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horse teams engaged every day in transporting his products to market, but denies that they usually, or ever, go back empty; and avers that said teams aftord a profit of between $5,000 and $6,000 per annum, as compared with the charges and facilities offered by the defendant for the same service. And plaintiff further avers that if return loading could be had from San Bruno, that three thousand tons of freighting-outside of what is now done by plaintiff's teams and necessary to the plaintiff's business--could be done by teams also, and at a good profit; and plaintiff repeats that by reason of the defendant's cars running empty to a large extent from San Francisco, and passing San Bruno, it can do said freighting at less than the usual rates, and thus secure a source of business, now nearly cut off by its high and almost prohibitory charges.
Plaintiff further avers that the charge of $1 per ton in carload lots to San Bruno, a distance of 14 miles, is at the rate of 7.14 cents per ton per mile; that the average rate for 100 miles south of San Francisco on defendant's road is 2.58 cents per ton per mile on hay, and 2.94 on grain; and on general merchandise, in less than carload lots, from 2.72 cents to 15 cents per ton per mile, according to defendant's schedule of rates. While the average for 1887 for all classes of merchandise and freight, and for all distances, was only 1.063, taking the whole United States together, as reported in Poor's Manual for 1888, while the average in the following States and Territories, as given for 1886, is much less, viz.: Vermont, .99; New York, .85; Pennsylvania, .88; Maryland, .59; Ohio, .65; Michigan, .87; Indiana, 70; Virginia, .80; New Mexico, .84; or an average of .79.66 per ton per mile.
Plaintiff further avers that the road of defendant (Coast Division) runs through a succession of rich, populous, and productive valleys, and numerous prosperous towns and cities, and that by reason of nearly a level grade the cost and operation of such a road should be far less than the average road of the Eastern States, and which, together with extremely favorable climatic conditions, should enable the defendant to afford transportation on equally favorable terms. Therefore plaintiff denies the defendant's averment that freight to San Bruno “cannot be reduced and leave defendant any margin of profit for the services."
VI. Plaintiff is not unmindful of the fact that the promoters of the defendant's corporation in the early days of California, and their successors, are entitled to the highest respect and well-earned gratitude of this people for their great spirit of enterprise, heroic labors, and constant devotion to the wants of California in the matter of safe, speedy, and convenient railroad communication throughout nearly all the important valleys of this State. But plaintiff suggests that in the magnitude of their affairs in reaching out over this continent and the great mountains and the deep recesses of California and Oregon they have, perhaps, overlooked the fact that the bulk of the people of this State are in and near San Francisco County, and that their wants and necessities, if properly cared for, would greatly enlarge the business of the defendant and materially augment the prosperity of the people.
In proof of which, plaintiff, from information and belief, avers that there are about seven thousand five hundred dairy cows kept within the suburbs of the City of San Francisco that would necessarily, in all probability, be removed from the city and along the line of the defendant's road further into the country, were it not for the prohibitory charges of the defendant, who has control of the only railroad communication south from San Francisco.
Plaintiff further avers that the weight of an average dairy cow's food is 40 pounds, which, multiplied by 7,500, would be a consumption of 300,000 pounds, or a train load daily of fifteen cars of ten tons each, on which the defendant might secure a freight of 50 cents per ton, in place of $1, which is now charged, and which would amount to $27,375 annually: And plaintiff avers further, that the product of milk from said cows would average about two gallons each daily, which, multiplied by 7.500, and by 365 days in the year, would equal 1,875,000 cans of three gallons each, and for which, as a return freight, at 2 cents per can-or less than half of the defendant's present tarifl—the revenue would be $37,500, and which, together with the outward freight, and omitting the probable increase in transporting passengers and merchandise, would furnish a total of $64,875 for new business.
Plaintiff further avers in this connection, that the establishment of large hay and grain barns and warehouses along the line of defendant's road would furnish storage capacity for large quantities of feed, and that relief would thus be afforded, whenever there was a glut in the market, and the defendant's cars and grounds were overwhelmed with an over supply of products from the country. And plaintiff further avers, that the market prices for those products fluctuate violently and disastrously to the producer, by reason of the failure of the defendant to provide convenient and ample facilities for moving freight, such as hay particularly, out of the city, at a reasonable charge, and its failure to allow a connection between the rail and the ship.
Plaintiff avers that the charge made by defendant of $3 per car demurrage daily, for not receiving freight after twenty-four hours' notice, is inequitable and unjust, and a seri. ous loss to the producer, when the delay is caused in a great measure by the defendant's prohibitory rate of charges on freight out of the city for short distances.
Plaintiff avers that the charge of $2 50 for simply switching a car for a block or two, on the defendant's line of road, without loading or unloading the same, is far in excess of the real value of the service, and a vexatious loss to the producer or consumer, and equals a haul of a ten-ton car twenty-five miles, at the average charge for transportation throughout the United States.
Plaintiff avers that there is a large extent of country within the southern limits of the City and County of San Francisco, and ten miles beyond, on the line of the defendant's road, where the soil is sandy and impoverished by cropping, that would support comfortably a multitude of people, if proper fertilizing material could be procured economically; and plaintiff avers that there is a large quantity of such material in San Francisco, now a mass of festering filth, menacing the health and lives of her citizens; and that defendant, having sole control of the only avenue by rail out of the city, is, and should be, in duty bound to remove the same to the country, at such reasonable rate of charges as may be necessary.
Plaintiff further avers, from information and belief, that there would be return freights, within a reasonable time, from the district just mentioned, of vegetables, small fruits, and flowers, to the extent of one train daily, provided the freight charges were reasonable.
X. Plaintiff avers that, by cleansing the city thoroughly, and removing so many animals, with their consequent filth, and with the production of a more wholesome milk, the improved sanitary condition of the city would be such as to warrant the defendant, and all other good people, to publish the fact that San Francisco was by far the healthiest city in the world for its population, and thereby gain a recognition of great and enduring value to the people of the coast.
XI. As proof of the fact that defendant is not serving the public, or itself either, to the best of its ability, plaintiff avers, from information and belief, that in building the new Unitarian Church building of this city from stone obtained near the defendant's line of road, and about nine miles from the city, from quarries controlled by the promoters of defendant's corporation, that by reason of the prohibitory charges of defendant all of said stone so used was hauled on wagons.
And plaintiff further avers that said stone is extremely abundant, and valuable for building, macadamizing suburban streets, and various other purposes; and it being a down grade all the way from the mountain to the sea, that said stone could be moved at, or about, 10 cents per ton, and delivered all through the improved southern part of the city, for a distance of four miles, and thereby encourage the erection of substantial fireproof buildings, in place of the dangerous and flimsy wooden structures now found in that quarter.
XII. Plaintiff avers that during the season of 1888 that he purchased more than one thousand tons of hay on the line of defendant's road, south of San Bruno, and that by reason of a deficiency in the number of cars necessary for the current business of defendant, and the great uncertainty and irregularity of the service of the defendant, that plaintiff suffered serious loss on account of the idleness of a large number of men and teams that plaintiff was obliged to keep to provide against the constant gluts at San Bruno Station, caused by defendant's irregular service.
And plaintiff further avers that, from lack of rolling stock and needful facilities, producers generally met with large and irreparable losses by not being able to sell and deliver their products when the markets were favorable to them, or when they were in pressing need financially.
XIII. Plaintiff submits that defendant is prosperous financially, and largely so from its Coast Division line, and that producers of bay and grain along the line of said road are in straightened circumstances by reason of the extremely low market prices ruling for their products, and that it would be a great relief to them to be assured of a living in their vocation by a material reduction in the defendant's charges for freight, which are and must be considered high.
Plaintiff therefore prays your honorable body, that in place of his original request, that you will fix the maximum hundred-mile or over rate, at 2 cents per ton per mile on carload lots for hay and grain, and for any lesser distance that you will consider Section 489 of the Civil Code of California as the law in discriminating between long and short hauls.
R. G. SNEATH,
Plaintiff. SAN FRANCISCO, CAL., June 17, 1889.
Before the Honorable Board of Railroad Commissioners of the State of California.
We had supposed, when this matter was heard before the honorable Commission, that the cause stood submitted, and that both sides had rested. We are therefore astonished that plaintiff should come now, after making a long address before your honorable body, and file a new document, denominated by him as a "reply to our "answer," which “reply is but a rehash of his speech made before your honorable body in favor of his private dairy against San Francisco dairies. It requires no stretch of the imagination, no flights of intellectual fancy, to see that the plaintiff has not been heretofore and is not now moved by the public interest in his pretended grievances against the defendant railroad, but that, owing to the fact that his dairy is situated several miles out of the City of San Francisco, he is therefore, by reason of some fourteen miles carriage, put at a disadvantage when compelled to compete with city dairies; and his whole action herein is to have the defendant company to favor him personally and privately. He desires to supply San Francisco with milk. 'He finds that San Francisco dairies interfere with him. He has fourteen miles to haul his products. These San Francisco dairies he kindly and generously denominates in his friendly, business sort of way, "slop" dairies. He gave you, gratuitously, a lecture, to which your honorable body listened with a calmness and consideration extremely remarkable, wherein he informed you of the cost of raising cows, and how much better his cows were than those of the city dairies, and what choice, clean, sweet butter he made, and the superiority of his milk over what he denominates the "swill milk” of the city dairies. He taught you how he fed and watered and cared for his cows, and then, with a facial expression of the utmost contempt, he denounced the slop-fed dairy milk with all its impurities. He also went into sanitary conditions, and grew eloquent over the pure air his cows breathed, while the poor, half-starved, slop-fed city cows were diseased from drinking the fouled waters of the Spring Valley Water Company and breathing the impure air of the City of San Francisco. He outlined how the defendant railroad company might improve the sanitary condition of San Francisco if they would only build up his dairy and help him to grow rich, and weed out those noxious and disease engendering city dairies. Thus he went on for over an hour, and to what purpose? Simply to satisfy all fair minded people that he is a cold blooded business man, actuated by purely and solely his own seltish ends and purposes. He has no public grievance; but if the defendant railroad would do him the favor to build up his private enterprise at the expense of similar enterprises in San Francisco, then he would be happy. This complaint is frivolous, unjust, and unworthy of your attention, and would not be brought by any one except a nan like plaintiff, whose selfishness is so great that he cannot resist the temptation of trying to make your honorable body believe that his private desires are matters of public concern.
I. As to his written statement under Subdivision - I” of his pretended reply, we have only to say that the conditions and factors controlling fares and freights in the Watsonville case are not the same as in this.
II. As to his "II" statement, wherein he refers to Section 489 of Deering's Civil Code, we have only to say that that section was long since repealed by the adoption of the new Constitution.
As to his "III" point in his "reply," the same rule applies as hereinbefore stated, that is, that Section 489 of Deering's Civil Code is now repealed.
Plaintiff's "IV” point is untrue, as the defendant company has not, persistently or otherwise, refused to allow hay to be transferred from vessels to its cars at Mission Bay wharf, where other products, such as grain, coal, and lumber, are constantly received and discharged, and where hay can readily be received and discharged; but defendant has refused to receive hay, or allow it to be piled in front of Mission Bay Warehouse No. 1, which is leased to a private party, for the reason that the risk of fire is so great that the insurance on the large warehouse at that point, and the insurance on the grain stored therein, would be vitiated, and to permit hay to be received and piled in front of said warehouse would virtually render said warehouse useless and unprofitable.
V. As to plaintiff's “V” point the same is only an argument on the part of plaintiff, and simply amounts to a showing that the conditions of his business are such that plaintiff has no need for the railroad company, for he makes $5,000 to $6,000 per annum by using teams, and that he is actuated by only one motive--and that motive is the private gain of Mr. R. G. Sneath.
Plaintiff's comparison of this company's charge for freight from San Bruno to San Francisco, with the average charge on all freight moved in the United States and certain individual States, is specious and unfair to this company.
The traffic of our Coast Division is entirely local, the hauls short, and the country served but sparsely populated when compared with the States cited in his answer.
It is manifestly absurd to make any comparison between a local rate in California for a distance of only fourteen miles, with the rates charged on the traffic of a continent, or by the great eastern trunk lines, such as the New York Central, the Erie, the Pennsylvania, the Baltimore and Ohio, and the great coal-carrying roads of the Eastern and Middle States.
It is not true, as plaintiff avers, that our expenses are lower than on eastern roads. On the contrary, as has been so often shown your honorable body, the expenses of California roads are much greater for labor, fuel, and all other supplies, while the volume of traffic is much less. And we are astonished that plaintiff should assume ignorance of a fact so patent to all intelligent persons.
VI. We are much obliged for the complimentary introductory part of plaintiff's “ VI” subdivision of his pretended reply; but we cannot see how the company is to be benefited by the removal of seven thousand five hundred cows to the vicinity of San Bruno. It is a well known fact that this road brings into this market two thirds of the hay consumed here. If a large portion of this hay is to be stopped at San Bruno in consequence of the dairy industry centering at that point, there will be but little hay to ship from San Francisco to San Bruno. It is plain that Mr. Sneath's real motive in asking this honorable Commission for a reduction of 50 cents per ton from, producing points on this line, and the establishment of a rate of 50 cents per ton from San Francisco, is to enable him to take advantage of the necessities of the producer on the one hand or a glut in the San Francisco market on the other, to the manifest injury and loss of the producer, for whose welfare he pretends to be so solicitous.
VII As to plaintiff's “VII" complaint, the defendant is compelled to this regulation, because otherwise defendant would have to build and construct warehouses, simply to hold freight which people neglected to take when delivered at defendant's depots, and defendant is a common carrier and not conducting the business of controlling and managing warehouses. Besides, defendant's regulation is not as stated by plaintiff; but twenty-four hours after service of notice upon the consignee of the arrival of the freight; and it can be readily seen that it is not the duty of the defendant, as a common carrier, to keep warehouses for the shippers of freight, but that it is the duty of the consignee to be ready to take in his freight immediately upon delivery; and a regulation that the consignee is required to receive and take away his freight in twenty-four hours after notice of arrival, is certainly just and reasonable, as the consignee is presumed to know when freight is shipped, and when it will arrive, and should be prepared to receive the same. Any other regulation would put the defendant to large and unreasonable expense, and at the mercy of dilatory and unreasonable men, and delay the speedy and proper action of its large business.
VIII. As to plaintiff's “VIII" objection, we simply say, this is the rule of all railroads, and is only a just and reasonable compensation for the service rendered.
The “IX" complaint of plaintiff is imaginary and illusive, and no part of the business of defendant; and whenever there is a demand for fertilizing material, as spoken of by plaintiff, then there will be time enough to consider the proposition, and besides, it is not the business of defendant to make a market for fertilizing material by a reduction of rates of charges below the point of a reasonable compensation. We might say, that if plaintiff will furnish better milk and butter to San Francisco than San Francisco dairies, and at a rate much cheaper than Spring Valley water, that in all probability it will greatly build up his business and destroy these “slop” dairies of which he so much complains. This argument is equally as reasonable as plaintiff's. Now, plaintiff knows that he cannot furnish milk to the citizens of San Francisco below the price of San Bruno water, and carry on his business, and that he is not the especial agent of the Board of Supervisors of San Francisco on the subject of sanitary regulations.
The latter part of complaint “IX” is readily answered by saying that the distance is too short for the railroad to compete with vegetable wagons, and by saying that there is no demand for the transportation by rail of vegetables from the close district mentioned by plaintiff, and his asking the regulation of freight upon articles which have no existence, is puerile and unfair.
As to plaintiff's “X” complaint, we would respectfully state that the defendant is not the Board of Health of San Francisco, nor endowed by law with any of its powers, and that this honorable Commission has no jurisdiction to enforce on the defendant the duty of tixing and regulating the quality of milk or improving the sanitary condition of San Francisco as to the deposit of filth.
XI. As to plaintiff's "XI" charge, in the hauling of stone from some quarry for the building of the Unitarian Church, we simply say that we know nothing about it. That for short distances, as we have heretofore stated, no railroad can compete with vegetable wagons. That rates and charges are not niade and based upon short distances to underbid vehicles, but upon a reasonable compensation for the service rendered.
As to the “XII” charge, we admit that such a condition of things will sometimes occur, and does occur, not only with defendant, but with all railroads. But the defendant claims that no railroad is required by law, and no just man will expect that this defendant will keep on hand a large number of idle and empty cars, simply to meet an unexpected demand because of an unusual or extraordinary season, or an unusual market. Defendant has on hand cars and rolling stock sufficient in quantity and capacity to transport every pound of freight produced along its line in reasonable time for the accommodation of all its customers. Railroads are not run upon the rise and fall of the market price of products, but upon the supposed necessary and just demands of the business along its road. Defendant has all the cars necessary, and is doing and has done all the freightage of the road with fairness, impartiality, and dispatch, and at a just and reasonable, and only a just and reasonable, rate of charge.
XIII. In reply to plaintiff's “ XIII” and last charge, we deny that the producers of bay and grain along the line of its Coast Division road are in straightened circumstances by reason of the freight rates charged by defendant.
And we aver that plaintiff's gratuitous interference in behalf of the producers along the line of defendant's road does not spring from any want of reduction of rates in behalf of the producer, who presents no complaint before your honorable body, but from a selfish desire on the part of Mr. R. G. Sneath to accomplish his private and selfish purposes by making it appear that the producers are interested in his unjust complaint.
Not recognizing the document filed by plaintiff as a pleading, but looking upon the same as an argument, we respectfully request that its prayer be denied. Respectfully submitted.
S. F. GEIL AND H. V. MOREHOUSE,
Attorneys for the Defendant.
BRIEF OF COAST DIVISION.
Before the Board of Railroad Commissioners.
We had supposed, when this matter was heard before the honorable Commission, that the cause stood submitted, and that both sides had rested. We are therefore astonished that plaintiff should come now, after making a long address before your honorable body, and tile a new document, denominated by him as a reply” to our" answer," which“ reply is but a rehash of his speech made before your honorable body in fuvor of his private dairy against San Francisco dairies. It requires no stretch of the imagination, no flights of intellectual fancy, to see that the plaintiff has not been heretofore, and is not now, moved by the public interest in his pretended grievances against the defendant railroad, but that, owing to the fact that his dairy is situated several miles out of the City of San Francisco, he is therefore by reason of some fourteen miles carriage, put at a disadvantage, when compelled to compete with city dairies; and his whole action herein is to have the defendant company favor him personally and privately. He desires to supply San Francisco with milk. He finds that San Francisco dairies interfere with him. He has fourteen miles to haul his products. These San Francisco dairies he kindly and generously denominates, in his friendly, business sort of way," slop" dairies. Hegave you,gratuitously, a lecture, to which your honorable body listened with a calmness and consideration extremely remarkable; wherein he informed you of the cost of raising cows, and how much better his