« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
the special division, which is a branch of the operating division, to receive and file these monthly reports, to examine them for errors and omissions, and to separate them in different classes for the purpose of tabulation. The statistics from these accident reports are compiled and published in quarterly bulletins which are distributed to the general public. During the past year 895 operating roads made reports to the Commission. Of this number 450 reported accidents, while 445 made affidavits that they had no accidents of any kind to report. The law gives the railroad companies thirty days after the close of the month in which the accidents occur within which to file their monthly reports, yet 25 per cent of the railroads reporting accidents were ten days or more late at various times during the year in filing their reports, and a greater percentage than the above were reminded each month that their reports were past due. Many of the latter, however, had no accidents to report. Eighty-three roads omitted one or more accidents, which should have been included in their statements to the Commission. One hundred and ten was the average number of reports in which it was found necessary to make corrections for each month during the year. The detection of these errors required great vigilance and occasioned much correspondence.
Besides the receiving, filing, correcting, and tabulating of these monthly reports, the mailing lists of the operating division are maintained, consisting of the addresses of 29,000 persons who receive the annual report of the Commission, of 6,000 persons who are furnished with copies of the quarterly bulletin of accidents, and of 1,800 persons who are furnished with reports and opinions, and miscellaneous documents published by the Commission.
The work of the safety appliance branch of the operating division consists in the inspection of safety appliances on railroads. On December 1, 1904, the force consisted of twelve inspectors in the field and four clerks in the office. The work is in charge of a chief inspector who assigns the inspectors to such territory as the work may require. A daily record of the work of each inspector is kept. Reports of inspection are examined and filed and transcripts or extracts are sent to the railroads concerned calling attention to the condition of the equipment with a view to securing better conditions. Correspondence is conducted in regard to this matter from this branch of the office, under the direct supervision of the secretary.
Information filed by the inspectors in regard to violations of the safety appliance laws is examined and, if evidence sufficent for prosecution is shown, the matter is brought to the attention of the proper district attorney for action. A record is kept of the conditions existing on each railroad inspected, and a tabulation of the reports received is made to show the condition of equipment at all times.
By the courtesy of the Department of the Interior this Commission buys its supplies through that Department and receives the advantage of the reduced prices obtained by it in the making of large purchases. A few articles needed for the use of the Commission which are not contracted for by the Department of the Interior are purchased after bids are received.
The library of the Commission is of increasing value each year as a reference library. The Commission receives many requests for infor: mation by mail on questions pertaining to the railroad and transportation subjects, and our library has proven invaluable in answering such inquiries. The aim of the Commission is to accumulate a collection of books, railway commission reports, articles relating to railroad reports of foreign countries, etc., as far as possible. In fact it hopes to obtain all literature which would be of interest to the student of railway development, management, and regulation. The work calls for study and indefatigable attention. During the year efforts have been directed toward making carefully selected accessions to the library. Many volumes, pamphlets, and documents (the greater number of which were secured without expenditure) upon various subjects connected with railroads, safety appliances, internal commerce, and current papers and periodicals devoted to transportation and cognate subjects, both in this country and many foreign countries, have found places on the library shelves. It is gratifying that this collection has been of value to the growing need of the public in general, to students of railway economics all over the country, to representatives of the press, and foreigners temporarily in Washington.
DIVISION OF STATISTICS.
The routine work of the statistical division for the most part deals with the annual reports that the railway companies render to the Interstate Commerce Commission. This work involves a detailed examination and verification of the returns in these reports, as well as voluminous correspondence concerning them, and, subsequently, the compilation of the data and the preparation of the statistical reports published. The most important publication has the title, “Annual Report on the Statistics of Railways in the United States," and constitutes a volume of more than 700 pages. There is also issued, as soon as practicable after the close of each year, a Preliminary Report on the Income Account of Railways, which presents the general results of railway operations for the year as shown by the principal item in an income-account statement.
The work accomplished by the statistical division has continuously increased, not only in consequence of normal development, but also because particular demands upon its resources for information have materially enlarged. This tendency toward a beneficial expansion of the scope of this division of the Commission's organization is an indication of its value.
The following statement may be suggestive in some degree of the amount of work done, though, in the nature of the case, a recital of such facts can convey no adequate conception of its extent.
In the course of the past year about 5,000 letters and telegrams pertaining to the business of this division were sent to correspondents, as well as more than 5,000 circulars of several kinds. About 3,400 forms for annual report, 2,100 copies of the Classification of Operating Expenses and of Construction Expenses of Railways were distributed among railway officials. There were also furnished to fifteen State railway commissions, in accordance with their request, 1,040 report forms, closely resembling the interstate form, for the use of railway companies in rendering their annual reports as State carriers to such commissions. During the year substantially 6,000 letters, teleyrams, and circulars of information were received, and more than 1,300 reports of railways. The many statements and tables of miscellaneous character prepared for special purposes are disregarded in this enumeration.
DIVISION OF RATES AND TRANSPORTATION.
The files of this division contain the freight and passenger tariffs and other papers and documents connected with the same filed by the carriers.
The work of this division is practically the same as indicated in previous reports, consisting of correspondence relative to the construction, publication, and filing of tariffs; the indexing, filing, and care of the tariffs received; the examination of complaints and comparison of statements made therein with the rates shown in the tariffs on file, furnishing information relative to freight and passenger rate schedules, and the preparation of statements and tables of rates for the use of the Commission and for other purposes.
A large reduction in the number of concurrence notices filed is shown, which is accounted for by the fact that a number of carriers have authorized the publication of joint tariffs in their behalf by other carriers or associations, filing with the Commission a certificate to the effect that such publications of rates are binding on them whenever they are named as parties thereto, unless the Commission shall receive notice to the contrary. In such cases the filing of separate certificates of concurrence in joint tariffs and for each supplement and amendment to such tariffs has tentatively been discontinued. In other respects the number of papers handled by the division compares favorably with previous years, and a large increase in the number of cases requiring the preparation of statements and tables of rates is noted.
The following is a statement of the number of papers handled during the year ending November 30, 1904:
The case of the Interstate Commerce Commission against Baird et al. is described in another part of this report in an article entitled, “Compulsory Testimony before the Commission.”
THE CHESAPEAKE & OHIO COAL CASE.
Our last annual report described the investigation relating to rates on coal by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company and the filing subsequently of a petition by the Commission against that company and the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company in the United States circuit court for the western district of Virginia, under the Elkins Act of February 19, 1903, praying for an injunction restraining the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company from continuing to depart from its rates on coal or other traffic in which it might be engaged, and also to restrain the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company from having coal transported for it by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company at less than the published tariff rates of the latter company. It was further stated in that report that a temporary injunction in accordance with the prayer of the Commission had been granted and that the case had been tried but the court had not yet announced its decision.
The decision of the court was rendered on February 19 of the present year (128 Fed. Rep., 59). The decision is peculiar in that, while the case was brought by the Commission under the Elkins law, and the object of the injunction was the restraining of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company from carrying coal at less than its published tariff rates, with the like restraint upon the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company as to receiving concessions from the tariff rates on coal consigned to it, the court decided the case under the third section or undue preference clause of the act to regulate commerce. The contract between the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company and the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company under which the coal for the latter was furnished by the Chesapeake & Ohio upon such terms that the ('hesapeake & Ohio could not and did not receive for the transportation its published tariff rates, and the subsequent agreement between the Chesapeake & Ohio and the New York, New Haven & Hartford to furnish the latter company in 1903 with 60,000 tons of coal, the amount remaining undelivered under the old contract, were held to operate to give the purchaser, the New Haven road, an undue preference and advantage and to subject others to undue discrimination and disadvantage in violation of the third section of the interstate commerce act; and the contract and agreement above mentioned were declared to be illegal and unenforceable. The further performance of the agreement in 1903 for the sale and shipment of the coal was enjoined. The court declined, however, to enjoin the Chesapeake & Ohio from further departing from its tariff rates in the transportation of coal or of interstate traffic generally, and this was, of course, the object of the proceeding by the Commission. Appeals to the Supreme Court were taken both by the Commission and the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company.
THE ORANGE CASES.
The Commission having filed a petition in the circuit court for the southern district of California for the enforcement of its order against the Southern Pacific Company, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company, and affiliated roads in what are known as the California Orange Routing cases, the court, on September 6 last, rendered its decision (132 Fed. Rep., 829). The Southern Pacific and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe systems, as initial carriers from southern California in joint continuous routes to eastern markets used for the transportation of oranges and other citrus fruits, adopted a regulation whereby they reserved to themselves exclusive control of the routing and denied to shippers any choice or control in a selection between the different established routes. Under such a regulation the rate or tariff may be available to one shipper, but not to another, and open one minute to a shipper, but closed the next, this to be determined by the carriers' agents as they may desire to distribute the shippers' business from time to time or for any reason whatsoever. This practice of these initial lines, whereby shippers were denied the use of transportation facilities by established routes, was held by the Commission to be in violation of the act to regulate commerce, and, further, that its application to the traffic in question subjected the owners and shippers thereof to undue, unjust, and unreasonable prejudice and disadvantage and gave the carriers undue and unreasonable preference and advantage. An order prohibiting the continuance of