The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 272: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States and the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, June-August, 1921. Page: 61
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GASTON, WILLIAMS & WIGMORE OF CANADA V. WARNER 61
(272 F )
fendant for the purchase price of $475,000. The truth of these alle-
gations defendant expressly admitted in its answer.
While the action is brought against Gaston, Williams & Wigmore
of Canada, Limited, plaintiff was employed directly, not by that corpo-
ration, which existed under the laws of the Dominion of Canada, but
by another corporation, known as Gaston, Williams, & Wigmore
Steamship Corporation, which the record disclosed to be an "Ameri-
can corporation," and which managed the affairs of the Canadian
corporation. The evidence of the employment is in the following let-
"The Globe Line,
"Gaston, Williams & Wigmore Steamship Corporation,
"Office of Vice President & General Manager, 120 Broadway, New York.
"[Flag] December 11th, 1916.
"J. B. Austin, Jr., Vice Pres. & Gen. Mgr.
"Mr. P. A. Warner, 30 Church Street, New York City-Dear Sir: Referring
to our conversation this afternoon, I beg to advise that you are authorized to
offer the steamer Eskasoni for sale for four hundred and seventy-five thou-
sand dollars, $475,000.00. Details as to terms of payment, transfer of steamer,
etc., can be talked over when you have purchasers
"Yours very truly, J. B. Austin, Jr., Vice Pres. & Gen. Mgr."
 The Mr. Austin who signs the letter and who arranged the em-
ployment of the plaintiff testified that he is a citizen of the United
States. The letter does not disclose that the steamer did not belong to
the American corporation, or that she had a British registry, or that
the proposed purchasers of the ship would have to be approved by the
British authorities, or that the American corporation was acting for,
or on behalf of, the Canadian corporation which owned the ship. The
record does not disclose that the plaintiff's attention was called in any
way to these facts at the time he was employed, or that he knew any-
thing about them until after the contract of sale had been signed by
the defendant and by the purchasers brought into the transaction by
the broker. We do not know any rule of law which enables this court
to go outside the record, and infer that the plaintiff must have known
that the ship he was employed to sell was a British ship. But we shall,
for the sake of the argument, assume, what no doubt was true in fact,
that the plaintiff knew all the time that the ship was British and that
the seller and purchasers were British We know of no rule of law,
however, which imposed upon the plaintiff under such circumstances
the duty of acquainting himself with the British law, and any rules
and regulations which the British government has established con-
cerning the transfer of British ships during the war. What a broker
undertakes is merely to produce a person able, ready, and willing to
purchase on the terms prescribed by his principal. If there are other
conditions to be complied with, it is the duty of the principal to ac-
quaint the broker with them. The principal is not relieved from the
duty of disclosure by the fact that the conditions happen to grow out
of the peculiarities of the foreign law. It is the foreign principal, and
not his American broker, who is assumed to know what the foreign
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The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 272: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States and the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, June-August, 1921., legislative document, 1921; Saint Paul, Minnesota. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38843/m1/83/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.