« PreviousContinue »
above all things, and bloodshed will increase The question is, Can the public be trained any possible sentence against him by many to be vigilant? Can it be made to see that years. A curious fact is that a highwayman the great antidote to crime is reasonable cauwill run away under resistance from a woman tion—the exercise of a little energy? Does much quicker than from a man. She not exploitation pay? only has more nerve, but is more terrible We are arresting pickpockets on the crossin her fighting than the male of the species. town cars and elsewhere all the time, and Joseph Taylor, the head of the auto bandits, giving the widest publicity. Ever since I who was recently arrested with his crew in this was a little boy I've read about the green city, and who always operated at the point of goods game, and for the last twenty years a pistol, told me ihat it was his absolute order the exploits of wire-tappers have been chronito his men that if anybody offered resistance, cled week by week and month by month. not to shoot, but to back away.
The curious thing about this phase of it is A little calmness in the presence of a that the men who are victimized are them burglar is often very effective. The best selves crooks in intent, if not in act, and thing to do with such a one who enters your should have more vigilance. house at night time is not to show fear, but One large house in Chicago had its winto reason with him. Treat him like a human dow smashed and property stolen three times being. You might say to him, “ Some of within a month, yet the manager wouldn't those articles belong to my wife and can't be hire a special officer to stand outside on duplicated. They were given to her by her guard. Another jeweler in the same city mother or sister, and have small value except was the victim of "pennyweighters" three to her. Leave them alone and I will give times within three months. If men won't you money instead.” Or you might say, learn from their own experience, what will “ Yours is a nerve-taxing business—you've they learn from the experience of others ? got to be keyed up all the time—now I've Only a few days after the Equitable fire I got some good old rye down in the dining- was in the office of a friend of mine downroom-let's go down and have some.” Such
He had only one room and employed talk is very disconcerting to a burglar-in no help. He was talking about the great fact, any talk is. He doesn't know at what fire, the fearful loss of property, and loudly moment it may attract attention. He wants censuring the fellow who'd thrown the fatal silence. In most cases, such perfect calm- match. He held up a paper which he'd ness will result in the retreat of the man with- been reading and pointed to some vivid picout spoils, or at least with only a small part tures taken at the fire. Then he locked his of the plunder he came to get.
desk, lighted a cigar, tossed the charred A friend of mine asked one of these men, match into the waste-paper basket, and, as How did you come to pick out my place? we went out, locked the door. Before we I don't want to criticise your work, but I'd got to the elevator my friend remembered that just like to know. Did anybody put you he had left something behind and returned to This led to general talk, and they
As we opened the door we were finally went downstairs and had a drink. greeted with a cloud of smoke. The basket
But it's very easy to force an intruder to was ablaze and flames had already caught shoot by a sudden alarm, a shriek, a rush for the lower side of the wooden desk. We the telephone, or an assault that must be quickly put the fire out. suppressed by the use of the gun.
Will people never learn?
ISCOUNT HALDANE, who is vis- country. He is the keeper of the Great Seai,
iting Montreal to attend the Con- which is of even more importance than the
ference of the American Bar King's Scepter. It has to be affixed to Acts Association in September, is the highest of Parliament, of necessity in the Lord Chanofficer of state in England. One of the cellor's presence, and to other documents busiest men in England and also one of the conveying the ultimate expression of the will ablest, he has attained pre-eminence in five of the sovereign. careers, as lawyer, politician, scholar, educa- So great and important are the functions tionalist, and diplomatist. While he was and powers of the Lord Chancellor that it is occupied in one position, there was always difficult to describe them in a few words. He at the back of the public mind the conscious- exercises considerable patronage in appointness that his talents were being squandered ; ing ministers of the State Church. He is for he was
so eminently fitted for other the head of the legal profession, and in that spheres of activity.
capacity is responsible for the selection of Officially, the Lord Chancellor is one of the Judges of the High Court, for the the great bulwarks of the King and Consti- appointment of Justices of the Peace—the tution, and only on very rare occasions is he unpaid magistrates who preside at petty granted a special dispensation to leave the sessions and in police courts to administer justice. He issues writs for election of desks and are dressed as ordinary mortals, members to serve in the House of Commons, without the encumbrance of wig or gown. and he presides over the House of Lords, The lawyers pleading in the Court wear their wearing, on this occasion, a wig and official wigs and robes, and discuss cases at great robes, and sitting on what is called the Wool- length in a quiet, conversational way. sack, a wide crimson ottoman stuffed with Lord Haldane is the chief member of a wool, a memento of the time when wool was still higher Court, which interprets the Conthe staple trade of England. He wears stitutions of the British Empire beyond the knee-breeches, black silk hose, and low shoes seas and settles disputes between Dominions, with silver buckles. Behind him, on the States, and Provinces. This is the Judicial Woolsack, is placed the Sachet of the Great Committee of the Privy Council, a body Seal, symbol of his power and authority. which is an enigma to many who are unfamilThis Woolsack, which stands at some distance iar with the Constitutional law of Great from the end of the Chamber, in front of the Britain. Not much of romance is apparent King's Throne, looks more confortable than from the title of the Committee, and yet the it really is ; for it has no back and there is procedure has not its equal anywhere else in no desk in front of it.
the world. In Downing Street, off WhiteWhile the Lord Chancellor occupies the hall, where are the official residences of the Chair, or rather the Woolsack, in the House Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exof Lords, he has no real authority over the chequer, and the chief party Whip of the procedure or deliberations. There is no sim- Government, there is a gloomy-looking buildilarity between his position and that of the ing, over the portals of which the words Speaker of the House of Commons. When Privy Council ” are inscribed in white letseveral peers rise simultaneously, he cannot ters. Here the Council sits when the King select one to speak. He has no more right is in London ; but its meetings are held to call attention to irrelevancies in discussion wherever the King happens to be, on land than has any other member. The Lords, or sea, and although it consists of considerbeing very quiet and harmless legislators, ably more than two hundred members, chosen observe due decorum in debate. The House from the Empire's most distinguished men, reets at odd hours, never has long sittings, three members are sufficient to form a quorum, discusses matters in an easy and informal so that the traveling difficulty is not so forway, and has an elastic code of procedure midable, after all. At one time, the Council, which it does not seem to be any particular which dates back substantially to the Norman person's business to enforce. The interest period, possessed immense powers and inin the functions of the Second Chamber has terfered continually with affairs of justice. It not been great for many years, and has, for was, in fact, useful to the Crown as a vehicle the time being, practically disappeared. for straining Royal prerogative to the utmost.
As the head of the legal profession, the Nowadays it practically confines its activities Lord Chancellor presides over the House of to the granting of Charters and making of Lords when it sits as the Supreme Court of Orders. But it is the Judicial Committee Appeal from the Courts of Justice of the that is the sanctum sanctorum ; it is the mainKingdom. The judicial members of the spring of empire, the “power behind the House, who, for practical purposes, form throne." Here, in this dingy house, it holds this highest Court of Appeal, possess a pro- the greatest Court in the world, having jurisfound knowledge of the law and of all legal diction over four hundred million souls. Lord decisions. Their judgments are of moment- Chancellor Haldane presides, with several ous importance, as they are final; in this eminent judges to assist him. Seated unsense the Court can never be wrong, as its wigged and without their robes of office, at judgments cannot be reversed.
small desks in a bare and cheerless apartment This highest legal tribunal meets in a from which the emblematic significance and solemn, serene, and tranquil atmosphere. In dignity which surround the Judges in the the center of the House of Lords, with its Royal Courts of Justice are entirely absent, twelve beautiful, lofty stained-glass windows they hold the legal balance even between all through which the light glints on statues, the states and races within the far-flung world situated in niches around the Chamber, of empire. the barons who compelled King John to sign Probably a Canadian barrister will be arguMagna Charta, the Law Lords sit at small ing an appeal case from Bengal or Toronto,
and a sprinkling of Chinese, Hindus, Boers, or Egyptians who are interested in the result will form the spectators. Occasionally a stray member of the general public will enter from the street out of curiosity, for the Court is public ; but its deliberations are more important than they are exciting, and do not appeal to the average man.
The verdicts of consular courts, prize courts, ecclesiastical courts, and admiralty courts may be set aside by the Committee, and its powers are wellnigh unlimited
Lord Haldane discharges his duties on the Committee much in the same way as one of
paid to the Prime Minister, through whom he receives his appointment. He is allowed a pension of $25,000 a year when his party goes out of office; but in consideration of this pension he continues to act as Law Lord.
Richard Burdon Haldane-syllabically Hall-dane -was born fifty-seven years ago in Edinburgh, and is a member of an old Scottish family. He received his early training at Edinburgh Academy and Edinburgh University, and, call it prophetic instinct or what you will, his young fellow-students at once found for him a nickname, that of “ the Lord
his brilliant predecessors, concerning whom Chancellor," an office for which he was deshe recently uttered the following eulogy: tined nearly forty years later.
While most of his contemporaries were He never failed to endeavor to interpret the law according to the spirit of the jurisprudence struggling with the Greek Lexicon, he was of the colony from which the appeal came. If presiding over the Philomathic and Philoit was a Cape appeal, he was a Roman-Dutch
sophic Societies, and the seeds of his learning lawyer; if it was an Indian case of adoption, he entered into the religious reasons for the
were already blossoming into sturdy saplings. rule to be applied; if it was a Quebec case of From Edinburgh he went to Göttingen, where arbitration or a case of substitution under the he absorbed with his Teutonic training an old French code, or a Jersey appeal about the
admiration for German institutions and ideals custom of Normandy, it was the same.
that has well served, not him only, but the Even now I have mentioned only some of British people at large. the duties which fall to Lord Haldane, or On leaving university life, flushed with the which he willingly assumes. He is a leading honors which the four Scottish Universities member of the Cabinet, and is interested in for Philosophy heaped upon him when he many public and political questions outside was only twenty years of age, he entered the his official duties. He receives a salary of law in England and quickly gained a lucrative $50,000 a year, which is double the amount practice. As a lawyer he exuded an atmos
phere of convincing, vigorous mental superi- has the stimulative agents of mental and ority, philosophical rectitude, and urbanity physical fitness which are the God-given attriwhich enabled him to bring learned judges butes of the man in public life. He has a to his view.
Napoleonic cast of features, but his mental While he was working at the Chancery resemblance to the Little Corporal begins and Bar, with a practice that endowed him with ends with his genius for organization. a very large income, he found time to trans- man of his commanding presence might be late, in collaboration with a friend, Schopen- supposed to possess a voice like the Bull of hauer's “ World as Will and Idea." He Bashan, but it is soft and soothing as zephyr also collaborated with Professor Seth in pub- breezes. His argumentative facility halts Jishing "Essays in Philosophical Criticism." not, neither does it stumble. He divides a while his other literary work included the speech into sections and sub-sections and “ Life of Adam Smith” and “ Education and sub-sub-sections, and deserts the main chanEmpire." But the empire over which his nel of his argument to meander on and on intellect ranged was not all of this world, as along some new tributary, to return, however, witness his " Pathway to Reality," which with unfailing accuracy to his main theme. formed the subject of his famous Gifford In outlining a great scheme he will give each Lectures at St. Andrews, and in which he set member of his audience the impression that himself to answer the question : How, in the one thing needful to his perfect happithe commencement of the twentieth century, ness is that individual's approval—that his ought we to conceive God?” For Religion sole reason for laying bare his mind with is the elder sister of Philosophy, and Lord transparent frankness and simplicity is to Haldane's mind is broad enough for both. secure that approval; and where is he in
In 1885 he was elected to the House of whose breast the milk of human kindness Commons as Liberal member for the Scottish has so dried up that he can withhold the constituency of Haddingtonshire. He was sympathy that is so unostentatiously invited ? transferred to the House of Lords in 1911, It is a cheerful, optimistic, sympathetic pernot because he had any personal craving to sonality. be a peer, although he may have had an am- Lord Haldane's greatest achievement is bition to be Lord Chancellor. He was sent his record as Minister of War. When, in to the Lords because the Government Front December, 1905, on the eve of the first great Bench stood sorely in need of strengthening. Liberal triumph, the late Sir Henry Campbell
He had represented the same constituency in Bannerman sent for him and suggested one the House of Commons for twenty-five years. or two offices, Mr. Haldane--as he then He belonged to the Liberal-Imperial school, as-replied that there was one office about wherein his endless range of knowledge and which he knew very little, but which he would almost superhuman capacity for hard work like to have on account of the fascinating and hard thinking distinguished him as a problems which it presented. What is man apart, destined for great achievements that?" inquired Sir Henry. 'The War and high honors. His ideals have been Office," answered Mr. Haldane. The Prime always in close harmony with those of Mr. Minister was astonished, but pleased. Asquith, the Prime Minister, of whom he has one will touch it with a pole,” he said, and been a lifelong friend.
there and then Mr. Haldane became the Lord Haldane has been always a com
willing horse. He took upon his shoulders manding figure in political life, and an intel
a stupendous task. War Office administralectual giant. He is acknowledged to be the tion, under the previous Conservative Govmost erudite man in the British Parliament. ernment, had become synonymous with in" No one,” said a political cynic, could efficiency and bungling. It had sunk to its possibly be as wise as Lord Haldane looks.” lowest depths when Mr. Brodrick—now VisAnd yet the Lord Chancellor of England not count Midleton—was War Minister and Lord only does look clever, he is as learned as he Roberts Commander-in-Chief, just after the looks. He combines an enthusiasm for popu- South African War. It was run by obsolete lar causes with a passion for philosophy and methods; the old Volunteer system had scholarship. He is a born optimist. " He broken down; “graft” existed during and is always cheerful, never worries, and works immediately after the war; new phantom incessantly,” said Lord Haldane's mother of
army corps were created on paper; the War him not very long since. In other words, he Office had become the despair of statesmen.