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State of Rhode Island and Profidence-Pluntations
PASSED AT THE
JANUARY SESSION, 1923
[The Chapters of the Public Laws are numbered continuously
from the General Laws, Revision of 1923.]
AN ACT TO RELIEVE CONDITIONS RESULTING FROM THE H 511A
Approved SHORTAGE OF FUEL.
Jan. 12, 1923.
purposes of this
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. It is hereby declared that by reason of Declaration of the shortage of fuel there exists an emergency directly act. affecting the public health and welfare requiring governmental regulation and control of the supply of fuel during such emergency and its equitable distribution to consumers at reasonable prices.
SEC. 2. The office of state fuel administrator is Office of state hereby created, to continue for the period ending on trator created. January 31, 1924 or if in the opinion of the governor the emergency requiring its creation is declared no longer to exist then by proclamation he may declare the office terminated. The state fuel administrator Formter adminheretofore appointed by the governor is hereby con- office. tinued in office under the provisions of this act. He
Deputies and employees.
Advisory boards and committees.
Delegation of powers.
shall receive an annual salary of five thousand dollars, provided, however, that such salary shall not be paid to any appointee in addition to any salary to which he may be entitled under any other state office held by him. The state fuel administrator may appoint and at pleasure remove such deputies and employees, including counsel, as may be needed, prescribe their powers and duties, and fix their compensation within the amount appropriated therefor. The state fuel administrator may also constitute and appoint an advisory board or boards and committees, the members of which shall serve without compensation. The state fuel administrator, his deputies and employees, and the members of any such advisory board or committee shall be entitled to their actual and necessary expenses, within or without the state, in performing their duties under this act. Subject to the supervision and control of the administrator, he may delegate any of his powers to designated deputies and employees and revoke any such delegation at any time.
The state fuel administrator may establish a main office in the state house under the supervision of the state house commission, which shall furnish such office with such equipment as may be required in the performance of his duties under this act.
SEC. 3. The state fuel administrator
1. Shall have the power to supervise, regulate and control the receipt, storage, purchase, sale, use, distribution and delivery of fuel within the state.
2. Shall ascertain the kinds, quantity and location of fuel within the state, the needs of localities, and consumers, public and private.
3. Shall ascertain, by such investigations and proofs as the emergency permits, what prices for fuel, in the several localities and under varying conditions,
Powers and duties of administrator.
will yield to the seller a fair profit only, may fix, from Same subject. time to time, on the basis of such a profit, the maximum price to be charged, collected or paid upon any sale of fuel, specifying the quantity, kind and grade of fuel, and the nature of the sale, whether to dealer or consumer, to which the price applies, or in any case instead of so fixing the maximum price may fix a reasonable margin of profit to the seller, and, by such investigations and proofs as the emergency permits, ascertain the number of transactions of sale of or otherwise affecting the same shipment, lot, load or parcel, or part thereof, of any kind of fuel, which may be reasonably necessary in order to supply the actual consumers in any locality, and forbid other transactions therein.
4. May supervise, control or compel the sale and distribution of fuel, as provided in this act.
5. May supervise, control or compel the allotment, apportionment and rationing of fuel to localities, dealers, and consumers.
6. May prevent the waste of fuel.
7. Shall coöperate with any federal agency in the exercise of its powers in relation to the sale, transportation and delivery of fuel within this state, and may accept any designation or authority conferred upon him to carry out any policy of the United States relating to the sale and distribution of fuel within the state.
8. May do all things necessary to secure to consumers an equitable distribution of available fuel at reasonable prices.
Sec. 4. The administrator may adopt and enforce Administrator all rules and all orders necessary to enable him to enforce rules, carry out the provisions of this act. Every rule and Rules and order shall be posted for public inspection in the main posted; filing office and a certified copy filed in the office of the copies.
Orders, how served.
What to constitute due and sufficient notice,
secretary of state and of each city and town clerk,
SEC. 5. The state fuel administrator or any advisory board, deputy or employee designated by him for that purpose may make investigations and examine witnesses for the purpose of enabling the state
fuel administrator to carry out the provisions of this Administering act. The state fuel administrator or the member or
members of any advisory board or any deputy or employee designated by him for that purpose may administer oaths and take affidavits. The state fuel administrator may subpæna witnesses, may require their attendance before him or any advisory board, deputy or employee and may require the production of books and papers pertinent to investigations hereby authorized, and such administrator may issue com
Investigations and examination of witnesses,
of oaths and taking of affidavits; witnesses.
missions for the examination of witnesses who may be unable to attend or may be absent from the state. No person shall be excused from testifying or from Testifying, and producing any books or papers in any investigation books and by the administrator or an advisory board deputy or employee so designated to make the investigation, when ordered to do so by such administrator, board, deputy or employee, upon the ground that the testimony or evidence, books or documents required of him may tend to incriminate him or subject him to penalty' or forfeiture, but no person shall be prosecuted, punished or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any act, transaction, matter or thing concerning which he shall under oath have testified or produced documentary evidence; provided, however, that no person so testified shall be exempt from prosecution or punishment for any perjury committed by him in his testimony. Nothing herein contained is intended to give, or shall be construed as in any manner giving unto any corporation immunity of any kind.
Sec. 6. The state fuel administrator, or any mem- Access to ber of an advisory board, committee, deputy or em- fuel is kept. ployee designated by him for that purpose, shall have access to and may enter at all reasonable hours all places in which fuel is kept or believed to be kept. The administrator, or any member of an advisory Power to board, committee, deputy or employee designated by papers
, him for that purpose, also shall have power to inspect places. all books, papers, records or places within the state for the purpose of ascertaining facts to enable the administrator to administer this act.
SEC. 7. If fuel (1) be held, contracted for or Fuel adminarranged for by any person in a quantity in excess of require sale of reasonable requirements for use and consumption by himself and dependents for a reasonable time; or (2)
places in which
inspect books, records or