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DEBATE ON

WITH

LIVESTOCK

CONGRESSIONAL INTERFERENCE

TRAFFIC

Mr. Eldriilge (Wis.) at once opened for the opposition. He thought the bill proposed to interfere with the constitution, with the corporations established by the various states, and with the states themselves in a way unjustifiable and unwarrantable. And Mr. Swann (Md.) referred to it as a crying injustice to agricultural communities in that it deprived shippers and railway companies of power to control these matters by agreement among themselves. He also thought that it was more humane to ship cattle through rapidly than to stop and unload them at intervals; and Mr. Archer (Md.) deemed the measure impracticable.

In reply, Jr. Wilson (0.) stated that the bill had been very carefully matured and had been submitted to some of the most able legal gentlemen of the House, who had fully acquiesced in its constitutionality. Various states, among them Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and Illinois had passed laws on the subject; but, for want of jurisdiction, the laws had been of limited use and applied only within the states. The bulk of the traffic was over interstate or through lines, as, for instance, from Kansas to New York; hence the necessity for a federal law. The traffic was conducted in an inhuman and barbarous manner, and was not only reprehensible on that account, but also made the meat deleterious and spread disease.

Mr. Cook (Ill.) thought the regulation proposed in the bill similar to that which had been exercised by Congress from the beginning over the transportation of animals and freight in steamboats and other vessels upon navigable streams. Here laws had been passed to guard against accident and prevent inhumanity.

Mr. Scofield (Pa.) also thought the bill entirely constitutional and spoke at some length on the exploded idea of states' rights.

When the bill came to a vote it passed by a majority of 66— 123 in favor; 57 opposed.

? Cong. Globe, 1870-71, p. 432. * P. 555. Not voting, 57.

THE SENATE DOES NOT ACT ON THE HOUSE BILL

In the Senate most of the speaking was done in opposition.* Mr. Hamilton (Md.) said that while the object of the bill was philanthropic (!)-he was probably not a Greek scholar-he believed that the matter could best be left to the control of the interests concerned, the cattle raisers and the carriers. The powers asserted in the bill for the federal government were too comprehensive to suit him. Mr. Tipton (Neb.) held that Congress should take very little jurisdiction in this matter; that in such questions whatever could be done by state legislation should be left to the states.

Mr. Cameron (Pa.) supported the bill; but it was postponed and nothing further was done at this session.

At the following session the matter was kept alive by the introduction in the Senate of a bill to prevent cruelty to animals in transit on railroads. It was referred to the committee on agriculture and got no further.

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THE BILL TO PREVENT CRUELTY TO ANIMALS IN TRANSIT PASSED

Finally, in 1872, the bill which, with slight change, was to become a law was reported in the House by Mr. Wilson (0.). Like its predecessors it provided for a twenty-eight-hour maximum for consecutive shipment, with a fine for each violation. The bill passed the House with little resistance, though Mr. Kerr (Ind.) stated his doubts as to its constitutionality and his belief that such legislation tended toward paternalism, multiplication of courts, officials, expenses, etc.

Meanwhile the Senate had referred a bill (S. no 419) on the same subject to its committee on the judiciary, and, that committee reporting adversely upon it, the bill was indefinitely postponed and the House bill taken up. The Senate committee

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Toid., p. 1768.

o Cong. Globe, 1871, p. 86. Sen. bill no. 36, Introduced by Mr. Conkling (N. Y.).

* Ibid., 1871-72, p. 2366, H. bill no. 694.

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on agriculture, to which it had been referred, reported this bill without amendment, and the debate began."

One of the most prominent in the discussion was Senator Casserly (Cal.) and an amendment proposed by him sums up his ideas. It was to the effect that the act should not go into operation for one year after passage, and that it should not apply in states having adequate laws. The former idea was held by several others and was based partly upon the loss to railways from so sudden a change, but chiefly upon the hope that the states might take the matter up and pass adequate laws. And Mr. Casserly said Congress had no business in regulating for the health of the people. This was a function of the states and belonged to their police power. The more the subject was left to state jurisdiction the better it would be administered. He also thought twenty-eight hours not long enough. Mr. Thurman's (0.) position was not dissimilar. He was not clear as to its constitutionality, though tending to believe it constitutional, and favored state action. The state courts being more numerous would secure a stricter enforcement of such a regulation than the federal. He moved to postpone the bill till the following session, but lost.

Among the supporters of the bill Mr. Frelinghuysen (N. J.) seems to have been as outspoken as any. He argued that the measure was constitutional under the commerce clause as construed by the supreme court to include all the means by which commerce can be carried on, whether by free navigation of the waters of the several states or by passage through the states where such passage becomes necessary. He pointed out that an amendment making the law of no effect in states already having legislation would render the regulation futile, for the trouble and the offense came through a number of states, on interstate shipments. And, with others, he gave the danger to the health of the community, the loss to cattle raisers through the "shrinkage" of cattle, and humanity as the reasons for the passage of the act.

(Mr. Flanagan said there were other constitutions than that of the United States to be looked after, as, for instance, the constitutions of consumers.)

* Ibid., pp. 2674, 4226.

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The bill was passed, 26 yeas to 13 nays. The unusually large number of the absent, 35, suggests that the senators were not over-anxious to place themselves on record in connection with this measure. The chief amendments were the insertion of the adverbs “knowingly and willfully', as qualifying the acts which made one liable to fine under the act; and the initiation of the bill was made to begin October 1, 1873.

The House concurred in the amendments, and the bill be. came a law by the approval of President Grant on March 3, 1873.10

REGULATION OF IMMIGRANT TRAFFIC PROPOSED

In the course of the Senate debate, Mr. Casserly offered an amendment to the effect that immigrants travelling on railways forming any part of an interstate line should, in all cases where they had to travel for one or more nights, be provided by the railway over which they travelled with proper conveniences for sleeping and washing in the cars. All such immigrants were to be taken to their destination without unreasonable delay.

8 Ibid., p. 4872.
Ibid., 1872–73, pp. 681, 2094.

10 Statutes at Large, 17 : 584. Be it enacted, etc., "That no railroad company within the United States whose road forms any part of a line of road over which cattle, sheep, swine, or other animals shall be conveyed from one State to another, shall confine the same in cars

for a longer pe riod than twenty-eight consecutive hours, without unloading the same for rest, water, and feeding, for a period of at least five consecutive hours, unless prevented from so unloading by stɔrm or other accidental causes. In estimating such confinement the time during which the animals have been confined with out such rest on connecting roads from which they are received shall be in. cluded, it being the intent of this act to prohibit their continuous confinement beg und the period of twenty-eight hours, except upon contingencies herein before stated. Animals so unloaded shall be properly fed and watered, be given rest by the owner or the person having the custody thereof, or in case of his de fault in so doing, then by the railroad company

; and said company shall in such cases have a lien upon such animals for food, care, and custody furnished, and shall not be liable for any detention of such animals acthorized by this act. Any company, owner, or custodian of such animals, who shall knowingly and wilfully fail to comply with the provisions of this act shall, for each and every such failure

be liable for a forfeit and pay a pen. alty of not less than one hundred and not more than five hundred dollars : Pro vided, however, That when animals shall be carried in cars,

in which they can and do have proper food, water, space, and opportunity for rest, the foregoing provision in regard to their unloading shall not apply.

8. 2. That the penalty created by the first section of this act shall be recovered by civil action in the name of the U. S., in the circuit or district court of the U. S. holden within the district where the violation of this act may have been committed, or the person resides or carries on its business; and it shall be the duty of all U. S. marshals, their deputies and subordinates, to present all violations of this act which shall come to their notice or knowl. edge.

S. 3. Liens arising under $. 1 enforceable in district court.
S. 4. Act to go into effect October 1, 1873.

The occasion for this proposed amendment appears to have been a special message from the president concerning the mistreatment of immigrants—a class of people, it will be remembered, much more desirable then than now. Transmitted with the message was a report which showed that complaints had been made against the railway companies because they were running immigrant trains on slow time, taking from three to four days to cover the distance between New York and Chicago. The immigrant "must take his chances, live upon the hard benches upon springless cars for many days at his own expense, very often without fire or water, owing to neglect of employees, who care nothing for the comforts or necessities of foreigners.” It certainly seems not inappropriate to place the regulation of such a traffic in a bill to prevent cruelty to animals.

Mr. Casserly argued that if the government could penalize delays in the mail service, it surely ought to give some legal remedy to the immigrant who was frequently treated less considerately than the brutes. Such an argument has force if the power of Congress over interstate commerce on railways is conceded; but, since the mail service was conducted under the post roads clause and the constitutionality of interfering with railways under the commerce clause was gravely doubted, it begged the question which lay in the minds of many. The amendment was lost by a vote of 15 to 23.

FURTHER Bills RELATING TO LIVESTOCK TRAFFIC

The act of 1873 did not end the demand for preventing cruelty to animals in transportation. Not to mention the difficulty of securing conviction, the act was found faulty in that twenty-eight hours was too long a period, the railway companies charged exhorbitant prices for food, and when unloaded the cattle were not put in proper pens nor cared for properly. In

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