TEEB.E is one amendment of the law which needs not wait for °edification, consolidation, or change of principle. It is simply to purge our statute-book and practice of direct falsehood. There ia no defect in the law so serious, or so calculated to destroy res.pect, as the transparent lying which is maintained through a blind adherence to custom. By a false caution in substituting for transportation of convicts, penal servitude, or the moclified transportation of the present day, the law with regard to sentences of transportation remains technically the same while the practice has altered. The Judges are compelled to pronounce the sentence although it is not to be carried out. Everybody knows this. When Rpatlt, Burgess, and Tester, were sentenced to long terms of transportation, the prisoners, and everybody in court, knew that it was not intended to transport them for some time to come, and perhaps not at all. The sentences were "humbug," and. they were known to be such by the prisoners and by those whom they were meant to deter. The breaoh of truth is doubly sinful when it is also a breach of justice. Perhaps the grossest instance of formal falsehood, accompanied by the infliction of personal wrong, is that fiction of law which makes the only remedy for a wrongful conviction pardon. The case of John Markham is the most recent, though far from being alone or being the worst. While John Markham was walking in Oxford Street, a policeman tapped him on the shoulder and arrested him on a charge of felony. In his alarm Markham unluckily gave a false name; which probably tended to increase the difficulty of proving his innocence. He was taken to the Police Court, committed for trial, and tried, in company, with Attwell, as James Anderson one of the persons implicated in Saward's bank-forgeries. Witnesses swore to his identity ; the Jury convicted him; he was sentenced to four years of penal servitude, and actually sent to prison as a convict. He had been obliged to part with every thing he possessed for his defence; • his wife was reduced to extremest destitution ; his health has been entirely broken. At last it is discovered that John Markham is not James Anderson. The whole treatment of the man has been a mistake; so now, "with the consent of Mr. Mullens on the part of the bankers of London," Markham is "pardoned" by the Crown, and liberated. But the record of felony remains.
The "pardon" fiction rests on the assumption that the whole course of anterior proceedings has been regular; that everybody could not have been wrong ; that there is no power to undo the formal proceedings of judge and jury; and that the only appeal provided by our law is to "the mercy of the Crown." But the process is equally against truth and justice. Instead of this cruel mockery, there should be a solemn procedure to cancel the act of accusal and the conviction—to reverse the sentence, with a public confession of error. Markham has undergone an injury without any offence on his part: the reversal of the sentence should be accompanied by ample compensation, assessed in proportion to the damage done.
GREAT NORTHERN FRAUD PROSECUTION.
EVER since our attention has been drawn to the vast frauds which infest the city of London, and which have been publicly avowed by the merchants, we have noted the fact that the whole extent of the crime in question has never been brought to light. We have evidence that the fraudulent transactions have a very wide extension and many ramifications, and we have expressed a belief that they are so mingled with the regular transactions of commerce as to render the absolute division impossible. The proceedings in the Central Criminal Court on Friday last week, in the trial of Redpath and Kent, illustrate this opinion. At present we will simply note a very peculiar point in the evidence. Redpath effected his frauds either by transferring to himself stock purporting to belong to some fictitious person whose original investment was to be found in an "old book" of the Company, or he transferred the stock of real persons to some fictitious persons. In those cases he appended to the certificate or transfer the fictitious name, writing it himself. The signature had to be attested by a clerk in the register department, at the head of which he was. There was evidence before the Court that two clerks thus attested his signature ; they were named Kent and Cawkhill It was known in the Company that Redpath held stock under fictitious names ; but since others in office did the same, apparently to large amounts, the circumstance did not attract much notice. The clerks knew that there were irregularities, and that the irregularities were winked at. They observed another gross irregularity in the mode of attesting certificates of transfer. The statute requires that the certificate should be endorsed by the secretary; in the Great Northern Company, however, this endorsement of the secretary was effected in the form of a brand or stamp, and it appears that the clerks in the secretary's department had authority to affix this brand. As Redpath's counsel remarked, this is a systematic violation of the law ; and it was habitually witnessed by Kent and Cawkhill. There seems to be some doubt whether or not Redpath's signature under a fictitious name was recognized at the time ; in court there was absolute certaintywith respect to his handwriting; it is a question, therefore, how far the junior clerks, whose business it was to attest the certificates, really knew the fraudulent character of the handwriting—how far they were deceived, or how far they winked and let it pass. If they did wink it was no more than their superiors in the Railway Company had done with respect to other irregularities. At last, the simplest of accidents—the casual notice of an hregularity in Redpath's books—drew the attention of the secretary to the conduct of Redpath : the instant his tampering with the books was noticed, he confessed his guilt by absconding ; and then, by degrees, the whole scheme was brought to light. Kent and Cawkhill had both been tools in carrying out Redpath's system of fraud ; but when the Company resolved to prosecute Redpath, an unaccountable distinction was made between the two young men—Kent was placed in the dock, and Cawkhill was placed in the witness-box. Nor was this all. The man criminally prosecuted cannot give evidence in his own case. On this account, it has been usual, especially, when the prosecutor has been an associate or a person of high standing, to offer every facility for throwing light upon the circumstances under which the accused committed the act charged against him. But when Kent's professional advocate endeavoured to elicit facts by crossexamination, he was stopped upon a technical plea by counsel for the Company ; and Mr. Ballantine persevered, although Mr. Baron Martin noticed the unusual character of the obstruction. The Judge also noticed the unaccountable distinction which we have mentioned between the cases of Cawkhill and Kent : "it certainly did," he said, "seem extremely odd that Kent should be prosecuted and Cawkhill escape, for Cawkhin had done precisely the same act as the other young man."
It is a problem which we have no means of solving, on what principle the Great Northern Company selected the objects for prosecution—on what principle it selected its witnesses. THE CHEsAyetaKE AND AULFORD HAVEN LINE.
FEW things seem to be more clearly established than the fact that one line of communication between two places of great commercial or productive activity does not necessarily injure another line of communication parallel to it ; but that, where the distance between the two lines is sufficient, the second may prove to be an auxiliary to the first. If a scheme which has been some time before the public for establishing a line of steam-communication between the Chesapeake Bay and Milford Haven were carried out, it by no means follows that the line between New York, Boston, and Liverpool, would suffer. We know well enough that the very notion of creating the Southern line arises from the desire to recover for the South the carriage produce which is carried by the Northern line, and that in the first instance there is some idea of abstraction. And in truth there is no small amount of reason for the abstraction. We do not of course share the feeling of rivalry, still less of hostility, whiehmay animate the Southern States at seeing their own trade carried off by the Northern States ; but we can see how exasperating the fact must be. The Southern States produce the cotton and tobacco which form such large staples in the American trade with this country. The Northern States, however, possess two great holds over that commerce, by which they are enabled to twist it to the North, and, as a sea-going commerce, to appropriate it • the Northern States possess capital, and a marine population. The climate has retained for them perhaps a superior degree of Anglo-Saxon energy. They have succeeded in carrying laws in the Legislature of the Union which are as injurious to the South as they are to the foreigner. Not only are foreign vessels forbidden to carry between Orleans and Baltimore, but no foreign vessel is allowed to be purchased or naturalized so as to run between Southern or Northern ports. Hence, the Northern States, the shipbuilding and the shipowning States, possess a monopoly of that coasting-trade which feeds the Transatlantic trade. It has been reckoned that the Southern States lose perhaps, in the most favourable 'ear, not less than 10,000,000 dollars from unavoidable detentions in the shipments of their surplus produce, partly through this circuitous shipment, and partly through the fact that the North does not exactly coincide in interests with the South. The Southern States are making great efforts to recover this sea-going trade for themselves ; and a proposal has been laid before the public to establish a weekly Atlantic line of steam-ships, of 30,000 tons burden, between Chesapeake Bay and Milford. Maven.* The Southern States, however, are arrested in their progress by one result of the policy which is the cause of their complaint—they do not possess sufficient capital. We have heard that the project may still be carried out, by Northern and British capital. With respect to its merits as a trading speculation we have no opinion ; it might not "pay," or it might be the germ of a great success : we are considering it solely on the ground of politics and public economy.
Let us make the survey a little broader. Not long since the Dean Richmond made a voyage from Chicago on the great fakes of North America to Liverpool direct, establishing a communication between the very centre of the great American continent and English ports. It is not supposed that this trade will abstract from the trade of the steamers, partly because it will be chiefly in goods, partly also because it will call into existence an amount of produce, an amount of trade in that produce, and a trade to supply the consumption in return, which will be in excess of any that has already passed between the two sides of the Atlantic.
Meanwhile, the in upon which road-communication has been carried out in North America has been applied in the United States to the extension of railways. The plan seems to have been first distinctly recognized, with regard to common roads, in the British Province of New Brunswick ; where it was found, that the establishment of a common road led to the settlement of the lands at its sides, in such proportion that the increased wealth to the community paid for the extension of the road ; and New Brunswick systematically appropriated a part of its funds annually to the making of roads as a means of promoting the settlement of lands. In the United States the plan has been established still more extensively. Certain lines of railway have been laid down : the Government has granted alternate sections, of a square mile each, on each side of the line, as a subsidy to the company undertaking to make the railroad; and has paid itself by doubling the price of the land in the intermediate sections raising it from a dollar and a quarter to two dollars and a half. he Daily News has made a minute report upon the result of this plan on the Illinois Railway, where the Government lands have been readily alienated at the double price, and the company's lands, withheld until after the completion of the road, at 2/. 10s. per acre. It has become certain that the sale of the lands will repay the entire cost of the road, leaving the road itself to the shareholders, free of all cost, as their profit. This plan has been carried out in the States of Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Louisiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa. The Canadian Legislature has borrowed the principle for the construction of a railway from Montreal to a point on the shores of Lake Superior. The United States therefore presents, on the borders of its settlements, the very converse of Great Britain : indeed of being an item in the cost of construction, the purchase and .sale of land have furnished a positive subsidy towards the capital of the company, with a more than proportionate benefit to the entire community.
• Letter of A. Dudley Mann, to the Citizens of the Slaveholding States, in relation to a Weekly Atlantic Terry-line of Iron Steam-ships of thirty thousand tons, between the Chesapeake Bay and Milford Haven. This principle, once established, furnishes the grandest illustration of a principle perfectly well known in every civilized community—as well known to the Romans as it is now to the Americans: it is, the share which the highway has in founding and maintaining the wealth and power of civilization. But the United States have struck out a mode of developing their highways, which in efficacy, is to the Roman road as the railway is to the common road ; and we may anticipate before long that the whole Union will be under a network of railways, gigantic in scope, and relatively as complete as those of England. But, again, what does this mean ? The population of the Union is increasing more rapidly than that of any other country Australia excepted. Every man added to the population not only causes an increase to the produce in a direct ratio, but an increase to the wealth in a geometrical ratio. The ready Communication brings every acre of land within its sweep into the market of the world ; and we may calculate that the surplus produce of the United States will increase as fast as we in Europe can find equivalents for it. On the other hand, we have not found that we have arrived at the end of the extension either of our own agriculture or of our own manufactures. For the latter we want only an extension of markets. There is a species of colonization, therefore, going on at home : without the corresponding extension of settlement, but simply by the constantly increasing efficacy of labour and of the methods of production, every acre in this country is becoming more valuable, every pair of hands more capable of production. The rates of wages in Ireland represent more than a doubling in the value of each pair of hands; and, undoubtedly the augmented value is yet greater in many branches of British industry. In the American instance, even if the South should succeed in abstracting the cotton and tobacco trade from the Northern line across the Atlantic, we may feel a perfect certainty that the vacancy left by that transfer will be filled by a. new and increasing trade between Great Britain and the North. Then we should have an ample commerce to occupy both lines ; while the constant increase of capital, both in the North and the South, would finmish the means for an internal commerce proportionate to the external trade. Thus the addition of the Southern line would operate as a positive auxiliary more than as a rival to the Northern.