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An Act to codify the law relating to Bills of Exchange,
Cheques, and Promissory Notes. Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
1.—This Act may be cited as the Bills of Exchange Short title. Act, 1882.
2.- In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, Interpretation
“ Acceptance" (a) means an acceptance completed by delivery or notification.
“ Action " includes counter-claim (b) and set-off. (c)
“Banker” (d) includes a body of persons whether in- Ind. Act, s. 3. corporated or not who carry on the business of banking.
Bankrupt” (e) includes any person whose estate is vested in a trustee or assignee under the law for the time being in force relating to bankruptcy.
“ Bearer” means the person in possession of a bill or note which is payable to bearer.
“ Bill” means bill of exchange (f) and “note" means a promissory note (g).
* Delivery” (h) means transfer of possession, actual or Ind. Act, s. 14. c instructive, from one person to another. “Holder" (j) means the payee or indorsee of a bill or Ind. Act, 8. 8.
а note who is in possession of it, or the bearer thereof.
“ Indorsement” (k) means an indorsement completed by delivery.
“ Issue" (1) means the first delivery of a bill or note, Interpretation complete in form to a person who takes it as a holder. of terms.
“Person " includes a body of persons whether incorporated or not.
“ Value” means valuable consideration (m).
“ Written” includes printed, and “writing” includes print.
(a) By sect. 17 of this Act the acceptance of a bill of exchange is defined to be “the signification by the drawee of his assent to the order of the drawer.” And by the present (the 2nd) section an acceptance is defined to be an acceptance completed by delivery or notification as indeed it has been held to be hitherto, Smith v. McClure, 5 East, 476; also In re Hayward, L. R. 6 Ch. Ap. 546; 40 L. J. Bank. 49; and before delivery the acceptance may be obliterated, Cox v. Troy, 5 B. & Ald. 474; 1 D. & Ry. 38; therefore the cause of action does not arise until such delivery, Chapman v. Cottrell, 34 L. J. Ex. 186. See also note (z) to sect. 17 and subsects. (1) & (2) of sect. 21, and the notes thereto. As a bill of exchange, according to the definition given in the 3rd section of this Act, is an unconditional order in writing, addressed by one person to another, signed by the person giving it (i.e. the drawer) requiring the person to whom it is addressed to pay on demand or at a fixed or determinable future time a sum certain in money to or to the order of a specified person or to bearer; so the acceptance of a bill of exchange, which is the signification by the drawee of his assent to the order of the drawer, must be an engagement not only to pay the bill when due, but also to pay it in money. And such engagement, assent or acceptance must be in writing on the bill and signed by the drawee; and now the mere signature of the drawee without additional words is sufficient; see sect. 17 of this Act and sub-sects. (1) and (2) thereof and the notes to the same.
(6) As to counter-claim and set-off vide Judicature Act of 1873 (36
& 37 Vict. c. 66), sect. 24, sub-sect. 3, and also Order XIX., rule 3. T
(c) As to set-off, see 2 Geo. 2, c. 22, s. 13, and the decisions thereon.
(d) By s. 45 of 33 & 34 Vict. c. 97, the term banker is defined to mean and include any corporation, society, partnership, and persons and every individual
person carrying on the business of banking in the United Kingdom. “The ordinary relation between banker and customer is this: the customer opens an account with the banker by paying a sum of money into the bank, the banker undertaking to hold himself liable for the payment of a like sum to the customer's use, either paying interest on the money or not, as the course of business of the bank or the special arrangements between the banker and the individual
customer may be, and also agreeing to honour or cash any cheques, or S. 2. orders for the payment of any sums of money, which the customer
Interpretation may send to him, during business hours, to the extent of the sum of terms. deposited. A less ordinary, but still a not uncommon, relation between banker and customer is, that the banker makes advances to the customer or allows him to overdraw his account, charging interest on the advances, and in most cases requiring a deposit of securities, or obtaining the guarantee of some third person, for the repayment of such advances, with interest; and whilst such accommodation continues the former relation of the parties is of course inverted. But neither of these relations partakes of a fiduciary character, nor bears analogy to the relation between principal and factor or agent, who is a quasi trustee for the principal with respect to the particular matter for which he was appointed factor or agent. Therefore money paid into a bank ceases altogether to be the money of the person paying it; it is the money of the banker, who is bound to return an equivalent by paying a similar sum to that deposited with him when he is asked for it. To all intents it is the money of the banker to do as he may please with; though it is true that, in a popular sense, it is spoken of as ‘My money at my banker's,' 'My balance at my banker's;' and though no one can doubt that in ordinary language the term 'ready money' includes the speaker's balance at his banker's." Vide Grant's Law of Bankers and Banking Companies (4th edition), pp. 1 and 2.
(e) All persons capable of making a binding contract are liable to be made bankrupt. Married women therefore who are competent to be petitioning creditors are amenable to bankruptcy. As to what married women are competent to be petitioning creditors see' Roche & Hazlitt's Bankruptcy (2nd Edition), pp. 357 & 358. As to adjudication in bankruptcy see se 20 of the Bankruptcy Act of 1883 (46 & 47 Vic. c. 52). As to the definition of “commencement of bankruptcy” see sect. 43 of the Bankruptcy Act of 1883. As to appointment of trustee and the vesting and division of the property of the bankrupt, see section 54 of the Bankruptcy Act of 1883. By section 168 of the Act of 1883 “ Trustee means the trustee in bankruptcy of a debtor's estate.
(f) By sub-sect. (1) of sect. 3 of this Act a bill of exchange is defined to be an unconditional order in writing addressed by one person to another, signed by the person giving it, requiring the person to whom it is addressed to pay on demand or at a fixed or determinable future time a sum certain in money to, or to the order of, a specified person or to bearer. See further that sub-section and also sub-sects. (3) & (4) of sect. 3 and the subdivisions thereof, and the notes to the same respectively.
(9) By sub-sect. (1) of sect. 83 of this Act a promissory note is defined to be an unconditional promise in writing made by one person to another, signed by the maker, engaging to pay, on demand
Interpretation of terms.
or at a fixed or determinable future time, a sum certain in money, to, or to the order of, a specified person, or to bearer. See further that sub-section as well as sub-sects. (2), (3), & (4) of sect. 83, and all the notes to the same respectively.
(1) Delivery has always been necessary to complete an acceptance or indorsement, Smith v. McClure, East, 476; Cox v. Troy, 5 B. & Ald. 474 ; Chapman v. Cottrell, 34 L. J. Ex. 186; In re Hayward, L. R. 6 Ch. Ap. 546; 40 L. J. Bankr. 49. See also note (2) to sect. 17, and note () to sub-sect. (1) of sect. 21.
(j) Holder has been defined to be “any one in actual or constructive possession of the bill and entitled at law to recover or receive its contents from the parties to it.” Byles on Bills (13th Edition), p. 2. As to who can sue upon a bill, see sect. 38. It is doubtful whether such words as “ entitled at law to recover or receive its contents” are any longer necessary to the definition of holder. It is submitted that they are not, inasmuch as by the definition given by this section a holder means “the payee or the indorsee or the bearer of a bill or note who also is in possession of it.”
(k) As to delivery see note (h) hereto. An indorsement is generally though not necessarily made by the signature of the indorser on the back of the bill. Such signature may however be put in any part of the bill. An indorser of a bill is in the position of a surety for the acceptor, and as such upon payment to a discounter of the amount due on the bill after its dishonour by the acceptor, is entitled to the benefit of the securities deposited by the acceptor with the discounter, whether at the time of his indorsement he knew of the deposit of those securities or not, Duncan Fox & Co. v. North and South Wales Bank, 6 App. Cas. 1; 50 L. J. Ch. D. 355; 43 L. T. N. S. 706 ; 29 W. R. 763.
(1) A bill of exchange is not issued till in the hands of the party entitled to demand the money ; till then it may be altered without rendering a fresh stamp necessary, Ex parte Bignold, in re Brereton, 2 Mont. & Ayr. 650; 1 Deac. 712.
(m) The rules relating to the consideration of a bill or note are in general the same as those which relate to the consideration of any o: her simple contract, see sect. 27, sub-sect. (a). A consideration has been defined to be “either some detriment to the plaintiff, sustained for the sake or at the instance of the defendant, or some benefit to the defendant moving from the plaintiff,” see Addison on Contracts (7th Edition by Mr Justice Cave), p. 7; see also Sowerby v. Butcher, 2 Cr. & A. 368; Hulse v. Hulse, 17 C. B. 711.
BILLS OF EXCHANGE.
Form and Interpretation.
Bill of exchange
defined. Ind. Act, s. 5.
3.-(1.) A bill of exchange (x) is an unconditional (y) order in writing, addressed (a) by one person to another, signed (w) by the person giving it, (v) requiring (t) the person (s) to whom it is addressed to pay on demand (r) or at a fixed or determinable future time, (q) a sum certain (2) in money, (o) to or to the order of a specified person (n) or to bearer (m).
(2.) An instrument which does not comply with these conditions, or which orders any act to be done in addition to the payment of money, is not a bill of exchange (1).
(3.) An order to pay out of a particular fund (k) is not
(a.) That it is not dated; (f).
any value has been given; (e).
drawn, or the place where it is payable (d).
(2) The definition here given of a bill of exchange is the same as that given prior to this Act, Vide Chalmers’ Digest of the Law of Bills of Exchange (2nd Edition); Byles on Bills (13th Edition), p. 1. As to the definition of a promissory note, see sub-sect. (1) of sect. 83 of this Act. By sub-sect. (1) of sect. 89 of this Act, the provisions of