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Mr. PERRIN. That is right. The only purpose of the bill is to provide a single regulatory body to which any transportation agency can go.
Mr. FORISTEL. So the public is protected at the moment?
Mr. FORISTEL. And there is no charge being made by the ICC that this is not adequate?
Mr. PERRIN. That is right. There is no charge.
The CHAIRMAN. What would be the particular reason, Mr. Perrin, for transferring this?
Mr. PERRIN. The only reason for it, Mr. Chairman, is the fact that in the future, of course, we do not know when it will happen, there may be emergencies that arise that need the exercise of over-all control by one agency of this particular traffic. We have, during the war and since, experienced an increase in interchange of commodities between various carriers. Undoubtedly, as time goes by, that will further increase.
Just to give you one example as apropos, during the rail strike last year we were confronted with mobilizing, that is, the ODT was confronted with mobilizing the other transportation facilities of the Nation to provide essential civilian needs. In that particular situation we run into many disregarding the full utilization of our transport capacity of this Nation. That applies to both private, contract, and permanent carriers.
The CHAIRMAN. Did not the Presidential war powers give you sufficient authority to command most any type of transportation ?
Mr. PERRIN. Well, they do with respect to the allocation of the equipment itself, but not with respect to the matters that rise from the compensation that may result from the transfer of commodities from one type of carrier to another.
The CHAIRMAN. But you could command and allocate every type of equipment.
Mr. PERRIN. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. You do not expect to be able to do that forever, do you?
Nr. PERRIN. Naturally we do not, no, sir.
Mr. Crost. Does this proposed legislation look toward jurisdiction beyond the contract carrier ?
Mr. PERRIN. No, it does not.
Mr. PERRIN. It certainly does in that respect. It applies to air, water, and highway, and rail carriers.
Mr. Crost. Will you take over some of the rules, presumably, of the Coast Guard ?
Mr. PERRIN. Yes.
Mr. Crost. Do you at the present time have in mind changing any of those rules in any important respect?
Mr. PERRIN. No. I think the last section of this bill provides that, This Act shall become effective 90 days after the date of its enactment. The Interstate Commerce Commission may, in the performance of its functions under section 233 of the Act, as amended, adopt the regulations of any Federal Govern
ment Agency in effect on the effective date of this Act, governing the safe transportation of dangerous articles,
In other words, the act provides for the take-over at an intermediate period until regulations are promulgated.
Mr. Crost. What I am trying to get at, are there any specific things in the Coast Guard regulations which you feel do not adequately take care of the public interest, and which you as a coordinating agency would change?
Mr. PERRIN. I could not answer that.
Mr. Crost. Presumably that would be the basic reason for wanting to take it over, to make some comprehensive changes.
Mr. PERRIN. No. I think the basic reason is to unify the regulatory processes under this particular law. In other words, today the air lines, for example, have their own regulations. While they, to a great extent have adopted the regulations that are promulgated by the commission, they do provide under their own act for the issuance of regulations. I think the same is true to some extent with the motor carriers. Not all motor carriers are today under the regulations.
Mr. Crost. You talk about the need for uniformity. Can you give the committee some examples of the lack of uniformity with respect to this particular problem of the contract water carriers?
Mr. PERRIN. I do not believe I could do that, because I do not have the regulations before me, and I do not know whether there is any lack of uniformity in the regulations or not.
Of course, when you talk about uniformity I think you have to keep in mind that even though you may have uniform requirements on certain aspects the difference in the type of transportation operation will necessarily call for some distinction being made in the types of regulations promulgated.
Mr. Crost. Do you mean by that that the problems of the contract water carriers are so peculiar that any regulations governing them have to take into consideration those special circumstances?
Mr. PERRIN. That is exactly right.
Mr. Crost. Do you at the present time-when I say "you" I mean either ODT or the Interstate Commerce Commission-have experts in the problems of the contract water carriers ?
Mr. PERRIN. As far as the contract water carriers are concerned the Commission has a Bureau of Water Carriers down there that is staffed with people who are well acquainted with the problems of the carriers, and I think that if the regulations of the Coast Guard were worked on, they would be able to cope with the situation sufficiently.
Mr. CROST. Would it require more personnel!
Mr. PERRIN. I would not say it would require very many more, at least.
Mr. FORISTEL. Just one more point that I want to make. Back to 'uniformity of packaging, and this is what this amounts to.
Mr. PERRIN. That is what it amounts to.
Mr. FORISTEL. This group before us this morning—and for the purposes of this discussion let us limit it to that group—80 percent of all their business, I am told-and if I am wrong in saying this, gentlemen, please correct me—deals with the carriage of petroleum. Am I right when I say that, Mr. Limbaugh?
Mr. Rush H. LIMBAUGH. Yes, sir. That is correct.
Mr. FORISTEL. If that be true, certainly the Interstate Commerce Commission is not interested in the labeling and packaging of that type of cargo, because you do not have any mixed transportation, that is motor carrier and barge line, do you?
Mr. PERRIN. Not at the present. You may have under emergency. But
you do not haveMr. FORISTEL. Under emergency, what kind of container would you carry gasoline and oil in?
Mr. PERRIN. You would not carry it in any different containers than they carry it now.
Šr. FORISTEL. And they would package it the same way.
Mr. FORISTEL. This group, I believe, are probably the only unregulated group, or as close to not being regulated in the entire transportation system, would you not say?
Mr. PERRIN. I would say so.
Mr. FORISTEL. This group, I believe, are making money. I think they have had a rather profitable operation up to date. Assume that, at least. Most of our other carriers in the country, railroads and air lines, and trucking in the main, are not doing so well, are they?
Mr. PERRIN. That is as I understand it.
Mr. FORISTEL. I do not know if it is a strange coincidence that those who are regulated are not doing so well, and those who are not regulated are.
Do you have any recommendations along those lines?
The CHAIRMAN. In the event of a restoration, the powers similar to the war powers would be granted by the Congress
Mr. Perrin. Undoubtedly they would. But of course, even during the war we ran into situations in ODT that we definitely could not handle under the authority that had been granted by the Congress.
You know, the rate situation is sort of a different breed of cats, and handling the equipment itself. We run into that difficulty with respect to rates on the full utilization of the different modes of transportation all the time.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any criticism on the part of the Interstate Commerce Commission as to manner in which the Coast Guard has been regulated?
Mr. PERRIN. I would say not, Mr. Chairman, no. The only purpose of the bill, as I told you, basically is to trye to put all the regulations of this nature in one agency. That is about it.
I think the Commission feels that perhaps it would result in some economies to the Government. As I understand it, saving money today is very important.
The CHAIRMAN. That is right. We have an awful difficult time trying to find out how to save because the economies we think we initiated in the Congress we find do not always turn out to be economies downtown.
Mr. PERRIN. That is right. The CHAIRMAN. So we are not always too sure that the transfer of one function from one agency to another, or even the consolidation, is economical. We had thought, in the past, that it had been, but we find it is the execution for many, many employees.
Have you any opinion as to what the Senate action in the committee might be on this bill?
Mr. PERRIN. I have no opinion on it at all.
Mr. PERRIN. I do not think that it has. I have no opinion on it at all.
The CHAIRMAN. This bill does not in any fashion give you the authority to regulate rates.
Mr. PERRIN. No. Or operating rates, or the record and report requirements, or any of the financial practices. In other words, the Transportation of Explosives Act and the Interstate Commerce Act are separate and distinct. To make them subject to this regulation, the Transportation of Explosives Act would not by any stretch of the imagination make them subject to the Interstate Commerce Act, from which they are now exempt.
The CHAIRMAN. Might it constructively cause changes in the rates by virtue of the regulations imposed ?
Mr. PERRIN. I do not think so.
Mr. CROST. Mr. Perrin, this bill was proposed by the ICC, was it not?
Mr. PERRIN. That is right.
Mr. Crost. When you proposed the bill, when you felt that there was a need for such a bilì, did you have in mind the contract barge carrier in particular? Were you thinking of other types of carriers principally?
Mr. PERRIN. No. They had in mind all types of carriers. As I recall the bill even applied to private carriers in interstate Commerce.
It is no less a danger for a private carrier to be transporting goods that are dangerous or explosive in interstate commerce than it is for a common carrier or a contract carrier. The fact is that the nature of the operation does not minimize the danger.
Mr. Crost. The reason I asked the question is this: When I asked you before if you had some specific examples of things that were wrong in the picture and needed changing, in cases where greater uniformity was desired, I think you started to give some examples outside of this contract barge field. Then I asked you in particular about the contract barge field and I got the impression from the answer that you gave that the problems in that particular field, namely, contract barge, were not so serious as to constitute your primary interest when you proposed the bill.
Mr. PERRIN. The bill' was not aimed directly at the contract carriers, I can say that. It was directed at all the carriers. The Commission did not particularly have in mind this particular group of carriers when they drew the bill up. It was to cover, as I say, all types of transportation for the express purpose of providing a common form where shippers and carriers could go for regulations and uniform regulations, that is, uniform to the extent that you can make them uniform.
Its further objective was to take care of situations where regulations were prescribed, say, for a motor operation and in the course of the transportation the shipment was transferred from the motor carrier to an airline.
Obviously, the need for protection on an air line would be greater than it would be, possibly, in a motor carrier. To try to iron out regulations to cover those situations was one of the primary purposes in the act. And then, of course, in addition to that, if the proposed act is compared to the present, you will see that there is quite a bit of revision with respect to certain things.
I might say this is in the present laws in the Criminal Code of the United States, and it is proposed to put this new law in the Criminal Code. But there is a provision in the new law for injunctive relief. In other words, a civil remedy, which is not in the present act. The Commission felt that was desirable. Personally, I think it is too.
Mr. CROST. Thank you.
Mr. PERRIN. There is one other question I think was raised by the first witness here that I would like to answer. He brought out the point about the definition of explosives and dangerous articles. I think if you will compare the two acts, the proposed definition is substantially the same as the present one. Even under the present law a carload of coal could be actually classed as combustible. Of course there is no regulation to cover it. But it could be.
A carload of hay could be combustible under certain conditions. But obviously the Commission will not-that is, I think they will notprescribe any regulations covering it.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Perrin, it is my understanding that this is not restricted to water carriers. It covers air as well.
Mr. PERRIN. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. It would take the regulatory authority away from the Civil Aeronautics Board.
Mr. PERRIN. That is right.
You will be with us for the remainder of the hearing in case we should care to ask you any other questions.
Mr. PERRIN. Yes, sir.
(The chairman instructed that a copy of a report submitted by the Treasury Department be inserted in the record. The report was originally submitted to the Senate Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee.)
JUNE 11, 1947. Hon. WALLACE H. WHITE, Jr., Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Further reference is made to your letter of April 23, 1947 enclosing a copy of the bill S. 1141, to amend the Transportation of Explosives Act, as amended, and requesting the views of the Treasury Departagent on this proposed legislation.
The purpose of S. 1141 is to repeal expressly R. S. 4472, as amended (46 U. S. C. 170), and vest the regulation of the transportation of explosives and dangerous articles on board vessels in the Interstate Commerce Commission, and to effect minor changes in the authority of the Interstate Commerce Commission within its present jurisdiction.