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Representative OVERSTREET. What is your understanding as to the handling that first-class mail receives by the Government that secondclass mail does not receive?
Mr. Glasgow. There is an enormous volume of second-class mail put in the bags by the people who send it and that is never taken out of the bags until it is delivered.
Representative OVERSTREET. The bags are handled ?
Mr. Glasgow. The bags are handled, but if you take the same quantity of first-class mail you have to handle every piece in that bag.
Representative OVERSTREET. But 67 per cent of the total weight of the mail is second class.
Mr. Glasgow. What need would you have for railway-mail clerks between here and Chicago if all the mail went in bags to Chicago ?
Representative OVERSTREET. They take them now in storage cars part of the way. Then they transfer them from the storage cars to the full mail cars. Then they are distributed by States and then to individual offices.
Mr. GLASGOW. I understand there is an enormous amount of second-class mail that goes out of New York in bags that is put into the train by the publisher and never touched until it gets to Chicago or elsewhere, and that it is never handled en route at all.
Representative OVERSTREET. Are not those bags handled ultimately when they are distributed to the individuals?
Mr. Glasgow. They are taken out of the car, but I am talking about the difference between here and Chicago.
Representative OVERSTREET. I am talking about the attention which the Government gives. The Government finally, through its postoffice clerks and its carriers, both city and country, handles each one of those individual pieces of second-class matter by its delivery to the person who is entitled to it.
Mr. Glasgow. There is only one delivery, as I understand the situation. That is my information.
Mr. Madden. You mean there is only one delivery of the sack?
Representative OVERSTREET. Do you know the proportion that the second-class mail which is routed by the publishers bears to the total second-class mail?
Mr. GLASGOW. No; I do not.
Representative OVERSTREET. It is a very small percentage, so that the rest of it is handled just like other mail.
Mr. GLASGOW. The information I have I do not know whether it is correct or not, and if it is not I wish to be corrected—is that there are millions of dollars paid every year by the Government for handling first-class mail which is handled in a way in which secondclass mail is not handled.
Mr. Noble. Mr. Chairman, may I supplement what Mr. Glasgow has been saying?
The CHAIRMAN. Whom do you represent?
The Postmaster-General's report shows that of all the second-class matter which was handled in the year 1905, 90 per cent of it was never touched by the Government employees until it got to the postoffice of distribution.
Representative OVERSTREET. That is the point I was asking Mr. Glasgow about.
Mr. NOBLE. To distinguish it from the cost of handling first-class mail you will allow me to emphasize that fact. First-class mail is first of all deposited in the local box in a city or in a post-office. It is stamped there. It is then taken to the general post-office, stamped again, and of course handled again. It is then put upon the railway car, where it is handled again and stamped. At the point of delivery it is handled again and stamped. At the branch post-office it is handled again and stamped. Now, compare that with the cost of handling second-class mail. We are speaking now purely of the question of handling. Second-class mail is never touched by the Government until it gets to the place at which it is going to be distributed.
Representative OVERSTREET. Is it your understanding that each individual letter of the first class is handled that number of times?
Mr. NOBLE. Giving general statements, yes. Of course, particularly I will distinguish immediately.
Representative OVERSTREET. Do you not know they are packaged by offices, in very many instances by States, and are handled in packages, quite a number in a package
Mr. NOBLE. Yes; that is what they do in the railway post-office cars. They are constantly reassorting those packages.
Representative OVERSTREET. Do you not know that in many instances whole bags of first-class mail addressed to individual offices are handled as bags?
Mr. NOBLE. Yes.
Representative OVERSTREET. So that there is not the same differentiation of handling first-class mail as you have stated ?
Mr. NOBLE. I beg your pardon. The number of times I have stated they are all handled. It may be there is enough mail collected in each handling to make a bag, but that mail is handled the number of times I have stated, whereas that is not true of secondclass matter. I might illustrate that very well by taking, for example, Harper's Magazine, which weighs, we will say, a pound; 157 postal cards weigh a pound. I can not give any better illustration to show the difference of cost to the Government than that. The 157 postal cards have to be delivered to 157 different addresses, with all those several handlings I have mentioned, whereas the magazine is not touched until it gets to the point of distribution, and then is only handled once.
Representative OVERSTREET. Suppose Harper's Magazine is entered at the New York office for distribution in Texas. Did I understand you to say that it is not handled until it gets to Texas?
Mr. NOBLE. İt is loaded in carload lots until it gets to some point beyond the Mississippi River.
Representative OVERSTREET. It is put into what they call storage cars.
Mr. NOBLE. No; in ordinary mail cars.
Representative OVERSTREET. They do not go on the full R. P. O. cars.
Mr. NOBLE. As you doubtless know, the Post-Office Department has routes and they give those out to the publishers. These maga
zines are all assorted by the publishers and put in particular railway cars to go on a particular route.
Representative OVERSTREET. That is true enough, but do I understand you to say that the very car in which those copies of Harper's are placed goes right through?
Mr. NOBLE. No; it goes to a point where it may be handled.
Representative OVERSTREET. Then it is handled before it gets to the point of destination. Let me ask another thing. Before it gets to the State in which it is to be distributed, is not that bag of Harper's Magazines put into a full railway post office car for distribution over the wheels?
Mr. NOBLE. To answer your question specifically, let me go back a moment.
Representative OVERSTREET. That could be answered yes or no. Mr. NOBLE. Yes; I will answer you.
Representative OVERSTREET. Then, after it has been routed by States in the railway post-office car, it goes to another set of clerks who handle it by the individual pieces, does it not? That is, before it gets into the State where it is to be delivered, and then after it is delivered at that office, it is handled by the individual clerks for distribution, and after it has been handled by the individual clerks it is handled by the individual carriers.
Mr. Noble. Your line of questions, sir, would seem to destroy a part of my argument, if applied to any considerable part of the second-class matter. The trouble with your statement is that it applies to an infinitestimal part of it. The vast bulk of second-class matter is distributed in the great cities, like Chicago, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Denver, where it goes in carload lots. I do not know of any exact method whereby I can get at the percentage, but it is a very minute percentage of the total amount carried. It is easy enough to work out the number of carloads, and I could give you that, that are distributed from the great centers, from one center to another.
Representative OVERSTREET. What objection would there be to the Government supervising the carriage of publications destined for the centers, say, from New York to Chicago, by the slower method of transportation, say, by freight, on which it would pay a very much lower rate than by railway-mail transportation?
Mr. NOBLE. In general, there would be no objection to that.
Representative OVERSTREET. It would still be handled in practically the same way?
Mr. Noble. Yes. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Glassie, will you state to the Commission what is the programme you have made up for to-morrow?
The SECRETARY. The original programme for to-morrow would begin with the statement by Hon. W. S. Shallenberger, Second Assistant Postmaster-General, giving the statistics as to weight of various classes of second-class matter for the months of July and August 1906, obtained under the provisions of the act of June 6, 1906. I understand from General Shallenberger, however, that those figures have not been tabulated, and he will not be able to present them at this time, but will do so somewhat later in the week.
The next thing on the programme will be the statement of Mr. John M. Hubbard, the assistant postmaster at Chicago, on sugges
tions as to the amendment of the conditions of admission to the second class and as to the routing and handling of second-class matter.
The next matter on the programme is the statement to be made by the committee of the National Editorial Association.
The next matter is a statement to be made by Mr. T. T. Williams, manager of the Hearst association of papers.
The last matter will be a statement by the committee of the American Newsdealers' Association, of which Mr. Palmer, of New York, is manager.
That is the programme for to-morrow, Mr. Chairman, so far as we have been able to arrange it.
Senator CARTER. Will the assistant postmaster of Chicago be available to-morrow morning?
The SECRETARY. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAX. The hearing will be resumed to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock.
The Commission, at 6.05 o'clock p. m., adjourned until Tuesday, October 2, 1906, at 10 o'clock a. m.
NEW YORK, Tuesday, October 2, 1906. The Commission met at 10 a. m.
Present: Senators Penrose (chairman) and Carter, and Representatives Overstreet and Moon; also Henry H. Glassie, esq., secretary.
The ActixG CHAIRMAX (Senator CARTER). An address will be presented by Mr. John M. Hubbard, assistant postmaster at Chicago, on the subject of second-class matter.
Mr. THEODORE SCHROEDER. Mr. Chairman, I am wondering if I may interrupt for the purpose of making a statement of about three entences, as a preliminary to asking a question concerning the scope of the proposed inquiry. I am the attorney for the Free Speech League, which is of the opinion that the laws as they now affect second-class matter, as interpreted by the courts and as administered, in relation to obscene literature, are a very gross outrage on the people, because they preclude a general dissemination of scientific literature on the subject of sex. As I understand it, this inquiry relates to all that pertains to second-class literature. Of course, this covers other classes, and I desire to inquire whether argument will be heard on that question.
The Acting CHAIRMAN. The scope of the inquiry is defined by the act of Congress, and appears in the printed announcement of the Commission.
Mr. SCHROEDER. I have not had a chance to read it.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. The law under which the Commission is acting reads as follows:
That there shall be appointed a joint commission of Congress, consisting of three Senators, to be appointed by the President of the Senate, and three Members of the House of Representatives. to be appointed by the Speaker of the House, whose duty it shall be to investigate, consider, and report, by bill or otherwise, to Congress its findings and recommendations regarding the second class of mail matter. The said joint commission shall have power to employ clerks and stenographers, administer oaths, send for persons and papers, and do all things necessary for the carrying out of its objects.
After a very careful consideration of the scope and purpose of the inquiry as indicated by the law, the Commission announced to publishers and the public the scope of the proposed inquiry under three distinct headings, which appear on the fourth page of the pamphlet.
1. Whether the revenue from the second class of mail matter should not be made commensurate with the actual cost of the service rendered in handling it, and whether its classification should not accordingly be grounded upon practical rather than ideal distinctions?
2. In case second-class matter is not put upon a cost-paying basis, what limitations should be placed upon the matter which may properly be embraced in that class?
3. By what amendments of existing law may the changes which appear to be advisable be most effectually brought about?
From this it will be perceived, I think, that the inquiry is directed more largely to the question of revenue than to any general amendments of the law relating to the second-class matter, or the admission of matter to the mail as second class.
Mr. SCHROEDER. May I not submit an inquiry of your committee for consideration as to whether or not the law is broad enough in its scope to take legitimately into account an inquiry as to whether or not the present restrictions upon second-class mail matter, by reason of obscenity of the contents, shall be inquired into? I am very anxious to get a hearing upon that question, if your honors will be good enough to listen to argument, at any time that may be convenient.
The Acting CHAIRMAN. It is obvious, I think, that a departure in that line would greatly extend the scope of the inquiry.
Mr. SCHROEDER. It would no doubt somewhat expand it.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. The Chair is not at this moment prepared to announce the views of the Commission on the subject; but if the extent to which the departure is desired will be indicated in writing, he will be glad to submit it to the Commission at its next executive session for consideration.
Mr. SCHROEDER. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF JOHN M. HUBBARD, ESQ., ASSISTANT POST
MASTER, CHICAGO, ILL.
Mr. HUBBARD. Mr. Chairman, I have a written statement here which I have asked your secretary to read.
The SECRETARY. Mr. Hubbard, having some difficulty with his eyes. has asked me to read this paper for him, and with the consent of the Commission I will do so.
Mr. HUBBARD. Prior to the reading I desire, on behalf of the postmaster of Chicago and my associates in the post-office, to thank the Commission for its courteous summons for a representative of that office to come here and present the views of the office upon this most important question. Naturally enough, and I hope properly enough. our argument or statement in this case is along the practical lines.
As stated by the secretary, the condition of my eyes at the present time forbids my reading the argument, and I leave it to him to do; and I ask that he be not interrupted during the reading of the argument. At his conclusion I shall be most willing to answer, if I can, any questions that may be put to me concerning the statements therein made or any other questions that are relevant to the matter.