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Mr. DAWES. And they can charge a different rate?
Mr. CULLOM. They can carry the freight as they may agree to carry it, and whatever their agreement may be, it does not affect the freight that goes from Albany to Boston on that line, its own line, according to its own published rates of freight.
Mr. DAWES. Suppose it be a different rate from that for which it takes up freight at Albany and carries it to Boston ?
Mr. CULLOM. It does not make the slightest difference in the world; it has nothing to do with it. One is a line of railroad by itself; the other is a line of railroad in conjunction with one, two, or five others, if you please, and the one rate does not control the others. In other words, as I have said over and over again, the percentage that the Boston and Albany road gets for carrying the products that are brought from the far west to Boston after they reach Albany has nothing to do with regulating the rates from Albany to Boston over that road.
Mr. DAWES. Do you find that in the letter of your bill, or do you think that ought to be the construction of it?
Mr. CULLOM. I think that is a reasonable construction of the bill, and I have no question myself but that the courts and the commission would construe it that way. The letter of the bill will sustain that construction of it, I think.
Mr. ALDRICH. It is of the utmost importance that we as well as the business community should understand the construction the committee put upon this bill. I wish to ask the Senator from Illinois one or two questions in this connection, so that we may understand fully just what the committee understand to be the meaning of this section.
As I understand him, if a combination of roads agree to carry freight from San Francisco to New York at $1 a hundred pounds, that rate is the only limitation which that particular transaction makes upon any intermediate rates between San Francisco and New York. Do I understand that to be the Senator's construction?
Mr. CULLOM. Ask that question again.
Mr. ALDRICH. In the case of a contract for the transportation of freight from San Francisco to New York at an agreed rate of $1 per 100 pounds, that rate of $1 per 100 pounds is the only limitation which that transaction fixes upon any intermediate transportation or upon transportation between any intermediate points between San Francisco and New York ?
Mr. HARRIS. Will the Senator from Illinois allow me to answer that particular question of the Senator from Rhode Island ?
Mr. ALDRICH. I was only trying to find out whether that was what the Senator from Illinois had stated. I understood him to state that.
Mr. HARRIS. The statement of the Senator from Illinois on that point, as I understood him-and I think I understood him clearly and correctly-was this: Here are four distinct and independent lines of railroad between New York and San Francisco; first, the Pennsylvania
Mr. ALDRICH. I am talking about the same line. Take one of the lines.
Mr. HARRIS. There is a line composed of four distinct and independent lines.
Mr. ALDRICH. Take one of them.
Mr. HARRIS. It becomes one line by a contract and agreement between these four separate, distinct, and independent companies.
Now, to answer the question and to illustrate, assume that by contract upon the long line from New York to San Francisco, composed of four independent, listinct lines, becoming one by contract and agreement with the owners of these four lives for specific purposes and a specific character of freight, that line agrees to haul a car-load of grain or other freight from San Francisco to New York, say, for $100.
Mr. ALDRICH. One dollar per hundred pounds, I said.
Mr. HARRIS. Very well; but one hundred dollars illustrates the principle just as well, taking the freight by the car-load instead of a hundred pounds. Now, $100 is the through rate from San Francisco to New York. By agreement each of those four companies agrees to accept $25 a piece, making the hundred. If they agree only for through freights, if this agreement extends only for through freights from San Francisco' to New York the hundred dollars a car-load would be the maximum long-haul charge, and it would be the maximum of any shorthaul that passes over two or more of those roads. But suppose by contract the parties agree to carry from San Francisco to New York at $100 a car, from Ogden to New York at $75 a car, from Omaha to New York at $50 a car, then the rule would be from Ogden to New York, that is from any point east of Ogden to New York, they could not charge more than $75. The rule would be from Omaha to New York, from any point east of Omaba to New York, they could not charge more than $50.
Mr. ALDRICH. What I want to get at is the understanding of the committee. Could this same line charge $99 from Ogden, and from Omaha, and from Chicago, and from Cleveland, and from Buffalo to New York? So far as the limitations of the section are concerned, would they be allowed to charge $99 per car-load, say, from Buffalo to New York? Mr. SPOONER. They must charge a reasonable rate.
Mr. ALDRICH. As I understand the fourth section, so far as distance is concerned, it undertakes to fix what is a reasonable rate. That is another part of the bill; but this section of the bill, if I understand it at all, undertakes to construe the difference of distance into what is reasonable.
Mr. CULLOM. It does not do any such thing.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Does the Senator from Rhode Island yield.
Mr. ALDRICH. I do. The PRESIDENT pro tempore. To whom? To the Senator from Illinois ?
Mr. CULLOM. I do not want to interrupt the Senator from Rhode Island.
Mr. ALDRICH. I wish to continue my inquiry, but I am willing to listen to the Senator from Ilinois.
Mr. HARRIS. If the Senator will allow me to suggest it to him, in as explicit terms as language will permit, each common carrier is not only authorized but required to classify and fix the rates upon the road.
Mr. ALDRICH. That is another section. I am speaking now about the provision of the fourth section and only the fourth section of the bill.
Mr. HLARRIS. I answer the declaration of the Senator that this bill would have to determine what was a reason le rate.
Mr. ALDRICH. Is there anything that does it, I ask, so far as this section of the bill is concerned? The Senator from Illinois does not understand it that way; and I resume, if the Senator pleases, and ask him to answer my question.
Mr. HARRIS. I yield to the Senator from Illinois.
Mr. ALDRICH. I mean the Senator from Tennessee. My question is whether under the provision of this section there is anything which would prevent this same line from charging $99 a car (certainly it can not charge as much as $100) from each one of the points to which I have alluded.
Mr. HARRIS If I was understood, I answered that question a few moments since, but I will repeat my answer, as I see that I, perhaps, was not understood. This long line becomes a distinctive carrier by contract, composed of four distinct and independent railroads. If the contract provides for the carrying of freight simply from San Francisco to New York and the contract stops there, it is a line for a specific purpose and for no other purpose.
Mr. ALDRICH. In other words, it is a contract.
Mr. HARRIS. And if that be true, then there is no reason to be found in this bill why they may not charge from any intermediate point ap to the maximum, except that the charge must be reasonable.
Mr. ALDRICH. As I understand the Senator now, he says that that understanding and agreement constitutes a line of itself for through business from San Francisco to New York.
Mr. HARRIS. So it does.
Mr. ALDRICH. And that an agreement from Sacramento to New York would constitnte a new line with the right to make a new contract not dependent upon the other. Is that true? I ask that question and I should like an answer.
Mr. HARRIS. If the contract fixes a different rate and a lower rate
Mr. ALDRICH. It is another line. Does it constitute another line within the meaning of the bill which entitles them to make another and a different contract?
Mr. HARRIS. Upon the contrary, I think it is the same line created by contract and composed of four distinct lines.
Mr. HOAR. Suppose three of those four make a contract with their three roads, the Senator from Rhode Island wants to know whether that makes a different line, one line of the four roads and another of the three?
Mr. HARRIS. I can see no reason why three of the lines may not transact among themselves, for
Mr. ALDRICH. I understood the Senator from Tennessee to say distinctly that a contract from San Francisco for through freight constituted that line a line only for that purpose, and that it did not put any limitation at all upon other contracts from intermediate points. What I want to find out is whether at Sacramento they would have a right to make a new contract, ignoring the provisions and limitations of the original contract from San Francisco.
Mr. HOAR. And make a new line and charge more?
Mr. ALDRICH. Yes; can they make a new line of three? That is the point I am coming at exactly. Here are between New York and San Francisco ten different railroad companies, who have joined in a contract which constitutes, according to the Senator from Illinois and the Senator from Tennessee, a distinct, separate line from San Francisco to New York. Now is it a new line when nine of those join in that contract, and are they exempted from the provisions and limitations which apply to the line of ten companies; and if eight, if seven, if six, can each one of these companies make a new contract with new rates which have no limitations or relations to the nine or ten? That is what the Senator from Illinois said--that then you can fix your rates entirely separate and apart from the line. If these are separate and distinct lines, nine can charge more than ten; eight can charge more than ten; seven can charge more than ten, until you get down to two, and they can charge more than ten, and then you have only one line.
That is the point I was coming at exactly-whether each one of these various companies forming a line in itself was affected at all by the limitations which were tixed by a large combination that included the wbole. I understood the Senator from Ilinois to say distinctly they were not so honod, and that there was no limitation by this bill in the through rates upon smaller lines. For instance, if four roads between Chicago and New York charge one sum, it would not prevent three roads from Buffalo from charging twice as much, or three roads between Cleveland and New York from charging three times as much. It is not a question of business. I am trying to get at what construction the committee places on this section.
Mr. HARRIS. You mean three different roads from those I have mentioned as constituting the long line from San Francisco?
Mr. ALDRICH. No, I mean three of the same roads which made op the four in the original line.
Mr. HARRIS. Three of the same roads would not reach the same point; they would not reach San Francisco.
Mr. ALDRICH. They would reach an intermediate point.
Mr. ALDRICH. They are three links of the same long chain which you have drawn out.
Mr. HARRIS. The case I put originally, it seems to me, clearly and distinctly answers the Senator's question. If this long line, being constituted with four separate, distinct, and independent lines, has contracted for through freights and for through freights only, I do not see that their contracts or the existence of that line would affect any other than the through shipinents; but is in their contract constituting that long line composed of the four distinct lines they fix one rate from San Francisco to New York, another from Ogden to New York, another from Omaba to New York, or any of the intermediate points, including more than one of the lines to carry the freights, then the short-haul provision would apply to the maximum charge fixed by that agreement, fixed by that line upon which the freights were to be transported.
Mr. ALDRICH. That is the question which I meant to ask the Senator from Tennessee in the first instance, and I think he has answered it now. It was, that if this constitutes one through line from San Francisco to New York, as I now understand him, they could fix a rate of $100 a car from San Francisco, and $99 a car from all the intermediate points under the provisions of this section of the bill.
Mr. CAMDEY. There is no doubt about that.
Mr. HARRIS. If they provide for but one rate, and that an entire through rate, then the maximum charge of the through rate would be $100, and, so far as the fourth section is concerned, the maximum charge for the short haul could not exceed a hundred dollars.
Mr. ALDRICH. It could come anywhere within the whole charge?
Mr. HARRIS, Not exactly anywhere within the whole charge. That is to say, whenever you come to freights that begin and end on
one line of road, that is, on one interstate railroad, then the rates fixed by that railroad apply, and not the rates fixed by contracts with any other roads.
Mr. STANFORD obtained the floor.
Mr. HOAR. I should like, with the leave of the Senator from California, to ask one question of the Senator from Tennessee. That is, whether he agrees with the Senator from Illinois that the mere destination, that is freight being carried to a foreign point or to a domestic point, the case I put to him, constitutes a difference of circumstances and conditions under this bill?
Mr. HARRIS. In answer to the suggestion of the Senator from Massachusetts, I desire to say to him that as a legislator I do not think it concerns me to determine the conclusion of fact as to what would constitute similar conditions and circumstances. That is a fact to be ascertained by the commission, it appealed to, or decided by the com mon carrier and to be complained of if he decides it incorrectly; and the commission will then investigate the question and determine whether the conditions and circumstances are similar in a given case put.
Mr. HOAR. But does the Senator mean to say that being able to maintain a great foreign commerce, millions upon millions, it ought to be dependent upon the opinion of the five commissioners and not to be tixed by the law-making power, so that in voting for this measure he has not an opinion as to whether that thing should continue?
Mr. HARRIS. I mean to say that whatever effect may be wrought upon any given commercial point by the establishment of a correct rnle of transportation, the correctness and fairness and justice of the rule should determine it, and not the interest of the locality in question; and I mean to say in addition that it is very difficult, in my opinion, to establish the justice of a given carrier charging more for carrying a load of the same character of freight, and at the same time, and under substantially the same ciréunstances, over one half of its road than it charges for carrying the same over the whole length of its line. If the adoption and maintenance of that rule shall work prejudice to the trade of any given locality, it is the misfortune of that locality, and it ought to be the misfortune of the locality and not made the misfortune of all the people who chance to live at non-competitive points along the line of the roari.
Mr. HIOAR., I can not see any misfortune to anybody else. It does not hurt the other people any.
Mr. ALDRICH. Will the Senator from California let me ask the Senator from Tennessee just one more question?
Mr. STANFORD. Certainly.
Mr. ALDRICH. I desire to know whether he agrees with the Senator from Illinois that where in case the short haul is to a non-competitive point and the longer baul to a competitive point, that constitutes such a dissimilarity of circumstances and conditions as would allow the railroad company to charge a greater sum for the shorter haul?
Mr. CULLOM. The Senator from Rhode Island will pardon me. The Senator from illinois made no such declaration.
Mr. ALDRICH. I certainly understood him to make exactly that declaration in answer to the Senator from Mississippi [Mr. GEORGE).
Mr. CULLOM. Will the Senator allow me to interrupt him?
Mr. CULLOM. The Senator from Illinois said that the question of conditions and circumstances necessarily would be taken into consider