Franklin K. Lane, interstate commerce commissioner, in an interview urges the creation of a national corporation commission, with power of control and regulation over large business enterprises similar in character to the interstate commerce commission. Mr. Lane makes a sharp distinction between railroads and private corporations, in view of the great powers of eminent domain, making charges for transportation, etc., possessed by the former, but believes that both should be under the control of the federal government. His theory is that all these enterprises are rendering a public service, that along with federal control of trusts should go also a right on the part of small enterprises to agree together as to a minimum price, to protect themselves against ruthless competition that would be ruinous. "If two plants are created where one would do the work," says Commissioner Lane, "there is no economic necessity for one of them, and the burden should not rest upon the public to support both when they have combined together; but if there is a demand for the product of these enterprises they should be allowed under proper control to protect themselves against destruction."

In the United States circuit court demurrers have been filed by officers of the United Shoe Machinery Company to the indictments returned against them for alleged violation of the Sherman anti-trust act. The defendants deny that their business comes within the scope of the act, inasmuch as the machinery that they sold and loaned was entirely covered by letters patent. They contend that the moropoly established by the patents is all-embracing; and they further say that the concerns whose portion of trade and commerce they are charged with grasping and drawing to themselves, were not engaged in interstate commerce. They further allege that the organization of the United Shoe Machinery Company was simply the combining of companies engaged in manufacturing and leasing complementary and non-competing machines, and in no way restrained the interstate trade carried on by the defendants.

November 18, 1911

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