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be made by Congress to give us that protection, and we can not accept a long route, because, should we fail, our men, were they so disposed to wait several months until we went through the routine provided by this bill to secure a compensation, could not do so. The cost of foodstuffs are entirely too high, and they could not wait if they wished to. The people from whom we purchase our material would not, because they need not. There is plenty of sale for fuel and all other materials used by a railroad to companies who are in position to pay for them.

I came here with the knowledge, as I supposed, that we had all been taken over by the Government. That is still my opinion. But I have heard argued since that there is a possibility that some of us may not be needed. I can not but feel that the separation of any one line would be disastrous to the whole structure, and particularly to that certain line. I have in mind, for instance, that a surgeon amputating that finger for me; I can get along nicely without it, but the finger would have a very hard row to hoe. It would not be necessarily fatal to it, it might be grafted if there was some other body kicked out that would accept the finger. It might be grafted to that, but its chances would be very remote.

So I feel that the roads are all taken over, and should be, or none should be.

With reference to the board proposed, and termed, I believe, "auditors," with all due respect to the Interstate Commerce Commission, who are big men, I hardly think it fair even to them that this very important matter of valuation be left entirely with that one body. However earnest they have been in the past to deal without prejudice as between the shippers and the railroads, it is common knowledge that the shippers assume that the Interstate Commerce Commission represents them in these rate hearings. Where they gain that information I am not clear, but it is entirely probable, gentlemen, that the railroads from the same source may have acquired the same impression, so I believe that some other board or some other construction of a board should be arranged for. I believe the Interstate Commerce Commission should be represented on that board. It is my opinion that the railroads should be represented also. Their property is being taken away, and they should have a voice in the valuation. Then, likewise, some certain disinterested party like a United States judge, or some one else, whom we know would be disinterested.

I want to say again that this is no reflection on the efforts of the Interstate Commerce Commission, but it is common knowledge that the shippers believe that they are represented by that body.

One more thought and I will be through. That has reference to the last article, No. 13. It was possible for the Government to take over the control of these roads in one night. I can not but think that there is some other one night or one day, within at least a period of one year after the close of the war, where they could safely intrust us again with our property.

I thank you.

Senator CUMMINS. With regard to the composition of the condemnation tribunal, you think it ought to be composed of a member of the Interstate Commerce Commission, and some one selected by the railroads, or railroad, and then the two to select a third?

Mr. DE BERNARDI. That is the usual procedure, Senator.

Senator CUMMINS. I do not know what th laws of the Territory or State in which your road is built may be, but when your road starts to condemn a right of way across a farm, neither the farmer nor the road was given the opportunity to select the tribunal, or any part of the tribunal, was it?

Mr. DE BERNARDI. I am not entirely clear on that, Mr. Senator. I understand ordinarily that is correct.

Senator CUMMINS. If a condemnation tribunal for the acquisition of a right of way or any other phase of eminent domain is properly composed of public officers selected by a public official, why is not the same thing true in this instance, when we are seeking to condemn the use of this property?

Mr. DE BERNARDI. That may be true, but I can say without hesitation that so far as we are concerned, and I believe I voice the sentiments of most roads, we are willing to leave that to any informed, disinterested body.

Senator CUMMINS. That is just what I have in mind. I say nothing about the Interstate Commerce Commission. I suppose it is pointed out because of its familiarity with the nature and the operation of railroads, but the tribunal ought to be composed of disinterested, impartial people, all of whom will represent the Government of the United States, and it ought not to be composed of representative of either shippers, railroads, or any other special interests, it would seem to me.

Mr. DE BERNARDI. I am very much inclined to agree with you, Senator. I only suggested the other as being the usual form of arbitration, and I stand corrected that this is not exactly an arbitration.

Senator CUMMINS. No; an arbitration is a voluntary arrangement. Mr. DE BERNARDI. Yes, sir.

Senator CUMMINS. Which results from an agreement?

Mr. DE BERNARDI. Yes, sir.

Senator CUMMINS. This is not a voluntary arrangement, and involves no agreement, as I understand it.

Mr. DE BERNARDI. Any informed disinterested body would be agreeable to us.

Senator CUMMINS. Coming back to another point, the compensation provided for in section 1 as the bill now is, would give your road how much?

Mr. DE BERNARDI. Nothing. We have a deficit for those three years. We were unable to pay interest on the $6,000,000 authorized by the court.

Senator CUMMINS. So it is perfectly apparent that unless you are to be driven to the condemnation proceeding, there must be some other standard for such roads as yours?

Mr. DE BERNARDI. Yes, sir: I think the roads must be classified. There are too many different kinds and classes and conditions to be all placed in one pot.

Senator CUMMINS. Do you know from anything you have learned. since coming to Washington whether you are in or out of this scheme? Mr. DE BERNARDI. Not from anything I have learned since I came here, Senator, but I learned from instructions received from the Director General before I started that we were in Government hands.

Senator CUMMINS. His adviser has taken a different view of that. I do not mean that he has decided that you are not in. As I understand it, it has been decided that those cases must come up and be presented to the Director General and that then the decision will be made.

Senator MCLEAN. You had no official notice of any change in the situation?

Mr. DE BERNARDI. No change since instructions to get in bed with our competitors, which we did.

Senator CUMMINS. I know, but Mr. McAdoo has the administration of the law in that respect, and his representative has said that there has been no decision as yet whether you are in or out. He asked whether you had made any application to the Director General in order to ascertain whether you are in or out.

Mr. DE BERNARDI. I have not; but I saw the Director General for a few moments last night, likewise Judge Payne, and Judge Payne raised the point in discussing with him our conditions if we would be satisfied to be left out, and I assumed by that that he considers we are in.

Senator CUMMINS. That is rather indirect and unsatisfactory, I would think.

Mr. DE BERNARDI. But of course it is my thought that this entire move is to unify the roads, not any one road, and it seems to me it would be just as fair for the Government to say, "We want the Santa Fe main line, but we do not want any of the branches. It is up to you owners of the Santa Fe to take care of these weak branches from some other source than the Government. We only need your main line."

Senator CUMMINS. I am asking these questions in order to know whether you desire to make any suggestion to this committee as to legislation along that line. In other words, do you want the Congress to compel the President to take you in?

Mr. DE BERNARDI. Yes, sir; if it is not definitely known that we are all in, I suggest the Congress take a definite step that we be all in or all out.

Senator CUMMINS. That is, you want legislation that will practically say all or none?

Mr. DE BERNARDI. Yes, sir; the situation in front of us is certainly uncertain enough without having that confronting us, not know what day we would be notified that we had been pruned off and left to drop where we might fall.

Senator CUMMINS. Have you considered whether legislation of that kind is within the power of the Congress?

Mr. DE BERNARDI. I have not enough legal knowledge to answer that question. I hope it is.

Senator CUMMINS. I express no opinion upon that. I suppose we could take them all out, possibly, but whether we could compel him to take them all, if he took any, that is another proposition.

Mr. DE BERNARDI. I will venture this suggestion, that if all are not taken in, it will create a very great panic in this country to endeavor to leave some in and some out. The securities of these roads are too widely distributed, and it would have, in my opinion, too serious an effect on those who were left out to be at all healthful for the Govern

ment, and would do anything, in my opinion, but promote the interest of the war. I think it would have the opposite effect..

The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Are there any further questions?

Mr. HAFF. Do you wish to say anything about this line being completed or the effect its noncompletion will have upon industry?

Mr. DE BERNARDI. I think I did mention one reason that we are not more prosperous is the fact we are not completed. There have been some disinterested experts who looked over this property as proposed, across from the central part of Missouri to the west coast, and, in their opinion, when it is completed, it will be a splendid property, both for the United States and as an international line.

I do not know that the committee is so much interested in that, but that also is the reason that our bondholders and those interested have hung on to the road and paid some of these deficits, because they expected to get a return on their full investment later, we feel the war and this move has prevented further progress with construction. We have 140 miles of grade property ready to lay the rails.

Senator CUMMINS. Is your line the one originally planned to connect. North and South America?

Mr. DE BERNARDI. No; I think not.

Senator CUMMINS. There was some proposal of that kind a few years ago that was intended to connect up lines, so that we would have finally an all-rail route into South America.

Mr. DE BERNARDI. I have been here such a short time I am not as well acquainted with what they had in mind as I wish I were. I know they contemplated a deep harbor at Topolobampo, opening up the great resources across northern Mexico, and I might add that in the light of what is behind us I am under the impression that that line. completed down into Mexico a short distance, 60 or 70 miles, will soon be of very great benefit to the United States in clearing up the Mexican situation. I have no doubt but that it will be up to us to clear that up some time later when we get this chore off our hands.

The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Are there any further questions? If not, that is all.

Are there any other of the short-line-road representatives here that desire to be heard?

There do not appear to be any other witnesses here that wish to be heard on this line this afternoon.

Senator CUMMINS. Mr. Chairman, there is a witness who expected to come on after the short lines were heard. He told me that he had an engagement to see Mr. McAdoo, or hoped to be able to see him, about 2 o'clock or 2.30, and that he believed that he could be here at 3.15. I have not heard from him since.

The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Who is that, Senator?

Senator CUMMINS. Mr. Walter.

The ACTING CHAIRMAN. I think we are going to have a vote at the Senate at 4 o'clock, and as the witnesses are not here, it may be better for us to adjourn until to-morrow.

Senator CUMMINS. I do not make the suggestion in order to keep the committee in session at all, but I do it rather to explain the absence of Mr. Walter who has expected, I think, to come on at this time.

(Whereupon, at 3.15 o'clock p. m. the committee adjourned until January 18, 1918, at 10 o'clock a. m.)

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