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Bequest Of Shares

A difficulty arising under the will of Isabella May Bickford, spinster, for- merly of Prospect road. Prospect, but late of Avenel Gardens road, Medindie,

was referred yesterday to Mr. Justice Napier, in the Supreme Court, for ad- judication. Harold Bickford, merchant, of Cur- rie street, city, and Elder's Trustee and Executor Co, Ltd., of Currle street, city, the executors of the will of the deceased, dated January 17, 1928, pro bate of which was granted on August 30. 1933. asked the court whether cer- tain shares in Drug Houses of Austra- lia, Ltd., of Victoria, of which the de- ceased was the registered holder at the time of her death, passed under the bequest in the will to four legatees in certain proportions of all shares in A. M. Bickford & Sons, Ltd., of Adelaide, belonging to or held by her at the time of her death.

Mr. J. F. Astley appeared for the plaintiff executors; Mr. G. C. Ligert- wood, K.C., with Mr. J. E. Ashton, for the legatee, Chistina Forsyth Dawes, married woman, of Yanmooloo Station, Swan Reach; Mr. C T. Hargrave for the legatee Jean Evelyn Reid, spinster, of Retreat road, Geelong, Victoria; and Mr. E. E. Cleland, K.C., with Mr. D. B. Ross, for the legatees, Reginald Bickford and Leslie Bruce Bickford, both merchants, of Currie street, Ade- laide, and Evelyn Victoria Reid, mar- ried woman, of Retreat road, Geelong, Victoria. The deceased was the registered owner of 10,000 £1 shares in A. M. Bickford & Sons. Ltd., manufacturing chemists, of Adelaide. In 1930 this company amalgamated with Drug Houses of Australia, Ltd., and pur- suant to agreements between the two companies, the deceased received, and was the holder at the time of her death of 46,572 £1 shares in the latter company, being then the holder of only one £1 share in A. M. Bickford and Sons. Ltd as nominee for Drug Houses of Australia, Ltd. The latter company was a holding company incorporated in Victoria in 1929 for the purpose of acquiring the shares of five companies operating in various States as manufacturing chemists, of which A. M. Bickford and Co Ltd., was one, and each of which still carried on business as before the amalgamation, subject to the control of the holding company. The question to be decided was whether the bequest covered the shares in Drug Houses of Australia, Ltd., or whether those shares must fall into the residuary estate, the deceased's interest in A. M. Bickiord and Sons Ltd., no longer existing at the time of her death, and the gift therefore failing. His Honor reserved judgment.