OVER 34,000 SOFT DRINKS
, AT TAHUNA CAMP. In the Magistrate's Court yesterday, before Mr "Widdowson, S.M., a case of interest to aerated water makers was brought on. Lanes, Ltd., sued William Gittens. hawker, for the possession of 80 dozen aerated water bottles, value £9 10s, detained by him since the 11th November. Mr Calvert, appearing for the plaintiffs, said that the bottles in question belonged to Lanes, and wero gathered at the late Tahuna camp. The question for the Court was whether these bottles were still the property of Lanes. It would be shown that there was no sale of the bottles according to the custom of the trade. Since the case, of Thomson and Co. v. Phillips the trade had made it clear that the bottles wore not sold. A deposit was charged to ensure, their safe return. It would be shown in evidence that Gittens admitted that ho ln>d in his possesion about 60 dozen of Lanes' bottles, supplied to caterers at the late Tahuna camp, and that both caterers used their best endeavors to collect all the hottles, but could not. It would also he .»hown that Lanes had not parted with the ownership of the bottles either by sale or acquiescence. J. P. Lane, one*of the plaintiffs, said that his bottles cost wholesale 2s 4Ad per dozen. They had thousands of bottles in the hands of customers. He always took the bottles into stock. The custom. was to take a deposit from customers of l«s a dozen. The deposit paid was put against the bottles that were out. When the bottles were returned he credited the customer with the shilling. Everybody in the trade followed that practice. Every invoice bore a notice to the effect that the bottles .were not sold. His charge for aerated waters was 16 6d per dozen. He supplied Moody and Kroon for the Tahuna Park camp. To Mr Moody he supplied 1,257 dozen, and 1.093 wero returned ; deficit, 164. To Kroon he supplied 1,585 dozen, and 1,318 were returned; deficit, 266. There wero 430 dozen short on the two. He allowed Gittena 6d a dozen for bringing the bottles back. Shortly after the camp broke up Gittens called and said he had collected 70 or 80 dozen, but would not bring the bottles in at tho usual figure of 6d. He wanted Is, otherwise he would not bring them in. Witness replied that he would not give Is. Mr Bedford, who appeared for defendant, cross-examined this and other witnesses for tho purpose of establishing that the contract wa6 contained in the circular sent round by Lanes, in which they stated that they 'sold the aerated waters at 2s 6d per dozen, and made an allowance of la on the return of the empties; that on the caterers' delivery note Lanes stated that all empties not returned would be charged for; and that it was only on their invoices, after the sale, when sending their account, that they stated that the bottles were not sold. P. W. J. Moody said that ho undertook to supply temperance drinks to the Tahuna eamp, and bought from Lanes, the terms bung Is 6d a dozen for the drinks, and I Is a dozen deposit on tho bottles. He lost many bottles. He had a man on at 1C« a> day to collect them, and he arranged with the man in charge of the fatigue party cleaning up the camp, 6d a. dozen being allowed. They wanted witness to cro for the collected bottles; he said it was their place to bring them to him; and next day five hags of the bottles were gono. Saw Gittcntwm in tho ground, and ki-.v his cart there, hut did not actually fee him collecting. Witness fully understood that he was not buying the bottles. J. C. Kroon. caterer, said that he had dealt with Lanes for years, and when ho bought soft drinks for the camp—he had the tender at £5 a day—ho" knew he was not buying the bottles There were boys collecting bottles, and he paid them about 6d a. dozen. Oilters told witness he had between 60 and 30 dozen. It was Lanes' bottles they we>v speaking about. Witness ot;er»d him 6d a dozen. He said he would not take it. It would be Is or nothing. W. E. Lane, a director of the plaintiff company, said that his firm neither bought nor sold bottles in New Zealand. Gittens had bei'ii bringing them bottles for years at 6d per dozen as a charge for collecting. This completed tho evidence on behalf of the plaintiffG. Mr Bedford applied for a nonsuit on these grounds:—(l) That the property in these bottles >vas not proved to be. in tho plaintiffs; (2) that if the property was held to b? in the plaintiffs, then the eufitemors were the mercantile agents according to the Mercantile Law Act, and any disposition through them was protected ; (3) that even if the property was in Lanes, and even if their customers were not the mercantile agents, there was no right of immediate possession; (4) that it Lanes were- tho owners of tho bottles, and if their customers were not the mercantile agents, even then Lanes could not recover, because there was no right to immediate possession. Lanes' remedy was only against the customer, and then only when Lanes handed over the shilling. At this etage tho Court adjourned for lunch. On resuming, Mr Bedford called William Gittens, who deposed that he collected bottles, buying them at 6d and sometimes 9d a dozen, and he returned them to the firms whose names wero blown therein. He returned them when he had a good pafcel. Ho had not sold any to Lanes lately. He got Is a dozen for Thomson's and Ingram's. He told Lanes that he had about 60 dozen of theirs, and said he would take them in if he got the Is deposit. They had cost him 9d, and he wanted 3d profit. He did not pick up the bottles in Tahuna Park; He got some from persons in the vicinity of Tahuna Park. Ho had the major part of the 60 dozen before the camp. He got bottles from Ravensbourne. Green Island, and boarding-houses. He did not until recently get more than 6d for lemonades. He never got more than 6d from Lanes, hut did not take them many, and none for a while past. Ho had recently paid 9d in town and 6d in other places, expecting to receive Is. j He did not buy sacks of bottles at Tahuna I and did not pick up any. John R. Roxburgh, fruiterer, also called by Mr Bedford, gave evidence that when he bought from Lanes he received the circular abovo referred to. It was the custom of tho retailers to put Id on for the bottle. They regarded the bottle as bought from the maker and sold to- the consumer. Legal argument was not finished when the Court rose at 4.30 p.m. It will be resumed uu a date to be fixed.
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OVER 34,000 SOFT DRINKS, Evening Star, Issue 15671, 9 December 1914