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THE following is an account of the quantity of grain, meal, and flour, imported into Great Britain from foreign countries, and also from Ireland, between the 5th day of January 1814, and the 5th day of January 1815; distinguishing the places from whence imported, and the different kinds of grain.
Corn, Grain, &c.
From whence Imported. Barley. Beans. Oats. Peas Rye. Wheat.
U. S. America,...
Qrs. Qrs. Qrs.
The following is an account of the
8 3381 147 1269 4408
29125 37633 252158 9505 6046 611115 82147945582 82147 16718 5730643478 459 4184705 141953 851094 188385 There were also imported into meal, and flour, exported from Great Great Britain, from foreign countries, Britain to foreign countries, and also 1 qr. Indian corn, 1 cwt. Indian to Ireland, between the 5th day of meal, 4 qrs. malt, and 17 cwts. oat January 1814, and the 5th day of ineal. January 1815; distinguishing the places to which exported, and the different kinds of grain.Grain, &c.
Qrs. Qrs. Qrs. Qrs. Qrs.
40101 6450 383906531 18417
Cwts. Qrs. Cwts.
35 2170 22100 14275
991 131823 991 79481|145389 79481 10 9
1325 10392 1325
2384 493 24454 14275
7731 12004 52367 12004
14 8470 7945 29373 1712 68221 24981131088
3 1238 3257 9 833
31271 271889141162 271223 350 67|| 23294
There were also exported from Great Britain, to Norway, 24 cwts. barley meal and 1276 cwts. oat meal; to Kussia, 2000 cwts. rye meal; to Germany, 4 qrs. beans; to Holland, 4 cwts. oat meal; to France, 195 qrs. beans; to Portugal, 2 cwts. oat meal; to Spain, 806 qrs. beans; to Gibraltar, 5 qrs. beans and 7 cwts. oatmeal; to Isles of Man, Guernsey, and Jersey, 12 qrs. beans, 54 cwts. barley meal, and 74 cwts. oat meal; to the British North American colonies, 12 qrs. beans, 55 cwts. bear meal, and 2065 ewts. oat meal; and to the West-Indies, 4655 qrs. beans, 21 cwts. barleymeal, and 6998 cwts. oatmeal.
An edict has been published by the Spanish government, prolonging the time allowed for the exporting of cotton goods to South America to the end of April, and to the end of May for selling such goods in Spain.
Report of the Committee of Writers to the Signet appointed to consider a Bill, entitled, An Act to Facili'tate the Administration of Justice in that part of the United Kingdom 'called Scotland, by the Introduction of Trial by Jury in Civil 'Causes.'
their deliberations; premising, that they must nearly confine themselves to a simple statement of these results; as it would not be possible, without extending this report to an inconvenient length, to lay before the Society any detailed view of the grounds upon which the following resolutions have been adopted, or of the arguments by which they have been opposed, in those instances where there has been. a difference of opinion among the members of the committee.
1. The committee are unanimously of opinion, that the prospects of amelioration in the Administration of justice, which the introduction of Jury Trial in civil causes holds out to the country, might be frustrated, by any attempt to introduce that mode of procedure upon too broad a scale; and they therefore approve of the principle of the bill, in so far as it has in view the introduction of jury-trial by way of experiment, and upon a limited scale, in the decision of civil causes in Scotland.
TWO different sets of resolutions, in
regard to this bill, having been proposed by Mr Inglis and Mr Macvey Napier, at the General Meeting held on the 26th of January last, the Meeting, after some reasoning, appointed a committee "to consider "the bill, and report their opinion on "the whole points connected with it; "the report to be printed, and circu"lated amongst the Members pre"vious to a General Meeting, to be "called for the purpose of consider"ing it."
The committee have accordingly held various meetings, and now beg leave humbly to report the results of
2. In order that this experiment may be made, so as not to endanger the established principles of our law, the majority of the committee conceive it to be expedient, that, during the operation of the proposed bill, the court alone should have the power of determining in what particular cases the new mode of trial should be applied. Others of their number, however, were of opinion, that it would be perfectly consistent with the principle of the bill, that all actions, on account of verbal or personal wrongs or injuries, or where there are conclusions for damages on any grounds whatever, should, as a matter of course, be sent by the Lords Ordinary to the Commissioners of the jury court, upon the requisition of pursuer or defender.
3. The majority of the Committee are of opinion, that, in order to give the country the full benefit of the proposed measure, the Lord Ordinary,
upon the requisition of either party in a cause, as well as of his own motion, should take the cause verbally, to report to his division of the court, for their direction, as to the propriety of granting or refusing a trial by jury.
4. The majority of the committee approve of the bill, in so far as it dispenses with the requisite of unanimity in the verdicts of juries in civil causes.
5. The committee disapprove of the provision made in the bill for striking the jury, inasmuch as it enacts, that after the jury-men who have been summoned shall have appeared in court, the presiding judge shall then name the particular individuals for trying the issue; an election which the committee think does not properly belong to the office of a judge.
6. The committee disapprove of that clause of the bill which exclude certain descriptions of persons from serving as jurymen, in so far as the same applies to members of the college of justice, seeing that they already pos. sess a right of exemption in this respect, which is sufficiently established.
7. The committee are of opinion, that the clause in regard to special juries should be altered, so as to enable any of the parties, in a cause where an issue has been directed by the court, to apply for a special jury, as well to the Lords Commissioners for jury trial as to the chamber which directed the issue; it being understood that such application can be made to one only of these courts.
8. It appears to a majority of the committee, that it would be expedient to give to the judges of the supreme coistorial court, in the trial of actions for defamation or verbal injuries, the same power which is given by the proposed bill to the judge of the court of admiralty, to certify to the court in writing when the case appears to them to be one in which an issue should be directed to be tried by a jury, in order that the court may exercise its discretion in directing such issue..
HAVING been prevented from at
tending the meeting of our society, on last Friday, I take the liberty of addressing this letter to you on the sub
subject of the resolutions which were then passed and while I thus deviate from the usual conduct of our members, I must confess myself guilty of a further trespass on ordinary rules, by giving immediate publicity to this letter. Should you feel any of that desire, which is natural in a person of our profession, to reconcile this step to form, I beg that you will consider it in the light of a protest against the proceedings of that meeting; for, tho' might quote high authority for calling it the substance of an intended speech, I have always entertained doubts regarding the legitimacy of that mode of expression forth of the kingdom of Ireland.
The object, as I understand, of the meeting called for the 10th inst. was, to consider how far the alterations, made in the House of Lords on the late jury-bill, were of such a nature as to render it expedient for the Society to ask time for considering them, before the bill was enacted into a law. These alterations may be regarded as three in number: First, An extension of the powers of the jury to the trial of issues not limited to issues of fact: Secondly, An enactment requiring the unanimity of verdicts: and, Thirdly, A power of introducing one judge into the jury court, who shall not necessarily be a Scotch lawyer.
Of these amendments, it is evident, that the first goes very deeply into the principle of the bill; while the others, though unquestionably matters of interest, are of comparatively a subordinate nature, affecting the details of the bill, but not its principle. It may probably excite surprise in some quarters, that I should speak thus lightly on the boasted subject of unanimity; but I confess to you, I have all along regarded that question as somewhat more adapted to the schools, than to the consideration of a political society. To the class of men who are to be immediately influenced by the March 1815.
clause requiring it, I own, that the regulation may be of some importance; as it may, to a certain extent, increase the difficulty and hardships of their duty; and I must add, may, in some instances, offend against the delicacy of a very tender conscience. But, in so far as the principle of the bill is concerned, I am satisfied, that this is a matter which will be found, in practice, to influence proceedings in a very slight degree. We have the authority of some of our own most able lawyers, and of all the judges and statesmen of England, for considering the unanimity of jurymen, as not only useful, but essential to the bill. We, in this manner, have something like experience to guide us on the one hand, while on the other we have nothing but apprehension and theory; and for these reasons I do not see much danger in the experiment being made, which the trial will enable us to correct, if the prevailing doubts on the subject should thus be found just.
With regard also to the new quali fication in the judges of the jury court, I am not of opinion that it affords ground for much serious apprehension. We have reason to believe, that the first set of judges to be appointed in this court will include none of the obnoxious description; and before vacancies can occur in the ordinary course of things, we have reason to hope, that both bench and bar will be so habituated to the course of jury proceedings that the assistance of English lawyers will be unnecessary. Then I am entitled to hold, that English lawyers will not be called in; for we have the experience of the Exchequer court to shew, that Scotch influence is sufficient to exclude them, even where their introduction would be less exceptionable than in the jury court.
I must add, however, that I have my own doubts, whether the admission of an English lawyer to a seat in· ́ the new court, (excepting that of the Chief Judge) would not be useful to Scot
Scotland; for its commercial intercourse with the sister kingdom is such, as to render an assimilation of its law useful in the very extensive class of cases to which commerce gives rise, even if the admirable maturity of English law on all subjects of this
did not of itself secure much deference to their precedents on such questions.
Here, however, I am aware that I venture on delicate ground; for I know the apprehensions which are entertained in many quarters of a conspiracy for the general introduction of English law, of which this bill is the first step. I, therefore, have no great objection to sign a petition, against this part of the bill, if it be thought deserving of a treatment so
But these, as I have already intimated, are matters of inferior consequence. The grand alteration, to to which our attention ought chiefly to be directed, is that which renders the trial of mixed issues competent in the new Court; and ever since the first appearance of the original bill, I have been of opinion, that, without such a power, the new Court would be attended scarcely with any benefit to the country. Holding these opinions, I cannot conceal the surprise which I felt on observing this matter altogether neglected in the earlier deliberations both of your society and of the faculty of advocates, where all minds seem to be engrossed by the controversy on an inferior and more speculative subject; which, like the religious disputes of old, and certain geological differences in later times, (not unknown in this intellectual city) seemed to exclude all regard to matters which were only of practical importance. You may ask how it hap
I am informed that discussions did take place in the Committee of the Faculty of Advocates, connected with this matter; and it is difficult to conceive that it should have
pened, that a person holding these doctrines should have concealed them from the quarter in which he was entitled to appear; but perhaps he may have been deterred by a doubt of his own judgment, which seemed thus to be opposed by persons so much wiser; or perhaps he may have felt that dread of public speaking which, (in the opinion of all modest men,) deprives large meetings of so much of that wisdom by which they might otherwise be enlightened.
Be this, however, as it may, I shall be guided by the doctrine of a national proverb, and now, though late, lay before you the opinions which I have held on the subject.
By the bill, as it originally stood, issues of fact were to be remitted to the jury court, and being there determined, were to be returned to the court of session, then to become the foundation of a judgment applying the law. Now I observe, in the first place, that a plan of this sort is more purely experimental in its nature, than any of the other projects which have been offered for the introduction of trial by jury. It differs from our practice; for in proof by commission, the law considers the whole evidence as reported to the court; and it differs from the practice of England, as there the same court superintends the trial both of fact and of law, excepting, as I understand, in the solitary instance of a trial at nisi prius, where the jury, in cases of difficulty, find a special verdict of fact, which is sent to be determined in the Courts at Westminster. With those persons who fear innovation, this may be a view of the new bill in which there is ground for much doubt. With all men it must have some influence.
been overlooked by so many able names as appear in that list. But their reports are silent on the subject; and I do not understand that it was debated.