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The CHAIRMAN. Yes. I have an amendment that is being draw by the drafting department which will cover that provision,
Senator BARKLEY. I should like to have the statement of M Webster as to the wisdom of undertaking to connect these things i with a communications commission.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course I am not answering for Mr. Webste but we do not want too many commissions; and it is generally at mitted that some regulatory power is necessary in interstate con merce, and that as long as it is all done by electrical energy it we suggested that it might be all handled in one commission, becaus communication and power are brought about by electrical energ and these matters might properly come under one commission.
Senator Fess. One of the strongest features, to my mind, in th bill that you have introduced is to relieve the Interstate Commere Commission of the work that it is not doing because it is being over burdened.
The CHAIRMAN. As long as every witness has testified to the desira bility of the unification of these activities, even though it can no be accomplished immediately, it seems to me that we should worl in the direction of unifying them anyway. Whether we get any mory rapid results through this new commission than we would throug! the Interstate Commerce Commission is a question.
Senator BARKLEY. Of course that would ultimately involve placing under the jurisdiciton of this commission control over electric ligh and power of public utilities that have any connection at all from one State to another I am not giving my opinion as to the wisdom o that, but if we are going to put under the jurisdiction of this com mission not merely all communications, but all transmission of power it will ultimately involve the Federal Government in the regulation of the transmission of power from across State lines generally for any purpose.
The CHAIRMAN. Does the Senator suggest that we have another commission to regulate power?
Senator BARKLEY. No; I am not making any suggestions about it at all.
Senator Fess. There are suggestions coming from various sections that power is sufficient to justify a separate commission. I know how this committee feels about multiplying commissions.
The Chairman. It is my judgment that they will tie up very well together, and those with whom I have conferred believe that it can be tied up directly in one commission the same as many activities are tied up in the Interstate Commerce Commission.
However, we will have to discuss that matter when we meet in executive session.
Senator Fess. What I am concerned about is whether we are not justified in relieving the Interstate Commerce Commission of some of the authority that we have given it and that it has not exercised. In fact, I do not think it can exercise it, because it is being overworked.
The CHAIRMAN. I would like to ask the committee whether they believe it would be better to postpone going ahead with Mr. Webster until he has had time to prepare the proposed amendments in written form, rather than going through the bill in the manner that Mr.
Caldwell did and making suggestions. So far as I am concerned, I would prefer not going through it now in an informal way and then going through it again in a more accurate way. If the committee agrees with that, I would like to delay going through the bill in an informal way until Mr. Webster is prepared to go through it in a formal way.
Senator WAGNER. With the prepared amendments? Senator BROOKHART. I think that is all right. Mr. WEBSTER. I should prefer to come before you with concrete suggestions in written form than with a general suggestion. I do agree in detail with the suggestions made by Mr. Caldwell.
Senator GLENN. May I ask the chairman whether anyone connected with the Interstate Commerce Commission's legal department has been asked to consider the bill from the aspects particularly relating to the Interstate Commerce Commission? The CHAIRMAN. No. Senator GLENN. I noticed that Mr. Caldwell and Mr. Webster both said that they were not familiar with that.
Senator Dill. I may say, in answer to that, that I suggested to the chairman that we take up the radio end of it first and then take up the other parts of it later; and that is why those witnesses have not been called, I think.
The Chairman. Have you anything more to say informally outside of the details of the bill, Mr. Webster, that would be helpful to us?
Mr. WEBSTER. No; I think I should prefer to present all my suggestions regarding the bill itself in the form that you have suggested, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. It has been suggested that we have some Army and Navy experts here to-morrow; and if that is agreeable to the committee we will now adjourn until 10.30 to-morrow morning, at which time those witnesses will be present.
(Whereupon, at 11.40 o'clock a. m., the committee adjourned until to-morrow, Saturday, May 18, 1929, at 10.30 o'clock a. m.)
COMMISSION ON COMMUNICATIONS
SATURDAY, MAY 18, 1929
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C. The committee met, pursuant to adjournment on yesterday, at 10.30 a. m., in room 412, Senate Office Building, Senator James Couzens presiding.
Present: Senators Couzens (chairman), Fess, Howell, Brookhart, Kean, Dill, and Wagner.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. Major General Gibbs has been asked to come before the committee and tell us the interest that the Army has in radio. General Gibbs, you may proceed, if you please.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. GEORGE S. GIBBS, CHIEF SIGNAL
OFFICER, UNITED STATES ARMY, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Major General GIBBS. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I have been asked to explain the interest of the War Department in communications. We have in our Army a branch of the service that is charged with furnishing communication to the Army, and that means communication in its broad sense and of every sort. It maintains combat units for providing communications in the field, and maintains other units for providing communications in the rear areas of the theater of operations and also in the zone of communications.
Senator DILL. You are the head of the Signal Corps of the Army.
Major General GIBBs. Yes, sir. And then I might say as a housekeeping proposition it provides communications that the Army uses in its peace-time establishment.
Senator DILL. How many stations have you?
Major General GIBBs. We have something like 125 or 130 Army posts and stations, at which we maintain a local post telephone system, and connecting with the general telephone systems of the country; and we maintain a telegraph service, and operate it, at the most of these places.
Senator Dill. What part of the spectrum are your wave lengths or frequencies selected from?
Major General GIBBS. So far I have been speaking generally about communications broadly—that is, including telephone and telegraph-and then we maintain radio nets as follows
Senator Dill (interposing). That is what I meant when I referred to stations.
Major General GIBBS. We maintain a system covering the Territory of Alaska, with a total, I think, of something like 34 stations,
employing 46 transmitters; and for 30 years that has been the commercial communication system of Alaska.
Senator Dill. Are those telephone or telegraph?
Major General GIBBs. We have combination sets for the use of troops in the field, that employ radiotelephony.
Senator Dill. But in your regular work that you do now, what about that?
Major General GIBBs. But we are not employing the radiotelephone in Army communications, nor are we engaged in broadcasting of any sort.
Senator Dill. How many frequencies does the Army use, or about how many frequencies?
Major General Gibbs. I think we have about forty-odd. Captain Hooper, what number now has the Army, and how many has the Navy?
Captain HOOPER. I have not the figures here.
Captain HOOPER. I think you have 42, and we have 21 above 6,000 kilocycles.
Senator KEAN. In what part of the spectrum are they?
Senator KEAN. You do not cover the whole radio spectrum, do you?
Major General GIBBs. These frequencies I speak of are just here and there for different purposes, and are naturally chosen from different parts of the spectrum, depending on distance and nature of communication.
Senator KEAN. But as I understand it there is a part of the spectrum used for telegraph, and there is a part of the spectrum used for broadcasting, and there is a part of the spectrum used again for broadcasting or communication on high frequencies.
Major General GIBBS. Yes, sir.
Senator KEAN. Now, are your lines scattered all through that spectrum?
Major General GIBBS. Yes, there are a few chosen for each of these purposes, so that naturally they are scattered in different parts of the spectrum.
Senator KEAN. I thank you.
Senator Dill. You say you have 34 stations in Alaska. How many other stations have you?
Major General Gibbs. We are operating a radiotelegraph service on 10 transports with 21 transmitters on those transports; on 51 mine planters, tugs, engineers' dredges, and so forth, small craft, with 63 transmitters; and then our Army net, as well call it, which includes a net connecting the headquarters of the 12 corps areas and departments, including the overseas departments, with the subsidiary nets connecting up the military stations within corps areas, make a total of 83 stations with 132 transmitters.
Senator Dill. Outside of Alaska is that? Major General Gibbs. Oh, yes; that is the total that is outside of Alaska. That is, in the rest of the United States and in the foreign possessions.