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observed. The same considerations of justice and public policy, which require this in case of the freight rate apply to the charge for refrigeration.
PUBLICATION AND FILING OF TARIFFS ON EXPORT AND IMPORT TRAFFIC.
In February last the Commission concluded an investigation and filed its decision in regard to the publication and filing of tariffs on import and export traffic (10 I. C. C. Rep., 55). The Commission has assumed from the first, and several times expressly decided, that the act to regulate commerce imposes the same duty in respect to the publication and filing of import and export tariffs as domestic tariffs. The state of the law was such, however, up to the passage of the socalled Elkins Act of February 19, 1903, that there was no very effective means by which the publication of these tariffs could be compelled. This, together with a feeling that there might be cases in which the insistence upon these requirements would be injurious to the carrier and the public, led the Commission to refrain, up to the time of the the investigation, from any active attempt to secure compliance with the statute in this respect. By the enactment of the law above mentined, however, means were furnished for the enforcement of this provision, and it seemed to the Commission that it ought to insist, in the present state of the law, upon the publication of import and export tariffs. Nevertheless, in view of what had transpired in the past, it was deemed suitable, before taking steps in this direction, to advise the various parties interested of the Commission's intention and to give opportunity for a statement of the difficulties that would attend compliance with the law as interpreted by the Commission and to urge any reasons why that construction was wrong.
A public hearing was held in Washington on December 17, 1903, and at Chicago on January 7, 1904. The hearings were attended by a full representation of carriers interested in all sections and by representatives of export and foreign trade associations and various shippers and manufacturers from different parts of the country. The results of the investigation confirmed the Commission in its previously expressed opinion that the act to regulate commerce requires the publication of import and export tariffs in the same manner as domestic tariffs. The Commission said that public policy urgently requires that the inland transportation of import and export commerce should be subject to the act to regulate commerce, and that the publication and maintenance of tariffs upon such traffic imposes no hardship upon the carrier. There may, of course, be cases in which modifications of this rule would be of service to the carrier without detriment to the public, and perhaps other instances in which such a modification should be granted in the interest of both the carrier and
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the public; but this could only be accomplished by an amendment of the act, since the provisions of that statute are mandatory, and the Commission has no power to modify their requirements. In the event that carriers may be relieved to any extent from giving notice now required of advances and reductions in rates upon foreign commerce, they should in all cases file with the Commission the rates actually made, and give such further notice to the public as may be possible. Under the circumstances the Commission felt that the carriers should be afforded an opportunity to present the matter to Congress, provided, however, that in the meantime all carriers which do not publish and maintain import and export tariffs shall file with the Commission a statement of the rates actually charged. It was stated, however, that if the act should not be amended in this respect, it would be the duty of the Commission to enforce the publication of import and export rates in the manner now provided by the statute.
Following are cases decided during the year in which the unreasonableness of rates constituted a main question:
In one case, entitled “The Aberdeen Group Commercial Association against the Mobile & Ohio Railroad Company,” decided June 25 last (10 I. C. C. Rep., 289), the carrier's rates on freight articles generally from St. Louis and East St. Louis and Cairo to Tupelo, Aberdeen, Columbus, Westpoint, and Starkville, Miss., were not found as a whole to be reasonable and just, nor, on the other hand, to be altogether unreasonable; but upon the facts of the case the rates upon grain and grain products, which approximated 14 cents per ton per mile from St. Louis for a haul of about 400 miles, were held to be unreasonable and unjust. This was about twice as much per ton per mile as the average of all rates on freight carried by the defendant road and nearly twice as much as the average upon all roads in the United States. Grain in carloads is usually loaded and unloaded by the shippers and consignees. The cars are susceptible of heavy loading with these articles, and they often move in train loads, and are generally carried throughout the country at relatively low rates as compared with other articles. This is especially true in respect to long hauls.
It appears to us that rates resulting from a reduction of 3 cents per 100 pounds and approximating 1 cent per ton per mile on these articles for the distance from St. Louis and East St. Louis to the above-named destination points in Mississippi, would be liberal and sufficiently high. The existing differential from Cairo to the same destinations, amounting to 5 cents less than from St. Louis, was not disturbed.
A case brought by the Georgia Peach Growers' Association against the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company and other carriers from
points in Georgia to New York, Boston, and other northern markets was decided by the Commission in June last (10 1. C. C. Rep., 255). It involved an arbitrary charge of $80 per car imposed by the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company for the transportation from New York to Boston of peaches and other fruits shipped from Georgia points to Boston, this haul being part of the through service between the points of shipment and destination. The charge was declared unreasonable and unjust, and $50 per car was found to be a just and reasonable charge for such transportation. The rate has been reduced to $65 per car, and no further proceedings upon this branch of the case have been had.
The rate from Georgia points to New York was also alleged to be unreasonable. All the facts and circumstances, included, on the one hand, the difficulties and liability to loss attending the production and shipment of peaches, and, on the other hand, the large percentage of cars loaded above the prescribed minimum for carloads for which excess no charge was made by the carriers, the exceptional character of the service, which involves fast time and prompt delivery at destination, the carriage of a large amount of nonpaying freight, return of cars without loads, and many other conditions relating to the highly perishable nature of the traffic. The ruling of the Commission was that neither the minimum carload weight nor the transportation charge established by the defendants engaged in the carriage of peaches in refrigerator cars from Georgia points to Boston, based upon a rate of 81 cents from Atlanta to New York, was unreasonable and unjust upon the record in that case.
A further ruling in this proceeding was that if fruit is damaged through negligence of the carrier while in transit there is no reason why the carrier can not be required to respond in damages to the full amount of the injury sustained without regard to the valuation placed upon it; and defendants' regulation whereby the freight rate on peaches and other fruit from Georgia points is increased in proportion to the carload valuation fixed by the shipper was declared unreasonable and unjust.
In another case, also decided in June, it was found that cowpeas, like clover and other grasses, are sown and then turned over by the plow for the purpose of soil improvement, but that this was not a reason why cowpeas should in the adjustment of freight rates be classed as fertilizer, which is applied directly to the soil. Cowpeas are further distinguished from fertilizer in that fertilizer furnishes the carrier much greater tonnage; cowpeas have much greater value, and the vine as well as the pea itself is used as a food product.
One defendant in the case, the Louisville & Nashville, classified cowpeas in Class D of its freight classification, which also included grain, while the other defendant, the Atlantic Coast Line, imposed a charge
of 1 cent higher than Class D rates on cowpeas shipped from South Carolina and North Carolina points to New Orleans. It was decided that the charge exacted by the Atlantic Coast Line was unreasonable and unjust, and that cowpeas should be placed by it in Class D and carried by it at the rate fixed for that class. The ruling was complied with. This was in the case of Swaffield against the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company et al. (10 I. C. C. Rep., 281).
The Denison Light and Power Company, of Denison, Tex., having complained against the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company that its rate on coal to Denison from the McAlester mining district in Indian Territory was unreasonable, and that it discriminated in favor of Dallas, Tex., as against Denison in that although the distance to Dallas is more than twice as great as to Denison, the rate is but slightly higher, a decision was rendered on June 25 last (10 I. C. C. Rep., 337). The testimony showed that competitive conditions existed at Dallas which forced the lower rate at that point upon the defendant. This left the inherent reasonableness of the rate from the McAlester district to Denison as the sole issue in the case. The Commission held that the defendant's rate of $1.90 per ton on coal, lump and slack, from South McAlester, Ind. T., to Denison, Tex., a distance of 97 miles, was unreasonable and unjust, and should not have exceeded $1.25 per ton. The case was held open for a specified time without making any formal order; but it was stated by the Commission in its decision that if the tariffs had not been by that time readjusted and the complainant still desired to proceed with the matter of reparation, further testimony would be permitted upon that branch of the case and the proper orders made.
In the case of Barrow against the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley and Illinois Central Railroads (10 I. C. C. Rep., 333), decided in June of this year, the carriers had a rate on horses and mules in less than carloads from Bayou Sara, La., to St. Louis, Mo., which was the double first-class rate of $1.80 per 100 pounds upon an estimated weight of 2,000 pounds for the first animal, 1,500 pounds for the second, and 1,000 pounds for each additional animal. The distance between the points mentioned is 667 miles. We held that this rate when applied to the transportation of a single animal was not unreasonable, but that it was unreasonable for a shipment of four animals, amounting in that case to $99, while the charge upon a carload of 25 animals was only $100. The Commission further said that the less-than-carload tariff would be rendered more just by reducing the charge to 90 cents per 100 pounds, the first-class rate; increasing the estimated weight of the first animal to 4,000 pounds and leaving the weights for the additional animals as they were at the time of the decision-1,500 pounds for the second and 1,000 pounds each for all others included in the shipment. No order was issued, but the complainant was given leave to apply to the Commission for reparation if compelled to pay rates in excess of those indicated.
The Texas & Pacific Railway Company had in force a rate on beef cattle in carloads from Fort Worth, Tex., to New Orleans, La., of 42} cents per 100 pounds, and $15 per car additional when the shipment was made in lots of less than 10 carloads. Complaint was made by the New Orleans Live-Stock Exchange against the imposition of the additional $15 per car. In its decision rendered June 25 last (10 I. C.C. Rep., 327) the Commission held that the charge of $15 per car in addition to the rate of 42 cents per 100 pounds was unreasonable when applied to single carload shipments. Having found the additional charge unreasonable, it was unnecessary, either as a matter of law or fact, to decide whether the imposition of that charge in lots of less than 10 carloads, while not applied to 10 carloads or more, was in violation of the act to regulate commerce.
The Commission further said that it must not be understood as the opinion of the Commission that the defendant was obliged to receive single carloads of live stock at Fort Worth for shipment to New Orleans at any and all times; that the service required by this species of traffic is peculiar and exacting, and that the defendant carrier may with propriety appoint à certain day or days upon which it will run trains for the accommodation of the traffic, and shippers should accommodate themselves to this schedule, if reasonable service is thereby afforded.
Two cases brought by John W. Blackman, jr., one against the Southern Railway Company and the other against the Columbia, Newberry & Laurens Railroad Company, were decided on June 29, 1904 (10 I. C. C. Rep., 352), which involved the reasonableness of charges for the storage of sugar at Macon, Ga., and of molasses at Columbia, S. C., in which comparison was made with the storage rates charged at public warehouses. The Commission held that a railroad freight depot and a public storage warehouse are not used for similar purposes, and the charge for storage in the railroad depot may properly be made higher than the public warehouse charge with the object of compelling the expeditious removal of freight.
It appeared that the Southern Railway at Macon charged storage rates prescribed by the Georgia Railroad Commission, and the Columbia, Newberry & Laurens Railroad Company applied at Columbia the storage rates prescribed by the South Carolina Railroad Commission. We held that although such storage rates were in excess of the usual public warehouse charges in Macon and Columbia, they did not violate the act to regulate commerce. Storage rates and regulations enforced by common carriers subject to the act to regulate commerce must, it was declared in the decision, be published at their stations and filed with this Commission. The Columbia, Newberry & Laurens Railroad