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Page:Harvard Law Review Volume 1.djvu/205

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Photography is beginning to play an important part in determining what actually occurred at the time when the question in dispute arose. Thus, much testimony which is often open to the objection of being inaccurate is dispensed with, and much trouble and expense are saved from the fact that the jury need not visit the scene of the res gesta. At the recent railroad accident at Hexthorpe photography formed an important element in the examination. Before a piece of timber of the wreck could be removed, every feature of it had been accurately taken by means of a camera. The French officers and their friends who were shot at by the Germans the other day, upon the ground that they were mistaken for poachers, have been photographed in the dress they wore on the day of the event, to show that no such mistake could have occurred. It is even said that the National League in Ireland intends to call in the aid of instantaneous photography to protect itself against the misrepresentations of the Government. It has been suggested that there should be at every proclaimed meeting a skilful operator with a snap camera, who could follow every incident of the meeting and determine who were the instigators of the disturbances. We venture to predict that, though this latter plan would doubtless prove unsuccessful, there are numerous cases in which photography will be resorted to in the future where to-day witnesses are called in to testify.

Sir Henry James writes an interesting letter to the London “Times” on an alleged violation of the Corrupt Practices Act[1] of 1883. This act provided, among other things, that “any person who corruptly, by himself or by any other person, either before, during, or after an election, directly or indirectly, gives or provides or pays, wholly or in part, the expense of giving or providing any meat, drink, entertainment, or provision to or for any person for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person or any other person to give or refrain from giving his vote at the election shall be guilty of treating.” The facts of the case were these: The promoters of a political meeting had issued invitations to a free lunch, and had provided railway passes for those who attended the meeting. It does not appear that this meeting was held to support the election of any particular person, but a resolution was adopted, at the end of the meeting, pledging those present in general terms to support the Liberal cause. Sir Henry James says: “No one can doubt that this providing of food and drink free of cost at a political meeting and payment of money for railway expenses are a gross violation of the spirit of the Corrupt Practices Act. . . . It is comparatively immaterial at what stage of the political contest such practices and influences are exercised. The corruption which causes a man to profess a political faith is as injurious as that which induces him to fulfil it by recording his vote.”

On the subject of primogeniture in England the following extract from a recent number of the New York “Daily Law Register” is interesting:—

“The common-law rule still exists, but a bill abolishing it by making

  1. L. R. 19 Stat. 242; 46 & 47 Vict. c. 51.