The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, April 17, 1903, Page 11, Image 11

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MlPRHi 17, 1903.
The Commoner.
Packer; V There ran
We Guarantee Safe Delivery
are: carofnlly packed, all
ready to gro. I know you'll
st&cro safely. "
which tnetas fbtt we not oaly
guarantee the roods, but that vo
protect you ratnt lots or break
C cm ue road. Wt fciiumc all
tfee responsibility.
Now Is the Time to Think
HMrjPB uirssss9sssb QIissssJH Rh I flH990mkssssH
wetr!atfof yowhonteor btrn, Wall Paper, Carpets, Cultivators, Weeders, Fentlnc, Dairy Goods. Mercies. Bur
riea.zjpnneuotmnjM'urniture, urocerlcs.etc. Don't wait until the last minute. Thjnlc what you will need soon.
wnio itaari ii vou viu leu ut uu veu int ta nu ri in ci-mi nti t inriii riiinmi . ikn i.tM. . i..
-m w -- " ----- w . -j- i i - w. b.,,., i MMHH
J Saddle was returned at our expense a few days
ago. Although it had been properly boxed, it was
damaged by rats before being unpacked, according to
customer's letter. Of course this was no fault of ours,
but he got a new saddle fust the same. Do you know
of any other firm who would have given him the same
liberal treatment? Why not buy your supplies from
a firm with whom it is a pleasure to deal? Jill
goods guaranteed and
prices always lowest,
quality considered.
Our next advertisement will show
bow the goods arrived. Watch and
ace if the packer told tho truth.
Montgomery Ward Sp Co., fSfflStA Chicago
Send for Catalogue 71 Today
It contains noo pages of wholesale prices and pictures ef everything
you eat, wear or tue.
Montgomery Ward 4 Co., Chteage.
Lnclotcd find 15 cents, for which please send me Catalogue No. 71
Express Offlee-
Wrlte very plain.
Tost OSke-
corporations doing an interstate busi
ness.' "The views' thus expressed have
now received effect by the wise, con
servative, and yet far-reaching legis
lation enacted by congress at its last
"In its wisdom congress enacted the
very important law providing a de
partment of commerce arid labor and
further providing therein under the
secretary of commerce and labor for
a commissioner of corporations,
charged. .with the duty of supervision
of .and of making intelligent investi
gation into the organization and con
duct of corporations engaged in in
terstate commerce His powers to
expose illegal or hurtful practices and
to obtain all information needful for
the purposes of further intelligent
legislation seem adequate and the
publicity justifiable and proper for
public purposes is catisfactorily guar
anteed. The law was passed at the
very end of the session of congress.
Owing to the, lateness of its passage
congress was not able to provide
proper equipment for the new depart
ment and the first few months must
necessarily be spent in the work of
organization and the first investiga
tions must necessarily be of a tenta
tive character. The satisfactory de
velopment of such a system requires
time and great labor.
'"Those who are intrusted with the
administration of the new law will
assuredly administer it in a spirit of
absolute fairness and justice and of
entire fearlessness, with the firm pur
pose not to hurt any corporation do
ing a legitimate business on the con
trary, to help it and, on the other
hand, not to spare any corporation
which may bo guilty of illegal prac
tices, or the methods of which may
make it a menace 'to the public wel
fare.. Some substantial good will be
done in the immediate future and as
the department gets fairly to work
.under the law an ever larger vista
for good work will be opened along
the. lines indicated. The enactment of
this law is one of the most signific
ant contributions which have been
made in our time toward the proper
solution of the problem of the rela
tions to the people of the great cor
porations and corporate combinations.
"But much though this is, it is
only a part of what has been done in
the effort to ascertain and correct im
. proper trusts or monopolistic prac
tices. Some eighteen months ago the
industrial commission, an able and
non-partisan body, reported to con-
gress the result of their investigation
of trusts and industrial combinations.
One of the most important of their
conclusions was that discriminations
in freight rates and facilities were
granted favored shippers by the rail
roads and that these discriminations
clearly tended toward tho control of
production and prices in many fields
of business by large combinations.
That this conclusion was justifiable
was shown by the disclosures in the
investigation of railroad methods pur
sued in the iall and winter of 1901-
1902. It was then shown that certain
trunk lines had entered into unlaw
ful agreements as to the transporta
tion of food products from the west
to tho Atlantic seaboard, giving a few
favored shippers rates much below tho
tariff charges imposed upon the small
er dealers and the general public.
"These unjust practices had pre
vailed to such an extent and for so
long a time that many of the smaller
shippers had been driven out of busi
ness, until practically one buyer of
grain off "each railway system had
been able by his illegal advantages to
secure a monopoly on the line with
which his secret compact was made,
this monopoly enabling him to fix the
price to both producer and consumer.
"Many of the great packing house
concerns were shown to be in combi
nation with each other and with most
of the great railway lines, whereby
they enjoyed large secret concessions
in rates and thus obtained a practical
monopoly of the country. These fu
sions, though violative of the statute,
had prevailed unchecked for so many
years that they had become in
trenched in and InterwoVen with the
commercial life of certain large dis
tributing localities, although this was,
of 'course, at the expense of the vast
bodv of law-abiding merchants, the
general public and particularly of un
favored localities.
"Under those circumstances it was
a serious problem to determine the
wise course to follow in vitalizing a
law which had in part become obso
lete or proved incapable of enforce
ment Of what the attorney general
did in enforcing it I shall speak later.
The decisions of the courts upon the
law had betrayed weaknesses and Im
perfections, some of them so serious
as to render abortive efforts to apply
-any effective remedy for the existing
"It is clear that corporations cre
ated for quasi public purposes, clothed
for that reason with the ultimate
power of the state to take private
property against tho will of tho own
er, hold their corporate powers as car
riers in trust for the fairly impartial
service of all tho public. Favoritism
in the use of such powers, unjustly en
riching some and unjustly impoverish
ing others, discriminating in favor of
some places and against others, is
palpably violative of plain principles
of justice. . Such a practice unchecked
is hurtful in many ways. Congress,
having had Its attention drawn to tho
matter, enacted a most Important
antl-rebato law, which greatly
strengthens the interstate commerce
law This new law prohibits under
adequate penalties tho giving as well
as the demanding or receiving of suirh
preferences and provides the preven
tive remedy of injunction. Tho vig
orous administration of this law, and
it will be enforced, will, it Is hopeJ,
afford a substantial remedy for cer-
public attention and have created pub
lic unrest.
"This law represents a noteworthy
and important advance toward just
and effective regulation of transporta
tion. Moreover, its passage has been
supplemented by tho enactment of a
law to expedite the hearing of actions
of public moment under the anti-trust
act, known as the Sherman law, and
under the act to regulate commerce,
at the request of the attorney general;
and, furthermore, additional funds
have been appropriated to be expend
ed under the direction of the attor
ney general In the enforcement of
these laws.
"All of this represents a great and
substantial advance In legislation.
But more important even than legis
lation is the administration of the
law, and I ask your attention for a
moment to the way in which the law
has been administered by the pro
found jurist and fearless public ser
vant who now occupies the position
of attorney general, Mr. Knox. The
constitution enjoins upon the presi
dent that he shall take care that the
laws be faithfully executed, and un
der this provision the attorney gen
eral formulated a policy which was
in effect nothing but the rigid en
forcement, by suits managed with
consummate skill and ability, both of
the anti-trust law and of the imper
fect provisions of the act to regulate
commerce. The first step taken was
the prosecution of fourteen suits
against the principal railroads of the
middle west restraining them by in
junction from further violations of
either of the laws In question.
"About tho same time tho caso
against tho Northern Securities com
pany was Initiated. This was a cor
poration organized under the laws of
the state of New Jersey with a capi
tal of $100,000,000, the alleged pur
pose being to control tho Great North
ern and the Northern Pacific Rail
road companies, two parallel and com
peting lines extending across tho
northern tier of states from tho Mis
sissippi river to the Pacific ocean.
Whatever the purpose, Its consumma
tion would have resulted in tho con
trol of the two great railway "systems
upon which tho people of the north
western states were so largely de
pendent for their supplies and to got
their products to market being prac
tically merged into tho New Jersey
"The proposition that these Inde
pendent systems of railroads should
be merged under a single control
alarmed the people of tho states con
cerned, lest they be subjected to what
they deemed a monopoly of Interstato
transportation and tho suppression of
competition. The governors of tho
states most deeply affected held
meeting to consider how to prevent
the merger becoming effective and
passed resolutions calling upon the
national govefnment to enforce tho
anti-trust laws against the alleged
combination. When these resolutions
were referred to the attorney general
for consideration and advice he re
ported that in his opinion the North
ern Securities company and its con
trol of the railroads mentioned was
a combination in restraint of trado
and was attempting a monopoly In
violation of tho national anti-trust
law. Thereupon a suit Injequlty which
Is" now pending was begun by the
government to test the validity oC
this transaction under the Sherman
"At nearly the same time the dis
closures respecting the secret rebates
enjoyed by tho great packing house
companies, coupled with the very
high price of meats, led the attor
ney general to direct an investigation
into the methods of the so-called beef
trust. Tho result was that he filed
bills for injunction against six of the
principal packing house companies
and restrained them from combining
and agreeing upon prices at . which
they would sell their products in
states other than those in which their
meats were prepared for market.
Writs of Injunction were issued ac
cordingly and since then, after full
(Continued on Page 13.)