POSTCARDS SPELT RUIN.
PHOTOGRAPHER HAD TO FILE.
COMPETITION KILLS BUSINESS.
Competition arising out of modern improvements was the cause given tor the failure of Edmund Wheeler, photographer in Cathedral Square, at the meeting of his creditor* held to-dav at the offico of the Official Assignee. " There were ten creditors present, Mr G. A. Smith, the Official Assignee, presided. In Ins sworn statement the bankrupt stated' that he had been in business as a. photographer for fifty years, and up to live or six years ago his busuiess had been successful. During the past fiv-*' year* it had steadily declined. He had been engaged for the most part in photographing Now Zealand ecenerv, but the introduction of postcards and photo-engraving interfered with the sale of photographs, and the illustrations in weekly newspapers robbed his business of a lot of interest to the-jmblic. When the scenery business failed he tried to take up portraiture; but- without success competition behie extremely keen. '" ps'i - - sonal and" domestic expenses had not exceeded £2 per week, and most of his cH-i+p represented' loans for the •virposes of his business. The loans dated back four years or more, and as he had been unable to repay them as they fell due they had been considerably augmented by heavy interest and additional advances. Ho attributed his bankruptcy, to the introduction of to the facilities given by the Government Tourist, Department, and +" +he weekly papers satisfying tho public want to the detriment of his special business.. Ho had no means of livelihood, and was satisfied that he would have to engage in some occupation other than photography, because there was nothing "in the business to warrant his continuing in itThe -financial statement showed that the amount owing to unsecured creditors was £916 Ss. lid, and to secured creditors £BIO. The securities for the secured' creditors amounted to £llOO. leaving a balance of £290. The assets against the unsecured creditors' claims amounted to £549 .ss, including scenery negatives, valued at £l5O, portrait negatives. £ls: book debts, £5 10s; office furniture, £42; domestic furniture. £45: surplus under securities, £290. Tho deficiency was £387 3s lid.
Tho. principal unsecured creditors were:— V. 1). Kesteven. £'225; F. C. Raphael, £182; Joseph Wallace, £150; H. C. Lane, £00; T. H. .Havker, £65: G. W- Bennett and Co.. £65; 1). Stranagham, £SO; Bank of New-South. Wales, £29 7s lid ; B. Moore, £l6 12s. The secured creditors were:-—Bcr-manent Loan and Insurance Association, £510; J. T. Bell Estate, £3OO ou second mortgage. The Assignee stated that the latest valuation by the Government Department of the domestic property was £BSO and if that, was correct there was little equity in it. Mr H. O. Lane said that the property was situated in Linwood, just oyer Fitzgerald Avenue. It consisted of three-quarters of an acre with an old house on it, and he thought that the property was worth more than the Government valuation. He added that years ago Mr J. T. Bell had remitted a lot of ground rent for the section on which thfi bankrupt's stood, but there was no documentary evidence of the remission. When Mr Bell died, however, the executors pressed for payment and Mr Wheeler had had to give a second mortgage. Mr L. B. Hart, on behalf of the executors of J. T. Bell, said that he came into touch with the matter after Mr Bell's death and he could not take the responsibility of saying what MiBell's intentions were. Mr Harker remarked that Mr Wheeler had put buildings to the value of £BOO on land owned by Mr Bell and it' had reverted to him at the expiration of a lease- He thought that under the circumstances the creditors were justified in thiuking.that the rent had been remitted. , The legal position, however, was beyond doubt. He expressed sympathy with the bankrupt. Mr F. C. Raphael proposed that the domestic furniture should bo handed over to bankrupt. The Official Assignee said that the bankrupt had conducted his business in a straightforward manner and deserved all the sympathy the creditors could give. ■ He had been crippled by the burdens imposed on him. He suggested that the scenic negatives should be offered for sale by tender. The bankrupt suggested the sale of the office stock, and the meeting adopted the motion proposed by Mr Raphael. Mr Lane said that the property' in Linwood could be .subdivided into three sections easily, and should sell readily.
The. Official Assignee said that he would confer with tho principal creditor with reference to the realisation of the land.
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