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there. Now, to attempt to subtract 2 hours this afternoon from tomorrow's accumulated free time or the next day's accumulated free time would just cause an endless amount of difficulty in getting proper records. Furthermore, there are some of these cars that are placed at points remote from agency stations and under the direct eye of an agent or the supervisory forces, and it would be an almost impossible task to get that in a variable way such as you suggest. It is just a tremendous job.
Senator REED. You are speaking now of the clerical work on the part of the railroad in recording the car loading time to be charged against the free time?
Mr. KENDALL. That is right; yes, sir.
Senator REED. This is the thought I have in mind: Of course a matter of this kind is more properly to be included in tariff rules than in legislation. Nobody is more conscious of that fact than I am. But I can see that in placing a car, say, at 5 o'clock or 4 o'clock or even at 3 o'clock in the afternoon it might be too late to begin the unloading of that car, with many commodities, so the shipper just naturally lets it lay over until next morning before he begins; but if his car is set as early as 7 o'clock, if I am correct-that is, if I remember it correctly and if I understand it correctly, that begins at 7 o'clock, and where there is unloading beginning at 7 o'clock, or if a car is set after 7 o'clock, it is not charged against him that day.
Mr. KENDALL. It gives him a free day.
Senator REED. If that car is set at 8 o'clock, we will say, o'clock, he has most of the day in which he could unload that car, and I think a great many shippers, perhaps most shippers, do. But it would seem to me not unreasonable that where a car was set as early as 8 o'clock or 9 o'clock there should be some deduction of the available unloading time that day as against his free time. In other words, if you set a car, say, at 8 o'clock in the morning, and the shipper is so inclined, he could take what is in effect 3 full days to unload it. Not 2, but 3.
Mr. KENDALL. Under the rules he could do that.
Senator REED. Yes.
Mr. KENDALL. And I should like to add this: That we find hundreds, perhaps thousands, of instances where he is doing that unloading today now; he is taking every advantage of his opportunity to use the afternoon, if you please, of the day that the car is placed, as a cooperative measure and just responding to that.
Senator REED. I do not mean that this is the only carload business I have in mind. I have seen carloads of newspapers and newsprint throughout the year for unloading. Now, if they get that car set from the siding blocks at 8 o'clock in the morning or 9 o'clock, we would unload it that day. If they moved it there at 3 o'clock in the afternoon we could not unload it that day, and we probably would
Senator TUNNELL. How do you get your notices? By telephone? Senator REED. Oh, usually. I live in a town of eighteen or nineteen thousand people, and we get our notices usually by telephone.
Mr. KENDALL. Telephone, telegraph, or postal notice.
Senator REED. I wish you would tell the committee what your experience has been over here at the Potomac Yard as regards the former detentions made necessary, or rather involved in the liberal
reconsignment rules that they have, and what rule you have in effect over there now, and what the result has been.
Mr. KENDALL. It has been the practice among fruit and vegetable shippers, as well as with certain other commodities to be shipped on Potomac Yard "hold for reconsignment," that the amount of cars so held depends upon the commodities that are running. It might be potatoes for a while, or it might be peaches for a while, watermelons, or something like that, although watermelons not so much as other commodities. Two months ago it was found that Potomac Yard was pretty close up to its capacity. They were having difficulty in keeping ahead of the switching requirements. They were handling about 2,200 cars a day over the hump north-bound, and the number of cars placed on the hold track for reconsignment and diversion might run from 100 to 300 daily.
Senator REED. Was that mostly refrigerator traffic?
Mr. KENDALL. These were refrigerators; they are not altogether refrigerator cars.
Senator REED. Not altogether. I think, mostly.
Mr. KENDALL. But to some extent refrigerator cars. Potatoes do not run in refrigerator cars always.
Senator REED. That is right.
Mr. KENDALL. I remember one particular day not long ago there were 138 cars of potatoes that were put over the hump and went to this hold track for diversion. Now, that means after diversion orders are received those cars must be pulled back to the other end of the yard and sorted out and those cars on which diversion orders have been received put over the hump in their regular classifications for forwarding north.
If that had been refrigerator cars, for instance, in a season of refrigeration, and the car had been on hand 24 hours or perhaps longer, it would need re-icing; that car would have to be switched to the icing track, which is at the other end of the yard, and then put over the hump again, or perhaps two or three times, so long as it is held there for reconsignment and diversion.
The Interstate Commerce Commission issued directions about a month ago, I would say, eliminating Potomac Yard as a hold and diversion point. There is a provision that if diversion orders are received by the agency at Potomac Yard up to 3 hours prior to the arrival of the car he has then sufficient time to reconsign that car and put it on the right classification track so it does not have to be hauled back and rehumped. In other words, there is no extraordinary detention to that particular car.
Senator REED. Is that 3 hours? I had the impression it was 4. I take your statement, of course.
Mr. KENDALL. I think it is 3 hours. That is the limit. Those orders are received during sometime prior to that.
Senator TUNNELL. What do you mean by "rehumped"? I don't catch that.
Mr. KENDALL. At a freight yard like Potomac Yard, where there is any large volume of business that is handled, they have a yard that is laid out so that the car moves by gravity. That is, they build up the center of the yard perhaps 8 or 10 feet or more and then push cars up there, and they run by themselves onto the various classification tracks. There are car retarders in some yards that will brake
that car automatically, rather than to put a man on for braking purposes; and, as I say, there are about 2,200 of those cars that go over that hump in each direction here at Potomac Yard every day.
Senator TUNNELL. It is properly named. I did not know what you meant.
Senator REED. It is a simplification of the switching movement. Instead of the switching engine furnishing all of the power directly, the switching engine furnishes just power enough to get the car over the hump. That is the reason they call it that. And then it goes down by gravity. Those yards are designed scientifically so that they have just enough fall to take the car down by gravity onto the field tracks. Mr. KENDALL. They can switch about a hundred cars an hour that whereas flat switching would take three or four times as long That has been the cure for the Potomac Yard's trouble.
Senator REED. Go ahead, Mr. Kendall.
Mr. KENDALL. I am all through.
Senator REED. I think I have only a couple of notes here. Do any of you gentlemen want to ask Mr. Kendall any questions? Mr. KENDALL. May I have leave to correct this record?
Senator REED. Certainly.
Mr. KENDALL. I want to correct the record in that some of these dates may be in error, and I should like to check them up.
Senator REED. Certainly. The reporter is furnishing me a copy of the record. You mean to check up on what?
Mr. KENDALL. Certain dates as to when the new demurrage rates go into effect.
Senator REED. Do you want to correct those now?
Mr. KENDALL. No. I shall have to check my records with the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Mr. Lacey ought to know about this. Do you know?
Mr. LACEY. On page 5, Mr. Kendall, of your statement, where you say that effective August 1, 1942, the rate of $2.20 will apply to the first 2 days after the expiration of free time, I thought that was June 15. I may be wrong, but I did not know it was August 1.
Senator REED. Just to shorten the record, suppose, Mr. Kendall, if you want to correct it, you get the correct date and make any change in the original testimony, and it will make a good deal simpler record. Senator TUNNELL. The discussion of it here would be long.
Senator REED. Now we shall take on these coal people next, if you gentlemen can agree among yourselves as to the order in which you will proceed. I have Mr. Seal here. But he is for the N. I. T. League and the Baltimore Association of Commerce; Mr. Estes, Mr. Bell, and Mr. Goodyear. Are there any other coal representatives here? (There was no response.)
Senator REED. Can you agree among yourselves as to who should go first?
Mr. BELL. Do you want to go first, Mr. Estes?
Mr. ESTES. It is agreeable to me however you want to handle it, Senator.
Senator REED. All right, Mr. Estes; suppose you start.
STATEMENT OF F. F. ESTES, TRAFFIC MANAGER, NATIONAL COAL
Senator REED. Have you a prepared statement?
Mr. ESTES. I have enough for the committee and the reporter. My name is F. F. Estes, traffic manager, National Coal Association. I should like to explain that the National Coal Association is the Nation-wide organization of coal producers.
I first want to thank the committee for its courtesy in allowing us to appear and express our views on Senate Joint Resolution 147.
Senator REED. Mr. Estes, that is what we are here for.
Mr. ESTES. I also want to say that we are very much pleased with Senator Reed's statement yesterday, and which he restated this morning, that the record would be held open for, I think, 3 months to see how things improve. We have every confidence that by November the operation will be so satisfactory that this bill can be shelved.
Senator REED. Nobody would be happier to shelve it than I would. Mr. ESTES. I am sure you would, Senator.
I should also like to explain before I start that I have in mind the Senator's remarks or statement that he did not want to hear very much about legislative rate making, and if that is in my statement I shall not dwell on it in view of the onus on it.
Senator REED. I am a vigorous opponent of legislative rate making, Mr. ESTES. I know you are.
The bituminous-coal industry has a vital interest in Senate Joint Resolution 147 because bituminous coal in normal times comprises almost one-third of the total tonnage handled by the railroads. Specifically, in 1941 it was 28.1 percent. Not only are we appreciative of the Herculean task that lies ahead for the railroads, and the accompanying necessity of prompt handling of cars, but as shippers of their largest loading single class of freight we have cooperated in every manner possible to load cars promptly and have them unloaded without delay, and have in cooperation with other shippers made what we feel sizable concessions in the demurrage rules. We have pledged our continued and increased cooperation along this line, and our promises will be kept. Our position on this proposed bill is twofold. First, while recognizing the sincerity of purpose of the author of the bill, we do not believe legislation of this character is necessary at the present time and we believe it would slow down rather than speed up the movement of railroad freight cars. Secondly, if the committee should decide to report favorably on this bill, we respectfully request that the handling of coal cars at mines be exempt from the bill's provisions in order that there may be no interruption in the present arrangement which has been in practice for a great number of years and which was worked out between the railroads and the coal producers after long deliberation and was then approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Speaking to the first premise I have stated, the shippers of bituminous coal, in cooperation and corroboration with shippers of other commodities and classes of freight, have conferred on numerous occasions with officials of the Interstate Commerce Commission and
the Office of Defense Transportation on the question of making such amendments to the existing demurrage rules as in the opinion of all concerned would speed up the movement of all freight cars. As a result of those conferences, some practicable amendments have been made. For example, the $2.20 daily demurrage charge, which previously ran for a period of 4 days after the expiration of free time, has now been cut in half to 2 days. That is a sizable concession. As mentioned by previous witnesses, the average agreement rule has been changed so that two credits will offset one debit, instead of one credit against one debit, as heretofore. Furthermore, the rules bave been or will be changed, I believe effective July 10, so that after expiration of the free time Sundays and holidays will be included in the demurrage charges. Other amendments are in the formulative process, and it is our belief that the powers vested in the Interstate Commerce Commission and those now vested in the Office of Defense Transportation are sufficient to insure that such further appropriate and practicable amendments as necessary will be made.
Demurrage has never been viewed solely as a revenue producer for the railroads. It is primarily a penalty charge. Reasonable penalties in the form of demurrage charges have their appropriate place in normal peacetimes, but speeking frankly, and with the most respect, we feel that enactment of this legislation, superimposing upon industry, already befuddled, shackled, and fettered with ultracomplicated regulations, mandates, and instructions, these unheard-of extreme penalties for holding cars, in many cases unpreventable, would be unwise and unnecessary. It is legislative rate making, a principle that we have never favored. We would much prefer, even though unsuccessful as we are at times before them, to leave these matters in the hands of the agencies already set up by Congress, namely, the Interstate Commerce Commission and the new Office of Defense Transportation.
Speaking now to our second premise, practically all coal mines are located in places remote from large towns or railroad headquarters offices. To check each coal mine each day, or perhaps twice each day, would require thousands of employees. Competent and adequate labor is now short on the railroads as well as in the coal mines. There can be no guesswork in assessing demurrage charges. Over a long period of years and under every testing condition imaginable, the coal mines and the railroads worked out a penalty system to apply to cars held at the mines, which is drastic in character, easy of application, and productive of results. Long and tedious hearings and conferences before the Interstate Commerce Commission were held, as a result of which that body approved a system of coal-car-distribution rules which has long been in practice and has worked efficiently. Senator REED. Those grew out of the assigned-car cases? Mr. ESTES. That is true.
Each coal mine is rated as to its ability to produce coal within a specified time; that is, a 7-hour day. It is rated after careful study and survey by the railroad, and the coal operator cooperated by furnishing the data and information required of him. Let us take, for example, a mine that is rated at 25 cars per day. The owner may have a standing order for that number of cars or he may order them daily. If there is a 100-percent car supply of empties, then no problem whatever is involved. If there is less than a full car supply, the cars are