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show only the interest on funded debt and do not include any allowance on the permanent investments of the Chinese Government. This information is given to show the margin of safety that the Chinese Government has in meeting the fixed expenses on this group of railways. It should be realized,
of course, that as loans are amortized this margin of safety will be increased from year to year.
SURPLUS OR DEFICIT. The Chinese Government has a good margin of surplus at the present time for meeting the interest charges on the funded debt, and this will increase from year to year. This, of course, does not include the funded debt on the Hukuang Railways, which for the present makes a considerable reduction; when these lines are completed, however, it will doubtless not be long before they will be meeting all their own interest charges and probably producing a surplus. It is felt by the writer that the financial status of the Chinese Government Railways is really much better than has been generally supposed. There is one point in this connection that probably deserves explanation—that is, the equity of the property added from surplus earnings; but the action of the Peking-Mukden bondholders in agreeing to the construction of the Peking-Suiyuan road from surplus earnings of the Peking-Mukden line would seem to have disposed of this question in a manner entirely to the advantage of the Chinese Government.
ORGANIZATION AND ACTIVITIES OF MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS,
DEVELOPMENT AND GENERAL FUNCTIONS. The first step toward the organization of a board for the central control of railways was an edict issued in 1898. Kent gives a translation of a portion of this edict, as follows: Railways and mines are nowadays the most important enterprises in this Empire.
We are, however, apprehensive, in view of the number of Provinces in the Empire and the various conditions of men who will attempt to open mines of all sorts in the future, that a diversity of methods and ensuing confusion will be the result, which would, of course, be detrimental to the principal object we have of getting the fullest advantages obtainable out of each and every undertaking in this direction.
It is therefore highly important that there should be a central bureau to direct, under a single system, the working and exploitation of mines and railways in the Empire, and we hereby command that a Bureau of Control for Railways and Mines be established in Peking, to the two chief commissionerships of which we now specially appoint two ministers of the Tsung-li Yamen, namely, Wang Wen-shao and Chang Yin-huan.
The said two chief commissioners shall from henceforth have special control over the opening of mines and construction of railways throughout the Empire, and companies formed for the above purposes will in future be required to apply to the said commissioners for permission and guidance in their operations.
This board went out of existence when the Tsung-li Yamen was discontinued. The next step was the establishment of the Board of Communications (Yu Chuan Pu, Chinese name) by the imperial edict of November 6, 1906, to control the systems of railways, posts, telegraphs and telephones, and steam navigation. This name was changed to the Ministry of Communications (Chiaotung Pu) after the establishment of the Republic, and the latter designation has been generally employed in this report. There is a president and vice president, with a staff for the direction of the several departments. The general administration of the departments of posts and telegraphs and telephones is handled by the Ministry of Communications. The railway administration is in general along the following lines:
The Chiaotung Pu (Ministry of Communications) is the contracting branch of the Chinese Government for the financing and construction of new railways and the extensions, additions, and betterments to existing lines.
A Commission for the Unification of Railway Accounts and Statistics was created in 1913. Hon. K. C. Yih, then director-general of railways and now vice president of the Ministry of Communications, was and still is chairman; Dr. C. C. Wang, then associate director and now managing director of the Peking-Hankow Railway, was and still is vice chairman; and Dr. Henry C. Adams, of the United States, acted as adviser. The result of this commission has been the working out and adoption for use on all the Chinese Government Railways of an excellent system of unified accounts and statistics. The membership of the present standing committee is as follows:
Chairman: Hon. Yih Kung-Chau, vice president, Ministry of Communications. Vice chairman: Dr. Wang Ching-chun, managing director Peking - Hankow
Railway Member: C. S. Liu, chief accountant, Ministry of Communications. Member: H. C. Chang, Ministry of Communications. Member: Y. C. Wang, Ministry of Communications. Member: S. F. Yih, Ministry of Communications. Member: H. G. Yu, Ministry of Communications. Member: H. Y. Hu, Ministry of Communications. Member: C. K. Tsao, Ministry of Communications. Member: W. Henderson, Peking-Mukden Railway. Member: H. C. Lee, Peking-Suiyuan Railway. Member: K. Y. Pao, Tientsin-Pukow Railway. Member: T. K. Tchéng, Peking-Hankow Railway. Member: B. Billion, Peking-Hankow Railway. Member: T. Cheu, Cheng-Tai Railway. Member: A. Louillet, Pienlo Railway. Member: Souen-Souen, Pienlo Railway. Member: C. P. Yin, Shanghai-Nanking Railway. Member: H. Middleton, Shanghai-Nanking Railway. Member: T. G. J. Brown, Canton-Hankow Railway. Member: C. L. Chen, Canton-Hankow Railway. The system of accounts is certainly one of the best, if not actually the best, that has ever been worked out in any country up to this time. It provides for classification of capital expenditures, operating revenue, operating expenses, income account, profit and loss account, and general balance sheet, and, in addition, provides a very excellent arrangement of a classified surplus appropriation account, which might be adopted to advantage in the American system of railway accounts.
In adopting the various features careful study was made of all the other systems of accounts in use, and, as the methods on the various railways in China represented nearly all known practices, full advantage was taken of the good points of each. In view of the beneficial results accruing from the work of this commission, the outlook would seem hopeful for unifying some of the other features of the Chinese railways as suggested later in this report.
As a rule, purchases are made by the managements of the different railways, particularly in a number of cases where a certain procedure is required by the railway loan agreement; but there have been a number of instances in which certain purchases have been directed or consummated by the Ministry of Communications, and it appears that there is a decided tendency on the part of the Ministry to take over the handling of certain classes of purchases. The purchases for the departments of posts and telegraphs and telephones are largely handled directly by the Ministry of Communications, and it is very likely that in the course of time this practice will increase in connection with the purchase of railway requirements, with the ultimate result that all purchases for all these departments will be handled by this central organization. Equipment for the joint use of a number of the lines (such, for instance, as freight cars) might be bought through an equipment trust certificate scheme, and this may be regarded as a probable future arrangement. Such negotiations will probably be handled by the Ministry of Communications.
CONSTRUCTION OF NEW LINES. The general direction of all new lines of railway is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Communications. For the larger projects, such as the Hukuang Railways, it is the rule to have a director general in charge of the entire set of projects and, in addition, a managing director in charge of the different railways, such as the CantonHankow line. The approval of locations, plans, and specifications and the inviting and accepting of tenders are supervised through the director general and the managing directors.
REGULATION OF FARES AND RATES. There is, it may be said, no commercial traffic department in the Chinese Government railways organization. The conduct of transportation and the commercial arrangements both come under what (as on the Australian railways) is called the traffic department.
The shortage of freight equipment of all classes has been chronic on all the lines for several years past, and the railways have moved what freight they could handle with the equipment they had, so there has been little occasion to have an organization for soliciting business. One result of this condition has been that there is very little interchange of business between the different lines, since each railway will not allow its cars to get away onto the other lines, although the per diem is usually $3 Mex. for a 20-ton car and a pro rata charge for cars of larger capacity. There are seldom through rates in effect between the different lines. In a number of instances there are forwarding companies that take the shipments on the originating line, look after trans-shipments at junction points, and follow over the terminating line; but such companies, of course, have to make their profits and pay all the various kinds of expenses, so the combined cost is high-especially when there is any “squeeze prevailing, which is said frequently to be the case.
The Ministry of Communications exercises very little actual direction over the commercial traffic; instead, this comes almost entirely under the direction of the management of the several railways, each
system issuing its own tariffs and traffic regulations. No tariffs are issued by the Ministry of Communications.
PASSENGER FARES. First-class, second-class, and third-class fares prevail on all the lines, and on some lines, such as the Tientsin-Pukow, there is what is called a "coolie rate,” which in effect is a workman's or laborer's
The fares on the Peking-Mukden and Tientsin-Pukow, which can be considered typical, are approximately as follows: Firstclass, 6 cents; second class, 4 cents; third class, 2 cents; TientsinPukow coolie rate, 1 cent. All these are Mexican cents. On the Peking-Suiyuan line the rates are 6.5 cents (Mex.), 4; cents, and 2} cents, but the passenger travel on this line is light as compared with that on the Peking-Mukden line. The Shanghai-Nanking fares, on account of water competition, are lower than those above mentioned and are approximately as follows: First class, 4.25 cents (Mex.); second class, 2.35 cents; third class, 1.15 cents; coolie class, 0.75 cents.
The percentage of first and second class travel is small, and the third class constitutes the bulk of the business on all the lines. The following table-an analysis of passenger service during 1916– shows these percentages on the Peking-Mukden and Tientsin-Pukow lines, which are considered typical. The total number of passengers carried on the Peking-Mukden was 3,671,254, from which the revenue was $6,215,460 Mex., and the Tientsin-Pukow carried 2,914,188, from which the revenue was $4,273,746 Mex.
First-class passengers are usually allowed 150 pounds of baggage free, second class 100 pounds, and third class 80 pounds. Excess is charged at the rate of į cent (Mex.) per mile for each picul (133} pounds). As a matter of fact, particularly in the case of third-class passengers, a very large amount of luggage is carried in the cars by the passengers. This tendency is accentuated by the fact that the registering (checking) is attended with some trouble and risk of loss and the payment for lost baggage is rather small, amounting in no case to more than $50 Mex. for a piece of first-class baggage and less for the lower classes. On most lines, however, there is an arrangement for insurance of baggage when it is checked. The allowable amounts are from $50 to $200 Mex., and the premium is at the rate of 1 per cent.
Figure 25, facing page 97, shows a type of baggage truck used on the Peking-Hankow Railway, and the luggage shown is typical of the miscellaneous materials shipped as passengers' baggage.
Again taking the Peking-Mukden as typical of the Chinese Government Railways, one finds the freight rates per mile and classifications in effect as shown by the following table. This same table shows the rates in effect on the Peking-Suiyuan line:
Dangerous and offensive goods are included in the “dangerous” classification. Class 1 includes the majority of merchandise. The Peking-Suiyuan classification tends to give actually a lower rate, for the reason that there are more articles in the lower classes.
On the Peking-Mukden the minimum haul charged for is 35 miles, except in some special cases, when this is reduced to 30 miles. A demurrage charge of $10 Mex. per day is made for a 20-ton car, and cars of other capacities are charged for pro rata for any time in excess of 12 hours for unloading or loading. The Peking-Suiyuan rate is $6, Mex., for a 20-ton car, with cars of other capacities pro rata. No car-performance statistics are available for the Chinese Government Railways, but it is quite obvious that they are getting full use of their equipment. It is stated that the average freight car completes a full cycle of loading, movement, and unloading every five days.
The rules regarding fines that are effective on the Peking-Suiyuan line seem sufficiently interesting to warrant the reprinting of the actual text of them:
RULE 4.—The consignor must report to the station master the exact weight in piculs and the number of pieces of retailed goods, and if this is falsely declared he will be fined 5 times the ordinary freight on any excess weight within 10 piculs, 10 times within 20 piculs, and 30 times when it is over 20 piculs.
Rule 5.-Cars should be loaded according to their tonnage capacity. A 10-ton car can be loaded 1 picul over its carrying capacity, a 20-ton car 2 piculs, and a 30-ton car 3 piculs. The consignor will be fined 5 times the ordinary freight on any excess weight up to 1 ton, 10 times up to 2 tons, and 30 times when it is over 2 tons.
Rule 6.-Seventy per cent of the fines charged on excess weight found either at intermediate or receiving stations will belong to the station, and 30 per cent will be awarded to the discoverers. On the other hand, if the man who weighed the goods at the stations purposely gave a wrong weight, then these men and the owners of the goods must each pay half the fine, or they may be put under arrest if the case is serious.