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I think the Senate is entitled to each successive step respecting this important matter, and that the first thing to be printed is the Senate bilī, and that then the amendment the other House made, a single amendment to that bill, should be printed, and then the Senate bill should be printed with each and every amendment proposed by the conference committee, these amendments being in capital letters, so that we may not make a mistake in respect to what the conference committee propose. In that way we shall have the text of the original bill, the amendment of the House in italics, and the Senate bill with the amendments proposed by the conference committee in capital letters. Then let us also have the substitute by itself, so that we may know exactly how the bill will read if passed as reported by the conference committee.
Mr. CULLOM. In answer to the Senator's suggestion I will say that there is very little in the proposed bill that is the language of any part of the House bill.
Mr. ALLISON. Very well.
Mr. CULLOM. I am not able to see myself that we should get very much information by printing in any particular form the Senate billas it passed the Senate, and then the House bill as it passed the House, or the substitute for the Senate hill now reported. My judgment is that Senators will be able to know all about the changes that occur by printing the Senate bill as it passed and then the proposed amendments of the conference committee in italics.
I suggest to the Senator that printing in capital letters, as I understand from some gentlemen who know something about printing, would probably be a difficult matter to do. Hence I think it is not necessary to have it printed in capitals because italics will answer just as well.
Mr. ALLISON. Very well. I do not care about that; I presume capital letters are scarce; but I think in connection with this bill we want the House measure printed in some form.
Mr. CULLOM. I have no objection to that. Mr. ALLISON. That may be done by way of a supplement if you please.
Mr. CULLOM. I do not want so much printed that you will never find out what is before you.
Mr. ALLISON. Very well.
Mr. CULLOM. Before action on my motion, I desire to make a statement of the changes in the bill. The following is a statement of the changes in the bill as passed by the Senate which have been agreed to and are recommended by the committee of conference:
Section 1 is amended by inserting the words “or the District of Columbia" after the words “United States” where they occur in lines 8 and 9, to make it plain that the act will apply to transportation between the States and Territories and the District of Columbia, as well as between the States and Territories.
I am making this statement that Senators may from the RECORD immediately get an idea of the changes that are proposed; and hence I ask their attention.
The term “ railroad" is defined in this section, beginning with line 24, as including “all bridges and ferries used or operated in connection with any railroad;” and to these words the following have been added: "And also all the road in use by any corporation operating a railroad, whether owned or operated under a contract, agreement, or lease.”
Sections 2, 3, and 4 of the Senate bill, prohibiting discriminations,
contained provisions in relation to the recovery of damages. These have been stricken out of said sections, and have been grouped together in one section, which is made section 8 of the committee bill. Except as to this rearrangement, substantially the only change made has been the addition of the provision of the House bill that “a reasonable counsel or attorney's fee" shall be allowed by the court in every case of the recovery of damages. The parts of said sections which are stricken out in consequence of the rearrangement referred to are all of section 2 after the word “unlawful,” in line 13, all of section 3 after the word “business," in line 18, and lines 23 to 27, both inclusive, in section 4. No other change is made in section 2.
Section 3 is also amended by striking out the words “and proper,'' in line 12, and substituting therefor the words “proper and equal, as to require railroads to afford "equal” as well as reasonable and proper facilities to connecting roads for the interchange of traffic. Also, by striking out the words “but no such common carrier shall be required to give the use of its tracks or terminal facilities to another carrier engaged in like business," and by substituting therefor the following: “And shall not discriminate in their rates and charges between such connecting lines; but this shall not be construed as requiring any such common carrier to give the use of its tracks or terminal facilities to another carrier engaged in like business."
Section 4 of the Senate bill is amended by striking out the words "and from the same original point of departure or to the same point of arrival," in lines 7 and 8, and inserting in lieu thereof the words “the shorter being included within the longer distance;" also, by inserting after the words “in special cases,” in line 13, the words "after investigation by the commission."
This section is further amended by striking out the following words in relation to the power of the commission to suspend the operation of the section, beginning in line 16:
Make general rules exempting such designated common carrier in such special cases from the operation of this section of this act; and when such exceptions shall have been made and published, they shall, until changed by the commission or by law, bave like force and effect as though the same had been specified in this section.
And by substituting therefor the following words: Prescribe the extent to which such designated common carrier may be relieved from the operation of this section of this act.
Section 19, requiring an immediate investigation by the commission of the necessity of legislation upon the subject of pooling, has been stricken out, and section 5 of the committee bill contains the provision of the House bill prohibiting pooling, with some modifications of the language.
Section 5 of the Senate bill has been replaced by section 6 of the committee bill, which combines most of the provisions of the Senate and House bills upon the subject of publicity of rates. Section 5 made it the duty of the commission to secure publicity of rates as far as might be found practicable; not only the rates between points on each railroad, but rates over connecting lines as well. The new section requires each railroad to make public the rates between points upon its own line, and in addition the commission is directed to secure publicity of rates over connecting lines so far as may be found practicable.
Section 9 of the committee bill is an addition to the Senate bill, and provides that persons claiming to be damaged by the violation of the act by any common carrier may either make complaint to the commission as provided in the Senate bill, or may institute suits for the recovery of damages in their own behalf in the district or circuit courts of the United States.
For section 7 of the Senate bill, providing for the criminal penalty, section 10 of the committee bill has been substituted, which, though in different terms, is substantially the same in effect.
Section 8 of the Senate bill has been changed so as to provide that the terms of the commissioners first appointed shall run for two, three, four, five, and six years, respectively, from January 1, 1887, without regard to the time of their appointment.
Section 9 of the Senate bill is amended by adding to the provisions for compelling officers of railroads to testify, when summoned by the commission, the following:
The claim that any such testimony or evidence may tend to criminate the person giving such evidence shall not excuse such witness from testifying; but such evidence or testimony shall not be used against such person on the trial of any criminal proceeding.
Section 15 of the Senate bill is amended by making the words "all necessary traveling expenses,” in line 16, read as follows: “all necessary expenses for transportation."
Nine sections of the Senate bill have not been changed in any respect, except as to the numbering, namely: Sections 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, and 18.
Section 20 of the Senate bill has been amended by inserting the following after the word “religion” in line 8:
Nothing in this act shall be construed to prevent railroads from giving free carriage to their officers and employés, or to prevent the principal officers of any railroad company or companies from exchanging passes or tickets with other railroad companies for their officers and employés.
Also, by striking out all after line 9, and substituting therefor the following:
Existing at common law or by statute, but the provisions of this act are in addition to such remedies : Provided, That no pending legislation shall in any way be affected by this act.
The following has been added as a new section: SEC. 24. That the provisions of sections 11 and 18 of this act, relating to the appointment and organization of the commission herein provided for, shall take effect immediately, and the remaining provisions of this act shall take effect sixty days after its passage.
This statement I have deemed it proper to make to go into the RECORD, so that if Senators desire to look at it, so as to ascertain what changes have been made from the Senate bill, it may be some help to them in determining what they are. I yield now to the Senator from Connecticut.
Mr. PLATT. Mr. President, as the report of the conference committer was not fully read, even the concluding formal part of it being omitted in the reading, the Senate was not informed by the reading of the report that I did not concur by my signature in the conclusions at which the conferees arrived. It is therefore, perhaps, proper that I should say at this time that I was unable to bring my mind to the signature of this report, and it is also perhaps fair that I should state, to some extent, the ground upon which I withheld my signature.
I think I should, though with great reluctance, have consented to all the provisions and recommendations of the report but one. I should have had great reluctance in subscribing to the recommendation for the change of the Senate provision relating to short hauls and long hauls; but if it had been necessary to get an agreement I think I would not have withheld my assent to that change. But I was unable to agree to the surrender of the provision in the Senate bill directing the commission, when it should be appointed, to make an immediate investigation of what is known as pooling between railroads and to report their conclusions and recommendations thereupon to Congress, and substitute therefor the absolute prohibition under penalties of a thousand dollars a day for non-compliance, with the provision which was contained in the House bill or the House amendment to the Senate bill.
I do not at this time deem it necessary to give at length the reasons which made it impossible for me to assent to this recommendation of the committee of conference. If the matter should be discussed, as I suppose it will be in the future, I should hope to be able to satisfy the Senate that those reasons were weighty, and that they were such as fully justified me in the somewhat unusual course of withholding my signature to the report of the conference committee.
I will say now, however, that I think the public prejudice, if there be one, existing against pooling by railroads is largely the result of ignorance on the part of the public as to what railroad pools really are. The Senator from Vermont (Mr. EDMUNDS) suggests * want of information." I do not know that the public is ever ignorant, but I do believe that there exists a very great deal of misapprehension in the public mind as to the nature, the effect, the result upon the general welfare of the country of pooling contracts between railroads; and I believe, as I thought the Senate believed, that the bill as it was passed by the Senate was calculated to cure whatever evils had grown out of the system of railroad pooling, so that before the report of the commission which was provided for in the Senate bill upon this subject should be made, the people would have become convinced that the evils which they supposed to result from the pooling of freights by railroads were either imaginary or had been cured by the operation of the bill which was passed by the Senate.
I was not unmindful of the fact that all interstate commerce, so far as relates to freight, is to-day transacted under pooling arrangements by the railroads, and that an absolute prohibition of pooling was to break up at once, or, as the bill now reads, within sixty days after its passage, every arrangement by which the interstate commerce business of this country is at present conducted. It seemed to me, with my knowledge of the history of the management of railroads, and with my knowledge of legislation upon this subject, that the result would be an immediate rate-war by all the railroads of the United States. At least that was my apprehension, and I believed that the evils and consequences which would result from that would be very much greater in their injurious effects upon the public, upon the prosperity of the country, than any evils which now exist hy reason of what are known as pooling contracts.
I do not desire to say more at this time.
Mr. CULLOM. Mr. President, I did not expect to say anything on the general subject of the bill, and I shall only add a word to what has been stated.
I think that my colleague on the committee is probably laboring under undue fear of the consequences of the passage of this bill on account of the prohibition of pooling. One of the purposes of the bill itself by requiring publicity of rates and preventing change of rates to a higher schedule, except on ten days' notice, is to bring about that stability of rates which the railroad companies themselves are appealing to us to have brought about, because under the system of pooling they have not been able to bring it about.
So, in my judgment, the apprehension of the Senator from Connecticut that it is going to be injurious to the business of the country will prove to be unfounded; at least I hope and I believe so. I think every Senator will bear me out in saying that I have not been disposed to consent to anything going into this bill that was unreasonable, at least in my own judgment. As I said a moment ago, I would not have consented to the provision of the bill prohibiting pooling if I believed that it would bring upon the country that sort of trouble which the Senator from Connecticut indicates that he apprehends. Every one knows that the railroad companies themselves have finally become reconciled to some national legislation, because they have not been able to protect themselves, one from another, and I think that the provisions of this bill in relation to publicity, and the other provisions to guard against various wrong-doings on their part, will have very great force and effect in bringing about that sort of stability which it has been the ostensible purpose at least of pooling to secure.
I hope, myself, that when this bill comes up for consideration we shall have fair consideration of it, fair discussion of it, and I believe that the Senate, if it is going to agree to any bill at all' on this subject, ought to take the conference report.
Every one knows that this question has been bandied about here from one Congress to another for many years, and Congress has never yet done anything on the subject. The Supreme Court of the United States, within the last two or three months, has made a decision which throws upon Congress the unquestionable duty of legislation regulating interstate commerce if we believe it ought to have any regulation. While the bill is not exactly as I wanted it, while it is not exactly the bill of the Senate, yet except as to the provision in regard to pooling it is practically the Senate bill, and I hope that Senators when the time comes for its consideration will allow the report to be concurred in.
Mr. ALDRICH. Mr. President, I wish to express my surprise that the chairman of the committee should refuse to accede to what seems to me the reasonable request of Senators, that this bill may go over and be set down for a day certain after the coming recess.
The proposition of the chairman of the committee is this, that this bill shall be printed, which will take at least until Friday, and then he proposes to call it up on Monday, which will give Senators one day to understand the elaborate and complex provisions of a bill affecting every person in the United States. It will give us twenty-four hours to consider the bill.
I do not propose at this time to discuss the bill, but I will say that so far as I understand the report its essential provisions are such as the Senate has refused to accede to, or they are propositions which have never been discussed in the Senate at all. That being true, it seems to me that in fairness to all the interests concerned the chairman of the committee should assent to having the bill set down for a day certain after the recess. As the Senator from Massachusetts has very well suggested there are a great many important interests to be considered; the representatives of those interests should have a right to see this bill in print more than twenty-four hours, as well as the members of Congress, before we are called upon to vote on it.
Of course, I have no control over the action of the chairman of the committee, but it seems to me that he should not show what it seems to me is undue haste in a matter of this importance.
Mr. McPHERSON. I should like to offer a resolution asking for papers.