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manufacturing corporation and a quasi public corporation. I concede Judge McGilvra's statement that the power that created the corporations can control them, but it don't control them. That is very good in theory, but it is not true in practice; it don't control them. Now, it is a fact that corporations do control; they have controlled, and they will control-I don't want to get political, because I don't care which party is in power-- these great railroad corporations will continue to exercise their influence and control, and I agree with the statement of the gentleman who read the paper that they will not be such a power in politics; that although the whole force of the government-owned railroads might be used for private political purposes, they will then not cut so much figure not exercise so much inflence in politics, as the great railroad corporations do to-day. There is not a railroad corporation of any magnitude to-day in the United States that does not exercise a great and a mighty influence; and these things are public utilities. They are for the benefit of the public. They are created by the government. They are allowed certain, or they are endowed with certain rights that a private citizen is not endowed with, for the express purpose of using them for the benefit of the public, and the government is a trustee, and ought to oversee that business. But the greatest evil of all that will be eradicated, and the only matter that I noticed was not touched on in the learned paper of Judge Hogdon, was this one: The greatest evils in this country to-day come from the gambling in stocks, and when that is wiped out, and there is no longer any inducement any stocks to be gambled in the public spirit and the public enterprise will become more healthy and on a more healthy basis; and if it is a fact that where the governments do own and operate these enterprises, it is done at a minimum of cost- simply at the cost of operation, maintenance, etc.—it does seem to me that there is only one question that can interject itself here to oppose the government ownership of railroads in this country, and that would be whether or not our form of government is consistent with the government ownership of railroads. I don't know why our government, unless it is restricted by our national Constitution, cannot exercise the same authority and power over these government utilities that Russia or Germany or any other country does; so I think that the Judge is a
little in error, because instead of its being contrary to our theory of government, it was the theory under which our government was organized that public utilities could not be owned by any person. The government kept and maintained control of all the salt mines, coal mines, and the gold mines, for nearly a hundred years after we were a government.
MR. ROWELL.-Mr. Chairman: There are some questions, you know, that every man is obliged to talk on, whether he can say anything or not. This is one of those questions that touch my heart. It is not always I am on Judge McGilvra's side, and it is not often I am against our friend, Mr. Ronald, but this time is one of the exceptions that prove the rule that we cannot always be in the same position.
This is a question I have given considerable study, and Judge McGilvra has expressed more clearly, perhaps, than I can do myself, the grounds, the very fundamental reasons why we should take the attitude which he outlines. In the first place, this gov ernment, in my judgment, never was organized and shaped by its founders with the idea of anything of this sort. All of this seems to be the outgrowth of making a virtue of necessity and undertaking, in my judgment, to overcome an evil by doing a greater evil. I never want to look forward to the time when this government becomes the owner of its- what we have in the past been calling franchises. It seems to me that nowhere can you draw the line. The line may be drawn to-day seemingly on well-grounded theories, and to-morrow swept away. A few years ago nobody would have deemed the telephone system one which could be included in any franchise of this sort, yet it has grown up to be one of the most important. The same is true of the electric light system. The same is true of the street railroad system, having taken the place, as it has, of the old system of the horse-cars and the omnibus, and we know not how soon that, too, may give way to the automobile. Where will this thing end?
Now, I acknowledge the strength of the people who take the other side, when they cite to us the present system of mail carrying and mail distribution in the United States as a government institution. I realize the strength of the position which they take. I realize how valuable it seems that that institution is, but I would
fear the extending of that institution to cover all of the franchises. I would much rather see our mails distributed with less regularity, the letters go with less security, than to think that because we are able to do a piece of business by the government in that way, we must do all of the business of that sort by the government. Where would it end? It would end in civil service. It must end there, otherwise this system can never be complete. It would end with a set of government workers-government employees, from the day when they were boys until the day when, under pension, they were carried and buried, probably, in government coffins and in a government cemetery. There would be no end to it. It would include the post office, it would include the railway system, it would include the transportation system by water.
MR. RONALD - It would exclude strikes.
MR. ROWELL It would include every single system with it, I think, and if it excluded strikes, it would exclude them at the point of the bayonet and not by the ballot.
It seems to me that we would have a government, not of the people, for the people, and by the people, but we would have a government of the government, by the government, and for the government, and the people would play a very unimportant part in that government, except those who were fortunate enough to get in line early in the game, and stay in line. It seems to me that there is no more arrogant, however well managed, no more arrogant set of employees of corporations than those who are the employees and the managers under the government system.
We look with a sort of feeling of discontent upon the men who manage our railway systems, the men who manage our street railway systems, the men who manage our gas systems, our electric light systems and our water works systems. We, in this city, have municipal ownership, so far as the water system is concerned. Now I don't dispute that we get water for $1.20 a month, where five or six years ago, or seven or eight years ago, we had to pay $2.50 a month for the same service. But, Mr. Chairman, didn't we get water whenever we wanted to turn it on, and it wasn't a crime to open the faucet before a given hour in the day or after a given hour in the day, under a certain liability. It wasn't a crime to use the water on Renton Hill when other people were using it
down in the bottom.
That is a condition of government ownership. It carries with it, not the breaking of a contract; it carries with it the criminal law. It makes a criminal out of a man the instant he has disobeyed the ordinance under which all of the workings of that institution are carried into effect.
We believe that these private corporations are arrogant, as I stated before. Not long ago I stepped into the water office here, in our city, for the purpose of liquidating [laughter]-no fun intended. While there, a gentleman came in- I presume he was a gentleman, although he was very earnest and very sarcastic and he had something to say about the water office and the water management. He said he said it earnestly, and the young man behind the counter stood it for a little while, and he says, "Look over there," and I looked at the same time that he looked. at the side of the door as you come in was a dirty rag, which had been picked up from the street. It was tied by a string on the inside, and over that was this placard in good, large letters, so that he who runs might read: "Chew here." That in the public office of the water system of this city. "Chew here." And I made up
my mind that if ever I had an opportunity to chew against the system that permitted a thing of that kind I would chew and I would chew down the line, and I would chew on every occasion I got an opportunity to chew. That is one of the evils. It is in its incipiency, but where would it end? It is not the government which I believe our fathers outlined for us. If we can manage these institutions, we can control them. Whenever it is necessary for a body of men to go to a municipality, to a state, to a nation, and ask permission to do a certain thing, the conditions of that permission must be such that they must do it right and do it well, and it won't take the one-thousandth part of the expense, and instead of employing some man who will see that they do it right, the city will employ the man to do the thing itself. That is what we need. We need, not municipal ownership; we need municipal control; and in order to get municipal control, we need men appointed or elected for the purpose of seeing that they obey the franchise under which they are working, and tell me they won't do it? Why, in every other branch of the government people obey the laws. We have our judges; we have our attorneys; we have our inspec
tors, and they see that the people obey the laws; why not in this branch? Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I am with Judge McGil
MR. WALKER - Mr. President, I think that it is a crying shame and a sad commentary on our government that it should be possible in the lifetime of one man that a fortune of two hundred million dollars, estimated conservatively, should have been built up in this country. I believe that in the preamble of our Constitution it is recited that this Constitution is given to our people for the purpose of establishing justice and promoting the general welfare. I say that the government has not established justice, and the general welfare is not promoted when such things as this obtain. It is well known, Mr. President, that this fortune, which is but one of many that have been built up during the last fifty years in this country, is due, in a large measure, to what is known as the secret freight rate in railroad management. I am not one of those who believe in the extension of the power of the government until it is absolutely necessary. But one of two things, Mr. President, must follow, and that speedily, in the history of this government: The great mass of our people will not sit idly by and see great fortunes made up in this way in a way that I say is no less than highway robbery without some remedy. Now this government of ours must speedily and I think a fair opportunity should be given -must speedily control these railroads, so that one man stands as fair a chance as another in the railroad office, in carrying on his business, or the people, by means of government, will either control or own these railroads; and that is as certain to follow as night follows the day, and no man can doubt it. I am with Judge McGilvra when I say we should hesitate long and should study earnestly to devise some way by which we may avoid the extension of the powers of government.
But there are other things to be considered, perhaps of more consequence than the possibilities of a man leading a life in the employ of the government, as has been contended by the distinguished gentleman who has preceded me I say there are other things of higher moment and import to our people. The time is speedily going by when the great body of our people will contribute by the sweat of their brow to the building up of these immense fortunes. Now, I