This is a suit brought by the United States against appellants to enjoin them from continuing, in the District of Columbia, an alleged combination and conspiracy in restraint of trade and commerce in cleaning, dyeing and otherwise renovating clothes, contrary to § 3 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, c. 647, 26 Stat. 209; U.S.C., Title 15, § 3. Appellants answered, setting up affirmatively that they were engaged solely in the performance of labor and rendering service in cleaning, dyeing and renovating wearing apparel and other articles which had passed into the hands of the ultimate consumers thereof, and that this did not constitute trade or commerce within the meaning of the Antitrust Act. Upon motion the answer was stricken from the files, on the ground that the matter pleaded was not a valid defense. Appellants elected to stand upon their answers; and a decree was entered as prayed. The case comes here by appeal under the provisions of the Act of February 11, 1903, c. 544, 32 Stat. 823; U.S.C., Title 15, § 29. Swift & Co. v. United States, 276 U.S. 311, 322; United States v. California Canneries, 279 U.S. 553, 558.
Upon the facts which stand admitted and those affirmatively pleaded by the answers, the sole question to be determined is whether, within the meaning of § 3 of the Sherman Act, appellants are engaged in trade or commerce in the District of Columbia.
The facts, established as above, are that they are carrying on the business of cleaning, dyeing and renovating wearing apparel at plants located in the District, in part, and in some cases principally, at wholesale pursuant to contracts or engagements with numerous so-called retail
Sections 1 and 3 of the Sherman Act provide as follows:
"Sec. 1. Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is hereby declared to be illegal. . . ."
"Sec. 3. Every contract, combination in form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce in any Territory of the United States or of the District of Columbia, or in restraint of trade or commerce between any such Territory and another, or between any such Territory or Territories and any State or States or the District of Columbia, or with foreign nations, or between the District of Columbia and any State or States or foreign nations, is hereby declared illegal. . . ."
The words describing the activity declared to be illegal are the same in both sections, namely, "restraint of trade or commerce." The contention on behalf of appellants is that the words, being identical, should receive the same construction in § 3 as in the preceding § 1; that § 1 rests solely on the commerce clause of the Constitution; that the words "trade or commerce" in § 1 cannot be broader than the single word "commerce" as used in that clause; and that commerce does not include a business such as that carried on by appellants.
It is not unusual for the same word to be used with different meanings in the same act, and there is no rule of statutory construction which precludes the courts from giving to the word the meaning which the legislature intended it should have in each instance. Louisville & N.
Section 1 having been passed under the specific power to regulate commerce, its meaning necessarily must be limited by the scope of that power; and it may be that the words "trade" and "commerce" are there to be regarded as synonymous. On the other hand, § 3, so far as it relates exclusively to the District of Columbia, could not have been passed under the power to regulate interstate or foreign commerce, since that provision of the section deals not with such commerce but with restraint of trade purely local in character. The power exercised, and which gives vitality to the provision, is the plenary power to legislate for the District of Columbia, conferred by Art. I, § 8, cl. 17 of the Constitution. Under that clause,
A consideration of the history of the period immediately preceding and accompanying the passage of the Sherman Act and of the mischief to be remedied. as well as the general trend of debate in both houses, sanctions the conclusion that Congress meant to deal comprehensively and effectively with the evils resulting from contracts, combinations and conspiracies in restraint of trade, and to that end to exercise all the power it possessed. In passing § 1, Congress could exercise only the power conferred by the commerce clause; but in passing § 3, it had unlimited power, except as restricted by other provisions of the Constitution. We are, therefore, free to interpret § 3 dissociated from § 1 as though it were a separate and independent act, and thus viewed, there is no rule of statutory construction which prevents our giving to the word "trade" its full meaning, or the more extended of two meanings, whichever will best manifest the legislative purpose. See United States v. Hartwell, 6 Wall. 385, 396; Sacramento Nav. Co. v. Salz, 273 U.S. 326, 329-330.
We perceive no reason for holding that Congress used the phrase "restraint of trade" in § 3 in a narrow sense. It is true that the word "trade" is often employed as importing only traffic in the buying, selling or exchanging of commodities; but it is also true that frequently, if not generally, the word is used in a broader sense. This is pointed out in The Schooner Nymph, 1 Summ. 516, 517-518; 18 Fed. Cas. 506, No. 10,388. Construing § 32
"The argument for the claimant insists, that `trade' is here used in its most restrictive sense, and as equivalent to traffic in goods, or buying and selling in commerce or exchange. But I am clearly of opinion, that such is not the true sense of the word, as used in the 32d section. In the first place, the word `trade' is often and, indeed, generally used in a broader sense, as equivalent to occupation, employment, or business, whether manual or mercantile. Wherever any occupation, employment, or business is carried on for the purpose of profit, or gain, or a livelihood, not in the liberal arts or in the learned professions, it is constantly called a trade. Thus, we constantly speak of the art, mystery, or trade of a housewright, a shipwright, a tailor, a blacksmith, and a shoemaker, though some of these may be, and sometimes are, carried on without buying or selling goods."
A like view was taken by Pollock, B., in Bank of India v. Wilson, L.R., 3 Exch. Div. 108, 119-120.
We think the word "trade" was used in § 3 of the Sherman Act in the general sense attributed to it by Justice Story and, at least, is broad enough to include the acts of which the Government complains.