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NOVEMBER 16, 1880
CONSTITUTION PUBLISHING COMPANY
SECOND ANNUAL REPORT
OFFICE OF THE RAILROAD COMMISSION OF GA.
To His Excellency, Alfred H. Colquitt, Governor, &c.
SIR-In making a second semi-annual report to your Excellency, it is our purpose to present a simple review of the action of the Commission, and of the general effect of such action upon the railroads of the State. It was our intention to make the present report full and elaborate upon all matters of interest connected with the Commission and its labors; but this has been rendered impossible, for the present, by the severe illness of one of the Commissioners. We hope to be able, at no distant day, to present to your Excellency a report covering the entire field of our duties and labors.
In the action of the Commission we have sought to keep constantly in view the two great objects of the law, viz: the prevention of extortion, and of unjust discrimination in freight and passenger rates. The whole animus of the Commissioners has been to do equal and impartial justice to both railroads and people. In our view, we have come much nearer this end by our present rules and rates than by those of force
at the date of our last report. We reasonably hope for more constant approximation, as study and experience familiarize us with our duties.
There have been complaints, more or less well founded, of the correctness of our views; but in general the comment applies, that local prejudices have yieded, on discussion, to broader views, and that many of the complaints as to discrimination on our part have come from places or classes once the beneficiaries of partial and unfair advantages. It is not unnatural that those favored by unjust discrimination should desire a continuation of that policy.
It would be tedious to go through with the entire work of the Commission, in detail, in the body of a report. We submit herewith to your Excellency, documents showing our action in establishing rates, rules and regulations for the railroads, and the means adopted by us to prevent unjust discrimination in freight and passenger rates.
Since the organization of the Commission, very material reductions in rates have been effected as a result of its operations, and much has been done in the way of graduating and equalizing rates to standards. One of the most useful effects of the labors of the Commission has been to enlarge the mutual knowledge of the railroads and the public, and to bring each to a clearer recognition of the rights and duties of the other. Increased knowledge of rates has been achieved, and to tenndency resulting from our work has been to reduce speculation and encourage reliance for success, on sound business principles.
The maximum passenger rates on many of the railroads of the State have been reduced by the Commissioners' tariffs from five cents, and in some instances six cents per mile, to four cents per mile. Experience