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It may be added that the enactment every year of seven hundred or more statutes by the New York Legislature is a positive evil already too long continued.


Ootober 1, 1909.


The legislature of the State of New York, May 5, 1880, passed an act (ch. 170) to provide for the compilation and revision of the laws affecting banks, banking and trust companies, as follows:

" SECTION 1. Within twenty days after the passage of this act, the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, is authorized to appoint three persons as commissioners to compile and revise all statutes of the State of New York affecting banks, banking and trust companies which shall be in force at the time such commissioners shall make their report, and in the execution of their duties, said commissioners shall have free access to any of the public records and papers of the State, and be permitted to examine the same without fee or reward.

"$ 2. When the said commissioners shall have completed the compilation and revision of the statutes as aforesaid, they shall cause a printed copy of the same to be submitted to the legislature for the year eighteen hundred and eighty-one, and at the same time, they shall suggest to the legislature such omissions, contradictions and other imperfections as may appear in the original text, with their recommendations for amendment, either by repeal, or by supplementary or explanatory legislation, with their reasons for such recommendations.

"$ 3. Each of said commissioners shall serve without pay. " $ 4. The reasonable expenses of said commissioners for clerical services, and other incidental disbursements, provided the same does not exceed the sum of five thousand dollars, shall be paid to them from time to time, upon their requisition therefor upon the Comptroller of the State, to be paid into the treasury by the banks, banking and trust companies in the same manner as other expenses of the banking corporations are now paid.

"$ 5. In case the said commissioners, or either of them, shall refuse to act in the premises, or shall die, resign or remove from the State before the completion of the duties assigned to them, it shall be the duty of the Governor to appoint others or another in their or his stead, who shall have the powers aforesaid.

"§ 6. This act shall take effect immediately.”

Under this act Governor Cornell appointed George B. Sloan, of Oswego, David C. Van Cott, of Brooklyn, and the author, commissioners for the purposes indicated in the law. The then Comptroller of the State was of opinion that the wording of the fourth section of the act was not sufficient authority to warrant his paying the expenses of the commissioners from the funds at that time in the State Treasury. This defect in the original law, however, was remedied at the session of the succeeding legislature by an act passed June 3, 1881 (ch. 445), amending the above-quoted fourth section so as to read as follows:


§ 4. The reasonable expenses of said commissioners, providing the same does not exceed five thousand dollars, shall be paid to them from time to time, upon their requisition therefor upon the Comptroller of the State, out of any funds remaining in the treasury of the State and not otherwise appropriated, to be paid into the treasury by the banks, banking and trust companies in the same manner as other expenses of banking corporations are now paid.”

Mr. Sloan during the meantime having resigned, William Dowd, of the city of New York, was appointed his successor. Mr. Van Cott ceased to act as a member of the commission, and Mr. Dowd and the author began the preparation of the Revision. Mr. Dowd's knowledge of practical banking was of service. He is entitled to high praise in this connection, as well as in all the other relations of a busy life. The Revision became a law July 1, 1882 (ch. 409), the repealing act, in connection with the same, having passed the same day (ch. 402). In preparing the Revision, the author's attention was repeatedly called to the necessity for such a work as this volume is intended to be. The book would be incomplete without the addition of the constitutional provisions and special statutes of this State applicable to banking corporations. The relations between the State and National banks are of such a character that the same remark may be made in connection with the National Bank Act and cognate statutes. To say that the preparation of the work has been a difficult task, involving very arduous labor, is a statement hardly necessary to be made to any member of the Bar who may have occasion to refer to it. It is a labor performed without the slightest pecuniary reward. There is no calling in which promptness and accuracy are more valuable than in banking. It is believed that this volume will facilitate a ready reference to any required statute, thus avoiding that fertile source of litigation, a want of knowledge of the law. To few can memory of the numerous statutes afford a safe guide, to say nothing of the explanatory decisions, without the aid of which mistake is almost unavoidable. In conclusion, it is hoped that this work is free from errors. If, however, any are found, the attention of the author should be called to them by addressing him through the Banking Department. As the statutes are changed, and new decisions are rendered, this work, it is expected, will be continued.


December 22, 1884.


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This work has met with much greater success than was anticipated, and an effort has been made in revising this edition to make it still more acceptable. While it contains much new matter, the number of pages, by reason of the omission of old material and through the use of smaller type, has not been very materially increased.


March 1, 1889.

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