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from other persons for doing a like and contemporaneous service, constitutes the offence; second, the act of collecting or receiving the compensation is also a misdemeanor.
III. The question, as to what is the “charging,” “ demanding,” collecting," or ceiving” of a greater or less compensation than that charged, demanded, collected, or received from any other person or persons, for doing for him or them “a like and contemporaneous service in the transportation of a like kind of traffic, under substantially similar circumstances and conditions," is one for the courts or for the Inter-State Commerce Commission, as the case may be, to determine. We consider it more fully in connection with the “fourth " section of the Act.
The language is ambiguous and indecisive, and this section of the law was the subject of much criticism in Congress when.the Bill was discussed. (See debates of Congress, January, 1887.)
But be that as it may, the evident object of the framers of the law was to seek to establish a uniform and unvarying rate of compensation for services of the same or a similar description rendered in the transportation of passengers or property.
IV. It will be observed, however, that the language of this second section does not apply to the receiving, delivering, storage, or handling of property.
V. The remedies of the party injured under the second section are the same as those furnished for a violation of the first section, and are to be found by reference to Sections 8, 9, and 10 of the law.
Undue Preference; Unreasonable Prejudice.
Second : The third section provides that it shall be unlawful for any common carrier subject to the provisions of this Act to make or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any particular person, company, firm, corporation, or locality, or any particular description of traffic, in any respect whatsoever, or to subject any particular person, company, firm, corporation, or locality, or any particular description of traffic, to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage in any respect whatsoever.
Every common carrier subject to the provisions of this Act shall, according to their respective powers, 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, and shall not discriminate in their rates and charges between such connecting lines; but this shall not be construed as requiring any such common carrier to give the use of its tracks or terminal facilities to another carrier engaged in like business. (Sec. 3.)
The first paragraph of this section declares as unlawful six distinct acts, viz. :
ist. To make or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any particular person, company, firm, or corporation.
2nd. To make or give any such preference to any particular locality.
3d. To make or give any such preference to any particular description of traffic in
any respect whatsoever.
4th. Or, to SUBJECT any particular person, company, firm, or corporation, to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage, in any respect whatsoever.
5th. Or to subject any particular locality to such prejudice;
6th. Or to subject any particular description of traffic to such prejudice or disadvantage.
This section involves two distinct issues of fact, viz. : first, as to what is the making or giving of an undue or unreasonable preference or advantage ; or, second, what is the subjecting of any person, etc., to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage in any respect what
These questions of fact must be determined by the United States courts, or the Inter-State Commerce Commission, as the case may be.
Carriers Dealing with Each Other. The second paragraph of this third section enjoins upon each common carrier three distinct duties in its dealings with other carriers, viz. :
ist. To afford all reasonable, proper, and equal facilities for the interchange of traffic between their respective lines.
2d. Afford such facilities for the receiving, forwarding, and delivering of passengers and property, to and from their several lines, and those connecting therewith ; and
3d. Shall not discriminate in their rates and charges between such connecting lines.
The performance of these duties are all
questions of fact, to be determined by the courts of the United States, or the Inter-State Commerce Commission, as in the cases arising under the preceding paragraph of the same section. They all involve important and delicate issues of fact.
Abrogation of Franchises and Contracts.
Of course, if this legislation is sustained, it results in practically abrogating a great many of the important privileges and franchises now enjoyed by different common carriers, either existing by virtue of grants to them from different States; or by virtue of private contracts entered into between such carriers and private persons, or by carriers with each other.
I. All grants of franchises by States to common carriers, subject to the provisions of this Act, authorizing them to levy or collect a certain rate for mileage upon passengers, or a certain rate upon freight, or grant of any other description of special right, prerogative or franchise, inconsistent with the Inter-State Commerce Act, are vitiated and rendered nugatory; because, under the second subdivision of Article VI. of the Constitution of the United States, the