B-132526, NOV. 13, 1957

B-132526: Nov 13, 1957

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CENTRAL OF GEORGIA RAILWAY COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 10. YOU ASSERT THAT THE DISALLOWANCE OF THAT BILL IS IN DIRECT CONFLICT WITH THE SETTLEMENTS MADE UNDER OUR CLAIMS NO. YOU STATE ALSO THAT "THE SAME SUBJECT IS UNDER CONSIDERATION IN YOUR CLAIMS NO. THE BILLS OF LADING SHOW THAT THE ARTICLES WERE PURCHASED FROM THE CONSIGNOR- MANUFACTURER. THAT CONTRACT DISCLOSES THAT THE ARTICLES ARE WOODEN BARRACK- STYLE PORTABLE HOUSES WHICH APPEAR TO BE SIMILAR TO THE BARRACK-TYPE PORTABLE HOUSES DESCRIBED IN TEXAS PRE-FABRICATED HOUSE AND TENT COMPANY V. A PROCEEDING IN WHICH THE HOUSTON READY-CUT HOUSE COMPANY WAS A COMPLAINANT. THAT THE RATES ASSAILED (32 1/2 PERCENT OF FIRST CLASS) WERE UNREASONABLE TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY EXCEEDED 25 PERCENT OF THE FIRST CLASS RATES IN EFFECT PRIOR TO AUGUST 22.

B-132526, NOV. 13, 1957

TO AUDITOR OF REVENUE, CENTRAL OF GEORGIA RAILWAY COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 10, 1957, FILE N 17798, 18467, 37422-G-A, CONCERNING THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR SUPPLEMENTAL BILL NO. N-37422-A-G-R-1436-12, FOR $1,614.51, BY OUR SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE DATED JUNE 17, 1957, UNDER OUR CLAIM NO. TK 554331. YOU ASSERT THAT THE DISALLOWANCE OF THAT BILL IS IN DIRECT CONFLICT WITH THE SETTLEMENTS MADE UNDER OUR CLAIMS NO. TK-509422, AUGUST 12, 1954, AND NO. TK-509423, NOVEMBER 22, 1954. YOU STATE ALSO THAT "THE SAME SUBJECT IS UNDER CONSIDERATION IN YOUR CLAIMS NO. TK 440620, SEPTEMBER 11, 1953, AND NO. TK -446415, SEPTEMBER 16, 1953 * * *.'

THE SHIPMENTS INVOLVED IN OUR CLAIM NO. TK-554331, YOUR BILL NO. 37422, CONSISTED OF CARLOAD SHIPMENTS OF ARTICLES DESCRIBED IN THE COVERING GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING AS "PREFABRICATED BARRACKS COMPLETE," MOVING FROM HOUSTON, TEXAS, TO SAVANNAH, GEORGIA, IN FEBRUARY 1945. THE BILLS OF LADING SHOW THAT THE ARTICLES WERE PURCHASED FROM THE CONSIGNOR- MANUFACTURER, HOUSTON READY-CUT HOUSE COMPANY, UNDER CONTRACT NO. HA (GF- 69) FPH-1. THAT CONTRACT DISCLOSES THAT THE ARTICLES ARE WOODEN BARRACK- STYLE PORTABLE HOUSES WHICH APPEAR TO BE SIMILAR TO THE BARRACK-TYPE PORTABLE HOUSES DESCRIBED IN TEXAS PRE-FABRICATED HOUSE AND TENT COMPANY V. ATCHISON, TOPEKA AND SANTA FE RAILWAY COMPANY, 272 I.C.C. 61, A PROCEEDING IN WHICH THE HOUSTON READY-CUT HOUSE COMPANY WAS A COMPLAINANT. IN THE CITED PROCEEDING, THE COMMISSION, DIVISION 2, CONSIDERED, AMONG OTHER MATTERS, THE RATES ON CARLOAD SHIPMENTS OF PORTABLE HOUSES MOVING FROM THE SOUTHWEST TO SOUTHERN TERRITORY, AND FOUND, AS TO PAST SHIPMENTS, THAT THE RATES ASSAILED (32 1/2 PERCENT OF FIRST CLASS) WERE UNREASONABLE TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY EXCEEDED 25 PERCENT OF THE FIRST CLASS RATES IN EFFECT PRIOR TO AUGUST 22, 1947. SINCE THE SUBJECT SHIPMENTS MOVED FROM AND TO THE SAME GENERAL RATE TERRITORIES, IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT THE UNITED STATES IS ENTITLED TO THE BENEFIT OF THE GENERAL FINDING BY THE COMMISSION. PHILLIPS V. GRAND TRUNK RY., 236 U.S. 662, 665, 32 COMP. GEN. 1. WE CONCLUDE, THEREFORE, THAT YOU MAY NOT BE ALLOWED ANY CHARGE FOR THESE SERVICES IN EXCESS OF THAT COMPUTED AT THE 25 PERCENT OF FIRST-CLASS RATE FOUND REASONABLE FOR PAST SHIPMENTS BY THE COMMISSION. THE SETTLEMENT WAS CONSISTENT WITH THIS CONCLUSION AND IT IS, ACCORDINGLY, SUSTAINED.

CONCERNING THE SETTLEMENTS UNDER OUR CLAIMS NO. TK-509422 AND NO. TK 509423, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE SHIPMENTS THERE CONSIDERED MOVED BETWEEN POINTS IN SOUTHERN TERRITORY. TRAFFIC OF THIS KIND WAS NOT CONSIDERED BY THE COMMISSION IN THE CASE CITED ABOVE. HOWEVER, THE PRIMARY REASON FOR ALLOWING THE AMOUNTS CLAIMED ON YOUR SUPPLEMENTAL BILLS WAS THAT THE BILL OF LADING DESCRIPTIONS WERE NOT IN SUFFICIENT DETAIL TO PERMIT DETERMINATION OF WHETHER THE ACTUAL CONSIST WAS EMBRACED BY THE DESCRIPTION IN THE TARIFF ITEM ORIGINALLY RELIED UPON. SINCE SUBSEQUENT EFFORTS TO OBTAIN AN ACCURATE DESCRIPTION OF THE ARTICLES SHIPPED WERE NOT SUCCESSFUL, YOUR CLAIMS WERE PAID.

WE FIND THAT THE SAME SITUATION OBTAINS WITH RESPECT TO THE SHIPMENTS INVOLVED IN THE SETTLEMENTS HANDLED UNDER OUR CLAIMS NO. TK 440620 AND NO. TK-446415. YOUR CLAIMS IN THOSE CASES, IF A MORE ACCURATE DESCRIPTION CANNOT BE OBTAINED, AND, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, WILL BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.