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Suffered to lts from s
This course also gave the Commission such an opportunity for careful study of the system which Congress undertook to reform as would otherwise have been wanting. If the new Law had been left to operate universally, the old state of things would have been swept away at once, and the Commission, seeing only what had been substituted for it, would have been deprived of the best and most satisfactory means of making just comparison. Such a comparison was important, not merely to enable it to pass finally with full knowledge upon the exceptional cases, but also the better to prepare it to make in its periodical reports such suggestions and recommendations as might naturally be looked for.
The Commission felt that in whatever it was doing on any single application, it was acting not less for permanence than for the particular and special relief; and, without making the vain effort to prevent all injury, it deemed itself fully justified in granting orders of temporary suspension in some of the most obvious cases, and where special grounds for urgency were shown, without first making the investigation complete for final action, leaving other tases not thought to be so strong in the aforma. tive showing take the more deliberate course. This method of proceeding the Commission at the time believed had important advantages, and it still believes will conduce to the best results in the end.
as a reason for action as prompt as under the
result is probable, the rea-
It is not our purpose in this communication
(May 19, 1887.)
Re INMATES OF NATIONAL HOMES.
The Commission cannot make an order
response to the request of Generaesented
You speak strongly and earnestly of the rea-
In the absence of such authority, an order
But when such
The trunk lines according to the petition, have taken the responsibility of assuming that the allowance of the half rates desired does not constitute unjust discrimination. Every carrier has the same right to assume its own construction of this provision.
The Commission cannot prematurely impose any construction on a carrier, however much some particular construction may be desired. Construction is a judicial act, involved in the decision of some controverted question. The jurisdiction of the Commission in such cases is limited to the discussion of complaints for alleged violation of the law, upon a hearing of the parties interested, and its opinion of the intent of the statute can then be announced. Any order or opinion in advance of a complaint or hearing would be misleading and unfair to those who might be affected by it, and would be unauthorized.
The Commission regrets that it has no power to comply with the request of the petition.
PROCEEDINGS AT ATLANTA.-CHARLE
made that th
expedite our business, and in the hope that by
of course, ha
As we proceed, any petitioner desiring to
e hands of the petitioners, expecting that vannah, Flo
R. B. Bullock of Atlanta. I have
may hear from the chairman of a large & Steamshi
A. Yes si
these commercial bodies to present their places whic
A. Yes s
may go home, as many of them live at a to accept th
er in order.
Norcross. I thought this proceeding class by ste
A. No s
marked out yesterday, a request was tirely by t
Q. But &
expedite our business, and in the hope that by doing so parties whose interests seemed to be identical should, as far as possible, be enabled to concentrate their evidence and their arguments. We hope that method will be taken here, as a necessary course, in order that we may have fully laid before us all the evidence and all the views of those who may think they have facts important for our consideration. We have not expected to take up each of these petitions by itself. It has seemed probable that the facts that would support one, must, to a large extent, support another; and that what would tend to disprove the one would, to a large extent, tend to disprove the others; so that the evidence will largely be taken for its bearing upon all the petitions together.
As we proceed, any petitioner desiring to present that which is special to himself, will have the opportunity to do so when he is upon
With these few remarks, sufficiently indicating the course we desire to have pursued, we shall for the time being, leave the matter in the hands of the petitioners, expecting that they will endeavor, as far as possible, to conform to the views expressed and present their evidence as succinctly, clearly, and concisely as may be found practicable.
Mr. J. F. Hanson, of Macon, Georgia, then came forward, and, as Chairman of the meeting above referred to, submitted a memorial prepared by that body, asking for the permanent suspension of the Fourth Section of the Act to regulate commerce.
Mr. Hanson. This action was taken in pursuance of a notice posted up in the Kimball House, requesting all parties who had come representing localities or commercial bodies, to meet us last night. Our action was practically unanimous; in fact, I may say it was entirely unanimous; and this action we desire to present as the action of the business interests here represented independent of the railroads. I was also requested to ask the Commission to allow these commercial bodies to present their memorials, if possible, today, in order that they may go home, as many of them live at a great distance.
Mr. Norcross of Atlanta. As you have allowed some general matter to be introduced here
Mr. R. B. Bullock of Atlanta. I have
The Chairman. We will take up this matter in order.
Mr. Norcross. I thought this proceeding was out of order.
The Chairman. It is not out of order, because we have allowed it by special order made for the purpose.
made that the names of witnesses who were to be examined should be handed in this morning. Is that list now ready?
Mr. Norcross. I wish to present an argu
The Chairman. We will not take it now We will take it at some proper time. In the program marked out yesterday, a request was INTER S.
Mr. W. S. Chisholm of Savannah. At the meeting of the railroad companies held last evening, a list of witnesses was prepared. The proposition which you announced this morning was also considered, to wit: that it would be for the interest of all concerned to take up the petitions together so far as they bore upon the same points and the same questions. All of the railroads belonging to the Southern Railway & Steamship Association, of course, have joint interests, and those joint interests are set forth in their various petitions. In addition to those roads there is the Charleston & Savannah Railway Company, and the Savannah, Florida & Western Railway Company, running from Charleston to Savannah, and from Savannah to various Florida points. It is proposed now that all of the petitions of the roads forming the Southern Railway & Steamship Association, and those of the Charleston & Savannah road and of the Sa vannah, Florida & Western road be taken together.
Charles A. Sindall then appeared before the Commission, and having been duly sworn was examined as follows:
By Mr. E. P. Alexander:
Q. Please state to the Commission what po
A. I am secretary of the Southern Railway & Steamship Association.
Q. Are you familiar with the rates which are being worked generally in this territory? A. Yes sir.
Q. I wish to question you first as to the rates that prevail and the method in which they are made, from northern and eastern cities to Mobile?
A. The rates to Mobile are made in competition with the steamship lines, the steamship lines making their rates to Mobile or New Orleans from the north.
Q. What are the lines?
A. The Cromwell line, the Morgan line, and the Mobile & New York Steamship Company. Q. Where do those lines run?
A. The Cromwell and Morgan_lines run from New York to New Orleans. The Mobile & New York line runs between those ports.
Q. Do the rates charged or made by those steamers generally control the rates to those places which other lines have to accept?
A. Yes sir, they make the rates. We have to accept those rates or go out of that business entirely.
Q. Will you illustrate that by giving the average figures of the present prevailing
A. The present figures to Mobile and New Orleans are from fifty to fifty-five cents on first class by steamer. The rail lines are charging
Q. Are the rail lines able to maintain any better rates than the steamers?
A. No sir, they cannot maintain any higher rates than the difference in insurance will compensate for, and occasionally the difference in time.
Q. But generally the rates are controlled entirely by the steamship lines?
INTERSTATE COMMERCE REPORTS-SUPREME COURT DIST. COL.
dication, because it is liable to be reviewed by | read an extract from the opinion of the Su
"The subjects indeed upon which Congress can act under this power are of infinite variety, requiring for their sucessful management different plans or modes of treatment. Some of them are national in their character, and admit and require uniformity of regulation, affecting alike all the States; others are local, or are mere aids to commerce, and can only be properly regulated by provisions adapted to their special circumstances and localities. Of the former class may be mentioned all that portion of commerce with foreign countries or between the States which consists in the transportation, purchase, sale and exchange of commodities. Here there can of necessity be only one system or plan of regulation, and that Congress alone can prescribe. Its nonaction in such cases, with respect to any particular commodity or mode of transportation, is a declaration of its purpose that the commerce in that commodity or by that means of transportation shall be free. There would otherwise be no security against conflictIt was said in argument that that decision did criminating in favor of its own products and ing regulations of different States, each disnot cover the whole proposition, that it was citizens, and against the products and citizens limited only to discriminations which were of other States. And it is a matter of public made by the Statute of Tennessee as against history that the object of vesting in Congress the citizens of other States, and that if the law the power to regulate commerce with foreign had been equally as applicable to all travelers Nations and among the States was to insure the decision would not cover it. But an in-uniformity of regulation against conflicting and spection of that decision shows this to be a discriminating state legislation."
mistaken view of the subject. The court
And further down on page 457 , it is said:
tion from the decision:
matter, fully, and decided the precise point as which led to the adoption of the Federal Conlaw, as will be seen from the following quota-stitution, one of the principal of which was the "But to tax the sale of such goods, or the the laying of imposts and duties by a single necessity for the regulation of commerce and offer to sell them, before they are brought into government, the court says: 'But whatever may the State, is a very different thing, and seems be the motive for the tax, whether revenue, to us clearly a tax on interstate commerce it- restriction, retaliation, or protection of domestic self. It is strongly urged, as if it were a ma- manufactures, it is equally a regulation of com terial point in the case, that no discrimination merce, and in effect an exercise of the power of is made between domestic and foreign drum-laying duties on imports; and its exercise by the ers, those of Tennessee and those of other States, States is entirely at war with the spirit of the that all are taxed alike. But that does not Constitution, and would render vain and no meet the difficulty. Interstate commerce cannot gatory the power granted to Congress in relation be taxed at all, even though the same amount to those subjects. Can any power more de of tax should be laid on domestic commerce, or structive to the union and harmony of the that which is carried on solely within the State. States be exercised than that of imposing disThis was decided in the case of State Freight Tax criminating taxes or duties on imports from Cases, 15 Wall. 232 [82 U. S. bk. 21, L. ed. 146]. other States? Whatever may be the motive The negotiation of sales of goods which are for such taxes, they cannot fail to beget irrita in another State, for the purpose of introducing tion and lead to retaliation; and it is not dificult them into the State in which the negotiation is to foresee that an indulgence in such a counte made is interstate commerce. A New Orleans of legislation must inflame and produce a state merchant cannot be taxed there for ordering of feeling that would seek its gratification in goods from London or New York, because in any measures regardless of the consequences." other of interstate commerce, both of which are of the United States, of the spirit and scope of subject to regulation by Congress alone." Such is the declaration by the Supreme Court it not put the necessary the decision at all upon the question of discrimima. States; that they are necessary to the equal just these constitutional provisions; that they are tion between drummers within the State and tice and equal privileges of the citizens of the drummers outside the State; but it says that no the States of this Union; that they cannot be law which imposes upon the person soliciting restricted at all; and that whatever rule is made sales for merchants outside of the State is admis with reference to them must be a uniform ru sible, because that is a regulation of interstate by the Congress of the United States acting In connection with that decision it is well to trolling the commerce of the entire domain of the National Legislature, regulating and con
the one case it is an act of
Now, could Congress, if it had been so disposed, have delegated to the Legislative Assembly of this District the power to pass any such ? That is not an open question in this court. In the case of The District v. Wagga, 1 Cent. Rep. 823, 4 Mackey, 333, this
the United States, with a view to do equal jus | States at all tice between all the parts of the country and to eign territo take away any possibility of prejudice or any tagonism to suggestion of injustice or discrimination by one opposition t as against another. That being so, it is man- Constitution fest that any regulation upon this subject must intercourse be a regulation by Congress, in its capacity as exact justic the National Legislature. all. Such a tion at the h set aside and and if ther earth a loca be made as States or a court said: should be u "In Roach v. Van Riswick, 7 Wash. Law. which each Rep. 496, this court held that the very broad which each terms in which the organic Act of 1870 granted all the other legislative powers to the Legislative Assembly States itself. had the effect to clothe that body with only as a temple ch powers as might be given to a municipal liberties of corporation, and that it was not competent for served; and Congress to delegate the larger powers of gen- be exempti al legislation which it had itself received from ity of anta de Constitution." Union. Co We have already shown by these extracts of exclusiv at this subject matter belongs to the larger not at all fo wer of general legislation,-belongs to Con- islate in any , as the Legislature of the Nation. It could any of the therefore, within this announcement, deleany such part of its general legislative the States Can it be er to a municipal legislative body. It is ment of th gether outside the scope of a municipal body seat of its legislate on this subject. would be marvelous indeed if, when the ests of the lation shou stitution strips all the States of this Union zens of the power to legislate on this subject, it could pose such a pretended that a municipal body could be pose that w bed with any such faculty. If a State can- power to 1 at do it, how can a body inferior to a State do clothed wit How can it be said to be within the power lature in ho municipal corporation, when it is not to do anyth within the power of a sovereign State to legis- citizens of upon this subject matter? It would seem Union could ent to stop at this point. But it has been said here in argument that, stitution of t of any other Congress of the United States having the the Constit ive legislative power of this District of most sedulo Clain, there is no restriction upon its ca- all of its pr y to act as such Legislature. If the ques- we are und were before the court in that aspect, it that we are not be difficult to say that it is a propo- joice that w that cannot be entertained by any who ministering the comprehensive power of the Consti- of "Equali the object for which it was formed, or lished in ou purposes for which this District of Columdedicated to national uses, to maintain the fact tha body may be established here in legislaIt seems i
, in antagonism to the rights of the tyrant throu States of this Union. over this D community is not even a State. It is the spirit of gnized body to be legislated over by Con-ent with the the Union. ne This District has surrendered its was formed of representation, and that representation country was in Congress; but still it is vested in eral govern as the National Legislature, and it is had underta ercised by Congress in subordination to its general
ples of the Constitution of the United District, to The argument, pushed to its extreme, outside the imply be this: Congress is without con- cause, as a al restraint as to this District; the peo-legislate ur helpless, and not under the sanctions or the principl in of the Constitution of the United laws equally
457 , it is s on of the es the Federal C of which was of commerce uties by a s But whatever whether rever ection of domest egulation of co se of the powe its exercise br the spirit of t der vain and re Ongress in relatio
power more d harmony of
of imposing a imports f be the moti il to beget irrit it is not difficu
such a cous produce a stat gratification i consequences Supreme Cour rit and scope of that they a of repose o the equal j citizens of s Chey cannot be er rule is made a uniform rule
States acting ating and con tire domain of
the United States, with a view to do equal jus |
States at all; the United States has here a for-
States or any citizens of the United States, it
"In Roach v. Van Riswick, 7 Wash. Law. Rep. 496, this court held that the very broad terms in which the organic Act of 1870 granted legislative powers to the Legislative Assembly had the effect to clothe that body with only such powers as might be given to a municipal corporation, and that it was not competent for Congress to delegate the larger powers of general legislation which it had itself received from the Constitution."
We have already shown by these extracts that this subject matter belongs to the larger power of general legislation,-belongs to Congress, as the Legislature of the Nation. It could not, therefore, within this announcement, delegate any such part of its general legislative power to a municipal legislative body. It is altogether outside the scope of a municipal body to legislate on this subject.
It would be marvelous indeed if, when the Constitution strips all the States of this Union of power to legislate on this subject, it could be pretended that a municipal body could be clothed with any such faculty. If a State cannot do it, how can a body inferior to a State do it? How can it be said to be within the power of a municipal corporation, when it is not within the power of a sovereign State to legislate upon this subject matter? It would seem sufficient to stop at this point.
But it has been said here in argument that, the Congress of the United States having the exclusive legislative power of this District of Columbia, there is no restriction upon its capacity to act as such Legislature. If the question were before the court in that aspect, it would not be difficult to say that it is a proposition that cannot be entertained by any who regard the comprehensive power of the Constitution, the object for which it was formed, or the purposes for which this District of Columbia was dedicated to national uses, to maintain that a body may be established here in legislative form, in antagonism to the rights of the various States of this Union.
This community is not even a State. It is an organized body to be legislated over by Congress alone. This District has surrendered its right of representation, and that representation is vested in Congress; but still it is vested in Congress as the National Legislature, and it is to be exercised by Congress in subordination to the principles of the Constitution of the United States. The argument, pushed to its extreme, would simply be this: Congress is without constitutional restraint as to this District; the people are helpless, and not under the sanctions or protection of the Constitution of the United INTER S.
Can it be supposed for an instant that any of the States would have ceded to the Government of the United States a district for the seat of its Government in which hostile legislation should be exercised towards the interests of the citizens of those States or the citizens of their sister States? We cannot suppose such a thing possible. We cannot suppose that when the Congress was vested with power to legislate over this District it was clothed with any power to act as such Legislature in hostility to the rights of the States or to do anything regarding the interests of the citizens of one State which any State of the Union could not do with regard to the citizens of any other State. We are subject to the Constitution of the United States. Here, if any were, the Constitution should be venerated, and the most sedulous regard should be had for each and all of its provisions, and we should rejoice that we are under its provisions; we should rejoice that we are under its protection; we should rejoice that we are set apart for the purpose of ministering to the temple of justice, the temple of " Equality of Laws" which has been established in our midst.
It seems impossible, therefore, to argue from the fact that Congress has exclusive legislation over this District that it has the power of the tyrant through this District over the States of the Union. The whole idea is inconsistent with the spirit of our institutions, utterly inconsistent with the object for which the Constitution was formed, and for which this district of country was set apart for the uses of the general government. Therefore, even if Congress had undertaken, with regard to this District, in its general capacity as the Legislature for the District, to pass such a law, it would have been outside the power of Congress so to do; because, as a National Legislature, it can only legislate under the commercial power upon the principle of uniformity, which is to pass laws equally operative upon any, every, and all