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Mutual Finance V. John Wetton Notes

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MUTUAL FINANCE V. JOHN WETTON FACTS The defendant company was originally founded by the Wetton family, consisting of a father and two sons - that is, William Wetton, Percy Wetton, and Joseph Wetton. The defendants were quarry owners, who sold stone, and for that purpose owned their own wagons and also contracted with outside firms of carters for carriage. Joseph Wetton also carried on the business of quarrying and selling stone and, I think, of carting, and for those purposes would find a lorry useful. I gather him to have been an unsatisfactory member of the defendant company and generally unsatisfactory in his business relations; so much so, that he had been forced to leave the defendant company and had caused great anxiety and grief to his father. The plaintiff company was formed for the purpose of financing, and does finance, the purchase of motor-cars and lorries on the hire purchase system. A bargain being concluded between a seller and a buyer for the sale of a vehicle on hire purchase terms, the plaintiffs purchase it from the seller and let it on hire purchase to the buyer, the sum so obtained including a percentage to them for their risk and trouble. The sellers in the present instance were a company named G. W. Smith (1925), Ld., who were approached by a purchaser named Fred Clarke, and by Joseph Wetton, at the end of 1935, Clarke desiring to purchase a Foden lorry for which a price of 920l. was charged - namely, 50l. cash and 24 instalments of 36l. 15s. each. The plaintiffs were asked to finance the transaction. They were accordingly furnished by Joseph Wetton with a guarantee dated December 4, 1935, purporting to be signed by William and Percy Wetton and witnessed by Joseph Wetton. In fact, however, the whole document appears to have been concocted by Joseph Wetton without the knowledge of his father or brother. Having obtained what they imagined was a valid guarantee, the plaintiffs on the same date handed their cheque for 750l. to the sellers, and the lorry was handed over to Clarke... Clarke almost at once fell behind with his payments, and the plaintiffs, both by letter and telephone, demanded fulfilment of the guarantee. On January 14 the plaintiffs determined the hiring and demanded the return of the lorry, and on January 16 issued a certificate of authority to seize the vehicle. The interview took place on January 16. As to this interview I find the following facts: Lopresti and a Mr. Wales, general manager of the sellers, were present as well as Percy Wetton and J. G. Mottershead, the defendants' secretary. Lopresti asked if the

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