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action taken with regard to them will be found appended to the report. The commission has no power to correct an alleged abuse upon an ex parte statement. It is neither despotic or autocratic in its sphere, but it is a tribunal, created by the State to hear complaints, to investigate them, and, when found to be real and relating to practices or omis. sions on the part of common carriers which are unlawful, to take the necessary steps to correct the same.
In most cases the commission has found that in the first instance it is a wise and satisfactorr policy to open correspondence with the common carrier, with a view to adjust the matter complained of.
The railway companies have been prompt to respond to letters so addressed to them, and in very many instances a satisfactory adjustment has been reached without further procedure. Either the complainant has been mistaken in his facts, or if a wrong has been done it has been the fault or mistake of an agent, which the manager
would correct, or the complainant and the company have misunderstood or misapprehended each other, and the comunission has been able to make a satisfactory settlement without a resort to more stringent measures.
It is the experience of the commission that this disposition of many of the complaints made is more satisfactory in its results to both par. ties than could have been effected in any other way.
There are some cases, however, which cannot be thus disposed of, and which demand and receive the more formal action of the commis. sion. With a view of giving such proceedings an orderly course, the commission has adopted a series of rules of practice in cases and proceedings before it, a copy of which is appended to this report.
Some of the cases which have occupied the attention of the commission deserve a notice in the body of this report because of their public importance, and because, also, they have been taken to the courts for a judicial interpretation. Such are
1. The order relating to switching charges in Minneapolis.
3 Passenger rates on the St. P., M. & M. Ry and the Northern Pacific Railroad.
4. The complaint of the Mankato Jobbers Union as to rates on the C., St. P., M. &0. Ry from Duluth to Mankato.
SWITCHING CHARGES IN MINNEAPOLIS.
This was a complaint made originally in 1886, on the part of the
shippers and manufacturers of Minneapolis that the switching and transfer charges in that city were grevious and excessive, and demanding that the same be reduced by the order of the board.
A hearing was had before the board as then constituted; but before a decision was reached a new commission was appointed, and in the mean while the legislature, in the act to regulate common carriers, etc , approved March 7, 1887, took up the subject and made the following enactment:
Sec. 7. (c) There shall in no case be more than one terminal charge for switching or transferring any car, whether the same is loaded or empty, within the limits of any one city or town. If it is necessary
that any car pass over the tracks of more than one company within such city or town limits, in order to reach its final destination, or to be returned therefrom to its owner or owners, then the company first switching or transferring such car shall be entitled to receive the entire charge to be made therefor, and shall be liable to the company or companies doing the subsequent switching or transferring thereof for its or their reasonable and equitable share of the compensation received, and if the companies so jointly interested therein cannot agree upon the share thereof which each is entitled to receive, the same shall be determined by the Board of Railroad and Warehouse Commissioners, whose decision thereon shall be final and conclusive upon all parties interested, and the said board are authorized to establish such rules, regulations in that behalf as to them may seem just and reasonable and not in conflict with this act.
This enactment provides that there shall in no case be more than one terminal charge for switching or transferring any car whether loaded or empty within the limits of any one city or town, how the same shall be collected, and in case the companies doing the work cannot agree upon a reasonable and equitable division of the charge so made provision is made for a determination ther--of hy this commission,
No application has been made to the commission to act under this section.
The complaint with reference to switching charges in Minneapolis continued after the passage of this law
On the 7th of July, 1887, after considerati in of all the evidence submitted, the commission issued its order establishing one dollar as the maximum charge for the switching or transfer of any car at or within the limits of the city of Minneapolis.
On the 8th of July, 1887, this order was served upon the following companies, to-wit:
The St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba.
The St. Paul & Duluth.
The Railway Transfer Co. of Minneapolis.
The grounds of this appeal are stated as follows:
1. The said order was made without jurisdiction in the said Board of Railroad and Warehouse Commissioners to make the same.
2. The rates charged by the said appellant for the switching services referred to in said order, according to the regular tariff of the said appellant therefor, are reasopable and just.
3. The rates for such services sought to be fixed and established by the said order are unreasonable and unjust, because the same will not afford to the said appellant a reasonable compensation for such services.
4. The said order was served on this appellant more than (10) ten days prior to this date, to-wit: on July 8, 1887, and no judicial proceedings to enforce the same have ever been commenced by the Attorney General of said State in any court thereof.
On the sixth day of August, 1887, the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Company served on the commission notice of an appeal to the District Court for the Second Judicial District of Minnesota for Ramsey County.
The grounds of this appeal are not stated in the notice.
On the 25th of July, 1887, the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Company filed its bill of complaint in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Minnesota, against the Railroad and Warehouse Commission, asking this court, for reasons therein stated, to declare the order referred to void and of no effect, and asking that the defendants be perpetually enjoined from proceeding any further under said order, or in any way or manner enforcing, or attempting to enforce the same against this company, and that until the final hearing the defendants be so temporarily enjoined.
On the 25th day of July, 1887, the court, upon the filing of this bill of complaint, made an order requiring defendants to show cause, on the 1st day of August, 1887, at ten o'clock, why a provisional or temporarv injunction should not issue, as prayed for in said bill, and commanding and enjoining the defendants from doing anything to enforce said order until the further order of the court.
To this complaint the commission made answer in due time, and a motion was made to dissolve the restraining order.
The motion was heard by Judge Nelson, at Chambers, and on the 12th day of December, 1887, he filed his opinion granting the motion, thus dissolving the injunction. The opinion is published in full in this report, and is commended to your attention.
The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Company also appealed to the District Court for the Fourth Judicial District of Minnesota from this order, and in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Minnesota, the same proceedings were had on the part of this company as above stated in the case of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Company
The Northern Pacific Company also appealed from the saine order under date of July 28, 1887, to the District Court of Ramsey County.
The Minneapolis Eastern Railway Company also appealed from the same order to the District Court for the Fourth Judicial District of Minnesota.
The Railway Transfer Company, of Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway Company likewise appealed from this order to the District Court for the Fourth Judicial District of Minnesota
The St. Paul & Duluth Company has not appealed from the order, but has been notified by the commission that no steps would be taken to enforce the same until the questions involved had been heard and determined by the courts.
MILK RATES ON THE I. & M
DIVISION OF THE C., M. & ST. P. RY. CO.
In May, 1885, the attention of the board was called to the subject of milk rates between Farmington and St. Paul, and between North field and St. Paul, by shippers living at Farmington, the charge being that whereas the distance from Farmington to St. Paul was thirteen miles less than from Northfield to the same place, yet the charge for transportation was the same.
This was claimed to be an unjust discrimination against Farmington. The complaint and report of the board thereon may be found in the report of the board for 1885, page 429-430
Notwithstanding the opinion given by the board in 1885, that the case stated did not constitute an unjust discrimination, the same parties in 1887 brought the same question before the new commission
At about the same time the Boards of Trade Union of Farmington,
Northfield, Faribault and Owatonna made complaint to the commission that the rates made by the C., M. & St. P. Ry. Co. on milk were unreasonably high, and prayed that the company be required to change the same and adopt such rates and charges as the commission should declare to be equal and reasonable.
This complaint alleged that the rate from Owatonna to St. Paul and Minneapolis was four cents per gallon, and from Faribault, Dundas, Northfield and Farmington was three cents per gallon.
The commission thus had both questions before it, one that there was an unjust discrimination in charging as much from Farmington, which is nearest to St. Paul, as was charged from Northfield and Faribault, and the other that there was an unjust discrimination in charg. ing more from Owatonna, which is most distant from St. Paul, than was charged from the other stations intermediate, and that all the rates were excessive.
The complaining parties and the company were all heard at the same time.
After hearing the testimony produced and the statements of all the parties, the commission after consideration of the subject, made an order, a copy of which will be found in this report, that the rates from Owatonna and Faribault ( being the more distant points ) to St. Paul and Minneapolis should not exceed two and one-half cents per gallon.
The examination of the question having developed the fact that the Minnesota & Northwestern Railroad Company, running a road parallel to the lowa & Minnesota division of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul road, had a rate of two and one-half cents per gallon on all milk transported by it, regardless of distance, the commission expressed its a proval of this arrangement of that company.
The order of the commission upon this subject was dated Aug, 3 1807.
It appearing, in October, that the company had not complied with the order of the commission, the commission published the tariff of rates which they had declared to be equal and reasonable, and caused the same to be posted at all the regular stations on the line of the lowa & Minnesota division in this State, as provided in subdivision (f) of sec. 8, of the act approved March 7, 1887.
The company still neglecting and refusing to carry out the recommendations made and published by the commission, application has been made, through the attorney general, to the Supreme Court of the