MR. CHIEF JUSTICE HUGHES delivered the opinion of the Court.
This appeal presents the question of the validity of an order made by the Interstate Commerce Commission on July 5, 1932, requiring the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company to desist from an unjust discrimination
By an order of August 2, 1928, the Commission prescribed interstate rates on logs on the lines of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company from points in northern Florida to destinations in Georgia for distances not exceeding 170 miles. Finding that the Florida intrastate rates on similar logs for similar hauls, generally described as the Cummer scale, resulted in unjust discrimination, the Commission also established rates for intrastate application within Florida which would correspond with the rates fixed for interstate transportation. 146 I.C.C. 717. The order in the latter respect was assailed and the decree of the District Court sustaining it was reversed by this Court. Florida v. United States, 282 U.S. 194. We decided that the order could not be upheld on the ground of undue prejudice against persons and localities in interstate commerce, and that it could not be sustained on the ground of unjust discrimination against interstate commerce from the standpoint of revenue losses due to intrastate rates as the order in that aspect was not supported by appropriate findings.
Meanwhile, in February, 1929, both the interstate rates and intrastate rates, as prescribed, had been put into effect. After the mandate of this Court, the Cummer scale of intrastate rates was restored and became effective on April 10, 1931. The Interstate Commerce Commission reopened the proceedings and, after hearing, found that the Cummer scale of intrastate rates caused unjust discrimination against interstate commerce from a revenue standpoint. The Commission made no finding with respect to under prejudice against persons and localities
The order of the Commission is attacked upon the grounds (1) that under Emergency Railroad Transportation Act, 1933 (c. 91, 48 Stat. 211), the Commission was without power to make the order; (2) that the findings of the Commission are inadequate to sustain the order; and (3) that if the findings can be deemed to be adequate, they are not supported by the evidence.
First. The power of the Commission. By Transportation Act, 1920 (41 Stat. 484), the Congress granted specific authority to the Commission to remove discriminations against interstate commerce caused by intrastate rates. The Congress amended § 13 of the Act to Regulate Commerce so as to empower the Commission to confer with state authorities "with respect to the relationship between rate structures and practices of carriers subject to the jurisdiction of such State bodies and of the Commission." § 13 (3). And, whenever in the course of its authorized investigations, the Commission, after full hearing, finds that any rate, regulation, or practice "made or imposed by authority of any State" causes "any undue or unreasonable advantage, preference, or prejudice as between persons or localities in intrastate commerce on the one hand and interstate or foreign commerce on the other hand, or any undue, unreasonable, or unjust discrimination
In Railroad Commission of Wisconsin v. Chicago, B.Q.R. Co., 257 U.S. 563, 585-587, we reached the conclusion that the provision of § 13 (4) for the removal of "any undue, unreasonable, or unjust discrimination against interstate commerce" was not to be regarded as referring only to discrimination as between persons and localities. We held that Transportation Act, 1920, imposed an affirmative duty on the Commission "to fix rates and to take other important steps to maintain an adequate railway service for the people of the United States." Intrastate rates, we said, must play a most important part in maintaining such an adequate system. If there was interference with the achievement of that purpose because of a disparity of intrastate rates as compared with interstate rates, the Commission was authorized to end that disparity. It was to be ended because it constituted an "unjust discrimination against interstate commerce" We concluded that these words in § 13 (4) were not tautological, but had the necessary effect of conferring authority upon the Commission to raise intrastate rates so that the intrastate traffic may produce its fair share of the earnings required to meet maintenance and operating costs and to yield a fair return on the value of property devoted to the transportation service, both interstate and intrastate. United States v. Louisiana, 290 U.S. 70, 75.
Appellants insist that this result was reached because of what was described as the "dovetail relation" between
The purpose of the changes in § 15a is not left in doubt. They were made with the manifest object of eliminating the provisions for the recapture of excess income of carriers and of revising the rule as to rate making.
Neither the elimination of the group method of rate making, not the substituted rule, suggests an intention to impair the Commissioner's authority over intrastate rates for the appropriate protection of interstate commerce. On the contrary, the substituted rule of rate making by
Second. The Commission's findings. On the former appeal we pointed out that if the action of the Commission was not simply for the removal of undue prejudice against interstate commerce as between persons or localities, and the Commission undertook to prescribe a statewide level of intrastate rates in order to avoid an undue burden, from a revenue standpoint, upon the interstate carrier, there should be appropriate findings upon evidence to support an order directed to that end. We observed that in dealing with unjust discrimination as between persons and localities the question was one of the relation of rates to each other; but that in considering the authority of the Commission to enter the state field and to change a scale of intrastate rates in the interest of the carrier's revenue, the question was that of the relation of rates to income. But to support the order than under review, the Commission had made no findings as to the revenue which had been derived by the carrier from the traffic in question, or which could reasonably be expected under the increased rates, or that the alteration of the intrastate rates would produce, or was likely to produce, additional income necessary to prevent an undue burden upon the carrier's interstate revenues and to maintain an
On the new hearing, the Commission made comprehensive findings to supply what had thus been found to be lacking. The findings set forth at length transportation conditions, traffic and revenues. 186 I.C.C. pp. 160-189. Appellants' criticisms proceed upon an unwarranted assumption. The requirement of essential findings as to revenues did not demand and impracticable exactness. Losses through inadequate rates could be shown satisfactorily even though proof of the precise extent of such losses was not available. Reasonable determinations were required and these were made.
Reviewing the history of the Cummer scale of intrastate rates on logs, and considering comparable interstate and intrastate rates, the Commission found that the Cummer scale was abnormally low and less than reasonably compensatory; that the defendants' revenue under the Cummer scale was "insufficient under all the circumstances and conditions to cover the full cost of the service." Id., pp. 165, 187. The Commission was able to go further. In considering the effect of the Cummer scale upon interstate commerce, the Commission was aided by evidence of actual operations during the period from February 8, 1929, to January 31, 1931, when the increased intrastate rates prescribed by the former order were in effect. The Commission, in its summary, found (id., pp. 188, 189):
"The record shows that during the period of approximately two years following the increase in the rates the total movement amounted to 18,602 cars. This total included 3,740 cars transported to Eastport, Lacoochee and Otter Creek in trainload movements that have ceased and will not be resumed. Under normal economic conditions it seems probable that the annual volume of the Florida log movement under rates the same as those previously
"The freight charges collected on the 18,602 cars above referred to aggregate $571,508.94, and if the Cummer scale had applied the charges would have been $281,225.75. The freight charges collected on the 3,740 cars referred to were $100,439.06, and if the Cummer scale had applied they would have been $48,286.75. On the 14,862 cars remaining after deducting the 3,740 cars from the total movement of 18,602, the freight charges collected were $471,069.88 ($571,508.94 minus $100,439.06) and if the Cummer scale had been applicable they would have been $232,939 ($281,225.75 minus $48,286.75) or $238,130.88 less than those actually collected. Accordingly, on the basis of an average of 7,431 cars a year under normal economic conditions, which basis we believe conservative, the gross revenues under the rates prescribed by the previous order herein would be more than $100,000 a year greater than under the Cummer scale, now in effect. The application of the Cummer scale, therefore, places a substantial burden upon defendant's interstate revenues. If the revenues yielded by the Cummer scale are not sufficient to cover the cost of the service, as the cost evidence
"We find that the circumstances and conditions surrounding the transportation of these logs interstate in Florida are not on the whole as favorable as the circumstances and conditions surrounding the interstate movement of logs over defendant's lines. . . .
"We further find that the intrastate rates on logs over 6 feet in length, except walnut, cherry, and cedar, applicable between points on the Atlantic Coast Line in Florida for distances of 170 miles and less are, and for the future will be, unjustly discriminatory against interstate commerce, and that such unjust discrimination can be and should be removed by the establishment between all points on the Atlantic Coast Line in Florida for distances of 170 miles or less of rates not less than the rates shown for such distances in Appendix F hereto, which are the rates found reasonable for interstate application from northern Florida to Georgia."
On the second rehearing, with respect to change made by southern rail carriers in their log rates — which appeared to have been made largely for the purpose of meeting truck competition — the Commission found that in Florida the movement of logs had "not been shown to have gone to the trucks to any substantial extent where the hauls are over 25 miles"; that "truck-competitive rates for distances under 25 miles would regain little, if any, traffic"; and that the maintenance of the Cummer scale to meet what little truck competition could be met in that way would greatly decrease the revenues of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company and would not be warranted. 190 I.C.C. p. 599.
We perceive no ground for the connection that the Commission has failed to make the basic findings necessary to support its ultimate conclusion.
The Commission's determinations were "without prejudice to the right of the authorities of the State of Florida or of any other interested party to apply in the proper manner for a modification of its (our) findings and order as to any specified intrastate rate on the ground that it is not related to interstate rates in such a way as to contravene the provisions of the Interstate Commerce Act." 190 I.C.C. p. 600.
"Section 15a. (1) When used in this section, the term `rates' means rates, fares, and charges, and all classifications, regulations, and practices relating thereto.
"(2) In the exercise of its power to prescribe just and reasonable rates the Commission shall give due consideration, among other factors, to the effect of rates on the movement of traffic; to the need, in the public interest, of adequate and efficient railway transportation service at the lowest cost consistent with the furnishing of such service; and to the need of revenues sufficient to enable the carriers, under honest, economical, and efficient management, to provide such service."