« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
December, 1897, the differential was increased to 10 cents, and in July, 1902, it was made 20 cents.
During March, 1904, the differential was fixed at 171 cents, and in October of that year it was reduced to 10 cents, and has since remained at that figure. Changes in the relation of rates on corn and corn products from Missouri River points to North Pacific terminals were not greatly different from those mentioned, except that in December, 1897, the rates were made the same on corn and corn products and there is not now any difference unless the minimum carload for corn is the marked capacity of the car, in which case the rates show a differential of 10 cents against corn products. Upon consideration of all the conditions and circumstances it was decided that the present charges on corn products and corn from Missouri River points to Pacific coast terminals, in so far as the rate on corn products is more than 5 cents above the rate on corn, constitute undue, unreasonable, and unlawful discrimination against corn products and producers thereof at places on the Missouri River.
The Duluth Shingle case.—In Duluth Shingle Company v. Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic Railway Company et al. (10 I. C. C. Rep., 489), it was found that the carriers, by charging a higher rate on shingles than on lumber, in carloads, from Duluth, Minn., to Chicago, Ill., unjustly discriminated against shingles in favor of lumber, subjected Duluth, the complainant, and other shingle shippers from that point to undue prejudice and disadvantage, and afforded undue preference and advantage to other places from which shingles are carried at rates as low as those applied on lumber therefrom.
The Sectional Bookcase proceeding.-In the case of Globe-Wernicke Company v. Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern Railroad Company et al. (11 I. C. C. Rep., 156), it was found that while there was much to support the view that sectional bookcases might properly be placed in the first class of the official classification, it did not appear upon the proofs presented that one and one-half times first-class rates for all bookcases is an unlawful discrimination against the sectional variety, and the action of defendants in fixing the same classification and rates for sectional as for other bookcases did not exceed the limits of their discretion; nor was defendants one and one-half times first-class rate for the transportation of sectional and other bookcases shown by the record to be unreasonable. The complaint was dismissed without prejudice to further investigation.
DISCRIMINATION BETWEEN PERSONS.
The Montpelier Coal case.--The case of the Capital City Gas Company v. Central Vermont Railway Company and Rutland Railroad Company was decided in June. (11 I. C. C. Rep., 104.) The carriers had a joint rate of 90 cents per ton on bituminous coal from Norwood, N. Y., to Montpelier, Vt., when intended for railroad supply, and their combination rate of $1.85 per ton applied on such coal carried between the same points and used for manufacturing or any other industrial or domestic use. This was held by the Commission to constitute unlawful discrimination. This decision involved construction of the phrase "under substantially similar circumstances and conditions” in section 2 of the act to regulate
Following the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Wight v. United States (167 U. S., 512), as explained in the Alabama Midland case (168 U. S., 144), that phrase was held by the Commission in this case to refer to the matter of carriage, and it was decided that it is not permissible under that section for two or more carriers to establish a joint through rate, less than the sum of their locals, which is applicable only to a particular shipper or class of shippers, while denying such lower rate to other shippers of like traffic between the same points of origin and destination.
"The Yellowstone Park Rate case. In the case of Wylie v. Northern Pacific Railway Company et al., decided in June last (11 I. C. C. Rep., 145), the following general situation was disclosed :
The defendant railway company published rates entitling passengers to transportation over its line from St. Paul, Minn., and other points, including eastern cities, to Gardiner, Mont., and return via Gardiner through the Yellowstone Park, a Government reservation, by stages of the Yellowstone National Park Transportation Company and return, and also, if desired, to accommodations at hotels in the park conducted by the Yellowstone Park Association. plainant also operated a stage line through the Yellowstone Park and had established permanent camps where hotel accommodations were furnished.
Licensed camping parties were conducted through the park by Shaw & Powell, interveners. Tickets issued by the defendant railroad company providing both railroad and stage transportation and those also including hotel accommodations were coupon tickets, covering th service by rail, by stage, and at the hotels, and the rates charged therefor were divided between the railway company and the stage company, or between the railway company, the stage company, and the hotel company, as the case might be, in such manner that the railway company received for its rail service less than its established rate to Gardiner and return. The joint rate and ticketing arrangement was solely between the railway company and the other defendants. The railway company admittedly controlled the policy and operations of the other defendants. Excellent facilities for touring the park were furnished by complainant. The Commission ruled in this case as follows:
That the defendant railway company, stage transportation company, and hotel association were not competent in law to form through routes and establish joint rates as provided in section 6 of the act to regulate commerce, and the circular or tariff under which the rates and tickets in question were provided could not be regarded as a joint tariff established by connecting carriers under that act; that upon the facts of the case the charging of a given sum for rail transportation to Gardiner and return only and the acceptance of a smaller sum for the rail transportation when the passenger went by stage to points in or through Yellowstone Park, with or without hotel accommodations therein, the service performed by the railway company being the same in each case, constituted unlawful discrimination; that the arrangement between defendants under which the through tickets were issued and sold and the proceeds divided, and the joint operations of defendants as actually carried on, constituted and effected an undue and unreasonable preference and advantage to the transportation company and hotel association and subjected complainant and others in like situation, as well as passengers traveling to and from Yellowstone Park, to undue and unreasonable prejudice and disadvantage; and, while it was not decided that a carrier subject to the act may not in some cases provide for transportation beyond its own line by stage or other similar conveyance, the facts shown in this case established a discrimination forbidden by law; that it was the duty of the defendant railway company to so conduct and control its operations relating to the transportation of passengers to Yellowstone Park as to afford such passengers full and equal opportunity at the terminus of its line at Gardiner and elsewhere to select the stage line or other agency they might desire to use for touring the park and the places and manner of entertainment therein.
The Miner case. In the case of D. W. Miner v. New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company, decided in November (11 I. C. C. Rep., 422), it appeared that the carrier's tracks in Providence, R. I., are so located that competitors of complainart occupying places of business abutting on its Canal street yard are able to unload carloads of fresh meat directly into their warehouses, and the privilege of unloading meat in that yard was formerly accorded to complainant, whose storehouse is across the canal and about 300 feet from the railroad yard, but such privilege to complainant had been recently withdrawn; denial of such privilege entailed the hauling of complainant's meat from another yard about one-half mile distant and damaged his business from $20 to $100 per car; the capacity in and about the Canal street yard of the track which could be used for unloading meat was limited, and the carrier's refusal to continue the privilege was apparently upon the assumption that its allowance would involve extension of the privilege to the unloading of all perishable commodities at that point.
It was decided that there is no such competitive relation between fresh meat and, for example, fresh fruit that it is of necessity undue discrimination to accord a privilege to the one commodity which is refused the other, and that complainant was subjected to undue prejudice under the circumstances of the case.
DISCRIMINATION IN FACILITIES.
The Red Rock Fuel Company case.—The case of the Red Rock Fuel Company v. Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, decided in November (11 I. C. C. Rep., 438), was one of discrimination in the allowance of side-track connections. The carrier declined to permit a side-track connection between its line and a switch or side track of complainant's coal mine in the Fairmont district of West Virginia for the purpose of receiving interstate shipments of coal from its mine, although it had provided and maintained side-track connections for other mines in that district from which large quantities of coal were shipped to interstate destinations. Defendant controlled, through ownership of capital stock, large coal-mining enterprises in the Fairmont district which, during the year 1904, shipped more than one-half the tonnage from that district.
Complainant had purchased the right of way for the side track, and the physical conditions pertaining to the proposed connection were at least as favorable as those pertaining to connections already made for other mines in that coal field. It was found generally that, as between complainant's and the favored mines, similarity of situation existed in essential respects. Under such discrimination complainant was unable to make interstate shipments of coal from its mine, and the defendant, by continuing its policy of denying these facilities to applying owners of coal lands, might practically control in its own interest all the undeveloped coal in this field, as well as derive greater profits from its large holdings in mines already developed in that section.
It was decided by the Commission that the discrimination was not only wrongful as between complainant and other more-favored shippers, but amounted to undue and unreasonable preference by defendant of itself, and that order forbidding further violation of section 3 of the statute should issue accordingly. Further rulings in this case are as follows:
A State has jurisdiction to enact that carriers of coal therein shall provide track connections with all mines within its borders, but the power of the State in that respect arises from its authority over State commerce, and does not constitute any limitation upon the exclusive power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce.
The enactment by Congress in section 3 of the act to regulate commerce that the carriers affected thereby shall not subject persons, localities, or descriptions of traffic to undue prejudice or unreasonable disadvantage, or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to persons, localities, or kinds of traffic in any respect whatsoever, applies to discrimination in facilities or instrumentalities of shipment or carriage, and while the Commission has no authority to order a carrier to put in side-track connections or to prescribe the terms or conditions relating to the construction of such connections, its jurisdiction does extend to any case of wrongful prejudice resulting from discrimination in the provision of such facilities or instrumentalities of shipment or carriage, including side-track connections.
Carriers must conduct and manage their business under the requirements and prohibitions of the regulating statute, and undue discriminations can not be justified by the fact of long-standing agreements with favored mine operators and other shippers, nor is it a defense to the charge of discrimination that the facilities provided the favored persons may be withdrawn at the will of the one who grants them.
Cases involving discrimination in furnishing cars.—The decision of the Commission in Richmond Elevator Company v. Pere Marquette Railroad Company (10 I. C. C. Rep., 629), contains the following rulings:
While the act to regulate commerce contains no provision which expressly or by proper implication gives this Commission jurisdiction in cases merely showing delay or negligence in the receipt, forwarding, or delivery of property offered for transportation, including the furnishing of cars, the regulating statute does prohibit any unjust discrimination or wrongful prejudice in the provision of cars or other transportation facilities, as well as in the fixing and application of transportation charges.
Every shipper is legally entitled to fair opportunity and treatment in the use of these public utilities, and any discrimination which in substantial degree deprives shippers of such use must be considered unjust, unless forced by justifying conditions. In such case the burden of proof is upon the complainant to the extent of showing discrimination, and then upon the carrier to show that the discrimination was justified.
Merely putting in evidence defendant's rule of car apportionment is insufficient to show discrimination against the complainant; the actual effect of the rule, during the time covered by the complaint, is necessary to a determination of the question of unfairness in the distribution of cars.