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DEVELOPMENT OF TERMINAL MARKETING FACILITIES
be of great value to all producers, handlers, and consumers of perishables in Virginia.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Dr. Maxton.
Mr. ABERNETHY. Dr. Maxton, my question would not necessarily indicate I oppose this legislation, but I would like to inquire why it is that local money is not available for this type of facility, particularly in view of your statement that it would save so much money in the operating costs of the market down in your State.
Dr. MAXTON. I wish I had a good answer for that, Mr. Abernethy. After 11 years of effort to try to enlist the support of municipalities, bankers, and all people concerned, there are so many groups involved in a market that it is difficult to get them all together and get them all to agree on a business proposition and carry it through to where they see it built, constructed, and operated efficiently.
Nr. ABERNETHY. Well, that would have to be done in the event a loan is granted under this bill.
Dr. MAXTON. That is true, sir; but apparently the motivating force is the loan fund.
Mr. ABERNETHY. I think the record, in order to justify the legislation, is going to have to show why the money is not available locally and, if the record discloses that during these hearings, then the legislation might be justified.
Dr. Maxton. In that connection, I can say we now have this market authority set up by the Governor since 1946; there is a market authority board, and they are negotiating at present with a bonding company for the sale of bonds. But, as yet, after what amounts to 5 years of effort and good effort by a very efficient man, Dr. Myers, we have been unable to make any material progress whatsoever.
Mr. Hope. Following Mr. Abernethy's question, which seems to me to be a very pertinent question, I would like to ask the witness if he can give the reason for the failure of a bill which he mentions as having been introduced in the State legislature in 1950 to make $1,000,000 available as a State revolving loan fund. Why was it defeated?
Dr. Maxton. It was defeated because it was a matter involving finances. It was actually passed by a majority but by an insufficient majority to be carried on through, because it is a finance matter.
Mr. HOPE. Well, there must have been some opposition to it, or it would have secured a sufficient number of votes.
Dr. MAXTON. Yes.
Dr. MAXTON. As far as I can recall, the matter was brought up in the closing hours of the session. There were many other things yet to be done on this bill, and I think they had already turned the clock back three or four hours, anyway, and since there was a good chance to defeat it, they wanted to get at something the legislators were more interested in. That would be my explanation at this time.
Mr. HOPE. In other words, the State of Virginia evidently does not now regard this as a matter that should be financed by the State, as indicated by the action of the legislature, and now you are coming here as the representative of the State extension college and urging that the Federal Government enact legislation to do what your own State has turned down.
slight idea of the New York situation, and they have the same facilities that Jersey City and other cities provide.
The Chairman. They have the same facilities today that they had 100 years ago?
Mr. GOLDSTEIN. No. Right on West Street they have piers 28 and 29. I do not know how many cars of produce they can unload in that termiņal and sell from that terminal, but they can deliver there to the terminals.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, what you mean to say is that the Washington Street market does not operate like the Dock Street market?
Mr. GOLDSTEIN. No. They do not have but very little terminal business. We do our business at the terminal; therefore we have the finest facilities in the Nation.
The CHAIRMAN. But are not you willing to leave it to the people of Philadelphia to determine for themselves whether or not they need this market facility?
Mr. GOLDSTEIN. Yes, sir. I would be willing if Uncle Sam's money could be protected and everyone would be put on a sound basis, if they would sign a lease. But then I would say again that you are only building something that absolutely will be a ghost, that the farmers and the consumers will use and a little business will start
The CHAIRMAN. Now wait a minute. You are talking two ways about this thing. You first said it would make a ghost town out of Dock Street, and now you are going to build a ghost town.
Mr. GOLDSTEIN. You are going to have a division of the market.
The CHAIRMAN. Actually, what you are afraid of is, if we build a market facility that is easily accessible to trucks and trains in a welllocated place near the city of Philadelphia, it will take business away from Dock Street.
Mr. GOLDSTEIN. Unfortunately, yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, why will it take business away from Dock Street, if Dock Street is so efficient?
Mr. GOLDSTEIN. Wait a minute now. The reason they would go there is because there would be this division.
The CHAIRMAN. And they would get better service to transact their business, would they not?
Mr. GOLDSTEIN. There is no better service, Mr. Cooley, than we have at the present time.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, Dock Street is all right?
The CHAIRMAN. Any further questions? If not we thank you,
STATEMENT OF EMERSON CUSTIS, PHILADELPHIA, PA. The CHAIRMAN. We have some other witnesses here from Philadelphia. Mr. Custis, will you introduce them?
Mr. Custis. For the record my name is Emerson Custis. I had prepared and had just run off a little statement which I was going to introduce in the record, and then just present the gentlemen here who will speak for themselves.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well.
Mr. Custis. In view of Mr. Goldstein's statement I would like to come back, if we have the time, either today or later to refute a lot of the statements that have been made. There were several others here: One was the B. & 0. terminal agent, and others but some of them had to go.
The CHAIRMAN. We can hear from you later. Suppose you present the other witness if you are acquainted with them.
STATEMENT OF MAX FELDBAUM
Mr. CUSTIS. First is Mr. Max Feldbaum.
Mr. FELDBAUM. Gentlemen, I am not much of a speaker. I have been working and conducting a produce business for several years and I know the produce business from A to Z. I am working with my son. We handle from 2,000 to 2,500 cars a year, and we could handle a lot more, but one of the reasons is that in the later years they are not shipping as many fresh vegetables, fresh peas, for instance, as they did before, because there are more frozen goods and more canned goods. That is the reason we are not moving as much. But we are selling more lettuce and we are selling more carrots and we are selling now a lot of tomatoes.
I am here to tell you just what is right. I have no selfish motives; I do not own any real estate, and I am speaking for myself.
The CHAIRMAN. You do not own any real estate?
Mr. FELDBAUM. I do not own any real estate. I do not blame the fellow who owns real estate, the fellow who has his money invested in real estate, and I perhaps would feel the same way as he does. But let us call a spade a spade. I get up at 5 o'clock in the morning. I got up this morning at about 2:30 and I went down to Dock Street.
My business, practically all of it, perhaps 99 percent of my merchandise is shipped on the Pennsylvania Railroad. I do not like any truck business; I handle everything in cars. We have facilities on the Pennsylvania Railroad where the men will come in and take samples, take 10 packages, for instance, that are put on the Pennsylvania Railroad platform. The buyers come there and the samples are furnished to them; and they are given these tickets and get on the cars and then we have checkers to show them the merchandise.
Now with reference to Dock Street, if you put in a new produce terminal, and take it away from Dock Street, Dock Street would not be worth two cents.
First of all you do not have the facilities at Dock Street for trucks to come in. They cannot back in because the area is so congested. Another thing, they do not have the facilities where they can back up against the platform. I have seen a fellow who had three crates of lettuce, on Dock Street, shoving it around, because of the crowded conditions.
As I say, we do not ship by truck. We have everything shipped by rail. We do not have any big trailer trucks.
We have jobbers who buy their product at this market, and we have big trailer trucks coming in there from every State, moving into Dock Street. That is why we have so much congestion.
As I say, I do not have any selfish motive myself, or anything like that, but I think the best thing would be for us to have car lot receiving; 'I think that would be helpful to everyone.
The Chairman. If we were to pass this legislation, you think the people of Philadelphia and other communities in this country could decide for themselves whether they want to avail themselves of the privilege of obtaining a loan to build facilities?
Mr. FELDBAUM. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. To let the people of Philadelphia determine for themselves whether or not they want to exercise this privilege?
Mr. FELDBAUM. That is right. And I want to be fair. I think it would be only right to take care of the fellow who has facilities, who has been in business there; I think that the Government should try to buy them out, or do something about it. I do not have any real estate myself.
The CHAIRMAN. Just in connection with the statement you made about Dock Street, that the property would not be worth anything: The property would still be valuable, would it not?
Mr. FELDBAUM. A $250,000 piece of property would not be worth more than $30,000.
The CHAIRMAN. It would not be for a market, you mean, but it would be valuable for some other purpose?
Mr. FELDBAUM. Perhaps.
The CHAIRMAN. It would be valuable for an office building or for modern stores. It could be used for other things, could it not?
Mr. FELDBAUM. But not for rent.
Mr. FELDBAUM. Yes. Something was said about $200 to $225 a month, and others at $400 to $500, and some are paying $600 down there. Mr. Goldstein was talking about Pennsylvania Street. The CHAIRMAN. A lot of people are paying $400 to $500? Mr. FELDBAUM. Yes. I pay $160 for an office, a hole in a wall.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, you do not have much room for operating your business. If it were put at a different location and modern facilities were made available where you could unload the produce on a platform and perhaps trucks could be used, you think it would be better?
Mr. FELDBAUM. That is right. I would like to see a produce terminal, one that could be available to everybody, where they could have upstairs facilities, room for packages, a place for loading, refrigeration, and things like that.
Mr. GRANGER. As I understand, you are a broker?
Mr. FELDBAUM, I am a fruit and produce commission man. Seventy five percent of my business is on consignment. During the last week or 10 days I bought 75 cars of tomatoes and I sold them all, most of them in 4 or 5 days.
Mr. GRANGER. In the business you perform you do not need any terminal market, do you? Mr. FELDBAUM. Yes. In my business I need a terminal market.
a I sell to the chain stores, to the A. & P. and the chains only come to us when they do not bave supplies of their own; they come to us to fill in and they buy from us; they do not ordinarily buy through us, but when they come I usually fix them right.
Mr. GRANGER. How much commission do you get?
Mr. FELDBAUM. I get 8 percent commission. I handle produce from all over the country, Californio, Texas, Colorado, Florida. I get 75 percent of my business on consignment.
Mr. GRANGER. In the business you do, the only space you need is for display of samples. You do not have any property on Dock
Mr. FELDBA UM. That is right.
Mr. GRANGER. And you do not have anything to lose if you move away from Dock Street ?
Mr. FELDBAUM. No.
Mr. GRANGER. What about the fellow who has property there; what about your neighbor?
Mr. FELDBAUM. Let my neighbor come with me.
Mr. GRANGER. What about the fellow, if the market is moved away, who has $200,000 invested there?
Mr. FELDBAUM. There are only a few, a half dozen fellows, who have property there. I can tell you everybody who has got any investment in buildings. I can tell you most of the fellows who are renting. I can tell you the people who own the buildings. Everybody does not own a building.
Mr. GRANGER. Are you acquainted with the Dock Street Marketing Co.?
Mr. FELDBAUM. I do not know a concern by that name.
Mr. FELDBAUM. No; he only handles cars. He does not break cars; we break cars.
Mr. GRANGER. He is in the same business you are in?
Mr. FELDBAUM. I am thinking about the potato man, Bill McCormick.
Mr. GRANGER. This is Harry D. McCormick.
The CHAIRMAN. If there are no further questions we thank you very much, Mr. Feldbuam.
Mr. CUSTIS. The next witness will be Mr. Israel Rothstein.
STATEMENT OF ISRAEL ROTHSTEIN, PHILADELPHIA, PA. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Rothstein, may I ask you, before you start your testimony, about what percentage of the carlot receipts, carlot fresh commodities, are received in Philadelphia by rail and about what percentage are received by truck?
Mr. ROTHSTEIN. I would say about 55 percent would come by rail and about 45 percent by truck.
The CHAIRMAN. And of that 55 percent that comes in by rail how much of that would be handled by truck from the railroad to the terminal?