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U.S. Supreme Court

ICC v. Delaware, Lackawanna & Western R. Co., 220 U.S. 235 (1911)

Interstate Commerce Commission v.

Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Company

No. 325

Argued February 25, 28, 1910

Decided April 3, 1911

220 U.S. 235


The conclusions of the Interstate Commerce Commission on questions of fact are not reviewable by the courts. Balt. & Ohio R. Co. v. Pitcairn, 215 U. S. 481.

A carrier cannot make mere ownership of goods tendered for transportation the test of the duty to carry, nor may a carrier discriminate in fixing charges for carriage upon such ownership.

Under the Act to Regulate Commerce, a carrier cannot refuse to transport carload lots at carload rates because the goods do not actually belong to one shipper or are shipped by a forwarding agency for account of others.

The provisions of § 2 of the Act to Regulate Commerce were substantially taken from § 90, the equality clause of the English Railway Clauses Consolidated Act of 1845, and had been construed by the courts prior to the enactment of § 2 as forbidding a higher charge to forwarding agents than to others.

The right of the carrier to fix rates does not give it the right to discriminate as to those who can avail of them.

The conclusion by the Interstate Commerce Commission that the enforcement of a rule by a carrier creates a discrimination is one of fact and not open to review by the courts.

In the absence of statutory authority to exclude forwarding agents from availing of published rates, the courts cannot overrule a conclusion of the Interstate Commerce Commission that such exclusion would create a preference, and this although the business of forwarding agents be competitive with the carrier itself.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 220 U. S. 240

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