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1st Session

No. 972

AMENDING THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ACT OF 1938, AS AMENDED, TO REGULATE THE TRANSPORTATION, PACKING, MARKING, AND DESCRIPTION OF EXPLOSIVES AND OTHER DANGEROUS ARTICLES

JULY 6, 1949.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State

of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. Hinshaw, from the Committee on Interstate and Foreign

Commerce, submitted the following

REPORT

(To accompany H. R. 39401

of this report.

The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 3940) to amend the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938, as amended, to regulate the transportation, packing, marking, and description of explosives and other dangerous articles, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

The amendment strikes out all after the enacting clause and inserts new matter in the nature of a substitute which is printed in appendix A

This proposed legislation has the approval of the Civil Aeronautics Board, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Justice, as will appear from letters dated May 3, 1949, May 19, 1949, and Mar 19, 1949, respectively. These letters are printed in appendix B The purpost on this bill is to amend the Civil eronautics Act of 1938, as amended, to give the Civil Aeronautics Board additional authority in the regulation f transportation by air of explosives and other langerous

rticles. Under present authority. the Board regulates such transportation as it applies to the air carriers themselves Unlike the present situation under the Transportation of Explosives Act with regard to the shipmen of these articles by surface transportation, the Board has no authority over the shipper as distinct from the carrier.

This bill provides penalties for a shipper sending explosives and other dangerous articles by air under conditions prohibited as to the

of this report

air carriers.

In hearings on the bill as introduced several amendments were susaster the Department of Justice, the Civil Aeronautics Board, enti pie tir Transport Association. The Department of Justice Tie that the penalties be made identical to the penalties

sportation of Explosives Act. The Board and association me mummendations toward the clarification of language. The Pommended insertion of a provision whereby it might adopt The resumneus and detailed rules and regulations prescribed by the sture Commerce Commission with the same effect as though

ulgated by the Board. These suggestions have been incorporated in the bill as amended, alire che changes were so numerous that the committee has redrafted he entire bill.

No one appeared in opposition to the bill.

CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

In compliance with paragraph 2a of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the bill, As introduced, are shown as follows (existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is printed in italics, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown in roman):

CIVIL AERONAUTICS ACT OF 1938

SEC. 902.

REFUSAL TO TESTIFY

(8) Any person who shall neglect or refuse to attend and testify, or to answer any lawful inquiry, or to produce books, papers, or documents, if in his power to do 90, in obedience to the subpena or lawful requirement of the Authority of the Air Safety Board, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $5,000, or imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both.

(h) Any person who knowingly or willfully delivers or causes to be delivered to an air carrier or the operator of any civil aircraft for transportation in air commerce, or who causes the transportation in air commerce of, any shipment, baggage, or property, the transportation of which would be a violation of any rule, regulation, or requirement of the Board relating to the transportation, packing, marking, or description of explosives or other dangerous articles, shall upon conviction thereof, for each such offense be subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $5,000, or to imprisonment not erceeding eighteen months, or to both such fine and imprisonment: Provided, That when death or bodily injury of any person results from a violation of any such rule, regulation, or requiren.ent the person or persons convicted thereof shall, in lieu of the foregoing penalty, be subject to a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $10,000 or to imprisonment not exceeding ten years, or to both such fine and imprisonment.

APPENDIX A

The matter inserted by the committee amendment is as follows:

That section 902 of the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938, as amended, is amended by injerting after subsection (g) thereof the following new subsection:

" 'TRANSPORTATION OF EXPLOSIVES AND OTHER DANGJROUS ARTICLES "** (h) (1) Any person who knowingly delivers or causes to be delivered to an air carrier or to the operator of any civil aircraft for transportation in air commerce, or who causes the transportation in air commerce of, any shipment, baggage, or property, the transportation of which would be prohibited by any rule, regulation, or requirement prescribed by the Civil Aeronautics Board, under title VI of this Act, relating to the transportation, packing, marking, or description of explosives or other dangerous articles shall, upon conviction thereof for each such offense; be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000, or to imprisonment not exceeding one year, or to both such fine and imprisonment: Provided, That when death or bodily injury of any person results from an offense punishable under this subsection, the person or persons convicted thereof shall, in lieu of the foregoing penalty, be subject to a fine of not more than $10,000 or to imprisonment not exceeding ten years, or to both such fine and imprisonment.

**(2) In the exercise of its authority under title VI of this Act, the Civil Aeronautics Board may provide by regulation for the application in whole or in part of the rules or reguiations of the Interstate Commerce Commission (including future amendments and additions thereto) relating to the transportation, packing, marking, or description of explosives or other dangerous articles for surface transportation, to the shipment and carriage by air of such articles. Such applicability may be terminated by the Board at any time. While so made applicable, any such rule or regulation, or part thereof, of the Interstate Commerce Commission shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed to be a regulation of the Board prescribed under title VI.'”

APPENDIX B

CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD,

Washington 25, May 3, 1949. Hon. LINDLEY BECKWORTH, Chairman, Subcommittee on Transportation, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN BECKWORTH: In accordance with your request we are restating the Board's position on H. R. 3940, a bill to amend the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938, as amended, to regulate the transportation, packing, marking, and description of explosives and other dangerous articles.

*This bill provides penalties for knowingly delivering to an air carrier for transportation any shipment, the transportation of which would be a violation of any regulation of the Civil Aeronautics Board relating to the transportation. packing, marking or description of explosives or other dangerous articles

"The Board favors enactment of this bill."

Because of the shortness of time involved this statement has not been presented to the Bureau of the Budget for advice as to whether the position set forth therein is in accordance with the program of the President Sincerely yours,

JOSEPH J. O'CONNELL, Jr., Chairman

THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE,

Washington 25, May 19, 1949. Hon. ROBERT CROSSER, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives, House Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: The following comments are provided in accordance with the recent informal request from your committee for the views of the Department of Commerce on H. R. 3940, a bill to amend the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938, as amended, to regulate the transportation, packing, marking, and description of explosives and other dangerous articles.

The bill would subject to fine or imprisonment, or both, any person who knowingly or willfully delivers or causes to be delivered to an air carrier or the operator of any aircraft for transportation in air commerce, any cargo the transportation of which would be a violation of any rule, regulation, or requirement of the Civil Aeronautics Board relating to the transportation, packing, marking, or description of explosives or other dangerous articles.

The Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938, as amended, authorizes the Civil AeroDautics Board to regulate the carriage of explosives and other dangerous articles by aircraft. Pursuant to such authority the Board has promulgated part 49 of

the Civil Air Regulations. While air carriers and aircraft operators are subject to penalty for violations of part 49, under the present provisions of the Civil Aeronautics Act no civil or criminal penalty may be imposed upon a person who delivers for transportation in air commerce, any dangerous cargo the transportation of which would be a violation of the Board's regulations.

Patently, the carriage of explosives by air presents a potential danger of the highest order. The only practicable way for an air carrier or an aircraft operator to handle air cargo is to rely upon the representations of the shipper with respect to the nature of such cargo. În view of this situation, it is highly desirable that consignors and other persons who deliver for transportation in air commerce articles which might create a hazard in the air, be made answerable for the packing, marking, and description of those articles.

Section 835 of the Criminal Code (title 18) provides that shippers who make shipments of explosives or other dangerous articles by a surface common carrier, in violation of Interstate Commerce Commission regulations, shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment of not more than 1 year, or both. When death or bodily injury of any person results from such violation, the maximum fine is $10.000 and the maximum imprisonment is 10 years Under the proposed legislation shippers, who would cause air carriers to violate Civil Aeronautics Board regulations with respect to the carriage of explosives and other dangerous articles by air, would be subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $5,000, or to imprisonment not exceeding 18 months, or to both such fine and imprisonment. When death from bodily injury to any person results, the fine would be not less than $1.000 and not more than $10,000 and the maximum imprisonment would be 10 years. The reasons for the statutory penalty in respect to violations of Interstate Commerce Commission regulations are equally applicable to violations of Civil Aeronautics Board regulations. The greater danger inherent in the carriage of explosives or other dangerous articles in air transportation justifies. in my opinion, the greater penalty provided in H. R. 3940.

It is suggested that the enforcement of the proposed legislation would be facilitated if the penalty for violations not involving death were reduced from “not exceeding 18 months” to “not more than 1 year,” since criminal action could then be taken by information. It is further suggested that the minimum fine be eliminated and left in the discretion of the court. We are informed that the Department of Justice in commenting on this proposal has recommended language changes in the bill to effect these suggestions.

We are advised by the Bureau of the Budget that there would be no objection to our submission of this report for your consideration. If we can be of further assistance to vou in this matter please call upon us. Sincerely yours,

C. V. WHITNEY, Acting Secretary of Commerce.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL,

Washington, May 19, 1949.
Hon. ROBERT CROSSER,
Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This is in response to your request for the views of the Department of Justice concerning the bill (H. R. 3940) to amend the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938, as amended, to regulate the transportation, packing, marking, and description of explosives and other dangerous articles.

The bill would amend the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938, as amended (49 U.S. C. 401 et seq.), by adding, immediately following section 902 (g) (49 U. S. C. 622 (g)), a new section 902 (h) providing that any person who knowingly and willfully violates the civil air regulations issued by the Civil Aeronautics Board relating to the transportation, packing, marking, or description of explosives or other dangerous articles, shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $5,000 or to imprisonment not exceeding 18 months, or to both such fine and imprisonment. The bill would further provide, however, that in case such a violation results in the death or bodily injury of any person, the penalty shall be a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000, or to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or to both such fine and imprisonment.

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