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


George Gerald King



By investigation, I think investigation is the only way-where there is a prima facie reason for believing that the combination is doing injury, and I can think of no other method of discovering whether that assumption is correct. But I will go into that point later. The President continues:
The object of the anti-trust law was to suppress the abuses of business of the kind described. It was not to interfere with a great volume of capital, which, concentrated under one organization, reduced the cost of production and made its profit thereby, and took no advantage of its size by methods akin to duress to stifle competition with it.
I wish to make this distinction as emphatic as possible, because I conceive that nothing could happen more destructive to the prosperity of this country that the loss of that great economy in production which has been and will be effected in all manufacturing lines by the employment of large capital nnder one management.

It is the duty and purpose of the executive to direct an investigation by the Deoartment of Justice, through the grand jury or otherwise, into the history, organization, and purposes of all the industrial companies with respect to which there is any reasonable ground for suspicion that they have been organized for a purpose, and are conducting business on a plan which is in violation of the anti-trust law. The work is a heavy one, but it is not beyond the power of the Department of Justice, if sufficient funds are furnished, to carry on the investigations and to pay the counsel engaged in the work.
So that the United States, after an experience of twenty years, has come now to the conclusion that the only manner in which to deal with large combinations, as President Taft says, where there is any reasonable ground for suspicion that they have been organized in a manner which violates the anti-trust law, is to investigate and find out whether or not, as a result of that investigation, the suspicion is well founded: [DOT]
Many people conducting great businesses have cherished a hope and a belief that in some way or other a line may be drawn between ' good trusts ' and ' bad trusts/ and that it is possible by amendment to the antitrust law to make a distinction under which good combinations may be permitted to organize, suppress competition, control prices, and do it all legally if only they do not abuse the power by taking too great profit out of the business. They noint with force to certain notorious trusts as having grown into power through criminal methods by the use of illegal rebates and plain cheating, and by various acts utterly violative of business honesty or morality, and urve the establishment of some legal line of separation by which ' criminal trusts ' of this kind can be punished, and they, on the other hand, be permitted under the law to carry on their business. Now the public, and especially the business jiublic, ought to rid themselves of the idea that such a distinction is practicable or can be introduced into the statute.
At one o'clock, House took recess.
House resumed at three o'clock.

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