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demned material, prepared a part of it and contracted for its erection.
Knoxville vs. Byrd, 12 Lea, 121. The Legislature can revoke a charter, granted a lottery, which pays the State a bonus therefor and stated taxes, on the ground that its existence interferes with public morals.
Stone vs. Mississippi, 101 U. S., 814. In the case of Beer Co. vs. Mass., 97 L'. S., 28, it is stated that "whatever difference of opinion may exist as to the extent and boundaries, and however difficult it may be to render a satisfactory definition of it, there seems to be no doubt that it does extend to the protection of the lives, health and property of the citizens and to the preservation of good order and the public morals. The Legislature cannot by any contract divest itself of the power to provide for these objects."
This principle is asserted and repeated in Fertilizer Co. vs. Hyde Park, 97 U. S., 659, and Butchers Union, etc. vs. Crescent City, etc., 111 U. S., 746.
Froin these authorities it would appear whether a Legislature can revoke a charter depends on whether the courts construe it to be a property contract, or a charter against public health and morals and good order; and if it be both, as in these cases, it depends upon the conception of the court as to the controlling feature of the charter, and this conclusion is reached mainly from public opinion.
Since the days of Lord Hale it has been a rule of law that a business "affected with a public interest" may be the subject of State regulation.
A notable illustration of this rule in onr State is the grist miller. He must grind in turn. He must grind “well and sufficiently.” He must bolt the flour at his mill. He is limited in toll, and the difference in the toll of a steam and water inill is fixed. He shall not change the grain, meal or flour of customers. He must keep certain measures, and he shall not test wheat in any other way than by a sealed half bushel. Certainly this is regulation.
What business is "affected with a public interest?"
In the case of Munn vs. Illinois, 94 U. S., 113, it is decided that "those employments which are in their nature public, but of which circumstances give to a few persons a virtual monopoly, as those who own elevators in the city of Chicago, are subject to be regulated by the State in the prices they charge for the storage of wheat."
The case of the People vs. Budd, 143 U. S., 517, reaffirms this principle, while the case of Brass vs. North Dakota, 153 U. S., 399, supports a law of the defendant State regulating elevator charges anywhere in the State.
Without pursuing this matter further it appears that the Legislature would have the right to regulate the charges of any business with which the public generally deals, and it must be on this broad ground that the bakers have been required to make their loaves of a certain weight and price.
The business so regulated by the State, it seems, may be subjected to the payment of the salaries of a commission, as well as their expenses. Charlotte C. & A. R. Co. vs. Gibbs, 112 U. S., 386.
All combinations which have for their object the injurious affection of public interest are indictable. Second Ed. Ency. of Law, Vol. 6, 853, and authorities cited.
Thus it would seem that every business, which because of its nature is constantly used by the public, or affected with a public interest, is subject to regulation, while other business, which, on account of number and competition, we may nominate private business, cannot enter into pools, trusts or monopolies without indictment, and hence are subject to reasonable charges for the services rendered the public.
Referring to the principle cited from Brass vs. North Dakota, 153 U. S., 399, let us examine a statute of our own State and see what may be done with our corporations as to regu. lating their business and charges.
Section 2330 of Shannon's Code provides for the incorporation of mining, quarrying, boring and manufacturing companies, or any business coming within the definition of a man. ufactory.
Section 2332 provides, in addition to the general powers of a corporation, it shall have powers to raise, buy, sell and deal in agricultural products, operate flouring or other mills, and deal in merchandise.
Section 2333 gives them the right of eminent domain, and Section 2334 requires of its officers the publication of an annual statement.
By several rules, these corporations affected with a public interest are and can be further subjected to State regulations. They are granted special privileges—many privileges. The statute in creating them does regulate them in part. But what is to prevent the State from dealing with them as with the grist miller, or from placing around them such rules as govern and shape their whole course.
From the foregoing why may not the State issue volumes the size of our present code—acts ad infinitum-preseribing, in minutia, the manner in which each shall do business and deal with the public, and why may not the full exercise of this power, as indicated by the cases and rules established, make our walk more precise and burdensome than the dictates of an emperor?
From the writer's study of the question, these deductions seem clear:
This power of the State is inalienable and must remain with the sovereignty.
It is always used in restraint.
In matters of public safety, health, morals and comfort, where the extent of the infraction of either of these is apparent and the remedy applied is reasonable.
That all quasi-public corporations or businesses, or all "business affected with a public interest,” may be subjected to State regulations.
That in case of all other industries, which by reason of competition are supposed not to be affected with a public interest, all combinations affecting their operation unfairly to the public, such as raising prices unreasonably, are enjoined.
The history of this power of the State shows that when new conditions invoked its aid, the right was first denied, then doubted, finally admitted, and then enlarged. And from the growth of these rules it is manifest that when, by reason of complications in our business affairs, not now existing or contemplated, new issues arise affecting the public, these rules or amendments to them will be suggested and applied.
The State must not only preserve the position attained, but must progress to a high destiny, and the restraining hand of the law will be laid on the impediments as each succeeding generation of mankind views the situation. However, it may be added, as the enlargements of this power operate as a restriction of individual rights, such acts should be strictly construed and executed with the least possible interference with the rights of the individual.
As the State has power under its charter inalienable to regulate its affairs, so the general government must, of necessity, have equal rights to regulate the affairs assigned to it.
If the State can regulate its internal commerce, it could regulate the commerce of all things coming within its jurisdiction had it not surrendered this jurisdiction to the general government.
The trouble with the Federal anti-trust act is that restraint of trusts must be had through the Attorney-General. And the subjects of restraint under this act have been so restricted in their construction by the Supreme Court as to render it impotent.
A manufacturer in a State who sells to persons residing out of the State is held not to be within the meaning of “trade and commerce."
U.S. vs. Addyston Pike & Steel Co., 78 Fed. Rep., 712. Also the purchases of factories in several States, for the purpose of making and selling products in all the States, is held not to be interstate commerce, even though it be an unlawful monopoly:
Will our Federal Supreme Court finally declare that the manufacturers of goods made out of the State and brought into the State for sale are subject to State regulations?
R. R. Co. vs. Husen, 95 U. S., 465.
Budd vs. N. Y., 143 U. S., 517.
Gulf vs. Hefley, 158 U. S., 103. So condicting, or more properly speaking, unsettled, is the right of the State and Federal government to regulate manufacturers dealing ip interstate commerce that an amendment to the Constitution enlarging the Federal power in this respect, was considered at the last session of Congress.
The enlargement of Federal power at the expense of States' rights is always alarming to a large portion of our people; but when it is considered that this amendment would bring the United States Marshal to our doors; that he would have constant supervision of the manner in which we conduct our busi. ness affairs, it would seem that the devil had us sure.
No step should be taken that would interfere with the disposition of the Federal Supreme Court to delegate this power to the State, since its exercise would then be less dangerous, as its evils, when discovered, could be more easily remedied.
But when we realize the longitude and latitude of State l'ojice Powers and conremplate the present urgent call for their exercise-when from ihe history of its growth and application we are brought to the concession that police regulation is public opinion codified—is it not apparent that we are traversing into the midst of Socialism. And should we not bear many of the ills we have, rather than by opposing, to entail upon ourselves a policy, which, in its extremity, may result in the subversion of our republican form of government?