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FIRST ANNUAL REPORT
SECRETARY OF COMMERCE AND LABOR.
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND LABOR,
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,
Washington, December 1, 1903. To the PRESIDENT:
I have the honor to submit herewith, for transmission to Congress, in accordance with the provisions of the organic act, the first annual report of the Secretary of Commerce and Labor.
The act creating the Department of Commerce and Labor was approved February 14, 1903. Two days later the head of the Department was nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Through your courtesy, the Department was established in the executive offices of the White House, where the first steps toward organization were taken. On March 17 temporary quarters were obtained for the personal staff of the Secretary at No. 719 Thirteenth street NW. On June 16 the present office at No. 513 Fourteenth street NW. was formally opened. Prior to July 1, 1903, the Secretary and his immediate assistants were employed principally in preparations for assembling without interruption to public business the various bureaus of other Departments and independent branches of the Government service to be transferred on that date to the new Department. During this time the Secretary conferred informally with the heads of the various bureaus and offices to be transferred concerning necessary or desirable changes in methods of administration.
As early as June 1 it became apparent that several branches of the Secretary's Office for which careful plans had been laid could not be organized, owing to the lack of a sufficient appropriation. Such organization has been accordingly held in abeyance, except in so far as the requirements could be met after July 1 by details from the transferred bureaus.
On July 1, 1903, the following offices, bureaus, divisions, and
branches of the public service became parts of the Department of Commerce and Labor:
The Light-House Board.
The Department organization already effected in part was:
The personnel of the Department on that date comprised 10,125 employees, of which number 1,289 were on duty in Washington and 8,836 in the country at large. The appropriations to be expended under the direction of the Department amounted to $9,796,847.
The act making appropriations for the Department contained the following provision:
That the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and directed, as soon as may be practicable and before the first day of July, nineteen hundred and three, to transfer to the Department of Commerce and Labor all chiefs of division, assistant chiefs of division, clerks, messengers, assistant messengers, watchmen, charwomen, and laborers now employed in the divisions of his office who are wholly engaged upon the work relating to the business of the bureaus and offices of the Treasury Department transferred or to be transferred to the Department of Commerce and Labor under the act of February fourteenth, nineteen hundred and three; and in proportion to the number of persons in the divisions of his office whose time and labor are partially devoted to the work of said bureaus and offices he shall transfer approximately an equivalent number of clerks and other employees to said Department of Commerce and Labor, and the appropriations made for the compensation of all persons transferred hereunder shall be credited to and disbursed by the Department of Commerce and Labor.
Under this provision there were transferred 3 clerks, 2 watchmen, 2 assistant messengers, 1 cabinetmaker, 3 laborers, and 7 charwomen.
The smallness of the initial appropriations rendered it impracticable, in the time between the creation of the Department and the next session of Congress, to do more than secure the systematic arrangement and coordination of the bureaus and branches brought together. It precluded, except in the most general way, the prosecution of new lines of investigation or the development of new plans of administration. As a Department dealing with commercial and industrial interests it has recognized that the cooperation of such interests is essential to the fulfillment of its purpose, and from the outset such cooperation has been invited. The work of organization has progressed as rapidly as was consistent with thoroughness and with the limitations above outlined. In no perfunctory spirit I acknowledge the faithful, unwavering assistance given to me by the members of my immediate staff in the preliminary work of organization, and I include as deserving this just recognition in an especial degree James R. Garfield, Commissioner of Corporations, Frank H. Hitchcock, chief clerk of the Department, and William L. Soleau, disbursing and appointment clerk. They have been in the Department from its beginning and have had an active and potential part in its organization.
Many of the staff bave worked aaily far beyond the usual office hours. No one devoted to the interests of a private business could have rendered more loyal service than have they in these early days of the Department's life. They know how much the head of the Department owes to them for their cooperation. He can only express in this simple way his public recognition of the value of their services and of the splendid example they have set of a high ideal of duty
PRESENT ORGANIZATION OF THE DEPARTMENT.
The present organization may be indicated as follows:
SECRETARY OF COMMERCE AND LABOR.
The Secretary of Commerce and Labor is charged with the work of promoting the commerce of the United States, and its mining, manufacturing, shipping, fishery, transportation, and labor interests. His duties also comprise the investigation of the organization and management of corporations (excepting railroads) engaged in interstate commerce; the gathering and publication of information regarding labor interests and labor controversies in this and other countries; the administration of the Light-House Service, and the aid and protection to shipping thereby; the taking of the census, and the collection and publication of statistical information connected therewith; the making of coast and geodetic surveys; the collecting of statistics relating to foreign and domestic commerce; the inspection of steamboats, and the enforcement of laws relating thereto for the protection of life and property; the supervision of the fisheries as administered by the Federal Government; the supervision and control of the Alaskan fur-seal, salmon, and other fisheries; the jurisdiction over merchant vessels, their registry, licensing, measurement, entry, clearance, transfers, movement of their cargoes and passengers, and laws relating thereto, and to seamen of the United States; the supervision of the immigration of aliens, and the enforcement of the laws relating thereto, and to the exclusion of Chinese; the custody, construction, maintenance, and application of standards of weights and measurements; and the gathering and supplying of information regarding industries and markets for the fostering of manufacturing. He has power to call upon other Departments for statistical data obtained by them.
For the proper accomplishment of any or all of the aforesaid work, it is by law provided that all duties performed, and all the powers and authority possessed or exercised, at the date of the creation of said Department, by the head of any Executive Department in and over any bureau, office, officer, board, branch, or division of the public service transferred to said Department, or any business arising therefrom or pertaining thereto, or in relation to the duties and authority conferred by law upon such bureau, office, officer, board, branch, or division of the public service, whether of appellate or advisory character or otherwise, are vested in and exercised by the Secretary of Commerce and Labor.
It is his further duty to make such special investigations and furnish such information to the President or Congress as may be required by them on the foregoing subject-matters and to make annual reports to Congress upon the work of said Department.
The chief clerk, under the immediate direction of the Secretary, has the general supervision of the clerks and employees of the Department; the superintendency of all buildings occupied by the Department in Washington, D. C.; the direction of the watchmen, engineers, mechanics, firemen, laborers, and other employees connected with the care and protection of the Department buildings; the care of the horses, wagons, and carriages employed; the expenditure of the appropriations for contingent expenses, rents, and printing and binding; the receipt, distribution, and transmission of the mail; the custody of the records and files and library of the Secretary's office; the answering of calls from Congress and elsewhere for copies of papers and records; the duty of passing upon all appointment papers affecting the personnel of the Department; the enforcement of the general regulations of the Department, and the charge of all business of the Secretary's office unassigned.
DISBURSING AND APPOINTMENT CLERK.
The disbursing and appointment clerk is charged with the custody and payment of funds disbursed under the appropriations of the Department and with the preparation of all papers in the matter of appointments.
BUREAU OF CORPORATIONS.
The Bureau of Corporations is authorized, under the direction of the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, to investigate the organization, conduct, and management of the business of any corporation, joint stock company, or corporate combination engaged in interstate or foreign commerce, except common carriers subject to the interstate-commerce act; to gather such information and data as will enable the President to make recommendation to Congress for legislation for the regulation of interstate and foreign commerce; to report the data so collected to the President from time to time as he may require, and to make public such part of said information as the President may
direct. It is also the duty of the Bureau of Corporations, under the direction of the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, to gather, compile, publish, and supply useful information concerning corporations engaged in interstate or foreign commerce, including corporations engaged in insurance.
BUREAU OF LABOR.
The Bureau of Labor is charged with the duty of acquiring and diffusing among the people of the United States useful information on subjects connected with labor in the most general and comprehensive sense of that word, and especially upon its