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DECEMBER 1, 1889.




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Washington, D. C., November 30, 1889.

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

The Interstate Commerce Commission has the honor to submit its third annual report, as follows:


Under the original act to regulate commerce the Commission was required to report to the Secretary of the Interior and the report was transmitted by him to Congress. By the amendments to the act approved March 2, 1889, the Commission was required to report directly to Congress.

In submitting its first annual report under this amendment, the Commission deems it appropriate to set forth the organization of its force for the systematic and efficient performance of its duties, and the character and distribution of the work.

The Commissioners themselves exercise a general control and direc tion over all the business of the Commission. They personally examine all complaints received, hear the trial of all controversies, conduct investigations, prepare all reports made, decisions rendered, and orders and circulars issued, allow subpoenas duces tecum, carry on the corre spondence relating to the action and duties of carriers and the rights of shippers, and various other things.

The Secretary acts as the executive officer and is also the disbursing agent of the Commission, and is under bonds for $20,000. His duties are varied, and relate to the Commission's records, mails, correspondence, service of papers, publications, distribution of documents, supplies of all kinds, payment of employés, disbursement of all moneys, and whatever else may be found necessary.

Apart from the Commissioners and Secretary, the force is divided into three sections or divisions.

One of these has diversified duties and is practically the operating division. This division consists of one senior clerk, four stenographers, eight general clerks, two junior clerks, and one messenger-seventeen in all. There are also six temporary employés in this division, namely, one clerk, two stenographers, and three type-writers.

The duties of this division embrace the filing and service of all papers in cases and proceedings before the Commission; keeping the docket of such cases and the minutes of the Commission; entering and serving orders; filing and indexing correspondence; printing and mailing circulars and reports; copying and forwarding testimony in cases and investigations; the purchase of stationery and all other supplies for the Commission; keeping the accounts of disbursements, and various other duties that may become necessary. The stenographers and type-writers in this division are also used by the Commissioners in the performance of their official duties, and usually take the testimony at public hearings.

Since December 1, 1888, 95 cases and investigations have been commenced before the Commission in which 567 railroad companies have filed answers or have otherwise appeared. In the cases brought before the Commission during the year, 447 railroad companies have been notified of their pendency and granted leave to intervene. A large number of copies of complaints, testimony, and exhibits filed in cases before the Commission has been prepared in this division and furnished without charge to parties in accordance with the rules of practice. The number of folios thus copied and furnished exceeds 50,000.

The number of letters received in this division during the year, relating to official business, was 7,862. The letters sent by the Commissioners and by the Secretary during the year amount to 9,525.

Another division is the rates and transportation division. The head of this division is termed the auditor. In addition to the head, the force consists of one assistant auditor, one senior clerk, one stenographer, twenty-one general clerks, two junior clerks, and one messen. ger twenty-eight in all.

This division has special charge of all railroad tariffs, classifications, contracts; the examination, comparison, notation of changes and files of these documents, and the correspondence relating to matters pertaining to this division.

The number of tariffs received for filing by this division since December 1, 1888, is, in round numbers 180,000; number of separate letters and packages received containing tariffs and other papers, 45,000. Number of acknowledgments of receipts of tariffs, 50,000. Number of letters written and forwarded from this division, 2,500.

The other division is the statistical division. The head of this division is called the statistician. The other force consists of one assistant statistician, two senior clerks, one of whom acts as chief clerk, one stenographer, ten general clerks, and one messenger; sixteen in all.

This division has special charge of the annual reports made by the railroad companies to the Commission pursuant to the twentieth section of the act to regulate commerce. This involves the examination of every report made; the correction of errors found therein, the compilation of the returns embraced in the reports, and the necessary tabulations of railway statistics for the report on that subject, together with the deduction of results therefrom, and the appropriate comment upon the data published. In addition to these duties, the investigation of the special questions in railway statistics is taken up from time to time. The compilation of the returns of the railroads for the year ending June 30, 1889, is now in progress and the statistical report will be submitted at as early a date as possible.

The preparation and distribution of the blank form of annual report for carriers, with accompanying pamphlets, is also part of the work of this division. The form for reports for the current year was sent to more than 1,500 railroads in the United States. Eighteen different editions of this form for as many different States were furnished, on request, to state railway commissioners, with reference to the important object of ringing about greater uniformity in State and United States returns of the railway statistics of the country.

The correspondence of this division during the last year numbered about five thousand letters received and about the same number of letters and circulars sent out.

The names and compensation of all employés are given in Appendix 1.


The general sessions of the Commission for the hearing of complaints, and for investigations of a general character relating to the business of common carriers and the manner and method in which the same is conducted, are usually held, pursuant to the act, at the city of Washington. This has been found more conducive to the dispatch of business and to the convenience of attendance from different parts of the country.

In addition to the sessions at Washington, sessions are also held and investigations made at various places in different parts of the country, whenever the subject of investigation is local, or the convenience of parties and witnesses will be subserved, or the Commission be likely to be better informed as to the peculiar facts of the case. In selecting points for investigations of this character the Commission is governed largely by the convenience of parties and witnesses, but, as is often the case, witnesses and parties ou one side or the other are required to travel considerable distances, as it is rarely possible to locate hearings so that both sides to a controversy will be equally accommodated.

The number of formal hearings and investigations assigned at Washington since the last annual report is seventy-three. The greater part

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