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But at the moment it appears to me imperative that the State government should immediately start working on a plan of what we in Alaska want for ourselves in the way of transportation without the Federal Government making the unilateral decision for us.
Mr. Sanders, will you be good enough to return to the stand for a few questions that have occurred to Mr. Grinstein?
Perhaps Mr. McElroy will also have questions.
Mr. GRINSTEIN. Mr. Sanders, at the present time the Alaska Railroad is operating a pickup and delivery service in what we call the terminal or metropolitan area, such as Fairbanks, or in Anchorage. Do you have any comment to make on that?
FURTHER STATEMENT OF EDWARD R. SANDERS, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ALASKA CARRIERS ASSOCIATION, INC., ANCHORAGE, ALASKA
Mr. SANDERS. There have been comments among our members emanating from some of them, but no concerted action leading to a decision on policy has been taken. The feeling, as I get it, is that the Alaska Railroad should not engage in this type competitive effort but should instead, under some contractual arrangements, give it to the existing carriers to perform.
There has been a strong feeling, too, that the public would benefit from such action with respect to the increased efficiency service given to the public through such action.
As I say, we have taken no official action in that respect.
Mr. GRINSTEIN. Did the association take official action on the bill, S. 1978, which would have extended to water carriers subject to the Federal Maritime Commission a terminal area exemption?
Mr. SANDERS. Yes; we did. We opposed the granting of authority to the Federal Maritime Board to set terminal areas. We felt that it should stay in the hands of the Interstate Commerce Commission so that those limits would closely coincide, if not exactly coincide, with those established for land carrier usage.
Further, this granting to the Federal Maritime Board of such authority would, we feel, destroy the private carrier industry as it now exists to some extent in that it would permit the water carriers themselves to operate their own equipment in direct competition with existing motor common carriers who hold certificated rights from the proper regulatory bodies, and could, at the whim of a water carrier who couldn't get just the kind of deal that he wanted out of the existing carriers, put his own trucks and personnel into that service.
This, we think, would be, possibly, very disadvantageous to the existing motor carrier industry.
Mr. GRINSTEIN. If the amendment to section 27B of the Statehood Act that you suggested were adopted, the water carrier then subject to the Interstate Commerce Commission would be treated as a carrier subject to part 3 of the act and would, therefore, qualify for a terminal area exemption. Would you still have objection to that?
Mr. SANDERS. Not exactly the same kind of objection because I am under the opinion—and if I am wrong I would like an expression from you-I am under the opinion that if they were regulated by part 3 of the act, that they would have to hold rights in the first place to conduct
such operations, that the tariffs under which they performed the work as an extension of their water carriage would be filed with and regulated by the Interstate Commerce Commission, and, therefore, the existing motor carrier industry would have some measure of protection at least.
Mr. GRINSTEIN. The situation would be that they would have a terminal area exemption and would not require any rights within the terminal area defined by the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Mr SANDERS. Then if the act applies that way, and their tariffs containing the arrangements, the charges under which they would perform the service are not regulated by the governing body-and we hope it would be the Interstate Commerce Commission, then I think that we need protective legislation to insure some safeguards for the existing motor common carriers.
Mr. GRINSTEIN. That is all that I have.
Mr. MCELROY. I have nothing at this time, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Bartlett. Mr. Sanders, under existing law doesn't the FMB, or, as it now is, the Federal Maritime Commission, have certain regulatory authority over trucking and terminal areas?
Mr. SANDERS. I am not too well founded on that, Senator. They have some relief, but I believe that the relief is somewhat confined as to territorial scope, but I am not too well founded.
Senator BARTLETT. My recollection is that witnesses in Washington for the trucking industry testified that the FMB, as it then was, had this authority, and no objection was made to its continuation.
We weren't told that there had been any untoward consequences as a result of its having been applied, but the witnesses were very strongly against any extension of that jurisdiction.
Mr. SANDERS. There is a little bit of history involved here, I would like to put in the record. The American Trucking Associations, of which we are a member State association, through its executive committee of 400, took opposing action to giving to the Federal Maritime Board authority to set up such limits because the Federal Maritime Board wanted to, in some instances, go out as far as 150 miles to establish pickup and delivery areas. But just before they went strongly on record, some segment of our own ranks interposed strong objection to American Trucking Associations opposing of it officially and as a national organization.
There was some weakening of attitude on account of that opposition. We at that time became aware of the trend and countered that objection as strongly as we could, being the infant member of the ATA. But it did cause slight restoration of the original position of ATA, and that is now in opposition to the FMC being given that authority. They favor, instead, on a national basis, that authority being given to the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Senator BARTLETT. Mr. Sanders, you have made a statement of absolute fact. No substantial objection or any objection at all, as I recall, was first interposed by the ATA. Later, a very violent objection. Would S. 1978, if it became law as written, have any effect on Alaska carriers? Mr. SANDERS. As it is written, in other words, it now contains the authority to give to the FMB this zone setting.
Mr. GRINSTEIN. S. 1978 as now written gives the ICC authority to determine the geographical size of the exempt zone.
Mr. SANDERS. As I recall in the jockeying back and forth between segments favoring and opposing, the ICC version became watered down a little bit to the point where those limits conceivably would far exceed the limits under the ICC's formula for determining commercial zones around incorporated or unincorporated cities. This, I think, is bad.
I don't see why line-haul carriers should be encroached upon to the point of moving these boundaries further out. Legally filed and effective tariff's of the line-haul carriers contain proper and reasonable charges to cover the movement of freight to or from these outer areas, and they can be built into the total charges by water vessels as the charge against the shipper, consignee, and would not necessarily be 1 cent more than would be charged if the limits were extended further out. I can see no further purpose in moving them out and I can see great harm come to the existing motor common carriers.
Senator BARTLETT. What I am trying to get at is this. Your protests were filed-those of the Alaska Carriers Association. Were they filed because it was the belief of the Alaska Carriers Association that this legislation would be harmful to Alaska carriers, or was this part of a national protest initiated generally and maintained by the American Trucking Association?
Mr. SANDERS. Senator, I can say that we moved from the basis of complete selfishness, based upon our attempt to survive as motor common carriers in Alaskan operations.
Senator BARTLETT. That is, you say, then, that you recorded here a belief that this bill, if enacted into law, would be hurtful to Alaska carriers?
Mr. SANDERS. Most definitely. Our governing committee was unanimous in that opinion.
Senator BARTLETT. How many carriers did you tell us Saturday are now members of the Alaska Carriers Association?
Mr. SANDERS. There are about 84 motor common carriers. There are 58 contract dump truck carriers, and 42, I believe it is, associate members.
Senator BARTLETT. If you were to make a statement, how many trucks would you say were involved?
Mr. SANDERS. I had that total at one time.
Speaking simply from memory-and I could confirm this later if you wish-it seems to me that our memberships total units for assessment purposes only, which eliminates single-tractor motive power when not combined with the load-carrying equipment, totals almost 1,700.
Senator BARTLETT. Thank you, Mr. Sanders.
Do you have any additional statement you desire to make?
Mr. SANDERS. If I may, sir.
Senator BARTLETT. Surely.
The chairman notes the presence in the room of the able and distinguished Senator from Alaska, Senator Gruening. Senator Gruening will be called as soon as Mr. Sanders has concluded.
It is an inviolate rule in the Senate, I might add, that when a Senator appears to testify, that he is taken first. But I am sure that
Senator Gruening would prefer to have Mr. Sanders conclude before testifying.
Is that right, Senator?
Senator GRUENING. That is quite correct.
Mr. SANDERS. Senator, this subject has been the matter of mail distribution earlier, but, as I understand it, the bills have not been finally passed by both Houses. I am not exactly aware of the condition in either House at the moment. But the subject is of such importance that I do appreciate the opportunity to put the text on the record. The executive committee of the Alaska Carriers Association, Inc., has gone firmly on record as being in favor of the passage of Senate bill S. 1145, which would eliminate the application of the provisions of section 22 of the Interstate Commerce Act except under conditions of national emergency.
We added the phrasing "except under conditions of national emergency" reluctantly. We don't even favor the elimination of section 22 of the ICC Act with this vestige left available for the use of governmental agencies, but I understand that that is all we have a chance of getting at this time.
To go further:
The use of section 22 of the Interstate Commerce Act as authority for filing lower rates for the movement of freight for governmental entities has, through recent years, been abused to the point where the economic well-being of the carriers is seriously threatened.
As a side remark, I refer to not only motor common carriers at this moment, but to all common carriers.
In fact, if quotations made under section 22 of the Interstate Commerce Act were eliminated, causing governmental shippers to pay the same rates as the general public, it is entirely conceivable that the carriers could avoid a certain amount of their next rate increases caused by rising costs of operation. For the last several years, increasing inflation has caused all forms of transportation to steadily adjust their rates upward to offset these rising costs of operation. I appealed to
all to whom this letter is addressed to support the passage of this bill in order to bring into being fair and just ratemaking so that the greatest degree of equity will result and at the same time preserve the financial soundness of the transportation industry to the point where it can adequately perform its basic function-properly and safely transporting the goods of the Nation in the manner in which they must be transported if the welfare of the Nation is to be adequately preserved.
There is and has been in recent years a very strong movement to repeal section 22 of the ICC Act because of its detrimental economic effect. But evidently there are powerful forces working against this move. My only hope is that this testimony and other testimony will reach enough receptive ears to finally show to all of the Congress Members, how detrimental its effect is on the carriage, how much it forces rates paid by the general shipping public upward.
The general shipping public is being forced to pay another form of tax, in fact, by paying greater rates for the movement of their own civilian freight by the carriers being forced to charge a lesser amount for the movement of Government freight.
Senator BARTLETT. Thank you, Mr. Sanders, for this expression of your views on section 22.
Mr. McElroy calls my attention to the Senate Legislative Calendar, which reveals that the bill you referred to, S. 1145, was introduced on March 2, 1961, by Senator Smathers, of Florida, and no hearings have yet been held upon it. The staff member assigned is none other than Mr. Grinstein, who sits on my left.
Do you know if hearings are projected?
Mr. GRINSTEIN. It is expected that hearings will be held on S. 1145 in the next session.
Senator BARTLETT. Thank you, Mr. Sanders.
Mr. SANDERS. Thank you.
Senator BARTLETT. Now, Senator Gruening.
We welcome you, Senator, at the concluding session of our hearings in Anchorage, and we only wish that you could go on with us to Cordova, Juneau, and Ketchikan, where they are going to be continued.
If you care to say favorable words concerning your bill to establish a reception center here at the international airport, and your bill to amend the Saltonstall-Kennedy Act to provide additional funds for research and rehabilitation of the fisheries, we shall be glad to hear them and any other testimony on transportation or on the fishery or allied subjects that you may care to present.
STATEMENT OF HON. ERNEST GRUENING, U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF ALASKA
Senator GRUENING. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Perhaps you do not realize you are virtually extending to me an invitation to speak almost indefinitely.
Senator BARTLETT. Deliberately.
Senator GRUENING. I would like first to speak about the bill which you and I jointly cosponsored, which has to do with various activities at the Anchorage International Airport. The seed of this idea to create an international reception center originated with Mayor Byer who not only developed this idea but promoted it very vigorously, as those of us who are in receipt of mail from Anchorage can testify.
It received not only his sponsorship but considerable support, and it struck us, I am sure, as a very excellent idea.
In the course of thinking about the best method of promoting this desirable objective, other additional possibilities came to mind, and particularly it came to my mind when last July a group of the Senate Committee on Public Works returned during a brief Senate recess from a visit to Scandanavia, where we went for the purpose of studying the very extensive use of hydroelectric power in Norway and Sweden, and its possible application to Alaskan conditions.
On our return we stopped for a couple of hours in Ireland, at Shannon, where there is a free international port and where, in a very large showroom there, all kinds of goods, both of Irish manufacture and coming from other countries were exhibited at very attractive prices, with the inevitable result that practically every member of our party did some extensive shopping.
It struck me that this idea was very applicable to the Alaska International Airport and that in fact conditions here exceeded in potential anything that Shannon had. In fact, exceeded actually and potentially anything that exists in any other part of the world.