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TRANSPORTATION POLICY

TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 1956

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS
OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERSTATE AND FOREIGN COMMERCE,

Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10 a. m., in the caucus room, Old House Office Building, Hon. Oren Harris (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.

Mr. HARRIS. The committee will come to order. The Subcommittee on Transportation and Communications of the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce today is beginning hearings on H. R. 6141 and H. R. 6142, identical bills, making substantial amendments to the Interstate Commerce Act. These bills were drafted by the Department of Commerce to carry out the recommendations contained in the report of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Transport Policy and Organization, and introduced by our colleagues, the chairman of this committee, Mr. Priest, and Mr. Wolverton, the ranking minority member, at the request of the Department.

It will be recalled that, last fall after the adjournment of Congress, this subcommittee had a week of hearings on the report itself, with the report being discussed by the three members of the Presidential Advisory Committee and by representatives of the transport industry affected.

In addition, at this time, in view of the relevancy to the matters contained in H. R. 6141, we also will take testimony on H. R. 525, relating to section 22, Government rates, a bill introduced by our distinguished colleague, a member of this committee, Mr. Hinshaw; H. R. 6208, relating to the fourth section introduced by our distinguished chairman, Mr. Priest; H. R. 9177 introduced by Mr. Hinshaw; and H. R. 9548, H. R. 9771, and H. R. 9772, introduced by myself on request, relating to freight forwarders.

(The bills above referred to are as follows:)

[H, R, 6141, 84th Cong., 1st sess.)

A BILL To amend the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended, so as to provide for a stronger

national transportation industry, and for other purposes Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the “Transportation Amendments Act of 1955."

SEC. 2. The national transportation policy preceding section 1 of the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended, is amended to read as follows:

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“It is hereby declared to be the national transportation policy of the Congress

(1) to provide for and develop, under the free enterprise system of dynamic competition, a strong, efficient, and financially sound national transportation industry by water, highway, and rail, as well as other means, which is and will at all times remain fully adequate for national defense, the postal service, and commerce;

(2) to encourage and promote full competition between modes of transportation at charges not less than reasonable minimum charges, nor more than reasonable maximum charges, so as to encourage technical innovations, the development of new rate and service techniques, and the increase of operating and managerial efficiency, full use of facilities and equipment, and the highest standards of service, safety, economy, efficiency, and benefit to the transportation user and the ultimate consumer, but without unjust discrimination, undue preference or advantage, or undue prejudice, and without excessive or unreasonable charges on noncompetitive traffic;

(3) to cooperate with the several States and the duly authorized officials thereof, and to encourage fair wages and equitable working conditions ;

“(4) to reduce economic regulation of the transportation industry to the minimum consistent with the public interest and to the end that the inherent economic advantages, including cost and service advantages, of each mode of transportation may be fully realized in such a manner so as to reflect its full competitive economic capabilities; and

“(5) to require that such minimum economic regulation be fair and impartial, without special restrictions, conditions, or limitations on individual

modes of transport. “All the provisions of this Act shall be construed, administered, and enforced with a view of carrying out the above declaration of policy."

SEC. 3. (a) Paragraph (4) of section 1 of the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended, is amended to read as follows:

“(4) It shall be the duty of every common carrier subject to this part to provide and furnish transportation upon reasonable request therefor, and to establish reasonable through routes with such other carriers, and rates, fares, charges, and classifications, regulations, and practices to be applied in connection therewith which result in charges not less than just and reasonable minimum charges nor more than just and reasonable maximum charges; and it shall be the duty of common carriers by railroad subject to this part to establish reasonable through routes with common carriers by water subject to part III, and rates, fares, charges, and classifications, regulations, and practices to be applied in connection therewith, which result in not less than just and reasonable minimum charges nor more than just and reasonable maximum charges. It shall be the la duty of every such common carrier establishing through routes to provide reasonable facilities for operating such through routes and to make reasonable rules and regulations with respect to their operation, and providing for reasonable compensation to those entitled thereto; and in case of joint rates, fares, or charges, to establish just, reasonable, and equitable divisions thereof, which shall not unduly prefer or prejudice any of such participating carriers."

(b) Paragraph (5) of section 1 of the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended, is amended to read as follows:

“(5) All charges made for any service rendered or to be rendered in the transportation of passengers or property, or in connection therewith, shall be not less than just and reasonable minimum charges nor more than just and reasonable maximum charges therefor, and every charge for such service which is less than a reasonable minimum charge or more than a just and reasonable maximum charge is prohibited and declared to be unlawful.”

(c) Paragraph (6) of section 1 of the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended, is amended to read as follows:

*(6) It is hereby made the duty of all common carriers subject to the provisions of this part to establish, observe, and enforce classifications of property for transportation, regulations, and practices which when applied with the rates, fares, and charges of such carriers result in charges not less than just and reasonable minimum charges, nor more than just and reasonable maximum charges, and just and reasonable regulations and practices affecting classifications, rates, or tariffs, the issuance, form, and substance of tickets, receipts, and bills of lading, the manner and method of presenting, marking, packing, and delivering property for transportation, the facilities for transportation, the carrying of personal, sample, and excess baggage, and all other matters relating to or

connected with the receiving, handling, transporting, storing, and delivery of property subject to the provisions of this part which may be necessary or proper to secure the safe and prompt receipt, handling, transportation, and delivery of property subject to the provisions of this part upon just and reasonable terms, and every classification, regulation, and practice resulting in less than just and reasonable minimum charges or more than just and reasonable maximum charges for the service, services, or part thereof covered thereby is prohibited and declared to be unlawful.”

SEC. 4. Paragraph (1) of section 4 of the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended, is amended to read as follows:

“(1) It shall be unlawful for any common carrier subject to this part or part III to charge or receive any greater compensation in the aggregate for the transportation of passengers, or of like kind of property, for a shorter than for a longer distance over the same line or route in the same direction, the shorter being included within the longer distance, but this shall not be construed as authorizing any common carrier within the terms of this part or part III to charge or receive as great compensation for a shorter as for a longer distance: Provided, however, that such common carrier may charge less for longer than for shorter distances for the transportation of passengers or property if the charge established to or from the more distant point (a) is necessary to meet actual competition of another carrier or carriers, and (b) is not less than a just and reasonable minimum charge.”

SEC. 5. The first sentence of subparagraph (b) of paragraph (11) of section 6 of the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended, is amended to read as follows:

“To establish proportional rates, or just and reasonable minimum or maximum proportional rates by rail to and from the ports to which the traffic is brought, or from which it is taken by the water carrier, and to determine to what traffic and in connection with what vessels and upon what terms and conditions such rates shall apply."

SEC. 6. (a) The first sentence of paragraph (3) of section 13 of the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended, is amended by striking out “or initiated by the President during the period of Federal control," and inserting in lieu thereof "or any State service requirement (including any constitutional, statutory, administrative, or judicial requirement to provide, operate, or maintain railroad service or facilities, or the refusal or omission of any State agency or tribunal having jurisdiction, upon application, request, or notice duly presented thereto, to authorize or permit discontinuance or curtailment of such service or facilities within one hundred and eighty days after the presentation of such application),”.

(b) Paragraph (4) of section 13 of the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended, is amended to read as follows:

“(4) Whenever, in any such investigation the Commission, after full hearing, finds that any such rate, fare, charge, classification, regulation, or practice, causes any undue or unreasonable advantage, preference, or prejudice as between persons or localities in interstate commerce on the one hand and interstate or foreign commerce on the other hand, or any undue, unreasonable, or unjust discrimination against interstate or foreign commerce, or that any such service requirement causes or will cause a net loss in revenue to the carrier or carriers involved, or otherwise unduly burdens or will unduly burden interstate or foreign commerce, all of which are hereby forbidden and declared to be unlawful, it shall by order determine and prescribe such just and reasonable minimum or maximum rate, fare, or charge, thereafter to be charged, and the classification, regulation, practice, or service requirement thereafter to be observed : Provided, That in any such investigation involving a State service requirement the Commission shall not issue such order prescribing or requiring discontinuance or curtailment of service covered thereby unless it finds that there is or will be available to the public reasonably adequate service in lieu thereof by other carriers or modes of transport (including private carriage) in the event of discontinuance or curtailment of the particular service or facility involved. Such order or orders issued under this section shall be observed while remaining in effect by the carriers parties to such proceeding affected thereby, the law of any State or the decision or order of any State authority to the contrary notwithstanding."

SEC. 7. (a) Paragraph (1) of section 15 of the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended, is amended to read as follows:

(1) That whenever, after full hearing upon a complaint made as provided in section 13 of this part, or after full hearing under an order for investigation and hearing made by the Commission on its own initiative, either in extension of

any pending complaint or without any complaint whatever, the Commission shall be of opinion that any individual or joint rate, fare, or charge, whatsoever demanded, charged, or collected by any common carrier or carriers subject to this part for the transportation of persons or property as defined in the first section of this part, or any individual or joint classification, regulation, or practice whatsoever of such carrier or carriers subject to the provisions of this part, affecting such rate, fare, or charge, is or will be in contravention of any provision of this part, the Commission shall determine and prescribe such just and reasonable minimum or maximum rate, fare, or charge, or such relationship, classification, regulation, or practice, as in its judgment may be necessary to remove such violation, to the extent to which the Commission finds that the same does or would exist, and to make an order that the carrier or carriers shall cease and desist from such violation, to the extent to which the Cominission finds that the same does or would exist, and shall not thereafter publish, demand, or collect any rate, fare, or charge for such transportation less than the minimum or more than the maximum so prescribed, and shall conform to and observe the relationship, classification, regulation, or practice so prescribed.”

(b) Paragraph (3) of section 15 of the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended, is amended to read as follows:

“(3) The Commission may, and it shall wherever deemed by it to be necessary or desirable in the public interest, after full hearing upon complaint or upon its own initiative without complaint, establish through routes, joint classfications which when applied with joint rates, fares, or charges result in charges not less than just and reasonable minimum charges, nor more than just and reasonable maximum charges, and just and reasonable minimum or maximum joint rates, fares, or charges applicable to the transportation of passengers or property by carriers subject to this part, or by carriers by railroad subject to this part and common carriers by water subject to part III, and the divisions of such rates, fares, or charges as hereinafter provided and the terms and conditions under which such through routes shall be operated. The Commission shall not, however, establish any through route, classification, or practice, or any rate, fare, or charge, between street electric passenger railways not engaged in the general business of transporting freight in addition to their passenger and express business, and railroads of a different character. No existing through route shall be canceled except by agreement of all carriers whose lines are embraced therein unless the Commission shall, upon applicaton and after hearing, find that cancellation is consistent with the public interest without regard to the provisions of paragraph (4) of this section, and the burden of proof shall be upon the carrier or carriers to show that the cancellation is consistent with such public interest."

(c) Paragraph (7) of section 15 of the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended, is amended to read as follows:

(7) Whenever there shall be filed with the Commission any schedule stating a new individual or joint rate, fare, or charge, or any new individual or joint classification, or any new individual or joint regulation or practice affecting any rate, fare, or charge, the Commission shall have, and it is hereby given authority, either upon complaint or upon its own initiative without complant, at once, and if it so orders without answer or other formal pleading by the interested carrier or carriers, but upon reasonable notice, to enter upon a hearing concerning the lawfulness of such rate, fare, charge, classification, regulation, or practice.

“Pending such hearing and the decision thereon, the Commission may from time to time suspend the operation of such schedule and defer the use of such rate, fare, charge, classification, regulation, or practice, for a period not longer than three months beyond the time when it would otherwise go into effect, but only if it determines on the basis of factual information by sworn complaint, affidavit, or other evidence, furnished by the complainant, or as a result of its own investigation, (a) that the rate, fare, charge, classification, regulation, or practice would probably be unlawful, and (b) that making such rate, fare, charge, classification, regultion, or practice effective would result in injury to the complainant, and (c) that remedies available to the complainant would, in the absence of suspension, be inadequate; and the Commission shall file with such schedule and deliver to the carrier or carriers affected by such suspension a statement in writing of its reasons for the suspension. After full hearing, whether completed before or after the rate, fare, charge, classification, regulation, or practice goes into effect, the Commission may make such order with reference thereto as would be proper in a proceeding initiated after it had become effective. If the proceeding has not been concluded and an order made within the period of

suspension, the proposed change of rate, fare, charge, classification, regulation, or practice shall go into effect at the end of such period; but in case of a proposed increased rate or charge for or in respect to the transportation of property, the Commission may by order require the interested carrier or carries to keep accuate account in detail of all amounts received by reason of such increase, specifying by whom and in whose behalf such amounts are paid, and upon completion of the hearing and decision may by further order require the interested carrier or carriers to refund, with interest, to the persons in whose behalf such amounts were paid, such portion of such increased rates or charges as by its decision shall be found not justified. At any hearing involving a change in a rate, fare, charge, or classification, or in a rule, regulation or practice, the burden of proof shall be upon the carrier filing the schedule to show that the proposed changed rate, fare, charge, classification, rule, regulation, or practice is lawful, unless the complainant is also a carrier, and the Commission shall give to the hearing and decision of such questions preference over all other questions pending before it and decide the same as speedily as possible.”

SEC. 8. Section 15a of the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended, is hereby repealed, and a new section 15 a reading as follows is inserted :

“SEC. 15a. (1) In determining whether a rate, fare, or charge, or classification, regulation, or practice to be applied in connection therewith, results in a charge which is less than a reasonable minimum charge, as used in this Act, the Commission shall not consider the effect of such charge on the traffic of any other mode of transportation; or the relation of such charge to the charge of any other mode of transportation; or whether such charge is lower than necessary to meet the competition of any other mode of transportation: Provided, however, That the provisions of this paragraph shall not be construed to prohibit any carrier subject to this Act from protesting or complaining in the event that a rate, fare, or charge is filed or made effective which it believes to be less than a reasonable minimum charge.

“(2) In determining whether rates, fares, or charges, or classifications, regulations, or practices to be applied in connection therewith, result in charges more than just and reasonable maximum charges, as used in this Act, the Commission shall not require such charges to be reduced below the full cost of performing the services to which they apply, exclusive of losses in other services. In making such a determination, the Commission shall take into consideration the extent and effect of competition with respect to the service to which the charges apply to the end that carriers will be prevented from imposing excessive or unreasonable charges on traffic which is noncompetitive.

“(3) Differences in the classifications, rates, fares, charges, rules, regulations, and practices as between the different modes of transport, each with respect to its own type of service, shall not be deemed to constitute unjust discrimination, undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage, or an unlawful practice within the meaning of any provision of this Act so long as the classifications, rates, fares, charges, rules, regulations, and practices do not result in charges which are less than reasonable minimum charges, as used in this Act.

“(4) The establishment, maintenance, publication, and application of rates or charges for individual shipments of property subject to incentive minimum weights or in volume which make due allowance for differences in the handling costs of a carrier subject to this Act and which are established for the purpose of meeting competition of other modes of transportation shall not be construed or held to constitute unjust discrimination, or undue or unreasonable advantage, preference, or prejudice.

“(5) The establishment, maintenance, publication, and application of rates, fares, charges, and rules and regulations of special application for transportation service to the United States, State, and municipal governments by carriers subject to this Act are hereby authorized. Rates, fares, charges, and rules and regulations so limited shall be subject to the tariff filing and publication requirements of the Act: Provided, however, That (a) such rates fares, charges, and rules and regulations may be filed on short notice, or made retroactive, where the circumstances so warrant, and (b) the provisions of the Act with respect to filing, publication, and posting of tariff schedules and contracts may be waived where the security of the United States so requires upon the filing of an appropriate statement in writing with the Commission by the head of the Government agency concerned. Such rates, fares, charges, and rules and regulations shall not be subject to suspension or to the provisions of section 4, but shall be subject

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