Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

BY H. J. HASKELL

HE public is accus which he drafted, based on the informa

tomed to regard the tion procured in this legal contest, was
technicalities of the made inoperative by injunction.
law as the peculiar When a two-cent-fare bill came up, the
weapon of corporation Attorney-General had a suggestion. He
attorneys. That Her knew that in an Alabama toll-road case
bert S. Hadley, the the United States Supreme Court had

young Attorney-Gen- held that a Federal circuit court could eral of Missouri, has employed them on not enjoin the enforcement of a State's behalf of the people has made him the criminal law. So he drafted a section presumptive nominee of his party for the making a violation of the passenger-rate Governorship of his State.

law a misdemeanor. By this device he This quality of his service, which hoped to have it adjudged a criminal merely means good ability exercised under the antiquated legal procedure of But the railway attorneys felt confident the United States, has appeared most that the plan would fail. When the day conspicuously in his fight with the rail came for the law to take effect, they ways crossing Missouri.

For many years assembled in Kansas City and invoked these corporations dominated the politics the protection of the United States Cirof the State. No measure which they cuit Court against confiscation of propopposed could become a law. They erty. The Attorney-General was on hand maintained a highly efficient lobby at with figures from the railways' own Jefferson City, to which most of the other reports to show that most of them important corporations of the State were already were hauling passengers-inforced to contribute. Recalcitrant inter- cluding those riding free—for two cents ests were brought into line by the simple a mile or less. Moreover, he had embarexpedient of the sand-bagging bill. rassing evidence from the old freight

Meanwhile farmers and other shippers rate case introduced by the railways to complained of excessive freight rates. show that the cost of passenger business There was an elective board of Railway was proportionately small and that most Commissioners, with authority to correct of the expense came from transporting abuses. But elective boards—undemo- freight. But the eminent attorneys opcratic devices of ostensible friends of posed to him confidently appealed for democracy-rarely make trouble for big the guaranty of the Fourteenth Amendinterests that are active in politics. ment, and it was generally believed Nothing was done.

from the remarks of the judge that the Then came the reform wave in Mis- temporary injunction would be granted. souri that carried into office Joseph W. Then Mr. Hadley arose. Folk and a majority of honest legis “ Your Honor," he said, “if the raillators. Impatient at the inaction of the roads in the Federal court enjoin the Railway Commissioners, the Legislature enforcement of a criminal law of Misattempted hastily to regulate freight rates souri, I shall go into the Supreme Court by law. Through a Federal court the of this State with quo warranto proceedrailways enjoined its enforcement. As ings to ask by what right they transact Attorney-General, Mr. Hadley fought for business here and refuse to obey the the people—his clients, as he is fond of State's criminal laws. And on that calling them—and fought hard. But question the circuit courts of the United the statute was still tied up in the courts States have no jurisdiction to stop me.” two years later, when the next Legisla The effect on the opposing attorneys ture assembled. A new freight-rate law was almost ludicrous. They had been

[graphic]

lolling back at ease. At the words “quo Born in Kansas in 1872, he was warranto" they woke up with a violent graduated from the State University start. One who had been gazing ab- and from the law school of Northwestern straciedly through a window, almost University. He began to practice law leaped from his seat. The others jumped in Kansas City, and went into politics bolt upright, one with his jaw dropped. because, as he once explained, he Later they admitted privately that they “thought that the quickest way for a knew Hadley could make good his threat young lawyer to gain a practice.” A and that he had the nerve to do it. fortunate split in the Democratic party

An adjournment was taken over Sun- in the county elected him prosecuting day. Monday morning they spent in a attorney on the Republican ticket. His perspiring conference with the Attorney- record was good, but on a return to General.

normal conditions he was defeated for You can go ahead with your inter- re-election, and then, as he expressed it, State commerce,” he told them, “but if he decided to make himself immune you refuse to give this law a fair trial from any danger of further office-seeking you will run your trains through Mis- by becoming an attorney for the street souri with locked doors. A militia guard railway company. will see to that detail if necessary. And At the Republican State Convention if you attempt to do business within the in 1904 the supposedly empty honor of State at three cents a mile, your local the nomination for the Attorney-Generalofficers will be arrested in every county ship was not eagerly sought by prominent your roads run through."

lawyers. A Kansas City delegate, under Tactics analogous to these had often instructions from his chairman to get up been used by the gentlemen with whom and “ nominate somebody," began one he was dealing. But they were not of the customary "man-who” speeches, accustomed to such resourcefulness on with nobody particularly in mind. At the the part of the lawyers of the people. close he decided, as he told afterwards, For a time they struggled with the Attor that Hadley fitted his description better ney-General. Then they yielded. Would than some others. So he named him, he compromise ? Certainly he would if The modest salary of the office was less they would agree to give the law a fair than the young lawyer was drawing from trial. He had no desire to confiscate the street railway, and he had a family property, but he believed they would find to support. But his friends persuaded that a two-cent rate allowed fair compen- him, against his will, to make the race, as sation. A three months' trial he thought it would mean only a brief interruption would convince them.

of his work for the canvass. To the When court convened that afternoon, astonishment of the Missouri candidates, the spokesman for the railway attorneys however, the popularity of President assured the judge that while they Roosevelt carried through the Repubregarded the proposed rate as confis- lican State ticket, with the exception of catory, nevertheless they were public- the nominee for Governor, whom Mr. spirited enough to sacrifice their feelings Folk defeated. and their clients' property in order to Though he had fought Mr. Folk vigorestablish the fact beyond doubt. There- ously throughout the canvass as the head fore they suggested that the court give of the rival ticket, Mr. Hadley at once the law a trial for ninety days. So the gave the Governor hearty co-operation order was made. At the expiration of in his work for better government. the three months the railways continued When Republicans in the Legislature to sell tickets through Missouri at two were disposed for party reasons to fight cents a mile. Should the rate be made salutary measures introduced at the inpermanent, the State would have the fer- stance of the Democratic Executive, it tility and courage of its Attorney-General was the Attorney-General who induced to thank.

them to take a larger view. This inMr. Hadley was both nominated and dependent attitude, stamping him as elected Attorney-General by accident. belonging to the new school of politics,

has been one of his finest services to the pany and the Waters-Pierce Company State.

from arbitrarily apportioning the State His most important achievement, aside for trade without regard for the confrom his work in the railway cases and venience of their customers. If his in helping to obtain the enactment of work did not reduce the price of oil, at several important laws, has been in con- least it had the salutary effect of demonnection with his fight to force the Stand- strating that huge corporations could be ard Oil Company to obey the statutes compelled to obey the law. of Missouri. This contest not only Mr. Hadley habitually insists that he exposed and drove out of business one is no politician, but solely a lawyer. oil company that was fraudulently posing Any conflicts with corporate interests, as a competitor of the Standard, but it he contends, are merely incidental to his furnished the Federal Government much duty to his clients, the people. It is inof the information on which it has based ferred that, with no sacrifice of principle, its recent important proceeding against he might enter the employ of a corporathe Standard Oil Company as a trust. tion at the expiration of his term. He Such a complete revelation of the Com- has not proclaimed himself a man with a pany's methods had never been made in “mission.” But while he regards the any court.

law as his profession, he is frankly interThe Attorney-General stumbled on ested in politics. the case while in other work. In a “Why is it, Hadley," a Standard Oil legislative hearing on terminal charges attorney is quoted as asking him, “that in St Louis the manager of the Waters- you always take the public into your Pierce Oil Company happened to testify confidence? Why not handle this litithat the Standard had no agency in that gation without a blare of trumpets ?" city. Mr. Hadley remarked to him that And the Attorney-General is said to that was odd. The manager thought have replied : “Every lawyer imparts not, but he failed to convince his ques- the fullest information to his clients. He tioner. A few days later the Attorney- wants the man who hired him to know General discovered that the Waters- all about the case. The public is the Pierce Company was not represented in client of the Attorney-General's office.” Kansas City. He learned also that the All of which is quite true. At the Republic Oil Company, which was every- same time it shows an instinct quite akin where soliciting trade on the ground that to the politician's understanding of the it was “fighting the trust,” had head value of publicity. This full information offices at 75 New Street, New York, which has been imparted to the client This address he found was the rear of the Attorney-General's office—this entrance to the Standard Oil building, blare of trumpets, if you please—in view No. 26 Broadway.

of the results obtained, is what has as. The proceedings that he instituted sured to him, if he will accept, the next put the “fake” company out of business Republican nomination for Governor of and prevented the Standard Oil Com- Missouri.

[graphic]
[graphic][merged small]
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed]

T

HE Boston housewife would The Pacific coast has long been looked

almost as soon be without an- to for the world's supply of canned

cestors as to think of buying salmon, and the annual catch of the any but Penobscot salmon. The New cannery-men is more than one hundred York hotel-keeper would as soon confess thousand tons. Canneries line the coast to the use of canned vegetables in spring from the Columbia River to Alaska, as to offer any but Atlantic halibut. Any which now makes the market on the French restaurateur would swear by all canned product. The value placed on his sacre-bleus that the only sardines are this product for a single year, in the those caught in the net of a Mediterra- Government reports, exceeds by two nean fisherman. And as for cod—why, million dollars the price paid by the George's and Grand Banks are household United States for Alaska, where, fish words.

ranks second only to gold among the And far be it from the Eastern fish natural resources yet developed. In the dealer to disturb any of the fondly cher- Northwest States fish is second to lumber ished traditions of his patrons. But now, though the salmon canneries were yonder on the Pacific coast there are practically the sole support of this terrimen who boast, and can back their boast tory until the men and the money came with figures, that more than ninety per to develop the forests and farming lands. cent of the fresh salmon sold in Eastern Three and a half million cases of canned markets is caught in the salmon rivers of salmon are the average yearly output of the Pacific ; that at least eighty per cent the Northwest coast during the past ten of the halibut used on the Atlantic coast years, which means more than a hundred is caught between Puget Sound and thousand tons of fresh fish. Bering Sea ; that sardines packed on the Yet within the past few years there California coast are used in every city has been a steady decrease in the output, of size in the United States ; and as for in spite of a very considerable increase cod, from two to three thousand tons of in facilities for catching and handling Alaskan cod go out of Gloucester every the fish. This has given rise in some year.

quarters to grave fears regarding the

« AnteriorContinuar »