[Report of Special Committee on Railroads, New York Assembly, 1879. Volume III, pages 2613-2618.]

Q. Was your firm's business sold out to the Standard Oil Company?

A. I would like to have the question explained.

Q. Was there a sale or transfer made of your business to the Standard Oil Company, by which practically the Standard Oil Company really controlled your business?

A. I will answer this much of the question, by saying that the Standard Oil Company does not practically control our business.

Q. Do they control the rates at which your business gets the transportation of oil?

A. That I don't know anything about; I don't know anything about the rates of transportation.

By the Chairman.

Q. Was not your firm taken in with the Standard Oil Company upon some agreed basis or arrangement, whether you regard it as a purchase or transfer or not?

A. We worked in harmony with the Standard Oil Company for a number of years.

Q. Upon an agreed basis of general business?

A. Our interest was in common, to a certain extent.


Q. Has your firm any contract with the Standard Oil Company?

A. That I cannot answer.

Q. What member of your firm would be able to answer that?

A. I think Mr. Pratt would, if he were here.

Q. When was it that your firm began to work in harmony with the Standard Oil Company?

A. I cannot say exactly how long ago; seven or eight years ago we got up a refining association here; that was the first, and then we got up another, and we got up another, and we have always been trying to get into some relations with all the refiners, so that we might make some money out of the business.

Q. Had you difficulty before you entered into relations with the Standard Oil Company to make money out of the business?

A. The competition was always very sharp, and there was always some one that was willing to sell goods for less than they cost, and that made the market price for everything; we got up an association, and took in all the refiners until some of them went back on us, and that would break up the association; we tried that two or three times.

Q. Then finally you entered the Standard Oil arrangement?

A. Then we made an alliance or association with some of the refiners about here, and it was more successful.

Q. What are the refiners about here with whom that alliance was made, and are they or are they not all of them covered by the Standard Oil arrangement?

A. They would come in and then they would go out; there is no refiner that I know of, with one exception, about New York but what has been in the association.

Q. What are the refiners that are now in association of the Standard Oil?

A. The people that are working in harmony with us comprise about, I should think, 90 or 95 per cent. of the refiners.

Q. Now tell us their names, the leading ones.

A. Some of the leading ones? The Standard Oil Company; Charles Pratt and Company; the Sone and Fleming Manufacturing Company; Warden, Frew and Company of Philadelphia; the Standard Oil Company of Pittsburg; the Acme Oil Refining Company of Titusville; the Imperial Refining Company of Oil City; the Baltimore United Oil Company of Baltimore.


Q. You said that substantially 95 per cent. of the refiners were in the Standard arrangement?

A. I said 90 to 95 per cent. I thought were in harmony.

Q. When you speak of their being in harmony with the Standard, what do you mean by that?

A. I mean just what harmony implies.

Q. Do you mean that they have an arrangement with the Standard?

A. If I am in harmony with my wife, I presume I am at peace with her, and am working with her.

Q. You are married to her, and you have a contract with her?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Is that what you mean?

A. Well, some people live in harmony without being married.

Q. Without having a contract?

A. Yes; I have heard so.

Q. Now, which do you mean? Do you mean the people who are in the Standard arrangement, and are in harmony with it, are married to the Standard or in a state of freedom — celibacy?

A. Not necessarily, so long as they are happy.

Q. Is it the harmony that arises from a marriage contract?

A. Not necessarily, so long as they are happy.

Q. When you speak of their harmony, is it a relation of contract?

A. I mean by harmony that if you and I agree to go on Wall Street and buy a hundred shares of Erie at 33, and we agree to sell it out together at 40, that is harmony. I mean just the same that way — if I go into the Standard Oil office and conclude to buy some oil of them and agree on a fair price to sell it out at, that is harmony.

Q, Is that the harmony that you mean — that you gentlemen have agreed between each other the rate at which you will buy and the rate at which you will sell?

A. Well, not going too far into detail, I would say that the relations are very pleasant.

Q. But we want the detail; we want precisely what that harmony is, what it consists of, and what produces it.

A. Well, is it a railroad abuse, or is it an abuse to be in harmony with people?

Q. No; it is not abuse to be in harmony; there are some kinds of harmony that the law considers conspiracy.

A. Well, I have heard so.

By the Chairman.

Q. What we want to know is this: This Standard Oil Company in itself is, as we understand it, a large organisation, not very extensive, but is made so by contracts with various other organisations, that are not a part of it, by their written contract or verbal contract or understanding, or whatever you term it; we want to know whether that is not the fact, and if that is not what you refer to when you speak about working in harmony.

A. Mr. Chairman, I want to give you all the information that is necessary in this matter for your purposes, but it is a question in my mind whether it is a proper thing for me, even if there is no harm done by it, to divulge my business secrets.

Q. We do not ask you for your secrets; we simply ask you the general nature of this organisation.

A. I have explained it, I think, to you quite as fully as I can.

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