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Mr. LYON. The experts I am talking about are Government civilservice employees and governmental employees that direct the safety work of the Government.
Mr. HOFFMAN. But they must, do you not think, have a voice actually in that decision?
Mr. LYON. I have never heard of any of these labor controversies involving governmental people.
Mr. HOFFMAN. What is the good? Now, the firemen, as I understand it, say that one of the reasons why they should be on these locomotives is because the public safety demands it.
Now, if you have inspectors here whose duty it is to inspect these locomotives and determine what crew they should have, why are not these fellows appointed who are on this board or proposed to this board, why are they not on the job?
Mr. LYON. Of course, the inspectors you refer to have nothing to do with personnel on the trains at all. They deal with the equipment, safety of equipment.
Mr. HOFFMAN. Your Diesel engine equipment is no good unless there is somebody there to use it. Do not these inspectors, as you call them, of safety-do they not have anything to say about how many men should be on the engine?
Mr. LYON. I do not think they could under the law that Congress enacted.
Mr. HOFFMAN. It is a queer kind of law that would say you have to have a compass on a ship but did not need anybody to read it. Mr. LYON. I do not know of any law that Congress has enacted that says there has to be so many men on trains, no, sir. Perhaps you ought to do that.
Mr. HOFFMAN. Congress has enacted laws which require certain things to be done in order that the people may travel safely, has it not? Mr. LYON. Some of them. They have not gone far enough, in my opinion. But you have such laws.
Mr. HOFFMAN. You would not think that a railroad under the law could be permitted to start a locomotive without an engineer, do you? Mr. LYON. Well, they could under the law now; yes.
Mr. HOFFMAN. They could?
Mr. LYON. Yes.
Mr. HOFFMAN. I do not agree with you at all.
Mr. LYON. I would be glad to have you tell me the law that prohibits it; I did not know it.
Mr. HOFFMAN. Do you not have to have such a crew on a train? Is there not a length of train limit?
Mr. LYON. Not by law; no, sir.
Mr. HOFFMAN. Not the length of a train?
Mr. LYON. No, sir.
Mr. HOFFMAN. What was that talk about 70 freight cars on a train? Mr. LYON. I think the unions years ago asked you to enact a law like that but you did not do it.
Mr. HOFFMAN. That is all, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Proceed with your statement.
Mr. LYON. At worst the adoption of this plan would result in virtual repeal of the law enacted by the Congress and disaster to the enforcement of safety standards on the railroads of our country.
Mr. HOFFMAN. What are the efficiency standards as they apply to a crew? I know about brakes and whistles and bells and lights and rails and some of those things, but what about crews?
Mr. LYON. There is no Federal law that applies to standards of a crew, as I understand your statement. You are referring to theMr. HOFFMAN. For the competence of the engineer or the firemen. Mr. LYON. No, sir, no Federal law that I know of.
Mr. HOFFMAN. If the railroad wanted to hire me, I could be an engineer?
Mr. LYON. If the railroad wanted to hire you the union would not have a thing to say about it; no.
Mr. HOFFMAN. There is nothing in the public law?
Mr. LYON. No.
Mr. HOFFMAN. All right.
Mr. LYON. If you ran an engine into another train or off in a ditch through incompetence, they would probably fire you.
Mr. HOFFMAN. But I would not violate any law unless it was a criminal law?
Mr. LYON. That's true. Probably they would indict you for manslaughter. I do not know.
Mr. HOFFMAN. I cannot see where safety regulations have very much intricacy if they just apply to equipment and not those who run them.
Mr. LYON. They have done a great deal of good, Congressman. We would not have the safety record we have on the railroads now without these laws that Congress enacted many years ago and if they were not fairly enforced.
Mr. HOFFMAN. Like the pure food and drug laws, as far as I am concerned-let anybody administer the medicine and drugs-do not make the doctor have any qualifications.
Mr. KARSTEN. At that point, how would this affect safety standards? You say it would result in virtual repeal of the law enacted by the Congress and disaster to the enforcement of safety standards on the railroads of our country. Just how would it do that?
Mr. LYON. The law deliberately put this locomotive inspection work under the control and direction of experts and the law sets up special qualifications that they must have.
Mr. KARSTEN. Under this reorganization plan, would not the same experts remain there in the division? The law is still on the books. We are not repealing the law.
Mr. LYON. But the Chairman, who would not have this expert qualification, would operate the whole machinery of it. If he decided
Mr. KARSTEN. The Chairman would not be intent to destroy the safety standards. He would have to in order to carry out the statement you make in your testimony.
Mr. LYON. Not necessarily. He would not have to intend to do it. He could do it through incompetence and lack of knowledge.
Mr. KARSTEN. If you have the same inspectors in your Bureau of Locomotive Inspection, they do the same work; I do not see how you are going to disrupt the work.
Mr. LYON. They will not necessarily be trying to do the same work. This man has control over allocations of funds and use of them and the personnel and everything else. He could skeletonize the Bureau and cut out half of it if he wanted to.
Mr. KARSTEN. What do you do with air traffic? Do you have an inspection bureau? With reference to these bombs we have been experiencing on air traffic of late, do you have any independent agency that would go in there and determine safety rules for take-off and that sort of thing?
Mr. LYON. I suppose there is, but it is not under the ICC and not related to the work I have done all my life, so I just do not know.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Mr. Lyon, I can understand your fear, but your fear is based on the assumption first that section (b) of the plan means nothing, which explicitly directs the Chairman to carry out his functions according to general policies of the Commission and with such regulatory decisions and findings and determinations as the Commission may by law be authorized to make. That whole body of decisions and regulations and policies that have been conceived jointly by the Commission is binding upon the Chairman. Then your substantive law, such as your inspection law, is binding upon the Chairman of the Commission just as it now is on the people that are doing that work. And your whole fear, it seems to me, is based on a fear of something which might happen which is bad, and ignoring actual provisions of the plan and the provisions of statutory law. I do not think the Chairman with impugnity could ignore the provisions of the inspection law any more than your present head of the Inspection could. I think he would be under the same penalties and the same criticism from Congress and it is not an enlarging or changing of discretionary functions at all; the same functions that now obtain would have to obtain under him.
Mr. LYON. Mr. Holifield, you are wrong, I think, because you do not thoroughly understand what I have attempted to say about the work and the functions of this bureau of inspection, Bureau of Locomotive Inspection.
The CHAIRMAN. This plan does not change that.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. First I say that it does not change it. Now will you please explain to me so I can have the information what a locomotive inspector does and where he gets the authority for doing it.
Mr. LYON. If I may, let me explain what I had in mind a moment ago and then I will come to that if I can.
You refer, of course, to the limitations of subsection (b).
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Yes.
Mr. LYON. And to the statement about the policies of the Commission.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Yes.
Mr. LYON. Well now, the Commission does not have any policy in respect to locomotive-inspection work. The law of Congress makes the policy and the Commission does not make decisions about it. Mr. HOLIFIELD. All right, then.
Mr. LYON. Except on appeal and review.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. That is true. Cannot you carry that out logically to say that the Chairman can have no control over this particular group of inspectors other than that provided by law?
Mr. LYON. No; but here, if you adopt this plan, let this plan become effective, then you have specific language here saying that this Chairman over here, whoever he may be, shall have the complete control and direction over the functions of that Bureau.
Now this Bureau is not a part of the Commission; it enjoys a semiindependent status created by the Congress itself with three men appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate to run it. The Commission has no policy about it. The policy is set up by Congress and this Bureau of Locomotive Inspection is an arm of the Congress to enforce it and administer it.
The CHAIRMAN. Not as part of the Commission?
Mr. LYON. For housekeeping purposes. But if you examine the law you will find that it is a much different arrangement than usually
Mr. HOLIFIELD. If I can be shown-I am open to conviction-if I can be shown that the Chairman of this will, after the plan goes into effect, be able to change statutory law, then I will be against the plan. I do not believe that that is the fact.
Mr. LYON. This provision here would certainly change the law.
Mr. TAURIELLO. How can you change the statutory law? The Congress does that.
Mr. LYON. That is what the effect of this would be.
The CHAIRMAN. The Congress is now changing the statutory law. That is within our power to do that; that is why we are here; that is what we are driving after.
Mr. LYON. I presume in one sense if this plan becomes effective then it is the law of Congress. You have amended the law then.
The CHAIRMAN. We do that every day.
Mr. LYON. But you are doing that, and by your doing that you delegate authority to one man who is not competent in this field to make other changes because he would have to perform functions subject to the direction and control of the Chairman no matter what the law said. The CHAIRMAN. The law could be amended further. He is accountable for his actions and can be removed for failure to function properly, just like any member of the Commission can be removed for failure to function properly.
Mr. LYON. Maybe they can, but no one has ever been removed there except by failure to reappoint them at the end of 7 years in office.
The CHAIRMAN. Maybe no one ever will be removed. You cannot say there ever will be an incompetent Chairman. That is only a presumption in your mind that sometime, some place, somewhere, such a situation might exist. Others could say that such a situation would never exist and you could never make a decision on it. You are merely evidencing a fear.
Mr. LYON. I will say here now that the present Chairman of the ICC is not competent in the field of locomotive inspection, and he would not deny that statement if he were here.
Mr. HOFFMAN. What you want to do is to guard against difficulties before they arise, before the thing happens. Mr. LYON. That is right.
Mr. HOFFMAN. He does not want to take any chances with the public safety.
The CHAIRMAN. We provided that when we set up this Bureau of Inspection, and there is nothing in this plan that changes the functions or the requirements of those who exercise, who carry out, that law.
Mr. HOFFMAN. I most respectfully and most humbly say that the gentleman suggests and I agree with him that they put these fellows under the Chairman who may or may not know anything about it. The CHAIRMAN. They are under someone now.
Mr. HOFFMAN. Under these three fellows who qualify.
The CHAIRMAN. They are under the jurisdiction of someone to whom they are responsible. He said they are responsible to the Congress and he also says that there is no Member of the Congress who knows as much about it as these three men know about it.
Mr. HOFFMAN. And, therefore, it follows that they use their own judgment.
Mr. LYON. I would not want these men to be put under direction and control under any one Member of Congress.
Mr. HOFFMAN. Nor the whole group of them.
The CHAIRMAN. But we do want these men to be under the jurisdiction of someone who is responsible to Congress and who is responsible to the President, if it is going to be in the executive department, and that is the purpose of the whole Hoover Commission study, to undo things just like the Congress did here, cre ated another body and set it up in an existing institution without responsibility to the head of that institution and that makes poor administration. That is the consensus of those who have been Pressident, who tried to run the executive department and I think one of the finest things we did was when the Congress got a former President to head up a commission to endeavor to determine how to streamline our executive department and wipe out all these duplicating functions, telling us how to place and where to place the responsibility; and that is what we are trying to do. That does not disturb the functions of these people, and certainly and Chairman is going to be just as interested in the success of his Department as you would or I would be. But it is easier for us to question other people's intentions while attributing to ourselves every good and honest intention in the world. But no man, the head of any Commission, is going to deliberately sahotage the things he set up to make a success. He would not be thera long, and every man in life wants to be a success.
Mr. HOFFMAN. In answer to all that, and with the greatest respect. for our former President, who is so innocent and gullible that ho is letting now somebody use his label, economy and efficiency, on the outside of it pasted on a lot of political plans sent down here to increase the power from the President on down through all of the agency heads and so give us, I said before, a little dictatorship, here, there, and all over the country.
The CHAIRMAN. If there is ever a dictatorship, 135,000,000 people can remove it with ease.
Mr. HOFFMAN. There are more than that in Russia.
The CHAIRMAN. Never a dictatorship in this country as long as people are interested in government, interested enough to go to vote and exercise the right of ballot-there will never be a dictatorship as long as that is true.