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COMMITTEE ON CONGRESSIONAL ACTION. To the Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws:
The Committee on Congressional Action respectfully submits this its report:
At the 17th Annual Conference, the following resolution was adopted:
Resolved, That the Committee on Congressional Action be instructed to take such steps as may be necessary to secure the adoption of the Negotiable Instruments Law and such other laws as may be recommended by this Conference, in Alaska, the Indian Territory and the insular possessions of the United States, and to secure the appointment from those territories, districts and possessions, of Commissioners to this Conference.
While the resolution just quoted does not in terms so state, your committee has supposed that the resolution intended that the committee should direct its efforts to Congressional action on the subjects covered by the resolution, and it has proceeded on this theory during the past year.
The Indian Territory having been consolidated with Oklahoma Territory and the two thus consolidated admitted as a state to the union, it appeared to your committee that this action took the Indian Territory out of further consideration by it, in so far as Congressional action was concerned.
With respect to Alaska and the insular possessions of the United States, your committee interviewed members of the appropriate committees of the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, looking towards Congressional action to accomplish the objects specified in the resolution quoted above, but found the feeling strong among such members, that as Alaska and the insular possessions had now their own local governments, with powers broad enough to enact the legislation required to bring about the object of the resolution, Congressional action, in advance at least of efforts before the aforesaid local governments, would be inappropriate and unwise and would undoubtedly encounter active opposition in Congress. Upon consideration of the views thus stated, your committee came to the conclusion that further efforts to secure Congressional action at this time should not be undertaken, and the committee recommends instead that efforts be made before the local governments of Alaska and the insular possessions to secure the legislation which will accomplish the purposes of the resolution of the Conference now under consideration.
In conclusion, we might add that efforts will be continued to secure Congressional recognition of the appointment by the Commissioners of the District of Columbia of the Commissioners to this Conference from the District, and as well, some financial support for the work of those Commissioners and this Conference.
F. L. SIDDONS, Chairman.
COMMITTEE ON PURITY OF ARTICLES OF COMMERCE. To the Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws:
The Committee on Purity of Articles of Commerce has to report as follows:
The Federal Food and Drug Act has been in effect since June 1, 1907. As appears from said Act its two great purposes are to prevent misbranding and to prohibit adulteration.
The Department of Agriculture has been active in examining the various articles of food and drugs on the market and reporting the same when necessary, with the result that many injurious and deceptive practices of dealers and manufacturers of these articles have been eliminated.
Up to this time there have been published by the Department upwards of one hundred decisions and opinions covering the cases arising under this Act. It remains necessary now for all of the individual states to adopt a similar law to entirely prevent the misbranding and adulteration of food and drugs consumed in each state. Under the Federal Act alone articles are shipped from one state to another in bulk labeled to conform to the Federal Act, but without a state law these bulk goods may be, and in some cases are, re-packed for local consumption and misbranded.
As your committee recommended in their report of last year, they would urge that the states that have not already done so enact laws upon this subject in conformity with the Federal Act.
WILLIAM H. STAAKE, Chairman.
OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON VITAL AND PENAL STATISTICS. To the Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws:
At the Sixteenth Annual Conference held at St. Paul, Minnesota, in August of 1906, the following resolution was adopted :
Resolved, That the communication of Dr. Cressy L. Wilbur, Chief Statistician of the Section of Vital Statistics of the Census Bureau, addressed to the President of the Conference, and the reference in the President's annual address to the subject of uniform registration laws concerning births and deaths as an important part of Vital Statistics, as well as his reference to Penal Statistics, be referred to a special committee of three members of the Conference to be appointed by the President, to consider the same and to report to the next annual meeting of the Conference.
Under the authority of the foregoing resolution, Messrs. F. L. Siddons, Aldis B. Browne and Walter C. Clephane were appointed the special committee provided for by the above resolution.
At the last Annual Conference this committee submitted its report recommending “that there should be legislation to bring about universal registration laws concerning births and deaths," and submitting its reasons for this recommendation.
The Conference adopted the recommendations of the committee, and requested the committee to submit at some future time some form of a bill to carry out its recommendation.
In view of the fact that the necessity and importance of such legislation has already become apparent to the members of the Conference, your committee does not feel that it is incumbent upon it to call attention again to the reasons which have presented themselves for the enactment of laws of this character. It is deemed proper to say, however, that these reasons are ably set forth in a bulletin issued by the Bureau of the Census a few weeks since, which contains valuable statistical information upon
the subject, and the latest results of the widespread movement which has now become thoroughly organized, seeking to accomplish the ends for which this committee was appointed. This bulletin contains a copy of the report of your committee and a statement of the action taken by the Conference with reference thereto, together with a memorandum setting forth the legitimate relation of the American Bar Association and the Commissioners on Uniform, State Laws to the movement for the extension of the registration area for births and deaths. A copy of this bulletin of the Census Office is appended hereto.
At the outset of its labors your committee ascertained that excellent drafts of proposed laws upon this subject had already been prepared by Dr. Cressy L. Wilbur the Chief Statistician of the U. S. Census Office, and that these drafts had been approved by the Committee on Demography and Statistics of the American Public Health Association, the co-operating committee of the conference of state boards of health, the Surgeon General of the U. S. Public Health and Marine Hospital service and the Director of the Census. A perusal of these drafts disclosed that there was very little from the standpoint of either the statistician, the medical profession or the lawyer which had not been carefully considered by Dr. Wilbur. Your committee found that through the efforts of the American Public Health Association and the American Medical Association a very widespread interest had been created in the attempt to procure the enactment of legislation looking to the collection and preservation of adequate statistics of births and deaths. Your committee put itself in conference with Dr. Wilbur and also with the Committee of the American Medical Association to which had been committed the task of preparing a draft of a law upon this subject. After a number of conferences and considerable correspondence a draft of a law was framed which was reduced to print by the Committee on Uniform Vital Statistics of the American Medical Association, and presented to that Association for its consideration. As stated upon its title page, this bill has been approved by the division of Vital Statistics of the U. S. Bureau of the Census. It was the desire of the Committee of the American Medical