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DEBATE

ON

INTERSTATE COMMERCE,

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 1884.

*

INTERSTATE COMMERCE.

Mr. REAGAN. Mr. Speaker, there is nothing before the House, and I therefore ask to take up for present consideration the special order, being House bill No. 5461 to establish a board of commissioners of interstate commerce and to regulate such commerce.

Mr. GEORGE D. WISE. I do not understand that we have disposed of my resolutions. I ask, by unanimous consent, that they be printed in the RECORD.

The SPEAKER. They have been read by the Clerk, and, as a matter of course, they will go into the proceedings.

Mr. O'NEILL, of Pennsylvania. What is the regular order? The SPEAKER. The regular order is the morning hour for the call of committees for reports, but the gentleman from Texas (Mr. REAGAN] calls up the special order made during the last session, which the Clerk will read.

Mr. REAGAN. I also desire to submit some remarks on that bill.

Mr. O'NEILL, of Pennsylvania. I ask for the regular order of busiDess.

The SPEAKER. The special order which the gentleman from Texas indicates takes precedence.

Mr. O'NEILL, of Pennsylvania. Has it precedence over the morning hour?

The SPEAKER. It has.

Mr. REED. But the gentleman from Pennsylvania can raise the question of consideration. Is not there unfinished business?

Mr. KEIFER. I should also like to inquire of the Chair whether this is a special order fixed for this day?

Mr. REAGAN. It was made the special order from day to day until disposed of.

The SPEAKER. It is a continuing special order.

Mr. KEIFER. But does it do away with Rule XXVII, which provides after six days from the commencement of the second or subsequent session of a Congress all bills and resolutions, &c., of the preceding Congress shall come up in their order? Can any special order come within those six days, is the proposition 1 submit to the Chair, unless the

special order has been set apart expressly for a day within those six days? If made by unanimous consent, perhaps we might bring it within that time. But in the absence of any such special character given to this specialorder, I would like to know whether it does away with the twentyseventh rule of the House.

The SPEAKER. The Chair had some difficulty in determining what construction ought to be put upon that twenty-seventh rule, but found on examination it had been construed heretotore by Mr. Speaker Blaine, who held it did not prohibit the House from proceeding in its regular order. It made it imperative on the House, however, to proceed with the regular order after the expiration of six days.

Of course the question of consideration can be raised against this special order as against any other.

While there is some doubt as to the real meaning of the rule the Chair feels disposed to adhere to the construction put upon it heretofore by Mr. Speaker Blaine.

Mr. KEIFER. What is that?

The SPEAKER. That it does not contain any negative proposition at all against the House proceeding in regular order. It is imperative, however, that after the expiration of the six days the House shall proceed with its regular orders.

Mr. O'NEILL, of Pennsylvania. I call for the morning hour, which, as I understand, is the regular order of business at this time.

The SPEAKER. But the gentleman from Texas calls up a special order, which has precedence over the regular order.

Mr. O'NEILL, of Pennsylvania. Had this special order ever been taken up before?

The SPEAKER. It had not. The gentleman from Texas called it up during the last session of Congress on several occasions, but in every instance the question of consideration was raised against it and it was not considered. As the Chair has already said, the gentleman from Pennsylvania can raise the question of consideration if he desires to

Mr. O'NEILL, of Pennsylvania. Can we raise the question of consideration against it in any other way than by demanding the morning hour?

Mr. REAGAN. I ask unanimous consent to have the bill read.

Mr. O'NEILL, of Pennsylvania. I raise the question of consideration.

Mr. REAGAN. Let the bill be read.

Mr. O'NEILL, of Pennsylvania. I raise the question of consideration against this bill, and I do so because the House is not full at this time, and this is too important a subject of legislation to be acted on without a quorum. No one understands the importance of this subject more than the gentleman from Texas, and I am sure he will not ask to have it considered at a time when the House is thin,

The SPEAKER. The matter is not dehatable.

Mr. REAGAN. I hope I may be allowed to proceed without further interruption.

The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Pennsylvania has raised the question of consideration.

Mr. ANDERSON. Did not the gentleman from Pennsylvania raise the question of consideration too late? The gentleman from Texas had previously called up the special order and was occupying the floor.

do so.

The SPEAKER. As soon as the gentleman from Texas called up the special order the gentleman from Pennsylvania raised the question of consideration, and the Chair thinks he was in time.

Mr. O'NEILL, of Pennsylvania. And I think the House had now better refuse to consider it.

The SPEAKER. The question is, Will the House proceed to the consideration of the special order indicated by the gentleman from Texas ?

The House divided ; and there were--ayes 130, noes 10.

So the House determined to proceed to the consideration of the special order.

Mr. REAGAN. I ask by unanimous consent of the House that the bill and substitute which I propose to offer for it shall be printed, for the convenience of members, in the RECORD.

Mr. HISCOCK. I wish to inquire of the gentleman from Texas when he expects to call for a vote?

Mr. REAGAN. Just as soon as the House will consent. I desire an early disposition of the question. It seems to me it can be disposed of in two or three days.

The SPEAKER. The bill has not yet been read.

Mr. REAGAN. Let the bill and my proposed substitute be read and go into the RECORD.

The Clerk read as follows:

A bill (H. R. 5161) to establish a board of commissioners of interstate com

merce, and to regulate such commerce. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all charges by any person or persons engaged alone or associated with others in the transportation of property by railroad from one State or Territory to or through one or more other States or Territories of the United States, or to or from any foreign country, shall be reasonable for such scrvice.

SEC. 2. That it shall be unlawful for any person or persons so engaged as aforesaid directly or indirectly to charge to or receive from any person or persons any greater or less rate or amount of compensation or reward than is by him or them charged to or received from any other person or persons for like and contemporaneous service in the carrying, receiving, delivering, storing, or handling the same under substantially similar circumstances; and all persons engaged as aforesaid shall furnish, without discrimination, the same facilities for the carriage, receiving, delivery, storage, and handling of all property of ike character carried by him or them, and shall perform with equal expedition the same kind of services connected with the contemporaneous transportation thereof as aforesaid. No break, stoppage, or interruption, nor any contract, agreement, or understanding, shall be made to prevent the carriage of any property from being and being considered as one continuous carriage, in the meaning of this act, from the place of shipment to the place of destination, unless such stoppage, interruption, contract, arrangement, or understanding was made in good faith for some practical and necessary purpose, without any intent to avoid or interrupt such continuous carriage or to evade any of the provisions of this act.

SEC. 3. That it shall be unlawful for any person or persons engaged in the transportation of property as aforesaid directly or irríirectly to allow any rebate, drawback, or other advantage in any form, upon shipments made or services rendered as aforesaid by him or then, which, under similar circumstances, are not allowed to all other persons.

SEC. 4. That it shall be unlawful for any person or persons engaged in the carriage, receiving, storage, or handling of property as mentioned in the first section of this act to enter into any combination, contract, or agreement, by changes of schedule, carriage in different cars, or by any other means, with intent to prevent the carriage of such property from being continuous from the place of shipment to the place of destination, whether carried on one or several railroads; and it shall be unlawful for any person or persons carrying property as aforesaid to enter into any contract, agreement, or combination for pooling of freights, or to pool the freights, of different and competing railroads, by dividing between them the Aggregate or net proceeds of the earnings of such railroads, or any portion of them.

SEC. 5. That the provisions of this act shall apply to all property, and the re ceiving, delivery, loading, unloading, handling, storing, or carriage of the same, on one actually or substantially continuous carriage, or as part of such contin. ous carriage, as provided for in the first section of this act, and the compensation therefor, whether such property be carried wholly on one ilroad or partly on several railroads, and whether such services are performed or compensation paid or received by or to one person alone or in connection with another or other persons.

Sec. 6. That any railroad company, oflicer of such company, or other person who shall violate any of the provisions of this act shall be liable to any person injured for the actual damages caused by such violation, which may be recovered in any State or United States court of competent jurisdiction. The court before which any such action is tried, if it shall be found that the violation was willful, or continued after the notice provided by the tenth section of this act, shall make an allowance by way of additional costs to the party injured sufficient to cover all his counsel and attorney fees, and all expenses and disbursements in the action, including his own necessary personal expenses.

SEC. 7. That any corporation or person violating this act is guilty of a misdemeanor, and subject to a fine of not exceeding $1,000 for each violation. The courts of the United States shall have exclusive jurisdiction of all prosecutions arising underthis section. It shall be the duty of district attorneys of the United States to institute and prosecute to effect eriininal proceedings for all such' violations. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the first section of this act.

SEC. 8. That there shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, three commissioners, of whom one shall be of experience in the law and one of experience in railroad business, who shall be collectively known as the commission of interstate commerce of the United States, and shall be charged with the duty of carrying into effect the provisions of this act in respect of interstate commerce. One of said commissioners shall hold his office for the term of two years, one for the term of four years, and the other for the term of six years, to be respectively designated by the President, and thereafter said commissioners shall be appointed for the term of six years; and a comunissioner appointed to ally vacancy shall hold office for the unexpired term. Any one of said commissioners may be removed by the President for cause, but not otherwise. 'Said commissioners shall devote their whole time and abilities to the duties of their orlice, and shall not accept or engage in any office or employment inconsistent with the provisions of this act. If either commissioner, after his appointment, shall be, or shåll become by inheritance or operation of law, pecuniarily interested in any railroad or railroad security, he shall, within thirty days, divest himself of such interest; and upon his failure to do so, or upon his voluntarily becoming interested in any such railroad or railroad security, his oflice shall become vacant. No commissioner shall participate in any hearing or proceeding in which he has any pecuniary interest whatever. Each cominissioner shall receive an annual saliry of $7,500 payable like the salaries of the judges of the courts of the United States: Provided, That before entering upon the discharge of their duties they shall, in addition to the oath required of them by law, take and subscribe to an oath that they are neither directly nor indirectly interested in the ownership or earnings of any railroad company whatsoever.

SEC. 9. That the said commission shall exercise only the powers by this act conferred. Said cominission may appointa clerk, whose duty it shall be to keep a full and faithful record of the proceedings of said commission, and otherwise to assist the members thereof in the performance of their duties, and who shall receive an annual salary of $2,500); and also one accountant, at : amal salary of $2,500. Tire Secretary of the Interior, at the request of said commission, may also furnish the commission such additional clerical, engineering, expert, or other service as they may request and he shall deem proper. Actualand netessary traveling and other expenses incurred by said commissioners, or theiremployés under their orders, shall be allowed them, for which vouchers shall be rendered. The commissioners, their experts and clerks, may pass and repass over any railroad engaged in interstate commerce free of charge, whenever engaged in the performance of their duties under the provisions of this act, but neither shall accept any other pass, gratuity, or favor whatever from any railroad company.

SEC. 10. That any person complaining of anything done or omitted to be done by any railroad company or person in violation or contravention of this act may, in addition to the remedies hereinbefore provided, apply to said commis. sion hy petition in writing, which shall briefly state the subject of such complaint. If the petition is signed by any board of trade or other commercial body, or, when signed by an individual, if it bears the certificate of any district attorney of the United States, or of any district or county attorney, or officer

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