224 U.S. 194 (2021), Interstate Commerce Commission

Citation:224 U.S. 194, 32 S.Ct. 436, 56 L.Ed. 729
Party Name:Interstate Commerce Commission
Case Date:April 01, 1912
Court:United States Supreme Court

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224 U.S. 194 (2021)

32 S.Ct. 436, 56 L.Ed. 729

Interstate Commerce Commission

United States Supreme Court

April 1, 1912



Conclusions and argumentative deductions set forth in the bill as to effect of orders of a governmental body upon complainant are not to be regarded under the rules of pleading as allegations of fact and admitted. United States v. Ames, 99 U.S. 35.

Carriers partly by railroad and partly by water under a common arrangement for a continuous carriage are as specifically within the term of the Interstate Commerce Act of June 29, 1906, 34 Stat. 584, c. 3591, as any other carrier named therein.

Such carriers arc subject to the provisions of the act authorizing the Commission to require a system of accounting.

Such carriers, while engaged in carrying on traffic under joint rates with railroads filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission, are bound to deal upon like terms with all shippers availing of the rates, and are generally subject to the Interstate Commerce Act.

Section 20 of the Interstate Commerce Act gives the Commission ample authority to require accounts to be kept by carriers in the manner prescribed by the Commission.

A statute requiring a carrier doing both interstate and intrastate business to render accounts of all of its business is not beyond the power of Congress as a regulation of intrastate commerce.

Carriers partly by land and partly by water may be required to keep accounts of all their traffic, both interstate and intrastate, under the provisions of § 20 of the Act of June 29, 1906.

Congress may not delegate its purely legislative power, but, having laid down general rules of action under which a commission may proceed,

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it may require that commission to apply such rules to particular situations.

The provision of § 20 of the Act of June 29, 1906, authorizing the Interstate Commerce Commission to require accounts to be kept in a specified manner by interstate carriers are not an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power.

Under § 20 of the Act of June 29, 1906, the Interstate Commerce Commission is to be fully informed of all business conducted by a carrier of interstate traffic, and this includes all operations of such carrier, whether strictly transportation or not; in this case, held to include amusement parks operated by a carrier of interstate commerce partly by land and partly by water.

190 F. 943 reversed.

The facts, which involve the constitutionality and construction of the provisions of the Interstate Commerce Act in regard to accounts to be kept by carriers partly by land and partly by water, are stated in the opinion.

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DAY, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE DAY delivered the opinion of the Court.

The appellees in these four cases are corporations organized under state laws, and engaged in the carriage of passengers and freight by water upon the Great Lakes. They filed bills in the United States Circuit Court for the Northern District of Illinois to enjoin the enforcement of certain orders of the Interstate Commerce Commission. The cases were afterwards transferred to the United States Commerce Court.

The orders of the Commission complained of comprise, first, an order prescribing [32 S.Ct. 437] the method of accounts and

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bookkeeping as to the operating expenses of the carriers, and a similar order as to bookkeeping concerning the operating revenues of the carriers, and second, an order requiring a report of the carriers respecting their corporate organization, financial condition, etc.

The government of the United States intervened and filed an answer in each case, but the cases were practically heard on demurrer, as the record discloses, and therefore the allegations of the bills, well pleaded, must be deemed to be true. The bills contain many conclusions and argumentative deductions as to the effect of the orders upon the carriers, which, under the rules of pleading, are not considered as admitted. United States v. Ames, 99 U.S. 35, 45.

The pertinent averments necessary to a decision of the cases, as we view them, show that the carriers are corporations organized under the laws of certain states of the Union; that they carry passengers and freight upon the Great Lakes between ports in different states, which they designate as their port-to-port interstate business; that they carry passengers and freight wholly within a state, which they designate as their port-to-port intrastate business, and that they also carry passengers and property in interstate commerce under joint tariffs in connection with certain railroad carriers of the United States with whom they have agreed upon joint through rates, which they designate as their joint rail and water business. As to the Goodrich Transit Company, it is averred that eighty percent of its gross revenue is derived from its port-to-port interstate and intrastate business, and less than twenty percent of its gross earnings is derived from its joint rail and water business. A like averment is made with respect to the White Star Line, except that it is said that, in its business, the revenue derived from joint rail and water traffic, as aforesaid, is less than one percent of its entire revenue.

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It is averred that the bookkeeping and accounting methods required by the orders of the Commission differ from those prescribed and now kept by the companies; that the orders of the Commission make no difference between the intrastate port-to-port business and the interstate port-to-port business and the joint rail and water business, and that the orders entered by the Commission prohibit the companies from keeping any accounts, records, or memoranda other than those prescribed by the Commission in such orders.

In the White Star Line cases, the bills contain an additional averment that that company operates two amusement parks, one at Tashmoo and one at Sugar island, both in the State of Michigan, and in connection therewith owns, operates, and derives revenue from lunch stands, merry-go-rounds, bowling alleys, bath houses, etc., and collects admission fees from people entering the parks. It complains that its business concerning said parks is included within the accounting methods prescribed by the Commission.

As to the report called for by the order of the Commission, it is averred that such report was not required because of any complaint filed against the corporations for the violation of the Act to Regulate Commerce; that there is no statute...

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