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OF

BRITISH LEGISLATION:

BEING

A CLASSIFIED AND ANALYSED SUMMARY OF PUBLIC BILLS, STATUTES,
ACCOUNTS AND PAPERS, REPORTS OF COMMITTEES AND OF COMMISSIONERS, AND OF SESSIONAL

PAPERS GENERALLY, OF

THE HOUSES OF LORDS AND COMMONS ;

TOGETHER WITH

ACCOUNTS OF COMMERCIAL LEGISLATION, TARIFFS, AND FACTS,

RELATING TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES.

EDITED BY
LEONE LEVI, F.S.A., F.S.S., &c., &c.,

OF LINCOLN'S INN,

PROFESSOR OF THE PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE OF COMMERCE AT KING'S COLLEGE, LONDON ;

AUTHOR OF “COMMERCIAL LAW OF THE WORLD,” “MANUAL OF MERCANTILE LAW,” ETC.

Dedicated by special permission to His Royal Highness Prince Albert..

VOL. II.

LONDON:
SMITH, ELDER & co., 65, CORNHILL.

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PREFACE.

The Second Volume of the “ Annals” completes the Parliamentary labours for the year 1856. The preliminaries of Legislation, in the shape of Returns, Reports of Committees, and Bills, are now, for the first time, placed side by side with the Statutes of the Session. Ample materials are thus afforded for studying the Laws of the Realm, illustrated and elucidated by the circumstances which occasioned them, and the wants they were intended to meet. From the absence of such a collection heretofore has not unfrequently arisen uncertainty in the interpretation of Statutes. In conformity with the plan of this work, the Statutes are classified under the respective Series of Finance, Law, Population, &c.; and a further division has been introduced in the Statutes as applying to the United Kingdom, Great Britain, England, Scotland, and Ireland.

The Documents inserted in the present volume, under the Series A, “ Finance, Commerce, and Agriculture,” are numerous, and of considerable interest. The Report of the Committee of the House of Commons on “ Sound Dues” gives the history and operation of a tax which has for centuries interrupted commerce and navigation. A treaty for the redemption of these dues has lately been concluded. The Report on“ Masters and Operatives”. contains valuable materials in connection with “strikes ;” and affords abundant evidence of their evil effects on trade and on the labouring classes, together with suggestions for the institution of Boards of Conciliation to adjudicate disputes between masters and operatives, somewhat on the model of the Conseils de Prudhommes in France. The Reports on the state of various,

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