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responsibility concerning them. The prayer | and to which the rates were to be applied. was that it be dismissed from the suit.
Taking the case under the complaint, the returns and the exhibits, the court, as we have previously stated, two of its members dissenting, denied the authority of the United States and upheld that of the state, and the mandamus was made peremptory as to both the Director *General and the officers of the Northern Pacific Railway. We are thus brought to the question whether the state authority controls the power of the United States as to intrastate rates.
 No elaboration could make clearer than do the act of Congress of 1916, the proclamation of the President exerting the powers given, and the act of 1918 dealing with the situation created by the exercise of such authority, that no divided but a complete possession and control were given the United States for all purposes as to the railroads in question. But if it be conceded that despite the absolute clarity of the provisions concerning the control given the United States, and the all-embracing scope of that control, there is room for some doubt, the consideration of the general context completely dispels hesitancy. How can any other conclusion be reached if consideration be given the comprehensive provisions concerning the administration by the United States of the property which it was authorized to take, the financial obligations under which it came and all the other duties and exactions which the act imposed, contemplating one control, one administration, one power for the accomplishment of the one purpose, the complete possession by governmental authority to replace for the period provided the private ownership theretofore existing. This being true, it must follow that there is no basis for the contention that the power to make rates and enforce them which was plainly essential to the authority given was not included in it.
[2-5] Conclusive as are these inferences, they are superfluous, since the portion of section 10 as previously reproduced in the margin in express terms confers the complete and undivided power to fix rates. The provision is this:
"That during the period of federal control, whenever in his opinion the public interest requires, the President may initiate rates, fares, charges, classifications, regulations, and practices by filing the same with the Interstate Commerce Commission, which said rates, fares, charges, classifications, regulations, and prac*tices shall not be suspended by the commission pending final determination."
These quoted words are immediately followed by provisions further defining the power of the commission and its duty in the premises, so as to enable it beyond doubt to consider the situation resulting from the act
The unison between that which is inferable and that which is expressed demonstrates the true significance of the statute.
A brief consideration of the contentions relied upon to the contrary will at once show either their inappositeness, the mistaken premises upon which they rest, or the errors of deduction upon which they proceed. It is argued that as state control over intrastate rates was the rule prior to the enactment of the statute creating the United States control, the statute must be interpreted in the light of a presumption that a change as to state control was not made. But in view of the unambiguous provision of the statute as to the new character of control which it created, the principle of interpretation applied in its ultimate aspect virtually was: That because the statute made a fundamental change, it must be so interpreted as to prevent that change from becoming effective.
Besides, the presumption in question but denied the power exerted in the adoption of the statute, and displaced by an imaginary the dominant presumption which arose by operation of the Constitution as an inevitable effect of the adoption of the statute, as shown by the following:
(a) The complete and undivided character of the war power of the United States is not disputable. Selective Draft Law Cases, 245
U. S. 366, 38 Sup. Ct. 159, 62 L. Ed. 349, L. R. A. 1918C, 361, Ann. Cas. 1918B, 856; Ex parte Milligan, 4 Wall. 2, 18 L. Ed. 281; Legal Tender Cases, 12 Wall. 457, 20 L. Ed. 287; Stewart v. Kahn, 11 Wall. 493, 20 L. Ed. 176. On the face of the statutes it is manifest that they were in terms based upon the war power, since the authority they gave arose only because of the existence of war, and the right to exert such authority was to cease upon the war's termination. To interpret, therefore, the exercise of the power by a presumption of the continuance of a state power limiting and controlling the national authority was but to deny its existence. It was akin to the contention that the supreme right to raise armies and use them in case of war did not extend to directing where and when they should be used. Cox v. Wood, 247 U. S. 3, 38 Sup. Ct. 421, 62 L. Ed. 947.
(b) The elementary principle that under the Constitution the authority of the government of the United States is paramount when exerted as to subjects concerning which it has the power to control, is indisputable. This being true, it results that although authority to regulate within a given 'sphere may exist in both the United States and in the states, when the former calls into play constitutional authority within such general sphere the necessary effect of doing so is, that to the extent that any conflict arises the state power is limited, since in case of
conflict that which is paramount necessarily to the application which was made of the ascontrols that which is subordinate.
Again, as the power which was exerted was supreme, to interpret it upon the basis that its exercise must be presumed to be limited was to deny the power itself. Thus, once more it comes to pass that the application of the assumed presumption was in effect but a form of expression by which the power which Congress had exerted was denied. In fact, error arising from indulging in such erroneous presumption permeates every contention. To illustrate: Because in Reagan v. Mercantile Trust Co., 154 U. S. 418, 14 Sup. Ct. 1062, 38 L. Ed. 1030, and other cases unnecessary to be referred to, it was held that it would be presumed that Congress in creating a corporation intended that it should be subject to applicable state laws and regulations so far as Congress did not otherwise provide, therefore, because Congress had *taken over to the government of the United States property to be used by it in the performance of a governmental function, Congress must be presumed to have intended that such property (and such functions) should continue to be subject to and controlled by state power.
The confusion produced is again aptly illustrated by the rule of interpretation by which it is insisted that the express power to fix rates conferred by the statute was rightly disregarded. Thus, while admitting that the power which was conferred to initiate rates when considered in and of itself included all rates, it is nevertheless said that such power must be presumed to be limited to the only character of rates which under the prior law the Interstate Commerce Commission had the power to consider, that is, interstate rates, because the new rates when initiated were to be acted upon by that body. As, however, the statute in terms gives power to the Interstate Commerce Commission to consider the new rates in the light of the new and unified control which it creates, the error in the contention becomes manifest, even putting out of view the fact that by the effect of the duty imposed and the new control created the new rates applying to the new conditions were within the purview of the power which the Interstate Commerce Commission previously possessed. Certainly, to mistakenly disregard one provision of the statute intended to give effect to another and upon that basis to decide that the statute is not enforceable, cannot be said to be a correct interpretation. And this view is also true as
serted presumption to the excepting clauses of section 15 previously reproduced in the margin, since that section in the light of the purpose to retain the prior law is interpreted so as to cause it to be but an additional means of destroying the all-embracing power to initiate rates fixed by section 10.
 It follows that the judgment below was erroneous. The relief afforded against the officer of the United States proceeded upon the basis that he was exerting a power not conferred by the statute, to the detriment of the rights and duties of the state authority, and was subject therefore to be restrained by state power within the limits of the statute. Upen the premise upon which it rests, that is, the unlawful acts of the officers, the proposition is undoubted, but in view of our conclusion that the acts of the officers complained of were authorized by the law of the United States, the question arises how far, that being established, it results that the suit was one against the United States over which there was no jurisdiction within the rulings in Belknap v. Schild, 161 U. S. 10, 16 Sup. Ct. 443, 40 L. Ed. 599; Postal Supply Co. v. Bruce, 194 U. S. 601, 24 Sup. Ct. 820, 48 L. Ed. 1134; Louisiana v. McAdoo, 234 U. S. 627, 34 Sup. Ct. 938, 58 L. Ed. 1506; Minnesota v. Hitchcock, 185 U. S. 373, 22 Sup. Ct. 650, 46 L. Ed. 954; Wells v. Roper, 246 U. S. 335, 38 Sup. Ct. 317, 62 L. Ed. 755.
The principle of these cases however can only be applicable by giving effect to the conclusion we have reached as to the legality of the acts of the officers which were complained of, and to decide which question the United States was not a necessary party. This is undoubtedly true unless it can be said that the contentions concerning the want of power in the officers were so unsubstantial and frivolous as to afford no basis for jurisdiction and hence caused the suit to be from the beginning directly against the United States. As however we are of the opinion that there is no ground for that view, it follows that the case as made gave jurisdiction to dispose of the question of wrong committed by the officials and that a decree giving effect to our conclusion on that subject will dispose of the entire case.
Our decree therefore must be and it is Reversed and remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.
Mr. Justice BRANDEIS concurs in the result.
nifications, a comprehensive one embracing in DAKOTA CENT. TELEPHONE CO. et al. v. substance the whole field of state authority, and STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA ex rel.
(250 U. S. 163)
PAYNE, Atty. Gen., et al.
a narrower one including only state power to Ideal with health, safety, and morals, and the context showed that the latter was the one in
(Argued May 5 and 6, 1919. Decided June 2, tended by Congress.
Where Congress, in the exercise of its war power, by resolution of July 16, 1918 (Comp. St. 1918, § 3115x, appendix), authorized the President to take control and management of telegraph and telephone systems and to operate the same as may be desirable for the duration of the war, the question whether the conditions warranted the President in taking control of telegraph and telephone systems at the time he did is not a judicial one, being a matter for the executive and legislative branches.
3. TELEGRAPHS AND TELEPHONES 264, New, vol. 7A Key-No. Series CONTROL BY PRESIDENT-AUTHORITY CONFERRED.
In view of Act Oct. 30, 1918, the joint resolution of July 16, 1918 (Comp. St. 1918, § 3115x, appendix), authorizing the President to take possession and control of telegraphs, telephones, and cable and radio systems, and to operate the same during war, authorized him, as he did in case of telegraphs and telephones, to take complete possession and control of such systems, and to operate the same as might be desirable for duration of the war.
4. TELEGRAPHS AND TELEPHONES Comm 264, New, vol. 7A Key-No. Series-FEDERAL CONTROL-REGULATION OF INTRASTATE RATES"POLICE POWER."
[Ed. Note.-For other definitions, see Words and Phrases, First and Second Series, Police Power.]
5. TELEGRAPHS AND TELEPHONES
Where Congress, in the valid exercise of its war power, authorized the President by a joint resolution of July 16, 1918 (Comp. St. 1918, § 31154 x, appendix), to assume control of telegraph and telephone companies, and the President assumed such control, and they were operated as a governmental agency, held, that the states cannot regulate intrastate rates, for there would be nothing upon which the state power could be exerted, except upon the power of the United States; that is, its authority to fix rates for the service it was rendering through a governmental agency.
Mr. Justice Brandeis dissenting.
In Error to the Supreme Court of the State of South Dakota.
Original action by the State, on the relation of Byron S. Payne, as Attorney General, and others against the Dakota Central Telephone Company and others. Defendants were enjoined from putting into effect a schedule of intrastate rates prepared by the Postmaster General, who under presidential proclamation had assumed control of telephone companies (171 N. W. 277), and they bring error. Reversed, with directions.
Mr. Solicitor General King, for plaintiffs in error.
Mr. Oliver E. Sweet, of Rapid City, S. D., for defendants in error.
*Mr. Chief Justice WHITE delivered the opinion of the Court.
Involving as this case does the existence The joint resolution of July 16, 1918 (Comp. of state power to regulate, without the conSt. 1918, § 31154 x, appendix), providing that sent of the United States, telephone rates the President during the then existing war for business done wholly within the state should be empowered to take possession and over lines taken over into the possession of assume control of telegraph, telephone, cable, the United States and which by the exercise and radio systems and to operate the same as might be needful for the duration of the war, and controls, it does not in principle differ of its governmental authority it operates providing that just compensation should be made, and that nothing should be construed to from the North Dakota case (Northern Pac. amend, repeal, impair, or affect the lawful police Ry. Co. v. State of North Dakota, 250 U. S. regulations of the several states, except wherein | 135, 39 Sup. Ct. 502, 63 L. Ed. —), just ansuch laws might affect the transmission of gov-nounced, where it was decided that under ernment communications, or the issue of stocks like conditions the state had no such power and bonds, did not reserve to the states the as to railroad rates. We consider this case right under the guise of police power to regu- as far as may be necessary, by a separate late intrastate rates of telegraph and telephone opinion, however, because the authority uncompanies after the President had taken possession and was operating the same, for the der which the control was exerted is diswords "police power" are capable of two sig-tinct and because of the assumption in argu
For other cases see same topic and KEY-NUMBER in all Key-Numbered Digests and Indexes
ment that this distinction begets a difference giving effect to the rates fixed by the Postin the principles applicable.
The appellees do not confine their contention to the question of statutory construction below decided. On the contrary, they press questions of power which the court below assumed and did not pass upon and insist upon a construction of the statute contrary to that which the court below took for granted as a prelude to the question of construction upon which is based its conclusion.
master General and in refusing to enforce In January, 1919, the state of South Da- the conflicting intrastate rates made lawful kota on the relation of its Attorney General by state law. The proceedings to prevent and Railroad Commissioners sued the Dako- this wrong, it was held, did not constitute a ta Central and other telephone companies suit against the United States and the indoing business within the state to enjoin junction prayed was granted. them from putting in effect a schedule of rates as to local business which it was alleged had been prepared by the Postmaster General and which it was averred the telephone companies were about to apply and enforce. It was charged that such rates were higher than those fixed by state authority and that the proposed action of the companies would be violative of state law, since the companies were under the *duty to disregard the action of the Postmaster General and apply only the lawful state rates. The duty of the relators, as state officers, to prevent such wrong was alleged-a duty in which, it was further asserted, the state had a pecuniary interest springing from the expenditure which it was obliged to make for telephone services.
The companies answered, disclaiming all interest in the controversy on the ground that by contract, a copy of which with one of the defendant companies was annexed, their telephone lines and everything appurtenant thereto had passed into the possession and control of the United States and were being operated by it as a governmental agency. The answer also alleged that any connection of the companies through their officials or employés with the business was solely because of employment by the United States. The purpose to enforce the rates fixed by the Postmaster General was admitted and it was averred that the suit was one over which the court had no jurisdiction because it was against the United States.
The case was heard on the bill, answer, exhibits, and an admission by all the parties that the contract annexed to the answer was
accurate and that a similar one had been made with all the other defendants.
Assuming that Congress had power to take over the telephone lines, that it had conferred that power upon the President, that the power had by the President been called into play conformably to the authority granted, and that the telephone lines were under the complete control of the United States, the court yet held that the state had the power to fix the local rates. In reaching this conclusion the court, assuming argumentatively that the right which the United States possessed gave at least the implied authority to fix all rates, nevertheless held that such power did not embrace intrastate rates because they had been carved out of the grant of power by Congress in conferring authority on the President. It was therefore decided that the President, the Postmaster General, and those operating the telephone service under his authority were mere wrongdoers in
We must dispose of the issues thus insisted upon before testing the soundness of the interpretation of the statute upon which the court below acted, and for the purpose of considering them as well as the question of construction which the court below expressly decided, we state the case.
On the 16th of July, 1918, Congress adopted a joint resolution (40 Stat. 904, c. 154 [Comp. St. 1918, § 31154x, appendix]), providing:
of the present war is authorized and empowered, "That the President during the continuance whenever he shall deem it necessary for the national security or defense, to supervise or to take possession and assume control of any telegraph, telephone, marine cable, or radio system or systems, or any part thereof, and to operate the same in such manner as may be needful or desirable for the duration of the war, tion shall not extend beyond the date of the which supervision, possession, control, or operaproclamation by the President of the exchange of ratifications of the treaty of peace: Provided, that just compensation shall be made for such supervision, possession, control, or operation, to be determined by the President:
Provided further, that nothing in this act shall be construed to amend, repeal, impair, or affect existing laws or powers of the states in relation to taxation or the lawful police regulations of the several states, except wherein such laws, powers, or regulations may affect the transmission of government communications, or the issue of stocks and bonds by such system or systems."
Six days thereafter, on the 22d of July, the President exerted the power thus given. Its exercise was manifested by a proclamation, which, after reciting the resolution of Congress, declared:
"It is deemed necessary for the national security and defense to supervise and take possession and assume control of all telegraph and telephone systems and to operate the same in such manner as may be needful or desirable. of the United States, under and by virtue of the "Now, therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President powers vested in me by the foregoing resolution, enabling, do hereby take possession and assume and by virtue of all other powers thereto me control and supervision of each and every telegraph and telephone system, and every part
"It is hereby directed that the supervision, possession, control, and operation of such telegraph and telephone systems hereby by me undertaken shall be exercised by and through the
thereof, within the jurisdiction of the United | exercising the power exceeded the authority States, including all equipment thereof and ap- given him is based upon two considerations: purtenances thereto whatsoever and all ma- First, because there was nothing in the conterials and supplies. ditions at the time the power was exercised which justified the calling into play of the authority; indeed, the contention goes further and assails the motives which it is asserted induced the exercise of the power. But as the contention at best concerns not a want of power, but a mere excess or abuse of discretion in exerting a power given, it is clear that it involves considerations which are beyond the reach of judicial power. This must be since, as this court has often pointed out, the judicial may not invade the legislative or executive departments so as to correct alleged mistakes or wrongs arising from asserted abuse of discretion.
The proclamation gave to the Postmaster General plenary power to exert his authority to the extent he might deem desirable through the existing owners, managers, directors or officers of the telegraph or telephone lines, and it was provided that their services might continue as permitted by general or special orders of the Postmaster *General. It was declared that-
 The second contention, although it ap
"From and after twelve o'clock midnight on the 31st day of July, 1918, all telegraph and tel-parently rests upon the assertion that there ephone systems included in this order and proclamation shall conclusively be deemed within the possession and control and under the supervision of said Postmaster General without further act or notice."
was an absence of power in the President to exert the authority to the extent to which he did exert it, when it is correctly understood amounts only to an asserted limitation on the power granted based upon a plain misconception of the terms of the resolution of Congress by which the power was given. In other words, it assumed that by the resolution only a limited power as to the telephone lines was conferred upon the President, and hence that the assumption by him of complete possession and control was be
Under this authority the Postmaster General assumed possession and control of the telephone lines and operated the same. On the 31st day of October, 1918, the President through the Postmaster General, in the exertion of the duty imposed upon him by the resolution of Congress to make compensa-yond the authority possessed. But although tion, concluded a contract with the telephone companies of the most comprehensive character covering the whole field while the possession, control and operation by the United States continued. By its terms stipulated amounts were to be paid as consideration for the possession, control and operation by the United States and the earnings resulting from such operation became the property of the United States. Although concluded in October, 1918, by stipulation the contract related back to the time when the President took over the property.
Following this, by authority of the President, the Postmaster General fixed a general schedule of rates and it was the order to put this schedule in effect which gave rise to the suit, the trial, and the resulting judgment which we have now under consideration.
 That under its war power Congress possessed the right to confer upon the President the authority which it gave him we think needs nothing here but statement, as we have disposed of that subject in the North Dakota railroad rate case. And the completeness of the war power under which the authority was exerted and by which completeness its exercise is to be tested suffices, we think, to dispose of the many other contentions urged as to the want of power in Congress to confer upon the President the authority which it gave him.
it may be conceded that there is some ground for contending, in view of the elements of authority enumerated in the resolution of Congress, that there was power given to take less than the whole if the President deemed it best to do so, we are of opinion that authority was conferred as to all the enumerated elements and that there was hence a right in the President to take complete possession and control to enable the full operation of the lines embraced in the authority. The contemporaneous official steps taken to give effect to the resolu*tion, the proclamation of the President, the action of the Postmaster General under the authority of the President, the contracts made with the telephone companies in pursuance of authority to fix their compensation, all establish the accuracy of this view, since they all make it clear that it was assumed that power to take full control was conferred and that it was exerted so as to embrace the entire business and the right to the entire revenues to arise from the act of the United States in carrying it out. Indeed, Congress in subsequently dealing with the situation thus produced would seem to have entertained the same conception as to the scope of the power conveyed by the resolution and dealt with it from that point of view. Act Oct. 30, 1918, c. 197, 40 Stat. 1017.
 This brings us to the proposition upon which the court based its conclusion, that is, * The proposition that the President in that although complete possession, exclusive