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act particularly on complaints where there appeared to be a pattern of violation ?

Commissioner BURKE. I don't think there is any need for it. If there is a consistent pattern of violations, then certainly our managers in the field and agents know about it and we do too from the pattern of the complaints.

Senator HARTKE. How does it proceed then? What happens? Do you wait for somebody to register a complaint and operate on that one complaint?

Commissioner BURKE. If we get a series of complaints such as the household movers, we act on it.

Senator HARTKE. Let's stay on the railroads for a minute. You get a pattern on the railroads, you want to go to household movers, and I don't object to that, but we just had all of this testimony about the railroads. They said there was a pattern of complaints. Who looks at that?

Commissioner MURPHY. Did that relate to one particular type commodity or group of commodities?

Senator HARTKE. We were all across the board that day.

Mr. STAFFORD. If we just get one letter of complaint, our boys are out even before we know what has happened.

Senator HARTKE. I know you have one on wool in front of you right now on a question of providing railroad cars for wool shipments. They have filed a complaint on this one and I just know they can't get an answer to it. I will be after you on this. But it is an individual proposition.

The point is if you have a pattern of violations of statutes or regulations, who is there that comes along and makes sure that the problem is resolved without the need to adjudicate every single case all down the line?

Commissioner Bush. Could we ask the Bureau of Enforcement Chief?

Senator HARTKE. No; I don't want to ask him. I want the Commission to know this. I don't know who he is and I'm frankly not casting any reflections on him, he may be an extremely good, qualified man, entitled to a Commissioner's salary.

Commissioner Bush. Senator, a lot of this stuff could be handled routinely in the Bureau. So I think it is a fair question to ask him.

Senator HARTKE. It is fair to ask the Commission, if you have a pattern of violations. Do you have an established procedure whereby the Commission comes in and represents the public interest?

Commissioner Bush. Our answer would be the Bureau of Enforcement, and they do have that pattern. But if you want to know the details of what he would do tomorrow with a case he got in yesterday, we will have to ask him.

Mrs. Brown. The investigation part is carried on in the Bureau of Operations, an investigation is done. An investigation of that pattern is turned over to the Bureau of Enforcement and recommendations for investigation, and so on, is carried right through there.

Commissioner Bush. But it wouldn't become a Commission case?
Mrs. Brown. It can if it is a pattern.
Commissioner Bush. We would never get it up

Commissioner MURPHY. May I say one thing, Mr. Chairman, on this, and I think it applies to every Commissioner here: I do not know

up there.

of a single instance where a complaint has been referred to me that we didn't give immediate attention to it to bring in whichever Bureau is involved, and there has been some of them in the form of patterns, and that dealt with the payment of claims, payment of overcharge claims.

Now, when you build up the pattern—they all don't build up in that type pattern, as I see it. No later than 2 weeks ago I received a complaint from a shipper who had an overcharge claim against a carrier, a joint line service, the delivering carrier had paid his part of the overcharge back to the originating carrier and he told the shipper he did not intend to pay it until the Commission approved a pending application that he had for the purchase of another line.

I can tell you this, the claim was paid within about 3 or 4 days and he is under investigation now as to whether there is a sufficient basis for the other claims of a similar nature that he is holding up. So, that's one way it is handled. I think a pattern will develop there and if it does

Senator HARTKE. Yes, excuse me, they can't hear you in the back of the room. But I'm asking you whether there is an established procedure. Without saying you are wrong, I'm just asking this, and this comes back to the basic question I asked about establishing policies and about the amount of time and effort which is involved in handling these individual complaints.

At present each complaint is handled without any well-established procedure. If a pattern develops, you see a situation in which maybe the Commission would take some action. But I hope you see that one thing I'm trying to do is suggest the possibility of utilizing a little bit more oversight in the operation of the Commission. Perhaps many of these complaints would never come to you in the first place if there were that type of policy established.

As I understand your authority, and I think you are right in your interpretation, that whereas the power to adjust an individual claim does not exist within the Commission, you are not deprived of the jurisdiction to determine the reasonableness and the propriety of the carriers' published rules and regulations relative to the handling of claims for loss and damages.

What I'm trying to say to you is that possibly you would have less of these complaints to handle on this basis if you had some type of standard policy provision.

Mr. STAFFORD. In a sense we do have one form of this, in that one of our divisions goes into every complaint and as soon as they find-they make an informal inquiry into it and if they find enough heat that there must be some fire, they immediately ask the Commission, through the vice chairman, for authority to make a formal investigation into the whole thing, when they find a pattern developing:

And we determine whether or not this is something that should be gone into or not. Ninety-nine percent of the time, yes.

Senator HARTKE. It is now quarter to 5. We have a problem tomorrow in that I do want to appear at another Commerce Committee hearing in the morning, the Aviation Subcommittee, which begins at 9:30 where I want to be personally present. We will reconvene at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.

(Whereupon, at 4:45 p.m., the hearing was adjourned, to reconvene *10 2.m., Wednesday, June 25, 1969.)

REVIEW OF INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION

POLICY AND PRACTICES

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25, 1969

U.S. SENATE.

COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON SURFACE TRANSPORTATION,

Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:15 a.m., in room 5110, New Senate Office Building, Senator Vance Hartke (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.

Present: Senator Hartke.
Senator HARTKE. The committee will come to order.

MOTOR CARRIER OPERATING RIGHTS

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I want to touch now on the matter of motor carriers' operating rights. Some of these questions may be repetitious or redundant, but I do want to insure that they are asked. This concerns section 207 of the act. In determining whether a new carrier should be allowed to enter the trucking business and receive a certification from the Interstate Commerce Commission, what type of certification is necessary? What kind of standard has to be met?

Commissioner MURPHY. You follow the standard set forth in the act, that they make the application for it and it is found that there's three features to it—that there is public need for the service; that the carrier is fit, able and willing to perform the service; and when those facts are established on the record, after which a certificate or permit, depending upon the type of application, is issued.

Senator HARTKE. Do you think that that identifies the standards sufficiently, or are these such general terms that really there are no standards at all? They are sort of broad outlines, are they not! Do you believe that something should be done in this field to provide specific guidelines and specific standards?

Commissioner MURPHY. Well, I differ with you on the question whether we should get some—I think we have guidelines established now by precedent in proceedings. And we were on the subject of policy yesterday. They change from time to time. However, the provisions åre, I will agree, somewhat general; and I think you would make a mistake if you tried to make it too specific throughout the application.

Senator HARTKE. Well, how do you make a determination within the general overall guidelines as to what the specifics are going to be?

Commissioner MURPHY. We have the type application that is executed by the applicant, and we also have specific procedures set up as

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to how they will go about processing the application and the record that is to be made. And there again the Commission has spent a great deal of time and study in trying to shorten the procedure, simplify it; and that is of requiring the witnesses to be named that will testify for or against, prepare any statements that they intend to submit in order to eliminate as much repetition as possible. It isn't a complicated procedure, I don't think, depending upon the type application that is being filed and considered.

Senator HARTKE. Well, now the term “a common carrier" is used to designate carriers who actually are not authorized to carry general commodities, isn't that true?

Commissioner MURPHY. Yes, common carrier

Senator HARTKE. Is that the proper designation ? I mean is a common carrier a person who does not carry general commodities! Wouldn't a common carrier more specifically be somebody who carried general commodities?

Commissioner MURPHY. Well, if he has a general carrier certificate, a general commodity certificate, but

Senator HARTKE. I am not talking about whether he has a general commodity certificate. I am talking about somebody who is not authorized to carry general commodities but is still called a common carrier.

Commissioner MURPHY. Yes, sir; and he is a common carrier because his certificate provides that he will accept and receive freight from anyone within the scope of his commodity description.

It may consist of 10 or 12 or a group of specified type commodities. Then he would be a common carrier because he is holding himself out to perform that service for anyone on the route that he is seeking.

Now, there is a distinction between that and a permit or a contract carrier that is limited to a number of commodities where there is a different type service to be performed for the shipper and the receiver as related to the type of service being performed as a common carrier for all those who seek the service.

Senator HARTKE. Now, Commissioner Murphy, isn't it true, though, that you spend an awful lot of time in going into specific commodities and to specific allocations of carrying specific items? Would you not be better off and wouldn't it save a lot of time if there were a generic authority issued rather than the very specific and restricted authorities now issued ?

Commissioner MURPHY. You mean a generic description say general commodities, period?

Senator HARTKE. Well, generic description rather than the specific one. You come down to really nuts and bolts and then you become concerned with whether or not they have to be left- or right-hand screws. I mean that is an exaggeration, but what I am talking about is whether it would not be better to utilize generic descriptions.

Commissioner MURPHY. We do have a generic description, and they are quite often used and referred to in the application. But this gets right back to what I mentioned yesterday, if we want to create chaos, start granting certificates substantially broader than the carrier is willing to offer and serve the public; then you are going to get into a situation where some real need for a particular one that doesn't want it and you give it, they will claim they have it. So I don't think it is as bad as has been pictured.

Senator HARTKE. I didn't picture it that bad.

Commissioner MURPHY. Well, I think so when you say exaggeration as to the left-hand or right-hand threaded nuts or bolts.

Senator HARTKE. Let me say to you I am cognizant of one thing, that there is a general feeling in the country concerning government itself which I am not very happy about, and that is that it is a cumbersome, bureaucratic, conglomerate. I am not talking about that other kind of conglomerate. I would like to see this Commission stand out as a shining star as one operation which is not going to be tied down in red tape. Some existing governmental operations may satisfy a few of the experts in the field and leave you perfectly free of criticism. But what I am talking about is opening this area up so that the Interstate Commerce Commission is with it, so that you are in the modern age, so we get away from 1887. I mean, after all, the railroads came and almost went in the time since the Commission has been in existence.

How many applications do you grind out a year in the motor carrier field ?

Commissioner MURPHY. Five or six thousand.

Senator HARTKE. Five or six thousand. How can the Commission possibly know whether the national transportation policy is being applied in this kind of situation?

Commissioner MURPHY. Well, we are not perfect.

Senator HARTKE. Well, I'm not looking for perfection in mankind. I'm not talking about that.

Commissioner MURPHY. But, Senator, there's a number of things that you have to give some thought to on this. Of course, going to your national transportation policy, of our trying to establish and conduct and administer the act so as to maintain a strong transportation system that will meet your defense, your postal requirements, and the public needs, I would agree that if the Commission were staffed and had the authority to compel a carrier—in others words, if he were going to ask for 15 commodities as a common carrier it would be much better if we could issue a certificate as a general commodity carrier and compel him to perform that service. But it just isn't in the books of the motor carrier industry. If the fellow has only 10 pieces of equipment and he wants to confine it to that, the way the law is written that is as far as he can go.

Senator HARTKE. Did it ever occur to you that maybe he shouldn't go into the business then? In other words, if he is going to be of such limited service and only going to look out for himself, maybe he ought not go in the business at all.

Commissioner MURPHY. Well, we receive complaints from both ways. You let one come in and seek to broaden his, and we get inquiries from here, we get opposition from every source opposing the broadening of it. And so either way you go you still have to get down on the record to decide.

Now I want to say this: On the 4,000 or 5,000 cases I mentioned, they are not all of the same size and require the same amount of time. I imagine that a large percentage of the applications never go to what

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