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R E PORT
INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION.
WASHINGTON, D. C., January 15, 1900. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
The Thirteenth Annual Report of the Interstate Commerce Commission is respectfully submitted to the Congress.
In its last annual report the Commission stated that attention had been called in previous reports to the vital respects in which the act to regulate commerce has proved defective and inadequate; that the present law can not be properly enforced, and that until further legislation is provided the best efforts at regulation must be feeble and disappointing. The requests of the Commission for needful amendments have been supported by petitions and memorials from agricultural, manufacturing, and commercial interests throughout the country; yet not a line of the statute has been changed and none of the burdensome conditions which call for relief have been removed or modified. The reasons for the failure of the law to accomplish the purposes for which it was enacted have been so frequently and fully set forth that repetition can not add to their force or make them better understood. It is sufficient to say that the existing situation and the developments of the past year render more imperative than ever before the necessity for speedy and suitable legislation. We therefore renew the recommendations heretofore made and earnestly urge their early consideration and adoption.
Many persons do not understand the precise nature of the amendments required for enforcing the substantive provisions of the act, while others have apparently reached the belief that no scheme of regulation short of Government ownership and operation can be made effective. Nevertheless, it is perhaps safe to say that nine-tenths of the people do know that any railroad company can charge for its service whatever it pleases and as much as it pleases, without any real power in this commission, or any other tribunal or court, to limit the amount of such charge for the future when complaint is made by an aggrieved shipper, and that they are substantially of one mind