« PreviousContinue »
6. Such a Board would decrease, not increaso, the aggregate pecuniary burdens of the people. By its moral influence, as well as its legal power, it would eff et a saving of millions of dollars now wasted in fruitless conflicts of labor and capital, and in dealing with the resulting poverty and disorder.
7. The proposed inspection would be highly beneficial to all well-conducted business establishments. Only those pri prietors who have some wrong to conceal, would object to a visit from high State officials appointed to secure the harmony, peace, and mutual prosperity of employers and the employed, in every department of business. But if it were otherwise, all imaginable evils that might result from such a commission, would not entail one per cent of the losses now suffered for want of such an agency.
C. C. BONNEY. CHICAGO, January 1, 1887.
Mr. Bonney offered the following resolution, and moved its adoption :
Resolved, that this Association earnestly and emphatically renew its previous recommendations of the measure known as the Davis Bill, for the creation of an intermediate Appellate Court of the United States, for the relief of the National Supreme Court, and direct the Secretary of this A sociation to transmit a copy of this resolution to the Sena ors and Representatives from Illinois, in Congress with a request that they endeavor to secure the enactment of the measure herein recommended; further
Resolred, That a special committee of five members of this Association be appointed to promote the success of the proposed legislation.
These resolutions were discussed pro and con at some length by Messrs. Bonney, High, Bradwell, Moulton, Bond, Hurd, and others.
On motion of Mr. Moulton, a committee of five was appointed by the President, to consider a bill for the relief of the Supreme Court, and report the same to this meeting of the Association.
This motion being as a substitute for Mr. Bonney's resolutions, the President appointed Messrs. Moulton, Dent, Bond, Bradwell and Hay.
The Association convened in the evening at 8 o'clock, in the hall of the House of Representatives, Capitol.
10. MEMORIAL ADDRESS:
LIFE AND SERVICES OF DAVID DAVIS.
Mr. Leonard Swett read a memorial address on David Davis.
On motion of Mr. Littler, the thanks of the Association were tendered and a copy requested for publication. (See Appendis.)
11. MEMORIAL ADDRESS: LIFE AND SERVICES OF JAMES C. ROBINSON.
Mr. J. Mayo Palmer read a memorial address on James C. Robinson.
On motion of Mr. Hurd, the thanks of the Association were tendered and a copy requested for publication. (See Appendix.)
The Association then adjourned to Wednesday, January 12, 1887, at ten o'clock A. M.
JANUARY 12, 1887.
The Association re-assembled in the Supreme Court Room at 10 o'clock A. M., Hon. Melville W. Fuller, President, in the chair.
The Committee on Legal Education had no report to make.
The special committee appointed on Tuesday, to consider and report a bill for the relief of the Supreme Court of the United States, through Mr. Moulton, its chairman, reported the following resolutions :
To the Illinois State Bar Association:
GENTLEMEN:-Your special committee, to whom was referred the several motions and papers relating to the relief of the Federal Courts, having had the same under consideration, respectfully report the following resolutions, and recommend their adoption, and also that copies of the same be furnished each Senator and Representative in Congress from this State.
J. B. BRADWELL,
Committee. 1. Resolved, That it is the sense of this Association, that the bill commonly known as the "Davis Bill," or some similar measure, should be enacted for the relief of the Supreme Court of the United States, by providing for an Appellate Court.
2. Resolved, That it is also the sense of this Association, that the Justices of the Supreme Court should be relieved from Circuit Court duties.
3. Resolved, That it is also the sense of this Association, that the right of removal of causes from State to Federal Courts, should be so restricted as not to allow a removal where the amount involved is less than five thousand dollars.
4. Resolved, That it is the sense of this Association, that negotiable instruments made between citizens of the same State, should not be suable in Federal Courts under or by reason of any assignment thereof.
Discussion by Hurd, Wheeler, Bond, Moulton, and others.
A motion to recommit was lost, as also a motion to amend by striking out the word "five" in the third resolution, and inserting the word “one,” so as to read “one thousand" instead of “five thousand," and the resolution as originally drawn, was adopted.
On motion of Mr. Bond, the resolutions, as reported by the committee, were adopted.
ADDRESS: RELATIONS OF CORPORATIONS TO THE COMMUNITY. Mr. George W. Smith, of Chicago, read a paper on this subject. (See Anpendix.)
On motion of Mr. Moulton, the thanks of the Association were tendered and a copy requested for publication.
13. ADDRESS: THE BEGINNING OF LAW IN ILLINOIS. Mr. Edward G. Mason, of Chicago, read a paper on this subject. (See Appendix.)
On motion of Mr. Hamilton, the thanks of the Association were tendered and a copy requested for publication.
DECLINE OF LITIGATION AND SOME OF THE CAUSES.
Mr. Samuel P. Wheeler, of Cairo, read a paper on this subject. (See Appendix.)
On motion of Mr. Swett, the tbanks of the Association were tendered and a copy requested for publication.
Mr. Wheeler's address aroused considerable discussion, and
On motion of Mr. Swett, the address was referred to the Committee on Law Reform.
No report on the same at this meeting. The committee subsequently reported they could not make a report at this meeting, the time being so limited, and
Upon motion of Mr. Bonney, the report of this committee on Mr. Wheeler's address, was postponed to the next Annual Meeting of the Association.
The Committee on Law Reform, through Mr. Dent, its chairman, submitted the following report:
To the President and Members of the Illinois State Bar Association:
I. The Committee on Law Reform refer first to the following preamble and resolution which, upon motion of Mr. Bonney, were adopted at the meeting of this Association held in January, 1886:
“WHEREAS, The frequent occurrence of strikes of workmen employed in occupations in which the public are directly interested, results in enormous losses of wages and earnings, and in serious injuries and inconveniences to the people at large; and
"WHEREAS, The settlement of differences between employers and employed, by trials of endurance, is as absurd in principle as was the ancient settlement of disputes by wager of battle; and
“WHEREAS, It is a reproach alike to legislators, the courts and the legal profession, that some adequate remedy for such cases has not yet been devised and put in operation; therefore,
“Ress, rd, That this Association especially requests its Committee on Law Reform to inquire and report at the next annual session, what remedies, if any, now exist or may be provided for the prevention and control of strikes, and the determination of conflicting claims between employers and the employed, in cases where the latter act in combination, and not as individuals; and that said committee be particularly requested to consider and report whether the inherent powers of the court of equity could afford an adequate remedy, in suits by and against representative parties, such as the governing committee or officers of a labor union; also what amendments to existing laws would be advisable for the same purpose; and what new and more efficient remedies, if any, could be provided by logislation."
The preamble makes allusion to strikes among menemployed by railroad companies, or by other corporations, over which the State has assumed some power of regulation. But the resolution calls for a consideration of remedies, whether existing or to be provided, looking to the prevention and control of strikes, and the determination of conflicting claims between employers and persons employed, in cases where the latter act in combination and not as individuals. It further directs inquiry whether the inherent powers of a court of equity can afford an adequate remedy in suits by and against representative parties, supposing a governing committee, or officers of a ļabor union, to represent one of those parties.
There are certain incidents of strikes which our laws do not assume to control. Freedom to employ and to seek employment is intended to be preserved to all alike. It is a cherished principle, recognized by the laws, and needing no positive legal enactment for its support. It is in accord with a statement in the Bill of Rights in our State Constitution, declaring that "All men are by nature free and independent, and have certain inherent or inalienable rights," among which are "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The same statement adds, that to "secure these rights and the protection of property, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." The general principle is, that men are supposed to be at liberty to engage in service, and may withdraw therefrom, with the liability to be required to respond in damages for wrongful default or breach of contract. But our liberty is, after all, a regulated liberty, and experience has shown that the good of the body politic is promoted by laws tending to restrain abuses, and fraudulent, rapacious or evil conduct.
Tho question now is, whether these laws have been sufficiently specific. But, certainly they have generally commended themselves to the judgment and approval of the people as promotive of the general welfare and safety of the whole commonwealth. It is, h wever, a well understood fact, that changes in legislation, and to some extent new legislation, may be demanded at relatively short intervals. Therefore, our State Constitution wisely provides for biennial sessions of the General Assembly, the members of which represent a great diversity of interests in business and social life, and pledge themselves to give their best ability to the consideration of what is for the interest of the people collectively, in respect to anything within the sphere of proper legislation on the part of the State. No wiser mode of enacting laws than that which is provided for by our State Constitution, in common with the Constitution of the United States and the constitutions of the various States of the Union, has ever been devised; nor is it to be supposed that the restrictions placed by the constitutions respectively upon legislation should be materially modified, unless grave occasion for such modification shall become manifest.
The observations thus far outlined seemed to be called for by the suggestion of the preamble, that “it is a reproach alike to legislators, the courts, and the legal 'rofession, that some adequate remedy for such cases (referring to strikes and their consequences, has not yet been devised and put in operation;" and the committee think it permissible to add, that it is hardly to be expected that the laws can always provide in advanco adequate remedies for complaints and grievances, especially when such troubles happen from unexpected emergencies or peculiar causes. Grievances which are well founded are likely to attract attention in time, and if remediable, a remedy for the same. so far as legal redress may properly be given, sheall hi applied; but the proper remedy may not be known in time to be declared in advance. Fortunately, however, the legislature is convened at sufficiently short periods to consider important causes of dissatisfaction which concern the public weal. This is but equivalent to saying that legislation proceeds according to a natural order of development, and that laws can be framed to meet new instances somewhat better when those instances have become marked or defined, than by mere anticipation.
(a.) Strikes, as is well known, frequently result in disorder, and in misdemeanors or graver offences that plainly fall within our Criminal Code, which contains provisions for cases of conspiracy to do illegal acts, and also for the punishment of disorderly conduct, malicious mischief, rout, riots, unlawful assemblies, etc.; and those provisions seem to be substantially adequate for most purposes.
Section 5508 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, though probably intended for a different class of offences, might be taken as an indication of a proper enlargement of the Criminal Code of the State, to protect the rights of citizens.
(b.) In various cases, some of which will readily occur to members of the Association, action taken by courts of chancery during the prevalence of strikes on the part of railroad employes, while the railroads have been in the charge of receivers appointed by those courts, has been effective, when but for such action the operation of the railroads might have been much paralyzed for a time. Such has been the case in respect to some railroads controlled at the time by the Federal courts in this circuit, and in other circuits, in which cases those courts have exercised, judiciously, as your committee believe, the power to attach and commit for contempt. The dignity of the courts, and the benignity and firmness of the judges presiding therein, were powerful factors in preventing serious outbreaks of violence, and had a conservative effect in preventing disorder upon other and connecting lines.
Injunctions have also been issued upon bills in equity, filed by railway and other corporations, against which conspiracies in the form of strikes have seriously threatened continuous and irremediable waste and damage. The Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway Company, some time ago, procured injunctions both from the United States Circuit Court for the Northern District of Illinois and a State court in Cook county, to prevent unlawful interruption of the business of the railway company, in a case in which that interruption had become formidable, in consequence of objection on the part of strikers to the retention in employment by the railway company of certain non-union men; and in these cases action has at times been taken to punish violations of the injunctions.
The case of Bruschke v. The Furniture Makers' Union No. 119, Chicago Legal News, 306, may also be referred to as an instance in which a court of equity has enjoined strikers. In that case a private citizen, whose business was threatened with destruction, was the complainant.
Taking notice of such cases as have been cited, the committee would favor a statutory recognition of the power of courts of equity to entertain bills for the protection of property and corporate rights, by injunction or with the assistance of a receiver, as against strikers, or other conspirators, who have proceeded to unlawful or violent action, or who threaten so to do, provided it shall appear that other legal remedies are likely to be inadequate. The statute should also provide for dealing with voluntary associations when made parties to such bills, without requiring summons or notice to individual members of such associations. The statute might likewise provide for action looking towards the submission of disputes in such cases to a board of arbitration, to be constituted somewhat as in a statute of New York, which will be presently mentioned.
(c.) The legislation in England as to Trades Unions, as embodied in 31 and 35 Vict., c. 31 and 39 and 40 Vict., c. 22, seems to be in advance of our legislation, and presents suggestions for additional legislation here. Such unions are not now criminal in Great Britain, as being in restraint of trade; and registry of their objects is there required.
In the opinion of some members of this committee, there would be advantages in a registry here. giving to the registered body a right to sue for wages of or damages due to any of the members for breach of contract for wages, on assignment by the member of his demand or claim. There might then, also, better than now, be a representative body, as suggested in the afore resolution; and in case of any object of the body being unlawful, the registry should, as in Great Britain, be declared to be void. A limited liability clause might discriminate between registered and non-registered unions.