At Northampton Bankruptcy Court on Tuesday, before Mr. F. W. Percival, Registrar, Mr. C. G. Ward, grocer, of Rushden, came up for public examination.
The summary of the statement of affairs showed unsecured liabilities amounting to £8774/13/4, of which £5375/17/7 was estimated to rank for dividend. The assets were given as £1697/5/5, leaving a deficiency of £3678/12/2.
In reply to the Official Receiver, the debtor said he was 52 years of age and had carried on business in Rushden for 28 years with profit. The business was formerly his father’s, and when he took it over, on his father’s decease, it was a good business, but the financial position was not sound, owing to an insufficiency of capital. It was only owing to the fact that a good trade had been maintained that he had been enabled to continue so long as he had done. In consequence of increasing business the old premises were pulled down and larger ones were built. He also acquired two shops in Newton-road, which were built with the new premises. He borrowed £3,000 from his bank for the purpose, but was not aware that a permanent mortgage would have to be obtained when he negotiated for the building of the shops. His debt to the bankers now stood at £1,885. He had never kept a separate account in regard to his transactions with the bank. The rent of the new premises was £100 and that of the two shops a further £100. He had not kept a proper cash book, but a sort of rough diary. No proper balance sheet was got out until January, 1913. He had not thought it necessary to keep one, as he was always pressed for time, and as things were apparently going on all right he did not bother. The
prepared in January, 1913, revealed a deficiency of £293. There were, at that time, family debts amounting to over £2,000 which he had not then included in the statement, as he did not expect them to be pressed. They were now in the statement.
The Official Receiver asked the debtor whether, if he had pulled up when the deficiency was revealed, he would have been insolvent for about the same amount as at present, and received a reply in the affirmative.
The Official Receiver : When did you first know you would not pay 20/- in the £?
Debtor : Some years ago.
The Official Receiver : Then it amounts to the fact that for some years you have been speculating on your creditors’ money?
Debtor : Yes Sir.
Further examined, the debtor said that the house and furniture were the property of his wife, these having been settled upon her before marriage.
The Trustee (Mr. A. C. Palmer) said that several of the debtor’s friends had come to his assistance, having waived considerable portions of their claims against debtor’s estate, so that the estate would benefit by that amount.
The examination was further adjourned until December 8th.