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§ 17. The whole clause is copied from section 17 of the Source of Imperial Act, the latter part, relating to the signature of the drawee, having been taken from the Mercantile Amendment Act, 1856, and the Bills of Exchange Act, 1878, as stated above. These Statutes were not in force in any part of Canada, except the Act of 1856 in Manitoba, British Columbia, and the North-west Territories, having been. introduced there as part of the law of England, as mentioned in the introduction. However, the various provincial statutes above mentioned were very similar to the Imperial Act, 1 & 2 Geo. 4, c. 78, and it was held in England that the signature alone of the drawee on the bill was a sufficient acceptance: Leslie v. Hastings, 1 M. & Rob. 119 (1831).

Must pay

in money.

In New Brunswick, under the Act requiring an acceptance to be in writing, a bill was drawn upon a bank payable in three instalments. When the first instalment became due, the cashier paid it, and indorsed on the bill, "Paid on the within $741, Aug. 12, 1861." This was held to be an acceptance for the remaining instalments: Berton v. Central Bank, 10 N. B. (5 Allen), 493 (1863). This would not be an acceptance under the present Act for want of a signature.

In some of the United States the old common law rule of a verbal acceptance still prevails.

(b) A bill may be varied in certain respects by the acceptance section 19. But the drawee does not become an acceptor if he proposes to satisfy the bill in anything except money. This was the old law. As to what is money, see notes on section 3, ante p. 41.

An acceptance to pay by another bill is not an accepttance: Russell v. Phillips, 14 Q. B. 891 (1850).

A Promise to Accept is not an acceptance. The drawee who gives such a promise may be held liable on his con

tract or by estoppel, but not as an acceptor. So if what § 17. would formerly have been acceptance is written elsewhere than on the bill: See Bank of Montreal v. Thomas, 16 O. R. 503 (1888); Torrance v. Bank of British North America, 17 L. C. J. 185; L. R. 5 P. C. 247 (1873); Dunspaugh v. Molsons Bank, 23 L. C. J. 57 (1878); Maritime Bank v. Union Bank, M. L. R. 4 S. C. 244 (1888); Coolidge v. Payson, 2 Wheaton 66 (1817); Ilsley v. Jones, 12 Gray 260 (1858); Riggs v. Lindsay, 7 Cranch (U.S.) 500 (1813).

A verbal promise to accept was insufficient under the old law, when a verbal acceptance was binding: Johnson v. Collings, 1 East 98 (1800); Bank of Ireland v. Archer, 11 M. & W. 383 (1843); Kennedy v. Geddes, 8 Porter (Ala.) 268 (1839).


3. Where in a bill the drawee is wrongly desig- Wrong nated or his name is misspelt, he may accept the for drawee. bill as therein described, adding, if he thinks fit, his proper signature, or he may accept by his proper signature.

This sub-section is not in the Imperial Act, but the same principle as to a payee or indorsee is found in section 32, s-s. 2, and it is in harmony with commercial usage. It was inserted in the bill at the suggestion of the Toronto bankers: Commons Debates, 1890, p. 109. When section. 32 was under consideration in the Senate, a member of that body suggested that the words, "if he thinks fit" should be omitted, on the ground that if a man adopted a wrongful designation or name that was not his own, he should be compelled to do so over his proper signature. The suggestion was adopted, and the words struck out: Senate Debates, 1890, p. 572. It was apparently not observed that a like expression was used in this section. We have consequently the anomaly that it is optional with

§ 17. a drawee to add his proper signature, but compulsory on a payee or indorsee.

Time for acceptance.

tance after

18. A bill may be accepted

(a.) Before it has been signed by the drawer, or while otherwise incomplete;

(b.) When it is overdue, or after it has been dishonored by a previous refusal to accept, or by non-payment: Imp. Act, s. 18, (1) (2).

"(a.)" The acceptance may be upon a blank paper, and if delivered to be filled up as a bill it is binding, and any other material particular in respect to which the bill may be incomplete, the person in possession has a prima facie authority to supply in any way he thinks fit: section 20. By section 88 this is one of the sections not applicable to a promissory note. The .signing of an incomplete note by the maker is however covered by the rule laid down in section 20, which does apply to promissory notes.


For illustrations of the foregoing see the notes to section


(b.)" A bill accepted when overdue is payable on demand section 10, s-s. 2. After a bill has been refused acceptance, and notice of dishonor has been given, the holder may apply to the referee in case of need if there be one named in the bill: section 15; or it may be accepted for honor by a third person: section 64; or the drawer himself may change his mind and accept: Wynne v. Raikes, 5 East 514 (1804). If he should do so, the date from which time should run is fixed by the next subsection.

Ассер- 2. When a bill payable at sight or after sight is dishonor. dishonored by non-acceptance, and the drawee

subsequently accepts it, the holder, in the absence § 18. of any different agreement, is entitled to have the bill accepted as of the date of first presentment to the drawee for acceptance. Imp. Act, s. 18, (3); 54-55 Vict. c. 17, s. 3.

This sub-section in the Act of 1890 was copied verbatim from the Imperial Act which does not contain the words "at sight or" in the first line. It was another instance of the omission of the change necessary to make the Act consistent with the decision to continue to allow days. of grace on sight bills. These words were added by the amending Act of 1891, thus putting all bills payable at a certain time after acceptance on the same footing.

This sub-section is new law, and is designed to place all parties in the same position as if the bill had been accepted when first presented, or as if accepted by a referee in case of need or by an acceptor for honor: section 66. The date of the first presentment, notwithstanding the words of the Act will probably be held to be fixed by the date of the protest for non-acceptance, which may be two days later than the actual first presentment: section 42.

If the holder took an acceptance of a later date, it would be a qualified acceptance and he would do so at his own risk: section 44.

and quali


19. An acceptance is either (a) general, or (b) General qualified a general acceptance assents without fied accep qualification to the order of the drawer; a qualified acceptance in express terms varies the effect of the bill as drawn: Imp. Act, s. 19 (1).

The usual way of accepting a bill generally, is for the drawee simply to write his name across the face of the bill with the word "accepted," adding the date if it be payable

§ 19. at or after sight. It is sufficient if he simply sign his name: section 17. He may also name a particular specified place of payment as provided in the next sub-section without making his acceptance a qualified one. The definitions of a general and a qualified acceptance as given above are taken from the Imperial Act without change, but the effect of the change made in the next subsection and in sections 45 and 52 is to materially change the law.

The holder of a bill may refuse to take a qualified acceptance, and if he does not obtain a general acceptance he may treat the bill as dishonored by non-acceptance: section 44. An acceptance will be construed as a general one wherever practicable, and a memorandum of a wrong due date in a bill was held not to vary its effect or to be a qualified acceptance, but that anything in an acceptance contrary to the tenor of the bill should be in the clearest language: Fanshawe v. Peet, 26 L. J. N. S. 314 Ex. (1857).

A bill of exchange being drawn by L. D. Flipo, payable "to order L. D. Flipo," the drawees erased the word "order," and accepted the bill "in favor of L. D. Flipo only, payable at the Alliance Bank, London." In an action upon the bill by the indorsees for value against the acceptors it was held by the English Court of Appeal, reversing the decision of the lower court, that the acceptance did not vary the effect of the bill as drawn, and that it was a general acceptance of a negotiable bill, and the action was maintainable: Decroix v. Meyer, 25 Q. B. D. 343 (1890). The decision was affirmed by the House of Lords: [1891] A. C. 520.

If a qualified acceptance is taken, it discharges the drawer and indorsers, if they have not authorized it, or disapprove on receiving notice: section 44.

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