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The provisions of the bill, briefly explained, are as follows:

Section 1 provides for the construction of about 2 miles of railway through the most desirable section of the District for moderate-priced homes. It will open up for settlement and improvement more than 6 square miles of territory now without transportation facilities. It will furnish the shortest route to the center of the city for the people of Takoma Park. It also provides that upon such portion of the route as is not now public highway the company shall acquire and dedicate to the District of Columbia, before laying its tracks, a right of way 30 feet in width.

Section 2 provides that all the details of construction and methods of operation shall be approved by the Commissioners.

Section 3 provides that an ample deposit shall be made with the collector of taxes as a guaranty that the road will be in operation within the time prescribed by this act.

Section 4 provides that any failure on the part of the company to comply with all the provisions of this act shall be punishable by a fine, which penalty may be recovered by the Commissioners in any court of competent jurisdiction.

Section 5 provides that the rate of fare for one continuous ride over the lines of this company and the Capital Traction Company shall be at the same rate as if the entire distance were traveled on the lines of but one company,

Section 6 provides that all limitations imposed by the original charter of this company shall be applicable to the extension herein proposed, this act merely being an amendment to the charter of an existing railway providing for the extensions described in section 1.

This road is subject to existing general laws for the governing of street railways within the District of Columbia and has no special privileges and seeks none under this act.

The measure in its present form has the unqualified approval of the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, as will be seen by their following communication on the subject:

EXECUTIVE OFFICE,
COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,

Washington, December 22, 1906. Sir: The Commissioners of the District of Columbia have the honor to submit the following on H. R. 22123, Fifty-ninth Congress, second session, “to amend an act to authorize the Baltimore and Washington Transit Company of Maryland to enter the District of Columbia, approved June eighth, eighteen hundred and ninety-six,” which you referred to them for report.

This bill is identical in intent with House bill 9734, Fifty-ninth Congress, first session, which was reported on by the Commissioners January 9, 1906. The Commissioners recommended a number of changes in that bill and these have been incorporated in the present bill. The Commissioners invite attention to their report on that bill and also the map accompanying same, upon which was indicated the route of the proposed railway.

The present bill, however, contains certain provisions not in the bill of the last session. The first change noted is the clause contained in lines 5 to 9, page 2, reading as follows:

That the said company is further empowered to extend its line, under the provisions of this act, from its line on Aspen street through Willow street whenever the requirements of its patrons and the operation of the road may require."

The Commissioners do not believe this authority should be granted to be exercised at the pleasure of the railway company. If at some future time it is necessary to make this extension, the Commissioners believe that it should be specifically granted by Congress. They therefore recommend that this provision be eliminated from the bill.

Lines 9 to 15, inclusive, page 2 of the bill, provide that the railway company shall not extend its railway along any portion of the route which is not a dedicated street until it obtains the consent of the owner or owners of the property along the lines of such projected street or has acquired a right of way through the same by condemnation. The Commissioners believe that this proviso should be amended to read as follows:

Provided, That said company shall not construct its said railway over, along, or upon any portion of the aforementioned route which is not now a public highway of the District of Columbia until it shall have obtained, by dedication or condemnation, title to a right of way not less than thirty feet in width along such portion of said route as is not now a public highway, and before it shall have authority to lay tracks in said right of way it shall dedicate the same to the District of Columbia as a public highway.”

Another change noted in the bill as approved by the Commissioners last session is contained in lines 6 to 10, inclusive, page 3, of the bill. This provides that section 4 of the original act of June 8, 1896, authorizing this company to extend its route into the District of Columbia shall be repealed. Said section 4 is to a certain extent covered by section 2 of the present bill, but there is one provision in said section which should not be repealed. The Commissioners therefore recommend that the following be added at the end of section 2, after the word “repealed,” in line 10, page 3, of the bill:

*Provided, however, That said railway shall be constructed of good material, with rails of approved pattern, and in a neat and substantial manner, subject to the supervision and approval of the Commissioners of the District of Columbia; the standard gauge to be used and the surfaces of the tracks to conform to the grades of the streets established by the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, and where the tracks lie within the streets of the District of Columbia the same to be paved between the rails and two feet outside thereof with such material and in such manner as shall be approved by the said Commissioners, and kept in repair by the said railway company."

The bill also differs with the bill recommended by the Commissioners last session by the omission of section 5 of that bill, which provided that the tracks of this transit company should have no physical connection with the tracks of the Capital Traction Company. It is understood that this amendment was suggested by your committee, and it is not objectionable to the Commissioners.

The Commissioners inclose herewith a bill amended as herein suggested, and recommend a favorable report on the bill as amended. Very respectfully,

HENRY B. F. MACFARLAND,

President Board of Commissioners District of Columbia. Hon. J. W. BABCOCK,

Chairman Committee on the District of Columbia, House of Representatives.

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CONGRESS

INCORPORATION OF BANKS IN THE DISTRICT OF

COLUMBIA.

JANUARY 25, 1907.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.

Mr. KLINE, from the Committee on the District of Columbia, sub

mitted the following

REPORT.

[To accompany H. R. 21669.)

The Committee on the District of Columbia, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 21669) to provide for the incorporation of banks within the District of Columbia, report the same back to the House with the recommendation that it do pass when amended as follows:

Page 3, strike out all commencing with the word "that” in line 5 down to and including the word “Columbia” in line 15, and insert in lieu thereof the following:

That from and after the first day of January, anno Domini nineteen hundred and eight, no person, company, association, copartnership, or corporation shall transact a banking business or maintain an office or banking house where deposits or savings are received, within the District of Columbia, except associations organized under the national bank act, corporations organized under an act of Congress entitled "An act to provide for the incorporation of trust, loan, mortgage, and certain other corporations within the District of Columbia,” approved October first, eighteen hundred and ninety, except also any person, firm, or company regularly licensed to engage in the business of private banking in the District of Columbia prior to the first day of January, nineteen hundred and six, and corporations organized under this act.

The amendment recommended above does not change the text of that portion of section 3 from its language in the bill as originally introduced, except it adds a provision exempting from the provisions of this measure the regularly licensed private banks which were in existence on the 1st day of January, 1906, but rearranges the subject matter of that portion of the section so that the intention of the proposed law is made more clear.

The general purpose of the proposed legislation, which was drafted by the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, on the recommendation of the Comptroller of the Currency, and has the unqualified approval of both the Commissioners and the Comptroller, is to place all classes of banking institutions in the District of Columbia under the same governmental supervision which the national banks, the trust companies, and savings banks are subjected to in the District of Columbia.

The letter of the Commissioners giving reasons for the passage of this bill is as follows:

OFFICE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,

Washington, December 7, 1906. SIR: The Commissioners of the District of Columbia have the honor to submit herewith a draft of a bill "To provide for the incorporation of banks within the District of Columbia," and to request its early enactment.

at the present time the only concerns doing a banking business in the District of Columbia which are under governmental supervision are the national banks, the four trust companies, and the savings banks, which are all under the supervision of the Comptroller of the Currency. As to the savings banks, his supervision is limited by the terms of the act passed by Congress at the last session, placing them under his supervision, and his powers with respect to them should be enlarged. Moreover, in the judgment of the Commissioners, all other banking institutions receiving deposits and doing business with the public should be brought under his supervision. In the execution of the act passed upon the recommendation of the Commissioners at the last session of Congress, to bring the savings banks under the supervision of the Comptroller of the Currency, that officer has examined savings banks doing business in the District of Columbia, and in consequence of that examination two of the banks were closed by his order and have been dealt with in such a manner that the depositors will be saved from the loss of their savings, which they would otherwise have suffered.

This is a practical illustration of the great value of such supervision and furnished the best argument for enlarging and extending the law. In the judgment of the Commissioners every concern doing a banking business in the District of Columbia should be incorporated under our laws and should be under the supervision of the Comptroller of the Currency, in order that it may be kept within legitimate lines of business, and the interest of the depositors and the general public may be safeguarded. The Commissioners have the support of the community in this view, and none are more emphatic in their expressions of approval than the reputable men engaged in the banking business. Very respectfully,

HENRY B. F. MACFARLAND,

President Board of Commissioners District of Columbia. Hon. J. W. BABCOCK,

Chairman Committee on the District of Columbia, House of Representatives. The amendment which your committee recommends, exempting the regularly licensed private banks, was recommended by the Commissioners after the bill had been introduced. Your committee is informed that this provision will result in exempting from the provisions of the act four copartnerships which have been doing business in the District, one since 1856, and the youngest since 1890. These firms do not conduct a general banking business, do not receive savings deposits, the chief element of their business being for the convenience of their patrons for whom they make investments. Your committee is also informed that the Comptroller of the Currency approves this amendment, and they therefore believe that the bill herewith reported should be enacted into law.

The Commissioners' letter on this subject is as follows:

OFFICE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,

IVashington, January 3, 1907. Dear Sir: The Commissioners of the District of Columbia have consulted with the Comptroller of the Currency respecting the bill, H. R. 21669, Fifty-ninth Congress, second session, “To provide for the incorporation of banks within the District of Columbia," and in accordance with the result of the conference, have the honor to recommend that the bill be amended by inserting after the word “ninety" in line 12, section 3, page 3, the words “any person, firm, or company, regularly licensed to

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engage in the business of private banking in the District of Columbia prior to the first day of January, nineteen hundred and six.” A copy of the bill, amended as suggested, is here with transmitted. Very respectfully,

HENRY B. F. MACFARLAND,

President Board of Commissioners District of Columbia. Hon. J. W. BABCOCK,

Chairman Committee on the District of Columbia, House of Representatires. The following taken from the annual report of the Comptroller of the Currency for 1906, with reference to the act of Congress approved June 25, 1906, and urging legislation such as is involved in the bill herewith reported, will be of interest in this connection, and is hereby made a part of this report, as follows:

SAVINGS BANKS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

In my annual report for 1905 attention was called to the necessity for legislation regulating banking in the District of Columbia, in order to secure to depositors in banks organized under authority of State laws and doing business in the District the same measure of protection that is afforded depositors in banks and trust companies organized under Federal laws.

In line with this suggestion and the recommendation of the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, an act was passed and approved June 25, 1906, placing under the supervision of the Comptroller of the Currency all savings banks, savings companies, trust companies, and other banking institutions organized under any act of Congress or by virtue of the laws of any of the States having an office or banking house in the District of Columbia for the receipt of deposits or savings.

Previous to this enactment the only banking institutions in the District of Columbia under official supervision were the national banks and trust companies organized under acts of Congress. Banking institutfons doing business in the District, but organized under authority of State laws, were subject practically to no official supervision whatever-Federal, State, or District.

When the act of June 25, 1906, went into effect there were 14 institutions of this class operating in the District of Columbia. Six of these were incorporated under the laws of Virginia, six under the laws of West Virginia, one under the laws of Connecticut, and one under the code of laws for the District of Columbia as amended by the act of June 30, 1902.

On September 4, 1906, the date of their first report of condition made to the Comptroller under the above-mentioned act, 13 of these institutions showed deposits aggregating $4,191,739. Banking institutions having offices or banking houses in foreign countries as well as in the District of Columbia being required by the act mentioned to make and publish semiannual reports only, no re

was received from the International Banking Company, the only institution of this class having a banking house in the District.

All of these institutions were examined during the past few months by a nationalbank examiner. Two of them were found to be insolvent, and were immediately closed and placed in the charge of receivers, namely, the Aetna Banking and Trust Company and the Peoples Savings Bank.

The first-named company was organized under the laws of West Virginia May 14, 1901. Its principal office was located in Butte, Mont. It operated a branch in Washington, D. C., and was reported as maintaiuing another in New York City. An examinination of the Washington branch disclosed a condition of hopeless insolvency, and immediately upon its being closed by the Comptroller the parent bank at Butte suspended business. A receiver was placed in charge of each bank by the Comptroller. No books or assets whatever were found at the New York office. The liquidation of this concern has not progressed far enough to enable an accurate statement to be made. What disposition was made of the funds or who is responsible for their disappearance has not yet been determined, but apparently the bank has been looted by its officers, and the prospects for any material returns to the depositors and other creditors are very discouraging.

The failure of this bank affords a striking illustration of the urgent necessity for more adequate legislation regulating banks of this class operating in the District of Columbia, and providing for the punishment of offenses committed against the banking laws.

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