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DEBATE FOR FRIDAY. MAY 9.Question: Resolved, That the United States should establish a postal telegraph system.
Brief for the Affirmative.G. O. Swasey, '90, and J. C. Hayes, '90.
Best general references-Postmaster General's Report. 1872, pp. 21-27. Forum, Feb., 1888. Pop. Scl. Mon., 19:400. N. A. Rev., 132:369. N. A. Rev., 137:521-535.
I. The progress of commerce and civilization in the United States demands better and cheaper facilities for the rapid transmission of intelligence. Grant's annual message, 1871.
II. The present system of telegraphs is inadequate for the purposes, because (a) they are practically controlled by a monopoly; (b) tariffs exorbitant, unequal and complex; (c) discrimination in service; (d) vast and irresponsible influence over the press; (e) power over commerce and legislation; (f) free-message system a tax on the public; (g) possible abuse of wires for private ends. See general references.
III. The most efficient and cheapest can be obtained only by government ownership and control. N. A. Rev., 132:369. (a) It would be conducted in the interest of the public; (b) tariffs would be greatly reduced.- (1) No unnecessary outlay for parallel lines, etc. (2) Local use of post office facilities. (3) Freedom from taxation.- Quart. J. Econ., Apr., '88. (c) Service would be more efficient.- (1) Lines would be made adequate for business, and (2) extended to suburbs and outlying districts; (3) Offices would be more centrally located.- Brit. Quart., 59:455, (4) Strikes would be impossible.- Hadley. R. R. Transportation, p. 252 seq.
IV. Government ownership and management of telegraphs is constitutional. West. Un. Tel. Co. vs. State of Texas, 105 ab. S. 464. Forum, v. 4, p. 561. Pop. Sci. Mon., 19:400.
V. It is practicable. (a) By act of 1866 government has right to purchase lines at an appraised value.- N. A. Rev., 132:369. Von Holst, Const. Law, p. 145. (b) Excellent results attained in Europe. Ed. Rev., 132:209. Fraser, 91:437, and see all general references. (c) Routine and technical nature of business reduces danger of political manipulation to a minimum. Hadley. 252 seq.
Brief for the Negative.R. M. Washburn, '90, and W. K. Post, '90.
Best general references-Senate Rep. No. 577. Postmaster Gen. Rep. for 1872, pp. 23-27. Hadley's R. R. Transportation, p. 253 et seq. D. A. Wells in H. R. Misc. Doc. No. 73, 1872.
I. It is unconstitutional, therefore amendment to the constitution is necessary. Const., Art. 1, Sec. 8. 105 U. S. 464. N. A. Rev., vol. 137, p. 422.
II. Constitutional amendment should only be adopted in case of absolute necessity. History of U. S. vs. History of Latin Republics.
III. Government ownership is not so beneficial to public as private ownership. (a) Expense. Wells. P. 19. Hadley, pp. 253:255. (b) Less efficient. Had. 256. N. A. Review, vol. 137, 522.
IV. Government ownership not only not beneficial but detrimental. (a) Great and dangerous increase of political patronage. (b) Depressing to progress. Mills, p. 540. Princeton Review, vol. ii., p. 128.
V. Government telegraph is there fore not only unnecessary, but unadvantageous, and even disadvantageous.
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