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such as was embodied in the river and harbor bill which failed of passage at the last session of Congress, and which provided for a channel thirty-five feet deep from the wharves to the sea.


Under existing law street railway companies may be organized at will, and receive locations from local boards of aldermen and selectmen for routes through any number of cities and towns. In granting these locations boards of aldermen or selectmen are naturally animated by a desire to secure for their respective cities and towns peculiar privileges and accommodations, and it is not to be expected that they will study questions of construction and operation.

It sometimes happens that in granting locations the interests of the public are not satisfactorily safeguarded; and a further defect in the present system is that on the same line of railway there is often found a wide difference in the provisions of the grants made by different local boards.

I recognize the desirability of having the local boards proceed, as now, to grant locations in the first instance; but I recommend a change in the law, to require that all locations granted by local boards shall be subject to the approval of the board of railroad commissioners.


I renew my former recommendations on the subject of municipal legislation. It is good policy to compel cities and towns to depend upon their own resources in the management of their local affairs, instead of encouraging them to come to the legislature for relief when no real necessity therefor exists. They should be let alone to work out their own problems, excepting in the extreme cases where it is necessary to invoke the paramount authority of the legislature to legalize important measures vitally affecting their interests.

I am glad to bear witness that last year there was great improvement in respect to this class of legislation; and I trust that in your consideration of municipal measures this year you will find it advisable to exercise still further restraint.


The Massachusetts insurance department is sustained by fees for services charged upon the insurance companies. These fees are not designed to be a source of revenue, but are intended merely to meet the expenses of the department. In the early days of the department these fees amounted to a trifle more than its expenses; but with the growth of the insurance business their amount has become very much larger than the sum needed to support the department. During the year 1900 the fees were $84,777.47, and the expenses of the department only $41,380.34, so that the department collected from the companies more than twice the amount required for its support.

This increase of fees results largely from the charges made for valuation of the policy liabilities of the life companies, which the legislature has heretofore, in 1884 and 1894, remedied in a measure by reduction of the scale of charges. The present condition touches the home life companies most nearly, which, in consequence of the retaliatory laws of other states, are compelled to pay in those States the fees for valuation of their policies that have been charged here for similar service to the companies of such states, but from which they would be relieved in many cases by reciprocal provisions in our own laws. This results in imposing upon our home companies retaliatory fees to an amount much in excess of that paid to the Massachusetts department for all its valuation work upon the entire list of companies transacting business in the Commonwealth.

This burden may be lightened to a considerable extent by remitting the valuation fees upon the companies of those states having reciprocal laws, retaining the charges only upon the others. This change, which I recommend, would not reduce the income of the department so far as to render it insufficient, and would effect a welcome relief to the home companies.


The thorough and exhaustive labors of the commission appointed by the legislature of 1896 to consolidate and

arrange the general laws of the Commonwealth have resulted in the enactment by your immediate predecessors of a new compilation of the general laws of the Commonwealth. The work is in two volumes, entitled The Revised Laws of the Commonwealth. This compilation went into effect Jan. 1, 1902.

The enactment of this consolidation leads me to suggest that more than usual caution be exercised in altering or amending the general laws as they stand. It is of the first importance that all citizens be able to ascertain readily what the laws of the Commonwealth are. Every amendment increases the difficulty of ascertaining and understanding them. While it is true that the statutes of the state should keep pace with its progress and civilization, it is nevertheless especially true at this time, now that the laws are to be published in a form readily accessible to and easily found by every citizen of the Commonwealth, that proposed changes should be carefully considered before being acted upon. The presumption should be against such amendments. It is more important that the law be permanently fixed and easily accessible than that experiments in new legislation should be constantly tried.


There are now in the Commonwealth 186 savings banks, with aggregate deposits of $560,000,000. This great amount of money is an important factor in the business life of the Commonwealth, and the institutions holding the same should be protected by every reasonable and proper safeguard. The number of depositors in the savings banks Nov. 1, 1901, was 1,593,640, representing, as such a number must necessarily do, a large proportion of the homes of the Commonwealth. Legislation should seek to serve the true interests of these depositors.

The law requires the publication by each bank, semiannually, in some newspaper published in the county, of the names of the board of trustees, but the names of the members of the corporation who elect the board of trustees, by whom the business of the bank is managed principally, are not now required to be made known to the public; and I recommend such legislation as will require the banks to publish, once in each year, a list of the members of the corporation, and to include such a list in their

annual report to the board of commissioners of savings banks, to be filed in its office for public inspection.

In connection with the matter of savings banks I desire to call your attention to the fact that in some instances they are closely connected with national banks or other financial institutions in the occupancy of the same offices, and also have, in common with those institutions, the same officers and clerical force. In view of the fact that in most, if not all, such instances the savings bank is large enough to be able to occupy suitable business rooms of its own, such connections are uncalled for, and are, in the interest of the public, open to serious objection. I recommend, therefore, the enactment of such legislation as will require the dissolution, within a reasonable time, of any such existing connections, and which will also prohibit any bank hereafter incorporated from being so connected. Provision should also be made that no person holding the position of president or cashier of a national bank or trust company shall be eligible for the office or perform the duties of president or treasurer of a savings bank.

I realize that the change suggested will work hardship in some instances, a circumstance greatly to be regretted; but no reform in the interest of the whole people can be secured without temporary loss or inconvenience to a small minority. We must all make sacrifices for the general welfare, and if the institutions which fall within the scope of this recommendation will view the situation from this standpoint, I think they will agree that the proposed change, if carried into effect, will add an important safeguard to the security of deposits.

The statute of 1898, which was enacted as a remedial measure, does not appear to aid in the separation of these institutions, but operates rather to encourage the continuance of such connection where it now exists.


By chapter 109 of the resolves of 1901, the governor and council were authorized and requested to arrange for terminating or otherwise disposing of the leases of the quarters outside of the state house now occupied by the state highway commission, the cattle commission and the controller of county accounts." Acting in obedience

to this request the governor and council have established offices for the cattle commission and the controller of county accounts in the state house, but they have not been able to find suitable accommodations there for the highway commission.

I concur in the commendable purpose of the legislature to provide rooms for all the state offices in the state house, and I share in the feeling that the Commonwealth ought not to pay rent for quarters hired elsewhere; but with the state house arranged as it is it is almost impossible to provide for offices in addition to those already located there. In my opinion the state house is large enough to supply the needs of the Commonwealth for public offices for many years to come. The difficulty is that the rooms are too large. The original arrangement of the space was made on a scale altogether too broad and generous. Many of the rooms would answer the purposes for which they are used if only half as large. I say this in no spirit of criticism upon any one who has had to do with the building or arranging of the state house, but I feel that, as the legislature has imposed an obligation upon the governor and council to furnish rooms in the state house for all the state offices, it is my duty to express my opinion freely and frankly.

The resolve to which I have referred provides that expenses incurred under it shall be paid out of the treasury of the Commonwealth; but I do not construe that as giving the governor and council authority to undertake a radical rearrangement of the building. It is apparent that only a slight expense was intended to be incurred. under that resolve, and that any elaborate plan for extensive alterations should not be undertaken without the express authority of the legislature.

In the near future it will be advisable, I believe, to enact legislation to provide for a complete rearrangement of the offices in the state house.


If legislation is to be passed authorizing the construction of a new subway in the city of Boston the act should contain these provisions: First, that the subway shall be owned, controlled and paid for by the city of Boston; and, second, that the act shall not take effect until it has

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