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TABLE 5.- Appropriations, expenditures, and balances for the fiscal years 1906
to 1915, inclusive.
TABLE 6.—Clerical and carrier service for the fiscal years 1906 to 1915, inclusive.
Post OFFICE DEPARTMENT,
Washington, August 28, 1915. Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith the following report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1915.
The Second Assistant Postmaster General is charged with the authorization and management of the transportation of the domestic and foreign mails by means of railroads, electric and cable cars, screen wagons and pneumatic tubes in cities, steamboats, mais messengers, and by star routes in Alaska.
GENERAL STATEMENT OF MAIL SERVICE. Data respecting the mail service under the supervision of this bureau as a whole in operation on June 30, 1915, including classes of service, numbers and aggregate length of routes, annual rates of expenditure by classes, comparison of statistics with the preceding fiscal year, and statement of expenditures, appropriations, and estimates are shown in Table A.
(Statistics in the body of the report are edited to show annual rates of expenditure on, and expenditures as reported by the auditor to, September 30, 1915, and the estimates submitted for 1917.)
DIVISION OF RAILWAY ADJUSTMENTS.
Service and erpenditure. Number of routes...
3, 484 Length of routes.
.miles.. 233, 675. 56 Annual travel...
do.... 499, 011, 047.78 Annual rate of expenditure.
$53, 934, 570.65 Average rate of cost per mile of length.
$230, SO Average rate of cost per mile traveled.
10. 80 Average number of trips per week....
20.53 Comparison with the previous year shows: Decrease in number of routes..
18, or 0. 514 Increase in length of routes.
.miles.. 2, 277.32, or 0.984 Increase in annual travel....
..do.... 17,568, 045. 79, or 3. 649 Increase in annual rate of expenditure.
$3,081, 210.58, or 6.590 Increase in rate of cost per mile of length...
$11. 04, or 5. 023 Increase in average rate of cost per mile traveled....cents..
0. 24, or 2. 272 Increase in average number of trips per week.....
0. 48, or 2. 394 There was no unadjusted service on June 30, 1915, with the exception of six small routes. The appropriation for the fiscal year of 1915 was $56,188,000. Of this sum the auditor reports the amount expended under accounts stated to September 30, 1915, as $54,796,086.72, leaving an unexpended balance of $1,391,913.28, out of which unsettled accounts must be paid.
The amount available for the fiscal year 1916 is $56,188,000. The Post Office appropriation bill for 1916 carried $58,214,000 for this purpose but failed of passage and a joint resolution was passed, prior to adjournment, providing that the amounts of appropriations for the fiscal year 1915 be made available for the fiscal year 1916.
The annual rate of expenditure wasJune 30, 1915..
$53, 934, 570. 65 July 1, 1915.
157, 105, 333. 75 Sept. 30, 1915.
157, 137, 322.32 These amounts do not include estimated expenditures for the transportation of periodical mails or for mail weighings.
The amount estimated as necessary for this service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1917, is $59,300,000, being $1,086,000, or 1.86 per cent, increase over the estimate for the current year.
Quadrennial readjustment.—During the fiscal year the mails were weighed on the railroad routes in the third section embracing the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri. The annual rate of expenditure for railroad transportation in this section on June 30, 1915, was $16,857,830.93. The mails on all the routes covered by this readjustment have been weighed and the average daily weights computed, with the exception of 10 delayed for further information. The increase in the annual rate of compensation on the routes readjusted is found to be $3,170,763.10, or 18.81 per cent. Estimating the increase for the unadjusted service at the same rate makes the total increase in the annual rate $3,184,069.66.
The increase in pay resulting from the last preceding readjustment in this section in 1911 was 11.72 per cent. The readjustment just com
Includes annual rate of expenditure of previous adjustment on all unadjusted routes.
pleted is the second readjustment in this section under the application of the Postmaster General's order of June 7, 1907, No. 412, requiring the use of the whole number of days in the weighing period as a divisor in obtaining the average daily weight, and since the withdrawal of empty equipment and supplies from the mails, and the increase in annual rate under this readjustment is $3,184,069.66, as stated above.
For information as to the several routes on which the mails were weighed and the pay adjusted from July 1, 1915, reference is made to Table B.
Desired authority for substitution of weights of mails. During the weighing period of the first contract section in the spring of 1913 disastrous floods occurred in the Ohio River Valley and contiguous territory which caused serious interruptions in service on a number of railroad routes for several weeks. Business generally was practically at a standstill in the affected territory for a considerable time. These causes reduced the weights of mails carried on the routes referred to considerably below the normal. Similar conditions have arisen in subsequent weighings. As compensation for the four-year term is based on the average daily weights of mails ascertained by the weighing, it would appear equitable to make an allowance for the weights that would have been carried under normal conditions. The department being without authority to make substitutions of weights in such cases, legislation was recommended to enable it to substitute estimated weights for the part of the weighing period when weights are not normal or when none are taken as the result of flood or otherwise, such estimates to be based on the average weights for the period during which the weights are normal. The desired legislation was contained in a bill (H. Ř. 17042) which passed the House of Representatives, was referred to the Senate Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads, but was not reported by that committee. Subsequently the same provision was included in the Post Office appropriation bill for the fiscal year 1916, which failed of passage as stated hereinbefore. It is suggested that the recommendation be renewed at the coming session of the Sixty-fourth Congress.
Readjustment of compensation authorized by Congress on account of the establishment of the parcel post.-In the last annual report reference was made to the action of the department under authority of the act of March 4, 1913, making appropriations for the service of the Post Office Department for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1914, in making allowances of additional compensation on railroad routes from July 1, 1913, on account of the increased weight of mails carried as a result of the establishment of the parcel-post system, which allowances aggregated $1,686,842.94 for the fiscal year of 1914.
These allowances in the fourth contract section were superseded from July 1, 1914, by the regular readjustments effective from that date, based upon the weighing in the spring of 1914, and those in the third contract section are superseded by the regular readjustments effective from July 1, 1915, based upon the weighing in the spring of 1915.
Mention was also made of the recommendation of the department on February 14, 1914, to the Congress for the enactment of legislation authorizing the Postmaster General, on account of the increased weight of mails carried on railroad routes resulting from the Postmaster General's Order No. 7349 of July 25, 1913, respecting rates
upon and limits of weight of parcel-post packages in the local, first, and second zones, and effective from August 15, 1913, to add not exceeding one-half of 1 per cent per annum to the compensation paid on August 15, 1913, for the remainder of the respective contract terms. A provision embodying this recommendation was embraced in a bill (H. R. 17042) which passed the House of Representatives but was not reported by the Senate committee. The same provision was subsequently included in the Post Office appropriation bill for the fiscal year 1916, which failed of enactment as hereinbefore stated.
Further changes in the rates of postage and weight limit of parcelpost matter became effective on January 1, 1914, as a result of the Postmaster General's order whereby the weight limit was extended to 50 pounds in the local, first, and second zones and to 20 pounds in the remainder of the zones, and the rates of postage on all packages were materially lowered in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth zones. From March 16, 1914, books and printed matter were admitted to the fourth class or parcel post, and the rates of postage were fixed at 1 cent for each 2 ounces up to 8 ounces, and for weights above 8 ounces the parcel-post zone pound rates apply. The effect of these changes upon the weights of mails carried by railroads was carefully estimated and the approximate average increase determined, and a recommendation made to Congress for the enactment of legislation authorizing the Postmaster General to add to the compensation paid on railroad routes on January 1, 1914, for the remainder of the contract terms not exceeding 1 per cent thereof per annum. A provision of this character was included in the Post Office appropriation bill for the fiscal year of 1916, which failed of passage. It is suggested that the foregoing recommendations be renewed at the next session of Congress.
Readjustments for diversions of mails.—Under the authority provided by section 4 of the act of August 24, 1912, for making readjustments of compensation on routes under certain conditions where, after a weighing, mails are diverted therefrom or thereto, special weighings were conducted and readjustments made in a number of cases during the year. For information as to the several routes on which these readjustments occurred, reference is made to Table B2.
In the administration of this provision of law a number of cases have arisen where it would have been equitable and desirable to make adjustments between the routes involved, but owing to the limitation in the law that the diverted mails shall equal at least 10 per cent of the average daily weight of mails on any of the routes affected, the department has been unable to act. The department recommended to the last Congress the enactment of legislation removing this limitation, and a provision authorizing it was incorporated in a bill (H. R. 17042) to amend the postal and civil-service laws, and for other purposes, which passed the House of Representatives but was not reported by the Senate committee. A similar provision was included in the Post Office appropriation bill for the fiscal year 1916, which failed of enactment. It is suggested that the recommendation be renewed at the next session of Congress.
Transportation of certain periodical mail matter by freight.—The plan of transporting certain periodical mail matter in fast freight trains, which was placed in operation in the third contract section September 1, 1911, and from Washington, D. C., to Atlanta, Ga.;
Cincinnati, Ohio, to Atlanta, Ga.; and Cincinnati, Ohio, to Chattanooga, Tenn., from July 1, 1912, was continued during the fiscal year. Congress provided, by the appropriation act of August 24, 1912, that the department shall not extend or enlarge the policy of sending second-class matter by freight trains. In order that the plan, which has resulted in such a large economy, may be extended to cover the other sections of the country, the department recommended to Congress the removal of this prohibition. Legislation to accomplish this was contained in a bill (H. R. 17042) which passed the House of Representatives but was not reported by the Senate Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads. The necessary provision was subsequently included in the Post Office appropriation bill, which failed of passage as heretofore stated. It is suggested that the recommendation be renewed at the next session of Congress.
The method by which adjustments are made and compensation paid for this character of transportation has been fully explained in previous annual reports. All accounts for the fiscal year have been settled and a tabulation of the business shows that 4,843 carloads of periodical mail matter were transported in fast freight trains during the year, carrying 127,205,138 pounds. The cost of the freight transportation, with cartage and incidental charges, was $651,366.60. Had this mail been continued in the regular mail trains the cost of its transportation would have been $2,072,399.56. The saving to the Government by reason of the shipments by freight for the year was $1,421,032.96. Previous.to the weighing in the third contract section, which began on February 18, 1915, new bids for this service were invited on the lap routes located in that section, and new awards made. On five of the routes a reduced rate was secured, which will render possible a considerable further reduction in the cost of this service and increase the saving to the department, which will continue for four years. Effective from the same date, a number of periodicals theretofore carried in the freight trains were restored to the regular mail trains. On routes located in the third section these mails were included with other mails weighed. A special weighing on routes affected in the second section was held for the regular statutory period and compensation readjusted from February 18, 1915. These readjustments resulted in a net addition to the annual rate of compensation for railroad transportation of $674.79. For information regarding readjustments on this class of routes reference is made to Table Bi.
Compared with the year 1914 the operation of this class of service showed a decrease of 120 cars and 12,141,322 pounds handled, $54,787.73 in cost of transportation with incidental charges, and in the saving of $6,399.10.
Economy in readjustments.—The policy of equalizing the rates of pay for the transportation of mail by railroad routes on the basis of the lowest cost, where the department has the choice of dispatching mails by competing lines to the same destination with equal advantage, referred to in previous reports, has been followed where practicable. in the readjustment of compensation upon the weighing of mails in the third section. Under this policy agreements have been entered into between the department and the railroad companies affected, resulting in a saving of $230,839.64 per annum, or $923,358.56 for the term. The agreements are as follows: