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Granger v. Gough [invitation to treat v. offer]

Uploaded by jmurdoch on May 05, 2002

"The transmission of such a price-list does not amount to an offer to supply an unlimited quantity of the wine described at the price named, so that as soon as an order is given there is a binding contract to supply that quantity. If it were so, the merchant might find himself involved in any number of contractual obligations to supply wine of a particular description which he would be quite unable to carry out, his stock of wine of that description being necessarily limited. I entertain, I confess, a very clear opinion that the Solicitor-General was quite right in arguing the case on the assumption that no sales were made in this country." Lord Herschell

Just over one hundred years ago the above ratio-decendi was given in what was at the time a case concerned with alleged back taxes owed by Grainger & Son.

Grainger & Son (henceforth referred to as G&S) were British wine merchants who as a side venture passed on the price lists of a French wine producer to their customers. G&S received a commission on any orders placed with said producer and paid tax on this commission. Gough claimed that tax was payable on the whole value of these sales not just the commission element.
Monsieur Roederer (henceforth Mr R) was a wine producer located in France. He decided whether to accept orders the orders gathered by G&S or not. The reason for this being that the wine was shipped out ahead of any payment being received and Mr R wanted to vett his customers credit worthiness. The wine was shipped directly to the customer in the UK from France. Most customers settled their accounts directly with Mr R. A few customers instead made payment to G&S who would pass on to Mr R any amounts in excess of the commission they happened to be owed.

In summary the flows of events are:
Mr R, located in France, sends price list to G&S in Britain
G&S distribute price list
Customer places, for want a better word, an order with G&S for wine produced by Mr R
G&S forward order to Mr R
Mr R dispatches wine to customer
Mr R dispatches bill for said customers wine to G&S for onwards transmission
G&S forward bill to customer
Customer sends payment to Mr R – occasionally made to G&S who forward this to Mr R
Mr R sends receipt to customer
G&S pay tax on commission received

G&S maintained that they entered...

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Uploaded by:   jmurdoch

Date:   05/05/2002

Category:   Law

Length:   11 pages (2,585 words)

Views:   5009

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