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Minnesota.-Three commissioners elected for 4 years. Commission to investigate rates, fares, and classifications; visit each county annually; hold sessions in any part of State; inquire into management of common carriers, and, at discretion of commission, these may be sued for noncompliance with orders; attorney-general ex officio attorney for commission; commission notifies carriers of petitions and complaints, and fixes rates either on complaint or on its own motion; subpœna witnesses; prescribe uniform systems of accounts; may require uniform gauges if thought necessary after examination.
Mississippi.-Three commissioners, elected for 4 years by districts. Commissioners may apply to courts of chancery to compel obedience to State laws, lawful orders, decisions, and determinations. "Every railroad ought to use the same classification of freight, and, as far as practicable, the railroad commission shall require them to do so, and to conform the classification to that in use in interstate commerce, when practicable." (Revised Statutes, 1892, section 4, 318.)
Missouri.-Three commissioners, elected for 6 years. Commissioners shall prosecute complaints involving unreasonable rates before Interstate Commerce Commission, subpoena witnesses, call for papers and books, and secure other evidence. Courtsmay revise orders of commission. Commission may classify freight and reduce rates; institute proceedings against railway companies; promote the consolidation of parallel lines, and prosecute companies for preventing competition between express companies. The commission also has power to establish connections between competing lines.
Nebraska.-Board of transportation composed of attorney-general, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, and commissioner of public lands. The law prescribes classification of freight in full. The commission shall inquire into the management and business of railways for the protection of public interests; subpoena witnesses and invoke power of courts; courts may compel obedience by injunction, but railways have power to appeal to supreme court. Proceedings of commission accepted as prima facie evidence; commission shall report investigations in writing.
New Hampshire.-Three commissioners, appointed by governor and council for 3 years. Commission has power to fix maximum rates; investigate accidents and complaints: administer oaths, summon witnesses, and compel them to testify; institute proceedings against railways for violation of law; examine railways annually; investigate accidents, and report to supreme court on necessity of new roads, bridges, or on the desirability of consolidations.
New Jersey.-No commission.
New York.-Three commissioners, appointed for 5 years by governor and senate. Commission exercises general supervisory powers over railways. Attorney-general may prosecute railways for failure to comply with orders of commission; investigate accidents; make recommendations after hearing, for which the attendance of witnesses is compulsory; make rulings on grade crossings, from which rulings appeal may be taken within 60 days; no mortgages, except purchase mortgages, shall be issued without consent of the commission.
North Carolina.-Corporation commission, composed of 3 members elected for 6 years. Commission has general supervisory powers; may establish rates; prevent discriminations, rebates; call the attention of the Interstate Commerce Commission to proper cases; investigate books and papers; examine officers, and exercise powers and jurisdiction of a court of general jurisdiction on subjects embraced in the act; establish stations, and pass upon applications for discontinuing the same; investigate accidents; act as arbitrators between disagreeing companies. In fixing maximum rates the commission shall always consider the value of services performed and other factors entering into the composition of rates. The commission may make special rates, with a view of developing certain industries. (Compare Tennessee laws.)
North Dakota.-Three commissioners, elected for 2 years. Commission shall have general supervision; inquire into violations of law, neglect of duty, etc. Attorney-general ex officio counsel to enforce decrees of commission. Hearings shall be given on petitions, for which witnesses may be subpoenaed and oaths administered. Where railway companies cross on same grade commission may compel construction of Y's.
Ohio.-One commissioner, appointed for 2 years by governor and senate. Commissioner shall examine complaints; subpoena witnesses; call for books; enforce acts against railways having inexperienced employees, the act regulating height
of bridges, automatic couplers, limiting the hours of service of employees, fire extinguishers on train, and interlocking switches (interlocking switches are cumpulsory); investigate accidents.
Oregon.-No commission. Commission established in 1887, and in 1898 commission law, and with it practically all other railway legislation, was repealed. Pennsylvania.-Secretary of internal affairs, elected for 4 years, appoints a deputy, who supervises railways. The secretary of internal affairs shall supply the blanks for reports of railway companies, copies of which shall be sent to the governor and members of legislature; such reports filed in bureau of railroads. Special reports may be required. Bureau of railroads shall see that corporations act within legal limits, hear complaints, and, if well founded, instruct attorneygeneral to institute proceedings against offending companies.
Rhode Island.-One commissioner, appointed by governor for 3 years. Commissioner shall "personally examine into the proceedings of any railroad corporation," secure compliance with laws, investigate accidents, subpoena witnesses, approve or disapprove the abandonment of stations, order flagmen at crossings, and make orders in regard to grade crossings, from which an appeal may be taken. Commissioner shall report annually to the general assembly," so far as the public interest may require, with such suggestions and recommendations as he may deem necessary or expedient."
South Carolina.-Three commissioners, elected by general assembly for 6 years. Commission shall have supervision of all railways; investigate complaints, accidents, etc.; may require information concerning rates with connecting roads; may ask additional questions with respect to schedules, and make requests and give advice; investigate accidents. Jointly with railway companies commission may make special rates for the purpose of developing industries of the State. No new railway may be opened without examination and certification of commission. Railway company may appeal from decisions of commission to circuit court.
South Dakota.-Three commissioners, elected at large for 6 years. Commission shall investigate complaints and furnish report of investigation to complainants; subpoena witnesses; examine books; fix schedules of maximum rates and classifications; establish joint rates on petition of disagreeing railway companies; exercise general supervision, and institute action to compel compliance with law.
Tennessee.-Three commissioners, elected for 6 years by grand divisions of the State. Commission shall supervise and fix rates, charges, and regulations of freight and passenger tariffs; correct abuses: prevent unjust discriminations and extortions. Commission may subpoena witnesses, examine books, and compel testimony to be given, but no railway employee, officer, etc., shall be subject to legal process on basis of his own testimony; investigate through rates and, in case of violations of law, report to the Interstate Commerce Commission; attorneygeneral conduct proceedings. Circuit, chancery, and justices' courts shall have jurisdiction of cases arising out of the act.
"Railway companies may make contracts with coal, mining, and manufacturing companies or persons for special rates of freight not to be controlled by this article" (Rev. Stat., 1896, sec. 3060). This section relates to long and short hauls, and should be read in connection with section 10, chapter 24, laws of 1897, which provides that nothing in the act shall be construed to prevent railways from giving special rates to encourage infant manufacturing industries, and for the encouragement of any other new industry, or for the transportation of any perishable goods.
"That it shall be the duty of the railroad commissioners, by correspondence or otherwise, to confer with the railroad commissioners of other States and the Interstate Commerce Commission, and such persons from States which have no railroad commissions as the governors of such States may appoint, for the purpose of agreeing, if practicable, upon a draft of statutes to be submitted to the legislature of each State, which shall secure uniform control of railway transportation in the several States, and from one State into or through another State, as will best serve the interests of trade and commerce of the whole country."
Texas.-Three commissioners, appointed by governor and senate, holding office for same period with governor. Commission shall adopt all necessary rates, charges, and regulations to govern and regulate railroad freight and passenger rates; to correct abuses and prevent unjust discriminations and extortion; may change rates and fix same for empty and loaded cars. Emergency freight rates established by law as amended in 1899: Said commission shall have
power, when deemed by it necessary, to prevent interstate rate wars and injury
to the business interests of the people or railroads of this State, or in case of any other emergency to be judged by the commission; and it shall be its duty to temporarily alter, amend, or suspend any existing freight rates, tariffs, schedules, orders, and circulars on any railroad, or part of railroad, in this State, and to fix freight rates where none exist."
"Whereas interstate cut freights from other States to Texas are frequently made and put in force on 3 days' notice to the Interstate Commerce Commission, to remain in force often for only 10 days at a time, suspending the regular rates for that time; and whereas these temporary cut rates are intended and actually do benefit only a favored few, who are notified in advance; and whereas such cut rates tend to demoralize traffic and create rate wars, to the great detriment of Texas railway companies and the public generally; and whereas under the law as it now exists emergency rates to meet such cuts and prevent such rate wars can not be put in force until 3 days' notice to the roads interested, an imperative public necessity and emergency exists for the suspension of the constitutional rule, requiring bills to be read on 3 several days, and this bill shall therefore take effect and be in force from and after its passage."
Vermont.-Three commissioners, appointed by the governor and senate for 2 years. Commission exercises general supervision; examines books and witnesses; may employ experts; make recommendations and apply to supreme court to compel compliance with its orders; inquire into lack of connections; recommend repairs, improvements, etc.; and, in general, see that the laws are complied with. So far as consistent with State laws commissions shall conform to the rules, etc., of the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Virginia.-One commissioner for 2 years, elected by general assembly. Commission shall inquire into and examine conditions of railways, and, in general, bring about obedience to law; on complaint of mayor, aldermen, councils, certain judges, commission shall investigate and report to the board of public works, composed of governor, auditor, and treasurer. Persons suffering from violation of law may seek relief in court of equity through commission. Commission shall report on actual working of the railway system in its relation to the business and prosperity of the State; make suggestions as to general railway policy; investigate accidents; and require railway companies to furnish information regarding the management and operation of roads.
West Virginia.-No commission.
Wisconsin. One commissioner, elected for 2 years. Commissioner shall inquire into neglect of duty or violations of law; inspect railways, and ascertain their pecuniary conditions; notify railway companies of complaints, and give notice of hearing; subpoena witnesses; request attorney-general to prosecute in behalf of commission. Decisions of commissioner final unless appealed from within 20 days.
PART V.-FOREIGN RAILWAY CHARTERS AND IMPORTANT LAWS.
Introductory.-In these times of commercial expansion and the establishment of more far-reaching and complex international relations a survey of foreign experience is especially appropriate. The railway as an institution is everywhere the same. As an industry it presents characteristics which are in many respects different from those common to other industries. These peculiarities of the railway business have been so often pointed out that it is not necessary to repeat them here. Railway legislation, like legislation in other domains of the industrial world, must bear definite relations to the business treated in such laws, and the fact being indisputable that the intrinsic nature of railway enterprise is everywhere the same, the corollary must go unchallenged that railway legislation must, in its essential features, bear the same degree of similarity and identity. It is only in secondary and local characteristics that we find differences of importance in a study of railways of different countries; hence it follows that only in such secondary matters should laws aiming at the control of railways differ in the substantial elements of their contents. The experiences of foreign countries have frequently been brushed aside on the assumption that whatever success or failure may have characterized foreign effort, nothing of vital importance to American States could possibly be discerned therein because of differences in conditions which, it is alleged, exist between the United States and the respective foreign countries. No one will be inclined to deny that certain important differences do exist, but the position can be successfully maintained that, so far as railways are concerned, these differences do not, as a rule, touch upon the essential features of the railway problem, and that along the large lines of industrial growth and development every important modern nation is cosmopolitan; that is, modern, social, and economic conditions have the world over become more and more alike, and as this similarity increases the need for similar legislation in all the different countries becomes increasingly urgent.
Railway charters-using this term in the sense of special legislation as well as grants of railway charters under general laws-are essentially alike the world over so far as the great nations are concerned. In all the different countries railway charters bear upon them the marks of lineal descent from early English charters, which in turn were copied directly from the charters granted to canal and road companies. This similarity between railway and macadam or plank road charters can be readily detected in our laws. Many common road charters are identical in language with contemporary railway charters, the only differences lying in a few things peculiar to road companies, such as the smaller size of shares, provisions on toll gates, the use of the road by drovers, etc. Were one to take out of a railway charter and a common road charter clauses relating directly to these topics, it would probably be impossible to determine whether a certain charter had originally been granted to a common road or a railway company. Certain archaic features which were embodied in the Liverpool-Manchester charter, reference to which will be made later, may be discerned in charters of different States in the United States, as well as in those of foreign countries. One of the most common of these is the right of different shippers to use the same track. One of the most serious objections brought against some of the early railway projects was the impossibility of using ordinary coaches and vehicles in the transportation of persons and property over railways. Inventors during the earlier decades of the nineteenth century devised contrivances by which carriages could be used on both common and rail roads. These provisions were inserted in some cases for the purpose of reserving to the State certain rights which it might otherwise find difficult to assert. It was thought that the State, or a person or persons authorized to do so by the State, could become active competitors over
the same tracks, and thus enforce rules of justice. The fallacy of this theory was soon discovered, but the archaic clauses continued to find their way into charters.
In surveying the legislation of foreign countries one is impressed with the promptness with which Japan apparently adopted many of the more advanced ideas, as expressed in legislation of other countries, and for this reason the laws of Japan will be considered first. England naturally takes its place at the head, or very near to it, because of the vital relations existing between the laws of our own and the mother country. For obvious reasons some attention is also paid to English colonial history. Prussia deserves to be dwelt upon at some length. because in that country the most successful system of State railways that the world has thus far known has been in operation for nearly a quarter century. For the sake of completeness, as well as for the sake of the interest which attaches to leading features of railway legislation of other countries, France, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, and other foreign States will be considered. Students of railway affairs feel the need of a thorough study of foreign systems. They have the feeling that the experiences of foreign countries have not yet been adequately brought before us, and that, in order that we may profit by whatever lessons such experience may convey, a much fuller presentation of the subject of foreign railways should be made. It is needless to assert that this paper makes no such attempt. All that the writer hopes to accomplish in these paragraphs is to point out the most important features of foreign charters and laws in their bearing upon practical questions of regulation and control.
Classification of foreign railways.-In connection with the discussion of foreign railway legislation it will be necessary to refer to the different kinds of railways recognized in the laws of other countries; and, as a matter of convenience, it may be well to bring together here the classifications of the leading countries. In the United States we are accustomed to speak of trunk and branch lines only. In England no real classification exists. However, a law of 1868 imposes less onerous duties on "light railways," this term implying railways the speed of which does not exceed 25 miles per hour and whose burden is not greater than 8 tons per axle. Prussia has from the first recognized primary and secondary railways; but not until 1892 were narrow gauge and other local railways included in the term "railway" at all. French law formally recognizes only 2 classes, but a very rigid administrative division of the first class into 2 subclasses, really creates a third class of roads. These 3 classes are, the primary network of railways of general interest, the secondary network of railways of general interest,and railways of local interest. The particular class to which a railway shall belong depends upon the place which is assigned to it by the authorities of the State in the" declaration of public utility." Belgium recognizes 3 classes-railways of general interest, parochial, and urban railways. In Holland 3 classes also exist-primary, secondary, and regional. The Austrian and Hungarian classifications are essentially like that of Prussia, including main and local roads. The Italian law of 1879 distinguishes between 4 classes, based upon the proportion of the total cost of the railways borne respectively by the Federal Government and by subordinate politial unities. Secondary railways are divided into 5 classes, depending upon the width of tracks, speed, curves, grades, etc.
The convenience of classifications of this kind is apparent; and, furthermore, such classifications are in themselves a recognition of varying degrees of importance attached to different kinds of railways. Under the laws of the different States in the Union, except for purposes of taxation, all railroads are practically put into the same category and treated, so far as the law is concerned, as if they all stood upon a plane of intrinsic equality. A short and insignificant road in an isolated corner of the State is governed by the same laws through which an attempt is made to control and regulate the most extensive system embracing thousands of miles of double, triple, and quadruple tracks. Along this line, foreign legislation may teach us a valuable lesson in that it points out to us the imperative necessity of recognizing in the law decisive differences in the social and economic importance of different railway systems.
Japan.-Apart from the important changes which have been made in the laws bearing upon administrative organs, the fundamental railway law of Japan is "the act for a private railway," passed in May, 1887. Under this law 5 or more persons desiring to build a railway for the transportation of passengers and goods are required to hand in an "estimation" of their project to the central government through the provincial authorities. The estimation is similar to the American articles of incorporation, and is divided into the following 5 sections:
Section I: Name of company; place of main offices.
Section II: Names of termini and of places through which railway is to pass; also a general map of the route.