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TRUSTS AND MONOPOLIES.
ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT,
Incident to partisanship upon these questions, many, without consideration or accurate discrimination, declare in advance for or against trusts and monopolies whenever either is named. The word combination covers the entire realm to which the words trust and monopoly are either technically or untechnically applied.
I will devote, therefore, but few words to definitions, and will avoid the use of terms where their limited application might cause question.
The word trust has in the last few years rapidly developed from a technical to a general term. No discussion is necessary either of the technical or general meaning of the word, because the one is so clearly understood in its limited sense, and the other in its unlimited sense, that such discussion is needless.
Monopolies have been defined by Lord Coke as follows: "An institution by the king, by his grant, commission or otherwise, to any person or corporations, of for the sole buying, selling, making, working or using of everything, whereby any person or corporations are sought to be restrained of any freedom or liberty they had before, or hindered in their lawful trade.” 1st Eddy on Com. 11; 10 How, State Trials, p. 386.
This definition has been approved by Holt and Treby, each of whom afterward became Chief Justice of the King's Bench. But the word monopoly also has, by general use, developed into including any exclusive control of anything; so that in general use trust and monopoly are the same.
It will be my purpose, among others, to trace somewhat the history of the questions vitally involved in the general meaning of the word trust, and endeavor to point out what my investigation leads me to believe is the basic principle upon which statutes and decisions should proceed.
Monopolies are not by any means of modern growth. Emperor Zeno, A. D. 483, issued an edict to the Pretorian Prefect of Constantinople, in which, after specifying and forbidding many forms of monopoly, he concluded with the following language, comprehensive in defining the crime and unique in its method of demanding punishment: “We command that no one may presume to exercise a monopoly of any kind of clothing, or of fish, or of any other thing serving for food, or for any other use, whatever its nature may be, either of his own authority or under a rescript of an emperor already procured, or that may hereafter be procured, or under an imperial decree, or under a rescript signed by Our Majesty; nor may any persons combine or agree in unlawful meetings, that different kinds of merchandise may not be sold at a less price than they may have agreed upon among themselves. Workmen and contractors for buildings, and all who practice other professions, and contractors for baths are entirely prohibited from agreeing together that no one may complete a work contracted for by another, or that a person may prevent one who has contracted for a work from finishing it; full liberty is given to any one to finish a work begun and abandoned by another without apprehension of loss, and to denounce all acts of this kind without fear and without costs, and if any one shall presume to practice a monopoly, let his property be forfeited and himself condemned to perpetual exile.