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Although the legislation of the protracted session of 1906 introduces no startling innovations in the sphere of local government, the Acts are sufficiently numerous and embrace some useful measures. In particular the tendency towards consolidation of the law, as shown by the Alkali, &c., Works Regulation Act, the Fertilisers and Feeding Stuffs Act, the Open Spaces Act and the Workmen's Compensation Act, is much to be commended. The policy of adding as time rolls on amendment to amendment of any branch of the existing law without consolidating it into one comprehensive measure affords infinite trouble to administrators and cannot be too strongly deprecated.

It will be noticed that the provisions of the Census of Production Act, the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Workmen's Compensation Act are expressly made to apply to local authorities. The last mentioned Act practically covers the whole field of employment, and local authorities may find it advisable to protect themselves by insurance against its meshes,

The digest contains some notes of cases not given in the ordinary reports and digests,

W. H. D.
February, 1907

PREFACE TO FIRST ANNUAL VOLUME. New legislation and the reported decisions of the Courts, continually render the most comprehensive text books on local government out of date and deficient in some particulars.

Until the gap is filled by new works or editions or by some other means, members and officers of local authorities necessarily experience difficulty in keeping in touch with the law and in grappling with the problems which invariably press for solution when changes take place in the law relating to local government. It is true that legislation of a novel character when of sufficient importance is generally followed at no great length of time by explanatory treatises, but this is seldom so in the case of less important statutes. These may not be dealt with at all, or even if they amend previous Acts, may often have to wait a somewhat prolonged period before their provisions are incorporated in new editions of standard works. The results of cases

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decided in the Courts since the publication of any particular text book can only be gathered by a close search in digests and various current reports dealing with every branch of the law which are not in every instance readily accessible. Busy men have long felt the need of a handy year book which would meet their difficulty and practically form a supplement bringing up to date all other text books. · The present work, which is intended to be the first of a series to be issued at the close of each parliamentary and legal year, has been prepared for the express purpose of bringing together in a convenient form the legislation and cases of the year which affect the powers and duties of county, borough, district and parish councils, and boards of guardians. The text of the Acts of the year is fully annotated and explained, and so much of any previous legislation is reprinted as may be necessary to elucidate the new enactments. Each Act is followed by the Official Circulars, Orders, or other information which bear upon its provisions. Miscellaneous Orders, Circulars, and other official information issued by Government departments in relation to matters not arising out of Acts of the year, are collected together in a separate Part of the book. The Digest of all cases decided and reported during the year contains full references to the recognised reports, and the notes have been carefully framed to show clearly the point raised and decided by each case. A list of Public Bills stating briefly their subject matter and the progress which they made, will it is hoped complete the usefulness of the book as a ready work of reference for those who are interested in the progress of local government.

Acts and other matters relating exclusively to the administrative county of London in which special enactments as to local government are in force, have generally not been included in the work; but notes of cases relating to those enactments which throw any light upon similar provisions in force in the provinces will be found among the cases noted in the Digest.

Each Part has, so far as the subject matter permits, been arranged alphabetically ; a general Table of Contents is inserted at the commencement of the book further to facilitate reference.'

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CORRIGENDUM.-- Page 195.- Footnote () to be struck out.

* Each volume since 1899 has also a full classified index.




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