Page images

The highest percentage is found in chemicals and allied industries, where the trusts produce 33.4 per cent of the total; in iron and steel, where they produce 28.4 per cent; in tobacco, where they produce 26.2 per cent; in metals other than iron and steel, 24.1 per cent, and in liquors and beverages, 22 per cent.

It is interesting to know that the drink bill of the United States amounted last year to $425,504,167, of which $93,432,274 was paid to the trusts. This includes all wines, beers, liquors, and beverages of every description, “soft” as well as "hard" drinks and mineral waters.

The lumber industry is more free from the control of the trusts than any other. Of a total of $1,030,906,579 of lumber and its manufactures produced last year, only 2 per cent, or $20,378,815, was produced by the trusts, and only 4.4 per cent of the textiles. The total value of textiles produced was $1,637,438,484, and the share of the trusts was $71,888,802. Paper and printing, leather goods, and clay, glass, and stone products also are comparatively free from the trusts, as they controlled less than 8 per cent of each.

Another very interesting feature of this part of the Census inquiry is the comparative proportion of wage-earners employed by the trusts, the number being only 400,046, or 7.5 per cent of the total number of 5,308,406 wage-earners employed by all the manufacturing establishments in the United States.

The smallest proportion of wage-earners controlled by the trust is found in the lumber trade, where the percentage is very smallonly 10,078 out of a total of 546,953. The largest percentage is 28, in the chemical trade.

The following table shows the number of wage-earners employed in the different industries of the United States, and the proportion controlled by the trusts:

[blocks in formation]

The following table shows the total amount of wages paid to wage-earners of all classes by manufacturing establishments in the l'nited States during the year 1901, and the proportion paid by trusts:

[blocks in formation]

Yet more and more it is evident that the State, and, if necessary, the nation, has got to possess the right of supervision and control as regards the great corporations which are its creatures; particularly as regards the great business combinations which derive a portion of their importance from the existence of some monopolistic tendency.-Theodore Roosevelt, in speech at Minneapolis, September 2, 1901.

It is no limitation upon property rights or freedom of contract to require that when men receive from Government the privilege of doing business under corporate form, which frees them from individual responsibility, and enables them to call into their enterprises the capital of the public, they shall do so upon absolutely truthful representations as to the value of the property in which the capital is to be invested.-President Roosevelt, in message to Congress, December 3, 1901.

So much for our duties, each to himself and each to his neighbor, within the limits of our own country. But our country, as it strides forward with ever increasing rapidity to a foremost place among the world powers, must necessarily find, more and more, that it has world duties also. There are excellent people who believe that we can shirk these duties and yet retain our selfrespect; but these good people are in error.-Theodore Roosevelt, in speech at Minneapolis, September 2, 1901.




The Republican administrations of President McKinley and President Roosevelt have made a good record in their efforts to execute the anti-trust law, There has been no shirking of duty because of the powerful financial influence behind the trusts. There has been no hesitation for fear the law would not prove effective. These two Republican Presidents have recognized no man or corporation as above the law.

The Department of Justice has proceeded against all trusts against which sufficient information could be secured to justify prosecution, but there has been nothing to warrant the charge of persecution to make political capital. The Department of Justice has acted as the attorney for the Government and sought to execute the law enacted by Congress. And it has secured one decision from the Supreme Court sustaining the validity of the law, an important development in itself, and several other most important decisions against some of the most powerful combinations of capital in the country, while other suits have been brought against the Northern Securities Company to enjoin it and prevent the merging of the Great Northern and Northern Pacific Railroads, and against the Beef Trust in Chicago. These suits are to be tried when the defendants have filed their answers to the complaints made against them.

The following is the record made by the Department of Justice in the courts since the Republican administration of William McKinley began, March 4, 1897:

Joint Traffic Association.-United States vs. The Joint Traffic Association (171 U. S., 505).

The Joint Traffic Association was formed by an agreement between thirty-one railroads, comprising nine trunk line systems, operating between Chicago and the Atlantic Seaboard, for the purpose fixing and maintaining rates and fares between all competitive points within the territory covered by the agreement. The suit was brought in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York, in January, 1896. The Circuit Court decided in favor of the railroads and the Court of Appeals affirmed that decision. Thereupon the Government took an appeal to the Supreme Court. The case was argued in the Supreme Court on

behalf of the Government by Solicitor-General Richards on February 24 and 25, 1898, the case being decided in the October following:

The Supreme Court reversed the judgments of the lower courts and held that the anti-trust law prohibits all agreements in restraint of interstate trade and commerce, whether the restraint be reasonable or unreasonable. The court further held the anti-trust law to be valid, and that Congress has the power to say that a contract or combination shall not be legal which restrains commerce among the several States by preventing the operation of the general law of competition. The court further held that the natural, direct, and necessary effect of all the provisions of the agreement which the companies had entered into was to prevent any competition whatever between the parties to it for the whole time of its existence.

Hopkins vs. The United States (171 U. S., 578).

This suit was brought in December, 1896, in the District Court of the United States for the district of Kansas, against Hopkins and other members of the Kansas City Live Stock Exchange, to obtain a dissolution of the Exchange. The Exchange was an unincorporated volunteer association of men doing business at the stock yards, and formed for the purpose of receiving individually consignments of live stock from the owners in the several States surrounding Kansas City, and for caring for and selling the same. An injunction was granted restraining the operation of the association. The Supreme Court, however, dissolved the injunction for the reasons that the business carried on at the stock yards by the members of the association was not interstate commerce within the meaning of the anti-trust law. Argued February, 1898—-decided October, 1898.

Anderson vs. The United States (171 U. S., 604). This suit was against The Traders' Live Stock Exchange of Kansas City, to compel its dissolution. The association being similar in character to that involved in the Hopkins case, and the business carried on being similar in all respects, the Supreme Court held that such acts were not in violation of the anti-trust law, and the business so carried on was not interstate commerce. The case was argued in February, 1898, and decided in October of that year.

Addyston Pipe Case.—United States vs. Addyston Pipe and Steel Company (175 U. S., 211).

This suit was brought on December 10, 1896, in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Tennessee, against the Addyston Pipe and Steel Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, and five

other companies engaged in the manufacture and sale,of cast-iron pipe, to restrain the further carrying out an agreement between the six companies to control prices in thirty-six States of the United States by suppressing competition. The Circuit Court, upon hearing, dismissed the complaint. The Government took an appeal to the Court of Appeals, where the judgment of the lower court was, on February 8, 1898, reversed. Thereupon the Pipe Trust carried the case to the Supreme Court, where, on December 4, 1899, the judgment of the Court of Appeals was affirmed, and the several companies were, as to interstate trade and commerce, perpetually enjoined from the further carrying out of their agreement.

This case is important because it is the first in which the Supreme Court has applied the Sherman anti-trust law to an industrial combination or trust. On behalf of the trust it was contended that the power of Congress, under the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution, does not extend to agreements among private corporations, but is limited to acts of interference by the Statesand by quasi-public corporations, such as railroads. Private manufacturing corporations, it was insisted, are not public agencies and cannot be compelled to keep their shops running or sell their goods to any person who applies. In the next place, it was urged that there was no restraint put upon interstate commerce and that under the decision in the Knight (sugar) case, the creation of a monopoly in the manufacture of a commodity, however useful, is not prohibited by the anti-trust law.

The Supreme Court held, however, that Congress may prohibit the performance of any contract between individuals or corporations where the natural and direct effect of it is to regulate or restrain interstate commerce. In other words that the anti-trust law applies to every agreement in restraint of interstate trade, whether made by corporations or individuals. In the next place the court held that any agreement or combination which directly operates not alone upon the manufacture but upon the sale of an article of interstate commerce, by preventing or restricting its interstate sale, is denounced by the Sherman law. The form of the combination is immaterial, if it operates directly to put a restraint upon trade or commerce among the several States.

Chesapeake and Ohio Fuel Company.--United States vs. Chesapeake and Ohio Fuel Company (105 Fed. Rep., 93).

This suit was brought in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of Ohio, in May, 1899, to restrain fourteen companies engaged in producing and shipping coal and coke in what is known as the “Kanawha District,” West Virginia, from carrying out an agreement made with the Chesapeake and Ohio Fuel

« PreviousContinue »