« PreviousContinue »
Ans.-The proportion of a through rate, which a railroad receives under a joint tariff, has no relation to or connection with the compensation it is entitled to charge for transportation on its own line.
9. Can tickets to scholars be sold at less rates than to other children of the same age ?
Ans.—The law does not authorize the sale of tickets to scholars at rates lower than those charged to other children of the same age.
10. What constitutes an excursion ticket under the law ?
Ans.-An excursion ticket means a round trip ticket sold at a reduced rate to any person who, for a special purpose or at a particular season, desired to make a special journey within a given time to a given point and return.
11. Does the law apply to the express business as a matter for which the railroad companies are responsible to the public ?
Ans. — Express companies are common carriers and subject to the provisions of this act. A violation of its provisions by the express companies does not render the railroad company responsible, unless the latter has knowingly participated therein.
The answers to the above questions naturally divide themselves into two parts. First, What could or could not be done under the law ? Second, What uniform principles in conducting their business it was best for all railroads at the present time to adopt ? The discussion was confined to the provisions of the law itself. As a matter of policy the committee would recommend that railroad companies, in conducting their business, should not confine themselves to the distinction made in the law between state and interstate commerce, but whatever is found best or expedient to do in regard to interstate commerce, should also be applied to commerce confined entirely to one state, and, as far as possible, the practice, under the same conditions and circumstances, should be the same by all railroads.
It was voted that the recommendation of the committee in relation to question 1 be adopted, and that no passes be issued for interstate business except those authorized by the law as explained by the committee, and that all outstanding passes in violation of the act as interpreted by the committee, be withdrawn. After discussion it was also voted that the whole matter of complimentary state passes be left to the wise discretion of each railroad to decide for itself, but that, in the opinion of this convention, any passes given for the purpose of influencing commerce would be in contravention of the spirit of the interstate commerce law. It was also voted to adopt the committee's report in relation to questions 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.
REPORT OF GENERAL PASSENGER AGENTS' COMMITTEE. The committee of passenger agents, to whom was referred the second question, in regard to commissions and baggage, submitted the following report:
“Commissions-Your committee have carefully considered section 7 in the proceedings of the joint committee meeting held in New York, March 4, 1887, and it is the sense of this committee that, while the act of paying commissions is not a violation of the law, but the payment of a commission may result in a violation, therefore we unanimously recommend that the payment of commissions for the sale of passenger tickets to any agent, firm, broker, scalper or other person be absolutely abolished by the New England roads after March 31, 1887.
“Baggage—The subject of baggage (section 6, joint committee) referred to this committee for consideration is as follows:
“It has been the custom of railway companies to transport a certain amount of personal baggage, in baggage cars provided for this purpose on paasenger trains, for which no separate charge has heretofore been made. The custom has varied somewhat in different sections of the country and for different classes of people. To the end that a uniform rate may be adopted, we recommend that the rule for free transportation of personal baggage be as follows, and that no greater excess be allowed to go free, or at different rates than are named in this general rule: (a) There may be checked free on each full first or second class ticket 150 pounds of baggage; on each half first or second class ticket, 75 pounds; on each full emigrant ticket, 100 pounds. (b) Baggage of first and second class passengers weighing in excess of the free allowance thus authorized shall be subject to a charge of not less than 12 per cent. of the lowest unlimited first-class fare; provided, however, that no less charge than 25 cents be made in any case. (c) No single piece of baggage weighing more than 250 pounds shall be checked as baggage by any of these lines except for ship immigrants. We recommend that this concession shall apply only to the personal baggage of travelers, as covered and included in decisions at common law, to-wit, the personal effects of the traveler, which may include his wearing apparel, worn jewelry, a book for reading on his journey, a watch, or other personal effects which are not merchandise, and which may vary according to the condition in
cial luggage, musical instruments, organs, pianos, donkeys, horses or theatrical scenery be transported as free baggage. We recommend that all excess baggage, order books and permits be at once withdrawn from sale.
“Your committee recommend the adoption of the above with the following exception: That commercial travelers' baggage be checked under the same conditions as to weight as that of other passengers, with the exception that railroad companies shall not be held responsible in the event of loss and damage except for personal effects as enumerated above. We would respectfully suggest that for the sake of uniformity in the transaction of business of New England roads that the above recommendation relating to interstate business be applied to local state traffic.”
It was voted to adopt the report of the committee in relation to commissions and baggage, and also that for the sake of uniformity the above recommendation relative to interstate business be applied to local state traffic.
REPORT OF GENERAL FREIGHT AGENTS' COMMITTEE The committee of general freight agents to whom was referred the third, fourth and sixth questions of the report presented the following report:
"3. Shall a charge be made for detention of cars where the duty of unloading devolves upon the consignees ?
“It is the sense of the committee that a reasonable and just charge should be made for the detention of cars where the duty of unloading devolves upon the consignees.
"4. Shall freight charges be collected at once on delivery of goods in all cases ?
“It is the sense of the committee that this is a question which should not be decided by the traffic department of the railroads, but should be settled by the president and board of directors of the different roads.
"Shall freight be stopped off short of its billed destination, or changed in transit from one destination to the other? And in connection with this, shall grain in transit be stopped off for milling and a mill product sent forward on the same way bill?
“ Three members of the committee vote that freight may be stopped off short of its billed destination or changed in transit from one destination to another, subject to a reasonable charge for the service, and two members of the committee vote that freight may be stopped off short of its billed destination, or changed in transit from one destination to another, where the through rate and the divisions of the through rate are identical. The committee's answer to the second section of question 6 is that it is the sense of the committee that grain in transit should not be stopped for milling and a mill product be sent forward on the same waybill; but the committee thinks that special rates may be made for carrying the mill products from the mill to points on the line of the road which brought the grain to the mill."
It was voted to adopt the recommendation of the committee in regard to the third and fourth questions of the report, and it was voted, after some discussion of the sixth question of the report, that “freight in carloads which a railroad company receives from connecting roads may be stopped off short of its billed destination, or diverted to another destination on the line of that road upon which the original destination is located; always provided that the through rate and the divisions thereof to the new destination are identical with those on the original way-bill, and provided also that notice of the desired change in destination be given by the owner to the agent before the car has reached the road upon which the change in destination is to be made.”
The committee to whom was referred the question of a uniform classification of local freight rates reported that the variations in New England are confined to special articles, such as lumber, brick, dry goods, carriages, etc., and that if time was given, and a full meeting with New England roads be had, the matter could be satisfactorily adjusted. The committee was also of the opinion that the adoption of rates fixed by the trunk lines for local business would, if applied in New England, result in a serious loss of revenue.
Upon this report it was voted that it is desirable for the New Eng
land roads to adopt a uniform classification for their local and interchangeable freight business, and that the subject of a uniform classification for local and interchangeable business of New England roads be referred to a committee consisting of one representative for each road here represented, with power to act. A committee was appointed in accordance with the vote.
And the meeting adjourned sine die.
APPLICATION FOR RELIEF FROM SECTION FOUR.
ARGUMENT OF MR. MILTON H. SMITH, ON BEHALF OF THE SOUTHERN RAILWAY AND STEAMSHIP ASSOCIATION, SUBMITTED TO THE INTER-STATE COMMERCE COMMISSION AT WASH
INGTON, APRIL 2, 1887.
Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Commission:
We appear before you as a committee representing the Southern Railway and Steamship Åssociation.
The Southern Railway and Steamship Association is one of a number of similar organizations existing throughout the country, that owe their origin to the rapid development of the transportation systems and methods that has taken place in this country during the past twenty years.
For nearly thirty years from the beginning of the construction of railroads in the United States, little or no attempt was made at federation. Nearly all the railroads constructed during that period were local; and even where two or more companies constructed railroads that connected, and together formed a continuous line, they continued to be operated as local railroads, each company issuing bills of lading to points on its own line at local rates only, both freight and passengers being transferred at termini.
For many years forwarding and commission merchants continued to transact business in the same manner as when the transportation of the country was by water—that is, a shipment from an interior point in Ohio, say Springfield, destined to a point south, say Bowling Green, Ky., was shipped locally to Cincinnati, consigned to a forwarding and commission merchant, who received the same, paid the freight, transferred the shipment through the city, and delivered it to the Mail line boats plying between Cincinnati and Louisville, shipped it to another forwarding and commission merchant at Louisville, who in turn receipted for the property, paid charges accruing thereon up to that point, attended to the transfer to the depot of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company, and shipped the property to destination, collecting from the railroad company as advances the accrued charges, including a liberal compensation for receiving and forwarding, with a fair margin of profit in the item of drayage.
These conditions resulted in the formation of fast-freight line organizations by enterprising persons who saw the necessity for through arrangements, whereby shippers could forward property to distant points over the lines of a number of carriers under a contract for a through rate and continuous carriage. These fast-freight lines entered into