Attorney General v Gibbs and Others

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date01 January 1829
Date01 January 1829
CourtExchequer

English Reports Citation: 148 E.R. 1207

IN THE COURTS OF EXCHEQUER AND EXCHEQUER CHAMBER

The Attorney-General
and
Gibbs and Others

the attorney-general v. gibbs and others. Revenue. 1829.-Fixtures demised with a paper-mill, and used by the tenant in the manufacture of paper, are not liable to be seized under an extent for duties upon paper, owing by the tenant to the Crown, as utensils for the making of paper, in the custody of the tenant, under the stat. 34 Geo. 3, c. 20, s. 27. (Upon an Extent.) The Sheriff having seized certain property under an extent against Moody, a paper-maker, the defendants entered their claim, and pleaded that Moody had no greater interest in the goods than as their tenant, and that, subject to that interest, the property was in them. The Attorney-General traversed the title o the defendants, and claimed the goods on behalf of the Crown, as utensils for the making of paper, in the custody of Moody, being a paper-maker, and indebted to the King for the duties of excise upon paper. At the trial, a verdict was found for the Crown, subject to the opinion of the Court, upon the following case :- Alexander Moody held the paper-mill, in which the goods were seized, with the tackle, utensils, and appurtenances thereto belonging, as tenant to the defendants, by virtue of certain demises to him theretofore made for certain terms of years, not expired at the time of the seizure. The following only of the goods and chattels seized under the extent, were mentioned in the schedule of fixtures annexed to the first of the said leases, viz. the water-wheel, two staff chests, and three engines. The other lease, of a subsequent date, was alleged by the defendants to have been lost, and was not produced at the trial. None of the fix-[334]-tures and articles hereinafter m,entioned were the property of Moody, otherwise than as tenant of the defendants. The state of the articles in question, when seized, was as follows :- 1208 THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL V. GIBBS 3 Y. & J. 335. The presses were fixed to the ground. The heaters and pipes, copper, and furnace, were fixed to the ground in brick work. The stuff chests were moveable, fixed to wood sleepers with nails, the sleepers being put into the ground, shedded up, and the top of the sleepers being even with the ground. Pumps and engines. The pumps were shifted on and off as a running gear, and were fixed to the engines, which were fastened to the ground by beams. The engines were used to grind the ropes for paper, by means of iron bars; they communicated with the mills by gearing. The wooden shoot and wooden trunk. The trunk connected the chest, which was fixed to the ground. The shoot was from the engines, lead-pipes, and cocks, fixed to the ground. Water wheels, fly wheel, and pit wheel, two stuff chests, and three engines. These were mentioned in the schedule of fixtures, attached to the lease. All the above-mentioned articles were used by Moody, the Crown's debtor, for the purpose of making paper ; and were, at the time of the extent and seizure, on the demised premises, which were in his possession for that purpose. The question for the consideration of the Court was, whether the Crown was entitled, by virtue of the statute 34 G-eo. 3, c. 20, s. 27,(a)1 or any other statute, to all or any of the above-mentioned articles, as utensils for the making of paper, in the custody of Moody, being indebted for duties as aforesaid, or whether the defendants ware entitled to the same as such lessors as aforesaid, as fixtures attached to the freehold demised to the said Moody. [335] Walton, for the Crown. The right of the Crown to the articles enumerated in the case is founded upon the statute 34 Geo. 3, c. '20, s. 127 ; by which, not only the paper itself, but all the materials and utensils for the making thereof in the custody of the maker, are liable for, and chargeable with, the duty upon paper. The question, therefore is, whether the articles enumerated in the case, and which arc there stated to be used in the manufacture of paper, are utensils within the meaning of this statute. It was the object of the Legislature to give an additional security to the Crown ; and the reason for that additional security is that, where insolvency is not apprehended, credit is given by the Crown to the trader : whereas, by law, the Crown may require the duties to be paid immediately upon the paper being made. This regulation is of benefit to the trader, and, consequently, to the landlord also ; for the landlord gets a higher rent in proportion to the benefits which the lessee is to derive from the trade to be carried on upon the premises. Now, if such was the intention of the Legislature, it conferred a very poor security to the Crown, if that security was to be...

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