MR. JUSTICE HARLAN delivered the opinion of the Court.
Petitioner, the Secretary of Labor, brought suit to enjoin respondents from violating the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 52 Stat. 1060, as amended, 29 U. S. C. § 201 et seq. Respondents, two closely affiliated subsidiaries of a common corporate parent, share an office in Louisville, Kentucky. They are engaged in the business of making personal loans, in amounts up to $300, to individuals, and in purchasing conditional sales contracts from dealers in furniture and appliances. Respondents share the services of a common manager and nine full-time and two part-time employees.
By pretrial stipulation and concessions at trial, respondents in effect conceded that an injunction should issue
As concededly more than 50 percent of respondents' loan and discount business is with Kentucky residents and none of it involves "resale" transactions, the sole question involved in this litigation is whether respondents should be considered as "retail or service establishment[s]," engaged in the making of "sales of goods or services," within the meaning of § 13 (a) (2). The burden is, of course, upon respondents to establish that they are entitled to the benefit of the § 13 exemption, since coverage apart from the exemption is admitted.
After trial the District Court found that respondents had not proved that they are a "retail or service establishment" within the meaning of § 13 (a) (2), and issued an injunction restraining respondents from further violating the Act. 150 F.Supp. 368. The Court of Appeals reversed. 254 F.2d 8. We granted certiorari, 358 U.S. 811, to resolve the conflict between the decision of the court below and that of the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Aetna Finance Co. v. Mitchell, 247 F.2d 190.
Until 1949, § 13 (a) (2) exempted from the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards
The present § 13 (a) (2) differs from its predecessor primarily in the addition of a definition of the term "retail or service establishment," such an establishment being one "75 per centum of whose annual dollar volume of sales of goods or services (or of both) is not for resale and is recognized as retail sales or services in the particular industry; . . ." Respondents argue that they plainly come within this definition because (1) more than 75 percent of their loan and discount business is "not for resale," and (2) their activities are recognized in the financial industry as being the "retail end" of that industry. They claim that the intent of Congress in the 1949 amendment was to provide that "local" business was exempt from the overtime requirements of the statute, and that their activities are precisely the kind the § 13 exemption was designed to embrace.
We do not think the issue before us can be disposed of so simply. The Government points out that the concept of "sale" is inherently inapposite to the lending of money at interest, and urges that because respondents cannot
This is not a case where perforce we must attempt to resolve a controversy as to the true meaning of equivocal statutory language unaided by any reliable extrinsic guide to legislative intention. On the contrary, the debates and reports in Congress with reference to this section of the statute are detailed and explicit. To those legislative materials we now turn.
The legislative history of the 1949 amendment to § 13 (a) (2) demonstrates beyond doubt that Congress was acting in implementation of a specific and particularized purpose. Before 1949 the Administrator, in interpreting the term "retail or service establishment," then nowhere defined in the statute, had, in addition to excluding from the coverage of the exemption personal loan companies and other financial institutions, ruled that a business enterprise generally would not qualify as such an establishment unless 75 percent of its receipts were derived from the sale of goods or services "to private persons to satisfy their personal wants," on the theory that sales for business use were "nonretail."
Congress was dissatisfied with this construction of the statute, and over the objection of the Administrator, who
Any residual doubt on this score is dispelled by the explicit and repeated statements of the sponsors of the amendatory legislation and in the House and Senate Reports to the effect that "The amendment does not exempt banks, insurance companies, building and loan associations, credit companies, newspapers, telephone companies, gas and electric utility companies, telegraph companies, etc., because there is no concept of retail selling or servicing in these industries. Where it was intended that such businesses have an exemption one was specifically provided by the law . . . ."
MR. JUSTICE STEWART took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.
Respondents urge that statements of this kind have no application to them because they are not "credit companies," in that such term properly is to be restricted to commercial credit companies. We agree with the observation of the Court of Appeals in Aetna Finance Co. v. Mitchell, supra, at 193, that this contention is "quite unconvincing." There is nothing which indicates that Congress was using the term "credit companies" in any specialized sense, and indeed one of respondents' own expert witnesses testified that personal loan companies are "credit institutions." We think it clear that the House and Senate Conferees used "credit companies" to mean nothing more nor less than companies which deal in credit, as respondents concededly do.