« PreviousContinue »
My information as to certain cases shows very clearly that not only, Mr. Chairman, is the word "shall” used in this very sort of a case which we are discussing today and the last 2 or 3 days not only is the word "shall” legally mandatory in its command but there is a clear-cut presumption of law that it is mandatory. And that is a continuing presumption. It is present. And I submit in this case, in these arguments by these brilliant lawyers on both sides, they have not shown any facts in my judgment which erase the continuing presence of that present presumption which exists in a case such as we have before us today, substantially this sort of a condition.
Now, I want to remind the chairman and you members of the committee that a presumption has the effect of evidence, as I recall it. And if that be true, the evidence then on top of the legal construction of the word "shall” is, in the present instance, that none of these brilliant lawyers have overcome the arguments that the facts in this case under these decisions which I will call your attention to-that the presumption is that the word is mandatory, and that presumption has not been met,
I read certain cases: Louisville & N. R. Co. v. Hammer (236 Southwest 2d 971; 19 Calif. 366 and 368); Potter v. Richardson (238 Southwest 2d 672 and 675); the State Eæ parte Boone County Coal Corp. v. Davis (56 Southwest 2d 907 and 913); Swift v. Smith (201 2d 609).
I will not take time to read you more decisions, but there are many decisions to that effect.
Now, let's take the Commission's very fine report. And even though I filed this resolution, as I have, I think it will assist in bringing all the facts to the surface. I certainly want to join in complimenting the Commission on the nature of its report and on the diligent, fine work it has done.
But I call your attention to release No. 1 of the Commission, on November 25, 1953. I think you have heard it read in whole or in part before, but it is brief and I will read it:
Proposals shall state the amount proposed to be paid for each of the facilities. Where a proposal contemplates acquisition of several facilities for integrated operation, it shall state separately the aggregate amount proposed to be paid for such facilities on such an integrated basis, and the amount otherwise proposed to be paid for each of the facilities in question on an individual basis.
Now, it is significant, Mr. Chairman, that not only was that recited in release No. 1, on November 25, 1953, but the Disposal Commission carried substantially that same language over into release No. 2, on March 16, 1954. They carried that same requirement in their advertisements for proposals to bid.
Now, if they didn't feel, and if they were not legally advised by their counsel that it was necessary for bidders to bid on each facility, on each plant, why did they carry it over in both of their advertisements and give that information and that requirement for people that were proposing to bid or might be interested in bidding? And I submit to you in all good faith-and I don't charge the Commission with any bad faith, believe me, or none of the bidders. I wouldn't stoop to that. And I don't. But I do contend with you that the Commission recognized right up until the last, right up until the time it began negotiating with Shell, about that date, this Commission recog
nized that it was required under the statute which we passed to ask for bids on each of the facilities.
And let me read again the notice release No. 2 of March 16, 1954.
Proposals shall state the amount proposed to be bid for each of the facilities.
And then it goes on and uses the same language it did in advertisement No. 1.
Now, when did they change their opinion? I don't know. But I do submit that the mere convenience of getting rid of the job is not sufficient justification for digressing from the strict and clear-cut requirements of the statute.
And I want to go another step, Mr. Chairman. I want to say to you frankly and in utmost good faith and again without criticism of the Commission or of any bidder, that I don't conceive of it ever being possible to digress from the fundamental requirements of law in order to make money. And I don't conceive of any justification for the Commission to accept the highest bid or the most convenient bid either as a matter of convenience to close their job or to make 5 or 6 or 7 million dollars more than they would otherwise. I don't look at this statute in that regard.
I think we as American legislators are bound to require compliance with established law and with declared law.
Now, of course, I say that on the basis that I believe the law is what I have said it is.
Again I want to repeat, and I do it because Mr. Pettibone, a very estimable gentleman, in the last paragraph of his fine statement, his last supplemental statement and I don't have it right here before me now, but Mr. Pettibone, in the last paragraph of his statement, the supplemental statement, I read to mean that in one way or another the factor of convenience, the factor of closing out the sales, was one of the factors that indirectly at least entered into the sale to Shell.
Now, one closing remark. And I have sat here through the sessions involving this sale. I think I have been here every minute of every hearing;
because I was on that subcommittee and I wanted to learn all I could and see that our bill was complied with to the utmost.
But I don't know, Mr. Chairman, that in this hearing it has ever been shown yet that the Disposal Commission ever notified all of the bidders of the Lost Angeles three plants of their decision that they would consider legal a bid for just one total sum. I don't think I have heard that testimony here by any of the gentlemen. I am sure I haven't heard it. But I put it that way, Mr. Chairman, because I take it right at this point that if—that I submit that when the Commission came to the decision, whenever that was, that they felt justified in accepting the Shell bid, in the total sum, instead of requiring the Shell to bid on each plant or facility, then it was their legal and their moral obligation to notify all the other bidders that they, too, were not required to bid on each facility but could make one total bid. And I say that because all the other bidders bid on each facility as well as a total bid.
Those, briefly, are my comments at this late hour today. And I could well, I think, say some other things, if I had more time. But I submit that the proposed disposal to the Shell Co. has not complied substantially or strictly or with the intent of the bill itself, and for
that reason I filed House Resolution 171, believing that to have done less would have been doing less than my conscientious duty toward my country. The CHAIRMAN. I thank you very much. Wait 1 minute, Mr. Doyle.
Now, of course it is only 4 o'clock. The committee will be pleased to have you continue as long as you desire to do so. We don't want to have it said that any of our colleagues had to cut his statement short due to the lateness of the hour. We want to give you ample opportunity. We want to take time tomorrow morning or this afternoon. We want you to be assured that we are not going to deny you or any other member of the committee full opportunity to present his views.
Now, I would like to ask you—now, you introduced this Resolution 171. What is the effect of the resolution! Now, will you explain to the committee the effect of the resolution? Does it mean by the reso lution that the other disposals are approved and the effect of the resolution is, as it says, to disapprove those in California, the styrene, butadiene, and copolymer plants!
Mr. DOYLE. Well, again I am not going to undertake to be the qualified Attorney General of the United States, in interpreting that portion of this act, but I do say that my resolution follows the language.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand that.
The CHAIRMAN. All I want to know then the effect of your resolution is the position that you approve all of the sales except those referred to in the resolution; is that it!
Mr. DOYLE. Well, I am not making that statement at this time, Mr. Chairman. I am taking no position on the total sales yet.
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
Now, let's put it this way: Assume your resolution passes, assuming the Congress or the House approves your resolution, what is the effect and what has been accomplished as a result of it? Then these three plants would not be sold; isn't that correct!
Mr. DOYLE. Well, they wouldn't be sold at this particular moment.
The CHAIRMAN. Wait 1 minute. Now, they would not be sold in accordance with the other sales?
Mr. DOYLE. I think that is true.
Mr. BLANDFORD. April.
The CHAIRMAN. They stand in standby condition for a period of 3 years; do they not? Mr. DOYLE. That is provided in section 20 of the bill.
The CHAIRMAN. That is provided in section 8 (a) of the bill. It provides that if one of these places is not sold, it stands in standby and can't be operated by the Government for a period of 3 years. Doesn't that happen?
Mr. DOYLE. I think that is
The CHAIRMAN. Then, as I interpret your resolution, assuming the committee and the House approves your resolution, it simply means
that the 3 plants in California, the package plants, stand idle in accordance with the law for a period of 3 years.
Mr. DOYLE. Well, of course that might be the practical result, unless another measure was promptly provided so that that sale could be consummated promptly and not have to wait
The CHAIRMAN. Oh, yes. Congress could act. But as far as the law is concerned today, when the Congress adopts your resolution, then it says these plants have not been sold and therefore the law is that they having failed to be disposed of by the Congress some of them having been disposed of—they stand idle for 3 years.
Mr. DOYLE. Well, I would say this, Mr. Chairman. I want to repeat it. Granting that it may be a matter of inconvenience
The CHAIRMAN. A matter of what?
Mr. DOYLE. Granting that it may result in inconvenience-I mean if my resolution is considered sound and is adopted and therefore there is no sale of these three plants, if that be the result, then, as you say, Congress could promptly act so that there would be a disposal.
The CHAIRMAN. I don't know whether Congress could or not. Passing laws is no everyday business.
Mr. DOYLE. Well, but it doesn't take us very long to pass some laws in the public interest. I have seen it done in a very few minutes, as a matter of fact, under your guidance on the floor of the House. (Laughter.]
It is a well-known fact that it doesn't take very long for some bills from this committee under the guidance our our distinguished chairman to clear the floor, and by unanimous votes, and sometimes with only one vote against them.
But I want to repeat, Mr. Chairman--and I do it very sincerely and earnestly—that I don't think inconvenience, I don't think that any measure of inconvenience nor any measure of losing money justifies moving in contravention of an established law, if that be the case.
The CHAIRMAN. Well
Mr.DOYLE. In other words, I think this: If we lose several million dollars and if we suffer inconvenience, it is better to lose the money and it is better to have the inconvenience and the delay than it is to go contrary to an established principle of law established by public
The CHAIRMAN. I am merely pointing out what would happen if the Congress adopts your resolution; that these plants stand in standby condition. Then the small-business people will have less GR-S than they would have if they were in operation.
Mr. DOYLE. For a temporary period only.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, as far as the law is concerned, for 3 years. That is not temporary, the way I think.
Now, thank you, very much, Mr. Doyle.
Now, members of the committee, I tried to conduct an orderly, intelligent hearing on this matter. We have to reach a decision on it. Under the rules of the House, and under the law, we have to report back within 10 days.
Now, 10 days will be up on Saturday. And the 25th is the deadline. So I am going to ask the committee to vote tomorrow morning on both of these resolutions.
Under the law, both have to be voted on. The one cannot be disposed of without the other, but there must be a rollcall vote on both of these resolutions.
Wait 1 minute. And I have agreed to set this down on the floor of the House, and being privileged, I will call these two resolutions up on Tuesday morning at 12 o'clock.
Mr. MILLER. Mr. Chairman
The CHAIRMAN. Everybody be here tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock. And send out notices to all the members. If they are out of town, send them telegrams, Send out notices that we are going to have a vote on these two resolutions tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.
Mr. MILLER. Mr. Chairman.
Mr. MILLER. We will have opportunity to argue these resolutions among ourselves tomorrow morning!
The CHAIRMAN. Oh, yes, of course.
Mr. BLANDFORD. Mr. Chairman, I ask permission to file a telegram received from George J. Burger, National Federation of Independent Business.
The CHAIRMAN. Put it in the record.
(The telegram is as follows:) Hon. CARL VINSON, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee,
Room 313, Old House Office Building: In lieu of appearance before your committee now considering the disposal of Government-owned synthetic rubber plants, will you kindly read this statement into the record of the hearing and have it made a part of the permanent record? The National Federation of Independent Business on direct nationwide vote of its members time and again is committed to support all action to get the Gov. ernment out of business in competition with private industry. However, with respect to this particular action the Government operation has never been in competition with private industry namely in the overall production of synthetic rubber. The Government only moved in during the critical days of World War II, and through the action of the Government established definitely the productive satisfactory use of synthetic rubber. We believe in view of this that the Congress should move very cautiously from a national security standpoint before releasing these plants to private industry. We again repeat the Congress should move very cautiously. The writer has been an independent member of the rubber industry for close to 50 years and is well acquainted with the actions of certain big interests in that industry to monopolize all segments of that industry. The Congress should be very careful of no squeeze play taking place which would bring about no real competition in the sale of synthetic versus crude rubber, If this should happen the public would be the victim of unfair practices. Who is going to control the distribution of synthetic rubber should the plants be sold to private industry to see that small factors in that industry will, at all times, get their equal share of synthetic rubber at the same price as the larger factors in the industry? Small business is concerned, and rightfully so, as to whether so-called cartels or international price fixing on crude rubber will be utilized by private industry if they should become owners of the Government plants. This could happen unless proper safeguards are initiated by congressional action. Due to the splendid results obtained through the Government owned and operated synthetic rubber plants, the Government should continue its control of synthetic rubber insofar as research and development is concerned so that all factors in the industry may have the advantage of any progress made in these develop ments. This would be a very definite protection to the Nation as a whole and to small factors in the rubber industry. Our first interest is national security, and secondly, for small business of this Nation.
GEORGE J. BURGER,
ington Building, Washington, D. C.
(Whereupon, at 4:20 p. m., the committee adjourned until Wednesday, March 16, 1955, at 10 a. m.)