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Senator THURMOND. In other words, if this were an extra road, so to speak, through your State and go ahead with your plans on expansion under way, there would be no objection on the part of your people then; would there!

Mr. STOLDT. I think that is right.

Senator GORE. Thank you very much for your appearance. You have been very helpful to the committee. The committee will have an executive session for a few minutes.

Senator KERR. I want to thank the chairman for allowing us to participate in this. Senator GORE. It was very good to have you.

(Thereupon, at 11:50 a. m., the committee went into executive session.)




Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10:15 a. m., in room 412, Senate Office Building, Senator Albert Gore presiding.

Present: Senators Chavez (chairman), Gore (presiding), Syming, ton, Thurmond, McNamara, Neuberger, Martin, Case, Bush, and Kuchel.

Also present: Senators Kerr and Hruska.

Senator GORE. Will the committee come to order. The committee is pleased and honored to have before it this morning, the Secretary of Commerce, Secretary Weeks. The committee is very happy to have you this morning and hopes that you are feeling well.

Secretary WEEKS. I am feeling very well; thank you, sir.

Senator GORE. I believe you have a prepared statement. Have copies been distributed ?

Secretary WEEKS. They should have been.
Senator GORE. You may proceed.



Secretary WEEKS. Mr. Chairman, I have a relatively short statement which, if I could read without interruption, I should appreciate it.

Senator GORE. You shall have that privilege.

Secretary WEEKS. Then I have, in addition, the answers to the section 1 and section 2 questions, which you wrote me about some little time ago and those I will introduce, if I may, as an addendum to the statement itself.

Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee of the Senate Public Works Committee, I am happy to be here at your invitation to comment on the highway legislation presently under consideration by your committee.

With the invitation which I received there were attached two lists of questions, one covering a number of points having to do with administration, and the second being largely statistical in nature.

I tender herewith the replies to the above-mentioned questions insofar as it has been possible to answer them. Regrettably, in some cases the statistical data is not available in the form requested in the second enclosure and to supply same would require recontacting all of the States. Moreover, some of the questions could not be answered until the actual designing of certain portions of given highways is undertaken.

In my statement I shall not refer to the statistical data but shall touch on a number of points raised in the questionnaire insofar as administration is concerned.

I have been asked to comment on Senate bills 1160 and 1048. Inasmuch as the bill introduced by the chairman of this subcommittee, nameyl, S. 1048, preceded Senate bill 1160, I shall discuss it first. There are several major aspects of this bill which give me concern.

It has been generally understood that S. 1048 is patterned after the 1954 Federal Highway Act, and the chief differences involve an increasing of the amounts authorized by the Congress under the various categories of highways, a slight difference in the matching basis for interstate funds, and an increase in the period covered by the new bill from 2 to 5 years.

There is still a further condition which will be imposed on the States which gives me great concern if S. 1048 should be enacted. This bill increases Federal aid on the interstate, primary, secondary, and urban systems to $1,600 million. The 1954 act, exclusive of forest roads, authorized $875 million, as compared to $550 million in the 1952 act.

Thus we have an increase of 179 percent over the 1952 act and now a proposed increase of 83 percent over the 1954 act. It is not possible to accurately determine the effect on the total highway program if the States are confronted with this very substantial increase in Federal funds which must be matched. Some of the States are having difficulty in matching the 1954 appropriations. Obviously many more will be adversely affected under the larger grants.

The siphoning off of highway funds at the State level for expenditure on the Federal-aid system will affect the 48 States adversely in the improvement of those highways on which they expend funds which are not eligible for Federal aid. Currently the 48 States are spending approximately $159 million on 175,000 miles of highways not on the Federal-aid highway system. Due consideration should be given to the overall effect on the 48 States in siphoning off highway funds at the State level in order to match more Federal funds.

Next, I should like to point out that S. 1048, if enacted, would either require the levy of additional taxes or would increase the national deficit. Under the provisions of S. 1048 the annual deficit would be increased approximately $725 million, without making any systematic provision for financing the increase. The philosophy of S. 1160, on the other hand, is that by and large highway users should provide the dollars necessary for improvement and new construction. S. 1160 is based on the planned use of increasing revenues from present gas and motor vehicle fuel taxes. Present appropriations for Federal aid are so financed. The taxes paid by consumers of gasoline and motor vehicle fuel taxes into the Government's general fund equal or exceed the expenditures out of that fund for highway construction and the administration of these programs.

I should like to emphasize what appears to be one of the greatest deficiencies in S. 1048.

Exhaustive studies by the 48 State highway departments have revealed the relative importance and deficiencies in our several highway systems. I feel sure no one could dispute that the 40,000 miles of interstate highways are essential to our economic well-being and defense. This network is the backbone of our highway system, and without question of greatest national and Federal concern. It should therefore receive the greatest recognition and priority in considering new Federal highway legislation. Regrettably, S. 1048 places more emphasis on the improvement and bringing up to adequate standards of all other Federal-aid systems in advance of the Interstate System. Assuming S. 1048 is enacted and similar bills are reenacted every 5 years, it is estimated the 10-year needs of the primary and urban systems would not be satisfied before 1975, the secondary system before 1980, and the Interstate System not until 1987, not to mention such additional needs as would accrue after 1965.

There are, in addition to these major matters, other changes, errors, and technical conflicts which I should like to bring to the attention of the committee.

On page 1 of S. 1048, it is provided that the first authorization of funds is for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1956. Under existing law these authorizations should be apportioned on or before January 1, 1955. It is obvious that this is impossible and that the bill would have to be modified to affirm apportionments already made on July 1, 1954, and to make possible the additional apportionments eligible under this bill for fiscal 1956.

At page 3, line 9, there appears the same language as appears in the 1954 act with the exception that two words, "contract awards," have been omitted. These two words occur between the words "surveys" and "design” in the 1954 act. The omission of these two words would materially affect the administration of the 1954 secondary road plan under which the States are given far greater latitude than heretofore. Their absence, additionally, would to a substantial degree nullify the latitude provided in the 1954 act, and preclude the present procedures and philosophy embodied in that act.

In connection with this particular change I am gratified to be able to point out that during the past 2 years through increased efficiency and consolidation, the Bureau of Public Roads has been able to reduce its personnel by 182 employees, the majority of whom have been engineers, and has thus effected a saving in operation costs of approximately $565,000.

It is anticipated that the increased responsibilities placed on the Bureau by the 1954 act or as proposed in $. 1160, would involve only a nominal increase in the personnel of the Bureau in spite of the very substantial increase in expenditures. This forecast is predicated on the continuation of the policy of reducing the responsibility of the Bureau in the administration of the secondary road program.

On page 6, line 8, there is an obvious typographical error. The word "unapportioned" would have to be corrected to read "apportioned" in order to conform with the 1954 act.

Gentlemen, the Department of Commerce is opposed to Senate bill 1018 for the following reasons: First, it does not solve our most press


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