Delaware, Lackawanna & Western R. Co. v. United States,
249 U.S. 385 (1919)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Delaware, Lackawanna & Western R. Co. v. United States, 249 U.S. 385 (1919)

Delaware, Lackawanna & Western

Railroad Company v. United States

No. 158

Argued March 26, 1919

Decided April 14, 1919

249 U.S. 385


When the Court of Claims fails to state what the contract was between the claimant and the government, this Court cannot find it from facts which do not establish a contract as a matter of law. P. 249 U. S. 387.

Where a railroad undertook transportation of mail during a certain period upon notice from the Post Office Department that the compensation had been fixed for the period at certain rates but "subject to future orders," and "unless otherwise ordered," held, in view of these qualifying words, that the contract did not guarantee the railroad against any change of the rates during that period. Id. Eastern R. Co. v. United States, 129 U. S. 391.

A reservation of the right to change the rates for mail transportation may be availed of by the United States through an act of Congress, even though the Postmaster General had no authority when the contract was made to change the rates himself. P. 249 U. S. 388.

The Act of March 2, 1907, directing the Postmaster General to readjust the compensation for the transportation of mail on certain railroad routes carrying certain average weights of mail per day did not require reweighing. Id.

51 Ct.Clms. 426 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 249 U. S. 386

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