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in rates, corresponding reductions were made from other points, including Nashville. The same is true on some classes of freight from eastern cities. If the rates for any reason, from New York to Atlanta, Ga., Chattanooga, Tenn., etc., were reduced, corresponding reductions were made from points in the West, including Nashville, to the same points,
Sixth. Application is hereby made for authority to charge less for the transportation of property between New York and Knoxville, Tenn., than for shorter distances on the same line.
Knoxville, Tenn., is located on the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railroad, nearly midway between Bristol and Chattanooga. Since the settlement of that part of the country, it has been the largest and most important business point in East Tennessee. Many years ago the managers of the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railroad inaugurated the policy of adjusting rates with a view of making Knoxville the point for the interchange of commodities for all the surrounding country. In pursuing this policy relatively low rates were made from Eastern cities and other points to Knoxville. Encouraged by this, a large number of persons engaged in business in Knoxville and invested a large amount of capital in trade. A sudden change in the adjustment of rates to and from Knoxville would be disastrous to some interests. While the present method of adjusting the rates in this case may be inde. fensible, and while it is believed to be the only instance where a discrimination of the kind exists that is not forced by competition, yet it would be manifestly unjust to suddenly disturb the commercial relations between Knoxville and its surrounding communities, which would involve many in distress without benefit to any. If rates of transportation to Knoxville are advanced, no material advantages accrue to the surrounding communities, for in that case they would continue to pay the same rates as before. This seems to be a case where your Commission may justly authorize an adjustment of rates, temporarily at least, the same as has been in effect for so long a time past.
In considering the foregoing applications, it is essential that your Commission do not lose sight of the important fact that the basis now and heretofore used keeps the relative adjustment of rates the same, not only between competitive points, but between competitive points and local stations. Keeping in mind that the competitive points in this territory are the basing points upon which rates to and from local stations are fixed, the system upon which rates are adjusted becomes comparatively simple and produces rates throughout the entire territory that are just and reasomable.
The rates to and from intermediate stations apply mainly to small shipments of a miscellaneous character. Rates upon property of low value, as compared with the weight and bulk, when shipped in large quantities to and from local stations, are in all cases made relatively low. The stroug incentive to traffic agents to do everything in their power to promote traffic may be relied upon to develop the resources of the country at local stations to the fullest extent. In fact, the acts of the traffic agents must be closely scrutinized by the management of the various carriers to prevent the making of such rates relatively too low, thereby creating unjust discrimination.
INTER-STATE COMMERCE COMMISSION.
ORDERS SUSPENDING THE LONG AND SHORT HAUL CLAUSE.
The Inter-State Commerce Commission, at a session of said Commission, held at its rooms in the City of Washington, on the 6th day of April, 1887, in the matter of the petition of the Southern Railway and Steamship Association, application having been made to the Inter-State Commerce Commission, under Section 4 of the Act of Congress entitled an Act to regulate commerce, by the Southern Railway and Steamship Association, an organization composed of the following Railroad Com. panies, Lines and Systems, and Steamship Lines operating in connection therewith, to-wit :
The Alabama Great Southern Railroad; Atlanta & West Point Railroad Company; Central Railroad of Georgia system; Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific Railroad Company; East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railway Company; Georgia Railroad Company; Georgia Pacific Railway Company; Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company's system; Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway Company; Norfolk & Western Railroad Company; Port Royal & Augusta Railway Co.; Richmond & Danville Railroad Company; Rome Railroad Company; Savannah, Griffin & North Alabama Railroad Company; Seaboard & Roanoke Railroad Company; South Carolina Railway Company; South & North Alabama Railway Line; Western Railroad of Alabama; Western & Atlantic Railroad Company; Atlantic Coast Line system; Baltimore, Chesapeake & Richmond Steamboat Company; Boston & Savannah Steamship Company; Clyde's Steam Lines; Merchants' & Miners' Transportation Company; New York & Charleston Steamship Company; Ocean Steamship Company; Old Dominion Steamship Company; common carriers, subject to the provisions of said Act, for authority to charge less for longer than for shorter distances in certain cases; that is to say, for the transportation of property from and to Boston, Mass.; Providence, R. I.; New York City, N. Y.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Baltimore, Md.; Alexandria, Va.; Cincinnati, O.; Jeffersonville, Ind. ; Louisville, Ky.; Hickman, Ky.; Columbus, Ky.; East Cairo, Ky.; Cairo, Ill. ; Henderson, Ky.; Evansville, Ind.; St. Louis, Mo.; and points northerly therefrom to and from Lynchburg, Va.; Danville, Va.; Strasburg, Va.; Norfolk, Va.; Portsmouth, Va.; Paint Rock, N. C.; Wilmington, N. C.; Charleston, $. C.; Savannah, Ga.; Brunswick, Ga.; Augusta, Ga.; Colnmbia, S. C.; Greenwood, S. C.; Laurens, s. C.; Spartanburg, S.C.; Greenville, S. C.; Anderson, S. C.; Macon, Ga., Milledgeville, Ga.; Athens, Ga.; Gainesville, Ga.; Atlanta, Ga.; Rome, Ga.; Ďalton, Ga.; Cedartown, Ga.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Gadsden, Ala.: Columbus, Ga.; Albany, Ga.; Fort Gaines, Ga.; Eufaula, Ala.; Opelika, Ala.; West Point, Ga.; Montgomery, Ala.; Selma, Ala.; Birmingham, Ala.; Anniston, Ala.; Mobile, Ala.; New Orleans, La.; Pensacola, Fla.; Fernandina, Fla.; Gainesville, Fla.; Baldwin, Fla.; Callahan, Fla.; Meridian, Miss.; Jackson, Miss.; Vicksburg, Miss.; Memphis, Tenn.; Nashville, Tenn.; and points southerly therefrom, and from and to said last named points, each with the other so far as the same are situated in different States, at lower rates than are charged from and to the same points to and from local points intermediate, the points last enumerated, over the same lines, and certain of said railroads, lines and systems having also severally made application for like authority so far as said points are reached by them, respectively, and said common carriers having presented as a reason for granting their said application the existence of water and other competition, claiming that the same can not be met except by maintaining rates heretofore established to and from said points, which are alleged to be too 'low to enable said common carriers to carry on business if applied to said local intermediate points, and further claiming that great disturbance of business will occur if the present traffic arrangements and rates are immediately changed; and it appearing to the Commission, after investigation of said petition and facts presented in support thereof, to be a proper case for a temporary order authorizing the existing rates to be maintained for the time being, until the Commission can make a complete examination of the matters alleged in said petition as reasons for relieving said common carriers from the operation of said section of said Act.
It is ordered that the said application be, and the same is hereby granted temporarily, subject to modification or revision by the Commission at any time, upon hearing or otherwise, and the said common carriers are hereby temporarily relieved from the operation of the fourth section of said Act, to the extent specified in the recitals of this order, and for a period not greater than ninety days from this date; subject, however, to the restriction that none of the said common carriers, while this order remains in force, shall, in any case, charge or receive compensation for the transportation of property between stations on their respective lines where more is charged for a shorter than for a longer haul, which shall be greater than the rates in force and charged and received by said carriers, respectively, on the 31st day of March, 1887, schedules of which have been filed with the Commission.
It is made a further condition of this order that a printed copy hereof shall be forthwith publicly posted and kept with the schedule of rates, fares and charges, at every station upon the lines of said common carriers where such schedule is by law required to be posted and kept for the use of the public.
And it is further ordered that the Commission convene at Atlanta, Ga., on the 26th day of April, 1887, at three o'clock P. M., and thereafter at Mobile, Ala., on April 29th; at New Orleans, La., on May 2d, and at Memphis, Tenn., on May 4th, for the consideration of the subject matter of this petition; at which places and times said common carriers or any of them may appear and present application for said relief, with evidence in support thereof, which applications, in each case, must show the precise relief desired, the facts upon which the same is claimed, and the extent to which relief from the operation of said section of said Act is asked for, and at the same places and times any person interested in opposing any such applications may also appear and be heard, and at any time prior to May 6th, 1887, the Commission will receive printed or written communications in support of, or in opposition to the relief asked by said petitions. This announcement respecting the time and places of hearing, and the method of procedure, is subject to change or enlargement in the discretion of the Commission. For the Commission : (Signed)
T. M. COOLEY, Chairman.
ADDITIONAL ORDER. The Inter-State Commerce Commission, at a session of said Commission, held at its rooms in the City of Washington, on the 7th day of April, 1887, in the matter of the petition of the Southern Railway and Steamship Association, a verified petition having been filed in the above entitled matter, setting forth that certain competitive points had been inadvertently omitted in the petition heretofore filed, on which an order was made by the Commission, dated April 6th, 1887, and asking for an amendment of said petition, and order, so that said points may be included therein, to-wit: Petersburg, Va.; Richmond, Va.; West Point, Va.; Raleigh, N. C.; Charlotte, N. C.; Fayetteville, N. C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Florence, S. C.; Tarboro, N. C. ; Goldsboro, N. C.; Newberne, N. C.; Knoxville, Tenn. ; Columbus, Miss.; Williamston, N. C.; Charlottesville, Va.; Georgetown, S. C.: It is ordered, after examination of said petition, and consideration of the matters set forth, that said application be granted, and that said petition and order be amended nunc pro tunc by inserting the names of said enumerated points as points from and to which lower rates may be charged than from and to local and intermediate points, subject to all the provisions of said order and for the limited period in said order stated. On behalf of the Commission : (Signed)
T. M. COOLEY, Chairman.
Reply to Petitions of Railway Conductors, Traders and Trav.
elers' Union and others. The Interstate Commerce Commission on April 18, 1887, made public the following ruling and discourse:
The Interstate Commerce Commission, Washington, April 16.-In the matter of the petition of the Order of Railway Conductors.
In the matter of the petition of the Traders' and Travelers' Union.
An application in writing has been made to the commission for its answer to the following questions propounded on behalf of the Order of Railway Conductors:
1. Are railway companies prohibited from issuing free transportation to the immediate families of employees over their own railways?
2. Are railway companies prohibited from issuing free or reduced transportation to officers of associations composed exclusively of railway employees, while those officers are temporarily out of railway service and exclusively employed by those associations ?
3. May railway companies issue passes to employees of other railways on the application of the employee, or must such application come from the officer of the company by which he is employed?
4. May railway companies issue free or reduced transportation to those who make railway service their business or trade while temporarily out of employment and in search of situations?
5. May railway companies provide free transportation for delegates to the annual conventions of an association composed exclusively of railway employees upon certificates from the officers of the association that they are such representatives?
6. If free transportation may be furnished to representatives described in question 5, must all such representatives be actually in the employ of some railway, or may it include those who may be temporarily out of employment and those temporarily engaged in other employments as officers of such association?
7. If free transportation is provided delegates described in question 5, may it include members of the immediate families of delegates?
8. If free transportation or reduced rates are provided for the representatives of any one association, must the same be extended to all others which are composed exclusively of railway employees on application?
Another application has been made to the commission on behalf of the Traders' and Travelers' Union stating the system under which an additional allowance of free baggage has been heretofore carried by commercial travelers subject to written agreement for registry and indemnification, which system the commission is requested to examine carefully and advise us if there is any reason why a railroad company desiring to do so should not enter into such an arrangement to grant under stated terms an increased allowance of free baggage. These two petitions, presented by highly respectable organizations and raising questions of immediate practical importance, are representatives of a large number of similar applications which have been made to the commission for its construction of provisions of the “act to regulate commerce,” as applied to the various points at which these provisions touch the customs of the past. They have been selected simply as they indicate the general character of all and enable the commission to announce certain conclusions to which it has arrived respecting its jurisdiction and its powers.
It is obvious from the tenor of such applications as these, which reach us by every mail, that the impression is generally prevalent that this commission has power to construe, interpret, and apply the law by preliminary judgment. We are continually appealed to for decisions in advance as to whether common carriers, said to be willing to adopt certain methods of dealing with respect to interstate commerce, can do so without subjecting themselves to the penalties denounced by the statute for violating its provisions.
A careful reading of the “act to regulate commerce,” under which this commission is organized, will show to the petitioners and others who have made similar applications that no jurisdiction has been given us to answer questions like those under consideration. An expression of our opinion on these subjects at this time, being neither a duty imposed nor a power conferred by the statute, would carry with it no judicial efficacy or sanction; in fact, would be no more useful to the public or the carrier than the opinion of other men upon the same points.