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Commissioners, upon expiration of terms, hold office until successors are appointed and qualified, and no transfer to the Department of Commerce of the ICC Safety Committee, inspection and car service function, and the Hoover Commission did not incorporate a provision transferring the functions of the Commission with respect to choosing its Chairman from among the membership to the President?
Mr. Conn. The Hoover Commission did not recommend the Chairman of the ICC be appointed by the President.
Mr. HOFFMAN. Those I have just read—those are divergences from the Hoover Commission recommendations.
Mr. Conn. Correct.
Mr. KARSTEN. Before you leave this statement, who is that 125,000 influential citizens in the rural districts up to 10,000 population!
Mr. Conn. They are the people who are helping us, selected by the citizens of the towns from 400 to 10,000 population and most of the county seats of the country, local study and action groups on national issues affecting transportation. So that we will have in the field an intelligent public opinion and be acquainted with the local problems.
Mr. KARSTEN. What do you mean, influential citizens? I thought you meant interest of the public. Why just a few influential citizens?
Mr. Conn. I suppose you know as well as I do that in the United States of America you have 5 percent who are leaders and 95 percent who are followers, and if you have good leaders you have a good country.
Mr. KARSTEN. I do not know whether I agree with you.
Mr. HOFFMAN. These people write me urging me to support the recommendations of the Hoover Commission in toto.
Mr. KARSTEN. That is the influential people. That is what I am trying to bring out. Mr. Conn. I am very sure.
Mr. KARSTEN. I am trying to find out whether your same influential people are on your committee that are writing to me to support the Hoover Commission.
Mr. Conn. I am very sure that the business and farm leaders in towns from 400 to 10,000 population have not written down here, have not written many letters.
Mr. KARSTEN. You would be quite surprised to see congressional mail.
Mr. Conn. But it is none of our folks. It is not at our suggestion if they have. We do not use them for that purpose. They are local study groups on transportation issues, and they are good groups.
Mr. BOLLING. How would these 125 people—how were these 125,000 people selected back in these communities? Do you select them, or who selects them?
Mr. Conn. No. I will tell you what we did to get those names.
Mr. Conn. Names. We put it up to the editor of a weekly newspaper in each town, to the county agent in the Department of Agriculture, and to the local banks; where they agreed we took the
I think it is about as good, as fair a cross section as you can get in the United States. We could not send somebody to 9,000 towns; we could not afford to do it.
Mr. BOLLING. You know the National Chamber of Commerce and the NAM has come out in favor of the Hoover Commission, and you would not disagree
Mr. Conn. On 7, 13, and 21. We have no position on the others.
Mr. HOFFMAN. May I ask a question? I have received many, many letters from people in my district asking that I support the Hoover Commission recommendations, and I have written each one of those an individual letter telling them that I, too, am in favor of economy and efficiency in the Federal Government. But, every time when I wrote a letter asking them to explain the Hoover Commission's report on any particular plan, I do not get any information except maybe from the veterans organization and from the Legion in particular. And, when I went further into the subject and asked a particular question, I did not get any answer at all. If I wrote Mr. Jones, for example, well, why do you oppose or favor either one, the Hoover Commission Report No. 6, 7, or some other, they do not answer the letters. I do not get a reply. And I have concluded that they do not know what is in it.
Mr. Conn. That may be true.
Mr. HOFFMAN. Except they have been sold on the proposition that we must have less spending and more efficiency.
Mr. Conn. We can go along with the objectives and aims of the Hoover Commission.
Mr. HOFFMAN. I am for good health, but don't you see
Mr. Conn. We are against sin and we are for the Hoover Commission report all the way down the line as to its aims, but that could not mean that every detail of that report is the right thing to do.
Mr. HOFFMAN. You want to be sure that you get it by any particular plan.
Mr. Conn. No; I mean this. Just because the Hoover Commission presents a program down here may or may not mean that it is right for the transportation industry.
Now I want to say this, that this present-day problem in transportation we think is one of the most acute economic issues that ever confronted the people of this country. There is over one hundred billion dollars of private and government funds invested in the transportation of America, or nearly one-fifth of the capital values of the United States. I need not emphasize that this great, modern system of carriers—were it not for them we would have no commerce, we would have no standard of living beyond the primitive, no national wealth, and no national defense.
The CHAIRMAN. Don't you think that Congress has been very liberal to all forms of transportation ?
Mr. Conn. I think they have done a beautiful job.
The CHAIRMAN. Subsidies and so forth; and if they have that amount of money, that amount of investment, it is because the American people have given it to them; they were not born with it.
Mr. Conn. That divides up, Mr. Chairman, about $48,000,000,000 of private capital and $52,000,000,000 of Government capital of all kinds.
The CHAIRMAN. The people's money, because they have got more invested in it than private capital.
Mr. CONN. That is right.
Mr. Rich. Just one question here. Mr. Chairman, you spoke about the fact that the Congress has been very liberal. Do you mean just for railroads, or do you mean
The CHAIRMAN. Every form of transportation-land grants; we give the airplanes subsidies; we provide roads for the trucks to run
We have given them everything under the sun so we must be interested in them, but we are also interested in the people and their interests.
Mr. Rich. Not only the United States but all the countries of the world.
The CHAIRMAN. That is right; transportation all over the world. Mr. Rich. Seven billion dollars a year.
Mr. BOLLING. The weakest phase in Government operating subsidy was over in the Martime Commission. So we need certainly to study very carefully these things. The very weakest of all phases of Government activity. It runs into many millions of dollars.
Mr. Rich. There is no stopping it.
Mr. Conn. Mr. Chairman, out of a background of experience which you already know of this vast industry, I want to say this about that chart that you have in front of you. The association that I represent has devoted its energy over a decade to a complete study of this problem and has found 27 basic issues and over 100 corollary issues. Then we went to the country with these issues and tested public opinion in over 800 meetings of farm, trade, civic, and labor groups in these areas. Labor groups attended in these areas.
Now, we found one thing which I plead with you that you take into careful consideration about No. 7 and 13 and 21-that all of these major issues are interrelated and a decision with respect to any one should be matched with a framework of over-all Federal policy which treats with all these other issues.
The association's national cooperative project as set forth in this chart is now at work to resolve these issues to study and debate among experts representing every segment of this
economy, and in that respect there will be a meeting in Chicago in July or August of 27 labor leaders, top national labor leaders, to go over the tentative work and the spadework of this project. And we are going to take that group into our complete confidence before we make a report to the Senate and House Interstate Commerce Committees. I might add that one of your own committee, Interstate and Foreign Commerce-characterized this Nation-wide project that is now going on as follows. Here is what they said in their report to the Congress, the House Committee on Interstate Commerce:
Probably never before has a national economic problem been approached for solution on such an elaborate basis as this cooperative endeavor.
The CHAIRMAN. With the passing of this year will its operation stop your work on your study?
Mr. Conn. It will not.
The CHAIRMAN. Cannot the Congress still pass legislation to make into law any benefits contained in your study?
Mr. Conn. We hope they will.
The CHAIRMAN. But the passing of this plan would not interfere with that study.
Mr. Conn. It would not stop the study. It is too important, of course. Now, the proposed reorganization plan in their substantive provisions, and in terms of the explanatory messages with which they are presented to the Congress, clearly indicate a design to augment the regulatory and administrative control over transportation by the executive department.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Mr. Conn, I am somewhat puzzled on that statement because in the first place your Commission members are all appointed at the present time by the President, are they not?
Mr. Conn. That is correct.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Confirmed by the Senate. That particular provision is not changed. There is no further substantive legislation, no further duties, no further functions that are imposed upon the Chairman that are not now imposed upon the whole Commission.
Mr. Conn. Correct.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. The thing you are interested in primarily is the regulatory function of the Commission, which is not changed. You are concentrating in the hands of the Chairman the administrative detail which will leave the other members free for the policy and regulatory functions with which you are primarily concerned.
I can't see the weight of your particular argument on that basis.
Mr. Conn. All right. Now, the Hoover Commission does not recommend that the Chairman be designated by the President.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. But in five out of the nine regulatory bodies, the Chairman is designated by the President, and the Senate has the right to turn him down if they think he is not a man that is capable of handling the job or would be biased or prejudiced. The Chairman is still subject to confirmation by the Senate just the same as the members are.
Mr. Conn. Well, we think this: that before you make any of these changes in administration of these organizations we ought to wait until we have a complete over-all study completed, which is nearly done.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. I understand that point, sir, but you are not being responsive to the argument which I have just made which I believe is based on fact. You are not being responsive now. You are not responding to the argument which I made, which in effect is that this regulatory function is not changed; the policy-making function is not changed; this is merely taken from 15 commissioners and putting the responsibility of administrative detail in the hands of one man.
Mr. CONN. Well, that one man is designated by the Executive. Mr. HOLIFIELD. That is true, but confirmed by the Senate.
Mr. Conn. All right. He has control over the employees of that Commission, the delegation of their work. He has complete jurisdiction over that. Everything except the people employed in the Commissioner's own office. He can regulate that Commission any way he wants to, one man.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. No, he can only have those employees administer it according to the policy set forth by the full Commission and any attempt to keep any of those administrative officers from carrying out the policy of the whole Commission, I would think, would be immediately resented by the rest of the Commission. I certainly, if I were a member, would resent any change of administrative detail which did not conform to the policies set down by the whole Commission.
Mr. Conn. That may be trueMr. HOLIFIELD. As I say, I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill.
Mr. Conn. No; I don't think so. I think the implications of this thing are very broad.
Mr. BOLLING. The gentleman will yield right there?
You would not have 15, 12, or 10 presidents of any corporation, would you?
Mr. Conn. No, sir; I would not. I have no objection to the administrative authority of the Commission being centralized. I understand they have the power to do it themselves if they want to now, without this.
Mr. BOLLING. But they have to come together and consider each one of these subjects.
Mr. Conn. The point is that our objection runs to the point that the Chairman of that Commission is designated by the Executive.
Mr. BOLLING. To head the administrative functions.
Mr. Conn. He also handles regulations along with it. He is one of the Commissioners.
Mr. BOLLING. Like any president of a corporation.
Mr. HOFFMAN. This plan transfers to the Department of Commerce, the ICC, Safety, Equipment and Inspection and Car Service functions.
Mr. Conn. We are absolutely against all of that.
Mr. HOFFMAN. It does that very thing. That was never recommended by the Hoover Commission.
Mr. Conn. No. Car Service function in any event, outside of the
Mr. HOLIFIELD. I must have some clarification on that because my understanding is that this is not transferred. Now, it has been recommended by the Hoover Commission that it be transferred, but this plan does not transfer it.
Mr. HOFFMAN. I want to refer you right there so we can get it cleared up, and that is an important point, to the report of the Senate committee.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. I am going by the plan here. The plan in (c) says:
The Director of Locomotive Inspection and the two Assistant Directors of Locomotive Inspection shall perform their functions subject to the direction and control of the Chairman. So it is not transferred.
Mr. Conn. While that was recommended by the Hoover Commission, it has not yet been done.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. That is correct.
Mr. HOFFMAN. Authorizes the Chairman to delegate to any officer, employee, or administrative unit any functions.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. That is within the organization. The Chairman has that right to allocate work and administrative detail work to any of the 15 divisions, I believe; isn't that right?
Mr. Conn. I think so; yes.