« PreviousContinue »
scarcely think it necessary that the reports of corporations at their inauguration should show separately the costs of promotion, which must necessarily vary greatly according to the conditions.
Mr. Rice refers especially to the exploitation of patents, with which he has been intimately connected. He says the capitalization of a company based on an undeveloped patent must necessarily be fixed solely on the basis of the anticipated profits. The preferred stock should be issued to obtain cash for actual development, and the common stock should represent the estimated value of the patent as such. The witness thinks that the granting of patent monopolies is a great benefit to the public. He alludes especially to the experiences of the Consolidated Rubber Tire Company regarding patents.
Publicity of corporations and protection of stockholders.-The witnesses1 just referred to discuss also the desirability of requiring greater publicity of the affairs of large corporations generally. They are all inclined to agree that some added legal requirements as regards publicity, both at the time of the establishment of corporations and from year to year thereafter, would be desirable, although they do not favor making public too much information, especially regarding corporations engaged in competitive business. Mr. Greene, in particular, thinks that in many cases the best way to protect the public would be by requiring the examination of corporations by expert auditors, who should make only the general results of their examinations public. This witness also discusses in some detail the precise nature of the information which might properly be set forth in public reports.
Mr. Greene and Mr. Woodlock (of the Wall Street Journal) likewise discuss the rights of stockholders in corporations. They assert that in general the rights of stockholders, even those of minority stockholders, are relatively well protected by existing laws and court decisions. They see no reason why a bona fide stockholder should not at all times be permitted to see lists of all the stockholders; but they assert that stockholders should not have the right to demand access to all of the financial accounts of corporations, because this would give competitors and enemies of corporations the opportunity, by buying and becoming holders of a small amount of stock, to get information regarding their affairs.
Export prices.-Mr. Greene and Mr. Howes (of the Boston Chamber of Commerce) think that the practice of American manufacturers in selling goods abroad at lower prices than at home, in order to get rid of a surplus, is entirely justifiable, and that the same practice is followed by manufacturers in all countries.3
Reciprocity with Canada.—Mr. Howes presents a somewhat extended argument in favor of a reciprocity treaty with Canada. He declares that Canada is even now the very best customer for the products of the United States, and that the two countries are naturally almost an economic unit. He maintains, however, that because of the existence of tariff barriers against the sending of Canadian goods into the United States, Canada not only retaliates with other protective duties, but is in general disposed to carry on trade with England and other countries as much as possible in preference to the United States, and that a greatly increased trade with this country would result from a reciprocal reduction of duties. Mr. Howes thinks that free entrance of coal from Nova Scotia and British Columbia would be of great benefit to New England and the Pacific coast States, while our Middle States could export large amounts of coal to Canada. The lumber interests are those which are the most strongly opposed to letting down the tariff barriers, but this witness thinks that it would be a great advantage to New England especially if she could get free lumber from Canada.
Grain elevators and inspection.-The subject of grain elevators and the alleged
1 Greene, pp. 492, 479-492; Woodlock, p. 466; Rice, p. 736. 2 Greene, pp. 477, 478; Woodlock, pp. 466, 467.
3 Greene, pp. 484, 487, 494; Howes, p. 716. * Pages 713-718.
monopoly in some of the Western States was discussed with considerable fullness in the first report of this commission on transportation.
(See Vol. IV, pp. 77-88 of
In the present volume Mr. Teisberg, of the Minnesota Railroad and Warehouse Commission, enters somewhat into the subject. He does not think that there is anything in the nature of a combination of elevators in Minnesota, or an agreement to fix the prices of grain. He says that by virtue of the law of that State, giving any person the right to take land on a railroad right-of-way by condemnation for the purpose of building an elevator, many independent elevators have been established, and that moreover farmers can often load their grain directly into the cars. This witness also discusses the system of grain inspection under the Minnesota law, as well as the practice of mixing different grades of grain.1
1 Pages 367-371, 372.
CONTENTS OF TOPICAL DIGEST.
I. RAILWAY FINANCES GENERALLY.
A. Capitalization of railroads
B. Regulation of capitalization.
C. Bankruptcy and reorganization of railroads.
F. Recent increased earnings of railroads.
COMMUNITY OF INTEREST.
A. The movement toward consolidation and community of interest. LXVI
C. Minnesota law as to railroad consolidation.
III. FREIGHT TRAFFIC AND RATES GENERALLY.
A. Existing freight rates. Recent movements
B. Policy regarding rates.
C. Classification of freight.
Competition and other influences
D. Export and import rates
E. Differential rates from the West to the Eastern cities.
G. Paralleling of railroads and its effect on rates
H. Subsidiary traffic organizations. Private cars, etc.
IV. DISCRIMINATIONS BETWEEN PERSONS.
A. Discussion as to existence and extent of practice
C. Discriminations as affected by legislation
V. DISCRIMINATION BETWEEN PLACES.
A. General principles.
B. Long and short haul discriminations in the South. Basing point
C. Alleged discriminations between rates from East and West to
D. Miscellaneous discriminations and rate adjustments in the
E. Alleged discrimination against Denver
F. Freight rates to the Pacific coast and sea competition...
VI. TICKET BROKERAGE. PASSENGER BUSINESS.
A. Character of people engaged in the brokerage business
C. Relations to railroads..
D. Legitimacy of brokerage business.
E. Testimony of Mr. Blanchard on ticket brokerage.
G. Miscellaneous evidence as to passenger traffic
VII. THE ANTHRACITE-COAL SITUATION.
A. Relation of railroads to coal industry. Alleged community of
B. Relation of railroads to independent operators
VII. THE ANTHRACITE-COAL SITUATION-Continued.
G. Capitalization of coal roads and reserve coal lands.
I. Conditions of labor and relations of employers and employees.. CLXIV VIII. REGULATION OF RAILROADS, INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION.
A. Railway legislation generally.
B. Powers of Interstate Commerce Commission. Proposed amend-
C. Inspection and regulation of railroad accounts
E. Departments of commerce and transportation.
IX. WATER TRANSPORTATION.
A. General relation to rail transportation
B. Atlantic coastwise transportation
C. American merchant marine and ship subsidies
E. Oriental trade.
F. Boston export trade.
G. Ocean traffic of New Orleans
X. TRANSPORTATION ON THE MISSISSIPPI AND TRIBU-
A. Statistics and character of Mississippi River commerce.
XIII. THE TELEGRAPH BUSINESS.
A. General description and statistics.
B. Capitalization and profits of telegraph companies.
C. Freight rates. Competition with railroads
XI. THE TAXATION OF RAILROADS. VALUATION
A. Uniformity of taxation.....
B. Taxation and valuation of railroads in Michigan.c.
C. Taxation of railroads in Minnesota.
D. Valuation of railroad property by National Government..
D. Government ownership in Great Britain..
E. General discussion of Government ownership.
CLXX CLXXII CLXXIV
F. Relations to newspapers, exchanges, and Government
G. Alleged discrimination in use of wires.
J. Conditions of labor...
K. Taxation of telegraph property
A. General argument for Government ownership -
C. Rates and costs of operation..
D. Effect of public ownership on politics
E. Objections to Government ownership..
XIV. THE TELEPHONE BUSINESS.
A. History and description of business.
CLXXXVI CLXXXVII CLXXXVIII
CXCV CXCVIII CCI