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either of the workman or of the em- his contract to supply coals for making ployer; it empowered the Court to re- the gas. The answer to that criticism scind the contract under certain circum- seemed to be extremely simple. In the stances if it thought fit; and it provided first place, to proceed against a Company that, where the Court might otherwise or a municipal body criminally was not award damages, it might, if the de- an easy matter; it was not practicable. fendant was willing to give sureties for In the next place, they had an ample the performance of the remainder of his security in the case of a municipal aucontract, accept such sureties' security thority or a Company for the performwith the consent of the plaintiff. As ance of its duty, because to plunge a introduced into the House of Commons town in darkness or deprive it of its the Bill contained a further provision, supply of water would be fatal to the which he regretted had been omitted- continuance in office of its office-bearers, namely, it enabled a person summoned and also to its trading prosperity. So, for a breach of contract, and against again, with the outside merchant conwhom damages might be awarded, to tracting to supply coals. The Company offer not merely the security of some could easily contract with whom it other person, but his own security, by pleased, under such penalties as it which means if he did not perform his pleased, and no penalty was necessary undertaking to fulfil his contract, he for the case of the coal merchant. The might be imprisoned for a limited time. conclusive justification for the form in That would have enabled a workman which the clause stood was that the who was not in a position to obtain a servants of Gas and Water Companies surety to give a security which might be were persons in a fiduciary position. The accepted. But it having been repre- Companies must employ servants, and sented that that provision was not ac- those servants again must be trusted ; ceptable to the workmen, who looked and a breach committed by them of a upon it as a revival of imprisonment contract of that kind, seriously damaging in another form, the Government had the public interests, was a wholly difthought it better to omit it. The ferent species of act from the breach of breaches of contract which were to be contract, which might be committed, for made criminal in future were included example, by a man who was bound to in the Conspiracy and Protection to supply coals. Then the next clause, Property Bill. That Bill dealt first with Clause 5, proceeded exactly on the same questions affecting the supply of gas and principle as Clause 4, the only difference water. It provided that where a person being that it contemplated a breach of employed by a municipal authority or a contract, whether by a person serving company wilfully and maliciously broke or by a person hiring, which involved a contract of service, knowing or having serious injury to life, personal injury, reasonable cause to believe that the or which exposed valuable property to probable consequence of his doing so destruction or serious injury. There, would be to deprive the public of gas again, a breach of contract having those or water, he should be liable, on con- consequences was treated differently from viction, to a penalty not exceeding £20 | a mere civil contract. He now came to or to imprisonment for a period not ex- the question of conspiracy. The Crimiceeding three months, with or without nal Law Amendment Act of 1871 rehard labour. They held that a person pealed all the old trade combination thus acting not only committed a breach laws as they were called, and provided of contract incurring civil damages, but that certain specific things should be a criminal offence, for which he ought offences; and as to conspiracy, it proto be criminally responsible. Some vided thatcriticism had been passed on that clause elsewhere, it being objected that it dealt

“no person shall be liable to any punish

ment for doing or conspiring to do any act on only with persons in the service of a the ground that such act restrains or tends to company or a municipal authority sup- restrain the free course of trade, unless such plying gas or water, and not with all act is one of the acts herein before specified in persons whomsoever--not, for example,

this section, and is done with the object of with the Company or the municipal body

coercing as hereinbefore mentioned." itself, which might be in default, or with It was supposed by all the parties to the coal merchant, who might not fulfil that Act that it would have eliminated

The Lord Chancellor

the element of trade strikes; but it did | a view to interfere with masters or sernot do that, and convictions had occurred vants, a criminal offence. The first imwhich were somewhat unexpected. They pression was that these forbidden acts had raised the idea that the code of were physical and mechanical acts; but Criminal Law which had been settled by by construction they were held to inthe Act of 1871 had been stretched and clude the act of persuading in a peaceenlarged by means of the application of able manner. Accordingly, in order to the Common Law as to conspiracy. He meet this objection, the 22nd Victoria was should have been very glad, if it had passed, which provided that an endeabeen possible, to reduce to a code the vour to persuade in a peaceable manner whole law of conspiracy, and not merely should not be deemed molestation or the law of conspiracy as affecting trade obstruction. Still, doubts arose upon disputes or disputes between masters the construction of the Act, and then and workmen. But that, he believed, came the Criminal Law Amendment would always be found to be a very Act of 1871, which repealed both the hopeless task; and, therefore, what the previous enactments, and substituted Government had done was this—they other acts as criminal offences. Great had taken the question of conspiracy as dissatisfaction, however, was felt with affecting trade disputes, and dealt with the working of the Act of 1871 because it in the manner expressed in the third the decisions upon it were not altogether section, which provided that an agree- uniform. The Recorder's charge in ment or combination between two or what was known as the Cabinet Makers' more persons to do any act in further Case embodied the law upon the subject. ance of a trade dispute between em. In the course of his charge the learned ployers and workmen should not be Recorder said indictable as a conspiracy if the act was not punishable when done by one per- “The question you will have to ask yourselves son. There was no doubt that the is whether the evidence shows that the defend. clause on this point was adapted to the ants were guilty of obstructing and rendering

difficult of access the prosecutor's place of end in view. The only objection to it business, or whether anything which they did was that they were said to be dealing, was calculated to deter or intimidate those who not with the general law of conspiracy, were passing to and fro, or whether there was but only with that affecting trade dis- an exhibition of force calculated to produce fear

in the minds of ordinary men, or whether the putes between employers and workmen. defendants or any of them combined for that This was quite true, and the reason was, purpose. If you think that, it seems to me, that while he believed it would be hope then it will be your duty to find a true bill; less to reduce to a code the whole law of but if you think their conduct may be accounted

for by a desire to ascertain who were the perconspiracy, it was quite possible, taking

sons working there, or peaceably to persuade a particular area of acts, to say what them or any others who were proposing to work should be a crime committed by one there to join their fellow-workinen, who were person, irrespective of any acts of con- contending, whether rightly or wrongly, for the spiracy, and then, knowing the punish- interests of the general body, it seems to me

that there is no evidence sufficient to establish ment affixed to individual acts, it was the charge that is here made.” open to Parliament to say—“ We will not sanction any higher punishment, This expression of the law in the Reeven when these acts are committed by corder’s charge appeared to the Home more than one person.” This was what Secretary to be exactly the intention had been done here. A particular pun and scope of the Act of 1871, and, so ishment had been assigned to individual far as he was concerned, his right hon. acts, and then the clause prevented the Friend would have been content to trust general law of conspiracy from enlarging that application of the Act in future the criminal character of those particu- cases. The working men, too, would, lar acts. The only other question in he believed, have been satisfied with the Bill requiring notice was one of this construction of the Act. The House great importance—the question of vio- of Commons thought, however, that it lence or molestation. The 6th GeorgeIV., was not desirable to leave the question the Act of 1826, abolished the Combi- open to any doubt whatever, and words nation Laws, and made violence to per- were accordingly introduced into the son or property, or threats, or intimida- present Bill in order that future rulings tion, or molestation or obstruction with in similar cases should be placed on the same footing as in the case tried by the LORD WINMARLEIGH, having been Recorder. After anxious consideration, a Member of the Royal Commission to and with valuable assistance in the which the subject of the Labour Laws House of Commons, the Home Secretary was committed, wished to take this ophad endeavoured to frame a clause which portunity of saying a few words. As his should free the matter from future doubt. noble and learned Friend had remarked, It was an advantage possessed by their that Commission was composed of men Lordships that they were able to take a of all parties. The labouring classes more cool and critical survey of such a were well represented upon it—and if clause than was possible in the other he might offer a criticism on its compoHouse, and they were sometimes able to sition it would be that no great emsuggest a better mode of expressing the ployers of labour were members of it. same ideas. The Home Secretary had This placed him, owing to his connection anxiously considered the clause as it with a large manufacturing county, in stood, and the Government were now a somewhat invidious position with reready to make any alteration in its ference to the line he took in examining wording which would meet just criti- witnesses. Whatever differences of opicisms upon it. Thus, it was objected nion there might have been, he might

. that, in the early part of the clause, say that every Member of that Commispower would be given to one person to sion was actuated by a desire to render proceed for violence used to another per- the laws affecting employers and emson. If this were the effect of the clause, ployed as equal and as impartial as the as he believed it was, it went further nature of the circumstances would than the Criminal Law Amendment Act admit. When, however, they came to of 1871, which carefully connected the investigate the subject, they found themperson intimidated with the person who selves involved in a difficulty which complained of the intimidation. Another might lay them open to a charge of objection was taken to the part of the class legislation. He believed it was in clause which said that the threats or in- great part the impossibility of placing timidation must be “in such manner as the employers and the employed on an would justify a justice of the peace in equal footing that rendered it necesbinding over the person so threatening sary in former times that some other or intimidating to keep the peace.” than the civil law should be applied Some criminal lawyers had held that it to one portion of the subject-namely, would be impossible to frame an indict- breaches of contract. He would exment upon these words, because it was emplify what he meant by a impossible to say that any particular or two which came before the ComJustice would feel himself, upon certain missioners. Employers being men of evidence, justified in binding the persons capital, civil actions could be brought over to keep the peace. Further, there against them, and damages easily rewas this somewhat unfortunate provi- covered, but this was not the case in sion—that the first part of the clause regard to workmen. In the iron trade spoke of something being done to com- there were several processes which repel some other person “to abstain from quired constant attention, and to which doing or to do any act which such other attention could not be secured except person has a legal right to do or abstain under a contract for a week or a fortfrom doing," while later on the offence night. One of the gentlemen examined was defined as being " with a view se- before the Commission gave an instance riously to annoy or intimidate." The where 12 or 13 of his men, having object in view in the first part of the broken their contract of this nature, clause was, therefore, different from the threw the whole of his establishment object in view in the second part of the almost out of work. He was able to clause. The Government proposed in get redress from three only of the workCommittee to amend the clause in those men, but the damages awarded to him respects. The noble and learned 'Lord were as nothing compared with the loss then moved the second reading of the he sustained. In another case an iron Bill.

manufacturer had a blast furnace in

charge of three men. When the iron Moved, “That the Bill be now read 24." was in a liquid state, these men sud(The Lord Chancellor.)

denly quitted their posts because their The Lord Chancellor

case

It was

ALIENS

AND

BILL

employer would not consent to certain gress in legislation upon the subject as terms they proposed. The consequence appeared to give satisfaction to the great was that the iron got cold; and as it body of the working classes. was impossible to melt the iron again unless the furnace was taken down, this

Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordhad to be done at a cost of £2,000. ingly, and committed to a Committee of Their Lordships would see that it was

the Whole House on Thursday next. impossible to recover damages of such Then amounts from the workmen, who had no means of raising such sums.

EMPLOYERS AND WORKMEN BILL read said that the 5th clause in the present 22 (according to order), and committed Bill would give a remedy in such cases, to a Committee of the Whole House on but he doubted this, as it would be very Thursday next. difficult in all cases to prove that the offence had been committed “wilfully,

NATURALIZATION maliciously, and knowingly.” Under the 14th clause of the Master and Ser- amend the Acts relating to Aliens and Natural

(H.L.] (NO. 226.) A Bill to consolidate and vant Act a remedy was provided in the ization : Also, Criminal Law. He agreed, however, that that clause ought at once to be repealed—it was an inconvenient and ill- ALKALI WORKS BILL [H...] (No. 227.)

A Bill to consolidate and amend the Acts redrawn clause, and did great injustice to lating to the regulation of Alkali Works : those who came under its operation; Also, and he was also of opinion that Her Majesty's Government had done right

CHIAIN CABLES AND ANCHORS BILL (H...] in dividing the subject into two classes. (no. 228.) A Bill to consolidate and amend From the first he felt the difficulty of the Acts for regulating the proving of Chain dealing with the question of conspiracy, Cables and Anchors : Also, and he was much obliged for the information the noble and learned Lord had

ISSUE OF WRITS DURING RECESS BILL just given the House respecting it. With regard to intimidation, the Go (H.L.) (no. 229.) A Bill to consolidate and vernment had taken the right course.

amend the Acts relating to the issue of Writs If the Bill should do away with the during a recess of the House of Commons : heart-burnings which had been occasioned in former years among the work

PARLIAMENT BILL [H...] ing classes, and if it should be followed by greatly conciliating the feelings the Acts relating to the summoning and meet

(no. 230.) A Bill to consolidate and amend of the employer and the employed, ing of Parliament: Also, he thought that all classes of the community would have grateful recollections of the measure now brought forward.

PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS (OATHS He suggested, however, that acts com- AND COSTS) BILL (11.L.] (NO. 231.) A Bill mitted knowingly should be separated the administration of Oaths in both Houses of

to consolidate and amend the Acts relating to from those committed maliciously and Parliament and the awarding of costs in prowilfully, and the offenders tried, not by ceedings upon Private Bills: And also, a sunımary proceeding, but by a jury.

LORD ABERDARE said, that having taken part in former legislation on this PUBLIC SCHOOLS BILL (1.l.] (no. 232.) subject, he begged permission to say a A Bill to consolidate and amend the Acts refew words on the nieasure before their lating to certain Public Schools in England : Lordships. The Master and Servant Were severally presented by The Lord ChanAct was no doubt a great step in ad-CELLOR; read 1a. vance, and under this Bill the same law

House adjourned at half past Nino would continue to apply in cases similar

o'clock, till To-morrow, to the gas case. He was, however, con

Eleven o'clock. tent to take the Bill in its present form, but he did not think that under it the danger of agitation was altogether removed. He recognized in it that pro

MEETING

OF

COMMERCIAL TREATIES WITH HOUSE OF COMMONS,

FRANCE, ITALY, AND AUSTRIA. Monday, 26th July, 1875.

QUESTION.

MR. BUTLER - JOHNSTONE asked MINUTES.] — RESOLUTION IN COMMITTEE the Under Secretary of State for Foreign

East India, Auditor of Accounts, &c. [Super: Affairs, Whether he can hold out any annuations; Sheriff's Substitute (Scotland) confident hope to the House and to the

[Salaries). Public Bills-OrderedFirst ReadingEccle- country that the treaties of commerce

siastical Commission Act Amendment between this country and France, Italy, [266]; Restriction on Penal Actions and and Austria, two of which are shortly Redemption of Penalties * [267]; Sanitary shortly about to lapse, will be renewed,

Law (Dublin) Amendment * (268).
First Reading--Copyright of Designs * [270].

and on terms equally favourable to this Select Committee - Registration of Trade Marks* country as the expiring treaties? [242], Mr. Hermon disch.

MR. BOURKE: Sir, the French Committee --- Agricultural Holdings (England) treaty expires in June, 1877, if de

(re-comm.) (222)--R.P. Committee- Report-Militia Laws Consolidation

nounced. The Austrian expires in

The and Amendment (re-comm) [202]; Elemen- December, 1876, if denounced. tary Education Provisional Órder Confirmation Italian will expire June, 1876, and has (London)* [251]; Local Government Board's been denounced. As to France and Provisional Orders Confirmation (Abingdon, Austria, no denunciation has been made, &c) * (253); Local Government Board's Pro: The time, therefore, has not arrived visional Orders Confirmation (Aberdare, &c.) * [254; Traffic Regulation (Dublin) * (244); when it is expedient to make any public Justices of the Peace Qualification * (151); announcement upon the subject. As to Legal Practitioners * [46].

Italy, negotiations are going on with reReport-Public Works Loans* [243-269]. Third *

Reading-Lunatic Asylums (Ireland) spect to the Treaty, and no efforts shall [189]; Public Records (Ireland) Act, 1867, be wanting on our part to bring them Amendment* [233]; Contagious Diseases to a satisfactory conclusion. Many in(Animals) Act, 1869, Amendment * [250], fluential Members on both sides of the and passed.

House are aware that Her Majesty's Withdrawn-Offences against the Person Act Amendment [250]; Pollution of Rivers * | Government are giving the subject (252); Savings Banks, &c. * [198]; Drugging serious and anxious consideration, and of Animals * [235].

they are also aware that the views of

many commercial bodies in this country MERCHANT SHIPPING ACTS AMEND.

have been communicated to my noble MENT (No. 2) BILL AND UNSEA.

Friend at the head of the Foreign Office. WORTHY SHIPS.

I need not say that Her Majesty's Government will continue to

use every

effort to base our commercial relations Mr. ROEBUCK: I beg to move that with all foreign countries on sound printhe Merchant Shipping Acts Amendment ciples. (No. 2) Bill be fixed for second reading on Thursday next.

CIVIL SERVICE (IRELAND)-SALARIES. Motion agreed to.

QUESTION. SIR CHARLES ADDERLEY: I give MR. WILLIAM M'ARTHUR asked Notice that on Wednesday next, I will the Chief Secretary for Ireland, If he can move for leave to introduce a Bill to state why it is that while clerks connected make provision for giving further powers with several of the Irish Public Offices to the Board of Trade for stopping Un- and other officials belonging to the Irish seaworthy Ships.

branch of the Civil Service have been MR. DILLWYN: To-morrow, at 2 placed on a footing of equality with o'clock, I will ask the Prime Minister, those in a corresponding position in Engif he will give precedence over the other land, the district inspectors of national Orders of the Day to the Merchant Ship- schools in Ireland have not been placed ping Acts Amendment (No. 2) Bill, in the same position as to salary and which has been introduced by the hon. allowances with those in England, in Member for Derby, and which will accordance with a Resolution of the stand for second reading on Thursday House of Commons of the 4th July, 1873, next.

recommending the same?

MOTION AND NOTICES.

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