« ПредишнаНапред »
would seem to be, do not deter many from stoutly maintaining that the principle of wholesale and retail should not apply to railroad transportation. It is claimed that small dealers will be ruined by its application, and the result will be an enhancement of business to the wholesale or large dealers, and the crushing out of the retail or small dealers. We think, however, that under the just rule provided by the legislature no such result would follow. No one has ever proposed to select the largest dealer and class him as a wholesale dealer and all others as retail dealers. It is not the volume but the manner of doing business which determines the character of a dealer, whether wholesale or retail. He who sells in lots and original packages is a wholesale dealer. Men have no difficulty in any other business in distinguishing the wholesale from the retail dealer, and any mistake made in classification would be an unjust discrimination and prohibited by law.
The greatest good of the greatest number must in all economic considerations be the thing sought after. While it is very plain to careful thought that the rule would not in the least injure small or retail dealers, yet the real question is as to the effect upon the body of the people. That the policy of the Iowa law and the whole business world gives the lowest prices to the people who consume products is almost an axiom of political economy. An eminent authority upon this subject, says:
“In the countries in which there are the largest markets, the widest diffusion of commercial confidence and enterprise, the greatest annual increase of capital, and the greatest number of large capitals owned by individuals, there is a tendency to substitute more and more, in one branch of industry after another, large establishments for small ones.
“In England, the chief type of all these characteristics, there is a perpetual growth not only of large manufacturing establishments, but also, wherever a sufficient number of purchasers are assembled, of shops and warehouses for conducting retail business on a large scale.
“These are almost always able to undersell the smaller tradesmen, partly, it is understood by means of division of labor, and the economy occasioned by limiting the employment of skilled agency to cases where skill is required, and partly no doubt by the saving of labor arising from the great scale of the transactions, as it costs no more time, and not much more exertion of mind to make a large purchase, for example than a small one, and very much less than to make a number of small ones. With a view merely to production, and to the greatest efficiency of labor, this change is wholly beneficial.”
The true question for consideration is not what will benefit the retail dealer, nor yet what will benefit the wholesale dealer, but rather what will benefit the masses. If by a given policy the people obtain articles which they need at cheaper rates, if at the same time large numbers of persons are brought remunerative employment, and if avenues for investment of capital are opened up within the State, and the wholesale and jobbing houses are transferred from Chicago and other points east and outside of the State, to points within her borders, it would seem to be wise to maintain such policy. To abandon it for the sake of doubtful profit to a class only of the people, even though as reputable and worthy a class as that of the retail dealers, would be to forget the benefit of all for the gain of a few persons making a single and not a numerous class of the people.
An attempt has been made to ascertain the amount of money in. vested in Iowa in the wholesale and jobbing trade. Our means for securing reports and statistics have not been good, and our success only been partial. Incomplete and imperfect as it is in character, we present the following statement. The figures, we think, are far under rather than over the true amounts. Twenty-two towns report as follows:
That it is safe to double the foregoing figures may very clearly be inferred from the attached return for Iowa for manufactures alone, as taken from the census returns of A. D. 1880:
Number of establishments.
6,921 .$ 33,987,886
27,372 9,725,962 48,704,311 71,145,928
So vast an interest as the above deserves proper encouragement, and it is doubtful whether it has not, by the course of events above sketched, received a serious blow.
RAILWAY LEGISLATION OF THE TWENTIETH GENERAL
Section 6, of Chapter 20, of the Laws of the last General Assembly, provides a rule as to paving streets, highways, avenues, and alleys in cities of the first-class. Railway companies are required to pave or re-pave between rails, and one foot outside their rails, at their own expense and cost, and a method is provided for enforcing payment in case of failure to pave. In the event of the neglect or refusal to pave or re-pave or repair when ordered by the council, the city can pave, re-pave or repair, and assess the cost and expense against the delinquent railway company as a special tax, and such tax becomes a lien upon the real estate and personal property of such delinquent railway inside the city limits within sixty days from the levy, and said levy draws interest at the rate of seven per cent per annum, and the collection shall be enforced with the same penalties as are provided with reference to special taxes upon abutting property on said streets, highways, avenues and alleys.
AUTHORIZED INDEBTEDNESS OF RAILWAY COMPANIES.
Chapter 22 amends Section 1061, Title 9, Chapter 1, of the Code, so that the section reads:
“Such articles of incorporation must fix the highest amount of indebtedness or liability to which the corporation is at any time to be subject, which must in no case, except in that of risks of insurance companies, exceed two-thirds of its capital stock;
“Provided: That the provisions of this section shall not apply to the bonds or other railway securities to be hereafter issued or guaranteed by railway companies of this State, in aid of the location, construction and equipment of railways, to the amount of not exceeding sixteen thousand dollars per mile of single track standard guage, or eight thousand dollars per mile of single track narrow guage lines of road for each mile of railway actually constructed and equipped."
The foregoing proviso constitutes the amendment. It seems to remove every check upon the amount of railway indebtedness except the limit of sixteen thousand dollars per mile for ordinary, and eight thousand dollars per mile for narrow gauge road actually constructed. With no personal liability of the stockholders, and a power to thus incur indebtedness by the mile constructed, the purchaser of railway bonds and other securities founded upon Iowa railroads built, should know precisely the character and probable profit of the structure.
STATION HOUSES AT RAILROAD INTERSECTIONS.
Chapter 24 is an act to provide for the erection and maintaining of station houses and connections at the points of intersection or erossing of two or more railroads.
By this law it is made the duty of all railroad corporations at all points of "connection crossing" or intersection with other roads to unite with the other roads in establishing and maintaining suitable platform and station houses for the convenience of passengers desiring to transfer from one road to the other, and for the transfer of passengers, baggage or freight, whenever the same shall be ordered by the Railroad Commission.
The Commissioners may also order the warming and lighting of the passenger house, and fix a reasonable time before arrival and until after the departure of passenger trains in which such house sball be kept open for passengers. The Commissioners are to fix the proportion of expense of construction and maintenance to be paid by the companies, and have power to order the connection of tracks for transfer of freight. A refusal on the part of the company to comply with the order of the Commissioners, after having received ninety days' notice of such order, subjects such delinquent company to a forfeiture of twenty-five dollars for every day of failure, neglect or refusal, the money being forfeited to the school fund of the county in which the crossing or intersection is situated.
Under this law the Commissioners have located the following stations: Ida Grove, Sheldahl, Morning Sun, Goldfield, and Herndon.
They have declined to locate at Malvern, Conway, Hawarden, Amana, Donnan and State Center,
A difference of opinion has been developed with reference to the meaning of the law. The majority hold that the law does not apply to an over-head crossing. They base this opinion upon the text of the bill. The words “connection crossing,” in the second line of section 1, are printed without a comma between them. An examination of the enrolled bill develops the same fact with regard to it. The majority hold that a connection crossing is one made at grade, and the law cannot be extended to an over-head crossing, because it is not a connection crossing.
For this reason an order was refused at Conway, it being an overhead crossing. The above is the view of Commissioners Dey and Coffin. Commissioner McDill takes a different view of the law. He thinks it unsafe to rest the construction of a statute upon the absence of a comma. He finds the title of the bill to be: “An act to provide for the erection and maintaining of station houses and connections at the points of intersection, or crossing of two or more railroads," and in section 1 he finds the following language: "And said railroad companies so connecting, crossing, or intersecting, shall stop all trains at said depots at said connections, crossings, or intersections, etc." He thinks the law contemplated three conditions, namely: A simple connection, or an intersection or a crossing. A connection or an intersection would probably be at grade. A crossing might be either over or under grade. He is unable to believe that the construction given by the majority is justified either by the letter or spirit of the law, and in his judgment the General Assembly intended to give the Commissioners power to order connections for the accommodation of travelers and shippers even at over-head crossings, where a necessity in their judgment existed therefor.