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Mr. HOLIFIELD. That's right.
Mr. LYON. If he did delegate, it does not say to whom he would delegate. He could delegate to anyone to whom he wished, even a stenographer in his office. Under this language, he would not necessarily have to delegate that authority to another commissioner who is expert in the field at all.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. He is accountable to the Commission first as to the administration of policy, and second, he is accountable to the Congress. Mr. LYON. The Commission has no policy as to this. The policy is laid down in law enacted by Congress.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Then his responsibility is to the Congress if he failed to administer according to the basic act.
Mr. LYON. The responsibility of the Chairman?
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Yes.
Mr. LYON. That may be well and good, but we want this work done efficiently and it has been so done since 1911 and there is no reason on earth to change it. The people who prepared the plan did not consult the people who are most interested in it all. They certainly did not consult us and I do not believe they consulted the railroad companies. I doubt very much if they consulted the Commission,
Now, this is much too important a matter to be dealt with in a shortened procedure such as your committee must necessarily follow. We believe there is no reason on earth for disturbing the organization, the efficient operation of this Bureau of Locomotive Inspection, and yet here we have language that flatly says that those men must do all of their work under the direction and control of the Chairman. Mr. HOLIFIELD. That is true.
Mr. LYON. Ten of the eleven chairmen would not know the first thing about that work.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. As far as the actual field of administration is concerned, he would not take charge of that any more than the Secretary of Agriculture takes charge of the Marketing Division out in the field. In fact, any chairman of any major agency that would attempt to attend to all the administrative detail would overburden himself to the point where he could not function and, as you know, all of these agencies must exist on the basis of delegation of authority and apportionment of work, and that must be done according to the basic law.
Mr. LYON. I do not even read this to say that he could delegate to the Commissioner that is expert in this field. It says these men will do their work under his control,
Now, of course, if he used good judgment and he could delegate, he would probably do that, but what assurance do we have of that? We do not know who the Chairman will be now or 10 years from now, for that matter. Now Congress deliberately set up this sort of an operation, controlled by experts in this field. Men have to be
Mr. HOLIFIELD. If I thought this involved the changing of those experts, I would not spend one moment of my time in arguing for the plan. If I thought that it would carry down into the operational level, and the changing of policy. But, as I understand it, the plan simply goes into the administrative part of the field and not into the functional and operational part, and any changes in the functional and operational part must be as a result of commission policy.
Mr. LYON. I cannot read that into it at all, Mr. Holifield, and I am certain if you studied it more closely, you would agree that it is not clear.
Mr. HOFFMAN. What you are afraid of is that there will be centralization of power; is it not?
Mr. LYON. Well, that is part of it. Here is a law established in 1911. It has been amended, of course, since, to some extent. But it deliberately was set up to give this Bureau of Locomotive Inspection an independent status, quasi independent. It is in the Commission for housekeeping purposes, we may say. But the experts who run that Bureau, as I pointed out before, they are so important that they are appointed by the President himself. All three of them are so appointed. The Director and two Assistant Directors, and they are confirmed by the Senate. Only certain people with special qualifications can qualify. And then we have had that now for a great many years, and nobody has criticized it. I do not believe that Congress has ever found any fault with the way they operate. They have brought about a magnificent record in the improvement of locomotive safety.
Now, here is a proposal here-it does not talk about administrative functions only-it is everything. You could not find broader language than this that—
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.
Now, if I understand the language, the Chairman could do almost anything he wanted to with those people and their function and their work.
Mr. HOFFMAN. And they have to do that, they have to obey the instructions that come down from above.
Mr. LYON. They will have to do what the Chairman tells them. Mr. HOFFMAN. Or they would get this Admiral Denfeld business. Mr. LYON. That is making a very major change in the law of Congress.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Wait just a minute. You cannot take out of context the one provision of this kind. You have got to read that in relation to section B which says:
In carrying out any of his functions under the provisions of this section the Chairman shall be governed by the general policies of the Commission and by such regulatory decisions, findings, and determinations as the Commission may by law be authorized to make.
Can you not see that that is complete control over the Chairman as far as any of this is concerned?
Mr. LYON. But in this particular field, the Locomotive Inspection Act is not a part of the Interstate Commerce Commission Act that the Commission administers. It is a separate law.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Neither is the Motor Carriers' Act, is it?
Mr. LYON. I think it is; it is a title of the Interstate Commerce Act, certainly. But this Bureau of Locomotive Inspection was deliberately set up by Congress as an independent body and put into the Commission for housekeeping purposes, and with the Commission authorized to review, if necessary, on appeal, their decisions.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. All right, this is another. In other words, it is in the same position as Mr. McComb of the Wage and Hours Division of the Department of Justice, it is not?
Mr. LYON. I am not as familiar with that as perhaps you are. I do not know.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. The head of the Wage and Hour Division in the Labor Department was set up by an independent act of Congress and as being responsible directly to Congress and one of the other plans that was brought up here-I believe it was plan No. 6-asked that he be included under the Secretary of Labor, that his functions and directions come under the Secretary of Labor just the same as this provides for and the labor unions came up here in favor of it.
Now, in one instance we find that the labor unions are in favor of it and here we find them against the same identical principle.
Mr. LYON. I cannot speak for the others. But I can speak for the railroad unions and I am trying to do that. I do not know what happened there and I am not familiar with the other plan.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. I realize that you are under the Railway Labor Act as far as labor relations are concerned, but the principle is the same. Mr. HOFFMAN. May I ask a question, or three or four?
At present, and heretofore, the Commission has elected the Chairman, has is not?
Mr. LYON. That is true, sir, I think.
Mr. HOFFMAN. And the job of Chairman as Chairman has alternated-not alternated but rotated, has it not?
Mr. LYON. Yes; I understand they rotated, principally on the basis of seniority.
Mr. HOFFMAN. That is right, and the thing that you object to now is having these, for example, inspectors put under the direction of the Chairman of the Commission rather than under the Commission? Mr. LYON. That is one thing.
Mr. HOFFMAN. That is one thing you object to.
Mr. LYON. Insofar as the Locomotive Inspection Bureau is concerned, that is part of it. I object to the whole plan as concentration of power in one man's hands and I think it is unwise, and with a Commission this big and with the scope of their duties, I do not think it can be done.
Mr. HOFFMAN. All through the point made by Mr. Holifield and others on this committee has run the thought that the Hoover Commission in order to get efficiency and responsibility, has advocated delegating the powers held for example by the members of the Commission or the board, to the chairman of the board. That principle you object to?
Mr. LYON. I do in this particular case.
Mr. HOFFMAN. Did you not in the other?
Mr. LYON. It may be all right in the other.
Mr. HOFFMAN. Is there not as much reason to object to circularization of power or authority in the others?
Mr. LYON. There is some difference between a 3-man commission and a 11-man commission, or a 3-man commission with a limited scope of activity. It is a little bit different situation than there is here where we have 11 men constituting the Commission, with a vast amount of duties and a great scope of activities to handle.
Mr. HOFFMAN. You fear that if these inspectors-the man who might be the safety-regulation man, and who are experts in their line, are put under the control and direction of a chairman, that would not work out for the good of everyone?
Mr. LYON. For anyone, for that matter.
They are under supervision now. All of the men who handle safety matters now are under the supervision of the Commissioner who is an expert in that field. The gentleman there that is a member of that Commission now that is an expert in that field is Mr. Patterson. Before he was there, there was another man named McManamy. Both of them came up through the ranks and were experts in this particular field. I say in my statement that for 30 years there has been one Commissioner, among the 11, that has been an expert in this field of railroad safety.
Now, these bureaus that handle railroad safety matters under the general supervision of that expert Commissioner-if he was made Chairman by the President, why, it would not make any particular change now but I have no idea that that would happen. And it would not continue very long even if he were made the Chairman, and even if he were Chairman, with the great amount of duties that a Chairman of that kind would have to discharge, the proper attention could not be given to the supervision of this work.
Mr. HOFFMAN. I remember when the Labor Committee was holding hearings with reference to the Wagner law, that before that committee there appeared Mr. Green and representatives also of the CIO, and their difficulty grew out of the fact that first one organization and then the other was being, they thought, favored so that the head of both the CIO and Mr. Lewis, too, for that matter, and Mr. Green, they all charged in substance that those administering the law were biased and prejudiced.
Now, do you feel that in the interest of those who come under your organization, that this advice might be considered by a biased or prejudiced individual if the powers were all transferred to the Chairman appointed by the President and that though he might be required, because of pressure from first one group and then another, to follow a policy which the engineers or the inspectors, if you call them that, would not themselves have followed?
Mr. LYON. I am not so fearful of prejudice or bias on a matter of that kind as having this matter supervised by somebody who knows nothing about it.
Mr. HOFFMAN. I can see that.
Mr. LYON. That's right. I say that 10 of these Commissioners up there are not specialists in this matter and that if one of them was made Chairman they would have chaos in this particular operation. Mr. HOFFMAN. Because he would direct the policy.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. No, he would be prohibited under it. He is telling what he fears, not what the act says.
Mr. HOFFMAN. I agree with you that that centralization of power, if we keep on, is merely to keep on a series of little dictators throughout the Federal Government responsible to no one except the President, the head of a political party, and that while at the present time labor may dictate that policy, it is barely possible-I said "possible”—that sometime these "Princes of Privilege" or whatever words they use to
describe them, might be out in the cold and labor might be on the short end then.
You are afraid of a little dictator, are you not?
Mr. LYON. I would not express it that way, Mr. Hoffman.
Mr. HOFFMAN. You would not express it that way, but that appears to be your thought.
Now just in connection with the same thing, may I ask you what the attitude of your organization is in this present situation, where the firemen want another man riding the Diesels and they are going to have a strike here next week or sometime, although the two bodies, two fact-finding bodies appointed by the President found that that position should not be created. I mean that they should not have a third fireman. Or do you not feel called upon to answer a question of that kind?
Mr. LYON. I will be glad to answer as far as I can, Mr. Hoffman. The organization I speak for is an association of the railway unions. Now, I have no duties to perform in that kind of a field at all and I am not equipped to talk about the matters of that controversy.
But what little I know about it, I think that the firemen have merit on their side in what they are contending for.
Mr. HOFFMAN. In spite of the findings of the two Presidential boards that they do not need a third man on these Diesels, you think there is merit to the proposition. Will you go so far as to say that they should tie up our transportation system now?
Mr. LYON. I do not know enough about it to say that, Mr. Hoffman. I have never been in conversation or negotiations or have never attended board meetings that were held and I know very little about it.
Mr. HOFFMAN. If you want to cast aside the assumption that the two boards acted advisedly-just forget that. Do you think that just because a group of firemen worked around a locomotive and consider that they have a job there that they are justified in tying up our transportation system by calling a Nation-wide strike?
Mr. TAURIELLO. Is that question germane to this plan?
Mr. HOFFMAN. It may not be. If you are afraid of the answer, all right.
Mr. TAURIELLO. I am not afraid of the answer. I will answer it if you want me to. And I say, yes, they are entitled to it.
Mr. HOFFMAN. We are glad to have your views on that. I know where you stand now.
The CHAIRMAN. We are asking this gentleman. I really would like his opinion as well as yours.
Mr. LYON. I am in no position to discuss that in any detail. If I knew more about it, I would be glad to discuss it with you. sure some representatives of the union would be glad to discuss it with you and answer all your questions, but I am frank in saying that I am not familiar enough with it.
Mr. HOFFMAN. But you were talking about this board of inspectors, experts. They evidently appeared before the two fact-finding boards appointed by the President.
Mr. LYON. No.
Mr. HOFFMAN. As to whether the safety of the traffic, the traveling public required a third man on those Diesels. You say they did not appear?