'Fred, I part company with you here'
A word here for the unheadlined Reagan appointees who came out against bribery while one of their number drew headlines like: ''Bribes defended by ICC member'' and ''ICC commissioner calls bribes 'free market at work.' ''Skip to next paragraph
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The headlines referred to comments by Frederic Andre reported over the weekend from a transcript of a closed meeting of the Interstate Commerce Commission last fall. Known as a foe of trucking regulation, Mr. Andre was quoted on bribes in trucking as just discounts or rebates to get around market ''rigidities'' imposed by the government; on government rate fixing as worse than a private conspiracy to fix rates; on the ICC's ''greatest function'' as its granting of antitrust immunity to surface transportation - an immunity Congress is phasing out.
It was all part of a philosophical discussion, said another commissioner with a laugh. But the White House was wise to take it seriously enough to prevent any confusion. A spokesman immediately said of the Andre transcript: ''His views do not reflect the views of the administration. I would point out that a number of the other Republican appointees on the commission disagreed with him.''
When Mr. Andre defended bribes, one ICC member said: ''Fred, I part company with you here. I believe it is absolutely wrong.''
How could any other view even be floated by an official given the public trust? President Reagan's people should know that his zeal for lifting regulations does not mean repealing a sense of right and wrong.