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THE MILKY WAY., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 77, 31 March 1909
THE MILKY WAY.
CLAIM FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT, j INTERESTING DAIRY CASE. " ', (By —Own Correspondent.) PUKEKOHE, this day. ] The hearing of the case in which the ( New Zealand Dairy Association is suing | Mr. A. Cathcart, of Onewhero, dairy j farmer, for breach of contract, was re- f sumed to-day before Mr. Northeroft, j I S.M., at Pukekohe, when the case for ' the defence was opened. ! Air. A. Hanna appeared for the New ] Zealand Dairy Association and Mr. ii. MeOregor for the defendant. j The circumstances of the case will be , easily recalled. Mr. Cathcart was under , contract to supply the milk of 33 cows t to the Dairy Association. The Asso- , ciation bought out the Onewhero Dairy f Company, elpsed its creamery, and erected a new one some 50 or 00 chains away in a position more convenient to s the majority of its clients. Mr. Cath- < cart claimed that the change of site j relieved him of the obligation under his ( contract, which, he alleged, had been entered into in ignorance of the AssoNation's iutention to move the creamery, which was close to his farm. Had he j known of that intention, he would never have entered into the contract. The case for the prosecution, heard a fortnight ago, was directed towards establishing the fact that Mr. Cathcart was aware of the Association's intention, and that it had been insisted upon in his presence more than once at meetings addressed by the managing director of the Association previous to the extinction of the old Onewhero Company. The evidence was of a conflicting nature. Mr. Hanna reserved his cross-examina-tion of the defendant, Mr. A. Cathcart, who was in the box all the morning. The witness maintained that at the meeting on August liith no reference was made to a proposed change of site. No such reference could have been made without his hearing it. If Messrs. .Spragg, Pacey, Moore, Millar, and Olsen declared that such a reference was made, they were in error. He understood that prior to the meeting, the Opawatea people had sent a petition to the Association, asking them to establish a creamery at Henderson Corner, if the company and the Association failpd to amalgamate. In spite of that petition, i ho still maintained that no reference i was made to the question of site at the j meetings held on Austist 2nd and 18th. To Mr. Northeroft: The difficulty : with the Opawatea people all along had been that they wanted a skimming i plant at their. end. They had asked > the company to establish such a station, before the question of amalgama- 1 tion waa mooted , . To Mr. Hanna: The company understood that the Opouriao people were j willing to continue to supply to the old site. Mr. Hanna: What benefit were they I to gain by amalgamation then? ' Defendant: "They thought the associa- ■ tion would pay a better price." Con- i tinuing, witness admitted he had sent to Mr. Ewing that, provided they did not ' amalgamate, if the association provided . a creamery where the present one now j wns, ho would supply the association. To Mr. Northeroft: ]t was not a con-. . 'sideratLon of dollars which caused him to make that statement. He desired to ( do all be could to bring about the amal- -, gamation. Mr Northeroft said that explanation j did not appeal to him one bit because I witness, when he made the statement, ' was not addressing a public meeting; 1 but speaking privately in a railway car- , riage. s Mr Ha-nna's cross-examination was * then directed towards establishing the ? fuct that at the time of the amalgama- | tion the Onewhero Company was in a o bad position financially. C Witness said the Company had washed j np at 4/6 in the £, but that was due i to the fact that they had not realised wlißt they anticipated for their plant. If the amalgamation had not taken place, ' and the Association had created a j creamery at Henderson's corner, he could not say for certain whether he would have supplied the Association or not. He considered he was not binding himself in his conversation with Mi Ewinjf. Mr. Xorthcroft: You don't reckon that a man's words should be his bond? Witness: I was only speaking in general conversation. To Mr. Hanna: He did not remember ' his reading the statement in Auckland. ■ He never gave any such assurance. He ' had not denied the statement when it J was attributed to him in a letter from ', the Association in May, 1908. If they ' hud not amalgamated, the company's ' creamery would still have gone on. ' To Mr. Northrroft: He did not re- . member that they had considered the : question of liquidation -as far back as ! 1003. I To Mr. Hanna: When on October 4, 1 190 C, Mr. Pacey, of the New Zealand J Dairy Association, and the valuer, visited , Onewhero, no reference was made by • Mr. Pacey to the necessity for a change ! of site. Mr. Pacey did not argue that ' as a result of that necessity a reduction ill the price would be required, but he did say that as the Association was ■buying the place for a creamery, part , of the butter plant would be useless. : On October 10, when Messrs. Spragg, > Cole, Harrison, and iFraser visited One- ' ■whero, he did not hear the question of \ site mentioned. After August 18 no I reference, so far as he <'ould remember, ' was made during the first season to the ! question of changing site. He was not ( certain when the first reference was •' made. It was a. matter of general talk, j and then they received notice from the ; Dairy Association. Probably discussion i took place for some time, before any • change was made. Mr. Hanna: What benefit were the . directors of the. Association to derive ' from a. change of site? J Witness: 1 could not say. Perhaps i they thought they would get a better t supply. They did not do so. You should '' ask the directors what their object was, ' not mc. j Continuing, witness said lie ceased sup- ' plying at the end of the 1907 season. He j 1 did not tender any milk during 1908 nt the old site, as the creamery was dismantled. The manager of the new creamery was living at the old site. He did not speak to him about supplying milk. There was nothing to prevent the Association using any place a.s a receiving station-for milk and carting it up to the other creamery themselves. To Mr McGregor: He received a letter Association notifying the opening oi the new creamery. There was no other creamery in the district. There was nobody, at the old site to receive milk. When 'dairy farmers delivered milk at the factory they received back their skimmed milk. In February, 1908, he • attended a meeting and spoke and voted ugainet tie resolution to change the efte. His Worship at this stage upheld an objection to the le*t two questions, made by Mr Hani», on the ground that Mr Mc-
Gregof must confine himself to examining on questions arising out of the,cross-ex-amination- _' Continuing, witness, said the objectors field a meeting and petitioned the Association. Subsequently a deputation waited upon the directors and objected to the removal of the creamery, declaring that if this were done.they would cease to supply. In consequence, three directors visited the district, but he had..no conversation with them on that occasion. Subsequently they informed the Association that they would supply at the old site, provided that the Association did not build nearer than two miles away. Witness added that to build nearer would have been unsuitable and would have prejudiced the interests of both. His Worship said that argument was inconsistent with the subsequent action of witness and others in building a netv creamery of their own quite close to the other. There must be some other reason. 'Was there not a township at the creamery. Witness: Yes. His Woiship: And you think it will spread in the direction in whk-h a creamery is established. Now we have got to the bottom of things. We are fighting over townships and the value of land. Continuing , , witness said that later they refused to sign a petition sent to them by Mr. Paeey, as they objected to the terms of it.
THE MILKY WAY., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 77, 31 March 1909
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