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Colonial Cases

Bush Brothers v. Blanchard, 1878

[ship charter]

Bush Brothers v. Blanchard

United States Consular Court, Newchang
Knight, 1878
Source: The North China Herald, 31 August 1878




United States Court at Newchwang, before F. P. Knight, Esq., U.S. Consul.



WM. BLANCHARD, master of American schooner Almatia.

   The plaintiffs sued the defendant for $60, amount of commission for chartering the Almatia to Shanghai, 8,000 piculs at 15 cents per picul.  We gleaned from the evidence which was laid before the Court.

  1. - That the plaintiffs had done their best to procure a charter as agents for the vessel.
  2. - That (as admitted by Capt. Blanchard) they were distinctly informed in reply to their question "whether they might close that evening (9th inst.) at 15 cents for Shanghai," that he (the master) would not accept less than 16 cents per picul.
  3. - That within an hour after expressing such determination, Captain Blanchard was induced by Messrs. F. A. Schultze & Co., storekeepers, to sign a charter party for 15  cents as previously offered by the plaintiffs, or rather refused by defendant.

   The defendant denied his liability, and in his evidence on oath stated that in refusing a charter for less than  16 cents from the plaintiffs he did not in tend to be bound thereby to accept whatever he chose from anyone else.  In reply to plaintiff's question, why he desired to place his agents in a less favourable light than others? he could only repeat that his refusal to accept less than 1 6 cents applied to Messrs. Bush Brothers only.

   Plaintiffs, in summing up, stated that Captain Blanchard was not justified in accepting, through a storekeeper, terms which had been declined as coming from his agents.  Although they did not wish a shipmaster to pay double commission, they were forced to being this case forward, or it might be thought that storekeepers could do better for a vessel than they could. The commission, as captain Blanchard was informed, was a secondary matter, and was no compensation for the unbusinesslike manner in which the plaintiffs had been treated.

   Defendant acknowledged that he had rendered himself liable to two commissions, and that he had offered to pay the $60 to plaintiffs, who declined to accept same.

   Judgment was delivered on 15th August, for plaintiffs, with costs.  14th August.

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