal, and by means which will leave no ground for regret or complaint. The avoidance of possible friction has been one of the main objects of those methods of arbitration of which the United States has been for so long a foremost and consistent advocate. His Majesty's Government think it more in accordance with the general arbitration treaty that the settlement desired should precede, rather than follow, the doing of any acts which could raise questions of actual damage suffered; and better, also, that when vessels begin to pass through the great waterway, in whose construction all the world has been interested, there should be left subsisting no cause of difference which could prevent any other nation from joining without reserve in the satisfaction the people of the United States will feel at the completion of a work of such grandeur and utility.”