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package, ranging from three cents per bale of cotton bats weighing fifty pounds, to thirty cents per bale of domestic rags weighing two thousand pounds; and for boxes from two cents to thirty cents each, according to weight or measurement. The schedule specifies about three hundred and fifty different articles of merchandise, from anchors at fifty cents each, to wheelbarrows at four cents each.
From a thorough examination of the above schecule, I believe the amount of wbarfage collected in the port of Boston upon the different articles enumerated therein is more than quadruple the amount collected as tolls upon the same classes of merchandise in the port of San Francisco, and upon which no wbarfage is ever collected.
In order to a full understanding of the distinction between dockage, wharfage, and tolls, as applied to the vessel and merchandise, I will here state that dockage is the charge made against the vessel for the privilege of lying at the wharf while discharging and receiving cargo. Wharfage is the amount charged on any merchandise lying upon the wharves beyond a certain number of days; and toll is the amount charged the driver of the vehicle carrying said merchandise upon or from the wbarf. Dockage is charged by the day, and according to the tonpage of the vessel. Wharfage is seldom charged, and never on outward cargo. It is only collected upon merchandise left upon the wharf beyond a certain number of days, and then only when it prevents other vessels from the use of the wharf during a press of business when other berths cannot be furnished, and the amount is in the aggregate very small. For the list of cbarges as made by this Board, I respectfully refer your honorable Committee to the pamphlet which has been furnished you containing the same.
The rates of dockage as now fixed and collected may seem, and they really are, very high, as compared with the port of Boston. But they were fixed by revision of the rates charged before the organization of this Board, and were slightly reduced by such revision and were appli. cable to vessels under the old measurement.
By a recent Act of Congress a new measurement was required of all vessels carrying the United States flag. Under that Act the tonnage of all vessels was reduced from ten to thirty per cent., thereby reducing the dockage charges in that amount below what they were two years ago. Since the new measurement was completed, this Board has carefully compiled from the Custombouse Register the tonpage of all vessels doing business with this port, and the charge is made upon the tonnage of the vessel under the new measurement. Under our rates of tolls, a vehicle with one horse is charged twenty-five cents; with two horses, fifty cents.
It will be in ferred that a load for one horse would be about three thousand pounds, while a load for two horses would be about six thousand pounds; whereas, the custom is where a one-horse vehicle is used, a lead horse is used to draw the load through the streets and is unbitched before going upon the wharf with the load of from four to five tons, paying only the toll of a one-horse vehicle, viz: twenty-five cents, thereby reducing the toll to five or six and one-quarter cents per ton; while the two-borse vehicle often has a pair of lead horses, with a load of seven tons, and the same process is repeated; paying as tolls fifty cents, or about seven cents per ton.
It will be seen, therefore, from the above facts, that the charges are really not so great as appears to the casual observer, and are not so much above—including dockage and tolls—Eastern ports. It must be borne in mind, also, that San Francisco is in its infancy; that her wbarves have been built at great expense ; that the sea wall has but just been commenced, and that the law under which this Board was organized contemplates the erection of said sea wall from revenues to be collected from the commerce of the port; that the wharves in Boston are owned by private individuals or companies, competing for the business of the port, and are permanent structures, and from which the owners are only expecting a moderate interest on their capital; that the wages of labor, the cost of material, and all other expenses of conducting a wharf in this port, are much greater than in Eastern ports.
The great necessity for the speedy construction of a sea wall along this water front, and the length of time requisite to build the same, if accomplished with the revenues of commerce, will preclude, in my opinion, the reduction of the charges in any considerable amount. If it should be done, what benefits would accrue to the State of California, or to the city of San Francisco by such a reduction? If it could be shown to the satisfaction of the community that the commerce of this port could be increased by such a change, then such a change would certainly be desirable. It will not be claimed by any one at all conversant with the laws of trade, that such would be the case. It is a well known fact that the commerce of this port is limited in amount, though steadily on the increase, and cannot be forced by any legislation such as is contemplated.. It has been argued by some that if the charges on shipping could be reduced one half, that more vessels would come here to obtain charters, and that freights would be correspondingly reduced, and that farmers would get a better price for their produce. Can it be for a moment presumed by any one at all conversant with commercial affairs, that vessels would be sent here from Eastern and foreign ports in ballast, seeking charters merely because the dockage and other port charges were decreased in the amount of one or two hundred dollars, more or less ? I think not.
From careful estimates made by this Board, it has been ascertained that it will require at least ten years to build the sea wall, upon the economical plan adopted, if no changes are made in the rates of dockage. If the Legislature should in its wisdom deem it advisable to provide for the issuance of bonds for the construction of said work, pledging the revenues of the port in payment of the interest, and to create a sinking fund to pay such bonds at maturity, it would require very careful consideration to determine, in that event, whether the charges could be materially reduced. By reference to the statutes of eighteen hundred and sixtythree and sixty-four, section eleven, page four hundred and eleven, it will be perceived that this Board now bas the power to reduce the dockage twenty-five per cent below present rates, which it will proceed to do whenever in its judgment the interests of commerce will be enhanced thereby, and the objects of the law accomplished. In view of all the facts as within set forth, I am decidedly of the opinion that no legislation reducing the rates of charges is necessary, but that the whole matter should be left to the discretion of this Board, wbich is presumed to bave a more thorough knowledge of the subject matter than can be obtained by any parties that have given it little or no attention. In the opinions herein expressed, and the facts set forth, I have the concurrence of my colleagues in the Board, the subject having been fully discussed on several occasions. All of which is respectfully submitted by your obedient servant,
S. S. TILTON,
SAN DIEGO DELEGATION
UPON THE BILL ENTITLED
An Act concerning the San Diego and Gila Southern Pacific and Atlantic Railroad Company, and to extend the time of performing certain acts.
For the bill referred to the San Diego delegation, the accompanying substitute is hereby reported, and its passage recommended.
This company was formed under the general railroad Act of this state, approved April twenty-second, eighteen hundred and fifty-four, with a capital stock of four million dollars, divided into forty thousand shares of one hundred dollars each, to continue fifty years, " for the purpose,” as expressed in the articles of incorporation, "of constructing, making and maintaining a railroad from a point on the Bay of San Diego, thence eastwardly, by the most direct practicable route, through the County of San Diego to the Colorado River, at or near the mouth of the Gila river, a distance of about one hundred and forty miles.” The full amount required by law was subscribed, and ten per cent. upon the same paid to the Treasurer, as shown by the articles on file in the office of the Secretary of State, November seventh, eighteen hundred and fifty-four. By Act approved April thirtieth, eighteen hundred and fifty-five, the Trustees of the City of San Diego were authorized to convey to the company two leagues of the "pueblo lands,” immediately upon or adjacent to the Bays of San Diego, no lot to be less than fifty yards front. • The lands so conveyed,” it is provided, “ may either be sold, leased or bypothecated, for the purpose of raising funds to construct the said road, and the procuring of the necessary machinery for the same, but for no other purpose.' This Act having been submitted to the vote of the people, was unanimously approved by them at the election. The Act allowed ten years for the completion of the work, which term was further extended by the Legislature in the year eighteen hundred and sixty-four.
The company now ask for a further extension of six years, in the belief that this will be amply sufficient for the accomplishment of the objects of its creation.
In the year eighteen hundred and fifty-five, the survey was completed, at considerable expense for the company, by Charles H. Poole, civil engineer, the result of which is annexed. His full report will be found in Vol. VII of the United States Pacific Railroad surveys, in the report of Lieutenant John G. Parke. From this it will be seen that one certainly feasible route for a railroad does exist through that county by the San Diego River and Warner's Pass, and without entering Mexican Territory, its highest grade, and that for only a short distance, being one hundred