The bureau of corporations as a part of the department of commerce and labor has, as its main purpose, authority "to gather, compile, publish, and supply useful information concerning corporations doing business within the limits of the United States that shall engage in interstate commerce or commerce between the United States and any foreign country, including corporations engaged in insurance. The bureau of corporations has nothing whatever to do with common carriers. It cannot investigate the Standard Oil company's rebate system on railroads nor the operations of tank cars and ships. It cannot touch private car lines nor any subsidiary corporations on railroads by means of which the beef trust, steel trust, and almost every other trust manages to do business to the exclusion of smaller rivals. All that belongs to the interstate commerce commission, and the bureau of corporations is by law forbidden to investigate common carriers.

Trusts

The modern industrial trust is merely a large corporation composed of a number of smaller corporations, enterprises previously separate, and, usually, under independent management.

Cumulative Voting

Certain states permit the option of "bunching" or distributing votes, at the will of the voter. This is permissible in New York, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, the constitution of the New York law reading, "That at all elections of directors of such corporation each stockholder shall be entitled to as many votes as shall equal the number of his shares of stock, multiplied by the number of directors to be elected, and that he may cast all of such votes for a single director or may distribute them among the number to be voted for, or any two or more of them, as he sees fit, which right when exercised shall be termed cumulative voting"