John Finlay, pursuer, was the son of Robert Finlay, defender. John and Robert operated a shoe factory in Glasgow as a partnership. Robert owned two-thirds interest and John owned one-third. The partnership experienced financial difficulty and was placed in trusteeship. John's trustees sued Robert's trustees to see if Robert owed any money to John from the venture. Robert insisted that he did not owe any money and sought certain documents and books from the partnership.