Message of Governor O. B. Colquitt to the thirty-second legislature of Texas. Page: 11 of 24
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believe it would have been far better had the Legislature been content
to declare the general purposes and policies of the state in the
management of its penal system and then provided the Prison Commision
with ample powers to issue orders and make all adequate and
necessary regulations to carry such general purposes and policies
into effect. A law modeled after the Railroad Commission Act,
passed in 1891, would have been far more practical and satisfactory
in its application and results. Unless the law is remodeled, the cost
of carrying into effect and operating the system is going to be very
largely more than under the present statute. Some estimate the increase
in the cost will approximate a million dollars or more per
STATE OWNERSHIP OF RAILROADS.
So far as experience in this commonwealth has yet proven, state
ownership and operation of railroads is a failure. An examination
of the management and the earnings and expenses of the road
owned by the state in connection with the penitentiary system, running
from Rusk, in Cherokee county, to Palestine, in Anderson county,
a little more than thirty miles in length, as per the reports on
file in the Railroad Commission Office, shows the venture has not been
a success. Besides, the act of the Legislature providing for a loan
of the public school money for its construction was of doubtful constitutionality,
in my opinion, and I recommend legislation to dispose
of the road, if possible, to realize its cost to the state, and the speedy
repayment of the money borrowed from the permanent school fund.
When I have had time and opportunity to gather accurate informnation,
I may communicate with you further on this subject by special
message and submit such data to you as may be obtainable.
REGULATION OF WHARF COMPANIES.
Section three of Article twelve of the State Constitution says the
"right to authorize and regulate freights, tolls, wharfage, or fares,
levied and collected or proposed to be levied and collected by individuals,
companies or corporations" shall be under legislative control
and legislative authority. It is the unanimous opinion of the members
of the Railroad Commission of Texas that the law should be
amended so as to place wharf companies under the control of the
Commission and give it the power to fix rates, and make all necessary
rules and regulations for their control. Wharf companies not
now being included within the terms of the Commission Law, fix
rates and make their own rules and regulations, and they have it in
their power to materially impede the movement of traffic or to impose
undue burdens upon commerce. I recommend, therefore, an
amendment to Article 4562, so as to extend the powers of the Railroad
Commission to wharf companies, and to all terminal and belt
RELIEF FOR THE COURTS.
For many years there has been complaint of the delay in the courts.
Much of this complaint is directed at the trial courts, and is often
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Colquitt, O. B. Message of Governor O. B. Colquitt to the thirty-second legislature of Texas., book, 1911; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5834/m1/11/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .