« AnteriorContinuar »
Declaring, however, that it is a
The Beveridge Bill.
real and a great evil, the President in his message at the opening of the present session of Congress recommended an exhaustive investigation of it in all its phases. In November Senator Beveridge announced that he would introduce a bill in Congress which would have the effect of regulating the employment of children through an application of the interstate conmerce power. The suggestion was rather startling in its novelty, and at first many of the leading members of the National Child Labor Committee were inclined to oppose the Beveridge bill as lacking feasibility. They soon came around, however, to a unanimous adoption of the measure, and thus, however Congress may decide, the subject has been by the President's message and the Beveridge bill lifted into the highest sort of national prominence. The Beveridge bill does not directly prohibit the employment of children in mines and factories. What it does is to direct railroads and other public carriers that the products of factories and mines employing children under 14 must not be accepted for shipment into other States. The shipper will be required to give an affidavit to the railroad that children are not
employed. The bill does not attempt to deal
DR. SAMUEL M'CUNE LINDSAY. (Secretary of the National Child Labor Committee.)
exhaustively with the subject of child labor, but it may be expected to reach coal mines, cotton mills, glass factories, and various other large industries whose output is a matter of general rather than of local commerce.
The States Still Concerned.
The passage of such a national measure would not relieve the States of an imperative duty as respects the employment of children in many pursuits and callings which have no relation to interstate commerce. But if the nation standardizes the 14-year limit and at one stroke takes the children out of the great mills and factories, it would seem probable that the States would be much more likely to adopt the standard and apply it for local purposes than if the general Government had not exercised its own power. The subject is likely to be discussed both in Congress and elsewhere from the theoretical standpoint of States' rights versus the extension of national functions. In a general way the education and protection of child life must continue to belong to the States. There is no danger that they will not have left to them a sufficient authority to do far more than they are at present wise enough to attempt for the
DR. FELIX ADLER.
A great deal was said last month Centralizing in speeches and also in newspaTrend. pers about the rapid trend toward centralization and toward the assumption by the general Government of activities that might better have been left to the States. A considerable part of this discussion was provoked by a speech made by Secretary Root at a banquet of the Pennsylvania Society in New York. Mr. Root made a brilliant presentation of the vigorous work of the general Government, and pointed out the tendency of the times is a masterly way. It did not follow, however, that he was attacking the sovereignty of the States or arguing for a diminution of energy on their part in the treatment of pressing matters of public concern. Mr. Root would unquestionably like to see the States doing their whole duty, and would prefer that less work should be thrown upon the general Government, even where falling clearly within the reasonable interpretation of the federal Government's constitutional authority. Thus Mr. Root would not hesitate to point out the fact that if the State of Illinois had risen to its full opportunity and duty in the matter of regulating the stockyards and packing-houses of Chicago, we should not have been confronted with the need of passing the recent Meat Inspection law, which adds much to the work of the general Government. And Senator Beveridge would doubtless be glad to admit, that if all the States had been as progressive as a few of them in the matter of regulating child labor, there would be little if any advantage in bringing the subject before the national Congress at the present time. Similar things might be said about the Pure Food bill and various other matters of general public concern with which the Government at Washington has of late been occupying itself.
tioning of authority, the nation would have a better right to reproach the States for undue negligence in governmental work than the States would have to reproach the national Government for undue activity. Since nobody is affected in all this but we, the people, who are at the same time citizens of the States and of the nation, we are not likely to injure ourselves by any serious shifting of the "federative balance." Undoubtedly the railroads of the country have become a great national concern, and it is highly proper that their national regulation should be made efficient by such changes in the law as are found needful from time to time. Moreover, there is a steady growth of opinion in favor of subjecting the large industrial corporations that do an interstate business to a measure and degree of federal control that the public welfare seems to require and that the State governments cannot in the nature of things hope to exercise.
This matter is presented with
great clearness by Mr. James R. Report. Garfield in his latest report as chief of the Bureau of Corporations. He points out the remarkable results that have already followed the mere exercise of the Government's right to make investigations. For example, the recent investigation of the oil industry showed that the railroads very generally and in all parts of the country were making illegal discriminations in favor of the Standard Oil Company. A great number of indictments on thousands of different counts have already been secured as a result of this investigation. But without waiting for the courts to act, the railroads have very generally stopped the discriminations, as a result of publicity; so that the independent producers and shippers of oil suddenly find themselves free from all sorts of disadvantages against which they had for years been There have been no recent curtail- painfully contending. As a further result ments of the power and author- of this study of the oil industry and of other Be Disturbed. ity of the State governments that investigations made by his bureau, Mr. Garcan be said in any State whatsoever to make field is more than ever convinced that the it more difficult for the legislature or the time has come for a direct control of great inexecutive officers to act for the welfare of dustrial corporations through some form of the people of their commonwealth. How- federal license, to be issued as a condition of ever the national Government may magnify their engaging in interstate commerce. In its delegated powers, the sovereign States short, since the federal Government underhave such vast reserves of authority that they takes the regulation of interstate commerce, are not conscious of any limitations upon it may as well provide itself with the meththeir efforts to do well. If there were any ods whereby it can best achieve results. Mr. real rivalry or conflict, as there is not, be- Metcalf in setting forth the work of his tween the nation and the States in the parti- department argues in like manner.
Correcting Railway Abuses.
The Interstate Commerce Commission, with the enlarged powers conferred upon it in the recent so-called rate bill, is preparing to give the country a new exhibition of effectiveness and thoroughness in getting at railway abuses. One of its undertakings is an inquiry into that combination of Pacific lines known as the Harriman system. This will take the form of a legal and practical investigation of the purchase of the Southern Pacific system, and it is supposed that an attempt will be made to apply to the lines under Mr. Harriman's control the principles that were sustained by the Supreme Court in the disso
MR. FRANK B. KELLOGG.
Photograph by Davis & Sanford, N. Y.
MR. C. A. SEVERANCE.
lution of the Northern Securities Company. The special counsel for the Interstate Commerce Commission in this inquiry are Messrs. Frank B. Kellogg and C. A. Severance, wellknown lawyers of St. Paul, Minn., who are also concerned in other Government cases, notably the prosecution of the Standard Oil Company. The report of Mr. Moody as Attorney-General contains a remarkable record of activity on the part of the Department of Justice in proceedings under the
terstate Commerce laws. Many actions are now pending, and their conduct will come under the direction of Mr. Bonaparte, who was transferred from the Navy Department to become Attorney-General on Monday, December 17, Mr. Moody having on that date been elevated to the Supreme Bench. Mr. Metcalf at the same time became Secretary of the Navy, and Mr. Oscar S. Straus took the oath of office as Secretary of Commerce and Labor.
A Period of Law Enforcement.
Mr. Straus, as a young lawyer
many years ago, in partnership with Mr. Simon Sterne, was engaged in an investigation of the Standard Oil Company, the results of which have furnished more recent inquirers with a great deal of their information as regards the origin and history of this most gigantic and powerful of all our industrial monopolies. Mr. Straus now becomes a member of the Administration at a time when a bureau of his department is engaged in similar investigations and when the Department of Justice is attempting to dissolve the Standard Oil
Copyright, 1906, by Underwood & Underwood, N. Y.
HON. JAMES R. GARFIELD.
ing to secure a thorough revision of the land laws to guard against further abuses. It is plain to see now that all mineral and coal deposits ought from the very beginning to have been reserved by the Government when the surface of the public domain was granted for agricultural purposes. With a little forethought the iron ore lands leased several weeks ago by the Great Northern Railroad to the United States Steel Corporation, on account of which $150,000,000 of certificates are issued, would have belonged to the people of the United States. Only a few years ago these lands were part of the public domain, as were the still richer deposits of ore now belonging to the Steel Corporation in Minnesota and Wisconsin. It was not wholly that our public men were shortsighted some 20 or 30 years ago, but they were not strong enough to withstand the pressure of private interests. We owe a debt of gratitude, therefore, to men like Mr. Hitchcock, who have done so much in these last years to turn the tide and to protect the rights of the Government and of the people against the land thieves, the timber
(Commissioner of Corporations, Department of Com- thieves, and the spoilers of many sorts. Mr.
tion. Mr. Garfield will remain at the head of the Bureau of Corporations until March 4, when he becomes Secretary of the Interior, to carry on Mr. Hitchcock's great work against land frauds and other abuses. With the Interstate Commerce Commission showing a new spirit of energy, the Interior Department relentless against evil-doers, the new Department of Commerce able and willing to make use of its powerful weapon of publicity, and the Department of Justice aroused to fresh efforts by the prestige of its recent successes, we are quite sure to see within the coming two years an activity in the enforcement of federal laws such as we have hardly ever witnessed before. In former periods of immense business prosperity and tendency to speculation it has been difficult to keep the Government departments free from corrupt relationship with private enterprise. But we have come into a period of honest as well as efficient administration.
Hitchcock's latest report is a document of great interest to the citizen who cares to know what is really going on in the making of this great country of ours. It tells of the prosecution of hundreds of despoilers of the public domain, this being on the side of strict and efficient administration. But on the other side is the story of the creation of forest reserves, until now the Government has 106 of these, with a total area of 107,000,000 acres. Of this aggregate, 21,300,000 acres represent last year's increase, 22 different reservations having been created.
About $6,000,000 was received Reclamation during the last fiscal year by the Service. department in the disposal of public lands through the Land Office, and such receipts under existing law go to the work of the Reclamation Service, which was established in 1902 and which is now working with much energy upon Western irrigation projects. Up to the last fiscal year 12 such projects had been entered upon, while Mr. Hitchcock is able to report that there An earnest effort is being made are now 23 under actual construction. Our Public to conserve the economic re- readers will remember the general principle sources of the nation. Thus the of this great irrigation plan. It can be stated coal deposits that remain upon the public in a single sentence. Under direction of the domain have recently been reserved for the Geological Survey, headed by Dr. Wolcott, public benefit, and the President is endeavor- government experts and engineers select ad
vantageous locations for irrigation projects on the public domain in the arid portions of our Western States and Territories. The receipts of the general Land Office constitute a fund with which to do the necessary engineering work. The irrigated lands will have so much value that they will be sold in small tracts to actual settlers at a price which in the aggregate will fully repay the Government for its initial investment. The money thus paid back is used for some new undertaking, and thus the Reclamation Service operates with a so-called revolving fund, which in the course of 20 or 30 years will have accomplished extraordinary results. An incident that occurred last month illustrates the importance and value of this Reclamation Service in a novel and unexpected situation.
The Salton Sea.
In the extreme southeastern corner of California there has in recent years been a remarkable agricultural development upon what was once barren desert land through the irrigation projects of private companies. In this immediate vicinity the Colorado River crosses the international boundary line into Mexico. As the result of some unfortunate irrigation project on the Mexican side of the line a year or two ago, the waters of the Colorado River were diverted from their channel and flowed into the depressed lands to the northward, forming what is known as the Salton Sea. This inundation obliged the Southern Pacific
Railroad to change its main line for a long (Director of the Geological Survey and head of the distance. The Southern Pacific Company proceeded at great expense to construct a dam designed to turn the river back to its proper course, and a few weeks ago this work was pronounced completed and successful. Since then, however, the river has forced its way around the dam and is again flowing in great volume into the Salton Sea. It has been now decided at Washington that this emergency creates a situation that can appropriately be dealt with by the Reclamation Service. The Government, through the existance of that service, has the money, the men, and the machinery for immediate action.
areas of land, large sums of money for lands already disposed of, and valuable mineral rights, Mr. Leupp favors the creation of a joint stock company to hold and administer such properties, each Indian being a stockholder, and the Government retaining such supervision over the transfer of stock as to protect the holder in his rights. The business of transforming our Indian wards into self-respecting American citizens seems to be going forward more satisfactorily at the present time than ever before.
Another of the great bureaus of the the Interior Department deals Department. with the Indians, and the present Commissioner, Mr. Francis E. Leupp, is showing himself to be not only a man of theories, but also one of practical views and of tremendous force in carrying