A-45391, OCTOBER 22, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 411

A-45391: Oct 22, 1932

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WHEREIN AN AMOUNT OF $33.20 WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS. WAS ALLOWED $60.14 BASED ON A THROUGH FIRST-CLASS RATE OF 91 1/2 CENTS PUBLISHED IN AGENT WILSON'S I.C.C. THE BILL OF LADING ROUTING INSTRUCTIONS WERE TO FORWARD THE SHIPMENT VIA L.I.R.R. THE RATE OF 91 1/2 CENTS WAS APPLICABLE VIA THE INITIAL LINE IN CONNECTION WITH OTHER ROUTES. WAS FURNISHED BY THE LONG ISLAND RAILROAD FREIGHT AGENT AT MINEOLA * * *. IT IS GUIDED BY THE ADVICE OF THE RAILROAD FREIGHT AGENT IN SUCH MATTERS. THE CARRIER URGES THAT THE ROUTING INSTRUCTIONS REQUIRED THE INITIAL CARRIER TO FORWARD THE SHIPMENT IN ACCORDANCE THEREWITH AND THAT THE CHARGE VIA THE REQUESTED ROUTE IS LAWFULLY APPLICABLE.

A-45391, OCTOBER 22, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 411

TRANSPORTATION - ROUTES THE ERROR OF AN INITIAL CARRIER IN QUOTING FOR A SHIPMENT A CERTAIN ROUTE IN CONNECTION WITH A SPECIFIED RATE CAN NOT REQUIRE THE UNITED STATES, AS SHIPPER, TO PAY THE EXCESS COST ARISING FROM THE HIGHER CHARGE APPLICABLE VIA THE ERRONEOUS ROUTE INSERTED IN THE BILL OF LADING BY REASON OF THE CARRIER'S ERRONEOUS QUOTATION.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, OCTOBER 22, 1932:

THE BUFFALO, ROCHESTER AND PITTSBURGH RAILWAY COMPANY HAS REQUESTED REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT T-80582, MARCH 16, 1932, OF THE CARRIER'S BILL 57964, WHEREIN AN AMOUNT OF $33.20 WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, 6,573 POUNDS, FROM MINEOLA, LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK, TO ELLWOOD CITY, PENNSYLVANIA, PER BILL OF LADING WQ 256439, JULY 20, 1931.

THE CARRIER CLAIMED $93.34 BASED ON A RATE OF $1.42 APPARENTLY MADE BY A COMBINATION OF FIRST-CLASS RATES TO AND BEYOND PUNXSUTAWNEY, PENNSYLVANIA, AND WAS ALLOWED $60.14 BASED ON A THROUGH FIRST-CLASS RATE OF 91 1/2 CENTS PUBLISHED IN AGENT WILSON'S I.C.C. A-149.

THE BILL OF LADING ROUTING INSTRUCTIONS WERE TO FORWARD THE SHIPMENT VIA L.I.R.R., PENN.R.R., AND B.R. AND P.R.R. TO DESTINATION AND THE SHIPMENT APPARENTLY MOVED VIA THE ROUTE INDICATED, THE APPLICABLE RATE BEING $1.42 AS CHARGED BY THE CARRIER. CONTEMPORANEOUSLY, THE RATE OF 91 1/2 CENTS WAS APPLICABLE VIA THE INITIAL LINE IN CONNECTION WITH OTHER ROUTES. CONNECTION WITH THE INSERTION OF ROUTING INSTRUCTIONS IN THE BILL OF LADING, THE SHIPPING OFFICER HAS REPORTED AS FOLLOWS: "ROUTING USED AND WHICH COST $0.915 CWT. WAS FURNISHED BY THE LONG ISLAND RAILROAD FREIGHT AGENT AT MINEOLA * * *. INASMUCH AS THIS OFFICE HAS NO RATE TARIFFS ON HAND, IT IS GUIDED BY THE ADVICE OF THE RAILROAD FREIGHT AGENT IN SUCH MATTERS, IN ORDER TO DETERMINE THE CHEAPEST METHOD OF ROUTING SHIPMENTS.'

THE CARRIER URGES THAT THE ROUTING INSTRUCTIONS REQUIRED THE INITIAL CARRIER TO FORWARD THE SHIPMENT IN ACCORDANCE THEREWITH AND THAT THE CHARGE VIA THE REQUESTED ROUTE IS LAWFULLY APPLICABLE. IN SUPPORT OF ITS POSITION THE CARRIER REFERS TO THE CASE OF A. J. POOR GRAIN CO. V. C., B. AND Q.RY.CO. (12 I.C.C. 469) AS HOLDING THAT A MISTAKE BY A CARRIER IN RESPONDING TO AN INQUIRY, EITHER AS TO THE RATE OR AS TO THE ROUTE, WILL NOT EXCUSE THE SHIPPER FROM PAYING THE RATE APPLICABLE OVER THE ROUTE SPECIFIED IN THE ROUTING INSTRUCTIONS; TO THE CASE OF L. I. BREGMAN AND CO. V. PENNA.CO. (15 I.C.C. 478) AS HOLDING IT TO BE THE DUTY OF THE CARRIER TO OBSERVE THE ROUTE DESIGNATED BY THE SHIPPER, SUCH OBSERVANCE TO RELIEVE THE CARRIER FROM ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY ADDITIONAL EXPENSE THEREBY CAUSED THE SHIPPER; AND TO THE CASE OF TEXAS AND PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY V. MUGG AND DRYDEN (202 U.S. 242) AS HOLDING THAT THE ERROR OF A CARRIER IN QUOTING THE RATE DID NOT RELIEVE THE CONSIGNEE FROM THE DUTY TO PAY THE PUBLISHED RATE.

IN THE CASE OF A. J. POOR GRAIN CO. V. C., B. AND Q.RY.CO., THE DEFENDANT HAD QUOTED A WHEAT RATE WHICH DID NOT APPLY VIA ITS LINE AND ON THE STRENGTH OF THAT QUOTATION, THE COMPLAINANT HAD BOUGHT WHEAT AND SHIPPED IT VIA DEFENDANT'S LINE, THE COMPLAINANT DESIGNATING THE ROUTE. THE DELIVERING CARRIER COLLECTED CHARGES BASED ON THE APPLICABLE PUBLISHED RATE AND THE COMPLAINANT THEN SOUGHT TO RECOVER THE DIFFERENCE, URGING THAT THE MISTAKE OF THE DEFENDANT WAS AN ACT OF NEGLIGENCE INVOLVING THE COMPLAINANT IN A LOSS WHICH THE DEFENDANT SHOULD MAKE GOOD. AS REPORTED IN 12 I.C.C. 418, THE COMMISSION STATED (421):

THE SAME CONTENTION HAS BEEN MADE IN OTHER CASES, RESTING UPON SIMILAR FACTS, THAT HAVE BEEN HEARD BEFORE THE COMMISSION AND THE COURTS. BUT UNDER THE DECISIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES IN TEXAS AND PACIFIC RY.CO. V. MUGG, 202 U.S. 242, AND GULF, COLORADO AND SANTA FE RY.CO; V. HEFLEY, 158 U.S. 98, THE QUESTION OF THE LIABILITY OF CARRIERS FOR THE MISTAKES OF THEIR AGENTS IN QUOTING FREIGHT RATES TO SHIPPERS SEEMS NOT TO BE OPEN TO FURTHER DISCUSSION. * * * IN EACH CASE THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES HELD THAT THE PUBLISHED TARIFF RATE CONTROLLED, AND THAT THE LAWFULLY PUBLISHED RATE WAS THE RATE TO BE APPLIED AND COLLECTED ON THE SHIPMENT, NOTWITHSTANDING THE ERRONEOUS QUOTATION OF ANOTHER AND LOWER RATE.

THE COMPLAINANT LATER URGED THAT THE MISTAKE BY THE DEFENDANT WAS WITH RESPECT TO THE ROUTE WHICH THE SHIPMENT MIGHT TAKE TO DESTINATION. THIS CONNECTION, THE COMMISSION STATED (12 I.C.C. 470):

IT IS TRUE THAT THE COMPLAINANT GAVE HIS ROUTING INSTRUCTIONS ONLY AFTER HE HAD CONFERRED WITH THE AGENTS OF THE * * * DEFENDANT. BUT WHETHER HE WAS INFORMED BY THEM EITHER AS TO THE RATE OR AS TO THE ROUTE OVER WHICH THE RATE ERRONEOUSLY QUOTED WAS APPLICABLE, HE ASSUMED TO AND DID CONTROL THE ROUTING. AND THIS FACT BRINGS THE CASE WITHIN THE PRINCIPLES ANNOUNCED BY US IN OUR PREVIOUS DECISION. A CARRIER IS REQUIRED BY LAW TO PUBLISH THE RATE AND ALSO CLEARLY TO INDICATE THE ROUTE OVER WHICH THE PUBLISHED RATE IS APPLICABLE. WHEN SO PUBLISHED THE RATE NAMED AND THE ROUTE DESIGNATED STAND AS THE LAW, BINDING AS WELL UPON THE SHIPPER AS UPON THE CARRIER. A SCHEDULE OF RATES PUBLISHED IN THE MANNER PROVIDED BY LAW SPEAKS WITH EQUAL AUTHORITY TO THE SHIPPER AND TO THE CARRIER, AND BOTH ARE EQUALLY CHARGEABLE WITH NOTICE OF THE RATE AND OF THE ROUTE OVER WHICH THE RATE IS MADE APPLICABLE. A MISTAKE BY THE CARRIER IN RESPONDING TO AN INQUIRY BY A SHIPPER, EITHER AS TO THE RATE OR AS TO THE ROUTE, WILL RELIEVE NEITHER THE ONE NOR THE OTHER FROM THE OBLIGATION OF FULFILLING THE LAW'S REQUIREMENTS; IN EITHER EVENT THE CARRIER MUST COLLECT AND THE SHIPPER MUST PAY THE RATE AS PUBLISHED FOR THE ROUTE OVER WHICH THE SHIPMENTS ACTUALLY MOVE. THIS GENERAL RULE IS FOUNDED NOT ONLY ON THE STRICT LANGUAGE OF THE LAW BUT ALSO UPON A SOUND PUBLIC POLICY.

THE CASE OF L. I. BREGMAN AND CO. V. PENNSYLVANIA CO., 15 I.C.C. 478, INVOLVED NO MISQUOTATION OR ERRONEOUS INFORMATION BY ANY CARRIER. THE SHIPPER HAD DIRECTED FORWARDING VIA A ROUTE WHICH REQUIRED PREPAYMENT OF FREIGHT CHARGES. THE INITIAL CARRIER ALLOWED THE SHIPMENT TO GO FORWARD WITHOUT PREPAYMENT BUT THE CONNECTING CARRIER DESIGNATED IN THE SHIPPER'S ROUTING INSTRUCTIONS REQUIRED PREPAYMENT BEFORE IT WOULD FORWARD THE SHIPMENT. THE SHIPPER THEN DIRECTED THAT THE SHIPMENT BE FORWARDED VIA ANOTHER DESIGNATED CONNECTING LINE WHICH DID NOT REQUIRE PREPAYMENT, THE CHANGE IN ROUTING INSTRUCTIONS RESULTING IN THE ASSESSMENT OF AN ADDITIONAL SWITCHING CHARGE. IN THIS CONNECTION THE COMMISSION STATED (PAGE 479):

GENERALLY SPEAKING, IT IS THE DUTY OF A CARRIER TO TRANSPORT SHIPMENTS VIA THE ROUTE DESIGNATED BY THE CONSIGNOR, AND IF THIS CAUSES ADDITIONAL EXPENSE TO THE SHIPPER THE CARRIER INCURS NO LIABILITY THEREFOR.

THE CASE OF THE TEXAS AND PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY V. MUGG AND DRYDEN, 202 U.S. 242, RELATED TO A CARRIER'S ERRONEOUS QUOTATION OF RATES LOWER THAN THE PUBLISHED RATES, THE SHIPPER BASING HIS SELLING PRICE ON THESE QUOTED RATES. THE CARRIER THEN REFUSED TO DELIVER THE SHIPMENTS UNTIL THE PUBLISHED RATES WERE PAID, RESULTING IN A LOSS TO THE SHIPPER WHICH HE SOUGHT TO RECOVER. THE SUPREME COURT HELD THAT THE CASE WAS WITHIN THE PRINCIPLE OF AND RULED BY THE DECISION IN GULF, C. AND S.F.R.CO. V. HEFLEY, 158 U.S. 98, AND ADOPTED THE OPINION OF THE SUPREME COURT OF ALABAMA IN THE CASE OF SOUTHERN R.CO. V. HARRISON, 119 ALABAMA 539, 43 L.R.A. 385, AS CORRECTLY DECLARING THE EFFECT OF THE DECISION IN THE HEFLEY CASE, TO DISPOSE OF THE MUGG AND DRYDEN CASE. IN THE HEFLEY CASE THE INITIAL CARRIER HAD ACCEPTED GOODS AT A STIPULATED RATE, SPECIFIED IN THE BILL OF LADING, OF 69 CENTS, WHEREAS THE PUBLISHED RATE WAS 84 CENTS, THE SHIPPER NOT KNOWING THAT THE RATE OBTAINED WAS LOWER THAN THE PUBLISHED RATE. THE OPINION STATED THAT THE CLEAR EFFECT OF THE DECISION (IN THE HEFLEY CASE) WAS TO DECLARE THAT---

* * * ONE WHO OBTAINED * * * TRANSPORTATION * * * AT A RATE, SPECIFIED IN THE BILL OF LADING, LESS THAN THE PUBLISHED * * * RATES FILED WITH AND APPROVED BY THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION * * * WHETHER OR NOT HE KNEW THAT THE RATE OBTAINED WAS LESS THAN THE SCHEDULE RATE, IS NOT ENTITLED TO RECOVER THE GOODS, OR DAMAGES FOR THEIR DETENTION, UPON THE TENDER OF PAYMENT OF * * * CHARGES NAMED IN THE BILL OF LADING, OR OF ANY SUM LESS THAN THE SCHEDULE CHARGES; IN OTHER WORDS, THAT, WHATEVER MAY BE THE RATE AGREED UPON, THE CARRIER'S LIEN * * * IS, BY FORCE OF THE ACT OF CONGRESS, FOR THE AMOUNT, FIXED BY THE PUBLISHED SCHEDULE OF RATES AND CHARGES, AND THIS LIEN CAN BE DISCHARGED, AND THE CONSIGNEE CAN BECOME ENTITLED TO THE GOODS ONLY BY THE PAYMENT, OR TENDER OF PAYMENT, OF SUCH AMOUNT * * *.

THE RULE LAID DOWN IN 158 U.S. 98 AND 202 U.S. 242, IS STRICT AND, WHERE A CARRIER MAKES A MISTAKE IN QUOTING A RATE OR ROUTE, REQUIRES NEVERTHELESS THAT THE SHIPPER KNOW THE CARRIER'S TARIFF. HOWEVER, SOME ATTEMPT APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN MADE TO MITIGATE THE HARSHNESS OF THE RULE, WHERE THE SHIPPER IS INNOCENT AND THE CARRIER NEGLIGENT. THUS, IN ST. LOUIS SOUTHWESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY V. SPRING RIVER STONE COMPANY, 236 U.S. 718, THE DESTINATION CARRIER ADVISED THE SHIPPER THAT THE RATE ON STONE IN 50,000 POUNDS CAPACITY CARS WOULD BE 27 1/2 CENTS. THE INITIAL CARRIER WAS REQUESTED TO FURNISH SUCH CARS BUT FURNISHED, FOR ITS OWN CONVENIENCE, CARS OF GREATER CAPACITY, THE APPLICABLE TARIFF PROVIDING THAT THE RATE WOULD BE 27 1/2 CENTS WHEN 50,000 POUNDS CAPACITY CARS WERE USED AND PROVIDING ALSO THAT THE MINIMUM WEIGHT WOULD BE THE MARKED CAPACITY OF THE CAR USED. IT WAS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT WHEN THE CARRIER COULD NOT FURNISH A CAR OF THE CAPACITY ORDERED, AND FURNISHED A CAR OF GREATER CAPACITY, THE CAR FURNISHED MIGHT BE USED ON THE BASIS OF THE MINIMUM CARLOAD WEIGHT FOR THE CAR ORDERED, THE CAPACITY OF THE CAR ORDERED, THE NUMBER OF THE ORDER, AND THE DATE THEREOF TO BE SHOWN ON THE BILL OF LADING AND THE WAYBILL. THE DELIVERING CARRIER DEMANDED AND WAS PAID CHARGES BASED ON THE MARKED CAPACITIES OF THE CARS USED BUT, UPON A CLAIM BY THE SHIPPER, REFUNDED THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT HAD BEEN COLLECTED AND THE AMOUNT PAYABLE IF 50,000 POUNDS CAPACITY CARS HAD BEEN USED. ALL PARTIES ACTED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS, IN GOOD FAITH, AND WITHOUT PURPOSE TO EVADE THE LAW. THE COURT REMARKED THAT THE DELIVERING CARRIER, IN SEEKING TO RECOVER THE AMOUNT REFUNDED, WAS CONTENDING IN EFFECT, THAT, AS THE EVIDENCE FAILED TO SHOW AFFIRMATIVELY THE BILL OF LADING AND WAYBILL NOTATIONS REQUIRED BY THE TARIFF, THE LAW IMPOSED AN ABSOLUTE OBLIGATION UPON THE SHIPPER TO PAY THE CHARGES BASED UPON THE MARKED CAPACITY OF THE CARS USED. THE SHIPPER RECEIVED NO BILLS OF LADING AND THE WAYBILLS WERE NOT PRODUCED AT THE TRIAL IN THE LOWER COURT. COPIES OF BILLS OF LADING, SIGNED BY THE INITIAL CARRIER, WERE OFFERED BY THE CARRIER BUT REJECTED BECAUSE NOT PROPERLY IDENTIFIED. SHIPPING TICKETS REQUESTING THE INITIAL CARRIER TO ACCEPT THE FREIGHT AND BEARING A NOTATION THAT THE SHIPMENTS WERE TENDERED AND RECEIVED SUBJECT TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE UNIFORM BILL OF LADING, AND SIGNED BY THE INITIAL CARRIER, WERE PUT IN EVIDENCE. IT IS APPARENT THAT THE COPIES OF THE BILLS OF LADING AND THE SHIPPING TICKETS, HAVING BEEN PRESENTED BY THE CARRIER, BORE NO NOTATIONS AS REQUIRED BY THE TARIFF.

IN THE DECISION IN 236 U.S. 718, IT WAS HELD THAT THE SHIPPING TICKETS MIGHT NOT BE TREATED AS BILLS OF LADING WITHIN THE REQUIREMENT (OF THE TARIFF) AND THAT IT WAS "NOT POSSIBLE, THEREFORE, TO ASCERTAIN FROM THE RECORD THE CONTENTS OF ANY OF THE BILLS.' "IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES THE INITIAL CARRIER WAS CHARGED WITH THE DUTY OF MAKING THOSE NOTATIONS; AND FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUIT THE SHIPPER MIGHT ASSUME COMPLIANCE WITH THAT DUTY--- HE WAS NOT REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH ACTUAL PERFORMANCE. HE ONLY SOUGHT AND RECEIVED WHAT WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE TARIFF ON FILE. LARGER CARS THAN HE REQUESTED WERE SUPPLIED FOR THE CARRIER'S SPECIAL ACCOMMODATION, AND THE COMMANDS OF THE APPLICABLE RULE ADDRESSED TO THE LATTER IMPOSED THE CLERICAL TASK OF RECORDING INFORMATION WITHIN ITS PECULIAR KNOWLEDGE UPON DOCUMENTS FOR WHOSE PREPARATION IT WAS RESPONSIBLE.' IT IS TO BE NOTED, HOWEVER, THAT THE ACTION WAS NOT BROUGHT BY THE INITIAL CARRIER WHICH APPARENTLY HAD FAILED IN ITS DUTY BUT BY THE DELIVERING CARRIER WHO WAS CHARGED WITH THE COLLECTION OF THE PUBLISHED CHARGE. FURTHERMORE, THE SHIPPER ACTUALLY KNEW WHAT CAPACITY CARS HE ORDERED AND WHAT CAPACITY CARS HE RECEIVED, AND, CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE TARIFF PROVISIONS AFFECTING THE CHARGE FOR HIS SHIPMENTS, KNEW THAT, IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, THE BILLS OF LADING TO WHICH HE WAS ENTITLED SHOULD BEAR CERTAIN NOTATIONS. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE WAYBILL NOTATIONS, WHICH WOULD BE MORE THAN OFFSET BY ANY BILL OF LADING NOTATIONS MADE BY THE CARRIER, THE SHIPPER HAD OR COULD HAVE HAD THE SAME KNOWLEDGE THAT THE INITIAL CARRIER HAD. OTHER INDICATIONS OF MITIGATION OF THE HARSHNESS OF THE RULE ARE PRESENT IN THE CASE OF GALVESTON, H. AND S.A.RY.CO. V. LYKES BROS., 294 FED.REP. 968, AND ST. LOUIS, SAN FRANCISO RY.CO. V. REPUBLIC BOX CO., 12 FED.REP./2D) 441.

IT IS TO BE OBSERVED THAT THESE CASES RELATE TO COMMERCIAL SHIPPERS AND THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 6 (7) OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT. WHERE THE UNITED STATES IS THE SHIPPER, THE REASON FOR AND THE PURPOSE SERVED BY THE RULE, NAMELY, THE PREVENTION OF REBATE OR DISCRIMINATION BY CARRIERS TO OR AGAINST SHIPPERS, IS NOT PRESENT. UNDER SECTION 22 OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT IT IS EXPRESSLY PROVIDED THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT SHALL NOT OPERATE TO PREVENT REDUCED RATES BEING GRANTED BY CARRIERS TO THE UNITED STATES. IN ADDITION, ANOTHER WELL ESTABLISHED RULE APPEARS TO BE AS STATED BY THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION IN THE CASE OF THE ST. LOUIS COOPERAGE CO. V. B. AND O.R.R.CO., 168 I.C.C. 258, VIZ:

* * * THE FACT OF THE CONFLICT BETWEEN THE RATE AND ROUTE INSERTED IN THE BILL OF LADING BY THE SHIPPER IN ITSELF PLACES THE AGENT OF THE INITIAL CARRIER UNDER THE DUTY OF OBTAINING FULL AND DEFINITE INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE SHIPPER, AND IF THIS DUTY IS NOT PERFORMED, THE INITIAL CARRIER IS REQUIRED TO PROTECT THE RATE IN EFFECT OVER THE CHEAPEST ROUTE AFFORDING IT A LINE HAUL.

IN THE INSTANT CASE IT IS INDICATED THAT THE SHIPPING OFFICER REQUESTED THE INITIAL CARRIER TO QUOTE A ROUTE AND THE APPLICABLE RATE THEREFOR AND THE CARRIER COMPLIED BUT, THROUGH ERROR, QUOTED A RATE NOT APPLICABLE VIA THE ROUTE NAMED. IN PREPARING THE BILL OF LADING, THE OFFICER INSERTED THE ROUTE QUOTED BY THE CARRIER. THE CARRIER IS URGING THAT, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CASES REFERRED TO IN THE APPLICATION FOR REVIEW, THE UNITED STATES IS UNDER A DUTY TO PAY THE APPLICABLE RATE VIA THE DESIGNATED ROUTE ALTHOUGH ADMITTING, IN EFFECT, THAT IF THE ROUTE AND THE INAPPLICABLE RATE HAD BOTH BEEN INSERTED THE RULE ANNOUNCED IN 168 I.C.C. 258 WOULD APPLY. THE EFFECT OF THE INSERTION OF THE ROUTE AND AN INAPPLICABLE RATE IS MERELY TO CALL TO THE INITIAL CARRIER'S ATTENTION ANY CONFLICT BETWEEN THE TWO AND TO MAKE IT THE CARRIER'S DUTY TO ASCERTAIN DEFINITELY WHICH IS DESIRED BY THE SHIPPER. HERE IT APPEARS THAT THE INITIAL CARRIER HAD QUOTED BOTH THE ROUTE AND THE RATE AS BEING CONSISTENT AND, AS A MATTER OF FACT, WAS JUST AS MUCH AWARE OF A CONFLICT AS IF THE SHIPPING OFFICER HAD INSERTED THE RATE IN ADDITION TO THE ROUTE. THAT THE INSERTION OF THE RATE WOULD HAVE HAD NO EFFECT IN SO FAR AS CONVEYING TO THE INITIAL CARRIER ANY ADDITIONAL NOTICE OF INCONSISTENCY WITH THE ROUTE IS EVIDENCED BY THE FACT THAT UNDER DATE OF OCTOBER 30, 1931, THE INITIAL CARRIER AGAIN MADE THE SAME ERRONEOUS QUOTATION IN A LETTER READING AS FOLLOWS:

WITH REFERENCE TO OUR PHONE CONVERSATION THIS MORNING, IN WHICH YOU ASKED FOR THE ROUTING AND RATE ON A SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO ELLWOOD CITY, PENNA.

PLEASE BE ADVISED AS TO THE FOLLOWING. ROUTE LIRR PRR BR AND P. RATE IS 91 1/2 CENTS PER CWT. THIS INFORMATION IS SHOWN IN H. WILSON AGENT, I.C.C. A-149.

THUS IT APPEARS THAT THE UNITED STATES AS A SHIPPER IS SOUGHT TO BE HELD TO PAY AN EXCESSIVE CHARGE ARISING FROM AN ERROR ON THE PART OF THE INITIAL CARRIER. IN EFFECT, THE BASIS CLAIMED FOR LIABILITY IS THE FAILURE OF THE SHIPPER TO INSERT IN THE BILL OF LADING BOTH THE ROUTE AND THE RATE QUOTED BY THE CARRIER AND THUS TO CALL TO THE CARRIER'S ATTENTION THE CARRIER'S OWN ERROR. IT IS CLEAR, HOWEVER, THAT THE INSERTION OF THE RATE WOULD HAVE HAD NO SUCH EFFECT AND THAT, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE INITIAL CARRIER HAD ALL THE KNOWLEDGE THAT IT WOULD HAVE HAD IF THE RATE HAD BEEN INSERTED, WAS JUST AS MUCH AWARE OF THE CONFLICT, AND STILL WOULD HAVE FORWARDED THE SHIPMENT VIA THE ROUTE SHOWN JUST AS WAS ACTUALLY DONE. THE INSERTION OF THE RATE WOULD HAVE BEEN BUT A USELESS GESTURE IN SO FAR AS ATTRACTING THE CARRIER'S ATTENTION TO A CONFLICT WAS CONCERNED. MOREOVER, THE BILL OF LADING BORE A NOTATION INDICATING THE ESTIMATED COST OF THE SHIPMENT AS BEING $60.14, WHICH COULD NOT HAVE BEEN CORRECT IF THE RATE WERE $1.42 PER CWT.AS CLAIMED. THIS SUM, WHICH OBVIOUSLY WAS COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE RATE QUOTED, MUST HAVE BEEN UNDERSTOOD BY THE CARRIER, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES HERE OBTAINING, AS NOT BEING CONSISTENT WITH THE $1.42 RATE.

THE FACTS IN THIS CASE DO NOT JUSTIFY AN ALLOWANCE BASED ON OTHER THAN THE 91 1/2 CENT RATE AND, ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT IS SUSTAINED.