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Colonial Cases

Mee Kee v. Primrose, 1881

[sale of goods]

Mee Kee v. Primrose

Supreme Court for China and Japan
Mowat, 18 January 1881
Source: The North China Herald, 27 January 1881




Shanghai, 18th January

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.


   This was a suit brought to recover 42 tons of flints, the balance of 117 tons short from six delivery orders, amounting altogether to 138 tons, or the sum of Tls. 355, the value of such cargo.

   In answer to questions from His LORDSHIP, defendant explained that he had sold 138 tons of flints to the plaintiff at 47 cents per picul, the total amount being Tls. 1,089.65, of which Tls. 947.19 had been paid.  He had allowed the plaintiff three pre cent on the total amount for "dust," which reduced his claim to Tls. 109.79; on receipt of this sum he was willing to deliver to the plaintiff 49 tons of flints which he had  stopped because of the non-payment of the money.  He had given the plaintiff five delivery orders for 82 tons, the contract being  due on the 6th of December, on which date the wharf compradore was instructed to deliver 35 tons, for which immediate payment had been promised.  Payment, however, was postponed on several successive days, and defendant stopped delivery on or about the 20th of December.

   WILLOUGHBY POIGNAND, deposed - I am a wharfinger at the Hongkew Wharf, where the flint in question is stored.  I have had to do with cargoes of flint for about eleven years.  I call that [a sample produced in Court] a mixture of flint and a very little "dust."  If that is a fair sample of the cargo, I should think two per cent a fair allowance, or three, at the very outside.  There is nothing worse in the cargo under discussion than that sample, which is a very good one of the heap.  I should think there is less than a ton in the heap of cargo rejected by the plaintiff.  It is the out-turn of about 90 tons; there is a heap left of about 40 or 50 tons.

   GEORGE HENDERSON, deposed - I have been connected with wharves for about ten years and have for eight of those years seen large quantities of flints landed.  I should think three per cent an ample allowance for "dust" for the heap.  I know a heap of cargo rejected by the plaintiff.  The sample in Court seems a fair one of it.

   The plaintiff was understood, in reply to his LORDSHIP, to deny that the sample produced had been taken from the heap of "dust" rejected by him, and his LORDSHIP accordingly directed the Usher of the Court to go down to the wharf with the parties and inspect the heap, and make a report on the matter to the Court.

   The further hearing of the case was adjourned.

20th January.

   The hearing of this case, adjourned from the 18th inst., which arose chiefly out of a difference between the parties as to what  constituted "dust" in a cargo of flints, was resumed this afternoon at two o'clock.

   The plaintiff had contracted to purchase 138 tons of flints from the defendant, of which he had already received 89 5/8  tons, for which he had paid Tls. 947.15.  The defendant expressed his willingness to deliver the remaining 49 tons for the balance due to him of Tls. 109.79, which included an allowance of three per cent for dust.

   It was finally decided that the remaining 49 tons should be weighed on Friday morning, and that the proportion of refuse found in it should be taken as for the whole.  The plaintiff was to pay the sum of Tls. 109.79 into Court, and after the weighing of the cargo, his LORDSHIP would see that the proper allowance was made, and would also give direction as to the payment of the costs of the action.


Source: The North China Herald, 1 February 1881


   The suit of Mee-kee v. W. M. Primrose, recently commenced in the Supreme Court before the Assistant Judge, Mr. R. A. Mowat, has been settled out of Court.  It will be remembered that the dispute arose as to the allowance to be made for refuse in a cargo of flint.  The defendant has agreed to make an allowance of four per cent on the whole cargo for "dust," and each party is to pay his own costs.

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