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Section 7 of the Railroad Commission Law provides that the State shall provide the Board with suitable offices in the State Capitol Building. As

were 1:0 vacant offices in the Capitol at the time the members of the Board qualified the Commission met in one of the House Committee rooms on March lat, 1907, and completed the organization of the Board by electing B. T. Stanton, Chairman and appointing H. K. Howry, secretary and Miss Alma Mohr, stenographer. Upon the adjournment of the Tenth Legislative Assembly the State Furnishing Board directed that the offices used by the Speaker, Chief Clerk and Sergeant-at-Arms of the House together with the three committee rooms adjoining should be occupied by the Railroad Commission for the use of its members and employes.

CONFERENCE WITH OTHER COMMISSIONS. With the inauguration of the Commission's work came the organization ond buildng up of an entirely new state department. The work of the Board necessarily being largely one of handling multitudinous details in conwection with freight, passenger and express rates, it was early appreciated that the experience of established commissions would be of much value with referenre lo organization.

This Commission having received an invitaton from the Railroad Comminnion of Washington to visit Olympia and there meet in joint conference with the Oregon and Washington Commissions, proceeded to Olympia, where on April 10, 11, 12 and 13th. 1907, the three Boards held conferences. Railroad Commission work in all its phases was gone into thoroughly and much information of value to this Board, was acquired.

From Olympia the Commissions of Washington, Oregon and Montana proceeded to Portland, where on April 15, 16 and 17th, the members and respective secretaries, attended with much profit the hearings on the famous Spokane rate case, before Judge Prouty of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

CONGESTION OF FREIGHT TRAFFIC.

At the beginning of the work of the Commission, it was confronted by a serious condition in connection with the congestion of traffic on the two transcontinental lines crossing our state. So serious had this become that the volume of commodities offered to railways for transportation was greatly in excess of the equipment and power to handle, or the trackage to accommodate. his situation resulting from the unprecedented increase in the volume of trade between Northwestern and Eastern markets, without any proportionate addition to transportation facilities to care for the same, resulted not only in great inconvenience but financial loss as well to both consignors and consignees.

HELPING TO AVERT FUEL FAMINE.

Having in view the scarcity of the coal supply at the principal consuming points in the State, during the winters of 1906 and 1907, and realizing that owing to increased congestion of other commodities, the movement of coal would be retarded, the Board issued on June 15th, 1907, a circular letter urging the necessity of dealers and consumers to anticipate a coal famine by earlier shipments and also to arrange with the railroads to give coal shipments preference until such time as the towns and cities along their lines were well stocked with fuel. The records at the various stations show that the citizens very generally co-operated with the Commission in this respect as the receipts of coal at the principal points in the months of July, August and September, were from 40 per cent to 70 per cent greater than the same months of the previous year.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE RAILWAY COMMISSIONERS.

Chairman Stanton, representing the Montana Commission attended the Nineteenth Annual Convention of the National Association of Railway Commissions held at Washington, D. C., October 8th-11th, 1907. At this meeting the following states were represented by one or more members of their respective Commissions: Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington, Wisconsin and five members of the Interstate Commerce Commission. The discussion of such problems as rates and rate making, safety appliances, uniform classification, railroad taxation, demurrage, physical valuation of

"We have had many formal hearings in the interest of the proper administration of the law; have investigated a number of wrecks and accidents, and have encountered much work and study in laying the proper foundation for the effective administration of the law, systematizing the files and records of the office, and in adopting suitable rules and regulations.

"Any further information, data, or report which your Excellency may desire will be gladly furnished you at any time you may ask for it.

“The Commission has full and complete data and records of all of its work and proceedings to the present date.

Respectfully submitted,
(Signed)

B. T. STANTON, Chairman,
NATHAN GODFREY,
E. A. MORLEY,

Commissioners.

ORGANIZATION.

Section 7 of the Railroad Commission Law provides that the State shall provide the Board with suitable offices in the State Capitol Building. As there were no vacant offices in the Capitol at the time the members of the Board qualified the Commission met in one of the House Committee rooms on March 1st, 1907, and completed the organization of the Board by electing B. T. Stanton, Chairman and appointing H. K. Howry, secretary and Miss Alma Mohr, stenographer. Upon the adjournment of the Tenth Legislative Assembly the State Furnishing Board directed that the offices used by the Speaker, Chief Clerk and Sergeant-at-Arms of the House together with the three committee rooms adjoining should be occupied by the Railroad Commission for the use of its members and employes.

CONFERENCE WITH OTHER COMMISSIONS.

With the inauguration of the Commission's work came the organization iud buildng up of an entirely new state department. The work of the Board necessarily being largely one of handling multitudinous details in convection with freight, passenger and express rates, it was early appreciated that the experience of established commissions would be of much value with reference to crganization.

This Commission having received an invitaton from the Railroad Commission of Washington to visit Olympia and there meet in joint conference with the Oregon and Washington Commissions, proceeded to Olympia, where on April 10, 11, 12 and 13th, 1907, the three Boards held conferences. Railroad Commission work in all its phases was gone into thoroughly and much information of value to this Board, was acquired.

From Olympia the Commissions of Washington, Oregon and Montana proceeded to Portland, where on April 15, 16 and 17th, the members and respective secretaries, attended with much profit the hearings on the famous Spokane rate case, before Judge Prouty of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

CONGESTION OF FREIGHT TRAFFIC.

At the beginning of the work of the Commission, it was confronted by a serious condition in connection with the congestion of traffic on the two transcontinental lines crossing our state. So serious had this become that the volume of commodities offered to railways for transportation was greatly in excess of the equipment and power to handle, or the trackage to accommodate. This situation resulting from the unprecedented increase in the volume of trade between Northwestern and Eastern markets, without any proportionate addition to transportation facilities to care for the same, resulted not only in great inconvenience but financial loss as well to both consignors and consignees.

HELPING TO AVERT FUEL FAMINE.

Having in view the scarcity of the coal supply at the principal consuming points in the State, during the winters of 1906 and 1907, and realizing that owing to increased congestion of other commodities, the movement of coal would be retarded, the Board issued on June 15th, 1907, a circular letter urging the necessity of dealers and consumers to anticipate a coal famine by earlier shipments and also to arrange with the railroads to give coal shipments preference until such time as the towns and cities along their lines were well stocked with fuel. The records at the various stations show that the citizens very generally co-operated with the Commission in this respect as the receipts of coal at the principal points in the months of July, August and September, were from 40 per cent to 70 per cent greater than the same months of the previous year.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE RAILWAY COMMISSIONERS.

Chairman Stanton, representing the Montana Commission attended the Nineteenth Annual Convention of the National Association of Railway Commissions held at Washington, D. C., October 8th-11th, 1907. At this meeting the following states were represented by one or more members of their respective Commissions: Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington, Wisconsin and five members of the Interstate Commerce Commission. The discussion of such problems as rates and rate making, safety appliances, uniform classification, railroad taxation, demurrage, physical valuation of

property of railroads, etc., by men who have been members of their respective boards for periods of ten to fifteen years, was of great advantage to newly created commissions.

Our state was honored by the National Association in the assignment of one member of the Montana Commission on one of the important committees, viz: Railroad taxation and plans for ascertaining fair valuation of railroad property.

CONCLUSION. One of the chief benefits, if indeed not the greatest advantage to the citizens of the State by the creation of a board of railroad commissioners, is in having a tribunal with comprehensive powers whose offices are always open, ready to receive and act upon any application within its authority, thus establishing an official medium whereby the public can obtain prompt attention and adjustment of any grievance as to service rendered by the common carriers. It has been the experience of the Montana Railroad Commission that a very large percentage of complaints, can be satisfactorily adjusted at enforced conferences between shippers and carriers, thus expediting the result, always having in reserve the authority to order formal proceedings in the premises.

Respectfully submitted,

B. T. STANTON, Chairman,
NATHAN GODFREY,
E. A. MORLEY,

Commissioners. H. K. HOWRY, Secretary.

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