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Colonial Cases

Carter and Co. v. Heenfung, 1866

[sale of goods]

Carter and Co. v. Heenfung

Mixed Court, Shanghai
Source: The North-China Herald, 7 July 1866



Before HIU, HAEFUNG, of Shanghai, and C. ALABASTER, H.B.M. Acting Vice-Consul.



   In this case Messrs. Carter & Co., seek the assistance of the Court to force Hunfung to take delivery of 15 bales shirtings, sold him by verbal contract.'

   Hunfung admits the contract, but refuses to take delivery on the plea that the shirtings are damaged.

   In support of their claim, Messrs. Carter & Co. produce a certificate signed by Messrs. Lavers and Cumine to the effect that "they are of opinion that, in accordance with the custom of the trade, Heenfung is bound to take delivery of the fifteen bales with the allowances as detailed by them."

   In support of his plea, Heenfung alleges that Messrs. Johnson & Co., to whom he resold the shirtingfs, refuse to take delivery from him, stating that the goods are not in good iorder and condition.

    The case involving a question of custom, the Court has referred it to the Chamber of Commerce as the best qualified persons to decide thereon, and has received a communication in reply to the following effect:-

The Chamber is of opinion that a buyer cannot, by the custom of the Port, be compelled to take delivery of goods upon which an allowance has to be made for damage.

   The Court is therefore of opinion that \Messrs. Carter & Co. cannot compel Heenfung to take delivery of the bales upon which they offer Heenfung an allowance, and adjudge them to pay costs of the suit.


CARTER & Co. versus HEEN FUNG.

To the Editor of the NORTH-CHINA DAILY NEWS.

   SIR, - In the case of Carter & Co. versus Heen Fung, there seems to have existed an impression that the Shirtings were damaged; whereas the goods were sound, and the Packages only slightly soiled and torn.

   The decision of the Mixed Court and the Chamber of Commerce, establishes a very important precedent, as a Chinaman can now reject any package of goods that is not as clean as when it leaves the Manchester Packers.

   The Committee of the Shanghai General Chamber of Commerce, after rejecting the opinion of Messrs. Lavers and Cumine, should at least have had the ciurtesy to inspect the goods themselves, instead of giving a blind decision.

   We are, Sir, &c., CARTER & Co.

   Shanghai, 4th July 1866.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School