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their rates to harmonize with these exceptional conditions? Not at all. On the contrary they go right on as though nothing out of the line of ordinary agricultural events had transpired in Iowa. On the 16th instant, corn was selling in Western Iowa at from 20 cents to 25 cents per bushel. In Chicago it was quoted at from 363 cents to 361 At Ottumwa, in Southeastern Iowa, the price was 40 cents to 42 cents
So that Western Iowa corn was selling in Chicago at from 3 to 6 cents cheaper per bushel than the Eastern Iowa farmer could buy it for use on his farm; and these conditions have existed from the day that corn crop matured down to the present time.
Mr. GEORGE.I should like to ask the Senator from Iowa to repeat that statement. It is a very important one, and I did not catch it fully.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. There being po objection, the Senator from Iowa will proceed with his remarks on the conference report on the interstate-commerce bill.
Mr. WILSON, of Iowa. Mr. President, when this interruption occurred I understood the Senator from Mississippi to ask me to repeat the statement I had made relative to the conditions existing in Iowa, as he said he had not distinctly heard my remark.
Mr. GEORGE. I made that request.
Mr. WILSON. of Iowa. I had stated that somewbat peculiar conditions were existing in Iowa with respect to the agricultural interests in this, that in the western part of the State án abundant corn crop had been the result of the season; that in the eastern part of the State it had been prartically or largely a failure, and that the corn of Western Iowa was needed for the use of the tarmers of Eastern lowa. Then I gave an illustration of the unjust effect of the transportation rates by saying that on the 16th of this month corn was selling in Western lowa at from 20 to 25 cents per bushel, in Chicago it was quoted at from 36 to 36 cents a bushel, while at Ottumwa, in Southeastern Iowa, the price was 40 to 42 cents per bushel. So that Western Iowa corn was selling in Chicago at some 3 to 6 cents less than the Eastern Iowa farmer could buy it for use on his farm to feed his stock; and these conditions have existed from the day that that corn crop matured down to the present time.
What results have we from this state of facts ? Why, that the farmers have been forced to sell their horses, cattle, and hogs in a depressed market, and at whatever prices they could get.
From iowa newspapers I learn that this subject was brought to the attention of the railroad companies. At a meeting of the Live-Stock Breeders' Association, held in the State, the subject was acted on by the adoption of the following preamble and resolution, namely:
Whereas, on account of the unparalleled drought, the farmers in Eastern and Central Iowa bave a surplus of stock, while Western Iowa and Nebraska have a surplus of corn; and
Whereas the present railroad tariff is driving to Chicago corn that is greatly needed at home: Therefore,
Be il resolved, that we respectfully ask the railroads running through Iowa to reduce their local freight rates, that farmers may be able to obtain grain to feed out their stock.
This action has produced no result. Prices range at about the same figures I have already stated, and the depression of agricultural interests continues, and this in face of the fact that the railroad companies could have extended relief without hurting themselves. If they had given the farmers of Eastern Iowa even the Chicago rate on Nebraska and Western Iowa corn, they would have tided them over the present exceptional period of depression and loss. Can there be a more suggestive illustration of the absence of the element of common sense in business management than these facts present? But this is only one illustration out of scores and even hundreds that might be cited; and while these things are practiced we may be sure that the demand for regulative legislation will not lower its tone nor reduce its exactions. Let us give the response which the bill of the conference committee presents. We will then have practiced the virtue of action, and the future will tell us whether we have done too much or too little. If we make mistakes in either the one direction or the other, we will learn which it is and to what extent. We will then have knowledge which comes from experience. This is a surer guide than all of the theories which perplex the subject of which this bill treats can give to us. For ten years and more we have debated; now let us act.
Mr. CAMDEN. I now make the inquiry as to what position this bill will occupy if it is allowed to go over until after the adjournment. In making this inquiry I would remind the Senator (Mr. CULLOM] in charge of the bill of the fact that two years ago a commission was appointed to investigate and report to Congress on this subject; that they made a very elaborate and able report after spending much time and labor on the subject. This report and the bill before Congress at the last session occupied a very large portion of the time of the session. That bill was matured and passed after due deliberation, and went to a conterence committee of the two Houses. The conference committee has reported what I conceive to be a very wise and conservative bill on this subject.
The country demands the passage of some bill. The country demands relief on the questions involved in this bill, which it is the duty of Congress to act upon. This is the short session. A very large proportion of the time of the session after the holidays will be taken up in the consideration and passage of the appropriation bills which have the right of way over all other bills brought before the Senate. I wish in making this inquiry to remind the Senator in charge of this bill of the fact that unless this bill is acted upon promptly and in the early part of the session it is likely not to be acted upon at all, and will go over for want of time.
Mr. CULLOM. The Senator suggests a point which I appreciate evry fully. I desire to say that my own preference would be to proceed with the consideration of this bill until the last hour before the recess, in the hope that we might get it disposed of; but there has seemed to be so unanimous a desire that the bill should not be pressed for consideration at this time in view of the fact that we adjourn to-morrow for the holidays, many Senators desiring to go home this evening, that I thought it wise and proper only to ask for the consideration of the bill to-day that the Senator from Ipwa might make his remarks upon the subject.
I desire to add now that I appreciate the fact that we can very easily allow this bill to fail for want of time; but so far as I am concerned it shall not fail if I have the power to prevent it in the Senate. I shall ask the Senate to again resume the consideration of the report of the committee of conference after the Senate resumes its session, and shall insist upon its consideration from day to day until it is disposed of.
Mr. HARRIS. Immediately on the reassembling of the Senate? Mr. CULLOM. Immediately on the reassembling of the Senate after the recess.
Mr. PLATT. That is January 4.
Mr. CULLOM. I believe we have voted to take a recess until the 4th of January. I hope that Senators will be prepared, if they desire to make any remarks upon the subject, to make them without delay, so that we can get a vote upon the question as early as possible.
As I said some days ago, this is the short session; we have been upon this subject now for eight or ten years, those of the Senators who have been here that long, and we have never before come so near to the point of agreeing upon a bill as we seem to be to-day, and I hope that we may be able to pass this bill through the Senate and let it go to the other House for consideration there very early after the Senate resumes its session in January. With these remarks I have no disposition to press the consideration of the report further until after the recess of the Senate.
Mr. CAMDEN. I have but one word further to say in regard to this matter.
I can appreciate that, as the Senate will adjourn to-morrow for the holidays, there will be no opportunity of giving adequate consideration to this bill before that time, and probably no delay will arise if we have the distinct understanding that immediately upon the reassembling of Congress after the recess this bill will be taken up and pressed for consideration. That I understand to be the intention and desire of the Senator having the bill in charge, and I have no doubt that understanding will be satisfactory.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5, 1887:
* The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The hour of 2 o'clock having arrived, the Chair lays before the Senate the unfinished business, being the bill (S. 372)'to establish agricultural-experiment stations in connection with the colleges established in the several States under the provisions of an act approved July 2. 1862, and of the acts supplementing thereto.
Mr. CULLOM. I move that the conference report on the bill (S. 1532) be now taken up for consideration.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Illinois moves that the conference report on the interstate-commerce bill be now taken up.
The motion was agreed to; and the Senate proceeded to consider the report of the committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses upon the bill (S. 1532) to regulate commerce.
Mr. CULLOM. Mr. President, when the conference report was made by the committee the report was not read in full. I only desire to call the attention of the Senate to that fact, but I do not propose at this moment to have it read, as the Senator from Connecticut [Mr. PLATT] is prepared to address the Senate on the subject, and I will waive the reading for the present.
Mr. PLATT. Mr. President, the utterances of Senators in this Chamber are so liable to be misunderstood, I will not say misrepre sented, that I takeoccasion to say before proceeding with my remarks, and to say it with what emphasis I may, that I am in favor of legislation for the regulation of the business of the railroads of the country within the extreme limits of the Constitution, which I understand to be for the regulation of that portion of the business done upon the railroads of the country which comes within the definition of " interstate commerce.” I wish that it were so that Congress had power to go further in the subject of railroad legislation.
More than that: I am in favor of this bill with one exception. I have labored earnestly, with what diligence I might, conscientiously, to endeavor to perfect the bill and to assist the chairman of the committee and the other members of the committee in coming to conclusions upon this subject, and I am ready to agree with the report of the conference committee upon all the points except the one to which I shall call the attention of the Senate.
It is not a question of whether we shall legislate for the regulation of interstate commerce transacted by railroads, but it is a question of how we shall legislate. It is a vast and complicated subject that we deal with, vaster and more complicated, I think, than any one apprehends until he has made a careful and exhaustive study of the subject. The very fact that there were moved upon the railroads of the l'nited States in the year 1885, 437,000,000 tons of freight, a very large proportion of which, I suppose 60 per cent. at least, came under the definition of interstate commerce, the fact that the entire receipts of the railroads of this country in the year 1885 were $765,000,000, a sum more than twice as great as the entire income of the Government, of which $519,000,000 were from freight receipts alone, shows how vast the question is. How complicated it is no one can ever know except those who have been practically engaged in the operation of railroads.
The basis upon which we must legislate, as it seems to me, is simple. The justification for legislation is that the railroad business, unlike other business, is of a mixed nature. It is partly private business and partly public business. I think that we should refrain as far as possible from legislating to affect purely private business in this country. But when a private business is charged with a public use,” as the phrase is, when the railroad undertakes to discharge a public duty as well as to conduct its private business. it is eminently proper and necessary that there should he legislation to make sure that the public business is conducted for the public welfare; that its public duty is faithfully discharged, and that no abuses are allowed to exist.
I said the basis of legislation was simple. It should be the enforcement of the commou law--that, and nothing more. Congress may not justify itself, in my judgment, in stepping outside of the well-defined principles of the common law in legislation. Those prmciples affecting interstate railway business have had a growth of centuries. They provide the remedy for every difficulty which can arise in the operation of railroads. The application of those principles to every evil or abuse which can be charged against railroads and railroad operations will solve the difficulty and remedy the evil. The difliculty is only in the application.
So then, I think, we should confine our legislation to the enforcement of the common law. That is simple. It is only this; it can be expressed in a word: The rates charged by common carriers must be reasonable, and such carriers must only charge like rates for like services. That is all. It has been the intention of this committee to confine legislation within these limits. A careful study of the bill as it was passed by the Senate will show that we did not go outside of those limits, that we undertook to make no new law for the regulation of railroads and the business vf railroads and interstate commerce in this country, but that we did undertake to hold the railroad management of this country up to the strict letter of the common law.
We did this intentionally. We did it because in the light of experience in this and other countries we believed that that was the best method of dealing with the railroad problem, because those State Legislatures which had legislated thus and stopped there had done most toward a favorable and satisfactory solution of the railroad problem in the States. For instance, all the legislation of the State of Massachusetts upon this subject is to be found in a single statute which is in chapter 225 of the acts of May 16, 1882. I read it. It is an amendment to a former statute which imposed penalties for violations of the common law. It is this:
SECTION 1. Chapter 94 of the acts of the year 1882 is amended by striking out the first and second sections thereof and inserting instead the foliowing words: "No railroad company shall in its charges for the transportation of freight or in doing its freight business inake or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to or in favor of any person, firm, or corporation, nor subject any person, firm, or corporation to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage."
That and a short-haul law upon which largely the short-haul provision of the Senate bill was modeled, and a single statute in relation to the transportation of milk, is all the remedial legislation which has been resorted to in the State of Massachusetts.
In addition to that, they have a railroad commission. That commission has very little power. It has power to hear complaints and to make report to the attorney-general of the State and to the Legislature. That simple legislation has been found to be the most effective State legislation in the United States, and it is in that State where the legislation has been most simple, where it has been strictly confined to a declaration and enforcement of the common law, where the fewest complaints against railroads now exist. It is in those States which have legislated inost severely and rigidly where the most numerous complaints, and, in my judgment, the best-founded complaints, of railroad abuses now exist.
The committee believed that it was not best in experimental legislation to go too far, and this legislation is experimental. They believed that it was unwise to attempt to prescribe a remedy for every alleged abuse in railroad management by specific legislation, by bard and fast iron-bound statutes applying thereto. I think the committee were right, and therefore I have great pleasure in standing by the committee bill with the single exception to which I am to-day to call the attention of the Senate.
The discussion upon this bill is narrowed to two issues, and I think the committee and the Senate may be congratulated that the work of the committee has been practically adopted by both branches of the national legislature, with the exception of these two topics which still excite discussion. These two questions are, first, whether the Senate will adopt the modification proposed by the confereuce committee in the short-haul section, and, second, will it prohibit pooling instead of leaving it for the present to the investigation of the commission.
Now that these two issues come cleariy before the Senate, I wish to put in juxtaposition, side by side, the provisions of the Senate bill and the provisions of the bill recommended by the conference committee upon these topics. First, I read the short-haul clause of the Senate bill, section 4:
SEC. 4. That it shall be unlawful for any common carrier subject to the provisions of this act to charge or receive any greater compensation in the aggregate for the transportation of passengers or of like kind of property, under substantially similar circumstances and conditions, for a shorter than for a longer distance over the same line, in the same direction, and from the same original point of departure or to the same point of arrival; but this shall not be construed as authorizing any common carrier within the terms of this act to charge and receive as great compensation for a shorter as for a longer distance: Provided, however, That upon application to the commission appointed under the provisions