These suits were brought to restrain the enforcement of the
freight rate and passenger fare acts of the Missouri, passed in
1907. The question of interference with interstate commerce is the
Page 230 U. S. 475
as that presented in the Minnesota Rate Cases, ante,
230 U. S. 352
the decision is the same.
Where an act fixing rates and imposing penalties for violation
is repealed by a subsequent act which saves the penalties and
simply substitutes other rates, the essential features of a
controversy involving the constitutionality of the statute are the
same, and, under the circumstances of this case, a supplemental
bill may be filed setting up the new and additional legislation and
praying relief in regard thereto. Where the ends of justice are
advanced and no substantial rights of
Page 230 U. S. 476
the objectors are violated, this Court will not interfere with
the reasonable discretion of the trial judge in a matter of
Where the federal court already has jurisdiction of an action to
determine the constitutionality of a state statute fixing rates,
that jurisdiction is not ousted by a substitution of rates by the
legislature, because the state files a bill to enforce the new
rates; the federal court retains jurisdiction under a supplemental
Minnesota Rate cases, ante,
p. 230 U. S. 352
followed to effect that the legislative acts of Missouri
establishing maximum rates for transportation wholly intrastate are
not unconstitutional as an unwarranted interference with interstate
Legislative acts of a state establishing maximum freight and
passenger rates for wholly intrastate commerce will not be declared
unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment as confiscatory in
the absence of clear and convincing proof as to the value of the
property used by the carrier and on which returns are based.
General evidence as to assessed valuations without showing the
method of appraisement are insufficient either as to value of
property or apportionment of expenses between interstate and
Minnesota Rate Cases, ante,
p. 230 U. S. 352
followed, disapproving the establishment of values of property used
in interstate and intrastate business by apportionment based on the
gross revenue received from each class of business.
Where a number of different carriers bring separate suits to
enjoin the enforcement of railway rates established by a state
statute on the ground that the rates are unconstitutional as
confiscatory, the bills can be sustained as to those carriers which
actually prove that the rates are confiscatory as not yielding a
return on their property, although dismissed as to other carriers
which fail to offer clear and convincing proof to that effect.
Where a statute is valid on its face, each person attacking it
as depriving him of his property without due process of law must
show it does so deprive him; he cannot rely on the fact that it
deprives others of their property without due process of law.
168 F. 317 affirmed in certain cases and reversed in others.
Appeals and cross-appeals from decrees of the circuit court
entered March 8, 1909, as amended April 17, 1909, adjudging the
maximum freight rate acts passed by the Legislature of the State of
Missouri in 1905 and 1907, and the maximum
Page 230 U. S. 477
passenger fare act passed in 1907, to be confiscatory, and
enjoining their enforcement. 168 F. 317.
Eighteen suits, brought by as many railroad companies, were
begun in June, 1905, assailing the Act of April 15, 1905 (effective
June 16, 1905), which prescribed maximum rates for intrastate
transportation of certain commodities in carload lots. The members
of the Board of Railroad Commissioners, the Attorney General of the
state, and representative shippers, were made defendants.
Preliminary injunction was granted in each case, demurrers to
the bills were overruled, answers were filed, and in March, 1906,
the cases were referred to a master to take evidence and report.
The master proceeded, by agreement, to take testimony in three of
While this reference was pending, the legislature, in 1907,
passed the following acts:
(1) That of February 27, 1907, fixing a maximum passenger fare
within the State of two cents a mile for railroads over forty-five
miles in length.
(2) That of March 19, 1907, repealing the Act of April 15, 1905,
and prescribing new maximum intrastate rates for specified
commodities in carload lots, the rates being higher in certain
instances than those of the former act. It also repealed an act
passed April 14, 1905 (not mentioned in the original bills)
relating to rates on stone, sand, and brick, and made new rates
therefor. It was provided that the repeal should not relieve any
railroad company from liabilities and penalties previously
(3) That of March 19, 1907, fixing maximum rates for fruit in
(4) That of April 4, 1907, requiring carriers of livestock in
carload lots to carry the shipper or his agent free of charge.
(This statute was held unconstitutional by the state court, and
needs no further notice. McCully v. Railroad Co.,
Page 230 U. S. 478
These acts took effect on June 14, 1907.
On June 11, 1907, the complainant in each of the eighteen cases
moved for leave to file an amended and supplemental bill, then
presented to the court, which set forth the legislation of 1907,
above-mentioned, and asked relief against its enforcement upon the
grounds that these acts constituted an unwarrantable interference
with interstate commerce and that they were confiscatory. On June
13, 1907, the court made an order setting down the applications for
argument, and meanwhile restraining the enforcement of the new
rates. On June 17, 1907, upon hearing, leave to file was granted
and a temporary injunction was allowed as to the freight rate laws
of 1907, but not as to the passenger fare law. The latter was
permitted to go into effect for three months without prejudice, and
was thereafter continued in force until the final decrees.
Meanwhile, on June 14, 1907, bills were filed in the name of the
state in the state court against the railway companies, seeking an
injunction requiring them to put in force both the freight and
passenger rates as prescribed.
The supplemental bills in the federal courts were amended so as
to show these proceedings. On demurrer to these bills, as amended,
it was insisted that they were without equity; that the matters
alleged were not germane to or supplementary of the original bills,
and that the state court had jurisdiction of the proceedings
therein instituted. The demurrers were overruled, and the
It was ordered (June 13, 1908) that the eighteen cases should be
set down for hearing before the court upon the testimony
theretofore taken before the master, and upon such further oral and
documentary evidence as should then be offered in open court. And
the cases were so heard.
With respect to eight of the suits, it was stipulated that they
should abide the result in other suits named.
Page 230 U. S. 479
The case of the St. Louis, Kansas City & Colorado Railroad
Company was consolidated with that of the Chicago, Rock Island
& Pacific Railway Company, the latter having acquired the
property of the former, and the court ordered that the "findings,
statements, and figures" of the two companies should be combined.
In the suit brought by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway
Company, then the lessee of the property, the Chicago, Burlington
& Quincy Railroad Company was substituted as complainant on the
cancellation of the lease.
In the nine cases thus remaining, the court held that the rate
acts, both of 1905 and 1907, were invalid, as confiscatory. The
contention as to the invalidity of the acts by reason of
interference with interstate commerce was not sustained. The costs
were equally divided.
And from the final decrees entered in these nine suits, the
above entitled appeals and cross-appeals were taken.
Page 230 U. S. 495
MR. JUSTICE HUGHES, after making the above statement, delivered
the opinion of the Court.
1. The contention of the appellants that the court erred in
permitting the filing of the amended and supplemental bills is
without merit. Although the commodity rate Act of 1907 repealed
that of 1905, it saved the penalties and liabilities incurred under
the repealed statute. Both the original and supplemental bills
proceeded upon the broad ground that the returns of the companies
from their intrastate business, prior to the Act of 1905, were
unreasonably low, and that any reduction in rates would
Page 230 U. S. 496
only diminish the income, already inadequate. The additional
legislation pending the suits, and the substitution of slightly
higher rates on certain commodities embraced in the earlier act,
did not alter the essential features of the controversy. There was
identity of parties and subject matter, although nominally
different acts were involved. To have required original bills would
have involved double litigation, double costs, and great delay. The
ends of justice were advanced by allowing the amended and
supplemental bills, and we are not inclined to interfere with the
reasonable discretion of the trial judge in a matter of practice
which in no way violated any of the substantial rights of the
Neither can it be said that the state court had prior
jurisdiction. That the state filed in one of its courts bills for
the enforcement of the Act of 1907 before the actual filing of the
supplemental bills may be true, but the application for leave to
file the supplemental bills was pending in the circuit court of the
United States, and action was suspended, merely to give opportunity
for hearing, the court meanwhile restraining the enforcement of the
new rates. In view of the pending bills assailing the Act of 1905,
the substantial identity of the question arising under the Acts of
1907, and the pendency of the motion for leave to file supplemental
bills, we are clearly of opinion that priority of jurisdiction
belonged to the United States, and the state court could not
properly oust that jurisdiction.
2. It is insisted by the cross-appellants that the legislative
acts, although relating exclusively to intrastate transportation,
constituted an unwarrantable interference with interstate commerce,
and that the decrees should have afforded relief upon this ground.
We need not review the arguments addressed to conditions of
transportation in Missouri and the relation of intrastate to
interstate rates, for wile the case has its special facts by
Page 230 U. S. 497
reason of the location of the state, and the use of the
Mississippi and Missouri Rivers as basing points in ratemaking, the
controlling question thus presented with reference to the authority
of the state to prescribe reasonable intrastate rates through its
territory, unless limited by the exercise on the part of Congress
of its constitutional power over interstate commerce and its
instruments, is not to be distinguished in any material respect
from that which was considered and decided in the Minnesota
Rate Cases, ante,
p. 230 U. S. 352
the reasons stated in the opinion in those cases, it must be held
that the court below properly refused to sustain this objection to
the Missouri statutes.
3. We are thus brought to the question whether the action of the
state was confiscatory -- that is, whether, by the reduction in
rates of which complaint is made, the carriers were denied the just
compensation to which they were entitled for the use of their
property in the public service. It is to be observed that the
freight rate acts of 1907 applied only to a portion of freight
transportation -- that is, to the transportation of specified
commodities in carload lots. But, as we have said, it is contended
that the return from the intrastate business was already
inadequate, and that the scope of the state's action in the passage
of the passenger fare act and the commodity rate acts was such as
necessarily to preclude a fair return upon that business, taken as
a whole. If it be assumed that the question of the profitableness
of the entire intrastate operations is thus presented, the inquiry
leads at once to a consideration of the fair value of the property
devoted to the public use.
The findings of value made by the court below, in the case of
seven [Footnote 1
] of the nine
companies were the same as
Page 230 U. S. 498
the valuations placed respectively upon the properties by the
state assessing board, for the purpose of taxation, multiplied by
three. [Footnote 2
multiplication was made because the assessments were on the basis
of one third of the value in the judgment of the state board. In
the case of two of the companies, the St. Louis & Hannibal and
the Kansas City, Clinton & Springfield, the value as found was
equal to twice the assessed valuation -- that is, the value was
taken to be two-thirds of the estimate of the assessing board.
None of the members of the state assessing board was examined.
There is no satisfactory proof of the grounds of their judgment.
Nor was it shown that these valuations, made by them for the
purposes of taxation, were upon a basis which could properly be
taken in determining the fair value where the sufficiency of
prescribed rates is involved and the issue is one of
It is urged that there was other evidence in support of the
conclusions reached. The court below, while finding values equal to
those estimated by the state assessing board, also found that,
apart from the valuations of the state board, and upon the whole
evidence, the property was at least worth the amounts mentioned in
the findings. It was said that there had been considered
"the immense terminal values of most of the roads, the amount of
stock and bonds outstanding, what it would cost to duplicate the
properties both with and without terminals in the large cities, and
all the evidence bearing on present values. "
Page 230 U. S. 499
On examining the evidence, however, we find it to be too general
and inconclusive to be regarded as sufficient proof to sustain the
values as found. Undoubtedly, the companies possessed valuable
terminals, but what the values were was not suitably shown. There
is an absence of evidence, appropriately specific, dealing with the
lands, improvements, structures, equipment, and other property
owned by each company and showing what the various items of
property were worth. It would seem manifest from the character of
the evidence which can be supposed to have relation to value that
reliance was principally placed upon the estimates of the state
assessing board. There was proof of the amount of stocks and bonds,
of earnings, and also testimony as to the cost of certain recent
construction; but while these matters could properly be considered
in reaching a conclusion, we fail to find any adequate basis for
the definite findings of value that have been made. We are referred
to the testimony of two witnesses for the complainants, men of
considerable experience in railroad affairs, but this consisted of
broad estimates. Thus, one of these witnesses testified as
"Q. I want to ask you a question as to the Rock Island, the St.
Louis & Hannibal, the Kansas City Southern, the M. K. & T.,
the Kansas City, Clinton & Springfield, and the Chicago Great
Western. In speaking of the Rock Island, I include the St. Louis,
Kansas City and Colorado."
"The figures in those cases being based upon three times the
valuation of said property, as shown by the state bards of
equalization assessment for the year 1907, I think it is . . . and
the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company."
"One or two of these roads had the figures for 1908, and I want
to see which those are. I think those I named are all for 1907, and
the Burlington figures are for 1908."
"Now I want to ask you the general question as to each
Page 230 U. S. 500
and all of those roads, whether, in your opinion each of those
roads is worth an amount equal to three times the valuation fixed
by the state board of equalization in those years -- at least that
"A. Yes, sir, in a general way I should say the value of those
roads is at least three times the amount shown in the report of the
State Board of Equalization of Missouri, for the years 1907 and
1908. I have examined both books, and substantially there is not
very much difference."
"Q. I do not remember whether we gave the Frisco figures for
1907 or for 1908. But you make them applicable to all the roads you
have testified to, as to both 1907 and 1908, do you?"
"A. Yes, sir, with the exception, possibly, of the St. Louis
& Hannibal and of the Kansas City, Clinton & Springfield. I
am not certain as to those roads being worth three times the
assessed value, as shown in the printed report of the proceedings
of the State Board of Equalization."
"Q. As to each of those roads, which are losing ventures anyway,
according to the testimony here, about what would you say they are
worth at least how much?"
"A. Well, I should say twice as much as the assessed
"Q. Your statement, with the exception you make as to the St.
Louis & Hannibal, and the Kansas City, Clinton &
Springfield Railroads, is applicable to all the roads whose cases
have been tried here?"
"A. Yes, sir."
Another witness testified with respect to the Rock Island road
that the value was not less than three times the assessed valuation
-- that is, not less than the amount taken on this basis as the
valuation of the state board.
It is clear that testimony of this general character cannot be
deemed sufficient to support a finding of confiscation
Page 230 U. S. 501
or to justify the annulment of the legislative acts of the
In the case of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Company, the
value of the property in the State of Missouri was fixed at the
amount of $53,172,907.83. This amount, as stated in the exhibit of
computations submitted in Missouri was 1,136.34 miles, precisely
three times "the assessment for 1908" ($17,724,302.61), the
assessment being made upon the basis of one-third of the board's
estimate. The court found that the mileage in Missouri was 1,136.34
miles, and that the value as fixed amounted to $46,793 a mile. If
this valuation were extended to the mileage of the entire system,
it would mean that, for the purpose of determining the validity of
prescribed rates and the issue of confiscation, the Burlington
property as a whole should be regarded as worth over $400,000,000.
According to the evidence as stated in the brief of counsel for the
company, the actual bonded indebtedness of the company at the time
in question was $174,172,000, and its stock, $110,839,100, making a
total of $285,011,100. In short, the contention would be, on this
basis of valuation extended to the system, that, unless the
Burlington were permitted to calculate its fair return upon an
amount exceeding by more than $115,000,000 its total
capitalization, it would be deprived of its property without due
process of law.
Manifestly, a finding of confiscation could not be based on such
a valuation in the absence of clear and convincing proof that the
value actually existed, and that the different items of property
were estimated respectively by correct methods and in accordance
with proper criteria of value. This proof was lacking. In the case
of the other roads, although the special considerations which have
been mentioned with respect to the Burlington property may not be
applicable, still we are left in uncertainty as to the correctness
of specific valuations which have been made.
Page 230 U. S. 502
It cannot be regarded as sufficient to introduce assessments, or
valuations made for the purposes of taxation, and this is
particularly true when the principles governing the assessments are
not properly shown, and for all that appears, they may have rested
upon methods of appraisement which would be inadmissible in
ascertaining the reasonable value of the property as a basis for
charges to the public. Minnesota Rate Cases, ante,
230 U. S. 352
There is a further question, and that is whether these estimates
of value which the court below adopted in its findings were
accepted by the defendants, and hence are not open to objection
here. It is undoubtedly true that these estimates were used in the
computations, on both sides, which were submitted to the court. The
amounts assessed respectively were conceded, and it was also agreed
that the assessments were made at one-third the value in the
judgment of the board. Concessions of this sort were made at
various times during the taking of evidence, and the following
extracts from the record are sufficient, we think, to show their
Thus, with respect to the Burlington road, on the original bill,
the following stipulation was made before the master:
"It is agreed between the parties that the basis of one third of
the value of the property, basis of the third of the value of the
property, in the judgment of the board."
And later, on the hearing before the court on the amended and
supplemental bills, the following took place:
"Mr. Hagerman: We have a stipulation in the other three cases
that the State Board of Railroad & Warehouse Assessment was
based upon one-third of what they regarded as a 33 1/3 percent
"General Hadley: Whatever the stipulation was, it would be
equally applicable to the other fifteen roads as it was to the
Page 230 U. S. 503
"The Court: If you are able to make an agreed statement now,
better do so."
"Mr. Hagerman: I would like to get the fact, whatever it may
"The Court: Who assesses the railroads?"
"Mr. Hagerman: The state officers."
"Mr. Lehmann: We do not accept that as indicating the real
value, because, under the law, the state board is required to take
into account a great many things -- the amount of the bonds and the
stock, the franchises, the income of the property, and the income
might be unduly high, and upon that basis give an unduly high
valuation to the property."
"Mr. Hagerman: I did not ask you to admit that is the value of
itself, but that the state board valuation is fixed by them upon
three times the amount of the returns."
"Mr. Lehmann: We object to that as immaterial and
"Mr. Hagerman: Will you admit it subject to the objection?"
"General Hadley: My recollection is that the stipulation or
understanding was that the state board assessment was one-third of
what they regarded as the value of the property, including the
"Mr. Hagerman: One-third of the value as listed in the
statement. I shall follow it by the introduction of a
"General Hadley: That is all right."
Our conclusion is that the stipulation extended only to the fact
that the judgment of the board was as stated. While the evidence on
the question of value, considering the character of the issue
involved, was extremely unsatisfactory, and these estimates based
upon the assessments were used by both parties in the calculations
which were submitted to the court, still it cannot be said that
there was an agreement as to the values. Nor did the
Page 230 U. S. 504
court, in making its findings, proceed upon the view that the
values had been stipulated. We can entertain no doubt upon this
record that the defendants are free to urge, as they do urge, that
the values as found are not supported by the proof.
It is not necessary to consider the merits of the contention
based on the assumption that, in the item of the assessment
entitled "All Other Property," the state assessors included
franchises of the companies. There is no clear showing as to what
they did include in this item. As we have said, they were not
called as witnesses, and in many essential particulars we are
unable to judge upon what basis they made their specific
4. The value of the entire property within the state, as found,
was apportioned between the interstate and intrastate business,
passenger and freight, according to the gross revenue derived from
The reasons for disapproving this method were stated in
Minnesota Rate Cases, ante,
p. 230 U. S. 352
the ruling there made is controlling here.
5. A large part of the controversy relates to the division of
expenses between the interstate and intrastate traffic. It is
contended by the defendants that the division should have been made
with respect to freight according to the relation of ton-miles, and
that the passenger expense should have been divided according to
the relation of passenger-miles, or, to include another factor upon
which the defendants insist, according to passenger-miles and
"service rendered" -- meaning by the latter that the quality of the
service should be taken into account.
The court made the division in each case upon the basis of gross
revenue, with an addition for the extra cost of intrastate traffic,
this being estimated at not less than fifty percent in the case of
freight, and not less than twenty-five percent in the case of
It is evident that, in an apportionment of expenses
Page 230 U. S. 505
either upon the revenue method or upon the ton-mile and
passenger-mile method, relations may be assumed which do not in
fact exist. Thus, a division of expenses according to gross revenue
assumes that the cost in relation to revenue is the same with
respect both to intrastate and interstate traffic; in fact, it may
by very different. A greater average sum may be charged for
intrastate than for interstate hauls, and this greater sum may or
may not be equal to the difference in cost. In the Minnesota cases,
the master found that the revenue per ton per mile derived from
intrastate business, as compared with interstate business, was,
with respect to the Northern Pacific Company, as 1.4387 to 1.0000,
and with respect to the Great Northern Company, as 2.02894 to
1.00000. And there is further illustration in the present case, it
appearing, for example, that in the case of the St. Louis & San
Francisco Company, the revenue per ton per mile from the intrastate
business, as compared with the interstate business, was as 1.7286
to 1.0000, and in that of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy
Company, approximately as 2 to 1. An apportionment of expenses on
the basis of revenue which did not take into consideration the
differences in revenue in relation to cost in the two classes of
traffic would be plainly inaccurate.
On the other hand, a division according to ton-miles assumes
that the cost of moving a ton of intrastate freight one mile is the
same on the average as the cost of moving a ton of interstate
freight one mile. If the average cost differs in the two classes of
traffic, the difference must be allowed for in order to make a
correct apportionment of the total expense.
When the apportionment is on the revenue basis, with an
allowance such as was made by the court below for the assumed extra
cost of intrastate traffic, it is manifest that the purpose is to
express in a given percentage the additional cost of intrastate
traffic in proportion to revenue.
Page 230 U. S. 506
This was clearly illustrated in the computations made by the
master in the Minnesota Rate Cases, ante,
p. 230 U. S. 352
master concluded that the cost per ton-mile of doing intrastate
freight business was two and one half times that of doing
interstate freight business. The division of expenses was then made
according to ton-miles after increasing the intrastate ton-miles
two and one half times. To reach the same result on the revenue
basis, it was necessary to ascertain the relation of cost per
ton-mile in proportion to revenue, and for this purpose, for
example, in the Northern Pacific case, the relation of cost per
ton-mile (2.5 to 1.0) was divided by the relation of revenue per
ton-mile (1.4387 to 1.0000), and the relation of cost in proportion
to revenue was thus found to be as 1.7377 to 1.0000. The division
of expenses was then made upon the revenue basis after multiplying
the intrastate revenue by 1.7377, and the result, of course, was
identical with that obtained upon the ton-mile basis, as already
The allowance of 50 percent (which was made below) for the extra
cost corresponds in its nature to the 73.77 percent allowed in the
case on the "equated revenue basis." If, for
example, it were assumed that it cost three times as much per
ton-mile to do the intrastate freight business as the interstate,
and the revenue per ton-mile of the former was twice that of the
latter, the cost in proportion to revenue would be 50 percent more.
Or, if the assumption were that the intrastate freight business
cost two and one half times as much per ton-mile as the interstate,
and the revenue per ton-mile of the former, as compared with the
latter, was as 1.66 to 1.00 (as it is said to be in the case of the
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Company), the extra cost in
proportion to revenue would be substantially 50 percent
As the counsel for the railroad companies says in his brief, the
"took the estimates of two to four
Page 230 U. S. 507
times extra cost, given by witnesses, and because of extra state
or short-haul revenue per mile and other considerations, reduced
them to 50 percent, saying that this as a minimum, added to the
equal division upon the revenue basis, brought to each road a
result that was fair, just, and representative."
We have, then, in substance, the same question that was
presented in the Minnesota
cases with respect to the
evidence of the additional cost of transacting the intrastate
business. There are numerous expressions of judgment on the part of
the witnesses as to the amount of the intrastate cost, some
estimating it on the revenue basis and others on the ton-mile
basis. The estimates took a similarly wide range, making the cost
of the intrastate or short-haul business from two to eight or more
times that of the interstate or long haul business. There was also
testimony on each side as to certain tests, but these covered only
a few days. We can reach no different conclusion from that stated
in the decision to which we have referred, that, in an issue of
this character, involving the constitutional validity of state
action, general estimates of the sort here submitted with respect
to a subject so intricate and important should not be accepted as
adequate proof to sustain a finding of confiscation. Minnesota
Rate Cases, ante,
p. 230 U. S. 352
For the reasons that have been set forth, we must conclude that,
save in the cases mentioned below, the complainants failed to
sustain their bills.
The exceptions are these: in the case of the St. Louis &
Hannibal Company, operating, as found by the court below, 120.61
miles within the state, the net revenue from the entire Missouri
business, interstate and intrastate, for the fiscal year ending
June 30, 1908, appears to have been $15,687.18. In the case of the
Kansas City, Clinton & Springfield Company, operating 151.01
miles within the state, the net revenue from the entire business
Page 230 U. S. 508
interstate and intrastate, for the same year, amounted to
$32,500.72. In each of these cases, the experts employed by the
parties unite in the statement that it is apparent from the results
shown that "upon neither the revenue nor ton-mile nor
passenger-mile theory of expenses can any adequate return on the
investment be earned."
In the case of the Chicago Great Western Company, operating
84.43 miles of road within the state, the entire net revenue from
the Missouri business, interstate and intrastate, for the six
months ending December 31, 1907, being the period taken by both
parties for the purpose of calculation, amounted to $41,839.06.
From our examination of the evidence and the various computations,
we are satisfied in this case, as in the two others above
mentioned, that errors attributable either to valuation or to
apportionments cannot be regarded as sufficiently great to change
The decrees in these three cases will accordingly be affirmed,
with the modification that the Railroad and Warehouse Commissioners
and the Attorney General of the state may apply at any time to the
Court, by bill or otherwise, as they may be advised for a further
order or decree whenever it shall appear that, by reason of a
change in circumstances, the rates fixed by the state's acts are
sufficient to yield to these companies reasonable compensation for
the services rendered.
The contention raised by the complainants that these legislative
acts cannot be enforced against one company unless enforced against
all cannot be sustained. The argument in effect is that, although
the charges of carriers may be clearly exorbitant, the state is
powerless to compel them to put into effect reasonable rates
because, as to another carrier differently situated, the rates thus
prescribed might be unreasonably low. The acts are valid upon their
face as a proper exercise of governmental authority in the
establishment of reasonable rates, and
Page 230 U. S. 509
each complainant, in order to succeed in assailing them, must
show that as to it the rates are confiscatory.
The decrees in Numbers 9, 12, 339, 340, 341, 342, 345, 346,
349, 350, 357, and 358 are reversed and the cases remanded, with
directions to dismiss the bills respectively without
The decrees in Numbers 351, 352, 365, 366, 367, and 368 are
modified as stated in the opinion, and, as modified, are
* Docket titles of these cases arc as follows:
No. 9. Knott et al.,
Railroad and Warehouse
Commissioners v. Chicago, Burlington & Quincy R. Co.
No. 12. Chicago, Burlington & Quincy R. Co. v. Knott
No. 339. Knott &c. v. St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad
No. 340. St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad Co. v.
No. 341. Knott v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway
No. 342. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Co. v.
No. 345. Knott v. Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway
No. 346. Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Co. v.
No. 349. Knott v. Kansas City Southern Railway Co.
No. 350. Kansas City Southern Railway Co. v. Knott.
No. 351. Knott v. St. Louis & Hannibal Railway Co.
No. 352. St. Louis & Hannibal Railway Co. v. Knott.
No. 357. Knott v. Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Co.
No. 358. Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Co. v. Knott.
No. 365. Knott v. Kansas City, Clinton & Springfield Railway
No. 366. Kansas City, Clinton & Springfield Railway Co. v.
No. 367. Knott v. Chicago Great Western Railway Co.
No. 368. Chicago Great Western Railway Co. v. Knott.
There were altogether thirty-six Missouri Rate Cases, of which
eighteen were disposed of by this opinion. In eight of the last
mentioned suits, it was stipulated in the court below that they
should abide by the decision reached in other cases. Of the
remaining ten, two were consolidated into one for purposes of
p. 230 U. S. 512
leaving nine suits which were submitted to the court
below upon the proofs. The court below enjoined the rates as being
On the appeals in these nine suits (there being an appeal and
cross-appeal in each case), this Court sustains the rates as to six
companies, to-wit: the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, the
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, the Kansas City Southern, the
Missouri, Kansas & Texas, the Chicago, Rock Island &
Pacific (including the St. Louis, Kansas City & Colorado), and
the St. Louis & San Francisco.
In the cases of these companies, the decrees are reversed and
the cases remanded with instructions to dismiss the bills,
respectively, without prejudice.
The court holds the rates to be confiscatory in three of the
nine cases whose appeals were heard, to-wit: the St. Louis &
Hannibal, the Kansas City, Clinton & Springfield, and the
Chicago Great Western.
In these three cases, the decrees are affirmed, with the
modification that the Railroad Commissioners and the Attorney
General of the state, may apply to the court whenever it shall
appear that, by reason of a change in circumstances the rates
fixed.by the state's acts are sufficient to yield reasonable
Under the stipulations made in the court below, the decision
sustaining the rates as to the six companies above-mentioned will
also apply to six other companies, to-wit, the St. Louis
Southwestern, the Missouri Pacific, the St. Louis, Iron Mountain
& Southern, the Wabash, the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul,
and the Chicago & Alton, see
p. 230 U. S. 509
The decision in the case of the Chicago Great Western Company,
holding the rates to be confiscatory, will also apply by virtue of
the stipulations made below to the Quincy, Omaha & Kansas City
Railroad Company and the St. Joseph & Grand Island Railway
Company. For other cases involving Missouri rates, see
230 U. S. 509
230 U. S. 512
These companies were the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, St.
Louis & San Francisco, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe,
Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, Kansas City Southern, Missouri,
Kansas & Texas, and Chicago Great Western.
In certain instances, there are slight differences which appear
to be accounted for by additions to the state assessments of
certain local assessments. But in every instance, the value as
found corresponds to what was assumed to be three times the
assessed valuation in the statements of computations submitted to