Electronic Industries v David Jones

Electronic Industries v David Jones


High Court of Australia, 26 November 1954


Electronic Industries Ltd (‘Electronic’) entered into a contract with David Jones Ltd (‘David Jones’) for the installation of television equipment and to give demonstrations of television for 12 days to provide an attraction which would draw customers to the store. Before the commencement date the parties had fixed, a serious coal strike began in New South Wales, which resulted in a considerable falling off in the number of shoppers coming into the city. On that basis, David Jones decided that it had become “most inopportune” to proceed with the display of television. Electronic was informed of the situation and asked if it would postpone the demonstration until another date could be fixed. David Jones stated that after the strike was over it would require two or three weeks for the store to become sufficiently busy and that it would take two or three weeks more to carry out the arrangements for the exhibition. Electronic proposed another date in line with David Jones’ advice.

David Jones responded, after the original commencement date, indicating that David Jones wished to postpone any fixed date for the intended television show in the store. Electronic agreed to the postponement. Electronic then requested David Jones indicate dates and time to enter the store to comply with its obligations. David Jones declined to proceed with the television show at such a late date as such an attraction would overcrowd the store.

Electronic treated the contract as repudiated by David Jones and sued for damages. David Jones submitted that due to the removal of the fixed date, upon which the contract depended, it should be inferred that the contract was uncertain and insufficient to form a binding and enforceable contract.


Whether David Jones should were obliged to set a time for the actual performance of the contract.


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