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CUDAHY PACKING CO., LTD. V. HOLLAND, 315 U. S. 357 (1942)

U.S. Supreme Court

Cudahy Packing Co., Ltd. v. Holland, 315 U.S. 357 (1942)

Cudahy Packing Co., Ltd. v. Holland

No. 245

Argued February 4, 1942

Decided March 2, 1942

315 U.S. 357


1. The Fair Labor Standards Act does not confer upon the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, Department of Labor, authority to delegate the power to sign and issue subpoenas duces tecum. Pp. 358, 367.

2. The Act gives to the Administrator all the powers with respect to subpoenas which are conferred upon the Federal Trade Commission, and no more. P. 315 U. S. 360.

3. Section 4(c) of the Act, providing that

"The principal office of the Administrator shall be in the District of Columbia, but he or his duly authorized representative may exercise any or all of his power in any place,"

means only that the Administrator and his representatives may exercise either within or without the District of Columbia such powers as they respectively possess, and this construction is fully supported by the legislative history. P. 315 U. S. 360.

4. An unlimited authority in an administrative officer, charged with the duty of gathering data and of making investigations, to delegate the exercise of the subpoena power is not lightly to be inferred, in view of the oppressive use which may be made of it when indiscriminately delegated and when the subpoenas are not returnable before a judicial officer. P. 315 U. S. 363.

5. It is fair to infer that in granting authority to delegate the power of inspection, and in omitting to grant authority to delegate the subpoena power, the Act shows a legislative intention to withhold the latter. P. 315 U. S. 364.

6. The entire history of the legislation controlling the use of subpoenas by administrative officers, and particularly the legislative history of the Fair Labor Standards Act, indicates a Congressional purpose not to authorize by implication the delegation of the subpoena power. P. 315 U. S. 364.

7. The structure of the Trade Commission Act lends no support to the view that as incorporated in the Fair Labor Standards Act it gives to the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division an implied

Page 315 U. S. 358

power to delegate the signing and issuance of subpoenas to persons undesignated by the statute, a power not granted to or exercised by the Commission or its members. P. 315 U. S. 366.

119 F.2d 209 reversed.

Certiorari, 314 U.S. 592, to review a judgment sustaining a Judgment of the District Court which required the present petitioner to produce books, papers, and records relating to wages and hours, as demanded by a subpoena issued by a regional director of the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, but which postponed the question whether other books and records, relating to purchases and shipments, which were specified in the subpoena, should also be produced.

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