This case raises the radical question, that is, of the very legal existence of the “trust” itself. For this reason its future progress should be watched with the greatest interest.
It has been sought in this article merely to raise questions,—legal doubts,—which the author certainly is incompetent to solve. Space forbids more than the merest mention of them. It is probable that many conflicting decisions in the courts, and many years’ time will come, before this new question becomes settled, even in its general lines; and it is possible, perhaps desirable, that the knot be cut by stringent legislation. In the present opinion of the author such would be the best way out of the difficulty; for of the ultimate injury to be caused by such huge, irresponsible, indeterminate concerns there can be little difference of opinion. He would, therefore, close with the suggestion of three statutes, whose rigid enforcement might, with due adjustment to meet evasions, be expected to meet the case.
Ⅰ.Every organization, association, combination, or trust of persons or corporations, which seeks to control, combine, pool, or consolidate the business or property of any persons or corporations engaged in any trade, business, or manufacture, or which seeks to consolidate several such properties, or unite several businesses, or place the property of individuals or corporations, or the capital stock thereof, in the hands of individuals for control or management, shall be deemed a corporation, and subject to all the regulations of the laws as such.
Ⅱ.No proxy, or power of attorney given to vote or assign corporate stock, shall be valid for a longer period than ninety days; and every certificate issued, purporting to represent corporate stock, or an equitable interest in a portion of such stock, shall carry with it the power to vote on said stock; and all other such certificates shall be void.
Ⅲ.No corporation shall hold, or control, directly or indirectly, or through any trustees or agents, the stock of another corporation.
The last provision may, to our present lax ideas upon the subject, seem stringent and unpractical; but it seems to me the strict remedy must now be applied, if we would escape greater evils.
F. J. Stimson.