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CONFERENCE RULINGS OF THE

COMMISSION.

BULLETIN NO. 1.

CONFERENCE RULINGS OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE

COMMISSION.

Issued May 7, 1908.
[Index to Conference Rulings, See Post, Page 806.)

These rulings have been made by the Commission in conference, on the dates indicated, upon questions raised or submitted in correspondence.

November 4, 1907.

1. Passes to Caretakers.-An employee of a produce company was granted a pass for the purpose of going to a point on the carrier's lines and returning as caretaker of a carload of bananas. He was not able to secure a return shipment. Held, That the carrier must collect the full fare. (See No. 37.)

2. Tariffs distinguishing between shipments handled by steam and electrical power.-Amendment to tariff provided :

“The above rates will only apply on shipments handled by steam power and will not apply when handled by electrical power."

Held, That the limitation of the rates to shipments handled by steam power is anlawful and must be eliminated from the tariff.

3. Collection of undercharges. The Commission adheres to its previous ruling that carriers must exhaust their legal remedies to collect undercharges from consignees.

November 11, 1907.

4. Rates on new lines.-Rule 44 of Tariff Circular No. 14—A, providing that rates may be established in the first instance on “new lines” without notice, was intended to apply to newly constructed lines only. (See Rule 57, Tariff Circular 15 A.)

5. Free storage creating distributing point for private industry.-Its attention being called to a tariff which, in effect, created a distributing point for a special industry by granting it free storage at that point, either in its own or the carrier's warehouses, and practically without limit as to time, the merchandise when shipped out to go on balance of through rate, the Commission expressed its disapproval.

6. Reconsignment rule will not be given retroactive effect.-A shipment consigned to one point was reconsigned en route to another, the tariff containing no reconsignment privilege. As a consequence local rates to and from the reconsigning point were applied and made higher than the through rate. Held, Under subsequent tariff that did not reduce rates, but incorporated a reconsignment privilege, that the benefit of such privilege could not be applied retroactively to a previous shipment, and can not be accepted as the basis for a refund on special reparation docket.

November 18, 1907.

7. Commissions on import traffic.—The granting by carriers of commissions to persons acting as consignees on import traffic is a practice that can not be sanctioned.

8. Demurrage charges resulting from strikes.— The Commission has no power to relieve carriers from the obligations of tariffs providing for demurrage charges, on the ground that such charges have been occasioned by a strike.

9. Free transportation by carriers for one another.- Where stock in one railway company is owned by another railway company, but both maintain separate organ. izations and report separately to the Commission, they may not lawfully carry freight free for each other.

December 2, 1907.

10. Statute of limitations.-Claims filed with the Commission since August 28, 1907, must have accrued within two years prior to the date when they are filed, otherwise they are barred by the statute. Claims filed on or before August 28, 1907, are not affected by the two years' limitation in the act.

11. Reduction of rate when formal complaint against it is pending.- When after complaint made and before hearing a rate is reduced to the sum demanded by the complainant, the order disposing of the proceeding shall require the maintenance of that rate as a maximum for not less than two years.

12. Tariff that fails to state the date of its effectiveness is unlawful.-A tariff was filed without naming a date on which it was to take effect. Does it ever become effective, and if so, when? Held, That the tariff was unlawful and has never taken effect.

13. Tariffs not concurred in are unlawful.-A properly accredited chairman of a tariff committe3 published tariffs for certain carriers for which he was the duly constituted attorney-in-fact for that purpose. A carrier declining to concur in his tariffs put a new cover on them and filed them as its own tariffs without securing the concurrences of the other carriers named therein. Held, That the tariffs so adopted were unlawful and could not be used by the carrier.

January 6, 1908.

14. Maintenance of rate reduced after complaint filed.-On December 2 it was decided that when a rate is reduced after answer has been made and before hearing, the report disposing of the proceeding shall carry with it an order directing the defendant to maintain that rate as a maximum for not less than two years. On December 6 it was decided that orders in special reparation cases shall include a clause providing that the new rate or regulation upon the basis of which reparation is granted shall be maintained for a period of at least one year.

It is now agreed that the two years so required in orders upon formal complaints and the one year in orders in special reparation cases shall run from the date of the order and not from the date when the reduced rate or new regulation became effective.

15. Delivering carrier must investigate before paying claims. A delivering carrier can not accept the authority of a connecting line, and thus shield itself from responsibility in paying claims, but must investigate and ascertain the lawful rates and allow the claims or not upon the basis of its own investigations.

16. Delivering carrier must collect undercharges.—Even though an undercharge results from an error in billing by the initial carrier or a connection, the delivering carrier must collect the undercharge. The legal expense attending its efforts to col. lect undercharges in such cases would seem to be a valid claim against the carrier through whose fault the mistake was made.

17. Feeding and grazing in transit.-In connection with the published privilege of feeding and grazing in transit a carrier may lawfully provide in its tariffs that it will furnish feed at current market prices, and bill the cost thereof, together with an addition of 10 per cent or other reasonable percentage to cover the value of its services, as advance charges.

18. Free transportation of dead body of employee.-When an employee of a car. rier has been killed or has died in service at a distant point, the carrier may, free of charge and as a general incident to the relation between it and its employees, lawfully transport the body to the home of the deceased for burial.

Note.-By an amendment to the act, effective April 13, 1908, Congress made it lawful for carrier to give free transportation to remains of persons killed in its employ and also to his family.

19. Expense incurred in preparing cars for shipments can not be paid by carrier in the absence of tariff provisions therefor.—Not having box cars available for the movement of machinery, cattle cars were supplied at the request of the shipper, who lined them with tar paper and felt in order to protect his shipments from weather conditions. Held, That in the absence of tariff authority the carrier can not lawfully reimburse the shipper for the expense so incurred.

20. Special understandings between shippers and carriers, not published in their

tariffs, of no valid effect.-A shipper had an understanding with agents of carriers that when he delivered shipments to them consigned to stations at which there were no agents the carriers would so advise him and hold the shipments for further direction. In a given case a carrier neglected to so advise him and to hold the shipment, but billed it and sent it forward to a nonagency station as a prepaid shipment. Held, That the shipper must pay the charges, and that no understanding of that na. ture, not incorporated in the published tariffs of the carrier, will operate to relieve the carrier from the duty of collecting the lawful charges.

21. Caretakers of milk. The provision of law relating to the free transportation of necessary caretakers of live stock, poultry, and fruit can not be construed to include caretakers of shipments of milk.

22. Free carriage of company material.-It is not unlawful for a carrier to return its own property ree of charges, to the manufacturers thereof situated on its own line, for exchangc or repair.

23. Extension of time on through passenger tickets.-A through rate must be recognized as a unit, and an extension of time granted on a through ticket under a tariff regulation of a carrier whose line is a part of that route is sufficient to cover the transportation over the lines of other carriers in the route. The proper practice is for the carrier so granting the extension to indorse it upon the portion of the ticket to be taken up by the last carrier, and also upon the coupon of each carrier.

(This ruling was reversed by the Commission on March 2, 1908. See No. 43.) 24. Canadian rates.-A Canadian carrier having joint through fares from a point in the United States to points on its own line may not depart from those fares by the device of placing an agent at such point in the United States with authority to sell tickets from the first station on its line north of the Canadian boundary to other points on its line in Canada at the rate of 1 cent a mile, “to be sold only to such persons as produce a certificate of the immigration agent of the Canadian government. Besides being a device, tickets so limited to particular persons operate as a discrimination. But in the absence of such joint through fares from a point in the United States to points on its own lines this Commission has no jurisdiction over the fares actually charged and collected for the separate transportation between points in Canada.

25. Refund of drayage charges caused by misrouting.-Where a shipment was routed contrary to the express directions of the shipper and the consignee was compelled to move the shipment by dray from the station of delivering carrier to the destination to which it would have been switched if properly routed, the carrier may, under the particular circumstances of the case, be authorized by the Commission to refund to the shipper the reasonable actual cost of the drayage.

26. Use of intrastate commutation ticket in interstate journey.-In the absence of a provision in the commutation contract forbidding it, a commutation ticket may be used between the points named on it in connection with an interstate journey on trains that stop at such points.

January 13, 1908.

27. Excursion ticket invalidated through failure of carrier to make connectionA passenger traveling on a special limited excursion ticket with stop-over privilege, leaves a stop-over point in ample time to make all connections and meet conditions of ticket; but through successive delays to trains misses connections at a certain junc. tion, making the ticket twenty-four hours out of date. Regular fare was collected for the balance of the return trip. Held, That the carriers ought to make the ticket good, it having become invalid through their fault.

28. Tickets for transportation and meals, hotel accommodations, etc.-A carrier publishes a tariff offering certain transportation fares and rates for personally conducted tours with tickets to cover meals, hotel accommodations, etc., and declines to sell the transportation ticket to anyone who does not also purchase the tickets covering meals and hotel accommodations. Held, That the two matters must be kept separate, and carriers may not decline to sell such transportation without tickets for meal and hotel accommodations.

29. Quotations from correspondence of the Commission.—The Commission requests that if extracts from its correspondence are sent out by carriers, such extracts be

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