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If, however, the agent of the carrier, after exercising reasonable diligence, is unable to obtain more definite instructions as to routing, the goods should be sent via the route specified in the bill of lading. (Cancels rulings 159, 186, 192, 214i, and 231; see rulings 243, 370, and 397. See Gibson Fruit Co. v. C. & N. W. Ry. Co., 21 I. C. C., 645; Ludowici-Celadon Co. v. M. P. Ry. Co., 22 I. C. C., 589; American Agricultural Chemical Co. v. B. & A. R. R. Co., 28 I. C. C., 400; Goldfield Cases, 34 I. C. C., 378; Texarkana Pipe Works v. B., S. L. & Wn. Ry., 38 I. C. C., 341; Chapin & Co. v. C., I. & L. Ry. Co., 38 I. C. C., 613; Jefferson Lumber Co. v. M. & O. R. R. Co., 40 I. C. C., 44; Laclede-Christy Clay Products Co. v. M. P. Ry. Co., U. R. Op. A-780; and B. McCracken & Son v. B. & O. R. R. Co., U. R. Op. 2199.)

475. Relates to Passenger Traffic. 74 476. Relates to Passenger Traffic.

477. FREE TRANSPORTATION OF CAR WITH EXHIBITS FOR STATE AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE. (June 14, 1915.) -A state college uses a car containing live stock and agricultural products in giving free educational lectures and demonstrations to farmers in different parts of the state. Upon inquiry: Held, That if the college is sustained by the state and if the arrangements are made with the proper

and responsible officers of the state, such car and contents and the necessary agents employed in connection therewith may lawfully be moved by carrier without charge or at reduced rates. (See ruling 398.)

478. Relates to Passenger Traffic.
479. Relates to Passenger Traffic.

480. TELEPHONE MESSAGES RELATING TO SHIPMENTS. (July 22, 1915.)—Upon inquiry: Held, That Conference Rulings 302, 327, 351, and 363, regarding the exchange of messages between carriers and shippers, relate to telephone messages as well as to telegrams.

481. Relates to Passenger Traffic.
482. ROUTING OF SHIPMENTS BY CONSIGNEES. (July 26, 1915.)—Rescinded by ruling 502.

483. COMMODITY RATE BASED UPON A MAXIMUM CARLOAD WEIGHT. (Oct. 4, 1915.)— Under a tariff naming a commodity rate per car, not exceeding a specified maximum weight, and also a class rate with a minimum carload weight: Held, That charges should be assessed upon the basis of the commodity rate, any excess weight to be charged proportionately; but the carrier may refuse to receive in one car a shipment weighing more than the maximum load prescribed for that car. (See ruling 84, and also Rule 7 of Tariff Circular 18-A.)

484. Relates to Passenger Traffic.
485. Relates to Passenger Traffic.

486. DIVISIONS OF JOINT RATES ON RAILWAY FUEL MUST BE FILED WITH THE COMMISSION. (Dec. 22, 1915.)—For the purpose of giving the matter wider publicity, this means is adopted of directing attention to the Commission's report and order in Filing of Divisions of Joint Rates Applicable to Railway Fuel, 37 I. C. C., 265, and to its supplemental report and order in the same proceeding, 38 I. C. C., 169. By these orders Conference Ruling 209 was modified and carriers were required to file with the Commission sheets or statements showing the divisions of all joint rates on railway fuel; and to file all changes and amendments to such sheets or statements; and to file all new sheets or statements which in any wise affect or determine the division of joint rates on railway fuel. (See ruling 324.)

487. Relates to Passenger Traffic.

488. RATES BETWEEN POINTS IN THE UNITED STATES AND ADJACENT FOREIGN COUNTRIES. (Jan. 10, 1916.)—In the absence of a published through rate between a point in the United States and a point in an adjacent foreign country, the published through rate between the border gateway and the domestic point should be applied in constructing the total rate. In the absence of a published through rate between the border gateway and the domestic point, the lowest combination of legal rates should be applied. (See ruling 220g.)

489. INTEREST UPON OVERCHARGE CLAIMS. (Feb. 18, 1916.)—Conference Ruling 464 amended and restated.

Interest on an overcharge (by which is meant the amount collected on a shipment in excess of the legally published rate) accrues from the date of its collection by the carrier, whether arising from an error in rate, weight, or classification.

The Commission does not regard it as unlawful for a claimant to accept in satisfaction of his claim the ascertained amount of an overcharge without interest; and the Commission is of the opinion that when such a refund is made by the carrier within 30 days after the improper collection of the overcharge, it may be regarded, in accordance with a well-established usage, as a cash transaction, upon which interest does not accrue.

The views expressed in this ruling shall be understood as applying to all pending and unsettled overcharge claims and to those arising in the future, but not as authorizing or requiring the reopening of any claim which has been settled and closed by the acceptance by a claimant of the amount of an overcharge without interest. (See Scattergood & Co. v. L. S. & M. S. Ry. Co., U. R. Op. 2040; and International Lumber Co. v. C. N. Ry. Co., 40 I. C. C., 283.)


490. TRACKAGE RIGHTS OVER AN INDUSTRIAL ROAD. (March 13, 1916.)—Upon inquiry by a common carrier respecting proposed trackage rights over a portion of a logging road: Held, That if the common carrier uses the logging road in interstate commerce or as a highway for interstate commerce the logging road must keep its accounts as required by section 20 of the act; it will also be subject to the provisions of the safetyappliance acts.


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GRAPH, TELEPHONE, OR CABLE COMPANIES. (March 23, 1916.)—Upon inquiry whether under section 1 of the act a railroad may contract with a telegraph company to transport the latter's property, either for use on the railroad's line or elsewhere, at a rate different than the regularly published rate for such transportation: Held, That such an exchange of services may lawfully be made only upon the basis of the legally established rates of the railroad and on the basis of the fixed charges of the telegraph company regularly exacted of other customers for similar services; except that such carriers may so contract, without reference to said lawful rates and charges, for the transportation of the property of the telegraph company over the line of the contracting railroad company for use along the latter's line and in the construction, improvement, or operation thereof; that is to say, when such transportation is not conducted by said railroad as a common carrier. (Amends and modifies ruling 219 and cancels ruling 364; see also ruling 305.) Rescinded March 3, 1919.

492. Relates to Passenger Traffic. 493. Relates to Passenger Traffic. 494. Relates to Passenger Traffic. 495. Relates to Passenger Traffic.

496. RATES BASED ON VALUE OF PROPERTY AS DECLARED AT THE TIME AND PLACE OF SHIPMENT. (July 3, 1916.) -A tariff provided that, carriers, parties hereto, have no means of determining value of live stock when offered for shipment, and live stock will not be accepted for transportation unless the shipper or his agent declares in writing the valuation at time and place of shipment. The rates named in tariff shall be applied on animals the actual value of which does not exceed the following amount.

Live stock valued at $5 per head at the shipping point was sold at destination at an average price exceeding that amount. Upon inquiry whether the charges should be assessed at the rate applicable to live stock of the value at which it was sold at destination: Held, That under such a tariff provision the value declared by the shipper at the time and place of shipment is the basis for determining the rate applicable and that a reasonable difference between that value and the value at destination is not evidence of a misstatement of value at the point of origin. (See rulings 58 and 295; also In re The Cummins Amendment, 33 I. C. C., 682, 693.)

497. APPLICATION OF AVERAGE AGREEMENT UNDER CODE OF UNIFORM DEMURRAGE RULES. (Oct. 3, 1916.)—A consignee at St. Louis, under proper tariff authority, reconsigned a shipment to a storage warehouse on the tracks of a terminal carrier at that point. Upon inquiry, Held, That as the terminal carrier had an independent average demurrage agreement with the storage warehouse, it must treat the storage warehouse as the consignee within the meaning of Conference Ruling 463. (See also ruling 409.)

498. APPLICATION OF AVERAGE AGREEMENT UNDER CODE OF UNIFORM DEMURRAGE RULES. (Oct. 16, 1916.)—Before cars loaded by an industry were switched from its warehouse their contents were sold to another shipper to whom bills of lading were issued by the carrier: Held, That the average agreement between the carrier and the industry may lawfully be applied. (See rulings 409 and 463.)

499. CANCELED TARIFFS NEED NOT BE KEPT POSTED. (Nov. 8, 1916.)—Under section 6 of the act to regulate commerce, carriers are required to keep posted for public inspection only their current tariffs and tariffs filed to become effective in the future.

500. RELEASED RATES UNDER CUMMINS AMENDMENT AS FURTHER AMENDED. (Nov. 8, 1916.)—Under the so-called Cummins amendment as further amended, carriers when authorized or required by the Commission may establish rates on property, other than ordinary live stock, based upon its agreed or declared value even though the value so declared or agreed to may be less than the true value of the property transported.

501. ISSUING CARRIER'S RESPONSIBILITY UNDER JOINT RATE PUBLISHED WITHOUT PROPER CONCURRENCE. (Nov. 28, 1916.)-An originating carrier having published a joint through rate without the concurrence of a connecting line, the higher combination of intermediate rates was applied. Following du Pont de Nemours Powder Company v. Wabash Railroad, 33 I. C. C., 507: Held, That the through rate should have been applied, the originating carrier assuming the difference between that rate and the higher combination rate without assistance from the other carriers participating in the movement. (See rule 68 of Tariff Circular 18-A.)

602. ROUTING OF SHIPMENTS BY CONSIGNEES. (Jan. 8, 1917.)—In view of the provisions of an act of Congress entitled "An act relating to bills of lading in interstate and foreign commerce,” approved August 29, 1916, Conference Rulings 332, 463 and 482 are rescinded.

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503. HANDLING OF CIRCUS AGENTS AND ADVANCE CARS. (March 25, 1918)-In the light of changed practices, conference ruling 503 is rescinded pending the issuance of a further ruling if that be found necessary. The present practices may be continued pending such further ruling.

504. RELEASED AND DECLARED VALUE RATES. (March 12, 1917.)—Upon the petition of a shipper to require a carrier to establish rates depending upon the declared or agreed value of the property transported, a hearing will be had and an order thereon will issue. Upon a petition by a carrier for authority to establish such a rate, the Commission will investigate its reasonableness and propriety in such manner and by such means as it may deem proper; any rate so authorized must be published and posted as required by law and will be subject to suspension on protest and to attack on complaint as in the case of other rates.

506. TRAFFIC PASSING THROUGH THE UNITED STATES FROM A POINT IN AN ADJACENT FOREIGN COUNTRY TO A POINT IN AN ADJACENT FOREIGN COUNTRY. (April 2, 1917.)—With respect to a shipment moving from a point in Canada through the United States to Boston consigned for export to a point in Nova Scotia: Held, That, following the ruling announced in Seymour v. M. L. & T. R. R. & S. S. Co., 35 I. C. C., 492, and Canales v. G., H. & S. A. Ry. Co., 37 I. C. C., 573, the Commission is without jurisdiction.

506. DEMURRAGE UNDER AVERAGE AGREEMENT ON STATE AND INTERSTATE SHIPMENTS. (April 17, 1917.)—Where the demurrage rules and rates on state and interstate traffic differ: Held, That credits on state traffic under an average agreement may not lawfully be offset against the debits on interstate traffic.

507. SHIPMENTS HELD AT TRANSIT POINT BEYOND TRANSIT PERIOD BECAUSE OF INABILITY OF CARRIER TO SUPPLY CARS. (April 23, 1917.) --Certain shipments were placed in transit under a tariff rule providing, in substance, that the billing would not be recognized for warehousing and reshipping purposes with respect to shipments on hand at the close of August 31 of any year. Upon inquiry whether the carrier, being unable to comply with a demand for cars made only a day or two before the clearing day, the shipper is entitled to a refund of the difference between the through rate and the sum of the local rates to and from the transit point: Held, It not being shown that the carrier failed in its duty to supply cars upon reasonable request, the refund may not be made. (See Peck v. A., T. & S. F. Ry., U. R. Op. A-923.)

508. FILING OF INFORMAL COMPLAINTS-STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. (May 12, 1917— Modified June 27, 1918, July 2, 1918 and December 4, 1918.)—Section 16 of the act to regulate commerce, as amended, provides that: "All complaints for the recovery of damages shall be filed with the Commission within two years from the time the cause of action accrues, and not after.” In U. S. ex rel. Louisville Cement Co. v. Interstate Commerce Commission, 246 U. S., 638, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the cause of action accrues when the unlawful charges are paid.

In all cases the complaint must be filed by or on behalf of the party who has borne the transportation charges as such. (International Agricultural Corporation v. Louisville & Nashville Railroad Co., 29 I. C. C., 391; and Oden & Elliott v. Seaboard Air Line Railway, 37 I. C. C., 345.)

In order that it may operate to stay the statute of limitations, an informal complaint must be filed with the Commission within two years from the time the cause of action accrues, and (a). must name the defendant carrier or carriers; (b) must allege a violation of the act and ask affirmative relief; and (c) must describe the shipment by naming the point of origin and destination, the consignor and consignee, the date of the shipment, the initials and number of the car, in the case of carload shipments, or (d) must give such available information as may be reasonably necessary to enable the defendant carrier or carriers to identify the shipment. A notification to the Commission of the possibility or intention of filing a complaint for the recovery of damages is not such a filing as is contemplated by the statute.

An informal complaint embodying the information above indicated should be filed with sufficient copies to enable the Commission to send one copy to each defendant carrier as notice to it of the complaint, retaining one copy for its own use.

When a complaint for reparation has been before the Commission informally on the special docket or otherwise, and the parties have been notified by the Commission that the complaint is denied or that it cannot be determined informally, or when the parties voluntarily withdraw the complaint from informal consideration, it may not be reconsidered informally if not again submitted to the Commission within six months from the date of such notification or withdrawal, nor may it be filed as a formal complaint unless so filed within six months from the date of such notification or withdrawal: Provided, however, That this rule does not apply when the two-year period from the time the cause of action accrues has not expired. (See rule III of the Rules of Practice.)

RIGHT OF ACTION TO RECOVER REPARATION ON ACCOUNT OF UNLAWFUL CHARGES ACCRUES WHEN THEY ARE PAID.—The Supreme Court of the United States in U. S. ex rel. v. Interstate Commerce Commission decided on April 29, 1918, held that the right to recover reparation on account of unlawful freight charges accrues when they are paid, and not upon the delivery of the shipment, as held by the Commission in Blinn Lumber Co. v. S. P. Co., 18 I. C. C., 430.

The Commission will therefore entertain petitions for the reconsideration of any such formal or informal claims that were filed within two years from the time the charges were paid and were denied by the Commission I. C. C. CONFERENCE RULINGS

under the ruling of the Blinn case. Such petitions should be filed not later than December 31, 1918. (Modifying Conference Ruling 508.)

CAUSE OF ACTION DOES NOT ACCRUE UNTIL FINAL PAYMENT OF LEGAL CHARGES IS MADE. - In the light of the ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States in Louisville Cement Co. v. Interstate Commerce Commission, 246 U. S., 638, decided April 29, 1918: Held, That the cause of action to recover reparation does not accrue until the final payment of all or any part of the legal charges has been made to the carrier.

(See Section III of Rules of Practice before the Commission, pages 338-341.)

609. DRAYAGE EXPENSE RESULTING FROM ERRONEOUS TERMINAL DELIVERY. (June 19, 1917.)—Conference Ruling 474b amended and 392 rescinded.- In case the consignee elects to accept the shipment at the terminal where delivery has been erroneously offered rather than insist upon delivery at the terminal designated, the shipper or the consignee is entitled to recover damages in the sum of the difference between the expense of drayage actually incurred at a reasonable charge therefor and the expense which would have been incurred if proper delivery had been effected by the carrier. The carrier responsible for misrouting the shipment, resulting in a claim of this character, may reimburse the shipper or consignee entitled to reimbursement wholly at its expense without a specific order of the Commission in each case. In pursuing this course carriers must accept full responsibility for the correct application of the rule and must make reports to the Commission in accordance with its order of July 3, 1917.

610. WRITTEN NOTICE TO CARRIER CONSTITUTES PRESENTATION OF CLAIM. (June 21, 1917.)-Modifying Conference Ruling 456. It is the view of the Commissino that the provision in the uniform bill of lading requiring that claims for loss, damage, or delay must be made in writing within a specified period is legally complied with when the shipper, consignee, or the lawful holder of the bill of lading, within the period specified, files with the agent of the carrier, either at the point of origin or the point of delivery of the shipment, or with the general claims department of the carrier, a claim or a written notice of intended claim describing the shipment with reasonable definiteness. (See G. F. & A. Ry. v. Blish Milling Co., 241 U. S., 190.)

511. Relates to Passenger Traffic.

512. INDUSTRIAL SWITCHING TRACKS. (July 20, 1917.)—Conference Ruling 427 modified and amended.--A carrier may not lawfully build a switch track inside the plant boundary of an industrial company without adequate compensation therefor. And an agreement by the industry to give the carrier all or a part of its traffic as compensation for the building of the track is not regarded as "adequare compensation.” (See ruling 110.)

613. EXPRESS COMPANIES MAY NOT CARRY PROPERTY FOR OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES EXCEPT AT PUBLISHED RATE. (July 20, 1917.)—Upon inquiry: Held, That the act to regulate commerce as amended does not authorize an express company subject to the act to carry property either for its own officers or employees or for the officers and employees of other common carriers, except at its legally published rate. (See rulings 157, 208b, and 361.)

† CERTIFICATE OF PUBLIC CONVENIENCE AND NECESSITY; WHEN NOT REQUIRED FOR ORDINARY SPUR AND OTHER TRACKS. (May 10, 1920.)—Paragi aph (18) of Section 1 of the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended by Section 402 of the Transportation Act, 1920, does not cover or include ordinary spur, industrial, team, switching or side tracks of an existing line of railroad. Such a track is not regarded as constituting in itself an extension of the existing line, or a new line, within the meaning of that section, and, where not forming part of the proposed extension or new line in respect of which certificate of public convenience and necessity must be obtained from the Commission under that section, may be constructed, changed or abandoned by the carrier without such certificate.

† PROPORTIONAL OR RESHIPPING INTERSTATE RATES FROM TRANSIT OR RESHIPPING POINTS ON SHIPMENTS ORIGINATING BEYOND. (March 16, 1921.)—Where interstate proportional or reshipping rates are named on shipments originating beyond reshipping or transit points such rates are applicable only in case the inbound charges are based on the inbound interstate rates.

† REPARATION ON INTRASTATE SHIPMENTS WHICH MOVED DURING GUARANTY PERIOD. (March 13, 1922.)—Voted that Section 208 (a) of the Tranportation Act, 1920, does not authorize the Commission to award reparation, or consent to an award of reparation made by a state commission, on intrastate shipments which moqek during the guaranty period, March 1, to September 1, 1920.

† PERIOD OF LIMITATION FOR PAYMENT OF OVERCHARGE CLAIMS. (February 21, 1924.) Upon inquiries as to the effect of the decision rendered on February 19, 1923, by the Supreme Court of the United States, in Kansas City Southern Ry. v. Wolf, 261 U. S., 133, the Commission construes that decision and Paragraph (3) of Section 16 of the Interstate Commerce Act as prohibiting common carriers subject to the act from paying, subsequent to the two-year period of limitation contained in that paragraph, claims for overcharges presented to the carriers by shippers or consignees either within or subsequent to said two-year period of limitation, unless within said two-year period the claims have been presented to the Commission or to a court of competent jurisdiction in accordance with the applicable provisions of said act.

† Numbers are not assigned by the Commission to conference rulings until new conference rulings bulletins are published. Therefore, numbers have not yet been assigned to these conference rulings.





Federal and State regulation of transportation lines is required primarily for the

protection of the public against unjust and unreasonable charges and practices; against NECESSITY FOR unjust and unreasonable discrimination between individuals in the rates charged for

like service under similar circumstances and conditions; against unjust and unreasonable discrimination between articles of the same or similar character and value; against unjust and unreasonable discrimination between towns and localities similarly situated; to insure adequate shipping facilities and services, and to prevent changes in the rates, rules and practices of the transportation lines without proper and advance notice being made to the public.


A State has jurisdiction over and enacts laws regulating the transportation lines in handling traffic having origin, destination and entire transportation within its

boundaries. Such traffic is called intrastate traffic. State laws are enforced by State commissions, generally designated as Public Service, Railroad or Utility commissions. It is impracticable to reproduce herein the laws of the various States. The commerce of the country is largely interstate, and it is considerably more essential for one to acquire a knowledge of the Federal laws.


The Federal government has jurisdiction over and enacts laws regulating the transportation lines in handling traffic from one State, Territory in the United States or the District of Columbia to any other State, Territory in the United States or the District of Columbia; from one place in a Territory to another place in the same Territory; from one place in a State to another place in the same State, the movement being through another State; from any place in the United States to a foreign country; from a foreign country to any place in the United States; and from any place in the United States through a foreign country to any other place in the United States. Such traffic is called interstate traffic. In the case of traffic to or from foreign countries, the Federal government has jurisdiction only as to the movement within the United States.


The Federal laws governing transportation lines are enforced by a commission, composed of eleven members, who are appointed by the President of the United States by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. This Commission is called the Interstate Commerce Commission and has its principal offices in Washington, D. C. For list of names of the members of the Interstate Commerce Commission, see page 583.


Every sovereignty, whether it be the National, State or Municipal government, has the power inherent in it to protect to the extent of its dominions the lives, health and property of its citizens; to preserve good order and regulate public morals. These powers are usually known as police powers. The States and Municipalities have passed thousands of laws regulating business, trade and living conditions within their respective borders. Regulation by States and Municipalities, to be lawful, must not exceed the extent of their dominions, must be enacted in good faith and must not be a burden on Interstate Commerce.

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