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At the height of this agitation the average freight rate of the New York Central Railroad was 3.187 cents per ton per mile.

Poor, for 1886, gives the average railway charge per ton per mile in the United States at 1.042 cents, the total weight carried in 1886 at 482,245,254 tons, and the weight moved one mile at 52,802,070,529 tons. It is difficult to realize what this difference of charge means on the tonnage cited. The actual reduction of 2.145 cents per ton per mile equaled over one thousand and one hundred millions of dollars on the tonnage of 1886. Stated otherwise, the gross freight earnings of the railways of the United States in 1886 were $550,359,054.* Had the rates obtaining in 1857 been charged in 1886, this sum would have been nearly three times as great, or one thousand one hundred and ten millions of dollars more than the enormous amount cited. This reduction was made while pools existed, and notwithstanding the allegation that railways used all the machinery they could invent, and all the legislative protection they could invoke to preserve their rates, “charge what the traffic would bear," etc.

It passes belief that the Empire State thus recorded itself less than thirty years ago. State legislation sought then to advance an average railway rate of 33 cents per ton per mile in 1859 by adding canal tolls to rail rates to preserve the State monopoly. The nation now legislates as if the railways were oppressive monopolies because they charge one-third of that sum. When it is realized that the total State debts at the close of 1886 aggregated but $1,830,529,000, the saving to the people in this reduction of railway freight rates alone, not including the large reduction in passenger fares, is more apparent. The question may therefore again reasonably be asked, in view of these striking results, Wherein has lain or now lies the danger to the rights, equities, or commerce of the people, from the evolution of transportation through natural causes and through pools? In

every other calling an investor reaps permanent harvests from courage, sagacity, and means, if put into fortunate ventures. The corporate shareholder may be ruined at any time by adverse

* Poor's “Manual."

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legislation. Railway rates are restricted by legislation, but
labor and supply charges are enhanced by its tendencies. Our
railways were built, as our frontier advanced, in short sections,
because funds were meager and rewards doubtful. The phenom-
enal national development alone made them profitable despite
periodical losses and periods of stagnation. Through rates were
then made up of various local charges. Not only were the
through competing lines at war with each other, but the sec-
tions of the same through lines were discordant. Out of this
condition, which was a public hurt, came the purchase of small
lines by larger ones, then consolidation and unity. All this
has been heralded for years as a menace to public good, yet
quicker time, better facilities, lower rates, western development,
and the control of foreign markets, resulted in every instance.
Reduced rates have invariably followed increased and amalga-
mated railway capitalization, and with a rapidity not before
known in the world, until transportation charges in the dis-
trict between the Missouri River and the Atlantic average to-
day about one-half the charges in the older countries of Europe.
At the same time land values have increased far beyond the
values of the securities of the railways that enhanced them.
While conferring these vast public benefits, they are assailed as
more monopolistic to-day than a decade ago. Rates in many
parts of the country still have this downward tendency. Where
it is not natural, legislation spurs it. There must be a stop
somewhere, but Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and the public in
general seem to consider it farther away than ten years ago.
Whenever and wherever reasonable standards have been reached,
pools should be restored to give these rates stability, and rail-
way clearing-houses should be legalized so that they could sue
and be sued and enforce their agreements.

The public, then, has every reason to ask that, if the right
to pool be restored, it shall be surrounded by the checks and
safeguards the public interest may require to prevent abuse.
Aside from the water competition of the St. Lawrence, the
Mississippi, the Gulf, and the ocean, there should be the
judicial power of just regulation, as in the power to suspend
the long and short haul clause of the act, to prevent excessive

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rates. The final purpose of this article is, therefore, to urge the restoration of pooling in manner substantially as follows:

Pool contracts shall be submitted in detail, as executed, to the Inter-State Commission, together with the schedule of the rates to be charged thereunder, and any and all amendments of text, conditions, or charges. If the Commission finds that such contracts contain nothing opposed to public policy, and no indications appear that the rates are unreasonable, unjust, or discriminating, the Commission may authorize such pools put into effect, reserving, however, the right to suspend or cancel them at its option, if practices are resorted to thereunder calculated to destroy this harmony of division and the justness of rates. To this I would add a requirement that the monthly pool results be regularly transmitted to the Commission, and published in its annual reports. Honorable railway managers will not object to more instead of less publicity of charges and procedure.

The Senate Bill, as originally presented, did not forbid pool. ing, but said:

“The said Commission shall especially inquire into that method of railway management or combination known as pooling, and shall report to Congress what, if any, legislation is advisable and expedient upon that subject.”

This wise provision was voted down by transportation theorists and timid legislators, and those who knew its justness succumbed to that clamor. Had it been retained, most of the evils which continue under the Inter-State Act would have ceased.

The railways now challenge a comparison of the last year of their pools under their Commissioners with the first year of the law under the national Commissioners. The law has resulted in replacing uniform rates with differential rates : witness the fact that the rates from New York to Chicago are less by some lines than by others. It has stimulated railway contests, involving inequalities in local and through rates : witness the demoralization east and west of Chicago. It has stimulated underbill. ing in weights, false descriptions of goods, and misrepresented points of origin, by which rates are reduced. It has not stopped discrimination : witness the amendment pending in the

Senate to stop it. It has not operated to reduce through rates, nor has it removed the instability in both local and through charges when railways see fit to war. It puts it more than ever in the power of one disturbing railway to reduce the rates of many others. It enables combined shippers to shatter reasonable rates, with no power of union by the railways to resist them.

The public opposition to pools does not proceed from the shippers who pay the freight bills. It may be confidently asserted that if railway patrons alone were consulted, the proposal to secure equal rates by a system of pools, regulated legally, would be overwhelmingly adopted, and that the negatives would come from those who had received preferential favors, or believed they could still procure them under the law. Railways are not all alike in facility or intent, nor shippers in fairness or honesty. Their inequalities can best be equalized by legalized pools, and among thoughtful students of the problem there can be no doubt that they would result in more good than their prohibition has accomplished.

I quote Professor Hadley again :

“We are thus reduced to the simple alternative, pooling or discrimination. Each effort to prohibit both at the same time only makes the necessity more clear. The governments of continental Europe have ceased to struggle against it. Rightly judging that discrimination is the main evil, they recognize pools as the most effective method of combating them."

After this article had been written, the views expressed in it received the support of the following language from the able Chairman of the National Commission, in an opinion rendered in the case of the Omaha Board of Trade against various railways :

If a rate when made by one company as a single rate would in law be unobjectionable, it would be equally so when made by several as a joint rate. The policy of the law and the convenience of business favor the making of joint rates, and the more completely the whole railroad system of the country can be treated as a unit, as if it were all under one management, the greater will be the benefit of its service to the public and the less the liability to unfair exactions.”

G. R. BLANCHARD.

OUR BARBAROUS FUNERAL CUSTOMS.

One of the strange facts of history is the apparent harmony in which civilization and barbarism live together in the same social household. The best illustration of society is fruit which has been partly hidden by thick foliage, and is found to be dead ripe on one side and sour and green on the other. Among the ancient Greeks, for instance, could be seen, perhaps, the ripest and most perfect intellectual state ever found among any people; and yet upon the same bough with their culture grew the rankest, crudest superstitions. The culture did not modify the superstition; the superstition did not stain or discolor the culture. The two forces sometimes developed together in the same mind with. out bearing the slightest vital relation to each other.

In modern civilization the same strange state of things exists. In fact, the modern man, while he is so richly equipped with well-ordered knowledge, and dominated by the scientific spirit, is even more conspicuously inconsistent in his intellectual life than was the ancient. He carries about with him a variety of antique notions, which can no more be assimilated by his mental constitution than the standard goat of the American humorist is able to find nutriment in the shreds of obsolete posters and the fragments of tomato cans for which he is popularly supposed to entertain an unaccountable preference. These innutritious opinions simply lie in his mental stomach undigested, and yet cause no conscious symptoms of intellectual indigestion. Of course these phenomena are most constantly and conspicuously displayed in man's religious experience. While there is no higher quality of mind than reverence, yet reverence is often the most stubborn stumbling-block in the path of progress. What we may call the mind's selective instinct is constantly at work among a man's secular opinions, discarding some and improving others. But this instinct is generally warned off the premises

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