sions women are the best judges of certain questions concerning themselves. I would take a woman who beats her husband and send her to a private apartment with three good wives, the first of whom should lecture her severely, the second of whom should whip her moderately, and the third of whom should instruct her in the art of managing her husband without beating him.

The President:

Now, Mr. Houston, your amendment is in order.

W. T. Houston:

I move to amend the resolution by adding the words: "And that any one convicted of the crime of rape should be burned at the stake."

Julius B. Curtis :

I second that.

E. F. Bullard :

Mr. President, a motion to lay on the table is not amendable, I believe.

The President:

That is true. Gentlemen, the question will first be put upon the motion to lay on the table. If that is passed, it will be an end of the subject.

The motion to lay on the table was adopted: yeas, 63; nays, 28.

The President:

The next business in order is the resumption of the reading of the report of the Committee on Commercial Law.

Gustavus A. Breaux, of Louisiana :

I move that the further reading of the report be dispensed with, and that the chairman of the committee be requested to simply read the conclusions at which the committee arrived, for the reason that the report has been printed, and we have all had an opportunity of reading it.

The motion was adopted.

George A. Mercer, of Louisiana :

The conclusions which the committee reached after a care

CONCLUSIONS OF COMMITTEE ON COMMERCIAL LAW. 79 ful consideration of the subjects, referred to them are as follows:

First. That the present needs of the business community for uniformity of law relating to the enforcement of contracts and the collection of debts imperatively demand national legislation as the only adequate means by which the desired relief and protection can be attained.

Second. That so far as interstate commercial transactions are concerned, Congress has full power to provide the necessary relief and protection by legislation under the clause of the Constitution giving it the power to pass laws to regulate commerce among the States.

Third. That this legislation requires only a short and simple act of Congress, such as would be easily intelligible to every business man, and its administration would require only the exercise of the ordinary equity powers of the courts of the United States.

Fourth. That, in the exercise of the same power, Congress should enact a statute defining the law relating to bills of exchange and other commercial paper, so far as the same is involved in interstate commerce.

Fifth. That if such legislation be once adopted it is likely that the State Legislatures would enact the same provisions for the regulation of commerce among their own citizens, and there would thus he provided a completely uniform system of law relating to the essential features of commercial transactions throughout the whole country.

Sixth. That it is desirable that Congress should enact a national bankruptcy law, and that such a law should be a short, simple, and concise act, and its administration should be under the direction of the court according to the ordinary and familiar rules of a court of equity.

The Committee recommend, if this report be approved, that the Association take such action as will bring this subject prominently before the people of the country, so that there might be brought to bear upon Congress, at its next

session, evidence of the pressing need of the business community throughout the Union for relief and protection from present difficulties which the proposed legislation alone can


The Committee have not undertaken to consider and recommend the details of the legislation required to accomplish the desired result, but in order to suggest, in a general way, an appropriate form of congressional action, the Committee append hereto a draft of a bankruptcy bill drawn by one of its members in general conformity to the views above expressed, together with the bill to regulate interstate debts, credits, and collections which was submitted at the last annual meeting of our Association.

These bills are not given as complete and perfect, but merely as furnishing a proper ground for intelligent discussion and progress.

Although the subject of a uniformity of commercial paper in all interstate transactions was not in terms referred to this Committee, it is so intimately connected with the particular topic they were directed to consider that the Committee have deemed it their duty to direct the attention of the Association to the bill to secure such uniformity, which was prepared by a member of the Committee for the American Bankers' Association and introduced in Congress by the late Judge Poland, in whose death since the last meeting of the Association we are called to mourn the loss of so good a friend and one so highly esteemed and so affectionately regarded by us all. His warm support of the measure is one more important service for which both the profession and the country are indebted to him. The Committee recommend the adoption of the following resolution:

"Resolved, That the report of the Committee on Commercial Law be adopted, and that the Committee be empowered to take such action on behalf of the American Bar Association as they may deem necessary or expedient to secure the legislation recommended in their report.

The President:

The report is now open for discussion.

William E. Earle, of the District of Columbia:

I move that the consideration of that report be made the special order for our next meeting, immediately following the annual address. It is a very important and interesting report, and I do not think that in the short time left to us today we can consider it in such a manner as would enable us to reach a satisfactory conclusion about it. It covers a great deal of ground, and we had better let it lay over for another


Egbert Whittaker :

Seconded the motion, and it was adopted.

The President:

Miscellaneous business is now in order.

C. C. Bonney, of Illinois :

I have received from Professor Baldwin a resolution with a request that I offer it in his behalf and ask its reference to the Committee on Jurisprudence and Law Reform. With your permission I will read the resolution:

"Resolved, That the Committee on Jurisprudence and Law Reform be instructed to inquire and report at the next meeting whether it would not be desirable to promote the enactment in the several States of some uniform law (and, if so, in what form) to regulate the marriage of their citizens in foreign countries, and the proper authentication and registration of such marriages in this country."

Nicholas Van Slyck:

Moved the adoption of that resolution, and it was adopted. Johnson T. Platt, of Connecticut :

Offered the following resolution :

"Resolved, That the President of the Association be and he is hereby requested to appoint a special committee of three members to inquire and report as to what, if anything, can be done to secure a better expression of the legislative intention in framing public statutes."

The resolution was adopted.

Walter George Smith, of Pennsylvania:

On behalf of Judge Hoadly, of New York, whose engagements were of such a character that he was unable to attend this meeting at the last moment, I desire to introduce a resolution, and after doing so I will submit the reasons that he gave me in writing, moving him to that thought:

"Resolved, That in all courts of last resort in which written or printed briefs are required from counsel, such briefs should be required to be exchanged long enough before the submission of the cause to enable counsel on each side to examine and reply, either in writing or in print, to the brief of his adversary.'

I will now submit, with your permission, the reasons that the suggester of the resolution has to offer:

"The importance of a rule of this kind has been very strongly impressed upon me in my practice in courts of last resort. In this State briefs are exchanged at the moment of going into the oral argument, and no sooner. It is manifest that the Court of Appeals loses all the advantage it would have if counsel were familiar with the views of their adversary. Where the case has been thoroughly and well tried in the special and general term, and the same counsel present the case to the Court of Appeals, this difficulty is obviated. But it often happens that counsel argue in the court of last resort who come into the case after its removal to that tribunal, and who are familiar only with the printed record and have not heard the debate of the other side.

"In Washington, as you are well aware, the Supreme Court of the United States require the brief of the appellee or plaintiff in error to be filed six days, and that of his adversary three days, before the hearing—a rule which, in fact, is more often honored by its breach than its compliance, and which is entirely inadequate to produce the result I have in mind, namely: That the courts should be assisted by a

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