Government Regulation of Railway Rates: A Study of the Experience of the United States, Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, Russia, and Australia

By Hugo Richard Meyer | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

THE problem of the public regulation of railway rates is threefold. It involves: first, the question of personal discriminations by means of secret departures from the published rates; secondly, the question of the reasonableness of rates per se; and, lastly, the question of the relative reasonableness of rates. Lack of space compels the dismissal of the first and second questions with a few brief statements.

As to personal discrimination, it is dear that to have the Federal Government, or its agent the Interstate Commerce Commission, exercise the power to make railway rates, would in no way prevent secret rebates. The railways would find it no more difficult to depart secretly from rates made by the Government, or its agent, than they have found it to depart secretly from rates made by themselves. On the other hand, the railway companies would often be under much greater pressure to depart from the rates made by the Government than they would be to depart from those made by themselves; for it is the verdict of all experience that Government will not, and cannot, make railway rates that will meet the needs of expanding trade and industry. Some

-xvii-

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