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§ 42. “Shall Mean.”

An interpretation clause is a modern innovation, and frequently does a great deal o harm. (Lindsay v. Cundy, 1 Q.B.D. 348; Reg. v. Boiler Explosion Act Commissioners, (1891), 1 Q.B. 703; Dig Eng. Ca. L. Vol. xiii. p. 1886.)

“But for the interpretation clause, no difficulty as to the construction would have arisen. But I think an interpretation clause should be used for the purpose of interpreting words which are ambiguous or equivocal, and not so as to disturb the


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meaning of such as are plain.” (Reg. v. Pearce, per Lush, J., 5 Q.B.D. 386, 389; Robinson v. Barton-Eccles, 8 App. Cas. 798; id. 1885.)

An interpretation clause in an Act should be understood to define the meaning of the word thereby interpreted, in cases as to which there is nothing else in the Act opposed to or inconsistent with that interpretation. (Midland R. Co. v. Ambergate, Nottingham and Boston and Eastern Junction R. Co., 10 Hare, 359, id. p. 1885)

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