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PROCEEDINGS OF SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION ROUTES TO THE SEABOARD.
FIFTH AVENUE HOTEL,
The CHAIRMAN. I believe the committee are ready to proceed, and as the gentlemen present to-day are nearly all the representatives of railroads, I wish to say to them that the object of the appointment of this committee was to secure, if possible, cheaper transportation between the sea-board and the interior.
There are evidently two sides to the question. There is the railroad side and there is the side of those who claim that the railroads are charging too much, and that they are not working in the interests of the people. The committee desire that the gentlemen present having heard this general expression, may state to us their views with reference to the transportation question. I have submitted to a number of gentlemen an outline of the inquiries that we wish to make, and we will either submit questions to the gentlemen called upon or permit them to make such statements, with reference to this general question, as they may deem proper, and we will then follow it by such questions as may be suggested to our minds.
I am told that Mr. Hayes and Mr. Kneass will make some statements with reference to the freight lines, and I have been requested to ask that they should make those statements first.
Mr. HAYES, General Manager Blue Line Fast Freight, Detroit, Mich. : GENTLEMEN OF THE COMMITTEE: The statement that I wish to make more particularly is in regard to through fast freight lines. The mind of the public seems to have been in error with regard to these lines. To give you a full history of their origin, their operations, and matters connected with them, it may become necessary to go back a little in the history of transportation, in order to show why they were formed and their continued progress and their present organization, their connection with the producer and the consumer, as well as their connection with the roads.
You will recollect that the great grain-producing country of the West borders very largely upon the lakes, and the lines of roads running from lake ports into the interior of the country are very largely engaged in bringing this produce to the lake ports, such as Chicago, Milwaukee, Racine, Green Bay, and other points, where it meets with the lake craft that bring it to Buffalo. There it is transferred to the canal for New York. The rates of that lake transportation have varied more than the rates of freight on any the percentage has been greater, the fluctuations greater than on any road or on the canal. Commerce, like water, regulates itself and finds its own level. Therefore, when that grain can be taken into a vessel at Chicago, brought to Buffalo for 5 cents a bushel, and from Buffalo to New York for 10 cents a bushel, as it was done through the month of August last, we find that there is 15 cents for fifteen hundred miles of water navigation, which covers the insurance