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commissions, the public service commissions have been made constitutional bodies- I presume he means us to believe or infer or conclude that just as fast as the other States come along with their constitutional conventions, they will make these public service commissions constitutional bodies. That does not follow, either as a legitimate or a speculative conclusion. That is merely the imagination of the advocate, of the optimist. It does not by any necessity follow as a matter of necessity or of reason. Now, as to the amendment of Mr. Kirby, I confess that I have long,-shall I say been disturbed? Let me say perturbed by the fact that these public service commissioners receive a larger compensation than a Justice of the Supreme Court residing outside. of the city of New York, Judges of the Court of Appeals, and Governor of the State. Far be it from me, sir, who am an advocate of liberal compensation for services rendered, to say that the compensation is too high, and yet, I am not at all certain that Mr. Kirby is right when he says that it is disproportionate. That, however, is a minor matter, a matter of comparative insignificance. I have no objection to their receiving $15,000 a year, and I think $15,000 a year for the service is not a very large compensation for a competent man in such a field of endeavor for the State. But, I wish again to commend to the careful consideration of the Committee, first, the question whether it is advisable to make them constitutional bodies, and, second, the very great doubt of adopting the amendment reported by the Committee on Public Utilities.

Mr. Blauvelt Where is there any limitation in the committee's report to increase or diminish the power, duties, or jurisdiction of the commission? You read but a portion of the


Mr. Clearwater-Well, I only read a portion of the sentence, because in the interest of compression and in my confident belief that every member of the Convention at least can read, if he cannot hear. Let me read it all: " Each commission shall have the jurisdiction, powers and duties it now has, but nothing herein contained shall prevent the legislature from enacting laws not inconsistent with this section." Such jurisdiction powers and duties, "except that the legislature shall not enact any law prescribing a rate or charge or a standard of service, equipment or operation for any public utility until after it has received from one of the commissions a report thereon made after investigation and hearing, at which interested parties may introduce evidence, until after the expiration of such time following a request for such report as may be prescribed by law."

What I said, Senator Blauvelt, and Mr. Chairman, and what

I repeat, is, that if this amendment were adopted the Legislature could not constitutionally enact any law inconsistent with the exercise of the powers which the act itself could confer upon the public service commission, and what is that power? The jurisdiction, powers and duties which they now have, whereas, the Wickersham amendment contains no such limitation as that. Until the legislature shall otherwise provide," giving the Legislature ample power absolutely to change the power or duty, and the method and the character of their discharge, of the public service commissions. So that my distinguished friend, Senator Blauvelt, who is such an experienced legislator, can certainly comprehend the distinction between the language of the report of the committee and the language used by Mr. Wickersham in the amendment which he has suggested.

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Mr. Quigg I want to call your attention to a provision of this bill and ask you what you think it means: "Their successors shall be appointed and their terms of office shall be five years, the present commissioners holding office until the expiration of their terms." So that it would appear from the Committee's bill persons can come into office on odd terms. Then the final provision is the salaries of the commissioners shall not be diminished during their respective terms. Do you understand that to mean that if the Legislature should change the salary at any time there might be commissioners serving for fifteen thousand dollars, other com missioners serving at ten thousand dollars and other commissioners serving possibly at five thousand dollars?

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Mr. Clearwater Mr. Quigg, I think at first blush I never gave it any thought at all until you addressed your question to but I should think at first blush that the condition of which you speak might exist. Yes; that is my offhand answer to your question.


Mr. A. E. Smith Mr. Chairman, one of the delegates asked the question what the cost of the Public Service Commissions was. The appropriations made at the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 1914, the total appropriations made by the State, were $591,720.90, but that does not include the expenses of the New York commission, because under the statute the State only pays the salary of the commissioners in New York and the secretary, and I believe the counsel and the rest of the expenses

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Mr. Wickersham-Does that include the expense of the engineering force in New York in connection with the subways? Mr. A. E. Smith No, no; I was just going to get to that. That includes the whole expense of the First District, and the salary of the Secretary and the counsel, and all the rest of the expenses in New York city, that is for the salaries for all of the

employees, the engineering force, rent of offices, printing, everything that enters into the cost of that commission, is paid for by the city of New York and it runs to something over a million and a half dollars a year—almost three times the cost of both commissions to the people of all the State.

However, there was a reason given for that at the time of the enactment of the Public Service Commissions Law which I will get at in a few moments. I believe that as a matter of policy this State is probably committed to the idea that regulation of rates and the fixing of the standard and character of service to be rendered to the people by public service corporations is a matter of State concern, and of State control, and I think further that the people would probably be satisfied to say that that should be exercised by the commissions with a delegation of power from the Legislature. I am not prepared to say that it is the opinion of the people or of a majority, that the double-headed commission should be continued as now organized. In other words, the Constitution should contain no provision that would prevent the Legislature at any future time from reducing that to one commission and taking away from the New York commission the duties which at some future time would not be consistent with the idea of a State Public Service Commission for the regulation of rates, and fixing of standards of service. Now the reason for the Public Service Commission act briefly, was this: In 1905, a resolution passed both Houses of the Legislature creating a commission to inquire into the cost of manufacturing and distributing gas in the city of New York. That commission was organized with Senator Stevens as its chairman. The commission retained the man who was afterwards Governor, Charles E. Hughes, as counsel. It brought in a number of recommendations. Among them was the creation of a commission to hereafter inquire into the cost of manufacture and distribution of gas and electrical energy in all the cities, towns and villages of the State, and it proposed to confer upon that commission broad powers of ratemaking. It also brought in a proposal in the light of investigation made into the question, asking the Legislature itself to fix the price of gas in the city of New York at eighty cents, the committee believing that the investigation they made warranted such legislative action. The Legislature, however, created the commission and failed to pass a bill fixing the price of gas at eighty cents. Of course it is needless to say that that created a great deal of dissatisfaction in the city of New York. Then there came up year after year, a persistent demand for the enactment of legislation providing for a uniform rate of fare on the steam railroads of the State at two cents a mile. It was urged when the bill was

introduced in both Houses that the great force behind it was the traveling salesmen, the travelers of the State.

In 1905, there was such widespread dissatisfaction in the city of New York particularly with the Transit Commission, because of what was known at that time above all others as the great bridge crush in the evening (supplemented by the feeling of dissatisfaction the people had at the failure of the Legislature to pass the gas rate), by a very narrow margin, a margin of some twenty-five hundred or twenty-six hundred votes, the people of the city of New York came that close to ratifying a declaration of political principle that called for the optional municipal ownership of all public utilities. Consequently in 1906, there was introduced in the Legislature by Senator Grady in the Senate, and the then minority leader of the Assembly, I believe, Mr. Palmer of Schoharie county, a bill creating a Public Service Commission to do the very things the Commission was afterward given power to do by enactment a year later. That bill failed of enactment and Governor Hughes, when he came into office on January 1, 1907, decided that he would make the one great constructive piece of legislation upon which he was to base his record for the first year, the so-called Public Service Commission act. It was agreed at the time by its friends in this House and in the Senate that it was an experiment. Just how far it would go to relieve the situation complained of throughout the State nobody was prepared to say. While it was drawn with the greatest possible care, while the best minds in the State interested in such legislation gave their best time and their best thought to it, it was, nevertheless, through or right down to a year or two ago, found to be defective in some of its very vital points, which defects have from time to time been cured by the Legislature as rapidly as the courts pointed them out in the bill. Now at the time of the creation of the commission, the reason for the double commission was this: New York city had begun the construction of underground railroads. For a great many years there was a very grave question as to whether that plan was feasible or not. The first subway planned and constructed under the direction of the old Rapid Transit Commission which was a special commission created by act of the Legislature, in which act the names of the commission were contained, proved that it was entirely feasible to tunnel under the rivers and burrow through the city of New York for underground rapid transit. The dissatisfaction that the people found with that was as soon as it had been demonstrated that it could be done there was not speed enough, there was not action enough to satisfy them in the construction of more subways, so that shortly after the first subway was constructed it not

only became very crowded itself, but the population grew so quickly that it failed in its original purpose. It did not relieve the other lines of travel one single bit because the relief was not speedy enough, so that a general system of underground rapid transit was in contemplation. It was agreed that that was purely a city function; but inasmuch as the Public Service Commission Law in its entirety was an experiment, it was deemed advisable to make the double commission one commission, with jurisdiction throughout the rest of the State and one in New York city, and to turn over to the New York city commission not only supervisory power over the public utility corporations as to character of service and rates, but also the construction and financiering of the new and proposed subway routes, so that we find by the recent investigation made by a legislative committee that eightyfive per cent. of the annual expenses of the New York City Public Service Commission is devoted to the construction of new subways, and, from a personal experience, it must be obvious to the delegates in the Convention that eighty-five per cent. of all of the work, probably, and labor performed by that commission, commissioners and subordinates alike, are devoted to the construction of new subways. Now that cannot go on very long. At the end of 1914, one hundred and twenty-five million dollars was spent of the total three hundred and thirty million dollars that it is estimated the whole system will cost and sixty-nine of the eighty-three contracts have been let and are under operation, so that it is safe to say that at the end of another two or three or not longer than five years, eighty-five per cent. of the work and labor of the commission in the first district will be taken away from it because the subways will be completed.

It must be obvious that the regulation as to the rates of public service corporations in the city of New York could not possibly require as many commissioners and as much time as does the rest of the State. We provide now for five commissioners to look into the conditions in every town, city and village in the whole State, where five in New York, after the subways are finished will have to look into but that single section. So that their time now is almost entirely occupied by the work of construction, and on the very face of it it must be apparent that the work of regulation, when there are so few companies to regulate and so few companies to investigate, must be. it must be very easily seen that that is not as large a duty as the up-State commission would have where they have varying conditions in different cities and different companies operating entirely and wholly apart, and performing a different kind of service for a different locality and for a different people entirely. So that my point is, that if we now fix the Constitution

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