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Festiniog Bankruptcy Court.


Festiniog Bankruptcy Court. A LLANRWST PARTNERSHIP. Messrs. Fletcher and Chisholm, who have traded in co-partnership at Llanrwst since the 3rd October, 1908, in the business of market gardeners, seedsmen, and auctioneers, and who were adjudicated bankrupts on. the 24th Sep- tember last, on their own application, appeared ,before the Registrar (Mr. Thomas Jones) at the Festiniog Bankruptcy Court on Tuesday. Mr. A. Lloyd Griffith appeared for the debtors. The Official Receiver's observations showed that the firm commenced with a capital of £ 40, each partner contributing £ 20, advanced to them by their respective fathers, and they were to draw any profits in equal proportions. Fletcher, who was brought up as a gardener or nurseryman, had lived at the shop since Feb- ruary last, before that for five months at Rhos Cottage, Rhuddlan, and previously at Seacomibe and Weston for some dime. Chisholm, who has had practical knowledge of gardening, had lived with his father near Llanrwst for four years. Neither had a business of his own until now. The bankrupts took a lease for eight years, from the 14th November last, of land whidh is called Cae'rgraig Nursery, Llanrwst, at the rent of r,35 10s. a year, where they planted a numbers, of young fruit trees. They also told the premises called Commerce House, at the rent of a year also a lock- up shop at Trefriw a garden there, and also another garden near Llanrwst. The bankrupts had young trees consigned to them, which they sold bty auction in different towns, and a con- siderable portion of the debts was for goods so consigned. Fletcher lived at the shop and had charge of the accounts, but he kept no proper books. They eaClh drew from the business at first I) a week, then 25s., then 30s., and for two weeks £2 a week, without any considera- tion as to whether the profits. permitted such withdrawals. The unsecured creditors were 32, for goods bought, ^348 14s. 7d; 11 for "printing and advertising, ^14 15s. 6d. 3 miscellaneous, £ 3 13s. 6d. total, ^367 3s. 7d. Six claims, amounting to r266 7s., exceeded Zio each. The deficiency was said to be l340 19s. 3d., the total liabilities, ^246; unsecured creditors being £ 367 3s. 7d. Thomas Myhell Fletcher, examined by Mr. Tobias, Assistant Official: Receiver, said with regard' to Commerce House, that since the last hearing the landlord had distrained on his mother's and his wife's goods, which were sold. In respect to the rent for the nursery, they supplied the landlord with goods on account, which went towards paying the rent. The firm rented a shop at Trefriw during the srummer season, but they had not paid any rent for it. Thev also rented a small: garden in the village at £ 2 per annum, but the rent had not been paid. They had some fruit to sell from the gardens of a local mansion (Llanrwst), a quan- tity of fruit and vegetables from them, which were not paid for. In the course of business the firm, planted a considerable number of young trees in the nursery which had not matured at the time of the bankruptcy. In order to sell shrubs and fruit trees they attended at various towns and sold them by auction and received the proceeds. He was the auctioneer. The ex- penses, between the railway journeys and hotels, were, however, large, with the result that the loss on many occasions was consider- able. He expected to make a profit by selling young treei, but the result had been unsatis- factory. It did not, however, follow as a natur- al result to. lose by such a system. At some town a good profit was made, while at others they sustained a loss. The Official Receiver It looks as if you were anxious merely to turoi the trees into money?— That is not so. At least, you will admit that it gives another person that aspect?—Considering the amount we paid, it certainly does not. It looks as if the transactions were for deriv- ing and obtaining goods by improper means. Mr. Lloyd Griffith objected to. the .question being put to the witness. The Registrar: It is not a question it is merely an observation. Examination continued Did yon inform the people from whom you got the goods that the money you had received for them was not col- lected?—-No. Do you keep a cash book?—'Not a proper one, as is usually identified as such. Considering the state of your business, did you think you could afford to draw out these sums?—At that time I thought so. Our bank book showed a credit balance. So because of the balance you drew the money?—Yes. As a matter of fact, the debts owing by the firm amount to £ 367 gross, leaving a deficiency of ^340?—Yes. You had been in business for only 11 months? —About that. So during that period your firm caused all this loss to the creditors?—Yes. In fact, you lived on your creditors?—It looks like it, but we worked very. hard. Was the furniture you used on the hire sys- tern?—Yes. You paid £4 16s. in respect to them?—Yes. You lived rent free and drew out your money weekly?—Yes. The Official Receiver The first account ren- dered was not accurate. The amended state- ment contains several accounts, but according to that the balance of payments corresponds fairly closely with the receipts. Continuing the examination, the Official Re- ceiver asked: You still kept drawing the money?—Yes, under the impression, however, that the business would improve. Have you paid rent to anyone?—Yes, rent for Commerce House and the nursery. Had your father any land by the nursery?— Yes. How much rent did he pay?-— £ 4. To whom was it paid?—To' me. What became of the money?-It was paid to the firm's account. You have a separate estate, I believe, an in- terest under the will of your late uncle. Have you any documents to show?—No, I gave you the names of the solicitors. Does your mother benefit by the will?—Not now. Who actually receives the money?—Some uncles and aunts. (Witness then gave the names and addresses of several persons of the surname of Cobb.) Did you take anything away from the shop or nursery after your application?—Nothing at all. There were some things belonging to youi wife, including a piano, that has been since seized by the landlord?—Yes. George H. Chisholm said that he had not been in business before he entered into partner- ship with Fletcher. He did not constantly in- spect the final's correspondence, as sometimes when he asked Fletcher for them he replied that they were upstairs. He used to see them event- ually, however. Fletcher said the accounts were kept all right. Had you any previous knowledge of auction- eering ?—.No. Whose idea was it?—Fletcher's. It was the chief arrangement of the partnership. Continuing, witness said that when he com- plained that the books were not kept Fletcher replied that it was all right. In a fortnight from the commencement of the partnership witness desired to withdraw from it, and wrote to Fletcher to that effect. He, however, over- looked it and contiruued the partnership. The Assistant Official Receiver said he would adjourn t4e examination, in order that Fletcher might submit an adjusted account, and in case I the balances were correct, he would feel satis- fied, and would not examine the debtors any further.

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