« PreviousContinue »
To the American Railway Engineering Association:
Your Committee on Uniform General Contract Forms respectfully submits the following report:
(1) Revision of Manual In Appendix A, covering Revision of the Manual, certain changes have been recommended for adoption by the Association. This work was in charge of Sub-Committee, Chairman of which was Clark Dillenbeck, the members of his Sub-Committee being : Clark Dillenbeck, J. C. Irwin, C. B. Niehaus, E. L. Taylor and Frank Taylor. The conclusions and recommendations of this Sub-Committee are referred to hereinafter.
(2) Report of Certain Forms of Agreement To a Sub-Committee composed of J. C. Irwin as Chairman, with the following members: J. C. Irwin, C. A. Wilson, E. L. Taylor, H. A. Palmer, C. F. Allen and F. H. Fechtig, was assigned (1) the submission of a final report on agreement covering the construction of “Electric Conductor, Conduits, Pipe Lines and Drains on Railroad Property," and (2) agreement for “Trackage Rights” In Appendix B is submitted the report of this Sub-Committee and at the close of the Sub-Committee's report is the final draft of a “Form of License for Wires, Pipes, Conduits and Drains on Railroad Property,” which is recommended for approval and insertion in the Manual. (3) Report on Agreement for Private Road Crossing and for Pur
chase of Electricity The work referred to in the caption was assigned to a Sub-Committee, of which E. L. Taylor was Chairman, with the ollowing members: E. L. Taylor, C. B. Niehaus, J. B. Carothers, W. A. Duffy, H. A. Palmer and W. H. Brameld. This Committee has given considerable thought and study to the subjects assigned and its report is submitted in full in Appendix C.
The Sub-Committee was able to submit a carefully worked out progress report on “Form of License for Private Road Crossing." This form of license, which is printed in full as a progress report, includes therein several paragraphs which the Sub-Committee felt it proper to include. No Liability Clause is inserted, but a blank number is left therefor and by the next Convention it is expected that this clause will be in shape for final submission. It developed that there was considerable differences of opinion in the Sub-Committee and also in the General Committee with respect to this Liability Clause and it was considered best not to attempt to print in this progress report the several Liability Clauses which had been submitted. It is the wish of this Committee to receive any criticism or suggestion in connection with this Form or the Liability Clause and it is hoped that this same subject will be reassigned this Committee as a part of next year's work. (4) Form of License for Wires, Pipes, Conduits and Drains on Rail
road Property The Committee makes its final report on “Form of License for Wires, Pipes, Conduits and Drains on Railroad Property,” and recommends to the Association the adoption of this form of Agreement.
Your Committee realizes that in presenting a draft of proposed Agreement or License of this character that it is hardly possible that such an Agreement can be adopted by any one railway without some modifications to fit the conditions local to the individual railway. It is hoped, however, that this Form of Agreement will, if adopted by the Association, be a guide in the drafting of such forms in the future. In all of these Agreements the Committee has endeavored to make them simple, clear and easily understood, with the hope that no unnecessary and irrelevant material will be inserted therein.
It is the experience of your Committee that legal departments of the different railways desire very often to recast these agreements in a language approved by each individual law department. Your Committee does not feel that the phrasing of these agreements is the best that could be done, but it is the hope that if it is adopted by the Association that it will be used in as near the form presented as may be possible.
Work of Committee XX During the year this Committee received with regret the resignation of Mr. C. J. Parker of the New York Central Lines. It was not thought necessary to appoint any other member in place of Mr. Parker for the remainder of the year.
In December the Chairman of your Committee was designated by President Downs of the American Railway Engineering Association to attend a conference in Washington, called by the Associated General Contractors of America, to represent the American Railway Engineering Association at that conference. The meeting was held in the office of Secretary of Commerce Hoover and was opened by the Secretary. His remarks being of such import we feel it desirable to quote them, as fol. lows:
"Well, gentlemen, this conference is to consider whether something can be done to standardize or simplify or reinforce or generally improve the whole basis of contract forms used in the construction industry. I believe there is a great field there not only in protection to the public, but in the general improvement of the ethics of the industry itself. I don't profess to know much about it, but it is a matter that has not come under my purview for some years. I have been too much out of the engineering work for the last seven years to give much thought to it.
"I know that the time I was in engineering work this whole variation and specification of the contract basis for construction work of all kinds was an outstanding sore, and I have been in hopes that it was possible to do something. It all comes in line with the things many of us are concerned with, and that is fundamentally the elimination of waste, lost motion, improvement of business practice throughout the whole of the United States, and we have to remember that we have now an enlarged and inflated cost of distribution primarily rather than production, and that we have a disparity due to the fundamentals of the increase in Federal taxation and railway rates that are making a wider margin between production and final distribution costs than we have ever had to face before, and unless we can crowd that margin down somewhat by just share increase in efficiency we are not going to be able to hold up our competitive position outside. So this is one of those things that ramify in many directions.
“I now, therefore, leave it to you, and we are glad to have you come to this Department, because we have started a definite program along all these lines, not from a point of view of trying to compel anybody to do anything, but trying to mobilize all the different branches of industry for co-operative action, and while you can do much to get this thing straightened out it is probable that the Department of Commerce could be of moral assistance to you in getting it over when you have once arrived at some conclusions, and we will be delighted to back up anything that you come to an agreement on, and I have been astonished at the desire of the different industries to effect these things in every direction and their willingness to co-operate with other industries to make the work of each individual industry effective.
"We had the case the other day of the simplification of certain manufactured articles. The great majority of the manufacturers were represented here, but claimed that some minority would not help. They could not do anything without the assistance of other branches, and therefore I called in both the wholesalers and retailers in those directions and asked them if they would co-operate, and they have co-operated so far as to almost set up a boycott against certain manufacturers because they would not fall into line with the great majority, and they did it purely out of national interest.
"Somebody somewhere has got to eliminate the waste in this whole situation. I only mention that as a point where this Deparıment can be of help in getting the allegiance of the related industries and trades, and help you to get over some program of this kind.
"So that is all I am doing, is to give you our blessing and to tell you that the Department of Commerce is yours. Go to it.
"Now it is up to you, I think.”
Without going into the details of the two days' session, the general idea was to formulate, if possible, a standard national construction contract, that could be used or adopted in all the different branches of the construction industry, and have the contract of such flexibility to make it possible of adaptation to any of the general branches of construction. This would, of course, eliminate those conditions from such a standard document as would be entirely local or applicable to special kinds of work; such special paragraphs or conditions would have to appear in the document when drafted for any special work.
The two days were spent in coming to an understanding as to the method of procedure and a starting point for the formulation of such a standard national construction contract. The names of such paragraphs as might be inserted in such a national document were named and agreed upon. No wording or phraseology for any of these named paragraphs were written. The full typewritten report of 374 pages has been submitted to the President and Secretary of the Association.
There were present as delegates to this conference the following: Wm. Stanley Parker, representing American Institute of Architects. H. K. Bishop, representing American Association of State Highway
Officials. L. W. Wallace, alternate for Col. C. 0. Sherrill, representing American
Engineering Council. J. S. Langthorn, alternate for H. Eltinge Breed, representing American
Society of Civil Engineers. G. Waldo Smith and John M. Goddell, representing American Water
Works Association. J. W. Cowper, General R. C. Marshall and Ward P. Christie (Secretary
of the meeting), representing Associated General Contractors of
America. E. W. Reaugh, representing National Association of Builders' Exchanges. W. A. Rogers, alternate for Onward Bates, representing Western Society
of Engineers. Wm. B. King, representing American Bar Association. W. D. Faucette, representing American Railway Engineering Association.
And at the close of the conference the following resolutions were adopted:
"WHEREAS, the preliminary conference of representatives of architectural, engineering and contracting organizations in Washington on December 15th and 16th has resulted in the development of certain views regarding the arrangement and wording of clauses in forms of contract documents for the further consideration of the delegates to the conference, and
WHEREAS, the American Institute of Architects and the American Railway Engineering Association have already adopted standard documents of this character, therefore
Be it Resolzed by the delegates assembled at the preliminary conference, that General R C. Marshall, Jr., is requested to prepare, in consultation with the delegate of the American Institute of Architects and the American Railway Engineering Association, a document embodying these opinions for the further consideration of the delegates, to be accompanied if practicable by a statement of the items in which the new document departs from the standard documents of the American Institute of Architects and the American Railway Enginecring Association, and such other information and such suggestions as these gentlemen may deem it desirable to place before the delegates."
A full report has been made to President Downs and instructions are awaited prior to the next meeting of the delegates.