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Section 12(a) of the Act provides, in part that no producer, manufacturer or dealer shall ship or deliver for shipment in commerce any goods produced in an establishment situated in the United States in or about which within 30 days prior to the removal of such goods therefrom, any oppressive child labor has been employed. Section 12(a) then provides an exception from this prohibition in the following language:
Provided, That any such shipment or delivery for shipment of such goods by a purchaser who acquired them in good faith in reliance on written assurance from the producer, manufacturer, or dealer that the goods were produced in compliance with the requirements of this section, and who acquired such goods for value without notice of any such violation, shall not be deemed prohibited by this subsection * * *.
Section 15(a)(1) provides, in part, that it shall be unlawful for any person to transport, offer for transportation, ship, deliver, or sell with knowledge that shipment or delivery or sale thereof in commerce is intended, any goods in the production of which any employee was employed in violation of section 6 or 7 of the Act or any regulation or order of the Administrator issued under section 14. Section 15(a)(1) also provides the following exception with respect to this "hot goods" restriction:
* * * any such transportation, offer, shipment, delivery, or sale of such goods by a purchaser who acquired them in good faith in reliance on written assurance from the producer that the goods were produced in compliance with the requirements of the Act, and who acquired such goods for value without notice of any such violation, shall not be deemed unlawful.
The most important portion of the legislative history of those provisions in sections 12(a) and 15(a)(1) which relate to the protection of purchasers is found in the following discussion of the amendment to section 15(a)(1), contained in the Statement of the Managers on the part of the House appended to the Conference Report on the Fair Labor Standards Amendments of 1949: 4
4 H. Rept. No. 1453, 81st Cong. 1st sess., p. 31.
This provision protects an innocent purchaser from an unwitting violation and also protects him from having goods which he has purchased in good faith ordered to be withheld from shipment in commerce by a "hot goods" injunction. An affirmative duty is imposed upon him to assure himself that the goods in question were produced in compliance with the Act, and he must have secured written assurance to that effect from the producer of the goods. The requirement that he must have made the purchase in good faith is comparable to similar requirements imposed on purchasers in other fields of law, and is to be subjected to the test of what a reasonable, prudent man, acting with due diligence, would have done in the circumstances. (Emphasis supplied.)
This discussion would appear to be generally applicable also to the similar provisions of the Act contained in section 12(a).