and to be placed in charge of Colonel William M. Wadley, assistant adjutant-general, with four or more assistants, said assistants to be located at central convenient points in different sections of the country. That it be made the duty of such bureau, through its chief and assistants, to superintend all Government transportation, but not to have the control or direction of the motive power or cars by which such transportation is made; to agree with each railroad company in the Confederacy upon rates of passage for troops, and for rates of freight for the establishment of such schedules as may be found necessary and proper for the speedy transportation of army, navy, and other Government supplies; tot make arrangements for the comfortable accommodation of sick and wounded officers and soldiers, and generally to protect and preserve the interest of the Confederacy in the premises, and to audit all claims arising under such contracts. That all orders or requests for Government transportation of every kind shall be made under such rules and regulations as may be established by the railroad bureau.
Second. That until such arrangements and agreements be made by the railroad bureau with the railroad companies, those companies shall be paid the rates of passage and freight established at the railroad meeting held at Augusta, Ga., on the 15th day of December last (except when special contracts have been made), and that the companies shall, as they have always hitherto done, give precedence to Government transportation over that of individuals.
Third. That the several railroad companies be supplied through the railroad bureau with all such tools and materials as the Government can, consistently with the wants of the Army and Navy, from time to time furnish at fair prices to be agreed on, and also with such iron rails as may at any time come into possession of Government, by impressment or otherwise, from railroads deemed unimportant, or comparatively unimportant, for Government transportation.
The committee believe that a considerable portion of the supply necessary tmportant railroads of the country could be secured at once by the exercise of a spirit of liberality on the part of the Government - a liberality imperiously demanded by the pressing wants of those companies. There is a rolling [-mill] at Atlanta, Ga., which was established by pecuniary aid given by railroad companies of Georgia, and which never would have been established without such aid, engaged exclusively on Government work. That establishment, as well as all or nearly all the other iron-works in the country, have been during the war engaged by the Government, and thus the railroads have been deprived of every means of supply. Let the Government forego further work at the Atlanta rolling-mill entirely and concert measures for having the Tredegar rolling machinery in thorough working order to reroll all rails presented and great relief will be given.
The committee believe that the Government should give substantial encouragement to the building up of furnaces, forges, iron-works, machine-shops, and car factories by individuals or by railroad or other incorporated companies. Such works founded on private capital cannot be imported until the Government shall (in addition to assurances already given by the Mining Bureau when applied to) publicly pledge its faith that none of them shall ever be impressed or taken for Government use. If such pledge be given, there is no doubt that private enterprise and capital would in a short space of time build up establishments of the kind most needed by the railroads. The railroad companies do not seek any pecuniary aid from Govern