Appeal No. 9, March T., 1957, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, July T., 1954, No. 2172, in case of Todd L. Curll et al. v. The Dairymen's Cooperative Sales Association. Decree affirmed.
Henry E. Rea, Jr., with him Robert G. MacAlister, and Metz, McClure, Hanna & MacAlister, for appellants.
E. Lowry Humes, with him Fred C. Kiebort and Humes & Kiebort, for appellee.
A. Evans Kephart, for amicus curiae.
Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno, Arnold, Jones and Cohen, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE CHIDSEY
The appeal in this action in equity presents the basic question: Has the board of directors of the defendant, a milk producers' cooperative association organized under the Act of April 30, 1929, P.L. 885, as amended, 14 PS § 81 et seq., the power to express the cooperative's approval or disapproval of the possible issuance by the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States of a Federal marketing order which would, inter alia, fix minimum producer prices for milk, without submission of the matter to a vote of the stockholders
of the cooperative? The additional question arises: Was the action in equity by some of the individual producer-stockholders*fn1 prematurely instituted?
In his adjudication the chancellor, answering both of these questions in the affirmative, entered a decree nisi denying the prayer for injunctive relief and dismissing the plaintiffs' bill. Exceptions thereto were overruled by the court en banc which adopted the decree nisi as a final decree. This appeal followed. Inter-State Milk Producers' Cooperative which has operated in the Philadelphia milk market area under both Federal and State marketing orders since 1942,*fn2 filed a brief amicus curiae in support of appellee's position.
On or about May 13, 1954, the board of directors of the defendant cooperative submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States a proposed Federal order for what is defined and termed the Pittsburgh District covering an area wholly within but about half of the Pittsburgh milk marketing area as established by the Pennsylvania Milk Control Commission.
The Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, 7 U.S.C.A. § 601 et seq., 50 Stat. 246, was enacted, as stated therein, to establish and maintain orderly marketing conditions for commodities (including milk and its products) in interstate commerce and provides for marketing agreements exempt ...