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to the representatives of the court the difference between the rates charged and those fixed by the legislature, to be distributed in accordance with the decision of the highest court. In substance the supreme court declared that the controversy had been brought prematurely and that it could not pronounce upon the constitutionality of the law.

In its memorandum accompanying the decision the court enunciated certain rules which would guide it in determining whether a rate was just or not. One rule was that in this case under the circumstances the rates charged should allow a return of at least 6 per cent. upon the value of the company's property. If the company should receive that percentage it woud get all that as a monopoly it could demand. In estimating the value of that property the court maintained that the amount on which this percentage is to be reckoned should include the value of the franchises as that value had been accepted by the state.

As the state had never questioned the valuation of the company's capital stock as it was fixed by the constituent companies when they were consolidated, the state could not now, the court maintained, be heard to question that valuation. As was pointed out by The Outlook, this rule implies that if a state for taxing purposes appraises a franchise and pays a property tax upon it, then the state must allow the company that holds the franchise

to collect interest upon it from the ratepayers. Interest on Such a rule would make a franchise taxation unFranchises

popular if not impracticable; for what the utility company pays to the state in taxes it would collect many times over in the increase of rates sufficient to make up a 6 per cent. income on the franchise. Even if a franchise tax of as much as 6 per cent. to balance a 6 per cent. income could be laid, there would still be an inequality; for while the tax would go to the whole state, it would be paid by a small minority of the state, namely, the patrons of that particular utility. The people would eventually rather sacrifice the state tax than pay in rates several times the amount of the tax merely for the right to lay the tax. In substance the court has said a state can not regard a franchise as private property for the purposes of taxation without allowing the owner of the franchise to regard it as private property for the purpose of dividends.

In the Knoxville water case the court stated that “the function of rate-making is purely legislative in its character; and this is true whether it is exercised directly by the legislature itself or by some subordinate or administrative body to whom the power of fixing rates in detail has been delegated. The completed act derives its authority from the legislature, and must be regarded as an exercise of the legislative power. . . . Regulation of public service corporations which perform their duties under conditions of necessary monopoly will occur with greater and greater frequency as time goes on. It is a delicate and dangerous function, and ought to be exercised with a keen sense of justice on the part of the regulating body met by a frank disclosure on the part of the company to be regulated. Courts ought not to bear the whole burden of saving property from confiscation, though they will not be found wanting where the proof is clear. Legislatures and subordinate bodies to whom legislative power has been delegated, ought to do their part. ... On the other hand, the companies to be regulated will find it to their lasting interest to furnish freely the information upon which a just regulation can be based.”

One aspect of the municipal situation—the amount of grafting that is being exposed—is appalling. Last March the president pro tem. of the Ashtabula (Ohio) city council was convicted on an indictment charging him with the solicitation of a bribe of $1,200 from the gas company in connection with the passage of the gas ordinance. In Milwaukee a former alderman pleaded guilty of the charge of accepting a bribe while serving in the city legislature. Indianapolis had so many graft cases that it was necessary to establish a special court calendar for them. Abe

Ruef, the erstwhile autocratic boss of San Grafting

Francisco, has been convicted of offering a bribe of $4,000 to a former superviser for his vote on an ordinance granting certain desirable privileges to the united railroads of that city. Patrick Calhoun was on trial in the same city for months on the charge of having paid, as president of the street railway company, the sum of $200,000 to influence legislation. The president of Boston's common council has been convicted and sentenced to two years in jail for his complicity in the passage of an ordinance appropriating $200 in the expenditure of which he was directly interested. Four men have already been convicted of complicity in the Harrisburg capitol graft, two having died since sentence was pronounced. A fifth person, who was implicated in the scandal, died before the day of trial, and another has gone crazy. The same day that the Pennsylvania grafters were sentenced, a former member of the Columbus (Ohio) board of control was sentenced to four years in the penitentiary for accepting a bribe from the local representative of a paving company.

In Pittsburgh a group of councilmen have been convicted of accepting bribes and a bank president of giving them, and certain third parties have also been caught in the meshes of the law. Every man known to be guilty of participation in the grafting operations brought to light by the Civic League of Pittsburgh has been tried and convicted.

One of the most sensational and important occurrences of the year in Chicago was the indictment and conviction of police inspector Edward McCann for taking bribes for protecting disreputable resorts in his district. This conviction proved what has long been believed by many persons familiar with police affairs, namely, the existence of a widespread system whereby the police have corruptly given protection to law-breakers. It is expected that the state's attorney of Chicago will follow up the conviction of Inspector McCann by other prosecutions along the same line. In connection with this case, the state's attorney, Mr. Wayman, has since secured the indictment of one of the jury commissioners and two other persons on a conspiracy charge based upon alleged systematic corrupt manipulation of jury lists.

It is but natural to ask, in the face of this list of indictments and convictions, which unfortunately is but a partial one, Is the country on the decline? Are we living in an age of increasing immorality? Are the standards of public and private conduct disintegrating? Are we worse morally than our predecessors?

These investigations, grand jury inquiries, indictments and convictions mean that the American people are tired of the old condition of affairs and are insisting on a new deal. They are repudiating the standards of the past generation and establishing new and higher ones. We are purifying our public life and insisting upon a more exacting fulfilment of public duty and obligation. The halter of the law is slowly but surely being drawn around the grafters who have debauched public life and jeopardized America's democratic experiment. From their pedestals wrongdoers-civic traitors—are being pulled down, and are receiving their just reward of obloquy, public contempt and punishment.

If the methods and principles for which the bureau of municipal research stand are given a reasonable extension, within the

next few years graft in many of its forms will Municipal

be very much more difficult of accomplishment. Research

Progress in municipal government consists as well in the establishment of rational and accurate methods of doing business as in electing capable men. Concise and accurate knowledge of the facts is also an essential of efficiency in public service. In a bulletin recently issued by the New York bureau the following outline of its methods was given. It is reproduced in this connection not only because it so succinctly states the objects and purposes of the work, but the methods it and its growing progeny of offsprings in Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Richmond (Indiana), Memphis and Pittsburgh follow:

Ascertain how the powers and duties (and other materials of research) are distributed.

Exercise the citizen's right to examine public records.

Abstract and analyze such information as is contained in the records.

Supplement examination of records by collateral inquiry where the records are defective as to the work done and as to conditions to be remedied.

Compare function with accomplishment and expenditure as to each responsible officer, each class of employee, each bureau or division.

Confer with the official responsible for the municipal department or social conditions to be studied.

Secure promise of co-operation, and instructions that direct subordinates to co-operate with the bureau's representatives.

Verify reports by usual accounting and research methods and by conferences with department and bureau heads.

Supervise work in progress.
Hold frequent conferences with supervisors and directors as

to method of investigation and as to significance of facts disclosed.

Co-operate with municipal officials in devising remedies so far as these can be effected through change of system.

Make no recommendations as to personnel further than to present facts throwing light on the efficiency or inefficiency of employee or officer.

Submit in printed form suggestions not easily understood when orally given and not readily conveyed by typewritten statements.

Prepare formal report (after conference among trustees and after editing by committee on reports) to department heads, city executive officers and general public.

Support press publicity by illustrations, materials for special articles, suggestions to editors, to city officials, and to reporters.

Follow up educational work until something definite is done to improve methods and to correct evils disclosed.

Supply freely verifiable data to agencies organized for propaganda and for legislative, agitative or “punitive ” work.

Try to secure from other departments of the same municipality and from other municipalities the recognition and adoption of principles and methods proved by experience to promote efficiency.

There can be no reasonable doubt but that a large measure of the success of the recent New York campaign was due to the work of the New York bureau in bringing home to the people of New York the tremendous importance of the issues, financial and otherwise, but especially financial, involved in that campaign.

Whether New York City wastes officially $50,000,000 a year, as claimed by a recent writer (Franklin Clarkin in Success),

municipal wastefulness is far beyond any justiMunicipal

fiable figure, if any waste can be said to be jusWastefulness

tifiable. Mr. Clarkin, in the article referred to, made up his fifty millions by estimating the waste in the matter of salaries and wages not only in the way of unnecessary employees, but in the overpayment of even those who were necessary, at $20,000,000; the waste in supplies of materials, $4,500,000; in repairs and replacements, $6,000,000; in condemnations, $4,000,000; in construction contracts, $10,000,000; loss on the Ashoken Dam bid, $2,000,000; loss in interest selling revenue bonds anticipating taxes, $3,000,000.

He arrived at these figures by estimating the loss at from 25 to 40 per cent. on each item in a total appropriation of $151,

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