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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Northern Pacific Ry. Co., 288 U.S. 490 (1933)

United States v. Northern Pacific Railway Co.

No. 470

Argued February 9, 10, 1933

Decided March 13, 1933

288 U.S. 490


1. The rule announced in Atchison, T. & S.F. Ry. Co. v. United States, 284 U. S. 248, does not mean that a rehearing on an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission fixing rates may be required whenever a carrier's revenues are adversely affected by change of economic conditions, nor will it be so applied as to disable the Commission to protect the interests of the public. P. 288 U. S. 492.

2. A carrier is estopped to complain of the refusal of the Commission to grant a rehearing because of changed economic conditions where the evidence of such change and of its effect on the carrier's revenues could readily have been produced before the Commission long before it made the order complained of. P. 288 U. S. 494.

3. In the absence of the evidence taken before the Commission, the Court cannot say that there was no adequate and sufficient proof on which to base a finding of the reasonableness of the rates prescribed in this case. P. 288 U. S. 499.

4. Existing rates for similar service to other destinations may be used by the Commission as one test, though not controlling, of the reasonableness of the rates in issue. P. 288 U. S. 500.

5. In this case, the Commission's reports of its investigations of the rates immediately in question and of other related rates do not sustain the averments of the petition that the question of reasonableness was disregarded, and the order based solely upon a comparison with rates which were unduly and unreasonably low. P. 288 U. S. 500.

Page 288 U. S. 491

6. Carriers desiring a reopening by the Commission of a particular rate case for the purpose of showing that the rates fixed therein and which were used as a basis of comparison in fixing other rates were too low should specify their purpose and the case, and not address their petition to the reopening of a whole group of related cases. P. 288 U. S. 501.

7. Refusal of the Commission to consolidate one rate proceeding with another held not to have been a denial of a fair hearing on the question of the relationship between scales of rates involved, that question having been raised and considered in both of the cases separately. P. 288 U. S. 501.

60 F.2d 302 reversed.

Appeal from a decree of the District Court of three judges, which set aside an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission establishing certain rates on petroleum.

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