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United States, pursuant to subdivision (g) of sec, 8, of the act last referred to.
The answer of the railway company to this application to the Supreme Court for a mandamus is given in full in this report, to the end that the people of the State of Minnesota may be advised of the attitude of this company in relation to the act approved March 7, 1887.
PASSENGER RATES ON THE ST. PAUL, MINNEAPOLIS & MANITOBA, AND
NORTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANIES.
The question of passenger rates in Minnesota received the consideration of the Railroad and Warehouse Commissicn in 1886, and on June 4th of that year an order was made that the maximum rate for the transportation of passengers should not exceed three cents per mile for all tickets purchased before entering the cars, provided that no railroad company should be required to carry any passenger for less than five cents.
The Duluth & Iron Range road was excepted from this order, whi: 5 was to go into effect July 1, 1886, and on June 26th the Burlingte, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railway Company was allowed to char!" three and one-half cents per
mile. On the 29th of June, 1886, the order was modified so far as the St P., M. & M. Railway Company was concerned, as shown by the fol lowing resolution of the Board : “WHEREAS, At the time of the issuing of the order of this board is
, the matter of passenger rates, on June 4, 1886, the investigation into the business of the company for the current year had not been made and the decrease in business was not apparent, therefore, Resolved, ir view of such decrease in earnings, and especially in view of this reduc tion in freight rates by said company, the board deem it just and ex pedient that said order be modified in its application to the St. Paul Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway Company to cover round-trip tickets only."
On the 18th day of August, 1886, the order was modified as far as the Northern Pacific Railroad Company was concerned, by the follow ing resolution of the Board :
“WHEREAS, The Northern Pacific Railroad Company has inade a reduction in freight rates corresponding with that made by the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway Company of Aug 1, 1886.
“Resolved, That pursuant to understanding with this board, the order of this board in the matter of passenger rates, dated June 4, 1886. be and it is now modified in its application to the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, providing that said Northern Pacific Railroa Company may charge the same local passenger rates as are not charged by the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway Company,
The reasons for these modifications to these two companies are given in the resolutions above quoted. On round trip tickets the rate was reduced to three cents per mile. On single trip tickets the companies charged the former rate.
On the 19th of May, 1887, these companies were notified to appear before the commission and show cause, if any there be, why the rate of fare on their lines in the State should not be changed, so that the rate should be fixed at three cents per mile, as had been done on the other roads of the State, with the exceptions noted, by the order of June 4, 1886. The hearing was fixed for June 14, 1887. On that day the hearing was postponed at the request of the companies to June 17th. On June 17th the attorney for the companies appeared and made argument why the order should not issue, and asked until July 1st to file statistics showing why the order should not issue. The request was granted.
On July 14th these statistics were filed On Nov. 10, 1887, the commission, after examining the whole subct in connection with the annual reports of the companies in queson for the year ending June 30, 1887, issued the order requiring the mpanies to change their passinger rates.
This order was served Nov. 11, 1887. The final order was served on the companies Dec 1, 1887.
The St. P., M & M. Ry. Co. appealed from this order Dec. 1, 1887, to the district court of Ramsey county. The court is asked to set aside and vacate the order upon the following, among other grounds:
First — The order is made without jurisdiction in the board of rail. road and warehouse commissioners to make the same.
Second.-The rates of fare charged by the appellant for the transportation and for the service referred to in said oder according to the regular tariff of appellant therefor are reasonable and just.
Third.-The rates sought to be fixed and established by said order are unreasonable and unjust, because the same would not afford to the appellant a reasonable compensation for such transportation
The act of March 7, 1887, subdivision (d), section 15, provides that no appeal as aforesaid shall stay or supersede the order appealed from in so far as such order shall relate to rates of transportation or to modes of transacting the business of the appellant with the public, unless the court hearing or deciding such case shall so direct.
Upon the application of the company in this case the court directed a stay of proceedings under the order. Here the case rests at the writing of this report so far as the St. P., M. & M. Rv. Co. is concerned. The Northern Pacific Railroad Company has neither obeyed the order or appealed therefrom. Following the provisions of the statute the commission has caused a notice to be posted at all the regular stations on all the lines operated by this company within the State of Minnesota, of which the following is a copy :
STATE OF MINNESOTA,
St. Paul, December 1, 1887.
WHEREAS, At a regular meeting of the Railroad and Warehouse Commission of the State of Minnesota, held at the office of said Commission in the city of St. Paul, in said State, on the tenth day of November, 1887, and pursuant to section eight of chapter ten of the General Laws of said State, as the same were enacted at the last session of the legislature thereof, a notice or order was made and issued by said commission and duly served on you on the eleventh day of said month of November, in which notice or order it is, among other things, provided as follows, namely: “ The commission therefore declares that, in its judgment, it is reasonable and expedient that the railroad company herein named, to-wit, the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, do change its rate of fare for the transportation of passengers; that said company shall not charge a rate exceeding three cents per mile for all tickets purchased before entering the cars : provided, that said company shall not be required to carry any passenger for less than five cents.
“Therefore this Commission recommends and directs that you, the said Northern Pacific Railroad Company, shall alter and change your schedule by the adoption and substitution of a rate not exceeding three cents per mile for all passenger tickets purchased before entering the cars, provided that you, the said company shall not be required to carry any passenger for less than five cents"
And Whereas, you have neglected and refused for more than ten days after and since the service of said notice or order upon you to substitute such tariff of rates and fares or to adopt the same as recommended and directed by said commission, as in and by said notice or order you were advised and directed to do, and do still so neglect and refuse to substitute such tariff of rates and fares in lieu and place of the schedule of rates and tares then in force on your road.
Now, therefore, we, the said commission, do hereby publish and declare the said schedule of rates and fares which were recommended and prescribed in and by said notice or order, for the transportation of passengers namely: three cents per mile for all tickets purchased before entering the cars, (provided that no one fare shall be less than five cents) is, and shall hereafter be considered as the legal, equal and reasonable maximum rate and fare to be charged or collected on your roads, lines and divisions within the State of Miunesota, in all cases where the journey for which the ticket is bought is commenced and ended within the limits of the State; and that the same is now in force and effect and that your schedules of rates and fares for the transportation of passengers are amended and changed accordingly.
You, the said railway company, your agents and employes will act accordingly or answer for a violation of the statute in such case made and provided. By order of the Commission,
E S. WARNER, [Seal.]
In addition thereto, the company having notified its agents to disregard the order of the commission as above given, a circular has been published to the traveling public, of which the following is a copy :
STATE OF MINNESOTA,
ST. PAUL, Dec. 13, 1887. To the Traveling Public:
The Minnesota Railroad Commission have issued an order reducing passenger fares on the Northern Pacific Railroad, over all portions of its lines within the State, to a maximum charge of three cents per mile (save that no ticket need be sold, or ride furnished, for less than five cents, however short the distance), and notices to that effect have been posted at the passenger stations on said lines. At the time of making the order a similar order was made as to the “Manitoba" road, and would have been posted along its various lines within the State, had not the District Court of Ramsey County taken the responsibility to stay proceedings as to that company till the 19th inst.
Our information leads us to believe that the Northern Pacific Rail. road Company intend to ignore the order and have instructed their ticket agents to disregard it.
The order is now in force, and should more than the rate prescribed by it be exacted, the commissioners suggest that any passenger desiring to avail himself of the reduced rates should tender the exact amount of fare to the agent (not asking him to make change) and demand a ticket before entering the cars If the ticket should not be furnished, then that the passenger enter upon his journey without a ticket, tendering to conductor same amount offered the agent, and informing him at the same time why he has no ticket.
Should the conductor insist upon a higher fare, the passenger can then make his election of paying (under protest) the sum demanded, reserving the right to prosecute the company for a violation of the railroad law enacted last winter, or of standing upon his legal rights, at the risk of being ejected from the car. If ejected, the passenger might, the commission believe, pursue his common law remedy in the courts of damages for the trespass upon his person, or institute proceedings for a violation of the railroad act, or both The commission hopes to be informed of every case of violation of the order. The facts of each case should be fully stated in writing and verified by oath of the passenger or some witness to the transaction.
By the Commission,
E S. WARNER, Secretary.
The same legal questions are involved in the enforcement of this order as are raised in the case of passenger rates on the St. P., M & M. Railway. This latter case is now before the courts, and the decision there will govern, as far as it goes, the controversy between the commission and the Northern Racific R. R. Co. on the subject of passenger rates.
In addition to the legal points made by the St. P., M. & M. Ry. Co. in their appeal from this order, the Northern Pacific R. R. Co. raises another issue, as follows: That, being a corporation created by act of Congress, it is not subject to State regulation or control.
It will be time enough to consider this latter point when the courts have passed definitely upon the issues raised by the St. P., M. & M. Ry. Co.
COMPLAINT AGAINST THE CHICAGO, ST. PAUL, MINNEAPOLIS & OMAHA,
THE CHICAGO, MILWAUKEE & ST. PAUL, AND THE CHICAGO & NORTHWESTERN RAILWAY COMPANIES FOR A VIOLATION OF SECTIONS 2, 7, AND 8, OF THE ACT OP MARCH 7, 1887.
The following pages of this report sets out in full the text of the complaint, and the action taken by the commission.
It only remains to add that the C., St. P., M. & 0. Ry. Company