Open main menu

Page:Harvard Law Review Volume 1.djvu/150

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

of cotton-seed,—a valuable commercial product,—which it has forced down in price from $14.00 to $6.00 per ton, to the injury of the planters engaged in raising the seed.

It is further charged, that all the lines of transportation in the State of Louisiana, both by land and water, are, through the machinations of this powerful monopoly, discriminating in favor of shipments of cotton-seed consigned to manufacturers controlled by the trust, to the injury of the business of all manufacturers who are not in the ring. That “the said illegal association has within the last year acquired a majority of the stock in the several corporations organized and operating in this State, under the laws thereof, for the purpose of purchasing cotton-seed oil, soap, oil-cake, and other articles of commerce. That the American Cotton-oil Trust acquired the majority of stock in said corporations, organized under the laws of this State, by exchanging certificates of its stock for certificates of stock in said corporations at a premium and advance thereon, and have elected directors and are controlling and operating said cotton-mi1ls, the property of said corporations, solely for the interest and benefit of said illegal association. In making said exchanges the Trust illegally fabricated, manufactured, and issued certificates purporting to represent shares in the equity to the property held by the trustees of the American Cotton-oil Trust. No such estate or trust-title is valid under the laws and jurisprudence of Louisiana.

“Petitioner avers that the trust is an illegal, invalid, and corrupt association; the object and aims thereof are in contravention of the constitution and laws of this State, and its existence should be suppressed and destroyed.”

The prayer of the bill is for a permanent injunction against the association from doing business in the State, and that the American Cotton-oil Trust be adjudged guilty of usurpation, intruding into and unlawfully holding and exercising the privileges of a corporation without being duly incorporated, and be forever excluded and debarred from the franchises and privileges within this State, and declared to be an illegal, invalid, and fraudulent association.

It will be seen that this case is in effect an information, in the nature of quo warranto, brought by the attorney-general. A demurrer was filed to the bill in due course, and this demurrer has been overruled.