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We find that in common with other proposed plans for railroad legislation this bill embodies the several fundamental features, to wit:
1. Ownership and operation.
In addition to these it also seeks to amend various sections of the present act to regulate commerce.
In comparing the Senate subcommittee plan (Cummins bill, S. 2906) with the Commerce Commission plan (Esch-Pomerene bill, H. R. 4378) we are strenuously opposed to the former and indorse the provisions of the latter as a whole. There are, however, certain provisions of the Esch-Pomerene bill, with relation to extension of the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission over water-borne traffic, port-to-port rates, and the regulation of minimum rates, to which the canal and transportation committees have objected. Resolutions have been submitted to the board of directors covering these features of the bill.
There is incorporated in the Esch-Pomerene bill practically all of the National Industrial Traffic League recommendat ons of reconstruction railroad legislation. Cummins bill (S. 641) as amended, providing for the restoration of the rate-making powers of the commission during the remaining period of Federal control, together with the views of the president of the National Industrial Traffic League, presented to the House committee on September 15, 1919, in discussion of the Esch-Pomerene bill, will in a large degree take care of the situation.
In view of all that has been said, we therefore recommend the adoption of the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce is opposed to many of the provisions of the Senate subcommittee bill (S. 2906) and believe that the Commerce Commission plan (Esch-Pomerene bill, H. R. 4378), on the whole, offers the best solution of the railroad question at this time; and be it further
Resolved, That we are opposed to the Esch-Pomerene bill in so far as it would give to the Interstate Commerce Commission authority
(a) To regulate and control port-to-port interstate water rates.
(6) To prescribe minimum rates either rail, rail and water, or rail, water, and rail.
(c) To compel water carriers to publish their rates in tariff form and file such tariffs with the commission.
(d) To compel water carrier to observe any rule or form prescribed by the commission for the keeping of accounts and records and of receipts and disbursements.
(e) To establish purely intrastate rates when the relationship of the inter and intra State rate is at issue.
RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
Resolved, The National Association of Credit Men in convention assembled recognizes fully the paramount importance to our political structure and to sound credits of the wise and statesmanlike disposition of our great transportation, express, and wire-service problems—problems that have long been a cause of doubt and questioning which reached their climax upon our entry into the great war—and we here urge upon our Representatives and Senators in Congress assembled that the problems of returning the railroads and other similar enterprises to private control, as now seems assured, should be approached with all fearlessness and candor, with these thoughts in mind :
1. To make it impossible for the transporation and similar agencies, or their employees, to be placed in position to impose unnecessary burdens and annoyance upon the people.
2. That provisions shall be made looking to the restoration of efficient service and the establishment of the sound credit standing of the companies.
3. That fair consideration be given to the investors in these public service corporations by offering proper returns, such that there may be new infusion of capital and energy into these most vital departments of business activity.
4. That the Federal control shall be morally, socially, and economically constructive in its influence, instead of deterrent as heretofore, and be it further
Resolved, That this convention expresses the hope that this great problem may be approached and studied by all, whether in or out of Congress, who are competent in this subject, and that their suggestions be received in all fairness and without that suspicion of ulterior motives which tends to delay the reaching of the best solution; and be it further
Resolved, That the widest possible publicity be given to these sentiments of the National Association of Credit Men, to the end that all may recognize how fundamental to our solid credit structure is the early determination of our Nation's service problems. Whereas, notwithstanding the fact that our railroads both under private and
Government control have been accustomed to demand the prompt payment of all freight charges but are and have been for the most part dilatory in the payment of debts incurred for supplies, thereby imposing burdens upon those selling the railroads and necessitating borrowing on the part of the sellers that might be avoided but for delayed payments, be it
Resolved, That the National Association of Credit Men in convention assembled appeals to the United States Railroad Administration and the financial agents of the railroads that every possible effort be made by them in the interest of sound business to correct this abuse and with all reasonable promptness pass upon just claims and settle for purchases of supplies in accordance with terms of sales.
RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE CENTRAL WISCONSIN TRAFFIC
Wausau, Wis., June 19, 1919. Hon. John Jacob Esch, House of Representatives,
Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. Esch: For your information there is inclosed a copy of resolutions passed by the association relative to the attitude of its members as to what disposition should be made of the railroads with respect to return of the properties to the owners and legislation for their future regulation.
The association trusts that you will use all proper effort within your power to secure legislation for the disposition of the railroads along the lines indicated in the inclosed resolutions.
Thanking you for the consideration I know you will give this matter, I am, Respectfully, yours,
A. E. SOLIE,
RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE CENTRAL WISCONSIN TRAFFIC ASSOCIATION OF
WAUSAU, WIS. Whereas the Central Wisconsin Traffic Association, with a membership coul
sisting of manufacturers and shippers of various commodities in carloads and less than carloads, located at Algoma, Birchwood, Clintonville, Edgar, Kiel, Medford, Mellen, Merrill, Mosinee, New London, Rhinelander, Rib Falls, Schofield, Wausau, and White Lake, Wis., and Gladstone, Mich., is op posed to Government ownership or operation of the railroads, any er: tension of Federal control beyond the period now prescribed by the Federal control act and has declared itself in favor of prompt remedial legislation that will provide a uniform system of regulation, safeguard the public interest, insure adequate revenue to provide for equitable treatment of all questions affecting wages and working conditions of employees and attraet sufficient capital to maintain and develop transportation facilities which shall meet the necessities of the commercial, manufacturing, and agricultural interests of the country; and
Whereas the Congress of the United States especially declared the operation
of the railroads by the Government to be an emergency measure created by reason of the war; and Whereas the occasion and necessity for the Government operation of rail
roads ceased with the termination of hostilities; and Whereas prolonged uncertainty of the future status of the railroads will retard
the readjustment of the commerce and industry of the country, disrupt the credit of the railroads, and destroy the morale and efficiency of employees;
and Whereas the public interest would be promoted by definite assurance of the
early return of the railroads to private ownership and management and the enactment of legislation for their encouragement and development: Be it now
Resolved, That the Government should restore the individual organization of each system to operate the property for account of the Government, subject to such supervision only by the Director General of Railroads as may be necessary to protect the interests of the Government.
2. That the final relinquishment of the railroads should be made as soon as remedial legislation can be enacted, and that such legislation should be expedited by an extra session of the Congress to be convened at the earliest possible date.
3. That a guaranty to the carriers of a specific return upon either capital or investment should not be undertaken because it would discourage individual initiative, stifle incentive to efficient management, and destroy competition, but that the regulating agency should take into consideration the cost of labor and other operating costs in reaching a conclusion as to the reasonableness of rates, and that the carriers should be permitted to earn sufficient revenue to provide safe and adequate service, to protect existing investment, and to attract new capital necessary in the public interest.
4. That the carriers shall be authorized to make such agreements for the coordination of their practice and consolidation of their properties as may be in the public interest when approved by the regulating bodies.
5. That the exclusive jurisdiction over the issuance of securities shall be vested in the same national governmental agency that has control over interstate rates.
W. E. CURTIS, President.
RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE EASTERN PRESIDENTS' CON
NEW YORK, N. Y., June 24, 1919. Hon. JOHN J. Esch, Chairman Committee on Interstate Commerce,
House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. DEAR SIR: For your information, I beg to quote below copy of a resolution adopted at an Eastern Presidents Conference held on June 19, last:
Resolved, That in view of the President's announcement as to the return of the railroads to their respective owner on January 1, 1920, it is, in the opinion of the members of the Eastern Presidents' Conference, essential that the following actions be promptly taken to permit the various railroad corporations to properly perform their duties when their properties are returned :
(1) That traffic be restored to normal channels, and that traffic solicitors be reappointed;
(2) That the former system of per diem accounting be reestablished, to the end that cars on foreign lines shall be promptly returned to their respective owners;
(3) That the divisions of interline freight and passenger rates, which were in effect prior to Federal control, be reestablished;
(4) That the basis, in effect prior to Federal control, of adjusting accounts between the various companies under contracts covering joint facilities, etc., be reestablished; and
Resolved further, That the chairman of the Eastern Presidents' Conference be, and he hereby is, authorized and directed, on behalf of the conference, to call these matters to the attention of the chairman of the Association of Railway Executives, to the attention of the Director General of Railroads, and the Senate and House Committees on Interstate Commerce, and to request that the various actions enumerated be taken as promptly as possible.
For your information, I beg to state that the Eastern Presidents' Conference is an informal organization of the 36 largest railroads east of Chicago and north of the Ohio and Potomac Rivers. Our conferences are also attended by the various western and southern railroad presidents having headquarters in New York, so that the Eastern Presidents' Conference speaks for railroad companies owning approximately 53 per cent of the railroad mileage and having approximately 67 per cent of the gross earnings of all the railroads under Federal control to-day. Yours, truly,
E. B. THOMAS, Chairman Eastern Presidents' Cor ence.
EASTERN PRESIDENTS' CONFERENCE,
New York, N. Y., June 24, 1919. Hon. John J. Esch, Chairman Committee on Interstate Commerce,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: For your information, I beg to quote below a copy of a resolution adopted at an Eastern Presidents' Conference, held on June 19, last: Whereas it appears that
(1) On March 20, 1919, a subcommittee of the Eastern Presidents' Conference, consisting of Messrs. Truesdale, Besler, and Hammond, was appointed to take up with the Director General of Railroads, through the chairman of the Association of Railway Executives, the matter of putting the railroads upon a self-supporting basis;
(2) At a conference on April 11, 1919, between Mr. Hammond, the chair. man of the subcommittee; Mr. Elliott, the then acting chairman of the Association of Railway Executives; Mr. Thom, the counsel for that association; and the Director General of Railroads, the Director General stated that he found it not only impossible to reduce wages, but necessary to put certain increases in wages into effect, and that he was unwilling to increased rates; that he was attempting to reduce certain expenses, and that he hoped an early increase in the volume of traffic would wipe out the railroad deficit and make an increase of rates unnecessary.
(3) The railroads are still not only not self-supporting, but many of them are being operated at an actual loss, as shown by the published statements of the Railroad Administration; and expenses, instead of decreasing, are on the increase;
(4) The President of the United States has announced that the roads will be returned to their owners on January 1, 1920; and
(5) As more than two months have elapsed since the interview above mentioned with the Director General, without any real improvement in the situation: Therefore, be it
Resolved, That the chairman of the Eastern Presidents' Conference be he hereby is, authorized and directed on behalf of the conference, to call this alarming situation to the attention of the chairman of the Association of Rallway Executives, to the attention of the Director General of Railroads, and the Senate and House Committees on Interstate Commerce, and to renew the request that the railroads be immediately put upon a self-supporting basis. For your information, I beg to state that the Eastern Presidents
' Conference is an informal organization of the 36 largest railroads
east of Chicago and north of the Ohio and Potomac Rivers. Our conferences are also attended by the various western and southern railroad presidents having headquarters in New York, so that the Eastern Presidents' Conference speaks for railroad companies owning approximately 53. per cent of the railroad mileage and having approximately 67 per cent of the gross earnings of all the railroads under Federal control today. Yours, truly,
E. B. THOMAS, Chairman Eastern Presidents' Conference.
RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE SAVINGS BANKS ASSOCIATION OF
THE STATE OF NEW YORK.
Savings Banks ASSOCIATION OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK,
Rome, N. Y., June 30, 1919. Hon. JOHN J. Esch,
Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: The resolution recently adopted by the executive committee of the Savings Banks Association of the State of New York with relation to the railroad situation is attached and submitted to you for your consideration.
The 9,000,000 or more savings depositors in the 625 mutual savings banks located in 15 States of the Union are interested to the extent of $92.22 each in the maintenance of the financial stability of the railroads by their investments in railroad securities owned by the banks. These banks are noncapital stock institutions with aggre
resources equivalent to one-half the total time and demand deposits of the 7,388 national banks of America.
After a careful consideration of the most conservative institutional investors in the country, who have no thought other than the interests of the public, the inclosed resolution was prepared and adopted. We feel sure that your serious attention will be given to this resolution. Respectfully yours,
SAML, H. BEACH, President.
The resolution referred to is as follows: At the meeting of the executive committee, the Savings Banks Association of the State of New York, held in New York City, the following resolution was unanimously adopted : Whereas the solution of the problems of the railroads is the most important
question now before the country, and the proper and permanent settlement of these problems is of vital importance to the Savings Banks Association of the State of New York, with 3,500,000 depositors in this State and hundreds of millions of dollars invested in railroad securities-upon the stabilization
of which the credit structure of the country mainly depends; and Whereas the Congress should now be informed not only of the magnitude of
the investment of the savings banks of the State of New York, but also that of the mutual savings banks throughout the United States, which own
approximately $850,000,000 railroad securities; and Whereas the executive committee of this association has given great consideration
to the many plans proposed in connection with the return of these properties to their owners, now being considered by the Congress in extra session with a view to legislation affecting these properties : Therefore be it