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office cars and 33 all-steel apartment cars, and to convert 16 wooden full railway post-office cars into apartment cars and apply steel underframes, and 8 wooden steel-reinforced full railway post-office cars into apartment cars.
The Interstate Commerce Commission, through its inspectors, has extended its aid in the work of examining and reporting upon the condition of postal cars, which is additional to the inspections made in 45 cities in 24 States by an officer of the Railway Mail Service especially assigned to postal-car inspection.
The steel and steel-underframe cars operated by the several companies are shown in Table A.
Distribution.-It is estimated (computed on a basis of an average of 25.16 letters to a package and an average of 52.14 pieces to a sack of second, third, and fourth class matter, except bulky and fragile parcel-post mail on an average of 13.3 pieces to a sack, and circulars on an average of 25.16 to a package, 150 packages to a sack) that there were 8,644,285,506 distributions and redistributions of pieces of first-class and 5,212,698,814 distributions and redistributions of pieces of second, third, and fourth class matter, a total of 13,856,984,320 distributions and redistributions of pieces, exclusive of registered matter, by railway postal clerks during the past year, an increase of 3.35 per cent over the previous year.
Of registered matter there were handled and rehandled in transit 57,148,648 packages and cases, 1,643,657 registered pouches, and 792,950 inner registered sacks. In addition, clerks made up and dispatched 1,095,562 registered pouches and inner registered sacks; received and opened 813,266 registered pouches and inner registered sacks; handled and rehandled in transit 2,391,377 registered-package jackets; made up and dispatched 803,779 registered-package jackets, containing 5,505,412 pieces; received and opened 722,517 registered package jackets containing 5,047,661 pieces; handled and rehandled in transit 122,447 lead-seal sack jackets; made up and dispatched 1,784 lead-seal sack jackets, containing 20,265 pieces; and received and opened 11,451 lead-seal sack jackets containing 94,367 pieces.
Of the 13,856,984,320 pieces of mail matter distributed and redistributed, 13,854,405,564 pieces, or 99.98 per cent, were distributed and redistributed correctly.
Case examinations. There were 35,658 examinations of permanent railway postal clerks.
The number of cards handled was 31,189,722, of which 99.03 per cent were handled correctly. Last year's report shows 40,325 examinations, 35,372,424 cards handled, 99.12 per cent correctly. The probationary clerks passed 838 examinations, handling 662,735 cards, 97.68 per cent correctly. Last year this class of clerks passed 3,041 cxaminations, handling 2,935,149 cards, 97.92 per cent correctly.
In addition to the above there were 8,293 examinations passed by substitutes. The number of cards handled was 6,877,796, of which 97.21 per cent were handled correctly. Last year there were 6,970 examinations and 5,687,860 cards handled, with 97.48 per cent correctly.
Casualties. There were 164 railroad accidents in which postal clerks were either killed or injured or in which mail matter was lost
or damaged, resulting in 1 clerk being killed, 58 seriously injured, and 129 slightly injured. The total number of accidents of all kinds in which postal clerks were either killed or injured, or in which mail matter was lost or damaged, was 376, resulting in 4 clerks being killed, 3 dying as the result of injuries, 116 seriously injured and 270 slightly injured.
Of the 4 cierks killed, 1 was instantly killed in the mail car in a railroad wreck, 2 were killed by falling out of the door of mail car, and 1 by falling from rear end of train. Of the 3 clerks who died as the result of injuries, 1 received injuries by falling out of a mail car, 1 in a collision between mail wagon and street car, and 1 by falling on pavement while going from one post of duty to another.
The following table shows the kind and construction of the mail cars in which accidents to clerks occurred:
Catching and delivering devices.—No new mail-exchanging device has been installed by railroad companies during the past fiscal year, and none has been approved by the department. The standard catcher and crane are still in general use and as a rule work satisfactorily where there is but a limited amount of mail to be exchanged, and at most catcher stations the quantity of mail for exchange is small, as parcel-post mail, with the exception of small parcels containing articles not liable to be damaged, is not exchanged with moving trains. Reports of inventions of new and alleged improved mail-exchanging devices reach the department frequently, but not many of them are complete in detail, and few requests to have tests of such devices with full-sized working models witnessed by a representative of the department are received.
SEPARATION OF SECOND-CLASS MATTER BY PUBLISHERS.
The weight of paid-at-the-pound rate second-class mail received from publishers during the fiscal year was 1,047,144,274 pounds, an increase of 20,242,907 pounds, or 1.97 per cent increase over the previous year. Combining the paid-at-the-pound rate and free-in-county second-class mail matter received from publishers, the total amount for the year was 1,109,285,785 pounds.
At 263 of the largest post offices there were received in the mails during June, 1915, 2,059,275 sacks of second-class matter, representing 9,086 publications. Of these sacks, 82.46 per cent were fully made up by the publishers and were dispatched intact, 11.69 per cent were partly made up, and 5.85 per cent were mixed. Fully made-up matter
comprises sacks made up by publishers addressed to States, post offices, or routes which are dispatched intact from the office of origin without being separated or distributed in any way. Partly made-up matter comprises sacks made up by publishers for States or cities which require separation or distribution in the office of origin. Mixed matter is matter deposited in the post office by publishers totally unseparated.
The statistics from the New York post office show the per cent of mixed second-class mail received from publishers as only 5.20.
A statement of the composition of fully made-up sacks received during June, 1915, at 40 post offices shows that 11.53 per cent were received made up by States and dispatched intact, 39.71 per cent were received made up for post offices, and 48.74 per cent were received made up by routes.
The distribution of second-class mail to railway post-office routes by publishers in accordance with alphabetical schemes or lists furnished by the department has been extended to include many additional publications. Efforts to increase the amount of mail so distributed and interest publishers in the matter have been, with few exceptions, successful, as publishers generally realize that the requirement is reasonable and results in expediting the delivery of their publication with greater regularity.
TERMINAL RAILWAY POST OFFICES.
On June 30, 1915, there were in operation 88 terminal railway post offices, in which there were employed 2,419 railway postal clerks, an increase during the year of 4 terminals and 129 clerks.
The operation of this system of terminal railway post offices has made it possible to distribute therein a large part of the mail formerly distributed in railway post-office cars, thus reducing the amount of car space and the force of railway postal clerks that would otherwise be required.
APPOINTMENT OF CLERKS.
As stated in last year's report, it is desirable that legislation be secured to permit the transfer of clerks from post offices of the first and second classes to the Railway Mail Service at salaries not exceeding the salaries which the clerks are receiving in the post offices at the time of such transfer. Under existing law all appointments to the Railway Mail Service must be made to the lowest grade at $900, and experienced clerks in post offices who are receiving more than that sum are not inclined to accept transfer to the Railway Mail Service at a reduced compensation. Very respectfully,
Second Assistant Postmaster General. Hon. A. S. BURLESON,
REPORT OF THE THIRD ASSISTANT POSTMASTER
Post OFFICE DEPARTMENT,
Washington, D. C., October 14, 1915. Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith the following report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1915.
SUMMARY FOR THE FISCAL YEAR.
The report of the Auditor for the Post Office Department for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1915, shows that the revenues of the postal service during that period, including the revenue derived from money-order and postal-savings business, amounted to $287,248,165.27, a decrease of 0.23 per cent under the preceding year, as com pared with an increase of 7.99 per cent for 1914 over 1913. The expenditures were $298,546,026.42, an increase of 5.29 per cent over the preceding year, as compared with an increase of 8.19 per cent for 1914 over 1913.
The excess of expenditures over receipts was $11,297,861.15, to which was added the sum of $35,447.82 allowed postmasters for losses of postal funds due to fire, burglary, and other causes. The audited returns of the postal establishment for the fiscal year 1915 therefore show a deficit of $11,333,308.97.
The audited revenues, by quarters, for the fiscal years 1915 and 1914, and the increase or decrease for 1915 as compared with 1914, with percentages, is shown in the following table:
The transactions of the Postal Service are on a cash basis; credit is not extended to patrons of the service. Aside from a few minor items, negligible in amount and involved principally in the adjustment of accounts with foreign Governments, the audited revenues above reported accrued in and pertain to the fiscal year 1915.
All expenditures are stated by the auditor according to the quarter in which payment is made. The audited expenditures stated above include $289,199.978.75 for the maintenance of the service in the fiscal year 1915 and $9,346,047.67 for the service of prior years. On the other hand, accounts estimated at $9,350,678.05 for the service of the fiscal year 1915 were outstanding at the close of the year, the larger
part of which were paid in the early part of the fiscal year 1916. This condition arises principally by reason of the fact that supplies ordered and services performed in the latter part of a fiscal year, almost entirely in the month of June, can not in many instances bé paid for until after the close of the year, because the services rendered do not terminate until the last day of the year and supplies ordered in one year frequently are not delivered until the early part of the succeeding year. Moreover, experience has shown that accounts for a given year are adjusted and paid throughout the entire period of three years during which the congressional appropriations therefor are available.
With a view to presenting the cost of the service on a basis better suited to comparison with the revenues, statements have been prepared by the officers of the department having supervision over the several branches of the service, which show that the expenses for the fiscal year 1915 were $298,550,656.80, including accounts unpaid or unadjusted at the close of the year. On this basis the expenses of the Postal Service for the fiscal year 1915, paid and payable, together with losses on account of fire, burglary, etc., will exceed the revenues by $11,337,939.35. From the standpoint of correlated revenues and expenses, this latter amount, it is believed, states the result of the department's financial operations for the year as closely as it is possible to do so until all claims for the year are finally adjusted.
Following is a condensed statement of the revenues and expenses for the fiscal years 1913, 1914, and 1915, which has been prepared to show comparatively, on the basis of obligations incurred, the results of financial administration for these years:
It is a noteworthy fact that in no other activity, governmental or private, are conditions of prosperity or depression more quickly reflected than in the revenues of the postal establishment. Having a close relation to the affairs of all the people, the postal receipts may be used as a thermometer, as it were, to ascertain existing conditions of business and as a barometer to forecast those to come.
The evidence is conclusive that the postal deficit for the year just closed was caused by the European war. Up to the close of the fiscal year 1914 the postal receipts were satisfactory. The average yearly rate of increase during the fiscal years 1910 to 1914, inclusive, was 7.21
per cent. For the fiscal year 1914 the increase was 7.99 per cent. For the month of June, 1914, reports received in this bureau from