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Mr. Julius Krutschmitt, operating head of the Harriman System, who pronounced it the most complete and valuable railroad map he has ever seen.
The work of this department is somewhat similar to that of the engineering department so far as ascertaining the original and reproductive values of telephone properties. Actual inventories and appraisements have been made of the plants at Purcell, Lexington, Enid, Anadarko, Durant, McAlester, Guthrie, Woodward, and the Grand County Rural & Pioneer Company's plant at Pond Creek. In addition to these large plants, fiftynine other plants have been appraised during the last year.
This department has compiled maps of nineteen counties, showing the telephone lines operating within each county. This work will be continued as rapidly as possible. This department compiled valuable data in the Western Union tax cases that had much to do in substantiating the state's position in those cases before the court.
Gas and electric light companies have been added to this department, and investigations of certain properties of this character are now in progress.
The commission also has under investigation a proposed order to reduce toll rates in the state, but, by reason of so many rapid changes in the larger towns of the state requiring additional facilities, most companies have been taxed to their utmost financial limit to respond to these demands. This hearing will be continued during the next few months.
In this department, all private corporations make reports as to the amount of their stocks, stockholders, agents, etc., and the department has been a great source of information to the gen. eral public in ascertaining the location or address of certain corporations. It has become more important since the act of
the legislature requiring certain classes of corporations to pay a license tax, upon the payment of which the commission is authorized to issue license for such corporation to do business in the ensuing year. To comply with this law, it is necessary that all domestic and foreign corporations doing business in Oklahoma make an accurate report to the commission annually. This keeps information of this character up to date. There are between twenty and thirty thousand domestic and foreign corporations now doing business in Oklahoma.
The commissionerships range up to $15,000 per annum, and while the obtaining of these positions is largely a matter of political preferment, there are many lucrative subordinate positions that are open to traffic men thru the medium of civil service examinations. The annual report of expenditures of the Interstate Commerce Commission gives, for example, among many others, the following positions and the remuneration attached:
5,000 3,900 4,500 3,600 3,000 3,000 2,400 2,400 1,800
A comprehensive knowledge of the federal Act to Regulate Commerce, and of state regulations with respect to public utility control, an intimate acquaintance with the conference rulings of such commissions, and the interpretation of the statutes by the Supreme Court, are necessary requirements of the traffic man who will make good in this sphere. It is not only a growing and lucrative field, but one which is receiving greater appreciation from the public as the importance of adequate transportation facilities becomes more and more apparent.
1. What do you understand by a public utility commission!
2. Explain each of the five problems in regard to transportation, with which state commissions must deal.
3. Are commissions organized in a uniform manner?
4. What types of organization are used by public utility commissions ?
5. About how many tariffs does the Oklahoma Corporation Commission keep on file?
6. For what purposes are these tariffs used !
7. Name at least half a dozen positions with the Interstate Commerce Commission.
THE TRAFFIC FIELD
RAILWAY TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT
N. D. CHAPIN
Director, Department of Interstate Commerce,
LaSalle Extension University Formerly Chief of Tariff Bureau of The New York Central
Railroad and West Shore Railroad