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It is a custom in Courts of Justice that the counsel for the defence should be allowed the last word. As, therefore, the defender of my own paper I may, perhaps, beg to be allowed a rejoinder to Mr. Burt's communication of May 30th. The point at issue is whether a comparison of the margin between exports and imports is a legitimate one if expressed in its food-purchasing equivalent. I have given for thirtyfive years for the United Kingdom the margin in currency and in its equivalent. I have pointed out that such currency margins have only existed since 1894 in the United States and since 1880 in Germany. Currency comparisons are of value when comparing recent years of various countries; but widely separated periods in which the purchasing value of gold may vary, require correction for this fluctuation. If I had taken, say, the prices of all commodities rather than food stuffs only, I should have laid myself open to the more serious criticism that the very factor of comparison employed included fluctuations in iron and coal prices. Had I, however, taken the index number of all prices for the United Kingdom I had not grievously erred in stating the British position. It would be an easy matter for Mr. Burt to prepare such a Table.

Contrasting only the margin between exports and imports for one country over a period of years, in urging the legitimacy of any comparison, I must remind Mr. Burt that in its final stage all international commerce is a barter of the products of one country for the products of another. British exports of manufactured goods are in the main bartered for food stuffs and raw material. German and American exports are bartered for goods of a different character, therefore, the factor which is a fair one in computing British external trade cannot be properly applied to those of countries whose produce is exchanged mainly for commodities differing in nature. Inconsistent, irrelevant, and incomplete are the terms now applied to me. What can be more inconsistent than to suggest my measuring the volume of our external iron and steel commerce in its coal-purchasing value, when we do not barter steel plates for lignite, briquettes, or anthracite? What can be more irrelevant to the issue than a suggestion that the margin should be measured in rates and taxes?

Incompleteness I conceded in the paper itself. Mr. Burt states, "The internal consumption is known in regard to iron and steel and better known probably than in any other industry." He is alluding, I presume, to the annual statistical statements of an association of manufacturers. These are not generally accessible. The libraries of the Society of Arts, of the Royal Statistical Society, even of the Iron and

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Steel Institute itself do not possess copies. Here is a chance for Mr. Burt's charity, that he should present I should to this Society at least a set of such works. then find it a less difficult matter to study them than at present. It is suggested that I despise complicated and undeceiving tonnages." I quoted several such in my paper, and was properly reproved by Mr. Bennett Brough, who gave figures which showed that the values put a different construction on such figures. It has also been an interesting point in the tariff controversy that export tonnages have been rarely used in propaganda. Rather have we had values in sterling quoted and requoted by those who in their fiscal zeal outrun their statistical discretion. Weights and volumes are well enough for the rawest of raw materials. But who would buy locomotives for aught but a scrap heap at a per ton rate? Or dynamos, or boilers, or sewing-machines? Yet locomotives, boilers, dynamos, and sewing-machines are among the exports which are largely dependent on the iron and steel and their allied trades, and among the productions which add to our internal wealth.

Finally, a review of our respective positions. I state that in regard to our iron and steel industries, a computation of the excess of exports over imports, when allowance is made for either the fall in food stuffs, or in all commodities, shows no retrogression in external trade. For internal trade we have only indirect evidences as to its prosperity. I appeal for direct evidence. On the other hand, Mr. Burt disputes my first premise, and failing to supply the evidence required regarding internal trade, advocates an experiment in tariff revision, forsooth, because other countries and colonies employ "protection." Neither into early economic history, when the United Kingdom was Protectionist, nor into the elements of political economy need I venture, which are really extraneous to the matter at issue.

W. POLLARD DIGBY. Trafalgar-buildings, Charing-cross, London, W.C. June 14th, 1904.


Amongst the topics discussed in Mr. O'Conor's paper were (a) the apparent financial gain to the Indian Government through supersession of the automatic currency system and fixing an approximate gold-value to the rupee by legalised "regulation." But this is only the outside and surface of that transaction. Though the "cost of exchange" has been rubbed off the face of the budget, that very hard fact -the burden inseparable from large and permanent excess of exports--could not be extinguished by any currency manipulation. So that as regards India's international commerce the effect of artificially raising the value of the rupee may be traced in the increased

percentage of that export-excess; while, as regards internal Indian trade and production, evidence of its cost is, so far, obvious in the "profits on coinage," which, during the last four years, amounted to £6,177,224-a penalty on production, levied from planters and ryots alike.

(b) Mr. O'Conor took the chief items of which the Home Charges consist, and this would be useful for many of his audience; but it does not touch the strictly economic branch of the argument. The mercantile items on the list are already included in his import returns, and thus do not form any portion of India's actual excess of exports. Even if the whole of these charges in England consisted of "visible" commercial transactions, the fact remains that those annual State payments are made in a foreign country, and have a totally different economic effect as compared with outlay of revenue within the country itself. If this United Kingdom had to pay for its civil and military pensions; the interest on its debt; and for its railway and other public works material, say to Germany, to France, or the United States, the economic pressure on our industrial and monetary condition would be readily perceived and felt. Quite apart from any argument on the details of those obligatory payments of Indian revenues abroad, the adverse economic effect of such perennial transfer must be realised when its aggregate amounts are considered. For instance, only in the six years up to 1902-3 the total sum of India's unbalanced excess of exports was Rx.132,755,900.

That Mr. O'Conor is himself sufficiently conscious of the gravity of this standing drawback on "the economic and industrial progress and condition of India," may be inferred from his remarks on the "burden in the expenditure abroad of taxes raised in India; " and his timely warning that the " greatest care should be taken to restrict the growth of the Home Charges." No doubt, he is well aware, that the only way to secure such restriction is, that this master country shall sustain some substantial share of those charges through which we maintain profitable sway over our Indian Empire; but this is another story.

(c) Mr. O'Conor's incidental dealing with the public debt of India was scarcely serious enough in its economic aspect. His remark, that of the whole debt two-thirds represents capital expended on railways (a statistic that needs verification): and is therefore "an asset," omits, at least, one essential item of huge amount. That is the fifty millions or more contributed from the revenues of India during a long series of years, towards guaranteed interest and up keep of the Indian railway system. This has gone under, and does not appear in the face of the accounts (except in the Railway Administration Reports); but it has been, and is (more so if compound interest be considered a very heavy set off against the large credit claimed for railways as having facilitated the enormous increase of India's export trade; more so, since being supplemented by that grand international public work the Suez Canal, provided out by the revenue and

credit of Egypt. As to the strictly financial results of Indian railway extension that was a shrewd observation by Mr. O'Conor, to the effect that "the railways have been one chief means of maintaining and causing the (comparatively moderate) increase of the land revenue, which forms nearly half of the whole net revenue of the Indian Government." This juxtaposition throws strong sidelights on some other passages in the paper, as also on the whole question of India's economic situation.



In a letter to the Journal of the Society of Arts, of the 26th of February, 1904 (see ante p. 323), Mr. Abel states that the United States Patent Laws are tyrannical, and operate to the prejudice of the inventor, and gives three reasons for his belief. These are, briefly-(1) Harsh requirements for division of an application into two or more applications; (2) Stubborn examiners and a vexatious course of appeal; and (3) The existence of four rules that have been laid down by the examiners of late


Since the establishment of the United States patent system, it has been the practice of the Patent Office, that from a requirement of the examiner for division, an applicant may petition, without the payment of a Government fee, to the Commissioner in person, by whom the question is always carefully considered. A recent decision of the United States Supreme Court apparently results in the necessity of an appeal to the examiners in chief at a cost of ten dollars. The practice as to division of an application has varied under different Commissioners, some permitting greater latitude than others in the joinder of inventions. But, in any case, dependent inventions may be joined in the same application; independent inventions must always be prosecuted in separate applications. A thorough examination as to the prior art, which consists of more than 700,000 United States patents, renders absolutely necessary a proper and thorough classification of inventions. This cannot be effected if independent inventions are joined in the same applications. If the British Patent Office attempts to make a thorough search as to novelty, it will soon find this to be true. Moreover, the number of United States patents is vastly in excess of British patents, and, therefore, a greater refinement of classification is necessary. Mr. Abel states that the inventor is under the "complete thraldom of an opinionated examiner." The six quoted words express three false statements:-(1) The jurisdiction of the examiner is not complete. He is the primary examiner. Any decision of his is subject to review, and upon any merely formal matter it will be reviewed by the Commissioner in person without Government charge. (2) The inventor is under no thraldom of

the examiner, for the reason that the examiner's decision is in no case final; inventors and attorneys who have an intelligent understanding of the American system never have to complain of thraldom. (3) The examiners are not opinionated in the sense meant. There are nearly forty primary examiners, each taking pride in the development of the art under his charge. They are men versed in science, mechanics, and law. They know that the extent of the field of knowledge is constantly enlarging, in a great measure due to American research and invention, and are willing and glad to learn from the inventors the facts which extend this field of knowledge. The examiners, or many of them, spend much of their annual leave visiting shops and mills to obtain more intimate and working knowledge of their art, thus coming in close touch with inventors, and always endeavour to grant them all the patent protection to which they are entitled. There is no reason why it should be otherwise. The United States Patent Office at all times contains several scores of examiners and assistant-examiners, who will eventually form a part, and a conspicuous part of the Patent Bar of the land. Many of their clients will be those whose applications they are now passing upon. Why, then, should they treat them harshly, or with aught than full and equal justice? Looking at it from a selfish standport merely, it is absurd to say that a man will hamper his future career by making for himself a reputation for harshness and severity. And looking at the matter from a higher standpoint, it must be remembered that an examiner is an official who has sworn to do his duty. one of them is proud of the United States patent system, and of the inventors whom it fosters. Be the inventor rich or poor, influential or obscure, he is accorded equal courtesy. As a single instance, it may be stated that recently an inventor, a poor man, who thought his presence necessary, came from the far South-west at a cost he could ill afford. He was given a number of interviews and helped in every way, and finally went home happy in the assurance that his patent had been allowed. Had he been the richest manufacturer of the land he could have gotten no fairer treatment.


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applications maturing into patents is large. 40,000 applications are filed, from all sections of the world, and are carefully searched by the Patent Office as to the prior art of a half-dozen countries or more, it stands to reason that a considerable percentage of applications must be without patentable novelty. Yet it will be seen that three-fifths of the applications mature into patents.

Where an applicant replies promptly to the official actions, a patent may usually be obtained in the course of a few months. Often the first action is the allowance of the application, only a month after filing. Unless a case be involved in interference proceedings, it need not be pending in the Office more than a year. A case pending more than a year is the exception rather than the rule, and the reason is very apt to be the delay on the part of the attorney. To say that the inventor has to argue "with the examiner for years sometimes, before the latter will allow that the inventor has any patentable article at all" is to state something that very seldom, if ever, occurs and if it does occur there is no reason therefor. inventor and the examiner may come to an issue with very little delay, and if dissatisfied, the inventor, for a fee of $10, may appeal, and will be heard within a month, and will get a very prompt decision. Mr. Abel's reference to an appeal to the Supreme Court is erroneous. Appeal lies from the Commissioner to the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia but this is seldom taken except in an interference



Regarding the form of claims, the examiner's sole desire (aside from the consideration of novelty) is to obtain “a plain and straightforward expression of the invention, that anyone could readily understand," Mr. Abel's statement to the contrary, notwithstanding. Large latitude is left to the inventor. In applications filed by American attorneys and particularly by skilled attorneys, there is very little difficulty with the form of claims. In order that there may be certainty as to their scope, it is required that each element be definitely and directly included, and that the claim be not, what may be termed, rambling. Further than this the examiner seldom goes, and as before stated, any ruling of the examiner is subject to revision on petition to the commissioner.

Four alleged rules are laid down by Mr. Abel as follows, which will be separately considered:

Firstly, -You cannot have a patent for a method of operating unless this can be expressed entirely without reference to apparatus or machinery.

Secondly, -You must not, in a claim for construction of apparatus or machinery, introduce any description of the manner in which it operates— your claim must be limited to the enumeration of the cranks, levers, cams, &c., that constitute your machine.

Thirdly,-You cannot in one and the same patent include a method of operation and the machine or apparatus by which that method of operating is carried out.

Fourthly,-If your invention is capable of being carried out by several modified arrangements, you must take out a separate patent for each such modification, as each one is considered a separate invention.

First Alleged Rule." A method of operating," expressed by reference to apparatus or machinery, is very apt to be a mere function of the particular machine, and not a true method at all. In such case the invention resides in the machine, and therefore it is the machine that should be claimed. But numerous instances could be cited where a true "mechanical method" contains references to the mechanism by which it is carried out. The Patent Office recognises the fact, not only that a method may be carried out by machinery, but that it may, so far as known, be carried out by only one particular machine. A lengthy and convincing discussion upon this point, by the United States Supreme Court, will be found in the case of "Boydon Brake Power Company v. Westinghouse," 83 Official Gazette, 1067.

Second Alleged Rule.-No such rule exists. It is merely to cite the following claims upheld by the United States Supreme Court in "Morley Sewing Machine Company v. Lancaster," 47 Official Gazette, 267. Thousands of other claims might be instanced.

The combination in a machine for sewing shankbuttons to fabrics, of button-feeding mechanism, appliances for passing a thread through the eye of the buttons and locking the loop to the fabric, and feeding mechanism, substantially as set forth.

The combination, in a machine for sewing shankbuttons to fabrics, of a needle and operating mechanism, appliances for bringing the buttons successively to positions to permit the needle to pass through the eye of each button, and means for locking the loop of thread carried by the needle to secure the button to the fabric, substantially as set forth.

Third Alleged Rule.-Patent Office Rule 41, which prohibited the joinder of process and apparatus claims in the same application, has just been held invalid by the United States Supreme Court. See United States, ex rel. Steinmetz v. Allen," Commissioner of Patents, 109 Official Gazette, page 549, March 8, 1904.

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Fourth Alleged Rule.-Mr. Abel comes nearer stating the truth here than at any previous point. If an invention be capable of being carried out by several modified arrangements, a broad claim may be secured which will include each and every one of such arrangements, and all this may be done in one application. One application may show a number of substitute forms, but while a claim broad enough to cover them all may be allowed, only one form may be specifically claimed. If the applicant wishes to obtain a specific claim for each form, which generally may be regarded as unnecessary, he must file separate applications. It is obvious that two forms or arrangements of a device or mechanism which are entire

substitutes for each other, are not dependent inventions, as they are entirely independent of each other; they do not co-operate in any way.

Since the alleged rules fall to the ground, the so-called result specified in the paragraph following them vanishes into thin air. Regarding the alleged "interminable arguments with an opinionated examiner," it may be noted that attorneys are daily allowed interviews with the examiner, the case is thoroughly discussed and patentable claims are agreed upon. The examiner is always glad to do this, and will give an inventor or his attorney all the time he wants for discussion.

The claim which Mr. Abel draws for James Watt is a curiosity. Of course, Mr. Abel is not serious in the matter, and hence it will do no harm to state that such a claim, if seriously presented, would show gross ignorance and carelessness.

As to the figures quoted by Mr. Abel, regarding the number of United States patents held invalid in whole or in part in the United States, it may be said that a large proportion, a very large proportion of these were held invalid only in part. Again, these patents, or many of them, were held invalid upon grounds not accessible to the Patent Office, such as the discovery of a prior anticipating device (nct patented), or the existence of public use for two years prior to the application in spite of applicant's oath to the contrary. Again, patents litigated in 1896 were granted mainly before 1890, and the examination system and proper classification of patents are improving as time passes. Again, if the United States Patent Office had proper facilities and could give to the examination of each case as much time as is given by counsel when the patent is in litigation, compara. tively few patents would be held invalid. Thus, the system of the United States is not at fault in the matter.


Examiner of Textiles, U.S. Patent Office.


SIR WILLIAM HENDERSON, LL.D.-Sir William Henderson, a member of the Society since 1878, died on Thursday, 9th inst., at Devanha-house, Aberdeen. He was born in 1826, and in 1845 he went to Aberdeen to enter the employment of Mr. George Thompson, the founder of the Aberdeen line of steamers. He became a partner in 1850, and from 1854 to 1857 he took charge of the London branch of the business. He returned to Aberdeen, and took an active part in the affairs of that city throughout his life. He was for some years president of the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce, and from 1886 to 1889 was Lord Provost. He was knighted in 1893.

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The Society's Annual Conversazione was held in the Gardens of the Royal Botanic Society, Inner Circle, Regent's park, on Monday evening, 27th ult.

The reception was held by Sir William Abney, K.C.B., D.Sc., F.R.S., Chairman, and the following members of Council:-Sir Mancherjee Merwanjee Bhownaggree, K.C.B., M.P., Mr. William Bousfield, Mr. Henry H. S. Cunynghame, C.B., Mr. Lewis Foreman Day, Mr. Francis Elgar, LL.D., F.R.S., Mr. Robert Kaye Gray, Colonel Sir Thomas Holdich, R.E., K.C.M.G., K.C.I.E., C.B., the Hon. Richard Clere Parsons, Sir Owen Roberts, D.C.L., Mr. Alexander Siemens, and Mr. Carmichael Thomas.

A Selection of Music was performed by the String Band of the Royal Artillery (Conductor, Cavaliere L. Zavertal, M.V.O.) in the Conservatory, and by the Band of H.M. Irish Guards (Conductor, Mr. C. H. Hassall) in the Gardens.

A vocal and instrumental concert was given in the Club House by the Royal Criterion Bell Ringers and Glee Singers, under the direction of Mr. Harry Tipper.

An Exhibition of Growing and Cut Roses and other Flowers were arranged in a marquee in the grounds by Messrs. William Paul and Sons, of Waltham Cross.

The Tropical House, containing the Giant Water Lily (Victoria Regia), which was in flower on the evening, was open to visitors.

The number of visitors attending the Conversazione was 2,075.

Proceedings of the Society.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING. The Annual General Meeting for receiving the Report of the Council, and the Treasurers' Statement of Receipts and Payments, during the past year, and also for the Election of Officers was held in accordance with the Bylaws on Wednesday last, the 28th ult., at 4 p.m., Sir WILLIAM ABNEY, K.C.B., D.C.L., D.Sc., F.R.S., Chairman of the Council, in the chair.

The SECRETARY read the notice convening the meeting, and the minutes of the last annual meeting.

The following candidates were proposed, balloted for, and duly elected members of the Society :

Abbott, Professor Frederick, A., Agricultural College, Mississippi, U.S.A.

Abercrombie, Hugh Romilly, care of the Standard Bank of South Africa, 10, Clements-lane, E.C, and P.O. Box, 784, Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa.

Allen, Miss Geraldine, 7, Rue Belloni, Paris XV., France.

Babbs, Arthur Thomas, The Rhodes Building, St.. George's-street, Cape Town, South Africa. Bainbridge, Oliver, 43, Upper Bedford-place, W.C. Baldwin, Henry P., Haiku, Island of Mani, Hawaii. Blelock, Robert, Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa.

Bowles, Colonel Henry Ferryman, M.P., Forty Hall, Enfield, Middlesex.

Butcher, Herbert Thomas, A.R.S.M., F.I.C., Dorunkeh Chambers, Cobham Town, Old Calabar, West Africa.

Clark, William, 4, Snow. hill, E.C.

Clews, Henry, LL.D., 11, Broad-street, New York City, U.S.A.

Cole, Professor J. Abayomi, Percival-street, Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa.

Collie, James V. B., 15, Barrack-street, Cape Town, South Africa.

Craigie, Mrs. Pearl Mary-Teresa, 56, Lancaster-gate, W.

Davidson, Thomas Edward, 32, Clayton-street West, Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Davis, Charles, 147, New Bond-street, W. Dennis, William, F.C.S., 170, Albert-road, Jarrowon-Tyne.

Dowling, T. Barrow, Mus. Doc., Thornhayes, Cape Town, South Africa.

Dudley, Mrs. Lucy Bronson, 80, Pine-street, New York, U.S.A.

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