« PreviousContinue »
consideration with a view of coming to the end of the consideration of the subject.
Now, if the Senator and the Senate will give unanimous consent that we vote to-morrow at any hour during the day-I do not care whether it is 4 o'clock or some time before we adjourn—if there is no objection to that arrangement I am content that the consideration of the report shall go over.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Illinois asks the unanimous consent of the Senate that the vote shall be taken on this report to-morrow before adjournment. Is there objection? The Chair hears none.
Mr. CULLOM. Now, I have no objection to the motion of the Senator from Wisconsin.
EXECUTIVE SESSION. The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Wisconsin (Mr. SAWYER] moves that the Senate proceed to the consideration of executive business.
The motion was agreed to; and the Senate proceeded to the consideration of executive business. Alter fifteen minutes spent in executive session the doors were reopened, and (at 4 o'clock and 25 minutes p. m.) the Senate adjourned until to-morrow, Friday, January 14, at 12 o'clock m.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 1887.
ORDER OF BUSINESS. The PRESIDENT pro tempore. If there are no further concurrent or other resolutions the morning business is closed. Pending the consideration of the Calendar, which is now in order, as there is no motion pending, the Chair will lay before the Senate the report of the committee of conference upon the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the bill (S. 1532) to regulate commerce. The question is, Will the Senate agree to the report? Mr. CULLOM. I have nothing to say it we are ready to vote.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. That is the question pending before the Senate.
Mr. HOAR. What has become of the Calendar?
Mr. CULLOM. The pending question is on agreeing to the conference report.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Chair announeed that the morning business was over and business under the Calendar was in order. No motion having been made, the Chair laid before the Senate the conference report.
Mr. HOAR. Does it require a motion to proceed with the Calendar in the morning hour?
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Chair announced that business on the Calendar was pending, and no motion was made to proceed with any case on the Calendar.
Mr. HOAR. I supposed the cases on the Calendar were to be taken up in their order without a motion.
Mr. CULLOM. I hope we shall proceed at once with the conference report.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Does the Senator from Massachusetts ask that cases on the Calendar be reported in their order?
Mr. HOAR. Yes, sir.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The first case on the Calendar will be stated.
Mr. CULLOM. I move that the Senate proceed to the consideration of the interstate-commerce bill.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Pending the Calendar, the Senator from Illinois moves that the Senate proceed to the consideration of the report of the committee of conference on the interstate-commerce bill. The question is on that motion. [Putting the question.] The ayes appear to have it. Mr. HOAR. I call for a division. Mr. CULLOM. If I may be allowed to say a wordThe PRESIDENT pro tempore. Debate is not in order.
The question being again put, there were on a division-ayes 19, noės 12; no quorum voting.
Mr. EDMUNDS. I call for the yeas and nays.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. No quorum voting, the Chair can not receive any morning business.
Mr. CULLOM. Let us have the yeas and nays.
Mr. BLACKBURN. I desire to announce that the Senator from West Virginia (Mr. KENNA) is paired upon all questions connnected with the interstate-commerce bill with the Senator from New York [Mr. MILLER). Were the Senator from West Virginia present, he would vote" yea."
Mr. MORGAN. I am paired on the bill with the Senator from Indiana (Mr. VOORHEES).
Mr. BECK. I have received a dispatch from the Senator from West Virginia [Mr. CAMDEN] announcing that he is paired upon all questions connected with the bill with the Senator from California [Mr. STANFORD). The Senator from West Virginia would vote “yea” on the pending motion if he were present.
Mr. COKE. I desire to announce that my colleague [Mr. MAXEY] is paired on all questions growing out of the bill with the Senator from Massachusetts [Mr. DAWES]. If my colleague were here he would vote "yea."
Mr. ALLISON. I am paired for the day with the Senator from North Carolina (Mr. RANSOM], but I do not understand that the pair affects this vote; so that I shall vote "yea."
Mr. DAWES (after having voted in the negative). I am reminded that I voted while paired with the Senator from Texas (Mr. MAXEY). I desire to withdraw my vote.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The vote is withdrawn.
Mr. COCKRELL. I wish to announce that my colleague [Mr. VEST), not expecting a vote to come up so early in the day in regard to this question, is unavoidably detained by business away from the Senate for a few moments. My colleague would vote "yea" if he were present. The result was announced-yeas 37, nays 12; as follows:
Jones of Arkansas, Wilson of Jowa.
ABSENT-- 26. Aldrich,
Jones of Florida, Miller,
Jones of Nevada, Mitchell of Pa.,
The Senate resumed the consideration of the report of the committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the bill (S. 1532) to regulate commerce.
Mr. HOAR. Mr. President, the bill as it came from the committee in the beginning was the result of a popular movement which had been in progress for nearly twenty years. It is a movement which has had my hearty sympathy and my official support from the beginning. So far as it was in favor of cheap transportation and of regulating the conduct of the great railroad carriers of the country in those things which affect the convenience of the people, while it was a matter deeply interesting to the rest of the country, it was essential to the very life of the community to which I belong. I do not think any candid person will question the sincerity of any representative of a New England State when he professes a desire to accomplish the object proposed by this legislation. We have in many of our populous cities, as in the city where I live, no considerable water-power. The State to which I belong, the most populous of that group, it is sometimes said produces nothing but granite and ice. We have to bring coal, which is the chief motive power for our industries, by an interstate transportation to the seaboard. We have to brivg from other States and from Canada the lumber and the brick which compose our dwellings. The food which feeds our workingmen comes from the West-from a constantly receding center—while the iron, the wool, the leather, the cotton, are brought half-way across a continent and by the skill of our working-people are wrought into machinery, cloth, shoes, and other articles for the comfort of men, and then carried back again to be sold in their new form to the people who have produced the material.
There is not an hour of the day's life of a Massachusetts workingman in which he does not feel the pressure of the unjust demands of the railroad when those unjust demands exist anywhere. There is not an article of his necessity or of his luxury into the cost of which the price of transportation over the continent does not enter. There is not a product of his skill, there is not an ambition of his life, whether for wealth, for honor, or for usefulness, which is not affected by the railroad and upon which it does not press as a burden when it is permitted to make an unjust charge.
I myself helped in 1874 to frame the first important bill on this subject which passed the House of Representatives. It is somewhat amusing, as I listen to the gentlemen who think the resistance to the unjust provisions of the conference report comes from the railroads, to remember the history of that legislation. We were encountered by the old State rights doctrine, by the representatives of the Democratic party, and by a strict party vote. A bill which contained all the wholesome provisions of this bill was resisted on the old State rights doctrine.
When I heard the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. BECK), who resisted with all his might this legislation when the men who were advocating it were standing at the beginning of a reform and trying to bring public sentiment up to it, who resisted it with all his might and recorded his vote against it on every occasion-when I heard him taunting those who desire to make this legislation just and reasonable and effective of its professed object with acting in the interest of the railroads, I felt like applying to him the remark of a worthy old deacon who was spurred up by a new zealous couvert for his want of Christian zeal, who said he had noticed that young Christians were a good deal like young bumble bees, much the largest when first hatched.” [Laughter.]
Mr. President, I wish to be permitted to repeat the argument which satisties me without question of the national authority to pass such legislation as is proposed in the main features of the bill. The argument is all in a nutshell. The Constitution gives to Congress the regulation of commerce with foreign nations and among the States.
The regulation of commerce is the regulation of the exchange of commodities. The exchange of commodities is commerce. The regulation of commerce with foreign nations is the regulation of the exchange of commodities with foreign nations. The regulation of commerce among the several States is the regulation of the exchange of commodities among the several States. An essential part of such an exchange is the conveyance of the commodity from the seller to the buyer. Regulation is the prescribing of a rule or law, or fixing the condition. To regulate the exchange of commodities is to prescribe the rule, or law, or condition under which such an exchange shall take place. An essential part of the regulation of commerce, therefore, is the prescribing rules, or laws, or conditions of the conveyance of commodities froin the seller to the buyer. The fixing or regulating of tolls, or charges, or imposts for conveying commodities from the seller to the buyer is the prescribing of a condition of that conveyance. It is therefore a regulation of commerce.
Now, whenever the fixing or regulating of such imposts and tolls properly comes within the domain of the law-making power, or when. ever such imposts or tolls should be regulated by law, the power which regulates commerce should properly regulate them. This is the settled and unquestioned understanding with reference to foreign commerce. The legislature does not ordinarily regulate rates of freight charged by public carriers for merchandise brought from abroad; not because such regulation would not be a regulation of commerce, but because such carriers are engaged in a business open to unrestricted competition, and it is deemed inexpedient to regulate commerce in that respect. But it exercises the power to regulate foreign commerce for the protection of the interests of the public in many respects where competition does not afford such protection.
I have therefore no difficulty in supporting this bill in its main and principal features. I think these imperial forces which the genius of the American people in modern times has created may be and must be rightfully curbed by imperial restraints. I am willing to go, therefore, with the authors and framers of this bill as far as they have gone in the protection of the internal transport interstate trade of the country, wherever that protection is not afforded by unrestricted competition. But I object to two features of the report of the conference committee, because I regard those features as intended to strike down and deprive the people of the protection created by healthy competition and as calculated to raise and not to diminish the burden which the railroads already have placed upon the commerce of the country. If this legislation be defeated, the gentlemen are responsible who will not do all the good which this bill contemplates except upon condition that they also may be permitted to do what seems to some of us unmistakably and clearly evil.
It was said the other day by the Senator from Tennessee (Mr. HARRIS] that the Senate might take it for granted that if this conference report were recommitted or rejected nothing could be accomplished. Well, I do not see upon what the Senator from Tennessee'based that statement. I suppose it is not proper to speak of the proceedins of the House of Representatives. But I may say that I have read in a publication upon our table that there is a body somewhere which considered this bill, Dearly one-hali of which preterred the original Senate bill without these amerdments. There was only 24 majority for the present proposition. In other words, there was a majority of only 24 for the changes in legislation which were proposed by the majority of that assembly, and I am informed on very high authority indeed that a very considerable number of those 24 have already changed their mind. Now, does anybody believe, if the question were stated to the members of that assembly whether they would accomplish everything that the original Senate bill proposed to accomplish, or nothing, that they would insist on a demand to have these objectionable clauses retained ? No, Mr. President; the question is not between this conference report or nothing. The question is between the bill as it was framed and adopted by the Senate and passed by a majority, including all, I think, but four members of this body, and inserting, against the original opinion of the Senate, of clauses which some of the great interests of the country feel will be fatal to their prosperity and to their very existence.
There are four great objects which this bill accomplishes which I heartily favor. It extends the common law--which does not exist in our national jurisprudence without affirmative legislation, as the Supreme Court has decided—to interstate commerce. It establishes the great principle of reasonableness-to be enforced by law, hy judges and juries, and other tribunals that may be created, as the rule to prevail every. where between the carrier and the customer.
Second. It establishes a commission, a constant supervisory national authority, which has worked so favorably wherever the experiment has been tried in the States.
Third. It requires publicity. It lets in the daylight on every transaction between the carrier and the customer.
Fourth. It prohibits unjust discrimination, whether that discrimination be between persons or between places or between transporting lines.
Mr. President, the opposition to this report does not come from railroad managers principally or originally. I have received many letters and many communications on this subject, and of these all but two have come from persons not interested in railroads, and one of these was from the receiver of a bankrupt railroad, who is heartily in favor of this report. It comes from men who are alarmed lest under its operation the rates at which they are now able to do large and profitable