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issue applying between given points supersedes all previous issues between the same points on the same class of traffic, and possibly the failure to specifically cancel previous issues causes no inconvenience so far as their own records are concerned; but in the files of the Commission such tariffs remain permanently in the files of current tariffs and are apparently in effect. The only remedy for this condition would seem to be that the Commission issue an order or circular requiring each carrier to furnish the Commission with a list of its effective tariffs, and at the same time to require that all schedules issued prior to February 1, 1896, which are still in force, be reissued in the new series, or at least numbered in that series, and refiled.
It is a common practice for one carrier to adopt the tariffs of other roads or associations for the purpose of announcing rates from points on its line. Formerly this was in all cases done by the adopting carrier merely stamping its number upon the tariff of the other road or association and filing same with the Commission. The application of the tariff as used by the adopting carrier was in many cases doubtful. In the pamphlet previously mentioned this matter was taken up and a rule given for the adoption by one carrier of tariffs of another carrier or association, as follows:
Roads adopting tariffs of associations or other carriers for the purpose of announcing to the public rates from their own stations should thereafter regard such tariffs the same as tariffs of their own issue. They should be provided with a supplemental title page, numbered and dated, showing plainly the names of the stations from, to, or between which the rates in the adopted tariff will apply, and the title page should bo otherwise arranged after the form of their own tariffs. Such adopted tariffs should be posted and filed with due regard to the requirements of the act relative to notice of changes.
This matter has also been made the subject of frequent correspond. ence with carriers, and quite a large number have adopted the above rule; but many such tariffs are still being filed with merely the number of the adopting carrier stamped thereon.
Much confusion and extra labor in connection with the tariff files results from the varying methods of carriers in regard to the tariffs published and filed by railway associations. In some cases the initial lines file certificates of concurrence in such tariffs, while in other cases a notice is filed to the effect that the carrier filing same is a member of such association, and that all tariffs filed by the chairman thereof are filed in behalf of such carrier. In still other cases copies of the association tariffs are filed by the members of same with their number stamped thereon.
It frequently occurs that carriers which file certificates of concur. rence, or notice of the kind above referred to and which do not file copies of the association tariffs, file individual supplements or amendments to such tariffs, making changes in the rates established by the association. Where both the association and the individual carriers composing the same publish rates between the same points it sometimes becomes difficult to determine the correct rates. The publication of joint tariffs by railway associations no doubt serves a useful purpose, but some uniform method should be adopted in respect to the authorization and filing of such tariffs.
Under the order of the Commission issued September 8, 1894, all carriers subject to the act were required, among other things, to show upon all joint tariffs thereafter filed, also upon all supplements and amendments to joint tariffs, the names of the carriers parties thereto. It was further required that all carriers which should thereafter be named as parties to any joint tariff, or to any supplement or amendment to any joint tariff, published and filed by another carrier, should forth with upon the publication thereof file with the Commission a statement or certificate showing their acceptance of and concurrence therein, and making themselves parties thereto. For a considerable period after the promulgation of this order there appeared to be little or no effort on the part of a great many carriers to comply with this require. ment.
In many cases, where it was apparent that no attempt had been made to comply with the order, the Commission refused to accept the tariffs for filing and returned them to the carriers for reissue and correction. By this means and by continual correspondence very considerable improvement in this respect has been effected. At the present time comparatively few joint tariffs are received for filing that do not show the names of the carriers that are supposed to participate therein. It should be stated, however, that in many cases there appears to be little effort to confine the names to the carriers which actually participate in the tariff, the object appearing to be to show the names of all roads that could form any part of any possible route, sometimes to the number of a hundred or more. That many of the roads so shown as parties have no interest in the tariff seems evident from the fact that they do not file certificates of concurrence therein; and it has been frequently noticed that certain carriers named as parties to joint tariffs could not participate in the rates named therein under any possible circumstances.
From the facts above stated it seems clear that in many cases no previous arrangement or agreement is made in regard to the rates published in joint tariffs, and the failure of many carriers named as parties to such tariffs to indicate concurrence therein is also accounted for in the same way.
While it is true, as above stated, that most joint tariffs now filed with the Commission show the names of the carriers which are supposed to participate therein, this is not true of supplements and amendments to joint tariffs. It seems difficult to impress upon carriers the fact that each separate issue of joint rates, regardless of the title by which it may be designated, is a joint tariff within the meaning of the law, and should therefore show for itself what carriers are parties thereto. In issuing supplements or amendments to joint tariffs it is a
common practice, instead of naming the carriers parties to the same, to make them read: “In connection with carriers named in tariff.” This is not a compliance with the order referred to, and besides, in probably the majority of cases, the carriers parties to the tariff are not all interested in each supplement or amendment thereto. It frequently occurs that supplements or amendments to joint tariffs cover new territory and affect carriers not shown as parties to the original tariff.
This matter has been the cause of probably inore correspondence than any other subject in connection with rate schedules. Many letters have been received from various carriers protesting against this requirement on the ground that it is extremely burdensome. The fact remains, however, that under the present plan of authorization of joint tariffs it is as necessary that supplements and amendments to such tariffs, when they contain joint rates, should show the names of participating carriers and be separately concurred in, as in the case of joint tariffs.
While a large number of certificates of concurrence in joint rates are filed-an average of between eight and nine hundred a day-they are seldom received before the rates become effective, and frequently not until several weeks or months thereafter. Instead of forwarding the certificates immediately upon receipt of the tariffs, it is the practice of some roads to allow the tariffs to accumulate for several weeks, and in some instances even for several months, before forwarding the certificates therefor for filing. It is not understood that these certificates are retroactive in effect, but are effective only from the date filed. The tariffs, therefore, are usually in effect for a greater or less period before authority therefor is filed by the participating carriers, and in some cases the tariff is canceled or superseded before the participating carriers concur.
Many carriers named as parties to joint tariffs fail to file certificates of concurrence therein, but this may be accounted for in a great measure by the fact, before mentioned, that carriers are frequently named as parties to joint tariffs in which they evidently have no interest. Where rates are published in joint tariffs which are objectionable to some of the carriers named as parties, such carriers usually notify the Commission-often by telegraph — that they are not parties to the rates named, and will not concur therein.
From the foregoing it will be seen that under the present plan for the authorization of joint tariffs the purpose intended is not fully accomplished, and it would appear that the only remedy is to place the burden of securing concurrence upon the carriers which issue the tariffs, and to require that the authority be filed with the tariffs. It would no doubt be difficult to enforce such a requirement unless the previous notice to the Commission of proposed changes be considerably extended.
Joint tariffs are usually filed by the carrier on whose line the traffic originates, but this is by no means an invariable rule, as such tariffs
are frequently filed by intermediate and also by terminal carriers. Tariffs thus filed give rise to more or less confusion and render it more difficult to determine the rates between the points covered thereby. When rates are desired it is naturally expected that they will be found in the files of the carrier on whose line the traffic originates, and which is required to post the same for the information of the public. If the files of all intermediate and terminal carriers, in addition to those of the initial carriers, must be examined in order to ascertain the rates between given points, it can readily be seen that the time and labor required for such work is greatly increased.
It is doubtless true that in many cases the intermediate or terminal carrier, on account of having greater interest in the traffic, is willing to assume the expense of publishing the tariff, but as the duty of posting and giving the public legal notice of changes devolves upon the initial carrier, copies of the tariff must be furnished such carrier for that purpose, and it would appear to be an easy matter to so arrauge that the initial carrier could in all cases file a copy of the tariff and give the Commission legal notice of changes.
Under the uniform system of numbering rate schedules adopted Feb. ruary 1, 1896, failure on the part of carriers to file tariffs soon becomes apparent by the missing numbers in the files. During the eleven months ending October 30, 1897, 1,832 letters were written calling for 7,141 schedules which carriers had failed to file at the proper time. This failure to file certain schedules is no doubt due, in the great majority of cases, to oversight or carelessness on the part of the clerk to whom has been assigned the duty of attending to such filing; but there are probably instances where the tariffs are purposely withheld in order to prevent other carriers from learning the rates used on certain traffic.
Commencing with July 1, 1896, greater attention was given to the examination of tariffs, for the purpose of detecting failures to give legal notice as well as imperfections in construction, thạn had previously been attempted, and a record was kept of all schedules received which failed to give proper notice. A statement compiled from this record is printed as an appendix to this report, showing the total number of freight schedules filed by each carrier named from July 1, 1896, to July 1, 1897; also the number filed by each which failed to give legal notice, and the percentage of those failing to give legal notice to the total number filed. While it is possible that some few schedules which failed to give full notice may have escaped detection, it is believed that this statement is practically correct.
In the absence of published through rates to certain points, it often happens that through rates are determined by adding to an interstate rate the local rate from a junction point located in the same State as the destination point. In such cases intrastate rates constitute a portion of the total charge on interstate traffic. Intrastate rates are not usually filed with the Commission except when published in tariffs naming interstate rates, and in cases of the kind above referred to the Commission is often unable to determine the through rates on interstate shipments. The Commission entertains no doubt that when intrastate tariffs are used as part of interstate rates they come within the requirements of the act and should be filed with the Commission.
POWER OF COMMISSION TO PRESCRIBE MAXIMUM RATES.
The decision rendered by the Supreme Court on May 24, 1897, in Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway Company et al. (The Freight Bureau Cases, 167 U. S., 479), is discussed under other headings in this report. A sufficient statement of the decision in this connection is that it denies the authority of the Commission to require carriers not to exceed charges found reasonable and just. Along with, and as a result of, this decree the Supreme Court also reversed the decisions of the fifth circuit court of appeals and the United States circuit court in what is called the “Orange Rate Case” (167 U. S., 512).
A further result of the denial by the Supreme Court in the Freight Bureau Cases of power in the Commission to prescribe maximum reasonable rates has been the abandonment of the appeal in the Lehigh Valley Coal Case (entitled before the Commission, Coxe Bros. & Co. v. Lehigh Valley Railroad Co.), in which the circuit court for the eastern district of Pennsylvania had made a like ruling; and the fourth circuit court of appeals has applied the decision of the Freight Bureau Cases in the Charleston Truck Farmers' Case, and affirmed the dis. missal by the circuit court of our petition to enforce an order limiting rates on vegetables and berries from South Carolina points to New York and other cities.
Carriers by all-rail lines from the West to the eastern seaboard, doubtless thoroughly informed of the iminunity from restrictive regulation conferred upon them by this decision, increased the long-existing rate of 20 cents on grain and grain products from Chicago to New York to 221 cents on October 15, 1897. The rate had been 20 cents per 100 pounds since February 4, 1895, except for about three weeks between June 15 and July 8, 1895, when it was as low as 15 cents. Similar changes also took effect on grain to other eastern seaports, and rates from the many stations taking percentages of the Chicago rate were correspondingly affected. A like increase of 24 cents was made on October 31 last in the all-rail grain rate to New York from St. Paul and Minneapolis. A statement, prepared in the office of the Joint Traffic Association and filed in a pending case, shows that during the year 1896 the all-rail lines brought from and through Chicago and various other named junctious to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore 1,482,370 tons, or 2,964,740,000 pounds of grain, flour, and mill stuffs. An advance in transportation charges of 21 cents per