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to work upon the Isthmian Canal. The bill provides that the wages of such an employee who is injured in the course of such employment, without contributory negligence or misconduct, shall be continued for one year unless he is sooner able to resume work.
“The principle of this measure is not new to our Government. For five years railway postal clerks have been thus compensated, and since May 4, 1882, members of the Life-Saving Service have enjoyed similar benefits.
“There is insufficient data as to the number and character of accidents occurring to government employees upon which to base an accurate estimate of the cost under this bill. In the Railway Mail Service there are 14,347 postal clerks, and last year it cost the Government $98,143.95 because of accidents. The Life-Saving Service employs 1,898 surfmen, and the Government during the last year paid for accidents and deaths $41,270.51. This amount also includes sums paid for sickness contracted in the service.
“There are approximately 6,600 artisans and laborers employed in arsenals, armories, and other manufacturing establishments of the War Department, and during the past ten years 8 were killed and 41 mcre or less seriously injured. The average absence from work because of these injuries was about two and one-half months. Under this bill the Government would have paid during the ten years a total of about $20,000, or an average of $2,000 a year. It ought to he added that the fewness of the accidents arising in the workshops of the War Department is largely due to the excellent condition of the machinery and the discipline exercised by the oflicers in charge.
“This plan, uniformly advocated by such employees of the Government as appeared before the committee, seems to be much more satisfactory because it gives food to the family at a time when the employee can not earn wages. Indeed, a strong feeling was evidenced at the hearings that some less expensive system of compensating accidents should be adopted than the lawsuit, which involves delay, produces uncertainty, withholds money when most needed, and works other hardships. What the injured employee seems to desire is to have his family supported while he is unable to earn wages, and he seems to prefer to take a less amount, to be used at such a time, than to wait the result of a slow lawsuit, even though it may, if he succeeds, bring him two or three times as much."
The Senate committee reporting this bill adopted the House Report (S. Rep. No. 670, 60th Cong., 1st sess.).
It will be observed that the statute relating to the LifeSaving Service expressly covers “any wound or injury received or disease contracted" therein. (22 Stat. 57.) The provision as to the Railway Mail Service, on the other hand, applies simply to “any railway postal clerk who shall be killed while on duty, or who, being injured while on duty, shall die within one year thereafter as a result of such injury.” (32 Stat. 759; 33 Stat. 414; 34 Stat. 474, 1213; 35 Stat. 413, 667.)
In the opinion of May 17, 1909, above cited, it was held that a plate printer in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, whose wrist was sprained in the course of his employment, which hurt was complicated by rupture of the synovial sac surrounding the ligaments leading from the back part of the forearm to the fingers, had "suffered an injury” within the meaning of the Act of May 30, 1908.
In considering the scope of the statute, attention was called to the fact that the first two sections thereof used the word "injury," while the word “accident" did not occur until the third section; and it was said (27 Op. 350):
“In other words, the statute quite consistently provides for the cases of injuries in the course of the employment and accidents resulting in death or otherwise. The word “injury” is employed comprehensively to embrace all the cases of incapacity to continue the work of employment unless the injury is due to the negligence or misconduct of the employee injured-and including all cases where as a result of the employee's occupation he, without any negligence or misconduct, becomes unable to carry on his work, and this condition continues for more than fifteen days. The word “accident” is employed to denote the happening
of some unusual event, producing death or injury which results in incapacity for work, lasting more than fifteen days. That is to say, within the language of the statute an employee may be injured in the course of his employment without having suffered a definite accident.”
That opinion, however, was not intended to create the impression that the statute in question covered diseases contracted in the course of employment. The language of the opinion is, perhaps, broader than it should be, in the light of the committee report on the bill above quoted, which indicates that only injuries of an accidental nature were in mind. As, however, the statute is remedial, it should be generously construed, and so construed it might well be held to include injuries of the character there referred to, although, strictly speaking, no definite accident had occurred which gave rise to the injury. The word “injury," however, as used in the statute, is in no sense suggestive of disease, nor has it ordinarily any such signification.
I am therefore of the opinion that the case of Mr. Sheeran, as stated by you, is not covered by the Act of May 30, 1908. Respectfully,
GEORGE W. WICKERSHAM. The SECRETARY OF COMMERCE AND LABOR.
PHILIPPINE ISLANDS-CORPORATIONS HOLDING REAL
Neither a corporation formed in Belgium to acquire and possess lands in
the Philippine Islands, nor any other foreign or domestic corporation authorized to engage in agriculture, may legally purchase or hold more than 1,024 hectares of land in the Philippine Islands.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
April 29, 1910. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of April 21st instant, in which you state:
"I have the honor to inclose copies of two notes addressed, respectively, to the minister of foreign affairs at Brussels by Mr. Ed. C. Andre, dated April 4, and to the Belgian minister at this capital by the minister of foreign affairs of his Government, dated April 7, and with them three letters from Mr. Andre, dated March 30 and April 4, addressed to you and handed to me by the minister of Belgium for delivery to you. These documents raise
. the question whether a Belgian corporation authorized to engage in agriculture may legally purchase and hold a plantation in the Philippine Islands containing an area of 1,430 hectares. The collateral inquiry is also presented whether, if the answer to the foregoing question is in the negative, an agricultural and commercial corporation created under Philippine law may take and hold the said plantation."
You request an expression of my opinion on both of these questions.
The act of Congress entitled “An act temporarily to provide for the administration of the affairs of civil government in the Philippine Islands, and for other purposes," approved July 1, 1902 (32 Stat. 691), is the law still in force.
By the seventy-fifth section of that act it is provided:
"That no corporation shall be authorized to conduct the business of buying and selling real estate or be permitted to hold or own real estate except such as may be reasonably necessary to enable it to carry out the purposes for which it is created, and every corporation authorized to engage in agriculture shall by its charter be restricted to the ownership and control of not to exceed one thousand and twenty-four hectares of land
The first clause of this section forbids the organization of corporations to conduct the business of buying and selling real estate. The next, recognizing the necessity of
some corporations to hold real estate for the conduct of their business, denies the permission to hold or own any real estate except such as may be reasonably necessary to enable it to carry out the purposes for which the corporation is created. The holding of real estate, under this provision, is incidental to the main business of the corporation, such as manufacturing or trading. By no intendment can this apply to a corporation formed for the use or cultivation of land.
By the next clause of the section it is provided: "Every corporation authorized to engage in agriculture shall by its charter be restricted to the ownership and control of not to exceed one thousand and twenty-four hectares of land."
Mr. Andre suggests, in one of the notes transmitted through you: “I am in doubt whether this refers to the rules and by-laws of the corporation or to the privilege granted to a company at being filed.”'
This provision is not directory. It affects the very being of the corporation. It is an absolute prohibition of the power to hold land in excess of 1,024 hectares. This limitation was placed in the act after much debate and deliberation in the United States Congress, and it is repeated and emphasized in all the legislation upon this subject.
These prohibitions in the organic act were embraced in the “corporation law” of the Philippine Commission, enacted by authority of the United States. By Article I, section 13, it is enacted: Every corporation has power (paragraph 5):
“To purchase, hold, convey, sell, lease, let, mortgage, incumber, and otherwise deal with such real and personal property as the purposes for which the corporation was formed may permit, and the transaction of the lawful business of the corporation may reasonably and necessarily require, unless otherwise prescribed in this act: Provided, That no corporation shall be authorized to conduct the business of buying and selling real estate or be permitted to hold or own real estate except such as may be reasonably necessary to enable it to carry out the purposes for which it is created, and every corporation authorized to engage in agriculture shall be restricted to the ownership and control of not to exceed one thousand and twenty-four hectares of land
Reversing the order in which the questions in your communication are presented to me, and replying to the second inquiry, I think an agricultural corporation created under Philippine law can not take and hold of the plantation described, or of any other lands, more than 1,024 hectares.