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ST. LOUIS RY. CO. V. BROWNSVILLE NAV. DIST., 304 U. S. 295 (1938)

U.S. Supreme Court

St. Louis Ry. Co. v. Brownsville Nav. Dist., 304 U.S. 295 (1938)

St. Louis, Brownsville & Mexico Ry. Co. v.

Brownsville Navigation District

No. 300

Argued March 2, 1938

Decided May 16, 1938

304 U.S. 295


1. Though not bound to furnish cars for transportation in Mexico, carriers may not discriminate unreasonably between shippers, places, or classes of traffic within the United States in the furnishing of equipment for transportation beyond the boundary. P. 304 U. S. 300.

2. The rail connection of the Port of Brownsville, Texas, with Matamoros, Mexico, was over line of carrier A to line of connecting

Page 304 U. S. 295

carrier B, over B to a bridge, and across the Rio Grande to lines in Mexico. A owned no cars, but confined itself to switching service; B was engaged in traffic between other Texas ports and Mexico, but participation in traffic between Port of Brownsville and Mexico was confined to intermediate switching service, the charge for which was specified in its tariff. There was no joint rate applicable over the tracks of A and B, the bridge, and any railway in Mexico, nor did the tariffs of A and B contain any provision relating to the furnishing of cars for such transportation. B furnished cars for line hauls from the other ports, but refused to permit cars delivered by it to A to be reloaded for shipment into Mexico, or to deliver cars to A for loading at the Port of Brownsville, or, if loaded there, to switch them en route to Mexico. In an action of mandamus by the Port of Brownsville and shippers, held:

(1) That the District Court was without jurisdiction to require either A or B to furnish cars for transportation between that Port and Mexico. Pp. 304 U. S. 299-300.

(2) The question of discrimination by B between that and other ports was an administrative question for the Interstate Commerce Commission. Id.

91 F.2d 502 reversed.

Certiorari, 302 U.S. 669, to review a judgment which reversed a judgment of the District Court dismissing a petition for mandamus for want of jurisdiction.

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