Skip to Content

Colonial Cases

Union Realty v. Vial, 1932

[promissory note]

Union Realty v. Vial

French Consular Court, Shanghai
Source: The North China Herald, 5 April 1932




[Union Realty v. Vial]

   An action was commenced on March 23, in the French Consular Court, for the payment of money lent on seven promissory notes, together with interest, plaintiffs being the Union Realty and Investment Co. and defendant M. J. Vial, before Judge d'Hooghe, with whom sat MM. Lion and Leger (the latter Manager of the Banque de l'Indo-Chine).  M. P. Premet appeared for plaintiffs and M. d'Auxion de Ruffe for defendant.

   Plaintiffs claimed for the payment of seven promissory notes of $86 each, being the balance of the original loan of $800 (payable in 10 instalments) made in September last, together with interest at one per cent a month, defendant having repaid three instalments of $86 each. After January 1, M. Premet explained, defendant had not paid any of the monthly instalments, and the documents he had signed stated that the plaintiff firm could call for the prompt repayment of the remainder of the loaned sum, as well as a payment of $300 for attorney's fees for the plaintiffs.  M. Premet also stated that there were two guarantors of these promissory notes, and that he had already attached funds belonging to one of them.

   Counsel for defendant pointed out that the case was not important for the funds involved, but for the principle of the affairs; he added that many firms who loaned money had recently gone to the wall.  Her also stated that there were many firms which lent money in Shanghai, which were camouflaged under high-sounding titles, and that they usually made from 50 to 100 per cent on their money.  In French law conventional interest cannot exceed 8 per cent per annum: in this case 1 per cent per mensem was claimed.  Moreover, continued M. d'Auxion de Ruffe, defendant has signed for $860 but had only received $700; he asked counsel for plaintiffs could reconcile $16-0 with 1 per cent per mensem.

   Counsel for plaintiff stated that his clients had handed to defendant in September the sum of $860, and that defendant had immediately returned $160, for which a receipt was issued.  This was produced in court.

   Pressed for an explanation of why $160 was handed over, M. Premet stated that this comprised $86, representing 10 months' interest, $43, representing commission at 5 per cent, and $31, representing the amount charged for appraising furniture offered by defendant as a guarantee.

   The Court here ordered an adjournment to a future date as yet not specified, reserving judgment and ordering counsel for plaintiff to produce before the Court proof that plaintiffs actually did spend the sum of $31 for appraising furniture.

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