The Corporation Municipal Reform Bill was brought up again to the Common Council on Thursday from the Freedoms Committee, revised in those particulars which the Recorder said last week might perhaps peril it in the House of Commons. It does not seem to have been altered in any important feature : the municipal franchise is given by clause 4th to every male person of age and not under legal incapacity, who shall occupy in the City or its liberties, for a year and a day before the 1st of September, any house, warehouse, counting-house, office, chambers, or shop, and shall be rated to the City police-rate at 101. per annum, " and shall bear lot" in the City. The clauses of the bill were agreed to ; and the question, " That this bill do now pass as amended," was carried amidst much cheering. [Will the expression "and shall bear lot" exclude the lawyers in the Temple, and the worthy citizens in other extraparoehial places, who, having no parish-officers to elect, cannot " bear lot "
At a Special Court of the Metropolitan Commissioners of Sewers, on Wednesday, Mr. Lewes, the Chairman, read a project which he had pre- pared, at the request of a Committee on the subject, for a reduction in the establishment, and in its expenses. The general result of his various re- trenchments was that the establishment charges would be reduced from 29,2841. per annum to 19,1741. per annum. After allowing for special clerks, some 90271. a year could be saved. The scheme was unanimously adopted by the Commission.
At a Court of the City Sewers Commission, on Tuesday, the annual sani- tary report of Mr. Simon, the Medical Officer of the City, was brought up.
During the last ten years the population of the City has increased about 3.4 per cent; but in some districts there has been a decrease, so that the ratio of increase in other districts has been far greater. In the whole of East London the increase has been far above the average, and in the St. Bo- tolph subdistrict the increase has been more than 16 per cent. This great local increase represents the continued influx of a poor population into local- ities already unwholesome from overcrowding by a squalid and sickly popu- lation. The mortality was 2978 persons, or at the rate of 2.3 per cent ; the average being nearly 2.44 per cent. The deaths, during the three years that Mr. Simon has been Medical Officer, have been 9493: he points out the start- ling feet, that of these no less than 3469, or nearly three-eighths of the whole, befel children under five years old. As children at this age are about a tenth part of the whole population of the City, this rate proves that they die in the City at four times the rate of their natural proportion to the average mortality of the district. There were 391 cases of fever. Every case of fever may be spoken of as entirely preventable by sanitary means. The deaths by cholera and kindred diseases were 902. From the statistics of a cycle of fifteen years a fact is deduced, perhaps novel to the City authorities, that in the long run the destruction of life by fever, which is always here, surpasses that of the Eastern disease, which comes at considerable intervals : moreover, if the deaths by typhus double in number those produced by cho- lera, the list of persons attacked by typhus, and by it for a long time inca- pacitated, is immeasurably beyond this proportion. "Two or three times the number of deaths by cholera would give you the number of seizures, and enable you to estimate all the direct mischief caused by it; while in regard of typhus, probably for one death there are twenty cases of pro- tracted illness, tardy convalescence, and injured constitution. Not only are the deaths double in number, but each of them indicates an infinitely, larger amount of sickness and suffering not immediately productive of death. ' The deaths by smallpox were 91; of which it would not be harsh to say that 90 were deaths due to culpable negligence in not resorting to the public institutions for vaccination. This neglect ought to be made as penal as the neglect to feed or clothe the infant. Of the 100 deaths by. erysipelas, a large majority might have been escaped under better sanitary circumstances. The tables show that of the whole 9493 deaths during the past three years, 3923 were caused by acute diseases, two-thirds of which were dependent on limal and preventable causes. But it is not by acute disease alone that "prevent- able death " ravages the population : chronic ailments,—for instance, the immense class of scrofulous diseases, including consumption, which causes at least a quarter of our mortality—show the vast influence which "circum- stances exert over that mortality. "Of such circumstances," says the re- port, "some lie within your control, and affect masses of the people ; but the more special causes of chronic disease lie rather out of your jurisdiction, and the option of avoiding them is a matter of individual will. Vicious habits and indiscretion, a life too indolent or too laborious, poverty and pri- vation, vicissitudes of weather and temperature, intemperance in diet, un- wholesome and adulterated food, and not least inappropriate marriages tend-
inc .. •tuate particular kinds of disease,—these words may suggest to
-es ct jarious influences within the sphere of private life by which
to d -rate of a population is largely enhanced, and the control ble, lies almost entirely at the discretion of the classes ration. Considering all these causes, and the needless
waste of life occasioned by them, I can have little doubt oub t th at as much might be done by individuals, under the influence of improved education, to lessen the nsertality from chrome disease, as by solitary legislation to stay the sources of epidemic death. And, regarding both classes of disease together, those at the one hand which are of endemic origin, (arising in imperfect drainage, in defective water-supply, in ill-devised arrangement of buildings, in offensive and injurious trades, an the putrefaction of burial-grounds, and the like,) with these classes on the other, which arise in the circumstances of individual life, I can have no hesitation in estimating their joint opera- tion at a moiety of our total death-rate, or in renewing an assertion of my last year's report, ' If the deliberate promises of science be not an empty de- lusion, it is practicable to reduce human mortality within your jurisdiction to the half of its present average prevalence.' "
The cattle show of the Smithfield Club, at the Bazaar in Baker Street, opened to the public on Tuesday. The show of this year is slightly de-
ficient in numbers, compared with last year ; but it is superior to that and to all other shows, in every other point of excellence. The reporter of the Times—a gentleman, no doubt, of professional qualifieations—de- scribes the characteristic points of the exhibition and the prize-list. " Fewer second-class animals have been exhibited, and the improvement in point of breeding and symmetry which was so marked last year, is con- tinued. Though no single animal may possibly be reckoned equal to ihe Here-
ford shown last year by Mr. Heath, there are a greater number of first-rate oxen. The Herefords have again carried the palm ; and this show, it may be observed, is the only one in England where cattle of all different breeds
compete with each other. In the first, second, and third classes, the Here- fords gained all the prizes but one, a short-horn taking the second prize in
the first class; so that in point of early maturity the Herefords have this
year taken the lead, as they have also done both this year and formerly in symmetry and general equalness of flesh, without patches of fat, when kept
to a greater age. The gold medal was won by Mr. Longmore. The short- horns are not, on the whole, equal to last year, though some very fine ani- mals are shown. Lord Feversham and Mr. Holland carry off the first two
prizes gained by this breed. The Devons are well represented by Lord Lei- cester, who wins the first two prizes in the fourth and fifth classes with beau- tiful animals of this breed. In class sixth (Scotch, Welsh, or Irish breed) the prize was taken by Mr. Kinderley's Welsh ox,—the first instance, it is said, in which the Welsh has carried off the palm from the Scotch at the Smithfield show. The competitors in the various classes of cattle include the Prince and many Peers; but the principal prizes, and both gold medals, have been won by farmers. In every case in which a prize was gained in all the classes, the breeder is a farmer ; so that the honours of the show have
clearly gone to those who make agriculture a business, not merely a pastime. "The show of South Down sheep is very fine; the Duke of Richmond dis- tancing all competitors. The animals of this breed are superior to all others in point of quality, and equal to any former exhibition. The fat Leicesters, as a pure breed, are falling in estimation with both the feeder and consumer; and the necessity of producing them with a larger proportion of lean meat compels a system of crossing which will soon leave little of the original dis- tinctive breed remaining. As a cross with the South Down, we recommend an inspection of No. 189, a pen of three twenty-months old sheep, bred by Mr. Overman; than which there is probably no more profitable sheep for the farmer in the exhibition. Of the large Cotswold breed there are only two lots shown.
" The pigs are a splendid collection ; Mr Coate, of Doreetshire, being in this department the most successful prize-winner. In all classes, and at every age, he takes the first prizes; beating his Royal Highness Prince Al- bert, Lord Radnor, the Speaker, Sir John Conroy, and many others. Lord Radnor's pigs and Sir John Conroy's are well worthy of notice. The pig shown by Mr. Culliford is said to be within a few stones of half a ton weight, and yet it is not overgrown with fat, nor inactive.
"The accommodation for the show has thisyear been much enlarged, and the arrangement of the animals gives great facility for careful comparison and examination. On the whole, we should say that the show exhibits a continued and marked progression in perfecting the quality of the meat, rather than the enormous size of the various kinds of animals exhibited.
"In the gallery we observed a stand containing specimens of Irish vege- table produce sent by the Royal Dublin Society, and admitted to the show at the instance of Lord Clarendon,—mangold, swedes, carrots, cabbages, &e. ; which are most creditable to the climate, soil, and management which pro- duced them."
The yearly dinner of the Club was eaten at Freemasons Tavern on Wednesday ; the Duke of Richmond in the chair ; and pretty good spirits —for agriculturists—generally prevailing. The Committee have decided that, in future, premiums shall be given for beasts classified according to breed : a perfect revolution in the plan of exhibition, the Smithfield Club having hitherto been the only club which lumped all breeds together, in order to bring the best animals to the top place without reference to breed.
The merchants deputed by the great City meeting on Customs Reform were to have been received by Lord John Russell at the Treasury. on Monday ; but when assembled at the Treasury, according to appoint- ment, they received a note stating that Lord John Russell would not be able to receive them on Monday, but would be happy to do so on Tues- day. They returned on Tuesday; and were received by Lord John Russell and Earl Granville—the latter a satisfactory substitution for the " discourteous " Chancellor of the Exchequer of former interviews. At the head of the numerous deputation, were Mr. Masterman, Baron Lionel Rothschild, Sir James Duke, Alderman Thompson, Mr. James Clay, Mr. Matthew Forster, Alderman Humphery, Mr. John M(Gregor, Mr. T. A. Mitchell, Mr. Archibald Ilastie, Mr. George Sandars, Mr. John Sadleir, Alderman Salomon, and Mr. W. Williams, all Members of Parliament. In the considerable list of additional names there are repre- sentatives of most of the eminent mercantile firms of the Metropolis— Travers, Crawford, Gassiott, Tooke' Greene, Lindsay, Hawes, Dillon, Caldecott, Peeler, Sandeman, Frith, Hanson, Bagshaw, Burmester, Bux- ton, Peel, Walker, Hurry, &c.
Mr. Masterman stated, that nothing like waiting' feeling intermingled with the proceedings of the deputation, nor did they desire to dictate any particular measure to the Minister.
Mr. Travers, the chairman of the deputation, read a "representation" of the business on which they were come before the First Lord of the Treasury. Primarily, they were commissioned to express the earnest desire of the commercial classes that the Select Committee of last session on the Customs should be reappointed at the earliest period after the reassembling of Parlia- ment. But secondarily, they were charged with an imperative though pain- ful commission, involving reflections on individuals. The Government is responsible for the abuses of the Customhouse system, either by a misap- plication of the powers it possesses, or by neglecting to apply to Parliament far the ability no introduce such reforms as it never refuses to the reasonable representatinns of a Ministry in which it reposes confidence. The Board of Customs is inefficient and incompetent ; its Commissioners are inaccessible, its proceedings secret, and appeals from it to the Treasury are practically ap- peals from itself to itself; the proceedings against the'Dock Companies are instances of abuse of powers and perversions of justice, that no plea even of public exigency could palliate. Of these scandalous wrongs the Treasury Sias been, if not the author, at least the abettor : temperate and friendly re- monstrances against Great:have been received by the Chancellor of the Ex- chequer with disregard and dismissed with discourtesy ; and in the end he lies rendered resistance to him impossible by a gross misrepresentation of the Companies' concessions, and by putting a meaning on their words which is entirely negatived by their whole correspondence. After asking the reappointment of the Select Committee, therefore, the deputation were commissioned to add the expression of the deep and general dissatisfaction of the mercantile cleases with that department of Lord John Russell's Go- vernment which directs the administration of the Customhouse system.
Lord John Russell premised, that of course they would not expect that he should at the moment be prepared with a reply to these grave charges, which theybad no doubt maturely considered, and whicli they had "pre- pared and written down."
No doubt, the duty of collecting so great a portion of the revenue as the Customs revenue is one which should be performed with as little vexatious interference as possible with the lawful pursuits of commerce : with that view, Lord Granville, now present, and other official gentlemen, had been appointed to inquire; and at a later period a Select Committee of the House of Commons was appointed. The Government had showed by this how sensible they were ofthe deep importance of the subject. It is not accurate to represent that the Chancellor of the Dxchequer opposed the appointment of a Committee, so far as regarded the general administration of the Cus- toms ; he merely said, what is'said twenty or thirty times a session, that it was doubtful if questions pending in a court of law could be referred to a Committee. Undoubtedly the Customs might admit of improvement. It must be remembered, indeed, that the laws had been reformed by one no less able or qualified to deal with the subject than Mr. Ilusldsson ; still they might admit of improvement. It does not follow that the Board is guilty because it is accused. Lord John could not assume them to be guilty—he must inquire into the facts. They were none of them appointed by him : during the five years that he had been in office, he had only appointed Mr. Pressly, a gentleman well qualified for the post. The Board, rightly or wrongly, was persuaded that there were great frauds in the Docks; and it would have been wrong in the Treasury, on its own responsibility, to stop the legal pro- ceedings, allow the revenue to kse, and the general body of merchants to be wronged. With regard to the complaints of the Chancellor of the Exche- quer, Lord John could not admit their justice. The Chancellor of the Ex- chequer was bound not to interfere with the Board of Customs. As to his "gross misrepresentation of the concessions" made by the Docks, Lord John was informed that the Docks were ready to pay 51. as a fine, and that, as in 1817 and 1818, the fine was made 1001. at once, "instead of 51. and all expenses," in order to get rid of subjects of irritation. But whether the fine is 51. or IOU is of little importance to the Treasury. With regard to the compromising of prosecutions, whether or not they are according to strict justice, is a matter that may be debated, but there are innumerable prece- dents for the proceeding. With regard to the very important point of the reappointment of the Select Committee on Customs next session, he was not aware of any absolute objection to it; but he would not pledge himself to that course at the present moment, for he should first like to communicate with the Chairman of that Committee, and confer with him respecting the advantages of its reappointment. He could assure the deputation, that the whole subject should receive his impartial consideration ; and any measures which, while securing the revenue, would give great facilities to the Dock Companies and the merchants generally, would meet with his strenuous
support. • Mr. Mitchell, as Chairman of the Select Committee of the House of Commons on the Customs, placed himself entirely at Lord John Russell's disposal in reference to the reappointment of the Committee.
Considering the onerous duties which occupy the whole of the Premier's time he could not venture to ask him now to read the evidence collected by the Customs Committee; but ho trusted that Earl Granville, in whom they all had such confidence, would peruse that evidence, which would be shortly printed. The conclusion to be drawn from it is that the Commissioners of Customs had grossly abused their powers. It would be infinitely better that Lord John should take the initiative.
Mr. W.J. Hall hoped that the deputation would obtain some assurance that the Select Committee will be reappointed ; but Mr. Masterman trusted that the deputation would rest satisfied with what Lord John Russell had already said on that point. And so the deputation withdrew.
The supporters of Voluntary Education held a conference at Crosby Hall on Tuesday. Mr. G. W. Alexander presided ; and Mr. Joseph Sturge, Mr. Charles Gilpin, Dr. Cox, the Reverends Howard Hinton and John Burnett, and Mr. Edward Mean, were on the platform. It was resolved—
" That it is not only important, but indispensable, that the education sup- plied by public schools be religious, not merely by comprehending periodical Scriptural instruction, but as impregnated habitually with a religious spirit. That no arrangement for religious instruction collateral to a system of secu- lar education can effectually supply the religious culture required."
At a general meeting of the members of the Law Amendment Society, on Monday, Mr. Stewart read the report of the Equity Committee, which made these recommendations—That, as a general rule, every disputed Court question of fact or law should be decided by the Coubefore which the cause is set down ; that where a Court requires proof of facts not disputed, the Judge should examine into the fact himself, viva vow ; that parties should have the option of submitting facts to trial by a Jury, under the direction of the Court ; that Judges should sit in chambers like the Com- mon Law Judges ; and that Masters should be abolished. The report of a Special Committee on the Bar, the Attorney, and the Client, was read by Mr. Crawford. It recommends the discontinuance of the modern usage that an attorney intervene between every client and his barrister, and the establishment of the ancient rule to the contrary; that there should be free access of the client to counsel at every stage of the proceeding ; and that counsel should be made liable, summarily under the order of the Court, for gross negligence, including all cases of breach of contract or of confidenoe. The report makes the following recommend- ations respecting the conferring of the degree of barrister. "The Inns of Court—which resemble in their nature the Colleges at Ox- ford and Cambridge, possessing the anomalous power of themselves confer- ring a degree—have not only suffered the previous examination to fall utterly into disuse, but have almost wholly neglected Their more proper function of educating the students in legal science. At the present time, three only out of the four Inns of Court appropriate a scanty portion of their revenues to the furtherance of the objects for which they were re.inally incorporated, by supporting in each inn a single lectureship; a provision absurdly inadequate to carry out its ostensible purpose.
" Your Committee believe, that the only remedy for these evils is to be found in the restoration of some oentral authority, similar to that of Convo- cation at Oxford and of the Senate at Cambridge, which may exercise an adequate control over the Inns of Court. They feel called upon to condemn the present system, under which the power of granting degrees is vested in the Benchers-of the Inns, and has by them been allowed to degenerate into an empty ceremony, utterly at variance with the original constitution of our legal university. " Tour Committee are aware, that no reform can be of any real avail that does not include a restoration of the collegiate functions of the Inns of -Court ; the appointment of a staff of tutors or professors in each Inn, equal in ability and number to the instruction of all the students ; and the foundation of ex- hibitions and prizes as incentives to legal studies. But they believe that a reform of this kind would necessarily follow from the establishment of a public examination before granting the degree, and from the moral force which such a body as a Senate would exert upon the Inns of Court : each Inn would then probably vie with the others in utibrding the best instruc- tion, as an inducement for students to enter its walls; and a system might be seen at work analogous to that pursued at Oxford and Cambridge."
Both reports are to be printed, and brought up for consideration on the 12th of January.
About two thousand young men employed in London have lately tes- tified their obligation to Mr. George Hitchcock, the mercer of St. Paul's Churchyard, for his labours, and his pecuniary beneficence, in promoting the "early closing" movement, and for his general exertions to raise the position of Metropolitan shopmen. At a soiree in Freemasons Hall this week, they presented to Mrs. Hitchcock a portrait of her husband, painted by Sir John Watson Gordon, R.A. Mr. Hitchcock acknowledged the compliment in a kindly speech.
The "great case," as it will some day be called, of Miller versus Salomans, was disposed of in the Court of Exchequer on Monday, in a very short time. Mr. Sergeant Chanuell and Mr. Macnamara were for Miller, the champion of the ultra-Protestants in the House of Commons, against the Jewish ag- gression ; and Sir Fitzroy Kelly, with Mr. Peacock, Mr. Goldamid, and Mr. Willes—an extraordinary combination of legal ability—were for Mr. Side- mans, the Jewish aggressor. Mr. Macnamara had explained the pleadings, and Mr. Sergeant Cherwell had made a long opening speech, when the Judge, Baron Martin, suggested, that as the facts did not seem disputed, the doubtful law might be better determined by preparing a special case for the Court above ; and he offered to prepare the case himself. After consultation of the forensic array, it was agreed that the kind offer of the Judge should be accepted. The Jury round a verdict accordingly ; and Baron Martin will frame a case on which the opinion of the Court can be taken, to determine whether a Jew may or may not legally sit in the House of Commons.
Thomas Riding, an engineer, has been sent to prison for two months, by the Lambeth Magistrate, for violating an agreement with his employer. Riding consented in writing to act as foreman to Mr. England, a maker of steam-engines in the Old Kent Road, at the rate of 7s. a day, for a year. He suddenly absented himself, and it was given out that he had gone to America. Subsequently, Mr. England discovered that he was working with Langrage and Co., engine-manufacturers at Newcastle. Mr. England at first suspected that Riding had surreptitiously made copies of the drawings of engines invented by Mr. England ; and that Langrage and Co. had taken advantage of these. This turned out to be en error. The Newcastle firm advertised for a foreman ; Riding applied for the berth, and said he could get permission to leave Mr. England ; he was engaged by Langrage and Co. at 2001. a year and a commission on work done.
Smith, the man who murdered the infant of his paramour while he wr.s drunk, is not to be hanged, but to be transported for life.
About a fortnight ago, six persons were overwhelmed by the fall of a por- tion of some new houses at the back of the Kensington Road. One of them, Robert Woolen, a young plasterer, has since died, and an inquest has been held by Mr. Wakley over his remains. The evidence illustrated the greedi- ness with which gain is pursued, reckless of injury to the life or limbs of the instruments of gain. Mr. Inderwick, the successful meerschaum-pipe manu- facturer, is building a square of handsome houses at the back df the Kensing- ton Road, which is to be culled Gloucester Square. According to the archi- tectural fashion, the upper lines of the houses are finished by a massive cornice. In making such a cornice, it is necessary to attend well to archi- tectural balance, and particularly to the goodness of the cement which binds together the parts that arc not individually in equipoise. Large paying- stones are built into the wall, and then the various members of the enta- blature are piled on it in stucco: if the brick-work under these stones he loose, or if the cement which binds down the Acorns be slack, the whole en- tablature will be torn off by its own weight. This accident occurred while the building was going on ; the materials gave way, and the whole cornice fell forward on the scaffolding ; the mass was of such a weight that the &oaf- folding was crushed, and the men were involved in the ruin. At the inquest, Denis Hurley, the foreman of the plasterers, stated that he had repeatedly complained of the quality of the cement—mortar, instead of cement was used : a portion of the brick-work was pulled down on his com- plaint, and built up again. He could poke the cement to pieces with his finger. He said to the men, "Do you call this cement? why, you might as well use the macadam stuff off the roads." Instead of the courses under this cornice being carried up with good cement, made up with good Thames sand, they were carried up in inferior mortar : the stone-work ought to have been bedded in cement and grouted in, but instead el' that some of the atones were put in dry. He pointed out the oornioe to Mr. Bean, the architect ; who only said, "Tut, man, look at the equilibrium." Mr. Bean the architect, deposed that be had not siifficient control of the materials used. lie had complained to Mr. Inderwick, both personally and by latter, and represented that Thames sand should be used. Only the Satult before, he had com- plained to Mr. Inderwick that loam [mere road-stuff] was used, instead of sand. The materials were supplied by Mr. Inderwiek himself. It is a com- mon practice—the supplying of materials by the party—but a very bad one, pregnant with mischief, and almost invariably resulting in some evil conse- quence. Loam destroys the binding qualities of lime; it would be as well to pile up a stack of dry bricks, as to build a cornice with mortar composed in that manner. The Jury returned the following verdict- " We rind that Robert Woolen was accidentally killed by the falling of the cornice of the parapet of certain houses, the property of Mr. John Inderwick, situated in Gloucester Road, Kensington, upon the 29th of November 1851; and we Bather find, that the cause of the accident was by reason of the bad materials fiwitialica by Mr. Inderwick. We also find that Mr. Bean, the surveyor, was to blame for Laving permitted the works to proceed under such circumstances."
Just before noon on Sunday, two new houses, nearly completed, at the corner of Bush Lane, fell down with the exception of the attic story, which remained curiously suspended. The houses belonged to Mr. Alderman Law- rence : had they fallen on any °ter day than Sunday life would no doubt have been lost. The place of the accident is oppoeite St. Swithin's Church, and the assembled congregation were greatly alarmed.