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Mr. Moss. I am trying to tie this specifically to, let us say, the valleys of California which stretch roughly from well, roughly a distance of about 900 miles, the length of the valley section of the State.
Mr. Jones. We at the present time have a highway contract service. There are private companies operating in most of these areas.
For several years the highway service has been operating by agreement with the railroad company, the Southern Pacific Co., but we have found recently that we can procure good service at more reasonable rates and greater flexibility by our open competitive system of bidding for highway service.
So we are converting this to a complete contract highway service.
Overriding this, there is a combination of some certificated air service and air taxi service which provides a premium service in the area.
Also, we do have some substantial piggyback movements that are carried by the railroads in that territory.
Mr. Moss. I believe in the course of the last few years I have on a number of occasions requested the Post Office Department to run mail checks to find why the time for delivering mail between Sacramento to—my Sacramento office and my Sacramento constituents and my Washington office has lengthened in this span of years.
It now takes longer-an airmail letter takes longer-than some of the surface transportation did when I first came here 18 years ago.
You have through the inspection service run test coverage on a number of occasions because I have been criticized in being lax to responding to air mail cases, and when people anticipated that I had them in my office, they sometimes would not arrive for several additional days.
Mr. JONES. That is a condition that does occur. It is one that is extremely difficult to explain. We do have more than adequate transportation, we feel, between those major points, and we have tied in our transportation network to many of the alternate points.
Many of our post office facilities, though, are pretty badly outmoded, and a great many of them need to be modernized and improved and mechanized.
Mr. Moss. In Sacramento we have one of your most modern.
Mr. Jones. You have a very new one there, sir, but at some other points we unfortunately do not. I could not give you an offhand reason why there should be undue delays.
To my mind there is no logical reason. We know delays occur, and we do our best to pinpoint them and correct them, but from a traffic standpoint I cannot offer you a logical reason.
Mr. Rogers. M:. Chairman, I think I understood you to say, too, that the ICC has never requested you to come in and give testimony in one of the discontinuance cases of rail service except for this one?
Mr. Jones. That is the only one to my knowledge, sir.
Mr. Rogers. I am concerned about the lack of any feeling of soine responsibility in tying the two together, and I don't know whether the blame is more on the ICC for not requesting it, or on the Post Office Department for not being concerned enough to be present at the ICC to make these cases.
Mr. Moss. Would the gentleman yield further?
Mr. Moss. I think this might well be on the Congress for not directing that the department be represented in any case calling for a discontinuance of service, so that the entirety of impact can be
Mr. Rogers. I don't know that I share the gentleman's feeling there. I would think this would be a normal procedure as an interested party, so that the ICC would either request it, or certainly I would think the Post Office Department, through the Bureau of the Budget and the ICC, the Department of Transportation, would be independent enough to make the impact of your contribution to the rail industry continuing passenger service sufficient to make your views heard.
Mr. Moss. If the gentleman would yield further, I would like to observe that while following the ICC during my incumbency here I have not been impressed with its concern with the public interest in matters of transportation.
Mr. Rogers. I have no further questions.
Mr. Moss. I want to thank you for your appearance, and I assure you that the material supplied is very helpful to the committee, and we are most appreciative of your cooperation.
Thank you, and the committee will now stand adjourned to the call of the Chair.
These hearings are not concluded, they will be resumed.
(Whereupon, at 2:45 p.m. the subcommittee adjourned subject to call of the Chair.)
INQUIRY INTO CERTAIN PROCEDURES OF THE
INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24, 1970
HotSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 2 p.m., pursuant to call, in room 2322, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. John E. Moss presiding (Hon. Harley O. Staggers, chairman).
Mr. Moss. The committee will be in order. The first witness today is Mr. Cheseldine, chief hearing examiner of the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Woud you come forward ?
Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give this subcommittee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. CHESELDINE. I do.
TESTIMONY OF JAMES C. CHESELDINE, CHIEF HEARING EXAM
INER, INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, WASHINGTON, D.C.
Mr. Moss. Identify yourself for the record.
Mr. CHESELDINE. My name is James C. Cheseldine, C-h-e-s-e-ld-i-n-e, chief hearing examiner, Interstate Commerce Commission, Washington, D.C.
Mr. Moss. Mr. Lishman, you are recognized.
Mr. LISHMAN. Mr. Cheseldine, how long have you been employed at the ICC?
Mr. CHESELDINE. Since 1928.
Mr. CHIESELDINE. I became chief hearing examiner of the Bureau of Operating Rights in 1960, and chief hearing examiner of the combined Office of Proceedings, which was a combination of three bureaus, in 1965.
Mr. LISHMAX. What do your duties entail?
Mr. CHESELDINE. Administration of all hearing examiners, assim ment of all formal bearings, and various other duties implementing those tiroobjectives.
Mr. LISIN. Do your duties include the responsibility for assignment of hearing examiners to cares? Mr. CHIESELDINE. Yes, sir.
Mr. LISHMAN. Are all hearing examiners, in your opinion, qualified to handle any type of matter coming before the Commission?
Mr. CHESELDINE. In my opinion, no.
Mr. LISHMAN. Could you explain that a little further, please? What is the basis for that opinion?
Mr. CHESELDINE. You said all types.
Mr. CHESELDINE. I don't believe an examiner with minimal experience can handle some of the larger cases.
Mr. LISHMAN. If you have, for example, a motor carrier merger matter, it might require the services of an examiner more experienced in motor carrier matters than a man more experienced in rail matters? Mr. CHESELDINE. No; that is not the approach, sir.
is the Mr. CHESELDINE. It is the fact of experience. It is a matter of how long he has been there, how long he has actually been doing the work. It is a matter of experience in many hearings, in many matters.
Mr.LISHMAN. What grade are the hearing examiners!
Mr. LISHMAN. Do you personally make the assignments of the es aminers?
Mr. CHESELDINE. Not all of them, no, sir.
Mr. CHESELDINE. Occasionally a Commissioner will select an esaminer to hear a particular case, very occasionally.
Mr. LISHMAN. Are the assignments made by your assistants under your supervision ?
Mr. CHESELDINE. Yes. I take the responsibility for them. Mr. LISHMAN. Are the assignments done on a rotation basis? Mr. CHESELDINE. That all depends on what you mean by rotation. They are not mechanically rotated.
Mr. LISHMAN. I would like to understand your interpretation of the provision in the Administrative Procedures Act which provides that hearing examiners shall be assigned in rotation.
Mr. CHESELDINE. The Administrative Procedures Act says in rotation insofar as practicable. That is what we try to do.
Mr. LISHMAN. What makes it impractical
Mr. CHESELDINE. Mechanical rotation? Is that what you are talking about?
Mr. Moss. Actual rotation.
Mr. CHESELDINE. Well, sir; that raises problems of what you mean by actual rotation. If it is mechanical
Mr. Moss. Do you actually select from a list? If you are rotating, you have a list of hearing examiners and you start with Mr. X first, and the next time around he is down one, or he goes to the bottom of the list, and you start over. Isn't that rotation.
Mr. CHESELDINE. Sir, that would require the fact that the examiner would have to finish all of his work before he was put on the list ngain.
Mr. Moss. Then what you are saying is that the requirement of the Administrative Procedures Act is not in itself practicable.
Mr. CHESELDINE. No, sir: I did not say that. I said that we followed insofar as practical and applicable to our work.