From Pioneer Paths to Superhighways - The Texas Highway Department Blazes Texas Trails 1917-1968

Dan Moody to Hal Moseley, March 20, 1926

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Dan Moody to Hal Moseley, March 1926


Dan Moody
Attorney General   

March 20, 1926

Hon. Hal Moseley, Chairman,
State Highway Commission,
Austin, Texas.

Dear Mr. Moseley:

This is my first opportunity to acknowledge receipt of your
letter of 16th inst. replying to a letter addressed to  you under date
of March 4th.

It is evident that in more than one respect you misinterpreted the
purport of my former letter.  I stated then, and I repeat now, that “it is not
my desire or purpose to attempt to  dictate your course of action or in any
manner attempt to control the exercise of your lawful discretion.  It is, how-
ever, the duty of this Department to protect the public revenues, and I intend
to discharge that duty as best I can.”

I appreciate the fact that the Highway Commission is  charged with the
responsibility of construction of new highways and the maintenance of existing
highways;  and  so long as  that responsibility is faithfully discharged, and
the discretion reposed in  the Highway  Commission is honestly exercised, you
certainly need fear no interference from the Department of the Attorney General.

In my letter of March 4th, I reminded you of the testimony of engineers
formerly connected with the Highway Department to the effect that the work
performed by the American Road Company and Hoffman Construction Company was not,
in their judgment, necessary for the preservation of the roads upon which the
work  was done.  If the work of the American Road Company and Hoffman Construction
Company, the former operating in Central and Northeastern Texas, and the latter
in extreme West Texas, was necessary to preserve existing roads, many people
might wonder what was to become of the twelve to fifteen  thousand miles of des-
ignited highways that were not included in  either of those contracts.  Another
thing which might give many people concern is the question that, if this sur-
facing was necessary to preserve existing highways, what is to become of the
thousands of miles of highway not included in any of the contracts, while those
heretofore treated  are being given a second application of asphalt.      This question
is likely to exist especially since you were advised by your Highway Engineer,
according to his letter published in  today’s paper, that such second course
treatment was not needed at this time.  You are aware that without dispute the
testimony in  the American Road Company and  Hoffman Construction Company cases
showed that the contractors, and not the Commission, selected the roads which they
would treat.  Why should the Highway Commission surrender this discretionary
matter to interested contractors and permit them to decide the necessity of work
and where the work was to be done?

I further referred you to certain correspondence between the Chief
Engineer and the Bureau of Public Roads and one of his representatives in this
State discussing the  value and practicability of bituminous surface treatment
in Texas.  Your letter does not disclose a contrary attitude on the part of
the Federal Bureau.  On the contrary, it affirmatively appears that, as suggested

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Dan Moody to Hal Moseley, March 20, 1926. Attorney General to Mr. Moseley, 1925-1926, Texas Highway Department Records, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: July 23, 2019