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Colonial Cases

Jenkins v. Glover [1875]

[breach of contract]

Jenkins v. Glover

United States Consular Court, China
1875
Source: The North China Herald, 29 May 1875     

                                 

SUMMARY OF NEWS.

An important case has been heard in the U.S. Consular Court.  F. B. H. Jenkins, sued George B. Glover, Commissioner of Chinese Imperial Maturities Customs at this part, to recover Tls. 6,687, the alleged contract price of 275 revolving rifles and 140,000 cartridges.  Plaintiff alleged that the contract was made by him with a duly authorised officer of the Chinese government, and that the arms were imported under a special permit for the Superintendent of Customs at Shanghai, but that on their arrival the agent of the said officer refused to take them.  In  April last, the plaintiff offered the arms and ammunition for sale by public auction, but the defendant was alleged to have stopped the sale, as being illegal and in violation of the treaty between the United States and china, signed on the 18th June, 1858.  The hearing was confined to the question, raised by Mr,. Wainwright, whether the defendant, as being a servant of the Chinese Government, and acing under its authority, was amenable to a Consular Court.  Mr. Eames, for the plaintiff, contended that he  was amenable, inasmuch as it was not shown that he had not acted outside his instructions, and, further, that the arms, having been legally imported to the order of the Chinese Government, though afterwards refused by its officers, became disposable in the same way as ordinary merchandise. The Court decided in favour of the defendant, holding that he was acting under instructions and was justified  in his action.  It seems to us that the Court carries its idea of the possible duties of a Commissioner of Customs, rather far.

 

Source: Daily Alta California, 30 June 1875

CHINA.

From the files of the Hongkong Press to June 5th, we make up the following summary:- 

On the 24th ult. an important case was heard before Geo. F. Seward, Esq., U. S. Consul-General, and Messrs. Talbot Olyphant and John Thorne, Assessors,  The plaintiff, F. B. H. Jenkins, sued Mr. George B. Glover, Commissioner of Chinese Imperial Maritime Customs at this port, to recover Tls. 6687, the alleged contract price of 275 revolving rifles and 140,000 cartridges.  Plaintiff alleged that the contract was made by him with a duly authorized officer of the Chinese Government, and that the arms were imported under a special permit from the Superintendent of Customs at Shanghai, but that on their arrival the agent of the said officer refused to take them.  In April last, the plaintiff offered the arms and ammunition for sale by public auction, but the defendant wads alleged to have stopped the sale, as being illegal and in violation  of the Treaty between the United States and china, signed on the 18th of June, 1858,

The hearing was confined to the question, raised by Mr. Wainwright, whether the defendant, as being a servant of the Chinese Government, and acting under its authority, was amenable to a consular Court.  Mr. Eames, for the plaintiff, contended that he was amenable, inasmuch as it was not shown that he had not acted outside his instructions, and, further, that the arms, having been legally imported to the order of the Chinese Government, though afterward refused by its officers, became disposable in the same way as ordinary merchandise.  The Court reserved judgment.

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