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Mr. ODOM. They will, if they don't have to cut their prices.

Senator OVERTON. That is also true of the farmer who ships his cotton?

Mr. ODOM. Yes.
Senator: OVERTON. It is true of the wholesale merchant?
Mr. Odom. I would like to give you my idea about that.

Senator OVERTON. And the retail merchant will get his stuff cheaper, wouldn't he?

Mr. ODOM. Yes.

Senator OVERTON. Of course, they may all retain it and the public never get the benefit of it. I don't know that that will happen.

Senator ROBERTSON. I am afraid it would.

Senator OVERTON. Even if it is free transportation there might be no reduction in prices at all to the ultimate consumer. That would be true, wouldn't it?

Mr. ODOM. Yes.

Senatoi OVERTON. If there is a tremendous reduction between the cost of water-borne commerce and that of railway commerce and that has no effect, then free transportation would have no effect.

Mr. Odom. Or if the railroads charged $1 a ton and the ICC made them cut it to 50 cents, nobody would get any benefit.

Senator ROBERTSON. The Standard Oil Co. would get a benefit of $44,800, so the Texas Co. and the Cities Service and the other independents must be getting nearly two million, at the same rate.

Mr. Odom. No; that was the dollar saving.

Senator ROBERTSON. Yes, I know. The Standard Oil was saving $44,800 on 25,000 tons.

Mr. ODOM. Yes.

Senator ROBERTSON. If they save $44,800 on 25,000 tons, then the dollar savings-well, it would be over a million dollars to the other companies.

Mr. Odom. Yes; the reason for that is that they would ship practically everything they could over the waterway.

Senator ROBERTSON. Of course they would.
Mr. Odom. While the Standard would be only serving-

Senator ROBERTSON. If you were to build a railroad from one point to the other, a double line, a two-track railroad, and say,

“Now, you go ahead and we will put this in and pay for the upkeep, you just go ahead and stick a locomotive and go up and down it as much as you like and we will operate it for you, look after the whole thing," naturally they would ship it all that way.

Senator OVERTON. What is the total savings?

Mr. Odom. The total savings we figure on navigation as of 1940 was $3,975,000.

Senator OVERTON. Of which the Standard Oil Co. benefits to the tremendous sum of $44,000?

Senator ROBERTSON. And of which the independent oil companies, Mr. Chairman, would benefit $1,147,000.

Senator OVERTON. How much is the saving to the farmers?
Mr. ODOM. On cotton we figure $406,000.
Senator OVERTON. And on corn?
Mr. Opom. Well, we couldn't get any corn.
Senator OVERTON. Why?

Mr. ODOM. Well, there is not much corn moved out of there, for one thing; and another thing, we couldn't get a rate that would take it away from the railroads.

Senator ROBERTSON. That $406,000 for cotton, how many tons would that represent?

Mr. ODOM. Tons?
Senator ROBERTSON. Yes; the $406,000 saving.
Mr. ODOM. The total tonnage is 117,881.
Senator OVERTON. How about the saving op general merchandise?
Mr. Odom. General merchandise, $413,000.
Senator OVERTON. What other large items are there?
Mr. ODOM. Sand and gravel, $96,000.

Senator OVERTON. Sand and gravel is owned to a large extent by individuals, the owners of gravel pits?

Mr. ODOM. Yes.

Senator ROBERTSON. Does the gravel corporation operate down there?

Mr. ODOM. No.

Senator OVERTON. Does the Standard Oil Co. operate any gravel companies?

Mr. ODOM. I would like to say that we took this 1940 tonnage that we got from the people in the area and the rates that they gave us, where we could get them, and where we could not we got the railroad rates and.compared them very carefully with what we thought it would cost to haul by barge or computed it would cost to haul by barge.

That is, from the point of origin to the point of destination. If the cotton was picked up at a point that was 30 miles from the waterway, we figured the truck haul at 48 mills a ton-mile loaded. That was above the intrastate rate there, but we thought maybe the farmers would pay more; it might cost them more to haul than it would the regular trucking companies.

Senator CORDON. Mr. Odom, do I understand in getting these figures you got the closest possible estimate of the total amount of freight originating in this area and then using your cost figures for moving it by water instead of by truck or rail, you reached a conclusion that if every bit of the freight originated in that area were to be transferred to water and moved that way, there would be this amount of saving in freight? Mr. ODOM. No, sir. No, sir. .

There is a whole lot of that freight, the majority of the freight in that area, that would not move by water.

Senator ÖVERTON. An overwhelming majority.
Senator CORDON. What type of freight would that be?

Mr. Odom. Well, it would be, for instance, one thing that we investigated was the movement of rock from Winfield to Baton Rouge. We thought we might get something out of that, but the railroads had such a low rate on it they would get it anyway.

Senator OVERTON. What else did you find you would not have competitive prices on?

Mr. ODOM. There is any number of articles such as dry goods and furniture and stuff like that that moves in less than carload lots. We didn't fool with that. We didn't fool with any l. c. I. shipments.

Senator OVERTON. And groceries ?

Mr. ODOM. Groceries and canned goods.

Senator CORDON. Then these figures are generally for freight in bulk as distinguished

from packaged and boxed goods, and so forth? Mr. ODOM. Yes. We didn't even take bulk freight where we couldn't show savings.

Senator OVERTON. Did you take only the slow-moving freight?
Mr. ODOM. Of course, we couldn't touch perishables.

Senator CORDON. What is your experience in the area where you have a number of waterways as to whether or not the development of

a such waterways results in a lowering of freight rates because of the cheaper transportation and competition?

Mr. ODOM. We have several good examples of that. For instance, I know the Southern Pacific rate to New Iberia was so much lower from Houston to New Iberia that the people used to ship their freight through Lafayette, which is 23 miles closer to Houston and truck it back from New Iberia to Lafayette.

Senator CORDON. They had a special rate between water terminals to meet the competitive rate established on the water transportation artery?

Mr. ODOM. Well, I think that is correct.

Senator CORDON. Do you happen to know whether or not, where that is true with reference to the types of cargo which are carried by barge, that there is any corresponding--or any increase in freight rates on that type of freight which cannot be ordinarily carried by barge to offset the reduced rates

Mr. ODOM. I don't know, sir. I don't think that would apply for increases between those two points.

Senator OVERTON. Well, is there any question that railroad rates to river points are cheaper than to interior points ?

Senator Cordon. That is just what I was inquiring about.
Mr. Odom. I gave the estimate-

Senator OVERTON. Well, you take New Orleans and Baton Rouge, for example.

Mr. ODOM. You get a much cheaper rate to river points.

Senator CORDON. I am wondering if in view of the fact that a railroad in order to continue in business has to make a profit and tonnage is necessary, what factors come into consideration that are necessarily involved in a considerable transportation system; I am wondering whether or not an intermediate hauls on the class of freight which is not susceptible of being moved by a competitive type of carrier, there is not necessarily a higher rate in order that the same amount of money may come into the coffers of the railroad company to meet its costs of operation.

Senator OVERTON. Mr. Odom may not be able to enlighten you on that. I don't know.

Mr. ODOM. Well, if the ICC would let the freight go to the cheapest carrier, why, the country would be paying less as a whole for transportation, I would think, instead of sometimes perhaps providing that the railroads could haul freight at a loss to try to keep it off the waterway.

Senator CORDON. May I ask one more question? In the case of a waterway improved by the Government and interstate in character are the rates fixed by the Interstate Commerce Commission?

Mr. ODOM. The rates are approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission.

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Senator CORDON. On waterways?
Mr. Odom. Yes, sir; if it is a common carrier.

Senator ROBERTSON. But if your coal company or gravel company has their own carriers then the Interstate Commerce rate does not have any effect there. It naturally would not.

Senator OVERTON. Well, they charge themselves, don't they? It would be a matter of bookkeeping.

Mr. Odom. The object of getting this data together was not to take freight from the railroads. We believe that this canal will result in a great development of our area. This method of approach was the method that the Army engineers use. They have their rules that they have set up for presenting these projects to Congress, among which are a number that I might dispute and we think bad, but it is the rules that they use.

One of them, they use a rate of interest against the capital outlay that is considerably in excess today of what you can get with municipal bonds, and that makes a project look worse.

On the other hand they use the 1945 prices in computing the cost of the project. In making the comparison they use the 1939 tonnage which was probably not much more than half of the 1945 tonnage.

I don't know what it would be but all during the war that area particularly has been very active in shipping because it is the location of four of the largest training camps in the country and it is also the location of the biggest maneuver area in the United States.

So that the 1945 tonnage-if we had used that would have been far in excess of the figure I used.

Senator OVERTON. They use 1939 tonnage and 1945 costs?
Mr. ODOM. That is right.

Senator OVERTON. How did you get your information as to what the tonnage would be—what tonnage would be shipped over the railways? Did you simply see different shippers and manufacturers or did you get written statements from them?

Mr. ODOM. Well, in cooperation with—the system we used was this: We figured that the-for instance, general merchandise, we figured that practically all general merchandise in the area would move through Alexandria, Natchitoches, and Shreveport, so we got wholesale houses and people that shipped the stuff in there to give us in detail the tonnage that they moved in there in 1940 and the rates that they paid on it. We didn't pick up a whole lot from that, but we went through all that stuff and did the same thing with the oil companies.

Senator OVERTON. Did you get any statement from any of them to what extent they had availed themselves of these facilities?

Mr. ODOM. Oh, yes; we got numbers of statements that were filed with the record, photostatic copies of letters, I suppose 100 or so shippers, that they would avail themselves of the waterway if it were there.

Senator OVERTON. There are more than 100 of those?

Mr. ODOM. I mean that was the big shippers, Senator. We'didn't try to contactSenator OVERTON. You took a segment of the big shippers?

Mr. ODOM. That is right. We really did actually contact and talk to all of the big shippers in those three towns.

Senator OVERTON. And you got written letters from them?

Mr. ODOM. Yes, sir.
Senator OVERTON. Stating what they would do?
Mr. ODOM. Yes, sir.

Senator OVERTON. All right. Now what about lumber? You haven't mentioned lumber. There is a tremendous amount of production of lumber there.

Mr. ODOM. Well, we couldn't get lumber. I mean we don't believe that lumber—we couldn't figure out it would move over the waterway, a good deal of it-enough to amount to anything. They have a milling in transit privilege and it is hard to get it.

Senator OVERTON. Well, getting back to oil shipments, take that coastal area, how do those oil shipments move, by rail or by barge?

Mr. ODOM. Along the intercoastal canal which is a very productive oil area. Practically all of the oil moves by barge, the crude.

Senator OVERTON. There are not merely one or two oil fields in this Red River Valley; there are quite a number of oil fields, are there not?

Mr. Odom. Yes, sir; it has been a producing area for oh, 35 or 40 years, and they are always bringing new fields there.

Senator OVERTON. The productive capacity is as great now as it was 35 or 40 years ago?

Mr. ODOM. I believe they are producing more oil there now than they ever produced before.

Senator OVERTON. They are getting down to deep sand?
Mr. Odom. Yes; they have. They find new locations.
Senator OVERTON. Is there anything more, Mr. Odom?
Mr. Odom. No; thank you, unless you have some more questions.

Senator OVERTON. Well, yes; I want to know something about this reclamation. You are familiar with those streams, are you not?

Mr. ODOM. Yes, sir. Senator OVERTON. Are they silt-bearing stream to any extent? Mr. ODOM. Those valley streams are practically free from silt. The Bipierre stays about the same size. The Bipierre rises in the valley and flows along parallel to the Red River and goes through a gap in the levee in the Red River above Natchez.

Senator OVERTON. It is approximately how long?
Mr. ODOM. About-well, it must be about 75 miles, I should say.

Senator OVERTON. It represents about one-half of what the channel would be?

Mr. ODOM. Well, a little less than half, yes.

Of course, enlarging that stream would add a large number of acres to the present cultivated land in the area besides furnishing adequate drainage to the land that is now in cultivation.

Senator OVERTON. Would any swampland be brought into cultivation?

Mr. ODOM. Yes, sir.
Senator OVERTON. Large quantities?

Mr. Odom. Yes, sir; thousands of acres. Then, where the bayous enter the river they intend to put floodgates so that floodwaters .cannot get back into the canal and that is going to help the land a lot in there because it will leave Red River out of there.

Senator OVERTON. These streams from Shreveport on down, well, practically to the end of the project, originally emptied into the Red River.


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