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Senator LEE. Any question to be considered fairly must be considered in the alternative. If this gasoline gets here, it is going to have to come in some kind of steel container, either in steel tanks on railroad tracks or in steel pipes which are laid in the ground. In any case, it is going to take steel.
The CHAIRMAN. The Petroleum Coordinator feels, on that point, that a pipe line is much more practicable than barges.
Senator LEE. There has been no pipe-line suggestion offered that will give sufficient relief; they will give only partial relief.
The CHAIRMAN. In the Petroleum Coordinator's projection of six pipe lines, there is contemplated very great relief within a period of a year. It will take a year to build the pipe line to the point in Illinois and then to make the reversal, so that the oil will flow east instead of west, as it has been flowing.
Senator RADCLIFFE. Mr. Miller, has any substitute been found for steel and wood in the making of barges?
Mr. MILLER. If there has been, I have not been informed of it, Senator.
Senator CLARK of Missouri. Mr. Chairman, does not that figure of 851 steel barges, which you have just given us, apply to what are known as tankers ? According to testimony from representatives of the Inland Waterways Commission before this subcommittee in previous hearings
The CHAIRMAN. No.
Senator_ CLARK of Missouri. I am talking about the testimony from the Inland Waterways Commission in the hearings before this same subcommittee, just a week or so ago, that there were nearly 5,000 barges. There were about 800 tankers, but there were all sorts of barges which can convey all sorts of commodities.
Mr. MILLER. Those were steel barges?
Senator CLARK of Missouri. Some of them were steel barges. As I remember the testimony from the Inland Waterways Commission, the figure of 800 barges applied to barges known as steel tankers at the present time.
Mr. MILLER. Mr. Chairman, I think we are all conscious of the fact that we are making no great movement, of course; but the committee is aware of the fact that only recently it gave the Maritime Commission a directive to spend not less than $20,000,000 to build some barges.
Senator Clark of Missouri. Every bit of motive power, in the form of tugs, that is used on the inland waterways releases a certain amount of motive power used on the railroads for any sort of purpose.
Mr. MILLER. Yes.
I should just like to say a word in conclusion, Mr. Chairman. Important as the transportation of petroleum and its products is, there are many other commodities the transportation of which Í hope this committee will consider in connection with this bill. I have mentioned only one of them, namely, sulfur. To the extent that you can take away from the railroads commodities which are natural water-borne commodities and put them back where they belong, to that extent you will make an invaluable contribution to the solution of this transportation difficulty.
I should now like to make a statement entirely off the record.
(Mr. Miller then made a statement which, at his request, was not recorded. He then continued his statement as follows:)
It is not a question of oil or of gasoline; it is a question of the transportation system existing throughout the country as a whole. When you do something to relieve one problem you extend it to relieve the problem in all its ramifications. Some of those who have been enthusiastic waterway advocates for a good many years, including the Senator from Missouri, have been advocating a comprehensive, wellrounded development of the waterways system of this country.
You will find in this record that the distinguished chairman of the Rivers and Harbors Committee wrote some letters only a few weeks ago to people in high authority, including the President of the United States, calling attention to this very thing and to the recommendation last fall that there should be taken the action which this bill now proposes.
Can we afford to close our eyes any longer? I do not think we can. I thank you.
Senator BAILEY. We shall next hear from Mr. R. B. Creager, of Brownsville, Tex.
STATEMENT OF R. B. CREAGER, BROWNSVILLE, TEX. Mr. CREAGER. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, the proponents of this bill, of course, are not even intimating or suggesting that it offers a complete solution of the trouble incident to the oil shortage along the Atlantic seaboard. There is no one remedy that can possibly be suggested by anybody under existing conditions that can solve that problem; it is going to take a combination of every possible method.
With reference to the pipe line across Florida, let us see what the Chief of Engineers said on that subject in his recent statement before the House committee. First, he said:
The value in time of war of an improved through inland waterway from Port Isabel to Trenton with minimum depth of 12 feet is believed sufficient to warrant construction of these improvements. It is my opinion that such improvements should be authorized by Congress now
With reference directly to this pipe line, he said: Assuming reasonably prompt procurement of materials, such a pipe line could be constructed in a period of 6 months or less. There is urgent need for the increase in the volume of oil moving from the Gulf coast to the Atlantic seaboard, and I believe that provision should be made for the immediate construction of a pipe line of adequate capacity.
Senator VANDENBERG. As far as I am concerned, there is no argument in the world against a pipe line across northern Florida. I am for it. But I do not understand why you have to have legislation and an appropriation for it, when you do have the power resident in the President to do it, and he is prepared to exercise it without any appropriation at all.
Senator BAILEY. The order has been given.
Senator VANDENBERG. The order has been given, and the enterprise can be completed in 120 days. Why should we legislate?
Mr. CREAGER. Senator, the only way I can answer that is in the way Mr. Miller answered it and, in addition, suggest that if Congress feels this is necessary, it certainly can do no harm to place this authority in other hands as well. It can do no harm.
Senator VANDENBERG. I think it can. I think what we need is concentration of authority, not further subdivision.
Mr. CREAGER. If one authority is doing a thing that Congress thinks ought to be done, would it not be wise to place that authority in some other hands?
Senator VANDENBERG. It is being done and will be done. If this hearing lasts 2 weeks, it will probably be started.
Mr. CREAGER. With reference to the cost of this, Senator, General Reybold estimated that it would be about $10,000,000.
Senator VANDENBERG. Secretary Ickes proposes to do it for $3,000,000.
Mr. CREAGER. The pipe line across Florida ? Senator VANDENBERG. Yes. Mr. CREAGER. Of course, it depends entirely upon the dimensions of the line, Senator, as to its cost. The Chief of Engineers was talking about a 24-inch line. With some little knowledge of the oil business
Senator VANDENBERG. That requires new steel, which cannot be obtained.
Mr. CREAGER. It cannot be obtained, but I am quite sure that if the authority is exercised the Chief of Engineers is going to use, probably, two 10-inch lines, and those 10-inch lines, second-hand, are, I am reliably informed, available in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. They are lines not now in use.
Senator RADCLIFFE. There is enough for both ?
Mr. CREAGER. For both. It will place no additional burden whatever on the steel mills.
It is estimated that a 10-inch line—and I think I am correct in this-has a capacity of 60,000 barrels a day. Two or three such lines would give you a corresponding increase in the amount of oil you could move from the Gulf to the Atlantic.
As to the question of barge transportation, we know from long experience that oil can be successfully moved—that is, the heavier oils, the crude oils-in wooden barges. Gasoline cannot be safely moved in wooden barges. But there is a very large refinery capacity along the Atlantic seaboard. I think it is something like 700,000 barrels a day, if I am not mistaken, possibly more than that. So if the crude oil can be moved to the eastern seaboard, part of it, at least, can be utilized for heating and other similar fuel purposes, and part of it in the refinery.
I naddition, every barrel of crude oil that is moved through inland waterways releases a corresponding amount of space in tank cars for gasoline. I am talking about the railroad tank cars.
Speaking of the pipe line, General Reybold said:
It would be ready for the movement of oil, we estimate, within 6 months or less.
The following colloquy took place between Mr. Culkin and General Reybold:
Mr. CULKIN. And you would recommend that?
Mr. CULKIN. You think that would offer, within 6 months, a solution to the present difficulty ?
General REYBOLD. Some solution. I do not know what the demand for oil is on the coast, and it depends upon the size of the pipe line we put in there. We figure on about a 24-inch line capacity, and we have estimated the capacity of that installation to be 250,000 barrels per day.
I am in my own mind utterly satisfied that General Reybold, the Chief of Engineers, will abandon the theory of the 24-inch line, because it will involve placing a burden upon the steel mills, and it will be exceedingly difficult to get that steel. The other steel is available and is equally efficient. You will get the same results from a pair of 10-inch lines, 12-inch lines, or 8-inch lines as you will from one large line.
With reference to the question of barges, I should say that there are from 50 to 100 small and large shipyards along the Gulf coast, within easy reach of or actually along the present intracoastal canal. Wooden barges can be constructed with a rapidity that is simply astonishing. All we have to do is give them the orders, and the yards will produce those barges just as fast as we want them.
Of course, additional towboats would be necessary; but I should say that out of the steel that goes into one comparatively small oceangoing vessel you could construct at least 50 towboats.
Senator VANDENBERG. What about the propulsion machinery?
Mr. CREAGER. That is a problem, of course, to be kept in mind, Senator. However, in times of emergency, emergency methods can be used, and such a thing as combining two or three of the larger, more powerful automobile engines will run one of those towboats. It is not only possible but it has been done and is being done.
There are literally thousands of fishing boats that could serve as tugs in an emergency.
I feel that that problem would almost solve itself, because there would be so much private capital to finance the construction of both tugs and wooden barges that by the end of the 6 months which yw would take to complete that pipe line across Florida, you would have an enormous increase in the available tonnage.
I believe, and I am firmly convinced, that if this bill passes and the construction of that pipe line is quickly started, you will be getting through this means, this coming winter, from 100,000 to at least 150,000 barrels of crude oil per day delivered to the Atlantic seaboard. That is a relief that will come to the eastern seaboard this coming winter.
There are six or seven large pipe lines that are under consideration that cannot possibly be constructed in under a year. As a matter of fact, it will probably take considerably longer than a year to construct one of those pipe lines a half or a third of the way across this continent.
I am very much afraid that my time is about up, but I do want to say a word or two about a question that has been asked by Senator Vandenberg relative to the necessity for the extension of this waterway to the Rio Grande Valley. If you will bear with me, I shall take only a few minutes. I come from that section, so, of course, I
I personally would be interested in seeing this extension.
The lower Rio Grande Valley, so-called, is at the tip end of Texas and includes four counties. Without exaggeration, there is no richer agricultural region, acre for acre, in the United States and none more productive. There are between 200,000 and 250,000 settlers
who have come in there within the last 25 years from all over the United States, principally from the great Midwest. Those people are within a 212 hour automobile drive of Brownsville,
There are 500,000 acres under actual irrigation. There are more than 10,000,000 bearing citrus trees in that area.
I have some data on that subject that I wish to give you. I think it will be of interest to all of you.
During this past season there were shipped from this valley 24,844 solid cars of fresh fruit. That means 234,000,000 pounds or one hundred-and-seventeen-thousand-odd tons.
Senator LEE. Is the purpose to supply the people of Florida with fruit? (Laughter.] Mr. CREAGER. Of course, Senator, I might answer that by suggesting
I that the great superiority of our valley fruit would find a market in Florida. [Laughter.] There were shipped during this past season 5,800,000 cases of pro
sed citrus fruit juice. That means, on an average of 37 pounds per case, 107,000 tons.
During this previous season--and I have not complete reports, because the Department of Agriculture report is incomplete, for the reason that we have not completed our shipping season as yet-up to 3 days ago there had been shipped out of that valley 19,903 cars of various kinds of fresh vegetables. That means 298,000 tons of fresh vegetables.
Of canned vegetables, there were this last season slightly over 2,000,000 cases of miscellaneous kinds, which ran 17,000 tons,
Very briefly, let us look at the aggregates. Of vegetables and fruits alone, fresh and canned, in this past season there have been shipped out of that section 53,235 solid cars, meaning 865,000 tons.
Senator CLARK of Missouri. You cannot ship fresh vegetables and fresh friuts by barge, can you?
Mr. CREAGER. Yes, sir; we can. There is slower delivery, but they can be refrigerated, if necessary, just as cars can.
Senator BAILEY. It is necessary to have it refrigerated in order to move that fruit from its point of origin to the market?
Mr. CREAGER. That fruit probably would not move by that method all the way to the seaboard; the canned fruit, of course, would. The canning industry is growing enormously. The figures show you the enormous tonnage of canned goods.
Seventy-five percent of all this produce I am talking about is marketed in the Midwestern and Eastern States and hence is receptive, of course, to water transportation.
Here is something that I know will interest you. In addition to this enormous tonnage-and, by the way, I have not spoken of other agricultural products, such as corn and cotton, which are produced at a different time of the year—there is a matter of lead importations from Mexico through this port. For considerably more than a year lead has been imported at Brownsville in amounts running from 1,000 to 2,000 tons daily. Last month 29,702 tons came through. There is now in storage, awaiting shipment, 25,671 tons. On June 27, the day before yesterday, there were 126 cars of lead on the tracks, awaiting unloading.
Here is a matter that I can only touch upon. There are in storage in all warehouses there more than $30,000,000 worth of lease-lend