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sure you would applaud me as you applauded the previous speakers this morning. The only thing I want to impress upon you is that we are lawyers not simply of the State of New York, but of the United States of America. That it is our duty not simply to perfect the statute law and the law general of the State of New York, but to do our duty in that respect as citizens of the United States in perfecting its jurisprudence. The burden of my paper is upon that provision of the United States Constitution which provides that Congress shall have power to regulate commerce among the several States. If I am right in my construction of that clause in the Constitution in the light of the circumstances in which it was adopted, it is of most far-reaching consequence. It seems to me to give to Congress the control over trade and commerce between the several States. That trade and commerce is carried on almost wholly by corporations. I find in that clause of the Constitution a solution of the great corporation problem that is troubling the American people. Interstate commerce, as usually carried on, involves three parties, the buyer, the seller and the carrier. We have passed a good deal of legislation which relates to the carrier, but Congress has jurisdiction over the buyer and the seller as well. When Congress has exhausted all its power that it derives under this clause of the Constitution, I do not think there will be any occasion for a constitutional amendment. That clause seems to me to give to Congress all the power over corporations that it can ever ask for or desire to exercise; far more than it ever will exercise. There is no doubt but what the great question that is troubling the American people to-day is the corporation question, the question of trusts and combinations. If Congress has absolute power, as I believe it has, over
commerce between several States, then it has the power to say not only how that commerce shall be conducted, but by whom it shall be conducted. It could, for instance, within its constitutional power, in my judgment, pass a statute that no corporation should engage in interstate commerce. It having that broad power, it certainly can define the character and the mode of conducting business of the corporations that do carry on interstate commerce. It may, therefore, by its control over the corporations that carry on the interstate commerce, control the great trusts and monopolies of which the American people complain. For there is no great corporation or scarcely any great corporation of which complaint is made that does not in some form or other engage and has to engage in the interstate commerce. All of the great railroad combinations carrying on business have to do it, and most of the producing combinations have to do it. I have developed this to a considerable extent in my paper. Congress has jurisdiction not only over the trade, but over the trader, and by its power over the trader it can practically regulate and control corporations of any magnitude all through the United States. It can direct its legislation directly against monopoly. I do not believe that the evils of which the American people complain can be attacked or remedied indirectly. It must be by direct methods. All legislation must be against monopoly and in such a trenchant form as to be effective. The only thing I am going to read to you are the provisions within the power of Congress to pass and which will, it seems to me, aid very much to remedy the evils of the present day. I recommend an act which has the following provisions:
I. That there be attached to the Law Department of the United States, as a part of it, a Bureau of Incorporations, which bureau shall be under the control of the Attorney-General and have a chief or commissioner with a salary adequate to command proper talent, and the requisite clerical force.
2. That any given number of persons, a majority of whom shall be citizens of the United States, may organize themselves into a corporation upon making and filing an agreement of incorporation specifying the amount of capital, the conditions under which it is or is to be subscribed, and the methods of corporation government and management to be adopted and the other ordinary conditions of such an agreement.
3. That no corporation shall engage in commerce between any one State and any other State unless it shall be incorporated under this act, or shall have accepted the provisions of it.
Corporations chartered under State laws should be allowed to have the benefit of the National Incorporation Law upon filing their incorporation papers in the proper office in Washington, and upon accepting and complying with the provisions and conditions of that act and assuming the obligations imposed by it.
4. That no corporation shall engage in commerce between any one State and any other State if, in its organization or its method of doing business, it creates or tends to create a monopoly either in the production or distribution of products, or increases or tends to increase the prices of such products beyond what such prices would be were it not for such corporation or the business transacted by it.
5. That the Circuit Court of the United States shall have jurisdiction, at the suit of any interested party or of the Attorney-General on behalf of the United States, to entertain suit for an injunction to restrain the violation of the provisions of this act, or any of them, or for damages for such violation, or both, and to render appropriate judgment in such suit.
I believe such an act is entirely constitutional, and that it is along the line which must be adopted if we attempt to curb the increasing combinations of capital that are being made, the increasing transportation and business corporations. The great danger which I see in these modern combinations is in the destruction of competition, and an act of this kind would place it within the power of the Courts, when properly invoked, to prevent the combination of carrying on a business in such a way as to increase prices, constitute a monopoly and bring about the evils which have been so apparent during the last two years. Of one thing I am sure, that, whatever remedy is adopted for the present evils, the remedy should be in the hands of the Judiciary rather than of the Executive Department of the government. If there is to be any increment to the power of government, and it seems there must be, that increment should be to the Judiciary rather than to the Executive. I believe that the remedy which our people will find for all their evils is in the hands of the Judiciary. Ours is a Judge-governed land. It is a land of liberty because it is a Judge-governed land. The courts are the palladium of American Liberty. Upon the courts we rely for our protection, for our advancement, for everything that makes America worth living for and the increment of power, which it seems must be granted to the government, should be to the Judicial
side of the government and not to the Executive side. I fully agree with the papers that were read this morning upon that subject, that the Executive Department of the government should not be allowed to encroach in any respect upon the Judicial Department, and that, as the functions of government are increased, the increase should be along the side of the Judiciary, and I believe that the American people look to it for their remedy for these evils, to the lawyers of the land, and I believe it is the proper subject for the Bar Associations throughout the land to take up. I ask that the New York State Bar Association shall not devote all its time to the perfection of the practice in New York State to the exclusion of the great problems which are affecting the American nation and us as citizens of it. The lawyers have never been behind-hand when the American people were confronted with great emergencies. When our government was first instituted, the great problem was how to organize a Treasury Department and how to organize our relations carry on our relations with foreign governments. Washington found his solution by appointing a New York lawyer at the head of the Treasury Department and a Virginia lawyer as Secretary of State, and the great success of the American nation in its finance and in its foreign relations since has been due, I believe, to the work of those two first great secretaries. When it has been a question of war even the lawyer has not been behind hand. The great hero of the War of 1812 was not a West Point graduate, but Andrew Jackson, the lawyer. The hero of the Civil War was not Grant, or Sherman, or Sheridan, or Farragut, but Abraham Lincoln, the lawyer; and, in the Spanish War, the man who,