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PUBLICITY IS THE SHEET-ANCHOR OF THE PUBLIC SECURITY.
Without it all legislative interference is hazardous and may prove disastrous to very important interests. With it once fully secured, occasions for such interference will steadily diminish until an enlightened public sentiment will need to be supplemented by only the most general form of State supervision.
For the meantime, also, as said before,
IT IS THE TRUE POLICY OF THE STATE TO LEGISLATE BROADLY;
laying down such general rules of action as will cover and carry with them all necessary particulars as a consequence, and leaving the application and enforcement of those general rules to a competent commission authorized and required to keep itself familiar with the condition and working of all the roads; to hear complaints and settle differences between the corporations, as well as between the corporations and the public; to study the problem of transportation so as to gain an expert's mastery of it in all its parts; to enforce the law, in cases of violation, in the name and at the expense of the State; and, finally, to report all important facts and decissions to the legislature.
Your Commissioners are firm in the conviction that the adoption of a general policy of this sort would produce the most beneficial results-that it would insure to the public the best protection it is now possible to give; that, leaving to the managers the necessary freedom of action, it would give to owners the grateful assurance not only that they were to be allowed a fair profit, if their roads can earn it, but that, through the power of the State and the vigilance of its officers they would have increased security, and hence more certain returns; and, finally, that the results of such adequate security to both the public and the railroad interests would be, the improved credit of the State and the direct promotion of its industrial and commercial prosperity..
JOHN W. HOYT,
GEORGE H. PAUL,
OFFICE OF THE RAILROAD COMMISSIONERS,
Madison, January, 1876.
OF THE RAILROAD COMMISSIONERS, WITH PORTIONS OF THEIR
CLASSIFICATION OF ROADS, AND RATES OF FARE AND FREIGHT.
OFFICE OF RAILROAD COMMISSIONERS,
MADISON, March 17, 1875.
To any Individual, Company or Corporation, owning, operating, managing or leasing any Railroad, or part of Railroad, in the State of Wisconsin:
Notice is hereby given by the undersigned Railroad Commissioners for the State of Wisconsin, that the following Classification of Railroads, Classification of Freights, maximum Rates of Fare, and maximum Rates of Freight, have been established by chapter 273, laws of 1874, and the following acts amendatory thereof, towit: Chapters 113 and 334, laws of 1875, and by said Commissioners, in pursuance of authority conferred upon them by law.
CLASSIFICATION OF ROADS.
Class A-"All Railroads, or parts of Railroads, in the State of Wisconsin, now owned, operated, managed or leased, either by the St. Paul Railway Company, the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company, or the Western Union Railway Company, except the Madison & Portage Railroad."
Class B-" All other Railroads, or parts of Railroads, in this Stat
CLASSIFICATION OF FREIGHT.
All freights hereafter transported upon any Railroad, or part of Railroad, in this State, are divided into four General Classes, to be (Doc. 15.)
designated as First, Second, Third, and Fourth Classes, and into seven Special Classes, to be designated D, E, F, G, H, I, J.
Said four General Classes shall include all merchandise and other articles of transportation, included in the standard Classification of the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company, which took effect June 15, 1872, except such articles as are hereinafter assigned in accordance with law to Special Classes hereinafter named.
The Special Classes hereinafter named shall include the following articles, respectively:
D.-All Grain, in car-loads.
E. Flour in lots of fifty barrels, or more; Lime in lots of twenty-four barrels, or more.
F.-Salt in lots of 60 barrels or more; Cement, Water-Lime and Stucco, in lots of twenty-four barrels, or more.
G.-Lumber, Lath, and Shingles, in car-loads.
H.-Live-stock, in car-loads.
I.-Agricultural Implements, Furniture, and Wagons.
J.-Coal, Brick, Sand, Stone, and heavy Fourth Class articles, in car-loads.
RATES OF FARE AND FREIGHT.
LIMITATION OF CHARGES FOR FARES.
Any Individual, Company, or Corporation owning, operating, managing or leasing any Railroad, or part of a Railroad, in the Classification of Roads herein before prescribed, is limited to a compensation for the transportation of any person, with ordinary baggage not exceeding one hundred pounds in weight, as follows: CLASS A-Three cents per mile.
CLASS B-Four cents per mile.
Provided, That no such Individual, Company, or Corporation, herein before designated, shall charge, demand, or receive any greater compensation per mile for the transportation of children of the age of twelve years, or under, than one-half the respective rates above prescribed.
LIMITATION OF CHARGES FOR FREIGHTS ON RAILROADS CLASSED A AND B.
No Individual, Company, or Corporation owning, operating, managing or leasing any Railroad belonging to Classes A and B, is entitled to charge for, or receive, a greater or higher rate for carrying any freight belonging to either of the four General Classes of freight herein before named, than was charged for carrying freights now belonging to said four General Classes, on said Railroad, on the first day of June 1873.
Nor is any Individual, Company, or Corporation owning, operating, managing, or leasing any Railroad belonging to said Classes A and B,* entitled to charge for, or receive, a greater or higher rate for carrying articles belonging to any of the Special Classes hereinbefore named than is specified in the annexed table:
* It is claimed that chapter 113, laws of 1875, indicates that it was not the intention of the legislature to subject the roads classed "B" to the same freight-rates as are applicable to "A" roads. The question of intention the commissioners do not assume to decide.