Page images

(2) Water carriers participating in the joint routes serving points in Alaska be placed under the provisions of part 3 of the Interstate Commerce Act. This permits them also to participate in joint through rates and routes with motor common carriers under part 2 of the act.

(3) Such regulation appears most feasible through appropriate change of section 27 (b) of the Alaska Statehood Act.

(4) Water carrier operating rights should be granted on the "grandfather" basis so that a full measure of fairness and equity will exist to protect those having served the public until now. Additional carriers seeking rights to begin competition with these "grandfather" carriers should only be granted the right to operate after they have complied with and proven the facts required by the rules governing the granting of new rights under public-convenienceand-necessity procedures.

Any proper act to bring into being just and equitable regulation of these through rates and routes, involving these coast wise water carriers, should provide that the Interstate Commerce Commission shall, for good cause shown, upon petition from an interested carrier or upon its own motion, order any carrier regulated by it to publish and file through rates and joint routes in connection with any other carrier, such action to not take place until the proper showing of financial, equipment, and other capability fitness had been made by the carriers involved.

(Thereupon, the committee proceeded to the consideration of other business.)

Senator BARTLETT. Mr. Sanders, do you want to go ahead with S.


Mr. SANDERS. Yes; I have the following to say on S. 1725, a joint board bill.

The Alaska Carriers Association, Inc., supported this bill at first when it appeared that there was no chance of getting passed an act to place the regulation under the Interstate Commerce Commission. I am quite certain that Senator Bartlett had some feeling

Senator BARTLETT. I will comment on that a little bit more when you get through.

Mr. SANDERS. The Alaska Carriers Association withdrew their support from this bill, though, when there began to be some revival of plans to place additional bills before Congress which would place the regulation of through routes and rates under the Interstate Commerce Commission and placed it solidly behind such a movement to give ICC the regulating authority.

At this moment our feeling with relation to S. 1725 is that the Alaska Carriers Association, Inc., is of the opinion that S. 1725, the so-called joint board bill, is inadequate as to providing the people of Alaska with the proper regulatory machinery under which properly controlled through routes and through single-factor rates could be published and regulated in the public interest.

It would require the establishment of still another regulatory body with conflicting, overlapping authority with relation to ICC and FMB.

It would be a strange and arbitrary departure from the established and smooth working regulatory machinery that has been in use to regu

late similar coast wise traffic between the ports around the coastline of the remainder of the other States of the Union.

It would present problems of coordination with other regulatory effort that are entirely unnecessary if this bill were to be withdrawn and proper legislation to place the through movement and necessary tariffs under the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission as is done in all other similar areas.

This bill would be a weak, fumbling, ineffectual compromise act that would extend some measure of relief and provide some legality for tariff publication of through rates and routes but would not give to the shipping or receiving public nor the carriers the full and effective regulatory machinery they are entitled to. It is therefore objected to and the suggestion is here made that other legislation, properly placing the regulatory control under the Interstate Commerce Commission, be enacted by the Congress.

Senator BARTLETT. Does that conclude your statement, Mr. Sanders? Mr. SANDERS. Yes, sir.

Senator BARTLETT. Mr. Sanders, when did the Alaska Carriers Association decide to come out for legislation placing the ICC in charge? Mr. SANDERS. Only a short while ago, Senator Bartlett. I will give you a specific date. On August 25, at its quarterly board of directors meeting here in Anchorage.

Senator BARTLETT. May I ask you, Mr. Sanders, in view of your having said that you had endorsed legislation of that kind previously, what new information had come to you for your August meeting that convinced you the situation had changed and the Congress would very readily pass a bill of this kind?

Mr. SANDERS. I didn't mean to go so far as to say that Congress would very readily pass it.

Senator BARTLETT. You didn't say it; I put those words in there. Mr. SANDERS. I didn't mean to present such a strong feeling. Events, conversations.

Senator BARTLETT. I beg your pardon?

Mr. SANDERS. Events and conversations?

Senator BARTLETT. What events?

Mr. SANDERS. Conversations at the August 25 board meeting. Senator BARTLETT. With whom? Anyone in Washington who had been close to the situation?

Mr. SANDERS. Yes, sir; but I would rather leave them anonymous, if I may.

Senator BARTLETT. Of course you may. But I still am curious, because before legislation of this kind, or any legislation dealing with transportation could be passed by the Senate, it would have to go before the Senate Commerce Committee, and information of this character hadn't reached me.

Mr. SANDERS. Granted. The reason for that was that this was a kind of an overnight bring-up of changed sentiment. Frankly, I believe some of it came about as a result of the constitution of the new Federal Maritime Commission. Possibly I shouldn't repeat that—I am wrong in repeating that, too, but I don't think so.

Senator BARTLETT. I must confess that I am a little bit hurt, Mr. Sanders, to find that you felt required to put in your statement that S. 1725, which does bear my name, after all, is a "weak, fumbling,

ineffectual compromise act," because this was an act that you yourself had endorsed.

Mr. SANDERS. Right.

Senator BARTLETT. And persisted in supporting up to August 25. Mr. SANDERS. Right.

Senator BARTLETT. I hate to think that you, as the Carriers Association on the one hand, and I, as a U.S. Senator on the other, would have deliberately advocated legislation that brought forth those adjectives.

Mr. SANDERS. Senator Bartlett, I would like to say this: that you, in our opinion at least, and I think we are right, had introduced a bill into Congress which in your opinion would have given to the carriers the full measure of protection in the way of regulatory control that was possible to be enacted at that time, or in the future after it moved through its proper cause in committees. We felt-I, likewise that this was all that we had hope of getting.

Like I said a while ago about the railroad bill, a little bite is better than none. And it is a step in the right direction, and the bills could have been, if enacted, strengthened year by year until the full measure of effectiveness needed to provide for the shipping, receiving, of the public carriers could have been built into existence.

I think that instead of feeling guilty, maybe I should have used different words, but I want to be very strong in saying that you are to be complimented for having even introduced the bill in the first place, because it was the only step apparently available.

Senator BARTLETT. Mr. Sanders, I don't think this joint board concent was ever thoroughly satisfactory to anyone.

Mr. SANDERS. I am sure of that.

Senator BARTLETT. Assuredly it wasn't satisfactory to people in the House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, because we have passed it twice and they haven't considered it. What to do is the question.

Mr. SANDERS. Right.

Senator BARTLETT. Now let's go back to your testimony on S. 1839. This question arises; or a series of them, rather.

I will never forget when in the 86th Congress the Commerce Committee of the Senate held general hearings on the subject of ICC jurisdiction over water carriers, and we lost three walls, which had to be replaced on account of the shoutings and the hollerings and the outbursts from both industry and labor against ICC control of the maritime trades, coast wise and intercoastal. These witnesses submitted in loud, clear, and even violent language, a most positive and assertive belief that the domestic maritime industry had been wrecked by the ICC, and, by George and by ginger, they were going to stand like Horatio at the bridge to see to it that the ICC's jurisdiction was never enlarged. In fact, if they had their way it would have been diminished to the point of elimination.

What leads you to believe that an ICC bill would not now be the target of concentrated opposition throughout the country, because these witnesses, to whom I allude, came from all over the land?

Mr. SANDERS. I would like to attempt to answer that. It is involved, but I will do the best I can.

Senator BARTLETT. It is long winded; I will agree to that.

Mr. SANDERS. At the time that the diminishment of water carriage under ICC is alleged to have commenced, I believe that the last World War was underway; that ships were withdrawn from private carriage usage, almost all of them never returned to it, for reasons that the previous operators for peculiar and particular reasons were unable to start back into the business, and that the war had brought back containerization of freight movement, and that containerization of freight movement outmoded the types of vessels themselves, even, and would require new and differently constructed vessels, would require different shoreside receiving and shipping facilities.

I don't believe that the evolution of a type of freight movement could be charged against the directors of the ICC. I believe that this understanding is getting around into the minds of these people that were previously so outspoken against the ICC having jurisdiction over coastwise traffic.

Senator BARTLETT. I have heard rumors that Alaska Steamship Co., which used to be opposed to the ICC and for the Federal Maritime Board-now Commission-and Matson Navigation Co., serving Hawaii, likewise so opinioned, altered their opinions. I don't know. This is hearsay.

As a matter of fact, I can see many advantages to single control and could, as explained in previous hearings on Alaska this year, when the statehood bill was under consideration.

Let me ask you: A bill of this character would necessarily, as you have indicated, confer "grandfather rights," certificates of necessity and public convenience. Without going into the pluses or minuses, we all have to agree that there has been large-scale warfare, political, if you care to call it that call it whatever you will-between a sizable segment of the Alaska public and the Alaska Steamship Co. What do you think the reaction of the public would be if there was conferred legislatively and legally and forever a certificate that would confirm Alaska Steamship's position in the trade to the exclusion of possible competition?

Mr. SANDERS. I would not be in favor of letting any carrier, regardless of who it may be, have exclusive rights to traverse certain routes and serve a group of people.

Senator BARTLETT. What if we passed this ICC bill and certificates of convenience and necessity were granted by the ICC, we will say, to Alaska Steamship Co. and, for purposes of illustration, to two barge lines any barge lines. Then 3 years later some great steamship company, with lots of vessels available, serving other trades, took a look at Alaska and decided there was a real future here and wanted to get in the trade and made some very attractive offers and allowed those offers to be made known to the public in reference to rates proposed and that sort of thing, and then was denied a certificate by the ICC; wouldn't there be a terrific hullabaloo thereafter?

Mr. SANDERS. Senator, there always is when public convenience and necessity hearings get real hot. In other words, are backed by plenty of money and witness after witness is paraded through and newspapers and other media of advertising is used.

will say this: The laws that exist today in the United States, other than Alaska and Hawaii, governing the use of the public convenience and necessity procedure, are fair and are designed and I

« PreviousContinue »