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Term of Office. The Commissioners first appointed under this Act shall continue in office for the term of two, three, four, five, and six years, respectively, from the first day of January, 1887, the term of each to be designated by the President; but their successors shall be appointed for terms of six years, except that any person chosen to fill a vacancy, shall be appointed only for the unexpired term of the Commissioner whom he shall succeed. (Sec. 11.)
Removal. Any Commissioner may be removed by the President for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office. (Sec. 11.) Political Complexion and Qualification of Com
missioners. Not more than three of the Commissioners shall be appointed from the same political party. No person in the employ of or holding any official relation to any common carrier subject to the provisions of this Act, or owning stock or bonds thereof, or who is in any manner pecuniarily interested therein, shall enter upon the duties of or hold such office. Said Commissioners shall not engage in any other business, vocation, or employment. No vacancy in the Commission shall impair the right of the remaining Commissioners to exercise all the powers of the Commission. (Sec. 11.)
Powers of Commission. The Commission hereby created shall have authority:
First : To enquire into the management of the business of all common carriers subject to the provisions of this Act. (Sec. 12.)
Second : Shall keep itself informed as to the manner and method in which the same is conducted. (Sec. 12.)
Third : Shall have the right to obtain from such common carriers full and complete information necessary to enable the Commission to perform the duties and carry out the objects for which it was created. (Sec. 12.)
Fourth : And for the purposes of the Act the Commission shall have power to require the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of all books, papers, tariffs, contracts, agreements, and documents relating to any matter under investigation. (Sec. 12.)
Fifth : And to that end, may invoke the aid
of any court of the United States, in requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, papers, and documents under the provisions of this section. (Sec. 12.)
And any of the Circuit Courts of the United States within the jurisdiction of which such enquiry is carried on may, in case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpæna issued to any common carrier subject to the provisions of this Act, or other person, issue an order requiring such common carrier or other person to appear before said Commission (and produce books and papers if so ordered) and give evidence touching the matter in question; and any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by such court as a contempt thereof. The claim that any such testimony or evidence may tend to criminate the person giving such evidence shall not excuse such witness from testifying ; but such evidence or testimony shall not be used against such person on the trial of any criminal proceeding. (Sec. 12.)
Sixth : By the last paragraph of Section 19 it is provided :
It (the Commission) may, by one or more of the Commissioners, prosecute any enquiry necessary to its duties, in any part of the United States, into any matter or question of fact pertaining to the business of any common carrier subject to the provisions of this Act.
Seventh : By the 20th section of the Act the Commission is authorized :
(a) To require annual reports from all common carriers subject to the provisions of this Act.
(6) To fix the time and prescribe the manner in which such reports shall be made.
(c) To require from such carriers specific answers to all questions upon which the Commission may need information.
(d) Such annual reports shall show in detail :
(1) The amount of the capital stock issued.
(7) The funded and floating debts, and the interest paid thereon.
(8) The cost and value of the carrier's propty, franchises, and equipment.
(9) The number of employees and the salaries paid each class.
(10) The amounts expended for improvements each year, how expended, and the character of such improvements.
(11) The earnings and receipts from each branch of business and from all sources.
(12) The operating and other expenses. (13) The balances of profit and loss.
(14) And a complete exhibit of the financial operations of the carrier each year, including an annual balance-sheet.
(15) Such reports shall also contain such information in relation to rates or regulations concerning fares or freights, or agreements, arrangements, or contracts with other common carriers, as the Commission may require.
(e) The said Commission may, within its discretion, for the purpose of enabling it the better to carry out the purposes of this Act, prescribe (if in the opinion of the Commission it is practicable to prescribe such uniformity and methods of keeping accounts) a period of time within which all common carriers subject to the provisions of this Act shall have, as near as may be, a uniform system of accounts, and the manner in which such accounts shall be kept. (Sec. 20.)