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Helena, Montana, Aug. 31st, 1908. To His Excellency, Edwin L. Norris, Governor of the State of Montana:
Sir:/Under the provisions of the act creating this Commission and defining its duties, Section 33, we respectfully submit for your consideration the first annual report of this Board covering the period from March 1, 1907 to August 31st, 1908, inclusive.
On December 6th, 1907, a preliminary report of this Department's work up to November 30th, 1907, was filed with former Governor Joseph K. Toole, as follows: "To His Excellency, Joseph K. Toole, Governor of the State of Montana:
Dear Sir: Section 33 of the Railroad Commission Law of the State of Montana (Chapter 37, Laws 1907, page 69) requires the Board of Railroad Commissioners thereby created, to make and submit an annual report to you containing a complete account of the transaction of its office, together with such facts, suggestions and recommendations as may be deemed necessary; and also a statement of the number of accidents investigated by the Board and the number of persons killed or injured in them, and, generally the nature and cause of such accidents. It is the desire of the Commission, in every particular, to fully comply with this law, and to give forth the best possible results thereunder to the people of the State of Montana, but a full report of the character indicated by this law at this time would be of little value, considering the short time the Commission has been in existence. We believe it far better, when the first report of this Commission is published, to have one containing information of value and reflecting credit on the State, and we therefore hand you this communication in lieu of a report, promising you at a later date, but within the year, to hand you a report in detail, complying fully with the requirements of the law.
"The law went into effect on the 26th day of February, 1907, and the members of this Commission thereafter, on the first day of March, 1907, duly and regularly qualified and entered upon the discharge of their duties, and ever since said last mentioned date, the Board, and each of its members, have been busily engaged in familiarizing themselves with the law; its application, the procedure thereunder, and the lines of railroad operated in this state; the roadbeds, track facilities, rolling stock, depots, and the like; and also the classification of rate, charges and schedules for the transportation of freight and passengers.
"As required by law, we have fixed the rates of charges of all railroad companies operated in the State of Montana for the carriage of freight, passengers and express, and have issued tariffs which are now in force and effect and being complied with by all railroad companies affected.