Page images
PDF
EPUB

BRIDGE ACROSS MISSOURI RIVER AT OR NEAR POWER

SITE CROSSING, MONTANA

JANUARY 14, 1932.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed

Mr. Lea, from the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 4696]

The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 4696) granting the consent of Congress to the State of Montana or any political subdivisions or public agencies thereof, or any of them to construct, maintain, and operate a free highway bridge across the Missouri River southerly from the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation at or near the point known and designated as the power-site crossing, in the State of Montana, having considered and amended the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass.

Amend the bill as follows:

Page 1, line 3, strike out the words "consent of Congress is hereby granted to the" and insert the following words, "times for commencing and completing the construction of a bridge authorized by act of Congress approved July 3, 1930, to be built by the ", in lieu thereof; line 5, strike out the words “to construct, maintain, and operate"; line 6, strike out the words “a free highway bridge and approaches thereto"; line 10, strike out the words “in accordance" and insert the words "are hereby extended one and three years, respectively, from the date of approval hereof.", in lieu thereof.

Page 2 strike out all of lines 1, 2, and 3. Amend the title so as to read: To extend the times for commencing and completing the construction of a bridge across the Missouri River southerly from the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation at or near the point known and designated as the Power-site Crossing, in the State of Montana.

The act of Congress referred to in the bill is as follows:

(PUBLIC— No. 516—718T CONGRESS)

(H. R. 12919) AN ACT Granting the consent of Congress to the State of Montana or any political subdivisions or public agencies thereof, or any of them, to construct, maintain, and operate a free highway bridge across the Missouri River southerly from the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation at or near the point known and designated as the Power-site Crossing or at or near the point known and designated as Wilder Ferry

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the consent of Congress is hereby granted to the State of Montana or any political subdivisions or public agencies thereof, or any of them, to construct, maintain, and operate a free highway bridge and approaches thereto across the Missouri River, at a point suitable to the interests of navigation and southerly from the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, at or near the point known and designated as the Power-site Crossing or at or near the point known and designated as Wilder Ferry in the State of Montana, in accordance with the provisions of an Act entitled "An act to regulate the construction of bridges over navigable waters," approved March 23, 1906.

Sec. 2. The right to alter, amend, or repeal this act is hereby expressly reserved.

Approved, July 3, 1930.

The bill has the approval of the War and Agriculture Departments, as will appear by the letters attached.

WAR DEPARTMENT, December 23, 1931. Respectfully returned to the chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives.

The accompanying bill, H. R. 4696, present session, to authorize the construction of a bridge across the Missouri River southerly from the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation at or near the point known and designated as the power-site crossing, in the State of Montana, is identical with an act of Congress approved July 3, 1930, subject to the provisions of the general bridge act of March 23, 1906. The time for commencing the construction of the bridge, as implied by section 6 of the general act, expired July 3, 1931, and it is assumed that the purpose of the bill under consideration is to extend the time for construction.

So far as the interests committed to this department are concerned, no objection is known to extending the times for commencing and completing the work of construction for the customary periods of one and three years, respectively, but I am of the opinion that it is preferable to authorize the extension of time in direct terms than to duplicate the existing act. The bill, herewith, has been amended accordingly and as thus amended I know of no objection to its favorable consideration by Congress.

PATRICK J. HURLEY,

Secretary of War.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,

Washington, December 23, 1931. Hon. Sam RAYBURN, Chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives. DEAR MR. RAYBURN: Careful consideration has been given to the bill (H. R. 4696) transmitted with your letter of December 16 with request for a report thereon and such views relative thereto as the department might desire to communicate.

This bill would authorize the State of Montana or any political subdivisions or public agencies thereof, or any of them, to construct, maintain, and operate a free highway bridge and approaches thereto across the Missouri River, at a point southerly from the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation at or near the point known and designated as the Power-site Crossing, in the State of Montana. The location indicated for the proposed bridge is not on the system of Federalaid highways approved for Montana. The bill is without objections so far as this department is concerned. Sincerely yours,

R. W. DUNLAP, Secretary. O

BRIDGE ACROSS RAINY RIVER, AT OR NEAR BAUDETTE,

MINN.

JANUARY 14, 1932.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed

Mr. BURTNESS, from the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Com

merce, submitted the following

REPORT

(To accompany H. R. 5064)

The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 5064) authorizing Vernon W. O'Connor, of St. Paul, Minn., his successors and assigns, to construct, maintain, and operate a bridge across the Rainy River, at or near Baudette, Minn., having considered and amended the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass.

Amend the bill as follows:

Page 1, line 6, after the word "his”, strike out the word “successors" and insert the words "heirs, legal representatives,” in lieu thereof.

Page 2, line 9, after the word "his", strike out the word "successors" and insert the words “heirs, legal representatives,” in lieu thereof.

Page 2, lines 21 and 22, after the word “his”, strike out the word "successors” and insert the words, “heirs, legal representatives, in lieu thereof. Line 24, after the word "of" strike out the word "Canada" and insert the word “Minnesota" in lieu thereof.

Page 3, lines 5 and 6, after the word "his", strike out the word "successors” and insert the words "heirs, legal representatives," in lieu thereof.

Amend to title so as to read: Authorizing Vernon W. O'Connor, of Saint Paul, Minnesota, his heirs, legal representatives, and assigns, to construct, maintain, and operate a bridge across the Rainy River at or near Baudette, Minnesota.

Hon. Harold Knutson, who introduced this bill, has submitted the following information with reference thereto:

House of REPRESENTATIVES,

Washington, D. C., December 23, 1931. Mr. ELTON J. LAYTON, Clerk, Committee Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SIR: Replying to your communication of December 22, with refer. ence to the bill (H. R. 5064) introduced by me authorizing Vernon W. O'Connor of St. Paul to construct and operate a bridge across the Rainy River at or near Baudette, Minn., it is desired to submit the following information:

There is a ferry now being operated at the location of the bridge which it is proposed to construct between Baudette, Minn., and Rainy_River, Ontario, Canada, upon which tolls are collected for crossing the Rainy River.

The people on both sides of Rainy River are practically unanimous for the construction of a bridge at this point. None of the various political subdivisions affected are in condition to finance or construct a free bridge in this locality, and there is no probability of their being able to do so in the near future.

A bridge at this point is an urgent necessity and the individual to whom authority is to be granted to construct such a bridge is in every way financially responsible. Yours very truly,

HAROLD KNUTSON. The bill has the approval of the War and State Departments, as will appear by the letters attached.

WAR DEPARTMENT, December 23, 1931. Respectfully returned to the chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives.

So far as the interests committed to this department are concerned, I know of no objection to the favorable consideration of the accompanying bill (H. R. 5064, 72d Cong., 1st sess.) authorizing Vernon W. O'Connor, of St. Paul, Minn., his successors and assigns, to construct a bridge across the Rainy River at or near Baudette, Minn.

PATRICK J. HURLEY,

Secretary of War.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, December 24, 1991. Hon. Sam RAYBURN,

House of Representatives. Sir: In reply to your letter of December 14, 1931, inclosing bill H. R. 5064, Seventy-second Congress, first session, with the request for a report thereon in duplicate, you are advised that, in so far as the interests entrusted to this department are concerned, there is no objection to the proposed legislation. Very truly yours,

H. L. STIMSON.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,

Washington, D. C., January 8, 1932. Hon. Sam RAYBURN, Chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives. Dear Mr. RAYBURN: Careful consideration has been given to the bill H, R. 5064, transmitted with your letter of December 16 with request for a report thereon and such views relative thereto as the department might desire to communicate.

This bill would authorize Vernon W. O'Connor of St. Paul, Minn., his successors and assigns, to construct, maintain, and operate a bridge and approaches thereto across the Rainy River, at or near Baudette, Minn., subject to the approval of the proper authorities in Canada. The bill would give Mr. O'Connor, his successors and assigns, full authority to sell, assign, transfer, and mortgage all rights, powers, and privileges which it would confer. The proposed bridge would be across the international boundary line at a point at which a route on the system of Federal-aid highways approved for Minnesota terminates.

The department calls attention to the policy involved in this measure. The bill contains no provision safeguarding the interests of the public as to the period of operation as a private toll bridge or fixing any period after which it may be acquired by public agencies of the United States and Canada, acting jointly or severally, with a view to making it free to the traveling public. While the bill provides for an international bridge, this is a franchise in perpetuity so far as the United States is concerned. It contains no safeguord to the public as to rates of tolls which may be charged. No provision is made for the application of the proceeds of such tolls to make the bridge free at any future time, nor is there any provision for the acquisition by the public of the bridge with stipulations to guard or define the price which might be charged if the public decided to acquire the bridge.

This authorization conveys the right of eminent domain, and while there is no thought of questioning the right of the Congress to grant authority for the building of an international bridge, the duty to construct and maintain connecting highways must fall upon the State of Minnesota.

The right of assignment contained in this authorization gives the holder thereof a basis upon which to issue securities. There is no market at the present time for toll-bridge bonds among the investing public, so, in the judgment of the department, there is no possibility of early construction of the proposed bridge.

Our attention has been called to a measure providing for the investigation of this whole subject of the issuance of authorizations for private toll bridges by a committee of the Congress. The department favors this investigation so that the unwholesome record of the past several years, in which many investors in toll-bridge bonds have lost large sums, will be authentically brought to the attention of the public. The department is cognizant of these conditions and is opposed to the issuance of authorizations which have become the basis for promotional enterprises, unsound in their inception and extravagant in their execution. The department recommends against this measure. Sincerely yours,

R. W. DUNLAP, Acting Secretary.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »