1. The question is, what lien are the defendants entitled to. The Official Assignee contends, that they are only entitled to a lien on each bale of jute for costs of baling of that specific bale. The defendants first claim a general lien under Section 171 of the Contract Act, on the ground that they are wharfingers. To me it seems clear that they are not wharfingers. They have a wharf as an accessory to the screw-house. Occasionally jute is brought to the screw-house in carts. All that is purely ancillary to the pressing business, and they are not wharfingers. They are not entitled to a general lien in that sense.
2. They further contend that they are entitled to a lien on all jute delivered under the agreement of January 1881 for charges on jute baled and delivered under the agreement. In that contention I think they are right. The case of Chase v. Westmore 5 M. & S. 180 appears to me an express authority for the proposition that where a person does work under an entire contract with reference to goods delivered at different times, such as to establish a lien, he is entitled to that lien on all goods dealt with under that contract. The head-note correctly states the case: 'a workman, having bestowed his labour upon a chattel in consideration of a price fixed in amount by his agreement with the owner, may detain the chattel until the price be paid, and this though the chattel be delivered to the workman in different parcels and at different times, if the work to be done under the agreement be entire.' The word 'entire' seems to me to mean 'under one contract.' What Lord Ellenborough says is this: 'This case was argued before us last term and stood over for our consideration upon the single question whether a workman, having bestowed his labour upon a chattel, in consideration of a price or reward fixed in amount by his agreement with the owner, at the time of its delivery to him, can by law detain the chattel until the price be paid or must seek his remedy by action, no time or mode of payment having been appointed by the agreement. We were all of opinion, upon the argument, and still are, that if a right to detain exists in the general case that I have mentioned, the present defendants have all right to detain the goods in question for the money due to them for grinding all the wheat; because we consider the whole to have been done under one bargain, although the wheat was delivered in different parcels and at different times.'
3. That case seems to me precisely on a par with this. That was a case for the grinding of wheat delivered in different vessels at different times. The decision was that the goods could be detained till the work done was paid for.
4. Here a series of parcels of jute were delivered at various times to be baled, but under one contract. The lien attaches to all. The case has never been questioned, and is strictly in accordance with common sense. The law here is not different from what it is in England. Section 170 of the Contract Act is as follows: 'Where the bailee has, in accordance with the purpose of the bailment, rendered any service involving the exercise of labour or skill in respect of the goods bailed, he has, in the absence of a contract to the contrary, a right to retain such goods, until he receives due remuneration for the service he has rendered in respect of them.'
5. It appears to me the law is the same here as in England, and the defendants have a right to retain their lien on all goods in their hands delivered to them under the agreement of January 1881 for charges in respect of any of the goods delivered under that agreement. Of course, if it appears that any goods came to their possession otherwise than under that agreement, the lien will be in respect of each bale of such goods for work done on each such bale. The parties can by reference to the books tell what these goods are, and if any difficulty arises the case can be mentioned again.
6. Defendants to have their costs on scale 2. Costs to come out of insolvents' estate.