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MONOPOLIES, TRUSTS AND KARTELLS

FRANCIS W. HIRST
or THE INNER TEMPLE, BARRISTKR-AT-LAW LATE LECTURER AT THE LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS

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First Published in igoj

CONTENTS
PAGE

Preface
Introduction

^ <

Part

S o
'*

MONOPOLIES

IN

GENERAL
I

CHAPTER
History of Monopolies

15

^ CD
Fiscal and

CHAPTER

II

Other Public Monopolies

..

38

^ <

CHAPTER
Monopolies of Transport

III
. .

-56

CHAPTER
Monopolies
in

IV
.
.

English Law

-85

411933

vi

CONTENTS
Part
II

TRUSTS, KARTELLS,

AND OTHER

MODERN COMBINATIONS
Introductory
. . .
.

.105

CHAPTER
The Kartells
in

Germany and Austria.

iii

CHAPTER
The American Trusts
.

II
.

.121

CHAPTER

III
.

English Trusts and Combinations

.152
i74

Index

PREFACE
THIS
I fear,

little

book

or

rather the
is

first

part of

it;

for the

second part

entirely

new
(in

has grown
the absence,

up out of an unpublished essay which


in

of strong competition) gained a prize at Oxford

1899.
:

The essay was an attempt


"

to

answer the
principle

question

To what
states

extent

has

the

of

monopoly encroached upon


the
civilised

that of competition in
in

of the world

recent

years,

and with what consequences to the


welfare of nations?"

wealth

and
and

In the interval the world has

been

convulsed

by

the

sudden

appearance

rapid collapse of

many

gigantic Trusts and corners.

Several important books have also been published

upon

this subject

by well-informed and competent


I

writers,

among whom
Raffalovich,

should especially mention


Halle,

Messrs.

Von

Ely,

Grunzell,

Jenks, Macrosty, and

view

is

Moody. If my own point of independent and my treatment of the subfrom that followed by some of

ject very different

these writers,
less real

and

less

sincere.

my obligations to them are none the my respect for their work is none the I am glad to find that the official

viii

PREFACE
England, Germany, and the United
If this
it

reports on Trusts, Kartells, and other combinations


lately issued in

States tend to confirm the old view that competition


is

the life-blood of trade and commerce.


it

be

so

will

be no easier

in

the future than

has been

in the past

to establish

and maintain a monopoly


It

without the aid of the legislature or of some extraordinary natural advantages.

may

possibly be

objected that for a book on business this pays too

much
in

attention to the legal conditions of monopolies

England

and

America.

My

answer
into
to

is,

that

ignorance of the law has led investors, politicians,


local

authorities,
It

and
to

financiers

lamentable

mistakes.

seemed

me essential

any adequate

understanding alike of the modern Trust or private

combination and of the monopolist state or municipality that

some of the information


form and
in its

secreted in law

reports and legal text-books should be purveyed in

an
the

intelligible

economic context to

man

in

the street.

Part of the last chapter on English Trusts has

been supplied by Mr. C.

J.

F. Atkinson, of Leeds.

My
some
Mr.

sister

Margaret has given


;

me much
also

help in
for

revising

the proofs

and

am

indebted

valuable contributions and criticisms on par-

ticular matters to
J.

Lord Farrer, Mr.

J.

A. Simon, and
F.

E. Allen.

W. H.

MONOPOLIES, TRUSTS

AND KARTELLS
INTRODUCTION
"'T"^HERE are few more pressing A those of the relative gains and
will

studies than
losses

which

accrue to monopolists and the public severally

from different courses of action."^

With

this

dictum of an influential economist


agree

everyone
to
fulfil

the
will

who

takes his part in

modern commerce,

or

strives, in

however small a sphere,

those

duties of citizenship which consist in the intelligent

formation of opinion upon the industrial, commercial,

and

financial

problems of our age and country.

But

our leading Professor hastens to


of lay students

damp the enthusiasm


"

by adding that
than

the problem cannot


fuller

be solved

for practical
statistics

purposes without

and
Is

more exact
there not
^

we

at present possess."

some excuse

for the

impatience

felt

by

Marshall, Economics of Industry, p. 257 (not in last edition). Cp. 553 of Principles of Economics (latest edition), where we are asked to wait for "practical bearings" "till we approach the end of the
p.

treatise."

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS

average humanity at the dismal science?


practical

We

ask a

question, and

we

receive

in

return dia-

grammatic curves and mathematical formulae, with


wise cautions about the advisability of suspending

judgment
nobodies

until

somebody
collected

has

or

a whole society of
statistics.

exhaustive
alive

If

Adam

Smith were now

to

write about the

problems of monopoly, and were to deduce from


equally insufficient data, by equally distinct principles,

conclusions

as

dogmatic

and precepts

as

imperative as are found in the Wealth of Nations^

he would be branded as a
as

politician

and dismissed

a quack.

That the subject of

this little

book

embraces, or at least touches, the very problem which


Professor Marshall has warned economists to avoid
is

undeniable

and

if in

the face of such a warning


plot

the writer trespasses

upon a

where the buildings


is

are incomplete or unconstructed, his excuse

that
diffi-

the buildings will never be finished.


culties

Practical

and dangers must be discussed and described

in a practical

those

way. By so doing economists can aid who control municipal and national policy. Her prePolitical Economy is Queen of the Arts.

cepts are
clusions.

more important than her

scientific

con-

Her

subjects can

employ themselves

better

than
in

in

attaching epitaphs to exploded theories, or

labouring appropriate explanations of solved pro-

blems, or even in exhausting their ingenuity to discover

INTRODUCTION
trifling

exceptions to sound

maxims

of finance.

At

the

same time we may


Marshall

fairly

plead that since Pro-

published his first volume a vast amount of material has been printed on the subject of monopolies, both in Europe and in the United
States.

fessor

In practical regions infested by


is

human

life

science

in

always subjected to grave inconveniences, and even that great department of politics which we call

Political

Economy (however

carefully circumscribed)

the stable motive of self-interest, though dominant,

cannot quite eliminate

less calculable

elements.

We

must be content

to say that in the sphere of wealth


life

on the "business" side of his


his

man tends to seek

own

interests.

Besides the direct efforts of some


distributors, there are the indirect
;

as producers

and

consumers and there is a large and possibly a widening sphere of wealth production and distribution in which the buyer or consumer cannot hope to have his indirect interests safeguarded

interests of all as

by competition. This sphere if the costs of government pure and simple be excluded ^ is fairly covered by the term monopoly or exclusive dealing, Mono-

^ It is not usual to regard the military and police services as in the nature of monopolies (the first imperial, the second half imperial half local). Both are onerous services but the production of national and personal safety is an important adjunct to the production of wealth, though the tendency to over-insure in these directions is a most serious source of national impoverishment.
;

4
poly
is

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


a Greek compound, signifying literally " sale

by one man." Aristotle gave the term its broader meaning a meaning which Dr. Johnson missed in

his Dictionary

when he defined

it

merely as

" the

exclusive privilege of selling a thing."


definition
is

Johnson's

based upon the earlier history of the

word

in

English law.

term so convenient as an

antithesis to competition
restricted,

was not

likely to

remain

and

it

has been extended to cover buying


Nor, of course,
is it

as well as selling.

necessary that

a monopoly should be a privilege or legal concession.


Professor

Edgeworth has defined monopoly with by


either

pre-

cision as "sale or purchase

one

man

or a

group acting as one man."

He

adds that

this defini-

tion should properly be limited

by the condition

that

a monopolist deals not with another monopolist, but

with parties

who compete
is

against one another.

ComWhere
is

modities are only at a monopoly price, says Ricardo,

when the competition


a monopolist
sells to

wholly on one

side.

competing buyers the price

theoretically the highest that the


will offer, for there is

most eager buyers


seller to offer to

no competing

accept a lower price for the commodity.

But where
Kartell

one monopolist
complicated.

sells

to

another the case becomes


is

Thus the Westphalian Coal


its

reported to have sold

coal at lower prices to the

State railway monopoly and to iron and steel Kartells

than to the general public.

monopolist, though

INTRODUCTION
he

may

be for the

moment

in absolutely

unrestrained

control of the market, seldom exacts the uttermost


farthing.

There

is

(i) the fear of public indignation his incurring the displeasure of

which might lead to

some

public authority, or (2) the danger of bringing

competitors into existence, or (3) the probability that

consumption

will

be seriously checked

a large out-

put at a low rate of profit being better than a small

output at a high rate of

profit.

Such considerations

have a strong bearing upon the action of Trusts and


Kartells, railway

companies, and other permanent

concerns of a monopolistic character.

But where

you have a temporary operation

like a corner, the full


It

monopoly

price

is

likely to

be exacted.

must be
and and con-

remembered
ditions.

that there are degrees of monopoly,

that almost every

monopoly has
is

its

limits

Where

there

competition to buy or rent

land in a particular district a landlord in that district

has a partial monopoly, and the more land he owns


the higher are the

monopoly

prices that he can get

by

sale, or

extract in the shape of rents.

The same
propor-

may
its

be said of a brewery which finds an outlet for

beer in tied houses.


of the
" tied "

The

greater the

tion

sale to the free sale the

more

monopolistic are the conditions under which the manufacture of beer


is

carried on.

The

case of a

manu-

facturing mother country with colonies attached to


it

by a prohibitive or preferential system

is

a political

6
parallel

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


to

the brewery with tied


"

houses.

Adam

Smith constantly speaks of


In his day
it

the colonial monopoly."

was a maxim of European policy and

even of international law that a colony or a dependency


should only be allowed to trade with
owner.
its

European

successful revolution destroyed the pro-

hibitive system,
m.ilder

and the

preferential system with

its

forms of monopoly was substituted.

Some

observations upon this subject by the great Montesquieu, which have


writers

somehow escaped

the notice of
illustrate

on monopoly,

may

serve

to

the

objections to what

may

be called the monopoly prin-

ciple in international trade.

a true maxim, that one nation should never exclude another from trading with it, except for very great reasons. The Japanese trade only with two nations, the Chinese and the Dutch. The Chinese gain a thousand per cent, upon sugars, and sometimes as much by the goods they take in exchange. The

" It is

Dutch make nearly the same profits. Every nation that acts upon Japanese principles must necessarily
be deceived for it is competition which sets a just value on merchandise, and establishes the relation between them. " Much less ought a state to lay itself under an obligation of selling its manufactures only to a single nation, under a pretence of their taking all at a certain price. The Poles, in this manner, dispose of their corn to the city of Dantzick and several Indian
; ;

INTRODUCTION
princes have
"

made

a like contract for their spices

with the Dutch.


nation,

These agreements are proper only for a poor whose inhabitants are satisfied to forego the
;

hopes of enriching themselves, provided they can be


secure of a certain subsistence
things
or for nations,
in

whose
being
^

slavery consists either in renouncing the use of those

which nature has given them, or

obliged to submit to a disadvantageous commerce."

In the following pages an attempt will be

made

to

describe and to estimate the recent course


forces

of the
in

and principles which make

for

monopoly

different parts of the world.

Many
;

classifications of

monopolies have been attempted

most of them are


;

too intricate and elaborate to be serviceable the purpose of classification


is

and as
and

to simplify thought

to assist, not to perplex, the mind,

we shall be content

to mention at the outset

two important distinctions

that are apt to escape notice, though they vitally affect

the problem.

Monopolies

may

be

(i) Either natural or artificial,

and
(national
or
inter-

(2) Either

local

or

imperial

national).

These two cardinal


of monopoly.
(i)

distinctions give us four classes

natural local (or national) monopoly, like

water.
^

spirit of the

Laws^ bk. xx. chap. 8; Nugent's

translation.

8
(2)

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS

A natural
An
An

imperial (or international) monopoly,

like oil or sulphur.

(3)

artificial local (or

national) monopoly, like

a tramway, a railway, or a patented manufacture.


(4)
artificial

imperial (or international)

mono-

poly, like the international post, or a copyright book.

The nature and importance of these distinctions when once pointed out are plain enough, and will be
illustrated constantly in the course of our investigations. If

what may be
their

called

the recognition

of

monopolies and

treatment by the State or

municipality can be shown to depend upon these distinctions,

something

will

have been done to disperse


present too often

a confusion of thought that at

embarrasses the legislature and the Bench.

But

it

must be remembered
degree.

that, useful

and important as

these distinctions are, they are only distinctions of

wise public authority will only

make

restrictive grant in cases

where a monopoly tends to

grow up from the circumstances of the case


indeed, where grants are
right
for

except,
point of
It
is

made

of a patent or copyto encourage,

limited

period

of years

reward, and protect invention.

From one
monopoly.

view a tramway

is

an

artificial

an

exclusive service, and the fares are not fixed by the

competition of another tramway


buses, cabs,

though railways,
be, according to

and

legs are, or

may

times and circumstances, more or less effective com-

INTRODUCTION
petitors.

But from another point of view a tramwayTwo tramways cannot run is a natural monopoly. down one street if they could conveniently do so, and
;

were unable to bargain or amalgamate, there would be


an economic justification for setting up two tramway

companies or authorities
against one another.

in the

same area

to

compete

Similarly gas and water are

natural local monopolies, because the advantages of

allowing competition in the distribution of light and

water in the same area are more than counterbalanced

by the economic waste which such competition


volves.

in-

Hence

in

almost

all civilised

countries these

and similar

services are converted into artificial local

monopolies, being granted or leased to companies

under certain conditions and restrictions as regards


prices to be

charged to consumers,
directly

etc.,

or else being

owned and managed

by public bodies responand world monopolies


reser-

sible to the ratepayers.

The
is

distinction

between

local

equally difficult to draw.

The same Welsh

voirs, if sufficiently large,

might supply Wales and


with electric power.

London.
as well as

Niagara

may

very well provide Canadian

American

cities

A
be

coal

mine may have a


sell

local
its

monopoly

it

may

able to

home
like

coal in

immediate neighbourcoal mines in

hood

at prices with
or,

which more distant mines cannot

compete,
Wales,
it

some of the

South
as the

may have an

international

monopoly


lo

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


steam coal which gives
it

sole producer of a particular

the best results in speed.


to

Again,

would be puzzling

Oil

know under what classification to place the Standard Company and the great Steel Trust. In so far as
In so

they hold the sources of supply in the United States


they are natural local or national monopolies.
far as the prices at

which they

sell

to

American conraised

sumers are monopoly

prices, artificially

by
the

means of an
they are

artificial tariff

and

artificial

combinations,
far

artificial

monopolies.

In

so

as

Standard Oil
oil prices

Company

controls the oil supply


it is

and
it

of the world,

more than a

local,

is

an international

Sicilian sulphur and Formosan camphor, being government monopolies,

monopoly.

are

artificial

as well as natural

and so

far as

their

products are sold at prices not regulated by competition all over the world they are international as well

as local monopolies.

These instances

will suffice to

show the advantages


classification,

and disadvantages of
will

theoretical

and

emphasise the importance of paying attention to

the actual monopolies which, under so

many

different

names, are now


before our eyes.

arising,

flourishing,

and decaying

If

we do

not share in the alarming


this

conclusions

at

which writers upon

subject
it

especially in the Yellow Press

usually

arrive,

will

be because

it

can be shown that the facts seldom

overtake their anticipations, and because the argu-

INTRODUCTION
future

ii

ments by which they proceed from the present to the


are

unsound and

fallacious.

Disappointing

dividends and other ascertained facts

may be despised
more
which pseudo-

as inconclusive or superficial, but they are far

trustworthy than the

"

tendencies

"

philosophy, intent on manufacturing panics, professes


to detect
I

below the surface of things.


I

wish

could have found space within the narrow


this

bounds of

volume
;

for

an adequate discussion of
being limited
in quantity,

the land question


is

for land,

of the nature of a monopoly, and in countries


still

where the land laws are


restraints

encumbered by feudal

the

reform of land tenure seems to be

not only a logical development of the Free Trade

argument, but an essential condition of progress

in

commerce and

agriculture.

The

appreciation of land
is

values in and around growing towns

another serious

mischief; for the ground landlords levy in rent an

exorbitant contribution from the profitable labours


of the community.

The

various plans which have

been proffered or adopted for taxing this unearned


increment are
practical
practice,
all

relevant to our subject and of high

importance.

The same

is

true

of

the

now very

prevalent in England and Scot-

land, of ejecting farmers

and labourers from large


which game
remaining

estates in order to create a wilderness in

may be

artificially

reared during nine months of the

year to be

shot

by sportsmen

in

the

12
quarter.

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


The
when
strange thing
is

that the evil, both in


to

town and country, should be allowed


checked,
is

grow un-

a simple and effective financial remedyprovision that unoccupied or waste


alike,

at hand.

land, in
its real

town and country


value,

should be rated on

would be not only an act of elementary

justice to other ratepayers, but


effective

would

also prove

an

discouragement to a practice which has


flourish

grown out of monopoly and could hardly


under a reasonable system.

Part

MONOPOLIES

IN

GENERAL

CHAPTER

HISTORY OF MONOPOLIES
impossible to find a time in the history of ITsociety when rulers and their subjects have not
is

sought

too

often

by unjust or

violent

means

for
The
of

the gains that arise from monopoly.

Pharaoh's corner in corn


cessful

may have been


Leiter's

the suc-

model that inspired


of Thales
is

failure.

exploit

well

known

to

readers

Aristotle.

But seeing that

Aristotle's writings are

not very popular nowadays, and that the plan

of

Thales

is,

as he says, a financial device of universal

application,
is said,

we may recall the story here. Stung, it by the reproach of poverty, Thales determined
philosophy to account.

to turn his

By

an astrono-

mical forecast he ascertained that an abundant crop

of olives might be expected in the coming season.

Accordingly before winter was over he collected a


little

cash and engaged

all

the oil-presses in Chios


in advance.

and Miletus, paying instalments


There was no demand

for the presses at that time,

and so he got them very cheap.


15

When

the olive

i6

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


came
the crop
in great

season

was abundant and presses were


demand.

immediately
all,

But Thales had them


his

and by

letting

them out on
they

own terms amassed


philosophers can
illustrating the

a great fortune, so proving that


easily

make money

if

like,

and

truth of Aristotle's proposition that "the endeavour


to secure oneself a

monopoly

is

a general principle of

the art of money-making."^

But we

shall not linger over the

examples and
classical

illustrations that

might be drawn from

and

sacred writers, for our a plentiful supply.

own history provides us with From early times it had been one
privileges
it

of the royal

prerogatives to grant

and

monopolies to favourites or persons

whom

was exin

pedient to reward at the public expense.

Lawyers

search of precedents found several such grants

in the

reigns of the Yorkist and Lancastrian sovereigns.


it

But

was under the

last

of the Tudors that the abuse of

the royal power to create monopolies

made them

the

subject of parliamentary debate and of judicial interpretation.

There
in

is

a well-known and impressive

description

Hume's History of England of the


the
in

formidable grievance which arose in


Elizabeth.

reign of

That parsimonious Queen,


patents or monopolies

order to

reward her servants without recourse to her own


purse,

granted

on a scale

previously unknown.
'

See Aristotle's

Politics,

I. iv.

31.

HISTORY OF MONOPOLIES
The
to raise

17

grantees usually sold their privileges to mer"

chants and manufacturers

who were thereby enabled


upon
all

commodities to what price they pleased, and


invincible restraint

who put
dustry,

commerce,

in-

and emulation

in the arts."

Americans who
will

complain of the oppressiveness of the Trusts

be astonished at the number of commodities that

had been monopolised


Currants,
salt,

in

the

reign

of Elizabeth.

iron,

powder, cloth, cards, saltpetre,


paper, starch,
tin,

lead, oil, vinegar, glass,

are but

a few in the

list

of articles that had been appropriated

to monopolists.

Monopolies of transport had been

added

to

monopolies of sale and production.


the exclusive

We

read that patents had been issued granting to individuals


right

of transporting iron

ordnance, beer, horn, and leather, and of importing


into

England Spanish wool and Irish yarn. When this list was read in the House a member

called out, " Is not bread in the


cried everyone in astonishment.

number?" "Bread!"
"

Yes,

assure you,"
shall

replied he, " if affairs

go on

at this rate

we

have

bread reduced to a monopoly before the next Parliament."

In

some

places the price of salt was raised from

sixteen pence to fourteen or fifteen shillings a bushel

and almost every species of foreign commerce


to have been

is

said

confined to individuals or exclusive

companies before the House of


courage to introduce a c
Bill

Commons had
the
abolition

the

for

of

i8

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


The
servile

monopolies.

courtiers maintained that this


it

a matter of royal prerogative, and


asserted

was was gravely


that the

by

members of the House

royal prerogative of regulating in this

way

the whole

trade of the country ought not to be disputed or even

examined.
says, of a

After a discourse more worthy, as

Hume

Turkish divan than of an English House of

Commons, "the Queen, who perceived how odious the monopolies had become and what heats were likely to arise, sent for the Speaker, desired him to acquaint the House that she would immediately cancel the
most grievous and oppressive of the patents." ^

same year the famous " Case of Monopolies " {Darcy v. Alleii)^ came before Chief Justice Popham. One Darcy had received a grant from the Queen for the sole making of cards in her realm. The court decided that the grant was utterly void as being a monopoly and against the common law. There were,
In the
it

declared,

three

inseparable

incidents
(i)

of every

monopoly

against the commonwealth,


;

The

price

of the thing monopolised was raised


deteriorated
;

(2) its quality

and

(3) the grant tended to the imartificers.

poverishment of

Early

in

the reign

of

James I. certain patents were granted for "smalt" and glass. These were resolved to be grievances by a committee of the House of Commons, and at last the law was authoritatively declared in the Statute of
^

Hume's History of England, Coke's Reports, 84.

xliv.

HISTORY OF MONOPOLIES
Monopolies (1624), which
is
still

19

in force.

By

that

Act

all

monopolies,

with

certain

exceptions, are

declared contrary to law, void, and of none effect.

The exceptions

are the foundation of the

English law of patents.

In the words of a
"

modern modern

text-book on the law of patents,

the

same

essentials

must be proved by an applicant


letters patent

for the

grant of

to-day as were necessary at the date of


;

the Statute of Monopolies

he must be the

first

to

introduce into this realm the manufacture for which

he seeks a patent, whether by enterprise


it

in

importing

from abroad, or by the exercise of his


faculty."
it
:

own

in-

ventive

The

Statute of Monopolies did


first

not abolish

it

only restricted the prerogative


secondly in time.
" "

in subject matter,

A
it is

patent

is still

granted as a

"

present

of our special grace, certain

knowledge, and mere motion," But


to

only granted
it

reward and encourage invention, and

is

only
that

granted for a term of fourteen years.

When

term has expired the monopoly value of the patent

comes
the
right,

to

an end.
nature.
it

The copyright

of an author

is

of

same
but

trade-mark

is

also an exclusive
its

differs

from a patent in that

object

is

not to reward a deserving person or to benefit mankind, but mainly to indicate the source of an article.
"

Made

in

Germany " was intended


its

to protect English

manufacturers from the inferior products of foreign


rivals,

but

result has

been to advertise German

goods.

20

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


Though
the Statute of Monopolies
I.,

made

the law

clear,

Charles

in his

endeavour to govern without


without
parliamentary

Parliament,
supplies,

and
to

therefore

was driven

to revive the old dispensation,


sell

and proceeded

multitude of

monopoly

grants in order to replenish his


"

empty

purse.

These," said Sir John Culpepper, " like the frogs

of Egypt, have gotten possession of our dwellings,

and we have scarcely a room free from them. They sip in our cup they dip in our dish they sit by our fire we find them in the dye-vat, washing-bowl, and
; ;

box

They share with the butler in his they have marked and sealed us from head to foot they will not bate us a pin."
powdering-tub.
; ;

The soap monopoly granted in 163 1 was especially odious, as the compound made by the King's patentee
was very bad
prerogative
as well as very dear.

With the
was

acces-

sion of William
to

and Mary the claim of the king's


the law
finally

dispense with

abandoned.

Thus Parliament and the


monopolies which the Crown

courts succeeded before

the end of the seventeenth century in destroying the


in

the sixteenth century


individuals,

had been

in

the habit of granting to

leaving only the law of patents which confers rewards

upon

invention.

But a vast number of

local

mono-

polies,

dependent upon guilds or corporate laws and

customs, remained to harass commerce and industry

HISTORY OF MONOPOLIES

21

in the eighteenth century. To destroy these was one of the main objects of Adam Smith and other enhghtened reformers. Of scientific contributions to

the theory of monopoly, one of the


shortest
is

first,

best,

and

contained in

the note-book

of

Adam

Smith's Lectures on Justice

and

Police}

" Exclusive privileges," he says, " though some arise from nature, are generally the creatures of the civil law. Such are monopolies and all privileges of corporations which though they might once have been conducive to the interest of the country are now prejudicial to it. The riches of a country consist in the plenty and cheapness of provisions, but their effect is to make everything dear. When a number of butchers have the sole privilege of selling meat they may agree to make the price what they please, and we

must buy from them whether

it

be good or bad.

to the butchers themselves, because the other trades are also formed into corporations, and if they sell beef dear they must buy bread dear. But the great loss
is is to the public, to whom all things are rendered less come-at-able and all sorts of work worse done towns are not well inhabited, and the suburbs are increased. The privilege, however, of vending a new book or a
;

Even

this

privilege

not

of advantage

new machine tendency; it


merit."

for
is

fourteen years has not so bad a a proper and adequate reward for

Oxford.

Delivered in 1762 or 1763, and edited by Dr. Clarendon Press, 1896.

Edwin Cannan.

22

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


Later on
(p.

179) he shows

how monopolies

destroy

public opulence.

goods is raised encouraging the labour. When only a certain person or persons have the liberty of importing a commodity, there is less of it imported than would otherwise be the price of it is therefore higher, and fewer people supported by it. It is the concurrence of different labourers which always brings down the price."
above what
is

"

The

price of the monopolised


sufficient for

He
prices

quotes as an instance the Hudson's


India companies, which can
please.

the East

Bay and make their


butchers

what they

For examples nearer home,


"

he

refers again to

meat and bread.

The
is

and bakers

raise the price of

goods as they please,


allowed

because none but their own corporation


to sell in the market,

and therefore

their

meat and

bread must be taken whether good or not."

On
fix

this

account magistrates were always required to


prices of bread

the

and meat, though not of


;

free

com-

modities like broad cloth

but this expedient was


settle the price at

not

sufficient, " as

he must always

the outside, else the


disease, for

remedy would be worse than the


to these businesses,
^

nobody would apply

and a famine would ensue."


^

See

for

Assize of Bread,
i.

Wealth of Nations^ Thorold Rogers'

edition, vol.

pp. 64-6, 150-1.

HISTORY OF MONOPOLIES
It
all

23
in

may

be pretty safely conjectured that

nearly

the boroughs of England and Scotland during

the eighteenth century consumers suffered far

more

from the monopoly


bakers, brewers,
etc.,

prices

imposed by butchers,

than did the people of


for a

New

York from the Beef Trust


It

few months in 1904.


5

has been calculated that at most

per cent, only


controlled

of American products are in any

way
if

by
of

monopolistic combinations, though


articles

manufactured
is,

alone are considered, the percentage

course,

much
all

higher.

But

in the

eighteenth century
retail

almost

our manufactures, handicrafts, and

trades were so regulated


that

by by-laws and custom

monopoly

prices were the rule rather than the

exception.

And the policy of England, as Adam Smith shows, was only an offshoot of the policy of
Europe.
It

would be easy

to prove, if space per-

mitted, that unskilled labourers suffered

most from

these unnatural conditions.

Their increasing misery


at the

was

significantly

marked

end of the century

by the necessity which by


judicial

led the justices of Berkshire

and other counties to enter upon the policy of fixing


orders the wages to be paid
to agricultural labourers.
logical

The Speenhamland "Act" was

outcome of the same policy that had pro-

duced the Statute of Apprentices and the Assize of


Bread.
In civilised countries generally and particularly in

Great Britain, where

Adam

Smith's discoveries were

24

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS

most fully and liberally applied, the emancipation of commerce through freer trade and improved transit by land and sea let loose the springs of industry and increased the wealth of mankind to an almost fabulous extent. Things previously undiscovered or known
only as the luxuries of princes are
necessities of the poorest labourers.

now the common Our primitive


in

wants have developed and ramified


directions.

a thousand
its

Invention has created, and in

turn

been stimulated by, wealth.

One

of the

first

results

of the prosperity engendered by the triumph of Free

Trade principles over the old mercantilist and


tive policy of

restric-

Europe was the discrediting of comforms.

bination in

all its

distinct intellectual revolt

broke out against monopolies of every sort and kind

and the leaders of

this revolt refused

even to enter-

tain the bare idea of a natural

monopoly.

Yet with

her usual perversity Fate decreed that a growth of


natural

monopolies should follow with perplexing


heels

rapidity on the

of the

new

doctrines which

denied their existence.

At
local

the beginning of the last century two forms of

undertakings rose into prominence, both of which

have since by universal practice been assigned to the


local species of natural

monopoly. But at that time

it

was generally thought that gas and water companies


could easily be brought under the ordinary economic
laws,

and many of our

legislators, seeing the


"

dangers of
insti-

monopoly, urged that

a rivalship

"

should be

25

HISTORY OF MONOPOLIES
These enthusiasts
the
tried with

tuted between the various companies in the metropolis.

some success

to bring

House of Commons

to "

see the policy of rousing

a spirit

of competition, not only to

prevent

the

probable inconvenience, but perhaps arbitrary exactions also."^

The

first

Act of the

expressly excluded the


into the area assigned

company in 18 10 introduction of a monopoly


first

gas

by the following proviso

Act contained shall have the or persons of any right person effect of depriving any or of interfering possess, which he or they at present acquire hereafter which he they may or with any right
**

That nothing

in this

of lighting streets or houses with gas or in any other

manner "
and as a matter of
8 10 within the

fact private persons

and com-

panies without statutory powers did supply gas after


1

district

then assigned to the Gas

Light and Coke Company.^

But although

legislators

who

rusticated in

their

latifundia were quite prepared to dispute the thesis that towns required any artificial supply of water or
Cp. Hansard,

May

17th, 1819, debate

on the Third Reading of

the

London Gas Light

Bill,

speeches by Mr. Colclough and Mr. Moore.

comBut " in his opinion all the competition or rivalry which they produced was the rivalry of who should pull the pavement most violently to pieces."
Sir J. Yorke said he "had no partiality for the fire and water panies. By their conduct they were a nuisance to the public."
'

See Clifford's History of Private Bill Legislation,

vol.

i.

p. 218.

26
light,

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


the dispute could not be kept up for ever, and

as the alternatives appeared to be

on the one hand

monopolistic water and gas companies, or on the


other no water and no gas, companies sprang into
existence in
all

parts of the country.

Most towns

were too small

to offer a field for the operations of

more than one company of each class. Even in London the idea of " rivalship " was gradually abandoned and the companies soon arranged to parcel out the metropolis into compact monopolistic areas.
;

It

is

now

held

in

English courts that companies

which have been authorised by Parliament to supply


gas and water to the inhabitants of a restricted area
acquire

by implication a regulated monopoly, and


it
it,

it

has hitherto been supposed that so long as

per-

formed the duties imposed upon

such a company

has a right to expect that no other company or local


authority will be permitted to enter into competition.

The

doctrine

may
it

startle the economist, as its en-

forcement oppresses the consumer.


lengths to which

But the extreme

has been carried in Parliament

and the courts can be proved by a reference to statute

and case law. The effect of Section 6 of the Metropolis Gas Act of i860 is to give each company a monopoly and the House of Lords has in its own district
;

decided that a consumer

who has premises

over-

lapping the areas of two metropolitan gas companies

must have two meters and be supplied by each company


for that part of his

premises which

is

within

its

HISTORY OF MONOPOLIES
own
area,

27

and that he cannot evade the inconvenience


^
!

of being served by two monopolies by placing his

meter within the limits of the invading company

The

Electric Lighting

Act of 1882 shows that the


light

appearance of another

artificial

had given the

legislature fresh confidence in the principle of


petition.

com-

No

special clause

to enable the

was inserted in the Act Board of Trade (which exercises the


gas,

administrative control) to limit profits or revise prices.

The competition with


severe, and, as there

it

was argued, would be


licence
in the

was nothing to prevent the Board


at

of

Trade from granting

any time another

or Provisional

Order to competing undertakers

same district, prices would be efficiently kept down by the potential competition of electric light as well as by the actual competition of gas. Most important
of
all,

the

interests

of consumers were safe-

guarded by being

left in their

own

hands.

The Act

gave the Local Authority the power of compulsory


purchase of the local company's undertaking at the

end of twenty-one years.^

So

far,

then, as Great Britain

is

concerned,

it

has

been reluctantly admitted by theory, proved by experience,

and enacted by law that the supplies of


artificial light

water and

tend to become natural and

^ See the Gas Light and Coke Company v. South Metropolitan Gas Company, reported in 62 Law Times (n.s. ), p. 126. ^ See Board of Trade Report on Electric Lighting, 1883. By an Act of 1888 a longer period of forty-two years was substituted.

28
local

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


monopolies
;

that

is

to say, local services which

cannot be

rendered

conveniently or economically
competitive enterprise.
separately

under conditions of
sets of

full

Two
owned

gas-pipes or water-pipes

and managed cannot run down one street, and there are few towns in the civilised world in which an
inhabitant has a cheap supply of water or
light effectively
artificial

guaranteed by the rivalry of several

competing companies.^
to treat water

So

far

it

has been possible

and gas together.


local monopolies ;

But on

closer in-

spection two important differences of degree emerge.

Both are natural


of water
is

but the monopoly

of the more natural^ that of gas of the

more
water

local character.
;

There are no substitutes


oil

for

but candles and


fires

supplemented by coal or

wood
times
^
;

are always with us, electric light someefficacious

and that these substitutes are

up to

might be inferred from Mr. James Pollard's monograph on is an exception to the rule. In 1827, says Mr. Pollard, "a strong English company, which had already established gas undertakings in other German
It

Berlin that that city (one of the best lighted in Europe)

towns, obtained a twenty-one years' concession for the gas supply of


Berlin.

The Corporation became

so satisfied towards the

end of the

period that the growth of the city and the large profits of the

company
that they

warranted them

in starting a gas establishment of their

own

declined to continue the monopoly.


(Scddtische Gasanstalten) under their

own

In 1847 they erected gasworks administration. Not to be


its

beaten, the company, which was allowed to continue

business as an

independent concern, instantly reduced its price 1,000 English cubic feet to 5 marks, and the
price of the

firom
latter

10 marks per

town supply

ment,

p.

27.)

became the Municipal GovernIn 1894, however, the bitterness of competition had
as well."

{A Study

in

degenerated into " friendly rivalry."

HISTORY OF MONOPOLIES
a certain point
British gas
is

29

proved by the
in

fact that the

two

companies which

1897 charged the

lowest prices to private consumers paid dividends of


10 and 12J per cent., while that which charged the highest price paid no dividend at all.^

Fortunately, however, for the inhabitants of a hilly

and well-watered country


places in which the

like

our

own

there are
for

many
is

want of substitutes

water

balanced by the competition of one water supply


against another
if
;

and there would have been had


not

far

more

the

legislature

improvidently lavished
public,^ the exclusive

upon corporations, private or


there are

right of supplying large areas with water.


it is,

Even

as

many

districts

where a

local authority

in

need of water can apply not only to the water

diviner
tion,

and engineer, but to more than one corpora-

which, having adjacent mains and a good surits

plus over and above

own

requirements,

is

anxious

to enter into a bargain to supply water in bulk.

Thus
which

the
lie

numerous and thickly-populated

districts

between Manchester and Thirlmere have now,

in the

See the Parliamentary Returns for Authorised Gas Undertakings United Kingdom (1898). The companies referred to were at Plymouth, Hull, and Lampeter, and the prices charged per 1,000
^

get, is. lod., and 6s. ^d. respectively. water-consuming ratepayers of a water company which they elect over one which they do not are obvious. But it ceases so soon as the water is supplied by contract to communities outside the boundary. It is no advantage to Mir6eld that the body which supplies it with water is elected by the ratepayers of Hudders-

cubic feet of gas were


^

is.

The advantages

to

field.

30
apart

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


from statutory
restrictions,

another possible

source of supply.

The
briefly

results of English experience

may now be

summarised.

The

seventeenth century de-

stroyed the practice of granting trade monopolies to


individuals
ters,

and established the law of patents. Charhowever, which have frequently had disastrous
economic consequences,
still

political as well as

con-

tinued to be granted occasionally to great companies


for the

purpose of encouraging trade enterprise in


the world.

distant parts of

Chartered companies

have always been defended on grounds similar to


those by which patent rights were successfully established.

Towards the end of the eighteenth century

the teaching of the economists conspired with the


introduction of steam-power and the factory system
to destroy restrictions on internal

and the great amalgamation of


cally

and external trade commerce was practirail-

completed

in the

year i860.

In the nineteenth century the introduction of

ways, tramways, and the necessity of supplying water

and
and

light

to

towns led to the recognition of an


Experience has shown that under
in the interests

important group of natural monopolies of transport


distribution.

the most favourable circumstances these cannot be

adequately controlled

of passengers,
;

consumers, and traders by the laws of competition

and

it

has accordingly become the established policy

that natural

monopolies must be administered or

HISTORY OF MONOPOLIES
controlled either
local authorities.

31

by the

central

government or by the
that

The

post and the telegraphs are

the

only

important

services
;

have yet been


is

nationalised in this country

but there

at least

one

trade which, as a result of legislation, has developed

new and dangerous form

of monopoly.

The abuse

of alcoholic liquor led to the establishment, in the

eighteenth century, of licences for the retailing of


beer, wine,

and

spirits

and

after

an unlucky experiin the

ment

in

Free Trade

in beer,

which was made

early thirties of last century, the Licensing

System

has been steadily developed.

Altogether an enor-

mous revenue
duties

is

now

derived from excise and customs


Restrictions in the

and

licences.

number of
that have

public-houses and the

modes of taxation

been adopted have created and encouraged the tiedhouse system, which has

now extended

over about

90 per

cent, of our public-houses.

At

the
is
it

same time
was
still

private

brewing, like private


In the middle of the

baking,

fast disappearing.

century

so prevalent as to constitute an

insurmountable obstacle to the conversion of the malt


tax into a tax upon beer
;

but

in the

twenty years

which

followed
fell

the

malt

consumed

by

private

breweries

from about 2,000,000 bushels to a

tenth of that

amount
he

and the greatest of modern


as
desirable,

financiers successfully accomplished in 1880 the re-

form

which

had recognised

but

impracticable, in 1853.

32
It is

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


unnecessary to discourse here upon the evils

of the system
ciated.
traffic

they are widely known and appreThe monopoly towards which the liquor
;

has been progressing so rapidly

is

of a local

rather than a national character.

For the combina-

tions of tied houses are intended to force the products

of one brewery upon particular districts.

The

pressure

put by the public upon the justices of the peace to


grant no

new

licences (in the interests of sobriety)

greatly facilitates the formation of these monopolistic


spheres.

All that need be insisted upon

now

is

that

in return for

the grant of a public-house licence the

public has a right to expect a rent proportionable to


its

value.

If a municipality leases a ferry,

it

is

ex-

pected to

make

a good bargain for the ratepayers.


legal reason

There can be no moral or


ditions

why

a public-

house licence should not be sold under proper con-

and

restrictions for a year or a

term of years
largest

to a suitable person

who

is

willing to

pay the

sum
than

for the

monopoly granted.
its
it

At

present a large

gin palace will seldom pay in licence duties


5

more
it

per cent, of
less.

rateable value, and

fre-

quently pays
still

If

paid 80 per cent,

it

would on the

be paying

less

than the rent which a tenant


to give for carrying

would probably be willing

trade under a system of high licences.

As

the taxation of alcohol

is

closely connected
"

with the

monopoly

that

Trade," so the old duties

grown up in upon knowledge are


has

the

asso-

HISTORY OF MONOPOLIES
ciated with another series of monopolies.

33

The paper

duty, in particular, illustrates a leading characteristic

of what

may

be called the psychology of monopolies.

lies

Not only do duties tend to create and foster monopoit must be added that the tendency to corners
:

and combinations often lingers


to have been demolished.

after the cause appears

The taxes upon know;

ledge have been repealed

the Press
;

is

no longer

under the thumb of the Government


longer
inflicts

a premier no

leading articles on the country papers

yet the newspaper proprietor, the compositor, the


bookseller, the bookbinder,

and the teacher

to be instinctively attracted
restrictive combination,

still seem by the advantages of

Mr. Gladstone on a celebrated will permit me to observe to them the very singular state of things generated by the paper duty. In the book trade and the production of books the effect is the creation of one chain of
"Perhaps," said
occasion, " the

House

monopolies."

Mr. Gladstone then went on to explain his proposition in detail.

In the

first

place the publisher could not


directly
;

deal with the paper

maker

he had to deal

with the wholesale stationer.


themselves, their

As
" is

for the publishers

monopoly

so

rigid that

only

a few years ago the general

body refused

to supply

books to any

retail

bookseller unless he would cove-

nant not to take off more than a certain amount of

34

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


selling

discount in

to the

public."

But

this

was

not the whole story.

Besides the monopolies of

the publishers and stationers, there was the printers'

monopoly
took as
that

most formidable combination, which

its

first

and fundamental principle the rule


should be employed in printing.^
of
the

no woman

Thus the

result

paper

duty was
it

that,

beginning with the restraint of trades,

ended by
intervened

producing a group and cluster


every
point
in

of

monopolies at

the

processes

which

between the making of the paper and the setting


of the book.2
It is

probable that Mr. Gladstone over-estimated

the effect of the duty, and failed to realise that the


trade
is

one which,

in

many

of

its

branches, inevitably

lends itself to monopoly.

A newspaper retails opinions


class of consumers.

and intelligence to a particular


It

may appeal to a stratum of society with a common pursuit, or a common religious creed, or a common political object and so, though it may cover a large
;

"Perhaps some Hon. Gentlemen on hearing that may be inbut I believe on consideration that it will be obvious enough or at least probable that women are admirably adapted for that particular trade, because they are endowed with a niceness and smallness of finger which handles types far preferably to that of a man." See Mr. Gladstone's speech on the Paper Duty Repeal Bill, Hansard, March I2th, i860. ^ When the excise duty on paper was first imposed the delays caused by governmental inspection were of little consequence ; but when in the thirties and forties invention decreased the length of the process firom a period of weeks to a period of hours the complaints of English manufacturers grew louder and more impatient.
^

clined to laugh

HISTORY OF MONOPOLIES
nevertheless
its

35

area in which numbers of other newspapers circulate,


circulation
it

is

in

the nature of a

monopoly.
appealing to
the

Or, again,
all

may

be

local

paper

classes within a limited area through

common bond of neighbourhood. Nor is the monopoly confined to the production and circulation it extends also to the of the newspaper or book machinery by which they are sold. In the speech just referred to Mr. Gladstone founded an argument
;

against the excise duty on

the fact that

France,

despite the disadvantages arising from her protective

system, contrived to produce books equal to English


in

size

and quality of material


;

at a price less

by
of

one-half or a third
to

and as evidence he appealed


the

the

contrast

between

railway libraries

England and those of France.


Gladstone

Here, again, Mr.


effect of the

may have

exaggerated the

duty by

failing to notice the action of

another cause.

Though
stall

the paper duty

is

gone, the railway book;

monopoly is still with us and the 25 per cent, extra which must be paid for a novel at a bookstall is a standing proof of the practical evils of monopoly
and of the need
monopolist
for State regulations.
It is possible that

the interests of the bookstall


reality

may
;

in
^

be identical with those


it

of the consumer
^

it

may
A

be that

would pay him

But only

in

busy centres.

bookstall (like a refreshment stall) at

a small country station can only be


exorbitant prices.

made remunerative by charging


just grievance.

There the public has no

36

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


same discount
as ordinary booksellers.
is,

to allow the

But the important question


is,

not what his interest


it

but what the monopolist believes

to be

and

until monopolists
pists

are philosophers and philanthro-

they should not be allowed to be kings.


of
the

The

completeness

monopoly

in

England may

be illustrated by an indenture granted some time

ago by the South Western Railway Company to The railway company Messrs. Smith and Sons.
granted for seven years the sole and exclusive licence

and

privilege to vend,

sell,

lend, exhibit for sale

and

loan, newspapers, books, periodicals, stationery, etc.,

and such other


venience
of

like

articles

required for the conbe

passengers

by railway as should

approved by the Secretary of the Company, at


stations.

all their

The

indenture further provided that the

tenants should not exhibit or offer for sale any books


or placards of " an indecent, immoral, or seditious
character, or which should be forbidden by the

Com-

pany."

The

railway bookstall, therefore, affords a

spectacle peculiarly odious to the laws of England,

monopoly In Germany, where aggravated by a censorship. the railway bookstalls are controlled by the government, a severe censorship is exercised, and all
yet
firmly established
in

our midst

socialistic

newspapers are rigorously excluded.

But besides all these cases of natural and artificial monopoly which exist in modern England under a
system of Free Trade, there
are,

we

are told, a vast

HISTORY OF MONOPOLIES
number of combinations growing up
world.
suffer

37

in the industrial

England,

it

is

said, has suddenly begun to

from
the

the very

same monopolistic growths


of
the

which

State

doctors

United

States,

Germany, and other protected countries have been


trying to cure.
It is

admitted that we are not yet

so badly off as our neighbours.

But the tendency,


it,

we

are told,

is

there.

Let us welcome
is

say some

writers.

Competition, they declare,

no longer the
against

life-blood of industry.

Great trade requires great


absurd
to

combinations.
pricks.

It

is

kick

the

any

But does the tendency exist? Have we combinations that fix prices, and are the

attempts
jectors?

made

likely

to

encourage

future

pro-

An
in

attempt to answer
our last chapter
;

this question will

be found

and we

shall

now

proceed to

give

some examples of monopolistic


have been undertaken by modern

enterprises that

governments

in various parts of the world.

41193;

CHAPTER
FISCAL

II

AND OTHER PUBLIC MONOPOLIES


artificial

addition to those INmay be produced, as

monopolies which
seen,

we have

by grants

made
there

by the sovereign to individuals or companies,


is

another type of

artificial

monopoly already

mentioned that requires separate treatment.


the State takes over the railway system
it

Where
extent a

takes over

what

is,

generally speaking, to

a large
it

natural

monopoly;
it

but where

takes

over

the

tobacco trade

creates an artificial monopoly.


it is

For

such a proceeding
plete
it

not possible to find any com-

economic

justification.

At
it

first

sight, indeed,

would seem to be utterly bad except to a State

socialist,

who would
It

regard

as a step towards the

millennium.

might therefore be supposed that as

the economic policy of nations improves


it

may

be expected to improve
gradually disappear.
;

monopolies

if

indeed
of this

type

will

But such an inference

would be too hasty


tions

for,

apart from economics, these

State monopolies often arise from practical considera-

of

the greatest

weight.
38

people

already

FISCAL
from which

AND PUBLIC MONOPOLIES


it

39

groaning under taxation often complains least of that


really suffers
is

most

and the net

profit

upon a State monopoly


tion indirect tax.

an insidious form of taxa-

which escapes notice even more easily than an

Even economists have regarded some


writes
le

of these revenue monopolies with high favour, notably

M. Wolowski, who
besoins du Tresor,

Tant qu'existeront les tabac paraitra un des moyens


:

"

d'y satisfaire, et la regie une des meilleures formes


d'exploitation d'une matiere essentiellement fiscale."

Certainly

the
for

tobacco
State

trade

seems

to

be

better

adapted
other.
less

management than almost any


is

And

as tobacco

a not altogether harm-

luxury, something

may

be said for making

it

dear.
in

Further, not only does the tobacco

monopoly
it

France, Italy, and Austria yield a large revenue,


in

but as a wheel

the machinery of taxation

works

more

fairly

than the English tobacco duties, under

which the same amount of duty strikes the twopenny


cigar as that which
is

imposed upon a half-crown

cigar of similar weight.


cigars are

To

the English taste French

bad and

Italian worse; but Austrian


traveller

have

a good flavour.
cigars

The Austrian
travels

always takes
professes the

when he
in

abroad, and

utmost contempt

for the inferior (Free

Trade)

article

manufactured
publicist
"

Germany.

And
is

your

Austrian
subject.

grows quite enthusiastic on the

We

should be an ideal State," he

fond of saying,

"

if all

our administration were as well managed and

40

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


Two
is

as successful as the tobacco department." ^


tracts

ex-

from

letters received

by the present

writer will

serve to illustrate the theme.

The
ist,

first

from a

Viennese publicist

" In Oesterreich

jedermann mit
^

dem Tabak Monopol


die

zufrieden

die Steuerzahler,

Raucher und der Finanz


there

minister,""

and the

writer went on to explain that in importing from

Cuba (where
Regie
is

is

a Trust) the Austrian Tobacco

able to get good terms.


is

The non-smoking

upon 100,000,000 gulden are raised annually without sacrifice on his part and the smoker is content because tobacco is " cheaper and better than anywhere else in Europe "
taxpayer
pleased, because close
:
!

No

doubt

in the large

towns of Prussia and Saxony

cigars of equal quality (and far better cigarettes) can

be had at a cheaper rate than

in

Vienna or Prag.
to be able

But

in a

German
good

village

no one expects
in

to purchase

cigars, cigarettes, or tobacco.

In

an Austrian village (even


the

half-Asiatic

Poland)

same brands of
an
Imperial

cigars can be

price as in Vienna.
for

had at the same Thus the favourite argument


Service
is

Postal

reproduced

on

behalf of the tobacco monopoly.


^

For

statistics

of the production of Austrian tobacco, see Mitthei-

which appear Mr. Wickett's " Studien uber das osterreichische Tabak Monopol," published in Finanz Archiv, xiv., for January, 1897. Mr. Wickett studied at Vienna under Prodes. h. h. bsttrreichischen five years.

lungen

Finanz

Minisieritinis,

every four or

For

criticism, see

fessor Philippovich.
'^

" In Austria everybody

is

well satisfied with the State

of tobacco

the taxpayer,

the smoker,

monopoly and the Minister of Finance."


FISCAL

AND PUBLIC MONOPOLIES

41

My
to the

second extract shall be from a

letter I received

from an Austrian economist, who was then Secretary

Chamber of Commerce

in

Brunn.

He
:

says,

with a cautious mixture of praise and blame

Austrian tobacco monopoly supplies the poor at the same price with better cigars than competitive industry in some German states, e.g.

"The

consumers
Bavaria.

But

it

empowers government

to distribute

according to favour the posts of cigar-dealers just as some corporations are empowered to license victuallers,

apothecaries, etc."

Patronage
enterprise in

is

the main political danger of State


countries,

all
is

and

it

seems to be una satisfactory

avoidable.

It

difficult to see

how

State competitive examination can be instituted for


the appointment of retail dealers in tobacco.

Even
against

with Representative Government and a wholesome


Press
this

objection

is

almost

conclusive

the municipalisation
there
is

or nationalisation

(save

when

urgent need of revenue) of a competitive

industry.

Foreign countries do not recognise the cheapness


of Austrian tobacco and cigars.
It is

not thought

worth while to assign any figures to the tobacco


exports of Austria in our Customs Blue-book.

A
leaf

State

monopoly

in the cultivation of the

tobacco
in

was successfully established some years ago


;

Japan

a succinct account of

it

recently prepared

42

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS

by Mr. Nuo^ provides us with authentic details. A tobacco tax was first systematically established by the Japanese Government in 1876; in 1894, when it became necessary to obtain a large increase of revenue, it was determined to substitute a government
monopoly for the stamp duty on manufactured tobacco for the business tax previously paid by manufacturers and dealers in tobacco. The law of leaf tobacco monopoly was enacted in 1896. The following were the principal provisions: (i) Every cultivator of tobacco leaves must acquaint the government, in writing, with the area of his plantation. (2) His tobacco leaves must be examined by government inspectors both before they are gathered and after they are dried. (3) After drying, the leaves must be brought before the end of March to places appointed by the government. (4) After inspecting the leaves and classifying them according to quality the government pays the growers according to a fixed schedule.
and

(5)

Foreign tobacco leaves can only be imported and

sold

by the government.

(6)

Every manufacturer of
in

tobacco and every dealer in leaf tobacco must apply


for

an annual licence costing 50 yen

respect of

each establishment. This law has


has been

now been revised and the monopoly made more complete. By an Act of

April 29th, 1904, the cultivators are obliged to grow


^

Director of the Tobacco

Monopoly Bureau

see

Japan by

the

Japanese, pp. 431-4.

London, 1904.

FISCAL AND PUBLIC MONOPOLIES


scribed

43

tobacco according to the methods and processes pre-

by the government.

If a cultivator, for

no

sufficient reason, fails to deliver to the

the quantity or

he
be

is

monopoly office number of leaves officially estimated, required to pay the value of the estimated
There
is

deficiency.

a provision

also,

which seems to

in imitation of the

German
prices.

Kartells export sys-

tem, that leaves

may

be sold to exporters by the

government
factory

at special

The

results

to

the

revenue of the new system have been highly


;

satis-

the tobacco revenue under the old system

yielded just under 3,000,000 yen in 1896.

The
1897
;

leaf

tobacco monopoly showed a slight loss


in

in

but

1898

it

yielded a profit of 4 J millions, and rose

to

12,800,000 yen in 1901, the last year for which

figures are given

by Mr. Nuo.

Since the war began

the monopoly has been extended and the revenue


increased.
itself

economically

Whether the new system has justified We have unis more doubtful.
fields

fortunately no statistics as to the increase in prices;

but the area of tobacco

under cultivation has

decreased, and the harvest gathered was less in 1901

than

in any of the seven preceding years, while the number of cultivators, which stood at 897,000 in 1896,

had

fallen to

244,000 in 1901.

The Japanese Government has also created three State monopolies in its new dependency of Formosa. The first, and by far the most productive from the The point of view of the revenue, is that of opium.


44

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


opium
Shimpi Goto, remarks that the " but," he adds, is pernicious
;

Civil Governor, Dr.

habit of smoking
"

when the Japanese took possession of Formosa they


less

found there a population more or


the use of the drug."
to abolish the practice
It

addicted to

was therefore decided


:

by degrees

the drug to the extent that

Only those who were already addicted to the use of it occasioned them intense pain to deprive them of the pipe are now permitted by
"
its

a special warrant, which they are obliged to procure,


to continue
is
it

use.

To commence opium smoking

even to continue its use unless can be shown that abstention is impossible. The government monopoly of the article was expressly
strictly forbidden, or

established to facilitate the final

extinction of the

opium

habit."

This sounds highly satisfactory.

But

it

is

rather

alarming to learn that the revenue derived from so


very virtuous a monopoly amounts at present (1904)
to

about ;^4,ooo,0(X) a year.

The

inhabitants

of

Formosa number less than 3,000,000. The salt monopoly also is said by the same authority to have been established for benevolent purposes by
a paternal government.

Under the

first

Japanese

Governor,
destroyed,

"
'

many

of the salt fields were purposely


sort of corner
'

and a

was created with an

alarming
of the

rise in

the market price."


is

The establishment

monopoly

said to have encouraged produc-

FISCAL

AND PUBLIC MONOPOLIES


;

45

tion so that "

Formosa now actually exports salt to The revenue is trifling only about i^50,ooo per annum. Formosa enjoys a natural monopoly in the producbut when the Japanese seized the tion of camphor
the mother country."
;

island,

they found the industry in a precarious


trees

state.

Camphor

were being cut down recklessly, and

the manufacture was carried on under very primitive


conditions,

government monopoly was therefore


philanthropic

established

with three patriotic and

objects: (i) of protecting the trees, (2) of improving

the

method of production, and

(3) of placing the

industry on a secure footing.


to the three objects

It will

be safe to add

mentioned by Dr. Goto the two


as

following, namely, (4) to raise the price of camphor,

and

(5) to

obtain

large a revenue as possible.

Possibly even the two last considerations

may have
:

Goto goes on to say " The world's consumption of camphor is computed to be about 8,000,000 lbs. weight per annum, and
been the governing ones,
for Dr.

the production in

Formosa

is

regulated accordingly."
is

The
year.

yearly yield of the revenue

about ;^875,ooo a
defended on moral

The opium monopoly


his

in

India

is

as well as on economic grounds.

If the moralist

had
of

way

altogether, the use of the drug

would be pro-

hibited except for medicinal purposes.

By means

a government monopoly, restriction


revenue, and a compromise
is

is

combined with
between pro-

effected

46
hibition

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


and
free sale.

An

analogy readily suggests

itself nearer home.

Like tobacco, intoxicating liquor

(or

its

ingredients) has long held an honoured place

among
two
is

the " essentially fiscal materials " of Western

civilisation.

But the moral difference between the


Excess, which in the
folly, is in
first
is

enormous.

pardonable and unimportant

the second a

huge and devastating vice.


one substitute
for

The Easterns have found

both

and the history of the opium


at least as serious

monopoly
rulers,

in India,

under the fostering care of English


is

proves that the Eastern evil

and
is

at least as remunerative as the

Western.
in the

But

it

new world which its colonies have created, that we look for experiments and experience. If among tobacco
in the

Western

civilisation,

and

monopolies Austria leads the way, Switzerland claims


the priority in the monopolisation of alcohol.
as in

There,

Germany, the temperance crusade is directed against " Schnapps " and the moral object which
;

underlay the establishment of the monopoly in 1887

was the substitution in the popular esteem of light beers and wines for spirits an object very similar to that which dictated the reduction of the duty on

French

light

wines

in

our

own Budget

of i860.

English and Swiss experience alike prove the greatness of the power which financial considerations wield

over popular taste.

Just as finance has produced the

remarkable ups and downs of port and claret in


English popular esteem during the eighteenth and

FISCAL AND PUBLIC MONOPOLIES


nineteenth centuries, so the Swiss monopoly
filling
is

47
ful-

by

direct means,

and with
of

far greater precision


its

and
five

rapidity,

the purposes

existence.^

In

years the consumption of spirits declined 25 per

cent. (30 per cent., according to a late report),

and

that

of beer rose

to

the

same

extent,

while wine

remained steady.
be that

The monopoly is

in part federal, in
;

part cantonal, and in part municipal

and

it

may well

this division of labour increases the probability

of good administration and diminishes the opportunities

for

bureaucratic

corruption.

The annual

net

profit to the

Swiss State since the establishment of

monopoly has been over ;^20o,ooo on an average.^ The Gothenburg system in Sweden has proved equally profitable and elevating, the average annual
the

consumption of
from 12^ quarts
it

spirits

per head having been reduced

in 187 1-5 to 7| quarts in 1886-90. But cannot be said that our opium monopoly in India
in

has exhibited the same parallelism


morality and accumulating
profit.

distributing

The opium monopoly seems to be the only great Government monopoly which has made its chief profits by exportation. So
far as the

export trade was concerned, the production


of the Constitution was modified, so that drinking-

Article

XXXII.

places

and the

sale of spirituous liquors should be excepted from the


;

guarantee of freedom of trade and industry

and the confederation

was authorised
legislation.

to regulate the

manufacture and sale of alcohol by


liquor licensing

' See Fabian Tract, No. 85, on monograph by Mr. E. R. Pease.

an

excellent

48
of

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


opium was controlled by the East India Company

with a single eye to revenue.^


into their

Some
which

insight

is

given
in the

method by an ingenious passage


Mill, in
(after

works of the elder


competition of

explaining
the

the danger which threatened the

Company from

Malwa opium

so soon as the territory


transit

between Malwa and the coast was pacified and

became secure) the philosopher proceeds


this evil

"

To obviate

we

entered into treaties with the chieftains in

whose
their

territories the

opium

consent to limit

grown and obtained the quantity grown in their


is

territories

and

to sell the

whole of

it

to us."

In India itself the consumption of opium was, however, discouraged or repressed

even by the

Company

but the greatest efforts were

made

to suit the

drug to

the Chinese palate, and for that purpose experts and

commissions were regularly despatched


during the
first

to

China

half of the last century.

Nor were

these efforts

the

unsuccessful. The opium revenue of Company, and afterwards of the Indian Governfor

ment, grew steadily

eighty years.

The

sale of

opium
pushed

in

India was repressed out of moral solicitude


its

for the population of India;

sale in

China was

in their financial interests.

^ Yet Mr. Cobden once said that if we took the whole value of our opium exports to China for forty years and put against them the cost of armaments and the Consular Service which had been employed to fester the opium traffic we should be found to be heavy losers in the transaction. Since the above was written a valuable monograph on the opium trade has been published by Mr. Joshua Rowntree.

FISCAL

AND PUBLIC MONOPOLIES


THE CURRENCY

49

The most

ancient and universal of

all

government

monopolies remain to be mentioned.


to the very beginnings of

It

takes us back

commerce and civilisation, hardly been invented when it became for coinage had recognised as the proper function of government and even a badge of sovereignty. In the Persian and Roman empires the coinage of gold was always regarded as an imperial attribute, and if a satrapy or a municipality
(in

were allowed the privilege of copper, or even


it

favoured cases) of silver mintage,


the
slowness, the

account of

difficulties,

was only on and the

dangers of

transit.

But the monopolisation of currency

by the government depends for its justification, to a large extent, upon the principle that it should not be made a source of profit and the very considerations which interested James II., Frederic the Great, and the present Sultan in monetary theory, are those
;

which have led every decent


to lay

ruler,

who claimed

the

manufacture of standard coin as his sole prerogative,

down
of

the rule that the seignorage charged


shall

upon the mintage of standard coin


the
cost

only cover

mintage.

The
has

care

with which the


coinage

British

Government

regulated

and

abstained from regulating credit, and the wonderful

perfection of our currency

and banking system,


governmental

help to

mark the proper

limits of direct

50

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


in

intervention

this

important sphere.

There

are,

however, indications of a movement in certain enterprising municipalities, for the purpose of enabling a
local

authority to obtain statutory powers to enter

into this field

and to develop a paper currency


relief

for the

convenience and even the


shareholders.^

of

its

ratepayers or

The
ing

project

so

long as

it

goes no further
in

will

excite more amusement than consternation


circles.

bank-

POST OFFICE
Popular opinion would probably regard the mo-

nopoly of the Post Office as belonging with equal


propriety to the

Government
late

and even so ardent a

Free Trader as the

Professor Thorold Rogers

has given the Post Office as an example of a service

which the State can perform at a

far

better

and

cheaper rate than any private individual or company,

"and one

for

which

there

are

sufficient

checks

furnished against mismanagement."

Adam

Smith

did not go so

far.

He
it is

only said that the Post was

the one service which was generally undertaken by

governments.
this confidence

But

extremely

difficult to justify

by an appeal
seems

to experience.

Every

sort of difficulty

to beset

and

baffle

attempts
the

at a

comparison between the

profits of

same

^ Cp. some recent debates in the Glasgow City Council where appeal was made to the experience of Jersey.

FISCAL AND PUBLIC MONOPOLIES

51

undertaking under private and public management.

government concern has

all

kinds of privileges and


its

exemptions which do not appear upon


sheet.

balancein

Britain

Great Thus to take a single example the Telegraph Company had a rateable value
after the extra value given to
it

which was arrived at


the

undertaking by the legal monopoly which

enjoyed had been taken into consideration. But when


the Postmaster-General took over the undertaking
it

was specially provided by statute

(31

cap.

no

sec.

22) that

telegraphs should

and 32 Vict, only be

assessable and rateable "at


rateable

value at

sums not exceeding the which such land, property, and

undertakings were properly assessed or assessable at


the time of their purchase."

On

a wide view

it

may

well be doubted whether governments have

barely justified themselves in


Postal Service.

more than the monopoly of the


if

In this country

the profits are

large the cost of postage of both letters

and parcels

is

exorbitant,

and the

services for short distances in large

centres of population are so slow that


is

much money

wasted upon telephonic and telegraphic messages.


charge the same price for a letter from West-

To

minster to Kensington as for a letter from


to Calcutta
is

London
equally

surely preposterous, as

it

is

preposterous that the former should require six or


eight hours for delivery.

We

have nothing to corre-

spond with the


ties;

local post of the

German

municipali-

and the jealousy with which private undertakings,

52

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS

formed to supply the want, have been suppressed witnesses to the rapacity of the Treasury and the

unwisdom of the
the

legislature

and the

courts.

It is

arguable that the equalisation of postal rates within

kingdom has administrative conveniences which its injustices and disadvantages, and that in any case security is incompatible with enterprise but the most ingenious apologist will hardly deny that the early establishment of the postal monopoly was a grave misfortune for the more populous parts of the country. It is admitted, however, that if any
outweigh
;

gigantic operation that admits of profit


to a

is

permissible

Government Department, the regimental monoit

tony of the postal service gives


priority.

a natural right of

But

its

extension cannot be contemplated

without uneasiness.

The

nationalisation of the tele-

graphs was accompanied by a grave public scandal,

and the subsequent history of English telegraphs,


though more respectable,
telephone service
is is

not exhilarating.

Our
;

almost the worst in the world

the loss of temper and business which has been


suffered

by English business men owing to the muddling of this service by the Post Office and National Telephone Company is incalculable. Here
certainly a field should have been allowed to
cipal activity,

muni-

and

it

may

be hoped that larger instalso that in


intelli-

ments of devolution
gence

will follow shortly,

important local centres the transmission of

may

be

in the

hands of the ratepayers, and the

FISCAL
service

AND PUBLIC MONOPOLIES

53

may

be cheapened and quickened under the


of our inquiry excludes adequate dis-

stimulus of a more direct public control.

The range
question

cussion of a problem so vast and peculiar as the land

a question that
;

has puzzled every govern-

ment
is

at every period of history.


it

To-day the problem


widely in different

both rural and urban


;

differs

countries

nay, more, a careful study of the particular

conditions which prevail in different parts of the

same
of
conrate,

country will reveal distinctions between


the most fundamental kind.

localities
it

Indeed,

may
any

fidently be surmised that in England, at

land monopoly

is,

generally speaking, an
condition,

artificial

rather than a natural

and that when a

more normal system has been


than of an imperial character.

restored, the remaining

grievances will be settled by finance of a local rather

In the preceding observations

it

has been the aim

of the writer to distinguish between the waves of

popular passion and the current of trained opinion.

Human

progress depends upon


heart, or

both

movement

comes from the


from the brain.
be
far

an inferior organ, direction


of society would

The improvement
if

more rapid

more

skill

and intelligence could

be applied to the collection of the data and the reading of the lessons of experience.

progress

is

carried to

The worship of an absurd extent. The strength


is

of every current or cross current

exaggerated by
to

an impostor

who wishes

to persuade statesmen

54

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


it

swim with
sand.

until

it

particular shore to

them stranded on some plough some particular stretch of


leaves

Those who argue from the American experience to


a large system of State monopolies quite apart from
distinctions
in

their

subject-matter

can

represent

themselves as aiming at a very high standard of civic


morality.
entirely

They

point out that a nation which relies


is

upon private enterprise

only seeking

its

own immediate interests, that after many years cannot be


enterprise, that
society.
future.
it is,

benefits maturing only

the objects of private

or ought to be, otherwise with


are
told,

Society,

we

has a duty to the

If the free

play of private enterprise blights

the growth of coming generations for the sake of

present profits, then society as a whole must assume


direction.

The neglect of this principle," said an American writer a few years ago (1892), "has wasted our forests, prematurely exhausted our land, built countless unnecessary railroads, prevented the growth of new industries, covered our western prairies with bankrupt farmers, and built up gigantic private
"

interests

which threaten our

political stability."

It is

no doubt true that America would have been

to-day in a better condition politically and economically if she

had seen

in

time the value of central

administrative control, but her advantage would have


FISCAL
prohibitive

AND PUBLIC MONOPOLIES


evil
tariffs.

55

been tenfold greater had she also avoided the


countries

of

Protectionist
selves

may

congratulate

themthose

upon the support which the new doctrines are


;

giving to combinations in restraint of trade

which have put into practice the precepts of

Adam

Smith

will prefer surely to fall

back

for further guid-

ance upon a splendid dictum of one of his greatest


contemporaries
"
:

The

spirit
:

of monopolists

is

narrow, lazy, and

oppressive

their

work

is

more

costly

and

less pro-

ductive than that of independent artists; and the

new

improvements so easily grasped by the competition of freedom are admitted with slow and sullen reluctance in those proud corporations, above the fear of a rival and below the confession of an error."

The
is

censure which Oxford provoked from Gibbon

end to be deserved by every company or corporation which succeeds, or exists, in


certain in the
virtue of a monopoly.

CHAPTER

III

MONOPOLIES OF TRANSPORT

FROM

the distribution of news and parcels to


is

the distribution of passengers and goods

no

long step, and

the

inquirer

is

now

indisputably

within the domain of natural monopoly, which here

subdivides into private and governmental.

Vehicles

of

all

kinds, horses, bullocks,

and other beasts of

burden,! are for the most part in private ownership in


all civilised

countries.

Roads, on the other hand, are

generally owned, maintained, and repaired


public.^
vice.

by the

In England they have long been a local ser-

Formerly repaired either by individuals ratione

tenurce^ or

by

tolls,

or

by the

justices of the peace,

with the help of a local corvee, they are


tained

now mainauthorities.

out of the rates


railways were

by the

local

When
^

first built,

private carriages

and

On
it

the Continent the Post service


is

is

generally an exception when-

ever

intended as a substitute for railways.

completely in the hands of the government,


system.

In Switzerland it is under a very curious


ch.

^ Cp. Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, bk. v. nounces the French system of imperial road-making.

i.

He

de-

MONOPOLIES OF TRANSPORT
engines were run on the
lines,

57
the

and paid

tolls to
still

company.

In the United States rich

men

keep

private cars for railway travelling.

In England pri-

vate waggons are


contractors.

still

kept by manufacturers and

When

Parliament by private Act emline

powers a company to construct a railway


a given
district, it

through
be
in

does not consider

itself to

any way debarred from authorising rival lines in the same area. The monopoly of a ferry seems to be the only monopoly of transit which is favoured and
conserved by the

common

law

in

England.

By

our

common

law the monopoly of a ferry was always


it

jealously safeguarded, though

was held that

its

area must depend upon the needs of the public for


passage, and that
petition
it

would be proper to admit com-

where the monopoly imposed unreasonable

restraint of trade.

The owner

of the ancient ferry

was, subject to these considerations, protected by law


in his assertion of

an exclusive right against the rest

of the world
carry

but the grant of a ferry was held to

with

it

an obligation

the

owner was not

allowed to suppress his ferry, or even to put up a


bridge in
its

place, without a writ


;

ad quod damnum

and a licence

and he was compelled to maintain a

reasonably frequent and regular service.


of transportation
^

The problem
so interesting,
The

by

rail

and canal

is

For the

fact that

a ferry

is

a legal monopoly, cp. 9 C.B. 26.

nature of a right of ferry

is

elaborately discussed and explained in

Huizeyv. Field (1835), 2 Cr. M.

&

R.,

p.

432-

58

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS

and has so important a bearing upon Trusts and combinations, that it will be considered at more length. It is often asserted, quite erroneously, that monopolies of traffic

invention of railways.

and transport were introduced by the Thus Mr. Baker,^ in an inter-

esting monograph, speaking of transportation,

makes

the almost grotesque remark that

"a century ago the world had comparatively little need of railways," and adds that " the King's highways were open to everyone [as are Mr. Baker's monopolistic railways], and though monopolies for coach lines were sometimes granted and toll roads were quite common, there was no possibility for any really harmful monopoly in transportation to arise, because the necessity of transportation was
so small."
If there

was so small a necessity

for transportation,

why were
known?

railways built with such feverish rapidity at

such vast expense as soon as the invention became

But Mr. Baker has

clearly heard nothing

of the local dearths and national famines which in Eng-

land preceded the making of canals, the improvement

of roads, the invention of railways, and the abolition of the laws restricting the mobility of labour and the
importation of corn and other necessaries.
indeed, nothing

There

is,

new

in

monopolies of transport.

Sub-

stitute trains for coaches,


1

add the steamer to the merW. Baker


(1889).

Motwpolies and the People, by C.

MONOPOLIES OF TRANSPORT
and motor-car to the
cart,

59

chant vessel, the tramway to the omnibus, the bicycle


carriage, the locomotive to the
it is

the canal to the navigable river, and

obvious

that recent developments and inventions, which have

cheapened and expedited to such a marvellous extent


local

and international communications, have

multiplied competition or greatly reduced

maximum

charges at the same time that they have enlarged the sphere of natural monopoly.
"

When we

use the term


generally

monopoly " in mean more than

this
this
:

relation

we do not

that the undertaking in ques-

tion enjoys a margin of superiority in comparison

with other competitors on certain lines of transit, and


is

to that extent able to fix prices

and conditions

arbitrarily for its

own advantage.
any strong
rail-

In two great industrial countries, Great Britain and


the United States, there has never been

movement
ways.
It

in

favour of the nationalisation of

has been the general policy of the courts


legislature to fix rates as far as possible,

and of the
mation of

to encourage competition,
lines,

and discourage the amalganot always with

while both the administration and the

courts of law have endeavoured,

success, to prevent discrimination in favour of particular

manufacturers or merchants.

Our own

Parlia-

ment, for example, has twice refused to sanction

even the union of the comparatively small Glasgow

and South Western Railway Company with the English

Midland, owing to the objection of local traders,

6o

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


feared that the
in

who

mation would end


that

monopoly produced by amalgamonopoly freights. Parliament

has always fixed the

"maxima" on the grounds no yard of a man's land may be taken without


and therefore they have a right to
inter-

his consent,
fere.

If you could

buy a

right of

way voluntarily, you


and
railways

might charge what you


Selsey Light Railway.
is

please, like the Chichester

The competition of

a competition for accommodation and service, not


rates.

for

Much more famous

than the action of


is

Parliament in this and some similar cases


recently struck at Mr. Pierpont
financial

the blow

Morgan and

other

amalgamators

in

the Northern

Securities

Case, decided April 9th, 1903,

by the United States

Circuit Court of Appeals,

and afterwards confirmed

March i6th, 1904. The case arose out of the "Sherman Anti-Trust Act" ("an Act to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraint and
monopolies
Pacific
").

Two

of the defendants

the Northern

Railway Company and the Great Northern

Railway Company
tending from
St.

each

own

a line of railway ex-

Paul and Minneapolis across the

continent to Puget Sound.

These were always


lines,

re-

garded as parallel and competing


fact, for

and

did, in

many

years after they were built compete

actively for

traffic.

In

90 1 a few of the chief shareholders

in these

two

lines

formed a third company

the

Northern

Securities

Company

which

was to acquire most

MONOPOLIES OF TRANSPORT
of the competing system under one head.

6i

of the stock of both lines and so place the control

By

April,

1903, it owned 96 per cent, of the Northern Pacific Railway stock and ^6 of the Great Northern Rail-

way Company

stock.
"

This scheme,

in the

words of

Judge Thayer, destroyed every motive for competition between two roads engaged in inter-state traffic,
which
were natural
competitors
for

business,

by

pooling the earnings of the two roads."

Now

the Act in very general language denounces

as illegal "every contract, combination in the form

of a trust or otherwise, or conspiracy in restraint

of trades or commerce with foreign nations."

among

the several states or

This generality of language

was held

to indicate that Congress

meant

to include

in the prohibition

every combination which directly

and substantially
ever
its

restricts inter-state

commerce, whatin cases illegal

form.

It

had already been decided


" restraint to

under the Act that

be

need not

be unreasonable or partial," so that any agreement

between competing railroads which restricted


right of either

the

company

to fix

its

own
its

rates

is illegal,

even

if

the rates so fixed are reasonable.


of a corporation
is

The

real

control

in

stock,

and any

combination by which the majority of the stock


of two competing railroads
corporation
is
is it

held by one {ad hoc)

illegal,

since

destroys the motive

for competition,

even while the separate boards of

directors continue to

work

their lines.


62

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS

Having thus decided that the object of the Trust corporation was clearly illegal, the Court went on to consider whether the Trust was protected by its New Jersey charter. A charter granted by the
State could not be used to defeat the will of the

Congress
"

in

a matter relating to inter-state trades,


It

over which Congress has absolute control." of

was

clear, too, that the State

intention, as the enabling

New Jersey had no such Act only allows persons


for

to "

become a corporation
precise illegality

The
effect

any lawful purpose." of a Trust of this kind was


course of explaining
:

defined

by Thayer,

J.,

in the

its

on inter-state commerce
affects
it,

think, by giving to a single more accurately, to a few men acting in concert, and in its name, and under cover of its charter, the power to control all the means of transportation that are owned by two competing and parallel railroads engaged in inter-state

" It

we

corporate entity,

or,

commerce."
It

was

further

decided

that

the

constitutional

guarantee of liberty to the individual to enter into


private contracts

was

partially limited

by the com-

merce clause of the Constitution.

In the exercise

of the powers conferred by this clause Congress

may

prohibit private contracts which operate to restrain


inter-state
It

commerce

directly

and

substantially.

would have been no good defence that the com-

MONOPOLIES OF TRANSPORT

63

bination might really be of greater benefit to the


public than competition: that being a question of

public policy to be determined

by Congress.^

Apart from the


America,
is

difficulties

which the decision ob-

viously throws in the


it

way

of railway combinations in

difficult to foresee precisely

what

its

consequences

may

be.

Possibly

it

may

lead to a

recognition of the economic truth that railways must

always be

in a greater or less

degree monopolistic
itself

undertakings.

If the State
it

does not

hold and

administer them,

must regulate them

strictly

by
its

law and administration, in order to secure that

inhabitants, whether as passengers or as conveyers of

goods, shall enjoy equality of treatment, and that

both fares and rates shall be reasonably low. The difficulty is, of course, to hit the mean between
the rights of shareholders and
public.
It
is,

the

rights

of the

however, a fact not generally known, and one,

therefore,

which should be made emphatically

clear,

that

the case for gigantic combines, even as re-

gards railways, has not been


shareholders' point

the general public.

made out from the of view, much less from that of In our own country Parliament,
!

always unstable, and often, alas


course

deflected from

its

by the railway

interest,

has in recent years

sanctioned two railway amalgamations.


*

The
1

first

was

See United States

v.

Northern Securities Co.

et alios

20, Federal

Reporter, 721.

64

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS

the purchase of the Waterford and Limerick Railway

by the Great Southern and Western of Ireland, which established one railway monopoly for the whole of Southern Ireland. For years before the amalgamation
the Great Southern had paid a
since
5

per cent, dividend,

the amalgamation

its

dividend has sunk to

more recent union of the South Eastern Railway with the Chatham has proved a yet more ghastly financial failure. The stocks of both companies have fallen, and the South Eastern diviYet the dend has sunk from 4 per cent, to nothing Chairman to quote the language of a competent
3 per cent.
still
!

The

railway

critic

sang a paean over the rosiness of


lasted,

their

prospects
tion
;

if only

Parliament would sanction amalgamagullible as usual, sent

and the Stock Exchange,

the stocks
see

booming up while the craze

only to

them

fall

heavily (seventy points) after the event.

It is

sometimes urged that two railway companies are

certain to exclude competition

by mutual arrangeBut experience


absolutely

ment, that
to prevent

it

is,

therefore, useless for the legislature

a legal amalgamation. "It


is

seems

to prove the contrary.

human

nature," as the

Chairman of the South Eastern declared when the amalgamation was being discussed,
"

that

when you have got two

entirely different sys-

tems, carrying people and goods to exactly the


localities,

same
abso-

competition must ensue."


that

It is also

"

lutely

human nature"

a Board of Directors

should become slack and lethargic when they ex-

MONOPOLIES OF TRANSPORT
change a competitive undertaking
for a

65

monopoly.
is

So

true

is

the old adage, that competition

the

life

of trade.

Yet though the adage remains

true,

com-

petition cannot solve the problems of transport.

There has been observable of


striking tendency

late years

a very

among

enterprising railway

comand

panies to throw out feelers across the sea, building


ships of their own, or purchasing shipping lines,

entering into agreements with railway companies on


the other side.

We may
if

probably soon see remark-

able developments

Parliament permits the absorp-

tion of Irish railway

companies by English companies


already more than a Canadian
really extends

which have access to convenient ports on the west.

The Canadian
to

Pacific

is

railway company;

its line

from Europe

Japan and China. The Great Eastern Railway may be described as a through line from London and
the East of England to the
as the southern
lines

Hook

of Holland, just

give us connected routes to

Belgium and France.


distance

The

policy results

from a

perhaps excessive estimate of the value of longtraffic,

and

illustrates
its

the

international

character of trade and of

distributive agencies.
traffic

Already the extension of international railway

has led to the institution of an international commission for the regulation of international rates and
freights,

with

its

headquarters at Berne.

66

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS

RAILWAYS

An

almost even balance of considerations has led

different countries to
in dealing

adopt very different principles


traffic.

with railway

All, or

almost

all,

began by giving comparatively


companies.

free scope to private

In some, however, the want of security

and of individual enterprise prevented the necessary developments, and a system of State subsidies or
State undertakings was found necessary in order
to
to

ensure

development.

The

relative

advantages

the State of the

French and German systems


lively

have formed the subject of a


economists
but

and inconclusive

controversy between interested experts and impartial


;

it

will

not be fanciful to ascribe in

some measure the wonderful expansion of German


trade during recent years to the skill with which

a bureaucratic department has worked the railways

and manipulated the

rates.

The Zone system

in

Hungary
Zone

is

another example of governmental enter-

prise in a rich but


fares

undeveloped country.
rates

But the

and Zone

have been considerably


Australasian Colonies
in the construction

raised in recent years.

have piled

Our own up an immense debt

of

State railways, and have furnished dyspeptic writers

with the argument that democratic ownership and

management of railways

are inseparable from gross

MONOPOLIES OF TRANSPORT
corruption
^

67

a sweeping thesis which


facts

rests

upon the

magnifying of petty scandals rather than upon the


broad consideration of

and

figures that should

influence criticisms of public policy.

is

in

But the question of the nationalisation of railways far too long and complicated to be entered upon these pages although it may be worth observing
;

that in an age of invention

and development he

would be a rash statesman who should enter into so


gigantic a speculation as the compulsory purchase of

a whole system of privately

managed

railways.

The
the

English system

has a
the

great

advantage over
exercised

American,

in
is

that
far

control
effective.

by the
by

Government

more

The

British legis-

lature acted wisely for railways in their infancy

handing them over to the Board of Trade, then


perhaps the best officered and most enterprising of
State departments.
better
if it

Perhaps it would have done still had been more ready to act on the advice
It is difficult for

of the Board of Trade.

us in an
daily,

and sums lavished on apparently impracticable projects, to realise the very modest views which were then
scientific

age when
vast

wonders are expected

held about the future of railways.


^

In the early forties

Mr. Lecky, in his Democracy and Liberty^ ignoring the influence of and vigilant Press and of enlightened public opinion, asserted that "public works are far more dangerous under a Democratic Government than under a Despotism." If so, the officials in the Russian service should be less corrupt than the officials of an Australian
a free

railway bureau.

68

TRXiSTS

AND KARTELLS
;

Mr. Hudson and other rich railway projectors started


the idea of a railway to Scotland

and the Governin the entire

ment of
there
is

Sir

Robert Peel adopted a course of which

said to be

no other example

history of railways.

They appointed

a Commission,

not to settle whether there should be a railway, but


to

map

out what should be the proper line of a

rail-

way

to Scotland.
It

The Commission was


its

of a scientific

character.

usurped the functions of an expert


establishment resembles one of

engineer.

Indeed,

those extreme instances of State interference in trade

matters which

we should

look for in

Hungary
But

or

New

Zealand, and in any place or time rather than


if

Great Britain under Peelite administration.


the action
is

unexpected the reason

is

even more

astounding.
"

As

it

was known and firmly believed


in

to be abso-

lutely impossible that there should ever be

one railway

Scotland,

it

more than was considered of the


best scientific

highest public importance that the

power of the country should be brought to bear on the choice of the line and upon that principle an inquiry was held and a report was made in favour of a line which now crosses Shap Fell." ^

and most far-seeing minds had no conception of the magnitude of the transformation which was to be brought about and it is all the more creditable to the GovernIt

follows that the best

in the early forties

See Hansard, 3rd

series, vol, 325, col. 1,401.

"

MONOPOLIES OF TRANSPORT
ment
that the Railway Regulation

69
left

Act of 1844

perfectly

open the question of State purchase and


In 1865 the Royal Commission

State management.!

which had been appointed to consider the advisability


of State purchase reported with only one dissentient
voice (that of Sir
taining the status

Rowland quo. Most


it

Hill) in favour of
publicists

main-

and statesmen

concurred, though

is

interesting to recall the fact

that Mr. Gladstone, in 1865, "looked with consider-

able interest to that limited portion of the question

which

is

expressed by the word

'

Ireland.'

Ireland was suffering from want of railways, and


there were probably

many

lines

which might have

been

built with

advantage to the country and without

loss to the

Government. But the case must be a very

strong one^ that calls for the interposition of a central


7 and 8 Vict. c. 85. By Section 2 option was given to the Treasury purchase future railways at twenty-five years' purchase of annual
,

to

profits, after the first lease

states

"

It is

of twenty-one years had expired. Section 4 expedient that the policy of revision should in no manner
this Act, but

should remain for the upon grounds of general and natural policy," and adds that it is not the intention of the Act that the public resources, if called into use, "should be employed to sustain an undue competition against any independent company or companies" {i.e. companies formed before the Act of 1844). The writer does not express an opinion as to whether the case of Ireland, certainly strong, was strong enough to have overweighed the objections. It must be recognised that there are some races which cannot go forward unless they are propelled. The question came up again in the Debate on the Address (February 17th, 1899), and the Times wrote strongly in favour of the nationalisation of the Irish lines. See Times, February i8th, 1899.
future consideration of the legislature
'^

be prejudged by the provisions of

70

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS

government upon a scale so enormous. The Commission of 1865 had to consider whether the State
should take over, roughly speaking, one-tenth part of
the property of the country.
there
is

Theoretically, of course,

a half-way house between State purchase and

State management.

But

practically the
for the

one would

have involved the other,


purchase were
all

advocates of State

in favour

of State management.

Every Chancellor of the Exchequer who has had to frame a budget agreeable to his party knows how
difficult it is to

avoid an unequal distribution of public


effect of a proposal

funds.

But what would be the

which involves inter

alia the nationalisation of

about

half a million employees?

Is this gigantic political

weapon
political

to be put into the

hands of the dominant

party?

And
all

is

the

House of Commons
for the

to

be distracted with

the petty details of railway

management and railway patronage


monopoly ?
If
it

sake of

the difference between a governmental and a regulated

were

true, as

Mr. Lecky

asserts, that as private


is

bribery

afflicts

an oligarchy so public corruption

the canker of democratic government, then English-

men would

by the allurements of State railways. It is difficult for a government to avoid the temptation of bribing localities by public works and concessions, nor can we be certain that successors of Walpole and Pitt would prove unequal to those great men if equal weapons were provided.
refuse to be entrapped

MONOPOLIES OF TRANSPORT
There are two further considerations
to purchase.
:

71
relates

the

first

The
it

State nearly always

makes a bad

bargain, at least for the living generation of taxpayers.


If

made

a good one

it

would be accused

of confiscation.

We

have learned the lesson of pur-

chase in the case of telegraphs,


to

pay more

to an insolvent

when the State had company than it would


lines.
is

have cost to construct new


moral merit of a bad bargain
that instance,

And

even the

usually spoiled, as in

by a public
is

scandal.

The second

point
in

to be considered

whether the railway system


be called a monopoly.

England can
first

fairly

In the

many competing lines or partially competing lines. And it was stated by Sir M. Hicks-Beach in the House of Commons during the
place, there are

debates of 1888 that at three-fifths of the railway


stations there
is

competition by

sea.^

There ought

also to be as regards the transit of goods effective

competition by river and canal.^


districts

In

some country
factor.

light

railways

are

an

additional

Motor-cars are already a public nuisance, and

may

in

time develop into a public convenience.


districts trams, buses,

In urban

and a survival of pedestrianism

help to keep
1

down

fares.

Then

there are potential

Hansard, May 4th, 1888. Canals have fallen back so much that the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the occasion above referred to intimated his willingness
^

to consider the question of State purchase.

The

neglect of canals

during the

last fifty

years has been one of the worst features of our

economic policy.

72
lines

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS

valuable asset to

a competent statesman,

who should

try to arrange for a reduction of rates.


is

Although there

so far a natural

monopoly that a

very strong case can be

made
is

out for strict State

control such as that which

enforced in England,

partly

by

statute through the

Railway and Canal


disin

Commissioners and partly by the administrative


cretion of the

Board of Trade, yet

a thickly-

populated

country abounding with

the

means of
if

transport and transit the forces of competition are

constantly in motion

or

promotion

and

proper

means were taken by the


to safeguard

central

and

local authorities

and develop our canal system, no general


would be seriously
Rail-

scheme of

railroad nationalisation

entertained.

An

interesting case about the

Grand Junction
the

way Company, which was decided in 1844, shows how the positive action
ture
It

summer

of

of the legisla-

monopoly. was stated that there existed on the lines concerned "a real active competition of carriers on the railway," which did not exist, and was supposed to
effectually discourage

may sometimes

be practically impossible three years


the provisions of
"

earlier.^

This
"

healthy change was attributed with good reason to

An

Act

for regulating railways

(August
^

loth, 1840),^

confirmed by an amending Act

See

J?eg. v.

and
I

cp. also Rtg. v.

Grand Junction Railway Company, 4 Q.B. 18 (1844), The London and South Western Railway Company
2

Q.B. 588 (1842).

and 4

Vict., c. 97, sec. 7-10.

MONOPOLIES OF TRANSPORT
two years and
been
in a
later.

73

Up

to that time the law of by-laws

regulations, so far as they affected railways,

had

thoroughly unsatisfactory condition.

It

was

not probable that a country justice would have

much

insight into the workings of monopolistic companies,

or

into

the principles upon which public sanction

ought to be given to their by-legislation.


fact

But the

remains that until 1840

"

the approval or concur-

rence " of a justice of the peace or a court of quarter


sessions

was usually the only


into force.

legal formality inter-

posed between the making of a

by-law

and

its

coming

By

the Act of 1840, section

9, it

was enacted
"that
it shall be lawful for the Lords of the said Committee (the Board of Trade) at any time, either before or after any Bye-law, Order, Rule, or Regulation which shall have been laid before them as afore-

have come into operation, to notify to Company, who shall have made the same, their disallowance thereof, and, in case the same shall be
said shall

the

time of such disallowance, the time at which the same shall cease to be in force and no Bye-law, Order, Rule, and Regulation which shall be so disallowed shall have any force whatsoever, or if it shall be in force at the time of such disallowance, it shall cease to have any force or effect at the time limited in the notice of such disallowance."
in force at the
;

In the case of the

Grand Junction Railway Com-

pany

it

was stated

in so

many words

that the right of

the Board of Trade to interfere in order to prevent


74

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS

any railway company's by-laws and regulations from excluding strangers from the safe and profitable use
of the railway had probably given rise to a real
petition.

comall

The

establishment of the supervision of

railway by-laws and regulations by a (theoretically)

competent body of experts paid by and responsible


to the public
vation.

was certainly a great and


if

fruitful inno-

For many bad by - laws would never be


they were challenged, the
so
freely

challenged, and even


courts

could not

make allowance

as

government department and

for considerations of

econo-

mic policy and public advantage.^

In the thirties

forties the Board of Trade, with men like Porter, Deacon Hume, and MacGregor, possessed perhaps a better staff than any other government department; and it was also fortunate in passing for four important years under the dominion of Mr. Gladstone. At any
rate,

in

the

case

just

referred

to

the opinion

is

cautiously expressed

that this

increase of powers
:

had operated against monopoly

"The

right of the

Board of Trade to

interfere in

order to prevent any bye-laws, or regulations of the

company, from excluding strangers from the


ably given
'

safe,

profitable or convenient use of the railways has probrise to

a real competition."
still

The

ultimate validity of a by-law, of course,

depends upon
railway

the courts of law, and probably

many

of the by-laws

made by

companies would not stand challenge in the courts. A code of model by-laws for all English railways is being prepared by the Board of Trade.

MONOPOLIES OF TRANSPORT A
very real amount of competition

75

may

exist

upon

lines built

and owned by one company.


which must have been a
not of accidents.

In the case

of the Grand Junction


diversity,

Railway there was also a


fruitful

source of

lawsuits

if

One company had comGrand


indefor
itself,

plete carriers' rights over various parts of the

Junction

Railway, and

provided

pendently of the proprietors, locomotives, carriages,


"

coke and watering places," separate stations, and


certain statutory tolls

all

other necessaries, only paying to the proprietary com-

pany

and tonnages.

same railway hired their locomotives from the company and also the use of the company's stations and other necessary
class of smaller carriers over the
fixtures,

but found their


profits

own

carriages.

This class

also
tolls

made

and paid

tolls.

But

in addition to

they had, of course, to pay compensation for the


etc.

use of steam-power, stations,


ordinary
class,

Last came the

which comprises the owners of private

trucks and waggons.

Here the man who wanted

his

goods to be conveyed paid the company for everything except the use of the truck, which was his own.

by the proprietary company are so fixed by a skilled government department that they only allow a reasonable and
the rates and tolls leviable

When

moderate margin of

profit, it is

evident that these

forms of sub-competition are not to be despised.

financial

weapon which may be used with great


its

effect,

though

value has not yet been appreciated,

^6
is

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


rating
;

and great developments may be looked


is

for

when a democratic statesman


face

brought face
estates

to

with

the

taxation

of

large

and
al-

monopoly

rents.

The English law


is

of

rating

ready provides an example of the discouragement

which a rating authority


a railway

authorised to

inflict

upon

company unrighteously

struggling after

monopoly.

A
line

railway

company became possessed of a branch


their

(communicating with

main

line

and

also

with the lines of three other companies), and pro-

ceeded to work the branch at very low figures


order to divert the
their
traffic

in

from the other


small.

lines

on to

own

line.

Consequently the sum actually earned


line

on the branch

was very

The

principle of

the hypothetical tenant in the English law of rating

enabled the Court of Queen's Bench to hold that, in


assessing to the poor rate a part of the branch line
in a particular parish, the fact that the three other

railway companies would be willing to pay a rent out


of
all

proportion to the profit realised under these


conditions
in

exceptional
sideration

should be taken into conrent


at

ascertaining the

which that

portion of the line might reasonably be expected to


let

from year to year.^


is

But the English method of


and

rating railways

neither logical nor systematic,

stands sadly in need of revision.


^

Rtg.

V.

L.

and N. W.R.

Co.,

L.R.

9.,

Q.B. 134, 146-7.

For the

question of running powers, see Railway Acts of 1864 and 1865.

MONOPOLIES OF TRANSPORT

^^

TRAMWAYS
It is difficult to

say whether the enormous developlight railways in the civilised

ments of tramways and


world
in

general, or the conspicuous backwardness

in that respect of the small

but hitherto enterprising

country called Great Britain/ should cause the greater

astonishment to a philosophic observer.


statement was

Though

the

made

in

America,

it

seems to have been


electrical

not long ago virtually true, that a single city in the

United States could claim more miles of


rail

or

tramways than
is

all

the cities of England put tois

gether.

Our backwardness
for

well

known

to our neighI

bours, and

sometimes half-laughingly applauded.

remember,

example, hearing Professor Vambery,

of Buda-Pesth, state as a fact that an Englishman

could walk twenty miles as easily as a

walk two.

He

explained the

Magyar could difference by a contrast

between the beautiful tramways and underground


electric railway

system of Buda-Pesth and the mean,


in-

wretched accommodation which accustoms the

habitants of far richer towns in England to prefer


the use of their

own

legs.

Mr. Seward Brice,

in the

preface to his

work upon the

Law

of

Tramways

and Light Railways^ observes

that the constant and

vexatious opposition which harassed railway enter^

The

large development of light railways in Ireland

is

entirely due

to State subventions.


78
prise

"

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


between the years 1830 and 1835 has, during

the last five-and-twenty years, been directed against

tramway undertakings

"Their development and the conduct of their undertakings are alike hampered by regulations and restrictions, for the

most part emanating from

hostility.

Steam is well-nigh vetoed, cable power is practically unknown, and electricity is looked on as a sort of Frankenstein's monster to be bound down by
shackles, under the control of
'

Local Authorities.'

We
can

do not
are

entirely agree with Mr. Brice in the

strictures here
cities

expressed or implied.

For Ameriprice

paying a very

heavy

when

their corrupt

franchises

to

mayors and boards hand over street electrical and other companies by

bargains that

may

be a vast source of

profit to
it

both
true
in

contracting parties.

On

the other hand,

is

enough

(as

anyone who has observed the way

which municipal corporations play with their own


by-laws can attest) that when an undertaking passes

from a company to a public body the vigilance which


the representatives of the public before exercised

over

its
its

lessees

must now be exercised by the public

over

representatives.

However
tramways

that

may
;

be, the action of

Parliament

deserves attention

for

when the development of

called, in

1870, for the introduction of a

general Act, our legislators, allowing for the differ-

MONOPOLIES OF TRANSPORT
is

79

ence between local and imperial monopoly (not, as


usually suggested, improvising anything

new

or

revolutionary), admitted the principle of giving the


local authority in the case of

tramways

as they had
after

given the Imperial Government in the case of railways

power

to acquire the

company's undertaking

a statutory period of twenty-one years, but without

allowance for goodwill and without compensation for

compulsory

sale or

any other

collateral consideration.^

But

in the
is

Light Railways Act of 1896 no such

provision

to be found.

No

compulsory power

is

given to local authorities to enable them to purchase

undertakings which cannot be distinguished materially


^ and indeed there is a special clause provide that any amending order " shall not confer to

from tramways

any power
ties,

to acquire the railway except with the

consent of the owners of the railway." Local authoritherefore,

must

try to guard their

own

interests

upon the insertion of a section giving this compulsory power in the original Order, or them-

by

insisting

selves

make and own

the light railway.

The second

alternative
District

was adopted by the Council of the Urban of Barking, which recently applied for, and

See Tramways Act, 1870, sec. 43. In most instances, all that can be said by way of distinction is that a light railway is a tramway constructed under the Light Railways Act of 1896. One interesting feature of the Light Railways Act is that the compulsory purchase clause recognises the principle of betterment in reduction of the compensation payable to owners of land taken for the purposes of the railway.
^

8o

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS

obtained from, the Light Railway Commissioners,

under the Act of 1896, an Order by which the


Council was authorised to construct a light railway

connecting the town with


passengers,

its

gasworks, to convey

goods,

and

parcels.

This

particular

is of some interest, for it was the first case England of a municipal Light Railway.^ A fairly elaborate schedule of maximum rates was annexed

Order
in

to the Order, that there

might be no

fear of the cor-

poration overcharging passengers and consumers.

The
not

action of Barking has been

fully justified,

only by the success of the


in

opened

1903, but also

line, which was by an important Lanca-

shire case.

Generally the supervision of the central

boards has been exercised with a proper respect


for

the

wishes

of local

authorities,

and

reason-

able protection has been afforded


ploitation of districts
panies.

against the ex-

by

private monopolistic

com-

But a

little

time ago the British Electric


a scheme for a light

Traction

Company proposed
less

railway 8| miles in length, between Middleton, Castleton,

and Oldham, no

(according to
The

than 5I miles of which were the Municipal Journal) to be conCouncil

clause (33) which gave the

its

follows:

"If any person (except under a

lease from or

monopoly ran as by agreement

with the Council or otherwise as by this Order provided) uses the


railways or any portion thereof with carriages having flange wheels or
other wheels suitable only to run on the rails of such railways, such

person shall for every such offence be liable to a penalty not exceeding

twenty pounds."

MONOPOLIES OF TRANSPORT
structed in the streets of Middleton.

8i

The Middleton

Corporation entered a protest against a scheme which


involved the vicious principle of a dual control over
streets.

Finding, however, that their objections would

not be upheld, they asked for the insertion of a compulsory purchase clause. But this reasonable proposal

by the wisdom of the Light Railway Commissioners. The Order has been granted,
was
also rejected

and we are

left

to

conclude

that

the

legislature

cannot safely assign wide discretionary powers to


central administrative departments.

The Light

Rail-

ways Act inclines to favour monopolistic enterprise at the expense of local self-government.

When we
fronted

turn from land to water


rings

we

are con-

with shipping
for

which

have a

great

variety of devices
freights

artificially

raising

shipping

from time to time


It is

in different parts of the

world.

very doubtful, however, whether their


exaggerated.

effects are not

They have

certainly

only served as slight temporary checks on the enor-

mous

reduction of sea freights, which has been the


beneficial

most remarkable and probably the most


years.

feature of international trade during the last fifty

The ignominious collapse of the great Shipping Combine is an illustrious example of the difficulties which beset monopoly when it tries to
organise, or " Morganise," the ocean.
It will

be best

to devote the remainder of this chapter to the subject

of internal navigation.

82

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS

During the eighteenth and the eariy part of the nineteenth century England gained a superiority
over
the
all

other nations in roads and canals, thanks to

wealth
its

and

enterprise

of

its

capitalists,

the

genius of

engineers,

and

its

mineral supplies.

Our

roads during the last

fifty

years have been steadily

improved by the
of a skilled and

local authorities,

though the want

has become But our canal system, instead of being developed, has been allowed to degenerate. Railway companies have been allowed to buy up competing
scientific directing force

conspicuous.

canals,
tolls

with

the

result,
;

it

is

said,

that

excessive

are

charged

and

in

some

cases

important

waterways have been


in the
cent.,

closed.^

In France 30 per cent,

and

United States 27 per cent., in Germany 23 per in the United Kingdom only 11 per cent,
traffic is

of inland goods

now borne by

water.

The
soli-

Manchester Ship Canal, a splendid but almost


tary

example of modern enterprise


But
it

in this country,

has not yet proved a success from the shareholders'


point of view.

has been of immense benefit


;

to manufacturers

and merchants
it

for

by providing a
railway rates

new

trade route

has

much reduced
sea.

between Manchester and the

In

fact, it

has

made

Manchester an inland port, just as the great Austrian


Out of 3,520 miles of navigation open in the United Kingdom no than 1,264 ^^e controlled by railway companies. But it is said that in many cases the latter would be very glad to sell the canals back
^

less

again at the prices they gave.

MONOPOLIES OF TRANSPORT
Canal Scheme doing
is

83

making an inland port of Prague.


its

The Manchester Ship Canal with


for the cotton industry of

extensions

is

Lancashire what the

Aire and Calder Navigation has done for the woollen

and worsted industries of the West Riding.


speed
far
is

Where

not essential, the water transit should be

cheaper than railway transit for heavy goods.


given before the last Royal Commission

The evidence
on canal
is

traffic

showed that the average railway


Mr. C.
F. Atkinson, in

rate

nearly four times as high as the average canal rate

for the

same goods.

J.

some
First,

admirable articles published two years ago, showed


that this difference
is

easily accounted for.

waterways cost

far less to maintain, the

only wear

and tear being the washing of the banks.


increase of traffic costs

Second,

old horse can

old
far

less. One move a boat-load of 100 tons, and two horses can move 250 tons. Third, the plant costs less. Thus an engine and trucks carrying 220

proportionately

tons cost about

;^ 3,360.

same weight

costs less than ;^ 1,000,

But a horse-barge of the and a steam-

barge (which could tow three other barges of the same capacity) only costs ;^ 1,600. The cost of labour and driving power is also less for canal than for railway traffic. The wash caused by steam haulage damages the banks, and Mr. Atkinson
suggests that probably the best system on important
canals would be electric haulage from trolley wires

carrying the current along the bank.

"

This could

84

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


penny per

give a speed of four miles an hour at '041

ton per mile, while horse haulage at "077 only gives

2| miles an hour."

In a Free Trade country where

the rights of individual traders are safe-guarded by

wise

laws

and

institutions,

where consumer and

manufacturer alike are secure of such cheapness and


plenty as the world can give, the only serious menace
to

bility

commerce and industry arises from the possiof a monopoly of transport and there is
;

probably no form of governmental action


to objection or

less

open

more

certain to be fruitful in

economic

advantages than vigorous and


for the

scientific intervention

purpose of extending and improving national

waterways.
have consulted takes He would " like to see them all bought up and turned into slow goods railways." Canal traffic, he maintains, is infinitesimal in England, and is " decreas^

Another English authority on transit

whom

a less confident view of the future usefulness of our canals.

ing in

all civilised

countries, as far as I

know."

He

objects to the

comparison between France and England, because in France the canals are, like roads, toll-free. Naturally, therefore, the French trader sends his goods whenever he can by canal.

CHAPTER

IV

MONOPOLIES IN ENGLISH LAW


GROWTH OF OPINION
spite of occasional backslidings the nineteenth INcentury certainly witnessed in England a steady

growth

in the pressure

which trained opinion exerts

upon public affairs. The interests of the people have been more boldly enunciated on the platform and in the Press, more skilfully realised and interpreted in the council chamber and committee room.

Take
Here

railways, for example.

Continental bureaucracy
its

has solved the railway problem in


in

own way.

Great Britain the genius of the people has

preferred, as

we have

seen, an intermediate system

of control, in which

some of the
along
competition.
private

evils

of private

monopoly
advantages

are

retained
free

with

some of the

of
to

We

have

en-

deavoured
consumers,

preserve

enterprise

without

licensing the

exploitation

of the general

body of

and to avoid the necessity for State management and ownership by the development of
State control.
In general,

we seem
85

half unconsciously

86

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


some
success) to
hit,

to have tried (and not without

so far as these monopolistic services are concerned,

a golden
policy.

It

mean between Continental and American is now coming to be understood that

natural monopolies can seldom be counteracted satis-

by the establishment of artificial competition, and that the substitution of national or even municipal
factorily

management
take
a

is

not always the best alternative to

an unregulated private monopoly.


widely different view
;

But many writers


they
tell

us

that

every department of industry even in Free Trade


countries
is

gradually coming under the dominion

of monopolies, that the bounds of industrial free-

dom

are shrinking,

and that

it

would be vain and


this question

foolish to

attempt to maintain the dwindling forces

of competition.

Let us approach
monopolies

by

way
our
to

of a historical retrospect, which will enlarge

survey of

and

enable

us

better

understand the industrial and legal conditions Great


all,
it

of

Britain
is

and

the

United
that

States.
in

First

of

worth

noticing

very

early

times English law, both


held

common and
far in

statutory, up-

economic

doctrines

sounder than

those

which were embedded

English practice.

Thus

the general right to freedom in the choice of trade

was

vigorously

maintained
rate
;

by
list

pre-Elizabethan

judges, at

any

and the only early exception


of judicial utter-

of which

we

are aware in the

ances

is

that of Chief Justice Sir

James Ley, Milton's

MONOPOLIES
"good
Earl."

IN

ENGLISH LAW

%7

Ley, according to Judge Dodridge,


all

denied that

trades

common

law, or that
;

might be used equally at anyone might use what trades

he pleased
another to
disposed

" for

that God, at the original creation

of man, had ordained one

man

to

one trade and

another
to

that

accordingly nature had

one trade more than to another and that no civil republic could subsist without Proceeding along this line distinction of trades."
of reasoning, the Chief Justice
that,

men

came

to the conclusion

although at

to use one trade

a distinction
two."i
But,

law a man was not bound more than another, yet " there was of trades, and a man could not use

common

saving this dictum, the

common law

rule

was that any man might, without any preliminary service, practise any trade in any part of the country and it was often expressly founded on
;

the laissez-faire
craft

argument that unskilfulness


is

in

the

he pretends to practise
for the craftsman, since
It is true,

a sufficient punish-

ment
on
rule

employment depends

skill.

however, that the

common

law

was subject to

local

customs imposing particular

restraints,

and that these customs of exclusion were

so prevalent as to be themselves almost the rule.

Whatever beneficial effects the common law may have had were defeated by the Elizabethan Statute
of Apprentices.

Oppressive local restrictions were


^

2 Rol. Reports, 392.

88

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


An
his

imposed by guilds and corporations. man, even after he had served


Statute, could
still

unfortunate

seven years

apprenticeship in accordance with the Elizabethan

be excluded from practising his

trade

by the custom of any corporate town. For two centuries more the idea that it is the business of the State to fix wages and control comand when at last merce continued to flourish died and working-men unconout, mercantilism
;

sciously associated

themselves for defence against

the secret understandings of factory employers, they

found themselves subjected to the new tyranny of


the Combination Laws.^
as in

To-day

in

Great Britain,

most
able,

civilised countries, labour

has to a greater
itself,

or less degree at length emancipated

and

is

now
itself

though under

difficulties

from which the

secret understandings of capitalists are free, to avail

of such advantages as combination


in the

may

bring

about

hours of work, the conditions of employrates

ment, and the

of remuneration.

According

to the authors of Industrial Democracy the idea of

monopoly only enters

into

the policy of English

^ The Combination Laws were repealed, thanks very largely to the work of Francis Place, in 1825 and the position of trade unions was improved by the Act of 1871. The Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act of 1875 made picketing illegal, and protected the public against acts calculated to deprive it of its gas and water supply. The position of trade unions as compared with employers' combinations has been much altered for the worse by some recent decisions in the
;

courts.

MONOPOLIES
workmen when they
(or

IN
are

ENGLISH LAW
asserting their
right

89

by

demarcation or regulation to exclude other

workmen

part of

women) from a workmen to

trade.

limit production,

But the attempts on the though necesthan com-

sarily less

numerous and

less successful

binations of employers for the

same purpose, surely

belong to this category; and the extraordinary notion


that remuneration ought to be allocated, not in pro-

portion to products, but


tions,

by a guess

at moral intenitself

seems not only to have spread


itself to their

among

the socialistic section of the workers, but to have

commended

most ingenious

apologists.

"We do not wish to obscure the fact that a Standard Rate on a time-work basis does, in practice, result in a nearer approach to uniformity of money earnings than a Standard Rate on a piece-work basis. Nor is there any doubt that a considerable section of the wage-earning class have a deeply-rooted conviction that the conscientious, industrious, and slow mechanic ought in equity to receive no less pay than
his quicker but equally meritorious neighbour."
^

The

conviction
if
is

may
reflect

well

disturb
fate

our gravity,
of a good

especially

we

upon the

worker who
be paid

bad man. He making a good pair of shoes than would a good man for making a bad pair of shoes. But it will be impossible to fill in the details of such
also a
less for
^

would evidently

Industrial Democracy,

Webb,

vol.

i.

p. 285.

go

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


some hurricane has swept away from
"

a Utopia until

men's minds things deeper than


conviction"

the deeply-rooted

the springs of action and the foundations


practical

of thought.

But
in

for

purposes under modern contransit a

ditions of Free

Trade and cheap


little

the labour market can only be local

monopoly and temprices.

porary, and

has but

effect

upon

strike or a lock-out

may produce
;

disastrous results

upon the parties involved but the indirect wounds which it may inflict upon the general public
directly
are, as a rule, faint

and evanescent.^ There

is

no sign
in

at present of

any of the tremendous revolutions


for the last fifty years.
is

the relations between labour and capital which have

been predicted
the trade unionists the last

In England

number of trade unions


is

diminishing, that of

But the increase during decade has not been very great and it is
increasing.
;

arguable that the doctrines of trade unionism are


softening at least as fast as the combination to enforce

them hardens.
labour
is

The term
labour
;

usually taken to

and the

critics

of extreme

"

labour

mean manual men " are

apt to forget that the monopoly for which manual


labour struggles in vain has been partially achieved

by more

intellectual

forms of activity.
of

The

close

corporations
^

and

guilds

craftsmen

have been

The small

shop-keepers, however, in the towns affected by a

strike usually suffer severely.

MONOPOLIES
legal professions
;

IN

ENGLISH LAW

91

abolished, but their ideas linger in the medical

and

and the monopoly which the State


Before the passing

has wisely refused to the manufacturer has been as


wisely granted to the inventor.

of the Statute of Monopolies (in 1624), the com-

mon

law principle, that contracts or grants

in

re-

straint of trade

were invalid
often

if

contrary to the public

advantage, was
practice.

challenged

and violated

in

The
cult to

dividing line between the encouragement of

inventors and the

endowment
the

of courtiers was
to ignore
;

diffi-

draw but impossible


in

and when

Coke,

explaining

Statute

of

Monopolies,

declared

monopolies to be void
law, he

and against the

common
"an

was

careful to define

monopoly

as

institution

or allowance

grant, commission, or otherwise, to

persons, bodies politique


sole buying, selling,

by the King, by his any person or or corporate, of and for the

making, working or using anywhereby any person or persons, bodies politique or corporate, are sought to be restrained of any freedom or liberty that they had before or hindered
thing,
in their lawful trade,"

thus excluding the cases (referred to in Noy's report of Darcy


v.

Allen) in which the

King might

grant to the importer of


or to the inventor of

new

things from abroad,

new

trades or of engines tend-

ing

to

the

furtherance of

a trade, "a

monopoly

; ;

92

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


may
learn the same, in consideration of the
his

patent" for some reasonable time,^ "until the subjects

good that he doth bring by Commonwealth."

invention to the

We may
just

see from this that the restraint of trade

for a reasonable

time has long been recognised as a

enterprise

and expedient device for the development of and the encouragement of invention. Under this aegis trading companies of merchant
in the eighteenth century,

venturers have claimed and secured exclusive rights

and

when

distant enterit

prises

were dangerous and capital scarce,


urged, that
unless

could

plausibly be

monopolies were

granted, distant trade could

never be developed.^
;

But those conditions no longer exist and the formidable case which Adam Smith made out against
the chartered companies of his day has been visibly

strengthened by recent experience.

Many

sins

and

shortcomings are

still

palliated in the

Old and the

New World
inforced

under the vague name of Imperialism

but the arguments of the economist have been re-

by

political

and

financial failure.
their

Chartered

companies have outlasted

reputation,

and

it

may

confidently be predicted that since the failure

of the Nigerian and Rhodesian companies popular

opinion and scientific judgment will severely scruti^

Fixed
Cp.

at fourteen years

by Section 6 of the Statute of Monopp. 67-71.

polies.
^

Dean Tucker's Essay on Trade,


MONOPOLIES
tion,

IN

ENGLISH LAW

93

nise fresh developments of

which, after

all,

only
are

the Stock

Exchange

monopoly in this direcmean that operators on empowered to dupe white

men, with the prospect of dispossessing, or despoiling,


or exploiting black.
Artificial

monopolies have developed

in

two other
legiti-

directions, both of

which

may

be regarded as

law. Our authors are even more favoured than our inventors for the English

mate extensions of patent

copyright in books lasts for whichever


of two alternative terms

is

the longest

for
in

forty-two years, or for

the author's lifetime and seven years after his death.

A convention
right

for the

promotion of international copy1887,

was held

at

Berne

and

ratified

by

Great Britain, France, Germany,


land,

Italy, Spain, Switzer-

and some other countries.


fear of setting

The

up monopolies made the courts


it

very chary of admitting trade-marks ^ to the privileges of patents


;

but

came gradually

to be recog-

nised that State protection of exclusive trade-marks


is

beneficial to the public, because they can

buy with
it

confidence

when they

"

know what they

are getting,"
stereo-

and also

beneficial to the trader, because

types and secures his custom and goodwill.'^

When

man

is

asserting his exclusive right to a trade-mark

^ Thus in 1742 Lord Hardwicke refused to protect the Great Mogul stamp on cards. ^ The history and theory of Trade-mark Law was given by Lord Blackburn in Singer Manufacturing Co. v. Zoog., 8 App. Cases, 29.

94
"

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


is

monopoly

struggles and which the other resists.


trary, fair trading
is
;

not the thing for which the one party On the conall

for the protection of

which

the law

invoked and the public, as well as the manufacturer or merchant, are concerned that infringement of trade-marks and trade designation should be prevented."^
is

It is

equally plain, however, that


it

when

a patent

has expired

is

against the public policy to allow

the monopoly of the the thing


is

name
and

to continue

when

that of

dead

for this

reason the courts

refused to allow the claim of the Singer Manufactur-

ing

Company
"
It

to an exclusive right to the use of the


in

word

Singer "

connection

with

their

sewing

machines.

was held that "Singer" had come to


and that the company
Trade-marks,
their trade-mark.

signify a type of construction,

must be content with


like copyrights, are

now
;

protected in a great measure

by

international law

and as the comity of nations

increases, the area for the remuneration of individual

talent

is

certain to extend steadily.

But

if

some ingenuity was required by English


and those which
the
it

lawyers to distinguish between the monopolies which


royalty was justified
justified
in

was not and

setting up, their difficulties were enorin

mously enhanced
^

case of contractual
v.

Lord

Craighill in
cp.

Dunnachie

Young and Sons,

Ct. Sess. Cas.,

4 S. X. 874;

Blackwells. Wright, 73 N. Car. 310.


MONOPOLIES
customary monopolies.

IN

ENGLISH LAW
the grant of a

95

Where

monobut

poly was in question, the criterion of legality was the

encouragement of enterprise

and

invention

where the monopoly

rested on custom or contract,


It

no

such criterion could be applied.


held, however, in cases of

was generally
vague public
into),

customary monopoly that

the courts could exercise


control.

some

sort of

Under
ferries

this

head might generally be

cluded

(which have been already referred

cranes, weighing-machines, docks,

and markets.

Sir

Matthew Hale expounded the


owner
"

position of a dock-

as follows

to have the benefit of a in a public port, goods legal monopoly, of landing e.g. where he is the owner of the sole wharf authorised to receive goods in a given port, then he must

Wherever a party happens

take reasonable compensation only for the use of his

monopoly."

A man
"

for his

own

private advantage

may in a port town set up a wharf or crane, and may take what rates he and his customers may agree
is

for cranage, wharfage, etc., for

what

lawful for

any man

to do, viz.

he doth no more than makes the most

of his own."

But
" if the

king or subject have a public wharf, into

which all persons that come to that port must come and unlade or lade their goods, as for the purpose

96

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


i

because they are the wharves only licensed by the


queen, according to the statute
or because there
is

Eliz.,

chap,

ii,

no other wharf in that port, as in it may fall out where a port is newly erected that case there cannot be taken arbitrary and ex;

cessive

duties

for

cranage, wharfage,

etc.,

neither

can they be enhanced to an immoderate rate, but the duties must be reasonable and moderate, though
settled

by the

king's

license or

charter

for

now

and other conveniences are and they cease to be public interest affected with a juris privati only. As if a man set out a street on his land, it is now no longer bare private interest, but
the wharf and

crane

it is

affected with a public interest."^

But a distinction was drawn between these cases

and those of public

carriers

and of innkeepers, who


travel-

though they would be compelled to entertain


lers,

were yet allowed to demand their own terms, on

the ground that the public was sufficiently protected

by

its

indefinite

power

to increase the

number

or

refuse the renewal of licences.^

By-laws
^

in restraint of trade

were generally held to

Sir

Matthew Hale's
See

treatise,

De

East Rep. King's Bench,

538,

for

upon the doctrine.

later for the

Portibus Maris; and also 12 Lord Ellenborough's comments case of railway bookstalls, which

are similarly "affected with a public interest."


^ See 12 East Rep. King's Bench, p. 534 (1810). The decision is a complete legal answer to the claim lately made by the trade, and

partially acceded to in the Licensing

Act of 1904,

for

compensation in

case of the non-renewal of a licence.

MONOPOLIES
be bad,
e.g.,

IN

ENGLISH

LAW

97
all

that every merchant tailor should put

his cloths to

be dressed to cloth workers of the same


plaster with

company, or that bricklayers must not


lime and hair

an operation
the

which was supposed to


business.

be annexed to
vigour of the

plasterers'

But the
its

common

law was weakened by


;

readiness to admit local privileges and customs

and

a regulation that no

member
it

of a corporation should

have more than a certain number of spindles was


allowed, as tending (so

was argued plausibly) to the

more equal
of

distribution of trade.

The

greatest lapse

In days when the all is yet to be mentioned. modern shop was almost unknown, and almost the whole retail trade of the country was accomplished on

market days, markets were recognised as a monopoly,

and the monopoly was


a

strictly enforced.

There was

common law

distance, an area of seven miles round

any old market or fair, within which the setting up of a new market or fair, if held on the same day, was
presumed
to be a nuisance,

and

if

held on a different
it

day was
or not."
^

" to

be put in issue whether


right of creating a

be a nuisance

The

market franchise

was a prerogative of the Crown, and the Crown could


not derogate from
its

grant by authorising the creation

of a rival within the


'

common
.

law

limit.

But

it

could

cp.

See Mayor of Dorchester v Ensor, L.R., 4 Ex. 343 (1869), and Law on Markets and Fairs, by J. G. Pease and H. Chitty, 1899, pp. 74, 75. The common law of markets is often compared to the

Tie

common law
to favour

of ferries.

In both

it

showed an exceptional tendency

monopoly.


98

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


tolls.

rescind the grant on the ground of outrageous

In the growth of shops, and the diminishing import-

ance of markets, we have, therefore, an enormous en-

croachment of

free

competition upon one of

the

most extensive and sacred preserves of monopoly. Those who, alarmed at the size of many retail
concerns, warn us of the approach of retail monopoly,
forget that one of the

most remarkable features of


relief of the

modern times has been the

consumer

from a patchwork of distributive monopolies which


oppressed and hampered him at every turn.

CONTRACTS

We have now spoken of royal grants, local privileges,


customs, and by-laws.
in restraint of trade

The treatment

of contracts

by both English and American courts exhibits a want of sound principle and even of consistency. The fountain to which modern errors may be traced is the judgment delivered by Chief
Justice Parker in the case of Mitchell
v,

Reynolds

(171

iV

There

is

common-sense

in

the

more of common law than of first two "observations that

may be
namely
'*

useful in the understanding of these cases,"

I.

That

to obtain the sole exercise of


is

trade throughout England,

a complete

any known monopoly

and against the policy of the law."


1

P. Williams, 181.

MONOPOLIES
" 2.

IN

ENGLISH LAW

99

persons

That when restrained to particular places or (if lawfully and fairly obtained) the same is

not a monopoly."

As
any

if

a monopoly were any the less a monopoly, or

less oppressive in

kind because

it is

local

The
deprive

casuistry

of

modern lawyers has


all
its

contrived,

without questioning the authority of this judgment, to


it

of almost

practical bearing,

and

in

the last ten years


whittled

two important decisions


Perhaps
as well

have

away

the old doctrine that restraints of trade


it is
;

are against public policy.

for

law and economics, though always found together, are

seldom theorised together, except

in the

Faculty of a

But unless we assume the incapacity of judges to know a monopoly when they see it, and unless we agree with Lord Bowen that conuniversity.
spiracies of capital are not

German

under the ban of the same


conspiracies of labour

common law which

has

made

indictable,^ then the case

of the Mogul Steamship

Company was wrongly

decided

at

any

rate,

the

economic aphorisms which environed the decision are


^

"

It is

not," he said,

'*

the province of Judges to

mould and

stretch

the law of conspiracy in order to keep pace with the calculations of

Economy." The law which was moulded in the interests of workmen must not be moulded in the interests of the consumer against what Lord Bowen called "peaceable and
Political

capitalists against

honest combinations of capital for purpose of trade competition."


distinctly denies that

He
Co.

what

is

legal for one capitalist can be illegal

V.

when done by a combination of capitalists, vide Mogul Steamship McGregor, Gow and Co., 23 Q.B.D., pp. 619,620.

100

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS A

number of steamship companies had combined to ruin "outsiders," or drive them from " to trade, in order to re-establish monopoly freights
deplorable.

resume
that, as

their old rates of freight, rates fixed without

competition."

Lord Bowen seems to have thought the distinction between prices under monopoly

and under competition is only a distinction of degree, If trans-oceanic steamship it is no distinction at all.
rates were subject to an international commission, as

our

own

railway rates are subject to a national com-

mission,

Lord Bowen's complacent generalisations about " a country of free trade which is not under the
iron rigime of statutory monopolies "

might be

toler;

ably satisfactory.

But they are not so subject compensated


" all

and

British traders are but poorly

for the

unchecked growth of an oppressive monopoly of


transport by the flowery platitude that
cial

commer-

men

with capital are acquainted with the ordinary

expedient of sowing one year a crop of apparently


unfruitful prices, in order

by driving competition away


^

to reap a full harvest of profit in the future."


It
is,

of course, absurd that a hard and fast dis-

tinction should

be drawn between restraints of trade

which are
area.

and those which are unlimited in That part of Mitchell v. Reynolds has now
local
for,

been disposed of;

in

the

celebrated

Maxim

and Nordenfeldt
old rule, that the
^

case, the

House of Lords held the same monopoly which if restricted


p. 37.

Repeated with approval by the Lord Chancellor, 1892, A.C.,

MONOPOLIES
in area
is

IN

ENGLISH LAW
when

loi

legitimate

is

illegitimate

unrestricted,

to be
It

no longer applicable.
has been pointed out that some contracts in

restraint of trade are actually beneficial to the public.

For example, a manufacturer or professional man


often takes an assistant on condition that the assistant
shall not leave

him

to practise the

same business or

profession in the immediate neighbourhood.

such a case," said Baron Parke in a remarkable judgment, " the public derives an advantage in the unrestrained choice which such a stipulation gives to the employer of able assistants, and in the security it affords that the master will not withhold from the servant instructions in the secret of his trade and the communication of his own skill and experience, from the fear of his afterwards having a rival in the same
business."

" In

In

the view of the

English

law public policy

requires that a

man

should not be allowed to deprive


skill

himself or the State of his

or labour even

by
on

voluntary contract
requires

On

the other hand, public policy

equally that he shall

be able to

sell

the best possible terms what he has obtained


his
skill

by
is

or

labour

and

in

order to do so

it

necessary that he should be able to preclude himself

from competition with the purchaser.


principles

When

these

clash the question

must be decided by

reasonableness.

In the tenth edition of his

Law

of

I02

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


Sir

Contract (1903),
stating that
"

William Anson sums up by

The
it

duration of the contract and the area over


is

which

meant

to extend are

not determining

factors as regards its validity, but are elements in

the general consideration by the Court of the reasonableness of the transaction."

This appears to be a very


the law in
its

fair

representation of

present state of uncertainty, and


in

we
of

cannot help observing,

view of the very different


to

measure which
capital

is

meted out
to judges.

combinations
far

and combinations of labour, that


is left

too wide

a discretion

Part

II

TRUSTS, KARTELLS,

AND OTHER

MODERN COMBINATIONS

INTRODUCTORY

THE

characteristic difference

between the AmeriKartell


is

can Trust and the

German

that,

whereas the former


individual
firm
is

is

a combination in which the

entirely

merged and absorbed,


the individuality
is

the latter only combines the firms into a syndicate


for

certain
its

purposes, and allows

of

members

to continue so far as.

consistent

with the business policy of the federation.


present and ensuing chapter

In the

we

shall

deal rather

with the policy than with the organisation of Trusts

and

Kartells.

The

object of their formation

is,

of

course, to increase profits

by obtaining higher
to

prices

than can be obtained under competitive conditions.


In

other words, their supreme object

is

create

a monopoly.
is

Thus the modern Trust

or

Kartell

simply a recrudescence of older forms of monopocombination.

listic

The main purpose which has


and Kartells
is

led

to the formation of Trusts

that which

has led to their formation under other names from


the earliest records of economic history.

Mr. Haver;

meyer's pedigree goes back to Thales


los

Mr. Leiter

io6
is

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


They
;

the lineal descendant of Joseph's Pharaoh.


talk of the

may

economies of big undertakings


really
after
is,

but

what they are


prices

of course, to raise

by eliminating competition.
is

The Beef Trust


of butchers
in the

of

New York
scale

merely a reproduction on a gigantic


combinations

modern
which

of those

Adam

Smith so severely stigmatised

Wealth of Nations.

The claim

that amalgamations
capitalists

produce
to

certain

economies

and enable

make

better bargains with railways,


can,

raw material,

and labour

no doubt, be made good.

But the

advantages thus obtained are set off by corresponding


disadvantages.

A
to

business, whether distributive or

productive, tends to

become unwieldy and gradually


the
loss

decays, owing

of

individual
is

interest

and

enterprise.

proof of this

that Trusts or

Kartells seldom

develop and hardly ever become

a menace to society in countries where they are not protected by a


tariff.

In England, for example,


its

the only instance of a trade not in


listic

nature monopois

which

is

at the

mercy of combination

the

retail

trade in alcoholic liquor, where the tied-house

principle

has become dominant entirely owing to


it

the

encouragement

receives

from

the

English

licensing laws.

The consequence is that, although we have in this country many illustrations of natural monopoly, we have hardly any cases of combinations strong

INTRODUCTORY
enough to
none
in
fix prices

107
level
its
;

above their natural

and
price

which an English firm has made

to the

home consumer
which
it

perceptibly higher than the

price at

sells

the

same

article

to foreign

purchasers.

For at the moment that such a policy


it

were established
to re-import

would pay English merchants


"

the article from abroad.


is

Dumping,"

therefore, as a policy,

confined to countries with


to

a protective

tariff,

and

the particular industries

which have grown up under the shelter of such


a
tariff.

But there are two


from strength, or

sorts of

dumping, which

may be
results

roughly distinguished as the dumping that


scientific

policy,

and the

dumping
variety
is

that results from weakness.


spurious,

The second

and

is

analogous to sales of bank-

rupt stock, or to the sales which conclude the

summer

season in large
It

cities.

may

happen, of course, to any business, large or

small, in a Free
it

Trade or

protectionist country that

finds

it

expedient, in

consequence of a change

of fashion, an unfavourable turn of market, an in-

convenient accumulation of goods, to dispose of


stock at cost price to anyone
this

its

who

will

buy

it.

With
mind

spurious form of dumping we need not conourselves,


it

cern
that

but

it

should

be borne

in

is

often confused with the real or scientific


far

dumping, and, being

more

prevalent,

makes
and

dumping appear

to

be a

much more

serious

io8

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


commerce than
to
it
is.

significant factor in international

really

Another preliminary remark with regard


ing should be made.
It

dumpmight be supposed that dump-

ing would be very popular in the countries which


profited

by

it,

i.e,

in

those countries to which the


;

abnormally cheap goods are sent

and, indeed, this

was the opinion


is

until quite recently in


last

England.

It

only during the

two or three years that

in

England a

half-political,

half-economic agitation has


it is

been fostered

for the purpose,

alleged, of protect-

ing certain interests against the cheapness and plenty

caused by dumping.
it

For twenty

years, for example,

was generally admitted that the export policy of

the Austrian, German, French, and Russian sugar

syndicates was of enormous and almost unmitigated


benefit to the people of Great Britain, giving

them
was
of

an advantage

in

cheap sugar, which,


to

in the period

immediately

prior

the Sugar Convention,

valued at eight millions a year.

The expansion

our jam, biscuit, and confectionery trades was directly


traceable to this cause, and far overbalanced a trifling

diminution
ever,

of sugar

refineries.

Eventually, how-

the

sugar

refining

industry

and the West

Indian interest succeeded in changing the policy of


the British Government.
called
at Brussels,

In 1900 a Conference was

and the Convention thereupon

agreed to for putting an end to the bounty system has

INTRODUCTORY
now

109

deprived British consumers and manufacturers of the advantage they previously enjoyed. Bountyfed sugar is now a thing of the past, and for
practical

be more useful to turn our attention to other cases of dumping, which are carried on
it

purposes

will

the most part without the aid of government bounties. Our examples of dumping will
for

be taken

principally

America and Germany, as the American Trust and the German Kartell are the
combinations against which
usually charged.
this

from

practice

is

most

CHAPTER
THE KARTELLS
IN

GERMANY AND AUSTRIA

have seen that the Trust is the child of English law and American tariffs. In Germany the lawi has not permitted the formation of " Trusts " but the tariff favours combinations

TXTE
V V

of pro-

ducers,2

and accordingly a

different

form of organisa-

tion has generally been

adopted to compass the same

ends.

Industrial combination in
in

about

the following way.

Germany is brought number of firms pro-

ducing same class of goods agree to hand over the control of their sales to a central board upon which they are all represented, by whose rules they are bound, and to whose funds they contribute. Every member of the Kartellas the German type
combination
Kartell's

of

called must open officials and carry out the


is

its

books to the
which

Kartell's instruc-

tions as to price

and output.

firm
in

sells

below the regulation price or offends

any other

' German company law is in many respects superior to British For an informing article on the subject, by Mr. Ernest Schuster, see Economic Journal, vol. x. pp. 1-19.

J The

policy of high tariffs and Trusts is often described as Milhonar-Zuchtung, "the feeding up of millionaires."

112

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


is

way

fined,

and the

other members.

fine is distributed among The advantage claimed for


is

the
this

kind of industrial federation over the Trust


it

that

eliminates competitive

vi^ar

between the individual


the Kartell

firms that are

combined without wholly destroying


Moreover,
if
is skil-

their individuality.
fully

conducted

it

may
its

save expenses in freight, and


the advantages which

generally give to

members

a well-planned system of co-operation has been found


to confer

upon Danish and


it

Irish farmers.

On

the

other hand,
protect
firms

is

objected that the Kartell tends to


unfit

and perpetuate the

and incompetent

at

the expense of their efficient colleagues.

Professor von Halle, a well-known authority upon


this subject, declares that Kartells

have often secured

foreign contracts
failed.

where individual firms would have


well be, as an individual firm
for a contract
profit.
is

This

may
offer

seldom inclined to tender

on terms

which would

no prospect of

Another
each
firm,

advantage claimed
without changing

for the Kartell is that


its

own

internal organisation, can


its

pursue

its

special line

and improve

products with-

out having the trouble and responsibility of selling

them.

For among
especially

its

other features there


the
interest

is

one

which

excites

of

foreign

observers and the resentment of foreign competitors.

That feature is the pool, if we may so call it, or fund, which the Kartell frequently creates for the purpose
of selling surplus products abroad at a loss where

GERMANY AND AUSTRIA


they cannot be sold at a
scientific
profit.
is

113

It

follows that the


likely to

theory of dumping

far

more

be

by the German Kartells than by the American Trusts. An American Trust, like any ordinary competitive firm, will, cf course, from
time to time
sell

carried out in practice

off surplus

stock at low prices,

and the existence of a high


that, as a

tariff

makes

it

probable

matter of policy, the sales

will

be made

But in Germany the directors of the Kartell pay a subvention or bounty to the exporting firms, raising the bounty, as Mr. Schloss says,
to foreigners.
"

out of the price paid by the

German consumers

for

goods similar to those exported."


of course, the policy
tariff,

In most cases,

is dependent upon a protective which enables the Kartell to charge high prices to home consumers. It should, however, be under-

stood, as Mr. Schloss points out in his


to the
selling

Memorandum

Board of Trade (p. 297), that this policy of cheap abroad and dear at home is only part
the system " of selling the

of the general system pursued by the


bination
;

German comsame thing at

different prices according to circumstances, in every

case charging

all

that the trade will bear."

Thus, as between a consumer near the source of supply and a consumer whose works are some distance away, although the price is in each case ex mine
or works of the producer, the distant customer will

be charged a lower

price,

lower approximately by the

cost of freight from the place of production to the

114

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


proximity to the centre of production
will

factory of the purchaser, on the ground simply that


his

enable

the near customer to afford to pay more money.


a (German) district in which there
petition a high price
is is

no active

So in com-

charged, but a lower price in

a district where other sources of supply either actually

compete, or might easily come


productions of the Kartells.
that, so far as this

in to

compete, with the

It will

be understood

system of charging different prices

to customers in different

(German)

districts

entails

upon the individual producer of the goods concerned


the necessity of selling them at a lower price than
that obtained for the

same

class of
fully
is

goods by other
to this

members, then under the


organisation the difference

developed Kartell

made up

man

by the

Kartell, prices being practically pooled, pretty


after the

much

manner

in

which the bounties

in the

export trade are allotted.


It is

often stated

or suggested

by advocates of
Kartells deliber-

a protective tariff that the

German

ately export goods below cost price for the purpose

of ruining
country.

some
if

particular competitor in a foreign


this

But no evidence of

purpose exists

and even
of
its

the motive could be shown, no instance

success has been adduced.

On

the other hand,

there are

many examples

of the advantages which

German dumping has


tries in

conferred upon particular indus-

other countries.

fed exports from

The reason is that bountyGermany are mainly either raw

GERMANY AND AUSTRIA


materials or half-manufactured goods.

115

Let us take a

few of the leading cases.


powerful of

One

of the largest and most


is
it

German

syndicates
In 1902

the Rhenish West-

phalian Coal Kartell.

had a

total

output

of 48,6c)0,OCXD metric tons, of which 6,800,000 metric


tons were sold abroad.

The average
;

price per metric

ton sold at

home was

10.45 marks, and the average

price abroad

was 9.84 marks


in

so that the foreign

manufacturer (chiefly
his coal nearly

Holland and Belgium) got


cheaper than the German.

6 per

cent,

It is difficult to see

mercantilist

how the most thorough-going whose economics are derived from the

predecessors of

Adam

Smith can object


Coal

to receiving

cheap supplies of the most important raw material


of industry.

The

policy of the

Kartell

has

excited the utmost resentment in Germany.


transactions of the Westphalian

But the

Coke Kartell have been even more severely criticised. M. Raffalovich, in his book on Trusts/ states that coke which cost 17 marks in Germany had been sold at 8 marks per ton in Austria and Bohemia, and the proceeding of
ment.
it

the Kartell commission seemed to confirm the state-

Another authority, M. Sayous,


often

tells

us that

is

good business

Switzerland or
It

buy German coal in Holland and re-import it into Germany.


to
is

should be noticed that this Kartell policy

much

assisted

by the

specially low rates of transport which

the

German

State railways are accustomed to grant


^

p. 22, note.

ii6

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


for export.

on goods intended

A
for

similar policy

is

pursued by the Wire Kartell, which, in the year 1900,

had three
for export,

distinct

prices

(i)

sale

to

consumers, 185 marks per ton; (2) for sale in

German Germany

170 marks per ton; (3) for sale to foreigners, marks per ton. During the industrial crisis of 1900-2 enormous sales of half-finished iron and steel
115
at very

goods were sold abroad

low

prices.

The

discrepancy between the prices to

home and

foreign

buyers of instruments of industry were often startling.

For

instance, the Nail Syndicate sold its

goods

in

Germany at 250 marks

a ton and abroad at 140 marks

the Rail Kartell charged

Germany

115

marks per
price.

ton and Portugal 85 marks.


at from

Girders were exported

20 to 30 per

cent,

below the home

The consequences
and England of

of the sale in Holland, Belgium,


coal,

pig-iron, rolled wire, etc. at

these low prices were severely


of finished goods in
1902.

by manufacturers The most striking exfelt

ample, perhaps,

is

the transference of an important

ship-building trade from


"

Germany

to Holland.

The

building of boats for the Rhine river naviga-

passed over almost entirely to Holland, because the works in the Rhenish Westphalian district producing heavy plates, deliver in Holland at lower prices than in the interior of Germany." ^
tion has

The Austrian
^

tariff

has not been strongly pro;

Raffalovich, p. 28

cp. Sayous, p. 309.

GERMANY AND AUSTRIA


tectionist as a whole,

117

and consequently combinations


in

home consumer have been Germany. But there have been one or two very strong and carefully organised Kartells. Of these the Sugar Kartell flourished
to raise prices against the
less

common

than

greatly in the nineties, but

its

teeth were

drawn

in

the spring of 1902 by the Brussels Sugar Convention.

Far the most important of the Austrian com-

binations
is

now

in existence is the Iron Kartell,


tariff.

which
prices

supported by a very high


iron

The high
as

of

which prevail

in

consequence throughout
very

Austro-Hungary are generally recognised


bad
for the country.

Iron, like

wood,

is

one of the

most important of the raw materials of industry, and


I

have frequently heard business men as well as


bitterly

economists

regret

that

the

iron

interest
its

should have been strong enough to enforce

views

on the tariff-making

officials.

All the iron

manucentral

facturers of Austria are in the Kartell,

and the out-

put of the individual firms


board.

is

controlled

by a
firm

One
the

of the largest iron manufacturers told


that
his

me
that

in

autumn of 1903
for

seldom

tendered for foreign contracts, and


it

when they did

was rather
This
is

honour (advertisement) than


(p. 217), writes

for profit.
in his

confirmed by Herr Grunzell, who,


that the

book Ueber Kartelle


of
is

Iron

Kartell "

seeks to avoid a volume of production

in excess

home

requirements

and

its

practice,

therefore,

not to encourage the export trade

ii8

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


home trade,
that which

trade carried on at a lower profit than the


or even at a loss."
in Austria,

Of

other producers' combinations


is

perhaps the most noteworthy


in

has grown up
Galicia.

connection with the


1902, an

oil

trade of

In April,
"

agreement was made


oil

between

the Ropa," a convention of crude

pro-

ducers in Galicia, and the principal refiners, with the


object of encouraging the export trade and finding

an outlet

for

the surplus production


is

of crude
effect

oil.

This agreement

said to have

had the

of

reducing the profits of the Standard Oil

Company;
Austrian

and

after

prolonged warfare the

latter

was compelled,
its

in 1904, to

conclude an agreement with

competitors.

The duty of
falls

controlling monopolies in

Germany
not under
rail-

rather on the States than on imperial govern-

ment.

The

railway system, for example,

is

the imperial authority.

There are the State

ways of Prussia, of Bavaria, and of Wiirtemberg, and each of these kingdoms has its own postal service. The Prussian Government has secured all the amber mines about Konigsberg. It has also displayed some originality in an attempt to control or limit one of the great combinations, not by
legislation,

but by participation.

Several coal mines


for railway

have already been acquired to supply coal


purposes
;

but the plan had been not so

much

to

buy

working mines as to secure undeveloped properties

and operate them.

In the

summer

of 1904, however,

GERMANY AND AUSTRIA


the Prussian Minister of

119
to

Commerce proposed

buy

out the shareholders of the Hibernia coal mine, one


of the largest in Westphalia, at a premium of 140
per cent.

At

the time the offer was

made

the shares

stood at 170 per cent, premium, but they had been


forced

up

by the competition

for

voting

power

between the Dresdener Bank, which had been buying


for the

government, and a number of other financial

institutions representing

opponents of the

sale.

It

was explained on behalf of the Prussian Govern-

ment
in

that

it

happened to possess fewer


in

coal

mines

Westphalia than
in the

other districts, but this was


It

not regarded as the real reason for the purchase.

was stated

Press that a prominent ironmaster,

who happens
coal at the

also to be a nobleman,

had complained
sell

in exalted quarters that the Trust would not

him

same
it,

price as

it

sold to the ironworks

connected with

and that thereupon the Minister It was also of Commerce decided to intervene. stated that the Minister had previously refused an
offer

from the Trust to be allowed a voice


coal though
this

in fixing

the price of

appears to have

referred to the supplies for the State railways only,

and not

to that

for the

general

public.

more

satisfactory explanation

was that the government,

alarmed at the practical amalgamation of the great coal and iron companies and the control of both
industries

by a

single

Kartell,

had determined to

intervene by indisputably legal and pacific means.

I20

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


opinion,

Local

however

(which
;

probably
it

means

capitalist opinion),

was adverse

and

was plausibly

argued that

if

the State controls the industry and

the prices there will be an end to such bounties as


those granted by the

Coke Trust
and

to the blast furnaces


to similar

on the export of
enabling the
world's markets.

pig-iron,

means
in

for

German

iron trade to

compete

the

CHAPTER

II

THE AMERICAN TRUSTS

UNDER
many

the
in

protectionist

policy

which

has

prevailed

the

United States, with some


last half century,
in

temporary relaxations, during the


or less degree monopolised

branches of industry have been


;

a greater
profits

and the immense

gained, or said to have been gained,

by

certain Trusts

which have obtained a pretty complete control of


particular industries have

made

the Trust organisation

enormously popular with


investors.

capitalists, financiers,
it

and

But

in

recent years

has become the

favourite object of popular odium.


tion for anti-Trust legislation

A
is

strong agita-

began
;

in the

United

States about fifteen years ago

it

said to have

been strengthened,
efforts

if

not caused, by the tremendous

put forth by the Sugar Trust to enforce monopoly prices by private combination. The Sugar Trust was organised in October, 1S87, flourished in 1888-9, and began to decline, owing to competition,
litigation,^
^

and public indignation,

in 1890.
it

Itsopera-

In an important American Sugar Trust case

was pleaded on

behalf of the Trust that from the nature of sugar complete control of

122
tions

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


and
their effects

upon

prices are

worthy of more

particular

attention,

especially

as

they have been

recorded by an inquirer no less careful and competent

than Professor Jenks.^


In the twelve months following September, 1886,
that
is,

in the

year immediately before the formation

of the Sugar Trust, the average price of refined sugar

taken monthly per

lb.

(omitting fractions of a cent)


lb.

was eleven times

cents per

and once 6

cents,

and that of raw sugar was eleven times 4 cents and once 5 cents. In the twelve months which followed
(1887-8) the corresponding figures were, for refined
sugar, 6 cents nine times
for

and 7 cents three times

raw sugar, 4 cents six times and 5 cents six times. For the next period of twelve months (1888-9)
the prices for refined sugar were 7 cents six times,
8 cents five times, and 9 cents once
;

those of raw

sugar were 4 cents once,


four times,

cents six times, 6 cents

and 7 cents once.

In the two years which

succeeded a decline took place marked by


violent fluctuations.

many

Commenting upon an

elaborate table and diagram,


But the Court

the output (and therefore a monopoly) was impossible.

took a common-sense view of the matter, holding that though a monopoly in the strict, technical, and absolute sense cannot thus be created,
yet

"a monopoly

in the legal sense can."

Any

combination, con-

tinued the Court,

"which has a tendency

to prevent competition in its

detriment of the public

broad and general sense and thus at will to enhance prices to the is a legal [and therefore an illegal] monopoly." ^ See his valuable article on Trusts in the United States," Economic journal, 1892, and his book, The Trust Problem (1900).
' '

THE AMERICAN TRUSTS


Jenks maintains that the extra
profit

123

from which these figures are extracted, Professor


exacted by

monopoly
than
I

for nearly

two years must have been more


:

cent per pound, and adds

"

The

figures
for

and

diagrams clearly show that the Sugar Trust

some

months

by

virtue of the Trust organisation

took
of

millions

of dollars of
profits

what may be

fairly called

unearned

from consumers."

Other

sets

figures put the profits of the

Sugar Trusts very much

higher.

The

chief

argument

in favour of pools, Trusts,

and

other voluntary combinations for producing

artificial

monopolies
effect.

is

the economies which they are able to


profit

But the amount of extra


in

which

may

way cannot be traced. That economy in advertisements, economy in organisation, Economy is is possible does not admit of doubt.
be earned
this

always
splitting

possible

but

it

can be

effected

up of a large concern
in

as well as
salient
is

by the by the
feature

amalgamation of small ones.


of a successful combination

The

America

always
or,

a substantial rise of price in the article produced,

what comes
of
its

to the

same

thing, a retardation or arrest

natural

fall.

The American

public

is

often

reminded of the benefits conferred by the Oil Trust


but
test,
if its

operations are submitted to the suggested

public gratitude would appear to be superfluous.

In the years 1861-72 (before the formation of the

Trust) the net average annual percentage of decrease

124

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


it

in the price of refined oil


1

88 1

was

7-3.

was 10-4. Between 1873 ^"^ Between 1882 and 1887 it was 2-2.
it

During the second or formative period the Trust

was

still

weak.

In the third period

was

in its full

vigour.

The Envelope Trust


for its

deserves honourable mention


It

extreme ingenuity.

paid one manufacturer

of a patented machine a fixed

sum

to manufacture

exclusively for the Envelope Trust.


private artificial

In this

way

monopoly based upon a voluntary

contract in restraint of trade distanced, or rather

evaded,

all

competition except in the one item of

stamped envelopes.
another
artificial

There the government of the


statute

United States was protected against competition by

monopoly based upon


last

Let us turn our attention to some of the startling

mushroom growths of the


on

few years.

It

has been

found by the great financial houses which

live largely

flotation that giant combinations, especially dur-

ing financial booms, are very attractive to investors and enormous sums have been poured into vast top-

heavy concerns

like the

Shipping Trust that were


Mr. Schloss,
prepared

plainly destined to

end

in disaster.
statistician,

The eminent economist and


in

the important

Memorandum which he

last
^

year for the Board of Trade,i defines a Trust for


Memorandum on
the Export Policy of Trusts in Certain Foreign
I

Countries, C.d., 1761 (1903), pp. 296 to 359. upon this valuable accumulation of facts.

have drawn

freely


THE AMERICAN TRUSTS
suing a
125

the purpose of his inquiry as any organisation pur-

common

business policy on a scale sufficiently

large to control

wholly or partially the course of


better say of domestic prices)

trade (perhaps
in

we had

the classes of

goods produced or distributed.

Now

to the student

who pursues
it

his avocation with-

out paying
political

much

attention to the hidden motives of

journalism

may seem
sell

surprising that in

the United States there should be an outcry against


the Trusts because they
there
is

dear, while in

England
In

an outcry against those same Trusts because


cheap.
it

they

sell

But the explanation

is

simple.

America

is

the wail of the consumer whose prices


;

by monopoly in England it is the wail of the producer whose prices are lowered by competition.
are raised
It

should also be remembered, to guard ourselves

against exaggerations, that only a small fraction of the

exports of the United States are manufactured and


partly manufactured goods.
sists

The

great bulk

still

con-

of agricultural produce.
is

And

of this fraction

only a small fraction


certain.

"dumped."

This

much
:

is

Let

me

quote the words of Mr. Schloss

" The available evidence goes to show that for some time past the United States has for the most part been able to absorb, and has, in fact, kept at home, a great proportion of its total output [of manufactured

goods], and that during this period of exceptionally good trade in the American home market, the inducement on the part of the Trust Organisation of the

126

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS

United States to dump surplus goods at low prices markets may fairly be considered to have been slight, as compared with what might be manifested in time of industrial depression in the States."
in foreign

However, so

bitter

was the popular

feeling against

the Trusts, that an Industrial Commission was appointed, which reported at

year 1900.
contains

The
"

thirteenth

immense length in the volume of the Report

an exhaustive inquiry into the truth or


the frequent assertion that exporters of
sell

falsehood of

American made goods often


lar

them

in

foreign

countries at lower prices than are obtained for simi-

goods at home."
it

But unfortunately
value of
these
various

is

not easy to estimate the


given by the officers of

the information

corporations.

Well

aware, as
if

Mr.

Schloss observes, of the suspicion,


aversion, with

not positive

which Trusts are regarded by popular


justify the

opinion in the United States, they were unlikely to

make admissions which would


at

popular

complaint, that Trusts favour the foreign purchaser


the expense of the

American consumer "and

would furnish powerful assistance to those enemies of


the Trusts
the tariff

who would
war, behind

like to see the destruction of

the shelter of which these

combinations carry on their operations."^

The ma-

jority of the firms declared that their selling prices


^

MemoraDdum,

p. 316.

THE AMERICAN TRUSTS


get higher prices at
siderable

127

were the same at home as abroad, a few claimed to

home than

abroad, while a con-

number admitted
example (No.

that they sold regularly

or occasionally at lower prices abroad than at home.

One

firm, for

16),

which manufactured

about 60 per cent, of the American output of iron


pipe and exported over 2| million dollars worth to
other countries, declared that their prices were regulated

by market

conditions,

and that foreign markets


for profit
in

had been cultivated not merely


ordinary sense, but
"

the

that our tonnage might thereby


in cost."

be increased, with the resultant reduction

Here we have

in a nutshell

put what

may be

called
firm,

the scientific theory of "dumping."

Another

(No. 21), which produced from 50 to 75 per cent, of all the boring machines, etc., produced in the United
States, admitted that they sold abroad
5

per cent,

cheaper than

at

home.
all

Firm No. 151 produced


the anvils
5

about 80 per cent, of

made

in

the

United States.
total

Its

exports were

per cent, of the


10,000 dollars

output, but

were only worth

annually.
in

The

anvils exported

were sold principally


at

South Africa, Australia, and Canada, practically

cost price " to

Some

light

meet foreign competitors." is thrown upon Trust methods by the American makers of harvest
a
capital

prospectus of an enormous combination formed in

1902 by the

five largest

machinery.
;^24,000,000.

The combination had

of


128
" It
is

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


expected that altogether, notwithstanding

the rise in price of raw material this year, machines


will

cent,

be marketable at a reduction of more than lo per on the present price, as it is stated it costs more to sell a machine under the present method than it does to manufacture it, and as it is stated that there will be no competition in the United States to require a reduction in prices to obtain sales the companies could stand a further reduction in the export trade."^

We
many

have noticed elsewhere the close connection


cases between

in

railways

and

manufacturing

monopolies.
before the

Several of the firms that gave evidence


referred to the subject.

Commission

One

witness quoted a letter from a petroleum firm to the


following effect
"
:

We

are very large manufacturers of oil

and

oil

products, and feel the discrimination in rates over the


railroads very severely indeed, so

much

so that

we

are obliged to market 70 per cent, of our products in

Europe."

The same

witness mentioned that, according to the

railway rates current in August, 1899, the export rate

on shipments of grain was


higher.

11 cents per ICK)

pounds,

while the domestic rate was 17 cents, or 50 per cent,

The

Industrial Commission, in reporting on


" it

the question of freight discrimination, found

has

been quite generally conceded by railroad


shippers, that even
^

men and

up

to the present time discriminap. 549.

See Board of Trade Journal, September i8th, 1902,

THE AMERICAN TRUSTS


ting rates are

129
In

made

in favour of large shippers."


in 1902,

an address given early


"

Mr. Prouty, a
is

member

of the Inter-state Commission,


said
:

reported to have

Five

men now

actually control the railways of


is

the United States.


petition.
rates.
It will

There

no longer any
is

real

com-

The only remedy

government control of

We

are face to face with railroad monopoly."

be instructive

now

to consider in

some

little

detail three of the biggest

American
tariff,

Trusts.

First

comes the Standard Oil Company, which


prosperity not to a

owes
it

its

but to the fact that


is

deals in a natural monopoly.

Second

the United

States Steel Corporation, which, although sheltered

by a very high tariff, has already done something to prove and illustrate the dangers and unwieldiness of Third comes the equally gigantic combinations.
gigantic

Shipping Trust, Mr. Morgan's ambitious

attempt to monopolise the carrying trade of the


Atlantic

an

attempt which was supposed at the


fatal

time by the London press to have struck a


at the
tile

blow
to

commercial supremacy of the British Mercan-

Marine.

The
the

Trust, however,
first,

was doomed

disaster from

as

every disinterested and


its

competent

critic

could see for himself by reading


fleets

programme.
bought
prevent

The

which

it

purchased were

at exorbitant rates, the firms

which remained
to

outside the combine were quite strong enough


it

from controlling either goods freights


it

or passenger rates, and

was quite impossible that

130

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


their capital.

the Trust would ever be able to pay the investors a

reasonable return on

We

now

pro-

ceed
order.
I.

to

consider the three combinations in their

When the Standard Oil Trust was first established


in the technical or legal sense
;

it

was a Trust
it

that

is

to say,

was a business owned by


Its

trustees for the

benefit of other people.

enormous success helps

to account for the popularity of the

name and

organi-

sation with

American investors

until their eyes

were

opened by the disasters of

1903.^

But the success of

the Oil Trust can easily be explained, being depen-

dent on causes that cannot be counted upon by Trusts


operating
success
is

in

ordinary

branches

of industry.

Its

exactly parallel to that of the Anthracite


in

Coal Combination
cite coal

Pennsylvania.

The
in

best anthra-

mines are
;

all

found together

one part of

Pennsylvania

and with the assistance of the railway


sources of crude
as Professor
;

the coal producers have been able to fix prices fairly


effectually.

The

oil,

Ely

has observed, are spread over a wider area


chief

but the

sources

of supply are in the

Pennsylvania and
to the

Ohio.

At

first

monopoly was confined


oil
;

business of refining

but now, thanks to the colooks as


if

operation of railways,

" it

we should reach
oil,

a monopoly not merely in the refining of


*

but in

In the

first

half of that year no less than forty-four Trusts were

placed in the hands of receivers.

THE AMERICAN TRUSTS


the production of
is

131

oil

itself,

because the production

limited geographically."^

The Standard
year
in

Oil

Company

dates from 1872, the

which the Anthracite Coal Combination was


Various
efforts

formed.

were made to
;

resist

the

progress of the Standard Oil Trust


all ineffectual,

but they were

chiefly

owing

to the close

understanding

or alliance that subsisted between the

company and

the

local

railway companies.
it

In

one case which

came

into the courts

was proved that an Ohio


trader,

railway

company charged an independent


charged the Standard Oil

Mr. George Rice, of Marietta, a rate of 35 cents,


while
it

Company

a rate

of 10 cents for carrying oil the

same distance and


avoid the railway
in

under the same circumstances.


difficulty the

To

independent refiners

1878-9 began
oil to distri-

the construction of pipes to convey the

buting centres.

Thereupon the

railroad gradually

reduced their rates from 115 to 10 cents a barrel!

The war lasted till 1883, when the Tide Water Pipe Line Company, the last surviving competitor, was finally gobbled up by the Trust. The whole history
of this giant combination points to the conclusion that

had there been an independent and impartial administration of the Pennsylvanian

and Ohio railways, no

oil

monopoly could ever have been developed. The conspirators seem to have stuck at nothing. A partisan
*

See Ely, Monopolies and Trusts,

p. 57.

132

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


:

of the Trust once said to M. de Rousiers, a French


investigator
"

The Pennsylvania

railroad could not

refuse the cars of a competitor of the Standard Oil

Company, but nothing could hinder


tracking them."^

it

from side-

The

report of the Industrial Commission (i 900-1),


its
its

however, supports the company's statement that

export trade has not been built up at the expense of


domestic trade.

The

prices of oil

have been as a rule

much

the

same

in all parts of the world,

owing
fields,

to the

competition of the Russian and Austrian

which

have not been acquired by the Standard Oil Company.

During the

last

year or two a rate war has

raged between the American Trust and an Austrian

combination

but an agreement was signed which

may
2.

raise prices all over the world.

The formation of the United States Steel Corporation in March was certainly the most tremendous industrial event of the year 1901.
Previous to
the amalgamation there existed in the United States
eight important iron and steel corporations with a share

and bond

capital not far short of 700,000,000 dollars.

The

largest

by

far was, of course, the

Carnegie

Com-

pany, which had then issued ordinary shares to the value


of 156, and bonds to the value of 160, million dollars.
See M. de Rousiers' Les Industries monopolisSes aux Etats-Unis. and biting history of the Standard Oil Company has been written by Miss Ida M. Tarbell, a gentle appreciation by Mr. G. H. Montague.
*

full

THE AMERICAN TRUSTS


According to the calculation which appeared
the

133
in

Journal of Commerce, January 3rd, 1903, there were only twenty-four companies independent of the United States Steel Corporation, and the

New York

which they represented was only a quarter of the total capital of this immense Corporation.^ Mr. Byron Holt, who has written in much detail on the
capital
subject, states

that

the

Steel

Corporation has an

annual production valued at 400,000,000 dollars, and

pays salaries and wages amounting to 150,000,000


dollars.

But the most interesting

fact
is

which

his in-

vestigations have brought to light

the connection

between the Corporation and the

tariff.

According
sales in the

to his calculations the actual benefit

which accrues to
its

the Trust from the tariff in respect of

United States amounts to no


of the
talk

less

than 72,000,000
In spite

dollars a year, over ;Ci4,ooo,ooo sterling.


tall

indulged

in

at

various

times by

managers of the Steel Corporation and its predecessors, we must insist upon two undoubted facts in connection with the American steel industry and its
monster organisation.
{a)

Although America has immense natural advanits

tages in

magnificent coal and iron


its

fields,

yet the

industry on

present

basis

is

dependent upon

the tariff; and American consumers and taxpayers


*

The

capital of the United States Steel Corporation

was estimated

at over \\ billion dollars, cerns.

and

it

comprised 669 distinct working con-

134
practically

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


pay a
firms.

tribute of 14,000,000 dollars a year for

the privilege of buying their goods exclusively from

American
{b)

Even with the advantages of the tariff the monster organisation, judged by the price of its
shares, found itself after three years'

working

in

depressed and even perilous financial condition.

The

ordinary stock of the Steel Corporation was quoted

on August
at 43;

1st,

90 1 (four months
ist,

after its flotation),

on August

1902, at 40; on

August

ist,

1903, at 24;

and

finally,

on August

ist,

1904, at 12.

Since then there has been a recovery.

Now

let

us look more closely at the commercial and social


policy of this Trust and
its

compare

its

promises with

performances.

Here

are one or

two gems from

the evidence given before the Industrial Commission.

Mr. Guthrie, of the Steel

Hoop Company (now


:

absorbed in the Steel Corporation), was asked


beat the Englishman in his
"

" In

ordinary times you can keep up American wages and

Without the

slightest

own market?" Answer: doubt we can whip him and


;

make money."
Mr. Guthrie explained
Carnegie Steel
in in

another place that "the

exporting

steel."

Company were practically the pioneers They started on a large scale in


sell

1893; they proposed to


less
it

abroad

for

20 per cent.
;

than at home,
to

"

lower than their cost price

and

was done

keep things moving and bring gold

back."

THE AMERICAN TRUSTS


Even
led to
in 1899, however, the

135

export policy had not

much

profitable trade.

Taking the cost of


to export.

carriage into account, said Mr. Gary, the President

of another company,

it

would not pay

But

the scientific theory of the steel magnates always was


that though
it

was not necessary

to export in pros-

perous times, they would do a great service to the


State at times of depression by keeping their work-

men
after

in

employment.

As

to this

we may

refer to the

evidence of Mr. Schwab, given in May, 1901, shortly

he became President of the United States Steel

Corporation.
quite true that export prices are made at much lower rate than those here but there is no one who has been a manufacturer for any length of time who will not tell you that the reason he sold,
" It is

a very

even at a
.
. .

loss,

When we

was to run his works full and steady. have as much as we can do at home
prices.
full
is

as

we have

to-day, people are not anxious to sell

materials at

low
if

But when our

mills are not

running steady and


prices,

we

will

take orders at low

even

there

some

loss in so doing, in

order

to keep running."
It is

noteworthy that Mr. Schwab expressly stated


is

that

when business
at

in

a normal

condition the
sells

prices

which

the

Steel

Corporation

to
it

foreigners are always lower than those at which


sells

to

home consumers.

For

instance,

foreign

136
railway

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


company could buy
its

rails

at 23 dollars

a ton, whereas an American railway

company had

to

pay, according to Mr. Schwab, from 26 to 28 dollars

a ton.

Now

let

us see whether the tribute which the

Corporation exacts from American consumers by aid


of the tariff in prosperous times
is

requited in the
its

shape of the steady work


times of depression.
In the

it

gives to

employees

in

autumn of 1903 a Director of the


off,

Steel Trust

told a representative of the Philadelphia

Ledger that

trade was falling

and anticipated that before long


several million tons
"

the American
short of the
to

demand would be
reporter.
all

American supply.
"

What

are you going

do ? " asked the

Oh," replied the Direc;

tor, "

we have made

our preparations

we

are not
it

going to reduce our output.

No,

if

we

did that

would be injurious to America.

We

should have

to turn out of our works into the streets hundreds

of thousands of American workmen, and therefore

what we are going

to

do

is

to invade foreign markets."^

The

depression foreseen by the Director

came

in the

spring of 1904.

On

June 24th the Pittsburg corre-

spondent of the Iron and Coal Trades Review (June


24th) wrote to say that for the next two or three

months, and perhaps


ance of the decrease
^

for

many months,
production."

there

was

nothing for the iron and steel trade but "a continuin

Already the

the interview

Cp. Mr. Chamberlain's speech at Greenock, October, 1903, where is quoted and an argument is founded upon it.


THE AMERICAN TRUSTS
Steel Corporation

137

had eight furnaces idle in Alleghany County, seven in the Valleys, three at Mingo Junction, and three in the Chicago district, " making
a total of twenty-one furnaces at least
of a total of eighty-six according to
Its steel-works

now

idle out

its last

report."
"

had

also been closing rapidly.

In

the past fortnight the

Corporation has shut

down
its

four bessemer steel plants, having an annual capacity

of 1,700,000 tons of ingots, or 27 per cent, of


actual

production

last

year."

In the beginning of

July the

New

York World instituted inquiries as to

the state of employment, and

came

to the conclusion

that on the 24th of June there were 655,000 wage-

earners idle in the United States

who were made

up

as follows

Iron and steel workers


138

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


cent,

have agreed to accept a reduction of i8 per


in

the

coming
fallen

year."

According to the monthly

statistics

of the Iron Age, the week's output of pig-

iron

had

from 368,000 tons at the end of April

to 336,000 at the

end of May, and again to 272,000

at the

end of June.

The locomotive

industry was

equally distressed.

motive Works

in Philadelphia

During June the Baldwin Locohad already discharged

6,000 men, and had given notice to 4,000 more

more than
This
scientific

half the total


recital

number of their employees.


that

brief

proves conclusively

the

export theory of Trusts in a protective


In spite of
all

country does not work in practice.


their promises

and assurances, the directors of the

Steel Corporation did exactly

what employers always


it

do

in

time of depression, and did

with relentless
closed mills,

rigour on an extraordinary scale.

They

blew out furnaces, reduced wages, and discharged


their work-people.
3.

The

Atlantic

Shipping Trust.

This monster

Trust, which caused such panic in the patriot press of

Great Britain in the autumn of 1902, was incorporated " under a hospitable New Jersey Charter," and
officially registered

on the

ist of

October, 1902, in

the State of

New

Jersey, with the official

name

of
Its

the International Mercantile Marine

Company.

share capital consisted of 120,000,000 dollars, half in

ordinary shares, half in preference shares, bearing

6 per cent,

interest.

Debentures were also issued to

THE AMERICAN TRUSTS


the extent of 50,000,000 dollars.

139
ad-

The Trust was

ministered by a board of eight Americans and five

EngHshmen, presided over by Mr. Griscom. The London Committee was presided over by Sir E. C.
Dawkins, Mr. Pierpont Morgan's
trator
in

financial

adminis-

London.

The

success of the Trust was


:

predicted on the following grounds

(i) that

it

would

be fed by certain railways under Mr. Morgan's control

to the exclusion of competing shipping lines,

(2) that in

any case
and

it

would be strong enough to


between the United States
economies
great

control rates

freights

and Europe,
effected

(3) that

would be

by the concentration of managements.


five lines

Altogether

were combined

in the Trust,

which thus obtained a

fleet

of one hundred and eigh-

teen large steamships, aggregating 881,000 tons.

An
to

arrangement was also concluded with the firm of

Harland
execute

and
all

Wolff,

of Belfast,

who engaged

orders for ships given


for
rival

them by the Trust,

and not to build

companies, except by

arrangement with the Trust. As regards the financial


arrangements, the fortunate shareholders of the Leyland Line received cash, while the shareholders of
the other four lines received theirs partly in cash,
partly in Shipping Trust shares.

treaty

was also

entered into with two great

German companies

the

North German Lloyd and the Hamburg American


Line

in

order to prevent a rate-cutting competition.


far

But how

Mr. Morgan and his friends were from

I40

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


monopoly
be inferred from the fact that nine important

establishing anything in the nature of a

may
lous

British lines remained outside the Trust.

So

ridicu-

was the

talk of the time about the " Morganisa-

tion of the

Ocean

"

Equally ridiculous were the


English press that the forma-

fears expressed in the

tion

of the

Trust meant the transference of merto America.

cantile

supremacy from Great Britain

It is quite true that a large

ships were sold to a

number of old English company predominantly Ameri-

can for

far

more than they were worth, but gradually

English influence prevailed, and

now

the Monster

Combine, shorn of
is

its

prestige

and

financial credit,

under British control, Mr. Griscom having yielded


Ismay.

his position to Mr.

The

failure of this
is

American attempt

to control

the world's shipping

emphasised by the collapse of

the United States Shipbuilding Trust, which went


into the Receiver's
Still

hands

in 1903.^

more recently another gigantic enterprise has come even more ignominiously to grief In the summer of 1904 the newspapers announced that a much-boomed combination of cotton mills in the Southern States of America had ended in bank" The Southern ruptcy. Textile Company " was
incorporated in

New

Jersey in February, 1903, with


dollars, or over

an authorised capital of 20,000,000


^

The

Receiver's Report

is

reprinted in Professor Ripley's valuable

compilation, Trusts, Pools,

and

Corporations (i<)o^).

THE AMERICAN TRUSTS


;^4,000,ooo
sterling'.

141

There were to be 7,000,000

dollars of 7 per cent, preferred stock, a like

amount
mort-

of

common

stock,

and 6,000,000 dollars of


take

first

gage gold bonds bearing interest at 6 per


promoters proposed to
ing four.

cent.

The

over

sixty

concerns
in acquir-

throughout the South, but only succeeded

They

also expected, or said they expected,

by

establishing a central selling office in

New York
their

for the

products of

all the mills, to

do away with the

services of the

commission merchants and save

charges.

The business was placed in the hands of a receiver, who reported that all the four mills of the company were closed, and that with the exception of the Windsor Mills none of them could be run at a profit. Of the company's authorised capital there
had actually been issued 598,500
stock, 172,000 dollars of
dollars of bonds. dollars of preferred

common

stock,

and 179,200

Perhaps

it

may

be inferred from

this that the in-

vesting public in

America

will

begin to be sceptical

about the commercial successes to be derived from


the amalgamation of capital.

So

far as contracts in restraint of trade are con-

cerned, the

American courts appear

to

have adopted

a line very similar to the English.


held that

Thus they have a contract giving a telegraph company an


is

exclusive right to erect poles along a railroad

void,

because

"

telegraphs are

now

essential to business,

and

as such are to

be kept open to competition,

142
unless
in the

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


the legislature should

otherwise determine,
carriage
is

same way that common


if

to be kept

open to competition."^

But

we

allow for the fact that, in the absence


civil service, either

of anything approaching a skilled


federal, State, or municipal, the

American courts are


cannot be
at
all

virtually entrusted with the


less

duty of regulating countartificial, it

monopolies, natural and


that

said

American
have

judges

have
them.

proved
is

adequate to the task, which, indeed,


should
never

one

that

been

set

Until

quite

recently the

American courts and the


be progressing
in

legislature
directions.

seemed
old

to

opposite
less

There, as in
doctrines

England, but with


that

excuse, the
in

governed contract

restraint

of trade have been relaxed or altogether renounced.^


See quotation in Mercantile Trust Co. v. Atlantic, etc., Ry. Co., Rep., I. * The approval with which a well-known text-writer notices a recent case favourable to the creation of monopolies by covenant is a striking sign of the reactionary tendencies of legal opinion in America. " The most liberal and advanced [1] doctrine on the subject in this country is found in the case of the Diamond Match Co. v. Koeber (io6 N.Y. 473 13 N.E. Rep. 419), in which the history of the law is elaborately considered, and a covenant excluding a manufacturer of matches, who had sold his property, stock, etc., from engaging in the manufacture and sale of matches for a period of ninety-nine years, within any of the states and territories, except Nevada and Montana, was sustained." See Modern Law of Contracts, by The learned author Charles Fisk Beach, vol. ii. p. 2,026, note. explains what he regards as a welcome relaxation by "the great diffusion of wealth, the wonderful advance made in the method and facilities of manufacturing and carrying on commerce, the manifold improvements in machinery," etc., which have enlarged old and opened new fields of industry.
^

II Fed.

THE AMERICAN TRUSTS


Whether the
matters.
restraint

143

be general or partial no longer

The

courts will not interfere because of the

numerical strength of a combination, or of the size of


the space covered

by

its

operations.

But

if

a natural

tendency to injure public interests can be proved,


a contract will be held void.
Differences in circum-

stances are very properly taken into consideration.

Thus a combination
agricultural State

to raise the price of bread,

it

has

been argued, would be comparatively harmless


;

in

an

but a combination of the same

character might have disastrous results in a densely

populated

district.

The American

courts have been

influenced, perhaps misled,


publicists

by the doctrines of certain

and economists, who, having discovered that in a few theoretical cases monopoly does not necessarily enhance the price of an article, have
elevated their exceptions into a rule, and proclaimed
their rule as if
it

were the gospel, not of companyIn a Sugar Trust


fit

promotion, but of public policy.


case the

Supreme Court of New York thought


"

to

observe that
result
in

excessive competition
injury
to

may sometimes
and the
the

actual

the

public";^

Supreme Court of Minnesota has arranged proposition in a more elaborate form.

same

"Modern

investigations have

much

modified the

views of Courts, as well as of political economists,


as to the effect of contracts intended to reduce the

People

V.

North River Sugar Refining

Co.^ 54

Hun.

354.

144

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


in

number of competitors
ness.

any particular
is

line of busi-

Excessive^ competition

not

necessarily conducive to the public

now accepted as good. The fact is

that the early

Common Law

doctrine in regard to

contracts

in

Restraint of Trade largely grew out

of a state of society and of business which has ceased


to
exist,

and hence the doctrine has been much

modified."2

The tendency

of

the
in

American courts

to

let

monopolies alone ran

accordance with popular

opinion until the eighties, when public attention, as

we

have seen, had been drawn to the mushroom growth


of
"

Trusts

"

or

'*

Combines," which seemed to aim

at exploiting the public

and enriching

their

mem-

bers

by the

creation of

huge monopolies.

Corrupt

politicians in every

assembly from Congress to the

Municipal Chamber were disposing of valuable public


franchises.
Political " bosses " joined financial " rings "
all

and company promoters of


offer

descriptions began to

their

services

on public bodies.

Never had

public service realised


princely scale.
It is

private fortunes on a

more

not surprising that the question

of monopoly soon became an important political


issue.

Popularity-seeking lawyers looked into the

matter and found that the old English statutes and


*

The

epithet "excessive," of course, begs the whole question.


v.

National Benefit Co.

Union Hospital

Co.,

45 Minn. 272.

THE AMERICAN TRUSTS


upon, in the words of Mr. Fisk,
" Statutes

145

reports denounced and prohibited monopolies. There-

were hastily draughted, and more hastily crowded through the legislatures of twenty or more states, under all sorts of partisan pressure, with the
practical result of declaring every conceivable sort of

association, agreem.ent, or partnership

which could by

any

stretch of the imagination be regarded as in

possible

way

in

restraint of the

any most unrestricted

competition unlawful and frequently punishable as


a felony."
It all

amounted

substantially to " a solemn iteration


in the

in

our statute books

United States at the end

of the nineteenth century of the

common

law of

England of the
centuries."

sixteenth, seventeenth,

and eighteenth

Mr. Fisk does not stop to inquire whether the


legal

similarity

is

not justified
old
social

by the economic
conditions,
like

analogy.
fashions

Yet

surely

of dress, however bad

and inconvenient,

tend to recur.
liable to return.

Guilds

and

crinolines

are always
is

To assume

that monopolies cannot

exist at the end of the nineteenth century because

they existed at the beginning of the eighteenth


fall

to

into a fallacy quite as glaring as that into

which

the Fabian essayists slipped

when they proclaimed


all

that the capitalistic system having flourished in the

nineteenth century was destined by

laws,

human

and

divine, to disappear in the twentieth.


146

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


is

There
in

one important feature of the Trust system


it

America of which
I

is

difficult for

an outsider to
Hfe.

write.

mean

its

tendency to corrupt pubHc


in

Mr. Franklin Pierce,

a trenchant letter
it
:

to the

Times (August 28th, 1903), thus described

" The railway directors and the manufacturers are united in a combination to control the action of our

great newspapers, to purchase favourable legislation,

and

to

debauch the people.

Special legislation

is

sold to a greater or less extent

by every

legislature.

The moral sense of our whole people is being dulled and deadened by the nefarious system of protective tariffs and special legislation. ... A large lobby infests our legislature and national Congress, and the
is shut off in our newspapers through the use of money furnished by the combinations of bankers, manufacturers, and railway

free discussion of their evils

magnates."

Mr. Pierce went on to speak of the sufferings


entailed on

the Western

farmer in language that


in

reminds us of the famous passage

which Sydney

Smith portrayed the taxes that oppressed English-

men
"

in the early part

of last century.

nail which he (the Western farmer) has every hundred feet of barbed wire fence which he has used, every thread of his clothing has been taxed, and the great industrial combinations have sat at his fireside, sipped in his cup, lived by his

Every
in,

driven

side,

and robbed him

steadily."


THE AMERICAN TRUSTS
It

147

has been pointed out in a previous chapter that


is

the extent of the Trust domination


aggerated.

usually ex-

Upon

this

it

may

be well to give an

official estimate.

According to the census of 1900,


of goods manufactured in
14 per cent,

out of the total value


the

United States only

were Trust

products.

But

if

some American
difficult to

writers could be trusted,

it

would be

over-estimate the

number and
states

strength of these combinations.

In Monopolies and

the People, written in 1889, Mr. C.

W. Baker

that the following articles were, in that year,


less

more or

completely

in

the hands of Trusts and com:

binations in the United States


"

Petroleum, cotton-seed
lard,

oil

and cake, sugar, oat-

meal, pearl barley, coal, straw-board, castor-oil, linseed


oil,

school slates, oilcloth, gas, whisky, rubber,

steel rails, steel

and

iron beams, nails, wrought-iron

pipes, iron nuts, stoves, lead, copper, envelopes, paper

bags, paving-pitch, cordage, coke, reaping and binding and mowing machines, threshing machines, ploughs,

whitelead, glass, jute-bagging, lumber, shingles, friction

matches, beef,

felt,

lead pencils, cartridges, watches,

carpets, coffers, dental instruments, lager-beer, wall-

paper, sandstone, marble, milk,


flour

salt,

patent leather,

and bread."
list

If this

be even approximately correct (and


it,

many

others like

and even

larger,

have been pro-

148

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


since),

mulgated
the

few

will

be disposed to quarrel with


far

American judge who so

digressed

from

condemnation of a particular "combine" as to express a doubt " if free government can long exist
in a

country where such enormous amounts of

money
and

are accumulated in the vaults of corporations, to be

used at discretion

in

controlling the property

business of the country."


Professor Jenks appears to lay a very exaggerated
stress

upon the economic advantage of these huge

combinations.

The achievements

of the

"

greater

Trusts," such as the Standard Oil, the Cotton Oil,

the Cotton Bagging, and the Sugar Trust, extort the


reluctant admission that " in

most instances output


but this fact scarcely

was

restricted

and price
in

raised,"

detracts in his eyes from the splendour of the sup-

posed saving
glory
is,

labour and capital.

or was,^ the

Whisky
it.

Trust.

The crowning More than


it

eighty distilleries joined

Formerly

had only
at

been organised as a pool, and then each of the eighty


tributaries " ran at part capacity,

one year

40 per

cent, one year at only 28 per cent."

But when the

pool was transformed into a Trust,

"

only twelve were

running
full

but these were producing at about their


;

capacity
all

and the

total

output of alcohol was


of alcohol,

not at
like

lessened."

The manufacture

the
is

manufacture of explosives or poison or


a trade in which, quite apart from ecoto 1896.

opium,
^

It

was under the control of receivers from 1894


THE AMERICAN TRUSTS
nomics, the
control

149

moral argument
absolute

for

strict

regimental
the
central

or
is

management by

authority

almost overwhelming.

But putting aside


to be like cotton,

this aspect

and assuming whisky

an

article

necessary to the comfort and prosperity

of the nation, Political

Economy, or

rather Political

Psychology, can yet dispute Professor Jenks's insinuation that the rule of a scattered

group of

factories
will

by a Board of Experts
in the

sitting

round a telephone

long run, in a normal Free Trade community,


efficient
its

prove more

than the older system


captain on the spot.

in

which

every factory has

The magic
a newspaper

of ownership, which has so often

made

owner of moderate
than the
brilliant

intelligence a far better editor

man who

has no capital interest in

the concern,

may

very well outweigh the advantages


Besides,

claimed for the Board of Experts.


to guarantee that the best
It
is

who

is
?

men

will

be on the Board

not suggested that representative machinery,


is

even in America,
ment," "

so perfect that candidates are


"

nominated and elected by capacity.


run very easily from the pen, but
actual
life.

Expert managelittle in

government by experts," are phrases that

mean very

Mr.

W,

R. Lawson, in his American Industrial

Problems, gives the following extract from what he


calls the

United States Tariff

for Trusts,

1902

ISO

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


I.

FOR IRON AND STEEL KINGS


45 per cent, ad valorem. 45

Iron, manufacture of
Steel

Bronze

Copper Tinned plates Hoops, iron or


Iron screws
Cut-nails
.

45 45
.

j>

>

\\ cents per

lb.

steel

510
12

610
nails

Horseshoe

Lead

pigs in bars
2.

2i 2^

FOR THE COAL RING


67 cents per ton.
free.

Soft coal

Anthracite
3.

FOR THE BEEF BARONS


.

Beef
Cattle

Hams and Bacon


Lard
.

.2 ......5
. .

cents per

lb.

2']\-^&x zoxA.

ad valorem.

cents per

lb.

.2

cents per lb.

4.

FOR THE SUGAR LORDS


-^^^ cent per lb.
.
.

Sugar under 16 Dutch standard


Sugar over 16

.
.

i^^^^

Molasses 40 to 56
over 56
5.

.3 cents per gal. .6 cents


.

FOR THE TOBACCO TRUST


35 cents per
lb.
.

Tobacco, unmanufactured

stemmed Cigar-wrappers

5 > I 85 dols.
2-50

stemmed

THE AMERICAN TRUSTS


These items
of Trusts.
will

151

suffice

to illustrate Mr. Havertariff is

meyer's candid avowal that the

the mother
to

The only exceptions seem


tariff,

be the

Standard Oil Company, which grew up


previously described without
concerns, the

in the

way

and two smaller

American Chicle Company and the Royal Baking Powder Company. Whether these two companies are able to command monopoly
prices,
^

and

if so,

why,

am

not able to

state.^

This chapter was written before the appearance of the series of on American Trusts collected and edited by Professor Ripley, and entitled Trusts, Pools, and Corporations. It contains a learned "Survey and Criticism" of Trust literature by Mr. C. J. Bullock.
articles

CHAPTER

III

ENGLISH TRUSTS AND COMBINATIONS

A RE trade l\. Britain


more
polies,

combinations more

common

in

Great

than they ever were before, are they

successful,

and are they able to create monoraise

and so to

prices

against consumers?

The answer

to the first question

seems to be that

formal or explicit combinations have been far more

common owing
companies
facturer

to

the working of the

Companies
liability

Acts and the popularity of large limited


with
investors.

successful

manuit

who wants

to retire
sell

from business finds

very convenient to
liability

his

concern to a limited

company, and

in order to

make

the flotation

larger

and more
there

attractive, the concerns of several

other, usually less successful, rivals are often added.

When
floated.

is

plenty of
this

money
kind
is

seeking investment,
often triumphantly
shall
see,

an amalgamation of

But experience, as we

has not

proved that amalgamations are more successful than


the individual firms out of which they came.

Those

who watch

the formations of combines often neglect


152

TRUSTS AND COMBINATIONS


to

iS3
writers

watch

their

dissolutions.

Hence most

exaggerate the progress of a principle which they


believe to be encroaching
if

upon competition.
all

It is

as

a student of population were to read

the birth

columns and forget to deduct deaths.

As
cerns

to the second question, there

is

no reason

to

suppose that the advantage of large over small conis

any greater than


There
is is

it

was

fiity

or a hundred

years ago.

probably more competition,


capital

because there

more competing

and labour

than ever before

in the history of the world.

The

third question also

must be answered

in

the negative.

The

fall

of prices during the last thirty years has


in

been continuous and almost universal


countries,

Free Trade

where things have

their natural or inter-

national price.

Two
prices

of the earliest attempts to secure

monopoly

by trade combination

in

Great Britain were

made by the

Salt Union, formed in 1888 out of sixty-

four firms, with a capital of ;^4,ooo,ooo, and

by the
a

United Alkali Company, formed


capital

in

1891, with

of

;^8,500,ooo.

The former combination


and the position of the
1899 the ;^io

raised prices considerably for a few months, but the

export trade

fell

off rapidly,

Union grew
the

steadily worse, until in


i|.

ordinary shares had fallen to

The
been

history of
told

United

Alkali
It

Company
comprised

has

by

Mr.

Macrosty.

originally

forty-five

chemical and three

salt

works, and afterwards bought

154

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


firms.
It also controlled

up three other competing


with several more.
cess
for
etc.,

the output of five other firms, and had agreements


It controlled

the Leblanc procaustic

manufacturing

bleaching-powder,

soda,
total

and claimed

to

produce 83 per cent, of the


Considerable

output of four leading chemicals.


in

economies were also promised


distribution.
"

management and

Everything seemed to promise success but foreign


;

competition and

the

utilisation

of rival processes
so

proved too much

for a

company weighted with


Its

much
have

over-capitalisation.
fallen to 2|."
^

;^io ordinary shares

Neither the Salt Union nor the United Alkali

Company
The
to

paid any dividends on

ordinary shares

between the years 1898 and 1902.


firm

of

J.

and

P.

Coats, manufacturers of
1830,
it

sewing-cotton, was founded in

and extended
private
into a

America

in

1842.

In 1884

became a

family company.
public

In

1890

it

was converted

company with
;^426,cxx),

a capital of 5f millions sterling.

The average
been

profits of the previous seven years

had

so

that no

one can suggest that

Messrs. Coats

owe

their prosperity to the principle

of

combination.

In

1895-6

they

absorbed

four

of their competitors (Kerr, Clarke, Chadwick, and


^

Trusts

and

the

State,

by H.

W.

Macrosty.

London,

1901

p. 161.

TRUSTS AND COMBINATIONS


Brook),
this
all

155

healthy and

profitable

concerns.

For

purpose another ;^4,ooo,ooo was added to the

capital.

But so extraordinarily sound and


all its

flourish-

ing was the business in

branches that the

10
In

ordinary shares were actually issued at ^^50.


1901

at over jCgo.

they stood at ys, and in 1904 they stood After this amalgamation the Coats
mills, including

concern possessed sixteen


in

factories

Russia and the United States and Canada, sixty


1

branch houses, and

50 depots.
5,000 hands.

They employed, however, only

Since

then further amalgamations have taken place, but the

Company cannot
forty

claim to have secured a monopoly

or to control prices, as there are said to be

independent firms on the Continent.

some That
be
of

number may be exaggerated, and the


diminished
territory.

effectiveness

of their competition in the English market

may

by

secret

agreements

for

partition

However

that

may
!

be

and

the

Com-

pany
to
in
its

is

not very lavish in imparting information as

commercial diplomacy

the

analysis issued

1903, in setting forth seven years' profits,

showed

conclusively that the prosperity of the undertaking

was

still

advancing by leaps and bounds (see table


productive

on the next page).

The West Riding of Yorkshire has been


ground
ally
in

for

combinations since the year 1898, especicloth

the
is

manufacturing
Bradford

district
is

of which

Bradford

the centre.

the great focus

156

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


TRUSTS AND COMBINATIONS
for the

157
of the
it

wool trade of the world, and

many
making

processes of preparing this material, of


cloth,

into

and of placing the cloth on the market are


population, also, has been
trained

exclusively localised within a few miles of the city.

The

up

to the

highest specialisation in the craftmanship of the trade

indeed,

the very

names of important branches,

which employ hundreds of hands and large amounts


of capital, would be unintelligible to an average man.

The competition
keen, especially

in all

these trades had


times,

in

dull

become very when orders were


by
of

regularly taken at a loss in order to keep the expensive


plants at work.
fashions,

As
in in

the trade

is

greatly influenced

and

is,

most of

its

branches, more fluctu-

ating than any

the kingdom, these periods

depression accompanied by cutting of prices seemed


likely to recur until

everyone would be ruined.


in

remedy was sought


localised
facilities.

combination, for which the


industries
in

state

of

the

offered

unusual

Combination was
the

time applied to

many
wool

branches of the cloth industry, using that term to


cover
is

all

many

trades

by which a

fleece of

handled before

it is

cloth ready for the tailor.

But

the different combinations were independent of one


another, and there was no suggestion of any connective

idea

between the

different

associations.

The

method of combination was the same


the

in all cases

the freehold or leasehold of the different works in

branch of trade, with their plant, stock, and

158

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


and
floated as

goodwill, was bought out and out


tion,

one limited

liability

by the combinacompany.

About
price,

one-third of the shares and debentures were

taken by the vendors of businesses as part of their

and the balance was offered

to,

and readily

taken by, the public.


seats

The

uniting firms usually had

on the Directorate of the Association


all

made

the boards too large

which but there was a small


The
original

executive board or body of managers.^


intention

was to leave a good deal of freedom


branch managers
"

to the
re-

individual works, the

vendors of which usually

mained
trol

in possession as "
;

of the

Association

but

it

was soon found that

central con-

must be strengthened, and the


first

federal element

was reduced.

The
by
its

attempt at combination, and one which,


probably caused the others to be
last pro-

success,

pushed on, was concerned with one of the


cesses of cloth-making

that

of dyeing the pieces.

The Bradford Dyers'


have been noticeable
cial basis

Association was planned with

a creditable disregard of the prospectus tricks which


in similar

schemes, and

its

finan-

was reasonably sound, no promoters' profits or underwriters' commission being payable. But even these advantages might have been insufficient to ensure
success,

had there not been personal elements such as

It

thirds

of

must be noted that the public who subscribed nearly twothe money have no representatives on the boards of

directors.


TRUSTS AND COMBINATIONS
are usually supplied

159

by individual
happened

firms rather than

companies, especially combinations.


that this Association
to

The
secure

fact

is,

two or
thor-

three strong, capable

managing

directors,

who

oughly understood the working of the

trade,

and who

had

sufficient force of character to

keep the general

Board of Directors

in

subordination, which was

probably the better for being partially unconscious.

Having given due prominence

to

individuality,

we

may now
It

turn to the constitution of this Association.

consisted

of twenty-two firms,
to

all

carrying on of

business

near

Bradford, and

possessed

90

per cent, of the piece-dyeing trade of the

district.

The

value of the goods dyed by the associated firms


to over twelve millions sterling per

amounted

annum

the different works employed y,Soo men, and used

250,000 tons of coal per annum.

The dyers do not


;

trade in the goods dyed, they work on commission,

on cash terms,
lien

for the
in

manufacturers

they have a
is

on

all

goods

their

hands

hence there

the

minimum
debts.

of risk from fluctuating markets or bad

The objects of the combination were (a) To avoid loss through cutting of
ating an era of inflated prices.
(d)

prices,

and to

readjust rates to a reasonable level without inaugur-

To promote economies and improvements

in

production by combined practical knowledge.

i6o
(c)

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


To economise by
the centralisation of office

work, buying materials, distribution, and finance.


It

was

at first intended that the control of each


;

firm should remain in the old hands

but experience

soon led the directors to close several works which

were not doing

well,

and otherwise

to consolidate the
directors.

business under the control of the

managing

The

capital of this concern


cent,

was raised by a million


debenture stock,
5

pounds each of 4 per


cent, preference shares,

per

and ordinary

shares, one-third

of each being taken by vendors.


perties

The

freehold pro;iC

and plant taken over were worth


brought

1,943,000,

and
in
;^2,

stocks-in-trade, guaranteed book-debts,

and cash
to

hand
1

up

the

purchased

assets
for

89,000.

To

this

was added ;^68 1,000


;^ 130,000

goodfor

will,

and a balance of
working capital

was provided

fresh

in addition to the
it

cash balances

taken over.

The

goodwill,

should be observed,

was

slightly

more than three

years' purchase

on the

certified gross profits

and four years' purchase on the


for goodwill could

net profits, after allowing for management, salaries,

and depreciation.
only be justified
if

This payment
a virtual

monopoly were obtained,


been
satis-

and

this the Association

claimed on account of local

circumstances.^
^

This Association has


that the

It

may be added

amount of preference and ordinary

shares required to be taken by vendors (;i^666,666) almost equalled the

amount received by them

for goodwill.

TRUSTS AND COMBINATIONS


factory from an investor's point of view, and
it
it

i6i

has

not led to any serious increase in prices

but

must

be repeated that the personal element

is

strong in the

management.
These movements would not be English
did not show a disregard of
all
if

they

logical

symmetry,

and

it

is

not surprising that, having begun with the

last stage of the industry, the energies of

combination
stages

next showed themselves

in

one of

its earliest

that

of

wool -combing.

The Bradford Woolin

combers' Association dealt, like the dyers, with a

branch of the industry which did not trade


materials used, but

the

worked on commission

for cash.

There the
ends.

parallel

between the dyers and the combers

The Combing Combine has been a disastrous one from the first. The judgment of Mr. Justice
Swinfen Eady, given against certain of
its

directors,

on August
classic

2th,

1904, will pass to posterity as a


for

exposure of wrong methods

forming

in-

dustrial combines.

The

floating of the

Company
The

in

October, 1899 (when the dyers had demonstrated


their

success),

showed signs of hurry.


all

pro-

spectus admitted that

the firms concerned in the


left

trade had not yet joined, but


that
"

investors to

assume

pending negotiations " would be

successful,

though further capital would be issued on the completion of purchases.

Yet the

half-million debentures
shares,

and ;^433,ooo preferred ordinary

which were

i62
offered

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


to

the
fact,

public,

were quickly taken.^


largest

As

matter of

two of the

and most powerful

tion

combing firms in Bradford kept out of the Associaand were deadly competitors all through its unhappy life. The amounts of purchase money were
floating,

not fixed directly, as in the case of the dyers, but by

an intermediary, who paid the costs of


cent,

but

received from the vendors a commission of 2| per

on

their sale prices.


in the

This process might be

expected to lead

ordinary course of

human

nature to the paying of high purchase moneys, but

whether
directors
inflation,

such was the actual case or not


unlimited

the
for

opened out
to

opportunities

by deciding that they would mutually inquire what each other's sale money was In spite of the fact that the Association had no monopoly, enormous sums how much cannot be
forbear
!

stated

were

paid for goodwill.

The concern was


its

over capitalised, was open to local competition by

wealthy and experienced firms, much of

machinery

was thrown

idle

by the shortage

in

Australian wool,

and during the depression which came on with the

South African

War

its

position

So

far as the

Association worked,

it

became desperate. was on a federal

principle as regards the control of each individual

combing-mill.

We have given
^

examples of a Yorkshire combina-

The

deferred ordinary shares amounting to ;^58i,8oo were all

taken by the vendors.

TRUSTS AND COMBINATIONS


tion

163

which has done reasonably


failed.

well,

and of another
be quoted

which has

An

instance

may now

of one which has faced adversity and failed to pay


dividends, but which appears likely, after
qualifications, to maintain

some

further
is

an existence.

This

the

British Cotton

and Wool Dyers' Association,


is

locally

known
for a

as the " Slubbers," which

the trade

name

man who
in

dyes raw material, such as wool and

cotton yarn, as distinguished

from a "dyer" who


it

dyes cloth

the

piece after

is

woven.

This

combination

followed

that

of

the

wool-combers,
of capital was

being floated in April, 1900.

Its issue

;;^750,ooo in debenture stock (;^i9i,ooo of

which was

taken

by vendors

as

part

of

their

price),

and

;^i, 200,000 in

ordinary shares {2,70,000 taken by ven-

dors).

An

arrangement was made with the Dyers'

Association, which secured both parties against clash-

ing or competition, and this was welded by the acquisition

by each of a considerable block of the

other's

shares.

The combination comprised


Though
it

forty-six firms.
in its

It differed

from the dyers and the wool-combers

trade not being localised.

was centred

in

Bradford, not more than sixteen firms were actually


fixed there, four being in neighbouring towns, thirteen
in

Scotland, and thirteen in Lancashire.

Eighty-six

per cent,

of the total trade was claimed as being

represented, but this partial

monopoly was open


cotton

to

attack on
industry,

account of the scattered nature of the

and

its

wider

scope,

and

other

1^4

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


The terms of
in the case

materials than wool being dealt with.

combination were arranged by the same intermediary,

and on the same terms of commission as


tal.

of the wool-combers, with a result of inflated capi-

The works,
and

plant,
this

and stock were valued

at

;6"872,i55,

^906,937 for annual meeting of 1903) to be eight years' purchase


of the
solicitor
profits,

was added no less than goodwill, which was stated (in the
to

or nearly three times as


for

much

as a

would pay
!

safe, old-fashioned,

con-

veyancing practice

To

support this weight of water


issue, for

only ;^40,000 was provided, by the


capital.

working

The

prospectus supplied the material for


the

any reader
flotation

to ascertain

enormous amount paid


for

for goodwill,

and also bore signs of the hurry

by

stating that negotiations were pending

with other firms.

In spite of this the public sub-

scribed the portion of ordinary shares issued to them.


It

says something for the vitality of the business and


its

the ability of
alive
;

managers that the Association

is still

but

it

cannot be described as a success.

In addition to the three associations already named,

there have been federations in other branches of dye-

ing and

among

the makers of textile machinery

but

the three which


tive

we have noticed are the representato

West Riding " combines." The experience of the West Riding seems
combination
is
is

show

that a large

not likely to succeed

unless the industry

confined to a narrow area and

TRUSTS AND COMBINATIONS


all

165
in,

the successful firms in that area agree to

come

and unless the managing heads have the freedom, the will, and the capacity for controlling and working the
concern as closely as
if it

were their own business.


they had contracts
;

The dyers

did

not float until

with 90 per cent, of the trade


strictly local one,

was a and they were assured of a quasitheir trade

monopoly by the specialised skill of their foremen and workpeople, and by the peculiarity of the water
supply.
directors.

They had suitable men for their managing But when the services of these are no

longer available the career of the Association

may

be

different.

It

might be a very

difficult

matter to

induce combining traders to submit to the personal


control which has been found necessary in this Association.

The
whole

internal dangers of combinations appear to be,

firstly, that, in

order to secure the co-operation of the

trade, absurdly favourable terms in the

shape
This
is

of payments for goodwill have to be offered.


leads to over-capitalisation.

The next danger

that

the managers and the

officials

of the combination

show a natural tendency


the revenue
is

to claim high salaries,

and

often wasted on expenses of this kind,


all

which are out of

proportion to the

management

charges of individual firms.

There are more

official posts,

and

at higher salaries,
in

and more expenditure on directors

most of these
i.e.

associations than the funds can reasonably clear,

i66

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


what
is

just the opposite of spectus.

promised

in the

pro-

seem to

The external evils of combinations in general apply to the West Riding associations in a

less degree.^

There has not been an appreciable rise in price, and there has been little, if any, pressure upon the
liberty of customers
;

but

it

may

be added, without

insinuations,

no association had an absolute monopoly; and the wool-combers and the "slubbers"
that

were open to substantial competition.

All the associ-

ations operated adversely on the small traders

who

had made a

living

by supplying goods

to the separate

firms before the combination

was formed.

The buyand

ing has been done on a large scale in the cheapest

markets by the central

offices of the association,

on low terms
chance.

at

which the small merchant had no

The

principal interest, however, of the


lies

West

Riding associations

rather outside the scope of a

work on Trusts and

Kartells.

They have

afforded a

suggestive study of the extraordinary keenness of the

English investor to put his


one, and without

money
to the

into

industrial
is

concerns on any terms, provided the flotation

a big

any regard

means by which

the bigness
'

is

attained or the powers which he will

internecine competition which

must be remembered that the primary object was to check the was threatening the whole industry. The creation of monopoly prices was never an object. If there was a secondary intention beyond the regulation of competition and the economies of management, it was the extraction of fancy valuations
It

from the investing public ; but

this did not

apply to

all

the associations.


TRUSTS AND COMBINATIONS
once parted with
further,
it.

167

have over the application of his money when he has

Some

of the associations

will,

become
"

historic as

examples of the
" as

elasticity

of the term

average profits

used in a prospectus.

The experience of the West Riding is typical. But we shall take another instructive example from
another part of the country.
"

The

Calico
in

Printers*

Association,"

writes

Mr.

Macrosty

his recent

account of the Trust move-

ment in Great Britain,^ " affords a spectacle of management that is likely to become classic." When the
organisation, with an

issued capital of ;^8,226,ooo,

was complete
directors with

it

consisted of
real

"a mob of eighty-four


previously engaged
"

no

authority" to represent the


in

eighty-four

distinct

houses

calico printing

and now amalgamated, and

another

For the first two years the Association was unable to pay a dividend on its ordinary shares, though the prospectus estiof 114 vendor-managers."

mob

mated an annual

profit of nearly half a million.

The

condition of the concern appeared so desperate that

an investigating committee was appointed consisting


of eminent

men
:

of business.

The Report gave

in a

few sentences the inherent weaknesses of these huge


combinations
" In

most cases where a business is converted into a public company, and to a greater degree where a
large
^

number of businesses

are

combined and sold

to

See British Industries, edited by Professor Ashley, pp. 223-6.

i68

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


is

the public, the necessity of meeting outside competi-

no longer felt to the same extent, and the work the business economically in order to obtain an adequate return upon the capital emtion

incentive to

ployed

is

seriously lessened.

Too much

reliance is

placed upon the possibility of obtaining higher prices,

whereas

it is,

in

the case of a public company, of the

greatest importance to supervise every item of ex-'

penditure, to closely compare the cost of production and distribution with what it was formerly, and to reduce it wherever this can be done with safety."

The chairman
of Messrs.
J.

of the Committee was Mr. Philippi,


P. Coats.

and

The Report recommended


its

the Association to substitute for


tion a

original organisa-

board of six directors, an executive of from


four,

two to

and an advisory committee of from three


further pointed out the desir-

to eight.

The Report
"

some form the system of payment by results. Men who show originality and ingenuity in designing and do specially good work in
ability of introducing in

other directions must be encouraged and rewarded."

Since the adoption of these proposals the Calico


Printers' Association has paid three dividends of 2|

per cent. each.

In the

summer
shillings,

of 1904 the

shares

stood at about nine

having slightly im-

proved on the announcement of the second 2| per


cent, dividend.

So
little

that investors in this

combine

have only

lost

more than

half their capital.

None

of these Enslish imitation Trusts or Kartells

TRUSTS AND COMBINATIONS


has been shown to have succeeded
in raising or
It is

169

keep-

ing prices above the natural level.


for

impossible

any English combination


to

to raise English prices


;

above the
tried

level of international prices


so,

for if

they

do

their

goods would be immediately

undersold by importations from abroad.


Trust, therefore,
if it is

An

English

to dictate prices

and destroy
i.e.

competition must be an international Trust,

it

must be able
If the

to dictate prices to the consumers, not

merely of Great Britain, but of the whole world.


Coats Combine
is

in a position to
it

do

this,

with regard to cotton thread

has certainly

won an

extraordinary position by sheer ability in industrial


organisation, a position unique in the industrial world.

But

do not understand that any such extraordinary


is

claim

advanced on

behalf

of

that

brilliantly

successful concern.

If not, then Messrs.


;

Coats have
so, it

not established a monopoly


is

if

they have done

safe to predict that competitors will soon arise in

some
prize.

part of the world to compete for so lucrative a

There

is

a sense in which every manufacturer,

who

specialises successfully, establishes

something
it

in

the nature of a monopoly, and he maintains

and

secures exceptional profits just so long as he continues to excel, or so long as his success does not
attract competitors into the field.

There are many

journalists

and young authors and professors and and the phenomenon of a

students looking about anxiously for specimens of


the

Monopoly Portent


I70
large

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


successful

business

when
its

seen

is

eagerly

noted down, pressed into

proper box, with an

appropriate label, and exhibited in due course to an

eager public.

But we must be very


in

careful to dis-

tinguish the large profits

that business genius can


is

secure even

trades

where what

called " cut-

throat " competition prevails, from the profits that


arise not

from superiority but from monopoly, not


efficient

from being the most


manufacturer.

but from being the sole

Let
I

me end
of,

this

chapter by an illustration, the best


in the

know

and one which, though given


never

heat

of a general election in support of a political platform,

has

been questioned.

In

1885

Mr.

Chamberlain furnished the following account of an


incident in his

own

experience as a manufacturer of

screws
"
I

years or more, and

have been out of the screw trade now for ten I don't know anything about it in but I do know what happened its present condition while I was a member of the screw firm, and really my experience has a rather important bearing upon
;

this question.
"

We

made

screws by the aid of an American inven-

tion

a most beautiful

machine, which was imported

from America.
"

screws from abroad.


fectly open.

Everyone of these countries put a duty upon We, as you know, were per-

Anyone
all.

could send screws without pay-

ing any duty at

Now,

then,

what was the

result

TRUSTS AND COMBINATIONS

171

This was a case of hardship. According to Mr. Dumphreys and the fair traders we ought to have gone whining about the country asking for protection for this wretched manufacture of ours, which was
threatened by foreign competition.

what was the fact ? The fact was this, that which I am speaking we sent screws into every country in the world, and no country in the world was able to send screws here. Who beneBut the working men fited by it? Well, we did. benefited. There were more of them employed than had ever been employed before, and they were em"

Now

at the time of

I travelled abroad at that went to the French and German and other factories, and I knew all that was going on, and in every case the wages of the working people making the same articles were lower much lower in some cases only half of what we were paying, and the time that they worked was in every case longer. In France, for instance, they worked twelve hours a day, when we were working nine hours. I say in every

ployed at better wages.

time,

and

case.

should say in every case but one.

In

America the work-people got higher wages than they did in England, but the cost of living was very much greater, and their position was really not so good as Clearly, the working classes that of our workmen. in England benefited by our Free Trade system. " They did it, and my firm received a handsome income for years from the American manufacturers, protected as they were by the folly and stupidity of
this Protectionist legislation.

"

The only people who

suffered were the

working


172

TRUSTS AND KARTELLS


United States, who had to pay more

classes of the
for

every screw they used, and every manufacture in which they were engaged was hampered and tram-

melled by the additional cost that was put upon their They and they alone bore the burden of materials. this tax upon their industry."^
I

have given the passage exactly as

it

appears in

the reports in order to avoid the criticisms to which a

summary

or a mutilated quotation might be liable.

My
Mr.
but

readers

may

agree or disagree with the inferences

Chamberlain
they
will

then

drew
his

as

to

fiscal

policy,

admit that

narrative
:

helps to

justify the following proposition

Most

if not all of

the E7iglish

Trusts are merely large well-organised

business concerns which are so cleverly

managed

that

they earn for a time enormous profits ; and, perhaps^

undersell

and

ruin most of their competitors^ so as

to

establish temporarily

a quasi-monopoly.
fall

In course of time, however, they decline and


before

new and more


but
for
its

energetic competitors.

can-

not give the later history of Mr. Chamberlain's old


firm
;

supremacy, or quasi-monopoly, did not

remain

another decade unchallenged.

Early

in

1894, an English merchant wrote to a firm of German

screw importers

in

German
^

screws.

London asking for the They replied (March 2nd,

price of

1894):

which appeared
1885.
date.

See verbatim report of a speech delivered by Mr. Chamberlain in the Birmingham Daily Post, November 13th,

An

abbreviated report will be found in the Times of the same

TRUSTS AND COMBINATIONS


"

173
this

There are no German screws imported into

country at present, as German manufacturers are

bound by contract with Nettlefolds not to compete in the United Kingdom." This agreement became
a general one between British and

German screw
markets
re-

makers,

who

thus

"

had

their respective
;

served for their exclusive exploitation

and

in

this

way overlapping and price cutting were obviated." The arrangement subsisted till 1901, in which year, we are informed, "it came to an end, owing to the impossibility of controlling a number of new makers who had come into the trade."^ In August, 1905, it was announced that a new international syndicate
would be formed
to raise prices 50 per cent.,

and

that " the British market

may

shortly be closed to

German
Morris,
screws,

screws."

This report, however, was im-

mediately denied by Messrs. Johnson, Clapham, and


a

Manchester firm which imports foreign


"

and
is

intends to continue the business."

Little

really

known of

these private international

agreements between
in different countries.

capitalists

and manufacturers

Probably their number and

efficacy are apt to

be exaggerated.

But there may

be cases

in

which, even in a Free Trade country,

monopoly

prices of a special article can be main-

tained for a time


^

by such agreements.
August, 1905.

From

the Alanchester Guardian.

INDEX
Bradford Dyers' Association, 158Aire and Calder Navigation Co.,
61

83

Bradford Woolcombers' Association, 161,

American Chicle Co., 151 American Industrial Problems 149 Anson, Sir William, 102
,

162
of,

Bread, Assize

23

AnthraciteCoalCombination, 130,
131

Breweries, their monopoly, 5 Brice, Mr. Seward (.Law of Tram-

ways
of, 23,

and Light Railways),


Cotton and Wool Dyers'

Apprentices, Statute
Aristotle, 4, 16, 17

87

77
British

Atkinson, Mr. C.

J.

F.,on canals,

Association, 163
British Electric Traction Co., 80

83

British Industries (Ashley), 167

B
Baker,

Brussels Sugar Convention.

See

Mr. C.

W.

{Monopolies

Sugar.

and the
Barking,
of, 79,

People), 58, 147

C
Calico Printers' Association, 167

Urban
80

District Council

Camphor Monopoly, Formosan,

Beach, Charles Fisk {Modern

Law

44. 45

of Contracts), 142 Beef Trust, 106


Berlin

Canadian

Pacific

Railway Co., 65
on
foreign

Canals, 71, 82-4

its

gas supply, 28
Post, 172

Chamberlain,
Charles L, 20

Mr.,

Birmingham Daily

competition, 171

Blackburn, Lord, 99, lOO Blackwellv. Wright, 9 See Trade, Board of Trade.

Chatham Railway Co. 64


,

Chichester and Selsey Light Rail-

Board of. Bowen, Lord,


158

way, 60
99, 100
in,

Bradford, combinations

157,

Chinese trade, Montesquieu on, 6 Chitty, H. {The Law on Markets

and Fairs)f 97
174

INDEX
Clifford {History of Private Bill

175

Legislation), 25

Economics of Industry, I Economics, Principles of,

Coal Kartell, Westphalian,


Coats,
J.

4,

115

and P., sewing-cotton

Economy, Political. Economy.


Edgeworth,
poly), 4

See Political

combination, 154-6, 169

Prof, (defin. of

mono-

Cobden, on opium monopoly, 48 Coke, on monopolies, 91

Electric Lighting Act, 27

Coke
120

Kartell, Westphalian,

115,

Elizabeth, Queen, 16, 17

Ellenborough, Lord, 96

Combination Laws, 88
Conspiracy
Contract,

and Protection
102

of Pro-

Ely, Professor, 130 Envelope Trust, 124

perty Act, 88

Law of,

Contracts,

law regarding, in England, 98-102 in America,


;

Fabian Tract, 47
Ferry,
Fisk,

141-5
Co-operation, 112

monopoly of, 57 Mr., on American


:

Trust

Copyrights, 19; international, 93 Cotton Bagging Trust, 148

Cotton Oil Trust, 148


Craighill, Lord, 94

Law, 144 Formosa opium monopoly, 43 camphor salt monopoly, 44


; ;

monopoly, 44, 45

Culpepper, Sir John, 20

Currency monopolies, 49, 50


Currency, municipal, proposal
for,

Garry, Mr., evidence before Industrial

50

D
Dantzick, 6

Gas companies,
9.

Commission, 135 their monopoly,

24-7

Darcy

v.

Allen (" Case of Mono-

Gas, Light,

and Coke

Co. v. South

polies"), 18, 91

Metropolitan Gas Co., 27

Democracy and Liberty, 67

Gibbon, on monopolies, 55
142

Diamond Match Co. v. Roeber, Dock monopolies, 95


:

Gladstone, Mr., 33, 34, 69, 74 Glasgow Herald, 137

Doddridge, Judge, 87 Dumping its two varieties, 107-9, 127; of U.S. steel, 134-6

Glasgow and
60

S.

W. Railway

Co.,

Gothenburg system, 47 Goto, Dr., on Formosan monopolies, 44,

45
,

E
East India Company, 22, 48

Grand Junction Railway Co. 7275

Economic Journal, 122

Great Eastern Railway, 65

176
Great

INDEX
Northern

Railway

Co.

Jenks, Professor, on Trusts, 122,


123, 148, 149

(U.S.A.), 60, 61

Great Southern and Western of Ireland Railway Co., 64

Johnson, Dr., 4

Griscom, Mr., 139, 140 Grunzell, Herr { Ueber Kartdle),


117
Guthrie,

Kartells,

105

in

Austria

and

Germany,
Mr.,
evidence
before
tell, etc.

11

1-20
See Coal Kar-

Kartell, Coal, etc.

Industrial Commission, 134

H
Hale, Lord, on dock monopolies,
95'

96
25, 34, 68, 71

Hamburg-American Line, 139


Hansard,
Hardwicke, Lord, 93 Harland and Wolff, 139
Harvest machinery, dumping of American, 127

Lampeter Gas Co., 29 Land, monopoly price of, 5, Lawson, Mr. W. R., 149
Lecky, Mr., 67, 69
Leiter, Mr., 105

1,

53

Les Industries monopolisies aux


Etats-Unis, 132
Ley, Chief Justice, on trades, 87

Havermeyer, Mr.,

105, 151

Leyland

Hicks Beach, Sir Michael, 71 Hill, Sir Rowland, 69 History of England, Hume's,
18

line, 139 License duties, 32

16,

Licensing Act, 96 Licensing system, 31, 32, 106 Light Railways Act, 79

Holt, Mr. Byron, 133 Hudson, Mr., 68

Light Railway Commissioners, 80,


81

Hull Gas Co., 29

Liquor trade, 106


Lords, House
of,

Hume,
Huzzey

16, 18
v. Field,

26, 100

57

M
Industrial Commission, American,

Macrosty, Mr., 153, 154, 167

on Trusts, 126, 128, 129 Industrial Democracy, 88, 89 Iron Age, 138 Iron and Coal Trades Review,
Iron Kartell, 117
J

Malt

tax, 31

Manchester Ship Canal, 83 Markets and Fairs, Law on, 97


1

36

Market monopolies, 97
Marshall, Professor, 1-3

Maxim and Nordenfeldt


Mayor of Dorchester
Railway
Co., 81
v.

case,

00

Ensor, 97
v.

Japan by

the Japanese, 42 Japanese trade, Montesquieu on, 6

Mercantile Trust Co.

Atlantic

INDEX
Metropolis

177

Gas Act, 26

Oil Trust, in Galicia, 118

Middleton Corporation, 81

Opium monopoly, Formosan, 44


Indian, 47, 48

Midland Railway Co., 59


Military service, 3
Mill, James,

on opium monopoly,
98,
1

48
Mitchell

and Reynolds,
,

00

Paper duty, 33 Parke, Baron, loi


Parker, Chief Justice, 98
Patents, 16, 18, 19

Mogul Steamship Co. v. McGregor, Gow and Co. 99 Monopolies and the People, 58, 147 Monopolies and Trusts, 131
Monopolies
l
;

Pease, Mr. E. R., on liquor licensing,

47
J.

characteristics,

Pease, Mr.

G.

(Law on
his

^farkets

3-6

classification,
;

tory of, 15-37

7-10 hisin English law,


;

and Fairs), 97
Peel,

Sir

Robert,

Railway

85-102
Monopolies, Statute
of, 19,

20, 91

Commission, 68 People V. North River Sugar Refining Co., 142


Pierce, Mr. Franklin,

Monopoly

price.

See Prices

Montague, Mr. G. H., 132


Montesquieu, 139
6, 7

on Trusts,

146
Place, Francis, 88

Morgan, Mr. Pierpont, 60, 129,

N
Nail Syndicate,
1

Plymouth Gas Co., 29 Political Economy, its scope,


Politics (of Aristotle), 16

2,

16
v.

Pollard,

National Benefit Co. Hospital Co., 144


Nettlefolds, 173

Union

Study in Government, 28
its

Municipal

Post Office,
in, 62,

monopoly, 50, 53
a form of

New

Post, Swiss, 56

Jersey,

company law

Preference, Colonial,

138

New
133

York Journal 0/ Commerce,

monopoly, 5, 6 Prices, monopoly,

4,

5,

10,

17,

18, 43. 45. 105. 122, 125

Northern Pacific
61

Railway Co. 60,


,

Prussian Government, attitude to


Kartells, 119

Northern Securities Case, 60, 63

North German Lloyd, 139 Nuo, Mr. 42, 43

R
Raflfalovich,

M., on Trusts, 115

Rail Kartell, 116

O
Oil Trust, Standard.

See Stand-

Railway Bookstall monopoly, 36 Railway Regulation Act, 69, 72,


73

ard Oil Trust.

178
Railways, American, 60-3
tralasian,
;

INDEX
Aus;

Southern Textile Co., 141

66

Continental, 66

English, 59, 64 ; Irish, 65, 69 ; nationalisation of, 67, 70 ; Royal

Speenhamland Act, 23 Spirit of the Laws, 6, 7


Standard Oil Co.,
32, 151
10,
1

18,

129-

Commission on,
Trusts, 128, 129

69,

70

and

Standard rate of wages, 89


of, re

Rating, importance
polies,

mono-

Steel

Hoop

Co., 134

76

Steel Trust, 10, 129, 132-8

Reg,

V.

GrandJunction Railway

Steel trade, depression in


136, 137

1904,

72 Reg. V. L. and N.
Reg.
V.

Co.,

L. and S.

W.R. W.R.

Co., 76 Co., 72

Sugar, Brussels Convention, 108


continental syndicates, 108

Ripley, Prof., 140, 151

Sugar Kartell, Austrian, 117

Rogers, Prof. T., 22, 50


Rouviers,

Sugar Trust, American, 12 1-3,


148 Sulphur monopoly. See Sicilian sulphur monopoly.

M.

de, 133

Rowntree, Joshua, 48 Royal Baking Powder Co., 151

Swinfen Eady, Justice, 161


Swiss liquor monopoly, 47
Salt monopoly, Tudor, 17
;

ForTarbell, Miss Ida M., 182


Tarififinfluence

mosa, 44
Salt Union, 153

Sayous, M., 115


Schloss, Mr., 113, 124, 125, 126

on Trusts,

10, 106,

"7.
51

133. 151
;

Schwab, Mr., evidence before Industrial Commission, 135


Sherjnan Act, 60, 61
Shipbuilding Trust, United States,

Telegraph, service, 31

Company,

Telephone Co.

National, 52

Thales, 15, 16, 105

140

Thayer, Judge, on Trusts, 62


Times, The, 146, 173

Shipping Trust, Atlantic, 124, 129, 138-40


Sicilian sulphur

Tobacco monopoly,
trian, 40, 41
;

39,

40

Aus-

monopoly, 10
Co.
v.

Japanese, 41-3
27, 67, 72, 74
to the, 113, 124,

Singer
Smith,

Manufacturing

Trade, Board
125

of,

Zoog., 93, 94

Memorandum
2, 6,

Adam,

23,

50,

55,

57, 92, 106 {Lectures on Justice

Trade-marks,

19,

93

and

Police), 21,

22
trade de-

South African

War and

pression, 162

South Eastern Railway Co., 64

Trade unions, 90 Trading companies, 92 Tramways, American, 78 monopoly, 8, 9, 77-81

their

INDEX
Tramways Act, 79 Transport, monopolies
84
51
;

179
Halle, Professor, \\i

Von
of, 30,

56-

Swiss, 56
corruption,

W
Water companies,
9,

Trusts, American, 105, 113, 121;

their

monopoly,

tendency

24-6

to,

146 ; English, 152-73 Trusts and the State, 1 54


Trusts, Pools, and Corporations,
140, 151

Waterford and Limerick Railway Co., 64 Wealth of Nations, 2, 22, 106

Tucker, Dean (Essay on Trade),

Webb, Mr. and Mrs., 89 West Riding combines,


ditions of success,

con-

92

164-7
See

Tudor monopolies,

16

Westphalian Coal Kartell. Coal Kartell.

U
Ueber Kartelle, 117

Whisky

Trust, 148, 149

Wickett,

United Alkali Co., 153

on Austrian monopoly, 40

tobacco

V
Vambery,
Professor, 77

Wire Kartell, German, 115 Wolowski, M., on tobacco monopoly. 39

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35
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40
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HOLY matri(Dorothea). mony. the conquest of london. GiS8illg(George). THE TOWN TRAVELLER. THE CROWN OF LIFE. the I n C a' s Glanville (Ernest), TREASURE. BRIDE. KLOOF THE Gleig (Charles). bunter'S cruise. GRIMMS Grimm (The Brothers). FAIRY TALES. Illustrated. A MAN OF MARK. Hope (Anthony). A CHANGE OF AIR. THE CHRONICLES OF COUNT

the gay deceivers THE HOLE IN the wall. Nesbit (E.). THE RED HOUSE.
Morrison (Arthur).
Norris(W.E.).

MATTHEW AUSTIN. CLARISSA FURIOSA.


Oliphant

THE CREDIT OF THE COUNTY. LORD LEONARD.

HIS GRACE. GILES INGILBY.

(Mrs.). THE LADY'S WALK. SIR ROBERT'S FORTUNE.

Oppenheim

Parker

THE DOLLY DIALOGUES. Homung (E. W.). DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES. Ingraham (J. H.). THE THRONE OF DAVID. Le Queux (W.). THE HUNCHBACK OF WESTMINSTER. THE TRUE HISLinton (E. Lyim). TORY OF JOSHUA DAVIDSON. Lyall(Edna). DERRICK vaughan. Malet (Lucas). THE CARISSIMA. A COUNSEL OF PERFECTION. Mann (Mrs. M. E.) MRS. PETER HOWARD. A LOST ESTATE. THE CEDAR STAR.
Marchmont (A. W.). LEY'S SECRET. A MOMENT'S ERROR.
Marryat
(Captain).

ANTONIO. PHROSO.

(Gilbert). THEPOMPOFTHE LAVILETTES. WHEN VALMOND CAME TO PONTIAC.

MEN.

(E. Phillips).

MASTER OF

Pemberton (Max),

THE TRAIL OF THE SWORD. THE FOOTSTEPS OF A THRONE. I CROWN THEE KING. PhillpottS (Eden). THE HUMAN BOY. CHILDREN OF THE MIST. Ridge (W.Pett). A SON OF THE STATE. LOST PROPERTY. GEORGE AND THE GENERAL. Russell (W. Clark). A marriage at
SEA.

ABANDONED. MY DANISH SWEETHEART. Sergeant (Adeline), THE MASTER OF BEECHWOOD. BARBARA'S MONEY. MISER HOAD- THE YELLOW DIAMOND.
Surtees (R.
Illustrated.
S.).

HANDLEY

CROSS.

PETER SIMPLE.

MR.

SPONGE'S

SPORTING
S.).

TOUR.

4AC0B FAITHFUL.
larsh (Richard).

THE TWICKENHAM ASK MAMMA.


LAAGER.

Illustrated.

Illustrated.

Mason(A. E. W.). CLEMENTINA. Mathers (Helen). HONEY.

THE GODDESS. THE JOSS.


SAM'S

PEERAGE.

Valentine (Major E.

veldt and

GRIFF OF GRIFFITHSCOURT.

Walford(Mrs. L. B.) MR. SMITH. THE BABY'S GRANDMOTHER. Wallace (General Lew). BEN-HUR.

SWEETHEART.

Meade

(Mrs. L. T.). Mitford (Bertram).

DRIFT. THE SIGN OF

SPIDER.
Montr68or(F.F.).

THE alien.

Watson (H. B. Marriot). THE advenTURERS. THE Weekes (A. B.). PRISONERS OF WAR. WellS(H.G.). THE STOLEN BACILLUS.

THE FAIR GOD.

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