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Senator TRUMAN. It is my understanding that Judge Fletcher and the committee of railroad representatives who, as I have said, are the only people who have indicated any desire to appear in connection with this bill, do not want to be heard at any length on S. 2903. They have informed this committee that the bill will not burden or hamper the regular conduct of their business, and that they have no further suggestions with respect to its form.
Do any of the gentlemen present wish to make any statement about the bill S. 2903?
STATEMENT OF HENRY W. CLARK, GENERAL COUNSEL, UNION
PACIFIC RAILROAD SYSTEM
Mr. CLARK. I want to say, Mr. Chairman, merely that I cannot quite acquiesce in the last part of the chairman's statement. From my point of view it is not quite correct to say that the bill as now redrafted will not burden or hamper the regular conduct of the business of the carriers. Certainly that is not correct from the standpoint of the Union Pacific.
I have prepared a short statement, to make my position as representing the Union Pacific and the Union Pacific's position clear. It consists of 18 or 20 lines, and I offer it to go into the record just to make it clear that the Union Pacific is not in agreement that there was any need of this additional regulation. We do not want to be put into the position of agreeing to, consenting to, or acquiescing in this further regulation. I do agree that as the result of our conferences with Commissioner Mahaffie and Mr. Taylor the bill has been put in the least burdensome form that I think such regulation can be put into. I do not ask for any hearing.
May this statement be included in the minutes as part of my oral remarks?
Senator TRUMAN. Yes.
Referring to bill originally introduced and referred to the subcommittee as S. 2610:
The undersigned, as general counsel of Union Pacific Railroad Co., has participated in conferences and in suggestions made to Commissioner Mahaffie and to Mr. Telford Taylor as counsel for the Subcommittee, to the end that the provisions of the bill be made to propose less burdensome regulation of the railroads and their noncarrier subsidiaries than that originally proposed. The undersigned States for the record that by such participation and suggestions and by failing to appear before the subcommittee in oral opposition to the bill as redrafted, he does not for Union Pacific Railroad Co. assent to or acquiesce in the passage of the bill in its present or any other form so far as it proposes to amend section 20a of the Interstate Commerce Act and to add to that act new section 20b.
On the contrary, the Union Pacific Railroad Co. protests the further regulation of railroads embodied in new section 20b of the bill and protests the extension of governmental regulation to their noncarrier subsidiaries as embodied in both the proposed amendment of section 20a and in said new section 20b.
Senator TRUMAN (chairman of the subcommittee). Are there any further statements?
STATEMENT OF E. E. McINNIS, GENERAL COUNSEL, ATCHISON,
TOPEKA & SANTA FE RAILWAY CO.
Mr. McINNIS. My name is E. E. McInnis. I am general counsel of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Co. and its associated carrier companies.
The statement which the chairman of the subcommittee has made is a statement in which we concur. I take it that the expresssion with reference to "burden" has the meaning which we attribute to it. All regulation is to some extent burdensome; but we are accustomed to the burdens of orderly regulation and to the burdens which are incident to public control of the affairs of public utilities. This regulation is not a regulation which we invite or which we recommend.
In its present form as now proposed the features which appeared in the measure in its original form as S. 2610 in very large measure have been eliminated; and it is the view of the Santa Fe and its system carrier companies that this is regulation under which we can live. It may have some burdens, but they will not be unbearable burdens, and it will not unduly burden us in the conduct of our affairs in orderly fashion.
Senator TRUMAN (chairman of the subcommittee). Are there any further statements?
STATEMENT OF HENRY WOLF BIKLE, GENERAL COUNSEL, PENN
SYLVANIA RAILROAD CO., PHILADELPHIA, PA. Mr. BIKLE. I concur in what Mr. McInnis has said, and I should like to add only this, that I think the consideration which the committee showed us in permitting the discussions that we have had has proved to be a very advantageous way of dealing with this character of legislation. I realize that the Senators, with all their varied and multifarious duties, could not have given us the time to have sat down and dealt with these technical and intricate problems, in the way in which Mr. Commissioner Mahaffie and Mr. Taylor have been able to do; Mr. Mahaffie having the advantage of his long experience on the Commission and Mr. Taylor having the advantage of his experience on the Senate Investigating Committee's legal staff.
I believe, therefore, that the product we have arrived at, at least from the railroad point of view, is a product that represents a real workable basis for the thing that it undertakes to deal with.
I also do not believe that any of us have lost sight of what I consider as the objective that the Senator had in mind when the original bill was introduced.
STATEMENT OF C. J. BEAKES, GENERAL COUNSEL, NEW YORK
CENTRAL RAILROAD CO.
Mr. BEAKES. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I only wish to concur in the statements made by Mr. McInnis and Mr. Bikle, so far as the New York Central Railroad Co. is concerned.
Senator TRUMAN. Are there any other statements, gentlemen?
STATEMENT OF R. V. FLETCHER, GENERAL COUNSEL, ASSOCI.
ATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS, WASHINGTON, D, C. Mr. FLETCHER. Mr. Chairman, I do not think I need to add anything to what has been said by these gentlemen. I unhesitatingly join in the expression of opinion that S. 2903, so far as my knowledge is concerned, is one that can be administered without undue burden.
I was only anxious to have one thing clearly understood—and I think that Mr. Clark's observation has cleared that up-and that is that this represents the views of these gentlemen on the committee and my own individual views. I have done this, in accordance with my custom, that whenever any draft came to my attention or whenever any memorandum came to my attention that seemed to be of interest to the railroads generally, I have had it sent out by my office as promptly as possible, with only a few hours delay, with the suggestion to the member roads that these are the things under consideration and that if they desired to be heard they should indicate their purpose so to do. I have heard nothing, beyond what has been stated here, of the desire of any particular railroad to submit any observations or suggestions about this bill. I doubt that it can be said that the bill has been critically examined by all of the railroads in the country; and the record will have to stand upon the statements made by the committee of counsel which has made observations on the subject to this committee.
Senator TOBEY. I should like to make one comment with reference to Mr. McInnis' remarks. He said that he believed that, notwithstanding this legislation, the railroads could live or could continue to live. I would like to say to the gentleman and to the others assembled here that I should hate to have it appear in the record by inference, at least, that the attitude of this committee or of the Congress in general is merely to let the railroads of this country live. We have a desire that transcends that. We want to see them prosperous. And while there may be some doubt in the minds of you and your colleagues, there is a realization of the need of having prosperous railroads, having in mind the public interest; and what we do here is in no sense with the intent of making regulation burdensome, but it is to be construed as being for the common good. And you are a large part of the welfare of America.
Mr. McInnis. I think, perhaps, Senator, that the language which I used was subject to the implication which was drawn, but it was certainly not so intended. The bill in its original form was in such shape that very important enterprises of my company could not have lived under it. The bill as now drawn has been changed to what we may speak of as a livable bill. And in that we cast no reflection on the committee or on the authors of the bill. It is a bill that will let us go forward with the orderly transaction of our business, subject to the regulation that is contained in the bill; and that regulation, as I have stated, is not regulation that is really unreasonable or that will cast an undue burden upon us.
My remarks really were addressed to the fact that the word "burden” was used as an unqualified word in the statement of the chairman. I think the chairman meant "undue burden" when he made the statement that there was no burden. All regulation involves some burdens. There was no intention on my part to cast any reflection on anyone.
Mr. FLETCHER. Speaking for the railroad industry, that is to say, as the exponent of the industry here in Washington and constantly in touch with this matter, I want to express to the committee our appreciation of the consideration shown to us by the committee, by its counsel, and by the Interstate Commerce Commission in enabling us to sit down and try to work out something which would not be unduly harmful. If it were only possible in all cases for legislation to be so considered, rather than through the medium of formal hearings, where counsel for the respective parties could get together and talk it out in the spirit of friendly cooperation, I think it would be a wonderful thing for the country. I think this is a good example.
Senator TRUMAN. Thank you.
Senator AUSTIN. The only observation that I wish to make is of a very general kind, and that is that in a period of a good deal of hysteria, which we do not charge to anybody, it is difficult for the Congress to keep within that measure of control of itself which will not outrun proper regulation and get into the realm of control of business. If we have been fortunate enough in S. 2903 to hold ourselves as the Government to that degree of regulation only which maintains as much competition as possible and does not permit unfair competition, competition that perhaps is unfair to less strong institutions, and looks after the public interest, I am satisfied.
Senator TRUMAN (chairman of the subcommittee). Thank you, Senator.
Is there anything else for the consideration of the committee? [No response.] If not, gentlemen, I want to thank Mr. Commissioner Mahaffie, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Lowenthal, and the other counsel for this committee for their untiring work and energy in getting this legislation into its present form.
The subcommittee will stand adjourned.