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what would seem to be a wholly unwarranted privilege or preference to certain liquors not attaching to others; and to permit certain persons, without any of the restrictions provided by the license laws, to keep and sell intoxicating liquors in conflict with the entire spirit of our law, and in unrestrained competition with those persons who have, in obedience to the requirements of our legislation, subjected themselves to serious liabilities and to large expenditures to secure and avail themselves of a license to engage in the liquor trade.

Were the section of the Revised Laws above quoted to be repealed, all protection heretofore attaching to liquors in the original package of importation, but within this State for use, distribution, storage or sale, would be withdrawn; and after such repeal, all intoxicating liquors and those engaged in commerce therein would be subject to uniform and consistent provisions of law.

The present condition of our statutes would seem to indicate either that public opinion or the legislation of our Commonwealth has not kept pace with that of the federal Congress, and that Massachusetts has not availed herself of an opportunity that the federal government long since offered to her. I am, with great respect, Very truly yours,

HERBERT PARKER, Attorney-General.

Volunteer Militia Rifle Ranges Use by United States Troops

Adjutant-General. The Adjutant-General has no authority either to grant or to refuse permis

sion to United States troops to use the rifle ranges furnished under the provisions of R. L., c. 16, § 105, for the use of the volunteer militia, by the several cities and towns.

JUNE 1, 1903. Brig.-Gen. SAMUEL DALTON, Adjutant-General.

DEAR SIR :- The only provision relating to rifle ranges for the use of the volunteer militia is R. L., c. 16, § 105, which in part provides that “it shall be the duty of the mayor and aldermen and selectmen to provide for each regiment, battalion, corps of cadets, or portion of the volunteer militia, within the limits of their respective cities and towns, ... suitable places for parade, drill and target practice.” Provision is elsewhere made in R. L., c. 16, for the control and management of armories by the Adjutant-General ($ 111), and for their use and occupation ($ 116), as well as for the maintenance of suitable places for drill ($ 113); but there is no specific enactment regulating the use and occupation of the rifle ranges which section 105 requires cities and towns to furnish.

Under the provision above referred to, therefore, I am of opinion that it is the duty of cities and towns to establish and maintain, for the use of the local militia, suitable places for target practice; but that the use thereof by such militia need not necessarily be exclusive of all other use of such rifle range by the city or town within the limits of which it is situated. If reasonable opportunity for target practice is afforded to the volunteer militia, the statutory obligation of such city or town is fulfilled, and the duty of the Adjutant-General in the premises must be confined to securing such result.

It follows, therefore, that the Adjutant-General has no authority either to grant or to refuse permission to United States troops to use the rifle range now established in the city of Lynn, if such use does not in any respect interfere with or restrict the use of such rifle range by the volunteer militia. I am of opinion, however, that if permission be given for the use of such rifle range by United States troops, it should be by specific action of the city government of Lynn, the terms of such use and its limitations being definitely and exactly set forth, distinctly subordinating such use to the requirements and needs of the militia of this Commonwealth, and providing a summary right of revocation of the permission so accorded. Very truly yours,

HERBERT PARKER, Attorney-General.

Foreign Corporations Interstate Commerce. Foreign corporations, operating steamship lines between Boston and ports

in other States or in foreign countries, which do no transportation business wholly within the Commonwealth, and no other business therein except such as is incidental to their foreign business, are engaged in the business of interstate and foreign commerce, the regulation of which is vested exclusively in the Congress of the United States, and are not subject to the provisions of R. L., c. 126, $$ 4 and 6, requiring foreign corporations having a usual place of business within the Commonwealth to appoint the Commissioner of Corporations their attorney for the service of legal process, and to file in the office of such commissioner certain sworn statements concerning their capital stock.

JUNE 5, 1903. Hon. WILLIAM D. T. TREFRY, Commissioner of Corporations.

DEAR SIR :- In your letter of May 21 you ask my opinion upon the question whether certain foreign corporations, operating steamship lines between Boston and ports in other States and countries, which do no transportation business from point to point within the

Commonwealth, or any local business, except such as is strictly incident to their foreign business, are subject to sections 4 and 6 of chapter 126 of the Revised Laws. That statute provides that every foreign corporation, except foreign insurance companies, which has a usual place of business in this Commonwealth, shall, before transacting business in this Commonwealth, appoint the Commissioner of Corporations its attorney for the service upon it of legal process, and shall file in his office certain sworn statements concerning its capital stock.

The sole business of the companies in question is interstate and foreign commerce. The power of government to regulate it in the manner of the statate is vested exclusively in Congress, and, whether Congress has done all that is proper in that regard or not, the State has no jurisdiction to attach such conditions to the right of transacting it. Statutes requiring the filing of sworn statements and the appointment of a local attorney are not included within those eminently local regulations made in the fair exercise of the police power of the State, which, in the absence of federal regulations over the same subject, are free from constitutional objections. It is, therefore, beyond the power of a State to make these requirements of such foreign companies. See Crutcher v. Kentucky, 141 U. S. 47; Robbins v. Shelby County, 120 U. S. 489; Cooper Mfg. Co. v. Ferguson, 113 U. S. 727.

In the first case, in which the court held invalid a statute providing that the agent of a foreign express company should not carry on business within this State without first obtaining a license, and satisfying the State Auditor that the company was possessed of a certain amount of capital, Bradley J., by way of illustration, said : “Would any one pretend that a State Legislature could probibit a foreign corporation – an English or a French transportation company, for example -- from coming into its borders and landing goods and passengers at its wharves, and soliciting goods and passengers for a return voyage, without first obtaining a license from some State officer, and filing a sworn statement as to the amount of its capital stock paid in? And why not? Evidently because the matter is not within the province of State legislation, but within that of national legislation. ... And the same thing is exactly true with regard to interstate commerce as it is with regard to foreign commerce."

It is to be presumed that the Legislature of Massachusetts, when it enacted the provisions of R. L., c. 126, $$ 4-6, knowing that it had no power to impose conditions upon foreign commerce, did not intend, in its use of the phrase “ doing business in this Commonwealth," to include the business of transporting passengers and freight between the port of Boston and other States and countries. I advise you, therefore, that these provisions have no application to the companies in question. Very truly yours,

HERBERT PARKER, Attorney-General.

Constitutional Law Maximum Day's Work Cities and Towns

Counties. The Legislature may constitutionally limit the duration of a day's work

for laborers, workmen and mechanics, employed by or in behalf of the Commonwealth, to a period of eight hours; but a like provision applicable to counties, and to cities and towns which have accepted the provisions of R. L., c. 106, § 20, making eight hours a day's work for the employees thereof, would be unconstitutional, as taking property

without due compensation and without due process of law. In respect of legislation fixing eight hours as a day's work for employees

of counties, cities and towns, a county is not to be distinguished from a city or town.

JUNE 15, 1903. His Excellency John L. BATES, Governor.

SIR :- Your Excellency has required my opinion upon the legal, and, more specifically, upon the constitutional, aspects of an act entitled “ An Act to constitute eight hours a maximum day's work for public employees.” The act contains the following provisions :

That eight hours shall constitute a day's work for all laborers, workmen and mechanics employed by or on behalf of the Commonwealth or any county ;

That every contract to which the Commonwealth or any county is a party, involving such employment, shall contain a stipulation that no such employee shall be permitted or required to work more than eight hours in any one day;

That the wages to be paid shall not be less than the prevailing rate for a day's work in the same trade or occupation in the locality where such public work is done ;

That this act shall apply to all such employees engaged upon any works which are or intended to be the property of the Commonwealth, or of any county therein, or of any city or town which has accepted the provisions of R. L., c. 106, $ 20, whether such employees are employed by public authority, by a contractor, or by any other private person ;

That any agent or official of the Commonwealth or of any county violating any provision of this act shall be subject to a penalty of fifty dollars for each offence;

That the provisions of the act shall not apply to contractors or sub-contractors under contracts made prior to the passage of the act, or to employees of charitable institutions.

If this were an act regulating the hours of labor and the amount of wages to be paid between individuals or private corporations and their employees, it would be, in my opinion, unconstitutional, as taking property without due compensation and without due process of law. It is not a mere declaration that, in the absence of special contract to the contrary, eight hours shall be a day's work, but it prohibits the making of any contract for a different number of hours' work. I am of opinion that it is not in the power of the Legislature to abridge or extinguish the right of parties to fix, by mutual consent, the number of hours that shall constitute a day's work, or the wages that shall be paid, or to prohibit or make void the agreements of the parties themselves in the premises, except where the health, safety or morals of the community are concerned, which justifies the enactment of police regulations, as in the case of restricting and defining the hours of employment of women and children (Commonwealth v. Hamilton Manufacturing Co., 120 Mass. 383), or of persons working in an unhealthy employment (Holden v. Hardy, 169 U. S. 366).

The critical provisions of the statute before me are those made applicable only to laborers upon public works, either of the Commonwealth or counties, or of cities and towns which have accepted the provisions of R. L., c. 106, § 20. So much of the statute as applies to cities and towns which have accepted the act last cited is to my mind plainly unconstitutional, as upon reasons expressed in the opinion of the Attorney-General of April 24, 1901. The chapter of Revised Laws cited merely provides what shall be a legal day's work, in the absence of an agreement by the parties to select, by mutual consent, some other standard or measure of service, analogous, in principle, to that of another statute fixing six per cent. as the legal rate of interest. See R. L., C. 73, § 3. The proposed enactment, on the other hand, provides that no laborer, workman or mechanic engaged upon any works which are or are intended to be the property of such city or town shall be permitted or required to work more than eight hours in any one day. It seems needless to specifically call attention to that which is obvious, viz., that by accepting the former eight-hour law, contained in the section of the Revised Laws above quoted, such cities and towns have not accepted, and do not accept, the provisions of this new enactment, even if it be assumed that they could have legally and in advance bound themselves to such an obligation.

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