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56TH CONGRESS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
Doc. No. 476,
TRUSTS AND INDUSTRIAL
STATUTES AND DECISIONS OF FEDERAL, STATE,
TOGETHER WITH A
DIGEST OF CORPORATION LAWS
APPLICABLE TO LARGE INDUSTRIAL COMBINATIONS.
IN TWO PARTS.
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.
Twenty-seven of the States and Territories have passed statutes with the intention of defining monopoly more closely in order to meet modern conditions, and to prevent the formation of monopolies by fit regulations and penalties. Fifteen States have articles in their constitutions tending to the same end, though four of these have passed no laws on the subject. Besides these restrictions, the Congress passed the antitrust act of 1890, applying to interstate commerce, and in the interstate-commerce act itself has likewise forbidden restraint of trade. The periods when the greatest activity in legislation is found are about 1890, soon after the report of the Bacon committee of Congress and the investigations of New York and Canada, and in the years 1897 and 1899, in connection with the late rapid movement toward consolidation in industries.
In this volume have been brought together the laws of Congress and of all the States and Territories on this subject that are now in force. In several of the States successive and amendatory acts have been passed in different years. The intention has been to print here all that have not been repealed.
Inasmuch as judicial interpretations of these statutes are as important as the acts themselves, it has seemed best to make a careful study of the cases decided. To that end diligent effort has been made to present a brief digest (not in the language of the court unless quoted) of all the decisions that have been made by courts of final resort in cases brought under these statutes. In some important instances the decisions of inferior courts have also been digested. It can hardly be expected that some cases have not escaped our search, but it is believed that the list is fairly complete.
So many of our States have relied upon the well-tested, time-honored principles of the common law to protect their citizens from the evils of monopoly, and so many courts have found these principles sufficient, even when special statutes were at hand, that it has seemed best to add to the list of cases
a considerable number of the most important ones decided under the common law. Legislators can thus the more readily judge the wisdom, or lack of wisdom, of seeking new remedies instead of trusting to the common law.
Legislation in the United States must be, under the Constitution, a matter of consideration by both Congress and the State legislatures in their respective fields. The line of demarcation between their powers is not readily drawn in actual practice, and in this matter of the control of corporations the puzzling entanglements of State commerce with interstate commerce have tested the acumen of the wisest judges.
To put easily within reach the means for noting part of the decisions of the United States courts on this question-a question which must be fully considered, if further legislation regarding monopolies is to be seriously undertaken-eighteen leading cases which dwell most upon the relations of the powers of Congress and the State legislatures have been added. Of course no serious and extended study can be made from brief digests; but it is hoped that enough has been given to indicate the lines of discussion followed by our Federal courts.
Two or three leading Canadian and English cases have been added as a matter of interesting comparison.
There has also been added a tabular digest of all the statutes, to render easy a comparison of those of the different States.
Part II consists of a digest of the corporation laws of the several States, in so far as these laws are applicable to large industrial combinations.
The Industrial Commission has undertaken also the com pilation of the most important provisions of foreign statutes which relate to the control of corporations. It is believed that this compilation, which will take considerable time for its completion, will prove to be a valuable supplement to the present volume.