This section of the book is from the "Canadian Banking Practice" book, by John T. P. Knight.
Question 507.— Could not something be done to effect a change in the law which holds banks responsible for payment of a draft if not presented for acceptance within forty-right hours ? It is often impossible to obtain acceptance in such a short period for various reasons, and it thus puts the bank in an awkward position, for sending notices about every bill outstanding beyond the allotted time involves a great deal of work. Why should not the banks be allowed to use their discretion and thus save time and money too?
Answer.—We do not think it possible or desirable to make any alterations in the law on this point. The provision respecting the duty of the holder of a bill to give notice of dishonour within a reasonable time is an essential one. If there were not some limitations of that kind the risks of drawers and endorsers would be indefinitely increased. They have a right to know within a reasonable time whether or not the party drawn on has become responsible for the bill. Under sec. 42 of the Bills of Exchange Act, it is possible for a bill to lie three or four days in the collecting agent's hands without notice, which is surely long enough. Thus, it might be received on Monday afternoon, presented on Tuesday; if not then definitely refused acceptance, the bank might wait until Thursday before treating it as dishonoured, and apparently it may be handed to the notary on that day and the notices mailed on Friday.
A remedy for the difficulty of which our correspondent complains would be for banks to make a reasonable charge for the collection duties which they undertake; but there is no reason why they should seek to discharge them in a less thorough manner than reason and law now require.