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If the economy of our industry is to be preserved, we must preserve flexibility and you cannot be fully flexible under complete regulation.
A few years ago we had one boat running between Texas and Memphis. A pipe line was put in to Helena, Ark., during the early part of the war, and the tonnage we had hauled by barge was then hauled by pipe line. If we had been restricted by complete regulation at that time we would have been automatically put out of business, because we could have found no other tonnage on this same waterway which would have kept our tow busy under the permit system. I could relate hundreds of similar instances.
The railroads are also very anxious to have bulk carriers completely regulated, and for my part I cannot understand why. If we were put out of business completely, the railroad would get only a small percentage of this tonnage that would be dislocated. It is true that regulation of the railroads was necessary to protect the public. There has never been any need for such protection from the bulk carriers. The railroads have always charged all the traffic will bear. The only exception is where there is direct competition. Their rate cutting drove the packet boats from the rivers for many years,
and the effects of the rate cutting is still felt by the bulk carriers. The bulk carriers are not in direct competition with the railroads. This competition is purely theoretical and stems from the published rate structure rather than from actual operations. Yet the railroads would also have us under complete regulation. The pipe lines are our principal competitors, not the railroads, and they would get the greater part of this tonnage. Those of us handling petroleum, which comes under bulk carrying, are faced immediately with very serious competition from the pipe lines. This year there are 24,000 miles of pipe lines either being built or approved for construction. A good many of these lines are gas lines, but also a great percentage of them carry the same commodities which we carry by barge. If we are burdened with costly regulation it will only cause the construction of more pipe lines to the detriment of bulk carrying.
I heard a very able man in the river transportation business make a statement to the effect that if the railroads would spend as much time and money on research and in trying to discover new methods to improve their service as they do in trying to put water transportation out of business, they would would not be able to spend the money saved as a result of such a program. I believe it is important to keep the barge lines in as healthy a condition as possible, because of the service they can render in a national emergency. The service they rendered in the last war is still fresh in the memory of every businessman in this country.
Gentlemen, thank you very much for listening.
From what I have gathered from your statements, I want to ask: You think there is no one who wants this other than the Federal Government itself?
Mr. JORDAN. Mr. Hill, I am convinced that it is only the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Mr. HILL. You think there is no demand in the field for anything like this?
Mr. JORDAN. There is a fear that it will happen, Mr. Hill. There is no demand, but a fear.
Mr. HILL. I am a small businessman myself. I ran a hardware store for years. I know what we are up against when we come to national legislation.
Because the big corporations, lots of times, can get down here very easily with their lawyers and all their witnesses and all their help, while some of our boys out in the hinterland have a hard time getting here, let alone getting any witnesses.
Mr. JORDAN. It costs us a lot of money, Mr. Hill, to try continually fighting this sort of thing in Washington. I think the people who conjure up these things are honest at heart. I wouldn't question their honesty. But I surely question their judgment.
Mr. HILL. Have you forgotten that there was a day in this country when legislation was gotten up by the Congress itself and not brought in here by boards and bureaus and commissions ?
Mr. JORDAN. Mr. Hill, the most dangerous thing that this country faces today, in my opinion, is that bureaus are constantly figuring ways of extending their own authority.
The railroads are not our competitors. It is the pipe lines. The railroad has long since gone over the horizon as being a competitor of ours.
The tonnage is so terrific that the pipe line is where this business will go. It won't benefit the railroads. With all the millions they are spending to destroy us, it will not benefit them.
The CHAIRMAN. There are no further questions.
Mr. FORISTEL. Congressman Sikes, at this time we have three gentlemen from your congressional district, and I wish you would introduce them to the committee.
Mr. SIKES. Thank you very much, sir.
Gentlemen, may I commend this distinguished committee for what it is doing today. This committee has a long and honorable record. It has done great things for small business in this Nation, and small business knows it.
The men who are here today realize that this Government of ours is a big thing; and much of it is far removed from the public.
It is far removed from the man who is making a living and meeting a
The Congress of the United States is the only part of that big Government that is open and accessible and available to the average person back home.
When he can come to his Congress, he has an opportunity to tell how legislation affects him, what his problems are, and what is needed.
You are doing a fine thing by having this hearing, and I commend you.
If I may take just a moment, it appears that one of the principal reasons advanced for the enactment of this legislation is the experiences of wartime, the complications that arose in transportation during wartime.
I think it should be recognized that during wartime there are special powers which make possible the regulation of all business and all industry, special wartime controls. We are not in war now.
The need for those special controls and special powers is diminishing. Business wants to be turned loose. It wants to have an opportunity to go ahead. It wants to get out from under regulation.
I feel that these men are right in coming here and opposing what looks like a division of power and imposition of further controls on business.
Mr. Chairman, I want to ask the privilege of presenting to this distinguished committee three businessmen from my district.
They are men who operate businesses, who are in position to state frankly and clearly just how they would be affected by this proposed legislation.
At this time I want to introduce Mr. Fred L. Sanford of De Funiak Springs.
Mr. FORISTEL. Do you swear that the testimony you will give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
Mr. SANFORD. I do.
Mr. FORISTEL. Will you state your name for the reporter? TESTIMONY OF FREDERICK L. SANFORD, DE FUNIAK SPRINGS, FLA.
Mr. SANFORD. I am Frederick L. Sanford.
In coming up here to attend this hearing, I did so because it seemed very important.
We are now regulated under the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard inspect and certify and certificate our vessels.
They have very excellent regulations, which there should be for explosives and dangerous cargoes, and we see no reason why it should be transferred over to the ICO.
The fact that there have been practically no accidents occasioned by matters that were not covered by regulations is evidence that the Coast Guard is doing a wonderful job.
They are in the boat business. They should be and are more familiar with our problems than the ICC could or would be.
That has been covered so thoroughly by others that I think it is not necessary to say anything else.
Mr. FORISTEL. Thank you very much.
Mr. SIKES. Mr. Chairman, I would like to present Mr. A. P. Ward, of Pensacolo.
Mr. FORISTEL. Do you swear that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing by the truth?
Mr. WARD. I do.
Mr. FORISTEL. Will you please state your name for the reporter? TESTIMONY OF A. P. WARD, PRESIDENT, A. P. WARD & SON, INC.,
PENSACOLA, FLA. Mr. WARD. I am A. P. Ward, president of A. P. Ward & Son, Inc., Pensacola, Fla.
Mr. FORISTEL. You may proceed, sir.
Mr. WARD. Mr. Chairman, I can add very little to what the other gentlemen have said. In fact, I concur wholeheartedly and would not add more than one or two items.
I started out in the steamboat business as a boy. I got to be a master and then an operator, all under the Coast Guard regulations.
In fact, I have lived under them for 35 years. I don't think that any agency can be formed to do any better job than they have done in regulating our men, or equipment, to date. The CHAIRMAN. Have your operations been profitable? Mr. WARD. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think they would be profitable if this regulation were changed?
Mr. WARD. No.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you care to state your reasons for that statement?
Mr. WARD. Well, I couldn't stand the expense for one thing.
Mr. WARD. I have had a little experience with regulation, in connection with another company that I was working with.
In fact, I appeared before the Interstate Commerce Commission and got contract clause rights as to two companies.
At a recent date, those companies asked to be relieved of those rights. There was just too much work, too much regulation.
I would have to increase my office force at the present time if this regulation went into effect, as it appears they want. I will have to increase my office force, I would say, threefold anyhow.
I just don't think you need any further regulation. It boils down to that simple statement.
We are well regulated, and we are getting along well.
Mr. Ward. Certainly, if there were to come an overlapping of authority, changes in equipment, type of barge, or if we would have to tow in certain ways, or according to certain conditions. And there, I don't believe any agency is capable of telling us what to do except the Coast Guard. There is no doubt but what somebody will come along and change some of it.
I have seen it happen.
Mr. Sikes. Mr. Chairman, I would like to present Mr. Pete Hyer, also of Pensacola.
Mr. FORISTEL. Do you swear that your testimony will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
Mr. HYER. I do.
TESTIMONY OF PETE HYER, HYER TOWING CO., PENSACOLA, FLA.
Mr. HYER. My name is A. M. Hyer; I am generally known as Pete.
I have been in this business of transporting petroleum for a good many years. In fact, I was in it before we had the Coast Guard regulating us.
We used to haul oil in bulk in old wooden barges.
Along about 1938 or 1937, somewhere along in there, they promulgated these new rules and regulations governing the handling of petroleum.
At the time, I didn't know whether they were good or bad, but we found out since that they were very good.
We have lived under the Coast Guard ever since. We have found that their rules and regulations are very strict. tA times, I don't agree with them, but I know they are made in the interest of safety.
The record of the transportation of petroleum during peacetime and during wartime has pretty well proved that the Coast Guard has done a swell job. As I
say, I don't always agree with their regulations, but they are good. They are all right. We are happy to live under them. But we don't want any more.
So if we get another agency in there to stick their regulations down our throats, our costs are going up, and lots of the little fellows will be forced out. And they shouldn't be.
Because all of you, I think, can remember that during the war, our industry did one hell of a good job. And I don't think any of you want to see it fall by the wayside.
I do think this bill, which has been elaborated on by different ones, has been pretty well explained by this group.
I don't think there is anything further I could say as to it or as to that, except that it would certainly work a hardship on our industry.
I hope it will never be passed.
And let me say to these gentlemen who are assembled here that the interests of small business are in very capable hands when they are in the hands of this committee, and when this committee has the chairmanship that it has.
Mr. FORISTEL. I would like to ask if anyone here would like to testify further?
Mr. CREDITOR. Yes.
Mr. FORISTEL. Do you swear that you testimony will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. CREDITOR. I do.
TESTIMONY OF MORRIS CREDITOR, VICE PRESIDENT, THE OHIO
Mr. CREDITOR. First of all, I want to say that I concur wholeheartedly in the statements made by those who are opposing S. 1141.
What I have to say may not add anything to it, but I do want to make some comments.
In my opinion, S. 1141 is contrary to the commendable efforts of Congress to simplify regulations and the functioning of Government, insofar as it results in duplication of effort.
No one in this room is opposed to the regulation of dangerous cargo, and this subject is not even involved in S. 1141, because we already have and have had such regulation for many, many years.
This bill simply proposes to transfer the jurisdiction from one governmental agency to another. How and where is the public interest enhanced and promoted by such a transfer?
The last Congress passed a law known as the Taft-Hartley law, which, in one of its provisions, we hope, will eliminate the jurisdic