THIS REVIEW of the origin, development and outlook of The Port of New York Authority has stressed the financial aspects of the Authority's history and plans because fiscal capacity and credit have been such basic prerequisites to progress and accomplishment. But it has sought also to show that the Port Authority is not merely a successful agency for constructing and operating public works that can be made to pay their way through service charges, but an increasingly effective instrumentality for the unified planning, protection and development of a vast and unusually complex metropolitan region.
The Port Authority was created by the States of New York and New Jersey in the Compact of 1921 to help secure "a better coordination of the terminal, transportation and other facilities of commerce" for the port of New York. Its first assignment was the final preparation for the legislatures of the Comprehensive Plan for the development of the port region; and research and planning for the unification of this great, bi-state, metropolitan area have continued to be one of its major functions. The Port Authority was also charged with the responsibility for protecting and advancing the commercial interests of the Port District by making recommendations to the two legislatures and to Congress, by petitioning any public body having jurisdiction in the District, by intervening in any proceeding affecting the commerce of the port, and by consulting with federal, state and municipal officials concerning such matters as highway, port and harbor improvements. The assiduous but unostentatious activities of the Authority along these lines have been among its most valuable contributions to the area's economic well-being.
But in addition to being entrusted with planning and protectional functions, the Port Authority was given extraordinarily broad powers to purchase, construct, lease and operate any terminal or transportation