Contracts – Consideration – Effect of Option to Withdraw Government Surplus Property from Sale

The Office of Surplus Property accepted defendant’s bid for a quantity of sodium carbonate. Submitted on the appropriate government form, the bid was subject to a condition which gave the government ” . . . the right to withdraw from sale any property prior to the removal thereof without incurring any liability except to refund to the purchaser any amount paid with respect to the said property.” Although the sodium carbonate had not been withdrawn from sale, the defendant refused to perform his promise to buy it. The government brought an action for damages, and the defense was that no contract existed because there was no mutuality of obligation. Held, the contention that the contract lacked mutuality was without merit. United States v. Weisbrod, (7th Cir. 1953) 202 F. (2d) 629.