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Mr. KELLY. No. I do not know much about that; never gave much study to that.
Mr. Culkin. You do not get enthusiastic about that?
Mr. KELLY. No; but what I want is collective bargaining, the same as what our labor union stands for.
Mr. CULKIN. What you stand for is 7 (a), of course?
Mr. KELLY. Yes; but 7 (a) does not provide a merchant marine. The President vetoed that bill.
Mr. CULKIN. The principles of 7 (a)?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; those who wish to be heard and are here may proceed.
STATEMENT OF R. H. HORTON, MANAGER PORT OF PHILADEL
PHIA OCEAN TRAFFIC BUREAU
The CHAIRMAN. Just give your name and connection to the reporter, please.
Mr. HORTON. R. H. Horton, manager Port of Philadelphia Ocean Traffic Bureau.
The Chairman. You asked me to hear you tomorrow. It is just as agreeable to hear you now.
Mr. HORTON. That is all right. Thank you.
Mr. Horton. I am not going into the figures on the necessity for subsidy or the benefits of it, but to ask you gentlemen in your consideration of this to attempt to find some ways and means that there may be a more equitable distribution of the routes among the various ports.
I have before me United States Shipping Board publication “Data relating to postal contracts under the Merchant Marine Act." I find there are 54 routes covered in 44 contracts. New York has 17 of them, Baltimore 2, Boston 2, and various others, including Galveston, Mobile, Savannah, Los Angeles. Philadelphia has none. Philadelphia is the second port in the United States. · Mr. CULKIN. In point of tonnage? Mr. HORTON. In point of tonnage. Mr. Culkin. What is the tonnage there now? Mr. HORTON. Oh; it runs about 18 million.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that not very largely a question of the ports organizing and getting persons interested in developing a shipping line?
Mr. Horton. Well, we attempted to do that at one time, with rather a sad experience.
The CHAIRMAN. That was just before the investigation?
Mr. HORTON. But we have had very little encouragement, and I think it is important in the whole scheme of things that it be not concentrated all at one locality, be spread out, and the various ports will develop themselves if it is made possible for the services to go through these ports, and these various companies that are anxious to operate ships will take those routes up if they are laid open to them.
Another feature that should deserve your consideration: The Shipping Act at present has a paragraph against discrimination between ports in respect to rates, and I think that you should be informed that that discrimination is being carried on at the present time by subsidized lines, particularly in respect to the ports of Philadelphia, Boston, and Baltimore as against New York. You will find in the Mediterranean trade and some of the South American trades, or the West Indies trade more particularly, that higher rates are charged to the out ports than to New York. They are exceptional, but they do exist. We have a great deal of difficulty with it.
The Senate bill 1362 will help to some extent, because in many cases the West Coast of Italy Conference, for example, we cannot even get a copy of the tariff. I have seen a copy, but I had to hold it in my hands under a subterfuge.
Mr. CULKIN. Who files those tariffs? Mr. Horton. They are not filed, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Does not the act require the conference agreements all to be filed?
Mr. Horton. But they do not file the tariff as part of the agreement, and this west coast of Italy tariff, for example, has a clause in it by which surcharges to Philadelphia and Baltimore are to be added.
Mr. CULKIN. Does this Senate bill correct that?
Mr. HORTON. I think it will correct that, and we are hopeful that it will.
The CHAIRMAN. Does not one of the present acts, either the 1916 act or the 1920 act, authorize hearings before the Shipping Board?
Mr. Horton. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. To give the port an opportunity to file their complaints and have their complaints heard as to any discriminations against them?
Mr. HORTON. That complaint will be filed within the next few days, but you do not appreciate the difficulty in obtaining the evidence. As a matter of fact, we do not know just what commodities they discriminate against, and it is very difficult for us to find out.
Nr. Culkin. Can you not get that information through the consular officers?
Mr. HORTON. I doubt it, sir.
Mr. Culkin. My understanding, Mr. Chairman, is that the character of those tonnages is available at the consular office.
The CHAIRMAN. That is true, but I think the point is that the tariffs are not published and they cannot find wherein the discrimination exists.
Mr. Horton. And they change from day to day, as a matter of fact.
Mr. CULKIN. I understood him to say that he did not know what the character of tonnage was.
Mr. HORTON. No; I mean I do not know just which articles have the surcharge applied to them. I know some of them. I do not know whether I know all of them or not, and in those hearings you know you must be specific and point out the exact facts and cover them all. It is a very difficult process.
Mr. Sirovich. I did not hear the beginning of your testimony. Will you just give me the high spots?
Mr. HORTON. The high spot is that it is very important to find a way to provide for more equitable distribution of the routes between the various ports. At the present time on the North Atlantic ports they are largely concentrated in New York, which has 17 routes. Boston has 2, Baltimore has 2, Norfolk has 1, and Philidelphia has none.
Mr. Sirovich. Are the facilities for your port as good as they are in these ports that you have mentioned?
Mr. Horton. Oh, yes, I think so. We all have good facilities,
Mr. SIROVICH. Are those facilities sufficient to accomodate the large ships which would want to go in there?
Mr. HORTON. Oh, yes. Those ships come in there but they do not sail direct.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that not largely due to the fact that these other gentlemen got busy and made application for allocation of ships?
Mr. HORTON. I think that is largely the case, sir.
Mr. SIROVICH. And started on that business, while the other ports were out of step on it?
Mr. HORTON. But for the last 4 years we have been prepared to do the same thing but have not been able to.
Mr. SIROVICH. I have heard considerable complaint from the Hampton Roads area, and yet
Mr. Horton (interposing). Well, they have the Baltimore Mail line. It comes in there and gives a good service.
Mr. Sirovich. The Baltimore Mail people got together and organized a company and got an allocation of ships?
Mr. Horton. Yes. We have the Philadelphia Mail also, but we cannot get a contract at the present time.
Mr. Culkin. Of course, you agree, Mr. Witness, that the best routes, the most convenient to the shipper, the less hazardous routes, are the routes that will inevitably be followed? Isn't that true?
Mr. Horton. Oh, yes; that is true.
Mr. Culkin. Those are the determining factors in the use of any port?
Mr. HORTON. Yes.
Mr. HORTON. I believe the America-France Line is still in the hands of the Government.
Mr. SIROVICH. How many ships are involved there?
Mr. Horton. The America-Hampton Roads, the America-Hampton Roads Oriole combination, and the America-France.
The CHAIRMAN. The Yankee was combined, too? Mr. HORTON. Yes. Mr. SIROVICH. Can we not get a private operator that will take these lines over so as not to have the Government in competition with private industry?
Mr. HORTON. I think you might find some under suitable arrangements that might do that.
The CHAIRMAN. As a matter of fact, the American-France trouble arose over the Baltimore Mail, did it not?
Mr. HORTON. I think so.
The CHAIRMAN. And after they were put in and given certain ships there was some question arose? Mr. HORTON. There is a very strong competition between the two.
The CHAIRMAN. I know the Hampton Roads Line were for years trying to purchase their ships and get a mail contract. M. HORTON. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. That the terms were all agreed on, and for some reasons which I have never known they were never able to get it. Mr. HORTON. No. Mr. SIROVICH. Would they be still willing to get it? The CHAIRMAN. Yes; they would be willing, and have been all along, but now they cannot work and get mail contracts because the whole thing has fallen down. I think the gentleman from Philadelphia ran up against the same situation. Mr. HORTON. Yes. The CHAIRMAN. Just before the change of administration an application was made by the Philadelphia line for an allocation of ships and for an ocean-mail contract. Mr. HORTON. Yes. The CHAIRMAN. That action was taken about the time that the Black investigating committee introduced its resolutions, and everything shut down on the granting of any more ocean-mail contracts. Mr. HORTON. That is it exactly.
The CHAIRMAN. That is my recollection, that they advertised and the bids were put in.
Mr. Horton. That is right. The whole thing took something around 18 months, I think.
Mr. SIROVICH. Mr. Chairman, while we are on that subject, may I just ask the gentleman to be kind enough to give me his opinion on this: Yesterday morning Judge Crowley stated that more detailed information relative to some of the broad statements in the Postmaster General's letter was available in the Post Office Department.
I assume he referred to the individual reports of each mail contract that are mentioned two or three times in the Postmaster General's letter.
The Postmaster General's letter states that the transcript of evidence taken in his recent hearings comprises some 34,000 pages. This indicates a thorough series of hearings, and, of course, it would be impossible for this committee to digest 34,000 pages in any short length of time.
However, it seems to me that if the 34,000 pages of testimony have been more or less condensed into individual reports as indicated by the Postmaster General and by the witness, Judge Crowley, this committee should request the Postmaster General to furnish copies of those reports and they should be printed as part of this record.
It appears that a thorough understanding of past evils must be had if we are to make any progress toward their elimination. The President states that certain abuses and practices should and must be ended. I suggest that this committee should avail itself of informa
tion relative to the nature of the abuses referred to by the President, and if it is possible, Mr. Chairman, to get an abbreviated statement about it, I think we ought to have it so as to know how to go about this.
The CHAIRMAN. We will consider that in executive session. There may be some of those things before the President for consideration on the question of cancelation, and there may be some question as to how far they ought to go into the record. I think we had better consider that a little more carefully in executive session. They are available for the benefit of the committee in its deliberations.
Has Mr. Jenkins come in? I have been asked to hear him. Captain Delaney?
Mr. Conway. Mr. Moran has left town. I would like to go on, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. All right; we will be very glad to hear you. Will he be back?
Mr. Conway. No. Mr. Moran has asked me to speak for him, because we are going to speak along the same lines.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Your name was next. I was just going to
STATEMENT OF JAMES G. CONWAY, PRESIDENT OF THE ATLANTIC
COAST AND GULF OF MEXICO TOWBOAT ASSOCIATION, NEW YORK CITY
Mr. Conway. James G. Conway, 17 Battery Place, president of the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico Towboat Association.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, there appears in the record in the Postmaster General's report on page 11, the second paragraph, under Operations Under Mail Contracts, a statement which reads in part:
Towboat companies, and supply companies, thus freezing out independent firms.
The CHAIRMAN. How does the paragraph read?
Many of them, have done certain things, and paid high salaries and excessive dividends. In order to pipe these funds away from the mail contracting company, they have organized holding companies, operating companies, terminal companies, agency companies, stevedoring companies, repair companies, towboat companies, and supply companies, thus freezing out independent firms.
The CHAIRMAN. We will be very glad to hear you on that, sir.
Mr. Conway. I have no knowledge personally of any such practice, but it would seem to me that the Postmaster General has some ground for the statement contained in this, and if that is true, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, in the future administration of any mail contracts or subsidy, I request that proper methods should be set up to protect those of us in the towboat business, who have invested our money and are endeavoring to run these towboats