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Report No. 63

1.2A. Rule of English law.-

The rule of English law1 is that interest is not due on money secured even "by a written instrument, unless it appears on the face of the instrument that interest was intended to be paid, or unless it be implied from the usage of trade, in the case of mercantile instruments."

At common law, interest was not payable on ordinary debts, except by agreement or by mercantile usage, nor could damages be given for non-payment of such debt.2

1. Page v. Newman, (1829) 9 B&C 378 (381): RR 204 (206) and the English authorities reviewed by Lord Herschell in, L.C. & D.R Co. v. S.E.R. Co., 1893 AC 429 (437).

2. L.C. & D.R. Co. v. S.E.R. Co., 1829 Ch 120 (140) (Lindley L.J.) approved, on appeal, L.C. & D.R. Co. v. S.E.R. Co., 1893 AC 429 (HL).

Interest Act, 1839 Back

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