Readings on the Relation of Government to Property and Industry

By Samuel P. Orth | Go to book overview

the commission at specified intervals or at such time as the commission may designate, regular reports of their doings setting forth such facts, statistics and particulars relative to their business, receipts and expenditures as may be required by the commission. In many states special reports may also be called for by the commission at different intervals. It is often provided that the commission shall furnish blank forms for regular or special reports; and the reports must be duly sworn to or verified by such officers or persons as the commission may designate. Full and specific answers must be given to all questions propounded by the commission, or sufficient reasons must be stated for failure to make such answers. In case the reports or returns appear to be defective or erroneous, the commission is usually given the power to order their amendment within a specified time. It was very common in the older utility laws, particularly for the regulation of railroads and common carriers, to prescribe by statute the detailed contents of annual reports; but in pursuance of the general trend of giving commissions ample discretion in the regulation of utilities, the more advanced legislation, including most of the recent laws, vests complete power in the commissions as to the scope of the reports of utilities. Heavy penalties are usually imposed for the violation of provisions relating to reports.


A GOVERNMENT OF LAW AS DISTINGUISHED FROM A GOVERNMENT OF FUNCTIONARIES

By HON. HANNIS TAYLOR

(From the Green Bag, September, 1906)

Francis Lieber has told us, in his "Civil Liberty and Self-Government," p. 108, that the "guarantee of the supremacy of the law leads to a principle which, so far as I know, it has never been attempted to transplant from the soil inhabited by Anglican people, and which, nevertheless, has been, in our system of liberty, the natural production of a thorough government of law as distinguished from a government of functionaries. It is so natural in the Anglican race that few think of it as essentially important to civil liberty, and it is of such vital importance that none who have studied the acts of government elsewhere can help recognizing it as an indispensable element of civil liberty."1 In giving expansion to the same thought at a later time Mr. Dicey, who fills the chair of Blackstone at Oxford, has said: "In England the idea of legal equality, or of the universal subjection of all

____________________
1
Law of the Constitution, p. 183.

-324-

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