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The New England Divisions Case, 261 U.S. 184 (1923)

The New England Divisions Case*

No. 646

Argued January 9, 10, 1923

Decided February 19, 1923

261 U.S. 184


1. Section 418 of the Transportation Act, 1920, authorizes the Interstate Commerce Commission, when establishing divisions of joint rates, to consider not only what is just, reasonable, and equitable as between all the carriers participating, but also the financial needs of particular carriers which should be supplied, in the public interest, in order to maintain them in effective operation as part of an adequate transportation system. P. 261 U. S. 189.

2. Where joint rates among a group of carriers were increased by the Commission with special reference to the financial necessities of a part of them, a division, subsequently ordered, which gave the needy carriers a relatively greater share to meet those necessities, but left the share of the others adequate to avoid a confiscatory

Page 261 U. S. 185

result, did not deprive them of their property without due process of law. P. 261 U. S. 195.

3. In fixing divisions of numerous joint rates of numerous carriers, the Commission is not required by either the Transportation Act or the Constitution to take specific evidence and make separate adjudication as to each division of each rate of each carrier, but may order a general increase of divisions to the carriers in a specified territory, basing this on evidence which the Commission deems typical in character and ample in quantity to justify it in respect of each division of rate involved. P. 261 U. S. 196.

4. An order of the Commission for a general increase of divisions to some of many carriers, made after opportunity for a full hearing had been afforded to all, did not exceed the authority conferred by § 418 of the Transportation Act or deprive the other carriers of revenues without due process merely because the Commission recognized that the results would not all be accurate, and that changes must be made upon future investigation. P. 261 U. S. 199.

5. An order of the Commission fixing divisions of joint rates among a group of carriers by awarding a horizontal 15% increase to those west of a certain river and leaving the others to divide their proportions according to existing or future agreements or through further applications to the Commission held proper and sufficient. P. 261 U. S. 201.

6. The order here involved was supported by the evidence before the Commission. P. 261 U. S. 203.

7. The Court cannot consider the weight of evidence before the Commission, or the wisdom of its order. Id.

282 F. 306 affirmed.

Appeal from a decree of the district court refusing an interlocutory injunction in a suit to set aside an order of Except the Boston & Albany, which is leased to the New York Central, one of the trunk lines which was a respondent before the Commission, and branches of two Canadian systems, the Grand Trunk and the Canadian Pacific.

Page 261 U. S. 186

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