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houses of Congress and signed by the President. The disapproval, however, of the committee remained in the report, and events have justified that disapproval. The Interstate Commerce Commission has gone up in the air trying to understand the Cummins Bill, which is so crude as to be almost impossible of interpretation. I do not know whether or not any member has had to pay ten cents for every extra hundred dollars' worth of luggage carried through the country. The committee asks that the Association permit the Executive Committee to appropriate, in its discretion, a sufficient sum of money to employ an expert draftsman to formulate a bill on the principles of the Cummins Bill, but a bill which shall be intelligible.

The other recommendation is a consequence of the first request. The committee also reports under heading 4 as to the progress of national legislation on bills of lading. What is known as the Pomerene bill is practically the same as the Uniform Bill of Lading recommended by the committee and the Conference on Uniform State Laws and which has been adopted by a majority of the states. That bill was presented to Congress. The Interstate Commerce Commission found, however, that there were certain clauses in the bill which might be in conflict, or at all events, would be superfluous in connection with other congressional statutory work, and the Commission requested that that portion be changed. In the face of the criticism, which does not injure the bill, your committee concluded to recommend acceptance of the idea of the Interstate Commerce Commission. The other changes suggested by the committee are more of a clerical nature than otherwise, certain words included in sub-sections of the bill having been left out in later sections, evidently by inadvertence. The committee therefore asks approval of the bill in the form in which it appears in the appendix to its report. I move the adoption of the recommendations in the order in which they are read.

The President:

Will you proceed with the first recommendation?

E. T. Florance:

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That the American Bar Association pass a resolution renewing its adherence to the National Bankruptcy Act and author

izing its Committee on Commerce, Trade and Commercial Law to oppose any measures that may be introduced in the 64th Congress to repeal the same."

On vote taken the recommendation was adopted.

E. T. Florance:

The second recommendation is subdivided into four paragraphs; but the adoption of the first will logically entail adoption of the other parts. I will, therefore, read the four without asking for separate action on each:

"That the American Bar Association pass a resolution in substance as follows: To authorize the Executive Committee of the Association, in its discretion, to appropriate a sufficient sum of money to enable the Committee on Commercial Law to employ a draftsman to prepare a tentative draft bill as herein described; that if the Executive Committee shall appropriate said money, the Committee on Commercial Law shall be authorized to employ a draftsman to prepare a tentative draft of a bill codifying the law covering the reciprocal rights, duties and obligations of common carriers and shippers in interstate and foreign commerce; that if said Committee on Commercial Law shall employ such draftsman said tentative draft bill shall be prepared under the supervision and direction of and subject to the revision of said committee; and that when said tentative draft bill shall have been revised by said committee, the committee shall submit the same at some future meeting of the Association for its consideration and action."

I move the adoption of this resolution.

Walter George Smith, of Pennsylvania:

I think the motion should be rejected. It is without precedent that the American Bar Association should offer itself as a bureau of drafting for an act of Congress. We ought not to put ourselves in that position.

Frederick N. Judson, of Missouri:

I concur in the remarks. I do not think it is our province to criticise Congress for not expressing an enactment in intelligible language. We may state our opinion of what Congress has done. Edmund F. Trabue, of Kentucky:

I endorse everything that Mr. Florance has stated against the bill, but it is questionable whether there should be any legislation upon the subject at all. It is possible that Congress may repeal

the act and leave the case as it stands already worked out by numerous decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, which many of us thought left the law in very satisfactory condition. To propose a committee to draft a bill assumes that there ought to be legislation, and would be an encouragement of legislation by the implication that the Association thinks there ought to be a bill drawn. It is better to leave the matter with the chance of a repeal, and the common law standing as already expounded by the Supreme Court.

Joseph N. Teal, of Oregon:

I understand the recommendation is that the committee be authorized to secure a draftsman to do the clerical work to carry out the views of the Association. Now, I cannot imagine that Congress would take offense at such action. As to whether or not there ought to be legislation upon the subject, is another question. There are many of us who have had to do with the Interstate Commerce Law and many of the questions arising under the act, who think that notwithstanding the decisions of the courts, the law is not in a satisfactory state and that the Cummins Act was intended to relieve the situation in certain particulars. I understand that it is purely a ministerial act this draftsman is to perform and largely in order that the committee may be certain of having their views expressed in the proper language.

E. T. Florance:

The committee has not asked for an appropriation to draft a bill on the subject of the Cummins Act in order to correct the action of Congress, but the Cummins Act and other acts of Congress are in a condition of considerable confusion; and what the committee has asked for is an appropriation to employ a draftsman to codify the law as it stands today. It is not for the purpose of drafting an act, but merely to codify the present law so as to make it entirely clear, and then to submit the codified statement of interstate commerce law to Congress for congressional action. in concrete form. Congress can resent this, but I don't think it would be very creditable to Congress to believe that it would feel resentment. I do not think we are doing anything more than the Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in codifying

the law on a given subject and asking the states to enact it into a statute.

Walter George Smith:

The Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws is specially authorized to do that work.

E. T. Florance:

Nevertheless, the suggestion comes from members of every state in the union.

The President:

The question is on the adoption of the recommendation of the committee, the substance of which is to submit to the Executive Committee, as matter of discretion, the appropriation of a fund, amount blank, for payment of an expert to codify the law on this subject, and submit the codification to this body, which, if approved, shall be submitted to Congress.

Nathaniel W. Ladd, of Massachusetts:

I inquire if it has been the policy of the Association to expend money for services of experts in the past?

The President:

I am unable to answer otherwise than to say that from an experience of many years I know of no such precedent. The Chairman of the committee may be able to answer the inquiry more definitely.

E. T. Florance:

I do not remember any such instance. I do not remember any occasion where the discretion of the Executive Committee on a matter pending before the Association has been considered unreliable.

Vote having been taken, the recommendation was approved.
E. T. Florance:

The third recommendation is:

"That the American Bar Association adopt a resolution indorsing A Bill Relating to Bills of Lading in Interstate and Foreign Commerce,' appended to its report as Exhibit B"-and known as the Pomerene Act.

On vote taken the third recommendation was approved.

E. T. Florance:

In connection with the report of the committee you will find that there has been a movement for uniform commercial legislation throughout the world. Indeed, there has been an international conference on the subject. Therefore, the committee makes this further recommendation:

"That the American Bar Association pass a resolution endorsing the foregoing movement looking to the bringing about of uniformity of commercial laws throughout the commercial world." On vote taken the recommendation was approved.

(See Report in Appendix, page 382.)

The President:

The Committee on International Law.

The Secretary:

There is no member of the committee present. The report of the committee was published in the July JOURNAL. It makes no recommendation, but merely expresses the hope that the rules of international law, founded as they are on the obligations of humanity and justice, may recover and reassert their beneficent influence and authority.

W. A. Ketcham :

I suggest that that report be referred to the Kaiser.

The President:

The report requires no action on the part of the Association. (See Report in Appendix, page 420.)

The President:

The Committee on Publications.

Simeon E. Baldwin, of Connecticut:

The committee has had a new duty thrust upon it during the last year by the action of the Association in authorizing the executive committee to initiate the publication of a periodical by the Association. As you all know, the Executive Committee voted to establish such a periodical; its care was committed to the Committee on Publications. How well they have succeeded will depend on how the three numbers already issued strike the members of the Association here and not here.

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