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had found in Mark Hanna. The free silver craze had not only put the Republican party in possession of the Federal Government but it had put Mark Hanna in possession of the Republican party.
Mr. Hanna and Mr. Morgan both believed that the country should be governed by property and that the power over both property and Government should be centralized. Mr. Hanna knew how to turn money into government. Mr. Morgan knew how to turn government into money. The partnership was perfect for its purposes. Only one thing was forgotten-the American people. Apparently, it never occurred to either Mr. Hanna or Mr. Morgan that the things they set out to do were contrary to all the experience and traditions of the English-speaking races.
Hannaism died a lingering death, but it died, root, branch and twig. With the election of Woodrow Wilson to the Presidency in 1912 the last spark of life had vanished. Outside of the select circles of Privilege there were no mourners. The American voters of all parties. by practically unanimous consent, had decreed that they would not tolerate an administration of Government by the brute force of money.
Morganism had received its 'death blow long before Hannaism expired, but it held on during Mr. Morgan's lifetime. The superstition still prevailed in Wall Street that there could be a Superman of Finance who was not only omnipotent but infallible and omniscient. That superstition has been exploded once for all by the New Haven investigation. In spite of his mastery of banking, his great financial reputation and his domination over his associates, Mr. Morgan accomplished about the same results for the New Haven that a couple of crooked stock jobbers once accomplished for the Erie. When it came to the actual management of a vast transportation property, Mr. Morgan proved to have about as much talent
and judgment as Jim Fisk or Jay Gould. Any division superintendent on the New Haven would have been a wiser and better guardian of the property.
This came about not because Mr. Morgan was calculatingly corrupt like Fisk and Gould, but because he was trying to do something that could not be done. The more he tried to do it the deeper he floundered, until eventually he had dragged one of the richest railroad properties in the world into the quicksands of bankruptcy.
Mr. Morgan was essentially a banker, and no great railroad system was ever built up by a banker. No great railroad system was ever successfully operated by a banker. Bankers may be useful in floating railroad securities, but the floating of securities is only incidental to the main purposes of a railroad, however vital it is to the main purposes of a banker.
But the wreck of the New Haven is not due merely to the fact that the board of directors was dominated by Mr. Morgan and that Mr. Morgan was a banker with a myriad of different interests. It was due to the fact that Mr. Morgan's theory of monopoly was fundamentally and radically unsound. To achieve such monopoly meant a reckless and scandalous expenditure of money that no corporation could maintain. It meant as well the debauching of public opinion, the corruption of government, the suppression of all the political and economic instincts of 100,000,000 people and a permanent defiance of the laws of the United States. Only a generation of Wall Street Bourbons could have believed it possible or have known so little about the American people as to think they would permit it.
Mr. Morgan's structure of monopoly began to crumble rapidly with the life insurance investigation. The New Haven investigation leaves it in ruins. The monopoly madness is ended.
Other masterful political corruptionists may arise, but
there will be no other Mark Hanna. The laws governing campaign contributions and the laws regulating nominations and elections have made a revival of Hannaism impossible. Other masterful financiers may arise in Wall Street, but there will be no other J. Pierpont Morgan. The new Banking and Currency law has destroyed the conditions under which a Morgan was possible.
The economic theory of monopoly has followed the economic theory of slavery to its grave. Both were tolerated for a time. Both had powerful defenders. But both were at war with the traditions and genius of the American people, and both were destroyed. The collapse of the New Haven marks the last attempt that will be made within the lifetime of this political generation at least to bring a rich and populous section of the United States under the yoke of a financial despotism.
Mr. Morgan was a strong man in Wall Street. But no man is as strong as First Principles.
NEW HAVEN CORRUPTION
[July 14, 1914]
ALL the charges made by The World against the Morgan-Rockefeller domination of the New Haven Railroad are substantiated and confirmed by the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Not since the life insurance investigation have there been revelations of such stupendous financial corruption. "A reasonable estimate of the loss to the New Haven by reason of waste and mismanagement will amount to between $60,000,000 and $90,000,000."
As the Commission says in its report:
The result of our research into the financial workings of the former management of the New Haven has been to dis
close one of the most glaring instances of misadministration in all the history of American railroading.
In ten years, from June 30, 1903, the capitalization of the New Haven was increased from $93,000,000 to $417,000,000, an addition of $324,000,000. Of this increase only $120,000,000 was spent on the railroad itself. The other $204,000,000 "was expended for operation outside of the railroad sphere." As the Commission truly says:
The difficulties under which this railroad system has labored in the past are internal and wholly due to its own mismanagement. Its troubles have not arisen because of regulation by government authority. Its greatest losses and most costly blunders were made in attempting to circumvent governmental regulation and to extend its domination beyond limits fixed by the law.
The fruits of this Morgan monopoly madness cannot better be described than in the Commission's own words:
This investigation has demonstrated that the monopoly theory of those controlling the New Haven was unsound and mischievous in its effects. To achieve such monopoly meant the reckless and scandalous expenditure of money: It meant the attempt to control public opinion; corruption of government; the attempt to pervert the political and economic instincts of the people in insolent defiance of the law.
Through exposure of the methods of this monopoly the invisible government which has gone far in its efforts to dominate New England has been made visible. It has been clearly proved how public opinion was distorted; how officials who were needed and could be bought were bought; how newspapers that could be subsidized were subsidized; how a college professor and publicist secretly accepted money from the New Haven while masking as a representative of a great American university and as guardian of the people; how agencies of information to the public were prostituted in order to carry out a scheme of private transportation monopoly imperial in its scope.
And what of the directors who permitted the erection of this colossal system of corruption? "It is inconceiv able," says the Commission, "that these wrongs would have gone on without interference if the members of the Board of Directors had been true to the faith they owed the stockholders." It is likewise true, as the Commission asserts, that "none of the directors would have been so careless in the handling of his own money," as were the highly respectable Morgan-Rockefeller dummies in dealing with the money of the New Haven stockholders whose interests they were supposed to protect and guard. "Criminal negligence" is a mild term with which to characterize their conduct.
There can be no honest dissent from the conclusions of the Commission:
The revelations of this record made it essential for the welfare of the Nation that the reckless and profligate financiering which has blighted this great railroad system be ended, and that until this is fully done there will be no assurance that the story of the New Haven will not be told again with the stockholders of some other road as the victims.
This report is an appeal for civil suits for restitution. It is an appeal for criminal prosecution where the statute of limitations has not yet intervened. It is an appeal to all the agencies of law and justice that can intervene to use their powers to right the gigantic wrongs that have been committed in the name of finance and transportation. It is an appeal for legislation that will put the stamp of open criminality upon the practices which have all but wrecked one of the richest railroad companies in the world.
This appeal should not be made in vain.
The New Haven was looted under the personal auspices of men who were supposed to represent the loftiest financial integrity of Wall Street. It was looted