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The Northern Pacific Co., through its attorney, replied that said company had gone out of the through business and was not hauling coal to Minneapolis and St. Paul (except for its own use), and therefore had not discriminated against Anoka.
The Great Northern Railway Co., through Vice President Clough, raised the point that this was a matter beyond the jurisdiction of this commission, as a shipment from Duluth or West Superior over said line to Anoka or St. Paul was an interstate shipment, a part of said line running through the state of Wisconsin. The commission conceded that under a recent decision of the Supreme Court of this state, the point was well taken, but suggested that if the alleged discrimination could be justified before the Interstate Commerce Commission it could also be justified before the State Commission; the company, however, did not feel disposed to take the matter up with this commission, whereupon the complainants were advised to present the matter to the Interstate Commerce Commission. As far as this commission is advised the matter was dropped by the complainants and nothing further was done in the prosecution of this complaint.
In March, 1891, the Star Elevator Co., of Duluth, filed a complaint with the commission, that on a shipment of oats from Elk River to Duluth, they were charged by the Great Northern Line, 13 cents per 100 pounds, while they could have shipped the same via Elk River over the same road in the same direction, from St. Paul to Duluth, a distance 40 miles longer, for seven and one-half cents per 100 pounds.
The principle involved in this case is identical with that involved in the complaint from the Board of Trade of Anoka, above referred to.
The commission, however, brought this new case to the attention of the company, and again asked it to either justify it or correct the tariff so as to comform to the provisions of both the state and inter-state railroad laws. An attempt was now made by the Great Northern line to justify the discrimination on the ground that the through business between St. Paul or Minneapolis and Duluth or West Superior was done by the Eastern Railway of Minnesota, and the business between local stations, such as Elk River and Duluth or West Superior, was done by the Great Northern Railway Company, two separate and distinct corporations; the Eastern Railway of Minnesota owns the line from Hinckley to Duluth, and has leased the
right to run trains over the line of the Great Northern Railway Company between Hinckley and St. Paul.
Investigation made by the commission of the records of the Great Northern Railway Company revealed the fact that said, company owns all the stock of the Eastern Railway of Minnesota; that it has practically the same officers, and, as far as the public is concerned and informed, the Eastern Railway of Minnesota is a part of the Great Northern system. Our files showed also that the Eastern Railway of Minnesota had a joint tariff with the C., St. P. & K. C. Railway, and with the M. & St. L. Railway, and there seemed to be no reason why there should not be a similar joint tariff between the two companies complained of.
The commission, therefore, maintained that charging a higher rate from an intermediate station to Duluth than is charged from St. Paul to Duluth, over said line, is a violation of both the state and the inter-state railroad law.
The company then again raised the objection that this commission had no jurisdiction in the matter. whereupon the commission informed the company that if this point was insisted upon, it would take the case before the Inter-state Commerce Commission and prosecute the same to a final issue at the ex. pense of the state.
The company was to make a formal answer denying the alleged violation of law and also the jurisdiction of the commission. Instead, however, of such an answer, the commission shortly after received a request for further delay in the matter that the company might see if the tariffs complained of could be corrected in accordance with the views of the commission. Further time was granted. The result was that on July 15, 1891, a new tariff on all commodities was put into force which makes the rates between intermediate stations and Duluth or West Superior in no instance higher than the rates in force between St. Paul and Duluth, thus reducing the rate on grain from Elk River to Duluth from thirteen cents per 100 pounds to seven and one-half cents, and the rate on hard coal from Duluth or West Superior to Elk River and Anoka from $2.00 per ton to $1.50, and other commodities in proportion.
This gratifying result has been obtained without litigation and with comparatively little delay. If it had become necessary to go into the courts or to appeal to the Interstate Commerce Commission it would have involved a considerable ex.
pense in money, and material delays in time, which have been happily avoided by the course adopted herein set forth, and by the satisfactory adjustment of the rates by the railway companies.
OFFICE OF RAILROAD AND WAREHOUSE COMMISSION, )
ST. PAUL, April 28, 1891. I
COMPANY. The petition or complaint in this case was dated November 11th, 1890, and as originally sent to the commission, it was not verified nor did it contain any prayer for relief nor furnish any basis for an order from the commission.
On the 14th of November, 1890, the commission addressed a letter to Mr. Myers, acknowledging the receipt of the paper and stating to him that if we understood his purpose it was to ask the commission to make an order requiring the railway company to build a side track to his grain warehouse, located on his own land, but adjacent to the right of way of the company under subdivision (c) of section 3, chapter 10, General Laws of 1887. He was informed if this was his purpose the rules of the commission required that the complaint be verified, and it was returned to him for that purpose, with a draft of a proper form of verification.
On the 17th of November, 1990, the original petition or complaint was returned to the commission with a verification attached, and with the following addition:
SUPPLEMENTAL. “ Your petitioner asks that an order be made requiring said company to build a side track to said warehouse.”
A copy of the whole petition or complaint is hereto appended, marked Exhibit “A.”
A copy of the petition was thereupon made and on the 18th of November it was forwarded to the general superintendent of the C., M. & St. P. R’y Co., who was thereby required to satisfy the complaint or answer the same in writing within twenty days from November 18th, and to serve a copy of the answer
upon the complainant. The time for answering was upon application from the attorney of the company, extended twice.
On the 27th of December, 1890, the answer of the company was filed with the commission. A copy of this answer is hereto attached, marked Exhibit “B”.
On the 11th of February, 1891, by appointment of which both parties had due notice, the commission held a meeting at Wells, for the purpose of a hearing herein.
The following members of the commission were present: J. P. Williams, Geo. L. Becker, Commissioners; A. K. Teisberg, Secretary.
The petitioner was present in person and was represented by C. A. Andrews and M. S. Wilkinson, his attorneys.
The company was represented by W. H. Norris, its solicitor.
The commission, accompanied by the parties, first visited the premises where the grain warehouse is located and viewed the same, entered the building and looked over the ground for the proposed side tract.
The hearing was commenced at 7:30 p. m., of February 11th, 1891.
Before proceeding to hear the testimony, Mr. Norris in behalf of the company, made in writing the following offer to the petitioner and asked that the same be made a part of the record, and it was so ordered:
“Myers spur track. Respondents offer because, with no obli. gation to do so, we once consented to lay the spur track now demanded to serve three proposed grain houses to be constructed out of the petitioner's old hay barn and we do not prefer hostilities. If the petitioner puts the two sections of the hay barn wholly upon his own land and in reasonably smooth and safe external condition and repairs and devotes both of them exclusively to a grain business, agreeing that neither of them, nor his land in their vicinity shall be used to receive, store and handle or ship hay, and if the petitioner give us a fire release in our usual form, we are now willing, though under no obligation, to lay the spur track without charge to the petitioner and to operate it, to serve such grain houses while used as such and while all such business shall be forborne.
Whereupon at the instance of the petitioner a recess was ordered.
Upon reassembling pursuant to adjournment the petitioner presented the following reply to the offer of the company, and counter proposition, to wit:
"The petitioner deems the terms upon which respondent offers to build the track in question, unusual, unreasonable, unfair and discriminating The buildings are located by a survey made for that purpose by the respondent, and are entirely off its right of way by said survey. In spirit of fairness and concession the petitioner makes this counter proposition to respondent: that in said buildings as now situate, and in the condition they now are, shall be conducted a lawful business in the usual and ordinary way according to the custom of like business at this place, and that therefrom shall be shipped in quantities sufficient to be profitable to respondent, freight and merchandise consisting chiefly of wheat, oats, corn and flax, but also baled hay and other commodities marketed by the farmers of this vicinity as shall be deemed expedient,
And requested that the same be made part of the record in this case, and it was so ordered.
The company respondent through its representative declined to accept the proposition made by the petitioner, whereupon the commission directed the petitioner to present his testimony in support of his claim; and the following witnesses were introduced and sworn in his behalf, viz: W. F, Myers, M. J. Myers, M. N. Leland, Andrew Eaton.
The respondent company called the following witnesses, who appeared and testified, viz: F. E. Rice, W. Irwin, W. B. Movery, W. H. Ketchback, Watson, J. A. Hall, E. Hays, J. H. Joyce, A. L. Taylor, T. W. Woodard, W. E. Howe.
The respondent company also submitted the following estimate of the cost of the spur track proposed, as a part of the evidence of witness F. E. Rice, an engineer in the service of the company:
“Minneapolis, Dec. 22, 1890. Estimate of cost of proposed spur track to Myers & Watson's warehouse at Wells: Grading...........
$ 50.00 310 lineal feet of track, 60 lbs. old steel at $25 per ton.... 245.64 One switch complete ........
83.20 Two road crossings........................................
15.36 360 feet surfacing and track laying........................
F. E. RICE, Assistant Engineer. There being no further or other testimony, it was agreed by the respective parties that the cause should be submitted without argument, whereupon the hearing was closed.
FINDINGS OF FACT. The commission makes the following findings of fact in this case upon which it bases its conclusions, as hereinafter stated:
First–That on or about September 20, 1890, the petitioner moved a building, which had formerly been used for a hay