« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
So far as the sections go, which we do support, there is no pressing, urgent need that would require it to be done at this session. There are other matters which we think Congress probably ought to consider. However, in view of the conference that is going on up in Atlantic City where I have been up to just a few days ago, I have had my hands full in getting prepared on this bill and have not had the opportunity to list further things that might be done.
Senator MAGNUSON. Will those other matters be considered before we are through with consideration of this legislation!
Mr. DENNY. There are a number of other matters.
Senator MAGNUSON. Or would the Commission prefer to let those go over until the January session?
Mr. Denny. I would prefer to let them go to the January session.
There is one very minor point that deals with the aviation situation that I think we might just deal with in one specific bill.. As to the matter of general legislation, if it went over, I would like the privilege from time to time of bringing up in separate little bundles particular items such as this aviation licensing matter which should be dealt with, but as we see it there is no urgent need for the legislation here proposed. Some things in here we think are improvements. There are other things in here which, as I have indicated, we are strongly opposed to.
Senator MAGNUSON. In view of the importance of this law and the fact that we have not reexamined it for a long time the Commission as a whole has no feelings about Congress now making this reexamination?
Mr. DENNY. Definitely not. I did not request any postponement of these hearings. We were prepared to come and we are prepared now, and I want to say on behalf of the Commission, we think that it is not only appropriate, but that it is wise that Congress should from time to time review the laws that it has passed and the administration of those laws by the agencies that it has created, and from the standpoint of an agency we are in better shape if Congress, through its committees, will do that, because then you have an understanding of what we have done.
We have had an opportunity to tell our story. I think you will find that when do something we have done it after study and after thought and, at least, we can make a pretty convincing case for having done what we did. We do not just move out on these problems and deal with them captiously. There is usually a lot to be said for what we have done. On the other hand, if you do not hear from us from time to time, you get letters which present to you one side of the story, or you read speeches or articles which give you one side of the story and you do not have the benefit of our thinking and views on these problems. So, it is a great advantage to us to have hearings of this sort held from time to time.
Senator MAGNUSON. That includes the industry, too, because they have not been here for a long time to give us their views.
Mr. DENNY. I think it is a good idea to have all of these people here, the administrative people from the agencies and the people who hold these licenses, and get them into a public hearing where they can be questioned. I think it is a good, healthy, democratic process.
Senator CAPEHART. I was late, as you know, but I see a lot of books on the floor there. Were you able to use those?
Mr. DENNY. I did not use any of them this morning, but I always bring them. If I do not bring them, I need them.
Senator CAPEHART. I take it we had a very quiet hearing this morning.
Mr. DENNY. I have enjoyed it.
Senator CAPEHART. Are there any other questions? If not, we will recess until 2:30, at which time we will hear Mr. Jameson and Judge Roberson.
(Thereupon, a recess was taken at 12:35 p. m. until 2:30 p. m. of the same day.)
(The committee reconvened at 2:30 p. m., upon the expiration of the noon recess.)
The CHAIRMAN. The hour of half-past 2 having arrived, the committee will reassemble, and we will go on with the testimony.
Of course, it has been the hope of the committee that each group could select some one person to be its spokesman at these hearings. We just cannot conclude these hearings while this session lasts if groups expect and ask that there shall be a multiplicity of witnesses stating their cause. I notice that this afternoon there are two witnesses on the schedule, but I understood that one of them was to speak most briefly, if at all. We will go ahead on that basis. We shall have to take a recess just before 3:30, because there is a scheduled vote in the Senate at that time, and I think we all feel we must be present.
The next witness is Mr. Jameson, acting president of the Federal Communications Commission Bar Association, Washington, D. C.
STATEMENT OF GUILFORD S. JAMESON, ACTING PRESIDENT, FED
ERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION BAR ASSOCIATION, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. JAMESON. Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, my name is Guilford Jameson, practicing attorney of this city. I represent the Federal Communications Commission Bar Association in the absence of Mr. Reed T. Rollo, its president, who has had to relinquish his duties on account of illness.
On behalf of the association, I want to thank the committee for its kind invitation to appear here and participate in these hearings, and I assure the committee that it will have the utmost cooperation of our organization in the consideration of this legislation.
As the committee probably knows, this organization has a membership of 370 attorneys practicing before the Commission in all of its fields of activity. One hundred and sixty-one have their offices located in Washington, D. C., and two hundred and nine members practice in other States, but before the Commission on occasion.
Senator MAGNUSON. What are the qualifications?
Mr. JAMESON. You must be a member of the bar, and also comply with the requirements of the Federal Communications Commission as to their terms of admission.
Senator MAGNUSON. What are their requirements?
Mr. JAMESON. Practically, that you be a member of the bar association in good standing in some State.
Immediately upon receipt of the notice of the hearing, I called together the executive committee of this association for the consideration of this bill.
Owing to the varied interests of the various attorneys in our membership, it was felt impossible to have any unanimous resolution on what I might call the controversial features of the bill, so we limited our study to the procedural and organization features of the bill.
Judge Frank Roberson, who sits beside me here, is the chairman of that committee on legislation which has considered the bill. We considered a report by Judge Roberson and approved it.
By way of introduction, Judge Roberson was formerly an assistant general counsel at the Commission, and during that service acted as general counsel of the Commission.
Since retirement, he has practiced law in the same firm with the late Judge Sykes, who was a member of the Federal Communications Commission, and later Chairman of the Commission.
Judge Roberson is a former president of the Federal Communications Commission Bar Association, and is our chairman of the legislative committee, and he is authorized to represent and speak for us here.
I wish to thank the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Roberson, I take it the introduction sufficiently identifies you, and you may proceed in your own way. STATEMENT OF FRANK ROBERSON, CHAIRMAN, LEGISLATIVE COM
MITTEE, FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS BAR ASSOCIATION, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. ROBERSON. My name is Frank Roberson. I am a member of the law firm of Spearman & Roberson, Munsey Building, Washington, D. C. I appear on behalf of the Federal Communications Bar Association, which was organized in 1936. The officers of the Federal Communications Bar Association are Reed T. Rollo, president; Carl I. Wheat, first vice president; Guilford Jameson, second vice president; Russell Rowell, treasurer; and John H. Midlen, secretary.
The executive committee consists of the five above-named officers, Arthur Scharfeld, Neville Miller, Eliot Lovett, Ben Fisher, Philip J. Hennessey, Jr., and Ralph Van Orsdel. In addition to the officers, two new members are elected to the executive committee annually.
The association has a membership of approximately 400 attorneys. Approximately 100 members are actively engaged in practice before the Commission. Some 40 to 45 members, living in Washington and actively practicing before the Commission, are former employees of the old Federal Radio Commission, or Federal Communications Commission. In addition there are some 10 to 15 members, formerly employed at the Commission, who now practice before the Commission, but live in other cities than Washington.
The executive committee of the association has general supervision of the work of the association. For a number of years the executive committee has appointed a legislative committee, whose duty is to keep informed as to pending legislation before Congress relating to communications and to report to the executive committee on such bills. When the executive committee takes action on any of the bills, it is the function of the legislative committee to appear in hearings before the Senate and House committees.
The membership of the present legislative committee is Frank Roberson, chairman; Horace L. Lohnes, Louis G. Caldwell, and Frank T. Quigley. Since hearings on S. 1333 have been scheduled to begin on June 17, 1947, there was not sufficient time for the legislative committee to have conferences and prepare a written report to the executive committee. In lieu of this, the executive committee and the legislative committee had a joint meeting on Tuesday, June 10, 1947, which lasted the entire afternoon. The bill was considered section by section, and this statement is made pursuant to the action of the executive committee taken on each procedural section of the bill in which the association, as such, is interested.
The association has consistently followed the policy of taking action only as to procedural aspects of proposed legislation. The association has felt that reasonable unanimity could be had as to procedure but recognizes that a wide diversity of opinion might well exist among its members as to substantive provisions. Consequently, this statement will be confined to procedural provisions of S. 1333 and will specifically enumerate the sections in S. 1333 which the association considers relate to matters of substance and policy rather than procedure. Section 2
The association approves the clarifying definitions proposed as amendments to subsections (0) and (p) of section 3 of the Communications Act. These amendments were not contained in S. 814. However, the amendments appear on page 27 in the confidential committee print of the proposed report on S. 814, the White-Wheeler bill. The proposed report was given rather general distribution in 1944 and the association considers that it will not be inappropriate to make references to it. For convenience, it will be referred to in this statement as the "confidential report print.” Section 3
The association has approved the amendments proposed to section 3 of the act, which add several needed definitions. The terms "license," "station license,” or “radio station license,” are not defined in the Communications Act. The definitions proposed in section 3, subsection (bb), are found on page 1 of S. 814 (White-Wheeler bill) and also on page 27 of the confidential report print on S. 814. The amendment proposed in subsection (bb) was approved in the oral statement of Herbert M. Bingham, the witness for the association, at page 142 of the Senate hearings on S. 814.
Subsection (cc) of the pending bill has a definition for the term “broadcast station.” This seems necessary to fit in with the definition of "broadcasting” in section 2, subsection (0) of the bill. There is no definition of the term “broadcast station” in the Communication Act.
Subsection (dd) of section 3 of the bill defines the term “network organization." This term is not defined in the Communications Act, nor does it appear in S. 814. The term “network organization” is defined in the confidential report at page 27. The definition in the pending bill amplifies the definition in the confidential report print.
The term “network organization” was not clearly defined in the network regulations of the Federal Communications Commission, effective June 15, 1943. Since the pending bill in section 19 renders inoperative these network regulations promulgated by the Commission, and makes inapplicable the case of the National Broadcasting Co., Inc., et al., v. United States et al. (decided May 10, 1943, 319 U. S. 190, 87 L. ed. 1344), it is proper to define the term “network organization" in the bill.
The definitions in subsections (ee), (ff), and (gg) of the pending bill were not in S. 814. They are the same as subsections (ff), (gg), and (ii) of the confidential report print. Sections 4 and 5
Under the Communications Act the Chairman of the Commission is designated by the President. The bill proposes in sections 4 and 5 to amend the present law, and to provide that the Chairman of the Commission shall be elected annually by the whole Commission.
The association has consistently favored for many years the election of the Chairman of the Commission. It has also favored the organization of the Commission into two divisions of three members each, and that the chairman of each division shall be selected by the members of such divisions. The association favors the proposal in the bill that the Chairman shall not be a member of either of the two divisions, but that he shall be the chief executive officer of the Commission.
Section 5, subsection (d), sets out the jurisdiction and responsibilities of the whole Commission. The jurisdiction and responsibilities of the whole Commission are important and extensive. The Administrative Procedure Act now requires the Commission to hold hearings prior to the issuance of general rules and regulations.
For the past several months a substantial part of the time of the whole Commission, including the Chairman, has been devoted to hearings on general rules and regulations. Prior to the Administrative Procedure Act the Commission was not required to hold formal hearings after giving public notice.
The association feels that the adoption of general rules and regulations as to communications is a matter of great importance and that the requirement of formal hearings on general rules pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act is very much in the public interest. It will not be questioned but that the new rule-making procedure under the Administrative Procedure Act has substantially increased the work load of the Chairman and the whole Commission.
The late Judge Eugene O. Sykes, one of my law partners, after he resigned in 1939 as a member of the Federal Communications Commission, testified before the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce in 1942 in hearings held on H. R. 5497, a bill to amend the Communications Act, and commonly referred to as the Sanders bill. Judge Sykes was a member of the old Federal Radio Commission and was the first Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. After serving as Chairman for some time, he resigned the chairmanship and was then Chairman of the Broadcast Division until the two divisions of the Commission were abolished.
We feel that your committee will be interested in a part of the state