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their borders, and might have generally bad effects at this time on aviation.
I speak about that in this way simply because it is a new thing; simply because it has been doing so well in the past 4 years and I believe that it is worth-while to try it a little longer just like it is.
Mr. ELLENBOGEN. May I ask a question?
Mr. ELLENBOGEN. Mr. Solicitor, the Post Office Department does not believe in competition; you do not believe in competition as far as air-mail contracts are concerned ?
Mr. CROWLEY. Well, yes. We do not have any objection to competition; in fact, we have competition.
Mr. ELLEEBOGEN. You do not believe in making contracts with two competing companies between the same points, do you?
Mr. CROWLEY. Yes, sir; we do in some cases have that.
Mr. CROWLEY. Yes; I think-I am not right sure about that_but we have the United Air Lines, and I believe the American Air Lines carrying mail from Washington to New York. And I am sure that there are two lines carrying mail between New York and Washington, and between New York and Los Angeles; in fact, two or three different lines out of New York.
Mr. ELLENBOGEN. But, generally speaking, you only make contracts between the same points with one company?
Mr. CROWLEY. That is true, generally speaking:
Mr. ELLENBOGEN. Well, as a matter of fact, under the existing law that is the policy. The existing law is not designed to have two competing carriers.
Mr. CROWLEY. That is true; and obviously it is a sound provision because we have a hard time providing adequate service with the appropriation we have.
Mr. ELLENBOGEN. And had not that been the case the subsidy provided by the Post Office Department would have to be larger, would it not?
Mr. CROWLEY. Oh, indeed; yes.
concerned the big four air lines are cooperating in the development of bigger transport planes; that is, they are carrying on the same experimental work before the planes are bought and building the same planes; is that correct?
Mr. CROWLEY. Yes; I think they are doing that; carrying on the same development work, and probably did it with some other company on another occasion.
Mr. BULWINKLE. I would like to ask one question. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bulwinkle. Mr. BULWINKLE. There is one point that is bothering me here. The President comes along and recommends that air transportation be put under the Interstate Commerce Commission, and the Post Office Department says that it should not be done.
Mr. CROWLEY. Mr. Bulwinkle, I am here representing Mr. Farley, who is perhaps as close a friend as the President has, and Mr. Farley has signed the report that was made on this bill and that has been mimeographed and copies furnished to you.
Mr. BULWINKLE. Yes; I have read it over carefully.
Mr. CROWLEY. And I do not want to be presuming to state the President's position on it, but I have never seen any statement in any message that he has given out that the commissions do more than what they already do, in fixing rates. I have never heard the President indicate in any message that he wanted to take away from the Post Office Department the control it now has.
Mr. BULWINKLE. Well, he advocated in the report, and the special committee advocated putting the regulation under a special board, or a special commission, did it not?
Mr. CROWLEY. I think the Commission did; the Commission made that recommendation.
Mr. BULWINKLE. And the President said he did not approve of it but approved of its being put under the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Mr. CROWLEY. Well, they have got it; they have got it.
The CHAIRMAN. I just want to say that it was the general regulation of aviation that the President referred to in connection with the Commission.
Mr. CROWLEY. We will be glad to help in any way we can.
Mr. MAPES. I was not able to hear all of your statement the other day, Mr. Solicitor. Did you state at that time how near the recipts from air-mail postage come to paying for carrying the air mail?
Mr. CROWLEY. I did not, Mr. Mapes, but I can give it to you approximately. The amount is about $2,500,000 less, received from postage, than the payments that we are making to the air-mail lines.
Mr. Mapes. That is, you are giving the air-mail carriers a subsidy of about two and a half million dollars?
Mr. CROWLEY. Yes. Of course, we have in that the expenses, and we are not calculating what it costs to deliver the mais, before it gets to the air lines, or what it costs to take it away. But the postage is now within about two and a half million dollars of the amount that we are paying the air lines.
Mr. MAPES. How much is that additional expense that you speak of?
Mr. CROWLEY. I could not tell you that. It involves the clerk hire, transportation back and forth from the airport, and delivery to the city offices.
Mr. MAPES. Yesterday the representative of the pilots' association appeared before the committee. He spoke about the weather conditions as they affect flying. To what extent do you have control over the movement of the mail, that is, whether the planes carrying the mail shall go under unfavorable weather conditions !
Mr. CROWLEY. Well, we do not have any. That is, the Department of Agriculture furnishes the weather reports, and they have been getting weather data for a generation and they happen to be the agency that is furnishing the reports to the air lines.
Mr. MAPES. You have nothing to say whether the mail should be carried on certain days or not?
Mr. CROWLEY. No; that is, we do not attempt to tell them; that is one thing we strictly avoid.
Mr. MAPES. The slogan of the Department that "The mail must go through” is a little inconsistent with the idea that the planes shall not go up when the air conditions are bad?
Mr. CROWLEY. Oh, no; I do not think there is any inconsistency there. When the weather is bad, and the planes cannot fly, the airmail superintendent is right on the job. They are informed about that, and immediately the mail is taken to the next fastest means of transportation. For instance, if a train was about to depart for New York and the air mail is held up, or the airplane is held up because of weather conditions, so they cannot possibly get through that day, they calculate the time that they can get the mail from Washington to New York by the next fastest means by train; and dispatch it by airplane when it can go through.
Mr. MAPES. You do not try to speculate on how long the weather is going to be fair?
Mr. CROWLEY. That is a matter of information for the air lines. We stay out of the business of directing their schedules to that extent. We do not want to tell them what to do about flying in bad weather.
Mr. Mapes. Is the urge upon the air lines to go through?
Mr. CROWLEY. None at all. That might have been done in some instances. In fact, I understand that it was on one or two occasions, but the gentleman who made the suggestion was relieved of his duties. We stay out of that.
Mr. MAPES. As far as the Post Office Department is concerned, as I understand you, it does not exercise any influence on the carriers to go through 'unless they are satisfied that the weather conditions are favorable ?
Mr. CROWLEY. That is right.
Mr. MAPES. You say that the superintendents are constantly on the watch, and in case the plane does not go through they route the mail over the railroad ?
Mr. CROWLEY. That is right.
Mr. KENNEY. Mr. Crowley, who interprets the law in the Post Office Department?
Mr. CROWLEY. I do that.
Mr. KENNEY. You do that altogether, or does the Postmaster General or Assistant Postmasters General at times make some of the rulings?
Mr. CROWLEY. Well, they submit all questions of law to me; and we have quite an office down there. We give legal opinions to the Postmaster General.
Mr. KENNEY. I was very much interested in your statement that you want to keep aviation free, that it should not be stifled, and I am inclined to agree with you on that line. But what is more important to me is that we should still insist upon the freedom of the press and not stifle the press in this country.
I wonder if you could tell me what law of Congress provides that the use of the mail, whether by airplane or railroad, shall be denied to newspapers for mailable matter where such newspapers do not use the mails for dissemination of information to the great American public of the results, say, for instance, of the Irish sweepstakes. I know of no law of Congress setting forth that a newspaper that does not use the mails for that purpose should be denied the use of the mails for other mailable matter.
Mr. CROWLEY. The second-class privilege of newspapers is administered directly by the Third Assistant Postmaster General. The Third Assistant Postmaster General submits to my office a paper, a newspaper, with the mere request to be informed whether or not that paper is mailable, containing such-and-such matters. I advise the Third Assistant Postmaster General whether or not that matter is mailable. Now, the Third Assistant Postmaster General administers the service that you are talking about, and just upon what theory he attempts to control the distribution of newspapers that do not go through the mails, I am not familiar enough with that to tell you, because that question, that specific question, has never been presented to the Solicitor's office.
The Third Assistant does feel this way about that second-class privilege which is granted to newspapers, and that is that the entire circulation, that the entire issue or circulation, of a paper must be considered in determining its right to the second-class-mail privilege. That generally is a regulation which I believe has been in effect for about 70 years; and it is something that has not been submitted to the Solicitor's office, and I know very little about it.
Mr. KENNY. I am just trying to get the information, and appreciate your statement that you had nothing to do with that ruling. But what I am getting at is on what the Third Assistant Postmaster General now bases his action. I would like to know what law of Congress permits any official in the Post Office Department to deny the privilege of mailable matter, mail that is not objectionable in any newspaper, to deny the use of the mails to such matter where, because through some other agency, they give certain information that might not be permitted to go through the mail. Is there any such act of Congress or any law that goes so far as to permit the Department to make any such ruling?
Mr. CROWLEY. Mr. Kenney, you have asked me a question on the spur of the moment, and a question that has been causing a lot of trouble in the past months.
Mr. KENNEY. I am very much interested in it, and I have not been able to find any such law.
Mr. CROWLEY. I have no difficulty with the question where a lottery is being operated, and the publishing of a paper that carries, for instance, the Irish sweepstakes, but I had rather look into that a little further, Mr. Kenney.
Mr. BULWINKLE. There is a statute now against carrying any advertisement of a lottery.
Mr. CROWLEY. Yes; it cannot go through the mail.
Mr. BULWINKLE. And Mr. Kenney's question is what would be the situation if it were carried by an express company; the Government says that it is denied the use of the mail.
Mr. CROWLEY. Yes, sir; if the other goes through the mail.
Mr. KENNEY. The official in the Post Office Department, you say, that has jurisdiction over that is the Third Assistant?
Mr. CROWLEY. Well, the Third Assistant has jurisdiction over the question of newspapers that enjoy the second-class privilege, and the Third Assistant Postmaster General feels like the Department does have some control over it. However, it is a little too early for me to answer your question, because he is making up some matter on that very thing now.
Mr. KENNEY. Well, I would like to express the opinion that I do not think there is any such law; and I do not think the Post Office Department has the right to deny the use of the mails to the newspapers of this country and by so doing stifle and interfere with the freedom of the press. I do not believe the Department has the right to suppress this information—not advertising information, but information of the results of drawings of winners or prizes legally awarded in Ireland on a sweepstakes legally run in England, information which the American people want; and I think the Post Office Department goes
out of its way when it undertakes to put any such interpretation upon the laws of Congress. I believe Major Bulwinkle will agree with me on that conclusion.
Mr. ELLENBOGAN. I have a further question, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. ELLENBOGEN. I was interrupted when I was asking you about the policy of the Post Office Department. As far as the air mail is concerned, it is the policy of the Department not to give to two people air-mail contracts between the same points?
Mr. CROWLEY. In general, that is true.
Mr. CROWLEY. There is nothing that prohibits the giving of contracts between two competing points to competing companies?
Mr. ELLENBOGEN. I think it directs
Mr. Crowley (interposing). There is no restriction. Sometimes we have competing service between several cities. For instance, there is competition between here and New York.
Mr. ELLENBOGEN. All these air lines were established when the present law was passed and, generally speaking, without taking specific instances
Mr. CROWLEY (interposing). Yes. Mr. ELLENBOGEN. That was the policy of the Department, not to give competing companies contracts between the same points ?
Mr. CROWLEY. That is right.
Mr. ELLENBOGEN. And I believe the cause of that policy is the fact that air-mail lines have been operating at a loss; and the Post Office Department, in giving a subsidy, does not desire to increase that loss.
Mr. CROWLEY. That is right.
Mr. ELLENBOGEN. Now, if that policy exists as to the air-mail contracts, because of the financial conditions of the companies, why would it not also be a good policy in regard to the transportation of passengers ?