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and speedily agreed to in both Houses. On February 14, 1903, it received the signature of the President.
The first year of the Bureau's work was largely taken up in a close inspection of the whole field that would eventually be covered by its operations. Studies were made of action taken by the different States in the matter of corporate control and regulation, and also of statutes, constitutions, and court decisions. Preliminary investigations were made of the organization and operations of certain of the larger corporate combinations. This early work of the Bureau naturally led to the economic field rather than to the legal, as the Bureau, under the act creating it, has no power of remedial redress, nor was it created for the purpose of directly assisting individuals in their private relationships to large corporations. Its investigatory work, by the terms of the organic act, is for the purpose of acquiring and transmitting to the President of the United States information concerning combinations and consolidations and their operations which will enable him to recommend legislation, and which may also, under his direction, be made public through printed reports. The preparation and issuance of such reports has essentially constituted the work of the Bureau up to this time.
The Bureau's investigations thus far have naturally, to a great extent, been connected with the control by corporations of the natural resources of the country. In this connection, investigations have been made of the petroleum industry, the steel industry, and the lumber industry. Another important though somewhat less extensive investigation involved the control of water power. Certain other investigations have been especially concerned with conditions involved in the sale and distribution of articles of very general consumption, as, for instance, those of the beef industry and the tobacco industry. Another investigation, having a vital bearing on the entire subject of waterways, was that of transportation by water, and the element of control involved in the ownership of terminals and water carriers. Still another investigation of great public importance because of its direct relation to the agricultural interests of the country is that of the International Harvester Co. The early study of the corporation statutes of the various States developed somewhat naturally into an investigation of State taxation of corporations, in connection with which the Bureau has already submitted several parts of its report, which, when completed, will cover the entire country.
The last paragraph of the act creating the Bureau and defining its duties with respect to the investigation of corporations expressly mentions corporations “engaged in insurance.” In the early years of the Bureau's existence considerable attention was paid to that subject. Later, it was definitely decided to abandon this field, owing to doubtful Federal jurisdiction, insurance having repeatedly been held by the Supreme Court of the United States not to be commerce.
One of the first essentials in the conduct of the work of the Bureau is the treatment of each individual investigation on its own merits with the scientific aim of ascertaining the exact facts. This results in a marked degree of discrimination and in clear definition of the particular principles involved in a given case. The vital principle involved in the Bureau's work by reason of the terms of the organic act creating it is that of publicity. The results of this publicity have been substantial. A direct and practical effect is seen in the use made of the Bureau's reports in laying the basis for constructive legislation, and again in their frequent use as the basis of judicial proceedings. A further exceedingly important result has been the corrective effect upon the interests specifically investigated. A less noticeable but perhaps even more important result of the Bureau's work has been the enlightenment of public opinion by the publication of precise and carefully verified information concerning the operations of some of the large corporations.
The organization of the Bureau is simple. Outside of those employees assigned to matters involving administration and accounts, and the stenographic division, the force consists, broadly speaking, of two classes—investigators and statisticians. The expert investigators of the Bureau, technically known as special examiners, have to a large extent either been given charge of an investigation or assigned to the most important constructive work, such as the preparation of text or direction of field investigation, these men being directly responsible to the Commissioner. They have been assisted in turn by field agents or other special examiners, and by members of the clerical force assigned to particular investigations. In the main, however, the statistical work of the Bureau instead of being distributed among the various investigations has been handled by a compact unit or division conducting the statistical work in general.
The actual work of investigation has to a large extent devolved upon the special examiners directly in charge of such investigations, subject to constant supervision by the Commissioner. As the results of this work are drafted for publication, they are submitted to the Commissioner, who reads and revises them, and epitomizes them in the form of letters of submittal for submission to the President of the United States and with a view to publication in the press. Accompanying these letters of submittal in most instances, moreover, there has been a summary digest giving in rather more extended but still condensed form the essential facts contained in the reports. It has been found that these letters of submittal and the accompanying summaries have resulted in very widespread publicity of the
me the principimublicity. It
results of the Bureau's work. This cooperation of the press is an exceedingly important factor.
Up to this time the principal work of the Bureau has therefore been that of investigation and publicity. It has not been a bureau of record. Frequently letters of inquiry are received by the Bureau for specific information about particular corporations, evidently under the impression that the Bureau keeps a record of all corporations, or at least of the larger corporations, and of the leading facts connected with their organization and operation, for general information. It is desirable to correct this impression, for such is not the case. Recommendations have repeatedly been made to provide for the automatic submission to the Bureau of the leading facts concerning the organization and operation of the principal corporations engaged in interstate commerce, but thus far no action has been taken.
LAW PERTAINING TO THE BUREAU OF CORPORATIONS.
(As modified by act of March 4, 1913.] Bureau of Cor. There shall be in the Department of Commerce a Feb. 14, 1903 (82 bureau to be called the Bureau of Corporations, and a Commissioner .. Commissioner of Corporations who shall be the head of
said bureau, to be appointed by the President, who shall
receive a salary of five thousand dollars per annum. Deputy. Com- There shall also be in said bureau a deputy commissioner
who shall receive a salary of three thousand five hundred dollars per annum, and who shall in the absence of the Commissioner act as, and perform the duties of, the Commissioner of Corporations, and who shall also perform
such other duties as may be assigned to him by the SecEmployees.
retary of Commerce or by the said Commissioner. There shall also be in the said bureau a chief clerk and such special agents, clerks, and other employees as may be
authorized by law.1 Duties of Com- The said Commissioner shall have power and authority
to make, under the direction and control of the Secretary of Commerce, diligent investigation into the organization, conduct, and management of the business of any corporation, joint stock company or corporate combination engaged in commerce among the several States and with
foreign nations excepting common carriers subject to “An excepted.
Act to regulate commerce," approved February fourth,
1 The personnel of the Bureau is provided for in the annual appropriation acts.
domnel the Testimony and
eighteen hundred and eighty-seven, and to gather such information and data as will enable the President of the United States to make recommendations to Congress for legislation for the regulation of such commerce, and to report such data to the President from time to time as he shall require; and the information so obtained or as much thereof as the President may direct shall be made public. In order to accomplish the purposes declared in the Power and au
thority of Comforegoing part of this section, the said Commissioner shall missioner. have and exercise the same power and authority in respect to corporations, joint stock companies and combinations subject to the provisions hereof, as is conferred on the Interstate Commerce Commission in said “Act to regulate commerce” and the amendments thereto in respect to common carriers so far as the same may be applicable, including the right to subpæna and compel the w attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence and to administer oaths. All the requirements, obligations, liabilities, and immunities imposed or conferred by said "Act to regulate commerce" and by “An Act in relation to testimony before the Interstate Commerce Commission, and so forth, approved February eleventh, eighteen hundred and ninety-three, supplemental to said “Act to regulate commerce,” shall also apply to all persons who may be subpænaed to testify as witnesses or to produce documentary evidence in pursuance of the authority conferred by this section.
It shall also be the province and duty of said bureau, .. Useful informaunder the direction of the Secretary of Commerce, to piled. gather, compile, publish, and supply useful information concerning corporations doing business within the limits of the United States as shall engage in interstate commerce or in commerce between the United States and any foreign country, including corporations engaged in insur- Insurance cor
porations. ance, and to attend to such other duties as may be hereafter provided by law.
That under the immunity provisions in the Act en- Immunity to titled “An Act in relation to testimony before the Inter- June 30, 1906 state Commerce Commission,” and so forth, approved 34 February eleventh, eighteen hundred and ninety-three, in section six of the Act entitled “An Act to establish the Department of Commerce,” approved February fourteenth, nineteen hundred and three, and in the Act entitled “An Act to further regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the States,” approved February nineteenth, nineteen hundred and three, and in the Act entitled "An Act making appropriations for the legislative, executive, and judicial expenses of the Government for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and four, and for other purposes," approved February twenty-fifth, nineteen hundred and three, immunity shall extend only to a natural person who, in obedience to a subpæna, gives testimony under oath or produces evidence, documentary or otherwise, under oath.
tion to be com
BUREAU OF FISHERIES. The Bureau of Fisheries owed its inception to the widely entertained opinion that the fisheries in general were diminishing in value and importance on account of the intensity and methods with which they were prosecuted, a view which investigation has shown to be justified with respect to many fishes and other valuable aquatic animals. The American Fish Culturists' Association (now the American Fisheries Society) took a leading part in advocating an investigation of the subject, and largely through its influence and the representations of State fishery officers Congress passed a joint resolution, approved February 9, 1871, which provided for the appointment of a Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, who was directed to conduct investigations concerning the facts and the causes of the alleged diminution and the feasibility of remedial measures. This was the beginning of one of the earliest and most effective conservation movements undertaken by the Federal Government.
Until July 1, 1903, the establishment was independent, reporting directly to Congress, and was known as the United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries, but on the organization of the Department of Commerce it was included by law in the new Department and the name was changed to its present designation. A
The original conception of the Bureau was a body for scientific, statistical, and practical investigation of the fisheries, and that phase of its work always has been prominent; but it was soon found that to secure the practical end which dictated its formation it should be clothed with powers to make its own findings effective. This was in part accomplished by an act approved June 10, 1872, which gave authority for the propagation of food fishes, a branch of the service which has grown until at present it constitutes the larger part of the Bureau's activities.
Until recently the Bureau was wholly without administrative or executive control of the fisheries, as these functions are vested in the several States within whose territorial limits the fisheries are located. There existed, and in major part still exists, the anomalous condition of an organization national in scope but performing duties of local importance which is without power to give direct effect to some of its activities or to adequately protect the results of others. This condition has caused some embarrassment in places, and has often retarded the practical application of the results of investigations and experiments, but on the whole the results are better than might be