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that if we measure it solely by the increase of commerce in the succeeding years we destroy the whole basis of his report. We could not take the year 1915 as the final criterion, as the chairman well remarked, nor possibly the years 1918 or 1920, but we can take the growth of commerce in 1912, 1913, 1914, and 1915 as an indication of the actual growth of the use of the river.

Mr. EDWARDS. In the year 1913 they had a commerce of 9,784 tons; in 1914, 13,677 tons; and in 1915, up to October 1, 27,306 tons.

Mr. BORLAND. Yes; that is an increase of 142.4 per cent.

The CHAIRMAN. Of course, if you should keep up that increase it would very soon justify the expenditure.

Mr. BORLAND. Yes, sir. The point I want to make and emphasize in that connection is simply this, that this committee, with full information before it of the engineering feasibility and commercial possibilities of the river, adopted this project in 1912. Not only has nothing occurred between 1912 and the present time to justify a change in that judgment, but everything that has occurred has tended to confirm the deliberate and wise judgment of the committee. The commerce has increased and the river has been deepened to a 6-foot channel.

The CHAIRMAN. The Board of Engineers gave you a hearing some two months ago?


The CHAIRMAN. Have they made their report upon that hearing as yet?

Mr. BORLAND. They have not.

The CHAIRMAN. Have you any information as to the nature of the report?

Mr. BORLAND. I have some little information on that subject. The Board of Engineers was to have a meeting on Tuesday of this week to formulate that report; it must then be submitted to the Chief of Engineers, and they were not permitted to disclose its purport; but the indications to me were that they had reversed the opinion of the district engineer, and that they had been convinced by the hearing out there that while he was right, unquestionably, as to the engineering possibilities and the estimate of cost, that his view of the commercial possibilities was entirely too narrow, and that he had not had before him the facts on which to base that opinion.

The CHAIRMAN. I suppose the report will be ready by the first of or early in January?

Mr. BORLAND. I think so. But the status of that is this: That that report was called for by the act of March 4, 1915, and until that report is actually in and approved by the Chief of Engineers of the Army, this project stands as an approved project, so much so that the Chief of Engineers has recommended in his annual report the continuation of the project and has estimated for the proposed work of the ensuing year, $2,100,000. The Secretary of the Treasury has also included it in his estimate, as he must accorling to law. In other words, the project is an approved project as it stands, and until Congress acts by legislative action it remains an approved project. That is the present status of it.

Now what we want to discuss at this time is whether the commercial report of the division engineer was justified or ought to have any weight in the considerations of this committee, and in that connection I want to call the attention of the committee to the brief which the commercial interests of the Missouri River valley have had prepared, and which contains some very valuable facts. It is before every member here, as well as the additional brief which accompanies it. Both of those were laid before the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, and they contain much information about the commercial possibilities of the Missouri Valley which can not be developed here, because they are the work of experts.

The CHAIRMAN. Those briefs we have before us?

Mr. BORLAND. Those you have before you. I think the committee will find that not only has the growth of commerce justified the gentlemen of the committee but that it foreshadows and is a test, in a large measure, of the growth of commerce on other inland rivers. I think that the Missouri River is the test case. You will find by an examination of the engineer's report that he compares it with the Mississippi and other rivers; and if the Missouri River project was not wisely adopted, was not wisely conceived, and did not fully serve the commercial interests of this country, then, so far as private judgment goes, no river would justify improvement by the Federal Government. And, therefore, we have not only here the Missouri project itself, but we have a test case of the entire river system of the United States, so much so that when we called a hearing at Kansas City all the commercial interests of the Missouri Valley, every commercial body from Minneapolis to New Orleans, were represented. There were hundreds there. Every commercial city bordering on the river, those above us—Omaha, Sioux City, and St. Joseph-and all the large upper Mississippi River cities, were represented. They regarded it and do regard it as the test case of the Mississippi Valley. Now, we are convinced, and the committee here can convince itself very readily from the facts before it, that the improvement of the Missouri River has grown in proportion to the expectation of its promoters, and much more.

We have not only had to deal with an unimproved river-as has been explained here very fully and which I won't go over now we have not only had to undertake to navigate from a commercial standpoint a partially improved river, which is an expensive and burdensome proposition, but we have been compelled to solve a great many of the problems which are common to all river navigation and which lie at the basis of the restoration of river navigation. Even if the Federal Government were to restore a 6-foot channel to each one of the great interior rivers and provide a highway out of Federal, means, still private capital must be in a position to make use of them, and to do that it must have ample capital at hand for experimentation and to establish its business. Having that in view, these Kansas City merchants established a fund of a million and a quarter dollars for that purpose. Some of it has been used in experimental work, but a large portion of it is still on hand, and they are ready to increase the fleet that they have on the river as rapidly as the improvement of the river will justify it. Now, to illustrate what I want to say on that I may point out the fact that when they first began to build their steel barges they built 1,400-ton barges; they found that they could not get those over the shoal places in the river at low


stages of water so that then they had to put a certain amount of capital in smaller barges of 1,000 or 700 tons.

Now, those barges will be useful for way freight, but not useful for through freight on an improved river and when they have 6 feet clear through. They want 1,400, 1,800, and 2,000 ton barges, and in order to put a proper fleet on the improved river they had to restore the terminals; they had to have municipal wharves at Kansas City. After a lawsuit at Kansas City they moved the railroads back from the river front and then built a municipal wharf, and if you will look in this brief you will see some pictures of that municipal wharf, with modern terminal facilities. You can not load and unload boats to-day by a gang of stevedores whistling and singing “Waiting for the Robert E. Lee.” The loading and unloading of boats to-day ean not be done without steel machinery, and it was necessary to put in those modern loading and unloading devices; it was necessary to provide terminals at East St. Louis, in order to take care of switching connections, and it was necessary to develop a type of boats adapted to that work, and now we must build all-steel barges which are adapted to inland-waterway navigation, and each one of those problems has taken time, work, thought, and money, and they have been solved within the three or four years that this committee has been making these appropriations for the improvement of the Missouri River, and they all are based upon that adoption of the Missouri River project.

These gentlemen have put a million and a quarter dollars behind their faith in the restoration of the commerce; they have used that money not for the purpose of hammering down railroad rates in their territory and then abandoning the river; not for the purpose of putting a few show boats on there, but for the purpose of going after river traffic as a business proposition and on a competitive basis, and they have now reached the point where they are going after the river traffic on that basis. That brings us to this proposition: That you can not build up a business in a year, nor a business of great magnitude in a few years. The first year that that business was in operation and boats were advertised to sail, many of the merchants of Kansas City, being conservative, level-headed, hard-headed business men, refused to ship their goods. They said "We don't know; the railroads have got through connections with our eastern customers; our billing and routing is all established and our customers understand that; the men we hear from in the East understand it; and we can not change our method of business, you know, to accommodate you men for a season.” And it was only the growth of the business season after season that justified more and more the business men in coming into it. And when that hearing occurred before the River and Harbor Board at Kansas City scores of big merchants and manufacturers in Kansas City and this territory came in and said “We did not ship a ton of freight in 1913, at the time this commercial record was made up by the district officer; we began shipping in 1914; we did not ship before because we were not sure of continuous service. We began shipping in 1914, and in 1915 we will double our offerings to the freight line.” And we have got more freight pledged to-day than that boat line has ever been able to carry, but not more than it could carry on an improved river; not more than they would be willing to build a fleet to carry it on an improved river, but more than can be carried on a partially improved river. So we have greatly exceeded the growth of the river improvements.

Now, that depends, of course, upon sober, serious, determined, and persistent continuation of that improvement, and nothing is going to destroy that quicker than uncertainty as to whether the improvement is going to continue or not. If this report of the district officer should be affirmed and Congress should act upon that report and again put the Missouri River in the position of an unimproved stream not only would all this capital be wasted, not only would all these experimental works be wasted, and not only would the fleet and terminals be lost, but the good will of the whole transaction would go down with a crash and it would be very difficult—it would be 10 years before any river proposition in this country could build up the confidence of the shipping public again. This proposition has the confidence of the Kansas City shipping public, and it is a fact that every merchant mentioned in this book, and their letters are shown here, is willing and able to supply additional freight. Here is Montgomery Ward & Co., the Jones Store Co., and the Faeth Iron Co. Here is a very typical one, the Townley Metal & Hardware Co.: “Our tonnage for the past five years is as follows: 1911, 106,546 pounds; 1912, 195,419 pounds; 1913, 228,723 pounds; 1914, 580,821 pounds; and to October 10, 1915, 912,328 pounds."

Mr. HUMPHREYS. What do you mean by that?

Mr. BORLAND. The amount of freight of the Missouri River Transportation Co. Now, that is a big hardware company, and that is typical of what has gone on in all of the business houses of Kansas City. These men went out and solicited freight, and the amount has steadily increased and the service has grown more and more, and that structure of good will can be destroyed overnight, and if it be destroyed I know of no way to restore it for many years to come.

The CHAIRMAN. Unless the report of the local engineer should be affirmed by the board, which you tell us it not likely

Mr. BORLAND. I think not likely.

The CHAIRMAN. This committee, as it was organized in the last Congress, would be apt to go ahead with the improvement.

Mr. BORLAND. I think that is the sentiment of the committee.

The CHAIRMAN. But, of course, we will have in this Congress some new Members and no one here can voice their views or say what the new committee will do in a special case.

Mr. BORLAND. I am very glad to know that, Mr. Chairman, and I trust that will be the case. The committee has exercised its judgment as to the improvement and after very thorough investigations.

Mr. HUMPHREYS. I do not see how we could ask anybody anywhere to invest money in the construction of any big enterprise on the bank of a river because Congress had adopted the project to improve that river if we show in this instance that we are liable to abandon the river and leave a man out on a sand bar.

Mr. BORLAND. That is exactly the proposition, Mr. Humphreys. Now, there is one more point that I want to call to your attention, because it is common to all the western problems. We are always suffering out there from a congestion of freight. At certain times

of the year it is very difficult for our railways to keep pace with the commercial growth. If anybody, when the Pacific railroads were built from the Missouri River to the coast, had made a statement of what the actual traffic would be he would have been denounced as insane. No man could have estimated at that time the traffic that would occur in that trans-Mississippi region and no man did estimate it and no man could have come within working distance of the truth. No man can tell the wonderful growth of the commerce. A very big railroad man has testified at various times and in various places that railroad capitalization finds it increasingly difficult to keep pace with the demands of the traffic situation. In this supplemental brief the main point expressed is the relative cost of a railroad line, one additional railroad line between Kansas City and St. Louis, just one additional railroad.

An improved river is an expensive proposition. Some men have estimated that it has the carrying capacity of 100 single-track lines of railroad. It certainly has the capacity of many single-track railroads, but the fact of the matter is that the improvement of the Mis. souri River from Kansas City to the mouth at an ultimate cost of $20,000,000 is as cheap as a single line of railroad traflic. We are now taking the physical valuation of railroads, and the gentleman in charge of that work at the Kansas City oflice, which is the central division of the entire country, is Mr. Newman. A letter is shown here in which he estimates that it costs virtually $55,000 a mile to-day to build railroads between Kansas City and St. Louis, and that $10,000 ought to be added for proper equipment, and when you take 300 miles of railroad at $55,000 a mile and add your equipment and terminals, you have exceeded $20,000,000, the cost of an improved river highway. Surely there can not be any question as to the expansive power of all commerce in the future on rivers as well as on railroads, and you can not say, as the division engineer undertook to say, that this territory is amply served by railroads and that no further transportation services are needed. That was one great and weak point in the district oflicer's report.

The fact about the matter is we never have been able to catch up on the question of transportation facilities in the West, and if we had the use of the river we would still use all of our railroad facilities and there would be an increasing need for railroad facilities in the future.

I do not want to consume the committee's time with mere argument on the advisability of river improvements, because I have been over that so often; but I would like to have the committee hear men who speak by the book and who are experts on this matter and know the practical operation of this river work. Judge Bland here has been one of the board of directors of the boat line, and he is technically familiar with the growth of the boat line. Mr. Mackie is the secretary of the company, and he knows exactly what the present fleet is, what its present traflic arrangements are, and how its rates compare with the railroad rates, and how it goes after business and all that sort of thing. Mr. Dickey is the president of the line. Judge Bland, I want to yield to you for a few minutes and have you tell the committee the progress and success of the boat line since the adoption of the project.

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