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Valley which is dependent for its future growth upon the continued availability of low-cost transportation by water, rail, truck, and pipeline.
The position taken herein as to the dangers inherent in the proposals of the Presidential Advisory Committee are consistent with the view of the Interstate Commerce Commission respecting the report and implementing legislation—S. 1920 and H. R. 6141-as expressed to the House and Senate Interstate and Foreign Commerce Commit tees by letter dated December 22, 1955.
Accordingly, this board of trustees expresses its disapproval of those recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Committer which are designed:
(1) To grant greater freedom to transportation agencies to cu rates on competitive traffic at the expense of noncompetitive traffic, or
(2) To limit and restrict the ratemaking powers of the Inter state Commerce Commission, or
(3) To prescribe standards for rates which depart from the established principle that the inherent advantage of each mode of transportation shall be preserved against destructive competi
tion. Limitation of the comments of this board of trustees to the partic ular phases of the Weeks committee report and of the proposed legis lation discussed herein is not intended to imply either approval of disapproval of any other recommendations or provisions thereof, as to some of which there are differences of opinion among the trustee of this association, while as to others, of a detailed and technica nature, no study has been made.
Adopted by the board of trustees of the Ohio Valley Improvement Association this 5th day of April 1956.
I appreciate this courtesy of being permitted to appear at thi: time.
Mr. Rogers. It is very nice of you to come. The committee appre ciates your appearance here and your testimony. We thank you very much.
Mr. BIERY. Thank you.
Mr. ROGERS. The committee will stand adjourned until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.
(The following statement was submitted for the record :) STATEMENT OF E. C. SCHMITT, TRAFFIC MANAGER, SOUTHERN PINE ASSOCIATION
My name is E. C. Schmitt, business address is 520 National Bank of Commero Building at 210 Baronne Street, New Orleans, La. I am employed full time b Southern Pine Association as traffic manager. The Southern Pine Associatioi is a voluntary nonprofit organization composed of manufacturers of numerou kinds and articles of southern pine lumber who have operations located all ove the South and Southwest in the States of Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, South Card lina, and Virginia. The aggregate production of the subscribers to the association represents approximately 20 percent of the total southern pine lumber produced Therefore, it can be said that the Southern Pine Association has an interest trans portationwise in the distribution of a product that is important to the economy o the United States.
The lumber shippers whom I speak for have followed the discussion of the Cat inet Committee report, which would be implemented by the provisions of H. H 6141, with keen interest, particularly the proposals with regard to competitiv rates. As we interpret the report, one of its basic recommendations is that th
Interstate Commerce Commission be precluded, when reviewing the rates of one form of transportation, from taking into account the effect of such rates on competing forms of transportation.
The following provision as incorporated in section 15a (1) of H. R. 6141 would accomplish this change :
"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 provision 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.”
If this statutory change were made, it would mean that the ICC, in passing upon the rates of one form of transportation made to meet the competition of another form, would be confined to a consideration of whether they were reasonably compensatory and nondiscriminatory (from the point of view of different shipping interests). We agree that these are the proper tests for competitive rates.
Accordingly, we wholeheartedly support this proposed basic change in the law. We are of the firm opinion that the ICC should allow the railroads to make their rates based on railroad conditions, the trucks to make their rates based on truck conditions, and the water carriers to make their rates based on water-carrier conditions.
Under the ICC's present practice, which this basic recommendation of the Cabinet Committee report would change differentials in rates are often fixed with a view to allowing the different forms of transportation to compete on an equal basis for the available traffic. Rate differentials of this kind as a practical matter can never be made to work. The first and most important reason is that the ICC controls only about 60 percent of the ton-miles in the country, with the balance moving by either unregulated or private transportation. The result is that unregulated and private transportation sets the value of the service from the point of view of all agencies of transportation, and consequently the differentials which the Commission may fix are often without meaning. The second reason is that no governmental body can make differentials which fit exactly the cost-service characteristics of the competing modes of transportation, and differentials so imposed are bound to be unfair both to the competing modes and to the shipping public. Inevitably, such differentials increase the overall cost of transportation.
The ICC has frequently rejected rates of railroads, primarily, and of trucks also on the ground that, while fully compensatory, they would hurt the competing modes. We object to such a practice on the part of the ICC. We believe that each form of transportation should have the right to assert fully its economic capabilities in the competition for traffic, and that the form with lower costs should be free to fix its rates accordingly, irrespective of the effect on the higher cost form of transportation. Service is of course an equally important factor, along with price, in the competition between transportation agencies, but the ICC does not require faster service to be slower because of the effect on the competing form of transportation. By a parity of reasoning, it should not require rates which are proven to be compensatory aud nondiscriminatory to be higher because of the effect on the competing mode.
It follows also, that consideration should be given toward an equitable basis for use in general rate increase cases. For instance, lumber being shipped from the South to official territory of the North, has had in the preponderance of instances to pay the full percentage increases allowed during the past 10 years, whereas users of 2 or 3 times more transportation mileage received the benefit of a holddown or maximum, which could be termed a discount or rate advantage. Such a method imposes quite a hardship on the section of the country whose cost of production is on the increase, while that of its competitors at the greater distances from the common market are on the decline.
With the reasons and recommendation stated we are for the most part in accord with what we understand to be the basic recommendation of the Cabinet Committee.
Also we want to endorse the provisions of H. R. 6208, the statute which, as proprosed and supported by the ICC, would amend section 4 of the Interstate Commerce Act. Under this amendment, a circuitous rail line would not need author
ity under section 2 to publish the same rate to the further distant point as avail. able over the direct line. If this amendment were enacted, the rail lines would be saved endless redtape, and from our position as shippers, we would welcome the tariff simplification which it would enable. Today, under the present tariffs, a painstaking search is often required to determine whether a rail rate is actually applicable over a circuitous route, and when the search is completed, there is often a lingering doubt and an opportunity for later controversy. From a shipping standpoint, the ICC-recommended change in section 4, as spelled out in H. R. 6208 has everything to commend it. We would like to add, however, that we feel some provision should be added to this section which would stop the willful delaying of rail equipment such as prompted the ICC to issue its service order No. 910.
(Whereupon, at 3:55 p. m., the committee recessed, to reconvene at 10 a. m., Wednesday, June 13, 1956.)
H. R. 6111 AND S. 1777
- (On the same date, June 12, 1956, the subcommittee also heard witnesses on the above bills, as follows:
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2 p. m., in room 1333, New House Office Building, Hon. John Bell Williams presiding.
Mr. WILLIAMS. The committee will come to order.
The committee has under consideration the bills, H. R. 6111 and Senate bill 1777, the latter already having passed the Senate, and which is now before the House for consideration.
The bills will be inserted in the record at this point.
(The bills, H. R. 6111 and S. 1777, and Department reports, are as follows:)
[H. R. 6111, 84th Cong., 1st sess.] A BILL To amend section 22 of the Interstate Commerce Act with respect to the trans
portation of certain disabled persons Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the first sentence of section 22 of the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended, is amended by inserting after “or other guide dog specially trained and educated for that purpose" a comma and the following: "or from carrying a disabled person accompanied by an attendant if such person is disabled to the extent of requiring such attendant,".
(S. 1777, 84th Cong., 2d sess.] AN ACT TO amend the Interstate Commerce Act in order to authorize common carriers to
carry a disabled person requiring an attendant and such attendant at the usual fare charged for one person Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 22 of the Interstate Commerce Act is amended by inserting after "or other guide dog specially trained and educated for that purpose" a comma and "or from carrying a disabled person accompanied by an attendant if such person is disabled to the extent of requiring such attendant,".
Passed the Senate March 26, 1956.
FELTON M. JOHNSTON, Secretary.
THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE,
Washington, April 4, 1956. Hon. J. PERCY PRIEST, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR Mr. CHAIRMAN: This letter is in reply to your request of May 10, 1955, for the views of this Department with respect to H. R. 6111, a bill to amend section 22 of the Interstate Commerce Act with respect to the transportation of certain disabled persons.
H. R. 6111 would amend section 22 of the Interstate Commerce Act to permit common carriers to transport disabled persons and a required attendant at the ordinary fare for one person under regulations established by the carrier. Section 22 of the act now provides a similar single fare for blind persons accompanied by seeing-eye dogs. There would appear to be no objection to extending
this provision to persons otherwise handicapped who require the services of an attendant rather than those of a seeing-eye dog although care would have to be taken to avoid abuse of this benefit.
This Department would, therefore, interpose no objection to enactment of H. R. 6111.
We have been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that it would interpose no objection to the submission of this report to your committee. Sincerely yours,
LOUIS S. ROTHSCHILD, , Acting Secretary of Commerce.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE,
Washington, April 4, 1956. Hon. J. PERCY PRIEST, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House of Representatives. DEAR Mr. CHAIRMAN: This letter is in response to your request of May 10, 1955, for a report on H. R. 6111, to amend section 22 of the Interstate Commerce Act with respect to the transportation of certain disabled persons.
This bill would amend section 22 of the Interstate Commerce Act (49 U.S. C.) so as to permit carriers, under such reasonable regulations as they may estáblish, to carry for a single fare a disabled person together with a necessary accompanying attendant. This privilege now exists in the case of blind persons accompanied by a guide or guide dog.
This Department has no special competence in respect to rates for transportation. As a general observation, however, it appears to us that there is considerable justification for affording severely disabled individuals who require an attendant the same privilege of having both carried on one fare as is presently afforded the blind. However, since disablement, other than blindness, exists in varying degrees and is a highly individualized condition, serious difficulties would be encountered in any attempt to administer this proposal on a uniform and equitable basis.
In view of these difficulties and the question of the relationship of this proposal to the rate structures of carriers, we defer to the views of the Interstate Commerce Commission on the desirability and practicability of this proposal.
The Bureau of the Budget advises that it perceives no objection to the submission of this report to your committee. Sincerely yours,
HEROLD C. Hunt,
Washington, D.O., March 30, 1956. Hon J. PERCY PRIEST, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. PRIEST: This is in further reply to your request for a report on H. R. 6111, 84th Congress, a bill to amend section 22 of the Interstate Commerce Act with respect to the transportation of certain disabled persons.
The purpose of the bill is to permit common carriers to carry a disabled person accompanied by an attendant, if such person is disabled to the extent of requiring such attendant, at the usual and ordinary fare charged to one person under such reasonable regulations as may have been established by the carrier
Under laws administered by the Veterans' Administration a substantial number of disabled veterans require attendants to reach hospitals or to depart therefrom for authorized medical or surgical treatment. No specific statistics of the number of attendants used for such purposes are maintained. It is known, however, that for beneficiary travel in the fiscal year 1955 a total of $2,524,350 was expended. The reduction in fares proposed by the bill would, therefore, result in substantial savings of travel expenditures presently required for certain disabled veterans.