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means to develop their shipping as a factor in national defense and as one of the surest and speediest means of obtaining for their producers a share in foreign markets. Like vigilance and effort on our part can not fail to improve our situation, which is regarded with humiliation at home and with surprise abroad. Even the seeming sacrifices, which at the beginning may be involved, will be offset later by more than equivalent gains.

The expense is as nothing compared to the advantage to be achieved. The re-establishment of our merchant marine involves in a large measure our continued industrial progress and the extension of our commercial triumphs. I am satisfied the judgment of the country favors the policy of aid to our merchant marine, which will broaden our commerce and markets and upbuild our sea-carrying capacity for the products of agriculture and manufacture; which, with the increase of our Navy, mean more work and wages to our countrymen, as well as a safeguard to American interests in every part of the world.

Combinations of capital organized into trusts to control the conditions of trade among our citizens, to stifle competition, limit production, and determine the prices of products used and consumed by the people, are justly provoking public discussion, and should early claim the attention of the Congress.

The Industrial Commission, created by the act of the Congress of June 18, 1898, has been engaged in extended hearings upon the disputed questions involved in the subject of combinations in restraint of trade and competition. They have not yet completed their investigation of this subject, and the conclusions and recommendations at which they may arrive are undetermined.

The subject is one giving rise to many divergent views as to the nature and variety or cause and extent of the injuries to the public which may result from large combinations concentrating more or less numerous enterprises and establishments, which previously to the formation of the combination were carried on separately.

It is universally conceded that combinations which engross or control the market of any particular kind of merchandise or commodity necessary to the general community, by suppressing natural and ordinary competition, whereby prices are unduly enhanced to the general consumer, are obnoxious not only to the common law but also to the public welfare. There must be a remedy for the evils involved in such organizations. extended more certainly to control or trusts, it should be done without delay.

If the present law can be check these monopolies or Whatever power the Con

gress possesses over this most important subject should be promptly ascertained and asserted.

President Harrison in his Annual Message of December 3, 1889,


"Earnest attention should be given by Congress to a consideration of the question how far the restraint of those combinations of capital commonly called 'trusts' is matter of Federal jurisdiction. When organized, as they often are, to crush out all healthy competition and to monopolize the production or sale of an article of commerce and general necessity they are dangerous conspiracies against the public good, and should be made the subject of prohibitory and even penal legislation."

An act to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies was passed by Congress on the 2d of July, 1890. The provisions of this statute are comprehensive and stringent. It declares every contract or combination, in the form of a trust or otherwise, or conspiracy in the restraint of trade or commerce among the several States or with foreign nations, to be unlawful. It denominates as a criminal every person who makes any such contract or engages in any such combination or conspiracy, and provides a punishment by fine or imprisonment. It invests the several circuit. courts of the United States with jurisdiction to prevent and restrain violations of the act, and makes it the duty of the several United States district attorneys, under the direction of the Attorney-General, to institute proceedings in equity to prevent and restrain such violations. It further confers upon any person who shall be injured in his business or property by any other person or corporation by reason of anything forbidden or declared to be unlawful by the act the power to sue therefor in any circuit court of the United States without respect to the amount in controversy, and to recover threefold the damages by him sustained and the costs of the suit, including reasonable attorney fees. It will be perceived that the act is aimed at every kind of combination in the nature of a trust or monopoly in restraint of interstate or international commerce.

The prosecution by the United States of offenses under the act of 1890 has been frequently resorted to in the Federal courts, and notable efforts in the restraint of interstate commerce, such as the Trans-Missouri Freight Association and the Joint Traffic Association, have been successfully opposed and suppressed.

President Cleveland in his Annual Message of December 7, 1896— more than six years subsequent to the enactment of this law-after stating the evils of these trust combinations, says:

"Though Congress has attempted to deal with this matter by legislation, the laws passed for that purpose thus far have proved

ineffective, not because of any lack of disposition or attempt to enforce them, but simply because the laws themselves as interpreted by the courts do not reach the difficulty. If the insufficiencies of existing laws can be remedied by further legislation, it should be done. The fact must be recognized, however, that all Federal legislation on this subject may fall short of its purpose because of inherent obstacles, and also because of the complex character of our governmental system, which, while making the Federal authority supreme within its sphere, has carefully limited that sphere by metes and bounds which can not be transgressed. The decision of our highest court on this precise question renders it quite doubtful whether the evils of trusts and monopolies can be adequately treated through Federal action, unless they seek directly and purposely to include in their objects transportation or intercourse between States or between the United States and foreign countries.

"It does not follow, however, that this is the limit of the remedy that may be applied. Even though it may be found that Federal authority is not broad enough to fully reach the case, there can be no doubt of the power of the several States to act effectively in the premises, and there should be no reason to doubt their willingness to judiciously exercise such power."

The State legislation to which President Cleveland looked for relief from the evils of trusts has failed to accomplish fully that object. This is probably due to a great extent to the fact that different States take different views as to the proper way to discriminate between evil and injurious combinations and those associations which are beneficial and necessary to the business prosperity of the country. The great diversity of treatment in different States arising from this cause and the intimate relations of all parts of the country to each other without regarding State lines in the conduct of business have made the enforcement of State laws difficult.

It is apparent that uniformity of legislation upon this subject in the several States is much to be desired. It is to be hoped that such uniformity founded in a wise and just discrimination between what is injurious and what is useful and necessary in business operations may be obtained and that means may be found for the Congress within the limitations of its constitutional power so to supplement an effective code of State legislation as to make a complete system of laws throughout the United States adequate to compel a general observance of the salutary rules to which I have referred.

The whole question is so important and far-reaching that I am sure no part of it will be lightly considered, but every phase of it will have the studied deliberation of the Congress, resulting in wise and judicious action.

A review of our relations with foreign States is presented with such recommendations as are deemed appropriate.

The long-pending boundary dispute between the Argentine Republic and Chile was settled in March last by the award of an arbitral commission, on which the United States minister at Buenos Ayres served as umpire.

Progress has been made toward the conclusion of a convention of extradition with the Argentine Republic. Having been advised and consented to by the United States Senate and ratified by Argentina, it only awaits the adjustment of some slight changes in the text before exchange.

In my last Annual Message I adverted to the claim of the AustroHungarian Government for indemnity for the killing of certain Austrian and Hungarian subjects by the authorities of the State of Pennsylvania, at Lattimer, while suppressing an unlawful tumult of miners, September 10, 1897. In view of the verdict of acquittal rendered by the court before which the sheriff and his deputies were tried for murder, and following the established doctrine that the Government may not be held accountable for injuries suffered by individuals at the hands of the public authorities while acting in the line of duty in suppressing disturbance of the public peace, this Government, after due consideration of the claim advanced by the Austro-Hungarian Government, was constrained to decline liability to indemnify the sufferers.

It is gratifying to be able to announce that the Belgian Government has mitigated the restrictions on the importation of cattle from the United States, to which I referred in my last Annual Message.

Having been invited by Belgium to participate in a congress, held at Brussels, to revise the provisions of the general act of July 2, 1890, for the repression of the African slave trade, to which the United States was a signatory party, this Government preferred not to be represented by a plenipotentiary, but reserved the right of accession to the result. Notable changes were made, those especially concerning this country being in the line of the increased restriction of the deleterious trade in spirituous liquors with the native tribes, which this Government has from the outset urgently advocated. The amended general act will be laid before the Senate, with a view to its advice and consent.

Early in the year the peace of Bolivia was disturbed by a suc

cessful insurrection. The United States minister remained at his post, attending to the American interests in that quarter, and using besides his good offices for the protection of the interests of British subjects in the absence of their national representative. On the establishment of the new Government our minister was directed to enter into relations therewith.

General Pando was elected President of Bolivia on October 23d. Our representative has been instructed to use all permissible friendly endeavors to induce the Government of Bolivia to amend its marriage laws so as to give legal status to the non-Catholic and civil marriages of aliens within its jurisdiction, and strong hopes are entertained that the Bolivian law in this regard will be brought, as was that of Peru some years ago, into harmony with the general practice of modern states.

A convention of extradition with Brazil, signed May 14, 1897, has been ratified by the Brazilian Legislature.

During the past summer two national ships of the United States have visited Brazilian ports on a friendly mission and been cordially received. The voyage of the Wilmington up the Amazon River gave rise to a passing misunderstanding, owing to confusion in obtaining permission to visit the interior and make surveys in the general interest of navigation, but the incident found a ready adjustment in harmony with the close relations of amity which this Government has always sedulously sought to cultivate with the commonwealths of the Western Continent.

The claim growing out of the seizure of the American-owned newspaper The Panama Star and Herald by the authorities of Colombia has been settled, after a controversy of several years, by an agreement assessing at $30,000 the indemnity to be paid by the Colombian Government, in three installments of $10,000 each.

The good will of Colombia toward our country has been testified anew by the cordial extension of facilities to the Nicaraguan Canal Commission in their approaching investigation of the Panama Canal and other projected routes across the Isthmus of Darien.

Toward the end of October an insurrectionary disturbance developed in the Colombian Republic. This movement has thus far not attained any decisive result and is still in progress.

Discussion of the questions raised by the action of Denmark in imposing restrictions on the importation of American meats has continued without substantial result in our favor.

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