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Merchant v. Chapman, 4 Allen, 362; Orcutt v. Nelson, 1. Gray, 543; Waldron v. Romaine, 22 N. Y. 368; Ramsey & Gore Co. v. Kelsea, 55 N. J. L. 320; Cotte v. Harden, 4 East. 211; Brown v. Hodgson, 2 Camp. 86; Groning v. Needham, 5 Maule & S. 189; 2 Kent. Com. 499; Crossman v. Lurman, 192 U. S. 189, 198.

The sellers' act in delivering the merchandise to the common carrier, or carrying the merchandise to the carrier's depot (if that is taken to be in effect alleged), is not any part of the interstate transportation, and does not make the goods the subject of interstate commerce. Coe v. Errol, 116 U. S. 517, 528.

The fact that the sale is made with a view to the goods being transported by the buyer's agent to another State after the sale and delivery is fully completed, does not make the sale interstate commerce.

The sales alleged in the third paragraph of the bill, by agents of the owners in other States and Territories to whom the owners of the fresh meats have shipped the same for sale there by such agents on the ground, are not incidents of interstate commerce. Coe v. Errol, 116 U. S. 517, 525; Kidd v. Pearson, 128 U. S. 1, 23; United States v. E. C. Knight Co., 156 U.S. 1, 13, 17; Austin v. Tennessee, 179 U. S. 343; Crossman v. Lurman, 192 U. S. 189, 198; Am. Harrow Co. v. Shaffer, 68 Fed. Rep. 750; Stevens v. Ohio, 93 Fed. Rep. 793.

Under the allegations here in question, it is to be taken that the meats, before the sales here referred to are made, have come to their place of rest and are at rest for an indefinite time awaiting sale at their place of destination, and are a commodity in the market where ihe sales are made; and that the sales are not in the "original packages"; and that the meats, at the time of the sales, have become a part of the general property in the State where sold, and are there handled and sold as such, Southern Coal Co. v. Bates, 156 U. S. 577, 588; Broun v. Houston, 114 U. S. 623, 632; Emert v. Missouri, 156 U'. S. 296, 310; Singer Mlig. Co. v. Wright, Gi Georgia, 123.

The point here made is entirely consistent with the rulings

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in many cases, that the owner of merchandise, who transports it from one State to another for sale, has a right (which cannot be interfered with by state or municipal laws) to sell it as an article of interstate commerce. He also has a right to make such article part of the general property of the State into which it is taken, and he then has the right to sell and others have the right to purchase it as an article of domestic commerce, which cannot be interfered with by Federal law. The Sherman Act does not seek to and could not interfere with that right. United States v. E.C. Knight Co., 156 U. S. 1, 15, and Kidd v. Pearson and Veazie v. Moor, there cited. But this bill here does seek to interfere with that right. Again, the point here made is not touched by the line of decisions holding that state or municipal laws are invalid, which, by taxation or other regulations, discriminate against merchandise brought from another State, or seek to prevent interstate commerce therein, -such as Welton v. Missouri, 91 U. S. 465; Walling v. Michigan, 116 U. S. 446; Minnesota v. Barber, 136 U. S. 313; Brimmer v. Rebman, 138 U. S. 78, and Schollenberger v. Pennsylvania, 171 U. S. 1, 24, 25.

The bill of complaint does not show any contract, combination or conspiracy in restraint of interstate trade or commerce within the meaning of the Sherman Act.

It does not allege any acts of defendants monopolizing or attempting to monopolize or combining or conspiring to monopolizė such trade or commerce.

If the act in question be given a construction which would sustain this bill of complaint, the statute would be unconstitutional.

The alleged offenses complained of are set forth in the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh paragraphs of the bill. As to the sixth and seventh paragraphs wé maintain: The allegations of combination and conspiracy here are of mere legal conclusions. That the purchases of live stock referred to in the sixth and seventh paragraphs, as therein alleged, are not interstate commerce.

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The first paragraph of the bill in which the business of purchasing live stock for slaughter is set forth and described, does not allege or show that the business is interstate commerce.

The description of the live stock in the sixth paragraph, as live stock produced and owned principally in other States and Territories, and shipped by the owners to the places where sold, for sale to persons engaged in producing and dealing in fresh meat, does not show that the sales of the live stock are interstate commerce. The live stock, when offered for sale in the pens of the stock yards, are, under the allegations of fact in the bill, to be considered as having become part of the general mass of property of the State where offered for sale. The defendants purchasing the live stock have the right so to treat and deal therewith. Brown v. Houston, 114 U. S. 622, 632; Pittsburgh Coal Co. v. Bates, 156 U. S. 577, 588, 589; Emert v. Missouri, 120 U. S. 489, 497. When purchased, the live stock is, under the allegations of this bill, at rest for an indefinite time, awaiting sale at its place of destination. Diamond Match Co. v. Ontonagon, 188 U. S. 82, 92.

The defendants have as much right, then, to treat and deal with and purchase such live stock as an article of domestic commerce as the State has so to treat it for the purposes of taxation or regulation. This bill seeks to interfere with that right under the Sherman Act.

If the sworn allegations of the bill in this respect were to be supplemented by other facts, as matters of common knowledge, with respect to the situation of the live stock when sold, such as appeared in the Hopkins and Anderson cases, the case of the Government would be no better. It would then appear that the cattle and other live. stock are shipped to commission merchants at the stock yards; are then placed in the pens

of the stock yards companies, and there held, cared for and fed by the stock yards company for the account of the commission merchants, and under the allegations here it must be taken that their bulk is broken up; they are divided into lots and sold and delivered by the commission merchant as the principal or

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owner thereof, and so are not purchased as articles of interstate commerce.

But if these purchases of live stock are interstate commerce, the acts alleged in the sixth and seventh paragraphs are not violations of the Sherman Act. Hopkins v. United States, 171 U. S. 591; Anderson v. United States, 171 U. S. 604. They are the exercise of a constitutional right of defendants to control their own business.

There is nothing in the bill to show the proportion of the entire number of head of live stock offered for sale at the markets in question, which is bought by the defendants for the purposes of the production of fresh meat; and so there is nothing to show anything like monopoly or attempt at monopoly of the live stock purchases by the defendants.

There is nothing in the bill to show any attempt on the part of the defendants to control or affect the purchases or business in the purchases of live stock of any other persons than themselves. The alleged combinations by defendants in the sixth and seventh paragraphs charged have to do merely with their own business conduct in themselves buying live stock, or determining how much they shall buy, at private sale for consumption in their own private business.

The combination charged in the sixth paragraph, for directing their respective purchasing agents "to refrain from bidding against each other, except perfunctorily, and without good faith,” does not allege a combination to restrain trade; or even a combination to refrain from bidding. A perfunctory bid, made without good faith, is one which the seller could accept and enforce.

The alleged combination in the seventh paragraph, "for bidding up, through their respective purchasing agents, the prices of live stock for a few days at a time at the said stock yards and open markets," does not charge a combination to restrain trade.

These alleged combinations do not have the direct and immediate effect of restraining interstate commerce, but their

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effect, if any, upon interstate trade in live stock is indirect and incidental, within the meaning of the decisions of this court. The effect is not near so direct or immediate as the mutual agreement of the traders who were members of the Traders' Exchange in the Anderson case.

Obviously the supply of live stock for fresh meat greatly varies in the market at different seasons and times, while the demand for fresh meats for human consumption, for which defendants purchase such live stock, is comparatively constant and uniform.

It is a public benefit and not a public evil that defendants should always be able to supply such constant demand for their fresh meats, and that at the same time they should not overstock the market with their perishable meats. This makes it proper that they should act with some concert and common understanding in their purchases of live stock for that purpose.

As to the eighth paragraph we contend: The allegation of combination and conspiracy is of a mere legal conclusion, and insufficient. The sales of fresh meats by agents of defendants, as there described, under the facts alleged, are not interstate commerce. But if it be interstate commerce, no violation of the Sherman Act is thereby shown.

No criminal conspiracy is alleged. The charge there is not of a combination or conspiracy to restrain trade (which the statute forbids), but is of a combination or conspiracy to do a lawful act, the exercise of a constitutional right, viz: to raise, lower, fix and maintain their own prices, for their own property, in private sales thereof by themselves. The doing that is not prohibited or made criminal by the Act of Congress.

A criminal conspiracy is an agreement of two or more, either to do an act criminal or unlawful in itself, or to do a lawful act by means which are criminal or unlawful. Pettibone v. United States, 148 U. S. 203; Commonwealth v. Shedd, 7 Cush. 514. Here neither the act nor the means alleged are criminal or unlawful. The allegation of intent is immaterial. Stevenson v. Newham, 13 C. B. 285; Allen v. Flood, App. Cas. 1.

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