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The stock-purchase portions of the plan are as follows:
Remuneration coming to employees, in addition to wages, must be provided for by some method which is con- istent with the fundamental conception of the law governing private corporations, and, of course, must be constitutional
. We do not believe that under the present state of existing law that it is legal and constitutional to provide for a division of profits where there is no stock ownership. The only feasible method that will be in keeping with constitutional limits is the method advocated by the League for Industrial Justice, which will require that a certain definite proportion of the total capital stock will be set aside for the employees, to be acquired by them upon favor able terms, and this acquisition of stock is to be upon a collective ba is. Thus the purchase will be made for the men collectively, as large blocks of stock are now purchased through trustees.
The terms of purcha: e will be adjusted so that no undue hardship will be cast upon the men in meeting the requirements. By this we mean that the stock will be paid for in installments over a period of years, and as the same has been paid for participation receipts can be issued, which will give the men a beneficial interest to the extent to which they have already paid in their money.
It is our thought that such stock will not be purchased by the transient or floating employee, but will be taken by the men who have a more or less permanent connection with the company.
In connection with this feature of stock purchase and ownership by the employees, it will be well to provide for the establishment of a fund that can be used for the pensioning of faithful employees and to provide for insurance for veterans and the general benefit of the employees. Instead of : etting apart a proportion of profits by legal enactment, which is of very doubtful constitu tionality, we urge that the same result be obtained through the inethods of stock purcha e herein advocated. To this end the proceeds of a definite por tion of the stock can be set apart as a fund for the beneficial use of those employees that will be in need of aid through incapacity, old age, etc.
STEPHEN A. DAY, President League for Industrial Justice.
RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE NEW YORK STATE GRANGE.
The New York State Grange has just issued and is distributing the report of its forty-sixth annual session, held at Lockport, N. Y., February 4-7, 1919, embodying the farmers' unanimous resolutions on the railroad question.
As unanimously adopted, the report of the committee on transportation, H. A. Russell, chairman, combined various resolutions demanding return of the railroads to their owners for operation. It reads as follows: Whereas the railroads of the United States, when under private management
gave the best service of any railroads in the world; and Whereas under Government control the service has been inefficient, and both
freight and passenger rates have been raised and an enormous debt has been
incurred because of inefficiency in management; and Whereas the tendency of the times is toward extreme centralization of power,
and the disposition of the Washington Government to take over so many rights that formerly belonged to the individual is certain to create an autocracy as great as that of Germany, all of which is against the fundamental principles of our Government: Therefore be it
Resolved, That the State Grange of New York demands that the railroads be given over to their rightful owners.
One resolution declaring that “the farmers are directly concerned with the development and prosperity of the railroads, being among the largest shippers," and that “the conditions under which the railroads operated prior to war were not favorable either to the railroads or to the shippers, and were largely responsible for any difficulties in transportation and in financing experienced by the railroads," added :
“We are unqualifiedly opposed to Government ownership, which is absolutely. un-American and which is likely to be creative of conditions directly antagonistic to the best interests of the farmers, the shippers, the railroads of the country; it would be wasteful and extravagant without increase in efficiency, improvement in service or economy in operation; it would simply mean increased taxation and a creation of conditions which would make for a political system entirely antagonistic to our free institutions.”
Farmers of the country are urged to "communicate with their Representatives in Congress and in the Senate, and urge the speedy adoption of legislation which will definitely establish the status of the railroads," and " preserve all rights of the owners and the users of the roads, while eliminating the system of dual control which is now so expensive and so conducive to difficulty."
Another of the resolutions declared that “the war having closed and the necessity that the Government take over the management and control of the railroads, express companies, and canals, having ceased," and "a sufficient trial having demonstrated that the Government has not and can not operate the transportation companies as economically as the private owners, but has greatly increased the cost to the public and has also been obliged to impose a large tax upon the people, many of whom do not use transportation,” that "the
New York State Grange opposes the extension of the time allowed for Government control of transportation," also that it "condemns the taking over of the telephones, telegraphs, and cables by the Gov. ernment and recommends the restoration to their owners at once."
RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE IOWA FRUIT JOBBERS' ASSOCIA
TION. Hon. C. W. RAMSEYER,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. Whereas the Iowa Fruit Jobbers' Association, at a meeting in Chicago under
date of April 30, 1919, were of the opinion that conditions surrounding transportation under Federal control having proven unsatisfactory to the necessities, particularly to the shippers and receivers of perishable com
modities, causing greater financial losses upon the shipper and receiver; and Whereas, in the opinion of the members of this association, the carriers and
the interest of the consuming public at large are best served under private ownership and operation : Therefore be it
Resolved, That Congress immediately enact the necessary legislation by which all means of transportation by public carriers, each and all of them, be returned to their individual or corporate owners and relinquished from Federal control, and be operated as individual or corporate companies under rules promulgated by the Interstate Commerce Commission. Adopted at meeting of May 28, 1919.
Iowa Fruit JOBBERS' AssocIATION,
C. F. FRANCIS, Secretary. RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE KANSAS CITY CHAMBER OF
THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF Kansas City,
k'ansas City, Mo., May 27, 1919. Hon. JOHN J. Esch, Chairman Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee,
Washington, D.C. DEAR Sir: We attach hereto copy of resolutions adopted by the board of directors of this organization March 28, 1919, in regard to Federal control of the railroads.
We respectfully invite your attention to this resolution, express, ing, as it does, the views of an important shipping community, and trust it may receive your careful consideration. Respectfully,
R. D. SANGSTEE,
Transportation Commissioner, Whereas press dispatches dated Washington, March 19, indicate that instrue"
tions were issued on that date by the Railroad Administration resulting in the temporary suspension or postponement of millions of dollars of railma! improvement work, including erection of new stations, spur tracks, roadbed improvements, bridges, and buildings, because of the financial prelicameot caused by failure of Congress to pass appropriations for the Railroad A.!
ministration's revolving fund; and Whereas it is vitally necessary to the welfare of the commerce and the trans
portation facilities of the country that maintenance-of-way and physics' additions to and betterments and necessary extensions of railroad properties should be not only kept up to the full requirements of existing traffic, but should also comprehend the increase which may fairly be anticipate in tintu as soon as peace has been finally declared; and
Whereas the service rendered by transportation facilities under Federal con
trol is not up to the standard existing under private control and has not improved since the cessation of hostilities to the extent expected and war
ranted; and Whereas the business sentiment of the country, as evidenced by testimony
adduced before the Senate Committee on Interstate Commerce at recent hearings, is overwhelmingly against Government ownership of railroads and against continued Government operation thereof longer than necessary for the enactment of legislation fairly protecting the carriers and in the interest
of the public; and Whereas the general policies of the Railroad Administration have resulted in
the dismantling of operating and traffic forces and in the dissipation of their authority and have seriously handicapped and disrupted the general established methods by which the carriers handle transportation service and relations to the public, for which no necessity exists at the present time for a
continuation thereof; and Whereas it appears that full restoration of the transportation facilities under
Federal control may not be made for some months, pending enactment of necessary legislation by Congress, thus continuing unnecessarily intolerable conditions : Therefore be it
Resolved by the Chamber of Commerce of Kansas City, Mo., That it is the sense of this organization that the United States Railroad Administration should take immediate steps to restore the railroads and all other instrumentalities of transportation facilities over which it has jurisdiction under Federal control to the individual managements as they existed prior to their taking over by the Government, to the end that railroad corporations may be encouraged to finance their necessary requirements, that the carriers' departmental organizations of operation, traffic and otherwise, may be restored so that the initiative of the officials of carriers may be available to the greatest degree, to the end that railroad service to the public may be improved, pending the final legal restoration of the carriers to their corporate owners: And be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be filed with the Director General of Railroads and with Senators and Representatives in Congress from the States of Missouri and Kansas, and, as soon as they are known, with members of the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee of the House and the Senate Interstate Commerce Committee.
RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE BUFFALO CHAMBER OF COM
MAY 27, 1919. Hon. JOHN J. Esch, Chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: Herewith we submit to you copy of resolutions adopted by the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce.
We sincerely trust that when these matters are brought before Congress you will give our views the attention we feel they merit. Very truly, yours,
GEORGE C. LEHMANN,
General Secretary. The resolutions referred to are as follows: Whereas the purpose for which the Congress authorized the President to take
over and operate the railroads of the United States as a war measure has
been accomplished ; and Whereas the operation of the railroads as a unit by the Railroad Administra
tion is not being efficiently and economically performed; and Whereas the prolonged uncertainty of the future status of the railroads is
retarding the business of this country; Therefore be it
Resolved, First, that we favor and urge the prompt calling of an extra session of Congress to enact proper legislation for the return of the railroads to
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their owners under such conditions as will enable them to operate successfully after they are turned back to their owners, the return to private operation to immediately follow the enactment of necessary legislation.
Second, that we further urge Congress to immediately provide for adequate upkeep of the railroad properties during the period of Government control, and further provide an ample and vigorous program of railroad additions and bet. terments, and that equitable arrangements be made now for the financing of such improvements.
Third, that a department of the Interstate Commerce Commission be created with supervisory and administrative powers for the purpose of supervising and improving the issue of stocks and bonds and in general have such supervision over the financial situations of the roads as will provide necessary improvements and prevent any abuses in their operations detrimental to public good, and provide power and authority to compel the joint use of tracks, terminals and equipment when such arrangement is a convenience or a benefit to the public, reasonable compensation to be fixed therefor by the commission; and that the commission have full power to hear and decide all wage contro versies which may arise between railroads and their employees, the commission's ruling to be accepted by both parties as final.
Fourth, that the conditions governing the publication of all rates, fares, charges, classifications, regulations, practices, etc., including the right of shippers to route their freight, and the power of the Interstate Commerce Commission to suspend rates, fares, charges, classifications, regulations, practices, etc., be restored to their prewar status immediately after the relinquishment of Government control of the railroads, and, furthermore, that the railroads, before they are permitted to advance rates, fares or charges or make any change in classifications, regulations, practices, etc., which will result in increased charges to the public, be required to submit such propositions to the Interstate Commerce Commission for consideration and public hearing if necessary, and that in no case will the railroads be permitted to publish such advances and changes until permission is granted by the Interstate Commerce Commission
Fifth, that we are opposed to the appointment of a national secretary of transportation to be added to the Cabinet with power over the railroads, be cause of the danger of political influence which would be incurred, we feeling that a full restoration of the administrative and judicial powers and authorities previously vested in the Interstate Commerce Commission, in conjunction with those additional powers and authorities recommended herein, will result in : fair solution of the railroad problem.
Sixth, that a copy of these resolutions be sent to Congress.
BUFFALO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,
October 17, 1919. Hon. John J. Esch, Chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. DEAR SIR: For your information I am inclosing statement and resolution which was prepared by our transportation committee and which was to-day sent to our Senators and Representatives.
Particular attention is called to the resolution on page 2 of this statement, which was adopted unanimously by our board of directors. Very truly, yours,
GEORGE C. LEHMANN,
General Secretary. (The resolutions referred to are as follows:) Your transportation committee, after having made a careful, individual studs of Senate bill 2906, introduced by Mr Cummins, desires to submit the following for your consideration and adoption and transmittal to our Representatives in Congress. The object of this bill is to further regulate commerce among the States and with foreign nations and to amend an act entitled " An act to regulate commerce," approved February 4, 1887, as amended.