A FIREMEN’S RELIEF FUND DECISION.
Insurance Commissioner Clunie, of San Francisco Cal., has been beaten on every point with respect to his action in the matter of the Firemen’s Relief Fund and is held by the United States Circuit court to have “acted arbitrarily and illegally” and to have “greatly exceeded his authority.” The decision of the Supreme court of California as to the unconstitutionality of that fund is upheld, on the grounds that it is municipal taxation. The decision adds that the commissioner’s authority is limited to passing upon the form of the bonds and the financial responsibility of the sureties. That the bonds were statutory in form was never once questioned, nor was the responsibility ot the sureties. The court,therefore,holds that the commissioner had no right to declare the bonds invalid for other reasons,nor any right to refuse bonds or withhold license because cf membership in boards of fire underwriters. Judge McKenna’s decision in the same court, sustaining the validity of the board is indorsed. Judge Morrow rules that the com missioner has no power to revoke a certificate, except when a company is insolvent or has transferred a case to a Federal court. If the company is insolvent, the commissioner must report it to the attorney-general, who must take action. The entire decision is satisfactory to the underwriters in San Francisco. The point, thus decided is important in its bearing on firemen’s relief funds elsewhere.