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New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, January 08, 1910, Image 5

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MR. TAFT ON RAILWAY
AND ANTI-TRUST LAWS
Amendments to Interstate Commerce Law
Recommended in Message.
FEDERAL INCORPORATION URGED
Commerce Court and Supervision of Railroad Security Issues
Advocated — Government Should Not Interfere
with Reasonable Combinations.
Washington. Jan. 7. -The full text of the
special message s*>nt to Congress by Presi
dent Taft to-day:
To the Senate and House of Representa
tives.
I withheld from my annual message a
discussion of needed legislation under the
authority which Congress has to regulate
commerce between the states and with for
eign countries, and said that 1 would bring
this ■Object matter to your attention later
In the session. Accordingly. I beg to sub
mit to you certain recommendations a- to
the amendments to the interstate com
merce law and certain considerations aris
ing out of the operations of the anti-trust
law suggesting the wisdom of federal in
corporation of Industrial companies.
INTERSTATE COMMERCE LAW.
Tn the annual report of the Interstate
Commerce Commission for ■ the year 1908
attention is called to the fact that' be
tween July L Ml. and the close of that
year sixteen splits had been begun to set
aside orders of the commission (besides one
commenced before that date), and that few
orders of much consequence had been per
mitted to go. without protest, that the
questions presented by these various, suits
•were fundamental, as the constitutionality
or the act itself -was in issue, and the right
of Congress to delegate to any tribunal
a-jthority to establish an interstate rate
was denied: but that perhaps the most
errio'is practical question raised concerned
the . extent of the right of the courts to
review the orders of me commission: and
It was. pointed out thai If the contention ot
the carriers in this latter respect alone
•were a.r.ed but liule progress had been
rr.ade In the Hepburn act toward the effec
tive regulation of interstate transportation
charges. In twelve of the cases referred
to, it was stated, preliminary injunctions
were prayed for, being granted in six and
refused in six.
'It nd.- from the first been well under.
stood." says the commission, ''that the suc
ce«s of the present act as a. regulating
measure depended largely upon the facility
W ith which temporary injunctions could be
obtained. If a railroad company, by mere
*•--". . in its bill of complaint, sup
ported by ex partc affidavits, can overturn
-the result of days of patient investigation,
no very satisfactory result can be expect
ed. The railroad loses nothing by these
proceedings, since if they fail it can only
be required to establish the rate and to
jjiiy.io shippers the difference between the
nigher rate collected and the rate which
is finally he'd to be reasonable. In point
of fact it usually profits, necause it can
seldom- be required to return mure than a
traction of the excess charges collected."
In its report for tho year vnfd the commis
sion Bhowa that of the seventeen cases re
■ ierred to in its 1908 report only one had
been decided in the- Supreme Court of the
United States, although five other cases
ha' 3 been argued and submitted to that
Tribunal in October, 1309.
Of course, every carrier affected by an
■order of the commission has a constitution
al right to appeal to a federal court to pro
• tect it from the enforcement of an order
■which it may show to be prima facie con
fi^catory or unjustly discriminatory' In its
*-ft>ct; and as this application may be made
to a court in any district of the United
States, not only does delay result In the
- -nfoccesn^nt of the order, but great uncer
tainty is caused by contrariety of decision.
The questions presented by these applica
tions are too often technical in their char
acter and require a knowledge of the busi
ness and. the mastery of ,-i great volume of
■"onfilcting evidence which is tedious to ex
amine and troublesome to comprehend, it
would not be proper to attempt to deprive
any corporation of the right to the .review
by ■ court of any ordt-r or decree which, if
undisturbed, would rob it of a reasonable
return upon Its investment or would sub
ject it to burdens which would unjustly
<lipcrsminatf- against it and in favor of
other c^vriers similarly situated. What is,
however, of supreme importance is that the
. decision of sue!. questions shall be as
ppeedy a-« the nature of the circumstances
*il!l admit, and that a uniformity of •'•
'Ms-ion be secured so a? to bring about an
effective, svsteimtic and scientific enforce
' Tn < T)t of the commerce '.aw. rather than
conflicting decisions and i rtalnty of flnal
result. ■ " . • . ,
COMMERCE COURT. .V.
1". For this purpose I recommend th« »?ta.l>
!ishmerit if a court of the United states
composed of five judges designated for
yuch purpose from among the circuit judges.
of the United States, to be known as the
'"United States Court of Commerce," which
court isml] be clothed with exclusive erig-
inal jurisdiction over the following classes
f>f fapes:
fl) A!l cases for the enforcement, other-"
wtee than by adjudication and collection of
a forfeiture or penalty, or by infliction of
criminal punishment, of any order of the
Interstate Commerce Commission other
than for the payment of money.
C> All cas-es brought to enjoin, Bet aside.
annul or su.'-pend any order or requirement
of the Interstate Commerce Commission.
O A'l such cases as under Section 3 of
(he act of February 19. 130 S. known as tlie
■*Elkir.< ad,"" are authorized to be main
tained in a circuit court of the United
>-tates=.
Mi All such mandamus proceedings as
under the provisions of Section M or Sec
tion 22 of the interstate commerce law are.
authorized to be maintained in a circuit
court of the United States.
IVasons precisely analogous to those
which induced the Congress to create the
Court of Customs Appeals by the provi
sions in the tariff ad of August 5, 1909.
may be urged in support of the creation
oi the Commerce Court.
In r,r<Jcr to provide a sufficient number
of j ■ulii'-i-- to enable this court to be con
stituted, it will be necessary to authorize
tr.e appointment of live additional circuit
..udpf.-. who. for the purposes of appoint
ment, misht be distributed to those circuits
where there is at the present time, the
largest volume of business, uuch a? the
•*cond. third, «th, seventh and eighth
rtrcnits. The act should empower the
rniel jii*O<-e at any time when the busi
rei-.s or the Court of Commerce does not
r*-o-.;ire the services of all the judges to
reason the judges designated to that.
rourt t.j the circtdta to which they respec
tively belong; and it should also" provide
Tor payment to such judges while sitting
h> awdgnment in tbe Court of Commerce
of such additional amount as is necessary
IM©«» S ll " * :r annual '-°n»pensatjon up to
The regular fft'.onx of such court should
be !i«"M at the capital, but it should be
emjHjwered to hold in different
parti of the United States if found de
. iiahle; and its ..rders and judgments
sno'j;'] rv made tmal, subject only to
i«-vi.-v. by the Supreme ff O urt of the United
stjite^ with the provision that th« opera
tion of the decree appealed from fha!l not
i*- Flayed unless the .Supreme <"ourt shall
ro order. Tho «'onimeiY»- Court should be,
empowered in Its dlncretion to ■ train or
Ksspend the operation of an order of the
Interstate Commerce Commission under re
■ Vine pending tlie final hearing and deter
intnaumi of the proceeding, but no such
restraining ord~r should be made except
;(.->n notit-e and after hearing, unless in
•«*«>* while irreparable dam.Tge would
othenrtfce ensue to the petitioner. a judge
nt t!'at court might be empowered to al-'
■''"■ a Btaj of toe ■ omnlH order for
a period of 'not more than sixty days but
pending application to the court for its
■ <rd*-r or injunction, then only « here his
•<rder shall i ontain a specific finding based
iron evidence fubmilted to the judge mak
irsg the order and identified by reference
' 1# 'ill"' tnat wkli irreparable damage.
*ouw result to the .■:-..- specifying
T t e nature of the damage.
irv;.r th#. existing law the Interstate
onnurce Commission itself Initiates and
• aerenoa litigation in the courts for the
'•nf^t cement. or jj, , he .j^,,^ of jts or .
oenj. and d^-rees. and for this purpose It
• •uu.lov, attorneys tfho, while Mii.Ject to
," (< ;" f f;l .<;f the Attorney General, act
' rtZOl /', ' mUa 'lv« and under the Instnic
»',r,lr,V. .T c * wn »l*«ion. This blending of
J,rJ,T l ive i •StolaUve and jiid?cjal
*'i wIT Pnds ; ITI my opinion, to impair
ne enictency of the commission by cloth
■ «Tii •*'. , pan s> *'» characteristics HI: .
tr»bblr.*.M of the impartial judicial attitude
. - foul ! . .-...jpy in paci-irg upon questions
■ -iw.^d-t.. ttrj In „n y opinion all lltiga
«i..i!i !iff«-ctine the government should be
• -iriii^r the direct control of the Department
G. JtnrtJce. and I therefore recommend that
• Hi. proreeding.s ajFecdng orders and decrees
«f the InUTEt&tQ Commerce CommiKvlon b.
hrot.ghf i.y or againwt the United Slates
•* j.'ji:iirie and be placed In charge of an
Assistant Attorney General acting under
the direction of tlie Attorney General.
RATE AGREEMENTS.
The subject of agreements between carri
ers with respect to rates baa been often
discussed in Congress. Pooling arrange
ments and agreements were condemned by
the peneral sentiment of the people and,
under the Sherman anti-trust law. any
agreement between carriers operating in
restraint of interstate or International
trade or commerce would be unlawful
The Republican platform of 1906 expressed
the belief that the Interstate commerce tew
should be further amended. SO as to give
the railroads the right to make and pub
lish traffic agreements subject to the ap
proval of the commission, but maintaining
always the principle of competition be
tween naturally competing lines and avoid
ing the common control of such lines by
«rv means whatsoever. In view of the
complete control over rate making and
other practices of Interstate carriers estab
lished by the acts of" Congress and as rec
ommended In this communication, 1 see no
reason why agreements between carriers
subject to the act. specifying the. classifi
cations of freight and the rates, fares and
charges for transportation of passengers
and freight which they may agree to es
tablish, should not be permitted, provided
copies of such agreements be promptly
filed with the commission, but subject to all
the provisions of the interstate commerce.
act and subiect to the right of any parties
to such agreement to cancel it an to all or
any of the agreed rates;, fares, charges or
classiflcattons by thirty days' notice m
writing to the other parties and to the
commission.
Much complaint is made by shippers over
the state of the law under which they are
held bound to know the legal rate appli
cable to any proposed snipment, without, as
a matter of fact, having any certain
means of actually ascertaining such rate.
It has beer, suggested that to meet this
grievance carriers should be required, upon
application by a shipper, to quote the legal
rate in writing, and that the shipper should
be protected in acting upon the rate thus
quoted: but the objection to this sugges
tion is that it would afford a much too
easy method of giving to favored shippers
unreasonable preferences and rebates. I
think the law .should provide that a car
rier, upon written request by an Intend
ing shipper, should quote in writing the
rate or charge applicable to the proposed
shipment under any schedules or tariffs
to which such carrier is a party, and that
if the party making suoh request shall suf
fer damage in consequence of either re
fusal or omission to quote the proper rate,
or in consequence of a misstntement of the
rat", the carrier shall be liable to a penalty
En some reasonable amount— say. J2.'x>— to
accrue to the United States and to i>*J
recovered In a civil action brought by
the appropriate District Attorney. Such
a penalty would compel the agent of the
carrier to exercise due diligence in quoting
the applicable legal rate, and would thus
afford the shipper a real measure of pro
tection, while not opening the way to col
lusion and the giving of rebates or other
unfair discrimination.
I'nder the existing law the commission
can only act with respect to an alleged ex
cessive rate or unduly discriminatory
practice by a carrier on a complaint made
by aome individual affected thereby. r
see no reason why the commission should
not be authorized to act on Its own ini
tiative as well as upon the complaint ot
;tn individual in investigating the fairness
of any existing rate or practice: and I
recommend the amendment of the law to
so provide: and also that the commission
shall be fully empowered, beyond any ques
tion, to pass upon the classifications of
commodities for purposes of fixing rates,
in like manner as It may no-jp do with re
spect to the maximum rate, applicable to
any transportation.
TO SUSPEND INCREASES.
Under the existing law the commission
may not investigate an increase in rates
until it shall have become effective; and
although one or more carriers may file with
the commission a proposed' increase in
ratts or change in classifications, or other
alteration of the existing rates or classifi
cations, to become effective .it the expira
tion of thirty days from such filing, no
proceeding can be taken to investigate the
reasonableness of such proposed change
until after it becomes operative. On the.
other hand, if the commission .-.hall make
an order finding that an existing rate is
excessive and directing It to be reduced, the
carrier affected may by proceedings in the
courts stay the operation of such order of
reduction for months and even years. It
has, ..therefore, been suggested that the
commission should be empowered, when
ever a proposed increase in rates is filed.
at once to enter upon an Investigation of
the reasonableness of the Increase and to
make an order postponing the effective
date of such increase until after such In
vestigation shall be completed. To this
much objection has been made on the part
of carriers. They contend that this would
be, in effect, to take from the owners of
the railroads the management of their
properties and to clothe the Interstate
Commerce Commission with the original
rate-ma power— policy, which was
much discussed at the time of the passage,
of the Hepburn act in 1905-'O6, and which
was then and has always been distinctly
rejected; and in reply to the suggestion
that they are able by resorting to the
courts to stay the taking effect of the order
of the commission until Its reasonableness
shall have been Investigated by the courts,
whereas the people are deprived of any
such remedy with respect to action by the
carriers, they point to the provision of the
Interstate commerce act providing for res
titution to the shippers by carriers of ex
cessive rates charged In cases where the
order of the commission reducing such
rates is affirmed. It may be doubted how
effective this: remedy really is. Experience
has shown that many, perhaps most, ship
pers ii" not resort to proceedings to re
cover the excessive rates which they may
have been required to pay, for the simple
reason that they have added the rates paid
to the cost of the goods and thus enhanced
the price thereof to their customers, and
that 'he public has In effect paid the bill.
On the other hand, the enormous volume
of transportation charges, the great num
ber of separate tariff.-' filed annually with
the Interstate Commerce Commission,
amounting to almost SOO.OoO, and the Im
possibility of any commission supervising
the making of tariffs In advance of their
becoming effective on every transportation
lino within the United States to the extent
that, would be necessary if their active con
currence were required in the making of
every tariff, has satisfied me that this
power, If granted, should be conferred in a,
very limited and restricted form. I there
fore recommend that the Interstate Com
merce Commission be empowered whenever
any proposed increase of rates Is filed, at
once, either on complaint or of Its own
motion, to enter upon an Investigation into
the reasonableness of such change, and
that it be further empowered, in Its dis
cretion, to postpone the effective date of
bu h proposed Increase for a period not ex
ceeding sixty days beyond the date when
such rate would take effect. If within this
time it shall determine that such Increase
In unreasonable, it may then, by its. order,
either forbid the Increase at all or fix the
maximum beyond which It shall not be
made. If. on the other hand, at the expira
tion of this time the commission Khali not
hay« completed Its investigation, then the
rate shall take effect precisely as it would
under the existing law, and the commission
may continue Its Investigation with such
result* as might be realized under the law
as it now stand*
ROUTING OF" FREIGHT.
The claim la very earnestly advanced by
some largo association* of shippera that
shipper* of freight should be empowered
to direct the route over which their ship
ments should paaa to destination, and in
this connection it has been urged that the
provisions of Section 15 of the inu-rstato
commerce act, which now empowers the
commission, after hearing on complaint
to •iiisii through routes and maximum
joint rates to be charged, etc., when no
reasonable or satisfactory through routs
hhUll have been, already established, D «
amended -, a.-- to empower the comml .
Aon to fake such action, even when on*
existing reasonable and satisfai toi route
already exists. If it be possible to estab
lish additional route?. Thia seems to me
to be a reasonable provision. I know of
iio rt'aKon why a shipper should not h;iv«
tii« right to .■),., i between . two or more
established through routes to which the
NEW-YORK DATLY TRIBUNE, SATURDAY, JANUARY 8, THTrr.
initial carrier may be a party, and to re
quire hie shipment to be transported to des
tination over such of such routes as he
may designate for that purpose subject,
however, in the exercise of this right to
such reasonable regulations as the Inter
state Commerce Commission may pre
scribe.
CONTROL OP STOCKS.
The Republican platform of 1908 declared
•in favor of amending the interstate com
merce law, but so as always to maintain
the principle of competition between nat
urally competing lines, and avoiding the
common control of such lines by any
means whatsoever. One of the most potent
means of exercising such control' has been
through the holding of stock of one rail
road company- by another company owning
a competing line. This condition has grown
up under express legislative power con
ferred by the laws of many states and to
attempt now to suddenly reverse that
policy so far as it affects the ownership
of stocks heretofore so acquired would be
to inflict a grievous injury, not only upon
tae corporations affected but upon, a large
body of the Investment holding public. I,
however, recommend that the law shall be
amended so as to provide that from and
after the date of its passage no railroad
company subject to the interstate com
merce act shall, directly or indirectly,
acquire any interests of any kind in cap
ita) stock, or purchase or lease any rail
road of any other corporation which com
petes with it respecting business to which
the interstate commerce act applies. But
especially for the protection of the minor
ity stockholders in securing to them the
best market for their stock, I recommend
that such prohibition be coupled with a
proviso that it shall not operate to pre
vent any corporation which, at the date
of the passage of such act, shall own not
less than one-half of the entire Issued and
outstanding capital stock of any other
railroad company, from acquiring all or
the remainder of such stock; nor to pro
hibit any railroad company which at the
date of the enactment of the law Is oper
ating a road of any other corporation
under lease, executed for a term of not
less than twenty-five years, from acquiring
the reversionary ownership of the demised
railroad; but that such provisions shall
not operate to authorize or validate the
acquisition, through stock ownership or
otherwise, of a competing lino or interest
therein in violation of the anti-trust or any
other law. ■ •
SUPERVISION OF SECURITIES.
The Republican platform of 1908 further
declares in favor of such national legisla
tion and supervision as will prevent the
future overissue of stocks and bonds by
Interstate carriers, and in order to carry
out its provisions I recommend the enact
ment of a law providing that no railroad
corporation subject to the interstate com
merce act shtui hereafter for any purpose
connected wan or relating to any part at
its Dusiness governed by suid act issue any
capital siock without previous or simulta
neous payment to it of not less than the
pur vaiut of Bucn stock, or any bonus or
other obligations (except notes maturing
not more man one yew from the date of
their issue), without the previous or simul
taneous payment to sucn corporation of not
less than the par value of such bonds, or
other obligations, or, if issued at less than
their par value, then, not without such pay
ment of the reasonable market value of
such bonds or obligations as ascertained by
the Interstate Commerce Commission; and
that no property, services or other thing
than money shall be taken in payment to
such earner corporation of the par or
other required price of such stock, bond or
other obligation, except at the fair value
of such property, services or other thing as
ascertained by the commission; and that
such act shall also contain provisions to
prevent the abuse by the improvident or
improper issue of notes maturing at a
period not exceeding twelve months from
date, in such manner as to commit the
commission to the approval of a larger
amount of stock or bonds in order to retire
such notes than should legitimately have
been required.
Such act should also provide for the ap
proval by the Interstate Commerce Com
mission of the amount of stock and bonds
to bo issued by any railroad company sub
ject to this act upon any reorganization,
pursuant to judicial Bale or other legal pro
ceedings, in order to prevent the issue of
Stock and bonds to an amount in excess of
the fair value of the property which is the
subject of 6iich reorganization.
I believe these suggested modifications in
and amendments to the Interstate com
merce act would make it a complete and
effective measure for securing reasonable
ness of rate.? and fairness of practices In
the operation of Interstate railroad lines,
without undue preference to any Individual
or class over any others, and would pre
vent the recurrence of many of the prac
tices which have given rise in the past to
so much public Inconvenience and loss.
By my direction the Attorney General
has drafted a bill to carry out these rec
ommendations, which will- be furnished
upon request to the appropriate committee
•whenever it may be desired.
In addition to the foregoing amendments
of the interstate commerce law, the Inter
state Commerce Commission should be
given the power, after a hearing, to de
termine upon the uniform construction of
those appliances— such as sill steps, ladder?,
roof hand holds, running boards, and hand
brakes on freight cars engaged in Inter
state commerce — used by the trainmen in
the operation of trains, the defects and
lack of uniformity in which are apt to
produce accidents and Injuries to railway
trainmen. The wonderful reforms effected
In the number of switchmen and trainmen
injured by coupling accidents, due to the
enforced Introduction of safety couplers,
is a demonstration of what can be done If
railroads are compelled to adopt proper
safety appliances.
The niiestion has arisen In the operation
of the interstate commerce employer's lia
bility act as to whether suit can be brought
atrafnst the employer company In any place
ntVier- than that of its home office. The
right to brine the suit under this act should
bo as easy of enforcement as the right of
a private person not in the company's em
ply to sue on an ordinary claim, and
process in such suit should be sufficiently
served if upon the station agent of the
company upon whom service Is authorized
to Tie made to bind th« company in ordi
nary actions arising under state laws. ■ Bill*
for both the foreeoiJ'e purposes have been
considered by the House of Representa
tives, arid have been massed, and are now
before the Interstate Commerce Committee
of the Senate. I earnestly urge, that they
be enacted Into law.
THE ANTITRUST LAW.
There has been a marked tendency In
business in this country for forty years
last past toward combination of capital and
plant in manufacture, sale and transporta
tion. The moving causes have been several:
First. It has rendered possible great
economy; second, by a union of former
competitors it has reduced the probability
of excessive competition; and, third, if the
combination has been extensive enough,
and certain methods in the treatment of
competitors and customers have been
adopted, the combiners have secured a mo
nopoly and complete control of prices or
rates.
A combination successful in achieving
complete control over a particular line of
manufacture has frequently been called a
■"trust " I presume that the derivation of
the word is to be explained by the fact
thai a usual method of carrying out the
plan of the combination has been to put
the capital and plants of various indi
viduals, firms or corporations engaged in
the same business under the control of
trustees.
The increase in the capital of a business
for the purpose of reducing the cost of
production and effecting economy in the
management nan become as essential in
modern progress as the change from the
hand tool to the machine. When, there
fore, we come to construe the object of
Congresf In adopting the so-called "Sher
man Anti-Trust Act" In 1800. whereby In
the first section every contract, combina
tion In the form of a trust or otherwise,
or conspiracy in restraint of interstate or
foreign trade or commerce, la condemned
an unlawful and made subject to indict
ment and restraint by injunction; and
whereby In the second section every mono
poly or attempt to monopolize, and every
combination or conspiracy with other per
ions to monopolize any part of interstate
t r ,').- or commerce, la denounced as Illegal
and made subject to similar punishment
or restraint, we must Infer that the evil
aimed at was not the mere bigness of the
enterprise, but it was the aggregation of
capital .in. l plants with the express or
Implied Intent to retrain Interstate .or
foreign commerce, or to monopolize it In
hole or in part.
Monopoly destroys competition utterly.
and the restraint of the full and free oper
ation of competition has a tendency to re
strain commerce and trade. A combination
of persons, formerly engaged in trade as
partnership" or corporations or otherwise,
of course eliminates tho competition that
existed between them: but the Incidental
ending of that competition la not to be
regarded as necessarily a direct restraint
of trade unless 'of ' such an all-embracing
character that the intention and effect to
restrain trade arc apparent from the cir
cumstances, or. are expressly declared to
be the object of the combination. A mere
Incidental restraint of trade and compel!
tion in not wtthln the inhibition of the act,
hut it Is where the combination or con
spiracy or contract la Inevitably and d -
r'-ctlv a substantial restraint of .competi
tion." an.i *0 a restraint of trade, that the
statute is violated.
The second section of the act is a sup
plement of the tI.M. A direct restraint
■if trade Hiich a* i- condemned In the fin-.
Kertton if succennful and used to »uppre*H
;-ornp<'t'itinn. la one of tin, commonest meth
ods of iwcurlni a trade monopoly, con
rlfinned in ln '' second otion.
M iV P oHsiblt* for the owners of a bunl
iSm „' manufacturing and f&»W^Yr
..,, „), . of merchandise bo to conduct the!
huVlness as not -„ violate the Inhibition*.
Li the anti-trust lav and yet to secure to
themselves the. benefit of the economies of
management and « of production due to the
concentration under one control of large
capital and many plants. If they use no
other Inducement than - the constant low
price of their product and Its good quality
to attract custom, and their business is
a profitable one. they violate no law. If
their actual competitors are small in com
parison with the total capital Invested, the
prospect of new Investments of capital by
others in such a profitable business is suf
ficiently near and potential to restrain
them in the prices at which they sell their
product. But if they attempt by a use of
their preponderating capital and by a sale
of their goods temporarily at unduly low
prices to drive out of business their com
petitors, or If they attempt, by exclusive
contracts, with their patrons and threats
of non-dealing except upon such contracts,
or by other' methods of a similar char
acter, to use. the largeness of their re
sources and the extent of their output
compared with the total output as a means
of compelling custom and frightening off
competition, then they disclose a purpose
to restrain trade and to establish a mo
nopoly and violate the act.
OBJECT OF THE LAW.
The object of the anti-trust law was to
suppress the abuses of business of the kind
described. It was not to interfere with a
great volume of capital which, concen
trated under one organization, reduced the
cost of production and -made Its ' profit
thereby, and took no advantage of its size
by methods akin to duress to stifle com
petition with It.
I wish to make this distinction as em
phatic as possible, because I conceive that
nothing could happen more destructive to
the prosperity of this country than the loss
of that great economy in production which
has been and will be effected In all manu
facturing lines by the employment of large
capital under one management. I do not
mean to say that there is not a limit be
yond which the economy of management by
the enlargement of plant ceases; and where
this happens, and combination continues
beyond this point, the very fact shows In
tent to monopolize and not* to economize.
The original purpose of many combina
tions of capital in this country was not con
fined to the legitimate and proper object of
educing the cost of production. On the
contrary, the history of most trades will
.show at times a feverish desire to unite by
purchase, combination or otherwise all the
plants in the country engaged In the manu
facture of a particular line of goods. The
idea was rife that thereby a monopoly could
be effected and a control of prices brought
about which would inure to the profit of
those engaged , In the combination. The
path of commerce Is strewn with failures
ot such combinations. Their projectors
found that the union of all the plants did
not prevent competition, especially where
proper economy had not been pursued in
the purchase and In the conduct of the
business after the aggregation was com
plete. There were enough, however, of such
successful combinations to arouse the fears
of good, patriotic men as to the result of
a continuance of this movement toward the
concentration in the bands of a few of the
absolute control of the prices of all manu
factured products.
The anti-trust statute was passed in 159<>,
and prosecutions were soon begun under It.
In the case of the United States vs. Knight,
known as the "Sugar Trust case.," because
of the narrow scope of the pleadings", the
combination sought to be enjoined was held
not to be included within the prohibition of
the act, because the averments did not go
beyond the mere acquisition of manufactur
ing plants for the refining of sugar and did
not Include that of a direct and intended
restraint upon trade and commerce in the
sale and delivery of sugar across state
boundaries and in foreign trade. The result
of the Sugar Trust case was not happy, in
that it gave other companies and combina
tions seeking a similar method of making
profit by establishing an absolute control
and monopoly In a particular line of manu
facture a sense of immunity against prose
cutions in the federal jurisdiction; and
where that jurisdiction Is barred in respect
to a business which is necessarily com
mensurate with the boundaries of the coun
try no state prosecution is able to supply
the needed machinery for adequate restraint
or punishment.
Following the Sugar Trust decision, how
ever, there have come along in the slow
but certain course of Judicial disposition
cases involving a construction of the anti
trust statute and its application, until now
they seem to embrace every phase, of that
law which can be practically presented to
the American public and to the government
for action. They show that the anti-trust
act has a wide scope and applies to many
combinations in actual operation, render
ing them unlawful and subject to indict
ment and restraint.
"REASONABLE" RESTRAINT.
The Supreme Court in several of its deci
sions has declined to read Into the statute
the word "unreasonable" before "restraint
of trade." on the ground that the statute
applies to all restraints and does not In
tend to leave- to the court the discretion
to determine what is a reasonable restraint
of • trade. The expression "restraint of
trade" comes from the common law, and
at common law there were certain cove
nants incidental to the carrying out o£ a
. main or principal contract which were
said to be covenants in partial restraint of
trade, and were held to be enforceable be
cause "reasonably" adapted to the per
formance of the main or principal contract.
And under the general language used by
the Supreme Court in several cases it
would seem that even such incidental
covenants In restraint of interstate trade
were within the inhibition of the statute
and must be condemned. In order to avoid
such . a result. I have thought and said
that it might be well to amend the statute
so as to exclude such covenants from Its
condemnation. A close examination of the
later decisions of the court, however, shows
quite clearly in cases presenting the exact
question that such incidental restraints
of trade are held not to be within- the
law and are excluded by the general state
ment that, to be within the statute, the
effect upon the trade of the restraint must
be direct and not merely incidental or in
direct. The necessity, therefore, for an
amendment of tho statute so as to ex
clude these incidental and beneficial cov
enants in restraint of trade held at com
mon law to be reasonable does not exist.
In some of the opinions of the federal
circuit judges there have been intimations,
having the effect. If sound, to weaken the
force of . the statute by including within
it absurdly unimportant combinations and
arrangements, and suggesting therefore the
wisdom of changing its language by limit
ing its application to serious combinations
with intent to restrain competition or con
trol prices. A reading of the opinions of the
Supreme Court, however, makes the change
unnecessary, for they exclude from the
operation of the act contracts affecting
interstate trade in but a small and inci
dental way and apply the statute only to
the real evil aimed at by Congress.
The statute has been on the statute book
now for two decades, and the Supreme
Court In more than a dozen opinions has
construed it in application to various
phases of business combinations and in
reference to various subjects matter. It
has applied it to the union under one con
trol of two competing interstate railroads,
to Joint traffic arrangements between sev
eral Interstate railroads, to private manu
facturers engaged in a plain attempt to
control prices and suppress competition in
a part of the country, including a dozen
states, and to many other combinations
affecting interstate trade. The value of a
statute which is rendered more and more
certain In Its meaning by a series of de
cisions of the Supreme Court furnishes a
strong reason for leaving the act as it is, to
accomplish Its useful purpose, even though
if It were being newly enacted useful sug
gestions as to change of phrase might be
made.
WOULD NOT DISTURB BUSINESS.
It Is the duty and the purpose of the Ex
ecutive to direct an investigation by the De
partment of Justice, through the grand
Jury or otherwise, Into the history, organ
ization and purposes of all the Industrial
companies with respect to which there is
any reasonable ground for suspicion that
they have been organized "for a purpose
and are conducting- business on a plan
which Is in violation of the anti-trust law.
The work is a heavy one, but it is not be
yond the power of the Department of Jus
tice. If sufficient funds are furnished, to
carry on th« investigations and to pay the
counsel engaged in the work. But such an
Investigation and possible prosecution of
corporations whose prosperity or destruc
tion affects the comfort not only of stock
holders, but of millions of wage earners,
employes and associated tradesmen, must
necessarily tend to disturb the confidence
of the business community, to dry up the
now flowing sources of capital from its
places of hoarding, and produce a halt In
our present prosperity that will cause suf
fering and strained circumstances among
the innocent many for the. faults of the
guilty few. The question which 1 wish in
this message to bring clearly to the con
sideration and discussion of Congress Is
whether in order to avoid such a possihlH
huntnesa danger something cannot be don«
by which these business combinations may
be offered a means, without great financial
disturbance, of changing the character,
organization and extent of their business
Into one within the lines of the law under
federal control and supervision, .securing
compliance with the anti-trust statute.
Generally, In the Industrial combinations
called "trusts" the principal business ■Is
the sale of goods In many states and In
foreign markets; In other words, the Inter-
MHte. and foreign business fur exceeds the
business done ii, any one state. This fact
will justify th» federal government In
granting a federal charter to such a com
bination to make and sell In Interstate and
foreign commerce, the products of useful
manufacture under such limitations as will
secure a compliance with the anti-trust
law. It la possible >so to frame. ,< statute
that, while ii often protection to a federal
company against harmful, vexatious and
urineccsuary Invasion by the states, it
shall subject it to reasonable taxation and
control by the states, with respect to ita
purely local business.
•GOOD" AND "BAD" TRfSTs
Many people conducting great businesses
have cherished a hope and a belief that in
some way or other a line may be drawn
between "good trusts" and "'bad trist*. "
and that It Is possible by amendment ro
the antl-tnist law to make a distinction
under which good combinations may be
permitted to organize, suppress competi
tion, control prices, and do it all legally if
only they do not abuse the power by tak
ing too great profit out of the business.
They point with force to certain notorious
trusts as having grown into power through
criminal methods by the us» of illegal re
bates and plain cheating and by various
acts utterly violative of business honesty
or morality, and urge the establishment of
«ome legal line of separation by which
"criminal trusts' of thin kind can be pun
ished, and they, on the other hand, be per
mitted under the law to carry on their
business. Now, the public, and especially
the business public, ought to rid them
selves of the idea that such a distinction
is practicable or can be Introduced into the
statute. Certainly under the present anti
trust law no such distinction exists. It
has been proposed, however, that the word
"reasonable" should be made a part of the
statute, and then that it should be left to
the court to say what is a reasonable re
straint of trade," what Is a reasonable sup
pression of competition, what is a reason
able monopoly. I venture to think that
this is to put Into the hands of the court
a power impossible to exercise on any con
sistent principle which will insure the uni
formity of decision essential to just judg
ment. It is to thrust upon the courts a
burden that they have- no precedents to
enable them to carry and to give them a
povi(£.r approacling the arbitrary, the abuse
of which might involve our whole judicial
system in disaster.
In considering violations of the anti-trust
law we ought, of course, not to forget that
that law makes unlawful methods of car
rying on business which oefore its pas
sage were regarded as evidence of busi
ness sagacity and success, and that they
were denounced in this act not because of
their intrinsic immorality, but because of
the dangerous results toward which they
tended, the concentration of industrial pow
er In the hands of the few, leading to op
pression ana injustice. In dealing, there
fore, with many of the men who have used
the methods condemned by the statute for
the purpose of maintaining a profitable
business, we may well facilitate a change
by them in the method of doing business.
and enable them to bring it back into the
zone of lawfulness without losing to the
country the economy of management by
which In our domestic trade the cost of
production has been materially lessened
and in competition with foreign manufact
urers our foreign trade has been greatly
increased.
Through all our consideration of this
grava question, however, we must insist
that the suppression of competition, the
controlling of prices, and the monopoly or
attempt to monopolize in interstate com
merce, and business are not only unlaw
ful, but contrary to the public good, and
that they must be restrained and punished
until ended.
FEDERAL IX CORPORATION.
I therefore recommend the enactment by
t "ongress of a general law providing for the
formation of corporations to engage in trade
and commerce among the states and. with
foreign nations, protecting them from un
due interference by the states and regu
lating their activities, so as to prevent the
recurrence, under national auspices, of
those abuses which have arisen under state
control. Such a *aw .should provide for the.
issue of stock of such corporations to an
amount equal only to the cash paid in OB
the stock; and if* the stock be issued for
property, then at a fair valuation, ascer
tained under approval and supervision of
federal authority, after a full and complete
disclosure of all the facts pertaining to
the value of such property and the interest
therein of the persons to whom it is pro
posed to issue stock In payment of such
property. It should subject tUe real and
personal property only of such corporations
to the same taxation as is imposed by the
states within which it may be situated upon
ether similar property located therein, and.
it should require such corporations to file
full and complete reports of their opera
tions with the Department of Commerce
and Labor at regular intervals. Corpora
tions organized under this act should be
prohibited from acquiring and holding stock
in other corporations (except for special
reasons upon approval by the proper fed
eral authority), thus avoiding the creation
under national auspices of the holding com
pany with subordinate corporations in dif
ferent states, which has been such an ef
fective agency in the creation of the great
trusts and monopolies.
If the prohibition of the anti-trust act
against combinations in restraint ol trade
is to be effectively enforced, it is essential
that the national government shall provide
for the creation of national corporations to
carry on a legitimate business throughout
the United States. The conflicting laws of
the different states of the Union with r€:
spect to foreign corporations make It diffi
cult, if not impossible, for one corporation
to comply with their requirements so a.s to
carry on business in a number of different
states.
To the suggestion that this proposal of
federal incorporation for industrial com
binations is intended to furnish them a
refuge in which to continue industrial
abuses under federal protection, it should
be said that the measure contemplated does
not repeal the Sherman anti-trust law and
is not to be framed so as to permit the
doing of the wrongs which it is the purpose
of that law to prevent, but only to foster a
continuance and advance of the highest in
dustrial efficiency without permitting in
dustrial abuses.
Such a national incorporation law trill be
opposed, tirst, by those who believe that
trusts should be completely broken up ami
their property destroyed. It will be op
posed, second, by those who doubt the con
stitutionality of such f eder*tl Incorporation,
and even if It is valid, object to it as too
great federal centralization. It will be op
posed, third, by those who will insist that
a mere voluntary incorporation like this
will not Attract to Its acceptance the worst
of the offenders against the anti-trust stat
ute, and who will therefore pronose instead
of it n system of compulsory licenses for
all federal corporations engaged in inter
state business.
OBJECTION'S CONSIDERED. -
Let us consider these objections in their
order. The government is now trying to
dissolve some of these combinations, and
it is not the intention of the government to
desist In the least degree in its effort to
end those, combinations which are to-day
monopolizing the commerce of this coun
try: that where it appears that the acquisi
tion and concentration of property go to
the extent of creating a monopoly or of
substantially ana directly restraining inter
state commerce. it Is not the intention of
the government to permit this monopoly to
exist under federal incorporation or to
transfer to the protecting wing of the
federal government a state corporation now
violating the Sherman act. But it is not.
and should not be, the policy of the gov
ernment to prevent reasonable concentra
tion of capital which is necessary to the
economic development of manufacture,
trade and commerce. This country has
shown a power of economical production
that has astonished the world, and has
enabled us to compete with foreign manu
factures In many markets. It should be
the care of the government to permit such
concentration of capital while keeping open
the avenues of Individual enterprise and
the opportunity for a man or corporation
with reasonable capital to engage in busi
ness. If we would maintain our present
business supremacy, we should give to in
dustrial concerns an opportunity to re
organize and to concentrate their legiti
mate capital in a federal corporation and
to carry on their large business within the
lines of the law.
Second— There are those who doubt the
constitutionality of such federal incorpora
tion. The regulation of interstate and for
eign commerce is certainly conferred In the
fullest measure upon Congress, and If for
the purpose of securing In the most thor
ough mariner that kind of* regulation con
gress shall Insist that it may provide ana
authorize certain agencies to carry on that
commerce. It would seem to be within Its
power. This has been distinctly attlrmea
with respect to railroad companies doing
an Interstate business and interstate
bridges. The power of Incorporation has
been exercised by Congress and upheld by
the Supreme Court In this regard, wny.
then, with respect to any other form of In
terstate commerce like the sale of goo«i*
across state boundaries and Into foreign
commerce, may the same power not be
asserted? Indeed. It is the very fact that
they carry on Interstate commerce that
makes these great industrial concerns sub
ject to federal prosecution and control.
mow far as incidental to the carrying on
of that commerce it may be within the
power of th« federal government to au
thorize the manufacture of goods hi per
haps more open to discussion, though a
recent decision of the Supreme Court would
seem to answer that question In trie
affirmative.
. Even those who are willing to concede
that the Supreme Court may sustain such
federal incorporation are Inclined to op
pose It on the ground of Its tendency to
the enlargement of the federal power at
the expense, of the power of the states
It Is a sufficient answer to this argument
to nay that no other method can be sug
gested which offers federal protection on
the one hand and Close federal supervision
on the other of these great organizations
that are. In fact, federal because they are
a.-< wide an the country and are entirely
unlimited in their business by state lines
Nor la the centralization of federal pnw«*r
under thlH act likely to be excessive Only
the largest corporations would avail them
selves of iroelj a law. because, the burden
of complete federal supervision ami con
trol that must certain!] ho Imposed to
accomplish the purpose of the lucorpora-
would not be accepted by an ordinary [
business concern.
The third objection, that the worM of
fenders will not .>■■'•«:• federal Incorpora-.l
tion. is easily answered. Tho decrees of j
Injunction recently adopted in prosecutions
under the anti-trust law are so thorough (
and sweeping that the corporations affect- I
ed by them have but. three courses before I
them: ftffßl 4
ONLY THREE COURSES OPEN*.
First— They must, resolve themselves into j
their component parts in the- different
states, with a consequent loss to them
selves of capltar and effective organization
and to the country of concentrated energy
and enterprise; or '
Second— ln defiance- of law and under
some secret trust they must attempt to
continue their business in violation of the
federal statute, and thus incur the penal
MB. TAFTS MESSAGE
< ontlnued from first pa*e.
gestion that It would afford a refuge for
corporations amenable to the Sherman
anti-trust law he meeta by calling atten
tion to the fact that hia proposition con
templates that such federal corporations
shall be equally amenable to that law.
To those who believe all trusts should be
completely broken up Mr. Taft says that
great combinations which do not consti
tute a monojjoly have their legitimate
functions and should be permitted to
carry on their business under the law.
Those which do constitute, a monopoly
he would continue to prosecute under the
Sherman law.
To those who doubt the constitution
ality of his proposition Mr. Taft asserts
his confidence that abundant authority
is delegated to the federal government
under the commerce clause of the Con
stitution. He declares this has been af
firmed with respect to railroad compa
nies and interstate bridges, and he sug
gests that the seemingly contradictory
decision in the Knight, or Sugar Trust.
case was due to "the narrow scope of
the pleadings." whereas a recent de
cision of the Supreme Court would seem
to affirm the power of the federal gov
ernment to authorize the manufacture
of goods, probably referring to the Dan
bury hatters' case.
The objection that the worst trusts
•will not accept voluntary federal incor
poration Mr Taft answers with the ar
gument that th«»y must resolve them
selves into their component parts with
great consequent loss, or must attempt
by secret agreement to violate the stat
ute and thus risk criminal prosecution,
or they must reorganize In good faith
under the federal charter he proposes.
There is every indication that a ma
jority, if not all. of Mr Taft's Interstate
commerce recommendations will he en
acted at this, session. It is hardly ex
pected, even by the President and his
advisers, that provision for federal in
corporation will be made this year, but
the Impression prevails very generally
that Mr. Taft'a recommendations on this
subject will receive much earnest con
sideration, and that out of the discus
sion will come wise legislation largely in
accordance with his suggestions.
MESSAGE IX HOUSE.
lias Profound Effect on Mem
bers — Comment of Leaders.
[From The Tribune Bureau.}
Washington. Jan. 7.— The serious tone of
"the President's message appeared to have
a quieting effect on the House to-day, for
during the reading absolute order was
preserved, and an unusually large number
of Representatives followed It with marked
attention. When the reading ended, the
customary applause followed. It was not
until the members had an opportunity to
discuss the message among themselves that
the profound .impression created by the
President's recommendations became ap
parent. Even the Democrat said they were
unpleasantly surprised by th" snjidity and
breadth |of the programme and the care
ful study which the message demonstrated.
Representative Charles B. Townsend. of
Michigan, one of the President's advisers
on interstate commerce regulation, and a
man to whom much credit is due for the
passage of the Hepburn rate law, fairly
exuded enthusiasm, "President Roosevelt
told me."' he said, "that Mr. Taft would
go even further than he in the matter of
railroad regulation. This message proves
Mr. Roosevelt's assertion and demon
strates that the President is determined
to carry out the Roosevelt policies. The
measures for which the President stands
in this message are exceedingly drastic,
and it is evident that he did not weaken
in the least essential in the face of six
railroad presidents. Four recommenda
tions are of the utmost importance. These
are the Interstate Commerce Court, the
shipper's right to route his own freight,
the obligation of railroads to stand by the
rates quoted by their agents, and the In
terstate Commerce Commission's right to
suspend the operation of increased freight
raes until their Justice has been investi
gated.
"The President has added a new feature
of his own accord. He has provided for
restrictions on stocks and bonds, which are
of immense importance, and which will
prevent the watering of stock. The only
material change from the programme sub
mitted to him by those whom he consul
on this question is with regard to stock
control in one railroad by another. When
Attorney General Wickershara. Chairman
Knapp of the Interstate Commerce Com
mission and others whom the President
consulted laid their plan before him it was
thought best to prevent one railroad from
holding any competing line, and where this
was the case the stock was immediately
to be disposed of. I do not know that I
ever entirely approved of this. I am not
entirely certain of .its wisdom. The Presi
dent has provided that hereafter no stock
ownership shall be acquired by any rail
road in a competing line."
TOWNSEND TO OFFER BILL.
Mr. Townsend has *>een selected by the
President to Introduce his bill and to be
its sponsor on the floor. After the strong
fight which Mr. Townsend made for. the
Hepburn bill there are few who doubt his
ability to handle President Taft's measure.
An attempt is being made to construe tho
President's action in selecting Mr. Town
send as a fling at Representative Mann, of
Illinois, chairman of the Interstate- Com
merce Committee, but as Mr. Mann has al
ready introduced a measure differing some
what from the President's, neither he nor
his friends feel that Mr. Taft would have
been justified In placing the bill In his
hands. Mr. Mann Is. In the first place, op
posed to the Commerce Court, and his bill
makes no mention of it. The restrictions
on stocks and bonds are also omitted from
the Mann bill, and In other minor details
there is not entire agreement between the
two measures. Mr. Mann is looked to.
however, for strong support, and It is cer
tain that he will do nothing to defeat the
President's ends except that he li» pre
pared to fight the Commerce Court.
.Representative DalzeU. of Pennsylvania
expressed the opinion that the message
was one of the most carefully prepared
documents he had ever read. This view
was shared by Representative Payne, of
New York. To these conservative expres
sions were added volumes of praise from
other Republican members.
Representative Roberts, of Massachusetts,
said "The message is a very convincing
document. It contains nothing revolution
ary ,nd nothing that will disturb business
conditions. The subjects dealt with *n>
complex, »nd their treatment by the aTutw
ties of contempt and bring on an Inevitable
criminal prosecution of tn» Individuals
named in the decree and their associate*:
or.
Third— They must reorganise and accept
in good faith the federal charter I suggest.
A federal compulsory license law, urgeVt
»-<* a substitute for a federal incorporation
law. is unnecessary except to reach that
kind of corporation which, by virtue of the)
considerations already advanced, will tak*
advantage voluntarily of an incorporation*
law. while the other state corporations
doing an interstate business do • not need
in* supervision or the regulation of a fed
eral iWn.se and would only be unneces
sarily burdened thereby.
Th». Attorney General, at my suggestion,
has -I rafted a federal Incorporation bill
embodying the views- 1 have attempted tat
set forth, and It will be at the deposition
of the appropriate committees of Congress.
WILLIAM H. TAFT.
The White House. January 7. ISM.
tive shows that a muster mind has been
brought to tear upon this urgent and
pressing legislation." "*»
Representatives Graff. M^Klnney. Cha»
man. Focht. Ben net, McKlnley. Rodenberg,
Bartholdt and a host of others w*r» en
thusiastic In their expression p.. 3§?|||
In fact, the only discordant note came
from Representative. Cooper, of Wisconsin,
who. although he. saw many coed feature*
In the message, feared that the Commerce
Court might Infringe on the power* ef tn«
Interstate Commerce Commission. Th%
other insurgents asked time to consider
the message before expressing any opinion.
The Democrats could find little objection
to it. and many of them gave it their frank
approval. Some of them, however, are op
posed to the federal incorporation feature.
WALL ST. STEADY. *
Recovery Follows Brief Slump
After Receipt of Message.
For a short tim» after the publication eC
the President's message to Congress yes
terday prices on the «ock market too*
a downward trend, but there was no de
cided stump, and a stronger tone soon de
veloped, and at the close most of the
active Issues showed fractional net gains
for the day. and final prices in the entire
list were, with a few exceptions, wen abov*
the low point of the day.
The message, aa a whole, was favorably
received In Wall Street, although m some
quarters there was a tendency to grumble)
over the prospect* of further legislation
of any kind against railroads and other
large corporations. Those holding this view
took the ground that what the country
needed more than anything else was a long
rest from new law* of any sort. Railroad
men. of course, did not Mke th*» recom
mendations for further regulation of the
railroads, but they made no objection to
the recommendation that after a certain
date no road should be allowed to "ac
quire" the stock of a competing line, ex
cepting those roads that already owned at
| least 50 per cent of a competing ' line's
; stock.
| Among the railroads which would be »
I a position to take advantage of this clause
; the most Important is the Union Pacific,
j which Is understood recently to have in
creased its holdings of Southern Pacific
[ stock from 15 per cent to 51 per cent in
; anticipation of some such legislation |a*
j is mended by the President. The At
i lantlc Coast Line is another road ■which
; would conform with the requirement, a«
It owns Just 51 per cent of the capital stock
! of the Louisville & Nashville.
In addition to its holdings of. Southern
! Pacific stock, the Union Pacific fias targ--
; rests in the Illinois Central. Baltimore
j & Ohio, and New York Central roads, but
j in none of these cases does It come any
! where near owning s') per cent of the eap
• ital stock.
Other railroads which own large amounts
of the stocks of competing lines are the
Pennsylvania, which holds $42,547,200 ef
the outstanding $-12, 20*;, 000 Baltimore «t
Ohio stock, and $32,000,000 of the $57.45(>,
900 of Norfolk & Western stock :th« Mis
souri Pacific, which has $22,100,000 of the
Denver & Rio Grande's $80,779,000 and
$1t,13i'.400 of the Wabasb/s $92,232,900;
the Lake Shore, which holds $30v33?.500 at
the Reading's total of $140,000,000. and the
Baltimore & Ohio, which, owns about the
same proportion of Reading stock. All of
these roads, it will be seen, would have to
increase their holdings In rival lines ma
terially in order to be in a position to talc*
advantage of the President's recommenda
tion.
There was a divergence of opinion on the
question of a federal charter for corpora
tions, some holding that such a law would
be harm nil. while others said that the plan,
offered the only solution of existing prob
lems.
The slight effect that the message bad en
the stock market was attributed to the fact
that, as is usual with Presidential" --•-
sages, its principal features had been known
in Wall Street for several days, and had
been pretty well discotmted.
MR. MCREA'S VIEW.
Sot Disappointed — Other*
Commend Message.
[By Telegraph to The Trtbnn^. 5
Philadelphia, Jan. I.—'l knew sutnatwt—
of what the message would be.* said Tames
McCrea. president of the Pennsylvania.
Railroad, to-day when asked bis opinion
of the message sent to Congress by Presi
dent Taft. "and so I can hardly say that
I- am disappointed, but I moat read th«
text first. I wilt read the BBoaaage as soosi
as I can.*'
Among financiers here the message *• re
garded as temperate on the subject of rail
roads.' Efflngham B. Morris, a director of
the Pennsylvania Railroad, said:
"I regard the provisions which Mr. Taft
suggests concerning the acquisition of th«
capital stock of one railroad by another
as an excellent provision. My opinion ha*
been formed upon only a hasty reading or
the message."
Edward B. Smith, of Edward B. Smith at
Co.. bankers, said: "I do not see anything
in the. section on the control of railroad
combinations.'*--* will work to the disad
vantage of the railroads. '
DR. ROBERTS DENIES CHARGES.
Presbyterian Stated Clerk Says He Re
ceives bat One Salary.
I By Telegraph to Tfeo Tribune.]
Philadelphia. Jan. 7— Denying the charge*
made by hit Pittsburg critics, the Rev.
Dr. William 11. Roberts, stated Cert of th«
Presbyterian General Assembly, said to
day :
"I am not paid any salary except as>
stated clerk of the General Assembly. The
editor of "The Presbyterian Banner" pu«-
Bat* last May. Just before the meeting of
the General Assembly, that I received &,o*»
-as treasurer, ami t;*»n came to in- with » >
urology for having made the inaccurate
statement.
"As to the ecclesiastical position* that
I hold, It is not true that I hotd sixty
under the General Assembly. The Pan-
Prtsbyterian Alliance. who.-<o officer I am,
and the Federal Council of Churches of
Christ in America are not under the juris
diction .m the General Assembly. The ex
act number of positions of trust which, I
hold, as stated by the Presbytery of Blalr*
\il!e. us titty-six." and the number is mad*
up by counting as a position of trust every
committee of which I am, »x omeio. Ik
member by virtue of the actually respon
sible positions held by me.
"The statement that * demand ban been)
made for my resignation is not true*, awl
the General Assembly at Denver voted not
to separate the two offices."
ADVERTISING PAYS
Xcw York City.
Gentlemen:
Our classified ad. in The Tribune
is drawing very well.
AMERICAN HOWE MONTHLY.
5

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