They really exist. Two members of the Civil Aeronautics Board who have policies of neither granting interviews nor making speeches appeared yesteray at the CAB's first open meeting under the Sunshine Act.
They talk too. All five board members participated in the 25 minute meeting, including G. Joseph Minetti, who has been on the board for 20 years and hasn't made a speech or given an interview in 10; and Lee R. West, who adopted the same policy shortly after coming to the board in 1973.
Also participating in the discussions was Richard J. O'Melia, who has in the past exhibited a certain shyness in dealing with reporters though he has no formal policy.
They talked, but not the language of the average person. The language of lawyers was used at the board meeting with words like "precedent," "presumption," "exemption," "jurisdiction" and "rebuttable" most frequently heard. After the meeting, one reporter was overhead asking a board member, "what happened?"
The one item on the agenda was whether the board shouldallow two California carriers currently operating solely within the state to operate charters across state lines.
The staff suggested that the board could not approve the California airlines' applications to operate interstate charters because other airlines regulated by the CAB were willing and able to perform those same services.
West asked whether it was in the public interest to turn down the applications when they appeared to promise lower air fares for consumers. "I think that's what the whole regulatory reform movement is all about all this time," Bruce E. Cunningham, director of the CAB's Bureau of opeating rights, replied. "The act (the Federal Aviation Act under which the CAB operates) says the board 'will encourage and develop' certificated carriers, and don't worry about the rest," he said.
"It may not be in the public interest, and most of us would agree that it is not, but we're still working under the '58 act."
The board decided it would have to turn down the applications, making it clear it would consider requests for approval of individual flights.
Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange meeting also met in the open for the first time, and the discussion was of a highly technical nature.
Earlier this week, at the first major agency meeting since the Sunshine Act took effect, members of the Interstate Commerce Commission, the nation's oldest federal regulatory agency, devoted all of their initial open meeting - about 45 minutes - to discussion of the Sunshine Act itself and took no formal action.
The only discussion of the Sunshine Act at the CAB's meeting was in brief welcoming remarks by Chairman John E. Robson, who noted that the law had greatly improved the "sartorial presentation" of the board. Since photographers were barred from the meeting - as they were at the ICC - no pictures are available.