• U.S.


2 minute read

To move personnel and supplies, the Federal Government annually spends $3 billion, or about 5% of its 1954-55 budget. Is the job well done, or is a lot of money being wasted? Last week the Hoover commission’s report, based on the findings of its task force on transportation, announced that at least $150 million a year is wasted. Furthermore, the 17-man group, headed by Perry M. Shoemaker, president of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, said that the Government should stop competing with private shippers. Some “horrible” examples of waste:

¶ The Air Force flew dog food to Okinawa, “probably setting a world’s record” for the cost of dog food.

¶ The Defense Department spends $250 million a year moving household goods of military personnel back and forth across the seas. It would cost much less, said the commission, to provide basic household goods overseas.

¶ The Government ships 6,000 private automobiles a month abroad. The commission suggests that owners should pay for such transportation or be able to rent cars from Government-run pools.

¶ The Air Force spent $481,400,000 in the year ending June 30, 1954 to operate “at least three airlines” over routes that parallel U.S. commercial airlines. If private international airlines had got 25% of the passenger volume and 50% of the mail, the commission estimated, the Government could have cut their subsidies by almost 88%. The commission also found that 85% of all Military Sea Transport Service shipment “could be carried in commercial ships.”

To cut waste and get the Government out of competition with private services, the commission suggested that the Defense Department appoint a director of transportation, turn over the rest of the Government’s transportation operations (except mail and security materials) to the General Services Administration.

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