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2d Sessions }
REPORT No. 498
AUTHORIZING THE PRESIDENT TO DETAIL ENGINEERS TO ASSIST THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE LATIN-AMERICAN REPUBLICS IN HIGHWAY MATTERS
APRIL 21 (calendar day, APRIL 22), 1930.-Ordered to be printed
Mr. ODDIE, from the Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads,
submitted the following
(To accompany S. 120)
The Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads, having had under consideration the bill (S. 120) to authorize the President to detail engineers of the Bureau of Public Roads of the Department of Agriculture to assist the governments of the Latin-American Republics in highway matters, report the same favorably and recommend
passage. This bill would authorize the President of the United States, upon application from the foreign governments concerned and whenever in his discretion the public interest renders such a course advisable, to detail engineers of the Bureau of Public Roads of the Department of Agriculture to assist the Governments of the Republics of North America, Central America, and South America and of the Republics of Cuba, Haiti, and Santo Domingo in highway matters.
The present law provides that the President may detail officers of the United States Army, Navy, and Marine Corps to assist the Latin-American Republics in military and naval matters. This bill is drawn with the exact wording and authorization as that with respect to officers of the Army and Navy. (See Senate hearings before Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads, March 30 and 31, 1928, PP. 4-9.)
The President in his message to Congress on December 6, 1927, called the attention of the Congress to the situation and to the advisability of authorizing him to have the same power with reference to engineers in highway matters as he possesses with respect to the officers of the Army and Navy. The President's message relating to this matter contains the following:
While the advantage of having good roads is very large, the desire for improved highways is not limited to our own country. It should and does include all the
Western Hemisphere. The principal points in Canada are already accessible. We ought to lend our encouragement in any way we can for more good roads to all the principal points in this hemisphere south of the Rio Grande. It has been our practice to supply these countries with military and naval advisers, when they have requested it, to assist them in national defense. The arts of peace are even more important to them and to us. Authority should be given by law to provide them, at their request, with engineering advisers for the construction of roads and bridges.
A favorable report from the Department of Agriculture, and from the Director of the Budget on an identical bill, S. 1718, Seventieth Congress, are contained in the following letters:
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
Washington, D. C., January 27, 1928. Hon. GEORGE H. MOSES, Chairman Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads,
United States Senate. DEAR SENATOR: Further reference is made to letter of January 4 from the clerk to your committee transmitting a copy of S. 1718 for the information of the department and such suggestions concerning the subject matter of the bill as the department might wish to make.
This bill would authorize the President to detail engineers of the Bureau of Public Roads of this department to assist the Governments of Latin American Republics in highway matters. It is believed that the purpose of the bill is very commendable. All of the Latin American Republics have engineers highly trained in the technique of road building, but few of them have had the opportunity of obtaining practical experience in carrying on any considerable program of highway construction and maintenance. Timely and valuable assistance, therefore, may be rendered these countries by the United States by furnishing advice and assistance to help their own engineers and highway officials supplement their theory of highway building, with information as to the practical operations involved in properly designing highways and bridges and in the economic handling of materials and equipment in their construction. Such assistance can be rendered only by men who have had large experience in actually handling the details of the necessary operations. It is believed that the assignment of engineers in accordance with the provisions of the bill would make available to the Latin American countries the experience acquired by our own engineers during the last 15 to 20 years from intensive road building which has been in progress in this country. It is further believed that the detail of experienced engineers in the manner proposed by the bill would serve to stimulate and cement a more friendly relationship and a better understanding with our sister Republics of the North American Continent. Furthermore, it is not believed that any additional appropriation would be necessary to enable the department to make the necessary detail of engineers for the first year at least, unless a larger demand than is anticipated for such details should be made, provided the department should be authorized to use for that purpose the administrative funds available under the Federal highway act. The department, therefore, would recommend favorable action on the bill. Sincerely,
W. M. JARDINE, Secretary. Submitted to the Bureau of the Budget, pursuant to Circular No. 49 of that bureau, and returned to the Department of Agriculture under date of January 25, 1928, with the advice that the legislation proposed in S. 1718 is not in conflict with the financial program of the President:
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
BUREAU OF Public Roads,
Washington, D. C., February 25, 1928. Memorandum re 8. 1718, a bill by Senator Oddie to authorize the President to
detail engineers of the Bureau of Public Roads of the Department of Agricul. ture to assist the governments of the Latin American Republics in highway matters:
(1) A report recommending favorable action on this bill was forwarded by the department to the chairman of the Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads of the Senate, on January 27, 1928. The report of the department carried the indorsement of the Bureau of the Budget.
2) The bill is in line with the recommendation of the President.
(3) Chapter 334, acts of the Sixty-ninth Congress, first session, authorizes the President to detail officers and enlisted men of the United States Army, Navy, and Marine Corps to assist the governments of Latin American Republics in military and naval matters. This bill was approved May 19, 1926, copy attached.
(4) The proposed measure, S. 1718, would only authorize the President to detail engineers to assist the governments of other Republics of the Western Hemisphere in highway matters, in the manner now provided for detailing officers and enlisted men to assist in military and naval matters.
(5) The Department of Agriculture has received in the past, requests for assistance in highway matters with which it has not been able to comply, or even make satisfactory recommendations. It would be of no assistance to any other government to detail engineers except those of the highest qualifications and broadest experience in the handling of highway administration, and the men best fitted are those ranking high in the organizations of the Federal and State Governments. Because of the large program of highway work now under way in the United States, there is such a demand for engineers of the highest training and experience that they are not, except under unusual circumstances, available for employment by the foreign governments. It would be possible, however, to detach such engineers from active duty for a limited period for assignment to the official personnel of other governments, were these men to understand that upon their return they would resume their positions and would not have lost an opportunity for advancement because of this foreign service.
(6) No enduring system of roads, or any other system of public improvements, can be built and developed by the engineers of another country. The other republics of the Western Hemisphere have engineers of high technical training, but they have not as yet had the opportunity to gain experience with the unusual development of mechanical power and mechanical equipment applied to highway building in the degree that it is being used in this country. They have not had the same opportunity for experience in the development of an organization to administer a wide system of highways necessary to cover big areas. The fundamental necessity of constant and efficient maintenance is one of the principles which was most difficult to learn and to put into effect in this country. It is one of the most valuable principles that can be transplanted by the right type of engineers to our sister republics.
(7) This Nation can not keep itself apart from highway development in the other countries of Mexico, Central and South America. Its nationals are now actively engaged in a variety of ways in matters intimately connected with the development and utilization of highways. Many of these relationships are mutually desirable. The situation, however, is not free from many undesirable aspects tending to destroy confidence and promote in place of friendship between the United States and these other countries a lack of confidence, and even much ill will. Nor is this ill will unjustified by some of the situations which have developed. But, on the other hand, lack of understanding is a more fertile cause of lack of friendship than any other.
(8) In 1925 the delegation on the part of the United States to the First Pan American Road Congress held at Buenos Aires had conferences with the presidents and highway officials of the principal governments of Central and South America. Without exception their attitude was one of eagerness to extend and develop improved highways throughout the individual countries. Their attitude was highly typical of the attitude of officials similarly placed in this country before the present tremendous program of highway building began. With such an attitude prevalent throughout these countries, the United States now has the opportunity to undertake a highly constructive purpose which has the possibility of cementing friendships through service, of helping to promote peace through easier policing of the countries by reason of adequate highways, and of assisting in the improvement of economic and social conditions by reason of more adequate transportation.
(9) The greatest assistance the United States can extend to the other Republics is in helping to improve transportation conditions. While the proposed measure is only one of the means to this end, it will be a highly effective one over a term Respectfully submitted.
Tuos. H. MacDONALD,
Chief of Bureau. SR-71-2-VOL 2- -5
The bill referred to in the foregoing quotation is as follows:
(Public-No. 247—69TH CONGRESS)
(S. 1480) AN ACT TO authorize the President to detail officers and enlisted men of the United States Army, Navy,
and Marine Corps to assist the Governments of the Latin American Republics in military and naval matters
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States be, and hereby is, authorized, upon application from the foreign governments concerned, and whenever in his discretion the public interests render such a course advisable, to detail officers and enlisted men of the United States Army, Navy, and Marine Corps to assist the Governments of the Republics of North America, Central America, and South America and of the Republics of Cuba, Haiti, and Santo Domingo, in military and naval matters: Provided, That the officers and enlisted men so detailed be, and they are hereby, authorized to accept from the government to which detailed officers and such compensation and emoluments thereunto appertaining as may be first approved by the Secretary of War or by the Secretary of the Navy, as the case may be: Provided, further, That while so detailed such officers and enlisted men shall receive, in addition to the compensation and emoluments allowed them by such governments, the pay and allowances whereto entitled in the United States Army, Navy, and Marine Corps and shall be allowed the same credit for longevity, retirement, and for all other purposes that they would receive if they were serving with the forces of the United States.
Approved May 19, 1926.
In addition to the indorsement of the Secretary of Agriculture and the Bureau of the Budget of the proposed legislation, the following letters have been received from Hon. Thomas H. MacDonald, Chief of the United States Bureau of Public Roads; Dr. L. S. Rowe, Director-General of the Pan-American Union; and Mr. Pyke Johnson, of the National Automobile Chamber of Commerce, in behalf of this bill. The bill also has the full indorsement of other organizations in this country interested in international road matters.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
BUREAU OF Public Roads,
Washington, D. C., March 31, 1928. Hon. TASKER ODDIE,
United States Senate. DEAR SENATOR ODDIE: The proposed bill providing for sending engineers to Latin Ameridan countries is necessary to supplement other proposed legislative action, to make possible carrying into effect resolutions adopted by the recent Pan American Congress, and to place the United States in a position to render assistance in highway matters which it has not been able to do in the past.
It is not proposed to send engineers from this country for any long detail to other countries and the salary provision is necessary under the circumstances. Highway engineers have their opportunity in the United States, not in foreign countries, now. To send the type of men who are necessary and only a few would be required) the Government must be in a position to send its own employees under orders. The most desirable engineers, in general, will not be available otherwise. These men will have to maintain, if married, establishments in both countries, or else be put to the very considerable expense of moving at short intervals.
The provision for payment of salaries is exactly the same as now prevails in the legislation providing for detail of Army engineers to foreign countries, except that Army, Navy, and Marine Corps officers in general are much higher paid than are engineers in the employ of the Government, but in no case is the provision an unreasonable one.
It is believed that this legislation is in line with the President's recommendation that we in the United States do everything possible to assist the other nations of this continent in highway development.
The Department of Agriculture indorses this legislation but does not desire it without the salary provision in the measure. Very truly yours,
Thos. H. MacDONALD,
Chief of Bureau.
THE DIRECTOR GENERAL PAN AMERICAN UNION,
Washington, D, C., March 3, 1928. Hon. TASKER L. ODDIE,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR: I understand that the measure providing for the appointment of highway engineers for service in those Latin American countries that may request the assistance of such engineers, will shortly come before the committee.
I hope that this measure will receive the favorable consideration of the committee and that it will also receive the approval of Congress. The Pan American movement rests on the basis of mutual helpfulness and cooperation between the Republics of the American Continent and on the principle of having the benefit of the experience of each placed at the disposal of all the Republics. I feel that the adoption of this measure will constitute a real service to the cause of Pan Americanism, inasmuch as it will place at the disposition of all the other Republics the experience of the highway engineers of the United States. I beg to remain, my dear Senator, Most sincerely yours,
L. S. RowE.
NATIONAL AUTOMOBILE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,
Washington, D. C., March 2, 1928. Hon. TASKER L. ODDIE,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR ODDIE: I am directed by Mr. Roy D. Chapin, president of the National Automobile Chamber of Commerce, to inform you that at the last meeting of the board of directors of that organization a strong resolution was passed indorsing the principle contained in your bill to authorize the President of the United States to send engineering advisers to the countries of Latin America.
In the discussion which preceded the adoption of this resolution, the point was made that nothing could be done by the United States which would be of more value to sound highway development in the countries of the Pan American Union than to place at their disposal the experience and information which this country has acquired during the past quarter of a century in highway work.
Our people believe that the consulting advice which could be given through the United States Bureau of Public Roads will be of immeasurable value in all phases of highway development, and they are hopeful that early action can be had upon the measure because of the very definite results which they expect it to bring, both in good will and from an economic point of view.
A further indorsement of your measure on behalf of the automotive industry is contained in the appearance made by Mr. A. J. Brosseau, chairman of the highway committee, at the recent hearings of the Committee on Roads in the House. At that time, too, the American Association of State Highway Officials and the American Road Builders Association gave this proposal their cordial support, as I am sure you will find every responsible group interested in international highway relations will do. I am, sir, sincerely,
PYKE JOHNSON. O