[315 U.S. 637, 638] Mr. Wm. Cattron Rigby, of Washington, D.C., for petitioner.
Mr. Henri Brown, of San Juan, P.R., for respondents.
Mr. Justice BYRNES delivered the opinion of the Court.
By Joint Resolution of May 1, 1900, the Congress provided that 'every corporation hereafter authorized to engage in agriculture (in Puerto Rico) shall by its charter be restricted to the ownership and control of not to exceed five hundred acres of land.' 1 This limitation was carried over into the present Organic Act of Puerto Rico enacted on March 2, 1917.2 In 1935 the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico enacted two laws to provide the means of enforcing the Congressional prohibition. Act No. 33 conferred upon the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico exclusive original jurisdiction over quo warranto proceedings instituted for violations of the 500 acre law. 3 Act No. 47 authorized the Attorney General of Puerto Rico or any district attorney to bring such quo warranto proceedings in the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico against any corporation violating the Organic Act, and provided further that when any corporation is 'unlawfully holding ... real estate in Puerto Rico, the People of Puerto Rico may, at its option, through the same proceedings, institute in its behalf the confiscation of such property, [315 U.S. 637, 639] or the alienation thereof at public auction, within a term of not more than six months counting from the date on which final sentence is rendered.'