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it, even for those who are not at all interested in any freight matter, to make any complaint that they see fit, and that complaint has to be considered by these five commissioners. Look at the way that is to be followed out. I wish to suggest whether it is not founding an opportunity for a series of blackmail upon all the railroads of the country. A man who has no interest at all may make complaint. The commissioners are bound to hear it. They send back word to the complainant that he must go to the railroad managers and try to settle and adjust the matter with them. The railroad, rather than have a wrangle, a quarrel, or a lawsuit, may be willing to buy off that complainant and pay him handsomely. Such complaints may give some idle men a paying business.
Then, it seems to me, that the amount appropriated is wholly inadequate for the services which are required to be rendered. One hun; dred thousand dollars only is appropriated, and of this $37,500 are allotted to the commissioners at once and $3,500 to a secretary ; and then other employés must be provided for, so that it will eat up at least $50,000 all at once. So that all the remainder of the sum that is appropriated is barely $50,000. Mr. President, in paying the expense of this commission and summoning witnesses, perhaps from Oregon, Texas, or Maine, that sum might not last sixty days. Therefore, I think that the sum appropriated and the officers appointed are not sufficient for the purpose.
But, Mr. President, there is another matter that I think of grave importance, and that is the interference that we make with the roads that have been chartered by the United States. Take the Central Pircific and Union Pacific railroads. These, undoubtedly, Cougre-s may legislate upon, but whether they can legislate upon them so as to destroy them may be doubtiul. If the sbort and long haul clause of this bill shall be carried into effect, so far as these companies are concerneil, we may bid a long farewell to any prospect of collecting the indebtedness of these companies to the United States. I do not believe that it will be possible for these companies to carry on their through business under the fourth section of this bill, and if we are to ruin their business of course the debt of much more than $100,000,000, secured upon the roads to the United States, will be wholly worthless.
There are other things in relation to these Pacific roads. We are indebted to them all over the country for green fruits, for oranges, for pears, for grapes, &c. Unless these roads can be permitted to deiiver these green fruits to the East at a less rate than they charge for their local freight, it will be impossible that we should receive these constant supplies of such fruits, and the State of California and the other States on the Pacific coast would be very badly damaged if we cut off a market for which they have made such large provision.
But, Mr. President, I did not propose to discuss this bill at any length. I know that the Senate have agreed to vote upon the question to-day, and I merely wish to emphasize the statement in relation to the possibility of getting up another bill. I have no sort of doubt about it. If we should recommit this bill, especially with a chairman whose views have been overruled and who has been compelled to present a bill here not his own work, but against his own judgment and his own opinion, I have no sort of doubt but that we can get a better bill.
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. Mr. President, the Senator from Rbode Island (Mr. ALDRICH) took it upon himself to read as a part of his remarks, by way of enforcing and illustrating them, some utterances of mine made some years ago before a committee of the House of Representatives, at which time I was not in official position. He seemed to regard my utterances on that occasion as well put, and entitled to consideration and force now.
I have changed somewhat my views of the questions which I then presented to that committee. I have more information than I had then. I have made a definite study of this subject since I became connected with it as a member of this body, and I have found iniquities sufficient in the practices of the railroad companies of this country in the matter of the administration of our transportation system to induce me to do what I said in my remarks before the holidays I should do, and that is vote for the passage of this bill.
Many reasons have come to me in the years that have passed since those remarks were made to induce the position which I now occupy, and I stand here to-day, representing in part the State of Iowa, about whose condition I at that time spoke, to say that the people of that State under the present administrations of its transportation system are, except at a very few so-called competitive points, practically without any such thing as the low rate on the long haul. It has been said, and repeated time and again, that the West can not get on without the application of the lo:v rate on the long haul, and that is this bill shall become a law the fields of the farmers of Iowa will become waste places. They are being pushed in that direction without this bill.
The farmers of Iowa and all others having products of whatsoever kind to ship to market from that State are to-day, and they have been since the companies induced the change of our first trausportation act in the State, paying, except from a few localities, local rates to Chicago, so that while the companies were carrying the corn of the farmers of lowa at 11 cents a hundred from competing points on the Missouri River to Chicago, they were charging 17 cents and 22 cents a hundred from stations but a few miles east of the western boundary of the State to stations within the State and west of the Mississippi River, producing the result that I brought to the attention of the Senate in my remarks before the holiday adjournment, that Western Iowa corn was selling in Chicago ever since the ripening of the present crop from 3 to 6 cents per bushel cheaper than the farmer in the eastern part of lowa could get it with which to feed the stock on his farm, he needing it because of the failure of the crop in Eastern Iowit.
Mr. MORRILL. Will the Senator from Iowa permit me to ask him a question ?
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. Certainly.
Mr. MORRILL. As I understand this bill, it does not interfere at all with the railroads in the several States. Now he complains that the railroads charge from a point in his State to another point in the State a higher rate than they do to Chicago.
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. I am only giving that as an example of the outrageous conduct of the railroad companies.
Mr. MORRILL. Which is not remedied by this bill.
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. No; but I hope if we shall get this bill that the people of Iowa will follow it with supplementary action with reference to the transportation within their own State. Indirectly, of course, it will have an effect. But these conditions have been growing worse day by day since the period referred to by the Senator from Rhode Island, and, as I said, I have been getting education as the time has been going on.
I ve received some of it even from good old Massachusetts, the State which stands here in the person of her able Senator (Mr. HOAR] to-day resolutely opposing the principle of the long-and-short-haul provision of this bill. In the last report of the commissioners of that State I find the following in respect of the longand-short-haul doctrine of this bill:
In exceptional cases and to a small extent it may work harshly, but its general working has been most beneficial. It has remedied a great evil and a great injustice; it has helped save small industries and small places from being crushed out of existence; it has checked the tendency to consolidation which would build up one place, or a few places, at the cost of local enterprise, thus creating traffic for the railroads by giving occupation to their customers.' And it is believed any attempt to repeal this safeguard of fair dealing would receive almost universal condemnation from the business men of Massachusetts.
Mr. HOAR. From what does the Senator read, will he pardon me?
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. I am reading from an extract given me in an editorial in the Chicago Tribune, which extract is said to be taken from the last annual report of the railroad commissioners of Massachusetts.
Mr. HOAR. What is the "it" which works all those things ?
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. The application of the principle of the long and short haul clause.
Mr. HOAR. I have in my hand a document, the last report of the railroad commissioners of Massachusetts--I do not at this moment put my eye on the passage, but I had it here to read-in which it is said that the phrase "from the same point of departure,” which is stricken out of the bill here, is essential to the Massachusetts legislation; that without it it never would have been passed. It proceeds to argue against this provision with great force; and among my papers which I handed to the reporter I had a letter from Hon. Thomas Russell, whose language the Senator from Iowa is quoting, addressed to the Senator from Connecticut (Mr. PLATT], in which, in five or six closely written pages, be exposes the injustice of this present scheme. The Senator has been misled by applying to one thing what the author of that language applied to another.
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. Mr. President
Mr. HOAR. If the Senator will pardon me while I interpose a pretty emphatic issue with the honorable Senator from Vermont. The chairman of the railroad commission of Massachusetts says it is not the same thing in substance, but that this thing would be utterly destructive, while that thing has worked well.
Mr. EDMUNDS. I wish to say in reply to my friend from Massachusetts, if it is lawful to differ from a Massachusetts chairman whatever he is, I entirely disagree with that Massachusetts man.
Mr. HOAR. But I did not bring Judge Russell, an eminent railroad authority though he is, into this discussion. The Senator from Iowa undertook to quote Judge Russell's language as an indorsement of this bill, and he read it with a personal reference to me, saying that he had brought a Massachusetts anthority in opposition to what I had said. He had been learning from Massachusetts.
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. So I have.
Mr. HOAR. I then said that the Massachusetts authority which he quoted on his side had expressed in the strongest way his disapprobation of the present bill both in private correspondence and in his last railroad report, from which the Senator quoted. He says in speaking of the provision which was not agreed to in the Senate originally, that this provision should apply to two things from the same point of departure, that that is essential to the efficacy of the Massachusetts law, and without it it never would have been passed.
The Senator from Vermont will pardon me. I was not setting up
any body against the Senator from Vermont, but I was simply pointing out that the authority which was brought against me from my own State was on my side.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from lowa bas the floor.
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. Mr. President, there is one thing that is definitely clear in this matter, and that is that the long-and-short-haul provision applies to the transportation system of Massachusetts. About that there is no doubt or dispute. If that principle is good for Massachusetts, why is it not good for New York, and Ohio, and Michigan, and Illinois, and Iowa?
Mr. DAWES. If the long and short haul is good for Massachusetts, I should like to know why the same power that made it good for Massachusetts does not take it up and apply it to Iowa.
Mr. HOAR. Will my colleague-
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Iowa declines to yield.
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. I will tell the Senator from Massachusetts, who put the last question, why. Simply because we are dealing with the subject of interstate commerce over which the State of Iowa can exercise no jurisdiction, and because we can not do that we are trying to get the remedy applied by the Congress of the United States.
Mr. DAWES. I wish to know of the Senator from Iowa why Iowa can not apply it to her commerce from station to station precisely as Massachusetts does.
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. We can do it from station to station within the State.
Mr. DAWES. Then all the good that Massachusetts gets out of it in applying it to her freight system Iowa can if she wants to.
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. With respect to her State commerce alone, but there is commerce originating in Iowa that enters into and becomes a part of the great body of interstate commerce. Mr. DAWÈS. Now, I wish to knowThe PRESIDENT pro tempore. Does the Senator from Iowa yield ?
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. Not at present. While we may follow the example of Massachusetts and apply the principle of her law to the State commerce of the State of Iowa, we want also the principle applied to the interstate commerce, in order that all that we ship out of the State except from a few competitive points shall not be compelled as now to pay local rates to Chicago.
Mr. DAWES. The Senator has cited instances of outrageous charges betwen different points in his own State, showing that the farmer in Eastern Iowa is obliged to pay for the corn he gets from Western Iowa so much more in freight that they could get it in Chicago cheaper than they could get the same corn there. Is not that all under the control of the State of Iowa? If the charges between Western Iowa and Eastern Iowa are so exorbitant, why does not Iowa put a stop to it just as Massachusetts has, and get all the good which the Senator has made himself familiar with by reading the report of the commissioner of Massachusetts ?
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. The Senator from Massachusetts can not lead me away from the subject I was illustrating by the facts that I cited in connection with Iowa. I cited those facts to show the hardship imposed by the present system of transportation administration by the companies.
Mr. DAWES. I alluded to it to show that the remedy is within yourself,
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. 'In so far as the commerce confined within the limits of the State is concerned; but I put the question again, if that principle works good in Massachusetts in connection with State commerce, why will it not work good in the United States in reference to interstate commerce?
Mr. HOAR. Will my friend now permit me to interrupt him?
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. I am taking up more of the time of the Senate than I intended.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Does the Senator from Iowa yield to the Senator from Massachusetts ?
Mr. HOAR. I am sure the Senator would not desire to put me or the railroad commissioner of Massachusetts in a false position.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Chair inquires again if the Senator from Iowa yields.
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. Certainly. Mr. HOAli. I desire to read exactly what the railroad commissioner of Massachusetts said on that subject. Here was an application from the selectnen of Pittsfield, the town where my colleague lives, saying that the Boston and Albany Railroad Company charged $1 a gross ton for coal from a certain point on their line, 50 miles, to Pittstield, and that they were charging $1.25 for a distance of only 43 miles. That is the complaint under our short-haul law. Then skipping all but a few sentences I will read what the commissioner says:
The statute commonly known as the “short-haul law” is in substance as follows:
No railroad corporation shall charge or receive for the transportation of freight to any station on its road a greater sum than is at the time charged or received for the transportation of the like class and quantity of freight from the same original point of departure
These words are in italicsto a station at a greater distance on its road in the same direction.
The words in italics are a substantive and essential part of the law, without which it could not have been passed. We have a right to say this, because such a law was proposed to the Legislature, and was rejected in 1871, when the "shorthaul law" was first enacted. This proposed bill read as follows:
"No railroad corporation of this commonwealth shall charge or collect for the transportation of goods or merchandise for any shorter distance any larger amount as toll or freight than is charged or collected for the carriage of similar quantities of the same class of goods over a longer distance upon the same road."
Such a bill would forbid the collection of $1.25 from Hudson and $1 from Albany. But the general court not only have not enacted such a bill, but have refused so to do, and for good reasons. It is interesting to notice that when the "short-haul law" of this state is censured, as it recently has been by interested parties, it is always misrepresented to be just what the petitioners have supposed it to be.
And now when it is passed it is equally misunderstood. It is misrepresented in that newspaper which the Senator quoted: While a rate over one route or in one direction lower than that charged in another is not absolutely forbidden, such a discrepancy is evidence admissible upon the question of reasonableness, and it calls for explanation.
And they go on to give it. I have here, written by Judge Russell-