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ceived from or paid by each person, firm or corporation engaged in the manufacture of salt,” etc.

In 1905, by Act No. 323, these sections were amended so that the foregoing clauses thereof read as follows, viz.:

"That no salt manufactured or mined in this State after this act takes effect shall be sold within or exported from this State. * * * In case any manufacturer or producer of salt shall knowingly sell or export or permit to be sold or exported, salt," etc.

The forgoing clauses of section 5 are as follows:

"In case any person, firm, company or corporation shall neglect or refuse to pay such inspection fees on demand at his, their, or its office, manufactory or mine, the party so refusing shall be liable in an action therefor, * * * and it shall be lawful for the inspector and his deputy to refuse to inspect salt manufactured at the works, manufactory or mine so in default until the amount due is paid. * The inspector shall keep just and true accounts of all money received under this section, and an account of the amounts received from or paid by each person, firm or corporation engaged in the production of salt.

* *

* "

It is said this is the first place in the statutes where the mining of salt is mentioned or referred to in specific terms, and that the reason for this amendment is made clear by reference to the report of the State salt inspector for the year 1906 in which the following appears:

"The Detroit Salt Mining & Manufacturing Company are constructing a mine from which they expect to mine salt in about a year. They are down 360 feet, and making 50 feet a month. They expect to mine salt at a depth of 900 feet."

Nowhere does he refer to salt mining or to a salt mine except in the paragraph above quoted. This shows that a new method of producing salt was being inaugurated in this State, namely, that of mining it. The company referred to was sinking a shaft for the purpose of reaching the bed of rock salt which they proposed to mine by the

same means and in the same manner as other minerals and ores are usually mined.

Counsel also call attention to Act No. 404, Local Acts 1901, as showing that the legislature of the State of Michigan does not regard the manufacture of salt as a mining business (the first section of this act reads: "All corporations organized under the laws of this State for the purpose of owning and operating street railroads in the county of Saginaw by electric motive power are hereby authorized and empowered to sell, dispose of or utilize their surplus or waste steam in the manufacture of salt," etc.), and argue that this law shows it was the intention of the legislature that salt might be manufactured by the utilization of surplus or waste steam.

Attention is called to the fact that the secretary of State, whose legal adviser is the attorney general, approved the articles of incorporation, not only of the respondent, but also of all the corporations before mentioned, many of which stated the purposes of the corporation were for the conduct of a general manufacturing business, and "also for the purpose of manufacturing salt and salt barrels in connection with said manufacture of lumber, and also buying and selling lands, lumber, and salt, and doing a general lumber and salt business."

We have not referred to all that is shown by the record and the references therein, but we think they establish the following propositions made by counsel:

"(1) The State of Michigan has in every way encouraged the manufacture of salt since its first discovery in the State. It never was made successfully until the lumber mills took it up, using their refuse to evaporate the brine.

"(2) Corporations have been organized throughout the State to make salt in connection with manufacturing lumber. The most of them organized under the manufacturing act of 1885. All of them thought they had the right to make salt, and the State, through its various administrative officers, believed the same thing.

"(3) Every one during all these years has acted on the theory that these companies were legally organized, and were legally making salt.


(4) The respondent has reported every year to the State that it was making salt.

"(5) The State salt inspector, when respondent started to build its salt block, reported the facts to the State that respondent was investing large sums of money to manufacture this product, that was beneficial to the people at large. The State knew that it was doing this, claiming the right to do it under its charter.

"(6) The legislature through the report of its committee knew that it was common for corporations organized to make lumber to also manufacture salt; that lumber companies all over the State where brine was found were exercising this right. From this report and the annual reports of the State salt inspector, the State knew that the only economical and practical way to make salt was in connection with the sawing of lumber.

"(7) The State, by its salt inspectors, has inspected and put its stamp of approval on every barrel of salt that respondent has ever made, and collected from respondent a tax for doing so.


(8) Not only respondent but many other companies in the State organized under manufacturing company acts are making salt. They have invested millions of dollars in the enterprise with the knowledge and approval of the State."

We get back then to the question: Is the pumping of brine, running it into vats, and evaporating the water by the use of exhaust steam, and, when the mill is not running, by live steam made by burning fuel which otherwise would be useless waste, the manufacture of a food product, to be governed by the manufacturers' act, or is it a mining operation resulting in the production of a mineral within the meaning of the mining law of the State? The fact that counsel as able and learned as those engaged in this controversy differ as to which of these acts should control, indicates that the construction of the two statutes bearing upon this controversy is not entirely clear and free from doubt. The construction of a statute was before the court in People v. Railroad Co., 145 Mich.

140 (108 N. W. 772). In the opinion by Justice MONTGOMERY, the following language is used:

"For the purpose of aiding in the construction of the statute, the court may revert to the history of the times, and ascertain, by such records as courts are authorized generally to take judicial notice of, what construction has been adopted by other departments of government. It appears from these that to the knowledge of the executive department, of the legislative and legal departments of the State, and with the full approval of the latter, the defendant has for over a century or more reported for taxation only such capital and loans as were employed in constructing a railroad within the State.

* * *

"We are of the opinion that the practical construction of the executive and legislative branches of government so long continued should be held decisive of the legislative intent, and upon this question assent to the reasoning of Mr. Justice GRANT."

In the opinion of Mr. Justice GRANT he uses this language:

"If, however, there were any doubt about the construction to be placed upon this amendment, and this at least must be conceded, the parties to the contract have, by a uniform course of conduct for nearly fifty years, given it a construction. Where parties by such a uniform course of conduct for a long time have given a contract a particular construction, that construction will be adopted by the courts."

To the same effect are the following authorities: Cooley's Constitutional Limitations (6th Ed.), pp. 83, 84; United States v. Finnell, 185 U. S. 236 (22 Sup. Ct. 633); United States v. Johnston, 124 U. S. 236 (8 Sup. Ct. 446); Union Ins. Co. v. Hoge, 21 How. (U. S.) 35; Scanlan v. Childs, 33 Wis. 663; Board of Com'rs of Franklin Co v. Bunting, 111 Ind. 143 (12 N. E. 151); State v. Kelsey, 44 N. J. Law, 1; Board of Street Opening Case, 12 Misc. Rep. 526 (33 N. Y. Supp. 594); Attorney General v Bank of Newbern, 21 N. C 216; Commonwealth v. Mann, 168 Pa. 290 (31 Atl. 1003); Harrington v. Smith, 28 Wis. 43; Westbrook v. Miller,

56 Mich. 148 (22 N. W. 256); City of Detroit v. Chapin, 108 Mich. 136, 142 (66 N. W. 587, 37 L. R. A. 391); City of Muskegon v. County of Muskegon, 123 Mich. 272 (82 N. W. 131); Attorney General v. Glaser, 102 Mich. 409 (61 N. W. 648).

Applying these principles of law to the case before us, we think it clear the judgment of the court ought not to be disturbed. Having reached this conclusion, it is unnecessary to discuss the other questions raised by the record.

Judgment is affirmed.





A cross-bill can be sustained only on matters growing out of the original bill and embraced in it.


In a suit by a husband to restrain his wife from engaging in

business in competition with him, wherein the wife filed an answer to the bill and asked by a cross-bill for a divorce on the theory that he had, by extreme cruelty, compelled her to leave him, and she was obliged to compete with his business in order to support herself, the matters averred in the crossbill were germane to the bill. MOALVAY, J., dissenting.


By a reconciliation and a resumption of marital relations, after the filing of a bill for divorce by the wife on the ground of cruelty, the acts relied on in her bill were condoned.

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