B-121326, JUL. 7, 1955

B-121326: Jul 7, 1955

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THE VIRGINIAN RAILWAY COMPANY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS. FOR THIS TRANSPORTATION YOU CLAIMED AND WERE PAID CHARGES COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THROUGH TARIFF RATES APPLICABLE FROM THE POINT OF ORIGIN TO DESTINATION. IN THE AUDIT OF THE PAYMENT VOUCHER THE CHARGES WERE RECOMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF A COMBINATION OF RATES USING AS FACTORS A TARIFF RATE TO NATCHES. THE RESULTING OVERPAYMENT OF $307.46 WAS COLLECTED BY DEDUCTION IN MAKING PAYMENT OF AMOUNTS OTHERWISE DUE YOUR COMPANY. YOUR CLAIM FOR THE AMOUNT DEDUCTED WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE STATED REASON THAT QUOTATION ADVICE NO. 975 APPLIED GENERALLY BETWEEN POINTS IN SOUTHERN FREIGHT ASSOCIATION TERRITORY AND THAT HIS QUOTATION CONTAINED NO RESTRICTION AGAINST ITS BEING USED TO FORM COMBINATION RATES.

B-121326, JUL. 7, 1955

TO MR. G. B. SMITH, AUDITOR OF REVENUES, THE VIRGINIAN RAILWAY COMPANY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS, FILE 6055-1T, REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE TK-487328, DATED OCTOBER 16, 1953, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $307.46 AS A PART OF THE CHARGES ALLEGED TO BE DUE FOR TRANSPORTING A SHIPMENT OF MISCELLANEOUS FREIGHT FROM CORPUS CHRISTI (FLOUR BLUFF), TEXAS, TO NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, UNDER BILL OF LADING N- 15375766, DURING MAY 1949.

FOR THIS TRANSPORTATION YOU CLAIMED AND WERE PAID CHARGES COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THROUGH TARIFF RATES APPLICABLE FROM THE POINT OF ORIGIN TO DESTINATION. IN THE AUDIT OF THE PAYMENT VOUCHER THE CHARGES WERE RECOMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF A COMBINATION OF RATES USING AS FACTORS A TARIFF RATE TO NATCHES, MISSISSIPPI, AND THE RATING AND RATE AUTHORIZED BY SOUTHERN FREIGHT ASSOCIATION SECTION 22 QUOTATION ADVICE NO. 975 FROM NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI, TO NORFOLK, VIRGINIA. THE RESULTING OVERPAYMENT OF $307.46 WAS COLLECTED BY DEDUCTION IN MAKING PAYMENT OF AMOUNTS OTHERWISE DUE YOUR COMPANY. THEREAFTER, YOUR CLAIM FOR THE AMOUNT DEDUCTED WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE STATED REASON THAT QUOTATION ADVICE NO. 975 APPLIED GENERALLY BETWEEN POINTS IN SOUTHERN FREIGHT ASSOCIATION TERRITORY AND THAT HIS QUOTATION CONTAINED NO RESTRICTION AGAINST ITS BEING USED TO FORM COMBINATION RATES.

IN YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW YOU STATE THAT SECTION 22 QUOTATIONS NAMING SPECIFIC ORIGINS OR DESTINATIONS MAY NOT BE USED IN COMBINATION WITH COMMERCIAL TARIFF RATES TO DEFEAT APPLICABLE PUBLISHED RATES. YOU URGE THAT QUOTATION ADVICE NO. 975, ALTHOUGH NOT NAMING SPECIFIC POINTS BUT APPLYING GENERALLY BETWEEN ALL POINTS IN SOUTHERN FREIGHT ASSOCIATION TERRITORY, IS ESSENTIALLY THE SAME AS QUOTATIONS NAMING SPECIFIC POINT TO POINT RATES, AND THAT IT IS NOT LOGICAL OR REASONABLE TO ASSUME THAT ONE PARTICULAR TYPE OF QUOTATION CAN BE USED IN COMBINATION WITH PUBLISHED TARIFF RATES AND THE OTHER MAY NOT. YOU REFER TO THE CASE OF ATCHISON,TOPEKA AND SANTA FE RAILWAY COMPANY V. UNITED STATES, 256 U.S. 205, AS PRECLUDING THE USE OF A RATE AUTHORIZED BY A SECTION 22 QUOTATION IN COMBINATION WITH A TARIFF RATE, UNLESS A SPECIFIC PROVISION IN THE QUOTATION AUTHORIZES SUCH USE.

IN THE ABOVE-MENTIONED ATCHISON, TOPEKA AND SANTA FE RAILWAY COMPANY CASE, INVOLVING PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION, THE COURT SAID:

"IN EACH INSTANCE A THROUGH INDIVIDUAL RATE FROM THE INITIAL POINT TO THE DESTINATION WAS IN FORCE, AND ALSO INDIVIDUAL RATES TO AND FROM INTERMEDIATE POINTS. IN NO INSTANCE WAS THERE A THROUGH PARTY RATE; BUT IN ALL THERE WAS A PARTY RATE FOR A PART ONLY OF THE DISTANCE.'

NOTWITHSTANDING THE EXISTENCE OF A THROUGH INDIVIDUAL RATE AS SO INDICATED, THE COURT, AFTER ADVERTING TO THE PERMISSION GIVEN THE CARRIERS IN SECTION 22 OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT TO ENTER INTO AN ARRANGEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES FOR REDUCED RATES, SAID:

"* * * IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH AN ARRANGEMENT, THE COMPANY'S DUTY TO THE UNITED STATES WAS MERELY THAT OF SERVING IT AT RATES NO HIGHER THAN THOSE APPLIED TO INDIVIDUALS FOR LIKE TRANSPORTATION, C. 278 SEC. 5, 14 STAT. 295, LESS ANY LAWFUL LAND GRANT DEDUCTION. NO INDIVIDUAL COULD REQUIRE THAT THE PARTY RATE COVERING A PART ONLY OF THE DISTANCE AND THE INDIVIDUAL RATE FOR THE REMAINDER BE TAKEN AS THE THROUGH RATE, OR AS THE LAWFUL RATE FOR A THROUGH SERVICE. NEITHER COULD THE UNITED STATES DO SO IN THE ABSENCE OF SOME PRIOR ARRANGEMENT TO THAT EFFECT.'

IT IS APPARENT THAT THE APPLICATION OF THE COMBINATION RATE IN PREFERENCE TO THE THROUGH RATE IN THAT CASE WAS NOT SUPPORTABLE IN THE ABSENCE OF SOME PRIOR ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN THE CARRIER AND THE UNITED STATES. THERE WAS NO OCCASION TO RULE UPON THE VALIDITY OF A COMBINATION RATE COMPOSED, IN PART, OF A REDUCED RATE TENDERED BY INTERESTED CARRIERS UNDER AUTHORITY OF SECTION 22 OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT.

IN THE INSTANT CASE, THE REDUCED RATE USED IN THE AUDIT WAS MADE AVAILABLE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF QUOTATION ADVICE NO. 975. IN THIS QUOTATION THE "CARRIERS BY RAILROAD PARTIES TO SFTG TARIFF 700-C, AGENT R. H. HOKE'S I.C.C. NO. 995" OFFERED TO TRANSPORT "MERCHANDISE, VIZ: FREIGHT, ALL KINDS, AS DESCRIBED IN" ITEM 200, SFTB TARIFF 767-D, MINIMUM WEIGHT 30,000 POUNDS,"BETWEEN POINTS IN SOUTHERN FREIGHT ASSOCIATION TERRITORY, SHOWN IN SFTB TARIFF 700-C," AT THE "THROUGH ALL-RAIL CARLOAD RATE ON BASIS OF COLUMN 40 RATING APPLIED TO THE K-2 DOCKET 13494-1ST CLASS RATE SHOWN IN" DESIGNATED TARIFFS, WHICH APPARENTLY CONTAINED THE VARIOUS CLASS RATES APPLICABLE ON TRAFFIC IN SOUTHERN FREIGHT ASSOCIATION TERRITORY. AMONG THE TARIFFS DESIGNATED AS PROVIDING THE RATES WAS R. H. HOKE'S TARIFF 714-A (MISSISSIPPI TARIFF), I.C.C. NO. 322, WHICH NAMES RATES FROM, AMONG OTHER POINTS, NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI, TO, AMONG OTHER POINTS, NORFOLK, VIRGINIA. YOU AGREE THAT QUOTATION ADVICE NO. 975 APPLIED GENERALLY BETWEEN POINTS IN SOUTHERN FREIGHT ASSOCIATION TERRITORY, AND CONSISTENT WITH THAT VIEW IT APPEARS THAT THE QUOTATION WAS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A UNIFORM RATING ON THE SPECIFIED TRAFFIC FOR GENERAL APPLICATION THROUGHOUT SOUTHERN FREIGHT ASSOCIATION TERRITORY. NO RESTRICTION HAS BEEN FOUND IN THE QUOTATION PRECLUDING THE APPLICATION OF THE BASIS OF RATES SPECIFIED THEREIN AS THE MEASURE OF COMPENSATION DUE THE CARRIERS FOR TRANSPORTING THE SUBJECT SHIPMENT FROM NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI, TO NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, WHETHER AS A SHIPMENT ORIGINATING AT NATCHEZ AND TERMINATING AT NORFOLK OR AS A PART OF A THROUGH MOVEMENT FROM POINTS SUCH AS CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS, LOCATED OUTSIDE OF SOUTHERN FREIGHT ASSOCIATION TERRITORY, TO NORFOLK. THE QUOTATION TENDERED "THE TRANSPORTATION SERVICES HEREINAFTER DESCRIBED" FOR THE CHARGES AND UNDER THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS SPECIFIED. THE TRANSPORTATION THEREIN DESCRIBED WAS THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE IDENTIFIED ARTICLES "BETWEEN POINTS" IN SOUTHERN FREIGHT ASSOCIATION TERRITORY, "SHOWN IN SFTB TARIFF 700-C.' BOTH NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI, AND NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, ARE AMONG THE POINTS SHOWN IN SFTB TARIFF 700-C. THERE HAS BEEN FOUND NOTHING IN THE QUOTATION WHICH WOULD LIMIT ITS APPLICATION TO SHIPMENTS ORIGINATING AT AND TERMINATING AT POINTS WITHIN THAT TERRITORY. UNDENIABLY, TRAFFIC OF THE KIND DESIGNATED, WHEN SHIPPED FROM CORPUS CHRISTI TO NORFOLK VIA NATCHEZ, WOULD, AS TO THE HAUL FROM NATCHEZ TO NORFOLK, CONSTITUTE TRANSPORTATION ,BETWEEN POINTS" IN SOUTHERN FREIGHT ASSOCIATION TERRITORY, CLEARLY EMBRACED WITHIN THE TERMS OF THE AGREEMENT. IN APPLYING THE QUOTATION BASIS TO THE SERVICE FROM NATCHEZ TO NORFOLK NOTHING MORE HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED THAN TO GIVE LITERAL EFFECT TO THE TERMS OF THE QUOTATION. MOREOVER, ON PRINCIPLE, NO REASON IS APPARENT WHY THERE SHOULD BE ANY GREATER CHARGE FOR THAT SERVICE MERELY BECAUSE THE SHIPMENT INVOLVED DID NOT ORIGINATE AT A POINT IN SOUTHERN FREIGHT ASSOCIATION TERRITORY.

CONCERNING YOUR REFERENCE TO DECISION OF OCTOBER 9, 1951, B-98076, PERTAINING TO THE APPLICATION OF RATES TENDERED IN ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS' QUOTATION NO. 560, IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE RATES TENDERED IN THAT QUOTATION WERE QUOTED AS FOR APPLICATION ON "FREIGHT, ALL KINDS" WHEN "SHIPPED * * * FROM" SPECIFICALLY NAMED POINTS IN CALIFORNIA AND WASHINGTON "TO" CERTAIN OTHER SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED POINTS IN UTAH. THE CASES CITED THE PROPERTY WAS SHIPPED FROM POINTS OTHER THAN THE ORIGINS NAMED IN THE QUOTATION OR WAS CONSIGNED TO POINTS OTHER THAN THE DESTINATIONS NAMED IN THE QUOTATION. THE FACT THAT THE LANGUAGE USED IN THAT QUOTATION WAS GIVEN EFFECT AS NOT PERMITTING THE APPLICATION OF THE RATE BASIS SPECIFIED IN THE QUOTATION TO PROPERTY SHIPPED FROM OR TO OTHER POINTS AFFORDS NO JUSTIFICATION FOR DENYING THE APPLICATION OF THE QUOTATION HERE UNDER CONSIDERATION TO THE SHIPMENTS INVOLVED IN THIS CASE.