Page images

6. “Transportation" defined

"Transportation” includes locomotives, cars, and other vehicles, vessels, and all instrumentalities and facilities for shipment or carriage, irrespective of ownership or of any contract, express or implied, for the use thereof, and all services in connection with the receipt, delivery, elevation, and transfer in transit, ventilation, refrigeration or icing, storage and handling of property transported.46 7. "Transmission" defined

"Transmission” includes the transmission of intelligence through the application of electrical energy or other use of electricity, whether by means of wire, cable, radio apparatus, or other wire or wireless conductors or appliances, and all instrumentalities and facilities for and services in connection with the receipt, forwarding, and delivery of messages, communications, or other intelligence so transmitted, called "messages” in the act. 8. Commission Authorized to Compel Carriers to Give Information

The commission “shall have authority to inquire into the management of the business of all common carriers subject to the provisions of this act, and shall keep itself informed as to the manner and method in which the same is conducted, and shall have the right to obtain from such common carriers full and complete information necessary to enable the commission to perform the duties and carry out the objects for which it was created; and the commission is hereby authorized and required to execute and enforce the provisions of this act; and, upon the request of the commission, it shall be the duty of any district attorney of the United States to whom the commission may apply to institute in the proper court and to prosecute under the direction of the Attorney General of the United States all necessary proceedings for the enforcement of the provisions of this act and for the punishment of all violations thereof, and the costs and expenses of such prosecution shall be paid out of the appropriation for the expenses of the courts of the United States; and for the purposes of this act the commission shall have power to require, by subpoena, the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of all books, papers, tariffs, contracts, agreements, and documents relating to any matter under investigation.

"Such attendance of witnesses, and the production of such documentary evidence, may be required from any place in the United States, at any designated place of hearing. And in case of disobedience to a subpoena the commission, or any party to a proceeding before the commission, may invoke the aid of any court of the United States in requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, papers, and documents under the provisions of this section.

“And any of the Circuit Courts of the United States within the jurisdiction of which such inquiry is carried on may, in case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena issued to any common carrier subject to the provisions of this act, or other person, issue an order requiring such common carrier or other person to appear before said commission and produce books and papers if so

46 Section 1, par. 3, of the Act (41 Stat. 474 [Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1923, § 8563]).

ordered) and give evidence touching the matter in question; and any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by such court as a contempt thereof. The claim that any such testimony or evidence may tend to criminate the person giving such evidence shall not excuse such witness from testifying; but such evidence or testimony shall not be used against such person on the trial of any criminal proceeding.

“The testimony of any witness may be taken, at the instance of a party, in any proceeding or investigation pending before the commission, by deposition, at any time after a cause or proceeding is at issue on petition and answer. The commission may also order testimony to be taken by deposition in any proceeding or investigation pending before it, at any stage of such proceeding or investigation. Such depositions may be taken before any judge of any court of the United States, or any commissioner of a circuit, or any clerk of a district or circuit court, or any chancellor, justice, or judge of a supreme or superior court, mayor or chief magistrate of a city, judge of a county court, or court of common pleas of any of the United States, or any notary public, not being of counsel or attorney to either of the parties, nor interested in the event of the proceeding or investigation. Reasonable notice must first be given in writing by the party or his attorney proposing to take such deposition to the opposite party or his attorney of record, as either may be nearest, which notice shall state the name of the 'witness and the time and place of the taking of his deposition. Any person may be compelled to appear and depose, and to produce documentary evidence, in the same manner as witnesses may be compelled to appear and testify and produce documentary evidence before the commission as hereinbefore provided.

"Every person deposing as herein provided shall be cautioned and sworn (or affirm, if he so request) to testify the whole truth, and shall be carefully examined. His testimony shall be reduced to writing by the magistrate taking the deposition, or under his direction, and shall, after it has been reduced to writing, be subscribed by the deponent.

“If a witness whose testimony may be desired to be taken by deposition be in a foreign country, the deposition may be taken before an officer or person designated by the commission, or agreed upon by the parties by stipulation in writing to be filed with the commission. All depositions must be promptly filed with the commission." 47

9. Complaints

The manner of making complaints by any "person, firm, corporation, company, or association, or any mercantile, agricultural, or manufacturing society or other organization, of any body political or municipal organization, or any common carrier," is described in section 13 of the act. 10. Winding up Federal Control Matters

Under the government guaranty, under the Control Act, of a certain annual return "not exceeding a sum equivalent, as nearly as may be, to its average annual railway operating income for the three years ended June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and seventeen,” for every carrier under government operation, it was provided that the commission should ascertain this average operating income and its certificate was to be conclusive. The commission has appointed boards of referees to adjust carriers' claims for compensation not adjusted by the standard contract method and ascertain the losses sustained by carriers in making additions, betterments, or extensions ordered during the war. Such boards have authority to obtain information through summoning witnesses, etc. The commission is also required to determine the amounts for reimbursements for deficits in operating income due carriers which were not under government control.48 The commission was authorized to certify to the Secretary of the Treasury the amounts due to the carriers in making good the guaranty, for the six months following government control.49 The commission is also authorized to pass upon carriers' applications for loans from the $300,000,000 revolving fund enabling them to serve the public during the transition period immediately following government control.50 a

47 Section 12 of the Act (26 Stat. 743 [Comp. St. & 8576]).

11. Commission a Correlating and Harmonizing Agent

The Transportation Act of 1920 preserved the competitive units of the country's transportation system in their autonomies but empowered the commission to act as a correlating and harmonizing agent; i. e., in the nature of a board of directors for a unified transportation system, thus preserving the benefits of private operation while securing the benefits of certain associational measures.

12. Quasi Legislative and Quasi Judicial Functions Combined in Com

mission I. The commission is the administrative agent for the enforcement of the Interstate Commerce Act prescribing standards for carriers, laying down certain prohibitions in rate fixing, in providing facilities for transportation of persons and property, transmission of intelligence, classifications of messages, etc. Under this authority, the commission has power to do whatever is necessary to carry its expressed powers into effect, and therefore makes rules and regulations which have the force of law. Then it holds hearings and decides issues arising under the law and such rules and regulations. The commission must secure compliance by the carriers with certain standards of which the following are the most important:

(a) To provide transportation and service of a reasonably good quality.
(b) Establish through routes on reasonable terms.
(c) Charges must be reasonable.

(d) Just and reasonable classifications of property for transportation must be established, observed and enforced, and just and reasonable regulations and

48 Section 204, Transportation Act Feb. 28, 1920 (41 Stat. 456 (Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1923, & 1007114 bbb]).

49 Section 209, Transportation Act Feb. 28, 1920 (41 Stat. 464 (Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1923, & 1007144dd]). 50 Section 210, par. (b), Transportation Act Feb. 28, 1920 (40 Stat. 468).

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

practices affecting classifications, rates, issuance of tickets, receipts of bills of lading, etc.

(e) There must be publicity as to rates, fares, charges, etc.

II. The commission must also enforce such prohibitions as are enumerated in the act:

(a) As to free passes and free transportation.
(b) As to unjust discriminations 51 and undue or unreasonable preferences. 52
(c) As to “long and short haul.” 53
(d) As to raising rates that have been reduced to meet water competition.53
(e) As to changing published rates without due notice.54

(f) As to preventing continuous shipment of freight to destination except in good faith for some necessary purpose.65

(g) As to fraud on the part of shippers.56
III. The commission is charged with certain positive duties:
(a) To require adequate transportation facilities.57
) To

(b) Tó require reasonableness in rates.58 The principles for the commission's guidance in the prescription of rates are as follows:

(1) The rates must be such as to yield to the carriers (as a whole or as a whole in each of such rate groups or territories as the commission may from time to time designate) an aggregate annual net railroad operating income equal to a fair return upon the aggregate value of the railroad property of such carriers held for and used in the service of transportation, under honest, efficient, and economical management and reasonable expenditures for maintenance of way, structures, and equipment.

(2) Due consideration must be given to the necessity of enlarging transportation facilities in order to provide the people of the United States with adequate transportation.

(3) In determining the valuation of the railroad property as a basis for the fixing of rates, due consideration must be given “to all the elements of value recognized by law for rate-making purposes," and only such consideration must be given to the property investment account of the carrier as the law permits in establishing values for rate-making purposes.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

51 Section 2, Act Feb. 4, 1887, as amended by Act Feb. 28, 1920 (41 Stat. 456 [Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1923, § 856-1]).

52 Section 3, Act Feb. 4, 1887, as amended by Act Feb. 28, 1920 (41 Stat. 479 [Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1923, § 8565]).

63 Section 4, Act Feb. 4, 1887, as amended by Acts June 18, 1910 (36 Stat. 539), and Feb. 28, 1920 (41 Stat. 480 [Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1923, $ 8566]).

54 Section 6, Act Feb. 4, 1887, as amended by Acts March 2, 1889 (25 Stat. 855), June 29, 1906 (34 Stat. 584), June 18, 1910 (36 Stat. 539), August 24, 1912 (37 Stat. 568), August 29, 1916 (39 Stat. 604), and February 28, 1920 (41 Stat. 483 (Com). St. Ann. Supp. 1923, 8 8569]).

55 Section 7, Act Feb. 4, 1887 (24 Stat. 382 [Comp. St. § 8571]).

56 Section 10, Act Feb, 4, 1887, as amended by Acts March 2, 1899 (25 Stat. 855), June 18, 1910 (36 Stat. 539); and February 28, 1920 (41 Stat. 483 [Comy. St. Ann. Supp. 1923, 8 8574]).

57 Section 1, par, 9 et seq., Act Feb. 4, 1887 (24 Stat. 379), as amended.

58 Section 15, Act Feb. 4, 1887, as amended June 29, 1906 (34 Stat. 584), June 18, 1910 (36 Stat. 539), and February 28, 1920 (42 Stat. 483 [Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1923, $ 8583]).

For the two years beginning March 1, 1920, 512 per cent of the aggregate value was to be deemed a fair return. The commission however, was empowered in its discretion to add a “sum not exceeding one-half of 1 per centum of such aggregate value to make provision in whole or in part for improvements, betterments or equipment."59

(c) To determine allowances to owners of property for service in transportation.60

(d) To authorize or require carriers to establish and maintain rates dependent upon “released value.” 61

13. Organization
I. The Commission.

(a) Eleven Commissioners, each with a private secretary and a clerk.

(b) Other clerks.
II. Bureau of Administration.

(a) Secretary of the Commission, with assistants.
(b) Chief Clerk and Purchasing Agent.
(c) Law Clerk.

(d) Other Clerks. III. General Administration and Institutional Services. IV. Bureau of Formal Dockets. (a) Chief Examiner is Chief of Bureau. This bureau handles all cases

instituted by formal complaints or by the commission on its own motion. The volume of business is such that the Commission cannot take testimony except in cases of general significance. Under the Hepburn Act,62 special examiners hear cases and take testimony, generally in the field, prepare a report which is submitted to the party in the case for statement of exceptions after which the record of the proceedings, the examiner's report, and the party's statements are laid before the Board of Review, the members of which are selected from the force of examiners which prepares the bureau's final report on the case for the com

mission. V. Bureau of Informal Cases.-Chief of Bureau. This bureau attends to general inquiries, informal complaints and to

claims submitted on the special docket. Where these matters involve an interpretation of law, the ensuing informal rulings are promulgated in the bulletin of conference rulings of the commission. The special docket is not informal except in the form of pleadings and character of the hearing. There must be complaint and answer and a full hearing.

59 Institute for Government Research, Service Monograph No. 18, p. 82. 60 Section 15, par. 13, of Act (see note 58).

61 Section 20, Act Feb. 4, 1887, as amended as in note 58, and by Act Feb. 25, 1909 (35 Stat. 648), Act March 4, 1915 (38 Stat. 1196), and Act Aug. 9, 1916 (39 Stat. 441 [Comp. St. 88 8592, 8604a]). 62 Act June 29, 1906 (34 Stat. 581).

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »