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CONGRESS

REGULATING SALE OF PROVISIONS AND PRODUCE IN

THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

JANUARY 11, 1907.–Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.

Mr. TAYLOR, of Ohio, from the Committee on the District of Colum

bia, submitted the following

REPORT.

[To accompany S. 6578.]

The Committee on the District of Columbia, to whom was referred the bill (S. 6578) to amend an act entitled “An act to provide for the appointment of a sealer and assistant sealer of weights and measures in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes," approved March 2, 1895, and to amend an act amendatory thereof approved June 20, 1906, report the same back to the House with the recommendation that it do pass.

Your committee incorporates as a part of its report the report made in the Senate on this measure, as follows:

The bill was prepared by and introduced at the request of the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, as will appear by the following letter, in which is clearly set forth their reasons for desiring its enactment: OFFICE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,

Washington, December 3, 1906. SIR: The Commissioners of the District of Columbia have the honor to transmit herewith a draft of "A bill to amend an act entitled 'An act to provide for the appointment of a sealer and assistant sealer of weights and measures in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes,' approved March second, eighteen hundred and ninety-five, and to amend an act amendatory thereof approved June twentieth, nineteen hundred and six."

The object of this proposed amendment is to remove all doubt as to the intention of the Commissioners in recommending the law it is designed to amend. The paragraph in the act of June 20, 1906, to which it has special reference is as follows:

“No person shall sell or offer for sale anywhere in the District of Columbia any provisions or produce or commodities of any kind for a weight or measure less than the true weight or measure thereof

The amendment of June 20, 1906, as it was presented by the sealer, approved by the Commissioners and the corporation counsel and passed by the House read:

for a greater weight or measure than the true weight or measure thereof

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It appears that when the bill reached the Senate the word “ less”

was substituted for the word “greater" in the Commissioners' bill. The bill passed the Senate with this change, and without request for report so far as the Commissioners are informed.

On July 5, 1906, a warrant was issued for a clerk employed by a poultry dealer for violation of the amendment of June 20, 1906, above referred to. A customer had purchased from the clerk, according to a bill which she had, 8 pounds of chickens. The chickens were brought to the office of the sealer of weights and measures and weighed, and were found to weigh but 6 pounds. The seller's scale was tested and found to be correct. The judge of the police court, before whom the case was heard, held that the word “less” invalidated that part of the law relative to short weight or measure. An appeal was taken by the District from the decision of the court to test the law, as it was believed that Congress intended to protect the customer from receiving short weight.

On a recent date the justice who delivered 'the opinion of the court of appeals in favor of the defendant used the following language:

“ It would seem that Congress intended to protect purchasers by prohibiting dishonest vendors from selling provisions, produce, or commodities for a weight or measure greater than the actual or true weight or measure thereof, but the statute does not say so."

The proposed amendment submitted herewith is the same as that presented at the last session of Congress, and passed by the House, with the exception of the two words “ actual or," which have been added in order to leave no doubt as to the meaning of what is the “true" weight of an article. In view of the language of the court of appeals in its opinion the Commissioners believe the insertion of these two words is important, as the language has been adjudicated by the court of appeals, and that part of the section which it is desired to amend will read as follows:

“No person shall sell or offer for sale anywhere in the District of Columbia any provisions or produce or commodities of any kind for a weight or measure greater than the actual or true weight or measure thereof, Very respectfully,

HENRY B. F. MACFARLAND,
President of the Board of Commissioners

of the District of Columbia. Hon. J. H. GALLINGER, Chairman of the Committee on the District of Columbia,

United States Senate.

0

2d Session.

No. 6377.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION BILL.

JANUARY 14, 1907.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state

of the Union and ordered to be printed.

Mr. GILLETT, from the Committee on Appropriations, submitted the

following

REPORT.

[To accompany H. R. 24103.]

The Committee on Appropriations, in presenting the bill making appropriations for the support of the government of the District of Columbia for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1908, submit the follow ing in explanation thereof :

The estimates of the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, upon which the bill is based, will be found on pages 405 to 472 of the Book of Estimates, and, exclusive of the water department, aggregate $11,781,902.63, one-half of which amount, exclusive of expenses for opening alleys, or of such sum as Congress may appropriate, is required to be drawn from the revenues of the General Government and the remaining one-half to be levied upon the taxable property and privileges in the District of Columbia other than the property of the United States and the District of Columbia, pursuant to section 3 of the act approved June 11, 1878, entitled "An act providing a permanent form of government for the District of Columbia.” (Stat. L., vol. 20, p. 102.)

The total amount recommended to be appropriated for the general expenses of the District of Columbia for the fiscal year 1908 in the bill submitted herewith is, exclusive of the water department, $9,979,468.63 of which sum the General Government is required to pay $4,964,734.31, that being one-half of the whole, exclusive of the amount, $50,000, recommended for expenses of opening alleys. The first-named sum is $1,802,434 less than the estimates submitted by the Commissioners.

The amount appropriated for the general expenses of the District of Columbia for the current fiscal year (1907) is $10,215,896.16, or $236,427.53 more than is recommended in the accompanying bill for 1908.

The amount recommended for the water department, all of which is payable from the water revenues, is $132,766, being a reduction of $3,850 under the appropriations for the water department for the current fiscal year.

It is estimated that the water revenues available for the fiscal year 1908 will amount to $186,000, but it is provided in the accompanying bill, as it was in the acts for the current and fifteen preceding fiscal years, that any surplus of these revenues over the appropriations made specifically therefrom shall be applied to the work of extending the high-service system of water distribution. Under these indefinite appropriations of the surplus water revenues there has been expended to July 1, 1906, for extending the high-service system of water distribution about $2,939,242.11. The estimated ultimate cost is about $1,000,000.

The total general revenues of the District of Columbia for the fiscal year 1908 it is estimated will amount to $5,730,803.

The appropriations recommended in the accompanying bill and payable from the revenues of the District amount to $5,014,734.31.

In addition to the foregoing sum, appropriations have already been passed by the House in the legislative, executive, and judicial act, and other sums will probably be included in the sundry civil bill, all chargeable next year to the revenues of the District, aggregating about $100,000.

Under authority of the acts of February 11, 1901, June 1, 1902, March 3, 1903, April 27, 1904, and March 3, 1905, advances made by the United States Treasury prior to June 30, 1906, in excess of the revenues of the District of Columbia amounted to $2,931,259.49. This sum will probably be increased, as your committee is advised, to $3,143,314.68 before the close of the current fiscal year, under the authority for further advances contained in the act of June 27, 1906, the interest charge upon which sum for 1908 will amount to $62,866.29.

Adding to the sum total, $5,014,731.31, recommended in the accompanying bill, payable from Distriet revenues, the sums carried in the legislative and sundry civil acts and the amount required for interest on advances out of the United States Treasury, it will be seen that the probable total amount to become a charge against the revenues of the District of Columbia during the fiscal year 1908 will not exceed $5,177,600.60, or $553,202.40 less than the estimated sum of those revenues, which surplus will be available, as required by law, to reimburse the United States Treasury a considerable portion of the whole sum that will have probably been advanced by July 1, 1907, on account of the District of Columbia, under the acts referred to, and which it is required “shall be reimbursed to said Treasury out of the revenues of the District of Columbia from time to time within five years, beginning July 1, 1907."

LIMITATIONS.

Limitations with reference to appropriations made in the bill not heretofore imposed, or changes in existing limitations, are recommended as follows:

On page 21: In connection with the appropriation of $50,000 for improvements on the plaza in front of the new Union Railroad Station, the following:

That the total cost to the United States and the District of Columbia shall not exceed one hundred thousand dollars: And provided further, That the Washington Terminal Company, its successors or assigns, shall defray the cost of so much of these constructions as lie within the limits of its present property north of Massachusetts avenue.

On page 21: In connection with the appropriation for assessment and permit work, the following:

That hereafter repayments from the permit fund to the appropriation for assessment and permit work shall be credited to said appropriation for the fiscal year in which the repayment is made.

On page 23: The maximum price that may be paid for making or relaying asphalt pavement is increased from one dollar and sixty-five cents to one dollar and eighty per square yard. On page

24: In connection with the appropriation for opening alleys and minor streets, the following:

The clause contained in the District appropriation act approved June twenty-seventh, nineteen hundred and six, requiring that the compensation of an assistant to the corporation counsel, provided for in the appropriation for opening alleys and minor streets, shall be included in the costs and expenses of the proceedings instituted for the condemnations necessary to be taken for the opening, widening, extending, and straightening alleys and minor streets, and shall be assessed against lands benefited by reason of such opening, extension, widening, and straightening, as provided in section sixteen hundred and eight of said Code of Law, is hereby repealed.

On page 28: In connection with the appropriation for operation of the Anacostia Bridge, the following:

That the time within which said bridge shall be constructed is extended to July first, nineteen hundred and eight. On page

29: In connection with the appropriation for constructing a bridge to carry Monroe street, Brookland, over the tracks of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the following:

The said Commissioners[of the District of Columbiajare authorized to enter into a contract with the said railroad company or other parties for the construction of such bridge and approaches: Provided, That such portion of this cost shall be borne by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company as is provided in section ten of an act entitled An act to provide for a union railroad station in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes," approved February twenty-eighth, nineteen hundred and three, and said sum shall be paid by said company to the Treasurer of the United States, one half to the credit of the District of Columbia and the other half to the credit of the United States, and the same shall be a valid and subsisting lien against the franchises and property of the said Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, and shall be a legal indebtedness of said company in favor of the District of Columbia, jointly for its use and the use of the United States as aforesaid, and the said lien may be enforced in the name of the District of Columbia by bill in equity brought by the Commissioners of the said District in the supreme court of said District, or by any other lawful proceeding against the said Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company.

On page 35:

The maximum price that may be paid per annum for each street gas or oil lamp equipped with an incandescent mantle burner of not less than sisty candle power is reduced from twenty-five dollars to twenty dollars and eighty-five cents.

HR-59-2_Vol 1-16

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