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would want to know about it, and that would take steps to remedy and to punish anybody guilty of impropriety, whether by criminal action or by discipline.
I now request that if there is anything which this committee feels was illegal or if there is any fraud, if they will bring it to my attention I will see that it is brought promptly to the attention of the Postmaster General. And I will take the most intensive and personal action, if there is anything wrong, to correct anything that may be wrong.
And in view of the statements that have been made here, I do not challenge, but I most respect fully request and invite any clear statement to me of any illegality or fraud; and we will take the most prompt methods to remedy it, with the full knowledge of the committee.
I naturally have some feeling about any insinuation that the responsible officials of this Department, a great department, which it is my honor to represent, has been guilty of any fraud or anything of that kind, or any improper conduct. Certainly it has not been in the top staff, because I have talked to them about it. And if there is
of the minor officials that have been guilty of anything, we would like to know about it. If you have anything, I most earnestly invite your full disclosure to me; because I have not found anything.
If there is anything wrong, why, if you will tell me about it, we will take action immediately.
That is my statement. Thank you. Mr. MOLLOHAN. Anything further? Mr. GOFF. Nothing further. Mr. MOLLOHAN. You made some reference to your conversations with me.
That conversation, the first one we ever had, as you very well know, came from you. You came to me.
Mr. GOFF. I did.
Mr. MOLLOHAN. Because of some failures on the part of your department to discharge what you interpreted as congressional courtesy.
Mr. Gorr. That is right. I was very much disturbed about it, and
Mr. MOLLOHAX. Did I interrupt you? Mr. GOFF. Go ahead. Mr. MOLLOHAN. At that time I was very much pleased at having the opportunity to talk with you. I felt confident that anything we had to do with your department would receive the fullest cooperation.
Now, what you said a minute ago about the crooked interpretation by reason of the appearance of the committee staff members means in effect if we are to accept that, that no congressional committee could send a staff member to any executive department without leaving the very clear inference, without the implication being ever-evident, that we were suspecting you of corruption or something highly improper. And as you said "crooked." Those "money under the table" references are yours. They never came from any member of this committee
time. I do not think that any member of the committee staff ever said that. You stated in a private conversation the other day that you
had complaints to make about any staff member of this committee. You made that statement to Mr. Plapinger, our general counsel; that you were entirely satisfied with their approach.
Now, I don't know where this asinine statement of yours that you just came forth with came from or what generated or motivated it; but this committee is not interested in casting around any aspersions, any disrespectful comments about anybody. We do not intend to leave any overtones of thought or suggestion in that regard. Our purpose here is to discharge our responsibility as a legislative branch of the Government. And within the full purview of that we intend to do it.
If there is any fraud in this, or in any other investigation that this committee carries on, it will not, Mr. Solicitor, be refered to you for handling. It will be referred to the Department of Justice, which under our scheme of things is the proper place for it to go.
The committee is adjourned.
MARCH 6, 1956. Mr. ROLLIN D. BARNARD, Deputy Assistant Postmaster General,
Post Office Department, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. BARNARD : Pursuant to your telephone conversation today with Mr. Anderson of the subcommittee staff, I hereby request the following information:
(1) A narrative description of the events, negotiations, and transactions which culminated in a lease-purchase contract between the Post Office Department and Twin Coach Co. for 32 sit-stand vehicles.
(2) Copies of the advertisement for bids and abstracts relating to the aforesaid contract.
(3) The justification and statutory authority for entering into the aforesaid contract.
(4) Any other pertinent information relating to the aforesaid contract. As Mr. Anderson indicated, this is a matter of home urgency, and I would appreciate receiving this information at your earliest opportunity. With all best wishes, I am, Sincerely yours,
ROBERT H. MOLLOHAN. LEASE EXHIBIT 1
1. April 27, 1955.—The industrial engineer, Mr. Banto requested
of Procurement, by memorandum, to take action to procure 32 three-quarter ton, 140cubic-feet-capacity vehicles for assignment in the Atlanta region. (Par. 4 of the subject memorandum indicated that a verbal ruling had been obtained from the Solicitor to the effect that the subject vehicles could be procured on a negotiated basis as a result of an emergency existing.) (Enclosure A.)
2. June 7, 1955.—Mr. Abrams wrote to Mr. Kieb enclosing a copy of a letter dated May 24, 1955, from the regional director, Atlanta region, urgently recommending the acquisition of the 32 vehicles for use in the Atlanta region and adjacent territory. (Enclosure B.)
3. July 27, 1955.-After discussions with the Assistant Postmaster General, Bureau of Facilities, the Director, Division of Vehicles, forwarded a memorandum to the Director, Division of Supplies, attention of the Chief of Procurement, requesting that consideration be given the request of Mr. Abrams and Mr. Banton for the acquisition of the subject vehicles but with the stipulation that before any action was taken that the entire matter be referred to the Solicitory for a legal opinion as to whether or not these vehicles could be procured on a negotiated basis. (Enclosure C.)
4. August 8, 1955.—The Solicitor advised that the subject vehicles could not be procured on a negotiated basis unless there was a determination made by administrative heads that an emergency situation existed. Further, the Solicitor stated that from the facts noted in the memoranda of Messrs. Abrams, Dean, and Banton, an emergency situation did not exist and that if the subject procurement was effected it would be subject to being overruled by the Comptroller General. (Enclosure D.)
5. August 9 1955.—Upon receipt of the above information from the Solicitor the entire file was given to Mr. Kieb (Assistant Postmaster General), and after a study of all of the data submitted the possibility of securing the required number of trucks on a rental basis was discussed. Mr. Kieb approved this method of acquisition and instructed the Director, Division of Vehicles, to take the necessary action to issue invitations to bid to furnish these vehicles on an hourly contract basis, subject contract to include an opitional recapture clause. Mr. Kieb discussed the proposed acquisition of vehicles on a rental basis with Mr. Abrams on August 11, 1955, and Mr. Abrams concurred.
6. August 17, 1955.—The regional vehicle manager at Atlanta was directed to advertise for bids for 32 three-quarter ton vehicles on a rental basis for 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, using the standard form of contract modified with a recapture clause and that the trucks should be furnished in accordance with Post Office Specification 32–54 (revised). (Enclosure E.)
7. Invitations to bid were mailed to 19 suppliers, including all manufacturers, manufacturer's representatives, truck-rental agencies, etc. (See attached list.) The invitation to bid was published in all of the Atlanta daily newspapers and was posted in a conspicuous place in all post offices in the Atlanta area (enclosure F).
8. September 9, 1955.—Bids were opened and the Twin Coach Co., of Kent, Ohio, was the only qualified bidder, submitting a price of $0.55 per hour.
9. The entire case was then submitted to the Solicitor for an opinion as to the legality of this type of contract and the Solicitor indicated, by memorandum of September 23, 1955, that the contract could be legally entered into and as a result of subject opinion the award was made to the Twin Coach Co., of Kent, Ohio, and the contract was signed September 23, 1955. (Rental at $0.55 per hour for 40 hours per week would equal the agreed-value of the trucks, $2,150 each, in 23 months from the date of the contract or about September 10, 1957. The Department could then either elect to take title to the vehicles or it could let the contract expire, returning the vehicles to the manufacturer.) (Enclosure G.)
BIDDERS RECEIVING INVITATION
1. Nash Motors, 953 Donnelly Avenue, Atlanta, Ga.