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So effectually have the railroads of Pennsylvania become the conservators of shipping interests, in the facilities and in the rapidity of transportation, that the tonnage of the canals of Pennsylvania was most materially reduced and for the last ten years the amount of shipment upon the canals as a means of transportation has been comparatively insignificant.

When the great floods of 1889 came they practically wiped out of existence the canals paralleling the many lines of the Pennsylvania Railroad to the foot of the Allegheny mountains. In view of the millions of capitalization which would be required to rehabilitate and make serviceable these canal lines, the public seems to have concurred in their practical abandonment, so that to-day there is but a remnant left of those canal lines which at one time played such an important part in transporting not only commodities but, through the packet system, persons also.

There may have been communities whose shipping facilities or whose business interests were impaired by the abandonment of the canals, but it is certain that there has been no general complaint and the consensus of opinion of the most thoughtful people in Pennsylvania is that the canal has had its day and its reconstruction or rehabilitation to create a competition with the railroads is not essential.

This consensus of opinion is well founded for two reasons, the least important of which is the prodigious amount of money that it would cost to construct lines of canal which would have to be entirely new as there is scarcely a vestige left of anything of great value in the old lines.

It would seem to be a great waste of money to assemble and invest so many millions of dollars in enterprises, the existence of which does not seem essential unless there is a failure on the part of the State to do its duty, and here may be considered the second of the important features to be considered in this discussion, that is, the public control in the regulation of rates upon lines of railroads.

If the State shall exercise its powers, which are fairly well defined, in regard to the control of transportation companies, especially with reference to the right to adjust rates so that they shall be reasonable and fair to both parties, then there is no necessity whatever for the reconstruction or rehabilitation of the canals of Pennsylvania.

The average receipts per ton per mile upon all railroads are very much lower than they were when the canals of Pennsylvania were all in operation, and if the railroads shall continue to carry commodities at reasonable rates and if the State shall pass such laws as will enable the shippers to be guaranteed such reasonable rates, cer

tainly there is no demand that would justify the construction of canals to provide additional facilities for transportation.

Then, again, in the busy whirl of this epoch in the industrial and business affairs of commerce, the canal is altogether too slow. Rapidity of transportation of both persons and commodities meets. the requirements of the times and the canal would be entirely wanting in this necessary feature.

The canal of Pennsylvania is a reminiscence. Riding along the lines of the Northern Central on the Susquehanna river or its north and west branches, or along the Juniata, it is not easy to discover the bed of the old canal. The leveling process is rapidly filling its trenches and the young growth of timber in some places has so ob secured its location as to prevent it from being easily discovered. Were we to pause to study its history we would be awed into almost reverence for the part it performed in developing Pennsylvania, from the rivers on the east to the mountains and the lake on the west, but it is gone and it can never be considered wise to assemble enough money for its rehabilitation when it is not necessary.

Some eminent men of late have alleged that the construction of canals is necessary to insure reasonable rates of transportation on railroads; that competition is essential to produce desirable results for the passenger and the shipper. This is a confession of weakness so far as it relates to State and National government. It is in effect saying that although the State may incorporate railroads, may clothe them with power to perform the functions of carriers, to charge reasonable rates of transportation, to fulfill in every direction all the functions of a public character that belong to carriers, yet at the same time the State has no power to control with reference to rea sonableness of rates.

If there is anything in the laws that relate to common carriers in both English and American jurisprudence, it is that the affairs of transportation companies, or common carriers, are subject to pub lic control, and of all the features that are subject to public cou trol, none has been more thoroughly and completely established than that the government, authorizing the existence, has a right in some way to fix maximum rates to be charged for the transportation of persons or commodities, or to adjust those which have been estabished by the carriers themselves on a reasonable basis.

The power therefore exists in the State to insure to the shipper reasonableness of rates, and it only remains for the State to exercise that power in a conservative, just and reasonable way, to guarantee to all shippers fair treatment and reasonable rates upon all railroad lines of transportation.

If that be the case, then it would be exceedingly bad policy for

the State or its citizens to encourage the investment of millions of dollars in canals in order to secure competition and thereby reasonable rates of transportation.

The advocates of the canal scheme point to the state of New York as an illustration of what is accomplished with reference to rates of transportation as the result of paralleling the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad, the West Shore Railroad and other lines of railroad by the great canal system which extends from New York up the Hudson, and by a system of locks and the use of rivers, from Albany on to the city of Buffalo near the foot of Lake Erie.

The Legislature of the State and the people generally seem to be impressed with the idea that if the canals are abandoned the people of that State and its commercial affairs in general will be subject to the limitless demands of the managers of the railroad cor porations named for rates of transporation of commodities. It is a most preposterous idea in view of the fact that the greatest of all the great railroads of that State is limited to two cents a mile for the transportation of persons, and if it can be limited to two cents a mile for the transportation of persons, it can be limited also to a reasonable rate for the transportation of commodities.

The conditions in New York would seem to lead the casual observer to the conclusion that the rates of transportation of the railroad companies that parallel the lines of canals in the state of New York are lower than those existing in other states whose great rail. road lines are not paralleled by lines of canals in operation and participating in the transportation of commodities. This is a hallucination. No such conditions exist. On the contrary the reverse is true.

Probably no two railroads in the country, with reference to their public services, are so nearly equal in many features as are the New York Central and Hudson River and the Pennsylvania. The New York Central and Hudson River Railroad has its lines from New York to Albany along the Hudson, thence through the central cities of New York with millions of people contributory to its rev enues, and with its connection belonging to the same system, from Buffalo on to Chicago. The Pennsylvania Railroad has its lines from the same initial point, New York, along through the populous cities of Pennsylvania to Pittsburg and with its western system, on to Chicago.

The Pennsylvania Railroad at one time was paralleled by lines of canals the same, or perhaps not quite so extensively, as those which exist now parallel to the lines of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad from New York to Buffalo. It is alleged, as before indicated, that the existence of this canal system in New

York, owned and maintained by the State, results in guaranteeing to the shipper of New York a low rate for the transportation of commodities because of the competition which exists. Some comparisons will show this belief to be an error.

In 1902 the average receipts per ton per mile of the Pennsylvania Railroad were .590 of a cent; of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad .632 of a cent. In 1903, on the Pennsylvania .598 of a cent, and on the New York Central .634 of a cent; in 1904, on the Pennsylvania .606 of a cent, and on the New York Central .664 of a cent; in 1905, on the Pennsylvania .604 of a cent, and on the New York Central .638 of a cent; in 1906, on the Pennsylvania .588 of a cent and on the New York Central .625 of a cent.

To give a clearer comprehension of what these disparities mean in the figures showing the average receipts per ton per mile, it is found that had the Pennsylvania on its lines east of Pittsburg and Erie, received the same rate per ton per mile that the New York Central received for the year covered by this report, its increase in freight revenue alone would have been upwards of six and one-half million dollars.

The results conclusively show, therefore, that the hundreds of millions of dollars that the people of New York are expending on its canals in order to keep down rates of transportation on the great lines of railroad paralleling the canals, do not furnish to the New York shipper as low an average rate per ton per mile as the shipper enjoys on the lines of the Pennsylvania Railroad, along which there exist no lines of canals in competition with the Pennsylvania in the transportation of commodities.

We may not be entirely conversant with all the conditions which exist in the state of New York as to the policy of keeping the canals of that state in service. There may be other reasons than the securing of competition with the railroads in order to insure reasonable, or low rates of transportation. If there are we are not acquainted with them and these observations are based purely upon the assumption that the canals of New York are kept in service to secure competition, as above indicated.

In discussing this subject the canals referred to are such canals as were in existence at one time along the lines of railroad as now constructed, and of course reference is not made to great ship canals such as have been proposed or such as an international canal would be, as that which is being constructed connecting the two oceans at Panama.

What it is desired to clearly establish is that the construction of canals in Pennsylvania cannot be justified for the reason that such construction would insure competition and thereby favorable rates


of transportation. Favorable rates already exist and if there should be a change in the conditions of rates by which they should become unreasonable, then there is the unquestionable and sufficient power vested in the Commonwealth itself, which may be exercised in proper legislation that would result in compelling our railroads to maintain rates which are reasonable from any point of view, either that of the shipper or the carrier.

The millions which would be required in the useless effort to reproduce canals as a means of creating competition could be invested with much more propriety in other industrial affairs. The State is strong enough to regulate these matters. Every wise railroad mana ger understands it and the thoughtful people everywhere will sec that there only exists the necessity of regulating carriers to the extent that they perform their public functions satisfactorily and at rates that are reasonable.



As this is the last report of the Bureau of Railways that will be edited by the present Secretary of Internal Affairs, he feels that his duty will not be fully discharged without giving some recommendations as to what should be done to strengthen the Bureau of Railways and make it more efficient, both with reference to the supervision of the affairs of common carrier corporations, and particularly with reference to the protection of life and limb of the passengers, the railway employes and other persons.

First, wholesome provision of law should be made, that through the Bureau of Railways of the Department of Internal Affairs every railroad accident wherein there is destruction of human life should be fully investigated in detail by competent officers or employes, to insure an assemblage of facts in the case, that the responsibility of the accident may be placed upon those responsible for it, and such recommendations should be made in regard to the operation of railroads, the introduction of safety appliances and other methods, as will to the greatest extent possible eliminate accidents to all classes of persons on the railroads of the Commonwealth.

No better argument need be advanced than a reference to the figures denoting percentages of increase in the affairs of railroads in Pennsylvania. Great percentages of increase are found in the number of passengers carried, in the tonnage of freight, in the ton nage of the different classifications of freights, in the revenues, in the expenses, and in all the salient features incident to railway maintenance and operation, but the largest percentage of increase

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