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That is called our errand service.
Q. The instruction from the customer in order to obtain that sort of service would have to indicate that the customer did not want a telegram sent though, would it not?
A. That is correct.
Q. What would your charge have been at the time in question, I believe it is July 1965, for hand-delivering/ a typed or duplicated message to 435 Member of the House?
A. 15 cents per delivery.
Mr. DEVINE. If I may interrupt, that 15 cents per delivery, does that just apply to congressional offices?
The WITNESS. Yes, sir.
Mr. DEVINE. If it was to somebody across town someplace, it would be more than that?
The WITNESS. That is correct. :.: Mr. Hays. In other words, that would have cost $65.25, if I multiplied correcily?
The WITNESS. Yes, sir, that is correct. Mr. Hays. If they had been mimeographed and you had been asked to deliver one to each office it would have cost $65.25 but since they were sent as telegrams it cost $4,136.85. The WITNESS. Yes, sir.
By Mr. TAYLER: Q. I am going to hand you Steinhauer exhibit No. 1 again, and right under the name of the addressee, which in that case is Paul Jones, where it says personally delivery only, does that indicate that whoever phoned this in gave instructions to send a telegram and that the telegram was to be hand-delivered to the addressees?
A. What this means to us in the telegraph business is that if at all possible, we are to personally deliver this to the addressee.
Q. Very well.
Mr. Hays. I would like to put in there according to Mr. Ayres' letter he wanted it delivered to every member before 8 a.m. That would have been a little hard to do unless it went to their home.
Mr. TAYLER. Mr. Chairman, I would at this time offer in the record at the appropriate place Steinhauer exhibits 1, 2, and 3.
Mr. Hays. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. O'CONNOR. May I ask a question? Can you tell from this message whether it was phoned to your company or was it typed and delivered or picked up?
The WITNESS. That I am not sure because the original message as given to us goes along with the bill in the case of Government accounts. Each account rendered to the Federal Government must be accompanied by the original sent message.
Mr. Hays. Do you have that, Mr. Langston?
The WITNESS. Not in the case of Federal accounts, no, sir. We do in others.
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Mr. DEVINE. So Mr. Ayres' office would have the only original message?
The WITNESS. I assume if he got this bill, it was addressed to the Education and Labor Committee, that he would have it, yes, sir.
Mr. O'CONNOR. Pursuing this, how can you tell from the message as to whether it was phoned in or it had been typed up and delivered to you?
The WITNESS. I cannot tell that, sir.
By Mr. O'CONNOR: Q. What code, or the like, would indicate in the event we get our hands on the original one?
A. It is only my personal knowledge of the business that I would be able to tell this. If it were picked up by a messenger boy, you would normally be able to turn it over on the back and he would have his number indicated on it. If it were picked up or telephoned to our office, it would probably be on a green piece of paper, 872 by 11.
Q. That is what we would look for if we could find the origina) message.
A. Yes, sir.
Mr. DICKINSON. The original bill that was sent was sent to Mr. Ayres, is that right? "The WITNESS. That is right.
Mr. DICKINSON. It was to this bill that the original message would have been attached, then?
The WITNESS. Yes, but it would have to be returned to be adjusted because we cannot render a bill or it will not be honored without the original sent message.
Mr. DICKINSON. So the adjustment would be redirected to the Education and Labor Committee and you would have had to have returned to you from Mr. Ayres' office the original bill?
The WITNESS. That is right.
The WITNESS. I cannot say in this case, but in most cases when they send a message of this nature, they just tell us to send it to all the Members of the House.
Mr. NEDZI. I mean when you rendered the bill, are there 435 originals?
The WITNESS. No, it would probably have the text of the message and my guess would be that it would say, “Send to all Members of the House.” If I may say something, you will notice in the center where it is torn here, this is normally where they staple the messages. Normally about the center of the bill they staple the messages.
Mr. TAYLER. You are indicating Steinhauer exhibit No. 2 for the record ?
The WITNESS. Yes.
Mr. Hays. That indicates to you that somebody tore the original message off somewhere along the way?
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The WITNESS. Yes, sir. I am not aware what happens after they get here. Maybe the disbursing office retains the messages. I do not know.
Mr. Hays. Mr. Jones.
Mr. JONES. There are several questions that have come up because of what has been stated. The first thing, checking the rollcalls on the first day there was a quorum call after this message was sent, 407 Members answered to the rollcall and 25 names were listed as those who did not answer, which would give a total of 432 people. That would have been the maximum number that the message could have been sent to. The next thing, I think it is generally known in the House that I have been on a binge of trying to save some money through the changing of certain practices. I have been on this telegraph thing for some time. On the day that telegram arrived, I at least had a feeling that it had been sent to every Member of the House. So I called Western Union to find out what that message would have cost. They told me at that time, and I put this in the record on page 16997- however, the insertion here is misleading because this statement was made at the early part of the session that day and was referred to later, but the actual appearance in the record is after the proceedings of the day, which appears out of order-at that time I stated, “I checked with the telegraph company and the rates are, the first 15 words cost $1.20.” Does that sound like a correct rate?
The WITNESS. I would say so. Mr. JONES. The next 125 words cost 872 cents each, plus a 10percent tax. So each telegram sent cost $10.25.
Would you say that the message was only billed at $9 and how much?
The WITNESS. $9.51. Mr. JONES. You do not charge tax on that. The WITNESSES. Not to the Federal Government. Mr. JONES. Were you charging tax on it to the individual Member who would send it?
The WITNESS. No. Anything that comes from Federal funds is not taxable. It also applies to cities, counties, and States.
Mr. JONES. I had merely brought that up at the time.
In the record Mr. Ayres makes a statement on page 16960 where he states that: “The gentleman from Missouri-Mr. Jones—is my close personal friend. He apologizes that he misread the cipher. The amount was $411.52.” He is referring to a statement he made to me when I had mentioned the fact that I resented the Federal Government spending $4,100—I said it was $4,500 because I was using the figures Western Union had given me of $10.35 being the cost of that message, it would have run $4,500. Mr. Ayres states that it only cost $411 and he also states, “that by actual count 12 Members have given me $10 because 12 Members found opponents on that list.” He says that he spent $411 to alert Members that they might have a primary opponent.
Do you recall that Mr. Ayres ever made a representation to you that his office had been furnished a statement by Western Union that this message would only cost $411?
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The WITNESS. I am aware of it from the conversation with my predecessor and a letter contained in my files; yes, sir.
Mr. JONES. He said he had been advised it would only cost $411 to send this.
The WITNESS. Yes, sir.
Mr. JONES. That is the statement he made on the floor, although as I said I had contacted the Western Union and that is why our statements were not right. However, just trying to use the record here, Mr. Ayres says that he did send the telegram, but he thought it was only going to cost $411. Then he also stated that he had been reimbursed by some of the Members who felt that the information was worth $10 to them. The thing I cannot understand is at the time that this message was sent, I was advised by somebody in the Western Union office over the telephone that the rate charged on each one of these 435 duplicate messages delivered within the House or on Capitol Hill was the same as if it had been 435 separate individual messages of the same number of words sent from New York City down to Capitol Hill. Is that your understanding?
The WITNESS. Except for the part I believe the rates between New York and Washington would be greater. Each message is handled as a separate message. It is transmitted as a separate message.
Mr. JONES. Although they are duplicates and they could be duplicated right here in Capitol Hill in the Western Union office and that is the way they probably are and are delivered to the offices in the Capitol. None of these messages were delivered outside of the House Office Buildings or the Capitol, were they?
The WITNESS. No, sir. Mr. JONES. They were all delivered to the offices of the Members. The WITNESS. As far as I know; yes, sir. Mr. JONES. Let us be sure about this now. At the time I was told that the rate from New York City to my office in the Rayburn Office Building was the same as the rate from the Western Union office in the Longworth Building, I believe it is, to the Rayburn Building; that the rate was the same from New York as it was locally. Was that correct at the time?
The WITNESS. I am not sure, Mr. Jones. I would have to check. I do not have the rates in my head.
Mr. JONES. The reason it sticks with me, I was told that over the telephone. I can understand that your rates have to be approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission.
The WITNESS. The FCC. Mr. Jones. That is what I meant, the FCC has charge of that. Anyway, they are approved and your tariffs are all approved.
The WITNESS. Yes, sir. Mr. Jones. I am frank to tell you this, I have been looking for some way to get the FCC to see that they are certainly not being very conscious of saving the Government some money when they approve a tariff which is the same for 435 individual messages from New York as it would be sending 435 identical messages on Capitol Hill. I am going to try to get it changed. I have not been able to get much help. I feel we have wasted an awful lot of money with Western Union because of these practices that they have followed.
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This is not the first time I have brought this up. I am sorry that Mr. Ayres is not here, because his letter to Mr. Hays is inconsistent with the statements that were made in the Congressional Record at the time. But I imagine we will have an opportunity to take that up later when Congress reconvenes in January. That is all I have.
Mr. Hays. I have one further question. Is there such a thing as a book rate telegram?
The WITNESS. No, sir; the charge is the same for a book of 560 as for 1 single message or 560 messages.
Mr. Hays. Was there ever a time when there was a book rate which was cheaper?
The WITNESS. There may have been, but if it was, it was before my time.
Mr. Hays. Why would you use that term "book rate"? It is a common term.
The WITNESS. Yes, sir; the reason for that is that you are sending the same text to many people and you only have to record the text one time.
Mr. JONES. Would the gentleman yield for a question there?
Mr. JONES. There is an exception to that and that is on your press rate on a message that is sent as a book message. The press rate is much less than the rate that you charge the Members of Congress for sending book rate messages. The fact is that it is about a third of the cost. Isn't that correct?
The WITNESS. We are talking about two different things. We are taling about press messages and public messages and they are entirely two different things.
Mr. JONES. Well, if anything, it would take more time to send messages to newspapers than it would be to send messages to Members of Congress; is that correct?
The WITNESS. Well, it depends on a lot of factors. You just can't, I don't think you can just flatly say this.
As I understand it, if I may, the press rate was established when it was because of the volume of press that you received from the press people, and this was the reason for the press rate. Now you only have occasional messages of this nature, large books like this. These are the exception and not the rule. You frequently have small, what we call small books, where you have maybe 10 or 20 messages to various people announcing the death of someone or something of that nature. But each one of these book messages must be transmitted as a separate message. Each one of these messages, such as this one, originated in our main office downtown and they were transmitted over our lines into the various offices up on the Hill.
Mr. JONES. They couldn't be transmitted over lines into private offices. Private offices don't have any lines.
The WITNESS. I said into our office, meaning the Western Union office on the Hill.
Mr. JONES. In other words, this message was delivered to the Western Union office on the Hill, was sent downtown and downtown sent it back to you in the office in which it originated first?
The WITNESS. Well, if I understand it correctly, and I have nothing to verify this, this is just what I have been told by several different