Page images
PDF
EPUB

Mr. HOLIFIELD. Does that treat with the over-all transportation picture, the regulations, the administration of regulations, what should be done with these Government bodies, who should do it, how they should be operated the whole gamut of transportation policy, including a searching analysis of the physical, financial, and regulatory aspects of the whole picture? Is it contemplated that they will solve all of these problems in omnibus legislation?

Mr. Conn. I do not know whether it will be omnibus or whether it will be amendment. But I know that they are being considered.

Mr. HOLIFIELD. If it covers the whole phase, it must be a very complicated study and it must deal with a great many of the present laws.

Mr. CONN. It does, on transportation. And in my further review of that I will try to emphasize the necessity of treating them as all instead of in a piecemeal fashion.

Mr. HOLIFIELD. Do you think it is possible to treat all those problems with a piece of omnibus legislation or do you think they will have to take up each problem by itself and pass many pieces of legislation?

Mr. Conn. It may well be that in dealing with the problem it will be through amendments to existing laws, many amendments, perhaps, rather than one over-all omnibus bill. I do not know what those committees would do.

Mr. HOLIFIELD. They would deal with the substantive law, of course, and this plan, of course, deals with the organizational structure of the ICC.

Mr. Conn. I know, but it is very important that it fits into the whole picture. There is one thing to have a group of sound statutes on the books and another thing to administer them.

Mr. HOLIFIELD. Of course, that is what this is. This is in line with the basic recommendation for the concentration of authority in the chairman of the board rather than have it spread all over the map under subordinates.

Mr. Conn. I will try to cover those features, particularly the latter statement.

Mr. HOFFMAN. May I ask him a question there? One objection to following your recommendation is that we wait for the report of the House and Senate Committees and apparently they never get around to it. The reason for the creation of the Hoover Commission, as I understand it, was to get some action now. Congress takes up these things, and we hold a hearing. The committee holds a hearing, rather, and makes a report; the matter then dies down, and we never get anywhere.

Mr. Conn. Well, of course, as a layman I cannot say when they will act. But I have good reason to believe that these committees are very seriously concerned about this problem and at least by the next session of Congress that something very definite will be done about this transportation problem.

Mr. HOFFMAN. You mean will be recommended.
Mr. CONN. Will be recommended.

Mr. HOFFMAN. Then the difficulty in the past, as I understand it, has been that we just sit on it.

Mr. Conn. Weil, you see this Resolution No. 7, even in the President's letter of transmittal to this body, he does not claim any savings for it and he says only the reorganization, the benefits of the reorganization plan are probably-right in his own statement—there isn't

[ocr errors]

anything to be gained from taking this thing one piece at a time until the whole, over-all study is completed.

Mr. HOFFMAN. I understand that.

Mr. Conn. Furthermore, it goes beyond the recommendations of the Reorganization Commission. It does not comply with those.

Mr. HOFFMAN. As I have looked at these plans as they come down to us, about the only thing I would not say about one of the plans, and perhaps the main thing, that it has been a transfer of authority to the head of the particular organization and then a redelegation of that authority back,

Mr. Conn. I think I will cover those in the balance of my statement.

Mr. HOFFMAN. While you are right there, may I ask you one more question? Who pays you, your associates, and the employees of your organization? I gathered from your statement that you just represent the general public, but somewhere, someone must be paying for this.

Mr. Conn. We have a cross-section membership of 9,000 enterprises, all of whom pay membership dues.

Mr. HOFFMAN. What enterprises ?

Mr. Conn. We have farm groups, industries, retail and wholesale trade, all kinds of manufacturing, big and little. We have railroads; we have truck lines; we have air lines.

Mr. HOFFMAN. The railroads themselves?

Mr. Conn. The Pennsylvania Railroad is a member of this association.

Mr. HOFFMAN. And contributes?
Mr. Conn. And contributes to the expenses; that's right.
Mr. HOFFMAN. And unions, too?
Mr. Conn. No labor unions, yet. We are hopeful.

Mr. HOFFMAN. I understood you to say that you also represented the wage earners on the railroads. Is that a mistake?

Mr. Conn. No; I did not make that statement. Mr. HOFFMAN. Labor is the only group not interested ? Mr. Conn. That is right. Mr. HOFFMAN. Have you asked them? Mr. Conn. No; we have not because we have no way in the process of 30 days that we have had to consider this thing. If they had been members of this

Mr. HOFFMAN. In your organization, have you asked them to become members ?

Mr. CONN. Not yet.
Mr. HOFFMAN. How long have you been in existence?
Mr. Conn. Fifteen years.

Mr. HOFFMAN. It occurs to me that the fellows that work on the railroads ought to be interested just as much as the shippers in keeping the railroads in operation so they would have jobs.

Mr. Conn. That is right.

But we are working toward a relationship with union labor which I think is going to be very beneficial all the way around but we have had to take our program step by step and it has been a terrific job to bring all these elements of the economy together on one platform. We have not got them all yet. I mean we have not got them all in the user and carrier class yet. We have got most of them but not all of them.

Mr. HOFFMAN. I can see the desirability, but also I appreciate there must be some difficulty in getting all those together. Mr. Conn. There is but we are working

toward it and we are going to have a relationship with labor which I think is going to be very beneficial before we get through.

Mr. HOLIFIELD. Of course, Mr. Conn, you said that you were moving toward this relationship step by step. Now that is what we are trying to do in the Hoover Commission recommendations. We are taking them a step at a time. We cannot take this whole complicated subject, structure of government, and do it at one time. Nor do I think that any committee of Congress will take the whole subject of transportation and do it at one time. I think they must of necessity approach it step by step.

Mr. Conn. Yes. Well, you have a situation in transportation where we are dealing with a very sensitive subject. I try to cover the whole thing in this statement.

Mr. HOLIFIELD. One question before you proceed, that I would like to ask you and that is, your organization does not take into consideration any maritime transportation?

Mr. Conn. Takes all transportation.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Shipping ?
Mr. Conn. Yes, sir.

Mr. HOLIFIELD. Then why were you not before us on the same identical change, or practically so, on the Maritime Commission ?

Mr. Conn. Because our project had not resolved its position on that as yet. This is explained in the chart. I have it in here. That will answer your question.

Mr. HOLIFIELD. Do you think this concentration of authority in the Chairman of the Maritime Commission was a mistake?

Mr. Conn. I do not know as to that. The concentration of authority for administrative purposes in the chairman of any of these Government bureaus depends entirely upon the chairman and what he does with it and where he comes from. In other words, you can take any kind of a law or any kind of a regulation, and 90 percent of its effectiveness is in its administration.

Mr. HOLIFIELD. But if the administration be divided and confused and in many cases parts of it antagonistic to other parts of it, you have a lot less chance of efficient administration. I think you will agree with me on that. Mr. Conn. But the ICC has not been too bad that

way. Mr. HOLIFIELD. No. I am saying that. As a general principle of administration. You agree that the concentration of administrative authority in one responsible head is a fair and usually logical method of doing business in private industry and we think it should be in Government, too.

Mr. Conn. I think that is true in anything. The question here is the relationship of the facets to the over-all problem.

Mr. Rich. I would like to ask one question, Mr. Chairman. If, as the gentleman states, he represents manufacturers, he represents agriculture, he represents railroads, he represents business of various kinds, he has got practically everything in there but labor. Now if you could get labor into your organization, and you cou d satisfy then all these different branches of our economy, why should the Congress consider this legislation at all. You could; you take in the

a

public; you are doing the thing for the best interests of everybody; therefore, why have the ICC! Why have the Congress to deal with this question? Why not put it all into the hands of your organization and let you settle it to the satisfaction of everybody? Mr. Conn. I am afraid we cannot

go

back. Mr. Rich. Do you think you could? Mr. Conn. I would not want to undertake it, I will tell you that.

Mr. Rich. Then there are differences of opinion and therefore they have to be straightened out and it is going to be somebody's duty to try to determine what is the right thing. Mr. Conn. That is right. Mr. Rich. And then assume that job. Mr. Conn. That is right. Mr. Rich. I hope the Congress will assume that responsibility.

Mr. Conn. I have read the first objection to this No. 7. SecondI read the second. We do not think that any of these plans, 7, 13, or 21, should be considered until the two Interstate Commerce Committees are through with their job.

Third—I think this is very important—there is a grave doubt as to whether the public interest can be best served by placing the destiny of the transportation of this country in the hands of the executive branch of this Government. I think we ought to watch that very carefully.

The CHAIRMAN. What branch would you place it in?

Mr. Conn. I would have the regulatory boards directly responsible to the Congress.

The CHAIRMAN. You would place it in the legislative branch?
Mr. Conn. That is where it is now under the Constitution.
Mr. BOLLING. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. You will have to adopt a new
Mr. Conn. There is nothing, there is no

emergench government. reason to support the wisdom of these plans until the entire structure of regulations and promotion has been resolved.

The CHAIRMAN. Then you would differ with the Hoover Commission which made a very comprehensive study of our governmental structure and made the recommendations upon which these various plans are based. Your organization differs with the Hoover Commission, is that right?

Mr. Conn. So far as transportation goes. Every proposal which influences these sensitive mechanisms or promotes regulation or the administration of either, must be weighed with great care. There is no record to indicate that any one of these proposals has received such consideration.

Now, I am not saying they have not received consideration of a task force or a few committees or even some presidentially appointed commission. But I do say that they, the users of transportation, Nationwide, and the great body of consumer groups, and the individual and institutional investors of this country, and the various forms of transportation themselves have been given no opportunity to weigh the implications of these plans in the light of the over-all Federal policy.

The CHAIRMAN. How long have they had lobbies established in Washington, all the outfits that you named there? How long have they maintained lobbies?

Mr. Conn. I am sure I do not know.

а

The CHAIRMAN. How long has your outfit been lobbying here?

Mr. Conn. We have had a consultant's office here for the last year and that is all.

The CHAIRMAN. But we who have been here know that the railroads have had their lobbies here; these various organizations have had their lobbies. They have studied the legislation as it has come before the Congress, and they influenced that legislation as far as they could by acting through the legislative body.

So they have had something to say about it, as time has gone on.

Mr. Conn. But, Mr. Chairman, these messages with these resolutions only reached you on March 13. It has taken us 35 days to put them through our mill to get the opinion of our own people.

Mr. KARSTEN. What do you mean by putting through the mill to get the opinion of your own people. How do you know you have it now?

Mr. Conn. From these panels representing these interests.
Mr. KARSTEN. Have you sent out questionnaires ?

Mr. Conn. It has been considered by meetings of these representatives.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you mean that is considered better than having this Commission to select their experts?

Mr. Conn. Mr. Chairman, to be frank with you, I think we have done a clearer job of this thing than the Hoover Commission did.

Mr. KARSTEN. You have 75 directors; is that correct?
Mr. CONN. That is correct.

Mr. KARSTEN. Have you had a meeting of them or have you had a meeting of the 9,000 people you represent?

Mr. CONN. Of course, that would be impossible. The meetings have been in the national cooperative project on the left-hand side of the chart, who deal with the economic and legislative side of the transportation problem.

Mr. KARSTEN. Who has met? That is what I would like to know. Mr. Conn. They have met and considered these three reorganization plans through the panels composed of from 20 to 75 accredited representatives of the national trade organizations of this country. They have met and resolved their opinions, reported them to our board, and the executive committee has taken action on them. And we have done that in about 5 weeks' time, Mr. Chairman. That is why I say that these particular plans have not had a going-over, a complete goingover, by the public interest in this country.

Now, I want to add further, however, we are in complete accord with the aims of the Hoover Commission. I do not want any misunderstanding about that. But we say that these particular plans are ill-considered. They do not represent the public welfare in this picture. They are piecemeal and they do not contribute to the objective of the Hoover Commission in the field of complex regulation of transportation and its promotion.

Mr. HOFFMAN. You mean they will not give you added economy or efficiency?

Mr. Conn. He himself says this.

Mr. HOFFMAN. Now, here, do they diverge from the Hoover Commission recommendations in that the recommendations do not increase the number of Commissioners or staff salaries, or provide that the

« PreviousContinue »