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an intelligent and comprehensive statement of its effects as it now stands.
The Senator from Tennessee last upon the floor [Mr. HARRIS) said that this section proposed to legislate with regard to rates of freight.
Mr. HARRIS. On the contrary I said it did not propose to fix rates at all.
Mr. INGALLS. But it does fix rates nevertheless, and I should like the Senator from Illinois (Mr. CULLOM] to explain in connection with the amendments that have been offered by the Senator from Rhode Island and the Senator from West Virginia, and agreed to, what the words“ in the aggregate” now mean as they stand in this section:
SEC. 4. That it shall be unlawful for any common carrier to charge or receive any greater compensation in the aggregate for the transportation of passengers or of the like class and quantity of property subject to the provisions of this act for a shorter than for a longer distance over the same line, in the same direction.
What is “greater compensation in the aggregate" for hauling a passenger over a given line of road? Will not the Senator who is in charge of this bill be good enough to explain now what the words "in the aggregate" mean when relating to the compensation for hauling a passenger over a line of railroad?
Mr. CULLOM. As the Senator appeals to me to explain what the provisions of the fourth section mean as it now stands, I can only say to him that I am not responsible for the present condition of the section. I voted against the amendment of the Senator from West Virginia (Mr. CAMDEN), and I think that that amendment and the words inserted on the motion of the Senator from Rhode Island (Mr. ALDRICH) ought both to go out of the bill. That is my judgment about it, and I have become convinced that the more the Senate undertakes to amend the bill the nearer the bill gets up into the region that the Senator describes, wbere nobody will be able to understand it.
The words in the aggregate” in the section, as it was reported by the committee, meant exactly what they say, that there should not be a greater charge for a shorter distance than for a longer one for carrying any given quantity over the same line in the same direction.
Mr. INGALLS. How do the words in the aggregate" change that? Sappose this section read this way: “That it shall be unlawful for any common carrier to charge or receive any greater compensation for the transportation of passengers or of the like class and quantity of property subject to the provisions,” &c. How do the words " in the aggregate" change the meaning of the section from what its significance would be if they were omitted ?
Mr. CULLOM. It is possible that they do not change it?
Mr. CULLOM. The words “ in the aggregate” were inserted to preclude the idea that this section was to be considered or construed as a mileage provision.
Mr. HARRIS. Prorating.
Mr. CULLOM. Prorating the distance, so much for the whole length in the aggregate of the haul, instead of so much per mile.
Mr. INGALLS. How does the use of the words change the meaning of the section as it would be without them?
Mr. CULLOM. I have just stated. Mr. INGALLS. It says: It shall be unlawful for any common carrier to charge or receive any greater compensation in the aggregate for the transportation, &e.
Mr. CULLOM. In the conduct of the examination of witnesses by the committee during the vacation, it was found on asking questions in reference to the long and short haul that almost every man seemed to answer with the idea that we wanted to know whether they wished to charge the same rate per mile far the long and the shorter distance. It appeared that the only way we could get them to understand what we wanted to know was by using the word "aggregate," asking whether they should be allowed to charge more in the aggregate for a thousand miles, for instance, than for 100 or for 500 miles. Hence we put in the words in the aggregate” in order that there could be no ques. tion as to what the meaning was; and I do not think there is any ques. tion. , Mr. SEWELL. The term is a proper one. The word "aggregate' means the summing up of so much a mile. It is customary to give either a mileage rate or an aggregate rate to cover the whole. Take a class of freight from New York to Chicago, say a thousand miles. You give a rate of so much a mile, or you give an aggregate rate of say 25 cents a ton, or whatever it may be. That is the distinction between a mileage rate and an aggregate rate.
Mr. INGALLS. That is a little mystical, Mr. President, not to a practical railroad man as the Senator from New York (Mr. MILLER] suggests; and the great difficulty that is apparent and obvious every moment is that we are dealing with this subject, which is a practical subject, and that we are not practical railroad men, and therefore we do not understand it, we do not comprehend it.
Mr. CULLOM. Does the Senator think that we ought not to undertake to do anything with it?
Mr. INGALLS. I think that if we intend to deal with certain evils and propose to place this subject ouder the control of a commission to deal with them we should not limit or impose restrictions upon their power, but leave it with them to determine in the light of circumstances as they arise. I am entirely willing to say in general terms what shall be the duties of this commission; but the more we deal with the subject mentioned in this fourth section the more inextricably we are befogged, the more apparent it is that nobody understands or can comprehend the result of the various provisions that have been up to this time introduced in that section.
Not being a practical man, it would occur to me that the words compensation in the aggregate” might refer to the entire amount of compensation that any one man would pay for shipping a certain quantity of freight, so as to be immensely to the advantage of a man who was engaged in making large shipments over a line of railroad.
Mr. CULLOM. If the Senator has a specific amount of goods to be shipped from his town to New York, the aggregate would mean exactly the whole amount he has to pay between his town and New York; and if he ships it half way from his town to New York the aggregate of what he would have to pay there would be the whole amount that he would pay.
Mr. INGALLS. It would be exactly the same if those words were left out of the bill, would it not?
Mr. CULLOM. It might, as I said a while ago.
Mr. INGALLS. That is to say, the carrier shall not charge or receive any greater compensation for the transportation. That is tbe plain English; but when you have put in these words "in the aggregate" you have put in there something which has a significance that I do not comprehend but that I very shrewdly suspect means something.
Mr. HARRIS. If the Senator
Mr. INGALLS. I very shrewdly suspect that means something, because what we want to accomplish would be just as absolutely effectuated if those words were left out; and therefore when they are put in by some interpolation that I do not understand I very shrewdly suspect that they were put in there for a purpose.
Mr. CULLOM. They were put in there for no sinister object.
Mr. INGALLS. I do not impute anything to the Senator from Illinois.
Mr. CULLOM. I know that; but the Senator makes remarks as though there was some scheme about this that was covered up.
Mr. INGALLS. I suspect that the practical railroad men, who have been pretty tolerably planted around this committee for the last eight or ten months, whose testimony has been taken and who know exactly what they want to accomplish, have succeeded by some means or other in getting into this bill here those little words in the aggregate" for a purpose. I suspect that. I cast po imputation upon the candor, the sincerity, the intelligence, or the good faith of the committee.
Mr. HARRIS. I want to say to the Senator from Kansas that the committee intended those words to mean something.
Mr. INGALLS. What do they mean?
Mr. HARRIS. They were intended to mean this, no more and no leas
Mr. INGALLS. Would the section not mean exactly the same if they were left out?
Mr. HARRIS. It would not, according to the opinion of the present exponent of the bill. Those words were intended to mean this, that this bill shall not be construed by any tribunal to mean that the railroad company should be compelled to charge the same rate or as low a rate per mile for the short as it charges for the longer haul.
Mr. INGALLS. Oh, no, not that.
Mr. INGALLS. No, because that was put in by the amendment of the Senator from lowa (Mr. Wilson) afterwards.
Mr. HARRIS. I say they were intended to exclude the construction that the companies should charge the same rate per mile for the short as for the long haul.
Mr. INGALLS. They are allowed to charge the same rate by the bill. That was put in by the Senator from Iowa afterwards, that they should not charge as much.
Mr. HARRIS. That is an amendment upon which I have asked a separate vote; but I am speaking of the text of the bill, and the idea that I have of it is that when you offer to ship freights from Washington to New York, suppose the railroad company charges 50 cents a ton from Washington to New York. Under the provisions of this bill the company shall not charge a greater sum than 50 cents a ton from Washington to Baltimore or from Washington to Philadelphia, or to any other intermediate point that it charges to New York-the terminal point.
Mr. INGALLS. Not a greater sum, a greater compensation.
Mr. HARRIS. They shall not charge more than 50 cents per ton from here to Philadelphia; they shall not charge more than 50 cents per ton from here to Baltimore; but under the provisions of this bill before the amendment of the Senator from Iowa was incorporated, the company could charge as much in the aggregate, not the same price per mile, not prorating by the mile, but the aggregate sum of compensation.
Mr. EDMUNDS. What the committee then means, if I understand the Senator from Tennessee, by the words "in the aggregate,” is that that language means exactly the same as if it read, “ shall not charge or receive any greater total compensation."
Mr. HARRIS. That is what I understand it to mean, including terminal charge.
Mr. EDMUNDS. It would be very easy to make that reasonably clear by striking out in the aggregate” and inserting “ total” before “compensation.”
Mr. INGALLS. Does compensation" mean total compensation or partial compensation? Suppose the sentence stands exactly as it does now, when we say compensation, do we mean compensation or do we inean partial compensation? Why is it necessary to put in the word “total” before compensation" when you have said compensation ?" Can you make " compensation" mean less than total? That is gilding refined gold; that is throwing perfume on the violet; and I still remain in the most profound and Cimmerian darkness even after the lucid explanation of the Senator from Tennessee as to the meaning of the words "in the aggregate" in this section, and I have sought carefully and with tears for information on that subject. I appeal again to the eminent chairman of this committee, to his lieutenant and coadjutor, the Senator from Tennessee, to advise me, even still after what he has said, how this bill means anything less or how it means anything more than it would if those words were omitted, how greater compensation in the aggregate means any more than greater compensation. And if the Senator from Illinois and the Senator from Tennessee can not give us the information. I shall still feel called upon to suspect that in the mind of practical railroad men, to whose subtle analysis this is in the last event to be submitted, we shall find that there is a very considerable feline animal under the pulverized corn.
We seem also to have become inextricably entangled through the efforts of the Senator from West Virginia to assure what he intends to accomplish by his modification of the amendment offered by the Senator from Rhode Island. He wants to strike out the word "quantity." Now that is exactly the word that ought to be in there if you are going to keep in “in the aggregate." What has “in the aggregate" to do except with quantity? What has “in the aggregate" to do with quality, whether it is a silk-worm, or coal, or salt in barrels, or tea from the Orient? It seems to me that “quantity” is exactly the word you want to retain if you retain the words in the aggregate," because they can not apply to anything but quantity. It is not “quality;" and so far
class” is concerned that is obviously the word to retain there because the word “ kind” means “class” in the language of what we are told is the vernacular of practical railroad men.
I should venture to hope, therefore, that the Senate would feel called upon to retain the words that have been proposed by the Senator from Rhode Island as an amendment to this bill, and that if we are dealing with “compensation in the aggregate" we should allow that to apply rather to the quantity of material that is to be transported than to the quality.
Mr. ALDRICH. Mr. President, to return to the pending amendment, if the interpretation sought to be put upon this bill by the Senator from Tennessee, who is a member of this committee, and I suppose speaks by authority, as to its effect, it is obviously and monstrously defective. The Senator from Tennessee says that railroad companies ander this bill can not only fix upon classes but they can fix upon different rates of freight for carrying different quantities of merchandise, as I understood him, without the supervision of the commission and without going outside of the law. Now let us see what the effect of that will be.
Suppose the Pennsylvania Railroad or the Erie road fixes compensation for transporting oil in barrels from Cleveland or Pittsburgh to New York at a certain rate if a man ships 10,000 barrels, at another certain rate if a man ships 200,000 barrels a month, and in one case they fix it at one-fourth or one-tenth of what they fix in the other, the result is to allow a monopoly like the Standard Oil Company to have one rate of freight, 10 cents a barrel perhaps, while all other shippers by the very terms of the classification which may be fixed under the provisions of this bill, according to the Senator from Tennessee, are excluded from shipping their oil at all. It was that class of discrimination which this bill was intended to obviate, if it had any purpose or intention at all. I was surprised to hear the Senator from Illinois say that if my amendment was out the bill would be better than it is now. Leave that amendment out and what does the bill say in plain English? I will read from the fourth section:
That it shall be unlawful for any common carrier to charge or receive any greater compensation in the aggregate for the transportation of passengers or property, &c.
How much property and what kind of property I should like to know? Have you got to charge the same for shipping a jackknife that you would for a ton of coal or 10,000 tons of coal? It says the carriers shall not receive a greater compensation for the transportation of property a shorter than a longer distance. I should like to know how it is possible to say how much property or of what kind, and it is absolutely necessary, to make the bill intelligible, that it shall be of like class and quantity of property transported under similar circumstances and in similar quantities.
Mr. ('ULLOM. Mr. President, gentlemen have become very technical recently. The bill as reported by the committee, it seems to me, is subject to but one construction, and when the Senator from Rhode Island says that it becomes monstrous when the provision is recited that more shall not be charged in the aggregate for the transportation of passengers or property
Mr. ALDRICH. I used the word “monstrous” in connection with the assertion made by the Senator from Tennessee as to the provision allowing different rates to be fixed for carrying different quantities.
Mr. CULLOM. I thought the Senator was pronouncing the provision monstrous. The truth about it is that the language of that section of the bill as reported is perfectly plain. . And when the Senator from Kansas and the Senator from Rhode Island undertake to mystify the language of the bill they are simply doing it because they do not helieve in the bill so far as that section is concerned.
Mr. ALDRICH. Will the Senator answer a question ?
Mr. ALDRICH. How much property, or what kind of property is meant?
Mr. CULLOM. It is perfectly absurd for the Senator to stand here and say because the exact amount is not designated, therefore a railroad company would have the right to charge as much for shipping a jackknife as one hundred car-loads of grain. It simply means if I ship a