H. P. Hood & Sons, Inc. v. United States
307 U.S. 588 (1939)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

H. P. Hood & Sons, Inc. v. United States, 307 U.S. 588 (1939)

H. P. Hood & Sons, Inc. v. United States

No. 772

Argued April 25, 26, 1939

Decided June 5, 1939*

307 U.S. 588

Syllabus

1. Objections, on constitutional grounds, to the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, and to certain features of an order of the Secretary of Agriculture made thereunder, overruled upon the authority of the Rock Royal case, ante p. 307 U. S. 533. P. 307 U. S. 595.

2. The finding and proclamation required of the Secretary of Agriculture by § 8(e) of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 to justify an order based on purchasing power during the post-war period specified in that section, rather than upon the pre-war period mentioned in § 2 -- that is to say, a finding and proclamation that the purchasing power of the commodity regulated cannot be satisfactorily determined for the pre-war period from available statistics of the Department of Agriculture -- need not be repeated in connection with an amendment of the order which does not involve any change of the base period, although it is declared by § 8(17) that the provisions of § 8(e) applicable to orders "shall be applicable to amendments to orders." P. 307 U. S. 595.

3. A referendum to producers, under § 8c(9)(B) and § 8c(19) of the above-mentioned Act, of amendments to an order regulating the handling of milk in the marketing area of Boston and vicinity, was properly restricted to producers who sold their fluid milk to handling plants licensed by the state law to distribute or sell fluid milk in the marketing area and which had shipped milk or cream to that area during the representative period. So held in the light of the object of the regulation, which was to remedy marketing evils caused by a surplus of fluid milk. P. 307 U. S. 597.

The referendum election was not invalidated (a) by denying the vote to producers who sold to handlers not licensed to sell milk, but only cream, in the marketing area; (b) by allowing the vote to producers who sold their milk at plants which shipped only cream to the marketing area during the representative period,

Page 307 U. S. 589

but which were licensed to sell fluid milk in that area, and could have done so; (c) by allowing the vote to producers not registered as required by the state law, but whose milk was sold in the marketing area by licensed handlers; or (d) by permitting the vote to producers who sold to stations which shipped less than 50 percent of the milk to the area during the representative period.

4. At such a referendum, a cooperative association of producers may vote for its members. P. 307 U. S. 509.

. 5. An order of the Secretary of Agriculture which regulated the prices of milk sold by producers to licensed handlers for a marketing area, and which required such handlers to pay through an equalization fund -- construed as including milk bought of unregistered farms and sold in violation of the state law. P. 307 U. S. 599.

6. Assuming that, under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, reinstatement of a suspended order should be supported by a finding that the reinstatement will tend to effectuate the policy of the Act, the omission can be supplied by an appropriate finding on repromulgation of the order with amendments. P. 307 U. S. 602.

21 F.Supp. 321, 26 F.Supp. 672, affirmed.

Certiorari, 306 U.S. 627, 629, to review decrees of a District Court granting mandatory injunctions in two suits brought by the United States and the Secretary of Agriculture to enforce a marketing order regulating prices of milk and milk products in an area comprising the City of Boston and adjacent settlements. The original defendants were three milk dealers. Two milk producers, one of whom is the petitioner in No. 865, intervened as defendants. Upon interlocutory appeal, the Circuit Court of Appeals gave an opinion which is reported as H. P. Hood & Sons, Inc. v. United States, 97 F.2d 677. The writs of certiorari were issued while the cases were pending in that court upon appeals from the final decrees.

Page 307 U. S. 590

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