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the railway interests to an acquiescence in rates must be given voluntarily, immediately, the new order. The Commission had issued continuously, and uninterruptedly, as a preone of its first findings, reducing certain rates requisite to this protection by the State, under on the Southern Pacific. The president of the threat of competition. the company called upon the Commission, The moment this policy was proclaimed stated that the ruling could not be obeyed, electric-lighting rates throughout the State of and that the equities might be satisfied by California fell without further order from an the arrest of one of his station agents.

average of nine cents and ten cents per kiloWhy the station agent ?" he was asked. watt hour to an average of seven cents. Why not the president of the company ?” Measured in dollars and cents, this one act

That was all, but the reduced rates went returned to the people of the State twice the into effect that night.

expense of the Commission during the whole Governor Johnson had imparted but one of Governor Johnson's term. word of admonition to his new board.

The State had but a few months before Regulate with a firm hand,” said he, been treated to the spectacle of a pitiless “ but always remember that California wel. warfare between the Northern California comes and protects legitimate industry.” Power Company and the Sacramento Valley

The Commission found itself with sudden Power Company. In the endeavor of each authority over twelve hundred public service to break its competitor's back, prices were cut corporations, great and small, ranging from until power was actually distributed free of the transcontinental carriers to a mountain cost. The delight of the patrons at this unrailway which had been presented to a widow wonted benevolence and tender regard for in payment for damages for the loss of her their welfare was cut short by a truce between husband.

the two belligerents under which prices were The Commission has, through five years restored, not to their former levels, but to of service, given to the State of California heights sufficient to enable both companies a system of corporation regulation which has to exact from the patrons what each had lost appealed keenly to the public mind and has during the competitive struggle, with a combeen received with general satisfaction by the fortable margin besides. corporations themselves.

This situation had come to a climax just It founded its doctrine upon the conception before the California Railroad Board assumed that the public interest goes primarily to the jurisdiction, and offered a striking and effecprices it must pay and the quality of service tive illustration of the disastrous possibilities it receives in return for its outlay. All that of enforced competition carried to its natural contributed to high quality of service at low limits. cost was desirable. Conversely, all that mili- The Commission instantly issued a warning tated against this end was declared undesir- against rate wars in the public utility service. able.

In one of the earlier cases it came as a To attain the highest quality of service at distinct shock to the State when the Board, the lowest reasonable cost, the California in a clear-cut decision, barred the Oro Electric Commission has refused to encourage the Corporation from Stockton. The city was ruthlessly competitive conditions of public already served adequately and reasonably by utility enterprise, but has somewhat naïvely the Western States Gas and Electric Company. brougiit about a situation that gives all of the The Commission held that fruitless duplicabenefits that accrue from competition without tion would bring eventual injury alike to the its disadvantages. This has developed a old company, the new company, and the cusbusiness philosophy that has been termed tomers of both. * regulated monopoly with potential com- Early misgivings yielded to a very general petition."

and popular acceptance of the new view. The California Commission has announced Economic fallacy” became a pet State the policy that all existing utilities will be phrase for wasteful competition. protected against competition in their present ** Potential competition ” has been no coldfields of operation as long as they accord to storage theory. When the Newport Beach the public a complete, adequate, and satis- Company could not or would not give the factory service at as low as could high standard of service and the low rates to reasonably be offered by any prospective which the Commission believed the people of competitor. The complete service and low southern California entitled, the Commission

rates

1916

COMMISSION GOVERNMENT

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shot a competitor into their midst which did. of California was endeavoring to adjust a This has been repeated until potential com- difficult telephone problem in the northern petition is a live and throbbing threat.

part of the State. The Pacific Telephone In its policy of permitting consolidation and Telegraph Company occupied this field, the California Commission has assumed a po- in competition at one point with the Glenn sition at variance with that school of econo- County Telephone Company and at another mists which still clings to its hope of efficiency with the Tehama County Telephone Comonly through unrestricted and free competi- pany. tion. In so doing the Commission has pro- These two smaller corporations had been ceeded upon its conception that the public built and financed on local sentiment. They concern lies primarily in adequate, complete, were wholly unable to give service in any and satisfactory service at the lowest rea- degree commensurate with that of the Pacific sonable cost. And where this desideratum company. The two smaller companies had may be obtained through combination- lines and equipment which would have been monopoly, if you please—the California Com- of immense value to the larger company. mission permits and encourages the mo- For a complete service patrons were obliged nopoly. But the monopoly so formed is to subscribe to two systems. immediately responsible to the Commission. The California Commission faced the alterIf it does not voluntarily attain to the native of permitting the Pacific company to State's fixed standards, the Commission, of ruin its two smaller competitors or to buy course, in the exercise of its authority, com- them out on fair terms. It adopted the pels it so to do.

latter expedient, and permitted and encourIn most cases this compulsion is not neces- aged the consolidation which gave the Pacific sary, for the reason that the consolidation or company a monopoly and at the same time monopoly is sanctioned only on the condition gave to the residents of the northern part of that the public utility corporations thus united the State a service many times superior, far guarantee a better degree and quality of more extensive, and at a reduced cost, which public service at more favorable rates and on in some instances amounted to only one-half more desirable conditions than either of the the former charge. parties to the combination was able to render After the practical results of the entire separately.

operation were clearly set forth, the DepartIt so happens that this policy is in sharp ment of Justice of the National Government contrast with that of the present National acquiesced in the California proposal. Administration, and the principles underlying The same department of the Federal Gov both can best be illustrated by two incidents ernment instituted a suit to dissolve the joint in which the State of California and the ownership of the Central Pacific and SouthNational Government had partial jurisdiction. ern Pacific Railroads. The California Com

The American Telephone and Telegraph mission found that they had been so interCompany, generally known as the “telephone woven and intertwined as to constitute a trust,” controls the Pacific Telephone and single unified system. It had jurisdiction Telegraph Company, which, in turn, controls over related features of the case, and exprobably ninety per cent of the telephone pressed the view that the result of the Govbusiness in California.

ernment's purpose would not bring about a In its endeavor to readjust the affairs of desirable competitive condition, but, instead, the American Telephone and Telegraph would dismember the Southern Pacific, leavCompany “to the conditions of competition ing one efficient and strong railway corporathe National Administration, through the tion with a weaker one at its mercy; that the instrumentality of its Department of Justice, severance would seriously impair the railway exacted from the telephone company service ; and that the continuance of the conagreement by which it bound itself and its solidation under regulation was distinctly in subsidiaries to refrain from the acquisition the public interest. This matter is still beof any competitive system. The thought fore the Federal courts. undoubtedly was that by such a stipulation and The same policy saved the Tulare County agreement a condition of competition would Power Company and its six hundred farmer be established and the public benefit there- stockholders from financial ruin by enabling from.

them to sell their properties on an equitable At the same time the Railroad Commission basis to their powerful competitor. Not only

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did it save them from great financial loss, but thousand acres of land, to the mutual satisthe conditions of the consolidation actually faction of both the company and its patrons. brought them a higher grade of electric serv- The California Commission has come to ice at a cheaper price.

be a board of equitable adjustment as beOne of the earliest functions of the Com- tween the public service corporations and the mission was the adjustment of extortionate public. Each has its right of ready appeal, charges and practices wherein it found cer- and both make the most of it. The inditain railway and express companies earning vidual is not even obliged to go through the annually more than one hundred per cent on formality of an appearance in court. A let. their investments. After the curtailment of ter or post-card has brought to many a these and similar exactions, reaching some humble complainant the swift remedy for his $7,500,000 annually, the Board addressed just grievance. $ itself to so regulating the rates and methods It was interesting, but not unusual, when of public service companies that the corpora- recently the representative of the largest tion should enjoy a fair and prosperous traction and power interest in southern Calimeasure of profit.

fornia announced in a public speech: “The Although the scope of the law would per- regulation of utilities by the State Railroad mit that this profit be limited to a mere inter- Commission has been just as beneficial to the est rate of return upon the investment, the corporations as to the public." California Commission has proclaimed and The corporations measure this benefit by prided itself upon a liberal policy which the hundreds of thousands of dollars that authorizes the utility corporations to earn have been saved to them by the new State not merely that which is theirs by right, but policy which protects their honest investment that which should go to them out of a broad from the ravages of ruthless competition, by sense of equity and fair dealing.

the substitution of supervision for prosecuThis has its purpose not only in a sense of tion, and by the policy of intelligent regulajustice to the corporation, but of proper care tion in lieu of dissolution. They acknowledge for the public interest; for the Commission, it unwittingly in their flaming announcement in effect, says to the corporation :

of the Commission's approval of the $500,We want you to earn ample profits so that 000,000 of stocks and bonds they have offered you shall not only pay the interest to your bond- for sale. It is acknowledged also in the inholders and dividends to your stockholders, but teresting record which shows in five years shall have a surplus in addition ; and in return three thousand decisions, with less than one for this we propose that a portion, at least, of

half of one per cent on appeal to the courts ; this surplus shall be used in the public interest.

with property appraisals of $250,000,000 This surplus is the index of the company's with less than one per cent in controversy. credit, and a high credit means an ample and And with the single exception of electric steady flow of investment money into the railways, which have been affected adversely coffers of the public utility corporations for by automobile competition, it is reflected in reinvestment in the public service of the their augmented and unprecedented earnings. State.

Of course such a policy as has been pursued A typical illustration of this policy was by the California Commission could not be embodied in a decision recently rendered in satisfactory to the extremists on either side ; connection with an irrigation system in the neither to the crooked or backward-looking northeastern portion of the State.

corporation official nor to the demagogue. tem now irrigates eighteen thousand acres of But it has registered in unmistakable fashion land. A protest was filed against the rates the full measure of its appeal in the hearts of -and a request made for additional service. the people of the State. The Commission found that the company To one who has been in the councils of was earning a substantial profit with a gen- the Commission, and who has aided and erous surplus, and that it had an abundance watched in the practical application of these of unused water. Accordingly, the Commis- policies, it would appear that here may be sion refused to alter the profitable rate, but found the nucleus and the hope of a new instead directed the company to place under attitude of government in America toward irrigation immediately an additional twelve business.

The sys

IDAHO'S TWENTY YEARS OF WOMAN

SUFFRAGE

BY PEARL TYER
PRESIDENT BOISE CHAPTER, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN voters

T

TWENTY years of “votes for women

in actual practice should be able to

give a satisfactory answer to the question of its advisability. Idaho is a State rounding out this experience, and a careful survey of the status of its civic affairs and the effects of its equal suffrage may contain important information.

the surest remedy. Two years later he was one of the most arduous workers in the campaign for suffrage, which was indorsed at the conventions of all three parties. This citizen claims that this was the turning point for State-wide prohibition, which reached its goal last January, when every saloon was closed by statutory enactment.

EFFECT DISCERNED IN TREND OF STATE

Its effect can best be discerned in the trend of the civic development of the State itself, for Idaho was not established with set institutions nor convictions before suffrage was a factor. Admission as a State was granted in 1890, and six years later, in November, 1896, the suffrage amendment was passed at the general election and the ballot became a reserve power back of the influence of women. In the early years of Statehood Idaho was a rough-and-ready land with sparse settlements and few railways. The first settlers were gold-seekers, prospecting a bit on their way to California ; then, following, came a hardy few who sought new homes because the fire of adventure was in them. The destruction of the Civil War drove others to this almost unknown land. Although the early stories of Idaho do not partake of the reckless disregard of human life incident to some pioneer communities, it was not until the general exodus to the Far West brought hundreds of citizens, ambitious and abounding in energy, that it began its great change in civic ideals.

Woman suffrage cannot claim the entire credit for this change from the free and open days of the saloon and gambling tables, but woman suffrage became alive at the time the change began and was one of the factors. Two years after Idaho became a State, at the Republican State Convention, several of the prominent office-holders were intoxicated in public. This was a period in the history of prohibition when the Republican party in some of the older States was passing prohibition enactments. The spectacle of drunkenness was so disgusting to one of the delegates, now a distinguished citizen, that he determined upon a woman suffrage policy as

INFLUENCE OF WOMEN'S VOTES NOTICEABLE

IMMEDIATELY The influence of woman suffrage was noticeable immediately upon the passage of the amendment. H. E. McElroy, a prominent attorney and candidate for Governor on the Progressive ticket in 1914, wrote at the time the women cast their first ballot : “It was tacitly understood among politicians that the standard must be raised in order to avoid scratching by the new voters. In fact, the expectation is universal, for some cause or other, that women will make independent voters, and party names will not save undeserving candidates."

James H. Hawley, afterward Governor of Idaho, said of the first election in which women participated : “ The ladies turned out very generally on the day of election, and were everywhere treated with the greatest respect, and never in my experience have I

a more orderly election. presence of the ladies at the polls seemed to entirely eliminate many of the objectionable features of former elections.”

seen

The very

MEN AND WOMEN COMRADES

are

Naturalness is an expressive word for the manner in which women exercise their citizenship in a State which has developed under the suffrage régime. Men and women comrades in civic endeavor. The condition of sex organization based upon sex, and not upon the general obligation of citizenship borne by all, to which Charles E. Hughes has recently called attention, will be found to be a condition preceding woman suffrage and not accompanying it. The privilege of the ballot for twenty years in Idaho has broadened woman's outlook, and pride in sex accomplishment has correspondingly lessened.

LEGISLATION

To designate an institution or legal enactment through the women's organizations, which as men's or women's is as difficult as to dis- are largely the instruments through which sociate the father's and mother's influence such public opinion takes form, and by agiin a harmonious household. Some measures tating the proposition and keeping it as a are mothered especially by a woman's organ- reminder in the press, the desired reforms ization, but all such have their champions have come in naturally and quietly. The among the men, and men and women work statutes providing for a commission form of together for their adoption. The term,

,

government for cities, a direct primary law, women's measures, is an anomaly both as to the discretionary power of judges, and the purpose and history.

labor of convicts on State improvements outside the penitentiary walls are examples of

measures which were thoroughly discussed in The catalogue of measures which have women's meetings and reported in the press, been presented to the Legislature under the but which were not introduced by them in the tutelage of women, either individually or Legislature. The anti-gambling law was wepresenting women's clubs, and which were passed shortly after the ballot was granted to persistently cared for until finally signed by women and before the State Federation of the Governor as a statute, includes a public Clubs was organized. William Balderston, library commission and library control (there editor of the Idaho “ Daily Statesman,” at were previously no library provisions), child that time wrote: labor prohibition and juvenile court creation, · “ The influence of this new voting element humane society, equal property rights for was felt in the Legislature in the passage of men and women, equal custody of children, the law prohibiting gambling. It is uniright of women to make their own wills, the versally conceded that such an Act could not Iowa Infringement and Abatement Law, have been passed had it not been for the making wife desertion an extraditable mis- fact that the members felt they would be held demeanor, pensions for mothers, nine-hour to account by that portion of the population law for women, State Industrial School, which is unalterably opposed to the vice that Institution for Feeble-Minded, separate dor- ruins such large numbers of men. It is a mitory for women at State University, placing significant fact that the law was passed withdomestic science in the University, and appro- out any organized movement on the part of priation for Children's Home-Finding Society. the women. It was the silent influence of The only legislative measure which women woman as a voter that carried it through." have worked for at more than one Legislature The State Federation of Women's Clubs, and lost is the Civil Service Bill. Yet this which is the most prominent women's organiphenomenal legislative record has been ac- zation legislatively, does not seek the enactcomplished in the Legislatures of twenty ment of a measure which has not had at least years, in which but three women were seated. a year of State-wide discussion and propaThis illustrates the co-operation of the men ganda. The Woman's Christian Temperance and women. In every “women's measure' Union also has always depended upon the the genius of men and women has united. education of the masses rather than upon

Although to a large extent intuitively and " lobbying " its bills through. unconsciously, in their legislative methods women have been fulfilling the essential

WOMEN'S ATTITUDE TO OFFICE-SEEKERS requisites of lawmaking in a democracy. Idaho women, with meager exceptions, is fundamentally true under a representative are not politicians. They are not to be found form of government that the power is with where political trickery and trading are in the people and not the legislators. The con- practice. They work by fostering certain ception of legislation in a republic is that the measures and by doing their part in the elecdemand should be with the consent of the tion of officials who will uphold these measgoverned and should come from the people ures. Sometimes a mass-meeting is called at up to the lawmaking body, and not be in- the instigation of the women, and candidates duced from the lawmaking body dozen to the for office are called upon before election to people.

state their attitude on certain points. The Women's part in lawmaking has included Boisé Council of Women Voters, in union the education of public sentiment to seek the with the Good Citizenship Club, which had desired measure. By educating themselves experienced difficulty in securing certain park

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