Page images

proportion thereto their advantages over other points and cities having no water transportation or served by fewer lines of railroad. Courts and commissions must and do recognize these differences, as do carriers in fixing their freight rates."

No appeal was taken by the Commission from the decision of the Circuit Court in this case.

Hampton Case.*

The fallacy involved is that Hampton, which is an inland

place, with no natural advantages, shall be put upon the same footing as Palatka.Decision of the Circuit Court in this case.

The complainant before the Commission alleged violation of the long and short haul clause of the law, in that rates from St. Louis, Nashville, and Chattanooga to Hampton, Florida, were higher than on shipments of similar freight through Hampton to Palatka, Florida. It was also alleged that the rates in question were unjust and unreasonable in themselves and afforded an undue and unreasonable preference and advantage to dealers in Palatka. The defendants denied that the conditions were substantially similar and insisted that the rates to Palatka were controlled by the water route between Jacksonville and Palatka on the St. Johns river. The Commission thought that somewhat higher rates to Hampton than to Palatka were justified, but that the Third and Fourth sections were violated by those then in force. It indicated the opinion that the excess over the Palatka rate on first class freight which could be allowed on traffic destined to Hampton, would not be more than 10 cents per 100 pounds, and that similar differentials should be allowed on the lower classes. This opinion being rendered on March 10, 1900, the Commission said that “no order will be made in this case now. If by May 1, next, the rates in question have been readjusted in substantial accordance with this opinion the complaint will be dismissed; otherwise the order will issue in the premises." The Circuit Court dismissed a petition to enforce the order of the Commission, but without rendering a written opinion. Appeal was taken and the Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decree of the Circuit Court. The Court said:

*Board of Trade of the City of Hampton, Florida, vs. Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway Company et al.; Interstate Commerce Commission (8 Inter. Com. Rep. 503), decided March 10, 1900. Interstate Commerce Commission vs. Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway Company et al.; Circuit Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit (120 Fed. Rep. 934), decided Feb. 24, 1903.

“As we read the opinion of the Commission, filed as an exhibit to the bill, the Commission did not find that the Hampton rates were in and of themselves unreasonable, but found argumentatively that they were too high, not as based upon the matters to be considered in determining such questions, * * * but largely upon a consideration of rates and charges between St. Louis, Nashville, and Chattancoga, and Jacksonville and Palatka, Florida. The evidence submitted to the Commission, supplemented by all evidence taken in the Circuit Court, is not sufficient for us to find affirmatively that the Hampton rates were in and of themselves unreasonable.

“The bill also charges that the Hampton rates are in violation of section 3 of the Commerce act, in that said rates, taken in connection with the rates of the appellees from the same northern points to Palatka, Florida, give said Palatka an undue preference and advantage over said Hampton, and subject said Hampton to an undue prejudice through this advantage. The basis of this complaint is that goods shipped from St. Louis and Tennessee points to Palatka can be thereafter shipped by Palatka merchants to Hampton, and there sold on an equal footing with the same goods shipped from St. Louis and Tennessee points direct to Hampton, thus enabling the Palatka merchants to compete in Hampton with the Hampton merchants; while the rates as charged will not allow the Hampton merchants to ship goods from St. Louis and Tennessee points to Hampton, and from there to Palatka, to compete in Palatka on the same footing with Palatka merchants. In other words, it is charged as a duty of the Georgia, Florida & Southern Railway Company, the terminal carrier, to make such rates to Hampton and Palatka as will enable the Hampton merchants to compete in Palatka with Palatka merchants dealing in western goods; but it must not be forgotten that the rates to Palatka, which is a competitive point, are made by other carriers with through lines which are not parties to this suit. The fallacy involved is that Hampton, which is an inland

place with no natural advantages, shall be put upon the same footing as Palatka, which is situated upon a stream navigable all the year round, and has, in addition, several through railroad connections. It seems to be clear that the same reasons, in which we concur, which justify the Commission in finding that the defendant carriers can lawfully charge more for the short haul to Hampton than the long haul to Palatka over the same line, sufficiently answer this charge of discrimination."

Orange Routing Case.*

Equal or equivalent service at equal cost is constantly at the

disposal of all who desire it.Dissenting opinion of Chairman Knapp in this case.

The complainants before the Commission in this case alleged that the Southern Pacific and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railways had unlawfully agreed to pool their traffic in oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits originating in Southern California. This allegation was based upon the statement that prior to January 1, 1900, the complainants had exercised without objection from the defendants the privilege of selecting the routes over which their shipments should be carried to eastern destinations, but that upon

* The Consolidated Forwarding Company vs. The Southern Pacific Company et al.; The Southern California Fruit Exchange vs. The Southern Pacific Company et al.; Interstate Commerce Commission (9 Inter. Com. Rep. 182), decided April 19, 1902. Interstate Commerce Commission vs. Southern Pacific Company et al.; Circuit Court, Southern District of California, Southern Division (123 Fed. Rep. 597), decided June 1, 1903, and (132 Fed. Rep. 829), decided September 6, 1904.

the date named the defendants had established a rule which they had since continued to enforce, under which the initial carrier reserved the right to choose the eastern connection to which it would deliver the traffic for shipment to destination. The defendants supported this rule upon the ground that it was necessary to reserve to the initial carrier the right to select the route by which it would forward the traffic in order to secure a discontinuance of the practice of paying rebates. The Commission declared the evidence insufficient to warrant conclusions upon the question whether the defendant carriers maintained a pool of citrus fruit traffic or whether the rates charged were unreasonable and unjust. Four of the Commissioners, however, thought that the practice of denying to the shippers the privilege of selecting the routes beyond those of the initial carriers was illegal, and an order in conformity with this conclusion was issued. This order was sustained by the Circuit Court. When the case was decided by the Commission, the Chairman of the Commission, Honorable Martin A. Knapp, dissented from the view of his colleagues, and issued a strong dissenting opinion. The following quotations from this opinion are extremely significant:

“The tariffs under which the traffic in question is carried contain the following notation: 'In guaranteeing the

« PreviousContinue »