Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 31.djvu/157

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THE

 

POPULAR SCIENCE

 

MONTHLY.



JUNE, 1887.




ARE RAILROADS PUBLIC ENEMIES?

By APPLETON MORGAN.

(SECOND PAPER.)

SINCE a paper printed in the March "Popular Science Monthly" was in type, the Interstate Commerce bill has become law. This law establishes a Commission, to whose decision is now committed the regulation of the railways as to their relations with the individual shipper. Since the law permits the railway to apply to the Commission for leave to discriminate as to hauls and shippers,[1] or otherwise to pursue the tenor of which experience has taught the expediency, it need not prevent a final ventilation of the remainder contents of Mr. Hudson's scrap-book against railroads, nor impose upon us the technical discussion hereafter reserved for the Commission itself. Our last paper left over for consideration:

I. Discriminations by long haul and short haul.

II. Stock-watering (which Mr. Hudson, however, prefers to nominate "the fictitious element in railway policy" ); and—

III. "Eminent domain" (that is to say, a modicum of the power of the State, by acceptance of a grant of which a railroad company is understood to accept the burden of certain public obligations).

It should be premised, perhaps, even at the risk of becoming elementary, that one railroad company is not all railroads. Such syllogisms as: 1. A railway corporation which charges more for a long haul than a short haul is a public enemy. 2. The A B and C D Railroad charges more for a long haul than a short haul; ergo, all railroads are public enemies—or, 1. A corporation which "waters" its capital stock is a public enemy. 2. The E F and G H Railroad once "watered" its stock; ergo, all railroads are public enemies—and the like, are

  1. Section 4.