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PRESIDENT TODD : - Gentlemen, you have heard this interesting report of the Committee on Valuation. Is there any discussion on it?
W. H. SAWYER:— I want to state my views that the yardstick method is invaluable if it can be applied, and I do not agree with Mr. Perkins. I believe as a good business proposition, we should keep on going forward and approach more nearly what is defined throughout as the yardstick method, just as a matter of good business. I think that gives the view of the members of the Committee largely.
PRESIDENT TODD :- Mr. Maltbie, have you any suggestions to make in connection with this discussion?
W. H. MALTBIE :- I think not, Mr. President, unless there are some questions to be asked which I may be able to answer. I agree with Mr. Sawyer, in what he said with regard to the attitude of the industry toward this proposition. There is no doubt that a certain type of Court or Commission will reject the yardstick method. There is no doubt that a certain type of criticism will apparently discredit the yardstick method. My feeling is that it is applicable in cases, not only where there is no third party, but it is applicable in many cases where there is a third party in the case, because it is possible to demonstrate to a commission that a yardstick method is just as good as the detail method, if properly applied.
In our jurisdiction in Maryland, we have a good engineer on the Commission, and he knows that the yardstick method is as exact as the detail method, if properly applied. If we ever have to carry a case before the courts, we can then go as far into detail matters as may be necessary.
I think we must take the matter up with the Association of Public Utility Commissioners and with the courts, and carry the work to a point where it is recognized (by statute, if necessary) that the yardstick method in the hands of competent engineers is just as reliable as the so-called detail method, and in this way save the loss of time and the enormous expense of the detail method.
PRESIDENT TODD :- Mr. Clark, have you any suggestions to make on this report?
Harlow C. CLARK :- I think not, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT TODD:— Is there any further discussion on this report?
FRANK R. COATES :- I move its adoption. (The motion was duly seconded, put to vote, and carried.)
PRESIDENT TODD:— The next report is that of the Committee on Policy, by Britton I. Budd, Chairman.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON POLICY
To the Executive Committee of the American Electric Railway Asso
ciation: GENTLEMEN :-Your Committee on Policy this year has had presented to it a number of matters for consideration and recommendation, and we beg leave to submit herewith the following report covering the work done for the year: The Constitution provides as follows:
“The Policy Committee shall consider and make recommendations to the Executive Committee on all Questions of Policy which are brought to its attention by any of the other committees or by the executive committees or other committees of the affiliated associations. It shall serve as the agent of the Executive Committee on all questions of policy between this Association and the affiliated associations. It shall also deal with the relations of this Association to other national and local associations, and with reference to appointment and outline of policy to representatives of this Association and its affiliated associations on joint bodies with representatives of such other organizations. It shall deal with all other questions of policy referred to it by the Executive Committee. It shall be directly responsible for the supervision of the work of and reports
issued by the Bureau of Information and Service." In accordance with the above provisions, the following matters have been considered and acted upon : 1. PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF STANDING COMMITTEES IN ATTENDANCE AT
A request was received from the Executive Committee of the Engineering Association that the expenses of members attending standing committee meetings should be defrayed by the Association. This question was considered by your Committee on Policy after consulting with the members of the Executive Committee, and as a result a report was prepared setting forth the inadvisability of the Association assuming this expense, which is attached hereto as appendix "A.”
2. JOINT STUDY OF ART OF Power PRODUCTION.
The Executive Committee of the Engineering Association recommended that a co-operative study be undertaken with the National Electric Light Association and other National Utility Associations on the study on the cost of Power Production and the general advance in this art. This was referred to the Committee on Policy and the recommendation of the Engineering Association was approved.
3. STUDY OF INDUCTIVE INTERFERENCE.
The Executive Committee of the Engineering Association suggested that the study of Inductive Interference which has been under way on the part of other national associations should be taken up by this Association, and suggested that we make formal application to unite with other national associations in this investigation. This recommendation was approved with the provision that the matter should be handled by the Engineering Association with a representative from the Executive Committee, in much the same way that the Electrolysis question is being considered.
4. RecoMMENDATION FOR THE REMOVAL OF THE UPPER LIMIT OF DUES.
The suggestion made by one of the member companies that the maximum limit of dues, which is now paid by the larger companies, should be removed was referred jointly to the Committee on Finance and Policy. A letter was sent by the Secretary to the larger companies asking their views on this subject. The replies indicated a unanimity of opinion adverse to this proposal. In view of this the Committee has no recommendation to make at the present time with respect to any modification in the bases of dues.
The Committee has under advisement the formulation of a Code of Principles, which would, if approved, state the general policy of the Association. There seems to be a real need for such a Code. At this time your Committee wishes to report only progress in this matter.
Thomas N. McCARTER,
APPENDIX Should the Association Pay Committee Expenses? The payment of expenses of Committee Members by the American Association was discontinued by the Executive Committee in December, 1918. This action was taken primarily because the amount of money involved had been steadily increasing and represented too great a burden upon the Association's Resources. It was further believed that the payment of these expenses as carried on at that time did not represent an equitable arrangement as the custom was not a universal one; some companies continued to pay the expenses of their officers and employes while others submitted the bill to the Association.
The principal argument for the payment of these expenses by the Association has been that the work of the Committee is for the benefit of the industry at large, therefore, the cost should be distributed over the entire Association. In addition to this, it has been argued that it permits a freer selection of men since none need refuse on the score of the cost of attending committee meetings. This argument has been especially advanced in the case of certain companies which, either owing to eir geographical location or because of their financial condition were unable to defray the expenses of their representatives.
The above point of view, while worthy of consideration, does not in the opinion of the Committee on Policy cover the situation as it fails to take into account the benefit which accrues to the individual committeeman as well as his company as a result of his participation in this work. In other words, a man by serving on a committee, in the first place has an opportunity for broadening his knowledge and becoming a stronger and more capable officer of a company. In the second place, the special knowledge frequently acquired by committeemen as a result of their investigations has, in a number of cases, been of direct benefit to their employing companies. For example, a member of one of the Engineering Committees last year, as a result of his committee work learned of certain developments which resulted in the saving of approximately $20,000 to his company. This was a matter which could not have readily come out in the Committee's Report and even had it thus appeared it would have been too late to save the company the cost in this case, as they had already started an extensive construction which he was able to discontinue as a result,
Membership on Association Committees is in complete harmony with the policy which many companies have of encouraging their officers in belonging to the local chambers of commerce, rotary clubs and other civic organizations where they have an opportunity of taking part in community affairs for the development of mutual understanding between the company and the public. In the case of Associations' Committee work the opportunity is presented for interchange of views and policies as between companies.
So far as the actual effect on the attendance at committee meetings is concerned, the experience of the Engineering Association last year, from records in the Secretary's office, show that the average attendance was 77 per cent of the theoretic full attendance. In view of the fact that the membership on committees has been distributed geographically throughout the country and certain members of committees accept appointment with the understanding that they will conduct their work by correspondence, it does not appear that this question has had a serious effect on committee work.
A recent computation of the actual cost of the bare travelling expenses alone, including only railroad and Pullman fare for all members of the committees of the various Associations for a year, developed that this would amount to approximately $40,000. It, therefore, seems hardly justifiable as a sound financial policy, at the present time, for the Association to undertake to assume so great an addition to its normal expenses, representing as it does, over 25 per cent of the income from dues.
In view of this, the Committee on Policy suggests that the attention of Member Companies be directed to the considerations set forth in this brief review of existing conditions and that so far as possible Member Companies lend their support to committee work by defraying the expenses of their representatives.
PRESIDENT TODD :— The next report is that of the Committee on Cooperation with Manufacturers, by E. F. Wickwire, Secretary and General Sales Manager, Ohio Brass Company, Mansfield, Ohio, Chairman.
(Mr. Wickwire presented the report.)
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON CO-OPERATION OF
To the American Electric Railway Association:
GENTLEMEN: The Committee on Co-operation of Manufacturers submits its first Annual Report, as follows:
Your Committee was appointed and began its work less than a year afro. In a word, the task undertaken by the Committee was that of enl' sting the strength, influence and active support of the Manufacturing Company members in behalf of the Electric Railway Industry.
We all know that pirate jitneys, political demagogues, surface-thinking citizens and other destructive forces have been complicating the problem of the electric railway manager.