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cables on shores of the United States prior to the hearings before the
Annual report of the directors of Radio Corporation of America, 1928.
ious States and their income by States..
COMMISSION ON COMMUNICATIONS
WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 1929
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C. The committee met, pursuant to call of the chairman, at 10.30 2. m., in room 412, Senate Office Building, Senator James Couzens presiding.
Present: Senators Couzens (chairman), Fess, Pine, Watson, Brookhart, Kean, Pittman, Dill, Hawes, and Wagner.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please come to order. There is a quorum present. This meeting was called for the purpose of considering S. 6, a bill to provide for the regulation of the transmission of intelligence by wire or wireless. I think we better at the outset of our hearings put a copy of the bill in the hearings. (The bill is made a part of the hearings, as follows:)
(8. 6, Seventy-first Congress, first session) A BILL To provide for the regulation of the transmission of intelligence by wire or wireless Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the provisions of this act shall apply to all common carriers engaged in the transmission of intelligence by wire or wireless but shall not apply to the transmission of intelligence by wire or wireless wholly within one State.
(b) This act is intended to regulate all forms of interstate and foreign radio transmissions and communications within the United States, its Territories and possessions; to maintain the control of the United States over all channels of interstate and foreign trade transmission; and to provide for the use of such channels, but not the ownership thereof, by individuals, firms, or corporations, for limited periods of time, under licenses granted by Federal authority. No such license shall be construed to create any right beyond the terms, conditions, and periods of the license. No person, firm, company, or corporation shall use or operate any apparatus for the transmission of energy, or communications, or signals by radio (a) from one place in any Territory or possession of the United States or in the District of Columbia to another place in the same Territory, possession, or District; or (b) from any State, Territory, or possession of the United States, or from the District of Columbia to any other State, Territory, Or possession of the United States, or (c) from any place in any State, Territory, or possession of the United States, or in the District of Columbia, to any place in any foreign country or to any vessel; or (d) within any State when the effects of such use extend beyond the borders of said State, or when interference is caused by such use or operation with the transmission of such energy, communications, or signals from within said State to any place beyond its borders, or from any place beyond its borders to any place within said State, or with the transmission or reception of such energy, communications, or signals from and/or to places beyond the borders of said State; or (e) upon any vessel of the United States; or (f) upon any aircraft or other mobile stations within the United States, Except under and in accordance with this act and with a license in that behalf granted under the provisions of this act.
(c) The term “common carrier" as used in this act shall include all telegraph, telephone, cable, and/or radio companies and/or any other persons, natural or artificial, engaged in the transmission of intelligence for hire. Whenever the word “carrier" is used in this act it strall be held to mean common carrier.
(d) The term “transmission” as 'ysed in this act shall include the transmission of intelligence through the application of electrical energy or other use of electricity, whether by means of wire, cable, radio apparatus, or other wire or wireless conductors or applianses, and all instrumentalities and facilities for and services in connection with the receipt, forwarding, and delivery of messages, communications, or other intelligence so transmitted, hereinafter also collectively called messages.
SEC. 2. For the purposes of this act the United States is divided into five zones as follows: The first zone shall embrace the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Porto Rico, and the Virgin Islands; the second zone shall embrace the States of Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky; the third zone shall embrace the States of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma; the fourth zone shail embrace the States of Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri; and the fifth zone shall embrace the States of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, California, the Territory of Hawaii, and Alaska.
Sec. 3. (a) A commission is hereby created and established to be known as the commission on communications, hereinafter referred to as the commission, which shall be composed of five commissioners appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and one of whom the President shall designate as chairman: Provided, That chairmen thereafter elected shall be chosen by the commission itself.
(b) Each member of the commission shall be a citizen of the United States and an actual resident citizen of a State within the zone from which appointed at the time of said appointment. Not more than one commissioner shall be appointed from any zone. No member of the commission shall be financially interested in the manufacture or sale of radio apparatus or in the transmission or operation of radiotelegraphy, radiotelephony, or radio broadcasting, and no commissioner and no person in the employ of or holding any official relation with any common carrier subject to the provisions of this act, or owning stocks or bonds thereof, or who is in any manner pecuniarily interested therein, shall enter upon the duties or hold such office. Said commissioners shall not engage in any other business, vocation, or employment. Not more than three commissioners shall be members of the same political party.
(c) The commissioners first appointed under this act shall continue in office for the term of two, three, four, five, and six years, respectively, from the date of the taking effect of this act, the terms of each to be designated by the President, but their successors shall be appointed for terms of six years, except that any person chosen to fill a vacancy shall be appointed only for the unexpired term of the commissioner whom he shall succeed. Any commissioner may be removed by the President for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office, but for no other cause. A vacancy in the commission shall not impair the right of the remaining commissioners to exercise all the powers of the commission.
(d) Each commissioner shall receive an annual salary of $10,000, payable in monthly installments. The commission shall appoint a secretary and shall have authority to appoint other employees as it may find necessary to the proper performance of its duties. Such employees shall be appointed subject to the provisions of the civil service laws, and the salaries shall be fixed in accordance with the classification act of 1923. Until otherwise provided by law, the commission may hire suitable offices for its use, and shall have authority to procure all necessary office supplies.
(e) All of the expenses of the commission, including all necessary expenses for transportation incurred by the commissioners or by their employees, under their orders, in making any investigation or upon any official business in any other places than in the city of Washington, shall be allowed and paid on the presentation of itemized vouchers therefor approved by the chairman of the commission.
(f) The commission shall have an official seal.
(g) The commission shall have authority to inquire into the management of the business of all common carriers subject to the provisions of this act, and shall keep itself informed as to the manner and method in which the same is conducted and shall have the right to obtain from such common carriers full and complete information necessary to enable the commission to perform the duties and carry out the objects for which it was created; and upon the request of the commission it shall be the duty of any district attorney of the United States to whom the commission may apply to institute in the proper court and to prosecute under the direction of the Attorney General of the United States all necessary proceedings for the enforcement of the provisions of this act and for the punishment of all violations thereof, and the costs and expenses of such prosecutions shall be paid out of the approrpiations for the expenses of the courts of the l'nited States; and for the purposes of this act the commission shall have the power to require by subpæna, the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of all books, papers, tariffs, contracts, agreements, and documents relating to any matter under investigation. Witnesses summoned before the commission shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of the United States.
1h) No person shall be excused from attending and testifying or from producing books, papers, tariffs, contracts, agreements, and documents before the commission, or in obedience to the subpoena of the commission, whether such subpæna be signed or issued by one or more commissioners, or in any cause or proceeding, criminal or otherwise, based upon or growing out of any alleged violation of this act, or of any amendments thereto, on the ground or for the reason that the testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, required of him may tend to criminate him or subject him to a penalty or forfeiture. But no natural person shall be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter, or thing, concerning which he may testify, or produce evidence, documentary or otherwise, before said commission or in obedience to its subpæna, or in any such case or proceeding: Provided, That no person so testifying shall be exempt from prosecution and punishment for perjury committed in so testifying.
jl Any person who shall neglect or refuse to attend and testify, or to answer any lawful inquiry, or to produce books, papers, tariffs, contracts, agreements, and documents, if in his power to do so, in obedience to the subpæna or lawful requirement of the commission, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof by a court of competent jurisdiction shall be punished by a fine not less than $100 nor more than $5,000, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
i The testimony of any witness may be taken, at the instance of a party, in any proceedings or investigation pending before the commission, by deposition, at any time after a cause or proceeding is at issue on petition and answer.
(k) The commission may conduct its proceedings in such manner as will best conduce to the proper dispatch of business and to the ends of justice. Any member of the commission may administer oaths and affirmations and sign subpænas. A majority of the commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, except as may be otherwise provided herein, but no commissioner shall participate in any hearing or proceeding in which he has a pecuniary interest. The commission may, from time to time make, or amend such general rules or orders as may be requisite for the order and regulation of proceedings before it, including forms of notices and the service thereof, which shall conform, as nearly 28 may be, to those in use in the courts of the United States. Any party may appear before the commission or any division thereof and be heard in person or by attorney. Every vote and official act of the commission, or of any division thereof, shall be entered of record, and its proceedings shall be public upon the request of any party interested. Sec. 4. Except as otherwise provided in this act, the commission from time to time, as public convenience, interest, or necessity requires, shall
a) Classify radio stations; (b) Prescribe the nature of the services to be rendered by each class of licensed radio stations and each radio station within any cla
(e) Assign bands of frequencies or wave lengths to the various classes of radio stations, and assign frequencies or wave lengths for each individual radio station and determine the power which each radio station shall use and the time during which it may operate;
d) Determine the location of classes of radio stations or individual radio stations;
(e) Regulate the kind of radio apparatus to be used with respect to its external effects and the purity and sharpness of the emissions from each radio station and from the apparatus therein;
(f) Make such regulations not inconsistent with law as it may deem necessary to prevent interference between radio stations and to carry out the provisions of this act: Provided, however, That changes in the wave lengths, authorized power, in the character of emitted signals, or in the times of operation of any radio station, shall not be made without the consent of the station licensee unless, in the judgment of the commission, such changes will promote the public convenience or interest or will serve public necessity or the provisions of this act will be more fully complied with;
(g) Have authority to establish areas or zones to be served by any radio station;
(h) Have authority to make special regulations applicable to radio stations engaged in chain broadcasting;
(i) Have authority to make general rules and regulations requiring radio stations to keep such records of programs, transmissions of energy, communications, or signals as it may deem aesirable;
(j) Have authority to exclude from the requirements of any regulations in whole or in part any radio station upon railroad rolling stock, or to modify such regulations in its discretion;
(k) Have authority to prescribe the qualifications of radio station operators, to classify them according to the duties to be performed, to fix the forms of such licenses, and to issue them to such persons as the commission finds qualified;
(1) Have authority to suspend the license of any radio operator for a period not exceeding two years upon proof sufficient to satisfy the commission that the licensee (a) has violated any provision of this act or any treaty binding on the United States which the commission is authorized by this act to administer, or any regulation made by the commission under any such act or treaty; or (b) has failed to carry out the lawful orders of the master of the vessel on which he is employed; or (c) has wilfully damaged or permitted radio apparatus to be damaged; or (d) has transmitted superfluous radio communications or signals or radio communications containing profane or obscene words or language, or (e) has wilfully or maliciously interfered with any other radio communication or signals;
(m) Have authority to inspect all radio transmitting apparatus to ascertain whether in construction and operation it conforms to the requirements of this act, the rules and regulations of the commission and the license under which it is constructed or operated;
(n) Have authority to designate call letters for all radio stations;
(0) Have authority to cause to be published such call letters and such other announcements and data as in the judgment of the commission may be required for the efficient operation of radio stations subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and for the proper enforcement of this act.
Sec. 5. Any person, firm, company, or corporation, or any State or political division thereof, aggrieved or whose interests are adversely affected by any decision, determination, or regulation of the commission may appeal therefrom by filing with the commission notice of such appeal within thirty days after such decision or determination or promulgation of such regulation. The commission shall hear such appeal under such rules and regulations as it may determine. Decisions by the commission as to matters so appealed and to all other matters over which it has jurisdiction shall be final, subject to the right of appeal herein given.
Sec. 6. (a) Radio stations belonging to and operated by the United States shall not be subject to the provisions of sections 1 and 4 of this act. All such Government stations shall use such frequencies or wave lengths as shall be assigned to each or to each class by the President. All such stations, except stations on board naval and other Government vessels while at sea or beyond the limits of the continental United States, when transmitting any radio communication or signal other than a communication or signal relating to Government business shall conform to such rules and regulations designed to prevent interference with other radio stations and the rights of others as the commission may prescribe. Radio stations on board vessels of the United States Shipping Board or the Merchant Fleet Corporation or the Inland Waterways Corporation shall be subject to the provisions of this act.
(b) All stations owned and operated by the United States except mobile stations of the Army of the United States and all other stations on land and sea, shall have special call letters designated by the commission.
(c) Section 1 of this act shall not apply to any person, firm, company, or corporation sending radio communications or signals on a foreign ship while the