Message of Gov. J. S. Hogg to the twenty-third Legislature of Texas. Page: 17 of 28
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MESSAGE OF THE GOVERNOR.
tained, not reduced. The tendency of reasonable local rates fixed by the
Commission has been, and the ultimate effect will be, to concentrate Texas
traffic over the lines of Texas railways, by short routes, to water points on
the coast near by, where ships will enter Texas ports in competition to convey
it to the markets of the world. With the antipathy of railways to water competition,
and their unrestrained power in the absence of the Commission to
make discriminating rates against water points, Texas may never have any
material benefit from the improvement of her harbors nor by the construction
of a canal to connect the two oceans. With deep water anywhere on the
coast, and the completion of a canal to give an outlet from the gulf over
the Pacific ocean, thus to Texas reducing the distance to foreign markets
over ten thousand miles; if she can ultimately succeed in maintaining the
Commission as it is, her people may except soon to take the lead in agriculture,
horticulture, and stock-raising to supply the demands of the Eastern continent
with such articles of necessity as may find transportation over the highway of
the seas from the United States. In addition to this, with her inexhaustible
supply of ores and raw material of every kind suitable for manufacture,
she can, with confidence and pride, enter the field of competition to supply
her share of the world's products of iron, wood and the finer fabrics.
The effect of the Commission will be to give an outlet for home products
over the sea where combinations to stifle competition in transportation are
impossible, where pools and trusts cannot live. The hope of Texas is in
the maintenance of the Commission, under whose administration the people
and the railways themselves can prosper in their interdependent relations; and
the near future will have factories of every kind drawn to the door of the
raw material, so that the traffic rates on raw products to foreign points, and
on the manufactured articles in return to supply an ambitious and enlightened
home people with articles of necessity and luxury, will be reminiscences
and no longer a reality.
The pledge therefore of fealty to and support of the Texas Railway Commission
law as it now stands, subject only to such changes as may become
necessary to accomplish for it a greater degree of perfection, made by the Democratic
party, is wise and salutary. In so far as experience of the past and
lights of the present may afford knowledge of what is best for the people
with reference to that law, notwithstanding the intemperate, political opinion
of the federal judge against it, no material change, indeed no change at all,
in it becomes expedient or necessary. A sense of propriety and of self-respect
would impel the State government to stand by the law as it is until the
highest court in the government may possibly point out some objections
LANDS HELD FOR SIDINGS AND SWITCHES.
By section 22 of the platform, the people wisely commended the action of
the officials in seeking to recover lands unlawfully obtained by railway companies
from the State for "sidings and switches," and pledged that the Demo.
cratic party, so long as it remains in power, shall continue this course until
every acre shall have been recovered and returned to the State." At the same
time they pledge that all innocent purchasers for value, and actual settlers
who may have purchased any of said lands from the railway companies or
their assignees, shall have their titles validated and made good in so far as
the State may have any claim thereto. It is doubtful if any legislation at
this time becomes necessary on this subject. Suits are now pending to recover
the lands so illegally held by the railway companies and their corporate
assigns for the construction of sidings and switches. Legislation now may
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Hogg, J.S. (James S.). Message of Gov. J. S. Hogg to the twenty-third Legislature of Texas., book, January 12, 1893; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5861/m1/17/: accessed December 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .