- Harvey was interested in buying a Jamaican property owned by Facey. He sent Facey a telegram stating “Will you sell us Bumper Hall Pen? Telegraph lowest cash price – answer paid.”
- Facey responded stating “Bumper Hall Pen £900”
- Harvey responded stating that he would accept £900 and asking Facey to send the title deeds.
- Facey then stated he did not want to sell.
- Harvey sued, stating that the telegram was an offer and he had accepted, therefore there was a binding contract.
- Was the telegram advising of the £900 lowest price an offer capable of acceptance?
- The House of Lords held that the telegram was an invitation to treat, not a valid offer. Therefore no valid contract existed.
- The telegram only advised of the price, it did not explain other terms or information and therefore could not create any legal obligation.
- Harvey’s telegram “accepting” the £900 was instead an offer which Facey could either accept or reject. He rejected it so there was no contract created.
The full text of this judgement is available here: https://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKPC/1893/1.html
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