The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, October 28, 1904, Page 14, Image 14

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The Commoner.
. Growth of the Priyate Car Trust
The Now York correspondent for the
Chicago Record-Herald ives an in
teresting description of the growth of
the private car trust and its powor.
This correspondent says:
Mr MidKiey's testimony before the
Interstate coramerco commission in
Chicaco is a verification of a nredic-
tion made at least five years ago by
one of the great railway managers or
the United States. It was said then
that sooner or later there would come
convincing and official information
showing how completely the pacKers
of tho west had the railways of the
United States in their grip. Mr. Midg
ley's testimony, in addition to the aid
which it has given to the interstate
commerce commission in reaching con
clusions upon the particular point at
issue, Is of broader significance, brinj
;lng to light the uses to which com
f petition may be put by those who seek
t monopoly, and the evidence it fur
J nishes that even the greatest of those
' ' directing tho affairs of the railway
world may commit grievous mistakes
and costly blunders involving the most
serious consequences.
But in order to understand fully the
meaning of Mr. Midgloy's testimony
it is necessary to read more of tho
history of tho creation and expansion
of tho refrigerator car business than
Mr. Midgley is reported to have given.
The -refrigerator car trust, so-called,
represents a gradual advance toward
the complete mastery of one depart
ment of railroad transportation.
In 1875, or about that time, some
unrecognized genius conceived the idea
of taking butter, eggs and some of
tho finer grades of meat, like tender
loins, from Chicago for deliver' at
eastern points in perfect condition.
Ho planned a now kind of car and
called it a refrigerator car, and it was
in that one idea, simple in its concep
tion and narrow in its purpose, that
private car trust had its origin.
Tho cars were first haulea over Mir
Fort Wayno railroad from Chicago to
j. iHoumii, uuu luuuuu uy me Jrenn
sylvania to eastern points. They
speedily demonstrated that they were
' of great advantage in tho shipment
of perlBhablo products. The owners
of these cars did a considerable busi
ness and made a little money. "When
tho manager died the cars were bought
by the railroad company. Tnis was
tho foundation of the semi-refrigerator
cars used on the Pennsylvania Line
Soon after that tho Merchants' Dis
patch company began the construction
- of refrigerator cars. They wore oper
ated with such success that the pack
ers of tho west speedily perceived that
they might bo utilized for the trans-
portation of dressed beef to the east.
In a short time tho demand for re
frigerator cars tfecame far greater than
.the fast freight lines could moot.
Then came tho first ctep in the per
fection of the trust, so-called. The
dressed beef shippers offered to build
y refrigerator cars if tho railway com
, i panles would allow them the current
Tate of mileage. Tho railroad people
" looked upon this as a very reasonable
proposition, arguing that they would
Fistula Cured b- Soothing,
Ba'mv oils '
t -, Lincoln. Nob., Mnv23, 1904.
Dr.D. M. ByoCo.,IndIanapolis,.W
Dkaii Sirs Yours of 2Pthlnst. at hand. In an
swer to yourquo.xtlon nboutmyense Iamcurrd
I have notfplt nnvmoro ofmyfWula for ovor
one year now. My genornl health Is Rood.
m -n Kom. VIftLter B,ock Lincoln, Neb.
TheDr.D. M. ByrCo., of Indlanapnlk, have,
perfected a combination of oils which act specie
ically on malienant Growths. All forms o can
ffii'lT lntcr.nftl and external), a'so
nn r,t5nLn-iVl5,ii?1, 9i?r 8i,cceM unr treated.
tiis,XiXyo Co-DrEwer 505'
bo paying for tho use of private cars
no more than they were paying tho
fast freight lines and other railroad
companies for like service.
The aressed beef shippers began to
construct great numbers of refriger
ator cars and in a few years each
shipper of this product owned enough
cars to transport all his shipments to
the east.
It was at this timo that the great
mistake of the railway managers was
made. They did not realize as the
beef paciters did that ad soon as tho
shippers owned all the cars necessary
for their business they also would- be
in possession of the control of the
route over which that beef was to be
shipped. Instead of agreeing to the
tornis offered by the packers, the rail
way managers, had they been wise,
would have refused to pay tho mileage
demanded or constructed their own
cars. Then, having entered into an
agreement ono with another, they
would have compelled the beef pack
ers to ship their dressed beef east by
these railroad-owned cars.
At last the packers by reason of
the mileage they received, 515 a car,
found that they were making relatively
far greater profits on tho uso of their
cars than on the beef which these
cars carried. The understanding in
railway circles is that these cars earned
from 25 to 28 per cent net upon the
capital. It is reasonable to infer that
if it were necessary the packers who
own these cars could sell their beef
at cost and yet make a reasonable
After awhile the packers became so
strong that they were able to go, as
it is said they often did, to the man
ager .of eastern trunk lines and de
mand a rebate or reduction of rates,
'lhe railroad companies were paying
tho packers not only $7.5"0 for the use
of each refrigerator car from Chicago
to New York, but also $7.50 mileage
for hauling that enmtv back frnrm
New York to Chicago. That did not
satisfy the packers and other demands
were made. For instance, it is de
clared, some ono of the great packers
would call upon the manager of a
trunk line over which the packer was
shipping, say forty carloads of beef
a day, and a conversation of this char
acter took place:
"I think that you ought to allow
mo a rebate, say of 5 cents a hundred.'-'
And the reply was almost arm-un
typed: "We can't do that. The rates
are published by law and are fixed'
Then the packer would express his
regret tnat they could not come to an
understanding and would co nwnv
tew days later the traffic manager
wuuiu ue miormea by his subordinates
that the packer had ceased to ship
over that line and was sending his
dressed beef to New York by another
trunk road. .There were no threats
nothing in the way of spoken intimi
dation, out the loss of $2,000 a day
if maintained for many days, would
trouble any railroad manager. At last
the .manager of this line from which
this traffic was taken Would call upon
the packer and offer to take the busi
ness at a rebate of, say 5 cents a hun
dred, and the packer would reply
"Oh, that is no object to me." He did
not say so, but tho intimation was
clear that he was getting, directly or
indirectly,, in some way which could
not be traced easily, if at all, tho re
bate which ho sought, and so tho man
ager would say to him: "We will
make you a rebate of 71-2 cents a
hundred," and then that line would
get the business again.
While it Is not affirmed that pre
cisely these words were ever used vet
tho packers availed themselves of the
competition or tho competitive power
tnat exists between various railways
to carry their point and to strengthen
their monopoly. It would, bo impos
sible to find in the history of recent
industrial growth a finer illustration of
tho power that there may be in the
use of competition to perfect a monop
oly. if all the railroads would enter into
agreement to reduce the mileage on
the cars that would gcr far toward
weakening the power of tho packers.
If they were to build refrigerating cars
now that would not secure the dressed
beef transportation unless they also
owned the packing plants. It would
seem that the great dancer to the
community which the private car trusts.
involve is that it enables tho lieof
packers to gain a monopolistic control
of the markets. Of course, if any
railroad, after publishing its rates,
gives a rebate it does that in violation
of the law, but there are a thousand
and one ways in which in-iroct re
bates can be given which it would be
almost impossible for the interstate
commerce commission to trace. Mr.
Midgley's solution of this condition is
tae adoption of a per diem system by
which owners of refrigerator cars will
be paid, say, 50 cents a day for the
use of each car provided it. has full
Good News
John Sharp Williams, leader of the
minority of the house, tells the fol
lowing as illustrative of the humors
of tho spoils system in office, says
Harper's Weekly.
"Years ago, before the passim
tho civil service act, when everLn'
gressman's life was made a Ll
by the importunities of cons t&
seeking office, a friend otiie uS
, ,T0 ujiuauneu by an old
acquaintance who desired a clerkah to
in the treasury department
"Tho congressman informed th- man
that but a day or two before tno head
ol that department had advised th
statesman that there were no vacan
cies. Nevertheless the constituent or
the Alabama representative persisted
in his efforts to obtain the coveted
clerkship and for weeks haunted the
quarters .of the congressman.
"One evening, just as the member
was sitting down to dinner he was a
little vexed, to say the least, by the
announcement of tho servant that the
persistent applicant for preferment at
the hands:of the treasury department
desired to see him.
"On entering the drawing room the
congressman said:
"'Well," whafs up now?'
"'Good news, sir!' exclaimed tne of
fieseeker, in great excitement; 'I
think you can get that place! A clerk
in the treasury department died this
afternoon.' "
P8i8nt oBGIirOu ?.pinlon TntVnK!
' MUUH,ulty, Fend for tmldebonk
and what to Invent. Finest publications lanedfor
Tree distribution Patonts advortlscd for bMo at
our oxponso.
Evans, WHkens Co., Eopt. F, Washington, D, 0.
. f
Get a New
We Will Help
If your ambition is to be free, to run your own shop, cultivate
your own land, manage your own store, wo can help you.
Stop paying rent on high-priced farm land and give your grow
ing sons a chance to bo farm owners. -
In the over-crowed East this is impossible. In the Southwest
along the new lines of tho Rock Island System, it is surprising
what a small amount of capital is necessary to successfully encage
in business or farming.
ofSfaninL,yuofthousandswho nave started with a capital
orieas than $00, who are now on the high road to independence.
iKu w1nttt0, farm. the advantage of cheap lands,' rich soil,
?on7j,mnrLVtSriS,1(in'8!:owlni:8eason variety and number of crops, and
KdoTmVaedirtM theeyeard ttyUr CarninS PWer' CaU WWk
i,K..:KSiaro a mec,hnnic or a merchant, it is worth a great deal to
such an ODnStav ; Propus people. Nowhere In the world Is there
Bucn an opportunity for men who want to Improve their condition.
Kfti,l nnS?ma; I?,dian Ter"tory, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri,
and tobaCPOftr?iH?tJustihooPCUPnt,on desired. In some sections cotton
oTtheflSS ?Sul Zi in&nJid Protable products. . Other sections possess some
crains vSretffiffq ln tho worId Cof oats, wheat, potatoes and all tho
Stl5 almost o vigra,3sc?.ofthe North and temperate zones grow liixurl
b?inBDKfMM7tti?Inth0r sothwest. Poultry, stock and dairying
demand. urns Smu11 manufactories and industries of various klnrls are ln
How We Can Help. Th'o Rock Island has no land to sell,
tr"buU?yTo3ltJteCSTn "?uclng a desirable class of people to locate
of el vine truth. nL To d0,lhls wo maintain a department lor the pnrpoie
exfstalnourvn Information regarding every opening that
KlVt?ffi valuable data about all the
o capltnf needori fc, WVlm tcl1 you where the openings are, the amount
verVTownrtffi est crops raised, and about tho
very low railroad rate in effect to enabloyou toreach the land olopportunity,
toenn0dU,aveJodoistofillout tho' coupon below and mail it
iewonJi will be promptly answered by a
Cnt nff nf thta no, i .1 . , ... , .i-u Wn
will hptii mA7 TiT ' " nuu raarK witn an i&) tne dookicib you wjdu. -win
send more than one it you wish them.
-New Mexico.
-Indian Territory.
theWfls?nBrtc,nieb0?kleJt9tnarke(i (x). also information about low rates to
me west and Southwest. I am particularly Interested in
lif0 tho abov.e ,mo whether you are Interested In goneral farm
ing or Bomo particular branch, and name the State or Territory
P. O. Address.
Pattengcr Traffic Manager Rock; Island System