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the second division 1 employé was killed for every 241 men employed, or 1 trainman for every 65 trainmen employed. Other figures are in about the same proportion as those given. The third division, that is to say, the territory occupied by the western railways, conforms in the main, so far as accidents are concerned, to the second division.
The detailed statistics, of which the foregoing is a synopsis, may be found in the report of the statistician, published in a separate volume. The figures therein given relating to capitalization of railways, and other data, are either those filed in the official reports of railway companies to the Commission, or are deductions based on the information so reported.
In connection with these statistics it is suggested to the Commission:
(1) That corporations and companies furnishing rolling stock to railways should be obliged to submit some report as to their equipments and as to the amount and character of the business done by them; also that corporations and companies owning terminal facilities leased to railways should be required to submit corresponding reports.
(2) That express companies should be required to make reports of traffic operations to the Interstate Commerce Commission. The business which they carry on is in reality a business of quick delivery of freight. The amount of money which they pay annually to the railways exceeds $20,000,000, and their gross income is believed to exceed $40,000,000. They should be treated as a branch of the railway service.
(3) That transportation on the Great Lakes and the coasting and river traffic should be brought under the control of the Interstate Commerce Commission, so far at least as statistics are concerned. The traffic on the Great Lakes in 1889, estimated in ton mileage, equaled 22 per cent of the traffic of all the railways in the United States. The coast and river traffic is known to be of immense magnitude. It is impossible to secure complete statistics of transportation without calling upon water carriers for a statement of business done, and it is believed that, in some instances at least, water lines are used to assist railways in evading the requirements of the interstate commerce law.
These suggestions to the Commission are submitted for the consideration of Congress.
GOVERNMENT-AIDED RAILROAD AND TELEGRAPH LINES.
The duties imposed upon the Commission in regard to Governmentaided railroad and telegraph lines by the act of Congress of August 7, 1888 (chap. 72, acts of Fifty-first Congress, U. S. Stats. at Large, p. 382), have been performed. The Commission treated this subject at length in its third annual report, and last year reported that blanks had been supplied to the several aided lines, as provided in the act, but that none of the companies had forwarded the information required. Reports for that year have since been filed by the Sioux City and Pacific Railway Company and the Northern Pacific Railroad Company. The Commission sent blank forms for the current year to all the lines required to report, receiving no returns, except from the two companies above named, and these are incomplete and not in compliance with the act. The Attorney-General has been notified of these failures to ob. serve the statute, and the Commission is informed that legal proceedings have been instituted under his direction to compel the railroads in question to fulfill the requirements of the law.
REPARATION FOR DAMAGES.
In a number of complaints made in the past year the Commission has been asked to order reparation for damages alleged to have been sustained. Prior to the amendment of March 2, 1889, no provision was made for enforcing in the courts by judgment and execution any recommendation or order for such reparation which the Commission might make. As the law then stood any order of reparation would have been altogether ineffectual, and the Commission generally declined to consider the question of damages, and confined its recommendations or orders to questions of regulation or matters of an injunctive character, to prevent the continuance of wrong rather than to afford redress for past injuries.
The amendment of March 2, 1889, provided a summary remedy for the recovery of damages in court by the party to whom the Commission might award reparation; yet in most cases presented to the Commission, involving the question of damages, that question seemed so peculiarly suitable for jury trial, it was deemed proper to leave it for determination in the courts. In some of the United States circuit courts it has been recently held that where the Commission has been asked to consider a claim for damages, that question can not be subsequently made the basis of a suit in court, even though the Commission declined to pass upon it. If these decisions correctly interpret the law, a failure or refusal on the part of the Commission to act upon the question of damages leaves the party without redress.
Since the announcement of these decisions the Commission has considered and passed upon the question of reparation whenever the issues and the evidence required it.
SPECIAL SESSIONS AND INQUIRIES.
To keep itself informed as to the manner in which the business of common carriers is conducted, and to promote the public convenience while endeavoring to execute and enforce the act, the Commission has during the year held special sessions, made investigations, and insti. tuted inquiries at Jacksonville, Fla.; Aiken, S. C.; Chicago, Ill.; Milwaukee, Wis.; St. Paul, Minn.; Fargo, N. Dak.; Spokane Falls, Wash.;
Portland, Oregon; San Francisco, Cal.; Denver, Colo.; Topeka, Kans.; Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo., and Boston, Mass.
The magnitude of the business of railway transportation, the enormous capital invested, and great number of persons employed in it require full information and great familiarity with the varied conditions affecting transportation in widely separated sections of the country. The knowledge necessary to any proper railway regulation can scarcely be acquired without opportunity for local inquiry and investigation in a country of such vast extent and in which the cost and other conditions of transportation are so different and subject to such variety of circumstances in different sections.
It would, it is believed, facilitate and better secure the enforcement of the law to hold such special sessions and local investigations in the various parts of the country more frequently, if other imperative duties imposed on the Commission would permit. Some of the information and advantages of these local examinations might be secured, under the direction of the Commission, by special agents, were their appointment authorized in accordance with the recommendations made in previous annual reports. The administrative duties of the Commission connected with establishing and changing rates and charges, publication and filing of rate sheets, classification of freight, collection and preparation of Statistics, adjustment and settlement of controversies by means of correspondence, and the investigation and decision of disputed questions is done at the main office in Washington. The performance of these duties leaves to the Commission scant time for necessary work elsewhere. An abstract of the decisions made during the year and of the more important decisions previously made is given in Appendix B. These decisions, in the form of reports and conclusions, are published and copies sent to the parties interested, to common carriers, and to members of Congress.
PROGRESS IN THE WORK OF REGULATION.
In respect to most of its principal provisions, there has been in the past year marked improvement in the disposition of carriers towards compliance with the law. Greater charges for shorter distances, unjust discriminations, and undue or unreasonable advantages favoring particular persons or places or kinds of business, are less frequent. But in the matter of establishing rates and charges, perfecting, publishing, and filing of rate sheets, little progress has been made, and in this the action of railway officials has been unsatisfactory. Especially in respect to joint tariffs of rates and charges the plainest provisions of the law are neglected. The duties imposed upon the carriers by the statute in this respect are frequently left to irresponsible agencies, through which schedules of rates are in some instances filed without authority and at times announced without compliance with the statute. When afterwards an attempt is made to hold the carriers to their duty as prescribed by any such rate sheet they escape responsibility through the neglect and omission of duty of their own agents.
Among the various devices which have from time to time been adopted by carriers for the purpose of reducing passenger rates without previously publishing notice of the contemplated reduction, as required by law, one deserves special mention.
It was availed of by one of the lines connecting Chicago with St. Paul and Minneapolis.
The price of unlimited tickets over the line in question, from Minneapolis or St. Paul to Chicago was, in March, 1890, $11.50, and the prices of special limited tickets, between the same places at the same time, were $7 for first class and $4 for second class.
The company's passenger rate sheet, in effect on the 12th day of March, 1890, and on file with the Commission, was, as respects rates from Minneapolis and St. Paul to Chicago, as follows:
On the day last referred to, to wit, the 12th day of March, 1890, cer tain prominent officials of the company in question sold to a ticket broker or scalper in Minneapolis 5,000 tickets, stamped on their face “special limited," at the price of $7 each, or $35,000 for the entire number sold. These tickets contained in the margin numbers from 1 to 31, inclusive, representing the number of days in the longest month, and also contained in the margin the names of all the months of the year, and figures expressing each year from 1890 to 1896, inclusive.
So that by means of cancellation of numbers expressing days and years, and of the names of the months, any date might be designated on the ticket from day of issue to December 31, 1896, inclusive. Each ticket also contained on its face the following: This ticket will not be accepted for passage after date canceled in margin.
In point of fact no dates were canceled in the margin. Criminal proceedings were instituted against the officials of the company who sold the so-called “special limited” tickets above described, based upon the theory that such tickets were in fact "unlimited tickets. The charge of the indictment was, therefore, that the defendants violated the act by charging less to some persons than to others for the same service, etc., transportation from St. Paul to Chicago on unlimited tickets; and (2) by charging less than published rates for such transportation.
The published rate for unlimited tickets it will be remembered was $11.50, and the price at which the special tickets were sold by the officers of the company was $7. The court instructed the jury to acquit, holding under the evidence, and under its construction of the “ special limited” ticket, that the latter did not carry all the privileges of the 66 unlimited ticket.”
The court held in fact that the tickets in question, while unlimited as to the time within which a journey on one of them might be commenced, were limited to a continuous trip after the journey was once begun.
The evidence disclosed the common understanding of an “unlimited ticket” to be that there was no limit either to the time within which the journey on it should be commenced, or to the right to stop over at pleasure on the route.
The “special limited” tickets being held to differ from the 66 unlimited ticket” in the latter particular, the theory of the prosecution failed and the proceedings were ineffectual.
In the opinion of the court the “special limited” tickets, so called, differed in respect to the rights acquired by the holder thereof from both classes of tickets described in the published tariff of the carriers. From the unlimited ticket mentioned in the tariff, they differed in that they were limited as to stop-over privileges; from the limited ticket, mentioned in the tariff, they differed in that they were not limited as to time of commencing the journey under them.
The sixth section of the act to regulate commerce requires that the schedules of rates, fares, and charges, i.e., the tariff, published and filed with the Commission by carriers subject to the provision of the act, shall state separately “any rules or regulations which in anywise change, affect, or determine any part of the aggregate of such aforesaid rates, fares, and charges.”
The rule or regulation affecting the price of limited tickets was probably intended by the carrier to be stated in that column of the tariff sheet, of which an extract has been given above, headed "days limit," and fixing the limit at one day, this being understood to mean that a journey on a limited ticket could not be commenced later than one day after the issuance of the same. If this construction of the tariff sheet be correct it would appear very plain that the carrier issuing the socalled special limited tickets violated the law in failing to state on the tariff the rules and regulations” affecting the same, or in other words the exact particular in which such special tickets were limited.
Had the district attorney framed the indictments against the parties upon this theory of violation of the law, the prosecutions might have been sustained.
If under the law as it now stands the device, which has been above explained, may be adopted by the carriers with impunity, the field would seem to be open at any time for a war of passenger rates between carriers, with all its attendant evils, or at least the provisions