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consideration to such recommendations as the Air Force submitted to the Appropriations Committee, or if there is any validity in these appropriation recommendations there is something substantially wrong with the proposal before us.

Would you care just to reflect on what these references are, Mr. Secretary

Secretary SYMINGTON. Yes. I saw the statements made by Mr. Hoover. Now, there is nobody that has more respect for ex-President Hoover than I have.

Senator (ain. Yes.

Secretary SYMINGTON. Presumably he got those statements from the subcommittee, the so-called Eberstadt report.

Senator Cain. This is taken from the Eberstadt report.

Secretary SYMINGTON. And I would say that Mr. Eberstadt's criticism in this case is equally inaccurate with a great many other criticisms he has made of the military.

Senator Cain. I see.

Secretary SYMINGTON. In this particular case, and this is a coincidence, because you and I have never discussed this before, I asked that the facts, the truth, with respect to those assertions, be given to me.

Senator Cain. And the only reason I have raised the question, Mr. Secretary, is to have you spread on the record what the facts are in your opinion.

Secretary SYMINGTON. Thank you. I will be very glad to do that. Although the Air Force does not build its own houses—they are built by the Army Corps of Engineers--nevertheless the information which apparently the Eberstadt committee gave to Mr. Hoover was totally inaccurate, both in fact and in interpretation, and I would like to put into the record, if I may, the answers to your questions.

You mentioned 910 units at $58,350.

Senator Cain. Would you pause for just one second ! Let me properly identify what I have read in order that your remarks can follow immediately thereafter . What I have read is a paragraph on page 21 of chapter V, volume 11, Task Force Report to the Hoover Commission, by the Committee on National Security, Mr. Ferdinand Eberstadt, chairman.

Secretary SYMINGTON. Well, when I saw what Mr. Hoover said in the paper I presumed Mr. Hoover got it from where you say now he did get it, and therefore

Senator Cain. The Air Force construction program as reflected in the 1950 budget.

Secretary SYMINGTON. I would like to read the reply to that, if I may, Senator, that was given to me by our people.

In the first place, this was not a budget request. It was a statement of requirements, which statement is still valid in the greater part. The costs were secured basically by normal business practice—bids from private contractors. To those bids were added the costs of constructing sewage and water and telephone systems in the Alaska Territory. Contractors' estimates, which apply only to the houses themselves and represent about 75 percent of the total costs, were made early in 1948 and were based on prevailing costs during 1946 and 1947.

The actual budget request was for slightly more than half the number of units, 581 instead of 910, and at a considerably reduced cost-$53,710 per unit in the Ladd Airfield and $44,800 in the Elmendorf area. The request was made based on priorities after the requirements had been studied and after the determination by the Secretary of Defense, the Bureau of the Budget, and the President as to the balanced needs of the services and as to what the national economy could support.

No explanation was made as to why the housing costs were more in Alaska, but the Senate Armed Services Committee stated in a report entitled "Interim Study on the Operation of Selective Service and Unification Acts,” referring specifically to the cost of housing in Alaska and other remote areas, and I quote:

Not only every nail and board would have to be shipped in, but the carpenters also would have to be imported. Consequently, the costs of individual units can be expected to far exceed the erection of equal facilities at home.

Also, no question was raised as to the need for housing. The need for bases in Alaska has been recognized by the Secretary of Defense, the President, and the Congress. The desirability of keeping families together has also been recognized. In that connection, in one group of 400 families we had 75 divorces, primarily because of lack of housing:

The facts on the present conditions in Alaska are that some 260 people are living in converted Quonset barracks, but are well off compared with about 750 more. These 750 are living in rooms rented at $5 a day, in trailers rented at $85 to $90 a month, and in houses rented up to $150 a month, and in wanigans, as they are called, which rent for between $75 and $100 a month. A wanigan is a shack built of building board and erected on skids. They measure 12 feet by 20 feet. Plumbing in any of the foregoing is an exception rather than a rule.

At this point I might say that I have a cattle ranch about 75 miles outside of Tucson, and in order to build what you call a normal house on that ranch, the costs between that and what it would cost to build a house in Tucson are very much higher after estimates. Of course, that is further multiplied by going to a remote situation like Alaska.

Now, I had a telegram from Secretary Royall on this subject on January 31, and would like to put in the record a couple of quotations in his telegram. He says, "I am really appalled at the inadequate housing facilities in Alaska." I do not think I should read something else he says about what we should do if we cannot improve it, because that should be considered classified. But General Bradley is on record as to what it would cost, I think, to get Alaska back if we lost it, and these costs in Alaska are based, as I presented here, on going in there and carrying everything, including workmen and goods, into such remote territories.

Senator Cain. One thing we are trying to get at is whether the proposed legislation will result in the housing which your Military Establishment wants, and as I have understood your position generally, it is that it wilí. Secretary SYMINGTON. Yes, in the zone of the interior primarily

. And as far as the Alaskan situation is concerned, I think we will have to accept Alaska primarily as a military problem, decide what Alaska means to us, and then go to work on that in our military construction budget.

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Senator Caix. Perhaps that is necessary. I am not qualified at the

. moment to say. But I am conscious of the fact that we have recently passed a housing bill to benefit Alaska particularly, and as a result of long hours of testimony an agreement was reached that the ceiling limit of the houses to be built in Alaska was to be $15,000.

Senator WHERRY. Will the Senator yield for a question?
Secretary SYMINGTON. There is an answer to that.

Senator Cain. But we would like to have all the answers. We are trying to get them.

Secretary SYMINGTON. If you build a house in a town in Alaska where you have, for example, a port, and you can ship out of, say, Seattle into this port, that is one thing. But then you build a base

Senator SPARKMAN. Out at Kiska, for instance.

Secretary SYMINGTON. Yes. In the first place, it is mighty hard, Senator, to get people who can build a house to undertake to go to such a base on any basis at all, without a tremendous premium.

Senator CAPEHART. Is it always intended that this housing will be rented but that no one will be given an opportunity to purchase it?

Secretary SYMINGTON. Are you talking about the bill now, Senator? Senator CAPEHART: Yes.

Secretary SYMINGTON. This is a rental situation. We tried the combined aspect of rental and purchase.

Senator CAPEIART. I am talking about the bill that we are considering. It is intended that

Secretary SYMINGTON. It is entirely rental. We tried the purchase aspect, but we cannot do it.

Senator CAPEHART. No one will ever have the opportunity to purchase them?

Secretary SYMINGTON. Well, can I answer your question by presenting the other side of it?

Senator CAPEHART. Yes.

Secretary SYMINGTON. The problem of purchase has to do with the fact that a contractor is set up on an “in and out” basis. He does not want to be a landlord. Now, on the other hand, a man who goes into the military service is not a good customer for purchase, because he will move from that base for sure within a relatively short period. When he moves, if he has bought a house, he has to take with him the obligation of that house, and he might, for example, within a 10-year period

Senator CAPEHART. I am thinking in terms of this bill.

Secretary SYMINGTON. I am explaining, if you thought purchase should be in the bill, why it is not.

Senator CAPEHART. I do not think it should. I am just asking the question. However, what provision is there in the bill if a camp or a base is abondoned and there sit 100, 200, 300, or 400 houses? What will happen to the houses then? Will the bill prohibit them from being sold?

Secretary SYMINGTON. Well, we would not build houses at bases that we were not confident we would keep on a minimum basis where it were possible under this bill. If we had to move for some extraordinary reason, that would be a problem for the FHA.

Senator CAPEHART. There possibly should be a provision that if the base is abandoned and the houses are there without military tenants the owners would be permitted to rent them to civilians or sell them.

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Senator WHERRY. May I ask the Senator a question! Of course, this Senator knows that these are multiple units that are being asked for, and they will be mostly built on leased land of the military, if that is the only way we can get it. And another provision is that even the facilities will have to be furnished in some instances by lease through the military.

Senator CAPEHART. You mean water and gas and lights?

Senator WHERRY. Yes; the utilities. So, it is our feeling what is to be built will be built the private enterprise way anyhow, and this will take care of the need on a multiple-unit proposition for rent. Is that not correct, Mr. Secretary?

Secretary SYMINGTON. Yes, sir.

Senator WHERRY. May I ask one more question on the Alaska situation? Does the Senator from Washington feel that clause (C) on page 6 would be ample in raising the maximum ceiling on the construction in Alaska ? This was drafted, of course, before his amendment was drafted. I mean your amentment in S. 1048. But there is a provision here that lifts the limit one-third, I think.

Senator CAIN. Yes. That is $12,000.
Senator WHERRY. Is that enough?

Senator Cain. I do not know. I am trying to find out. Because I think the Secretary has said two things—that a number of family units will be constructed under this proposed legislation at not to exceed an average cost of $12,000 in Alaska, but there will be, if I understood him correctly, numbers of exceptions which will cost approximately four times or so much more than that figure. I am just not qualified to know what requirement there is that results in a house for, say, a noncommissioned officer that costs $48,000.

Secretary SYMINGTON. Could I try to answer you?
Senator Cain. Yes, sir.

Secretary SYMINGTON. In Canada, when I was in private business, we knew of deposits of very valuable minerals which were rare, as for example, cobalt. Now, the reason that those minerals were never taken out, though there was a shortage of cobalt, as you probably know cobalt hardens steel, was because of the cost of getting in there to get the cobalt and getting it out.

Now, when you are talking about your national defense establishment, you cannot talk about the cost of getting to a place and getting out. You have to talk security as against dollars and cents. The question then would be: Do you want the men with their families to live like dogs in what might be classified as kennels if they go to those far quarters, or do you want to give them some reasonably decent housing when you are going to have to pay plenty for getting workers and materials into those places, then the workers out?

Senator Cain. We obviously want to provide decent housing at the lowest possible cost.

Secretary SYMINGTON. That is right.

Senator Cain. If there is a differential of five times, it necessarily arouses my curiosity, Mr. Secretary.

Secretary SYMINGTON. I think around four to five times. Well, I would suggest we take another look at that for you.

Senator Cain. I appreciate personally the comments you have made as they offset the comments made by Mr. Eberstadt, for this is a public

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document which a number of us read in all seriousness, and this is the first opportunity we have had to raise the question.

Secretary SYMINGTON. I do not think you have read all the so-called Eberstadt report. I do not think it has all been released. I wish they would release all of it.

Senator Cain. All I concerned myself with for this hearing was that reference to your housing construction program in Guam and so forth.

Secretary SYMINGTON. I hope I have answered that for you satisfactorily.

Senator Cain. You have given me more information than I previously had.

The CHAIRMAN. You may proceed.

Secretary SYMINGTON. By the very nature of the service, military personnel must be always on order. They must proceed to designated places at designated times for varying durations. As a result, they are considered transient to whatever community in which they currently reside. Under the terms of the existing National Housing Act transients are not considered sound business risks for housing. Many of our people are unable to find quarters at all. Others are forced into slum areas or makeshift dwellings too inadequate to have been considered a part of the available and livable housing facilities of the community in the first place. Moreover, any adequate accommodations that may be available command a price far beyond their means. With the enactment of this legislation, we intend to give priority to caring for the need of quarters for junior officers and non-commissioned officers who are most affected by these conditions.

The result of this situation on the effectiveness of our armed forces is incalculable. Separated families and squalid living conditions combine to produce very poor morale. The resulting problems of replacement and excessive training costs seriously jeopardize the effectiveness of our efforts to provide adequately for the defense of the Nation. The same housing difficulty also greatly retards our efforts for personnel procurement.

In short, Mr. Chairman, there are three very pressing reasons why the National Military Establishment feels that this legislation is urgently needed. First, there exists a morale problem that seriously bears upon

the effectiveness of our defense measures. Second, we are having grave difficulty in acquiring the personnel that we need; and third, we are having equal difficulty in keeping those that we do get.

Modern Warfare demands a much higher percentage of qualified specialists than at any time in the past. Such men, stable and serious as a class, are deeply interested in their homes and families. They are also amply qualified to succeed in civilian life. It is these men, the ones we need most, that we cannot attract or expect to keep if military careers prove a handicap in providing adequate homes for their families.

The housing created as a result of this legislation would not alone solve our entire housing problem any more than adequate housing alone would suffice to attract into service the number of competent engineers and technicians that are urgently needed. The measure being considered today, however, is designed to provide immediate relief. The basic requirement is, of course, for the erection of a suf

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