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Mr. MARKHAM. Sir?
Mr. Almon. Have you got a column that will show what it would be with
$5, 717, 325
$3, 270, 122
NOTE. -Comparison is made between proposed road program for the next 18 months and the 18 months
The first column, then, gives you the amount of money that was on hand for new construction the 1st of January of the old appropriation of $75,000,000 last year and whatever was left over on the new funds.
Mr. DoUGATON. Well, what do you mean when you say on hand”-money to cover projects not appropriated for?
Mr. MARKHAM. That covers money allotted to the State not tied down now by an actual contract for new construction.
Mr. DOUGHTON. For contracts not let?
Mr. LARSEN. Contracts have been made, have they not, to meet the appropriation?
Mr. MARKHAM. Contracts have been let.
The first column gives you the Federal-aid balance for new contracts, January 1, 1922, plus a $50,000,000 appropriation for the fiscal year beginning July 1. 1922.
The second column gives you the estimates given by the State highway departments as to how much money they could put under contract in the 18 months concerned.
Now, I might say, as a word of explanation, that as far as the State highway departments working in cooperation with the Federal Government in this work, we take the attitude that we are not going to ask for any more money than can be economically expended. We are just as much concerned with the question of conserving public funds as you are; because if we were not, we would not be on our jobs very long. We are trying to do our work in an economical way. I sent out a communication to the various departments on the 1st of January, in which I said that I wanted to know the bottom figures on this appropriation. I said: “Don't figure what you would like to do. We want to know what you can do, how much money you really need, and not the amount of money necessary to take care of a program that you hope to carry on, but the amount of funds that is really necessary to take care of your program."
Mr. ROBSION. The amount necessary?
Mr. MARKHAM. Yes, sir. Some of the States came back with such large figures that they astounded me in comparison with their past record. Take New York: New York the year before did very little, and yet they came in with an estimate of $6,000,000 as being the amount that they could put under contract by the 1st of July, 1922. It was so large that I wrote back and asked them to check it over again. I did that with eight States, and they all came back upholding their first estimates. Michigan was another; and several other States were planning for so much that I asked them to check it over again. Ohio had asked for over $5,000,000, claiming that that was the amount that they could put under contract before the 1st of July, 1922.
Mr. WARD. North Carolina also went up considerably?
Mr. MARKHAM. Yes. I wrote back to several of the States and asked them to make sure, asked them to check over these figures, because I wanted to use them before the committee, and they all replied insisting that their estimates were correct.
So in this column you will see how much the States feel they can do during the next 18 months.
The last column shows how much has been put under contract January 1, 1920, to July 1, 1921. The past six months is omitted, except for the States of Alabama and New York, where peculiar conditions exist. The past six months is omitted, because Congress failed to make an appropriation until November 9, 1921, at which time the contracting season had gone. The failure of Congress to pass an appropriation until November 9, 1921, tied up or retarded the road contracts in 31 of the States.
Now, I am not casting any reflections on this committee, because I know that away last February you people offered an appropriation to the States, and that it was stopped at the other end of the Capitol. I am not censuring anybody, but just telling you of the condition of things that existed. That is the reason for omitting the last six months, because so many States did not have anything to place under contract. Therefore nothing was done. I skipped the last 6 months and added on the 18 months preceding the last 6 months and give you in the last column how much was actually done actually put under construction.
Now, in the column where you see what the States say what they can do with the money that they have on hand you will find that 30 States will take their share of the $100,000,000. There are 4 States that will take their share of $75,000,000 and there are 4 States that will take their share of $50,000,000, and the remaining 9 or 10 States do not need as much as $50,000,000. They are still lagging behind in their work. Alabanra is one of those States, but Alabama has within the last 30 days passed a bond issue of $25,000,000 by a vote of over 111,000 to 22,000, in spite of the hard times, so that Alabama is going ahead. I think that this committee understands that they got into a legal difficulty and that the Supreme Court declared their last election void. It had to go over for another election. That is the reason they are behind.
Mr. LARSEN. How does Georgia stand?
Mr. MARKHAM. I will give you this list for your records. I can not tell you exactly about that. I have all of that for the record, but I have consolidated all of that here for this purpose.
So the result is these estimates of the States show that by granting this proposal planned here you are retarding the program in 33 States; you meet the requirements in 4 States and more than meet the requirements with $50,000,000 appropriation in 11 States.
Now, I want to say this on behalf of the highway departments: They are interested in their own work. They know what they can use in their roadbuilding program. They do not consider that they are in a position, like you who to sit here in Washington, to know that you have to have so much money for “bonus ” and possibly so much for “ship subsidy” and so much for something else, and so on. They are not in a position to consider those points. They pass them on to you who have to study the entire condition of the Treasury. They simply give to you the road-construction plan as to what the States could absorb. It is for this committee to decide as to how much of an appropriation it can make, but I feel that it was not any more than right that I should give to you the situation in the States to-day as we see it.
Mr. SUMMERS. Do you have any information as to what the 11 States will require, or can you give us the information with regard to the 11 States which you refer to, those whose demands are more than met by the $50,000,000 have in contemplation for the near future?
Mr. MARKHAM. Well, there are some of those States that feel that they are in a poorer condition than they were a year or two ago, and they are lagging. They will absorb their portion in a two-year period.
Mr. SUMMERS. You think that they are still coming on?
Mr. MARKHAM. Oh, yes; but they will not need this during the next 18 months-not need more than that. Some of them are coming up. With some they would only take their share of $30,000.000.
Mr. Robsion. The $50,000,000 you speak of would more than meet the demand of 11 States you referred to during the next fiscal year and does not refer to the period beyond?
Mr. MARKHAM. Just their plans for the next fiscal year. That is what I want to show-just what their plans are for the next fiscal year.
Mr. Robsion. You stated that the $50,000,000 appropriation would retard the road construction in 34 States.
Mr. MARKHAM. Thirty-three States. The program will be retarded in 33 States; yes, sir; that is, the program that they feel that they can put on.
Mr. WOODRUFF. But their program would not be interrupted. It is merely what they think they could absorb if they had all of the money that they could get?
Mr. MARKHAM. That is right.
Mr. Robsion. It is not merely what they can absorb, but what is necessary to economically carry out the program laid down under the law.
Mr. MARKHAM. Well, not necessarily. I would not put it quite that strong as to what is meant by this.
Now, during this last six months they did something entirely different from this. As you remember, the funds were not available during the last six months and it did not simply retard the program, but in a number of the States during the last six months they did not have any program. They did not start any program through the summer, because they did not know whether they were going to get the money or not. So they really stopped, or did not start a program. This simply tells what the States would expect to do if they get this much money. Now, if we can only get $50,000,000, then 33 States will have to reduce their program.
Mr. SUMMERS. To make it a little more specific, suppose that we put it this way: Have they made contracts and have they got outstanding contracts that will be interfered with?
Mr. MARKHAM. Oh, no; they do not make any contracts until they have the funds available. That is the reason they were delayed during the past six months.
There is one more point that I want to bring out, one other point that we desire to put into the record, and that is that the States are more vitally con. cerned with a program of this Congress for a definite period of time than they are in the amount of money given at this time. If you map out a program—the States at present are willing to have a two or three year program-and I understand that this committee might be willing to even make a program showing an increasing appropriation—the States will then know far enough in advance what they can plan for, and, as I said a moment ago, there are 34 States whose legislatures meet next January and do not meet again for two years, and they can plan for a three-year period.
Mr. HUDSPETH. Mr. Markham, can you give us information as to the $75,000,000. Approximately how many States will be retarded from carrying on their present program?
Mr. MARKHAM. In their present program?
Mr. SUMMERS (interposing). How would the $75,000,000 meet the programs that the States desire to carry forward, and that they can economically and properly carry forward with that amount?
Mr. MARKHAM. I made the statement to you that 29 States claimed that they could absorb their share of $100,000,000.
Mr. WOODRUFF. Is not that based entirely upon a far more ambitious program than they have ever carried out?
Mr. MARKHAM. Yes; that is true. That is the reason I suggest $75,000,000, that while it will retard some of them in the carrying of their program, still it would not stop them.
Mr. HUDSPETH. How many?
Mr. ALMON. Can you make another column showing what it would be with $75,000,000?
Mr. MARKHAM. I think I have that, but I did not bring it over. I will add it to this table to be printed in your record.
Mr. LARSEN. In your judgment, what should the program provide, what amount? You have studied the whole situation. What is your judgment as to the amount that should be appropriated?
Mr. ALMON. For the next fiscal year.
Mr. MARKHAM. I should say this: After taking everything into consideration, and the statements of the highway departments, and the roadwork in the United States, you ought to make it not less than $75,000,000.
Mr. DOWELL. Taking into consideration the situation which confronts us now, Mr, Markham, and the condition of the Treasury, is it possible for the highway commissioners of the various States can progress fairly well during the next year on a $50,000,000 appropriation ?
Mr. MARKHAM. Yes, sir; and I will say this further: After making a complete canvass of this situation and tabulating each State's program as they carry it, I sent a letter to 15 members of the executive committee of the association and stated to them the entire results. I do not have anything to keep under cover. We are telling you everything that we know, and giving you our best judgment on everything because I think that you realize that we are trying to work with you. And their judgment was this: That under no consideration should the appropriation be for less than $50,000,000 for this year, and there should be an increasing ratio. They are very vitally concerned about a program for more than one year.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Markham, I would like to ask you one question. You are familiar with the maintenance problem of the different States.
Mr. MARKHAM, Maintenance problems?
Mr. MARKHAM. Well, I am more or less, but nothing like the department would be.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think with the present state of business that the States would be justified in appropriating more than enough to put the roads they now have in condition for this summer?
Mr. MARKHAM. Well, Mr. Chairman, I hardly think that that is true? The CHAIRMAN. That is true in New York. . Mr. MARKHAM. It may be true in New York. The situation is so varied in the various States. The trouble in New York has been, Mr. Chairman, that you have a great many old roads, that have gone to pieces because you did not put them in shape.
Mr. WOODRUFF. Those are nearly all State roads, are they not?
Mr. MARKHAM. Mostly water-bound mecadam, but they are a very satisfactory road if they are properly kept in repair
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). There are a great many Tarvia roads.
Mr. MARKHAM, And so, as you see, Mr. Chairman, you have got that problem in your State. In Indiana last year the Federal money got behind because the repair work took all of the State money. For repairing the old gravel roads they spent $5,000,000 for maintenance last year.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; and that is a good plan.
Mr. MARKHAM. It might be a good plan, but then the condition arose as to why they did not absorb the Federal money. I am just giving you the outstanding points, as indicating the conditions and variations in the several States.
The CHAIRMAN. They want to continue appropriating enough for maintaining roads as well as building them?
Mr. MARKHAM. Yes; I do not think that there is any question about that. The CHAIRMAN. They ought to do that right off.
Mr. WOODRUFF. Under the law they are compelled to keep all of their roads in proper condition.
The CHAIRMAN. The department makes them.
Mr. SUMMERS. And except for the $5,000,000, according to your statement, last year they could not have spent anything except for upkeep.
Mr. ALMON. Mr. Markham, if this Congress appropriates $50,000,000 for the first year, what would be your judgment as to the years following?
3r. MARKHAM. It would be very fair to make it $65,000,000 next year and $75,000,000 for the next. That would be very satisfactory.
Mr. ALMON. Make it $50,000,000 for the next fiscal year, beginning July 1, and what, in your opinion, should it be for the next fiscal year?
Mr. MARKHAM. Sixty-five million.
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). Mr. Markham, will you give us a little idea about the truck situation with respect to license?
Mr. MARKHAM. Well, I can give you the entire schedule if you want it, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. The latest?
Mr. MARKHAM. Yes, sir; that is particularly true with regard to commercial work.
The CHAIRMAX. The commercial trucks?
Mr. MARKHAM. Oh, yes; indeed they have. They have made the real commercial trucks pay a very much higher license than the ordinary farmer carrying his produce to town.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you seen the statement that was in the papers that Mr. Sisson, of New York, made, the head of the highway department, when he said that a milk truck last spring destroyed $100,000 worth of roads in two weeks?
Mr. MARKHAM. I did not see that.
Mr. WOODRUFF. I think that if you would pin him down you would find that the road was built by the State.
The CHAIRMAX. It is a State road, but this is the Mr. HUDSPETH (interposing). Then, Mr. Markham, if we appropriate a sufficient fund to carry out the program of the different States, it will require approximately $75.000.000. Mr. MARKHAM. Yes: I do not have that data with me. Mr. HUDSPETH. Will you furnish that? Mr. MARKHAM. I will be glad to do so.