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five years, first in regard to the Cullom bill, presented in the Fiftysixth Congress, and also in the Fifty-seventh Congress, in regard to the Nelson-Corliss bill and the Elkins bill, and in the present Congress on the Quarles-Cuoper bill, or Cooper-Quarles bill, as it should properly be called. It has been fully investigated in each of those three Congresses-the Fifty-sixth, Fifty-seventh, and Fifty-eighth. Extensive bearings were held by this committee as far back as the Fifty-sixth Congress, hearings occupying a considerable length of time-- I do not recall now exactly how long—but the subject was gone into very thoroughly. People appeared here from all parts of the country, representing shippers, and presented their views in relation to the legislation desired. In the Fifty-seventh Congress extensive hearings were held before the Interstate Commerce Committees of both the Senate and House, and in the House committee the hearings extended over a period of two months and a half, some twenty-five hearings having been held. People were here from all parts of the country to present their views at those hearings, which were probably
nore complete and full than those in regard to any other plan ever presented before these committees.
In addition to that the Industrial Commission held hearings for three and a half years upon the subject of the industries of the country and the transportation problem, and that Commission presented a full report to Congress of those hearings, in the course of which this subject was gone into exhaustively in the sittings of that Commission in the different centers of the country, covering probably more than a year's time. The results of that investigation are available to this committee, and to the House committee as well, of course, in regard to the consideration of the subject.
What I desire particularly to emphasize is that our side desires no further hearings. We feel that the subject has been exhausted. We do not wish to be put to the expense and delay of repeating or reiterating the testimony previously presented. The conditions have not materially changed since the full hearings of the Fifty-seventh Congress,
consequently there is nothing new to be offered. We rest our case upon what we have already adduced at those hearings, reserving simply the right to offer anything necessary in rebuttal of what may be offered by the other side in regard to the question.
I shall now be pleased to answer any questions.
The CHAIRMAX. The Nelson bill was before us. What bill do you rely upon and stand by now-the Quarles Senate bill?
Mr. Bacon. Yes, sir. That is identical with the Cooper House bill.
The CHAIRMAN. The Nelson bill was considered by this committee, and here is the Quarles bill, being Senate bill No. 2139.
Mr. Bacon. I ought to have said that the Quarles bill simply renews the Elkins bill which was before the Fifty-seventh Congress, with the omission of the pooling sections which that bill contained and the discriminative section which has been superseded by the bill enacted in February, 1903, known as the Elkins anti-lebate law.
The CHAIRMAN. The Nelson bill was discussed quite at length before this committee, and hearings were had. I do not think we have had any direct hearings upon the Quarles bill, have we?
Mr. Bacon. I think the chairman did not understand my last remark, that the Quarles bill is simply a renewal of the Elkins bill. Did the Chairman understand that?
The CHAIRMAX. Yes; I understood that part. The question now before us is in regard to making operative the orders made by the Interstate Commerce Commission upon the party or parties against whom they are issued.
Mr. Bacon. That is simply a repetition of what was in the Elkins bill before the committee two years ago.
Senator CULLOM. As I am not familiar with what the bill contains at all, I should be glad to have Mr. Bacon discuss it section by section, if he will do so.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bacon has very intelligently discussed the original bill, and incidentally, I suppose, a good deal of what is in the Quarles bill; but I think it would be well for the committee to hear Mr. Bacon in a general way, as suggested by the Senator from Illinois.
Mr. Bacon. I will do so with pleasure. I will say that there is nothing contained in the Quarles bill which was not contained in the Elkins bill which was before you two years ago. As originally introduced, that bill was amended at the suggestion of our committee by the parties at whose instance it was introduced—the Pennsylvania Railroad Company—and was adopted by the committee which I represent as a substitute for the Nelson-Corliss bill, which had been considered by this committee.
Senator CuLLOM. If you have the bill before you perhaps it would be well to contine your remarks to the bill before the committee, if you can do so.
Mr. Bacon. I will premise that the Nelson bill, which was before you at the same time that the Elkins bill was, contains the same provisions in regard to the power of the Interstate Commerce Commission in regard to revising rates that the Quarles bill contains. The purposethe sole purpose, I may say--of this Quarles bill is to clothe the Com
I mission with the specific authority
The CHAIRMAN. Please state what authority.
Senator Cullom. State the provisions of the bill—what power it carries.
Mr. Bacon. When a rate has been found, after complaint and investigation, to be unreasonable or discriminative, the power to change that rate or to make any regulation affecting the rate is given the Commission, and that that change shall go into immediate effect pending appeal or review by the courts. Provision is made in the bill for review of the order of the Commission, upon the application of a carrier.
The CHAIRMAX. That is, the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Senator DOLLIVER. In what respect does that differ from the present law?
Mr. Bacon. The present law provides that upon a hearing and finding of a rate to be unreasonable or unjust, which is the term used in the act, it shall so declare, and shall notify the carrier to cease and desist from the continuance of such violation of the act. The carrier is left free to make such change in that rate condemned by the Commission as it may choose. It has sometimes occurred-often, in factthat, instead of making a change of rate to meet the intent and requirements of the case, it has made only a slight change, in that way technically complying with the requirements of the act.
Senator DOLLIVER. Have you in mind any case in which that happened?
Mr. Bacon. Several cases; yes.
Senator DOLLIVER. I should be glad to have a memorandum of the cases in which that happened.
Mr. Bacon. I shall be very glad to furnish you with it.
Complying with Senator Cullom's request, I will say that this opportunity for review is provided in this bill for the purpose of expediting proceedings and avoiding the necessity of serving injunctions and such processes to prevent the carrying into effect of the orders of the Commission, the review being a quicker process.
It is further provided that this review shall take precedence over any except criminal cases, and any appeal from the circuit court to the Supreme Court shall also take precedence over any except criminal
It is also provided that the order of the circuit court shall be in force and effect pending appeal to the Supreme Court; that if the circuit court affirms the order of the Commission, nothing shall suspend the operation of that order. It is provided, however, that the circuit court may suspend such order pending the hearing of the case before that court, in order that the railways may have the opportunity, in case of manifest injustice, to have the operation of the order of the Commission suspended. But after the circuit court has acted and affirmed the order of the Commission, the order is in full force until reversed by the Supreme Court.
Then there is a section providing that if the carrier refuses to comply with the order of the Commission when in force it shall be subjected to a penalty of $5,000 for each day's continuance of noncompliance.
Those points cover the provisions of the bill in full.
Senator TILLMAN. I understand that you represent the shippers' interests. Are you willing to have suspended the order granted by the Commission pending investigation?
Mr. Bacon. We are not only willing, but we expressly desire it.
Senator TILLMAN. In other words, you do not agree with the President. The President says such order shall remain in effect until the court itself rescinds its action.
Mr. Bacon. The President did not go into details.
Mr. Bacon. He announced his purposes and desires, but the bill goes more into detail, and provides for the review by the circuit court in order that if there be manifest injustice in the order of the Commission it may be suspended so that the railways shall not be wrongfully dealt with.
Senator CULLOM. Complaint is made by the people in some localities that the rates from their places to some shipping point-Chicago, for instance, if it is out West-are too high. The Commission goes to that place, investigates the subject, hears testimony, and finally deterinines that the rates were too high, and so orders; then they also make an order providing for what they regard as a reasonable rate below the former rate. Does that order take effect, under this bill, immediately upon issuance!
Mr. BACON. It takes effect unless the carriers apply to the circuit
court for a review of the order of the Commission. It takes effect within thirty days.
Senator CULLOM. But it does not take effect for thirty days.
Senator CLAPP. It takes effect in thirty days after notice, and in sixty days after notice in case of application for review.
Senator DOLLIVER. Then the mere application for review would postpone for thirty days?
Mr. Bacon. That must be made within thirty days. · Senator CULLOM. Otherwise it will take effect at the end of thirty days?
Mr. Bacon. Yes; unless application is made for review.
Senator Cullom. Then if no application is made for review, it remains in force until the court hears the case and decides that the order is or is not unreasonable.
Mr. Bacon. It remains in force at the end of thirty days if no application is made for review.
Senator DOLLIVER. Why is that thirty days put in there? It seems to me that would be a very brief time.
Mr. Bacon. That thirty days is simply to give time to the carriers to make up their case; the probability is that they would be able to do that in ten days.
Senator DOLLIVER. Then would it not be better, in case of appeal, to require thení to determine in a briefer time whether they are going to make an appeal?
Mr. Bacon. That would certainly suit our interests. We made that thirty days so as to be beyond criticism.
Senator Cullom. If there is no appeal to the court within thirty days, this order takes effect, as I understand? Mr. Bacon. It takes effect and the carrier is cut off from appeal.
Senator Cullom. Is there no way to get the matter before the court then?
Mr. Bacon. That ends it, if there is no application for review.
The CHAIRMAN. But such order may be revoked by the Commission itself at any time after full hearing; that is, if the railroad company says it wants to be heard further, the Commission may revoke or suspend its order. Mr. Bacon. That refers to some period in the future, because the
. conditions may change within a year after the determination was made, and the carrier may have good reasons for asking a revocation or suspension of the order.
Senator CULLOM. The Commission has control afterwards?
Mr. Bacoy. Yes, sir. A carrier may go before the Commission and ask for a new hearing under changed conditions, no matter when it may be.
Senator CuLLOM. If a new rate should take effect at once, would not the shippers be satisfied to let the railroad appeal to the court at any time they choose, without limit, so as to have it determined whether that rate was reasonable or not?
Mr. Bacon. What would be the advantage of that, Senator?
Senator CULLOM. The rate when made would be in force as made by the Commission, and the people would get the advantage of that existing rate until the court should decide at any time afterwards. Do you not think that would be fair and reasonable?
Mr. Bacon. It seems to me that the allowance of thirty days is ample time for their consideration and determination as to whether they want the case reviewed.
Senator CuLLOM. You want the matter settled?
Senator TILLMAN. If the Commission is not allowed or authorized to change existing rates without examination and thorough investigation, why should the court be allowed to suspend an order of the Commission without examination?
Mr. BACOX. It is not.
Senator TILLMAN. Indeed it is, unless I misunderstand the English language.
Mr. Bacon. It can only suspend upon application and hearing.
Senator TILLMAN. But it is still allowed to investigate. The investigation proceeds after suspension.
Mr. Bacon. But it can not order a suspension until an opportunity is given both parties for a hearing on an application for suspension of the order.
Senator TILLMAN. How long must that hearing last? It might make its ruling take effect immediately if it saw fit.
Mr. Bacon. But it is supposed that the court will proceed in the matter honestly and seriously. I think that is fairly to be presumed.
Senator TILLMAN. You would not like to have a time limit upon the court; you want it to be calın and serene in its consideration of these matters?
Mr. BACON. It seems to me that a time limit would be rather an imputation upon the honesty of the court. However, that is a matter for determination by you gentlemen. I have sometimes found it necessary to push back with one hand while I pull forward with another. It has been the desire of our committee from the first to maintain a moderate and rational view of this legislation, avoiding extremists and radicals. We desire to be moderate and conservative.
Senator DOLLIVER. Have your committee considered the legal limitations upon our right to put conditions upon the power of the court to supersede the orders of the Commission? I notice that Mr. Kernan, who appears to have been one of the witnesses in the hearings in the last Congress, suggests an amendment to that portion of your bill which lays down the conditions upon which the circuit court shall suspend an order of the Commission, but suggests that those conditions be stricken out on the ground that they would be unconstitutional, and he adds:
You can not enact worse legislation than that.
Mr. Bacos. That matter was thoroughly gone over before the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, and the report of the hearings on that subject elucidates that point very fully, I think.
I will say that our committee is constituted of business men, with the exception of one lawyer. Mr. Kernan appeared for the New York Produce Exchange, and argued in favor of the proposed legislation. And I will say that the only lawyer on our committee is not satisfied with what you might call the conservative qualities of the measure which the committee, as a whole, has recommended being observed, avoiding the more extreme or more radical.