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Colonial Cases

Bock v. Teh Siu Tze, 1899

[promissory note - Taotai's court membership]

Bock v. Teh Siu Tze

Taotai's Court, Shanghai
 His Honour Tsai, Taotai, and W. V. Drummond, Esq., and F. Hagberg, Esq., Assessors, 5 January 1899
Source: North China Herald, 9 January, 1899



Shanghai, 5th January.

Before His Honour Tsai, Taotai, and W. V. Drummond, Esq., and F. Hagberg, Esq., Assessors.


  In this matter Mr. T. R. Jernigan appeared for the plaintiff, the Swedish Consul-General, at present on leave in Europe, and Mr. Francis Ellis represented the defendant, compradore to Boyd & Co.  Mr. C. W. Hay, director of Boyd & Co. was present, in addition to Mr. Fung Lee, the Taotai's Secretary.

  Mr. Ellis in opening the case said:- I have an application to make on behalf of my client. Teh Siu-tze and it is that this Court orders Mr. Carl Bock to file a petition setting forth clearly and definitely particulars of his claim, to which Mr. Teh undertakes through me, his Counsel, to file and answer. When this case was adjourned on the 23rd of December last, owing to the indisposition of Mr. Jernigan, it seemed to me very desirable, before any further steps were taken in this case, that the Court should have before it something in the way of pleadings. I am not aware that there is any rule of this Court that there should be pleadings, but I submit that it would be of the greatest assistance to this Court and the points at issue could be clearly and definitely put before it. I therefore suggested in writing to Mr. Jernigan that he should prepare a petition, to which I would, on behalf of my client, file and answer. To this suggestion Mr. Jernigan replied that it was no part of his duty to file a petition.

  Mr. Jernigan - With regard to the postponement of this case I may remind Mr. Ellis that it was postponed twice at his request, because he said he was professionally engaged, and it was a courtesy which I very gladly extended. I do not think that the fact that it was adjourned at one time on account of my illness ought now to be made a point.

   Mr. Ellis - I do not make a point of this at all.

  Mr. Jernigan- That is all I have to say on that part of the case. As to the petition which the opposing Counsel has requested me to file, I think it is necessary to make a few remarks. I have received no notice of an appeal in this case at all. Mr. Ellis invited my client to come here, and now he wishes me to state the reason why I am here. It is his business to inform me why he invited me here or what I am here for. It is his business to inform me why he invited me here, and what he proposed to do with me. In reply to his letter I simply said that I understood this case had been tried before the City magistrate, and in that Court there was a judgment entered against the defendant, and this is an appeal from that Court to this higher Court, and I submit that your Honour must have the records of that lower Court to work on as the basis of this action.  The pleadings of that Court give the nature of this case. Its nature cannot be changed by bringing it here.  He has appealed from the decision of the City Magistrate, so let him say why he appeals and what he means to do with my client in this higher Court now before your Honour. He invited me here, as I said; now let him give me his reason for it. I said to him I shall expect you to conduct your case as you think will best serve the interests of your client. Proceed to do so and I will answer you. 

  A charge is made against my client, but your Honour can take no official notice of these newspaper petitions. Your Honour can only look at the records of the lower Court, and what was there held to show the character of this case.  I submit to your Honour that the proper proceeding in this case would be for Mr. Ellis to give me notice of his appeal and then the issues can be made up between us and presented to your Honour for an intelligent and just decision. 

  Many years ago his client signed a note and makes it payable to bearer. I am quoting from the records. He is sued upon the notes in the City Court and judgment is there entered against him. The City magistrate decided it to be a just debt against him and the official correspondence shows that your honourable predecessor, Taotai Liu, found it to be a just debt and instructed the City Magistrate to enforce the payment of it.  When Liu died the matter was brought to your Honours attention and you interested yourself in the collection by writing to the City magistrate pressing for its payment. Defendant fled from the justice of the City Court but was arrested by your Honour and brought back here, and now after having flouted one Taotai he comes here in open Court and tries to out-general you. We ask you to make him comply with his just contracts. We only want what is just and we feel sure we shall get it.

  Mr. Ellis - After this long and unnecessary interruption by Mr. Jernigan, I will resume my arguments in support of my application for an order that Mr. Carl Bock file a petition. Mr. Jernigan replied to my suggestion on the matter that it was not part of his duty to file a petition on the ground that this case was an appeal from the judgment of the City magistrate, and was being brought by my client. 

  Now so far as I can see Mr. Jernigan has not been properly instructed by his absent client, and I hope to satisfy your Honour and the Assessors that this is in no shape or form an appeal nor is it in any shape or form a re-hearing. We maintain that this case has never been heard so far as Mr. Bock's claim is concerned, and, secondly, I hope to show His Honour that of this case has been tried according to Mr. Jernigan's contention that it has never been legally tried. My client can testify that he has on no occasion been brought before any Court to answer this particular claim and it was on this ground that pressure was brought to bear from Mr. Bock that, before he went any further with this matter, the case ought to be brought and heard before a properly constituted tribunal. This suggestion, which I contend was a very fair one, was made to Mr. Carl Bock in a letter from Mr. C. W. Hay, dated the 26th of October last year. I don't propose to read the whole letter but only that part which I think necessary for the purpose of my argument. Mr. Hay in one part of his letter says:

"The unfortunate Teh has been a faithful servant of ours for many years, and we shall relax no effort to secure his release from the cruel position in which you seem resolved to keep him, and in view of your early departure from Shanghai I beg to assure you in the most unmistakable manner that unless you accept one or the other of the following propositions before you leave us, viz -

[1.] That you consent to the immediate release of Teh on substantial bail pending a full and fair trial of the whole case to take place without delay; or   

[2.] That you consent to the immediate release of Teh to come up for trial when called upon, adequate bail for his production in reasonable time being provided, .  .  .  

  Now it was to this suggestion contained in that letter that Mr. Bock made the following distinct reply:

"I am myself now anxious to have the case clearly tried and will show your letter to the Taotai when I see him tomorrow. There is no secrecy whatever in the whole matter from my side - but I cannot and dare not interfere with Chinese judicial administration. If you are so very interested in Teh's case, I would advise you to be present during the hearing of the case."

Now in a letter of the 26th of October he states again that he is anxious to have Teh fairly brief. In this letter also addressed to Mr. Hay he days:

In reply to your letter of the 235th  re Tai Sui-chi's case, I had a long talk with the Taotai yesterday, and read him your astonishing version of the case, and I told him it is my wish to have Tai fairly tried."

Now I contend that not only was an understanding arrived at between Mr. Carl Bock and Mr. Hay but it was an understanding arrived at between Mr. Bock and the Consul-General for Great Britain, Mr. Brenan. In support of my statement that an understanding was arrived at between Mr. Bock and Mr. Brenan I propose to read a letter of Mr. Brenan's to Mr. Hay in confirmation. This latter is dated December 23rd and is as follows:

"As regards your man Teh, Mr. Bock told me before he left that he was quite willing that he should be released on bail being given for his appearance when required, and it was understood that proceedings should at once be taken against Teh with the view of proving his liability under three promissory notes amounting, I believe, to Tls. 10,000. I thought this was a very satisfactory arrangement and I informed Mr. Bock that I was sure it would satisfy you."

   Mr. Jernigan - I must really object to any such evidence as this.

   Mr. Ellis - You have made statements of which you have brought no evidence whatever.

   Mr. Drummond - Will you allow me in the interests of both parties and with the view of saving time to offer a suggestion?

   Mr. Jernigan - Mr. Bock cannot be bound down by any letter.

  Mr. Drummond - I would suggest this. Mr. Ellis is making an application for pleadings and Mr. Jernigan that the case be treated as an appeal and not as an original case; and I would advise you both to endeavour to make some settlement whereby further discussion on these two points may be avoided, and get the case tried at once on its true merits. I would further suggest that Mr. Ellis withdraw his application for pleadings because, in the first instance, it is very late in the day and I think it is possible that the Taotai might rule it so, and Mr. Jernigan would withdraw his suggestion that the case be treated as an appeal very much time would be saved, and the case can be decided upon its facts and merits.

  Mr. Jernigan - I am not willing to accept any suggestions from Mr. Drummond for I maintain that the nature of this case cannot be changed in such an arbitrary manner.

  Mr. Ellis - I am quite prepared to accept Mr. Drummond's suggestion.

  Mr. Jernigan - I don't know why there should be so many people connected with this case. I want to know what Mr. Hay has to do here. Is he a party? Is he interested in any way? If he is let us hear about it.

  Mr. Hayes - I have the invitation of Mr. Bock to be present and that ought to be sufficient for you.

  Mr. Jernigan - You cannot sail a ship without a rudder; there must be some guiding compass or something. I want this case to be conducted as cases ought to be conducted and that I want what your Honour wants. Your Honour knows there was a judgment rendered against this defendant three years ago, and I have in my hand a letter from Taotai Liu addressed to the City magistrate directing him, to enforce payment of these notes. I hold in my hand several letters from your Honour to the City Magistrate in which you direct him also to enforce payment. 

  Your Honour sitting here in this higher Court cannot ignore the decisions of the lower Court, and there is no possible way for the case to get here except by appeal from the City magistrate, and the eminent legal adviser of your Honour knows this better than anybody else. All I want, and it will shorten the proceedings, is for these gentlemen to simply tell me what they want, and then I will tell them what I want. You cannot take a case up anywhere, throw it about anywhere, and do anything you like with it. I don't care anything about letters written between Mr. Bock and Mr. Hay. What have they to do with this case until it is properly before the Couurt?  And what has Mr. Hay to do with it? Why is he here anyhow? What is he writing Mt. Bock about this case for unless he has an interest in it?  Let him put it on the record of this Court; let his lawyer say what his interest is in writing and I will answer it.

  Your Honour does not care anything about the parties in this case. You only want to do what is right and just and you will never be able to come to any conclusion if you listen to the talk of lawyers and the reading of newspapers. The one will talk all day' the other will write all night, and there will be no conclusion arrived at. Let my friend say what he wants and then your Honour, after hearing the evidence, can turn to the records of the lower Court and decide upon the merits.  I am ready to put the whole of the records and letters before you and let you go to your room and decide it, ort draw up an issue with Mr. Ellis and leave it to you. Your Honour will not allow a man to give a bill payable to another, throw it on the market of China, and then deny it. That would unsettle all business and destroy all confidence. My client has not misled me in any statement he has made but has stated the case fairly and squarely. He has done nothing that he wishes to conceal and it is not just for this combined attack to be made upon him in this way.

   One if the parties was at one time a fugitive from justice and your Honour had to bring him back and now he is trying to evade the law again. And it is through such a discreditable agency that my client is being attacked in this Court and in the newspapers of Shanghai. Nobody's character would be safe if every swindling scoundrel could be used as an agent to attack him.  Your Honour knows it is neither just nor right and you have the fairness to cope with the matter. I am prepared to simplify the case as far as possible but I ought not to be asked to depart from the legal base.  Mr. Drummond is right in suggesting the case being simplified but it would be neither right nor legal to depart from the base and pivot of my case. 

  The case has been pending a long time and the greatest surprise is now expressed why Mr. Bock left here before it was finished.  It was known for several months that Mr. Bock was going home on leave granted by the Government, and I may with reason express my surprise why this attack was made upon him on the eve of his departure. Although that has nothing to do with this case your Honour will see that it is right that I should resent the idea. I do resent it because it is wrong; and I resent it in as strong a language as the proprieties of this place will permit.

  Mr. Fung Yee - The Taotai is quite in accord with the opinion expressed by Mr. Drummond, and considers that this case should not be regarded as a case of appeal but an entirely fresh case.

  Mr. Jernigan - I suppose it is assumed that there was a judgment rendered in the lower court against the defendant?

  Mr. Ellis - We don't come here on appeal at all. Do I understand his Honour has ruled that this shall be an original case?

  Mr. Fong Yee - Yes, the Taotai says the case has never been tried, the City magistrate did not hear much of it.

   Mr. Jernigan - Has your Honour the notes in this case?

   Mr. Fong Yee - Yes.

  Mr. Jernigan - Well I simply declare we are the owners of these notes for the consideration of money loaned, money advanced to the extent of Tls. 6,000, to Mr. Chang who was the owner and who deposited them with my client. That is all we want and all we claim.

  The notes were brought to us after the judgment in the lower Court and were made payable to bearer. My client wants the notes collected to get his own Tls. 6,000 back and to return Tls. 4,000 to whoever it belongs to. I don't see myself anything wrong or discreditable about it. The notes are made payable to bearer and come to me with the seal of the court upon them after the judgment of two Taotais that they were reliable.  If such a transaction can be repudiated and rendered null there is no certainty at all in business and your Honour will see that it is so. 

  The simple point is, can a man make a note not payable to bearer? The transaction has been held by a Chinese Court to be a legal one. We have nothing to do with what Mr. Hay or Mr. Ellis may say. A man cannot make a note payable to bearer and then deny the execution of it.  I think there was a case decided some time ago, where a Chinese bank held notes similar to these and the maker of them was ordered to pay. Nearly all the notes executed by Chinese are made payable to bearer, and if your Honour should hold that they can be attacked in this way, why nobody would take them We take the notes, advance money on them, and all we want is to get our money back. We don't mean any harm and we are surprised that anyone should wish us harm, in what is an honourable and legal transaction. We don't shave them as it is called in English and American Courts. We simply ask for the return of the money we have loaned upon them, just as if we had taken out a mortgage on a house and lot, or a house. The defendant cannot deny them for they have his seal or chop upon them, and having signed them it was quite immaterial to him who held them. In fact, it was none of his business. That is my case.

  If my friend on the other side can bring out anything I will try t show we still have justice on our side.

  Mr. Drummond suggested to Mr. Fong Yee that now was the tome to call witnesses for the plaintiff.

  Mr. Ellis remarked that was the very remark he was about to make.

  Mr. Jernigan - I rely on the notes and the official correspondence and if necessary will read my Bock's affidavit. The notes are in my client's possession and if anybody has any better right to them than he has let him show it. If a man is in possession of a note, or house, or a piece of land, it is not his duty to go all about and prove it is his own. We rely on the rights which the law gives us. There is ample confirmatory documentary evidence showing them to be in our possession.

  The Taotai observed through Mr. Fong Yee that he required oral testimony to support the documentary evidence.

  Mr. Ellis - I am still waiting for Mr. Jernigan to adopt the first rule of procedure in any Court in the world. We have had a long statement but not a single tittle of evidence in support of it. I submit most respectfully that before any further proceedings are taken, Mr. Jernigan be compelled to adopt the first and elementary rule of legal procedure. Let him bring his evidence and unless he brings it I will ask the Court to stop the case.

  Mr. Jernigan asked for the production of the notes.

  Mr. Fung Yee said he could examine them on the production of personal witnesses who could speak to their authenticity.

  Mr. Jernigan protested that the documents were proof enough and contended that it was unnecessary. After some considerable discussion Mr. Jernigan said he was prepared with a witness and was proceeding to comment upon the documentary evidence being sufficient, when

  Mr. Ellis complained of the cruel, shocking and scandalous waste of the court's time. He ought, counsel added, to respect not only t ruling of the Court but its suggestions also.

  Mr. Jernigan - I want to ask his Honour if he means to rest this case on the presence or absence of Mr. Bick? The case will not stop here if such an arbitrary proceeding as has been intimated is carried into effect. The rulings of Mr. Drummond cannot govern this Court.

  Mr. Hagberg - I have power to protest against the ruling in this case. The parties know very well that evidence is going to be called and in pointing out the difference between documentary and verbal testimony in such a strong way, as has been done, demands my earnest protest.

  Mr. Jernigan - If my evidence is insufficient let it be insufficient.

  Mr. Hagberg - If the evidence is insufficient the case goes.

  Mr. Drummond - It is necessary in any case to call witnesses. In this case as I understand it, Mr. Jernigan wants to put in papers, documents, promissory notes, or whatever they may be, and say, I ask you to give judgment upon them without calling any witnesses. Such a course of procedure would not be allowed in any case for this reason. Suppose these notes were picked up in the street, or were stolen, and were brought by that person into Court, the person who is called upon to pay has the right to cone and ask how they were obtained, and I say it is necessary that a witness or witnesses should be called. I don't say that Mr. Bock ought necessarily to prove the ownership of these notes but Mr. Jernigan cannot give evidence. He is only the advocate in the matter and after he has stated his case and called his witnesses, then it is for the other side to open. This is the plain course of procedure in any Court in the world.

  Mr. Jernigan - I shall very gladly conform to the rulings of your Honour as far as I can. I am anxious to meet the wishes of your Honour as to how this case should be conducted, and if you want evidence I propose to introduce it in accordance with that decision. Does your Honour hold that I have no right to introduce the papers, correspondence, and records in this case? If your Honour decides to reject the records of the case and the official correspondence then we had better stop.

  At this stage Mr. Jernigan and Mr. Hagberg held a private consultation, the last-named leaving the Bench for that purpose.

  Mr. Jernigan on resuming said: I want to distinctly question the ruling of your Honour on the point. You listened to the reading of a newspaper for some time this morning, which was offered in evidence and to which I objected at the time.

  Mr. Ellis - That was simply in support of my argument on the application and which I was prepared to prove.

  Mr. Jernigan - I must take exception to your Honour's ruling in rejecting the records and official correspondence. I take exception to it with the object of having it reviewed in a higher Court.

  Mr. Drummond - Mr. Jernigan asks the Taotai to note his objection to his ruling.

  Mr. Fung Yee said the paper and notes would be produced if witnesses were called.

  Mr. Jernigan - I cannot prove my case without seeing them.

  Mr. Ellis - Let him call evidence to say how they came into the possession of his client.

  Mr. Jernigan - I had proposed to follow step by step my opening remarks but the Court has cut it up. I propose to prove by a witness how my client came into possession of these notes and I must distinctly protest against this suspicious course against my client. I don't like it and I have a right to protest against such a thing. He is attacked here for being in possession of the notes and I want to show it is unjust.  I want to see the notes.

Mr. Tong, Interpreter at the Swedish and Norwegian Consulate, was then called and in reply to questions said: The papers produced I have seen before. They were brought by Chang Mai-hang, an expectant Taotai, who left them with Mr. Bock as security for certain suns of money advanced by Mr. Bock to him. He identified the notes as the originals. In all Tls. 6,000 was advanced at different times. 

  In reply to the Taotai witness said I cannot say how many instalments were paid. I did not make any notes of it. It was not my business. Mr. Bock kept an account. I was asked to translate the papers and passed them as correct. The money was all paid in Hongkong and Shanghai Bank notes.

  Here followed a short cross-examination between the Taotai and the witness in Chinese. The drift of it was that Chang knew Mr. Bock and the latter was led to believe that the money was wanted for charitable purposes in Szechuan. He afterwards said it was intended for some parts of Hupeh and Hunan but which parts he did not know. The Taotai pointed out the discrepancy in the two statements. The opinion was then expressed that the documents were forgeries, an opinion which the Taotai shared.

  By Mr. Ellis - Witness said Chang told him the money was for charitable purposes. Mr. Chang is now in Kashgaria, which is a very long way from here on the borders of Turkestan. I do not know whether an attempt has been made to bring him here as a witness. I do not know how Mr. Chang came to get these notes. Mr. Chang always went to see Mr. Bock when he came to Shanghai. I believe that previously he was indebted to Mr. Bock and he left the security because he was going to Kansu. Mr. Bock asked him if the notes were good and Mr. Chang replied, Yes, and are negotiable and payable to bearer. There are plenty of notes like this in Shanghai. Witness translated the documents and Mr. Bock accepted them believing them to be payable to bearer and negotiable. 

  The witness was under cross-examination when the case was adjourned till  Monday next.

Source: North China Herald, 16 January, 1899



Shanghai, 9th January.

Before His Honour Tsai, Taotai, and W. V. Drummond, Esq., and C. Hagberg, Esquire, (Acting Consul-General for Sweden and Norway), Assessors.

   The last named retired as explained below.


   The hearing in this case was resumed, Mr. T. R. Jernigan appearing for the plaintiff and Mr. Francis Ellis for the defence.

  Mr. Jernigan - I should like to make a statement before this case is proceeded with any further. I ask the permission of your Honour to submit a statement with reference to a part of the published proceedings of this Court at its last Session. Being unfortunate in not hearing very clearly, the language used by Mr. Ellis escaped my attention. It is the first time I have ever had such language applied to me and I have practised in all the Courts of my country from the highest to the lowest, and associated with lawyers of all nationalities. 

  It is this. When endeavouring to understand the ruling of the Court in order that I might note such exceptions as I thought proper to make, Mr. Ellis applied this language to me, that I am engaged in a cruel, scandalous waste of the time of the Court. I have only to say that if such language is congenial to the vocabulary of Mr. Ellis I have no wish whatever to disturb his enjoyment. No words from him or any other lawyer engaged in a case could provoke me to use such unprofessional expressions and when I read his language as applied to me I felt a painful regret. First, because I cannot see the justice of it and, secondly, because if Mr. Ellis had filed a single paper here why he excepted to these notes being paid the proceedings of the Court would have been materially shortened. 

   Such language as this, your Honour, evinces a mental condition quite hopeless and I will leave him to the pleasure of that condition.

  Mr. Hagberg (addressing the Taotai) - I must bring to your notice the position of this case in which a Chinese subject and one of my countrymen are the interested parties. In compliance with your request and invitation I met you at your office on the 16th instant, when I found present a Chinese subject and his lawyer and the lawyer of one of my countrymen, Carl Beck. You did not furnish me with any statement made by the Chinese subject showing what his interest was or on what grounds he questioned the interest of my countryman in regard to certain notes which formed the subject of the conference, and which you had been asked to have paid; and when the lawyer of my countryman asked for information on the subject you refused and you ruled that the case must proceed without any record. This was objected to and you were asked to note the objection, and I protested against the proceedings.

  I believe the interests of a foreigner demand something in writing setting forth the nature and cause of such proceeding. However, after having ruled that  the case was to be tried as an original case you were requested by the lawyer for my countryman to produce the notes which were in your possession; but instead of adopting the simple course of showing these notes to the Chinese subject and asking him if he had drawn them and if so why they had not been paid, you refused to produce the notes, ruling that no documentary evidence whatever could be produced and that you wanted the lawyer for my countryman to produce a witness.  Such proceedings as were adopted are not in accordance with justice nor with any law, and in violation of treaty rights and I protested and do protest against it. 

  I beg to draw your attention to the provisions of the treaties which provide how a Court shall be constituted when the interests of a foreigner and Chinese subject have to be adjudicated upon. It provides that in this case you shall be the judge and that I shall proceed to represent the interests of my countryman, but it provides for no other. Before coming here I was given to understand that you would like to have Mr. W. V. Drummond to be with you as legal adviser and you accommodated him with a seat on the Bench. But you not only allowed Mr. Drummond to listen to the case from the Bench but you allowed him to exercise the functions of an Assistant Judge and this is in violation of the treaty. Moreover, your rulings in the case, prompted by Mr. Drummond, prove to me that Mr. Drummond is not a fit and impartial adviser to you in this case. For these reasons I cannot allow him to sit on the bench and I request you to ask him to withdraw.

  Mr. Fung Yee - The Taotai says he has received special dispatch from the Viceroy that Mr. Drummond should be appointed law officer and he has to obey the instructions of the Viceroy.

  Mr. Hagberg - Then I understand that the Taotai allowed Mr. Drummond to sit on the Bench? In my opinion the Viceroy cannot change or alter any of the provisions of the treaties and I therefore cannot recognize this Court as properly constituted and I must withdraw myself. I want to state that Mr. Bock, and my Government, and, I may add, myself, are equally anxious to have this case tried, and it will be tried, but it will be tried in accordance with treaty and justice.

   Mr. Fong Yee - Mr. Drummond is here at the request of the Viceroy.

  Mr. Hagberg - Then I will shake hands with the Taotai and withdraw. I shall apply to the Imperial Chinese Government either to direct the Taotai of Shanghai to hear this case in accordance with treaty and justice or to appoint a special officer to hear the case.

   (Mr. Hagberg then left the Court.)

   Mr. Jernigan - It will not be proper for me to remain while the representative of the Government of my client is absent.

   Mr. Fong Yee - Yes - What the Taotai has done has been  by direction of the Viceroy.

  Mr. Jernigan - So far as I am concerned I do not doubt that your Honour is doing what you consider right under the instructions of your superior officer, but when the Consul-General of Sweden and Norway refuses to sit upon the Bench, under the circumstances it would not be proper as your Honour will see for me to remain present and conduct the case in his absence.

  The treaty provides for him to be present and I cannot proceed unless he is present. If your Honour will allow me I will suggest a postponement of the case for a short time in order that this question might be fully understood and considered. I don't see that the interests of any of the parties concerned can be in any way jeopardised by a proceeding of that kind. I submit that suggestion on my own responsibility, and in the interests of a friendly understanding. I am sorry to leave your Honour in the circumstances, because I do not like a fuss though I am always ready for a trial in Court.

  Mr. Ellis, - I, on behalf of Mr. Teh, object to any postponement of this case whatever. The case must either go on or the matter must be dismissed at once and my client freed from any annoyance from or on behalf of Mr. Bock. Mr.  Hagberg, the representative of Norway and Sweden, admits that he understood from the Taotai that Mr. Drummond was to sit as legal adviser, and I submit most respectfully that Mr. Drummond has done nothing more in this case than what became his duty as legal adviser. He has in no way, as Dr. Hagberg insinuated, acted as judge in this case to any reasonable person. All that he did was simply this: Mr. Drummond simply attempted to lay down a simple form of legal procedure; what he did, he did as much for Carl Bock as for Mr. Teh. It is neither fair, reasonable nor dignified on the part of Mr. Hagberg to protest at this stage of the proceedings in the way he has done with regard to Mr. Drummond and I ask the Taotai on these grounds to refuse Mr. Jernigan's application for any postponement. 

  Mr. Jernigan - The idea of a postponement was one I suggested in the interests of all parties concerned. It is well-known that your Honour could not make a final judgment in this case under any circumstances, and any judgment of yours would be subject to review. I listened to Mr. Drummond's views as to how this case should be conducted and I shall always do so to any lawyer of his reputation. I frankly told him what I thought of his view. When they met with my approval I said so, and when they did not I as frankly told him I could not accept them as the rule of the court, meaning, that if your Honour ruled they were, it could not be accepted.

   The Taotai - I am the only Judge.

  Mr. Jernigan - Certainly, and I recognise you as such, and I only regret that when exception was taken to the payment of these notes that that exception was not put in writing by Mr. Ellis and sent to your Honour. If that had been done I would have answered, and the issue would have been raised before your Honour at once. I only wanted the records of the lower Court in order to see what was done as a kind of quasi guide, as it were, and I wanted to eliminate all we could to see what had been done and what we should do. I think myself it would be better to postpone the case for the present in order to have the matter distinctly understood, because other cases may arise like this and when understood at once - well, there would be no further trouble, and the interests of the parties in this case will not suffer by a delay of a few weeks. I ask your Honour to postpone the case, not as yielding or unyielding, but just to let it stand in the interim.

  Mr. Ellis --The remark I made before that Mr. Drummond's presence was advisable and necessary has been more than ever strengthened by the remarks that have fallen from Mr. Jernigan just now. Mr. Jernigan has told us he has practised in many Courts in his country and I regret that in spite of the extensive practice he has not learnt this in fact, that before complaining that I have no case, and that I did not do this, or did not do that which I ought to have done -

  Mr. Jernigan - Before this case proceeds any further I wish to say that I shall not consult him how I should conduct this case. I am not conducting it at all now. I am here by permission of the Court and I simply beg to wish your Honour good morning.

   (At this juncture Mr. Jernigan left the Court.)

  Mr. Ellis - As I was saying, he was complaining that I did not do this and did not do that before he gave me an opportunity of stating to the Court what my caser was. Your Honour decided that this should be an original suit without proceedings and therefore it was Mr. Jernigan's duty to open his case, make his statement, call his witnesses, and offer such documentary evidence as he had in support of those witnesses. Now it simply rests with me to conduct my case in the way I think fit. We have a perfect answer to give to this claim.

 Mr. Jernigan has tried to make out that Mr. Teh is a very, very wicked man, trying to fly from justice and all that sort of oratorical raving, but we are in a position to show that Mr. The is not that sort of man. Mr. Teh may be very unfortunate in owing this sum of money, but then he wants to know whether Mr. Bock is the proper person to receive payment of it. The hearing of this case on the line laid down by the Court, would have given Mr. Bock a glorious opportunity of proving Mr. Teh's liability to pay this money to him. I think he would have found it very difficult to make Mr. Teh liable to him on these notes but Mr. Carl Bock, through his Counsel, has thought fit to retire from the case. Having taken this course, I ask your Honour now to maintain the dignity of this Court by dismissing what is practically Mr. Bock's petition. I ask the Taotai most respectfully to take this step, and to adopt this suggestion of mine, that Mr. Carl Bock and anybody connected with him should be prevented from further annoying Mr. Teh.

  Mr. Fung Yee - The Taotai i*s reminded of a case once before this Court where the consul retired and the hearing was continued in his absence.

  Mr. Kit Foo (interpreter to the defendant) - I remember the case. It was an opium case, many years ago, when Consul Davenport retired and the matter was decided without his co-operation.

  Mr. Ellis - I should like to receive some assistance from the Court in this way. I would like to be told how his Honour wishes me to continue this case. It places me in a rather awkward position as to what his Honour wishes me to do, what he wants me to prove, and what issues he wants me to explain away.

  Mr. Fung Yee - The Taotai suggests that you had better call your witnesses.

  Mr. Ellis - I should like to know, Mr. Drummond, what facts I am called upon to establish because I want to save everybody's time, and to confine myself to those points whatever they might  be, on which the Court wants information and assistance, and I think this only a fair application to make.

  Here is a plaintiff who comes here in the person of Mr. Bock and says - I am entitled to Tls. 10,000 on these promissory notes, and when the case has proceeded to a critical point the Court is, as it were, broken up. Of course the whole gist of this case dwells on the point how did Mr. Carl Bock get these notes? The fact of possessing these promissory notes does not justify a man saying he is entitled to the monies of these promissory notes and it was only reasonable that the Court should receive some evidence with regard to them.

  Mr. Drummond - If you ask me I can omly say in reply that in the first instance anything I may say is only an expression of my individual opinion and as you are aware I am not in a position to make any ruling. I sit here by the direction of His Excellency the Viceroy to assist the Taotai. All I have done is what I have done hitherto in the interests of justice and not of either party. At the resent moment the application which you make by the Taotai occurs to me in this light nd I mention it to you to see whether it falls in with your view. 

  The plaintiff as you have stated carried his case to a certain point has for a time at any rate abandoned it and left the Court. You, as I understand, are now asking the Court to advise you or give you some assistance in regard to the further conduct of your case. It appears to me that it is hardly the business of the Court to advise you in any way  as to the conduct of your case but so far as I am concerned I suggest to you that the decision being that Mr. Bock has been ruled by the Taotai to be the plaintiff in an original suit that the question of pleadings has been waived also by the direction of the Court and that this case has proceeded by Mr. Bock or by his Counsel up to a certain point, it now appears to me that as your position is on behalf of your client to deny liability on these promissory notes it will be for you to place before the Court whatever evidence you think proper in support of the evidence to show that your client ought not to be ordered to pay these notes and that judgment should be given in favour of your client.  The Taotai is prepared to receive that evidence in view of a case many years ago when the same question occurred. That being so, I think it is now for you to proceed with your case practically as if the plaintiffs were still present. That is my view and I suggest that the case be continued in that way.

  Mr. Fung Yee - Yes - The Taotai concurs with Mr. Drummond's suggestion and says that Mr. Jernigan interrupted Mr. Ellis before he had any time to state his vase clearly.

  Mr. Ellis - It now then becomes my duty to state shortly and concisely the case on behalf of Mr. Teh. Mt. Teh's case is simply this. He does not deny in any shape or form, that he owes the sum of Tls. 10,000. He does not deny that the three promissory notes produced in this Court were promissory notes given by him, but we shall be able to satisfy the Court that these promissory notes were given to a certain bank called the Tung-sung Bank. We shall also I think be able to show that these notes have been in some way or another - I suggest emphatically have been - fraudulently obtained from the possession of the Shanghai chihsien and got into the hands of people who have no right to their possession. I shall be able to show that as soon as the information reached Mr. Teh that these notes were being practically hawked about the streets that he took steps to inform the people who had a right to the money under the notes.  I think I shall be able to shoe that the people who had a right to that money are forthcoming, that they have actually taken steps publicly through the press by inserting proper warnings with regard to the collection of the money under these notes and also that the people who were entitled to the money have informed a Chinese Court and the Chinese authorities that certain people were attempting to collect that to which they had no right; and that the rightful owners  sought the assistance of the Shanghai chihsien to recover the notes as they were in a position to settle  with the debtor as to his indebtedness. 

  Therefore Mr. Teh has only refused payment to Mr. Bock knowing to whom he is indebted and that he cannot be called upon to pay two people. The Court therefore is called upon to decide the question as to who is entitled to this sum of money under these notes, the representatives of the Bank or Mr. Carl Bock. That is all I have to say in opening the case and I will now call my witnesses in support of my opening statement.

  Teh Sui-tze the plaintiff was then called. He said - I was formerly an iron merchant but now a dealer in steam launches and employed by Messrs. Boyd & carry in the Chinese part of this business. I have been employed by Messrs. Boyd a& Co. for thirty odd years.

  The notes produced bear my signature, and were given in 1884 (Kuang Hsii 10th year) to the Tung Sung Bank balance of an account. The bank in question has been shut up long ago and ceased banking also about 1884. Two men named Fong and Chang were the partners in the bank at the time but both are now dead. One of the proper legal representatives was in Shanghai, Sun Chow-fung. In 1890 I heard through the accountant of a native bank that these notes had been put in circulation. I was sued and I also heard about it previously through a man sent by the Shanghai chihsien to me to make some enquiries about then, I said they were given to the Tung Sung bank and at the time I issued them I was penniless. The bank was aware of this. The chihsien did not press me any more neither did the bank. 

  I knew the promissory notes had been deposited with the chihsien. They must have been or he would not have attempted to investigate the matter. About 1893 or 1894 I was pressed for payment by Taotai Liu who, however, did not investigate the merits of the case. It was in the spring of last year that I first heard of Mr. Carl Bock in connection with this matter. I then received a summons from the chihsien asking me to send Tls. 10,000 to be given to Mr. Bock. I was given to understand that Mr. Bock was collecting money on behalf of a Scandinavian catholic convert and further that this convert was the owner of the Tung Sung bank. This man or preacher had asked the Swedish Consul to press for payment and all this was written down in the summons from the chihsien. 

  The man who represented himself to be the owner of the bank had never had any connection with it and if it was necessary to bring proof if it the Bankers' Guild could furnish it. I say distinctly that I owe this money to a Chinese subject but am in no way indebted to Mr. Bock or a Scandinavian subject. I mentioned this to the chiihsien. Following this I received numerous applications for payment of the money but requested the chihsien to have the case properly investigated as I did not owe any foreigner money. I did not publish anything. A servant whom I sent in to the City to ask for the case to be tied was arrested and I then wrote to the representative of the Tung Sung bank asking how the notes had got into the possession of other people. The representative was not aware of it, and sent a petition to the Chihsien, a copy of which was inserted in the Chinese and English newspapers. The copies produced are accurate.

  Mr. Ellis - Your Honour, I wish to put these in.

   Witness continuing - The representatives of the bank, one of whom was in Shanghai, sent for the account books of the bank and then petitioned the Chihsien. They took the books to the chihsien and they were deposited in the yamen and were there still. The chihsien said he had been told by another man who had represented himself to be the agent of the bank to hand the notes over to him and this was how the case came to be taken from the yamen. Sun Yuen-wei was the name of this man, but I think another person took them away.

  Sun Chi-fung, a teacher, said - I am the representative of the late owners of the Tung sung bank.  Last year the last witness wrote to me in regard to these notes and said they had got into the hands of a Swedish subject who was pressing him for payment. I came to Shanghai with a man named Sheng who is well known to the Bankers' Guild and accountant to the Fong family. We petitioned the Chihsien saying that the promissory notes were being collected by fraud and requesting him to get them back. In a further petition we informed the chihsien  that the plaintiff was making arrangements with the rightful owners and requesting him to arrest the fraudulent persons. We took the books to prove our title to the notes including the ledger which showed all who were indebted to the bank, including the notes in question due by the defendant.

  At this stage the books were put in, and the case was then further adjourned till Thursday morning at ten o'clock.

12th January.

Before His Honour Tsai, Taotai, and W. V. Drummond, Esq., Assessor.

  The hearing on this matter was resumed. Mr. Francis Ellis appeared for the defence. It will be recalled that at the previous sitting Mr. Hagberg (Acting Consul-General for Sweden and Norway) and Mr. T. R. Jernigan, who appeared for the plaintiff, retired.

   Upon the Court re-assembling,

  Teh Siu-tze was recalled and identified a document as a copy of a summons he received from the Shanghai hsien, by which Mr. Bock was pressing for a judgment for Tls. 10,000.

  Mr. Ellis read the following translation of the summons:

   "I have received a dispatch from the Taotai, who received a dispatch from the Norwegian and Swedish Consul Bock, stating that according to the petition of a Chinese deacon named Jor Sung-yuin, he (Jor Zung-yuin) states: A convert named Chang Zeh-foo formerly started the Doong Sung Bank which had dealing with a certain Teh Sui-tze, who was the proprietor of an iron hong. Teh Siu-tze was indebted to the Doong Sung Bank in the sum of Tls. 40.000; this sum was afterwards reduced to Tls. 10,000 and for which Teh gave three notes of hand. On the respective dates when the notes were due Teh refused payment. Last year, owing to a famine in Shantung, Chang Zeh-foo gave these three notes to a Swedish mission for charity purposes. The Taotai has, at the request of Mr. Bock, ordered me to recover the debt of Tls. 10,000 from Teh Sui-tze without delay. I therefore send my runners to press the said Teh Sui-tze to pay off his debt of Tls. 10,000 in full within three days, in order that I may send the money to the Taotai, who will send same to Mr. Bock.

Dated 22nd of the 6th moon of the 23rd year of Kuang Hsii.

  Tong Shao-fun, called and examined by Mr. Ellis, said the Doong Sung Bank was still claiming the Tls. 10,000 on the promissory notes. They had not assigned the notes to anyone. The bank had made arrangements with Mr. Teh for the repayment of the Tls. 10,0-00, and it must have the notes in order to effect a settlement.

   Mr. G. W. Hay was next examined.  In reply to Mr. Ellis he said - I am a Director of Boyd & Co. Ltd., and have been in the firm thirty-five years. I have known the defendant Teh for about thirty years. During that period I have always found him an honest and faithful servant. The North-China Herald (produced) contains a correct copy of all the correspondence which passed between Mr. Bock, Mr.  Brenan and myself with regard to this matter.

  Mr. Fung Yee said the Taotai remarked that he had read translations of the correspondence in the Chinese newspapers.

  Mr. Hay, continuing, said - In addition to that correspondence, on the 24th of   October, I had an interview with Mr. Bock when he told me that he had just come out from seeing Mr. Brenan and that he (Mr. Bock) had given him a full explanation of the whole case, and he begged me to wait on Mr. Brenan at once, as he felt sure that what Mr. Brenan would say would thoroughly satisfy me. After that I saw Mr. Brenan when he told me that he had been unable to get any satisfactory explanation as to how Mr. Bock had got these notes.

  Mr. Ellis, after handing in original and press copies of the correspondence published in the North-China Herald and previously produced, read the following translation of a letter from Mr. Bock to His Honour, dated the 21st of June,1897:

  "According to the statements of a Chinese deacon named Jor Sung-yuin, it is stated that: A convert named Chang Zuh-foo is the owner of the Doong Sung Bank; that the said Bank had dealings with a certain Teh sui-tze, who was the proprietor of iron hong; that Teh was indebted to the Bank in the amount of Tls. 40,000, but this amount was afterwards reduced to Tls. 10,000, and for which Teh gave three promissory notes; on the respective due dates of the notes payment was not made and, furthermore, the Shanghai hsien has given judgment against Teh and ordered him to pay at once, but Teh did not do so. On account of a famine in Szechuan, Chang Zuh-foo has given these three promissory notes to a mission as charity, and when the amount due on them is collected it will go towards the famine relief. The Jor Duing-yuin (the deacon) petitioned me with these three notes with the request that I shall request the Taotai to ask the Shanghai hsien to recover the amount for charitable purposes. When the amount is received it will be taken to Szechuan for the famine relief there.

  I have now received a telegram from the deacon Jor, at Ichang, in which he states that the amount Jor took with him for the famine relief was insufficient, and he asks me to hurry and press for the amount due on the three promissory notes, and have same sent to Szechuen. Jor also states that if only a part of the amount is received, to have same forwarded first, but if the amount cannot be collected at present he further asks me to advance same in order that by my so doing thousands of lives may be saved. I am of opinion that it is a very worthy action of Jor to have this amount collected from an unprincipled Chinaman, and in order to use it for the relief of his countrymen; and that the deacon is also a very worthy man; and I am very pleased to render him every assistance, so I have advanced this amount, and forwarded it to Szechuan via Ichang and Hankow.

  I have now found out that Teh is the proprietor of the Tai Sun Ching iron hong, and owns several launches plying between Soochow and Hangchow; that his business is very prosperous, and that he also has a very large capital.  His debt being already reduced from a very large sum, and further as these notes are from his own hand, he ought to have paid same long ago. Teh, on the contrary, takes no notice of same, and intends not to pay it. Judgment has already been given against him, and still he takes no notice, so on this account I am writing this with the request that the Shanghai hsien  will order his (Teh's) arrest, and bring him to Court, and order him to do a day for payment, failing this to have him locked up until payment is made, and that therevy he will be made to take notice, and the money then received can be repaid me for what I have advanced."

  Mr. Ellis then proceeded to address the Court in summing-up the defendant's case. He said - With your Honour's permission I will now address the Court in summing up this case. I am glad, and I feel sure the Court is glad, that the last stage of this case has now been reached, and I hope that after your Honour has delivered judgment in the case that we shall hear the last of Mr. Carl Bock and his promissory notes.

  In replying on this case I do not intend to imitate the example of Mr. Jernigan by first paying compliments to your Honour, then revering to the sanctity of official record and lastly trying to flatter Mr. Drummond by referring to him as your Honour's eminent legal adviser. But I show my respect to this Court in a much more practical way, by confining myself to the simple issues, and in doing so by speaking plain common sense. I regret that Mr. Jernigan has thought fit to retire from this case. But I cannot quite appreciate the eagerness with which he seized the opportunity of retiring on the ground that it would not be proper for him to remain while the representative of the government of his client was absent. I cannot help saying that I think this was a subterfuge, the real reason being that Mr. Jernigan began to feel, to use a somewhat common expression, that things were being made too hot for his client.

  I regret also Mr. Hagberg's retirement, because his reasons for so doing would, at first sight, appear more weighty and therefore worthy of consideration. But I think that, when you come to consider those reasons we will find them as shallow as those of Mr. Jernigan. On the pretext which Dr. Hagberg made here, he stated as one of his reasons for withdrawing from this case was that this Court was not constituted in accordance with Treaty. The knowledge of this fact appears to have reached Dr. Hagberg only when he had reached a critical part of the case, instead of being present in his mind at the first sitting, when he should have made his objection; but it does not seem to have occurred to Dr. Hagberg that if, for the sake of argument, the constitution of this Court was not in accordance with Treaty, and proceedings which were adopted were not in accordance with justice, nor were they in accordance with any law  - that they were distinctly arbitrary - it did not occur to him, if that is so, that the Court which Mr. Jernigan referred to - the lower Court - was not only in wrongful violation of the Treaty, but in no sense of the word a court at all, for, so far as we can see, there was only there a Chinese official and a foreign plaintiff - no Assessor and no defendant - and therefore neither Dr. Hagberg nor Mr. Jernigan ought to have felt any surprise that his Honour ruled that there had been no legal trial in the lower Court, from either a Chinese or foreign point of view.

  Again, Dr. Hagberg complains that his Honour did not furnish him with any statement made by y client showing what Mr. Teh's interest was or on what grounds he questioned the interest of Mr. Bock in regard to these notes. I submit, respectfully, to his Honour, that Dr. Hagberg is very unreasonable. This is not the information which is usually supplied by the judge in any case, but this information is supplied by the parties to the suit, and in my opening I stated to his Honour that I had pressed Mr. Jernigan to put down in writing his client's claim, and I undertook, on behalf of Mr. Teh, to file an answer to such claim. But Mr. Jernigan refused to accept my suggestion, and it is quite apparent why he did so. It was everything to Mr. Jernigan to maintain the position which he had taken up, that this was an appeal. By his Honour ruling that this was not an appeal, but an original suit, Mr. Jernigan was compelled to show us his client's hand, and he naturally felt reluctant to do this; for he must have felt, as everyone else has felt who has heard or read his case, and as I will show very clearly before I close my remarks, that his client does not come into Court with clean hands.

  Again, Dr. Hagberg complains that your Honour, having ruled that this was not an appeal but an original suit, you did not show these promissory notes to Teh and ask him if he had signed them, and if so why they had not been paid. The compass of Dr. Hagbergs' mind must be extremely small. Not having, as I said, protested at the proper time against your Honour's ruling that this was an original suit and not an appeal, he tried to cover his mistake by making this complaint.  Why, the whole gist of the suit was to make Mr. Bock show us his legal right to the possession of these notes. That was the simple course that was suggested to Mr. Jernigan, and which he found it so difficult to adopt. With these remarks I will now leave Dr. Hagberg and Mr. Jernigan.

  I will now comment on the facts of this case as given in evidence. Firstly a word on Mr. Carl Bock's absence. From the evidence given by Mr. Hay you will see, your Honour, that every inducement was offered to Mr. Bock to defer his departure, which need have been for a very short time, to see this case through. Mr. Bock had ample opportunities after being requested in the first instance to consent to Teh having a fair trial, to have insisted on the case being heard at once. Instead of this he raised every obstacle.  I will ask your Honour to give this correspondence very close consideration

  It is, I admit, strong - it was intended to be strong - and Mr. Hay's meaning is quite clear. He means to say that unless Mr. Bock can give a satisfactory explanation as to how he came into the possession of these notes, that the only construction that can be put on his conduct is that his connection with this business is highly discreditable. I say, and I say most emphatically, that it was his duty if he had any respect for himself or for the high office which he occupied to have either deferred his departure or to have left such evidence and instructions with his agent, Mr. Jernigan, as to make every point in the case clear and above-board. But has he done this? We will see.

  Let us now consider what evidence has been placed before the Court in support of Mr. Bock's case. Mr. Ting, the interpreter at the Swedish and Norwegian Consulate, says that these notes were brought to Mr. Bock by one Chang Mei-hang, an expectant Taotai, who left them with Mr. Bock as security for certain sums of money advanced to him by Mr. Bock, amounting to Tls. 6,000. He also says that Mr. Bock kept an account, and also says that the money was all paid in Hongkong and Shanghai Bank notes. Now let me call your Honour's attention to Mr. Ting's statement as to how Mr. Bock came into the possession of these notes and to the statement made by Mr. Bock in his letter to Mr. Hay. In this letter he tells Mr. Hay that Mr. Ting gave him the promissory notes and he gave Mr. Ting the Tls. 6,000 in the presence of Mr. Chang Mai-hang, and that he did not know that the money was for charitable purposes. 

  I will now ask you to place these two statements against the information conveyed to the Court by the evidence of Mr. Teh and confirmed by the summons served on Mr. The dated the 22nd of the 6th moon of the 24th year of Kuang Hsii. Let us briefly sketch the position into which this matter resolves itself. At the first stage Mr. C. Bock poses as the benevolent protector, in his official capacity, of a native convert belonging to a Swedish mission whom he is assisting to collect the Tls. 10,000 which have been presented to the convert for charitable purposes, and Mr. Bock in his dispatch to the Tsungli Yamen positively asserted, as your Honour knows, that he had advanced this sum of Tls. 10,000 out of his own pocket, and by aid of this false statement he obtained the powerful aid of the Tsungli Yamen.

  At the second stage, as already shown, in his letter to Mr. Hay, dated the 26th of October last, he admits that the matter was only a sordid transaction of personal money lending, whereby he advanced Tls. 6,000 to his Secretary Ting- as he remarks in his letter to Mr. Brenan, only at 7 per cent; and, when his story has to be told a third time in this Court, through the mouth of his witness Ting, we learn that the Tls. 6,000 was advanced to Mr. Chang, and Mr.  Ting knows nothing about the matter except acting as interpreter. I said just now the witness Ting states that this money was advanced to Mr. Chang as a loan at different times, yet, strange to say, there has not been produced to this Court that essential evidence, viz. Chang's receipts for the money paid him, or Mr. Bock's cheque or cheques showing that on such and such a date he had the requisite funds from any Bank - and this in face of the statement made by Ting that Mr. Bock kept an account. It is absurd to imagine that a person of the smallest business capacity should have such transactions without leaving a plain record of them, and if such proofs were in existence they would undoubtedly have been produced long before this.

  It has also been stated by Ting that the moneys were paid in Hongkong and Shanghai Bank notes. The reason for this, your Honour, is obvious and requires no comment from me. Mr. Chang, who is inaccesible owing to his sojourn in Turkestan, was a very convenient personage to introduce, and Hongkong and Shanghai Bank notes very convenient medium for dealing with him. Another point which strikes one is this, that it is not credible that a person of Mr. Bock's experience would have advanced such a large sum of money on notes of hand which others had failed to collect during a period of twelve years. 

  I do not propose to make any comment on the evidence given by Mr. Teh beyond this. Your Honour who has heard the evidence must have been impressed with its simplicity and its straightforwardness, and in spite of the slur which Mr. Jernigan has tried to cast on him he has never attempted to deny his indebtedness or evade arrest. And, moreover, Mr. Hay has testified that for over thirty years he has been found a faithful servant to his firm. I submit that Mr. Teh is very much to be commended for his struggle to protect the interests of those to whom he holds that he is justly indebted, viz. the legal representatives of the late partners or proprietors of the Tung Sung Bank. 

  Mr. Jernigan made many personal remarks in the course of his case which were uncalled for; those addressed to me I can well afford to ignore, but I feel it my duty to refute the remarks addressed to Mr. Hay. Something like an aspersion was cast on him by Mr. Jernigan because of his presence in this case, and Mr. Jernigan without any grounds for doing so has hinted that Mr. Hay must have some interest in this matter. The answer to that is simple. It was not only on account of the invitation of Mr. Bock himself, but also for the purpose of giving evidence that he is present. He is also here on behalf of his firm to see that a faithful servant is not made the victim of conspiracy and fraud.

  The Taotai intimated that he reserved judgment.


Source: North China Herald, 24 January, 1899


THE Shanghai Consular Body held a meeting on Friday last, in which the late claim of Mr. Bock, Consul-General for Sweden and Norway on leave, was conducted in the Taotai's Court was seriously considered. 

   We learn from the Ostasiatissche Lloyd that all the Foreign Consuls have sent full particulars of the case to their respective Ministers in Peking, and have addressed a collective protest to the Tsungli Yamen against the presence on the bench of a second assessor, an English lawyer, whose presence is not provided for by the Chefoo Convention, and we would wonder that a lawyer so well versed in these matters as Mr. Drummond did not point out to the Taotai the mistake that he was making. 

   If this becomes a practice, the inevitable result will be that the Taotai's Court will de facto change into the Court of the lawyer who happens for the time to be favoured by the Taotai, and who by his professional superiority will exercise a deciding influence on the Taotai's judgment.

   The provision in the Chefoo Convention of 1875 is perfectly clear on this point:

"It is farther understood that so long as the laws of the two countries differ from each other, there can be but one principle to guide judicial proceedings in mixed cases in China, namely, that the case is tried by the official of the defendant's nationality; the official of the plaintiff's nationality merely attending to watch the proceedings in the interests of justice.     .  .  .   The law administered will be the law of the nationality of the official trying the case."

   Mr. Drummond's claim to sit on the bench even as the legal adviser of the Taotai presupposes therefore that he had a better knowledge of Chinese law than the Taotai, and is unwarranted on any ground by the Chefoo Convention.


Source: North China Herald, 24 April 1899


Before His Honour Tsai, Taotai, and W. V. Drummond, Esq.


  The following is a translation, specially made for the North China Daily News, of the Taotai's Judgment -

Dispatch to the Consul-General for Sweden and Norway, Shanghai.

Re Claim against Chinese Merchant Teh Siu-tze.


  After an investigation into this case concerning Teh Siu-tze, I find that, as he was neither the proprietor of an Exchange Bank nor of Deposit Bank it follows, therefore, that the Promissory Notes signed by him, which, by the way, contains neither the name of a firm nor its seal, can only be taken in the light of ordinary personal notes for debt and entirely different from Foreign banknotes, payable on demand, or Time-notes issued by Native Banks.

 Moreover, the present notes have the words 'given at the end of the 4th Moon, Yi-Yu cycle (1884), to fall due at the end of the 9th Moon, Ting-hai Cycle (1886) which calculated to the present Ting-yu Cycle, of the 24th Year of H. I. M. Kuang Hsu's reign (1897), shows that more than ten years have passed since the said notes fell due.

  Hence, that the said notes have long since passed their limit and should be considered wastepaper will not require words of mine to enlighten any one on the point.

  It is impossible to believe that Consul Bock should be ignorant of this and that he should place such confidence in the said notes as to advance money on them. It would be unreasonable. It is plain enough, however, that he has taken upon himself to guarantee the collection of 'thread-bare' debts. [Properly, doubtful debts. - Translator.]

  Now I find upon investigation, that the custom among business men in Shanghai, whenever they are offered a note issued by one person or firm for collection on another person or firm, is to first enquire about the source of the note in question. The note is then taken to the person or firm which is called upon to pay the money to be endorsed and properly stamped with the person or firm's regular seal (chop). Not before these preliminaries shall have been done and completed can the note in question be considered genuine and an asset to be collected on maturity of the note.

  Now Consul Bock in accepting as 'good' promissory notes which had passed their maturity more than ten years ago failed to refer, in the first place, to the source of the said notes, that is to say to Teh Siu-tze, for their verification and ask his seal to be stamped thereon as guarantee of genuineness. Even if it be taken that Consul Bock did advance money on these notes, he acted contrary to the usual custom observed in such cases among business men in Shanghai. He should have, moreover, applied to Fang and Chang, the joint proprietors of the Tung Sung Bank, the original creditors and holders of the said Promissory Notes for a settlement thereon; this, properly speaking, would have been the right way of doing things.

  The defendant in this case, Teh Siu-tze, having shown unwillingness to recognise his liability to pay the money to Consul Bock is, therefore, but natural.  It is therefore unnecessary to go further into this claim of Consul Bock for Tls. 10,000 against Teh Siu-Tze, on the said Promissory Notes, and I accordingly order that this case be dismissed. This is my Judgment.

[The judgment of which the above is a translation has been officially handed to Mr. C. W. Hay as representing the defendant.]

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