Seventh Annual Report of the Interstate Commerce Commission
Journal of Political Economy
change should becomne necessary it rnust be so made as to preserve as many of the good features of the existing system as the nature of the problem will permnit. Under exclusive governmiient ownership and control a number of the more desirable features of private management might be retained. The president or manager might be given full power, and held accountable to one master for its use. Under the Consolidated Company with divided executives responsible to three antagonistic bodies, much
... er results would naturally follow. This seems to be a fatal weakness in the plan proposed. VILLIANi HILL. THE Seventh Annual Report of the Interstate Conimerce Coiiimission is of especial interest as an indication of the feeling in regard to the importance of the conmmiiission and the efficiency of government control of railways. The Cormmission is evidently alive to the criticism which has been passed upon it and feels moved to disclaim responsibility for the evils from which the transportation interests are suffering. The report goes further and shows by statistics, covering the period of the Commission's existence, that profits are increasing and the percentage of stocks paying no dividends is growing less. The work of the Commission, however, is far from satisfactory, even to its members. The courts have made some decisions which have weakened its power, and, on the whole, it commtiands less respect and obedi ence than during the earlier years of its existence. This probably furnishes an explanation of sonme of the recommendations made by the Comimission. In their opinion the time has passed when government regulation of the means of transportation is a debatable question. The Commission would have personal discriminations treated as cririies and visited with severe penalties. The matter of overcharging receives severe condemnation, and is held to be practiced more extensively thain can be accounted for by mere mistakes. Unjust classification gave rise to several complaints, and the Commission again reconimended an amendment compelling the adoption of a uniform classification within a specified time. The short haul clause of the act seemtis to be reasonably well obeyed, as but three cases arising under it were decided.