« AnteriorContinuar »
as second-class matter. It is composed of leaves, say, 16 of them, about 5 inches long and 3 inches wide. We can not exclude that publication from the second class until we are ready to take action on a certain class that are very similar.
It will be interesting to know that same publication appeared in June, 1904, with supplements. (Exhibit 7b.) The law provides for supplements. This will be discussed later. The little circular contains similar matter to that in the main publication, and it was issued as a supplement for the convenience of separating it.
I have here a copy of the Bible Banner Series, published at Stanbury, Mo. (Exhibit 8a.) The copy is dated May 1, 1906. Objection was raised to this publication because it consisted of a single sermon. This (Exhibit 8a) is the form in which it appeared, and objection being taken to it, the publishers furnished it in this form (Exhibit 8b), and in that form it was required to be entered because it complied with all the conditions. It was a question of form.
I think it would tax you, Mr. Chairman and members of the Cemmission, to lay before you all of these exhibits we have here in this book. (Exhibit 9a.) . They are so small that we had to make a book and paste them in. There are actually about 20 or 25 here showing the various degrees of shading off one way or another to get in the second class. It is a mere question of the printing. I will submit this and Exhibits A to G. They are in this form because some time ago the Senate passed a resolution calling for the interpretation of the law concerning this class of publications, and the whole matter will be made very clear with the circular and the illustrations to go with it.
The next requirement of the law is that it must regularly be issued at stated intervals, as frequently as four times a year, and bear a date of issue and be numbered consecutively. All of this is a mere matter of adjusting the printing press, except the regularity of issue. All start out intending to keep up regularity, but not all continue. Publications are sometimes issued in double, triple, or quadruple numbers; that is to say, the date line will bear the months July, August, September, and October, or as many of the months as it stands for. Rules for treating these cases were made. Double numbers are prohibited because the law demands regularity of issue at stated intervals. But few publishers are advised of the exact requirements and that the privilege depends upon their being all fulfilled.
It seems to a publisher to be such a trivial matter, this regularity of issue, that he gets the publication out with the doubled-up dates when it suits his convenience. Because of the rule, it is held up by the postmaster; then the publisher comes to Washington, and what is to be done? Ile pleads ignorance of the law and won't do it again; and he argues that after all the Government is benefited by the omissions, for instead of two, three, or four issues it has only to carry one. The difference between the second and third class rates, which should be charged if the rule were enforced, is so great that the punishment is too much for the crime and, as a rule, the Department can not in good conscience demand the higher rate.
The publisher is let off with a warning and does not do it again, but there are always new cases of the same kind. The law in this respect is constantly violated, and once the precedent is established no case can be treated with less leniency. Then there are the special editions,
issues over and above the regular number; and the questions as to varient issues, enlarged editions, etc., in which the character of the publication is changed, retaining only the title and other technical marks of the regular publication.
When a publication is admitted to the second class it is in response to an application by the publisher. He makes a sworn statement concerning not only the publication, but its circulation, because both are governed by the law. He also submits a copy of the publication which he wants entered. After viewing the publication, if it meets the requirements, and after taking his sworn statement as to circulation, and that also meeting the requirements, the publication is admitted. If we are correct, our theory is that the admission is on that particular thing as it appeared by the exhibit, and the publisher is not entitled to second-class rates if he changes the character of the thing to be carried on the permit. He is given second-class rates for a newspaper which was adjudged to be a newspaper at the time it was entered. He has no right to change it to something which is not a newspaper:
The exhibits on this line are very extensive, and I will have to take very considerable of your time to present them. I would like to state, Mr. Chairman, that the limited time and the state of the weather in Washington for the last sixty days has made it impossible for us to get these exhibits in as good order as we will have them later for you when you really wish to pass upon them. I may 110t keep the consecutive order properly, but I will get them all in if you will be patient.
Here is a publication entitled the “ Lariat,” Davis City, Iowa. I have two copies of it. One is No. 3 of volume 4 (Exhibit 10a-1). There is no date on it that I can find. The other is dated November 11. 1905 (Exhibit 10a-2). This is the form (Exhibit 10a-2) in which the publication was admitted, and on a date not given. This (Exhibit 10a-1) was offered as an issue of it. It is nothing but a lot of pictures, poems, advertisments, etc. The publisher had the privilege and he could not be suspended without a hearing. We could not stop his mail matter. It is a question whether that (Exhibit 10a-1) is the issue of the Lariat. The CHAIRMAN. Does this paper have a legitimate circulation, Mr. Madden!
Mr. Madden. It had at the time it was entered, according to the publisher's sworn statement.
I have here a copy of the Kinston Free Press, published at Kinston, X. C. (Exhibit 10b-1.) The issue is dated August 18, 1906, in the form of a newspaper. It was admitted in that form and that character. An issue of the paper was presented, entitled the “ Industrial Issue" (Exhibit 10b-2). It bears no date that I can find. It is possible that I may be mistaken, but this was either issued separately or as a part of that newspaper-one of the two things. The question is whether the publisher, by reason of his right to mail the newspaper (Exhibit 10b-1) at second-class rates, was entitled to mail along with it a pamphlet or print (Exhibit 10b—2) of that kind as a part of it or as a separate edition. In either case it went through the mails at the pound rate.
I have here a copy of the Miami News dated July 27, 1906 (Exhibit 10c-1). It is published in Miami, Fla. This is the form in
which the publication was admitted as a newspaper. On July 27 the publisher sent this (Exhibit 10c-2) along with it as a part of it. It is called a special railroad-extension edition. It is made up of a lot of good matter, probably, concerning the railroad facilities of Florida. It is very good advertising matter. It is a variation in the edition.
The next is a copy of the Pacific Fisherman, published at Seattle. Wash., dated January, 1906 (Exhibit 10d-1). This (Exhibit 100-1) was the form in which it was admitted to the second class as a periodical published monthly. On January, 1906, it came out with this (Exhibit 100-2) as a part of the publication.
Senator CARTER. Is that to be issued regularly as a part of it, or just as a supplement?
Mr. Madden. No; only occasionally—once a year. This had a separate price, 50 cents, by itself.
Now, we get a little nearer home, to some of the real newspapers. I have here a copy of the Evening Capital News, published at Boise, Idaho, February 6, 1906 (Exhibit 10e-1). This is the form (Exhibit 10-1) in which the newspaper was admitted and in which we concede its right to go at second-class rates. On that date they issued along with it, as a part of it, a pamphlet entitled “ The Marvelous Snake River Valley" (Exhibit 10e-2). It appeared to be a write up of that section of the country, pictures of various institutions, and a general advertisement of the valley. The question is whether the publisher, having the second-class rate for the newspaper, is entitled to mail along with it any print he sees fit to distribute in the mails, by a mere designation of it as a part.
I have here a copy of the Tacoma New Herald, published at Tacoma, Wash., dated January 6, 1906 (Exhibit 10f-1). On that date he also had a section (Exhibit 10f-2) which is a pamphlet similar to the ones previously shown. The same question arises in this case. It is merely a second exhibit of the same identical question.
Senator CARTER. Mr. Chairman, I suggest that in view of the large number of these exhibits, their general nature might be stated, and the exhibits left available for examination, without consuming time in making a special showing as to each one in the course of the statement now in progress.
Mr. MADDEN. I will follow whatever order you desire, gentlemen. The exhibits are at your disposal.
Senator CARTER. I suggest, Mr. Madden, that as to each class, one or two exhibits might be referred to in illustration of your statement, and the remainder of the exhibits bunched, so as to be accessible for further examination if the Commission desires it.
Mr. MADDEN. Permit me to state in that connection that the exhibits brought here by no means cover all of the questions that arise on those particular points. They are merely a few, varying themselves a little. The number is almost countless. We could not bring along with us all the exhibits necessary to explain every question.
The next condition is that a publication must be issued from a known office of publication. It is mailable at the second-class rates only at one post-office, and that is the one where the actual business of managing and publishing is done. The same law requires a higher rate of postage for newspapers and periodicals addressed for local delivery by letter carrier than it does for transporting them
across the country and delivering them, say, in San Francisco. There are newspapers and periodicals the circulations of which are all within the city of publication. In such cases the copies, if a newspaper, must be paid for at a cent apiece regardless of weight, and the same for a periodical, unless it weighs over 2 ounces, in that case 2 cents are required.
The publisher discovers that there is a post-office in a convenient suburb and that by establishing a publication office there, a mere makeshift, and advertising it as one of his offices, he can secure entry to the second class there and then mail copies to subscribers in the large city at a cent a pound, whereas but for this little inconvenience it would cost him from 10 to 20 cents a pound to mail it. When the publication is one of those with fifteen or twenty copies in a pound, the difference in postage rate and the loss to the Government is manifest. But this is not all. The Government must pay the cost of the service for carrying the very same matter back from the place where it was sent in order to defraud it of its legal revenue. And, after all, the publisher is not inconvenienced much. The telephone, the quick-car service, etc., permits of his remaining in the large city, practically transacting his business as before.
The third condition is that it inust be formed of printed paper sheets, without board, cloth, leather, or other substantial binding, such as distinguish printed books for preservation from periodical publications. If all of the news of a locality can be printed on one sheet why should the law require two or more! Often it is found that a single sheet has more the character of a real newspaper than some of those of a number of sheets. The publisher of one of these single sheets finds that the conditions must be met, and scissors and paste pot do the job. The result is that the Government is required to carry double weight.
The next condition is that it must be originated and published for the dissemination of information of a public character, or devoted to literature, the sciences, arts, or some special industry. What is information of a public character? What is devoted to literature, the sciences, arts, or some special industry? The administering officer must determine these questions and the statute gives no clue to follow. The Department has a rule applicable to a small class of cases, but it is of little value, and the application of it has caused endless irritation and annoyance.
A few illustrations will be helpful. The rule is that a publication made up of notices and information which is of interest to and concerns only the members of an organization as such, especially when the list of subscribers is simply the membership, is not originated and published for the dissemination of information of a public character. Under this rule many hundreds of publications have been rejected from the second class, among them the little bulletins of the Y. M. C. A., the pastor's alleged newspaper containing his weekly announcements for circulation among the members of his congregation, and many others of like character and purpose. There are many differences of opinion as to the correctness of the rule. Congress has practically investigated the Department three times in cases where it was applied.
The first was during the lifetime of the late Senator Hoar. The Senator's own pastor offered a little sheet for entry as a newspaper.
(See The Searchlight, Exhibit 9a, page 2.) It was a weekly, and the news it contained was merely pulpit announcements and a few advertisements. It was rejected because of the rule stated, and the pastor (the publisher) protested to the Senator. He introduced a resolution calling upon the Department for a statement of its construction of existing law in relation to such publications. The resolution was passed. The Post-Office Department answered in the way indicated. The resolution also called for exhibits, and they were submitted. When the answer and the exhibits reached the Senate, Senator Hoar reviewed not only the rule but the exhibits. He was a just man, and he got the floor and this is what he said:
I do not want to have anything appear that might even be taken to be a criticism on the Post-Office Department. I have no doubt that the Post-Office Department has dealt and is dealing with this very difficult question in regard to second-class mail matter with great wisdom and prudence, and in general is right in its dealing. It has seemed to me, however, that the Department has erred, possibly, when it holds that periodicals, weekly or monthly, published by churches and other religious or educational associations, which are full of news which have advertisements in them, but also contain a little of their own particular information (which they would have to print in the daily papers if they did not have this means of printing it), are not to be treated as ordinary newspapers.
That quotation speaks for itself. It needs no comment.
The publication offered in that case is in the exhibits presented. (See “ The Searchlight,” page 2, Exhibit 9a.) It has a little twopage sheet, a few advertisements, and a few notices concerning what The congregation will do, what the choir will do, what the pastor has said and done, and what he intends to do. There were very many of that class in, and they were all put out, so far as we know.
Not long ago a publication having all the physical appearance of a newspaper (copy of which will be exhibited) was offered for entry at Shawnee, Okla., and was entitled the “Indiahoma Union Signal. (Exhibit 11a-1.) An examination of it disclosed that it was not a newspaper at all, although physically it looked like one, and the casual observer would say it was one. It was, however, nothing more nor less than a bulletin issued by the officers of the Farmers' Union to its members, and of letters from the members to the officers to be printed for the information of other members, who composed its list of subscribers. In other words, it was simply an organization bulletin, the object of which was to instruct the members of the union where to buy their necessities and sell their products to the greatest possible advantage.
Entry was denied. To say that the publisher was indignant because it was held that his publication was not a newspaper, originated and published for the dissemination of information of a public character, is putting it very mildly. He was fiery. The stuff he printed in that paper concerning the action of the Department was real information of a public character. About 40,000 farmers were said to be concerned. The publisher made them all think a great outrage had been perpetrated. The whole country around was placarded. There was one on every post. A copy of the poster will be submitted. (Exhibit 11a-2.) 'Excitement ran high. Contributions were called for to fight the monster who was depriving the publisher of his law ful rights.