Chow v. de Ahcis (Price Control Inspector).
1946Present : Jayetileke J.
CHOW, et al., Appellants, and DE ALWIS (PRICECONTROL INSPECTOR), Respondent.937-9—M. C. Colombo, 48,698.
Catering establishment—Restriction of meals—Defence (Restriction of Meeds)(No. 3) Regulations, 1944, Regulation 2 (1).
The provisions of regulation 2 (1) of the Defence (Restriction of Meals)(No. 3) Regulations, 1944, are applicable to a catering establishmentwhich was in existence in September, 1939, but which subsequentlycame to be run by different proprietors between whom and the previousproprietors there was no privity of contract.
JAYETILEKE J.—Chow v. de Aluria (Price Control Inspector).
yy PPEAL from a conviction by the Magistrate of Colombo.
H. V. Perera, K.C. (with him G. E. Chitty), for the accused, appellants.
T. K. Curtis, C.C., for Attorney-General.
January 24, 1946. Jaytsttuleke J.—
The accused are the proprietors of a restaurant called ShanghaiRestaurant at No. 81, Galle road, Bambalapitiya. One Iyer had an eating-house at the premises up to March, 1942. Shortly after the Japaneseraids he left for India, leaving all his belongings in the charge of thelandlord. In July, 1942, the accused took the premises on rent from thelandlord and opened the restaurant. They were charged with havingserved chicken and milk to one Salgado on November 30, 1944, in contra-vention of regulation 2 (1) of the Defence (Restriction of Meals) (No. 3)Regulations, 1944. After trial they were convicted and fined Rs. 400each. The Regulation reads—
“ No food, consisting of or containing any article specified in theschedule hereto, shall be sold, supplied or served at any cateringestablishment which was not in existence on September 1, 1939 ”.
The essential question is whether the Shanghai Restaurant was inexistence on September 1, 1939. The prosecution admitted that on thatdate there was an eating-house at the said premises which was run byIyer. The accused has not purchased Iyer’s business, and it cannot,therefore, be said that they are successors of Iyer in that business.Mr. Perera contended that as meals were sold at No. 81, Galle road, byIyer on September 1, 1939, the said premises were excluded from theapplication of Regulation 2 (1). The Regulation is in a group of regula-tions which deal with restriction of meals and in my opinion, it shall be sointerpreted, if it presents any ambiguity, as to promote restriction ofmeals. This interpretation, I think, accords with the principleenunciated by Lord Blackburn in River Wear Commissioners v.Adamson1 and per Tindal C.J. in Sussex Peerage Case —
“ But if any doubt arises from the terms employed by the Legislature,it has always been held a safe means of collecting the intention, to callin aid the ground and cause of making the Statute, and to have re-course to the pre-amble, which, according to Chief Justice Dyer inStowel v. Lord Zouch 3 is * a key to open the minds of the makers of theAqt and the mischiefs which they intended to remedy 5 ”.
The expression “ catering establishment ” is defined in regulation 5as follows :—
“ Catering establishment means a hotel, restaurant, cafe, resthouse,eating-house, tea or coffee boutique, or other place of refreshmentopen to the public ”.
> (1877) 2 A. C. 743 at 763-65.* (1844) 11 Cl. dk.F. 85 at 143.
* Plowden 369.
JAYETTLEKE J. Wilson v. Kolalawala (Excise Inspec/or).
On the materials before me I am of opinion that the catering establish-ment that is excluded from the application of regulation 2 (1) is theeating-house that was run by Iyer. That catering establishment ceasedto exist in April, 1942. I think it would require the clearest and themost precise language to give the accused who did not have a cateringestablishment on September 1, 1939, the right to open one after that date,and to serve therein meals prohibited by the regulations. I can findnothing in the language of regulation 2 (1) or in the definition of “ cateringestablishment ” in regulation 5 which would justify me in holding thatthe intention of the Legislature was to exclude from the application ofregulation 2 (1) merely the building in which Iyer carried on his business.The Shanghai Restaurant was not in existence on September 1, 1939,and the convictions of the accused are, therefore, right. I would,accordingly, dismiss the appeals.