There are two quite distinct types of cases which pass current under the name of promises for the benefit of a third person. To the first class belong promises where the promisee has no pecuniary interest in the performance of the contract, his object in entering into it being the benefit of a third person. To the second class belong promises where the promisee seeks indirectly to discharge an obligation of his own to a third person by securing from the promisor a promise to pay this creditor. These two classes are frequently treated as if their correct solution depended upon the same principles, but there are important distinctions.
22 See supra, Sec. 114.
24Such contracts are illustrated in Cope v. Parry, 2 J. 4 W. 538; Treat v. Stanton, 14 Conn. 446; Massachusetts Mut. L. I. Co. v. Robinson, 98 111. 324.
25 Candy v. Gandy, 30 Ch. D. 57. In this case a promise by a husband to pay trustees money for the support of the promisor's wife and for the education of their children was held enforceable by the wife when the trustees refused to sua It was said that the trustees merely intervened because husband and wife could not contract. The reasoning and distinctions in this case are not clear. The promise was to pay the trustees, who were contracting parties, but the court did not clearly distinguish the case from that of a promise to pay a beneficiary directly. Cotton, L. J., suggested as an exception to the general rule forbidding one not a party to a contract to sue that "if the contract though in form it is with A is intended to secure a benefit to B so that B is entitled to say he has a beneficial right as cestui que trust under that contract, then B would, in a court of equity, be allowed to insist upon and enforce the contract." In the same case it was held that the children could not sue.
26 Flynn v. Massachusetts Ben. Assoc, 152 Mass. 288, 25 N. E. 716.