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2d Session. 5
7 No. 1243.
JUDICIAL DIVISION OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON.
FEBRUARY 27, 1904.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state
of the Union and ordered to be printed.
Mr. SMITH, of Kentucky, from the Committee on the Judiciary, sub
mitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 2531.]
The Committee on the Judiciary, having had under consideration H. R. 2531, H. R. 6294, and H. R. 11965, to divide the State of Washington into two judicial districts, submit the following report:
There are two propositions to be decided; one is, is another district necessary in the State of Washington; and, if so, how shall the State be divided ?
ANOTHER DISTRICT IS NECESSARY.
The State of Washington constitutes one United States judicial district. It has a population of over 750,000 and an area of over 69,000 square miles. It is about 450 miles long east and west, and 200 miles wide north and south. Litigation, arising out of its commerce, navigation, waterways, lumbering, railroads, mines, mining, public lands, forest reseryes, irrigation, and other industries, is rapidly increasing. The one district judge does practically all the business, as the circuit judge very seldom visits the district. The present judge transacts a very large amount of business, especially when compared with the business done by many other district judges. So much business can not be done by one judge with justice and fairness to the litigants. The following statement shows the cases, exclusive of bankruptcy cases, terminated during the years 1900, 1901, 1902, and 1903 in Washington and the other districts named:
California (two district
410 133 401 404
239 214 413 502
57 315 141 519 445
55 264 189 319 574
The number of civil cases, exclusive of bankruptcy cases, terminated
Washington's total, as will be seen, is more than the total for Idaho,
Taking a period of ten years, between June 30, 1892, and June 30,
.. 3, 226
During the same period the following shows the amounts for which
The States of California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are taken for the purpose of comparison, and to understand fully the significance of the figures it should be remembered that during all the said ten years' period California had 2 district judges and 2 circuit judges, except for about one year of the time, when there was but 1 resident circuit judge. Pennsylvania had 2 circuit judges and 2 district judges until 1901, when the number of district judges was increased to 3. Wisconsin had 1 circuit judge and 2 district judges. Washington has had but 1 resident Federal judge, upon whom ha3 devolved the duties of presiding judge in the circuit court as well as in the district court. He has been required to do practically all the business of his district, and it seems to your committee that the foregoing facts establish beyond question and controversy the necessity for an additional district in the State of Washington.
HOW SHOULD THE STATE BE DIVIDED?
The Cascade Mountains extend north and south and divide the State into two natural divisions, similar in shape and almost equal in area and known as “eastern” and “western” Washington. The only means of transportation connecting these two divisions are the Northern Pacific and the Great Northern railroads. Each section has its own system of transportation and communication. In the western district are railroad lines running north and south with their branches, and also Puget Sound with its various lines of water transportation, all centering at Seattle and Tacoma, the two principal cities, 35 miles apart and easily and cheaply accessible to all points in this section. The eastern district is traversed by many railroad lines centering at Spokane, thereby making it the principal point of business in eastern Washington and easily accessible to the different localities of this section.
Three bills have been introduced and referred to your committee providing for different methods of division. One divides the State by a line running along the summit of the Cascade Mountains into an eastern and a western district. One divides the State by an irregular line running east and west along county lines into a northern and a southern district, and the third takes the northwestern quarter of the State and makes one district and leaves the remainder of the State in the second district.
Each of these divisions apportions the population practically the same, the advantage, if any, in this respect being with the northwestern division.
On the basis of the number of cases disposed of last year none of the proposed divisions makes an equal apportionment of the business done, the northwestern division more nearly doing so and the division into an eastern and western district next. While the necessity for relief to the present judge is entitled to weight, the great desideratum in any division should be the convenience and economy to the Government and to litigants, and in this respect the division of the State into an eastern and a western district is just, fair, and equitable.
The present headquarters of the court is at Seattle, in the western section of the State, and to reach there from eastern Washington one must travel from 150 to 350 miles, and this necessarily entails
upon the Government and litigants having business before the headquarters of the district very great expense which, in the case of individuals, is almost prohibitive. To divide the State in any other way than into eastern and western districts doubtless would place the headquarters of the new district at Tacoma, on the west side of the State, only about 35 miles from Seattle, leaving eastern Washington just as far from headquarters as at the present time and leave it without any benefit because, in the transaction of business at headquarters, litigants, counsel, and witnesses would have to travel just as far as they do now, and the expense to the Government in transporting its prisoners and witnesses would be as great as at present, The judges would have to travel just as far to hold court away from their home city. No section of western Washington would be more convenient to the court than at present nor receive any greater benefit, except possibly Tacoma.
The committee was much impressed with an editorial, under date of January 2, 1900, which appeared in the Tacoma Daily News, one of the leading papers of Tacoma, in which the situation is presented very tersely and very impartially, from which we quote the following:
The east and west line is entirely and selfishly for the benefit of Tacoma; no one would gain by it save the people of this city. Tacoma already has a court room and a clerk; she would gain a resident judge - perhaps one of her own citizens would be named-and some little income from visiting litigants and witnesses. That is all there would be "in it” for Tacoma. The eastern part of the State is not considered at all in the east and west proposition. Judge Hanford would have to travel just as far to hold court in Spokane; the Tacoma judge would have to chase a few hundred miles down to Walla Walla, and the two judges, at home, would be just 30 miles apart.
There is no question but that the State should be divided and Judge Hanford relieved of some of his judicial burdens, but the proper division is along a north and south line at the summit of the mountains. Tacoma has no right to demand a judge at the expense of the eastern part of the State simply because Seattle happens to have one. The News' idea of politics is to be fair and unselfish, and, if it is not mistaken, that is also the Tacoma idea.
The court will be relieved; there will be a judicial headquarters in each great section of the State, and the 300,000 people in eastern Washington will be able to transact their business without crossing the State.
Your committee have therefore accepted H. R. 2531, introduced by Mr. Jones, as the proper division because it divides the State by a natural mountainous line into two compact districts similar in shape and of practically the same area, thus relieving the judge, conveniencing the people of each district, and lessening the expense to the Government and to litigants, and we recommend its passage and that H. R. 6294 and H. R. 11965 be laid on the table.
1 No. 1244.
PORT OF DELIVERY AT SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH.
FEBRUARY 29, 1904.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state
of the Union and ordered to be printed.
Mr. GROSVENOR, from the Committee on Ways and Means, submitted
the following REPORT.
[To accompany S. 201.)
The Committee on Ways and Means, to whom was referred the bill (S. 201) to establish a port of delivery at Salt Lake City, Utah, having considered the same, report it back with a favorable recommendation.
The report of the Senate Committee is hereto attached and made a part of this report.
The Committee on Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (S. 201) to establish a port of delivery at Salt Lake City, Utah, having considered the same, report it with an amendment and as amended recommend its passage.
The bill thus amended has the approval of the Treasury Department, as will appear by the annexed letter, the amendment referred to therein having been incorporated in the bill as reported.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,
Washington, November 18, 1903. SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of a letter, dated the 16th instant, from the clerk to your committee, with which was inclosed, with the request that I submit an expression of my views thereon, Senate bill 201, providing for the establishment of a port of delivery at Salt Lake City, extending to that place the privileges of the seventh section of the act approved June 10, 1880, governing the transportation of dutiable merchandise without appraisement, and providing for the appointment of a surveyor of customs to reside at said port whose salary shall be $1,000 per annam and the usual fees and commissions, not to exceed $5,000 per annum.
In reply I have to state that I see no objection to the passage of the bill establishing the place named as a port of delivery, but recommend that the compensation of the surveyor be fixed at $1,000 per annum in lieu of all fees and commissions of every kind whatsoever. Respectfully,
H. A. TAYLOR,
Acting Secretary. Hon. WM. P. FRYE,
Chairman Committee on Commerce, United States Senate.