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by a ten-minute glass. Mr. Henderson, of the firm of Fox and Henderson, insisted strongly on the desirability of good feeling between employer and employed, and acknowledged the possibility of joint-stock factories existing as well as joint-stock railways. Mr. Pare, while acknowledging the soundness of the political economy of Mr. Fort, insisted strongly that production was yet far from its maximum; that the wages fund which Mr. Fort treated as a fixed quantity, was, nevertheless,

The SECRETARY has also received the follow-capable of expansion. Mr. Fort added, that this was a ing communications since the Conference :

question of the future, not of the present. Mi. Pare went on to show that, were the workmen interested in profits, a factory would produce twenty to twenty-five per cent. more, by the individual energy of each put into mutual operation.

The clear-headed intelligence of all the workmen was remarkable; and we have reason to be proud of our people, even if wrong-headed on some points. The absence of the employers with whom they were at variance was to be regretted.

Upon the whole, the impression given was, that the greatest grievance, greater even than the low wages, was the charge of inhumanity, of coarse, contemptuous, unchristian spurning of men by masters; which, rightly or wrongly, was charged against them, not as a body, but as individuals. Kind and generous testimony of good masters and good workmen was given on both sides, showing clearly that the breach is not deep. Another fact, judging from the conversation amongst the workmen, came out; the employers most disliked, and most accused of harshness, are those who have risen from the

DEAR SIR,-On thinking over what passed at the conference, it came to mind that several of the workmen delegates had expressed a wish for a better understanding between the masters and men, as a means of preventing strikes, and to give other good results, and that this was hardly sufficiently responded to by the masters present. My brother and I have tried a great many experiments upon the work-people here, and the result has been the firmest conviction upon our minds, that the greater consideration that working boys, girls, and men are treated with, and the more their interests are studied, the more they study the interests of their employers; and, what is of greater value as a fact, the shareholders in our company, a large mixed body, some 600 in number, have cordially sanctioned the experiments, or rather the extending the scale of the experiments, and are perfectly satisfied with their results. Not feeling certain how far kindly feeling in the operatives would tell upon mere routine work, as in the cotton and other mills, we asked a man whose business it has been to closely study the work-condition of workmen.. ing of a great many mills. He said the result would be the same in work however routine. Many manufacturers have tried all that we have, and some no doubt, are doing more; but manufacturers, as a class, dont talk much about their doings; it is only in a public company like ours, where every shareholder has a right and expects to know all that is done with his money, and talks about it with his friends, that everything gets published Many improving manufacturers have compared notes with my brother and myself, and they all say as we do, that, in proportion as the operatives are treated with consideration and kindness, and are well looked after, so is the work done cheerfully, actively, cheaply, and well. I ought to have said-not written-this; however, the delegates were expected to speak, and the time was precious. am, dear Sir, yours truly,

GEO. F. WILSON.

Price's Patent Candle Company, Belmont,
Vauxhall, London, Jan. 31, 1854.

more.

I

SIE, The conference at the Society's rooms has been productive of good results. One was, the unanimous agreement of all parties in the desire for such an alteration of the law of partnership as might enable industrious and skilful men to obtain sleeping partners in capitalists with limited liability. This alone, ably argued by Mr. Slaney, was worth the exertions made. But there was much The political economy part of the question, the supply and demand which must inexorably determine the question of wages, was ably set forth by Mr. Fort and Professor Pryme, late of Cambridge, and also by one of the delegates. Mr. Hindley took the humane side of the question, contending that the working people should be treated like men, and not as a part of the machinery of a mill. Mr. Lloyd Jones, in an able speech, followed up this subject. Mr. William Newton was eloquent on the necessity of raising the condition of the workmen; insisting that, whatever might be the laws of political economy, it was not by such expounding that we could get rid of the discontent of underpaid and starving work men. Human nature would rebel. Robert Owen proclaimed his version of the laws of nature--that all masters were tyrants, and all workmen slaves, and then broke down, for the "sands of speech were run;" all speaking

If this be so, it is a subject for very grave consideration. What is the condition of education amongst the workmen, which promotes the growth of noxious qualities, to be exhibited when prosperity developes them. Money-making is clearly compatible with an inferior condition of citizenship. The strength of a community is to be found in its united friendship; and power, in the possession of mere selfishness, saps the roots of permanence.

In adverting to the political economy of the wages question, Mr. Lloyd Jones made a very pertinent observation. He insisted on the possibility of wages being unnaturally depressed by the competition of masters depreciating the value of goods by throwing too many into the market-forcing sales, in short-and thus establishing prices so low that good wages could not be afforded.

Now, it is well known to all shop-keepers beginning business that to offer any cheap goods is an infallible mode of attracting customers, but the after-process of raising the prices to a remunerating quantity, is a matter of considerable difficulty, and the consuming public has an advantage through competing manufacturers. But although this competing process gives two shirts to the public at the price of one, the general body of shirt-makers get the same amount of wages from the general fund. If one shirt were given instead of two the public would have less shirts, but the shirt-maker would have no more money; and if his time be only half occupied, and he be not remunerated, it makes little difference to him giving two shirts or one.

One of the speakers stated, as a great hardship, that a firm made £14,000 per annum profits, while all the working people were very much underpaid, and seemed to think that the division of it amongst the people would have been an advantage. What the numbers of the workers were was not stated. Supposing them 1,000 the profit would be at the rate of 18d. each per week, to go to the capital fund less maintenance of the employers-about 14 per cent. If it had been divided amongst the worknien there would have been no savings, and no trade can be carried on permanently without savings.

Let us begin at the beginning. The whole food, clothing, furniture, and dwellings of the community constitutes a given quantity, and they are divided unequally

amongst the different classes of the community. The distributors help themselves first to as much as they want, and the remainder goes amongst the various classes, the best to the most powerful, and so on, till lower down in the scale the quality and quantity lessens. If the total amount be not sufficient for all, the least powerful suffer, and in the extreme verge, the workhouse supplies those who do not actually starve. It is price that regulates the distribution; the rich are first served, and the poor last. What so just or easy as to divide equally all round? the poor will exclaim. But it is not so easy. The rich and well-to-do are really the most numerous and powerful, and the poor a minority. The well-to-do are workers, and will not consent to a condition of discomfort; and if the whole food of the idle rich were to be divided amongst the poor, the process would be akin to throwing the parson's dinner into the parish cauldron, scarce a flavour for each.

If the quantity could be increased to give all enough, or if the poor could all be shipped off, the condition of all would be that of comfort. To prevent poverty it is essential that there should be no inferior trades, and that there should be abundant work for all at high wages. High wages cannot exist with a surplus of workmen.

will be a tendency for national capital to decrease, to the
certain misery of themselves as well as others. I do not
mean to say that the surplus may not be converted into a
deficiency by the discovery of new fields for labour, but
that if the labourers come in advance of the labour-the
mouths before the food-there will be trouble. The sur-
plus can only be diminished by one of two processes—
emigration, or the supply of work. Any arrangement
that can facilitate the free transit of labour, taking it from
overstocked employments and supplying it to the under-
stocked, would be an advantage. Could the weavers of
Preston have turned to digging coal or stone, or making
shoes or ironwork, there would have been no need to
strike. I believe that Birmingham is more free from
strikes than other towns, and that the reason is, employ-
ments in the iron trades are analagous to each other, and
there are large numbers of small masters who change from
one class of work to another-from gun locks to door
locks, and from gun barrels to gas tubes; from nails to
screws, and from bolts to spikes. Everywhere we have
complaints of the want of workmen and labourers, showing
that the total numbers are not in excess; and if weavers
can only get 14s. per week, it is high time that they
should inquire by what process men in Birmingham can
triple that amount. If English workmen were educated
so that they could substitute the cheap enjoyments of the
reading-room for the filthy ones of the public-house, they
would rapidly rise into capitalists and shareholders; and
they must live in hopes of their "good time coming."
W. BRIDGES ADAMS.

Jan. 30, 1854.

AND SOUTH WILTS LECTURERS'

ASSOCIATION.

Let us imagine a condition of things in England in which all employers were prohibited from competition with each other, and all workmen, not being in surplus, were paid ample wages for fabricating cotton cloths to supply the rest of Europe, no one else understanding how to make them. This would be a workman's paradise, as long as it might last. But if the workmen increased in numbers, other things being the same, the wages of each would lessen. If in neighbouring countries working HANTS people existed who could make cotton cloth equally well, the general wages would have to be divided between them and the English workmen for the supply of the The object of this Association, it will be remembered, markets of Europe; and, in proportion as the workmen of is to facilitate the establishment of institutions, the delivery other countries took up the same trade, the less must be of lectures, and the formation of classes. It is not proposed the proportion of wages, unless the demand increases. I to interfere in any way with the institutfons, or to dictate the English workmen, by their greater skill and the aid any conditions, but such as are necessary to the Association of machines, can do more work than the foreigner, with itself. Neither does it profess to send out or appoint any less labour, they may hold their own. But if the foreigner lecturer, or to prescribe any particular constitution for the is contented with a lower rate of wages, the competition Institutions. The first report states that-"Two ways of goes on again. If the foreigner gets the same machinery proceeding are recognised-the first suitable to village, or with cheaper labour, the race of competition must be to small town, or parochial institutions, namely, that of him, and the only remedy in such case would be to mutual assistance, by which all expenses incurred on abandon the trade for some other, or to emigrate to a account of lectures may be avoided. Each institution, by land like America or Australia, where workmen might be this plan, provides one lecturer, who, in succession, may at a premium. It should be one of the duties of the deliver the same lecture, if he so please, in the other Instiboards of trade, which all scem to consider a desirable tutions in the same circle. The second has reference mode of settling disputes between employers and work-more immediately, but not exclusively, to towns, and men, to determine the periods when trades can no longer be pursued to advantage, and to warn the workmen to seck other employments.

Mr. Fort was quite clear in stating that if any body of workmen could artificially succeed in naming the rate of wages, that some other workmen must suffer for it; he might have added, unless they could commence a new and more profitable business. Wages are raised in Australia by the profitable business of gold digging.

Mr. Lloyd Jones insisted on combinations amongst workmen having a tendency to raise the rate of wages, and quoted tables showing that the trades in union had the highest rates. But he did not show that this was a real rate; he did not state how much per cent. was paid to keep out competing workmen. If workmen were kept out by other means, as limiting the number of apprentices, then it was simply establishing a monopoly of work by arbitrary power, as objectionable as any other arbitrary

power.

There is no doubt that certain classes of workmen might, under peculiar circumstances, keep their trades wholly to themselves, supplying limited markets, and shutting their eyes and ears to the murmurs of other workmen. But so long as the general body of workmen are in surplus there

offers a list of gratuitous lectures to the choice of such places in Union as are desirous of availing themselves of them. The distinction between the two will be evident.

By the first all expense is avoided. Each lecturer bears his own expenses, giving his own lecture, and receiving those of the other lecturers in the same circle in regular succession, thus supplying, as the circle may be arranged, one or two lectures a month. By the second, the only expense to the Town Institution will be the personal expenses of the Lecturer. In some cases it may be convenient for the Town Institutions to join the mutual assistance plan for one or two lectures a month, as the case may be, or for one monthly lecture on this plan, and draw from the list for another. To all, as they by degrees accumulate, the diagrams will offer a means of avoiding expense, aud while they suggest subjects, remove difficulties which have been hitherto experienced in procuring illustrations. In reporting progress, fifteen sets of diagrams have been purchased, as also a phantasmagoria lantern and four different sets of sliders." The diagrams have been in great request. Thirty institutions have placed themselves in union; and Reading-rooms have been established in a considerable number of towns and parishes.

No 64. Vol. II.] JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY OF ARTS.

Journal of the Society of Arts,

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1854.

TENTH ORDINARY MEETING.

[Feb. 10, 1854.

Law of Patents." He had come prepared to discuss that question, and he had a long list of what he considered defects in the present system; but he now found a notice of a different kind placed upon the board, which he was not then prepared to go into. First, as to Cost-that was considered by some persons a merit; then, as to Preliminary Examination-amongst some patent witnesses that was considered a defect, by others not so; the Nature of the Tribunal -what had that to do with defects? If it was intended to discuss that, he would Hun-prepare himself for it; but he submitted they had no right to say it was a defect: and then, as to the Length of Term and Renewal-was that any defect? He protested against this mode of dealing with the subject.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 1854.
THE Tenth Ordinary Meeting of the One
dredth Session was held on Wednesday, the 8th
instant, HARRY CHESTER, Esq., in the Chair.
The following candidates were balloted for
and duly elected :--

Chambers, William, jun. Levi, Leone, F.S.S.
Mackenzie, Rev. Charles, Robartes, Thomas James
M.A.
Agar, M.P.

The following Institutions have been taken
into Union since the last announcement:-
336. Bristol, Early Closing Association (Education De-
partment).

337. London, St. John's Wood, Literary and Scientific Society.

Mr. WEBSTER remarked that any one possessing a knowledge of the subject, could not, in his opinion, have a more convenient mode of dealing with it than the one proposed by the Council.

Mr. COLE said it appeared to him that under the head of cost, for instance, they might discuss a defect. The present law might say, "you have no right to a patent unless you comply with a certain process, involving cost," which some persons might regard as a defect.

Mr. DENISON said if the subject were so treated, he had no objection to offer. He was prepared to tell the meeting what he considered the defects in the present law of patents, but he should object to being stopped on the ground that what he might advance was not included in

338. Middlesbro', Mechanics' Institute.
339, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Northern Union of Literary and the four heads suggested by the Council.
Mechanics' Institutes.

The SECRETARY called attention to some plates made at Halla, a large town about 30 miles to the N. W. of Hydrabad, in Sind, and which had been sent to the Society by Mr. Finnimore, of the Bombay Artillery. They were made from a pattern furnished by that gentleman, from sand or clay procured from the bank of the river Indus. When made they were placed in the sun to dry; and afterwards the different devices were painted with a brush and the glazing mixture laid on. The plates were then put into a kiln and baked. From the same sand large quantities of bricks and tiles, both glazed and plain, of a superior quality, are made, and also pans, &c., for domestic purposes. The workman sits on the ground with his legs stretched out on each side of the potter's wheel, to which he gives a rapid circular motion. Large numbers of both men and women are employed in the manufacture, on small wages.

DISCUSSION ON THE DEFECTS IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE PRESENT PATENT LAW. The CHAIRMAN said, that at the two last meetings the question had been discussed as to the expediency or inexpediency of having patent laws. The opinion being generally expressed in favour of some law of patents, the object now was to endeavour to see what improvement could be made in that law, and also in its administration. In order to render the discussion practical, it had been proposed that the subject should be arranged under four heads, namely:-first, Cost; secondly, the question of Preliminary Examination; thirdly, the Nature of the Tribunal; and fourthly, Length of Term and Renewal. He would now suggest that they should proceed to discuss the question, and would call upon Mr. Webster to open the debate.

Mr. DENISON Said-By the notice which had been issued to the members he presumed the subject for the evening's discussion was "The Defects in the Existing

Mr. WEBSTER Would wish, in the first place, to correct the Carpet Printing Machine at Crag Works, near Maca statement he had made in his paper, to the effect that clesfield, was the joint production of Mr. Burch and Mr. Fothergill. From a communication he had received from Mr. Burch, it appeared that the entire invention, design, and construction of the machine in question (unaided by any excepting the necessary workmen) were due to that gentleman, and that Mr. Fothergill, had he had an opportunity of doing so, would have disthe first question, that of Cost, he had very little to avowed all participation therein. With regard to say. No doubt under the old system it was looked upon as one of the greatest abuses. He believed the feeling generally was, that the present cost was unobjectionable; for instance, for 51. an invention was protected for obtained for 201. more, for three years; it could be further six months; at the end of that period a patent could be secured for fourteen years by the payment of 50l. at the end of the third year, and 1007. at the end of seven years,

the result being the securing a patent for the whole of a total sum of 1751. That, he thought, left very little of the United Kingdom for fourteen years, upon payment to be desired; for if an invention did not answer, it left other ingenious people a clear stage for improvement upon it without the risk of infringement.

The CHAIRMAN-Then you think a further reduction of the cost is not necessary?

Mr. WEBSTER thought not. It was small compared with the cost of registration, which was 107., whereas they got an equivalent to a patent for six months for 51. He thought it was not desirable to have such things too cheap; some might think a man entitled to his patent at the lowest possible rate; all he (Mr. Webster) could say upon that was, it would be a very good thing for the lawyers.

Mr. COLE differed from Mr. Webster as to the present amount of the cost of patents being a settled question. In olden times people thought 100l. was the right amount, which was afterwards increased to 3001. Now, they had come down to 251. for three years for the whole country. If inventions were good things, was it right for the State. to tax them? It seemed like taxing knowledge. Why should the registration of a claim for a patent cost the inventor 251. How was the money spent? He was told that the Attorney-General had more than the salary of a Prime Minister for examining patents, and the Solicitor

General about the same. Why were persons to pay 70001. or 8000l. a-year to those functionaries for this examination of patents? If it was a real thing, let the public pay as they did; but was it a real thing? In his opinion it was not a question of cost at all; it ought only to be the bare fees for registration. He thought registration ought not to be crippled, What he would say was, have it as cheap as it can be, and let inventors pay for the services performed by the State, and no more; all beyond that was indefensible in principle.

Mr. STANSBURY said, it seemed to him that Mr. Cole had struck upon the right principle in this question, which was, that people ought not to pay more for Government than what it fairly cost; and as to a patent costing 251. for registration, it was quite out of the question. He would illustrate the matter by reference to the American law of patents. The fee for a patent in that country was only 61. The office of the Commissioners of Patents was a large building, where models were displayed. Examination was there a real thing, and a large corps of officers was supported. Scientific men were employed to make the examinations, and they did the work. Three-fourths of the applications were rejected, on the ground of the want of novelty; and the 67. fee not only paid all the expenses of a large establishment, but a fund of 200,000 dollars had been accumulated; and if that were the case in America, he saw no reason why a patent in England should cost 175l. for the same period of years. It seemed, therefore, to him, that the present law was open to objection on the score of cost. The CHAIRMAN-You mean that it ought to be reduced to the lowest point consistent with the payment of expenses?

Mr. CORNELIUS VARLEY contended that the expense was a great obstruction to inventions; and that the fees ought to be confined to the cost.

Mr. ALEXANDER CAMPBELL said, for many years he had had experience with working men, who had endeavoured to bring forward important improvements; and who, by small contributions amongst themselves, raised some hundreds of pounds, both under the old law and the new one, to bring out new improvements. Some of the best productions had emanated from working men, but, from their pecuniary position, they could not bring their improvements properly before the public, and the public to a great extent had lost the advantages of those inventions. The present law must be considered an improvement upon the old one, but still he thought there was a large margin open for further improvement. As had been very properly remarked, why could not they in this country give the same facilities for bringing out tangible inventions as were afforded by their transatlantic brethren. It was true that a 51. stamp would secure an invention for six months, and 251. for three years; but he appealed to the experience of many present whether it was not within their knowledge that some of the greatest improvements of the age took years even before the public could be convinced of the propriety of adopting them in practice. He knew instances in which thousands of pounds had been expended in bringing out inventions, though these inventions had received the approbation of the most experienced scientific men; but the public had to be convinced, and public opinion raised in favour of the invention; and as capitalists were cautious and chary in the application of their money, the requisite funds for bringing out the invention might not be obtained in the first, second, or even the seventh year. Supposing an invention were patented for three years, a working man would make it known as far as his means permitted, but at the end of the three years he might be unsuccessful in bringing it before the public; and yet, without having derived a shilling from the invention, he was called upon to pay 501. more; whereas if genius were encouraged instead of taxed, the advantage would not only be to the parties most immediately interested, but also to the

public at large. He had no hesitation in saying that the cost of patents ought to be reduced to the smallest minimum for which it could be effected, and ail encouragement should be afforded to inventors to secure the invention, and thereby obtain the greatest advantages for the community at large.

Mr. DENISON said there were other matters of cost to be mentioned. If, as was assumed, patents were to exist, and all possible encouragement be given to inventions, and a right of property in those inventions, he could not conceive why there should be more than the bare fees for registration. If not, then they should adopt a large tax for the discouragement of inventions, as some of the patent witnesses had said there was an advantage in that course. There was another matter of cost. The 1751. mentioned was not the real cost of a successful patent. Mr. Prosser had said that every successful patent underwent a lawsuit, and was not worth anything until it had. In a patent possession was not nine points of the law: until the patent was proved, it was worth nothing; and could they do that for 50l., 1007., or sometimes even 10007. What did this cheapening come to? Patents of no value would be cheap, but for a substantial patent they had no certainty that the cost would not be 10007. Sir David Brewster's remedy for that was certainly very conclusive, if it had no other merit. He said he would have no ligitation whatever-that there should be a preliminary board, and as soon as a patent was granted, that ought to be conclusive against all the world. That was strong, but simple. But how was the law to be put in force? It would be merely the substitution of a criminal for a civil proceeding, and instead of going into the Court of Chancery to restrain piracy, they would go to the Old Bailey. Mr. Prosser had said he would take them to the County Court. That sounded well, and sounded cheap; but he (Mr. Prosser) was asked what was the cause of the expense of the patent lawsuits? He replied, "witnesses and lawyers." How did witnesses come to be so much expense? Scientific people required to be paid highly; and it was not probable that they would charge less for their attendance at the County Court than at Guildhall. Another case was, that sometimes they could not get scientific men, and therefore they obtained a cheaper class of witnesses, who had to be dressed up to look respectable. That was practically Mr. Prosser's view. But, again, the lawyers were expensive. Why? Because a patent often involved a large sum of money; and such a person as he (Mr. Denison) would not be called in; but the Attorney-General was retained, who would not stir out of his chambers for less than 300 guineas. But was that all? It was a saying, that the rich man had the advantage of the poor man. A rich man might spend 2,000l. or 3,000l. in buying up patents; but if a poor man held a patent, and was threatened with a lawsuit, he would sacrifice everything, sooner than risk that which might ruin him. But there was another thing mentioned by Mr. Prosser-a witness in favour of patents-that, inasmuch as lawsuits were so important to the solidity of a patent, those lawsuits were made collusive. Supposing he (Mr. Denison) were to bring an action against Mr. Cole for piracy, they conferred, and instead of putting their heads together, they put their pockets together, and determined, instead of a bonâ fide action, to go on quietly until he (Mr. Denison) obtained the verdict. Then it would go forth to the world as a patent established after fierce litigation, and as a good patent all over the kingdom. There was another observation to be made upon this:-There was a class of people who made money by going round to persons having small things, not worth bringing forward. The party would say, this is patented; but, instead of going to law, compromise the thing by giving me 51." He (Mr. Denison) was sure he would forfeit the 51. rather than go to law. That was the consequence of the cost of lawsuits, which were an inevitable adjunct to patents, and which had nothing whatever to do with the preliminary costs. He (Mr. Denison) was of

opinion with Mr. Cole, that the cost ought to be reduced to the lowest possible point.

Mr. CAMPIN wished to state in reference to the observations of Mr. Stansbury, as to the working of the patent law in America, that the large surplus fund of the establishment did not arise merely out of the fees of 67., but out of the 500 dollars which was the cost of a patent to a British subject, and the 200 dollars to foreigners of other nations.

Mr. STANSBURY would state that the number of patents granted to foreigners in America from 1790 to the present time, did not amount to 200, and therefore that source of revenue was not very important. Since he had been in England he had communicated with the commissioners of patents in America, urging a uniformity in the cost. The system in America was to charge a foreigner the same as the foreigner charged the American. The 500 dollars in America was less than was charged in England. He however thought foreigners ought to be put upon the same footing with the citizens.

only to subjects resident in the province.

2. Nova Scotia. Persons that have resided one year within the B.N.A. provinces, and who deposit a model of their invention at the secretary's office, can obtain a patent; no other.

3. New Brunswick Application cannot be granted, because it does not comply with the requirements of the local laws relating to patents.

4. Prince Ed-
ward's Island

5. Newfoundland

6. Bermuda .
7. Vancouver's
Island.

8. Jamaica

9. Turks and

}

The patent will be granted by the co-
lonial legislature without charge.
An oath or affirmation must be made
before a judge of the supreme court
in writing, that he (the petitioner) is
the inventor or discoverer of the
improvement.

Nil.

Nil.

WEST INDIAN POSSESSIONS.

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An agent should be appointed to in. troduce the bill into the legislature

Caicos Island} Nil. 10. Honduras

11. Bahamas

12. Barbadoes.

13. St. Vincent

14. Grenada

15. Tobago
16. St. Lucia

.

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Will receive patent. To forward precedents.

No law in this colony granting the issue of patents.

An agent should be appointed to introduce the bill into the legislature. The Lieutenant-Governor cannot interfere in such a matter, nor can the Council entertain such a question. There is no general law in force in the island relating to patents, &c. Nil.

There is no law in force in this colony to authorise the granting of patents.

Mr. CURTIS said his experience in this matter was chiefly with regard to our colonies. The greatest defects existed in the patent laws in reference to the colonies. He was a forest owner in the West Indies, and when timber was cut, the great difficulty was to remove it from the forest. In the dry season that was readily effected by dragging it away by oxen along the hard ground, but with such rains as occurred in tropical climates the ground becomes so soft that such means were not available, as the oxen would sink up to the girths. Under these circumstances he set about constructing a sort of primitive railway with rough timber, over which the trees were conveyed. This was found to answer the purpose admirably. He thought such a railway would be good for Australia and he had come over to this country respecting it; but in the present state of the law it was difficult to know how to proceed as to patents for the colonies. The colony for which the patent is applied for, must be specified; and as he wished to apply his invention to all the colonies, he put down the whole 50 colonies of England; consequently he got no colonial patent at all, but merely one for the United Kingdom, including the Channel Islands. That he received under protest, because he wanted it principally for the colonies. He inquired the system which was adopted with reference to the colonies, but could get no informa- 18. Montserrat tion he therefore took his own course. He knew that 19. St. Christopher if he sent a letter to the authorities it would have been pitched into the fire and nothing more heard of it. He applied at the Colonial-office and pointed out the hardship of the case, and they consented to send 50 letters to 20. Nevis the 50 colonies in the government mail bags; and although all the letters to the governors and councils were alike, 21. Virgin Islands all the answers to the same application were different- 22. Dominica except where they gave no answer at all. Amongst 23. British Guiana others he had sent an application to Australia, accompanied 24. Trinidad . with a copy of the preliminary specification, which so struck the Governor, that he sent orders to the Board of Roads to suspend the outlay for metalling the common roads in order to carry out this plan. When the cheapness and facility with which this system could be carried out were considered, it was surprising that the system had not been adopted in all the colonies. He was told that he must apply to the colonial legislatures for a private bill; the 27. Ionian Islands These islands, forming an indepen

Governor of Trinidad promised the thing should be done: a petition was sent, and there it stopped; and he very much doubted whether it had not cost him more money

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A private agent should be employed for the furtherance of such views. Nil.

The legislature are prepared to meet your wishes, which will involve the by-no-means trifling expense of a private bill.

This legislature has no power to grant patents.

Nil.

Nil.

Nil.

The Attorney-General will prepare and introduce, at as early a period as possible, an ordinance for the purpose of meeting your wishes.

MEDITERRANEAN AND AFRICAN POSSESSIONS.

25. Gibraltar
26. Malta

Hope

and trouble for a colony with 6,000 inhabitants than 28. Cape of Good
would have been required for all England. He then read
the following

Abstract from Official Replies to Applications made by Mr. 29. Natal
J. Curtis, to the Colonial and Indian Legislatures, for
Letters Patent for Improvements in Rail and Tram
ways, and for an Apparatus for Excavating and Deliver-
ing earth.

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31. Sierra Leone.
32. Gold Coast

Nil.

Nil.

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