Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

I am happy to appear today in support of H.R. 11206, a bill which I introduced in order to provide a uniform period of daylight saving time.

This bill would simply have all daylight saving time begin at 2 a.m. on the last Sunday of April and continue until 2 a.m. on the last Sunday of October each year. The cities and States which have elected to go on daylight saving time would all shift on and off daylight saving time on the same day.

This bill is a straightforward measure designed to eliminate needless confusion. The need for standardization is apparent in this era of interlocking State and regional economies. It is apparent in this era of jet travel and continental superhighways. It is apparent when many people work and live in different localities and even different States.

Some local authorities have found themselves faced with a dilemma in deciding on the effective dates of daylight saving. In my own State of Minnesota, Duluth was torn between starting daylight saving with other Minnesota cities at the end of May or earlier when its twin port of Superior, Wis., changed.

Other cities bordering neighboring States and Canada altered their daylight savings period to conform with their neighbors across the border. While confusion within these communities was thus minimized, the fact is that these cities clearly acted in violation of State law. Because of the lack of time uniformity local communities have undertaken the dangerous precedent of violating State law.

The virtues of local autonomy are many, but to the businessman or tourist, the varying dates of changeover must seem idle caprice. For example, in the Midwest the traveler is faced with the following situation: Chicago observes central daylight time from the last Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October. Minneapolis is on daylight saving time from the first Sunday in May to after Labor Day. Milwaukee, which is situated between Chicago and Minneapolis, changes over to daylight time the same time as Chicago but returns to standard time on a different date from both Minneapolis and Chicago.

The common carrier serving these cities must take account of five different shifts in time. The traveler who wants to make a train or an appointment during the spring or autumn months must master both the latest time schedule and his temper. Similar situations exist throughout the country.

Many States, including my own, are interested in promoting travel and tourism. I suggest that eliminating annoying time differences both within and between States would help this objective. Certainly foreign visitors must be dismayed by the frequent differences of time in what is supposed to be one great Nation.

As it is now, no one governmental agency is ever sure what the latest daylight saving changeover date is on a community by community basis. Local and State legislation frequently revises dates.

The transportation industry's committee for time uniformity has therefore tried to provide data on current practice. According to their recent survey, of the 29 States observing daylight saving time on both a statewide and local option basis, all but 5 States switch to daylight saving time the last Sunday in April. For this reason, I have used this most common starting date in my bill even though most of my own State of Minnesota currently observes a later date.

The most frequently used date to return to standard time is also the date contained in this bill, the fourth Sunday in October—though a wide variety of dates exist. Communities in Iowa, for instance, returned to standard time last year on six different dates ranging from August 25 to October 27.

There seems to be no good reason for all of this variance. Undoubtedly many States and communities chose their changeover dates without any real awareness of the need for uniformity. Nevertheless, the need does exist. We need to correct current practices and prevent further confusion in the future.

Standardization of daylight saving time would result in cost savings to airlines, buslines, and railroads as the need to change schedules would become less frequent. It would eliminate some annoying time confusion for the traveler, whether he is going by automobile or public transportation. Broadcasting and communications in general would benefit.

My bill would provide for a standard 6 months of daylight saving time for those States and communities which utilize daylight saving. It would not impose any unwanted change to daylight saving on those sections of our country which prefer standard time. It would only amend the existing Standard Time Act, enacted in 1918, to provide for a uniform period of daylight saving time.

May I emphasize that my interest is in uniformity. The beginning and ending dates proposed in my bill reflect the practices of the majority of the States. I might suggest a possible variation the committee could explore: Require uniformity in the dates but provide that the dates for beginning and the dates for ending would be those which a majority of the States observing daylight saving time favored at any given time as indicated by resolutions adopted by the respective legislatures and maintained on file with Congress or the executive branch.

Thus, for example, the bill could provide for the beginning and ending dates now observed by the majority of States having some daylight saving time, but provide that if a majority of such States should favor by resolution a different beginning or ending date, then upon appropriate certification the next period of daylight saving would begin or end on such revised date. I do not urge such a provision, but merely suggest its possible use if there are many who wish to preserve a maximum of State determination while retaining uniformity.

In my own State of Minnesota, a recent statewide poll showed that a majority of State residents favor congressional action to set uniform time limits for all States choosing to go on daylight saving time.

Minnesotans 20 years ago favored the retention of standard time throughout the year. Only in 1957 did majority support for daylight saving time emerge. The subsequent confusion within Minnesota over starting and terminating dates resulted in a special session of the legislature to set the dates in 1959. To this internal confusion has now been added the inconvenience and illegal practices of local communities in choosing their own starting times.

As a result, Minnesota residents are asking the Federal Government to set a uniform time period for daylight saving. This is true for both those who support and those who oppose having daylight saving

in Minnesota at all. I ask Mr. Chairman, that the results of this poll as published in the Minneapolis Tribune on June 14, 1964, be made a part of this record. Mr. Loxg. Without objection it is so ordered. (The statement referred to follows:)

MINNESOTA POLL: 58 PERCENT SAY CONGRESS SHOULD DECIDE DATES FOR DAYLIGHT

SAVING

(Copyright 1964, Minneapolis Star & Tribune Co.) Minnesotans are divided on whether to start daylight saving time (DST) in late April or in late May, but a majority of State residents think it would be better if Congress set uniform limits for all States who use it.

In a statewide survey by the Minneapolis Tribune's Minnesota poll, 58 percent of the people interviewed favor having Congress establish uniform dates for daylight time.

More than a third of the men and women (35 percent) think each State should make that decision rather than Congress. Seven percent either offer other suggestions, such as dropping daylight time altogether, or have no opinion.

On the question of when to start advanced time, 43 percent of the people prefer late April and 45 percent favor late May.

The switchever to DST in Minnesota was complicated this year because some communities like Duluth and Winona started 4 weeks ahead of the official date.

That development led Representative Donald Fraser of Minneapolis to introduce a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives calling for daylight time to begin each year on the last Sunday in April and continue until the last Sunday in October. His bill would apply just to DST States.

Interviewing in the survey was done in late May, right at the time most Minnesotans were advancing their clocks ahead 1 hour. A representative sampling of 600 men and women was asked :

“On the whole, do you like or dislike having daylight saving time during the summer months?" The replies:

[In percent)

[blocks in formation]

As has been indicated in several past Minnesota poll surveys, strongest support for DST is voiced by people in the 21 to 39 age range (73 percent like it), and by residents of Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth (also 73 percent).

Twice as many farm residents dislike fast time (67 percent do) as like it (30 percent).

People also were asked:

"Minnesota officially begins daylight saving time each year on the fourth Sunday in May. In many parts of the United States, it begins in late April. If you had to choose, would you prefer to have Minnesota go on daylight time in late April, or wait until late May?" Men and women fail to see eye-to-eye on this question:

(In percent)

[blocks in formation]

Six out of ten adults who like daylight time (61 percent) favor starting it in late April; a higher proportion who dislike it (64 percent) prefer keeping the late May starting date.

The final question in the series was:

"Which do you think is better---that Congress decide when daylight time should start and end for all States that use it, or that each State decide that for itself?" The responses of different types of State residents:

(In percent)

[blocks in formation]

Mr. FRASER. The Federal Government is responsible for the wellbeing of all its citizens. It is concerned with economic waste wherever it appears. We cannot aíľord to waste the resources of our country, particularly when the cause of this waste can easily be corrected. For this reason, I have sponsored this legislation. I urge its immediate adoption to correct current anomalies and to provide one future uniform daylight saving period.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Long. Thank you, Mr. Fraser. You don't have any doubt in your mind but what if a uniform system were adopted it would remove the practices in some of these communities of choosing their own starting times, do you?

Mr. Fraser. I don't believe that it would necessarily end the desire to do this, but I think as a practical matter it would eliminate it because of the fact that there was one national uniform standard for daylight saving:

For example, part of the problem in our own community is reflected in the fact that Minneapolis and St. Paul, the metropolitan center of our State, is located only 30 miles from Wisconsin, and Wisconsin has different beginning and ending dates. Duluth and Superior are twin ports, one in Wisconsin and one in Minnesota, and both States observe daylight saving.

If there were uniform dates then there would be no problem of this kind. On the western border of Minnesota where we border South and North Dakota, if those States elected not to go on daylight saving time there might still be that urge for a community right across the border to want to conform to their neighboring areas, but I think that once it was settled that there was going to be a national pattern you should observe it. You should either go on it or not go on it. Then there would be no problem.

As a matter of fact, I might just add the problem even then would be limited to the choice of not going on at all or going on, and we preserve this autonomy in our bill. We don't require that a whole State go on. We only say if you go on, then you should go on at that certain date.

As I reflect on your question, I do believe it would eliminate just about all of the problems.

Mr. Long. Mr. Van Deerlin.

Mr. VAN DEERLIN. Thank you. Mr. Fraser, my esteemed colleague, represents a State in which I once worked for 3 years and represents some communities where it seems to me that daylight saving time would be rather an academic thing, anyhow. I remember Mark Twain's definition of Duluth as a place where they have 11 months of winter and 1 month of poor sledding. Why do you stop short of complete uniformity in your proposal ? Why would it still be convenient for North and South Dakota not to be on daylight saving time right across the border from Minnesota, which is on daylight saving time!

Mr. FRASER. I think that the opposition to daylight saving time as we saw it in our State tended to come from the rural communities. It has been primarily in the metropolitan areas that we found a demand for it. In the Dakotas we find a largely rural State and if the people of that State would prefer not to go on to daylight saving time I don't see any compelling reason to require them to do so, so I would limit the uniformity only to saying that if they did it, then they must observe this date.

Mr. VAN DEERLIX. Is there not still some inconvenience to railroads and tourists traveling through States and getting this seemingly unnecessary time readjustment?

Mr. FRASER. Well, there are some inconveniences, but I would say that if we were to pass the limited version that I am suggesting we would have cured 75 to 90 percent of the problems, and I think it is presented on a much more tolerable basis. Frankly, in terms of trying to get a bill through Congress, to enlist the support of those Members whose communities have no interest in daylight saving, I think it might be a formidable task to compel all States to go on daylight saving, so it may be a matter of attempting to reach for that which is within reach.

Mr. Vax DEERLIN. Because this would not seem to be a subject matter in which the emotional response to a State's rights would be especially strong. Would you agree?

Mr. FRASER. The resort to that argument I think may be made any time it serves the cause of the person who is in opposition.

Mr. VAN DEERLIN. Yes, but here of course is an area such as the minting of money, or standard weights and measures, rather than great sociological change.

Mr. FRASER. Yes. The point you make is, I think, very true, that this does not involve fundamental social changes in our society or community.

Mr. VAN DEERLIN. Except perhaps to farmers. I notice that the Minnesota poll gives a breakdown by sex, that men and women fail to see eye to eve, and I haven't read it closely enough to know whether women would stay in bed an hour longer or get up an hour earlier. But you don't have any separate record of how farmers feel about this. You do not speak for the farmers of Minnesota, I know, representing the constituency that you do in Minneapolis, but has farmers' thinking changed on this in recent years, do you know? They have been pretty solidly against daylight saving time, haven't they?

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »