« PreviousContinue »
I should not like to say to such men as ex-Senator Thurman, Judge Cooley, Roscoe Conkling, A. S. Hewitt, A. J. Cassatt, and a dozen others whom I might name, that before acting in this capacity they would have to divest themselves of everything that they owned in the world in all probability, for that class of men as a general thing have their investments in railroad securities.
A man who is thoroughly equipped, thoroughly competent to fill this position, certainly has amassed something in life. If he has not, it is an evidence that he is not fit for the place, in my opinion. The provision which governs the judges of our courts up to the Supreme Court, certainly ought to be sufficient to protect the country against the acts of these commissioners.
I do not think, looking at it from a business standpoint, as a business man, that we ought to require gentlemen who are competent to fill this position to divest themselves of everything they have got and put it out of their hands.
Therefore, I move an amendment which I send to the desk to be read.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The amendment of the Senator from New Jersey will be stated.
The CHIEF CLERK. In section 8, line 21, after the word “act,” it is proposed to strike out the words “ or owning stock or bonds thereof, or who is in any manner pecuniarily interested therein;" so as to read:
No person in the employ of or holding any official relation to any.common carrier subject to the provisions of this act shall enter upon the duties of or hold such office.
Mr. CULLOM. I only wish to say a word about the amendment. While it may not be of very great consequence, yet the fact is that there is scarcely a State in the Union which has a railroad commission that has not such a clause in the law creating it. I think myself that it is a proper provision. Whether such gentlemen as the Senator has named have their pockets full of the bonds or securities of railroads or not, I do not know; but I know a good many men in this country who unfortunately have not, who I think would make very good commissioners. I believe myself, in view of the history of the different States upon the subject, that we ought to leave the words stand as they are.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The question is on the amendment of the Senator from New Jersey.
The amendment was rejected.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Chair calls the attention of the Senator from Illinois to a blank in the last section of the bill.
Mr. CULLOM. Yes, I intended to have that filled, if there are no other amendments to be offered.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. There are no other amendments offered.
Mr. CULLOM. I propose to insert in the last section of the bill the words “one hundred," so as to read “one hundred thousand dollars."
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The amendment will be stated.
The CHIEF CLERK. It is proposed to fill the blank in section 21 before the word “thousand” by inserting the words “ one hundred," 80 as to read:
That the sum of $100,000 is hereby appropriated for the use and purposes of this act for the fiscal year ending June 30, A. D. 1887, and the intervening time anterior thereto.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The question is on agreeing to the amendment of the Senator from Illinois.
The amendment was agreed to.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. If no further amendment be proposed, the bill will be reported to the Senate.
Mr. BROWN. I have one more amendment which I wish to offer before the bill is reported to the Senate. In section 4, line 6, before the word "provided," I move to insert:
And this provision shall apply to transportation by common carriers on rivers as well as by railroads.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. . The question is on agreeing to the amendment of the Senator from Georgia.
Mr. CULLOM. That subject has been discussed, and I hope the amendment will not be adopted.
Mr. BROWN. There has been some discussion on the subject, it is true, but there has been no vote of the Senate on the question that I am aware of.
I know there may be a great deal of difficulty about regulating on the ocean or on the lakes the transportation companies under the provisions of the bill; but why steamboats running on the Mississippi River should have the privilege of charging more for the shorter than the longer haul, which is practiced every day, and why they should be left perfectly free from control while the railroads running alongside of them are put under this control, I am unable to see.
There is no difficulty about embracing the rivers. The railroads are a distinct class, and the committee has taken them in and made the act apply to them. The rivers are as much a distinct class as contradistinguished from either an ocean or a lake.
There are probably 30,000 miles of navigable rivers in the United States. Why should not the provisions of the bill apply as well to the transportation on the rivers as on the railroads, either on the side of the river or anywhere else? I confess I am unable to see any good reason why the bill should not apply as well to the steamboats as to the railroads.
It is not denied that the same evil exists in both cases. I put on record the other evening a table prepared by a distinguished railroad man, giving the figures showing that there are three companies in Cincinnati who own the three steamboat lines, and they have divided the river between themselves. One company takes from Cincinnati to Louisville, another from Louisville to Memphis, and another from Memphis to New Orleans. If an independent boat is put on the river, he states that they put one of their regular boats after it, running to the same points, and putting the freights down to a ruinously low rate, and they drive it out. The companies have the monopoly, and they charge just as they please in fixing the rates. If it is a competing point they put the rate lower. If it is a point where there is no competition, at half the distance, they put the rate double as much. If it is necessary to control transportation at all, why should that be permitted on rivers if not on the railroads?
Mr. PALMER. I think the Senator from Georgia has answered his own interrogation when he says that boats come in and compete with each other and bring down the freights to a low point, and then go in and combine.
Mr. BROWN. The Sepator did not understand me. I know be would not misrepresent me if he had understood me.
Mr. PALMER. I so understood the Senator.
Mr. BROWN. I said that this distinguished railroad man had furnished me the information that the three lines or companies have divided the river into three parts and each takes one part. They allow no competition. If an independent boat goes in upon the river they take a boat out of their own lines and have it run alongside of the independent boat, between the same points, charging a ruinously low rate until they drive it out of the river or drive it into a combination with themselves; and they do not tolerate any competition.
Mr. PALMER. I will say that I have seen the same course of procedure followed on the rivers of this country, but it always rectifies itself.
Mr. BROWN. Then why would not the railroads rectify themselves?
Mr. PALMER. The case is entirely different. When an evil exists you can not get up a rival railroad in six months. It is very well known that where excessive charges are not restrained new boats come into existence; the evil cures itself; and it seems to me that anything of this kind added to the bill would render it entirely nugatory, and nuake it ridiculous.
Mr. HALE. I do not want to see the old discussion opened again, and therefore I move to lay the amendment on the table.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The question is on agreeing to the motion of the Senator from Maine to lay the amendment of the Senator from Georgia on the table.
The motion was agreed to.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The question is on concurring in the amendment made as in Committee of the Whole.
Mr. EDMUNDS. I wish to reserve the amendment in section 4, agreed to by the Senate as in Committee of the Whole, striking out the words and from the same original point of departure," so that I may move to amend it in a way that I hope will meet the approval of the Senate.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. That amendment will be regarded as reserved.
Mr. HARRIS. I wish to reserve the first amendment in section 4, I mean the first in point of the order in which it stands, the amendment of the Senator from Rhode Island (Mr. ALDRICH).
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. That amendment also will be reserved.
Mr. HARRIS. I wish also to reserve for a separate vote the amendment of the Senator from Iowa (Mr. WILSON] to the same section, next in order after the one referred to by the Senator from Vermont (Mr. EDMUNDS], and I wish to reserve also the amendment of the Senator from Georgia (Mr. Brown] in line 26 of section 5. Those are the amendments I wish to reserve.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The amendments indicated will be reserved for a separate vote.
Mr. INGALLS. Will it be in order after the bill shall have been reported to move to strike out section 4 entirely?
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. It will be in order.
of the Senator from Vermont (Mr. EDMUNDS) in order to move to strike out certain words in lines 59, 60, and 61 on page 3 of the amendment.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The amendment of the Senator from Vermont will be reserved.
Mr. SEWELL. I desire to ask for a separate vote on the amendment offered by the Senator from Michigan (Mr. CONGER] about water routes.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. That amendment will be reserved.
Mr. KENNA. I desire to ask the Senator from Vermont, who has reserved for a separate vote the amendment of my colleague [Mr. CAMDEN] to section 4, if he has any objection to stating now what will be the substance of his amendment to the amendment of my colleague?
Mr. EDMUNDS. Not the slightest.
Mr. KENNA. I should be glad to have the substance of the amendment to the amendment stated.
Mr. EDMUNDS. I think I will state that to the Senator from West Virginia, who has asked me a fair question
Mr. KENNA. And solely for information. I want to have it understood.
Mr. EDMUNDS. I think I will state to him and to the Senate what I propose to move. I propose to retain the words which were stricken out as in Committee of the Whole and add to them, after “departure, the words or the same point of arrival;" so as to make it reciprocal both ways.
Mr. KENNA. Let me ask, so that I may understand the Senator, whether he means to put the point of departure and the point of arrival in the alternative?
Mr. EDMUNDS. Exactly; which I think ought to harmonize the views of both sides of the Senate upon the question.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Are there further amendments to be reserved? If not, the question will be taken on concurring in the remaining amendments. The question is on concurring in the amendments made as in Committee of the Whole not reserved.
The amendments not reserved were concurred in.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The question will be on copcurring in the first amendment reserved, the reserved amendments to be taken in their order. The amendment will be stated.
The CHIEF CLERK. In section 1, line 6, after the word “used," the Senate as in Committee of the Whole agreed to insert the words "under a common control, management, or arrangement;" so as to read:
That the provisions of this act shall apply to any common carrier or carriers engaged in the transportation of passengers or property by railroad, or partly by railroad and partly by water when both are used under a common control, management, or arrangement for a continuous carriage or shipment, from one State or Territory of the United States to any other State or Territory of the United States, or from any place in the United States to an adjacent foreign country, or from any place in the United States through a foreign country to any other place in the United States, &c.
Mr. SEWELL. It is hardly necessary for me to make any remarks on the amendment. The question is perfectly clear to the Senate. The amendment adopted throws the transportation lines hy water practically out of the bill, so that you will adopt rules to govern the railroads which will prevent their competing as they do now with the transportation lines by water. The proposition was first voted down by a very large vote, and I trust it will be now.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The question is on concurring in the first amendment reserved. (Putting the question.] The noes appear to bave it. The noes have it, and the amendment is non-concurred in. The next reserved amendment will be stated.
Mr. PLATT. Was the amendment agreed to as in Committee of the Whole, offered by the Senator from Michigan (Mr. CONGER), non-concurred in?
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senate has non-concurred in the amendment made as in Committee of the Whole.
Mr. PLATT. I should like to have the question taken by yeas and nays. [“Too late!”']
Mr. PALMER. I did not understand the vote to be that the amendment was non-concurred in.
Mr. PLATT. I think it is but justice to the Senator who offered that amendment, who has now left the Chamber, that there should be a fair expression of the Senate upon it.
Mr. INGALLS. I think justice to us requires that he should stay here.
Mr. HALE. If he has abandoned the amendment, certainly the rest of us need not consume time needlessly.
Mr. PALMER. He made an express request that the yeas and pays should be called upon concurring in the amendment if he were away, and he is away on official business.
Mr. EDMUNDS. Do you want to have the yeas and nays called ?
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The question is on taking the vote on concurring in the first reserved amendment by yeas and pays.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
The CHIEF CLERK. In section 1, line 6, after the word “used," insert the words "under a common control, management, or arrangement.'
Mr. MCMILLAN. In the absence of this amendment all transportation by water in connection with railroads is embraced in the bill. The amendment of the Senator from Michigan, which was adopted as in Committee of the Whole, restricts the transportation by water to lines of boats which run in connection with a line of railroad under some common control, management, or agreement, so that if there is no such common arrangement or agreement the boats are not within this act, and there can be competition on the great lakes as every place else.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Secretary will call the roll on concurring in the first reserved amendment.
The Secretary proceeded to call the roll, and Mr. ALDRICH answered to his name.
Mr. CALL. Pending the question on concurring in the amendment, if agreeable to the Senator from Illinois, I will move that the Senate adjourn. [“ Too late!”]