A decision of the Supreme Court of the State of Washington declares constitutional certain legislation intended to check the secret society fraternity abuse in schools. An action was commenced by a schoolboy on behalf of the members of his school fraternity against the board of school directors of school district No. I in Seattle, to restrain them from enforcing certain rules which deprived members of Greek letter fraternities of the privileges of the high school excepting attendance at classes. The complaint alleged that all the members of the fraternity were of school age and entitled to all the high school privileges; that they were unjustly prohibited from belonging to debating clubs, athletic teams, school bands, glee clubs, orchestras, cadet corps, and other kindred organizations of the school; that unless they should withdraw from the fraternity they would be deprived of the customary honors attending graduation; that they enjoyed no privileges except attending classes; that the offensive rules were in excess of lawful authority; that the fraternity was in every way unobjectionable; that its meetings were held at the homes of members with the consent of their parents every two weeks, in the evening from eight to ten O'clock and never during school hours, and that the school authorities were without jurisdiction. The trial court denied the application for an injunction, and has just been sustained in its position by the unanimous decision of the highest tribunal of the State of Washington.

Subpoenas have been served by the United States Marshal on the controllers, treasurers, and heads of the claim departments of the Great Northern, the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Omaha, the Minneapolis and St. Louis, and the Wisconsin Central Railroads, directing them to appear before a special grand jury in the United States District Court in Minneapolis this week with the books and records of their respective departments. This action is said to have been taken as a result of the investigation of an agent of the Department of Justice of the Federal Government of the giving of rebates by the railroads of the Northwest in connection with the shipments of freight.

The New York Central Railroad Company and its general traffic manager were each found guilty on six counts of giving unlawful rebates in 1904 to the American Sugar Refining Company, by a jury in the United States Circuit Court, Criminal Branch, last week. The conviction makes each of the defendants liable to a fine of $20,000 for each separate offence, or a fine of $120,000 for the railroad and the same amount for its employe. The indictment indicates that about $26,000 was secured by the Sugar Trust in unlawful drawbacks on the transactions set up.

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October 27, 1906

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