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FOREIGN AND INTERSTATE
CHARLES WILLIS NEEDHAM, LL. D.
IN TWO VOLUMES
T. H. FLOOD & COMPANY
To My Daughters,
EDITH CAROLINE NEEDHAM, To whom I am indebted for valued assistance
in my professional and other writings.
PREFACE Law is a progressive science. This is peculiarly true of Interstate and Foreign Commerce Law. There has been a steady extension of the exercise of Federal power over commerce. Under the early interpretations of the commerce clause it was held that Congress had power to fix reasonable rates and prevent unjust discriminations. These were said to be the principal purposes of the law. But the Supreme Court of the United States has recently said:
This is too narrow a view of the commerce clause, To regulate in the sense intended is to foster, protect and control the commerce with appropriate regard to the welfare of those who are immediately concerned, as well as the public at large, and to promote its growth and
insure it safety.? And again: The
Transportation Act, 1920, introduced into the federal legislation a new railroad policy. Railroad Commission of Wisconsin v. Chicago, Burlington & Quincy R. R. CO., 257 U. S. 563, 585. Theretofore, the effort of Congress had been directed mainly to the prevention of abuses; particularly, those arising from excessive or discriminatory rates. The 1920 Act sought to ensure, also, adequate transporta
tion service. In the Act of 1920 Congress authorized the consolidation of private railroads; a group system of rate making; the regulation of stock and bond issues; the fixing of intrastate rates where such rates burden interstate commerce; the creation of a trust fund by recapture of excessive earnings from prosperous railroads; the making of loans to railroads and the purchase of railroad equipment from this fund-such equipment to be leased to railroads requiring such assistance to meet the public needs for transportation. This new policy in regulation is to enable the railroads of the United States to carry interstate and foreign commerce without unduly raising the rates on any line to secure a reasonable return. Thus, by Congressional action sustained by judicial interpretation of the Constitutional grant, the Federal policy has been expanded and
1 Dayton-Goose Creek Ry. v. The United States, et al., 263 U. S. 456, 478. New England Divisions Case, 261 U. S. 184, 189.