The New International Encyclopædia/Labor and Commerce, Department of

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The New International Encyclopædia
Labor and Commerce, Department of

LABOR AND COMMERCE, Department of. One of the nine executive departments of the United States Government, created by act of Congress of February 11, 1903, and presided over by a Secretary, who is a member of the Cabinet and one of the officers in line of succession to the Presidency. His salary and tenure are the same as those of the other members of the Cabinet. The act of Congress creating the new department charges it with the duty of fostering, promoting, and developing the foreign and domestic commerce of the United States, mining, manufacturing, and fishery industries, the interests of labor, improvement of transportation facilities, and the supervision of the business of insurance. The organization of the department consists of a Bureau of Corporations, a Bureau of Manufactures, the Bureau of Labor, the Lighthouse Board, the lighthouse establishment, the steamboat-inspection service, the Bureau of Navigation, the Bureau of Standards, the Coast and Geodetic Survey, the immigration service, including the enforcement of the Chinese exclusion acts, the Bureau of Statistics of the Treasury Department, the Shipping Commissioner, the Bureau of Foreign Commerce (formerly in the Department of State), the Census Bureau, and the Fish Commission, including control of the fur-seal, salmon, and other fisheries of Alaska. An entirely new feature is the Bureau of Corporations, to which is given partial jurisdiction of the control of trusts and trade combinations. At the head of this bureau is a Commissioner of Corporations, with a salary of $5000. He is charged with making 'diligent investigation' into the organization, conduct, and management of the business of any corporation or joint-stock company engaged in commerce among the several States and with foreign nations, excepting common carriers, who are subject to the Interstate Commerce Act. He is furthermore required to collect information and data relative to foreign and interstate commerce, and to report the same to the President. To him is given the same power with respect to corporations and joint-stock companies as is conferred upon the Interstate Commerce Commission in respect to common carriers, including the right to subpœna and compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses.