Message of Governor James S. Hogg to the twenty-fourth legislature of Texas Page: 46 of 48
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MESSAGE OF GOVERNOR HOGG.
without much delay. The State is amply able to furnish and support
public buildings in keeping with her dignity and pride, and no citizen
who pays taxes can have any reasonable objection to it.
From present indications, there is but little doubt that strong efforts
will be made at the present session of the Legislature to repeal, or weaken
by amendment, the Texas anti-trust law, upon the alleged grounds:
1. That it is void because it nowhere expressly prohibits trusts as defined
in the act.
2. That it is unconstitutional for the reason that the provisions of the
law do not apply to agricultural products or live stock while in the hands
of the producer or raiser.
3. That the law is obnoxious to sound public policy.
The validity of this measure has been before the Supreme Court of
this State on the first and second of these points, as well as upon the
proposition that the law did not, in the definition of trusts, include and
prohibit a combination of two or more insurance companies to fix and
maintain insurance rates and the commissions of insurance agents. After
an elaborate discussion of the last question, which was the main one in
the case, the court decided that insurance rates and commissions were not
embraced in the.terms of the act. The law, however, was not held unconstitutional.
On the contrary, the able discussion of it, and the
court's action in not holding it unconstitutional, lead to a fair conclusion
that on a final test the whole act will be sustained.
Should the Legislature choose to amend this law, I beg to suggest that
two points only need settling:
1. That trusts and conspiracies against trade, as defined in section 1
of the act, are expressly prohibited.
2. That when two or more insurance companies, or their agents or
representatives, combine or agree to raise or establish uniformity of insurance
rates, or the fees or commissions connected with or affecting insurance,
they and each of them so acting shall be deemed guilty of a conspiracy
against trade, and subject to the provisions of the law. Additional
to this, should the law be amended or re-enacted, it would be best to
expressly provide that the new act shall not have the effect to release or
waive any right of action or defense of the State or of any person, company,
or corporation in relation to any penalty, right, or forfeiture which
may have arisen under the old law; but that they, each and all, shall remain
If it is against sound public policy to interfere with trusts, then
monopoly, in its worst form, is a virtue. The contention that this antitrust
law is a menace to prosperity and will deter capital from investing
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Hogg, J.S. (James S.). Message of Governor James S. Hogg to the twenty-fourth legislature of Texas, book, 1895; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5862/m1/46/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .