This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1915 edition. Excerpt: ...discovered for ascertaining the cost of the service, what measure is there suggesting anything definite and tangible and sufficiently practical in its application to carry conviction which can be applied to the value of the service? By which, after all, we mean to say little more than that the cost of the service is ascertainable with much more precision and capable of more tangible expression than the value of the service. Nevertheless both cost and value must be considered as well as all other elements entering into a rate. As the annual reports to Congress demonstrate, this Commission has for many years felt the necessity of having information regarding the value of the physical properties of the carriers in the United States as an element in the valuation of their entire properties. The want of this information is a serious handicap in the proper consideration and dispositon of the instant case. There is before us nothing whatsoever upon which we could with any degree of confidence arrive at an approximation of the value of the property devoted to the public use and upon which these carriers are entitled to a fair return and to which the lake-cargo coal traffic should make its fair and just contribution. To be sure we have before us figures representing the aggregate outstanding bonds and stocks, but it is well understood that the total capitalization of a carrier is not necessarily a correct measure of the value of the property devoted by it to the public use, nor in many instances even a fair indication of what the value of such property might be. A compilation showing the comparative growth of capitalization and of traffic for all the railways in the United States reflects a gradual tendency toward a decrease in capital charges as the...
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