Hibbard, Lieut.-Col. F.W.
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Mistaken ideas as to the purport or range of duties of the Public Utilities Commission. Drawing our attention to some of the marked modern tendencies in social and economic organization. The growth of very great cities. The demand and response to that demand for increased and increasing transportation facilities. The growth of corporations with vast power, vast capital and vast administrative capacity. Mergers that have led us to a very acute stage in regard to the administration and the carrying on of public service. The essential need in regard to great public utilities that the field should be just as wide as possible. Getting into the realm of necessary monopolies. The need for a single service to do the work and a single service capable of doing so. The desire for work well done at a reasonable price. Reasons for monopolistic enterprise. Guarding against the tendency to create monopolies by municipal contracts and the failure to do so. The trial of municipal ownership. The organization just a year ago of the Quebec Utilities Commission. The purpose and authority of this Commission, with illustration. Defining Public Utility Commissions as a sort of supervising permanent body of arbitrators to come, just as occasion demands, quickly, efficiently and promptly, between those persons who carry on a great necessary service that the public require in a way that necessarily means a benefit to the public utility as well as to the public at large. The power that must be given to such a Commission. Legal limitations. The work of the Quebec Commission, with illustrative example. Choosing Commissioners which a great degree of care; the kind of man that is needed. A matter in regard to the Ontario Railway Municipal Board. Limitations in the field of the Public Service Commission by one emphatic fact: that it should only interfere, that it should only have authority to interfere and control, where there is a necessary monopoly, or where there is usurpation of public property or public rights.