Wherefore, Petitioners Pray

With empty pockets ostentatiously turned out, and hats in their hands, the railroads called on the Interstate Commerce Commission last week. Humbly they asked for a 25% increase in freight rates. They also wanted to keep the 10% wartime boost in passenger rates.

Costs, said the Class i railroads, were postwar, freight rates prewar. Examples: prices for materials were up one-third, and will rise another $167 million this year. Wages, boosted 16¢ an hour last week for the roads' 1,300,000 workers, have increased almost 48% since Pearl Harbor. Without the rate increase, the roads said, they could not...

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