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relief and corporate reorganization. Nine bills were enacted in the 81st and 82nd Congresses (1949–1952). With some exceptions to be mentioned, these covered narrow points. One minor amendment was made in 1953 and five in 1956. For various reasons the Act has been amended in twenty of the last twenty five years.? H.R. 5195, 85th Cong. 1st Sess., sponsored by the National Bankruptcy Conference, embodies much needed amendments to section 70c and to section 67c and related subdivisions of the Act. H.R. 6787, proposing a minor amendment to section 57j, may be merged with it before its enactment. Chances of enactment in the 85th Congress seem favorable, but for over half a century (except in 1933 and 1935, when depression afforded extraordinary stimulus) all bankruptcy amendments of equal or greater importance have had to wait for the second sessions of Congress, which fall in even years.3

The Act has never been completely revised and formally reenacted, but the Chandler Act of 1938 completely rewrote the laws of composition and corporate reorganization bankruptcy, made special provision for arrangements affecting real property and for wage earner plans, and revised all but a few relatively unimportant sections of the chapters of the Act relating to ordinary bankruptcy. The first edition of this pamphlet, published in 1939, contained annotations chiefly commenting on the changes introduced by the Chandler Act. The form of these notes has been modernized and references to newer cases and periodicals have been added in later editions. Recent developments have been noted. The changes of most general interest since the Chandler Act are the Referee's Salary Act, June 28, 1946, an amendment to section 60, defining a preference, approved March 18, 1950, and the post-war II “non-controversial” National Bankruptcy Conference bill amending 54 sections of the statute, which was approved July 7, 1952. Most of the 1952 amendments were formal or trivial, but a few were of substantial importance. The extent of each amendment back to and including the Chandler Act has been not

2 The exceptional years were 1941, 1943, 1947, 1954 and 1955. The list of statutes was lengthened by repeated extensions of section 75, for the relief of farm debtors, originally conceived as emergency legislation. The provisions for composition of the debts of municipal corporations were also the subject of considerable tinkering.

3 Amendments answering this description were enacted in 1910, 1926, 1934, 1936, 1938, 1946, 1950, 1952.

4 The proponents of the Chandler Act were disinclined to undertake re. vision of the farm debtor, railroad reorganization, and municipal corporation sections (8875–81) and feared that the form of a comprehensive bill would invite proposals or controversies on one or more of those topics.


ed in an appropriate place following the section or subdivision in question. Earlier amendments have also been noted, but the treatment of some of the less important of these has been abridged. The text embodies all amendments through 1956. None have been made in 1957 up to the date of going to press in May.

The index has again been brought up to date.5


May 2, 1957

5 The official short title "The Bankruptcy Act" was conferred by the Act of Dec. 20, 1950, P.L. 879, 81st Cong., 64 Stat. 1113. Until then the formal designation was “The Bankruptcy Act of 1898, as Amended”.

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