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Senator CORDON. That will give him an opportunity to contact the Interior Department with reference to this report. I can see no reason why the Fish and Wildlife Bureau would have any interest in the improvement of a harbor for the purpose of accommodating fishing boats.
Senator OVERTON. I am advised a representative of the Interior Department is here now. Mr. Powers.
Mr. POWERS. Yes, Senator.
Senator OVERTON. Do you know whether the Interior Department is ready to report on the project Senator Cordon mentioned?
Mr. Powers. I will find out about that.
Senator OVERTON. I wish you would look into that. If it is merely pigeonholed, at the bottom of the pile, you can bring it up to the top and we will dispose of it.
Colonel FERINGA. It might well be that they have their report ready. Under the circumstances I cannot explain it.
Senator OVERTON. No. You cannot do that under the law.
RED RIVER BELOW FULTON, ARK.
Senator OVERTON. Is there anyone appearing here in opposition to the Red River canal project?
Mr. ROBERTS. The railroads have about a 30-minute statement they want to read into the record.
Senator OVERTON. All right, sir. What is your name?
Senator OVERTON. Is there anybody from Texas who wants to testify?
(There was no response).
Senator OVERTON. Is there anyone from Louisiana who wants to testify in support of the Grand Bayou project?
(There was no response). Senator OVERTON. Very well; we will proceed with this project which has been approved by the House and appears on page 5 of the bill, lines 12 to 17. Red River below Fulton, Ark. The report of the
, Chief of Engineers is dated April 18, 1946.
STATEMENT OF HENRY N. ROBERTS, REPRESENTING THE
ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS
Senator OVERTON. Mr. Roberts, whom do you represent?
Mr. ROBERTS. I am representing the Association of American Railroads, generally, and specifically I am speaking for the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway; the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway; the Kansas City Southern Railway; the Louisiana & Arkansas Railway; the Louisiana & Northwest Railway; the Missouri Pacific Lines; the Paris & Mount Pleasant Railroad; the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway; the St. Louis Southwestern Railway lines; the Texas & New Orleans Railroad; the Texas & Pacific Railway; and the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railway.
Senator OVERTON. Which ones of these railways actually traverse the Red River Valley through this project?
Mr. ROBERTS. All of them.
Senator OVERTON. Everyone of the railroads you mentioned?
Senator OVERTON. I am not talking about the entire Red River Valley. I said the Red River Valley where this project is located, from Shreveport down to opposite the mouth of the Black River.
Mr. ROBERTS. These lines
Senator OVERTON. You have Louisiana & Arkansas, and the Texas & Pacific.
Mr. ROBERTS. The Louisiana & Arkansas and the Texas & Pacific.
Senator OVERTON. I mentioned the Louisiana & Arkansas and the Texas & Pacific. Now, mention another road that traverses the valley.
Mr. ROBERTS. The Cotton Belt lines reach it at Shreveport.
Mr. ROBERTS. Well, Senator, in selecting these lines we selected those that are located in the so-called trade territory as outlined by the Louisiana proponents.
Senator OVERTON. I understand. That is not the question. I first want to get in the record clearly which of these lines traverse the Red River Valley where this project is located.
Mr. ROBERTS. The principal lines that traverse the valley
Mr. ROBERTS. And the Missouri Pacific.
Mr. ROBERTS. Those are the three principal lines. Now, we have
Senator OVERTON. Let me ask you another question: Has the Texas & Pacific adopted resolutions of its board in opposition to this project?
Mr. ROBERTS. I do not attend board meetings, sir, but I am representing
Senator OVERTON. Have they sent you a resolution of the board directing you to appear in opposition to it, or requesting you to?
Mr. ROBERTS. No.
Senator OVERTON. The reason I mention this is because members of that board appeared before the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, and also the Louisiana & Arkansas Railway, and they were in support of this project. That is my understanding, although I am subject to correction. I was talking to the president of the Texas & Pacific Railway in the city of Shreveport and he said he was not going to make any opposition to the project. I want to know whether you are specifically instructed to appear here in behalf of these railway companies that I mentioned the three--the Missouri Pacific, the Texas & Pacific, and the
Mr. ROBERTS. L. & A.
Senator OVERTON. Will you put the resolution in as part of the record?
Mr. ROBERTS. No; I don't have such a resolution.
Mr. ROBERTS. But I can explain to you, I am representing them and I am authorized to represent them.
Senator OVERTON. All right. We will come to that, but I want to know whether there are any resolutions in opposition to these projects by any of the three railroads. That is the first question, and the second question is whether you have any resolution authorizing and directing you to appear here and represent them.
Mr. ROBERTS. We don't operate by resolution.
Senator OVERTON. Well, we in Congress don't have to accept that. I am just trying to get information. You can answer the question. It is a very simple one, Mr. Roberts. Is there any resolution adopted by any one of these railroads in opposition to this project? Mr. ROBERTS. No, sir; not that I know anything about.
Senator OVERTON. All right; that question is settled. Is there any resolution authorizing and directing you to appear in opposition to this project?
Mr. ROBERTS. Yes, sir.
Senator OVERTON. Well, you don't need to be so vicious. You are here as a guest of this committee, and you will have to talk politely.
Mr. ROBERTS. I am not being treated very politely.
Senator OVERTON. Well, it seems to me you are simply dodging a very simple question put to you. I have a ground for putting these questions to you because I understand that some of the members of the board of directors of some of these railroad companies are very much in favor of this project.
Mr. ROBERTS. They were not authorized to speak in favor of it as the policy of the railroad.
Senator ÖVERTON. I am not saying they were.
Senator OVERTON. I am trying to find out whether you are authorized.
Mr. ROBERTS. I am, sir.
Mr. ROBERTS. I don't know whether I can do that to your satisfaction, based on what I understand your motive to be.
Senator OVERTON. My motive, sir, is simply to find out whether you are speaking for yourself or speaking under authorization.
Mr. ROBERTS. I have no personal interest at all in this.
Senator OVERTON. All right, and you have no resolution. We won't go over that again.
Mr. ROBERTS. No, sir.
Mr. ROBERTS. I am a permanent representative of all the railroads in Texas and Louisiana.
Senator OVERTON. All right.
Mr. ROBERTS. I am chairman of what they designate the Texas and Louisiana Trade Bureau. My work is commercial counsel for those lines and public relations and all matters of this nature or any other nature pertaining to commerce, whether it is on the railroads or in barges, truck lines, or pipe lines, or whatever it may be, whatever the form of transportation, if the question of freight rates or the cost of transportation enters into it, it is placed before my organization and I receive instructions as to what to do or what not to do, and I am here under a unanimous vote, a vote of 28 railroad corporations, to oppose this project.
Senator OVERTON. All right. That is the Association of Railways, the Association of American Railways; is that correct?
Mr. ROBERTS. In addition to being chairman of the Texas-Louisiana organization, I am general traffic chairman of zone 11, Association of American Railroads, which consists of the States of Louisiana and Texas in matters pertaining to inland waterways.
Senator OVERTON. All right; proceed. How much of your statement is going to be a repetition of what is in the House hearings?
Mr. ROBERTS. Well, it is substantially the same, part of it, which I shall hand in, but there are a few points here I would like to read into the record.
Senator OVERTON. I will give you carte blanche as far as I am concerned. You can read your entire statement in, even though it is repetition.
Mr. ROBERTS. I don't want to read it all, sir.
Mr. ROBERTS. Now, we would at this point have it clearly understood that the railroads are not here fighting a competitive form of transportation which can be economically justified. We are not trying to prevent competition being created, but we believe that our competitors should be placed on a relatively competitive basis with respect to public convenience and necessity, as well as regulations. We do not subscribe to the doctrine that inland waterway transportation is cheap transportation. We know that such is not the case and we are not amateurs in knowledge and experience as respects the development of industry and transportation to meet its requirements.
It appears to us that the Army engineers in some nebulous fashion have actually come to believe that saving in transportation cost to a favored few as a result of subsidy from the Federal Government is a real and substantial thing. The simple fact is, however, these alleged savings represent in large part the transfer of cost from users to taxpayers. The thought expressed by former Coordinator of Trans
. portation (Mr. Eastman) in his discussion of "Public aids," volume III, page 250, is as follows:
Viewed in ordinary economic terms the savings are unreal; private enterprise could not survive more than momentarily if it had to look upon savings to its customers as sufficient recompense for the losses it incurs.
The position of the railroads, therefore, is as respects the proposed Red River Canal that it has not been and cannot be economically justified on the basis used by the Army engineers. No economic justification can be had where transportation and maintenance costs are paid by those who do not benefit. There can be no economic justification on Government expenditures which result in merely taking traffic away from one agency and giving it to another agency, especially when one is being subsidized with public funds.
Senator OVERTON. Now, let me interrupt you a minute. That is the same character of opposition that the railroad companies have made to every harbor improvement-inland harbor-in which they have appeared before this committee, as I recall; isn't that true?
Mr. ROBERTS. I have never appeared before the committee, sir.
Senator OVERTON. You have read the hearings, you have kept abreast of the thing, haven't you?
Mr. ROBERTS. I have read some of them.
Mr. ROBERTS. Well, that is the way we feel about it and we think it is sound.
Senator OVERTON. But it is contrary to the policy that has been adhered by the Congress of the United States after consideration of many, many years; isn't that true?
Mr. ROBERTS. I don't know.
Mr. ROBERTS. We will briefly summarize the principal reasons why we are convinced the recommendations of the Board is not properly supported and will not stand the test of economic justification, but will support our conclusions that the project cannot produce the amount of savings which have been credited to it.
1. The foundation for the tonnage data used by the Board was obtained from a study made by the Bureau of Investigation and Research. This study covered the perusal of railroad waybills for 1 day in each month of the year 1939. In order to arrive at figures for a year a method on this fashion was used. If one tank car of gasoline weighing 26 tons was found moving from Shreveport to a given destination it was treated as prospective tonnage for the canal. This 26 tons was multiplied by 27.7 in obtaining a total of 720 tons for the year even though this one tank car may have been the only one which moved between the specified points during the entire year. The incorrectness of this method is readily apparent because the amount of tonnage credited for the entire year was speculative, not being supported by facts nor figures. The method was incorrect for another reason in that there are 306 recognized railroad working days, 365 less seven holidays and 52 Sundays. Dividing 306 by 12 to get an average figure for each month results in 25.5 and not 27.7 as used by the Board. This error in itself eliminates a very large amount of tonnage even though more than one carload was actually available during the year.
2. The railroad waybills representing a movement of railroad traffic for 1 day during each month of the year 1939 were turned over to certain employees of the Interstate Commerce Commission for the assessment of freight rates from which the Board made calculations covering tonnage and estimated savings. In assessing the rates the information shown on these waybills as to the nature of the traffic whether it was import, export, coastwise, intercoastal, transit,