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between various creditors should be determined by the service rendered by each of them to the general body of claimants, the claim which was instrumental in maintaining the common assets ranking first, and so on. To the student of law, it may be interesting to note how, in this convention, the rank of the maritime liens between themselves and in regard to the mortgage, is settled by reasons of practical efficiency and general economical interest; this is a quite modern criterium.

The State, for its taxes, ranks first. Then come the crew, for their wages. In both these cases the priority is granted for

social reasons.

Follows the salvor. This is the old idea of the service rendered to the community; but for the exertion of the salvors there would remain nothing of the ship.

Fourth ranks collision and other damages' lien, including damage to the cargo. Why is this privilege granted? Here economical reasons have been the dominating factor. A ship

is trading on all seas and must be herself a security for the obligations and responsibilities she may incur; this is the basis for the general credit of the shipping trade; third parties and the bearers of a bill of lading must know that where there is the ship there is the remedy for their just claims, without having to care about the owner, living far away in the home port. But the convention limits the lien to such claims as are capable of being covered by insurance. If this limitation. had not been kept, the security of the mortgage would have dwindled to vanishing point. This again is a consideration of purely economical nature.

The fifth lien is given to claims resulting from contracts entered into or transactions carried out by the master acting within the scope of his authority, away from the vessel's home port, provided always that such contracts or transactions were necessary for the preservation of the vessel or the continuation of the voyage. The lien is given whether the claim is in the master's own right or is that of the ship's suppliers, lenders or other contractual creditors. This class of claims is generally known as 'master's disbursements' and the reasons why a privileged rank has been granted to it have been set out fully in this article; they also are chiefly economical.

In the first form given to the convention, provisions had been inserted by which this lien had to be entered on the ship's documents so that, during the voyage, its existence and importance could be ascertained. But this system was likely to give rise to many difficulties in practice. It is easy enough to

have such entries made on the ship's papers; but it is very difficult for the owner to get them removed after he has paid the claim. So, the ship's register and the ship's documents would run the risk of remaining encumbered with inscriptions relating to claims which have long ago been settled. This provision was therefore omitted.

Finally, the treaty in its present form was unanimously agreed to, and it was my pleasant duty, as president of the conference, to congratulate all the delegations on this achievement.

The two conventions have been signed by all the Powers represented, except Japan, whose delegates had not had time to communicate with their own Government; but their abstention is not considered as having any unfavorable bearing. Several signatures, amongst which that of the British delegation, have been given ad referendum; but it is confidently expected that these reservations will be removed before long, and there appears to be no doubt as to this for Great Britain.

The treaties have met with the cordial approval of the business world. The International Shipping Conference (April, 1926) voted a unanimous resolution in their favour, whereas at the twelfth Interparliamentary Commercial Conference, held in London, May 25-28, 1926, where forty Parliamentary delegations were present, it was unanimously resolved that steps would be taken by each of the delegations in order to support the treaties prepared by the Diplomatic Conference and obtain from their respective Governments and Parliaments that the necessary measures to put them in force should be taken without delay.

At the Brussels conference itself it was finally decided between the nations who had already signed the former treaties—re limitation of shipowners' liability and bills of lading that they would put them into force at once as between themselves and take the necessary legislative steps to that effect.

There are, therefore, at present, in addition to the two Conventions on Collision and Salvage at Sea, which have become law, four new codes, which are signed and approved and which will before long achieve uniformity of law over all seas on the most important matters of maritime commercial private law.

The International Maritime Committee is continuing its work on such questions on which uniformity is not yet secured, and turning its efforts towards matters of public and administrative maritime law, a field in which there remains an amount of good work to be done.


LOUIS FRANCK, G.C.V.O. (President International Maritime Committee).



LAND ACT, 1925.

NO topic in connexion with the Settled Land Acts has given

rise to more doubt and litigation than the question how the Acts apply to the common case where the original settlement is followed by a disentailing deed and resettlement. Such a series of deeds has been denominated a 'compound settlement,' a term which has, however, also been applied to a quite different case, viz. where two landed estates come to be held on similar settlement trusts. In the following pages I shall endeavour first to describe the position of the case law on the subject as it stood at the commencement of the new Act, and then to ascertain the alterations made by that Act.

As is well known, family settlements are only rendered permanent, in face of the statutory power conferred on tenant in tail to break the settlement by disentailer, by inducing the eldest son, the tenant in tail in remainder, on coming of age, to join with his father in breaking the settlement and executing a resettlement, in which he substitutes for his tenancy in tail a life tenancy, throwing forward the tenancy in tail to a later generation. In return for this sacrifice, he may perhaps receive out of the estates an annual income during the life of his father. The history of the family settlement will very likely be as follows: The original settlor or testator confers on A a life estate, with remainder to A's sons in tail in succession, with power to A to appoint a jointure rentcharge to his widow and a lump sum for portions to his younger children, to take effect on his death. Afterwards A marries, and by deed exercises his power of jointuring and portioning. On A's son, B, attaining twenty-one, a resettlement is executed, by which A and B, in pursuance of the Fines and Recoveries Act, 1833, convey their life and tail estates to a trustee in fee-simple upon trust to dispose of the land as they shall jointly appoint, and subject thereto, upon the trusts subsisting immediately before the execution of the deed. This deed destroys the entail. A short time afterwards a deed of resettlement is executed under the joint power of appointment reserved in the disentailing deed, by which the land is settled on A for life, then to B for life,

with power to B to create jointure and portions for his widow and younger children, with remainder to B's sons successively in tail. The resettlement often begins by reserving joint power of appointment to A and B, by which they may raise a sum on mortgage of the estate for their own benefit, in priority to the family limitations, or, when necessary, may be able to break the settlement again.

Now prima facie, at any rate, the effect of the disentailing deed is to destroy the original settlement. The settlor's intention was that upon A's death the land should pass to his eldest surviving son; but if he left no son, then perhaps to A's brothers and their male issue, but the resettlement will supersede all these limitations. A and B, after providing for B's own male issue, may, if they like, restore the limitations of the original settlement, but they are at liberty to substitute any others. If A's eldest son predeceases him, it may turn out that the only limitation under the settlement which took effect as the settlor intended, was the first life interest to A. Again, in the resettlement, A and B may vary the powers over the land conferred by the original settlor. The resettlement may in fact confer the land on persons whom the original settlor would have especially desired to exclude, and give them the very powers he reprobated. Thus the natural inference to be drawn from the execution of the disentailing deed would have been that the parties intended to bring the old settlement to an end, and to create a new one by the resettlement.

This result, however, unless obviated by repeating in the resettlement the provisions of the original settlement, would have proved inconvenient in practice, especially in destroying the power of sale with the consent of the tenant for life, which was commonly conferred on the trustees of the settlement; and in many cases the Court was accordingly led to uphold the paradoxical view that the original settlement persists, despite the execution of the disentailing deed. Thus, in Roper v. Hallifax (1817) 8 Taunt. 845, Hill v. Pritchard (1854) Kay, 394, and In re Wright's Trustee and Marshall (1884) 28 Ch. D. 93, it was held that, where the tenant for life under the original settlement had power to consent to a sale by the trustees, he did not forfeit this power by suffering a recovery or by disentailing. In Harrison v. Round (1853) 2 De G. M. & G. 190 it was held that a disentailing deed and resettlement did not destroy a provision contained in the original settlement, by which a younger son was to forfeit the estate settled upon him, on succeeding to the estate of his elder brother. Again, in

a recent case—In re Meeking [1922] 2 Ch. 523—where a testator settled land on his granddaughter, and also directed a rentcharge to be paid to her while she remained tenant for life or tenant in tail in possession under his will, she was held not to have forfeited the rentcharge by disentailing and resettling, although by the resettlement she cut out all the persons entitled under the will to succeed on failure of her sister's male issue and her own. In order to enforce this construction, it became the practice of conveyancers, when drawing the resettlement, to limit the life estate to A in restoration of his life estate under the original settlement.'

The Settled Land Act, 1882, contained no provisions dealing with a resettlement, nor any reference to such a transaction, a remarkable fact considering that these documents occur in almost every family settlement, although the definition clause (section 2, sub-section 1) contemplated the case of a settlement being contained in more than one document. The operative words of the Act conferring the power of sale were, that the tenant for life under a settlement might, on a sale, convey the land to a purchaser, discharged from all estates, interests, and charges subsisting or to arise under the settlement (section 20, sub-section 2), provided that the purchase money was paid to the trustees of the settlement (section 22, sub-section 1).

After the passing of the Act the question very soon arose, can the tenant for life under the resettlement override, on a sale, jointure and portion terms created by the original settlement, i.e. can the original settlement and the resettlement be treated, for the purpose of section 20, sub-section 2, as one settlement? If this question had been answered at once in the negative, it is difficult to believe that any great harm would have been done to the tenant for life's power of sale. The jointress and portioners might reasonably have been asked to release their charges, because they would have had the same first charge on the proceeds of sale that they had on the land itself (section 22, sub-section 5). If, however, they declined to do so, their charges could have been discharged by the Court on a capital sum being paid into Court to meet them under section 5 of the Conveyancing Act, 1881. It would, however, undoubtedly have been more convenient if the Act had specifically conferred this power, and the Court was very soon asked to construe the Act accordingly. One of the first cases related to the Ailesbury settled estates. The existing Marquis of Ailesbury was tenant for life under a resettlement of 1885, but there were jointures existing under previous settlements of

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