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a natural conclusion that the power to rectify the unfair conditions should be lodged somewhere. It is more natural that it should be with the Commission which is charged with the general consideration of transportation matters. In the past the Interstate Commerce Commission has been more or less of a farce because of its lack of power. This condition was recognized by the President in his message to Congress, and, now that there is such indubitable proof as to this matter, it should be enough to convince even Congress that immediate action should be taken one way or the other.
Racine (Wis.) Journal.-The Nelson bill, amending the interstatecommerce law, prepared in the interest of the people, seems to fit the
It is plain enough that if the people are not to be further confirmed in their impression that the Commission is but a plaything—an excuse for a number of estimable citizens to draw commodious salaries-it will be necessary that Congress take some action and endow its measures with the life qualities that will take the dead wood out of it. The Nelson bill proposes to make a distinctive advance, and, if Congress pleases, it can give the Interstate Commission a new lease of life and dress it up with the garment of legal respectability that will bring to it that measure of respect from the transportation companies they have hitherto denied it.
Oshkosh (Wis.) Times. -With all its defects the interstate-commerce act has accomplished much good. In the first place it has been construed by the Supreme Court of the United States, and the powers of the Interstate Commerce Commission under the act are beginning to be known. The railroads and big corporations under the law.
Congress has no more important and urgent duty before it, in the interest of the great majority of the shippers of the country, than that of amending the interstate-commerce act so as to rendered it more effective. The demand for this is so overwhelming that it would seem hardly possible that Congress can fail to heed it. There is no other question affecting our domestic affairs as to which the commercial interests of the country are so nearly unanimous. Whatever diversity of opinion there may be as to particular propositions, there is a very general agreement that the law should be strengthened and that the Interstate Commerce Commission should bave its powers enlarged. Yet there appears to be doubt whether anything will be done, at least at the present session.
Milivaukee ( Ilis.) Free Press. If it is the purpose of the railway companies to create a sentiment of opposition to the enactment of the proposed amendment of the interstate-commerce law, their action seems singularly shortsighted, for the effect is likely to be exactly the opposite, and to lead to a keener realization of the absolute necessity of some Government department or commission standing between the railways and the people to see that exact justice is done.
Some of the more progressive railway officials, like those of the Pennsylvania Company, recognize the growing demand for equality in railway rates, the justice of such a demand, and the certainty that a much longer continued policy of opposition may result in the overthrow of the party in power, and will probably lead to the adoption of much more severe measures than are now proposed.
Milwaukee (Ilis.) News.—The conviction that the only solution of the transportation problem lies in Government ownership and operation is rapidly growing, having received a strong impetus from the recent merging of vast railway interests. With the immense power possessed by the railway corporations, they are enabled to control legislation. They have their representatives in the legislatures.
Milwaukee (Wis.) Sentinel.-The Interstate Commerce Commission merely secures under this act (the Corliss bill) the power which, for instance, is possessed by the Treasury Department, whose orders and decisions are upheld and enforced until decided by the courts to be unlawful or erroneous. In the case of the railroads they would have opportunity to present evidence on their side and to facilitate action of the courts instead of putting obstacles in their way, as heretofore.
Milwaukee ( Wis.) Evening Wisconsin.--Here is another demonstration of the necessity of clothing the Interstate Commerce Commission with power to enforce its decisions. It is intolerable that boards of railway directors should be permitted to arbitrarily build up one locality and tear down another, to line their own pockets at the expense of the public which gave them their charters and patronage.
There is at the present time, and there will be hereafter, greater necessity than in the past for the existence of a body like the Interstate Commerce Commission, clothed with full powers to protect the people from injustice at the hands of the common carriers. This necessity is the outcome of the consolidation of railway interests. Consolidation and merging and community of interest arrangements, which tend to unite alĩ the railway interests of the country under a common management, tend also to abolish competition. The decisions. of the Interstate Commerce Commission should be made immediately operative and continue in force until suspended or overruled by the courts.
Congress should cloth the Commission with the powers proposed to be conferred upon it by the Nelson bill.
Milwaukee (Wis.) Sentinel.–One of the results of the recent investigations of the Interstate Commerce Commission has been to develop a respect for the interstate commerce law that has lain dormant for several years in the minds of traffic men; and local representatives of Eastern railroads have recently been cautioned by the traffic officials that the law with its severe penalties for violation is still on the statute books and that infractions are very likely to be followed by punishment.
Milwaukee Free Press.- The plan of having an impartial administrative board like the Interstate Commerce Commission, composed of experts in matters of transportation and vested with sufficient power to enforce its findings, seems so reasonable as to lead to the hope that the railway companies will not succeed in defeating the bill to be introduced covering the case.
Atlanta (Ga.) Journal.--There is a bill now before Congress to do something that will give the Commission the power to do something. Everybody who can vote for Federal legislation in Georgia's name is for this bill, and we hope it will be passed. Unless Congress shall amend the interstate-commerce act and give the Commission power to enforce it, it had better be repealed.
Birmingham (Ala.) News.—The Interstate Commerce Commission can not enforce its orders with sufficient celerity or completeness to do any good, and, for that reason, it is largely an ornamental body. Congress should by all means so enlarge its scope as to give it such authority that the edicts which it has been designated to issue can be carried to effect.
Really Congress has no very intricate proposition before it in the double plea of the Commission. Give the Commission, to start with, such scope of authority (and no more) as is proper, then clothe it with power to enforce the orders made within its lawful territory and, finally, open the books of the corporations to the public at such periods and within such limitations, just alike to both sides, and the problem has been solved.
Willimantic (Conn.) Chronicle.--The amendment but gives the Commission those powers which the framers of the original interstate-commerce law meant to confer and thought they were conferring, and which the railroad companies accepted as within the jurisdiction of the Commission, until about three years ago, when the Supreme Court made a decision which had the effect of rendering the Commission impotent.
Wichita. (Kans.) Eagle. — The only way to satisfy the people is an amendment to the law insuring prompt relief from discriminations. This can only be done by strict control through the Interstate Commerce Commission, and our Senators and Congressmen can do no less for their constituents than to support the Nelson-Corliss bill.
Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger.- No question to be considered at this session of Congress is of so much importance to the commercial welfare of the country and to the people generally as that embodied in the bill proposing to strengthen the interstate commerce act so as to make the rulings of the Commission binding and effective until reversed by the courts.
Newark (N. J.) News.-Failure in practical power to enforce its own decisions has been the crying defect in the operations of the Interstate Commerce Commission. What good is there in jurisdiction if mandatory power exists only in name? There is a strenuous demand for some effective revision of methods of procedure over the whole country, and the strong pleas of commercial bodies have been affirmed by resolutions of a number of State legislatures. Under the present conditions it is generally known that the decisions of the Interstate Commerce Commission are little more than a dead letter when railroads care to ignore them, which is more often than not.
Grand Forks (N. Dak.) Herald.—The present session of Congress should be marked by some action that will increase the powers of the Commission to something like what they ought to be. Should Congress expire without something done we may look for the greatest railroad war in history. Some of the railroad men profess to desire the extension of the powers of the Commission, but the fact is on record that the Commission, even with the powers that it does possess, was only created after twenty years of the most active opposition that the railroads could give it.
Sioux Falls (S. Dak.) Argus-Leader.—Ever since the passage of the Cullom law, in 1887, efforts have been made to so amend the law as to make it effective. These all have failed. The railroad companies have been able to control a sufficient number of Congressmen to block any effort to make the law effective. It would now appear, however, that either the big lines have concluded to obey the law themselves and help make the weaker ones do it, or that certain of the Congressional strength has turned against them.
Sioux Falls (S. Dak.) Argus-Leader.—The railroads have admitted that they pay rebates to favored shippers; that some men get much lower rates than others, and are thus assisted in driving the others out of business. This being so, any right-minded person will join in the demand that the laws be so reconstructed that this sort of thing will be made impossible, or, when it is committed, the offenders will be brought summarily to justice.
Memphis (Tenn.) Appeal.--It is clear that the work of the Commission as now constituted is rather futile. It has not been able to prevent discriminations. It has not been able to have its recommendations respected or its decrees enforced. Now, the objection that the gentlemen composing the Commission are not qualified to tix rates is hardly valid, in view of the fact that a circuit judge might exercise
The only question involved is the most practical way of correcting rate discriminations, which are violations of the law. If this is too delicate a matter for the five eminent lawyers to decide, it is too delicate a matter for a circuit judge, or indeed for any legal tribunal, to decide. We shall either have to conclude that there is no practical remedy for rate cutting and unjust rates, and that the Interstate Commerce Commission ought to be abolished, or the power lodged in that tribunal to enforce its judgments as any other court can do.
Salt Lake (Utah) Ilerald.--If Congress, in spite of the railroad lobby, which may be depended upon to make a hard fight against it, should pass the Corliss bill, a long step would be taken in the direction of proper Government supervision of the railroads of the country. The present powers of the Commission consist mainly of the right to use moral suasion that is, if it finds that a railroad company is giving heavy rebates to large shippers, as was freely admitted at the Chicago hearing, all it can do is to beg the magnates to be good. Of course, the Commissioners are laughed at. Railroad companies, as a rule, don't treat all men alike, unless they are made to do so. The
purpose of the Corliss law is to put all on an equal footing, and it should be passed.
WASHINGTON, D. C., May 27, 1902. Hon. S. B. ELKINS, Chairman Committee on Interstate Commerce,
United States Senate,
Washington, D. C. Sir: The following organizations have indorsed Senate bill 3575, to amend the act to regulate commerce, and have adopted resolutions requesting the Senators and Representatives from their respective States and districts to give the same their active support, in addition to the organizations mentioned in the testimony given by me before your honorable committee on the 9th day of April last, making an aggregate of 94 organizations located in 29 different States.
NATIONAL AND STATE ORGANIZATIONS.
Indiana Grain Dealers' Association; Massachusetts State Board of Trade; National Grange, Patrons of Husbandry; National Association of Railway Commissioners; Southern Hardware Jobbers' Association; Utah Wool Growers' Association; Western South Dakota Stock Growers' Association.
Colorado.—Lincoln County Cattle Growers' Association.
New Haven Chamber of Commerce.
Cleveland Retail Coal Dealers' Association.
EDWARD P. Bacon,
THURSDAY, April 17, 1902. At the sitting of the committee on Thursday, April 17, 1902, the following-named gentlemen appeared: William R. Corwine, representing the Merchants' Association of New York; John V. Barnes, president of the New York Produce Exchange; Samuel T. Hubbard, president of the New York Cotton Exchange; Robert W. Higbie, representing the National Lumber Dealers' Association and the New York Lumber Dealers' Association; John D. Kernan, representing the New York Produce Exchange; David Bingham, chairman of the committee on freight rates and differentials, of the New York Produce Exchange; Charles N. Chadwick, representing the Manufacturers’ Association of New York; Mr. Clapp, representing the New York Produce Exchange; T. W. Tomlinson, representing the National Live Stock Exchange and the Chicago Live Stock Exchange; R. S. Lyon, representing the Chicago Board of Trade; Frank Barry, of Milwaukee; N. B. Kelly, secretary of the Trades League of Philadelphia; George F. Mead, representing the Boston Chamber of Commerce and the New England Manufacturers' Association; and J. B. Daish, representing the National Hay Association.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM R. CORWINE.
The CHAIRMAN. Please state your residence, business, and whom you represent.
Mr. CORWINE. I represent the Merchants' Association of New York, under instructions from its officers to attend these hearings here. I am also a member of the executive committee appointed by the Interstate Commerce Law Convention, held at St. Louis in November, 1900, which committee prepared the bill now before Congress known as the Nelson-Corliss bill. The Merchants' Association of New York, which