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Court, as well as the equally significant absence of such complaint from the communities to which the traffic was destined. On this point the Court said:
“As we have already stated, the Commission did not charge or find that the local rates charged by the defendant company were unreasonable, nor did they find that any complaint was made by the city of New Orleans, or by any person or organization there doing business. Much less did they find that any complaint was made by the localities to which this traffic was carried, or that any cause for such complaint existed."
In other words, this case, like many of those herein discussed, originated solely in the desire of one or more of several competitors to utilize the Interstate Commerce law and the Commission as a means of crippling a rival or rivals. Again, indicating its broad view of questions arising under the Interstate Commerce law, the Supreme Court said:
“The conclusions that we draw from the history and language of the Act, and from the decisions of our own and the English courts, are mainly these: That the purpose of the Act is to promote and facilitate commerce by the adoption of regulations to make charges for transportation just and reasonable, and to forbid undue and unreasonable preferences or discriminations. That, in passing upon questions arising under the Act, the tribunal appointed to enforce its provisions, whether the Commission or the courts, is empowered to fully consider all the circumstances and conditions that reasonably apply to the situation and that, in the exercise of its jurisdiction, the tribunal may and should consider the legitimate interests as well of the carrying companies as of the traders and shippers, and in considering whether any particular locality is subjected to an undue preference or disadvantage, the welfare of the communities occupying the localities where the goods are delivered is to be considered as well as that of the communities which are in the locality of the place of shipment. That among the circumstances and conditions to be considered as well in the case of traffic originating in foreign ports as in the case of traffic originating within the limits of the United States, competition that affects rates should be considered, and in deciding whether rates and charges made at a low rate to secure foreign freights which would otherwise go by other competitive routes are or are not undue and unjust, the fair interests of the carrier companies and the welfare of the community which is to receive and consume the commodities are to be considered. That if the Commission, instead of confining its action to redressing, on complaint made by some particular person, firm, corporation, or locality, some specific disregard by common carriers of provisions of the Act, proposes to promulgate general orders, which thereby become rules of action to the carrying companies, the spirit and letter of the Act require that such orders should have in view the purpose of promoting and facilitating commerce, and the welfare of all to be affected, as well the carriers as the traders and consumers of the country.”
The opinion refers to the passage, already quoted, from the decision of the Circuit Court of Appeals, and, speaking of it as an intimation of "dissent from," or at least of “distrust of” the view of the Commission, declares that:
“If the Circuit Court of Appeals were of opinion that the Commission in making its order had misconceived the extent of its powers, and if the Circuit Court had erred in affirming the validity of an order made under such misconception, the duty of the Circuit Court of Appeals was to reverse the decree, set aside the order, and remand the cause to the Commission in order that it might, if it saw fit, proceed therein according to law."
Finally the Supreme Court said:
“The mere fact that the disparity between the through and the local rates was considerable did not, of itself, warrant the court in finding that such disparity constituted an undue discrimination-much less did it justify the court in finding that the entire difference between the two rates was undue or unreasonable, especially as there was no person, firm, or corporation complaining that he or they had been aggrieved by such disparity.”
Delaware Grange Case.* “It could not be supposed that Congress, in regulating com
merce, would intend to forbid or destroy an existing branch of commerce.”—Decision of the Supreme Court in the "Import Rates" case.
The complaint in this case related to the charges for carrying the perishable products of the truck farms and market gardens located on the peninsula occupied by the State of Delaware and a portion of the State of Maryland. It was charged that these rates were unreasonable in themselves and also in violation of the long and short haul section of the law, as they were higher than those over the same route from Norfolk and vicinity. With regard to some of the rates complained of the Commission decided in favor of the complainants. Suit to enforce its order was begun and decided adversely to the Commission. The case does not appear to have been reported and the facts have been obtained for this memorandum from the following paragraph, which is to be found on page 29 of the Seventh Annual (1893) Report of the Commission:
“The case pending against the New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad Company and the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and subsidiary roads was heard during the past year and decided adversely to the Commission. The case originated upon the complaint of the Delaware State Grange, and proceeded upon the theory that the rates on farm produce from the Maryland and Virginia peninsula to Philadelphia and New York were unreasonable in themselves, and particularly as compared with the rates on the same articles from Norfolk. The decision of the Commission recognized the very serious influence exerted by the near presence of active water competition, and only required the adjustment of rates as to some particulars where the rates seemed to be upon an illogical basis. Parties in interest, desiring to review the subject, employed a counsel and the Commission consented to the bringing of the suit to enforce the decision, which resulted as stated, and no appeal has been taken."
* The Delaware State Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry vs. The New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad Company et al.; Interstate Commerce Commission (4 I. C. C. Rep. 588),decided April 13, 1891. or decrees."-Decision of the Circuit Court in this case.
Nashville Coal Case.*
“The order is without precedent or analogy in court judgments
The Commission's order in this case was, in substance, that while the rate on coal from the mines on the Henderson and Owensboro divisions of the Louisville and Nashville
* In the matter of alleged unlawful charges for the Transportation of Coal by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company; Interstate Commerce Commission (5 I.C.C. Rep. 466), decided November 17, 1892; Interstate Commerce Commission vs. Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company; Circuit Court, Middle District of Tennessee (73 Feb. Rep. 409), decided April 17, 1896.