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Colonial Cases

Kay Tah v. Hall, 1899

[goods sold and delivered]


 

Kay Tah v. Hall

Supreme Court for China and Japan
Hannen CJ, 10 January 1899
Source: North China Herald, 16 January, 1899


 

LAW REPORTS.

H.B.M.'S SUPREME COURT.

Shanghai, 10th January.

Before Sir Nicholas J. Hannen, Chief Justice.

KAY TAH v. HALL.

   This was an action by Kay Tah a Chinese cattle dealing hong, carrying on business in Shanghai, against Mr. A. H. Hall, described as a butcher and provision merchant of Shanghai, claiming $2,209.86 on account of livestock sold by the former to the latter, at various dates before the 5th of November last. The defendant, in answer, denied that he or any person by his authority had bought or received from the plaintiff hong livestock of any description, but admitted that he (the defendant) owed the plaintiff $245 for a certain quantity of dressed mutton bought since the 15th of October. This sum he had since tendered to the plaintiff hong, who had refused to accept it.

   Mr. H. P. Wilkinson, Crown Advocate, appeared for the plaintiff, and the defendant conducted his own case.

   Mr. Wilkinson, in opening the case for the plaintiff, said he would call Wo Fok-ding, the manager of the plaintiff hong, to prove that in 1894 he was introduced to the defendant, at the latter's place, and that after a discussion as to the price, a guarantee was signed by Wo and given to Mr. Hall whereby good sheep were to be supplied at a certain price. It would be proved that the plaintiff hong paid a man named Hor Kin-soon to kill the sheep on Mr. Hall's premises. Mr. Wilkinson further said he would call an accountant of the plaintiff to prove the accounts and the keeping of a pass book in which the transactions between the parties was entered, the slaughterer of the sheep, and also Chow Yok-sang, the owner of the hong.

   Wo Fok-ding having been called, gave evidence of his introduction to Hall, and the signing of the guarantee.

   Mr. Wilkinson demanded the production of the guarantee, notice to produce which had been given, and on Mr. hall's denial of its existence,

   Witness was allowed to give evidence as to its contents. He said that the sheep were to be supplied and killed at 9 ½ cents per lb., accounts to be settled within fifteen days of the first of the month, and that any inferior mutton was to be returned. Upon the account books of the plaintiff hong being shown to witness, he said they were headed "Kay Tah in account with the Loong Sing Hong" (Mr. Hall). Questioned regarding the defendant's answer to the suit, he said he knew nothing of the amount of $245 alleged to have been tendered to him. The place where he saw Mr Hall and had business with him was in the French Concession.

   Cross-examined by Mr. Hall, witness recognised the tallies for sheep pelts (produced). These skins were delivered to him, sold by him to others, and entered in the account to the credit of Mr. Hall. Asked if he recognized a photograph shown him, he said it was that of a woman named Chu Tsay-tze. The account (produced) in Chinese was given by witness to Hall on the 2nd of the 9th moon,1898 (16th October). Chu Tsay-tze as not present, neither was Mr. Hall's accountant. Asked if he did not go into Chui Tsay-tze's room where she was dying, he said it was not a Chinese custom to go into a woman's room. 

   The 16th of October was a Sunday. He knew it was not usual to present accounts on Sunday to foreigners, but he thought Mr. Hall did not keep Sunday. As to the credit for $200 in the accounts, witness entered it when Mr. Hall paid him. It was in the eighth moon. Accounts were supposed to be paid every month, but there was always a balance.

   Mr. Hall put in various monthly accounts rendered by the plaintiffs prior to their final bill, which the witness said were correct.

   The case was adjourned.

   11th January.

   The hearing was continued of this suit which arose out of an action by Kay Tah, a Chinese cattle-dealing hong, carrying in business in Shanghai, against Mr. A. H. Hall, described as a butcher and provision merchant of Shanghai, claiming $2,09.86 on account of livestock sold by the former to the latter, at various dates before the 5th of November last. The defendant, in answer, denied that he or any person by his authority had bought or received from the plaintiff hong livestock of any description, but admitted that he (the defendant) owed the plaintiff $245 for a certain quantity of dressed mutton bought since the 15th of October. This sum he had since tendered to the plaintiff hong, who had refused to accept it. 

   Mr. H. P. Wilkinson, Crown Advocate, appeared for the plaintiff, and the defendant conducted his own case.

   Mr. Wilkinson called several Chinese witnesses with the object of proving that the meat in question had been delivered to Mr. Hall, on his account. They were cross-examined by the defendant, whose contention apparently was, that the meat had been sold by the plaintiff hong to someone else - a Chinese woman since dead.      

   The plaintiff's case was then closed.

   A Chinese witness was called by Mr. Hall, and the case was again adjourned.

12th January.

[not transcribed.]

Various witnesses were called to show that the business belonged to the woman Chu Tsay-tze who paid all the accounts. The defendant asserted his freedom from liability but after some further discussion, His Lordship found for the plaintiff for the full amount claimed plus $400 for costs. He had not the slightest doubt in the matter and the Chinese were fully justified in looking to him for payment.

 

Source: North China Herald, 23 January,1899

H.B.M.'S SUPREME COURT.

19th January

Before Sir Nicholas J. Hannen, Chief Justice.

IN RE KAY TAH v. HALL

  The defendant in the above action (in which a decision was recently given against him) Mr. H. E. Hall, butcher of Shanghai now sought to have the judgment set aside.

   Mr. Hall, pressed by his Lordship to state the grounds on which he appealed, said he did so on the grounds that Mrs. Chu Tse-zee had not been in his employ for sixteen years and was neither his wife nor relative to him in any way. The Chinese knew him well by the name of Hall and they called him Hall on all sides.  He had been well supplied by Mrs. Chu Tze-zee from the 21st of April,1893, up to the time of her death on the 16th of October last, with dressed meats. He begged to hand into Court two agreements drawn up by her of which he had signed duplicates. He had paid her up manfully for what meat he had received from her in bill and bank notes, and while he admiitted that he had not advertised for a supply of meat yet he could not see how Kay Tah had got at him. 

  He was under the impression that Mrs. Chu was a well-to-do woman and he was informed that 200 people followed her to her grave. He produced a bunch of bamboos and a number of Chinese books, which had already been before the Court, which he now wished to put in, together with affidavits and other documents.

  His Lordship reminded him that the motion was to set aside a judgment and in such a motion the case could not be tried over again. That was what the appellant was trying to do.

  Mr. Hall in reply to the Bench, admitted that the documents had not been submitted to Kay Tah, adding that he had had no dealings with him.

  His Lordship refused to admit the documents and dismissed the appeal, ordering Mr. Hall to pay $35 costs.

 

Source: North China Herald, 9 February, 1899


Before Sir Nicholas J. Hannen, Chief Justice.
8th February.
(SITTING IN CHAMBERS.)
IN RE KAY TAH v. H. E. HALL.
  In this matter the defendant moved for leave to appeal to the Privy Council against the judgment of His Lordship in favour of Kay Tah, a wholesale cattleman.
  Mr. H. P. Wilkinson appeared for Kay Tah.
  Judgment had been given against Mr. Hall for $2,209.86, with costs assessed at $400, the Court fees and other items amounting in all to $2,712,86.
  His Lordship granted leave to appeal and informed the defendant that the ordinary course was to obtain a deposit note in the name of the Supreme Court for the amount necessary and whoever won got the advantage of the interest that the Bank paid.
  Mr. Hall - Before I do anything I want to know how I stand with the British Consul.
  His Lordship - I don't know, that has nothing to do with me.
  Mr. Hall - I mean with regard to my nationality, whether I shall be allowed to appeal or nor.
  His Lordship - That does not make any difference. Whether you are an Englishman or anybody else you can appeal just the same.
  Defendant was accordingly ordered to deposit security for the judgment together with $2,000 for costs before the 24th inst.

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