UNITED STATES V. WABASH R. CO., 321 U. S. 403 (1944)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Wabash R. Co., 321 U.S. 403 (1944)

United States v. Wabash Railroad Co.

No. 453

Argued March 8, 1944

Decided March 27, 1944

321 U.S. 403


1. An order of the Interstate Commerce Commission directing appellee railroads to cancel certain tariff supplements by which they proposed to eliminate charges for spotting freight cars at the doors of factories in the industrial plant of a manufacturing company -- based on its finding that performance of the spotting service without charge would be an unlawful preference because a departure

Page 321 U. S. 404

from filed tariffs, in violation of § 6(7) of the Interstate Commerce Act -- sustained. Pp. 321 U. S. 405, 321 U. S. 410.

2. The point in time and space at which the carrier's transportation service ends is a question of fact to be determined by the Commission, and its findings on that question, if supported by evidence, will not be disturbed by the courts. P. 321 U. S. 408.

3. The Commission's conclusion in this case that the movement of cars between the interchange tracks and points of loading and unloading was a plant service for the convenience of the industry, and not a part of the carrier service comparable to the usual car delivery at a team track or siding, is supported by the evidence and is binding on review. P. 321 U. S. 409.

4. Section 6(7) prohibits departures from the filed tariffs, and it is violated when carriers pay the industries for a terminal service not included in their transportation service or when they render such terminal service free of charge. P. 321 U. S. 410.

5. The prohibition of § 6(7) applies without qualification to every carrier, and, when the unlawfulness of the allowance or service is shown by the conditions prevailing at a particular industrial plant, it is unnecessary, in order to support the Commission's order, to consider whether generally similar allowances or services at other plants are, or are not, lawful under conditions prevailing there. P. 321 U. S. 410.

6. The finding of the court below that the manufacturing company in this case was being discriminated against by the continuance of free spotting service at other plants is irrelevant to any issue in the present proceeding, which relates only to violations of § 6(7), and not to §§ 2 and 3(1). P. 321 U. S. 413.

7. While it is the duty of the Commission to proceed as rapidly as may be to suppress violations of § 6(7) in the performance of spotting services, that is to be accomplished by an investigation of the traffic conditions prevailing at each particular plant where the service is rendered, and not by comparison of the services rendered at different plants. P. 321 U. S. 413.

8. The Commission is not required to suppress all violations of § 6(7) simultaneously or none. P. 321 U. S. 414.

51 F.Supp. 141 reversed.

Page 321 U. S. 405

Appeal from a decree of a District Court of three judges setting aside an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

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