Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/248

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I have avoided introducing any sentiment in the treatment of this question, simply presenting its bearing upon a tangible basis; but it is, indeed, a question into the discussion of which sentiment of the highest order should enter; a problem in the solution of which we should be actuated by the grandest conceptions of our duty as citizens of this nation, as citizens of this world, with the solemn creed of one of our great naturalists (Frederick von Müller) before us:

"I regard the forests as a heritage given us by Nature, not for spoil or to devastate, but to be wisely used, reverently honored, and carefully maintained, I regard the forests as a gift intrusted to any of us only for transient care during a short space of time, to be surrendered to posterity again as an unimpaired property, with the increased riches and augmented blessings, to pass, as a sacred patrimony, from generation to generation."



PERHAPS no question of the day is exercising a more important influence on the investments of the country than this question of receiverships, and certainly none is of more importance to the investor in corporation securities, whether it be in their stocks or bonds; for, with the present readiness of our courts to appoint receivers on the slightest excuse, and to hold the properties indefinitely, no one can tell when his property may be taken out of his hands, nor, when so taken, how it will be administered. In fact, this readiness of the courts to appoint receivers, is taken advantage of to wreck corporations in the interest of one class of creditors to the injury of all others, and under it unscrupulous speculators have and are to-day using the mantle of justice to accomplish their ends.

But, as mere assertions prove nothing, it is the purpose of this article to review some of the results that have been reached by this means, not from the standpoint of a lawyer, but from that of a citizen, who has had some experience in this line. It is the view of the writer that the only excuse for a court stepping in to prevent creditors from enforcing their rights is that, pending litigation to dose up a corporation and determine the exact rights of all creditors, the law will appoint receivers to conserve the property; in other words, the court will conserve the property as a whole, until it can determine just what are the rights and equities of all parties concerned, and then make a distribution accordingly, unless in the mean time the corporation shall be shown to be solvent. In the case of an assignee taking possession of an insolvent estate, the law prevents creditors from selling the property piecemeal, making it the duty of the assignee to dispose of it and