Combination Not Competition of Railroads
In the course of the taking of evidence before what is generally called the Newlands Committee, appointed by Congress to investigate conditions relating to interstate and foreign commerce, it was very interesting to observe the personality of the different members of the Committee, as indicated by the questions which they asked of the various expert witnesses who were brought before them. The keen intellect of the Senior Senator from Iowa has continually played about the problem, how the revenues of the weak lines can be increased without at the same time increasing those of the strong ones. Assuming that some of the lines are already earning enough, but some are not, how shall the poor lines be made prosperous without increasing the earnings of their strong competitors? Shall the Government guarantee the earnings of the weak lines? If so, how will it ever get its money back? Can the strong lines be made to shoulder the weak ones, so to speak, or dilute their own prosperity by spreading it over the adversity of their weaker brethren? On more than one occasion the Senator has declared this problem to be insoluble. What is to be done?