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In the building up of these great railroad systems it necessarily followed that many promoters made themselves rich, and successful attempts were here and there made to wreck a railroad for the benefit of certain promoters.
But during the last 10 years much has been accomplished to place the railroad systems of the United States upon a sound financial basis, to prevent dishonesty in the conduct of the roads, and to place the supervision of the State and Nation over all these branches. This has been done by the establishment of the Interstate Commerce Commission, whose duty it Is to regulate the fares, charges, and conduct of interstate roads. Also, many States have through their legislatures established public utilities commissions, having authority In connection with the Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate the charges and supervise the conduct of its railroads until today it is almost Impossible, under these laws and regulations, for a railroad company to water its stock, to issue stock and bonds, to establish unjust tolls and charges, or dispose of its franchises and property or to encumber the same without the consent of these Federal and State commissions, and It Is no argument against the private ownership and operation of railroads that in the past there have been dishonest men in control of these lines of transportation.
Ira Greenleaf Hersey, United States House of Representatives, railroad regulation, Interstate Commerce Commission
Hersey, Ira Greenleaf, "Control of the Government by the Railroads: Speeches of Hon. Ira G. Hersey on Maine in the House of Representatives" (1918). Books and Publications. 116.
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