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diversified in their activities receive more inbound freight, and hence at times there is a very unequal distribution of railway equipment between different places in these states. Finally, the same situation presents itself on a still larger scale in the unequal distribution of equipment between different sections of the country. Government ownership would not change the essential characteristics of the one-way and two-way shippers or eliminate the fundamental features of our producing and consuming areas. But in any case justice and efficiency demand that control over railway service be taken out of the hands of the railroads, the shippers and the states and given to federal authorities, so organized that they can have a knowledge of local conditions and at the same time a view of transportation problems that extends beyond the boundaries of any state or traffic area. If it be contended that such control is placing railway management in the hands of government authorities who know nothing about it, the reply is that the railroads have confessed their inability to enforce their rules either against each other or against shippers; hence the public profits little by the fact that the railroads know what ought to be done. Railroad men and shippers of long experience should, however, be utilized by the government in its control of railway service. These men should be able to make equitable rulings which can be backed by the force of law, if necessary. With proper federal control shippers in our large and congested terminals might look forward to some plan of immediate delivery of less than car load shipments and more rigid rules for disposition of car load freight. Shippers in rural districts might realize that some storage room for grain plus improved highways would not only net them a better margin of profit but lessen the difficulties for themselves and the public generally which are
annually experienced because of their attempt to market their crops within a comparatively short period of time. Railroads now admit that regulations which have been forced upon them have increased their revenue, protected them against each other, and benefited the public. It is time shippers learned the same lesson.
To summarize, there is a danger that the war will be accepted as the cause of our unsatisfactory railway service. Furthermore, the popular idea that the trouble is mainly due to car shortage is a narrow view of the question. Evidence indicates that traffic has outgrown the transportation plant; and that for more than a decade whenever business has been brisk, railway service has been inadequate and inefficient. Assuming that under a system of private ownership sufficient revenue will be allowed to carriers to enable them to provide adequate facilities or that under government ownership they would be provided by the government itself, there would remain the question of the proper use of these facilities to prevent unfairness in the one case among railway systems and under either plan to prevent injustice among different classes of shippers and among various sections of the country. In other words government operation or government ownership will not eliminate the defects of railway service which are due in some cases to the strategic advantages which some groups of shippers enjoy, or in other instances to the size of our country and its geographical division of labor. These fundamental characteristics being the same under private or government ownership, there is a need in any case of more comprehensive regulation of railway service.
C. O. RUGGLES.
OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY.
CAR SURPLUSES AND CAR SHORTAGES, JANUARY 2, 1907 TO OCTOBER 15,
1914, AND FEBRUARY 1, 1915, TO DECEMBER 1, 1917