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knowledge of its functions generally over a period of years. Under S. 2330 it would apparently be difficult, if not impossible, to continue this arrangement. The functions of internal management listed in category (1) of section 2 of the bill are at present supervised by Division 1 of the Commission, which consists of three Commissioners and the Chairman ex officio. The practical details involved in these matters are largely handled by the secretary of the Commission.
The "relations with Congress" referred to in category (2) presumably would involve largely the furnishing of written reports or presenting oral statements to committees of Congress with respect to pending legislation. This work is at present performed by the Commission's Legislative Committee, consisting of three members of the Commission, all of whom have served continuously on the committee for many years, thereby acquiring a familiarity with legislative matters which makes for expedition in disposing of requests for reports.
It is difficult to see what functions of the Commission could be classified as "(3) the execution of its policies" for the reason that the Commission is regarded as an arm of the Congress rather than part of the executive branch of the Government. It has no policies of its own which require execution, the policies with which it is concerned being those having to do with transportation as declared by the Congress.
Under the Interstate Commerce Act the Commission is free to select its own chairman to serve for such period as it determines. Within the past 40 years no member of the Commission has served as Chairman for more than 18 continuous months with the single exception of the late Joseph B. Eastman, who was Chairman from July 1, 1939, to December 31, 1941, having been elected for a 3-year term, which was interrupted by his appointment as Director of the Office of Defense Transportation. On the whole it has been found best from our standpoint to fill the chairmanship by rotation for a 1-year term. Hence, it would be wholly impractical to transfer to the Chairman those duties now in large part performed by the secretary of the Commission under the supervision of the administrative division of the Commission on which there are, at present, three Commissioners. Moreover, it would be an undue burden on one Commissioner to ask him to supervise all the personnel in all the bureaus of the Commission. Such general supervision is now divided among all the Commissioners. It is our experience that supervision of one or two bureaus by a single Commissioner is much more thorough and satisfactory than could possibly follow from assigning all such supervision of every bureau to a single Commissioner designated as Chairman. The secretary of the Commission is the chief executive officer, and works as easily with the individual Commissioners in respect to the various bureaus as could be hoped for if he had only one Commissioner with whom to deal. And we believe there is a more competent appraisal and direction of the work of the bureaus under this division of labor among the Commissioners than would follow under an attempt to assign it all to one Commissioner. The Commission is in itself an entity. It is composed of 11 individual Commissioners but these Commissioners act collectively. Cooperation and division of labor among and between the individual Commissioners have been achieved without lessening the responsibility of the Commission. We do not see that moving the secretary of the Commission in effect into the office of a single Commissioner who would be given the title of Chairman would accomplish any beneficial result. It would overburden the Commissioner selected as Chairman, and it would shut the secretary off from the active and responsive counsel of the other Commissioners.
Again, we believe the legislative work which the Commission is called upon to do is better handled by a committee of three than would follow from imposing it upon an overworked individual Commissioner. We do not believe there is any particular magic in the title of Chairman. We assign to our Chairman general duties of presiding and coordinating which any Commissioner can perform in addition to his other duties. For that reason it is convenient to rotate this responsibility among the Commissioners. In this way a more detailed supervision and guidance of particular bureaus is left for longer periods with an individual Commissioner and all of the general work involved-budget, personnel, carrying out policies through service, and the like is carried by a permanent and experienced administrative official with the title of secretary of the Commission, This official works daily with the administrative division of the Commisson;
with other divisions and individual Commissioners and the entire Commission as the occasion may arise.
We, therefore, recommend that section 2 be omitted from this bill in the event that your committee makes a favorable report thereon. Respectfully submitted.
CHARLES D. MAHAFFIE, Chairman.
The following duties and responsibilities are delegated to the Chairman (or, in his absence, to the Acting Chairman who shall be the available senior Commissioner in point of service) to be exercised in addition to his statutory duties and any other duties that may be assigned or delegated to him:
1. He shall be the executive head of the Commission.
2. It shall be his duty and responsibility to see that the work of the Commission is promptly and efficiently dispatched. To accomplish this purpose he is speciically authorized and directed (a) to bring to the attention of any Commissioner or division any lagging or failure in the work under his or its supervision, (b) to report periodically-not less than four times a year-to the Commission at regular or special conferences on the progress of all the Commission's work, and (c) to suggest ways and means of correcting or preventing any unusual or unnecessary delays in the disposition of any official matters which he is unable otherwise to have remedied.
3. He shall be an ex officio member of Division 1.
4. He shall preside at all Commission arguments and conferences and shall exercise general control over the Commission's argument calendar and conference agenda.
5. He shall have general supervision of the minutes of the Commission and shall see that they are accurately and promptly recorded.
6. Except in instances where the duty is otherwise delegated or provided for, he shall act as the correspondent and spokesman for the Commission in all matters involving relations with the heads of other agencies of Government, and in any other case where an official expression of the Commission is required.
Mr. GIBSON. I might say that the letter was made public by the Senate Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce at the time, and I know that in some discussions of this subject there seemed to be some mimeographed copies of it around.
Mr. KARSTEN. Made public by the Senate committee?
Mr. GIBSON. That is what I was told on inquiry, sir, and I believe it is customary in connection with matters of this kind quite often to make those letters public and it is my understanding that that was so done, although I was not present when it happened.
Now, some question was asked me a while ago about whether the Hoover Commission had not adopted the recommendation of this task force for making the chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission appointive by the President instead of elective by the members of the Commission. I stated that while the task force had made that recommendation, the Hoover Commission had refused to approve it and had not included it. I must say that my thinking on that subject was pretty largely guided by what seemed to me to be a very fine analysis of those 21 plans prepared by the staff of the Senate Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments and introduced in the record, in the Congressional Record, by Senator McClellan on March 21, 1950. It is to be found in the record of that date, volume 96, No. 57, at pages 3757 to 3759.
On page 3759, the statement so incorparated in the record by Senator McClellan, states under the head of "Divergence from Hoover
Commission recommendations" that with respect to plan No. 7, the reorganization plan for the Interstate Commerce Commission
It incorporates a provision not included in the Hoover Commission report transferring functions of the Commission with respect to choosing a Chairman from among its membership to the President.
Mr. HOFFMAN. Was that statement read into the record when the previous witness was on the stand?
Mr. HOLIFIELD. I think that is true that there was no direct recommendation of the Hoover Commission that the President should appoint the Chairman of this Commisison. However, I might also say that there was no recommendation that he not appoint and in substantiation of the procedure of the President appointing, I understand that five of the nine regulatory commissions at the present time have chairmen that are appointed by the President and approved, of course, by the Senate; the other four commissions select their own chairman. Two of them have frequently chosen a member informally suggested by the President, I refer to the SEC and the Federal Power Commission. And the task-force recommendation was that the selection by the President and confirmation by the Senate be the general rule, and that the chairman serve as such at the pleasure of the President in all cases, although protected against removal as a member.
In other words, he could still serve as a member but he should serve as the Chairman, at the pleasure of the President.
Mr. GIBSON. I looked through the report of the Hoover Commission itself on regulatory commissions, which included the section that dealt with regulatory commissions as a whole and other sections that dealt with the ICC expressly and I could find nothing that would conflict at all with the interpretation that Senator McClellan and his committee staff placed on this particular point.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. That is true, but you do recognize in all fairness that it was an area which was left open for action. It could be either one way or the other.
Mr. GIBSON. I did not so regard it, Mr. Holifield. I thought that Senator McClelland and his staff were right in their interpretation. Of course, I freely concede that others might disagree with my opinion. The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much for a fine dissertation, Mr. Gibson.
Mr. GIBSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I wish to express my appreciation to the chairman and to the members of the committee for their courtesy and patience in listening to me.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand that Mr. Curry has a short statement he would like to present at this time.
Mr. HOFFMAN. Mr. Lee said that he would file a statement with the committee's permission.
The CHAIRMAN. We will gladly receive it or any other statements that the witnesses have because we have to conclude this afternoonafter this meeting.
Before the witness starts, may I announce for the benefit of the other members that there was no record vote on the hospital bill.
STATEMENT OF R. GRANVILLE CURRY, APPEARING ON BEHALF OF ASSOCIATION OF INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION PRACTITIONERS
The CHAIRMAN. We are pleased to have with us for our next witness this morning Mr. R. Granville Curry, who is appearing on behalf of the Association of Interstate Commerce Commission Practitioners in support of Senate Resolution 253 and H. R. 545, disapproving Reorganization Plan No. 7.
Mr. CURRY. Mr. Chairman, and gentlemen of the committee, my name is R. Granville Curry, of the law firm of Curry & Dolan, 631 Southern Building, Washington, D. C., and I appear in behalf of the Association of Interstate Commerce Commission Practitioners in opposing Reorganization Plan No. 7, affecting the Interstate Commerce Commission.
I am a member of the executive committee and a former president of that association. I have also served as editor in chief of the ICC
I was formerly assistant chief counsel of the Interstate Commerce Commission, resigning in 1926, and have since been engaged in general practice before that agency and the courts, representing at various times railroads, water carriers, motor carriers, shippers, and port interests.
As to the Association of Interstate Commerce Commission Practitioners, I would like to point out that it was organized in 1929, that it has over 3,200 members throughout the United States, and that they represent every type of shipper and carrier having business before the Commission. One of the objects of the association is "to promote the proper administration of the Interstate Commerce Act and related acts.'
Preliminarily it is to be noted that in what purports to be an "Analysis of Reorganization Plans 7 to 13, of 1950," there is a statement in the Congressional Record, page 2584:
The Bureau of the Budget has informed the staff that the plans were cleared with the Commissions before presentation to the Congress.
It is not entirely certain what is meant by the word "cleared," but if it is sought to suggest that the Interstate Commerce Commission approved plan No. 7 relating to it, our investigation indicates that this is not the fact and that there has been no such approval.
Also preliminarily it should be noted that while plan No. 7 provides for a permanent Chairman appointed by the President, the so-called Hoover Commission report contained no provision for appointment of a Chairman by the President.
I have a copy of that report here which is silent on that subject. This is believed to be an important difference.
THE NONPOLITICAL CHARACTER OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE
The nonpolitical character of this agency should be clearly borne in mind. Reorganization Plan No. 7, if enacted, would strike at the very roots of the Commission's political independence and would be destructive of the pattern deliberately fashioned by the Congress.
(1) A fundamental provision for the nonpolitical character of this agency is to be found in section 24 of the Interstate Commerce Act. There it is provided that of the Commission's 11 members "Not more than 6-a bare majority-shall be appointed from the same political party."
The CHAIRMAN. The plan would not change that provision of the law.
Mr. CURRY. No, sir; it would not.
(2) The Commission since its creation in 1887 to the present has made an enviable record of nonpolitical administration of the powers vested in it by Congress and has won public confidence. No breath of scandal has even tarnished its good name.
(3) The Commission is basically an independent agency of Congress and significantly it is required by statute to report to Congress. (See section 21 of the act).
(4) Congress in enacting a national transportation policy in the Interstate Commerce Act took pains to provide for "fair and impartial regulation of all modes of transportation subject to the provisions of this act," to "foster sound economic conditions in transportation and among the several carriers," and to encourage "maintenance of reasonable charges for transportation services, without unjust discrimination, undue preferences or advantages, or unfair or destructure competitive practices." The effectuation of this policy affects the very lifeblood of industry in this country, and is of vital concern to shippers and carriers, large and small, and to the public. Congress did not entrust these duties to one man or to a one-man board. It recognized that the vast responsibilities undertaken, the wide variety of problems presented, the broad territorial scope of authority, and the complexities of practical regulation required the informed judgment of a group of men constituting a Commission, each with coordinate powers and responsibilities, and unfettered as far as practicable by political pressures and fears.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Do you think, then, that all the other commissions that have a chairman appointed by the President, the five out of the nine, that they are organized on an unfair basis to the general public which their regulations affect?
Mr. CURRY. I am not entirely familiar with those commissions. I am speaking about the ICC about which I have some familiarity.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. The point is, I think, that there are two methods of handling a regulatory body. Apparently, under our system of government both methods have been successful and therefore your argument in favor of one does not preclude the possibility that the other method, where the responsibility is vested in the chairman as to the administrative detail, would not equally serve the public.