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RESOLUTION OF LOS ANGELES TRAFFIC MANAGERS CONFERENCE, JANUARY 12, 1950
Whereas the constituent members of the Los Angeles Traffic Managers Conference, numbering over 100 representative industrial and distributing concerns of southern California, make extensive use of the water carriers—intercoastal, offshore, and foreign-and have a very direct and vital interest in the costs of transportation of commodities, and
Whereas it appears over 64 percent of the water-borne tonnage of the Pacific coast pays toll charges via the Panama Canal, and
Whereas to the best of our information and belief the present Panama Canal tolls under the Government system of accounting are not fixed for commercial vessels upon a just and reasonable basis with any due regard for operating costs and allocations for other expense in line with modern methods of rate making: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Los Angeles Traffic Managers Conference go on record with our Representatives in Congress and other Government officials directly concerned in urging a revision of the present methods of accounting of the financial operations of the Panama Canal to the end that tolls for commercial vessels be based upon a proper consideration and due regard for the costs of operation in the transiting of such vessels, with a proper allocation of overhead and costs of various other services, a part or all of which should be contributed by the various departments of the Government to the end that commercial vessels be relieved in the tolls they pay from the undue burden of the total expense of the Canal operation; and be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be forwarded to our Representatives in Congress and members of committees and Government officials concerned in this matter.
Dated at Los Angeles, Calif., on January 12, 1950.
RESOLUTION OF MARINE ASSOCIATION OF COMMERCE, NOVEMBER 23, 1949 Whereas the Marine Association of Commerce is vitally concerned with the growth, prosperity, employment, and general public interest of the harbor areas of Los Angeles and Long Beach; and
Whereas it appears that the present method of computing tolls for vessels transiting the Panama Canal acts as a deterrent to water-borne commerce and inhibits the economic welfare of the port communities; and
Whereas it appears that the present practice of computing Panama Canal tolls places the burden of maintenance of transits of toll-free Government vessels and certain military and Canal Zone government functions on commercial shipping: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Marine Association of Commerce express itself in favor of a formula for assessing Panama Canal tolls on commercial vessels that will clearly reflect the costs arising out of the transits of such commercial vessels and separate from such costs those arising out of the transits of toll-free vessels and military and Government installations; and be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution, together with appropriate covering letters, be forthwith transmitted to all necessary Government agencies, authorities, and political representatives urging them to take immediate action on this matter.
Done this 23d day of November 1949.
HARRY E. WADE, President.
RESOLUTION OF MARINE UNDERWRITERS ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Whereas the Marine Underwriters Association of Southern California is concerned with the long-range development and progress of all water-borne commerce; and Whereas the Panama Canal is important to the continuing transits of commercial world and domestic trade; and
Whereas the volume of west coast cargoes shipped in foreign and intercoastal commerce is accountable for 64 percent of its total in Panama Canal transits, and Whereas the membership of the Marine Underwriters Association is of the opinion that the present financial operations of the Panama Canal inhibit trade, restrict water-borne commerce, and are inequitable in that they place the burden
of costs for the maintenance of certain civil and military government installations and the costs of handling the transits of toll-free Government vessels on commercial shipping; and
Whereas it is to the general interest of the people of the United States and to the welfare and progress of water-borne commerce that an equitable financial and toll assessing structure be created: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Marine Underwriters Association of Southern California, being fully aware of the importance of the Panama Canal as an instrument of national defense and equally aware of its importance to water-borne commerce, go on record as favoring:
(a) A close study of the financial structure of the Panama Canal and an analysis of the costs and expenses arising out of the maintenance of all civil and military government installations, which said costs are presently included in the formula on which tolls are levied on commercial shipping; and
(b) A recommendation that a formula be developed that will, in the assessing of tolls and the fixing of toll rates, clearly reflect the costs arising out of the transits of commercial vessels and separate therefrom costs not properly or justifiably attributable to commercial shipping; and
(c) A recommendation for an equalization of all costs of Panama Canal maintenance serving a dual purpose for both military or national defense and commercial shipping; and
(d) A recommendation for prompt and favorable consideration of a redevelopment of the financial structure of the Panama Canal by the Congress of the United States of America; and be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution, together with appropriate covering letters, be forthwith sent to all right and proper parties and to the Representatives of the Congress of the United States.
This resolution approved and adopted by the Marine Underwriters Association of Southern California this 10th day of April 1950.
G. L. BULKLEY, President.
FRANK KANE, Secretary.
RESOLUTION OF THE MOTOR TRUCK ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA,
LOS ANGELES, CALIF., DECEMBER 19, 1949
Whereas the construction of the Panama Canal opened the transit of waterborne freight and passengers between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and facilitated the prompt and efficient movement of military vessels in the national defense; and
Whereas investigations have been made by the Congress from time to time to determine proper methods for administering the operation of the Canal and the apportionment cost thereof; and
Whereas it has been developed that since 1931 the national-defense share of the capital cost has been so readjusted as to place the entire financial burden of the Canal on commerical users; and
Whereas, 64.2 percent of all tonnage paying Canal tolls has been charged to Pacific tonnage, thus adding to the already heavy burden of costs imposed upon such water-borne traffic, necessitating increases in rates to meet the mounting costs, which the public is required to pay in the purchase of such tonnage; and Whereas it is believed that a more equitable formula for the distribution of Canal costs should be arrived at under the following suggested policy: (1) Commercial shipping should pay only its own way, with tolls reflecting the true cost of providing transit for commercial vessels; (2) interest should not be charged on funds used to build the Canal. No interest or tolls are charged on the 12 other federally built canals. Panama Canal interest charges should be eliminated as a minimum acknowledgement of its national-defense value; (3) all vessels of all types should pay tolls at the Canal. Government vessels now transit the Canal toll-free; (4) commercial shipping should pay through tolls no more than half the cost of dual-purpose expenses at the Canal. Military and civil government activities should bear at least half: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Board of Directors of the Motor Truck Association of Southern California, representing the major portion of the trucking industry handling water-borne commerce through the ports of southern California, That the Congress of the United States in considering the report of the Bureau of the 69957-50-9
Budget covering the within subject, take into consideration the matters submitted herein and act favorably upon the suggested policy hereinabove stated; and be it further
Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be forwarded to each Member of the Congress from the State of California.
A RESOLUTION BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF PRINTING INDUSTRIES, INC., OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES, CALIF., FEBRUARY 23, 1950
Whereas the Panama Canal is a national-defense utility and also available to commercial ocean transportation to southern California and the Pacific coast, and Whereas sound economic development of southern California is a desirable objective, and
Whereas inequitable freight levies charged against products needed in the economy of southern California put its industries in an unfavorable competitive position coastwise, and
Whereas all freight carried commercially including a large bulk of lumber, pulp, and paper products shipped via the Panama Canal bear the burden of present toll before being available to the printer to produce the essential products of the press, and
Whereas the present method of computing Panama Canal tolls is unfair to commercial carriers of products that printing and other industries require: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Congress of the United States provide a formula for establishing a definite policy for assessing tolls on commercial shipping through the Panama Canal. Such formula should be based solely on the cost of providing transit to commercial vessels. All expenses properly chargeable to the national defense should be so allocated and not to be considered as factors in the toll formula; be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be sent to proper interested official parties.
RESCLUTION OF PROPELLER CLUB OF THE UNITED STATES, PORT OF LOS ANGELESLONG BEACH, AUGUST 19, 1949
Whereas the Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Los Angeles-Long Beach, in accordance with its policies to regard the welfare of the merchant marine as important to the welfare and security of the people of the United States, takes cognizance of the Panama Canal and its functions as vital to the continuing growth and progress of American shipping; and
Whereas it appears that the financial operation of the Panama Canal, more particularly the methods of assessing and computing tolls, is such as to inhibit the growth, progress, and security of the merchant marine; and
Whereas it further appears that the burden of maintenance of the Canal, including the support of certain Government functions not rightly considered to be a part of those directly related to the transists of commercial vessels, are nevertheless considered in the computing of tolls for the transits of such vessels: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Los AngelesLong Beach, recommends to the Congress of the United States, and such other authorities as may be deemed fitting and proper in the premises, that a formula for fixing Panama Canal tolls be fixed so that such tolls will reflect the true costs of handling and otherwise servicing the transits of commercial vessels through the Canal and that consideration be given to the fact that the present method of financing and assessing tolls places an inequitable and unjustifiable burden upon commercial shipping in that it includes expenses rightly chargeable to certain governmental and military functions not a part of commercial shipping costs.
NORMAN E. DUNNAVANT,
HOWARD W. WOODRUFF,
RESOLUTION OF SAN DIEGO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, AUGUST 24, 1949 Whereas the Panama Canal was built mainly to fulfill our military necessity for a two-ocean navy, as well as supply a convenience to commercial shipping; and
Whereas the trend of population and industry is moving westward, creating an increased demand for water-borne commercial shipping through the Canal; and
Whereas the present operating costs of American merchant vessels have increased out of proportion to revenue, discouraging the revival of American merchant shipping; and
Whereas transit tolls at the Panama Canal represent a very important item in the operating cost of many American merchant vessels, particularly those engaged continuously in the intercoastal trade; and
Whereas any deterioration of merchant shipping must have a most disastrous effect upon the port, whose very existence and economy depend upon waterborne commerce; and
Whereas the interests of national defense require that merchant shipping as well as ports be in operation and available in emergency; and
Whereas the Panama Canal pays no interest to the Treasury and the so-called interest exists only on the books of the Canal, and it is used as a cost factor in calculating toll rates; and
Whereas, through tolls, commercial shipping has more than paid its own expenses and civil government expenses and has provided a considerable surplus: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the board of directors of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce earnestly urge the Congress of the United States to establish a fair and equitable formula for computing tolls on all shipment through the Panama Canal, eliminating toll-free Government ships and charging tolls on commercial ships on the basis of costs attributal to the transits of commercial vessels, thus encouraging revival of American shipping, which in turn will increase tonnage through the Panama Canal.
RESOLUTION OF SAN PEDRO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE RE PANAMA CANAL TOLLS Whereas San Pedro, Los Angeles Harbor, is largely dependent on shipping, and the welfare of the merchant marine is of prime importance to San Pedro; and
Whereas the Pacific coast ports handle 64 percent of the combined foreign and intercoastal tonnage passing through the Canal; and
Whereas the operation of the Panama Canal is costing shipping more than seems equitable: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the board of directors of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, That our Representatives in Congress be urged to vote for the establishment of a fair and equitable formula for computing tolls for commercial shipping and that there be charged to commercial shipping only those costs attributable to the transits of commercial vessels.
Passed September 27, 1949.
Mr. O'TOOLE. Are there any questions, Mr. Thompson?
Mr. THOMPSON. No, thank you.
Mr. O'TOOLE. Mr. Weichel.
Mr. WEICHEL. How much capital outlay did the commercial shipping of the country provide for the Panama Canal?
Mr. AMUNDSEN. I am not too familiar with that.
Mr. WEICHEL. It did not provide any, did it?
Mr. AMUNDSEN. No.
Mr. WEICHEL. Then you are familiar with it, and you know that it did not provide any of the capital. Then what do you mean by paying their share if they did not provide any of the capital?
Mr. AMUNDSEN. Well, I would assume that there are certain direct charges and certain Canal overhead which is definitely allocated to the movement of commercial ships through the Canal.
Mr. WEICHEL. If they did not provide any of the capital, there is not any fair share of the capital, and what you are talking about is a fair share of the cost of operation?
Mr. AMUNDSEN. Yes, sir.
Mr. WEICHEL. They had a free ride on the capital investment in the Canal. Now, how much of a free ride do you think they should have in the operation of it?
Mr. AMUNDSEN. I cannot answer that question, sir. I am just conveying here the feelings of these groups about this matter.
Mr. WEICHEL. With reference to toll rates, what was the rate before the war in 1938 and 1939, what was the rate for toll per ton?
Mr. AMUNDSEN. The toll rates?
Mr. WEICHEL. Yes.
Mr. AMUNDSEN. I am not familiar with those.
Mr. WEICHEL. You do not know anything about them?
Mr. AMUNDSEN. No, sir.
Mr. WEICHEL. You make the statement there that the survival of the commercial fleet depends on this fair division of the cost to bring back this intercoastal and coastal trade, and yet you do not know what the rate was before the war.
Mr. AMUNDSEN. No, sir; I do not.
Mr. WEICHEL. Then why do you think this is going to bring it back if you do not know that?
Mr. AMUNDSEN. I am simply here conveying the feeling of these various groups who have investigated that question.
Mr. WEICHEL. You are here explaining somebody else'e feelings, but you do not know anything about what you are talking about; is that it?
Mr. AMUNDSEN. Oh, yes; I do.
Mr. WEICHEL. All right, then; what is the rate now?
Mr. AMUNDSEN. I do not know it offhand, but it was quoted here yesterday several times.
Mr. WEICHEL. I know, but you are coming in here as an authority, and you do not know what the rate is now, and you do not know what it was before the war. What is the percetnage of foreign-flag ships as compared to the American-flag ships that transit the Canal?
Mr. AMUNDSEN. I do not know that, sir.
Mr. WEICHEL. Do they pay the same rate?
Mr. AMUNDSEN. Yes.
Mr. WEICHEL. Then anything you talk about getting in the reduction in tolls would be giving it to all of the world for the benefit of a few vessels here; is not that a fact?
Mr. AMUNDSEN. No; not a few.
Mr. WEICHEL. Well, how many.
Mr. AMUNDSEN. Before the war domestic shipping provided for a relatively larger share of the commerce in all of the ports of the Nation than foreign-flag shipping. That situation has been reversed because of the boom in foreign trade postwar and the decline of the domestic fleet because of the war.
Mr. WEICHEL. Is that the reason?
Mr. AMUNDSEN. Yes, sir.
Mr. WEICHEL. You know, there has been testimony given before this committee to the effect that the reason there is no intercoastal or