April 12, 1910 (11th Parliament, 2nd Session)

LIB

George Gerald King

Liberal

Mr. KING.

They do it in this way. The federal government enters the prosecutions, and the federal government has refused to take up any prosecutions unless its own interpretation is satisfied in the first instance. I will read on this point an extract from President Roosevelt's message to Congress in 1906:
The actual working of our laws has shown that the effort to prohibit all combination, good or bad, is noxious where it is not ineffective. Combination of capital, like combination of labour, is a necessary element in our present industrial system. It is not possible completely to prevent it; and if it were possible, such complete prevention would do damage to the body politic. What we need is not vainly to try to prevent all combination, but to secure such rigorous and adequate control and supervision of the combinations as to prevent their injuring the public, or existing in such forms as inevitably to threaten, injury. . . . It is fortunate that our present laws should forbid all combinations, instead of sharply discriminating between those combinations which do good and those combinations which do evil. ...
There is a curious admission for the chief executive of a great nation, that their present laws forbid all combinations instead of sharply discriminating between those who do good and those who do evil. President Taft found, I think, that he would be undertaking more than he cared to handle in this endeavour to distinguish between good and bad trusts; because in his special message to Congress on January 7, of the present year, he gives his interpretations of the law, and has something to say about distinguishing between good and bad trusts:
The increase in the capital of a business for the purpose of reducing the cost of production and effecting economy in the management has become as essential in modern progress as the change from the hand tool to the machine. When, therefore, we come to continue the object of congress in adopting the so-called ' Sherman Anti-Trust Act' in 1890, whereby in the first section every contract, combination' in the form of a trust or otherwise, or conspiracy in restraint of inter-6tate or foreign trade or commerce is condemned as unlawful and made subject to indictment and restraint by injunction; and whereby in the second section every monoply or attempt to monopolize, and every combination or conspiracy with other persons to monopolize any part of inter-state trade or commerce, is denounced as illegal and made subject to similar punishment or restraint, we must infer that the evil aimed at was not the mere bigness of the enterprise, but it was the aggregation of capital and plants with the express or implied intent of restrain inter-state or foreign commerce, or to monopolize it in whole or in part.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT.
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