The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963

Notes and Documents

tofore. Possibly we have reached the time when this is to occur.
It is hard to tell. The issue on which Hogg2 was nominated was
one which had to come sooner or later, and I believe is a for-
tunate thing both for the people and the railroads. Anybody who
knows the condition of politics in a number of other states in
reference to the railroad question must have foreseen that this
issue was bound to arise in Texas. The decision of the Demo-
cratic primaries, so overwhelmingly in favor of the right of the
State to regulate and control the railroads by any agency that the
State may prescribe, will in my judgment have this result: It will
make a few railroad men who have been arrogant and domineering
in Texas politics very much more careful and conservative in
the future, and it will create in the mind of the general public
the impression that the people hold safely the power over the
subject and induce them to be conservative in its exercise. While
I have always favored a railroad commission with all the power
that could be constitutionally granted it for the regulation of
the railroads (because it is a patent fact that ordinary legislation
cannot control them), I have at the same time always favored a
liberal and conservative policy towards the roads. The power to
discriminate, to build up one place and tear down another, to
build up one individual or firm and tear down another, is a
power that should not exist if it can possibly be avoided. We have
seen that it cannot be avoided by State legislation. It remains to
be seen to what extent it may be prevented by means of a rail-
road commission. I believe that such a commission will go far to
prevent it. A consideration which I have never seen discussed in
the papers is a strong one with me in favor of the commission.
Under the Interstate Commerce law the railroads have a right
to make rates and discriminations, or at all events, to make such
rates as they please wherever there is a water competition. We
are now going to have in a very short time at least two and maybe
three deep water ports on the Texas coast. The obvious policy of
the roads when that occurs will be to get full benefit of the long
haul to deep water, and then in the redistribution of the freight
through the State to recoup for their low charges on the long haul,
where there will be much competition, by charging high rates for
2James Stephen Hogg, candidate for governor of Texas in 189o.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed July 30, 2014.