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Mr. MORGAN. Is your main tonnage agricultural products and agricultural supplies!
Mr. WILLIAMS. Our principal business is grain and grain produets. We all know that the rail transportation lines have been congested during the past few years and, as bearing upon this situation, I would like to refer to the matter of the Illinois Central Railroad. which is the principal Mississippi Valley line to-day, serving New Orleans and the lower Mississippi River points, for instance, Memphis, St. Louis, Cairo, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Omaha., Within the last few months the Interstate Commerce Commission has authorized the building of a line which will parallel their existing line for a distance of about 180 miles, between Edgewood, Ill., and Fulton, Ky. The initial expense for a temporary structure
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). It is a double-track line now, isn't Mr. WILLIAMS. The main line is double tracked. The initial expense for temporary structures on the 180 mile line is in the neighborhood of $28,000,000. The permanent structures will cost in the neighborhood of $45,000,000; and Mr. Markham, president of the line, testified that their tonnage was increasing to the extent of doubling every five years, so that with the barge line handling the business which has been shown by Mr. Field on this map, notwithstanding that, during the last few months they have had to get this authority from the commission to extend their line in order to better handle the traffic that is being offered.
So that we feel that it is in the interest of transportation and the country as a whole to have our inland waterways so arranged that we can navigate our streams and take care of the tonnage at a lower cost of transportation than has heretofore been done.
Mr. Hull. One question. You live at Cairo, and that is on the Ohio or on the Mississippi?
Mr. WILLIAMS. It is on both. It is at the junction of the two
Mr. HULL. Let me ask you this question. Do you think that in order to make this waterway a success, it is necessary to improve the Illinois River from Chicago to the Mississippi?
Mr. WILLIAMS. I do; yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. I notice that you said that your principal product which was carried was grain. Don't you get return shipments from New Orleans?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. You ought to carry them. In order to make a success of it, you have to get full return cargoes, don't you?
Mr. WILLIAMS. We have a very largeThe CHAIRMAN. Just answer that question. Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Now, you do not get grain for your return cargoes, do you?
Mr. WILLIAMS. No, sir. We have a very large northbound movement of sugar, coffee, rice, sisal hemp, and various other commidities. The transportation of the sugar, which is distributed out to the farmer, is a very large portion of our northbound movement, and the farmer's wife, of course, during the summer uses very large quantities, and they are all benefited by this reduction in rates, which is occasioned by the Federal barge line on our river at the present time. The International Harvester Co. transports practically all of the raw material from which the binder twine is manufactured, and while the benefit to the farmer may be very slight, all of these things are for his benefit.
The CHAIRMAN. My question was what you had in the way of return cargoes, and your answer is sugar and sisal?
Mr. WILLIAMS. And coffee and rice.
Mr. Wilson. Don't you ship a good many automobiles on the barge line, on top of the decks!
Mr. WILLIAMS. I might mention that, owing to the condition of the roads of Kentucky and Tennessee, there have been a very large number of automobiles carried between Cairo and Memphis for tourists.
Mr. WILSON. I mean new automobiles.
Mr. WILLIAMS. No; we do not carry very many. STATEMENT OF MR. P. W. COYLE, OF ST. LOUIS, TRAFFIC COM
MISSIONER OF THE ST. LOUIS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
Mr. COYLE. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I am authorized by the St. Louis Chanber of Commerce, having a membership of over 4,000 of the business men of St. Louis and the St. Louis district, to present to you a statement in support of the bill in question, and to give you facts indicating the potential traffic which we believe is available and might be diverted to water service as proposed.
There is moved in and out of St. Louis and through St. Louis annually, by rail, something over 72,000,000 tons of all classes of freight. I have made a very careful analysis of the tonnage moved into and through the territory through which it is proposed to construct this Illinois waterway, having origin or destination in St. Louis and Chicago, and find that that tonnage amounts to approximately 15,000,000 tons annually. It is almost impossible to determine just how much of that might be obtained by waterway service. That, of course, would depend upon the kind and quality of service given, but it presents a basis of the potential elements of traffic and is about all that can be brought to the surface at this time. In order that 'a more comprehensive view of the situation with respect to this potential tonnage may be had I have attached hereto a detailed statement of the different commodities handled by the four important railroads operating between St. Louis and Chicago in the territory in question.
The merchants of St. Louis move a great many goods from the manufacturers in the East by rail, lake and rail, via Chicago. These goods might be diverted to a water service from Chicago instead of being transferred from boats to rail at that point for movement south.
I have had numerous conferences with our shippers with respect to tonnage of this character and I am pleased to direct your atten-, tion to the following statements made by these shippers.
Statement of D. Noonan, representing Rice-Stix D. G. Co:
During the season of navigation on the lakes we route a great deal of merchandise from the New England mills, and also froin the Mohawk Valley in
New York, by the lake-and-rail route. The approximate tonnage for this season will be about 2,000 tons. In routing that merchanidse that way we consider the time involved, and if the traffic was handled in connection wit:. a water service from Chicago we would have to have reasonable service by water from Chicago to St. Louis. That traffic is now transferred at Chicago to rail. What I say with respect to our company applies with equal force to all of the wholesale dry goods houses here. They would also handle a large amount of tonnage via the lake-and-rail route. In addition to that lonnage we, of course, would be able to favor the water route from St. Louis to southern points with this high class merchandise if we had regular service. I would say 6,000 tons of this freight moves annually. This class of tonnage, which is now handled lake-and-rail, will stand much slower time ordinarily than other classes of tonnage. During the lake season the fall goods are moved and the orders are placed so that the merchandise can stand slow service.
Statement of George T. McClure, representing the International Shoe Co:
Assuming that rates would be put in from New England to St. Louis, which I believe they will be eventually by this route-they are in now lake and railwe have about 1,200,000 pounds a month, some of which is shoes and some of which is raw material. The International Shoe Co., manufacturers of shoes, is my business. We also have about five cars a week coming out of Chicago territory direct to St. Louis; and there are imports by the tanneries amounting to two or three cars a week, that are imported through Baltimore and eastern cities of that kind. What I say for my company is equally true of the other boot nd shoe manufacturers.
Statement of Mr. R. K. Keas, representing the Laclede Steel Co.:
It may seem strange that with all the iron and steel products manufactured in the Chicago district that iron and steel products should move out of St. Louis into Chicago and the manufacturing cities to the north, but in the movement from Chicago into St. Louis of the raw materials, and the movement back into the Chicago district of manufactured products, we have a tonnage approximating 36,000 to 40,000 tons a year. That is freight which should be extremely desirable from a water transportation standpoint, because it takes but very little space and is very heavy for the space it consumes, and is very easy to handle. I think a great deal of that tonnage would be handled by water, because our customers in that district would desire to secure the saving that would be accomplished through water transportation. I know quite a lot of raw materials would move down, and especially ore from the lakes, through this waterway to St. Louis.
Statement of Mr. E. S. Tompkins, representing the St. Louis Screw Co.:
We have about 200 tons, I should say, per week now of iron and steel supplies from Chicago, and we have a great deal of other products in the way of iron and steel articles from Cleveland and other points along the lake that could be diverted to the Illinois River waterway. Other iron and steel industries here have northbound shipments of probably a thousand tons a month. There is constant interchange between the iron and steel industries in this district and those in Chicago of different products, that are not manufactured in these parts, that they use in their work. This market also consumes about 600,000 tons of scrap per year. Some of it comes from Illinois, along the Illinois River, and there is any amount of available tonnage that would probably be increased with a waterway movement that would bring lower costs. I believe that a deep waterway from here to Chicago operated at a rate 20 per cent less than the railroad rates would result in the movement of a very large tonnage over that line.
Statement of Mr. S. W. Allender, representing the Monsanto Chemical Works:
We have a heavy acid plant in East St. Louis. We use about 12,000 tons of sulphur a year, or about a carload per day, at that plant. That sulphur moves all rail from Texas at a rate of $7.20 per ton, or $86,000 per year
freight charges. There are several acid plants in the Chicago district using greater amounts, and if the intercoastal canal and the Chicago waterway are completed the sulphur could move in barge lots to Chicago, Buffalo, lake ports, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Memphis, and other points. Any saving at all would control the movement by the water route. When we pay $86,000 freight charges a year for one item you can realize that 50 cents a ton would control the movement. Sulphur is used for making sulphuric acid, one of the large raw materials for fertilizer, and since the freight charges on sulphur are over 50 per cent of its value, the farmers would benefit in lower transportation charges on sulphur to Chicago, St. Louis, and all points in the valley. It is one of the big raw materials for fertilizer. It takes 1 ton of acid to acidulate 2 tons of phosphate rock. We also use nitrate of soda from Chile, which we are already moving by the harge line to our last St. Louis plant, giving an all-water movement. Our Chicago competitors believe they could do the same thing if the Chicago waterway is completed. I speak of our competitors, because I feel that anything that would benefit them would benefit us. Nitrate of soda is used for explosives and fertilizer, and thus again the farmers would benefit in lower transportation of raw material for fertilizer and for blowing up old stumps. We are using the barge line for tea from Calcutti, probably the longest movement in the world. Calcutta is 90° east longitude and we are 90° west longitude. We buy about 9,000,000 pounds of tea a year. I am heartily in favor of the deep waterway from Chicago to the Gulf, and emphatically in favor of the Government operating the line until it can be established. Our company will be much interested in seeing the establishment of private barge lines, but we would want the Government to establish it first, and iron out the rates and divisions and maintain them. The completion of the proposed intracoastal canal is also a very important feature in connection with the development of the waterway between St. Louis and Chicago. That is the reason I am so generous in speaking for our competitors. the acid plants in Chicago. We feel when they have a route from St. Louis and find they can not move their raw materials from Texas without the intracoastal canal, that we will have the assistance of Chicago in getting this intracoastal canal put through. This is a big project in which all public-spirited citizens of the United States ought to unite for the general good and set aside their special interests for the time being.
These statements, of course, go directly to the potential tonnage, but I desire to call your attention, if you please, to the general situation and to the importance of a waterway of this character.
The northern producing and distributing points like Chicago and St. Louis are unable now to reach the consumers in the interior points of the Southwest in competition with the producers in the North Atlantic section of the country, except by all-rail service. With a 9-foot channel from Chicago to the Gulf, connecting with the proposed intercoastal waterway just north of New Orleans, an all-barge service could be had from Chicago to every Gulf port of Texas all the way around to Brownsville, there touching and connecting with the rail service of Mexico, thus not only giving these northern producing points water and rail service into western Louisiana and Texas, but a water and rail service into the Republic of Mexico. It would also give to Chicago and the intermediate points between Chicago and St. Louis an all-water service to the Pacific Coast by the way of New Orleans and steamships between New Orleans and that coast.
The importance of this will be recognized and indicates its national character when we take into account the fact that the railroads are operating up to, if not quite, their maximum capacity; our industries are not producing to their maximum capacity; and all signs point to a revival of commerce to the extent that it will, in my estimation, very shortly produce a traffic beyond the ability of the rail lines to handle with satisfaction to the public; hence we
must have this water service to supplement that of the railroads in order to conserve and properly develop the resources of the country.
Classified statement of shipments handled by railroads operating between Chi
cago and St. Louis in 1922.
It is estimated that only one-third of the amounts shown for the Illinois Central and Wabash moved between St. Louis and Chicago and intermediate points.