Readings on the Relation of Government to Property and Industry

By Samuel P. Orth | Go to book overview

Is it not possible that this idea may soon spread? Why should it not be taken up at the next Hague conference, as it is a menace threatening the internal peace of any progressive industrial nation?

To summarize may we not say that some of the results of "The Case of the Monopolies" have been (a) the clear establishment of the idea that sole control of a product is against public policy and consequently against fundamental law, -- (b) the giving a firm base and good outline for our States to start from in their law-making and their courts. One of its suggestions, too, that we need to-day is that the monopolistic idea is against the grain of English thought, and that therefore we should have little real trouble in framing an understanding with all English speaking lands as to an interchange of corporate restriction.


THE STANDARD OIL DECISION: THE RULE OF REASON

BY H. L. WILGUS, OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

(From the Michigan Law Review, June, 1911)

After twenty-one years the Sherman Anti-Trust Act has been applied to the typical combination restraining interstate commerce, which that act was designed to prevent.

In the debate in the United States Senate, on the original bill introduced by Senator Sherman, he said:1

Associated enterprise and capital are not satisfied with partnerships and corporations competing with each other, and have invented a new form of combination, commonly called trusts, that seeks to avoid competition by combining the controlling corporations, partnerships, and individuals engaged in the same business, and placing the power and property of the combination under the government of a few individuals, and often under the control of a single man called a trustee, a chairman or a president. The sole object of such a combination is to make competition impossible. It can control the market, raise or lower prices, as will best promote its selfish interests, reduce prices in a particular locality and break down competition and advance prices at will where competition does not exist. Its governing motive is to increase the profits of the parties comprising it. The law of selfishness, uncontrolled by competition, compels it to disregard the interests of the consumer. It dictates terms to transportation companies, it commands the price of labor without fear of strikes, for in its field it

____________________
1
See Congressional Record, Vol. 21, Mar. 21, 1890; Bills and Debates in Congress relating to trusts, 1888- 1902, pp. 95-96. There are many other references to the Standard Oil Co. in the debates: Allison, p. 126; Teller, p. 170; Wilson, p. 337.

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