that this Court is presently called upon to determine whether the proposed ferry discontinuance finds justification in public convenience or necessity, or is in furtherance of the well-being of interstate commerce. We are confronted here by a strictly constitutional question, i.e., whether Section 13a(1) requires the Interstate Commerce Commission to hold a hearing before determining not to investigate the complaint of the plaintiff Board, and whether, in dispensing with such a hearing and concluding not to investigate, the plaintiffs' constitutional rights have been adversely affected. Whether the policy of Congress in adopting the new section is in accord with that disclosed in the Interstate Commerce Act before its amendment thereby is of no concern to a Court, and if the language of the amendment clearly authorizes the position taken by the Commission, previous congressional policy is irrelevant as a criterion of the propriety of such position.
The legislative history of the Transportation Act of 1958 indicates that it was the result of several years' consideration by the appropriate congressional committees in the fields of Transportation and Communications. The evidence presented in numerous hearings held during the period of such consideration disclosed, among other things, that the eastern railroads of the United States were in dire financial straits, due principally to continuing losses from passenger service, particularly in the commuter service. H.Rept. No. 1922, 85th Cong. 2d Sess. (1958), 1958 U.S. Code Cong. and Admin. News, p. 3220. This report explains that because discontinuance of service on a line of railroad was subject to State jurisdiction, and relief in that direction had been difficult and obstructed, the House Bill, which ultimately became the new Act, 'proposed to add a new section 13a to the act, whereby the railroads, at their option, may have the Interstate Commerce Commission, rather than State commissions, pass upon the discontinuance or change in the operation or service of any train or ferry. This option is limited, however, to the operation or service of a train or ferry on a line of railroad not located wholly within a single State.' Id., at page 3232.
To plaintiffs' contention that they have a legally protected interest in the ferry service which the defendant railroad seeks to discontinue, the answer is simple and brief: Any interest in such service which may have existed prior to the adoption of the Transportation Act of 1958 has been explicitly made subject to the action of a carrier authorized by Section 13a(1). The previously protected interests of the plaintiffs, if any, in the continuance of the ferry service across the Hudson River arose as a result of the State's exercise, through its Board of Public Utility Commissioners, of the authority over the ferries which existed prior to the amendment. By that amendment Congress has occupied the domain of control over such service, and thereby extinguished the jurisdiction of the plaintiff Board therein. Such congressional action not only extinguishes such Boardcreated rights, but also any other public rights which may have resulted from the initial grants of ferry franchises and the acceptance and user thereof by the defendant railroad and its predecessors.
With respect to the plaintiff-intervenors, although they were appropriately admitted to this litigation, their rights to the continuance of the ferry service were created by, and must be deemed to have terminated with, the jurisdiction of the plaintiff Board which concededly existed prior to the adoption of Section 13a(1). When Congress enacted Section 13a(1) the rights of the plaintiff-intervenors as well as those of the original plaintiffs became conditional licenses subject to termination through the invocation by the carrier of the procedure prescribed therein.
The temporary injunction heretofore granted in this case will be dissolved and the complaint dismissed.