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ginia that my remarks were addressed to the amendment offered by the Senator from Colorado and not to that offered by the Senator from Kansas.
Mr. CALL. Mr. President, I shall vote against the amendment, first, because I think it is unworthy of this body. It can produce no possible good effect. This is a bill to regulate interstate commerce. What possible connection has the giving of a pass with that question unless it be to imply that it will influence the votes of members of this body?
That is disproved, first, by the character of the men who are here. It is an insult to this body. Second, it is disproved by the fact that a large majority of this body, it is evident, are in favor of the bill reported by the committee, and there is no possible ground for an imputation so unworthy of this body.
Then it is a subject with which Congress has nothing to do. It can not deal with it except in the light that this body affirm that they believe the members of the body can be influenced by a free pass in the votes which they may give upon the subject.
I do not think that we should enforce a proposition of that kind in the very face of the fact that it is evident now that the body proposes to pass the bill reported by the committee and to go just as far as it is practicable and safe to go in regulating the interstate commerce of the country.
For these reasons, sir, I shall vote against the amendment.
Mr. HOAR. I do not propose to mingle in this debate. I am entirely in favor of the amendment, and I should like to relate an anecdote which I think has a little something to do with what was said by the Senator from Florida (Mr. CALL).
Some twelve years ago, fifteen perhaps, when I was a member of the other House, I was riding on a railroad which led north from this city. The question came up of the matter of using railroad passes by members of Congress, and I had a conversation with an official, a director of that road, who assured me that the company sent their passes to all members of Congress alike, merely because they were engaged in the performance of public business, and he thougbt it would be proper that a road so important to the public should pay that respect to all public men in the habit of traveling over it. When I got back to Washington I repeated the conversation to a very eminent member of the other House, pow dead. He told me that he had always had a pass over that road himself till that present year when his pass had not come. He met the president of the road shortly before and said to him, “You have not sent me the pass this year that you usually do." "No," said the president, "you did not vote for our bill!"
Mr. EDMUNDS. Mr. President, I am afraid that the anecdote means a great deal; but what I think about the amendment of the Senator from Colorado is, what the Senator from Wisconsin has so well stated, that the subsidized roads (saying nothing about those whose subsidies have long since passed, and that we now have no connection at all), those in which we now have an interest as representing the people of the United States, will be put at a disadvantage in respect of getting freight in connection with their competitors who are not subsidized. If the Senator from Colorado will modify his amendment so as to cover not only the subsidized lines but to cover the roads which are within the purview of this act as well and that is the interstate-commerce operation, then I shall vote for his amendment with great cheerfulness,
as I shall for that of the Senator from Kansas which has been offered and is in print. .
I can not move to amend the amendment of the Senator from Colorado becanse it would be in the third degree. As it now stands I think what the Senator from Wisconsin has said is perfectly true that you are offering a premium to the unsubsidized roads to get business away from those that Congress representing the people of the United States want to have on equal terms get all the business they can in order to pay our debt. But that is the effect of the amendment of the Senator from Colorado as it now stands. If he will add to it, I repeat, a provision that all the roads that are within the purview of this act, that is which are in the interstate transportation business, shall come within the same proposition, so as to put the Union Pacific for instance on the same footing as the other interstate roads in respect to passes, then I think it would be a very good amendment indeed and I would vote for it.
Mr. CULLOM. That would include passes to all people.
Mr. TELLER. I shall be very glad to accept the suggestion of the Senator from Vermont if he will put it in shape.
Mr. EDMUNDS. I will try to do that.
Mr. TELLER. I desire myself to relieve these Government roads of what I know and what everybody knows is a great burden. It has seemed to me often that if I were at the head of a great road of that kind I should find some way to relieve the road; but I understand there are difficulties on account of dealing with other roads in handling freight, as suggested by the Senator from Wisconsin, that seem to render it almost impossible for a company of itself alone to make this change. I have no doubt that there is great force in the suggestion made by the Senator from Wisconsin. It had occurred to me. But if there is an evil existing at all in the country with relation to this system of passes, it is in the system of exchanging passes for freight. Railroads enter into combinations by which they agree that the companies doing business in a certain direction, certain lines, shall issue no passes for getting freight; and the first they know one company has been quietly issuing passes and bringing in the freight. Now, if we are to go into this question at all on this hill, we ought to go into it to the extent of making a complete remedy.
I agree with the Senator from West Virginia [Mr. KENNA) that it is not fajr to suppose that anybody here is influenced by the simple pass that he may have over a railroad when legislation is pending affecting it, and I think it would be exceedingly wrong for us now in dealing with this subject to simply say that Senators and Members of Congress and officials of the Government shall not have passes and let the whole question go with that. It is a declaration to the public—it amounts to that-that we believe officials do not do their duty simply because they are allowed to ride free over a railroad. It does not touch the evil that the railroad people complain of. It is a mere nothing. What we want to do is to cut off the pass system as far as we have the power; and now, if the Senator from Vermont is prepared to put his motion in shape, I will accept any suggestions that he may make which will perfect my amendment.
Mr. EDMUNDS. I have written in pencil in the amendment of the Senator from Colorado a few words which I think will cover it.
Mr. CULLOM. I should like to hear the whole amendment as proposed to be amended.
Mr. EDMUNDS. But I should like to have read first what I have inserted by permission of the Senator from Colorado..
The PRESIDENT pro tempöre. The amendment will be read.
That it shall not be lawful for any railroad company within the purview of this act, or for any railroad company chartered or created by the United States. or any railroad company that has at any time received aid or assistance from the United States, either in money or by grant of land, to issue passes to any person or persons, or to allow any person or persons to travel on said railroad or any part thereof at and for a rate less than that charged for general travel over railroads, save and except the officers and employés of such railroad.
Mr. EDMUNDS. That is as far as we have power to go. Mr. TELLER. I accept the amendment. Mr. SEWELL. How will you get over the contract in the charter of State roads which are obliged by their charters to issue to the judges and executive officers and members of the Legislature of the States, &c., free passes? How are you going to override that?
Mr. EDMUNDS. I do not want to override it, because I can not. That is the only reason why I do not want to do so. This modification that I have suggested to the Senator from Colorado only applies to the operations that are within the purview of this act—that is, operations from one State to another.
Mr. SEWELL. The roads within the purview of this act are covered.
Mr. EDMUNDS. The roads within the purview of this act. Therefore if any railroad in New Jersey, for instance, that is bound by its charter to give a State judge a pass over its road, undertakes to give that judge a pass by an arrangement with the Pennsylvania Railroad, for instance, from Hoboken to Pittsburgh, crossing the State line, then I say, charter or no charter, the Congress of the United States in regulating the transportation of persons from State to State has a right to say that it will not allow it. The State of New Jersey can give as many privileges by its laws to the members of its courts as it pleases within its own boundaries, but it can not give them beyond; and therefore if Congress has a right to pass this bill at all, as I believe it has most fully, it has a right to say that there shall be fair play and equality, which is the whole theory of the bill, among everybody, and that favoritism shall not be extended to anybody.
Mr. LOGAN. Mr. President, on looking at this amendment it does strike me that if there is anything that is calculated to make this bill ridiculous before the country it is this proposition. If there is anything that could be calculated to satisfy the country that we were trying to do exactly what the railroads wanted us to do, this certainly would be sufficient evidence of it. Now, I do not say that this is not a proper amendment, or that the views of those who believe the railroads ought not to give passes are not proper, or that there is any intention of an improper character in connection with it; but when the Congress of the United States commence dealing with a great measure of interstate commerce like this in such a manner as to make the whole country believe that they are afraid of themselves, that they distrust themselves and their own honesty, that they are afraid of their own course of conduct, it is not becoming the dignity of such a body. In order to make the people believe that they are perfect in everything they want to enact a law to prevent them from accepting a pass from a railroad company, or any one else! There is member of Congress required to accept a pass. There is no law requiring a member of Congress or his family to accept a pass to-day; and why do you have to pass a law against yourselves or against the people for fear you will do something that might be criticised? It strikes me as a very small piece of business for the Senate of the United States. If a raiiroad or a steamship company or a steamboat owner or a coach proprietor or a man driving a wagon chooses to haul me without charge, he has a perfect right to do it, the same as I have a right to take you in a carriage, or you me, down the Avenue.
What an idea, that the Senate of the United States shall attack a bill of great magnitude like this by putting upon it a provision that no man, woman, or child shall be hauled by a railroad unless he or she pays his or her fare! Why, sir, if a man is dealing with great quantities of goods and he passes them over a railroad and the railroad chooses to give him a pass or to pass him free, whose business is it except the business of the two parties? What business has Congress to deal with a proposition of that kind, because there is a difference between the fare of one man and another, where it is no violation of law?
But I have observed in Congress time and again that if there is any. thing we can do to convince the people that we ought to have sateguards thrown around ourselves for our own self-protection, we are always ready to do it. Why, sir, when the franking privilege was abolished it was abolished because there was a cry against it, that bureaus were sent under the franks of members of Congress, and that their clothes were sent home, and all such nonsense as that. Congress rushed to the rescue at once and passed a law prohibiting themselves from sending documents free in the mail, but allowed every officer of the Army from a lieutenant up, every clerk in a Department, to send “penalty en velopes" without paying a cent, and they reserved to themselves the privilege of paying their own postage, and thought they were making the world believe that they were more honest than other people.
In this bill we find commissioners provided for who are to get $7,500 per annum. A member of Congress gets $5,000, and for fear the member of Congress might accept a pass or a frank on a telegraph line, or something of that kind, we pass a law declaring to the world that unless we prohibit ourselves from doing it we are sure to do it; and in order to make the thing look as though we were not afraid of ourselves we amend it by saying that no other person shall use a pass. We are getting a little jealous of other people now inasmuch as we restrict ourselves by the amendment of the Senator from Kansas, and now we propose to apply it to everybody else for fear people would say we are alarmed at our own honesty and therefore we take in all the rest of mankind.
I may be wrong about this; I may, perhaps, vote solitary and alone, as I very often do; but I have at least the nerve to do that which I believe to be right, I do not care whether it applies to a railroad corporation or anything else. In my own State and everywhere else-and you all know it-Legislature after Legislature has prohibited its members from receiving passes from railroads. Why? Because they wanted the people to think that they were more honest than others; and yet I notice they all ride up and down the railroads everywhere without paying fare.
Is this going to prohibit railroads from giving free transportation? You say they shall not give you transportation at more reduced rates than others. What does that mean? That you shall be charged the same as anybody else and anybody else the same as yourself. Suppose a railroad ticket agent down here should hand me a ticket the price of which is $20 or $15 or $10, or whatever it may be, instead of a pass. Is that a violation of the law? Perhaps you would say it violates this law. How will you get at it? I have a ticket; that ticket is valued at so much; it takes me over the road, and you can not stop it.
I will not say it is a piece of demagogism, because it would not be proper to use such a term, and I do not wish to use it because I do not think that is the intention of it; but we have so long kept ourselves in the pathway of a certain belief and prejudice against every man who has public office or who is prominent in this country that we have led the people to believe that nearly every man in public life is dishonest. It is by that character of weakness which we show before the country that causes men to believe that there is dishonor among those who hold prominent positions.
Now, sir, I do not propose to tell my constituents that I am going to be bought with a railroad ticket. They do not believe it, and I am not going to vote that I can be bought with a railroad pass, nor am I going to vote that any of my constituents can. If one of my constituents accepts a pass on a railroad, let him accept it. If the railroad proprietors choose to give it to him, it is their business and not mine. If one of my constituents ships large amounts of grain or other merchandise to the East and a railroad man chooses to take him through because of the fact that his transactions are great in connection with that transportation agent, I can not object. It is his right, his privilege, the right and the privilege of a railroad company orof an individual. If I choose to-day to invite twenty-five of my friends to go with me to Chicago and I pay their transportation, whose business is that? It is theirs and mine. What is the difference in the principle? Everybody knows I am able to do it; therefore if I am and I choose to put my hand in my pocket and pay their transportation to Chicago, it is no man's business but mine and theirs.
But you would have it understood that if some person in the Senate wanted his friends to go somewhere and should give them a pass or buy them a railroad ticket, there was something underneath that which was dishonest, that he bad some motive that he was going to produce some result, that he was going to use those friends that he had taken to Chicago and paid their fare for some improper purpose, and hence he could buy them by paying their fare from here to Chicago. Is there a Senator in this Chamber, who if he is invited with a dozen others by a gentleman to go with him anywhere and return, and the fare is paid, will walk back into the Senate and feel that he is under obligation to vote for the first bill that the Senator reports? I hope not. I hope there is no one here who feels himself so small that if some man invites him to dinner or invites him to go somewhere and pays his fare or has a ticket for him, he is under obligation to support him in something that he desires? I hope nobody here believes that.
Mr. President, if we continue as we have for a few years making the country believe that we are all so well to do in the world that we want to pay for everything as we go and make everybody else do it, I suppose the result will be that they will send here all the poor men they can find who are able to pay all these expenses ! Do you not know that very doctrine has been taught in this Chamber by men heretofore in reference to striking your postage down, striking down everything that might be an accommodation, without any man thinking of it as an inducement to men to be elected to Congress and other places who have