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Federal housing and farm-tenancy programs as the former adıninistrations have been.
Mr. Prince. Mr. Chairman, let me say that I think that tremendous progress has been made in meeting this problem. We are not unsympathetic with the problem. We realize its existence. We realize there is a need in many communities. We hope that it will be met, but I think you have been making, from what I understand, and from the statements I have heard here this morning, tremendous progress--tliat tremendous progress has been made.
Mr. Scott's statement is that during the past year the Department assisted 43 localities in planning and constructing improved facilities. And in 19 of these localities, the new facilities were built or are under construction by the end of the year.
There is progress. It is progress that is being made in the proper way.
The CHAIRMAN. It was not prompted by the activities of the railroads that you represent.
Mr. PRINCE. Mr. Cooley, I think you will find that in all of these things that have gone forward, it has been by reason of all of the interested persons and parties, including the transportation agencies, the wholesalers, the retailers, the communities themselves all getting together and working out a plan and getting that plan in such shape that it is sound and will appeal to people who are providing private financing
They have gone forward with these in all of these instances. I am sure that the public and those communities have benefited.
We are not opposed to making progress along this line.
The CHAIRMAN. The railroad companies that you represent are in no way responsible for the improvements that have been made in our marketing system, as referred to by Mr. Scott this morning.
The one man who is more responsible than anybody else in America is sitting right here, Mr. Crow. He has been into the communities. He has stirred them up and discussed the plans. He said here this
. morning that this committee had contributed to the progress that has been made.
Mr. PRINCE. I have no doubt about it.
The CHAIRMAN. In this statement you indict us as a bunch of promoters.
Mr. PRINCE. No, sir.
The construction of marketing facilities with private capital furnishes certain assurances that the project is genuinely neededand here is where you come inand is not the result of a promotional campaign by land speculators and a few individuals who stand to make a quick profit from the construction of the facility.
Why did you put that in there when this committee for 10 long years has been working on this? It was not prompted by any realestate land operators. I am one of the promotional men, but I am not standing to profit a nickel by this.
Mr. PRINCE. Mr. Chairman
The CHAIRMAN. Let me finish my statement. The Congress of these United States approved this bill by unanimous vote. This committee has reported it time and again. Now you come in and say that it is a bunch of land speculators, and those who stand to make a profit who are the ones that are behind this.
Mr. PRINCE. No, I do not mean that.
Mr. PRINCE. I do not intend it. I merely say that you have less control over the building of these projects when it is not private financing that is going to do it. The door is opened to the promotion of projects that are not financially sound. That is all I intend by that statement. I think this committee is
The CHAIRMAN. How about all of these public housing buildings, these tremendous apartment houses that we built in San Francisco and New York and Chicago and Detroit and all over the country? You objected to that, did you not!
Mr. PRINCE. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Because you have no investment in apartment houses?
Mr. PRINCE. Mr. Chairman, there is nothing wrong in these United States of speaking your mind and expressing your views if your property rights, you think, are being jeopardized by an unsound proposition.
The CHAIRMAN. What is unsound about this?
Mr. PRINCE. I say the only thing that is unsound about this is that it introduces the Federal Government into new area of business, a control of business, a regulation of business and possibly a performance of a business function where it is not needed. You are making progress.
The CHAIRMAN. You say it is not needed, and every witness who has testified for the Department for 10 years says it is needed. Mr. Scott says it is needed.
Mr. PRINCE. A solution to the problem is needed.
Mr. PRINCE. And I think you have evidence in this record that was put in by previous witnesses showing that you are making genuine progress toward the solution of that problem.
The CHAIRMAN. We were building slum houses before we started the Federal housing program. But we are not making enough progress. Mr. PRINCE. It does not seem to me that is poor progress. The CHAIRMAN. What?
Mr. PRINCE. It does not seem to me that is an indication of a failure of a program when the Department assisted 43 localities in planning the construction of improved facilities, and in 1 year 19 of those localities were built or in construction by the end of the year.
The CHAIRMAN. I want to ask you one further question, and I will then yield to Mr. McIntire.
Under the advice of the Department of Agriculture and its experts on marketing, how many facilities have the railroads improved to the point that they meet the plans and specifications and advice of the Department of Agriculture !
Mr. PRINCE. Let me say that I do not have the answer to these questions directly. I cannot give you the information, but I would be willing to bet that the railroads participated in the planning of these facilities that are going ahead and doing their share as other interested parties are.
The CHAIRMAN. I have heard that the railroads have participated to the extent that they have tried to block every effort that has been made in some places. That is the information that we have received.
Let me say this, if Mr. Crow and his assistants went into any city where a railroad now has a market and laid some plans for a new facility and the railroad came in and said, “We are willing to meet these plans and build this facility,” he would fold up and coine home.
Nobody wants to put Federal money into a place where it is not needed.
Nobody wants to extend the activities of government where it is not needed, but this thing we have been fussing about for 10 years. We have been blocked erery time we made a turn.
Mr. Prince. Let me say, Mr. Chairman, perhaps the railroads have not done as good a job as they should. I do not say that they certainly do the best job on everything, but who else has provided better facilities over more facilities up to now than they have for the handling of these products?
The trucks, you say, bring in a great majority or, at least, a large portion of these commodities. Have they with their money bought land, set up the facilities to serve the community?
The CHAIRMAN. What have you done in New York City to provide market facilities? Nothing.
Mr. PRINCE. Mr. Chairman, I cannot discuss an individual case because I do not know anything about it.
The CHAIRMAN. You should know; it is the biggest part of your work.
Mr. PRINCE. I am sorry, I do not have the information.
Mr. MCINTIRE. This is entirely on a different line, but I was just interested in your comment that the railroads' responsibility is to provide transportation. I have often said on many occasions that I think we have got one of the most capable railroad presidents in the country in a small road, I know, in my district, who I think has served on your board of directors. I have heard him say many times that the railroads have one commodity to sell, that is service, of which "transportation" is a part.
That is the point that I wanted to make in relation to your comment that railroads had one function, that is, transportation, because I think some of your most capable railroad presidents have looked upon their responsibility as one which goes beyond transportation, and it is a matter of service.
It is not only to the producer, in providing him the shipping point facilities, but it is transportation service, and it is terminal market service in order that those products get through to distribution on the terminal.
Mr. PRINCE. I think it is a good business, and promotive of your transportation service and of the support of the community and the people to provide those facilities.
Mr. McINTIRE. Thank you. That is all.
Mr. King. I think it should be said that in the few markets you referred to, Philadelphia and New York, that most of the modern and efficient facilities in the produce industry are provided by the railroads.
The CHAIRMAN. You mean generally in the country?
The CHAIRMAN. Where does the railroad operate in the Washington Street market?
Mr. King. Their unloading facilities, where they unload.
Mr. King. Still the most efficient and most modern facilities in both cities are provided by the railroads. That does not cover the thing adequately in serving trucks and that sort of thing. That is outside of the sphere of their interest, but the railroads have spent a lot of money, their own money, in creating efficient facilities for the handling of perishable goods.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not doubt that. Wherever they have provided adequate facilities, it is not intended by this bill to put facilities into that city. I do not see how the railroads' properties could possibly be in danger.
Mr. King. You said they had done nothing in New York or Philadelphia. Certainly they have got millions invested in both points, just for the efficient handling of produce that comes by rail.
The CHAIRMAN. The Washington Street market, there is no railroad running into that market.
Mr. King. Along the docks and the piers and in rail yards.
Mr. KiNG. Everywhere in the sphere of their service they have done well by the producer.
The CHAIRMAN. Do not misunderstand me, I am not fussing with you because you came here to present your views. I am glad to have your views, to have you present your views, but I do note in the statement you went right far in your efforts to defeat the bill. Notwithstanding the railroad opposition in 1950, and we had very little other opposition, maybe 1 or 2 people who owned some property-1 here in Washington, I think-the bill was passed. Right now the bill is recommended by the Department, but the Department says, “Wait, let private capital do it.”
They recognize the need. They have documented all of the pertinent facts. They have pictures, moving pictures, and everything, showing what a deplorable situation we have.
I know we have the best distribution system in the world. I am willing to admit that, but it is the most expensive in the world, I think.
Mr. PRINCE. As the Department says, they think that it can be done with private financing. I am of that view, also.
I think the evidence has been given here which indicates the tremendous progress that is being made along that line.
My own frank view, with all due deference to your own views in this matter, is that this bill and the holding out of hope in a lot of instances of Federal aid in the financing has probably been a deterrent to the financing of some of these projects.
The CHAIRMAN. Could you be helpful enough to give us some information as to what improvements the railroads have effected on their present facilities in the last 4 or 5 years! We do not have full
? information. Maybe the railroads have built part of the facilities in some of the cities. If so, certainly I would be the last person to build another facility in that same city.
Mr. PRINCE. I do not have the information on the extent of their improvements or the extent of the facilities that they do own. I do not claim that they have facilities that are adequate to meet the needs in all of these cities. It is obvious—the testimony is overwhelmingthat there is a real need. It has got to be solved. I merely say that I do not think this is the proper way to solve it. I think the way has been shown, that the Department of Agriculture in studying these problems, in making these surveys, assisting the communities, if a sound plan is devised, with all of the parties, the necessary parties who must work together to make it a success ultimately, if it is built, and then you will get your financing, you will solve your problem, and you will go forward and you will not need your Federal financing.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. The Department testified that administrations have changed. Even this morning, Mr. Scott does not recommend any changes in the legislation which we have before us. It is a good bill. The program is good, but the only thing is that he wants to wait and see if private industry will do it.
We passed this bill in 1950. Here are the hearings we held on it. That was 5 years ago. There are 300 pages of testimony. Private financing has not taken over yet.
Mr. PRINCE. Private financing is doing a lot of the job. Perhaps it has not done it in some of these big cities that you speak of, but, certainly, private financing is doing a lot of these jobs.
The CHAIRMAN. Small places are not so important, when you look at the overall picture. Like Mr. Crow pointed out here, with $100 million you can build 100 different markets, but still it would take $100 million to fix up the 2 markets of New York and Philadelphia.
Mr. PRINCE. You yourself suggested, as I understood it, that this would only be to show the way to the people. If it did, then private financing would come in.
The CHAIRMAN. That is right.
Mr. PRINCE. Private financing is showing the way itself. It has come in. It has done it, a lot of these projects that are going ahead. Why is not that the example that is needed! It looks to me like in your big cities, where the problem is terrific, from all I can learn and understand about it, in New York and Philadelphia, it looks to me like those communities are capable of buckling down and solving that problem themselves.
New York can finance anything. Look at the things they have done with their port development. They are not lacking finance. All they need to do is to come up with a sound program that will have the support of the community, and the people will use these facilities.
The CHAIRMAN. They are very influential people, those on Washington Street, and the railroads and others.
Mr. PRINCE. I do know that in many of these places where the new facilities are going in, they have the support of the railroads.
The CHAIRMAN. You can make the same argument in connection with the REA. The power companies made that same argument,