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Money and money only.
add his signature at pleasure, it might be a security for the payment of money within sect. 75 of the Larceny Act, 1861 (24 & 25 Vict. c. 96).1
It has been held in France that where a bill payable to drawer's order was indorsed by him, though he omitted to sign it on the face, this was sufficient: Nouguier, $ 199.
A bill must be payable in “money”—that is, in legal tender. Therefore, an order requiring payment "in good East India bonds,” or “in the notes of the chartered banks of Pennsylvania,” is not a bill of exchange. In Ex parte Imeson (1815), 2 Rose, 225, an order to pay “in cash or Bank of England notes” was held invalid; but now by 3 & 4 Will. 4, c. 98, s. 5, the notes of that bank are made legal tender in England, except by the bank itself. As to legal tender in general, see the Coinage Act, 1870 (33 Vict. c. 10), ss. 4–6 (post, p. 342). Again, an order requiring the drawee to pay a certain sum of money and deliver up a wharf to the payee,+ or requiring him to pay a certain sum and take up a note for the drawer, is not a bill. So, again, an order to deliver to bearer on demand a certain quantity of iron is not a bill.6
By 48 Geo. 3, c. 88, negotiable bills or notes for less than 20s. were made void in England, and any person who issued or negotiated them was subject to a penalty not exceeding 201. An exception was made
in favour of cheques by 23 & 24 Vict. c. 111, s. 19. Both these Acts are repealed by Schedule II. to this Act. Consequently there is now no limit to the sum for which an English bill, note, or cheque may be drawn. By 8 & 9 Vict. c. 38, ss. 17-20, negotiable bills and notes for less than 208. are made void in Scotland, and any person who issues or negotiates them is subject to a penalty not exceeding 201., but an exception is made in favour of drafts on a banker for the payment of money
“ held to the use of” the drawer. This Act is not repealed.
As to promissory notes to bearer on demand, see note to sect. 83, post, p. 261.
Bills and notes under 20s.
1 R. v. Bowerman, (1891) 1 Q. B. 112.
4 Martin v. Chauntry (1747), 2 Stra. 1271 ; Cf. ke Boyse (1886), 33 Ch. D. at p. 621.
5 Cook v. Satterlee (1826), 6 Cowan, New York R. 108; Story, $ 43. 6 Dixon v. Bovill (1856), 3 Macq. H. L. 1.
A bill is an "order;" therefore it must in its terms be imperative and not precative, but the insertion of mere
Order not terms of courtesy will not make it precative. Thus, an request. instrument running, “Mr. B. will much oblige Mr. A. by paying to the order of C., &c.,” was held good as a bill ; 1 but an instrument running, Please let bearer have 1001. and you will much oblige me," was held not to be a bill.2
It is of the essence of a bill that it should be payable at Certainty all events. Therefore its requisites must appear on its required. face with reasonable certainty. “ The reason is (and it is equally applicable to all negotiable instruments) that it would greatly perplex the commercial transactions of mankind, and diminish and narrow their credit, and negotiability, if paper securities of this kind were issued out into the world encumbered with conditions, and if the persons to whom they were offered in negotiation were obliged to inquire when these uncertain events would be reduced to a certainty. And hence the general rule is that a bill of exchange always implies a personal general credit not limited or applicable to particular circumstances and events which cannot be known to the holder in the general course of its negotiation." 3 Concerning the certainty required as to the drawee, see sect. 6; as to the payee, see sect. 7; as to the sum payable, see sect. 9.
A bill drawn payable in the common form, “as per advice,” is not conditional ; 4 but a bill payable so many days after the arrival of a certain ship is conditional, and invalid, for the ship may never arrive; 5 and the expression of an executory consideration on the face of a bill may perhaps make it conditional. As to instruments payable on a contingency, see further, sect. 11 (2), post, p. 31, and sect. 83, post, p. 261. There is this distinction between a bill and a note. A bill may not be drawn conditionally,
1 Ruff v. Webb (1794), 1 Esp. 129 ; Cf. R. v. Ellor (1784), 1 Leach, C. C. 323. The common form of a French bill runs “il vous plaira payer."
2 Little v. Slackford (1828), 1 M. & M. 171 ; Cf. Hamilton v. Spottiswoode (1849), 4 Exch. 200, where the document ran We authorize you to pay.”
3 Story, $ 46 ; Cf. Carlos v. Pancourt (1794), 5 T. R. 482, see at pp. 485, 487.
4 Story, § 65. See effect of "advice” there considered.
• Palmer v. Pratt (1824), 2 Bing. 185. As to a note payable agreement," see Jury v. Barker (1858), E. B. & E. 459.
Drury v. Macaulay (1846), 16 M. & W. 146 (prom. note). But see sub-sect. 3.
and a note may not be made conditionally; but a bill may
(3) An order to pay out of a particular fund
1. out of the money in your hands belonging to the X.
2. out of the money due from X. as soon as you receive it; ?
5. out of the moneys now due, or hereafter to become due, to
The following are valid, namely, orders or promises to pay say)
7. being a portion of a value as under, deposited in security for
8. against cotton, per “Swallow";8
1 Jenney v. Herle (1723), 2 Ld. Raym. 1361.
Dawkes v. Lord Deloraine (1771), 3 Wils. 287 ; 2 W. Bl. 782.
10. against credit No. 20, and place it to account, as advised per $ 3. X. and Co.; ?
11. which you will please charge to my account, and credit according to a registered letter I have addressed to you.”
An order invalid as a bill may of course be valid as an equitable assignment.3 See the English and Arnerican authorities collected and reviewed in Munger v. Shannon. The tendency in New York seems to be to give effect to an order rather as an equitable assignment than as a bill; e.g., the following were held to be payable out of a par. ticular fund: "Pay C. or order 100 dollars, and deduct the same from my share of our partnership profits.” “Pay C. or order 100 dollars, on account of twenty-four bales of cotton shipped by you, as per bill of lading." (4) A bill is not invalid by reason
and value. (a) That it is not dated ; (6) That it does not specify the value given,
or that any value has been given therefor; (c) That it does not specify the place where it
is drawn or the place where it is payable. Though an undated bill may be valid, it is irregular to Date, issue it undated. As to filling in the date in the case of an undated bill or acceptance, see sects. 12 and 20, post, pp. 32 and 49. The alteration of the date is a material alteration : sect. 64 (2). Under most of the continental code: it is essential that a bill should be dated. As to the effect of this conflict of laws, see sect. 72 (1). It is believed that all countries, except those where the Greek Church is the prevailing religion, use the new style, or Gregorian calendar. As to bills pavable after date, drawn in a country where the old style prevails, see note to sect. 72 (5) post, p. 244.
1 Cf. Fanner v. Johnston (1871), L. R. 5 H. L. 157. ? Re Boyse (1886), 33 Ch. D. 612. 3 Buck v. Robson (1878), 3 Q. B. D. 686 ; Pisher v. Calvert (1879). 27 W. R. 301 ; see, too, Glyn v. Hood (1860), 1 De G. F. & J at p. 348, as to this distinction, and passim, Percival v. Dunn (1885), 29 Ch. D. 128.
4 Munger v. Shannon (1874), 61 New York R. 251 ; see, too, Corbett v. Clark (1878), 30 Amer. R. 763.
• French Code, Art. 110 ; Germ-n Exchange Law, Art. 4; Netherlands Code, Art. 100; Italian Code, Art. 251,
In England it is usual to insert in the bill either a state-
of an agreement
Under some of the foreign codes it is essential that the
It is usual to state in a bill the place where it is drawn.
Place of making
| Hatch v. Trayes (1840), 11 A. & E. 702.
4 Abbott v. Hendricks (1840), 1 M. & Gr. 791 ; Cf. Thompson v, Clubley (1836), 1 M. & W. 212; Abrey v. Crux (1869), L. R. 5 C. P. 37.
5 Ridout v. Bristow (1830), 1 Cr. & J. 231 ; Foster v. Jolly (1835), 1 C. M. & R. 703; Young v. Austen (1869), L. R. 4 C. P. 553; Hill v. Wilson (1873), 42 L. J. Ch. 817 ; L. R. 8 Ch. App. 888.
6 Abbott v. Hendricks (1840), 1 M. & Gr. 791, seo at p. 796.