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results. This will be one of its chief aims. Conditions exactly as they are found will be shown in a true and impartial light. Statements of facts and statistics issued by this Department will be nonpartisan, not only in the usual political sense of the word, but in the broader sense of freedom from the bias of preconceived theories or of predilections toward or against individuals, associations, or organizations. By carrying out this policy the various branches of the Department acting as a single organization can render far greater services to labor and to capital than could be had from independent offices specifically devoted to particular interests. The facts of modern industrial and commercial life are too intricate and interdependent to be fairly stated even by the impartial specialist if regarded from a single point of view.
While the responsible officers of the Department would fall short of their duty if they failed to state their conclusions in exact accordance with information obtained, and to make fearlessly the recommendations demanded, the information itself must be so fully and fairly set forth as to carry conviction of the accuracy of such conclusions, or to permit ready demonstration of error, if such has been made.
A commission has been appointed within the Department to revise statistical methods. Lack of coordination and harmony has hitherto led to confusion, duplication, omission, and other errors in results, and to extravagance in administration. Improved methods will be introduced as rapidly as practicable.
PRINTING OF BLANKS AND FORMS.
The printing of the vast number of blanks and forms required is another problem to which careful thought has been given. Under the present conditions the cost of such printing is believed to be unnecessarily high. This expense can be reduced and at the same time the business of the Department facilitated by a judicious consolidation and elimination of many blanks. An improved method of handling blanks and of distributing them to the numerous officials of the Department stationed throughout the country is being introduced with the object of securing a speedier and more accurate service. The distributing agencies of the several bureaus are being consolidated into a single organization, with great advantage to the work.
BUREAUS OF THE DEPARTMENT.
The bureaus and offices transferred from other Departments on July 1 have, as a rule, made their annual reports for the past fiscal year to the heads of the Departments with which they were formerly connected. Recommendations for the current fiscal year, however, have been made by several of these bureaus and offices in reports to this Department. Such study as I have been able to give to these reports and to the general methods of the transferred bureaus convinces me that legislation will be desirable in a number of instances; but it is usually wise to await the experience gained in the execution of existing law before recommending additional legislation. If practicable, specific recommendations on these matters will be made during the coming session of Congress. I respectfully invite attention to the reports of the several bureaus printed separately.
BUREAU OF MANUFACTURES.
The organization of the Bureau of Manufactures has been necessarily postponed in the absence of adequate appropriations. No time has been lost, however, as the work of this Bureau in some respects will resemble certain phases of the present duties of the Bureau of the Census and the Bureau of Statistics. Some readjustment of work will be required to secure the best results from these branches of the service, and the plans for redistribution of duties have not yet been fully formulated. These plans, however, will be ready as soon as Congress shall have provided the funds with which to organize a new bureau. Under present conditions any work assigned to it could be carried on only by the detail of clerks from other branches of the Department, and no clerks are available for that purpose.
BUREAU OF CORPORATIONS.
It is the duty of the Bureau of Corporations to gather information on the subject of interstate and foreign commerce, to investigate the organization, conduct, and management of corporations and joint stock companies engaged in such commerce (other than common carriers subject to the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission), to report the results of such investigations to the President through the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, and to compile and publish useful information concerning corporations engaged in interstate and foreign commerce, including insurance companies.
As an aid to investigation, the Commissioner of Corporations is given like powers to those granted the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Since the organization of the Bureau on February 26, 1903, exhaustive studies have been undertaken in the following fields:
1. A systematic study of the law creating the Bureau. 2. The general subject of interstate commerce and the powers of the Federal
Government in relation thereto. 3. The decisions of the Federal courts relating to corporations engaged in inter6. The corporation laws of the various States and Territories, particularly those
state commerce which are subject to the jurisdiction of the Bureau. 4. The jurisdiction and powers of the Interstate Commerce Commission. 5. The decisions of the Federal courts in relation to trade conspiracies, monop
olies, and combinations in restraint of trade.
relating to the annual reports and the returns for taxation purposes
required from such corporations. 7. The methods of taxing corporations in each State and the decisions relating
to the taxation of interstate commerce. 8. The effect of industrial combinations upon the prices of the commodities sold
by such combinations, the effect of tariff duties upon the prices of commodities subject to such duties, and the reasons for the difference, if any exists, between the domestic and foreign prices of commodities manu
factured by the protected industrial combinations of this country. 9. The powers of the Federal Government in relation to insurance companies.
From a preliminary study, it became apparent that the public records of States and Territories, the reports of special committees appointed under State or Federal authority, the files of certain Government offices, and various commercial and industrial publications contained a fund of valuable information on the subjects to be investigated. This information is being brought together, analyzed, and properly indexed, in order that the facts already known may be utilized in planning more specific inquiries.
Results thus far obtained show that much fuller information has been given in the past than is generally supposed. The knowledge already acquired from various sources regarding particular corporations will be of decided value in determining what further information should be required. By a proper utilization of the facts at hand unnecessary inquiries can be avoided.
The field of work that lies open to the Bureau is almost unlimited in extent, and it is believed that if proper means are made available results of far-reaching consequence can be accomplished. Since the 1st of July the Bureau's operations have been extended so rapidly that the special appropriation provided is now practically exhausted. In order that the investigations already begun may be effectively completed and the information gained be utilized to the best possible advantage, a liberal addition to the present appropriation should be granted.
Appropriations for the Bureau should carry with them ample authority for the employment of special attorneys and special examiners possessing the qualifications necessary to meet particular exigencies in the work. For this reason it is strongly urged that future appropriations, in so far as they relate to special attorneys and special examiners, be made in the form of a lump sum, with such limitations only as are essential to good administration.
The creation of the Bureau was viewed by some with alarm, or at least with suspicion. It was feared that the powers granted might be hastily or inadvisedly used to the injury of legitimate enterprise. No such purpose actuated the framers of the law; no such purpose will control its administration.
Many corporations have been granted important privileges by the public, and some of these corporations, through consolidation of capital, have acquired extensive influence in the industrial affairs of the country. Such privileges, if used improperly, not only retard the progress of industry, but frequently breed corruption in polities. The legislation creating the Bureau of Corporations was the expression of a popular belief that further safeguards should be provided for the regulation of business enterprises to which special privileges have been granted by the people. Publicity will disclose unfair dealing, dishonesty, and corruption; but if properly enforced it will not disclose to trade competitors the fruits of individual thrift and initiative, nor permit in any other manner the invasion of private rights.
BUREAU OF LABOR.
THE RELATIONS OF LABOR AND CAPITAL.
The Department is empowered to acquire and diffuse among the people of the United States useful information on subjects connected with labor, in the most general and comprehensive sense of the word, especially regarding its relation to capital, such as the hours of labor and the earnings of laboring men and women; the means in general of promoting their material, social, intellectual, and moral condition; the elements of cost, or approximate cost, of products; the comparative cost of living, and the kind of living; the articles controlled by trusts or other combinations of capital, business operations, or labor, and the effect such trusts or other combinations have on production and prices; the causes of and facts relating to all controversies and disputes between employers and employees.
Capitalists and wage receivers are to be treated on an equality, for in these matters relating to labor and capital and to their respective representatives the Department must stand in the position of an educational office, collecting and publishing such information as will enable each party to understand more fully the prevailing conditions.
The Department has no executive functions relative to the settlement of labor disputes. It can not interfere on behalf of either employer or employee in controversies arising between them.
Whatever enables either party to secure necessary information falls within the authority of law. That authority does warrant the Department in publishing any information drawn from conditions in this or in other countries which will be helpful in bringing about fuller knowledge and better understanding. Employer and employee are dependent upon each other, and the recognition of the welfare of both, and of the means of assisting in securing that welfare, will be assiduously cultivated. All possible measures of an educational nature will be employed to induce the representatives of labor and capital to conduct their affairs on a basis which shall not interfere with the general welfare of those not engaged in the disputes. This general policy must commend itself to the wisdom of employer and employee alike, as it is in the interests of both.
A large part of the office force, as well as of the field force of the Bureau of Labor, has been engaged during the past year in the coilection of data for the eighteenth annual report of the Bureau (the report for 1903) and in its preparation. This report presents the results of an extended investigation into the cost of living of workingmen's families and the retail prices of staple articles of food used by such families. That part of the report which relates to retail prices is the first extended investigation of the kind that has been made in this country. The previous price studies, covering a period of years, have dealt solely with wholesale prices, which of course do not represent accurately the cost to the small consumer.
The second annual report on the course of wholesale prices was made in the Bureau's bulletin for March, 1903. While it is considered advisable to continue this index of wholesale prices, the data relative to retail prices contained in the eighteenth annual report should be used in preference to wholesale prices in any study of the cost of living of workingmen's families.
In addition to the preparation of the eighteenth annual report and other work done by the Bureau, its bulletin has been issued regularly every other month. Each number of the bulletin contains, in addition to one or more special articles, timely data relative to agreements between employers and employees, digests of recent reports of State bureaus of labor statistics, digests of recent foreign statistical publications, court decisions affecting labor, and laws of various States relating to labor. As the result of investigations in progress or completed, forthcoming bulletins will contain the following special articles :
Labor Unions and British Industry. Labor Conditions in Australia. Labor Conditions in the Philippine Islands. The Revival of Handicrafts in the United States. Trade Union Movement among the Coal Mine Workers of the United States. Other investigations are being carried on by the Bureau, and the results will appear either in the bulletins or in special reports. Among the latter may be mentioned a report on restriction of output by employers and employees in the United States, Great Britain, and the continent of Europe; a report on the labor of children in the principal industrial States of the Union; a report on coal-mine labor in Europe; and also a compilation of the labor laws of the United States, which revises and brings down to date the second special report of the Bureau, published in 1896. Reports have already been issued upon the condition of the laboring classes of the Territory of Hawaii.