Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic]

gate the matters complained of in such manner and by such means as it shall deem proper.

Said commission shall in like manner investigate any complaint forwarded by the railroad commissioner or railroad commission of any state or Territory, at the request of such commissioner or commission, and may institute any inquiry on its own motion in the same manner and to the same effect as though complaint had been made.

No complaint shall at any time be dismissed because of the absence of direct damage to the complainant.

SEC. 14. That whenever an investigation shall be made by said commission, it shall be its duty to make a report in writing in respect thereto, which shall include the findings of fact upon which the conclusions of the commission are based, together with its recommendation as to what reparation, if any, should be made by the common carrier to any party or parties who may be found to have been injured ; and such findings so made shall thereafter, in all judicial proceedings, be deemed prima facie evidence as to each and every fact found,

All reports of investigations made by the commission shall be entered of record, and a copy thereof shall be furnished to the party who may have complained, and to any common carrier that may have been complained of.

SEC. 15. That if, in any case in which an investigation shall be made by said commission, it shall be made to appear to the satisfaction of the commission, either by the testimony of witnesses or other evidence, that anything has been done or omitted to be done in violation of the provisions of this act, or of any law cognizable by said commission, by any common carrier, or that any injury or damage has been sustained by the party or parties complaining, or by other parties aggrieved in consequence of any such violation, it shall be the duty of the commission to forthwith cause a copy of its report in respect thereto to be delivered to such common carrier, together with a notice to said common carrier to cease and desist from such violation, or to make reparation for the injury so found to have been done, or both, within a reasonable time, to be specified by the commission; and if, within the time specified, it shall be made to appear to the commission that such common carrier has ceased from such violation of law, and has made reparation for the injury found to have been done, in compliance with the report and notice of the commission, or to the satisfac tion of the party complaining, a statement to that effect shall be entered of record by the commission, and the said common carrier shall thereupon be relieved from further liability or penalty for such particular violation of law.

SEC. 16. That whenever any common carrier, as defined in and subject to the provisions of this act, shall violate or refuse or neglect to obey any lawful order or requirement of the commission in this act named, it shall be the duty of the commission, and lawful for any company or person interested in such order or requirement, to apply, in a summary way, by petition, to the circuit court of the United States sitting in equity in the judicial district in which the common carrier complained of has its principal office, or in which the violation or disobedience of such order or requirement shall happen, alleging such violation or disobedience, as the case may be; and the said court shall have power to hear and determine the matter, on such short notice to the common carrier complained of as the court shall deem reasonable; and such notice may be served on such common carrier, his or its officers, agents, or servants, in such manner as the court shall direct; and said court shall proceed to hear and determine the matter speedily as a court of equity and without the formal pleadings and proceed. ing applicable to ordinary suits in equity, but in such a manner

as to do justice in the premises; and to this end such court shall have power, if it think fit, to direct and prosecute, in such mode and by such persons as it may appoint, all such inquiries as the court may think needful to enable it to form a just judg; ment in the matter of such petition; and on such hearing the report of said commission shall be prima facie evidence of the matters therein stated; and if it be made to appear to such court, on such hearing or on report of any such person or persons, that the lawful order or requirement of said commission drawn in question has been violated or disobeyed, it shall be lawful for such court to issue a writ of injunction or other proper process, mandatory or otherwise, to restrain such common carrier from further continuing such violation or disobedience of such order or requirement of said commission, and enjoining obedience to the same; and in case of any disobedience of any such writ of injunction or other proper process, mandatory or otherwise, it shall be lawful for such court to issue writs of attachment, or any other process of said court incident or applicable to writs of injunction or other proper process, mandatory or otherwise, against such common carrier, and if a corporation, against one or more of the directors, officers, or agents of the same, or against any owner, lessee, trustee, receiver, or other person failing to obey such writ of injunction or other proper process, mandatory or otherwise; and said court may, if it shall think fit, make an order directing such common carrier or other person so disobeying such writ of injunction or other proper process, mandatory or otherwise, to pay such sum of money not exceeding for each carrier or person in default the sum of $500 for every day after a day to be named in the order that such carrier or other person shall fail to obey such injunction or other proper process, mandatory or otherwise; and such moneys shall be payable as the court shall direct, either to the party complaining, or into court to abide the ultimate decision of the court, or into the Treasury; and payment thereof may, without prejudice to any other mode of recovering the same, be enforced by attachment or order in the nature of a writ of execution, in like manner as if the same had been recovered by a final decree in personam in such court. When the subject in dispute shall be of the value of $2,000 or more, either party to such proceeding before said court may appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, under the same regulations now provided by law in respect of security for such appeal; but such appeal shall not operate to stay or supersede the order of the court or the execution of any writ or process thereon; and such court may, in every such matter, order the payment of such costs and counsel fees as shall be deemed reasonable. Whenever any such petition shall be filed or presented by the commission it shall be the duty of the district attorney, under the direction of the Attorney-General of the United States, to prosecute the same; and the costs and expenses of such prosecution shall be paid out of the appropriation for the expenses of the courts of the United States. For the purposes of this act, excepting its penal provisions, the circuit courts of the United States shall be deemed to be always in session.

[graphic]

SEC. 17. That the commission may conduct its proceedings in such manner as will best conduce to the proper dispatch of business and to the ends of justice. A majority of the commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but no commissioner shall participate in any hearing or proceeding in which he has any pecuniary interest. Said coinmission may, from time to time, make or amend such general rules or orders as may be requisite for the order and regulation of proceedings before it, including forms of notices and the service thereof, which shall conform, as nearly as may be, to those in use in the courts of the United States. Any party may appear before said commission and be heard, in person or by attorney. Every vote and official act of the commission shall be entered of record, and its proceedings shall be public upon the request of either party interested. Said commission shall have an oificial seal, which shall be judicially noticed. Either of the members of the commission may administer oaths and affirmations.

sec. 18. That each commissioner shall receive an annual salary of $7,500, pay; able in the same manner as the salaries of judges of the courts of the United States. The commission shall appoint a secretary, who shall receive an annual salary of $3,500, payable in like manner. The commission shall have authority to employ and fix the compensation of such other employés as it niny find necessary to the proper performance of its duties, subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior.

The commission shall be furnished by the Secretary of the Interior with suitable offices and all necessary office supplies. Witnesses summoned before the commission shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of the United States. All of the expenses of the commission, including all necessary expenses for transportation incurred by the commissioners, or by their employés under their orders, in making any investigation in any other places than in the city of Washington, shall be allowed and paid, on the preseniation of itemized vouchers therefor approved by the chairman of the commission and the Secretary of the Interior. SEC. 19. That the principal office of the commission shall be in the city of Washington, where its general sessions shall be held; but whenever the convenience of the public or of the parties may be promoted or delay or expense prevented thereby, the commission may hold special sessions in any part of ihe United States. It may, by one or more of the commissioners, prosecute any inquiry necessary to its duties, in any part of the United States, into any matter or question of fact pertaining to the business of any common carrier subject to the provisions of this act.

SEC. 20. That the commission is hereby authorized to require annual reports from all common carriers subject to the provisions of this act, to fix the time and prescribe the manner in which such reports shall be made, and to require from such carriers specific answers to all questions upon which the comimission may need information. Such annual reports shall show in detail the amount of capital stock issued, the amounts paid therefor, and the manner o! payment for the same; the dividends paid, the surplus fund, if any, and the number of stockholders; the funded and floating debts, and the interest paid thereon; the cost and value of the carrier's property, franchises, and equipment; the number of employés, and the salary paid each class; the amounts expended for improvements each year, how expended, and the character of such improvements, the earnings and receipts from each branch of business and from all sources; the operating and other expenses; the balances of profit and loss; and a complete exhibit of the financial operations of the carrier each year, including an annual balance-sheet. Such reports shall also contain such information in relation to rates or regulations, concerning fares or freights, or agreements, arrangements, or contracts with other common carriers, as the commission may require; and the said commission may, within its discretion, for the purpose of enabling it the better to carry out the purposes of this act, prescribe (if in the opinion of the commission it is practicable to prescribe such uniformity and methods of keeping accounts) a period of time within which all common carriers subject to the provisions of this act shall have, as near as may be, a uniform system of accounts, and the manner in which such accounts shall be kept.

[graphic]

SEC. 21. That the commission shall, on or before the 1st day of December in each year, make a report to the Secretary of the Interior, which shall be by him transmitted to Congress, and copies of which shall be distributed as are the other reports issued from the Interior Department. This report shall contain such information and data collected by the commission as may be considered of value in the determination of questions connected with the regulation of commerce, together with such recommendations as to additional legislation relating thereto as the commission may deem necessary.

SEC. 22. That nothing in this act shall apply to the carriage, storage, or handling of property free or at reduced rates for the United States, State, or municipal governments, or for charitable purposes, or to or from fairs and expositions for exhibition thereat, or the issuance of mileage, excursion, or commutation passenger tickets; nothing in this act shall be construed to prohibit any common carrier from giving reduced rates to ministers of religion; nothing in this act shall be construed to prevent railroads from giving free carriage to their own officers and employés, or to prevent the principal officers of any railroad company or companies from exchanging passes or tickets with other railroad companies for their officers and employés; and nothing in this act contained shall in any way abridge or alter the remedies now existing at common law or by statute, but the provisions of this act are in addition to such remedies: Provided, That no pending litigation shall in any way be affected by this act.

SEC. 23. That the sum of $100,000 is hereby appropriated for the use and purposes of this act for the fiscal year ending June 30, A. D. 1888, and the intervening time anterior thereto.

SEC. 24. That the provisions of sections 11 and 18 of this act, relating to the appointment and organization of the commission herein provided for, shall take effect immediately, and the remaining provisions of this act shall take effect sixty days after its passage.

JOHN H. REAGAN,
CHARLES F. CRISP,

A. J. WEAVER,
Managers on the part

of the House. S. M. CULLOM,

ISHAM G, HARRIS,

Managers on the part of the Senate. The statement of the House conferees is as follows:

Statement of conferees on the part of the House.

[Required by Rule XXIX.] The House conferees on the disagreeing votes between the two Houses on the bill of the Senate "to regulate commerce," and the bill of the House to regulate commerce among the States, and prevent unjust discrimination by common carriers," make the following detailed statement of the changes between the House bill and the substitute herewith appended :

The action of the House being to adopt a single amendment, your committee, without attempting to call attention to the precise changes made in each section of the bill, report to the House the substance and effect of the changes made, as follows:

The bill of the House applied only to the transportation of freight, and the bill as adopted embraces the transportation of passengers as well as freight.

The bill of the House was limited to the regulation of such transportation on railroads. The bill as reported provides for the regulation of the transportation of property partly by railroad and partly by water, when both are used under a common control, management, or arrangement, for a continuous carriage or shipment from one State or Territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, to any other State or Territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia

The bill which we report defines the term “ railroad," as used in it, to include all bridges, ferries used or operated with any railroad, which is in addition to the provisions of the House bill.

The second section of the substitute bill adopts substantially the provisions of the House bill against discrimination by special rates, rebates, drawbacks, and other devices, and declares that any one making such discrimination shall be guilty of unjust discrimination, which is hereby prohibited and declared unlawful.

The third section of the substitute embraces substantially the provisions of the bill of the House, in requiring equal facilities and advantages for all shippers, without exception, and has a provision requiring equal facilities for the

interchange of traffic with all other railroads for the carriage of property and passengers, and forbids any discrimination by one railroad in the facilities furnished against any other railroad. It contains a clause declaring that this act shall not be construed as requiring such common carrier to give the use of its tracks or terminal facilities to any common carrier engaged in like business.

The fourth section adopts substantially the provisions of the House bill on the long and short haul, with the following proviso: That upon application to the commission appointed under the provisions of this act such common carrier may, in special cases, after investigation by the commission, be authorized to charge less for a longer than for a shorter distance for the transportation of passengers and property, and that the commission may, from time to time, prescribe the extent to which such common carrier may be relieved from the operation of this section.

The fifth section of the substitute bill is a copy of the clause in the House bill prohibiting pooling, with an amendment striking out the words of the House bill by dividing," and inserting in lieu thereof the words " or to divide," and with the addition of the words in line 3, after the word "combination," i with any other common carrier or carriers."

The sixth section is a substitute for the provisions of the House and Senate bills in relation to the publication of schedules showing the rates, fares, and charges for the transportation of passengers and property. Instead of requiring the rates to be posted up, as was provided the House bill, it requires that, after ninety days from the passage of the act, every common carrier subject to its provisions shall have printed and keep for public inspection schedules, showing such rates, fares, and charges, and, in addition to requiring the railroads to give publicity at all of the depots on their several lines, it gives authority to the commission, where it is proper and necessary, to require them to give publicity to their rates to other places beyond the lines of their several railroads.

It also provides that the rates, fares, and charges shall not be raised except after ten days of public notice, but that they may be reduced without previous public notice; the notice, however, shall be simultaneous with the reduction itself, and it requires that all common carriers subject to the provisions of this act shall file with the commission provided for in the bill copies of the schedules which have been established, and shall promptly notify said commission of all changes made in the same; and that they shall file with the commis. sion copies of all contracts, arrangements, or agreements with other common carriers in relation to traffic affected by the provisions of this bill; and in cases where passengers and freights pass over continuous lines or routes operated

by more than one common carrier, and the several common carriers operating such lines or routes establish joint tariffs of rates or fares or charges for such continuous lines or routes, copies of such joint tariffs shall also be filed with the commission, and made public, if so directed by the commuission.

The section also provides that where a common carrier subject to its provisions shall neglect or refuse to file or publish its schedules of tariff or rates and fares, or any part of the same, such common carrier shall, in addition to the penalties herein prescribed, be subject to a writ of mandamus, to be issued by any circuit court of the United States, in any judicial district wherein the principal office of the common carrier is situated, or wherein such offense may be committed, requiring a compliance with the provisions of the act.

Tbe serenth section of the substitute bill contains substantially the provisions of the first part of the second section of the House bill, in relation to the continuous carriage of property and persons from the place of shipment to the place of destination.

The eighth section of the substitute bill contains the substance of the seventh section of the House bill, in egard to damages and counsel's fees, but expressed in somewhat different language.

The ninth section of the substitute bill is a new section, which provides that persons claiming to have been damaged by the action of common carriers may proceed for recovery of their damages either in the courts of the United States or before the commission herein provided for, as they may elect, but not before both tribunals. This section, which gives jurisdiction to courts of the United States, does not give jurisdiction in civil suits to the State courts, as was provided for in the House bill.

This section of the substitute bill also provides that the courts shall have power to compel any director, officer, receiver, trustee, or agent of the corporation or company defendant in such suit to attend, appear, and testify in such case, and may compel the production of the books and papers of such corporation or company party to any such suit; and it provides further that the claim that any such testimony or evidence may tend to criminate the person giving such evidence shall not excuse such witness from testifying; but that such evidence or testimony shall not be used against such person on the trial of any criminal proceeding.

The tenth section of the substitute bill makes it a penal offense to violate any of the provisions of this act, and is substantially the eighth section of the House bill, except that it puts the maximum of the fine which may be imposed at the sum of $5,000 instead of $2,000, as was provided for by the House bill.

[graphic]

The eleventh and subsequent sections to the twenty-first, inclusive of the substitute bill, contain the substance of the Senate's bill providing for a commission, except as modified by the provisions of the substitute bill herein recited.

It provides for a commission to consist of five persons whose term of office shall be for six years, except for the first appointments, which are to be for two, three, four, five, and six years. The members of this commission are to be appointed by the President by and with the advice of the Senate. Their principal office shall be in Washington, but they may hold sessions at other places than Washington, and a single member of the commission may take testimony any. where, as may be directed by the commission.

These commissioners have salaries of $7,500 each. The commission has the power to appoint a secretary, with an annual salary of $3,500, and has authority to employ and fix the compensation of such other employés as it may find nec essary to the proper performance of its duties, subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior.

The nineteenth section of the Senate's bill, providing for a reference of the question of pooling to the commission, is not embraced in this substitute.

Section 22 of the substitute bill, among other things, provides that nothing in this act contained shall in any way abridge or alter the remedies now existing at common law or by statute, but that the provisions of this act are in addition to such remedies, with a proviso that no pending litigation shall in any way be affected by this act.

Section 24 of the substitute bill provides that the act shall go into effect sixty days after its passage, as in the opinion of your committee it was deemed best to give the railroads sufficient time to prepare their schedules and to modify their mangement in accordance with the provisions of this bill. The appoint ment of the commission, however, is to be made at once, as it has to be organized, and as said schedules of rates and charges have to be filed with said com mission.

J. H. REAGAN,
CHARLES F. CRISP,

A. J. WEAVER,
Managers on the part of the House,

[blocks in formation]

Mr. TOWNSHEND. I call up the unfinished business of last suspension day, being the bill reported from the Committee on Patents.

Mr. CRISP. I desire to ask the House to cousider the conference report on the interstate-commerce bill.

Mr. TOWNSHEND. I am in favor of this, but not until this other matter is disposed of.

The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Georgia [Mr. CRISP], as a matter of privilege, calls up the conference report on the interstate-commerce bill. The Clerk will read the title of the bill.

Mr. ANDERSON, of Kansas. I rise to a parliamentary inquiry. The SPEAKER. The gentleman will state it.

Mr. ANDERSON, of Kansas. This is suspension day and the general understanding has been that the pension bill would be called up. Now if the House goes into Committee of the Whole on the interstatecommerce bill, will not that necessarily drive over the general pension bill?

The SPEAKER. The House does not go into Committee of the Whole on the interstate-commerce bill. There is a conference report on that bill, and that, under the rules of the House, is a matter of the highest privilege. If the House refuse to consider it, or if the House complete the consideration of the conference report, then the motion to suspend the rules will be in order. The third Monday in the month is not set a part for the suspension of the rules. The rules simply provide that it shall be in order on that day to move to suspend the rules.

Mr. ANDERSON, of Kansas. If the House refuse to consider the conference report, then we can get at the pension bill?

« PreviousContinue »