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dead line which has been set? In other words, we have definite restrictions placed upon us by the Congress itself.

It is not going to do any good to hear 60 witnesses if we close the hearings on the day Congress adjourns.

The CHAIRMAN. I think we should go ahead for a few more days and see what develops.

Is Congressman Wheeler, of Georgia, present?
Mr. WHEELER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Wheeler, of Georgia.

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STATEMENT OF HON. W. M. WHEELER, A REPRESENTATIVE IN

CONGRESS FROM THE EIGHTH DISTRICT OF GEORGIA

Mr. WHEELER. Mr. Chairman, in the interest of saving time, I would like to say that I appreciate the opportunity you have given me, bụt in the interest of saving time, if I may be allowed to do so, I would just as soon submit a statement for the record, if that is permissible.

I wish to testify with particular regard to the public situation presently obtaining in Brunswick, Ga., which is somewhat of an example. With the Committee's permission I will submit a statement sometime within the next 2 hours.

The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, your statement will be inserted in the record.

Mr. WHEELER. Thank you, sir.
(The statement above referred to is as follows:)

1

STATEMENT OF HON. W. M. (Don) WHEELER OF GEORGIA ON THE TAFT-ELLENDER

WAGNER HOUSING BILL

1

Mr. Chairman, under leave to extend my remarks, I would like to again thank you for the opportunity of bringing to the attention of the committee certain observations relative to the public housing feature of the TEW bill in particular and to the whole bill in general.

Although I do not claim to be an expert in the field of housing, I do believe an account of my experience with public housing already existing in Brunswick, Ga., will point up some of the problems that are to be anticipated in any general public housing legislation. In the city of Brunswick, Ga., a city with a population of approximately 20,000 people, there exists approximately 2,100 public housing units which were built under authority of the Lanham Act.

In spite of the fact that most of the housing units in Brunswick are of masonry construction and are more permanent than 80 percent of the residential (private) units in the city, the Federal bureau which administers the housing program has declared them to be of a temporary nature which means that they must be demolished. This action has been taken by the FPHA with what appears to be a total disregard of the fact that a serious housing shortage currently obtains in the city of Brunswick. This housing shortage has recently been sharply accentuated by the city having obtained title to a large shipbuilding plant which was built there during World War II. Since acquiring title to this plant the city has been successful in bringing in new industry in sufficient amount as to cause a large influx of new workers who need adequate housing facilities.

While a Government bureau with its slide rule and paper knowledge of local conditions declares 2,100 housing units to be of temporary nature which, under present law, requires the demolition of these units, need for the utilization of these units is growing every day. It seems foolish for the Government to spend millions of dollars building more public housing units while hundreds of these units are empty and unused. Is there an assurance forthcoming that the public housing proposed by the TEW bill will be any better administered than the public housing now existing? Will not the problems existing in the form of these hundreds of units in Brunswick, Ga., be multiplied in direct proportion to the number of new projects built and administered by the Federal Government?

In citing the situation existing in Brunswick, I am neither trying to maximize or minimize the housing problem existing in the country as a whole. I am merely using this local situation as an example of some problems which could very well be magnified by applying the public housing principle to the whole country. Since I am using a local situation as an example it might be worthy of note to say that the slum-clearance feature of public housing has proven a failure in Brunswick since the disposition of masonry units there seems to have been made with little or no regard to slum clearance. Large numbers of these units have been demolished in the section of the city which is considered a slum area while hundreds have been left standing empty and unused on choice building lots in the better residential sections.

While the Congress is studying the housing problem in the light of proposed new building it might be well to ponder the possibility of making proper and equitable disposition of housing already built with tax money. It certainly does not seem to be the better part of prudence for the Federal Government to go into a city like Brunswick, Ga., and build new public housing until such time as a more equitable disposition is made of that which has already been built. It seems to me that proper disposition of the public housing in cities like Brunswick could be made by simply amending existing law in such a way as to allow option on the part of the landowner as to whether the buildings would be left on his land when it is returned to him. If the owner elected to retain the housing he could be required to pay a nominal amount for title and then the question as to whether the housing is of such nature as to meet zoning requirements could be determined by the local municipal government. In this manner grievously scarce building material could be conserved and many local housing problems could be solved. The landowner being charged only a nominal amount for the housing which is on the land being returned to him can be justified by remembering the fact that the Government has paid the landowner only a nominal amount for the use of his land since it was commandeered at the beginning of the war.

If the Government is to proceed on the premise that it is within the bounds of law and equity that one man be taxed in order that another man be furnished a home we are not far from the place where Government can divide the land among the people. Have our American people been coddled by a paternalistic government to the extent that they must look to Washington for the furnishing of a roof over their heads? If we are to take the Federal Government further into an invasion of the field of free enterprise then let us do it in such a way as to retain some local responsibility by setting public housing up on somewhat the same basis that Federal aid is granted for the building of highways. This can be done on a matching basis in such a way that local communities will have the right to say whether housing projects are to be built and if they are built will have the responsibility of administering such projects.

If the TEW bill takes such form as to exclude the building of farm homes it will then be pure class or sectional legislation and certainly should not become the law of your land and mine. There is grave question as to the advisability of it becoming. law in any form but if it is to be then let us make it as fair and equitable as possible.

(The following statement was submitted for insertion in the record :) STATEMENT OF HON. ELLSWORTH B. FOOTE, MEMBER OF CONGRESS, THIRD DISTRICT

OF CONNECTICUT

The Joint Committee on Housing established pursuant to congressional resolution, conducted exhaustive hearings in practically every State of the Union and has rendered its report. In it housing is widely recognized as one of the most pressing domestic problems confronting the country. Whatever differences as to the solution of the problem may have existed, all witnesses appearing before that committee were in almost uniform agreement as to the gravity of the situation. There is no substitute for a roof over one's head and the character of family life, the conditions under which our children grow up and assume the obligations of citizens, the general attitude of the people toward their home and Government, are determined by the character of the home and the environment in which they live. The conditions under which thousands of American families have been obliged to live in recent years presents a problem which cannot be ignored. In 1932 the late President Roosevelt stated that one-third of the country was ill-housed. During the years of his administration, construction of new homes did not proceed so that it in any way met the demand, and with the coming of the war years, practically all building of private homes was suspended. The situation has been aggravated by the influx of thousands of persons into defense industrial areas during the war with the result that many of these persons decided to remain where they had temporarily gone. In the State of Connecticut alone, its population has increased 250,000 during the past several years and this increase is concentrated in certain defense industrial areas such as New Haven, Hartford, New Britain, and Bridgeport. While the housing problem existed to a degree prior to World War II, it was accentuated by the war and therefore, is in effect, a problem created in part by the national emergency and is a problem with which the Federal Government has the duty to deal.

It seems to have been demonstrated that there is no way whatever in which the low economic section of the population, which is in most urgent need, can secure relief from the present appalling housing difficulties except through a Federally subsidized program such as provid. d by the Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill. In the city of New Haven alone, there are applications in for 1,400 units of this type. A national housing bill has passed the United States Senate on two occasions. It seeks to stimulate the building of 15,000,000 new homes by 1958. It provides for Government subsidies of 500,000 dwelling units for the Nation's lowest income families within 5 years. Those eligible for tenancy in such units would be families which cannot afford to pay more than $25 a month rent. The public housing provision represents only 10 percent of the entire project, although it seems that 100 percent opposition to the bill is based upon it by some persons. The remaining bill provides investment rental projects. These would be encouraged through legislation insuring 90 percent mortgage loans and yield insurance. These proposals can be amended to give builders of rental housing the same tax incentive that was given to manufacturers during the war. Through vast amortization, building will be stimulated with a minimum of red tape. This means that the investor would not be taxed on the additional profits that he puts back into the project through amortization.

In 1947 an estimated 835,100 new permanent family dwelling units were completed or almost double the 437,800 such units completed in 1946. The year 1947 in the home building field was the largest in number of permanent units completed in over 20 years and approached the rate of activity reached in the building boom of the middle twenties.

I fully realize, however, that the majority of the units constructed were not of a type which the ordinary veteran or person of moderate income could afford to rent or purchase and that there is a great shortage of housing in this field. The difficulty seems to be that private industry, with the present high cost of construction, cannot afford to build houses in great volume which the majority of the people now seeking homes can afford to rent or purchase. Certainly the private builder cannot be expected to build a house, then sell it at a loss or rent it at a figure which does not give him a fair return on his investment. That being so, the question of Federal legislation and aid comes into the picture. In view of the many subsidies that are now authorized by law to interests throughout the country, it would seem that the Federal Government can afford to enter further into the subsidy field to the extent of relieving the critical housing shortage, for it has well been said that “there is no substitute for a roof over one's head."

Some of the provisions of the Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill have already been enacted into law. That is no reason, however, why the remaining portion of the bill should not be passed.

The House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, on Wednesday of this week, reported out an amendment to the GI bill of rights known as the so-called American Legion Homestead Act. This bill provides housing for veterans and the chairlady of the committee states that the program is self-liquidating and will provide low-cost housing and rentals for veterans. I am indeed glad to hear that such action has been taken by the Veterans' Affairs Committee and will undoubtedly be good news to the various veterans' groups in Connecticut who called upon the Connecticut Congressmen in a delegation in March last, urging the passage of the Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill.

I urge upon the committee the importance of a housing bill being reported out so that it may be acted upon by the House before the Congress adjourns. The situation is urgent and critical which is further borne out by the report of the Joint Committee on Housing composed of Members of the House and Senate The people are demanding action and not further words.

The CHAIRMAN. Senator McCarthy.

Senator McCarthy is a member of the Join mmittee on H We are very happy to have you with us, Ser

STATEMENT OF HON. JOSEPH R. MCCARTHY, A SENATOR FROM

WISCONSIN

a

Senator McCARTHY. Thank you.

I might say, Mr. Chairman, that I had no particular desire to come over, but I have been requested, by at least three members of the committee to come over. They said they have some questions they would like to ask.

First, I would like to deal very briefly with some of the sections of the bill before you.

No. 17

Mr. SUNDSTROM. Might I interrupt you, Senator? I would like to say that as the vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Housing and as one of those who did a great deal of work, I am delighted that you are here. I think you were probably the hardest working member of our committee.

Senator McCARTHY. Thank you.

I might say, first, Mr. Chairman, as to the slum-clearance section of the bill now before you, that I think it is infinitely better than the slum-clearance provision of the old Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill.

As you know, the present section calls for an expenditure of roughly $500,000,000 over a period of years. The old Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill called for expenditures of $850,000,000. The present bill, which calls for payment by means of capital grant, rather than by the old system of a complicated bookeeping set-up which cost the citizens and the Federal Government a lot of money, is infinitely better.

I think you will accomplish more slum clearance with the half billion dollars in the present bill than would have been accomplished by the $850,000,000 in the old Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill.

As to what is called the farm housing section, I think that is improperly named—I might say that in the Senate those representing the various lines of thought—that is, Senator Taft, myself, Senator Flanders, and Senator Roberts—we all agreed that the farm-housing sections should not be included in the bill. We felt that that was the most badly drafted, most inadequately considered section of the bill, and, if we wanted to be of some assistance to the farmer, that we should give that particular subject more thought and authorized the Housing and Home Finance Agency to study the problem and recommend housing legislation to the next session of Congress.

Mr. KUNKEL. Senator, that section was put in on the floor of the Senate?

Senator McCARTHY. That was put in on the floor of the Senate with very few members present, and, incidentally, put in when I had laryngitis to the extent that I could not talk at all.

Mr. Brown. Why do you not think there is just as much need out in some rural sections of the country as in large cities?

Senator McCARTHY. I think there are some sections of the country where the need is very great.

Mr. Brown. Why leave them out?

Senator McCARTHY. Well, as I say, we met, and we have various lines of thought in the Senate on the problem.

There is one line of thought expressed very well by Senator Flanders. Another, pretty much along the same line, by Senator Taft. As you

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know, Senator Taft was one of the original sponsors of the original Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill.

We went into that in some detail. We have felt that that will not be of any substantial benefit, first of all, as far as solving the rural housing problem is concerned. Secondly, you must keep in mind that when you artificially stimulate the flow of scarce materials to the farming country you are taking those materials, of course, away from the congested areas in the cities. So that at this stage we must decide whether it is wise to stimulate the flow of the scarce materials away from the congested areas of the cities into the farming areas or not.

Your own Congressman Patman made a study of this rural housing problem. I have not heard him testify on it as yet, but I do not believe that he differs too greatly from the thought expressed by Senators Taft and Flanders and myself.

As I say, I would rather not go into that in detail, because there are other matters that I would like to go into in more detail. But suffice it to say that the various lines of thought have met and we all agreed unanimously that that should not be included in the bill, that we should authorize the Department of Agriculture and the Housing and Home Finance Agency to study the matter and recommend some good, workable rural housing legislation--rural housing legislation which would not be rural housing legislation in name only but which would actually be of some benefit to the rural areas.

Going on to what I consider perhaps one of the most acute problems, but not the greatest problem—the housing of your very lowest income group—as you know, there is a public housing section in the bill. I think it would be better to refer to that as a welfare housing section. We have had witnesses testify all the way from San Francisco to New York, all the way from New Orleans to St. Paul.

A lot of well-meaning people—very well-meaning people-came in and have graphically laid before us the problem of the very low income group, and they jumped from that

Mr. Brown. I take the position

Senator McCARTIIY. Could I finish my statement? Then I will answer any questions you want.

Mr. Brown. I thought you had finished. Excuse me.
Senator McCARTHY. No. I will be glad to answer questions later.

Those people jumped from the need of the very low income group to public housing. I frankly think that there is a place for welfare housing in our over-all housing picture. I do not believe public housing, as presently administered, helps that problem.

As you know, we have 190,000 public housing units in the country today. That is, not speaking of the temporary war housing—the Lanham Act housing.

I believe the people who set up that public housing program felt that they would be taking care of the very lowest income group-in other words, starting at the very bottom of the economic scale. However, there is an unwritten rule, apparently, to the effect that if a person is on relief-if a widow has four or five children, for example, and is receiving a widow's pension, she is to all intents barred from public housing, except a very small percentage of such people.

We offered an amendment in the Senate which I think was a good, sensible amendment-one which would make public housing available

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