36. Construction of conditions of carriage.

Traditionally, contractual qualifications of the general liability of a carrier were construed strictly, so that if a word or clause was capable of bearing two meanings, the narrower meaning should be adopted1. Similarly where a carrier sought to protect himself from liability for the negligence of his employees he had to do so in clear and unambiguous language2. This may still be so where consumers or small businesses are concerned. In commercial cases, however, where there is no clear disparity of bargaining power the modern tendency is to construe such clauses according to their natural meaning, even if they