Cane v Dublin Corporation; Cane v Liffey Syndicate Ltd

JurisdictionIreland
CourtSupreme Court (Irish Free State)
Judgment Date21 Jul 1927
Docket Number(1926. No. 3602.)

High Court.

Supreme Court.

(1926. No. 3602.)
(1926. No. 3601.)
Cane v. Dublin Corporation and Cane v. Liffey Syndicate
RICHARD CLAUDE CANE
Plaintiff
and
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE LORD MAYOR, ALDERMEN, AND BURGESSES OF DUBLIN
Defendants.
Cane v. Dublin Corporation and Cane v. Liffey Syndicate
and
RICHARD CLAUDE CANE
Plaintiff
and
THE LIFFEY SYNDICATE, Limited, Defendants (1)

Parliament - Private Bill - Procedure - Petition against Bill - Appointment of Joint Committee of the Senate and the Dáil - Validity of appointment - Whether evidence before Committee admissible to vary Committee's report - Petitioner's costs - Taxing Officer's certificate - "Conclusive evidence" - Action to enforce payment - Award of costs without jurisdiction - Leave to defend action - Private Bills Costs Act, 1865 (28 Vict. c. 27), sects. 1, 3, 5 - Private Bills Costs Act, 1924 (No. 52 of 1924),sect. 5 - Constitution of the Irish Free State (Saorstát Éireann éireann)Act, 1922 (No. 1 of 1922), Sch. I, Arts. 20, 22 - Standing Orders of the Dáil and the Seanad relative to Private Business, 1923 - Orders 73, 93, 114.

Motions.

These were two motions, heard together, in each of which the defendants in two actions applied for leave to plead a defence.

In the year 1924 three Private Bills, having the same object, viz., the utilisation of the water power of the River Liffey for the generation of electric power, were lodged in the Private Bill Office of the Oireachtas. The first Bill, entitled "The East Leinster Electricity Supply Bill," was promoted by the Liffey Syndicate, Limited; the second Bill, entitled "The Dublin Electricity Supply Bill," was promoted by Sir John Griffith and others; and the third Bill, entitled "The Dublin and District Electricity Supply Bill," was promoted by the Dublin Corporation.

The plaintiff, Richard Claude Cane, the owner of an extensive property near Leixlip, and of fishery rights in the adjacent waters of the River Liffey, was a petitioner against the three Bills; he contending, inter alia, that these Bills, if passed, would damage his fishery. He was the only private petitioner against the Bills.

The three Bills, having passed the preliminary stages, came before a Joint Committee of the Senate and the Dáil for consideration. The consideration of the preambles of these Bills occupied the Joint Committee during several sittings held between 25th November, 1924, and 30th April, 1925. At the opening of the proceedings, the chairman of the Joint Committee announced that the three Bills would be taken successively —the witnesses for the first Bill being examined by counsel for the promoters of that Bill, and then cross-examined by counsel for the promoters of the other Bills, and by counsel for the petitioner against all three Bills. Then witnesses were to be heard against the first Bill on behalf of the promoters of the other two Bills, and on behalf of the petitioners, including the plaintiff; and such witnesses would then be cross-examined by counsel for the promoters of the first Bill. The second and third Bills were to be dealt with in a similar way. This procedure was not, however, adhered to, as, during the hearing of the East Leinster Electricity Supply Bill and the Dublin Electricity Supply Bill, evidence was given by the plaintiff, and by witnesses on his behalf, in support of the petition against each of these Bills. On the 4th February, 1925, before the case for the Dublin and District Electricity Supply Bill was opened, the plaintiff, through his counsel, applied that the evidence already given by him, and the submissions already made on his behalf, against the East Leinster Electricity Supply Bill and the Dublin Electricity Supply Bill be taken as also applicable to the Dublin and District Electricity Supply Bill. All parties assented to this course, which was one in ease of plaintiff in the matter of costs, and the application was granted.

On the 3rd December, 1925, the Joint Committee reported on the Bills (inter alia) as follows:—"3. (1) That they examined the preambles of the respective Bills, and that the allegations contained in the preamble of the East Leinster Electricity Supply Bill and in the preamble of the Dublin Electricity Supply Bill were not proved to their satisfaction, and that the allegations contained in the preamble of the Dublin and District Electricity Supply Bill were proved to their satisfaction; but that the parties promoting the Dublin and District Electricity Supply Bill, having subsequently stated to the Joint Committee that it was not their intention to proceed with the said Bill, the Joint Committee have further examined the respective preambles of the East Leinster Electricity Supply Bill and of the Dublin Electricity Supply Bill, and have found that the allegations contained in the preamble of the East Leinster Electricity Supply Bill were not proved to their satisfaction, but that the allegations contained in the preamble of the Dublin Electricity Supply Bill were proved to their satisfaction. . . . (5) That with respect to Richard Claude Cane, a Petitioner against the East Leinster Electricity Supply Bill, the Dublin Electricity Supply Bill, and the Dublin and District Electricity Supply Bill, they are unanimously of opinion that he has been unreasonably subjected to expense in defending his rights proposed to be interfered with by the East Leinster Electricity Supply Bill, the Dublin Electricity Supply Bill, and the Dublin and District Electricity Supply Bill respectively, and is entitled to recover from the promoters of the East Leinster Electricity Supply Bill, viz.:— The Liffey Syndicate, Limited, 40 per cent. of his total costs necessarily and properly incurred in respect of his opposition to all three Bills up to and including the 30th April, 1925; and from the promoters of the Dublin Electricity Supply Bill, viz.:—Sir John Purser Griffith, and Messrs. Alfred Dover Delap, Darrell Figgis, John William Griffith, and George Marshall Harriss, 10 per cent. of his total costs necessarily and properly incurred in respect of his opposition to all three Bills, up to and including the 30th April, 1925; and from the promoters of the Dublin and District Electricity Supply Bill, viz.:—The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of Dublin (now the Commissioners of the County Borough of Dublin), 40 per cent. of his total costs necessarily and properly incurred in respect of his opposition to all three Bills up to and including the 30th April, 1925, and the whole of his costs of the 11th June, 1925, and of the 18th June, 1925."

Plaintiff, in accordance with the procedure prescribed by sects. 3 and 5 of the Private Bills Costs Act, 1865 (1), (as adapted and applied by sect. 5 of the Private Bills Costs Act, 1924) (2), caused his costs to be taxed by the Taxing Officer of

the Oireachtas, and duly obtained from him two certificates, dated 19th March, 1926, in one of which he certified that he had taxed the costs of the plaintiff of opposing in the Oireachtas the three Bills to the sum of £1,093 0s. 3d.; and he further certified that of the said sum of £1,093 0s. 3d., 40 per cent. thereof, namely, the sum of £437 4s. 1d., was payable by the promoters of the East Leinster Electricity Supply Bill; 10 per cent. thereof, namely, the sum of £109 6s. 0d., by the promoters of the Dublin Electricity Supply Bill; and 40 per cent., namely, the sum of £437 4s. 1d., by the promoters of the Dublin and District Electricity Supply Bill, setting out in each case the name of the promoters; and in the other certificate he certified that he had taxed the costs of the plaintiff of opposing in the Oireachtas on the 11th and 18th days of June, 1925, the Dublin and District Electricity Supply Bill to the sum of £68 1s. 10d., and he further certified that the said sum of £68 1s. 10d. was payable to the plaintiff by the promoters of that Bill.

The plaintiff demanded payment of the amounts so certified, and upon refusal, issued a writ, specially endorsed, against the Dublin Corporation claiming payment of the sums of £437 4s. 1d. and £68 1s. 10d., "being portion of the costs of the plaintiff of opposing the East Leinster Electricity Supply Bill, 1924, and the Dublin Electricity Supply Bill, 1924, and the Dublin and District Electricity Supply Bill, 1924, which said portion of the costs the defendants were ordered to pay to the plaintiff by the report of the Joint Committee of the Oireachtas on said Bills, dated 3rd December, 1925; and which said sums of £437 4s. 1d. and £68 1s. 10d. were, by two certificates, both dated 19th March, 1926, of the Taxing Officer of the Oireachtas, declared to be payable by the defendants to the plaintiff"; the particulars of the said sums were stated to be that the sum of

£437 4s. 1d. was "40 per cent. of the taxed costs of the plaintiff of opposing the East Leinster Electricity Supply Bill, 1924, the Dublin Electricity Supply Bill, 1924, and the Dublin and District Electricity Supply Bill, 1924, as per first above-mentioned certificate of taxation", and the said sum of £68 1s. 10d. was "the taxed costs of the plaintiff of opposing on the 11th and on the 18th June 1925 the Dublin and District Electricity Supply Bill, 1925, as per the second above-mentioned certificate of taxation."

The solicitor for the defendants, the Dublin Corporation, accepted service, and undertook to enter an appearance, but"without prejudice to the position of the defendants, as set out in the notice served prior to taxation." The notice referred to was a notice dated the 18th February, 1926, in which the solicitor for the defendants, the Dublin Corporation, stated that he appeared upon the taxation under protest, in order to preserve the right of the promoters of the Corporation Bill [i.e.,the Dublin and District Electricity Supply Bill] to object to the jurisdiction of the Committee to make the order under which it was proposed to tax the bill of costs.

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8 cases
  • Callely v Moylan and Others
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 9 April 2014
    ...any and all complaints made thereunder are cognisable by the courts. 518 (vi) Cane v. The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor & Ors. [1927] I.R. 582; In re Haughey [1971] I.R. 217 (or "In re Haughey"); and McGuinness J. (p 626 in Maguire) where she recites an apparent concession b......
  • Callely v Moylan and Others
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 14 January 2011
    ...ACT 1995 S8(1) ETHICS IN PUBLIC OFFICE ACT 1995 S5(1) ETHICS IN PUBLIC OFFICE ACT 1995 S7(2) CONSTITUTION ART 40.1 CANE v DUBLIN CORP 1927 IR 582 CONSTITUTION ART 15.15 CONSTITUTION ART 17 CONSTITUTION ART 21 CONSTITUTION ART 22 CONSTITUTION ART 34 ETHICS IN PUBLIC OFFICE ACT 1995 S9 DOHER......
  • O'Brien v Clerk of Dáil Éireann
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 31 March 2017
    ...amenable to the jurisdiction of the court. That cannot be done. 108. To adopt the words of Johnston J. in Cane v. Dublin Corporation [1927] I.R. 582 (at p. 601): “It would be strange, indeed, if a Court of law were to have the power to pass under review the evidence and the proceedings befo......
  • Maguire v Ardagh
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 11 April 2002
    ...of inquiry existed. They also cited the decision of the High Court and Supreme Court of Saorstat �ireann in Cane -v- DublinCorporation [1927] IR 582, discussing the procedure by way of private bill in the Oireachtas, as demonstrating that the Oireachtas has an inherent power to conduct a f......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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