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U.S. Supreme Court

Vinson v. Washington Gas Light Co., 321 U.S. 489 (1944)

Vinson v. Washington Gas Light Co.

No. 396

Argued February 11, 14, 1944

Decided March 27, 1944

321 U.S. 489


The Emergency Price Control Act of 1942 specifically withheld from the Administrator authority to regulate the rates of any public utility. The amendatory Act of October 2, 1942 provided

"That no . . . public utility shall make any general increase in its rates or charges which were in effect on September 15, 1942, unless it first gives thirty days' notice to the President, or such agency as he may designate, and consents to the timely intervention by such agency before the Federal, State, or municipal authority having

Page 321 U. S. 490

jurisdiction to consider such increase."

In a proceeding pursuant to a sliding scale arrangement authorized by the local law, the Public Utilities Commission of the District of Columbia granted an increase in the rates of a public utility. The Director of Economic Stabilization was permitted to intervene, but only for the purpose of adducing evidence as to the inflationary effect of the proposed increase, and no such evidence was offered.


1. By the Emergency Price Control Act, as amended, Congress did not intend to prohibit local regulatory authorities from permitting any increase in utility rates which was not shown to be necessary to prevent actual hardship. P. 321 U. S. 498.

2. Upon the record, the Commission, in refusing to enlarge the scope of the proceeding and to reexamine the basis of the sliding scale arrangement, did not deny the Director a fair hearing. P. 321 U. S. 499.

3. Upon the issues as properly limited by the Commission, the Director was afforded opportunity for a full hearing. P. 321 U. S. 500.

137 F.2d 547 affirmed.

Certiorari, 320 U.S. 730, to review the reversal of a judgment, 48 F.Supp. 703, which set aside an order of the Public Utilities Commission of the District of Columbia authorizing an increase in the rates of a public utility company.

Page 321 U. S. 491

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