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COMPANY there can be no doubt that the determining factor in the success of the Standard Oil Company in securing a practical monopoly of the oil indus try has been the special privileges it has enjoyed since the beginning of its career, it is equally true that those privileges alone will not account for its success. Something besides illegal advantages has gone into the making of the Standard Oil Trust. Had it possessed only the qualities which the general public has always attributed to it, its overthrow would have come before this. But this huge bulk, blackened by commercial sin, has always been strong in all great busi ness qualities—in energy, in intelligence, in dauntlessness. It has always been rich in youth as well as greed, in brains as well as unscrupulousness. If it has played its great game with contemptuous indifference to fair play, and to nice legal points of view, it has played it with consummate ability, daring and address. The silent, patient, all-seeing man who has led it in its transportation raids has led it no less successfully in what may be called its legitimate work. Nobody has appreciated more fully than he those qualities which alone make for per manent stability and growth in commercial ventures. He has insisted on these qualities, and it is because of this insistence that the Standard Oil Trust has always been something be sides a fine piece of brigandage, with the fate of brigandage before it, that it has been a thing with life and future.

If one attempts to analyse what may be called the legitimate greatness of Mr. Rockefeller's creation in distinction to its illegitimate greatness, he will find at the foundation the fact that it is as perfectly centralised as the Catholic church or the Napoleonic government. As was pointed out in a former chapter, the entire business was placed in 1882 in the hands of nine trustees, of whom Mr. Rockefeller was president. These trustees have always acted exactly as if they were nine partners in a business, and the only persons concerned in it. They met daily, giving their whole time to the management and devel opment of the concern, as the partners in a dry-goods house would. Anything in the oil world might come under their ken, from a smoking wick in Oshkosh to the competition of Russian oil in China. Everything; but nothing came unless

it was necessary; for below them, and sifting things for their eyes, were committees which dealt with the various depart ments of the business. There was a Crude Committee which considered the subject of crude oil, the world over; a Manu facturing Committee which studied the making of refined, the utilisation of waste, the development of new products; a Marketing Committee which considered the markets. Before each of these committees was laid daily all the information to be found on earth concerning its particular field; not only were there reports made to it of what was doing in its line in the Standard Oil Trust, but information came of everything connected with such work everywhere by everybody. These committees not only knew all about their own business, they knew all about everybody else's. The Manufacturing Com mittee knew just what each of the feeble independent refiners still- existing was doing—what its resources and advantages were; the Transportation Committee knew what rates it got; the Marketing Committee knew its market. Thus the fullest information about new developments of crude, new openings for refined, new processes of manufacture, was always at the command of the nine trustees of the trust.

How did they get this information? As the press does—by a wide-spreading system of reporters. In 188z• the Standard had correspondents in every town in the oil fields, and to-day it has them not only there but in every capital of the globe. It is a common enough thing, indeed, in European capitals to run across high-class newspaper correspondents, consuls, or business men who add to their incomes by private reporting to the Standard Oil Company. The people in their employ naturally report all they learn. There are also outsiders who report what they pick up—"occasional contributions." There is more than one man in the Oil Regions who has made his livelihood for years by picking up information for the Stand ard. "Spies," they are called there. They may deserve the name sometimes, but the service may be perfectly legitimate.

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