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POINTS DECIDED BY THE COMMISSION SINCE ITS ORGANIZATION.
In re The Southern Pacific Railroad Company. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 6.)
1. The Commission will not make an order for relief under the fourth section of the act to regulate commerce except upon verified petition and after investigation into the facts.
In re The Petition of the Order of Railway Conductors.
(1 I. C. C. Rep., 8.)
In re The Petition of the Traders and Travelers' Union. 2. The Commission will not express opinions on abstract questions, nor on questions presented by ex parte statements of fact, nor on questions of construction of the statute presented for its advice but without any controversy pending before it on complaint of violation of law.
3. Where the question on which advice is sought is whether carriers subject to the act may now grant any particular right or privilege which they were accustomed to grant before, the carriers should, in the first instance, determine it for themselves, and if it is then complained that what they do violates the act, the question can be brought before the Commission on complaint, and it will then have jurisdiction to decide it.
In re Indian Supplies. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 15.)
4. When under the statute the Government contracts for the delivery of the supplies needed for the Indian service, at New York and other points designated, and then advertises for bids for the transportation of the supplies from the points of delivery to the points where they are to be made use of, this transportation at the cost of the Government is for the United States" within the meaning of section 22 of the act to regulate commerce, and is not required to be made at the regular published rates.
In re The Iowa Barbed Steel Wire Company. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 17.)
5. The Interstate Commerce Commission has not been given authority to authorize the grant by railroad companies of special privileges to individuals or corporations, or to sanction such as are not in harmony with the act to regulate commerce, or to suspend that act for the benefit of particular industries.
6. Whether railroad companies ought to grant a particular special privilege which would not be illegal, the Commission would not undertake to say on ex parte application.
7. A petition was presented by a manufacturing corporation, which recited in substance that railroad companies had been accustomed to permit it to procure its raw material at a distance, manufacture its goods therefrom, and then ship the goods to a market at the same aggregate rate for transportation of both raw material and manufactured goods as would be charged had there been no stoppage in transit and no manufacture; that this privilege of manufacturing in transit was valuable to the corporation and to the community in which its business was located, and wronged no one; and petitioner prayed that it might be sanctioned by the Commission. But no authority to that effect having been conferred upon the Commission, the petition was dismissed.
In re The St. Louis Millers' Association. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 20.)
8. The Commission reiterates that it has no authority to order or sanction the giving of special privileges.
9. "Milling in transit" having long been permitted by common carriers to millers at certain points, and a large quantity of “transits" being said to be out, which can be and are made use of to give millers at Minneapolis an advantage in rates over those at St. Louis, the Commission can not correct the wrong by giving or authorizing special rates to the St. Louis millers.
H. Doc. 146, 58-3-9
In re United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 21.) 10. The United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries being one of the agencies of Government, and the distribution of fish and fish eggs by it being made by authority of the Government, the transportation of the fish and fish eggs so distributed falls within the exception contained In section 22 of the act to regulate commerce, and the rate is not governed by the published tariff.
11. The question of free transportation to employees and agents of the Commission and of the National Museum raised, but not passed upon.
In re Export Trade of Boston.
(1 I. C. C. Rep., 24.)
12. It seems not to be illegal for railroad companies connecting Boston with western points to make the rates from such points to Boston upon grain and provisions for export as low as the rates to New York, although the rates upon like property for local consumption are higher to Boston than to New York, the distance being somewhat greater.
13. Reasons given why this may be a necessity of the situation.
In re Disabled Soldiers and Sailors. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 28.)
14. Whether since the passage of the act to regulate commerce it is competent for the carriers subject to it to grant free transportation of persons to those who are proper subjects of charity the Commission will not undertake to say when no controversy is pending before it which raises the question.
In re Annapolis, Washington and Baltimore R. R. Co. et al. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 315.)
15. So far as a railroad company whose line is entirely within one State issues through bills of lading over its connecting lines to points in other States, and makes through rates, it falls under the provision of the interstate-commerce act.
The Missouri and Illinois Railroad Tie and Lumber Company . The Cape Girardeau and Southwestern Railway Company. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 30.) 16. The fact that the owner of merchandise which is offered to a carrier for transportation from one point to another in the same State intends to have it further transported by a second carrier into another State does not make such first transportation interstate commerce, or render the carrier subject to the control of the Commission in respect to it, even though such first carrier may be informed of the ultimate destination of the merchandise.
In re Petition of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 31.)
17. When a railroad company claims that the circumstances and conditions of long and short hauls on its lines are so dissimilar as to justify its making the greater charge on the shorter haul, the Commission will not on its petition decide upon the justice of its claim, but will leave it to take the initiative in fixing rates, and will decide upon their justice and propriety when complaint is made by persons or localities who consider themselves injured. On questions of statutory construction involved in such cases the Commission holds :
18. First. That the prohibition in the fourth section of the act to regulate commerce against a greater charge for a shorter than for a longer distance over the same line in the same direction, the shorter being included in the longer distance as qualified therein, is limited to cases in which the circumstances and conditions are substantially similar.
19. Second. That the phrase "under substantially similar circumstances and conditions in the fourth section is used in the same sense as in the second section; and under the qualified form of the prohibition in the fourth section carriers are required to judge in the first instance with regard to the similarity or dissimilarity of the circumstances and conditions that forbid or permit a greater charge for a shorter distance. 20. Third. That the judgment of carriers in respect to the circumstances and conditions is not final, but is subject to the authority of the Commission and of the courts to decide whether error has been committed or whether the statute has been violated. And in case of complaint for
violating the fourth section of the act the burden of proof is on the carrier to justify any departure from the general rule prescribed by the statute by showing that the circumstances and conditions are substantially dissimilar.
21. Fourth. That the provisions of section 1, requiring charges to be reasonable and just, and of section 2, forbidding unjust discrimination, apply when exceptional charges are made under section 4 as they do in other
22. Fifth. That the existence of actual competition which is of controlling force, in respect to traffic important in amount, may make out the dissimilar circumstances and conditions entitling the carrier to charge less for the longer than for the shorter haul over the same line in the same direction, the shorter being included in the longer in the following
1. When the competition is with carriers by water which are not subject to the provisions of the statute.
2. When the competition is with foreign or other railroads which are not subject to the provisions of the statute.
3. In rare and peculiar cases of competition between railroads which are subject to the statute, when a strict application of the general rule of the statute would be destructive of legitimate competition. 23. Sixth. The Commission further decides that when a greater charge in the aggregate is made for the transportation of passengers or the like kind of property for a shorter than for a longer distance over the same line in the same direction, the shorter being included in the longer distance, it is not sufficient justification therefor that the traffic which is subjected to such greater charge is way or local traffic and that which is given the more favorable rates is not.
24. Nor is it sufficient justification for such greater charge that the short-haul traffic is more expensive to the carrier, unless when the circumstances are such as to make it exceptionally expensive, or the long-haul traffic exceptionally inexpensive, the difference being extraordinary and susceptible of definite proof.
Nor that the lesser charge on the longer haul has for its motive the en-
Nor that it is designed to build up business or trade centers.
The fact that long-haul traffic will only bear certain rates is no reason
The Chicago and Alton Railroad Company v. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company; The Same v. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company; The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad Company v. The New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 86.)
25. The defendants adopted a regulation that they would not sell tickets for and over the line of a connecting road unless such connecting road would abstain from paying commissions to their agents on the sales made, and would make promise to that effect. Such a regulation is reasonable, and therefore legal.
26. A railroad company has a right to insist that its agents shall be its employees exclusively, and it is not obliged to permit any other company to make them its employees also.
27. The requirement in the act to regulate commerce that common carriers shall "afford all reasonable, proper, and equal facilities for the interchange of traffic between their respective lines and for the receiving, forwarding, and delivering of passengers and property to and from their several lines and those connecting therewith," will not require a railroad company to sell through tickets over the line of a road whose managers persist in offering commissions to the agents who sell such tickets.
28. The practice of paying commissions to the agents of other roads on tickets sold over the road of the company paying the same, condemned as demoralizing, and as an improper drain on corporate resources.
29. If a passage ticket over several roads is a reasonable facility of travel, the privilege of paying a commission to the agent who sells it, and who would be required by duty to his employer to sell it when called for, without any commission therefor, can not be regarded as an incident to the facility, and therefore can not be insisted on.
Holbrook et al. v. St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railroad Company. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 102.)
30. No order can be made against a railroad company on complaint which is not supported by evidence.
31. If a railroad company avows a purpose to comply with the law, it must be assumed that it will do so and is doing so until there is evidence that the purpose is not lived up to.
Fulton . The Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railroad Company; Harding v. the same company. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 104.)
32. Where complaint is made of rates as excessive the burden is upon complainant to make proof of the fact alleged, and if no proofs are put in by either party the complaint will be dismissed. This held in a case in which the rates were much higher than they had at one time been on the same line.
The Providence Coal Company . The Providence and Worcester Railroad Company. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 107.)
33. An offer by a railroad company to give a discount to any consignee who within a year shall receive at any one station a specified amount of freight, which offer purports to be made to secure speedy dispatch, but it is not conditioned on speedy dispatch being made, is void, and if a discount is made to one dealer in pursuance of it, all others will be entitled to a like discount.
34. If the real consideration of the offer were to secure speedy dispatch, it should have been open to all who could accept it, regardless of quantity. 35. An offer of a special discount made professedly on one ground in the published tariff can not, when that ground fails, be supported by referring it to some other and different ground.
36. A railroad company can not support a discount based on quantity of freight received by any one shipper, on the principles which are applied among merchants, whereby they give better prices in wholesale than in retail dealings. The cases are not analogous, since the naming of the quantity of freight that shall be compared to wholesale purchases must necessarily be altogether arbitrary, and the duty of impartial service which the company owes to the public will preclude special discriminations being determined by arbitrary tests.
37. The Providence and Worcester Railroad Company has one terminus on the river in Providence, and another across the river in East Providence; the one in Providence having been first constructed, and the other later, and for the convenience of the company. From the Providence terminus to points reached from both the distance is slightly the less. The company is not at liberty to make from Providence to such common points higher charges than from East Providence, in order to force the business to the latter terminus, and would be chargeable with unjust discrimination if it should do so.
38. The fact that a railroad company for many years has paid the charge for hauling freight from wharves to its station does not bind it to continue that practice, and if not bound by contract it may stop doing so at any time.
The Traders' and Travelers' Union . The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company et al. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 122.)
39. The Commission has no jurisdiction to compel railroad companies to make arrangements whereby commercial travelers or others will be allowed as passengers to take an extra allowance of baggage without extra charge, in consideration of some guaranty against liability.
40. The fact that contracts to that effect are outstanding will not give the *Commission authority to compel their observance, the power to do so not having been conferred upon the Commission by statute.
Burton Stock-Car Company v. Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company et al. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 132.)
41. As the Burton Stock-Car Company does not use cars of railroad companies, or exchange cars in any manner, but rents them to the public for hire, the refusal of the defendants to pay the same mileage allowed on exchanges of cars between each other does not constitute unjust discrimination.
Ottinger v. The Southern Pacific Railroad Company. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 144.) 42. A complaint for unjust discrimination under the act to regulate commerce can not be made to embrace cases which occurred before the act was passed, even though they be similar to one which is complained of, and which arose afterwards.
The Commission has a certain discretion to receive and adjudge complaints made by parties who have no interest in the matter involved; but where a railroad-ticket broker" complained that a party holding a ticket not transferable by its terms has been refused a permission of transfer which was given to another, and produced the affidavit of such party in proof of the fact, it was held that the party himself should complain, if anyone.
44. A prima facie case of unjust discrimination is not shown by the mere exhibition of two tickets for passage, one of which the railroad company has permitted to be transferred and the other not, when the two do not appear to be similar.
Larrison v. The Chicago and Grand Trunk Railway Company; The Michigan Central Railroad Company v. The Same. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 147.)
45. Mileage tickets authorized by section 22 of the act to regulate commerce. 46. Authorization of mileage tickets does not relieve carriers from requirements of reasonableness and impartiality as to rates charged, which are prescribed by other sections of the act.
47. Special contract limiting liability of carrier in mileage tickets to commercial travelers will not justify a lower rate than is charged the public, when same terms are not offered to all who will not accept such special contracts.
48. Must be sold impartially.
Thatcher v. The Delaware and Hudson Canal Company and others. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 152.)
49. The fact that railroad companies accept on through shipments from Chicago to Boston a certain sum as their share for the transportation of the freight from Schenectady to Boston is no ground for compelling them to accept a like sum on local shipments from Schenectady to Boston when it appears that this would be a reduction below the rates made from intermediate stations to Boston, on the same line, and apparently under similar circumstances and conditions. 50. Any order compelling such acceptance would bring the rates charged into conflict with the fourth section of the act to regulate commerce, unless the roads should reduce the rates from the intermediate stations to the level of the rates made from Schenectady. But in the absence of either allegation or proof that the rates from such intermediate stations are excessive, the Commission could not require a reduction.
The Associated Wholesale Grocers of St. Louis v. The Missouri Pacific Railway Company. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 156.)
51. Mileage, excursion, and commutation passenger tickets are each issued for a different purpose, and the price for each kind is determined on special considerations. The charge made for one kind, therefore, does not determine what it will be admissible to charge for either of the others. 52. That $25 for a thousand-mile ticket is too much can not be inferred from the fact that excursion and commutation tickets are sold at rates which would make transportation upon them for a thousand miles less than $25. 53. Mileage tickets when issued must be sold impartially to all who apply for them and on the same terms.
The Boston and Albany Railroad Company v. The Boston and Lowell Railroad Company et al.; The Vermont State Grange v. The Boston and Lowell Railroad Company et al. (1 I. C. C. Rep., 158.)