|assets. The facts must not be juggled in such a manner as to cause confusion. The company must be forced to tell the truth from beginning to end. We cannot longer tolerate annual reports to the secretary of state which consist of four or five general statements. Such action upon the part of the state will not inspire confidence in corporate enterprises. Many of the malpractices, so general and widespread at the present moment, must be done away with. It is never good policy to deprive the states of power, but in the matter of incorporating business enterprises the state cannot act freely and independently. This power, therefore, must be delegated to the national government, for, if several states enact good, fair and just laws, other states may place barriers of such a nature that it will be impossible for the corporation, organized under these fair laws, to do business in the obstinate state or states. For the benefit of the people as a whole the states must be deprived of the right to grant charters. Such an act will rid the country of bandits and freebooters and insure stability in financial circles. "No fact of industry is more obvious than that modern business has outgrown and wholly disregards state lines, and that the jurisdiction of a single state as applied to the operations of a great interstate business, are futile and even harmful." Corporations are destined, in many instances, to go beyond the proper supervision and control of the state which gave them existence. The best of state laws will never do away with the present abuses. Congress alone can, with safety, provide a method by which reasonable combination may be permitted. The relative merits of a federal license or a national incorporation law are beyond question.|
BY FRANKLIN A. WAGNER OF THE NEW YORK BAR
(A Paper Read at the Fifteenth Annual Convention of the Commercial Law League, at Narragansett Pier, on July 20, 1909)
The growth of new and diverse legislation in the various States has become a positive burden to all who are called upon to acquire a comparative knowledge of the statutes.
The introduction of bills, often for "home consumption" only, has surfeited our Legislatures, and unless protected by a self-reliant governor who has the courage to wield his veto powers, the result of each legislative session is the addition of one or two volumes of session laws to the lawyer's library.
Multiply this output by forty-six times the number of legislative____________________