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Board of Guardians.


County Court.


County Court. The monLLiv t:. ting of the Aberystwyth County Z, Court was h-M <m Thursday, March 22ud, before his Honour, Judge William Evans. CLAIM FOR KENT. Mr Stani-v GritrattL Jones (instructed by Messrs Smith and Davies) mentioned the case of Evans Y. Pierce and SivLer, which was before the November court. It was a case in which Evan Evans, draper, brought an action against Wm. Pierce, Marine- terrace, and rs Siviter, 44, Queen's-road, to recover P-21 for the occupation of a house in Queen's-iu*^ at the rate of £5;) per annum. At the November court his Honour ordered possession against both tenant and sub-tenant, all other ques- tions to be reserved. Possession was given at the end of _uys.—Mr Jones said the only ques- i tion now was whether he could recover mean profits from the tenant. He explained that Pierce was tenant to the plaintiff, and be sub-let to Mrs Siviter tor a specified term, which expired before his own term. The term expired by due notice to quit served on both tenant and sub-tenant on June 18th. On th3.t day Pierce went to plaintiff, and said he was unable to yield possession, as the sub- tenant would not yield up the premises. The action was then brought for recovery of possession, and a claim i'or double value. His Honour gave judgment for possession, but allowed him to with- draw the claim for double value. Mr A. J. Hughes, who appeared for Pierce, ques- tioned as to whether that was the judgment. The Judge said the note he took at the time was that the question of costs would be deferred to the next court. Mr Jones said the question now was whether his client could recover mean profits from the tenant. Mr Hughes said his client was quite prepared to pay the mean profits, but he objected to a judgment which can led costs. Judgment was given as against Mrs Siviter for the payment of 10s a week up to the time she was in possession, and as against Mr Pierce for the balance, no costs being allowed on either side. FARM SERVANT'S CLAIM. Lewis Williams, farm labourer, Tynywern Tre'r- ddol, sued Ebenezer Jones, Gwarcwmuchaf, for £ 5 7s. in respect of wages and wrongful dismissal. I Mr. W. P. Owen appeared for plaintiff and Mr. Hugh Hughes for the defendant. The plaintiff's case was that he had been in defendant's service for several year. In November last he entered into a new agreement, defendant to pay him R20 5s. a year, his duties being to look after the horses. On 20th. January last, plaintiff had been ploughing all the morning. It then came to rain, and he was told to wfit-el manure. After doing this, he cut chaff for me horses, and then defendandfesked him to cut chaff for the cows. As this was not part of the work he had agreed to do, he refused to do it, and defendant sent him about his business. He returned iutxt morning, and offered to resume work, but defendant told him to go home, and also assaulted him. Defendant put in a counterclaim of £10 for breach of contract. The lu-ige thought the agreement which plaintiff said had o. en entered into was an unusual one. Eviden c having been given by plaintiff and defendant, judgment was given for defendant on the claim, iie counterclaim being withdrawn, each partv to pay their own costs. A SUIT OF CLOTHES. Moses Roderick, tailor, London House, Goginan sued William Hunt, station master, Ystrad, Pontypridd, for R2 15s. for a suit of clothes. Mr. Owen appeared for plaintiff, and said plaintiff was down at Pontypridd on a visit to his daughter and took an order for the clothes from defendant in an hotel thei e, payment to be made for the clothes on delivery.—Mr. Stanley Griffith Jones said he ap- peared for defendant and there might be a question of juri.,fiel ion. The order was taken at the RhondcU, the goods delivered at the Rhondda, and he contended that they should be paid for at the Rhonddi, when plaintiff went on his next round. As, however, defendant and no witnesses were present, ne did not see that he could effectively defend he case.—Evidence having been given by plaintiff an i his wife, who stated that it had been agreed tthit the money should be paid at Goginan, judgment was given for the amount claimed. INTERESTING TO THE PUBLIC. His Honour, after adjournment, said some time ago he made a statement with regard to the time of sitting of the Court which did not seem to be well-knowm It was represented that the conveni- ence of the public would be consulted by having a definite time fixed for taking contested actions, and he state that the ordinary work of the Court would begin at ten and contested cases would be taken at twelve. That fact did not seem to be well known, but he Hoped it would now be made known and so saTt some people a good deal of time. He thought it was known generally amongst the advocates usually practising in that Court. Mr A. J. Hughes, the senior advocate, said that was so. He thought that the suggestion emanated from those who appeared at the Court, and if con- tinued wrb his Honour's approval, it met the con- venience of all. DISMISSAL WITHOUT NOTICE. An act ion was brought by John Jones, 38, Bridge- street, Aberystwyth, to recover from the Aberys- wyth I Chiswick Electric Light Company P,15 8s damage, alleged to have been sustained by breach of .contractto employ him as engineer at Itheir works at Aberystwyth, the breach being dismissal without notice. Mr Stanley Griffith Jones (in- structed by Messrs Smith and Da vies) appeared for the plaintiff, and defendants were represented by Mr Arthur J. Hughes. The action was heard be- J fore a jury. which consisted of Messrs George Wilkinson. W. R. Jones, H. Wheatley, D. C. Owen, and Sergeant Long. Mr. Stanley Jones, in his opening, said plaintiff had for dve year been second certificated engineer on board he steamship Isle of Ramsey." On the 26th. December last he returned home for a short holiday, bnt finding his wife and child in delicate health, he desired if possible, to obtain a situa- tion iu Aberystwyth. Hearing that there was likely to b > a vacancy at defendants'works, he with his step-father (Mr. Cashmore) went there on the 29th December, and saw Mr. Putland, the manager. At that interview the plaintiff asked if there was a vacancy. Mr. Putland said there would be shortly, but he could not say then. Mr. Jones distinctly asked him if it would be a permanent situation, for if not he could not accept it. Mr. Putland said he could not tfive a reply then, but would let him know ater ou Mr. Jones said he did not mind waiting a bit if there was a possibility of getting such a situation. On New Year's Day, Mr Jones received a telegram from his ship calling him back to join her at once. Mr. Cashmore took that telegram to Mr. Putlanrl, and asked him if he could give an answer as to whether Jonus could have a permanent situation or not. Mr. Putland replied that he was not In a posltlOn to say, but would let them know later on in the day. At nine o'clock that evening Mr. Putland called at Mr. Cashmore's house. Mr. Jones was also there, and Mr. Putland said he could give him a situation if he would come there at once. Wages were discussed, and these were to be at the rate of 8id an hour, and he was to work nine hours a day. Mr. Jones then said Is this to be a permanent situation ? I cannot accept a temporary." Mr. Putland, knowing plaintiff's situation and employment, said Yes, it is a permanent situation." Mr Jones, first thing next day, wired off to his ship to say he could not return, and, in accordance with arrangements, went to work at defendants' works. He continued to work there until the 17th January, just over a fortnight. He worked, more or less, nine hours a a day, and during that time received his pay by the week. On the 18th January, ju..t before he was returning to his work at three o'clock that atternoon, he received a letter from Mr Putland, which sa: ed that he no longer required his ser- vices, adding that for the time he was employed he gave every satisfaction. A sum of S2 12s 5d was enclosed for wages, and 6s 4td in lieu of night's work. That, said counsel, was instant dismissal. Mr Jones naturally felt a bit annoyed, and went to Mr Putland to seek an explanation. The only ex- planation he got. was that he was very sorry, and could not help it. Mr Jones immediately wrote a long letter to the directors of the Company, telling them that he had been engaged for five years in a steamship company, earning at the rate of Ell a month, and in consideration of receiving a per- manent, situation from the defendants, he gave up that and took on theirs. He got a curt reply to the effect that the directors could not interfere in any arrangements that their resident engineer might think it necessary to make for the efficient running of the station. Mr Jones was naturally very much annoyed. His ship bad gone on a voy- age, and i: was impossible for a man of his position to get work in Aberystwyth. He, therefore, consulted his solicitor, and instructed him to claim from the Company in lieu •of three months' notice. He also watched the shipping papers, determined the moment one of the ships of his old former company returned to apply to be re-instated. Curiously enough his old ship returnt-d the first to England. It was usual for this ship to go on a three months' voyage, but this time she only went for a six weeks' voyage. He wrote to the Steamship Company and asked to bare-instated, and they without hesitation accepted him at the old wage of £ 11 a mouth, but that he must be prepared to join at any moment. This was on the 12th February. Mr Jones held himself in readings, and on the 28th February he received orders to jo;n bis ship and did so. He was out of work fro;rt he 18th January to the 23th February, 36 wo rking days. The jury would sec that I he had done his 01, most to reduce the darnaaes. In the first place the claim was for £ 25 for three months. Finding he could get a berth at the end of six weeks, he instructed his solicitor to reduce his claim to £15, and that was the claim that day. During the time he was at defendants' works he received £ 2 13s. the first week, and £2 12s. 5d, the second week, and this would work out at about P,8, or thereabouts, a month. They claimed that there had been a breach of contract, the contract being that they, in con- sideration of their giving up their old employ, were to receive a permanent situation. The question, therefore, which the jury would have to decide was, what was the meaning of permanent? In the alternative, they claimed damages for wrongful dismissal. His client had been dismissed without notice at all, and they knew that the general rule of law was that when there was no definite period for the termination of the employment, then that was construed as a yearly employment, or at any rate the man was entitled to reasonable notice. Unfortunately, Mr. Jones had .been called to his ship, and his evidence would be taken OR com- mission. Plaintiffs evidence was then read, and bore out counsel's opening address. In his cross-examinatian, the plaintiff said Mr. Putland engaged him on permanent employment. He (witness) meant by permanent employment to be there for good until he got reasonable notice. He received with the letter, dated 18th Jan., iZZ 12s. Sd. and 6s. 4id. He saw Putland after receiving this, and asked him what the 6s. 4id. meant. He had retianed the 6s. 4 £ d., but had never asked for it, and he had not offered to refund it to the company. Mr. Hughes, referring to the letter, dated the 18th Jan., pointed out that the plaintiff, in his examination, said on the receeipt of the letter he went to Mr. Putland and asked him what the 6s. 4id. meant, and he said that Mr. Putland told him that it was in liea of notice, and he accepted that, and had retained it ever since. Mr. Griffith Jones said no question had been asked his client on that point in cross-examination. Mr. Hughes: Here is the admission. I would not cross-examine when I had the answer I wanted. The master gives the man notice, and says Here is 6s. 4d. in lieu of notice." Mr. Griffith Jones: No, sir, it does not. The Judge: You must assume that I know some- thing about the case. Mr. Hughes: The 6s. 4id. was in lieu of night's service. Mr. Hughes added that tha letter was written by a laymen, but the 6s. 4id. was evidently meant in lieu of notice. The Judge said he thought as a matter of law that there was not enough stuff for him to make a brick out of. Mr Cashmore, plaintiff's step-father, was called, and corroborated the evidence as to the interview with Mr Putland, at which the engagement was made. On the 17th January, Mr Putland came to him and said he was very sorry to disappoint Mr Jones; that he had had instructions from the head office to reduce expenses. He told Mr Putland that it was very disappointing, as it was quite contrary to the distinct arrangement, which was that the place was to be a permanent one, and. it was con- trary to that arrangement. Mr Putland said noth- ing in reply. This concluded the case for the plaintiff. Mr A. J. Hughes then addressed the jury for the defence, and said the question resolved itself into what was a reasonable notice for a man earning 8id an hour, if his services were to be discontinued. Mr Hughes emphasized the fact that no witnesses had been called for the plaintiff to prove what was a reasonable notice, and it was because they could not get a living soul to prove that three months was a proper notice. At the very most plaintiff was only a weekly servant. Mr Edwin Putland, resident manager, was then examined. He said he had been connected with electrical works for 15 or 20 years, and said the custom and general usage was in such employment that where a man was taken on at an hourly rate he could be dismissed at a* hour's notice. It was untrue that he had told plaintiff that the engage- ment would be a permanent one. He had no power to enter into such an arrangement. When plaintiff came to him with regard to the 6s 4id, he explained to him that it was in lieu of notice of dis- missal, and he aceepted that money in settlement. Mr Griffith Jones (in cross-examination): I put it to you that Mr Jones came with the 6s. 4id. and asked you what it was for, and he said, I don't want your money unless I work for it," and did he not throw it on the table T Mr Putland: He put it on the table. Mr. Jones: Did you not say, Ob, pocket your pride and take what you can get" ? Mr. Putland No, nothing of the sort. The Judge: Did you tell Jones of liability to be dismissed at an hour's notice 1 Mr Putland I don't think the question of dis- missal was mentioned. Thomas Williams, of the firm of Williams and Metcalfe, ironfounders, and Thomas Parry, fore- man draughtsman at Messrs. Green's foundry, gave evidence for the defence to prove the custom as to the notice usually given to fitters and mech- anics, both stating that when a man was engaged by the week it was usual to give a week's notice. The jury, after hearing the addresses of counsel and the judge's summing-up, retired to consider their decision. On returning, the foreman an- nounced that they had agreed upon a verdict for the plaintiff, and that he was entitled to Z10 9s 8d in lieu of a month's notice. Mr Griffith Jones applied for "an order to that effect, and this was granted, plaintiff in addition being allowed costs. THE GROCER'S BILL. David Morgan, retired grocer, Penllwyn, sued Geo Benjamin, Llangwyryfon, for the sum ofJSl 8s. due in respect of goods sold and delivered. Mr. Wm. Davies represented the plaintiff. Defendant's wife said she had paid the money, having sent the amount by post. Plaintiff said he had not received the amount, and as defendant could not produce a receipt, an order was made for the payment of the amount by instalments of 5s. a month. A BROKEN WINDOW. G. H. Pemberton, Great Darkgate-street, claimed 15s. from John Jones, builder. Gray's Inn Road, for damage done to a glass roof through defendant's negligence. Mr. Wm. Davies appeared for the defence. Defendant was engaged in repairing work on an adjoining house, and in the execution of this plaintiff alleged that the window was broken. Defendant repudiated the claim, and said the repairs on the adjoining house were carried out on October 17th and 18th, and part of the 19th. He did not receive any intimation of the glass having been been broken until November 4th, whereas on November 3rd Aberystwyth was visited by a severe storm, which he contended had broken the glass.—Evidence was called on both sides, but eventually judgment was given for the plaintiff for the amount claimed.