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2, Murphysboro, Ill. Another stanch fighter for standard time on the national level is Mrs. Ray Thies, of Campbell Hill, Ill. Both of these friends and constituents have sent me thousands upon thousands of signatures from people all over southern Illinois and from other parts of the Nation strongly urging Congress to amend the Standard Time Act of March 19, 1918, to provide standard time throughout the United States. I would be happy to supply the committee with these petitions containing thousands of signatures. However, I am sure your files are filled with copies of these petitions. Therefore, I will not burden you
your record with these names. However, should you need them I will be glad to turn them over to the committee.
It would appear to me, Mr. Chairman, that it would be a very simple matter for people to adjust their starting time for meetings, and so forth, to coincide with the most convenient time to suit their needs. If it is found to be inconveniencing anyone by standardizing the time, they need only to adjust their schedule instead of their clocks.
To inconvenience many for the accommodation of a few doesn't make sense to me. Putting it simply, standard time is God's time. Let’s revert to it. I know in the wisdom of your committee you will do what is just and right.
Mr. STAGGERS. Thank you for a fine statement, Congressman. If the members have no questions we will continue with another fine Congressman from the State of Illinois, the Honorable Melvin Price. May I welcome you to the subcommittee, Congressman. STATEMENT OF HON. MELVIN PRICE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS Mr. PRICE. I wish to thank the distinguished chairman and members of this subcommittee of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce for extending me the privilege of presenting this statement in support of uniform time legislation. That such a law is vitally needed is aptly demonstrated by the existing horological nightmare now encumbering our country. Variance is the rule rather than the exception in this situation, and confusion reigns supreme.
Yet, what can be done to remedy this present-day dilema? Daylight savings time is observed in patchwork fashion throughout the United States, and the Supreme Court has upheld the use of these local option time plans, although the Standard Time Act of 1918 is in the United States Code. Clearly, the Congress has the constitutional prerogative under the weights and measures clause to legislate in this area. Precedent for such action was established by the enactment of the 1918 act, as well as by the passage of a national Daylight Savings Time Act during World War II.
What is necessary, therefore, is legislation either amending or replacing the original act, so as to provide for effective implementation and enforcement of uniform time patterns throughout the Nation. It is not a simple task to prescribe the mechanics of such a law, as is evidenced by the variety of measures pending before this committee dealing with this problem. Some bills, for example, call for establishing advanced time subzones within standard time zones, others provide for nationwide observance of daylight savings time during certain
months of the year, and still others approach the problem by doing away with daylight savings time altogether.
As sponsor of H.R. 2532, which precludes the observance of daylight savings time, I am aware of the fact that 29 States use fast time in one manner or other. It is, however, essential to raise the question: To what extent is uniformity desired? In my bill, the standard time established under the authority of the 1918 act would be the exclusive measure of time within each time zone created by that law. This standard of time would be observed within the respective time zone by all Federal, State, or local government officials in their official duties, as well as by all business or commercial enterprises involved in interstate, intrastate, or foreign commerce. Penalties are provided for willful violations of that section of the bill.
Whether or not H.R. 2532 is acted upon favorably is, of course, the committee's decision; however, I earnestly request action be taken to alleviate the present situation. Bearing out the urgency of finding a solution is the following statement in an April 3, 1963, letter to Senator Warren Magnuson from Mr. William G. Colman, Executive Director, Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.
Not only is the lack of time uniformity a serious and costly inconvenience to the whole field of transportation, and the traveler as well, but it is a concern of Federal, State, and local governments generally. It obviously has potentially significant implications for military preparedness and civil defense.
It is with that thought in mind that I respectfully urge the committee to report a measure effectively dealing with the problem of time uniformity.
Mr. STAGGERS. Thank you, Mr. Price, for a most informative statement. We appreciate your appearance before the subcommittee this morning.
Our next witness today is the Honorable Abe McGregor Goff, Chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission. Mr. Goff, if you will take the seat there at the end and just start right in with your presentation. We are glad to have you with us representing your Commission. STATEMENT OF HON. ABE MCGREGOR GOFF, CHAIRMAN; ACCOM
PANIED BY ROBERT T. WALLACE, LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL; HIRAM H. SPICER, CONGRESSIONAL LIAISON OFFICER; AND EARL W. MARTIN, BUREAU OF RATES AND PRACTICES, INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION
Mr. GOFF. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I have with me this morning Mr. Robert T. Wallace, our legislative counsel; Mr. Hiram H. Spicer, our congressional liaison officer; and Mr. Earl W. Martin, of the Bureau of Rates and Practices, who is the hearing examiner who took Mr. Tom Pyne's place upon the retirement of Mr. Pyne and whose particular forte and assignment was the various times matters.
I have a short statement, and I know you had a very illuminating hearing so far, but I think that my short statement will serve to revive and refresh the minds of the members of the committee who heard the other testimony and so I will just proceed to read it then if that is satisfactory.
Mr. STAGGERS. All right.
Mr. Goff. My name is Abe McGregor Goff. I am the present Chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission and have served in that capacity since January 1 of this year. I am appearing today on the Commission's behalf to testify on various measures which, although differing in approach, have a similar purpose in that each seeks to achieve greater uniformity in the observance of time standards.
As you are aware, one of these bills (H.R. 4702) was introduced by Chairman Harris at our request to give effect to legislative recommendation No. 1 in the Commission's 76th annual report.
In order to place all of the involved bills in proper perspective, we shall comment first upon the circumstances which led to our adoption of legislative recommendation No. 1.
The present Standard Time Act was enacted by Congress in 1918 largely in response to an immediate need for increased national efficiency during World War I. Its stated purpose, “To save daylight and to provide standard time for the United States," coupled with an injunction directing the Interstate Commerce Commision to define the limits of the zones “having regard for the convenience of commerce" and a requirement that standard time be observed in relation to acts required to be performed “by any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States," was thought to evince the intent of Congress to fix standards of time for all purposes.
For a brief period, the standards of time prescribed under the act were universally observed despite the fact that it contains no enforcement procedure or penalty provisions. The daylight saving feature, however, was repealed in 1919 over President Wilson's veto, and shortly thereafter the Commission began to experience difficulty due to the limited scope of the act and the tendency of individual States and cities to exercise a claimed right of local option.
Thus, local daylight saving time, adopted at first by Boston, New York, and Chicago, gradually spread to many other cities and towns in the East and Midwest. In a suit to enjoin the authorities of Massachusetts from enforcing the observance of an advanced time standard, a Federal district court held that, in enacting the Standard Time Act, Congress had not fully occupied the time field and, consequently, there was no necessary conflict between that act and the enforcement of a different standard of time designed for purposes other than those specified in the act. See Massachusetts State Grange v. Benton 10 F. (20) 515, Affd sub, nom. Mass. State Grange v. Benton, 272 U.S. 525 (1926).
With the way open to States and individual communities to act independently, an ever-increasing confusion and conflict of time standards has developed. The situation in Indiana, as depicted in Standard Time Zone Investigation, 314 ICC 101 (126-129), decided June 6, 1961, provides a pointed illustration of the problem.
There, among other things, the evidence details the difficulties experienced by numerous commercial, communications, and transport concerns as well as the extreme confusion attending the arrival and departures of air flights at the Indianapolis Airport. Other examples have been pointed out to the committee by previous witnesses and in the justification attached to our legislative recommendation No. 1.
In total, we believe that these illustrations forcefully indicate increasing chaos in the observance of time standards; and, in our era characterized by jet speed and remarkable advances in space technology, this situation is not only paradoxical but, in our, opinion, it is also potentially dangerous.
For many years, annual reports of the Interstate Commerce Commission have invited the attention of Congress to the need for additional time legislation, and I might interpolate I think it has been 32 years we have been advocating that something be done about this. At the same time, in proceedings held under the act, we have earnestly endeavored to find a solution to the numerous conflicts caused by the action of State or local authorities in changing local time standards. The pattern is usually the same. A shift in local time brings a flood of complaints and petitions for a change in the zone boundaries or for some action restoring the former situation, which finally impel a reopening of the proceeding for reconsideration.
Thus, the Commission is repeatedly injected into bitter local controversies without power to resolve them with any reasonable regard for the convenience and safety of the area as a whole.
If it is found that the requested change would not enhance the convenience of commerce, a denial of the petition, in most instances, merely perpetuates the existing conflict and causes it to spread to additional areas.
On the other hand, a grant of the relief sought often produces a similar outcome, since the resulting mutation of boundaries creates inconvenience in adjacent areas and, thereby, precipitates other independent local changes followed by further complaints and petitions for further modifications.
Our experience amply demonstrates that any attempt to confine the application of the standard of time solely to Federal matters or to interstate commerce, while local matters or intrastate commerce are governed by a different standard, is bound to result in chaos.
The original idea of Congress that a Federal standard would dominate and control local time has not been borne out in practice. Instead, the conflict between Federal and local standards is usually resolved by the observance of local time by Federal officers and establishments.
In effect, therefore, and in the absence of any enforcement or penalty provisions, our determinations under the Standard Time Act serve merely to establish (1) a convenient standard of time which interstate common carriers may use, if they desire to conform to the law, and (2) a rule of statutory interpretation which comes into play only when a Federal statute, order, rule or regulation requires that a particular act be done, or that a right shall accrue or determine, at a specified time.
Any additional effect our determinations may have is largely due to voluntary acceptance by some State and local governments or by local usage.
The Commission has consistently taken the position that the inconvenience and confusion caused by the proliferation of different time standards adequately justifies the complete occupancy by Congress of the field of standard time regulation.
In correcting this situation, we believe that Congress need not rely solely upon the commerce clause, since, in the opinion of the Commission, other clauses of the Constitution, particularly the standards of weights and measures clause, grant Congress the power to prescribe a uniform system of standard time for the country which is not limited to matters relating to interstate commerce or foreign commerce.
A memorandum dealing with this point has been prepared in the office of our General Counsel, and I offer it for introduction in the record at this point.
Mr. STAGGERS. It shall be incorporated in the record. (The information referred to follows:)
OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL
NO. 83-63-APRIL 15, 1963
Re: 76th Ann. Rep., Legislative Recomm. No. 1: Standard Time.
This is in response to your memorandum of March 22, 1963, requesting my opinion as to whether the Standard of Weights and Measures Clause of the Constitution (Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 5) grants Congress the power to prescribe a uniform standard of time.
It is believed that the Standard of Weights and Measures Clause does include the power to prescribe standards of time. In this I concur in the opinion of my predecessor, Mr. Knowlton, expressed in his Memorandum to Commissioner Splawn, No. 7345, dated March 29, 1948, which related to the constitutionality of S. 2226 and S. 2041, 80th Congress, 2d Session. These bills would have, respectively, provided for daylight saving time each year for approximately five months and made the standard time of each zone "the standard measure of time for all purposes." In scope, therefore, they clearly resembled the presently pending H.R. 4702/S. 1033, the justification for which, appended to your memorandum, cites the Standard of Weights and Measures Clause as possible authority for the bill.
The two cases cited by Division 3 in its 35th Supplemental Report, Standard Time Zone Investigation, 314 I.C.C. 101 at p. 121, continue to be the only sources of judicial authority for the proposition that the Standard of Weights and Measures Clause imparted power to the Congress to establish time standards. At that, they are not the best precedent. Massachusetts State Grange v. Benton, 10 F. 2d 515 (1925), dealt with the question of constitutionality of a state time statute after Congress had passed the Standard Time Act of 1918, and in finding no conflict between the state and the federal acts the Court stated that the constitutional power of Congress to pass the Standard Time Act was assumed. Although the Grange argued on brief that the Standard of Weights and Measures Clause authorized Congress to legislate time standards and that the 1918 Act preempted the field, the United States Supreme Court, by Justice Holmes, in affirming the decision of the lower court "saw no sufficient reason for differing" with that part of the lower court's opinion holding no inconsistency between the two Acts and confined discussion to the propriety of an injunction against a state officer (272 U.S. 525, 527 (1926)). United States v. Porter, 12 F. Supp. 234 (U.S.D.C., W.D.N.Y., 1935), held the federal Standard Container Act of 1928 (45 Stat. 685, 15 U.S.C. Sec. 257, 257a) to be a constitutional exercise of the power of Congress under the Standard of Weights and Measures Clause. In that the court spoke to the probable constitutional power of Congress under the Clause, and since this is the last reported decision under the Clause, a short excerpt is herewith set forth (12 F. Supp. at 235–23):
"The second exception [to the libel against some nonstandard containers filed by the United States) raised is the question of the interpretation of article 1, section 8, cl. 5 of the Constitution. It is claimed that this provision gives Congress the power only to adopt a unit of weight or measure, and that the power to regulate the standard unit not having been delegated to the United States, was
1 Other memoranda touching the subject are No. 3687, Dec. 18, 1931, to Commissioner Aitchison, and No. 7162, May 6, 1947, to Chairman Aitchison.