Page images
PDF
EPUB

by a surgeon (s. 52); shall discharge persons chosen by ballot who are unfit, and cause others to be chosen in their place (s. 53); shall cause vacancies on death or promotion to be filled up by ballot (s. 59); on receiving orders from general meeting, shall call out men for exercise (8. 90); shall ballot for men in the place of men who absent themselves and do not return or are not taken within three months (s. 100); shall cause men willing to remain in the militia to be enrolled as volunteers (s. 124); in case of default being made for three months when the whole number enrolled shall have been called out, shall fill vacancies by ballot (s. 128); shall fill up vacancies in case of desertion, &c., by ballot (s. 135); shall accept certain volunteers specified (s. 136); may require their clerks to make out accounts of moneys received and paid by them (s. 139); shall cause vacancies in established militia to be filled up out of supplementary militia in case of their being disembodied (s. 148); shall apportion numbers of men among parishes on receiving numbers appointed to county by the Privy Council (46 Geo. III., c. 90, s. 4); may exempt Quakers from serving on payment of fine (s. 20); may appoint special constables (s. 28); shall transmit list of volunteers to general meetings (15 & 16 Vict., c. 50, s. 17); may require the attendance of a surgeon on application of persons claiming to be exempt by reason of infirmity (17 & 18 Vict., c. 109, s. 32); subdivision meetings shall be held on the first Wednesday in October, in every year, at eleven o'clock (23 & 24 Vict., c. 120, 8. 6); shall accept volunteers under section, 42 Geo. III., c. 90 (s. 10); shall direct names of persons exempted from service to be struck out of lists made by overseers, and insert names wrongfully omitted, and shall fix the number of militia men to serve for each parish, and appoint meeting for ballot, and direct overseers to give notice (s. 11); may require the attendance of overseers, &c. (s. 13); shall cause twice the number of men required to be chosen by ballot, and enter their names in a book, and fix another meeting (s. 14); at next meeting shall hear claims of exemption, and decision shall be final (s. 15); after striking out names of exempted persons, shall cause remaining persons to be examined, sworn, and enrolled, the Secretary for War providing a surgeon for the purpose (s. 16); shall adopt the course previously described in case there are not a sufficient number chosen at the first ballot (s. 17); shall supply vacancies if required by Secretary for War (s. 18); shall accept substitutes (s. 20).

In addition to the above powers and duties relating to the Militia Acts, the subdivision meetings are to deduct the number of yeomanry and volunteers from the number of men liable to the ballot (44 Geo. III., c. 54, s. 16), and enter on a certain list the persons chosen by ballot who are in the yeomanry and volunteers, and give them notice of being so chosen (s. 17); at a meeting where five are present, may reward clerks for trouble caused by the Volunteer Acts (s. 54).

As to the third head, the powers and duties classed under this head relate more especially to minor details, and are given to, individual Deputy Lieutenants, so that they may act by themselves without having recourse to the subdivisional meetings, and are chiefly as follows: One may administer oaths to and require the name of volunteers to be enrolled (42 Geo. III., c. 90, s. 44); in case of loss or destruction of lists, any two or more may cause new lists to be made out and returned at next subdivision meeting (s. 46); any two or more may provide substitutes for Quakers (s. 50), and may join with commanding officer in discharging men becoming unfit to serve (s. 55); one may convict substitutes or volunteers who do not appear to be sworn (s. 62); two may order the money agreed to be given to a substitute to be paid to him (s. 63); two or more may apply penalties for refusing to serve or find substitutes in providing substitutes (s. 66); one may administer oaths (8. 67); two Deputy Lieutenants may join with colonel in recommending sergeants for Chelsea pensions (s. 86); one may require carriages to be impressed for militia on march

(s. 95); two may order half the price of volunteers to be paid by the parish officers to persons chosen by ballot who serve or find substitutes, and are not worth £500 (s. 122); three shall submit certified returns of the militia annually to the clerk of the peace (s. 157), and are generally to assist in raising volunteers for the militia (17 & 18 Vict., c. 105, s. 36); one may take declaration as to amount of income with a view to reducing fine for not serving (46 Geo. III., c. 90., s. 17); two may exempt Quakers from serving on payment of fine (s. 20); two, or one and a justice, may exempt persons from serving by reason of bodily infirmity (s. 23); any two or more may issue order for attendance of constables, &c. (23 & 24 Vict., c. 120, s. 13); two or more may imprison persons refusing to be examined as to their fitness for service (s. 22).

The foregoing appear to me to be the chief powers and duties of the Lord Lieutenant and the Deputy Lieutenants of a county, as more especially pointed out by the different Acts of Parliament relating to the militia, yeomanry, and volunteers; but I conceive that they are all bound to assist in the general carrying out of the spirit of those Acts, though it is impossible to lay down any particular rules for their guidance without having my attention directed to some particular point. With regard to the point alluded to in the commencement of your Lordship’s letter, it will be borne in mind that at present the militia ballot is suspended, so that there are not likely to be many subjects for any general meeting to take into consideration, even supposing that such meeting is authorized to be held, which, looking at the frame of the 27th section of the 23 & 24 Vict., c. 120, may admit of doubt, as that section enacts that all general meetings relating to the militia shall be suspended. In ordinary cases, when the Militia Acts are put in force, the duties cast upon the general meetings by the Acts will furnish occupation for the members assembled; and in addition te those duties, I conceive that at such meetings there may be general topics relating to the carrying out

of the Militia Acts, which may be usefully discussed ; that such discussions may result in action by the meeting, so far as the Acts of Parliament authorize the same, or they may be communicated to the Government, as the resolution of any other meeting, for their consideration. At the present time, I should be disposed very much to concur with your Lordship, that the members assembled at a General Meeting of the Lieutenancy will have little more to do than your Lordship suggests.

It remains for me to deal with the legal questions propounded by your Lordship. With regard to the meaning of the word “their” Deputy Lieutenants in the 2nd section of the 44 Geo. III., c. 90, I think that it must be read as referring to the Deputy Lieutenants appointed by the Lord Lieutenant of each particular county; and with regard to the other point, I am inclined to think that the three Deputy Lieutenants appointed by the Crown, and the Vice-Lieutenant appointed by the Lord Lieutenant, can exercise all the legal powers of the Lord Lieutenant; but, as will be seen from what I have before stated, these powers relate almost, if not altogether, exclusively to the militia, yeomanry and volunteers.

The above remarks appear to me to meet, as far as I am able, the points alluded to in the letter of your Lordship; but I should wish it to be understood that I do not consider that I have at all exhausted the subject, as to do so would involve much more time than I have been able to give, and would require almost exclusive attention for some considerable period. I believe that what I have stated will be found to be correct in the main, but looking at the number of Acts relating to the militia, and the frequent repeal or modification by later Acts of prior ones, it may be that some few of the powers and duties mentioned by me in detail have been repealed and modified. In addition to this, I should state that other powers may possibly be conferred upon the Lord Lieutenant and Deputy Lieutenants by other statutes relating to other subjects of which I am not aware, but to ascertain this would involve an examination of the whole Statute Law, and would take up more time than I could well devote to the subject.

I have the honour to be, my Lord,
Your Lordship’s most obedient and humble servant,
Stourbridge, September, 1 1862.

J. HARWARD. THE RIGHT HON. THE LORD LYTTELTON.

ART. V.-EXTRACT FROM LORD BROUGHAM'S

LETTER TO THE EARL OF RADNOR.

BROUGHAM, October 15th, 1862. BUT as to the last session in its legal and law-amending

aspect, it really must be allowed to have done more than might have been expected, considering the degree in which all men's minds were absorbed by the cruel, unjust, and unnecessary civil war of the Americans, the distressed condition of Lancashire, the struggles of the Italian Kingdom, not to mention the distraction of our great International Exhibition. Some really useful amendments of the law were effected, of no great pretensions; for the less unassuming ones are far from being undeniable improvements.

The Parish Assessment Act, without introducing any new principle of assessment, secures a uniform rating throughout unions, and is a considerable step towards a general equality of rating. The opposition which local interests and prejudices successfully made to the Highway Act, causing its rejection no less than fourteen times, is, as Mr. Cox, the able and learned conductor of the Law Times, observes, a good proof of its value; and we may expect that, sooner or later, our highways, both parish and county, will be placed on a good footing, so as to give us no longer a reason for envying our neighbours in France their department of Ponts et Chaussés. Mr. Cox has given a full and useful analysis of another valuable -Act, that for the punishment of Fraudulent Marks on merchan

« PreviousContinue »