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('ompany, whereby the latter company was to receive and sell the entire product of the fourteen companies, intended for shipment west of Cincinnati, the companies to fix the rate at which the coal should be sold, and the amount of coal and coke each constituent company should furnish.
Upon hearing the Circuit Court found that the defendants, acting under this agreement, monopolized and controlled the amount of coal and coke produced in the Kanawha District, and only permitted such amount of coal to be mined and coke to be made as could be sold by the fuel company in accordance with the agreement, the producers being permitted to ship only such amounts as should be apportioned among them by an executive committee selected by the members of the association; that the defendants, acting under the agreement, not only controlled the amount of coal and coke shipped into the territory sought to be controlled, but wholly destroyed competition in the sale of the same.
The court held the agreement to be in violation of the Sherman anti-trust law, as being an attempt to confer power to regulate and restrain interstate commerce by contract, and a usurpation of the functions of Congress. That it was for Congress to determine what regulations of trade will promote the public good, and that it is the policy of Congress to promote individual effort. Upon appeal to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals, the judgment of the lower court was affirmed.
Northern Securities Case.--The United States vs. The Northern Securities Company et al.
This suit was filed on March 10, 1902, in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Minnesota, to restrain the carrying into effect of an agreement between the officers of The Great Vorthern Railway Company and The Northern Pacific Railway Company, whereby all competition between the two railway systems should be prevented. To accomplish this purpose, J. Pierpont Morgan and his associate stockholders of the Northern Pacific Railway Company, and James J. Hill and his associate stockholders of the Great Northern Railway Company caused to be incorporated under the laws of New Jersey a corporation with a capital stock of $400,000,000, called the Northern Securities Company. The officers and managers of the two railway systems became the officers and managers of the Northern Securities Company. The latter company acquired a controlling interest in the stock of the two railway companies by issuing its stock in exchange for the stock of the railway companies; the stockholders of the railway companies ceased to be such and became stockholders of the securities company. In this manner the Northern Securities Company absolutely controlled the management and policy of both
railways; the former stockholders of the two railway systems no longer drew their dividends from the railway companies, but from the holding company-the Northern Securities Company. These dividends were made up from the earnings of the two railway systems.
In this manner, by making the stockholders of each railway system jointly interested in both systems, and by practically pooling the earnings of both systems for the benefit of the former stockholders of each, and by vesting the selection of the directors and officers of each system in a common body-the Northern Securities Company-with not only the power but the duty to pursue a policy which would promote the interests, not of one system at the expense of the other, but of both at the expense of the public, all inducement for competition was to be destroyed, a virtual consolidation effected, and a monopoly of the interstate and foreign commerce formerly carried on by the two railway systems as independent competitors established.
To this petition the several defendants have within the past few days filed answers, admitting some of the allegations but denying others. Testimony will soon be taken upon the issues raised by the pleadings and the case brought to a hearing early in the fall.
The Beef Trust.-- United States vs. Swift & Company and others.
This suit was brought in May, 1902, in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of Illinois, to restrain the operations of the so-called “Beef Trust.” The petition charges the defendants with entering into an unlawful agreement and conspiracy to destroy all competition in the purchase of live-stock and in the sale of dressed meats, by
Directing and requiring their respective purchasing agents at the various stock yards where live stock is purchased to refrain from bidding against each other in the purchase of live stock;
By at times bidding up the price of such stock to a point above its actual market value for the purpose and with the intent to induce the shipment to those points of large numbers of cattle, sheep and hogs so that, upon the arrival of the stock by refraining from bidding against each other the live stock is sold at far below its market value and for much less than could have been obtained at other markets;
By collusively restraining and curtailing the quantities of dressed meats shipped by them to the different markets of the United States with the intent to raise prices, and by arbitrarily, from time to time, by means of their agents, arbitrarily raising and lowering and fixing the prices at which the meats shall be sold, for the purpose and with the intent to destroy all competition;
By at certain places imposing certain cartage charges for the
delivery of meats to dealers, such charges not being made at other places under similar conditions, with the purpose and intent to render it impossible for certain retail dealers to purchase meats;
By means of rebates and other devices, under agreements with the various railroad companies, the defendants have been given and are enjoying lower rates for the transportation of their meats than their competitors, thus forcing their competitors into ruinous competition and loss, for the purpose of destroying all competition in the sale of live stock and fresh meats throughout the various States of the United States.
The petition prays that the defendants may be enjoined from doing or continuing the unlawful acts charged.
A temporary restraining order was granted on May 20, 1902, by Judge Crosscup at Chicago, enjoining each and all of the defendants from continuing to carry out the unlawful agreement and conspiracy charged in the petition. At this time no answers have been filed by the defendants to the petition.
TRUSTS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES-FREE-TRADE ENGLAND
THE HOME OF TRUSTS.
Free-trade England seems to be especially the home of trusts. United States Consul Day, writing from Bradford, England, on May 19, 1900, said:
"The combine mania has smitten this district with almost the fury of an epidemic, and more than any other part of the country it is responsible for the flotation of trusts.” He then presents tables showing at Bradford alone the combination of 126 businesses into five associations, the British Cotton and Wool Dyers' Association, the Yorkshire Wool Combers' Association, the Yorkshire Color Dyers' Association, the Bradford Dyers' Association, and the Bradford Coal Company, their capitalization being over $51,000,000. Consul Dexter, of Leeds, in a report to the State Department dated May 28, 1900, forwards an extract from The Financial Times, giving a list of 296 businesses which had been within two years combined into 13 organizations with a total capital of $182,000,000. Consul Boyle, of Liverpool, reports a combination of chemical manufacturers with a capital of $11,000,000, a combination of salt manufacturers and salt mine owners with a capital of $20,000,000, and a combination of warehousing establishments with a capital of $5,000,000.
Spinners' Trust.--Consul Halstead, of Birmingham, announces the formation of a Worsted Spinners' trust made up of 106 firms
with a capital of $87,000,000, also a combination of wall paper companies with $29,000,000 capital, and another of bleaching companies with a capital of $48,000,000 and including 53 firms; also a combination of cement manufacturers with a capitalization of $40,000,000. Consul Fleming reports from Edinburg a large number of trade combinations, among them the United Alkali Company, composed of 48 firms, the English Sewing Cotton Company, composed of firms with a capitalization of $13,000,000; the Cotton Spinners' and Doublers' Association, 31 firms, capital $29,000,000; the American Thread Company, 13 firms, capital $18,000,000; the British Oil and Cake Mills, 17 firms, capital $7,000,000; the Calico Printers' Association, 60 firms, capital $44,000,000; wall paper manufacturers, 31 firms, capital $20,000,000, and many others. Consul Taylor, of Glasgow, says large numbers of trusts have been formed in that section and that "no attention is given to them and they excite no comment whatever. The impression,” he says, “that these 'combinations' differ in aims, objects, and workings from trusts in America is erroneous.
They are regarded by the public as monopolies pure and simple; still there are those who contend that as much can be said in their defense as in condemnation."
Trusts in Austria.- In the other countries of Europe - trusts flourish, but apparently not with such success and application to all branches of business as in free-trade England. From AustriaHungary Consul-General Carl Bailey Hurst reported on August 3, 1900, that "in spite of its comparatively young manufacturing industries, Austria is not behind other European countries in the matter of trusts. Some political economists designate Austria as the birthplace of the trusts of Central Europe. Since 1873 the number of Austrian trade combinations has steadily risen, embracing pretty nearly all articles of manufacture.” The iron trust, Mr. Hurst says, includes the entire number of iron works in Austria; the petroleum trust comprises 72 factories, and the sugar trust embraces all sugar factories and refineries in Austria. Consul Hossfeld, of Trieste, says:
“The formation of trusts in Austria has developed only during the last few years. In the last three years these syndicates have increased in numbers to such an extent that there does not appear to be at present any really important industry in the country which has not resorted to combination; and this in spite of the fact that the legality of trusts has been repeatedly and emphatically denied by the courts," Vice-Consul Kubinsky, at Prague, who reports a large number of trušts in Austria, says: “The object, it is claimed, is to prevent an overproduction of the manufactured article and the falling of the price in the home market;, to establish a uniform selling price, and to guard against loss caused by delinquent debtors."
France and Belgium.- These are the avowed objects, but their ulterior objects, of course, the public is not able to ascertain. Consul Winslow, of Liége, Belgium, reported in 1900 a large number of trade combinations in Belgium for the purpose of regulating prices and distributing orders among the corporations, and adds: “It seems to be the general impression here that these trade combines are not detrimental to the interests of the workingmen, but on the contrary to their advantage.”
In France the existence of a large number of trusts or trade combinations for the control of production and prices of articles of common use, such as sugar, rice, candles, coal, petroleum, matches, tobacco, etc., is reported. Consul Thackara, of Havre, reported in May, 1900, that in 1897 there were in France no less than 5,680 industrial, commercial, and agricultural syndicates. The production and sale of refined petroleum, he says, are in the hands of a powerful organization, and the pig iron industry of France is virtually controlled by a joint stock company formed for this purpose. Consul Skinner, of Marseilles, reports that “Syndicates have been successfully organized and are now in more or less undisputed control of the following commodities or utilities: Sugar, rice, sulphur, candles, coal, petroleum, tiles, matches, tobacco, transportation by land, and transportation of immigrants.”
In Germany the existence of trusts in the principal industries is well known. The Consul-General at Berlin, in a report to the State Department in 1900, said: “The organization of German manufacturers and producers of raw material into syndicates or trade combinations began nearly forty years ago. In 1870 there were five syndicates in Germany, and these have steadily increased until they numbered, according to the best estimates, 345 in 1897, and cover practically the entire field of industrial activity in this country.
It is not true that as the rich have grown richer the poor have grown poorer. On the contrary, never before has the average man, the wage-worker, the farmer, the small trader, been so well off as in this country and at the present time.—President Roosevelt, in message to Congress, December 3, 1901.
There have been abuses connected with the accumulation of wealth; yet it remains true that a fortune accumulated in legitimate business can be accumulated by the person specially benefited only on condition of conferring immense incidental benefits upon others.-President Roosevelt, in message to Congress, December 3, 1901,