Hill v Regem

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtKing's Bench Division
[KING'S BENCH DIVISION] HILL v. REGEM. 1945 Feb. 28; Mar. 1. Humphreys J.

Emergency legislation - War damage - Business scheme insurance - Account books - “Goods” - “Documents owned for the purposes of a business” - War Damage Act, 1943 (6 & 7 Geo. 6, c. 21), s. 83, sub-s. 1; s. 84, sub-ss. 1 and 4; ss. 85 and 104.

Account books, such as journals and ledgers, used by an insurance broker in his business, are “documents owned for the purposes of a business,” within the meaning of the proviso to s. 104 of the War Damage Act, 1943, and so excluded from insurance under the “business scheme” operated by the Board of Trade by virtue of s. 83 of the Act.

PETITION OF RIGHT tried by Humphreys J.

The suppliant was an insurance broker carrying on business at 6, Lloyd's Avenue, London, E.C. The contents of those premises, including thirty-three accounts or record books used by the suppliant for the purposes of his business, were destroyed on December 29, 1940, by enemy action, i.e., by war damage within the meaning of s. 2, sub-s. 1, of the War Damage Act, 1943. One of the books was a “large daily brokering journal covering all brokering transactions, compiled from documents, having reference to each transaction,” and the rest consisted of ledgers and journals relating to the suppliant's business and clients. Before the present war, these books had been insured for the sum of approximately 3,000l. The suppliant, under the discretionary powers granted to the Board of Trade under s. 85 of the Act, was deemed to be insured under the “business scheme” operated by the Board of Trade at the time of the damage (see s. 83, sub-s. 1 (a) of the ActF1). By his petition the suppliant claimed that these account books were insurable under the business scheme as being “goods situated in the United Kingdom which are in his possession …. and are held or used by him wholly or mainly for the purposes of that business,” within the meaning of s. 84, sub-s. 1, of the ActF1. The answer of the Crown was that the petition was bad in substance and in law, in that the books were not “goods,” but were “documents owned for the purposes of the suppliant's business,” within the meaning of the proviso to s. 104 of the ActF1.

Pritt K.C. and Devlin for suppliant: These account books undoubtedly were “corporeal property” within the meaning of s. 104, but, although owned for the purposes of a business, they were not “documents.” Accordingly they were “goods,” insurable under the business scheme operated by the Board of Trade. Had the legislature desired to exclude books of account from this insurance, it would have been easy to say so. By s. 87, sub-s. 1, of the Act, a person authorized by the Board of Trade may enter the premises of any person carrying on business and may request the production of “accounts, books, and other documents.” If the contention of the Crown is correct the suppliant's press-cutting book and his Hansard are “documents” owned for the purposes of his business and so excluded from insurance, and in the case of the London Library all their millions of books would be excluded. Section 104 must be considered from the point of view of an educated business man, who would not consider a book to be a document. The business scheme does not insure the stock of a man carrying on business (see s. 84, sub-s. 4, of the Act of 1943, and s. 7, in Part II. of the War Risks Insurance Act, 1939). It insures his apparatus for carrying on business, and a valuable part of that apparatus consists of his books of account. The Crown is seeking to exclude these books from insurance under the business scheme by reason of the proviso to s. 104, and the onus, therefore, is on the Crown to satisfy the court that they must be excluded. The...

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10 cases
  • Haji Abdullah and Others v Ibrahim and Others
    • Malaysia
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    • 1 d5 Janeiro d5 1965
  • R. v. Kelleher (D.M.), (1995) 176 A.R. 329 (ProvCt)
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    • 12 d4 Outubro d4 1995
    ...S.C.R. 597; 9 N.R. 285; 10 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 45; 17 A.P.R. 45; 29 C.C.C.(2d) 177; 35 C.R.N.S. 1, refd to. [para. 64]. Hill v. R., [1945] 1 All E.R. 414, refd to. [para. R. v. Christie, [1914] A.C. 545 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 73]. R. v. Picariello (1923), 39 C.C.C. 229 (S.C.C.), refd to. ......
  • Keane v an Bord Pleanála (No. 3)
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    ...901. Grant v. Southwestern Properties [1975] Ch. 185; [1974] 3 W.L.R. 221; [1974] 2 All E.R. 465; 118 Sol. Jo. 548. Hill v. The King [1945] K.B. 329; [1945] 1 All E.R. 414; 114 L.J.K.B. 438; 172 L.T. 255; 61 T.L.R. 294. Howard v. Commissioners of Public Works [1994] 1 I.R. 101. Lake Macquar......
  • Edem GIA 3556 2014
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    ...the information is conveyed. At least four cases, all decided at first instance, support this interpretation. 27. The first is Hill v R [1945] KB 329, where the narrow issue was whether an insurance broker’s account books were “documents owned for the purposes of a business," within the mea......
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