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Senator WHERRY. That is the point I want to make.

There is another thing I would like to ask you. Of course, you have already stated that the Air Force did not build the houses. If

you

do not care to answer this question it is all right, but I would like to know what

your judgment is. Do you feel that we can get private enterprise interested on an insurance feature of less than 95 percent? You can give that personally.

Secretary SYMINGTON. That is a difficult question, because it hasn't been decided in the administration, the other bureaus; but, under your direct question, I don't think you will.

Senator WHERRY. You think we have got to get the 95 percent to get the inducement to get private enterprise in. I want to thank you very much. Will you please excuse me now.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Foley will be here at 10 o'clock tomorrow.

Secretary SYMINGTON. May I make one more statement while Senator Wherry is here, because he has worked so hard to get the facts out in the situation.

I don't see how it is right to pass any national housing bill that takes care of the boy who isn't in uniform without passing a housing bill that takes care of the boy who is in uniform.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, we are very thankful for your presence.

Secretary SYMINGTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your courtesy.

The CHAIRMAN. The next witness is Admiral Maher. Admiral, will you proceed, sir.

STATEMENT OF J. E. MAHER, REAR ADMIRAL, UNITED STATES

NAVY

Admiral MAHER. Copies of this presentation have been presented to the members of the committee.

The CHAIRMAN. What is that?

Admiral MAHER. I say the members of the committee have copies of the presentation.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Do you wish to read it?

Admiral MAHER. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, the Department of the Navy is in accord with the plan to encourage construction of rental housing at or in areas adjacent to military and naval installations.

The lack of adequate housing is one of the more important factors presently affecting morale and reenlistments of nara) personnel. Other factors such as pay, separation of families, nonadaptability to service life, etc., enter into the picture, but it is believed that unfavorable living conditions, occasioned by the housing shortage, have the greatest adverse effect. In many

instances, naval personnel, both officers and men, who have no choice but to report for duty where ordered, are forced to be separated from their families because suitable housing cannot be found. Many others are occupying accommodations far below acceptable standards-in trailers, tourist cabins, and so forth. These men cannot exercise an option available to civilians—that of moving to another locality—without leaving the Navy. Inadequate or nonexistent housing is an immediate cause of generally low morale, expediency transfers, prospective lowered reenlistments, hardship discharges, high rate of emergency leaves, and other administrative problems requiring expenditure of time, money, and loss of man-hours.

Naval personnel are seldom able to remain in one locality long enough to compete for housing with permanently located civilians. Most naval personnel coming to an area where there is a housing shortage find that rental housing within their means does not become available to them, because of the prior interests of permanently located civilians, until a large part of their tour in the area has expired. This type of experience is particularly unfortunate in its effect on the morale of enlisted personnel coming from extended tours of sea duty to shore duty with the expectation of at least a short period of normal family life. Their expectation is seldom realized and their reaction all too often is to want to give up the Navy as a career. This situation has also caused many of our promising young officers to resign from the naval service.

Further, it causes a heavy drain on appropriations for the education and training of officers and enlisted personnel in the attempt to produce a well-trained Navy in spite of the lack of experienced personnel.

The estimated needs for housing to fulfill the total requirements of the Naval Establishment are 28,041 units for personnel attached to shore stations and approximately 16,000 units for personnel of fleet units who are shore-based and therefore eligible for housing in accordance with the Navy's housing policy.

The CHAIRMAN. Might I ask here: The 28,000 units for personnel attached to shore stations—the same applies in the Navy as would apply anywhere else—these men are on shore a limited time?

Admiral MAHER. That is right; tour of 2 to 3 years.

The CHAIRMAN. And the 16,000 units for personnel of the fleet; of course, while the personnel of the fleet is at sea the allowances would go to the family who would live in that house?

Admiral MAHER. Well, that 16,000 units for the personnel of the fleet, sir, are for these personnel: The commander in chief of the Pacific based ashore, commander in chief of the Atlantic. That does not mean just them; that is their whole staff. Submarines that are shore-based, aviation squadrons that are shore-based. Those are the personnel that are included in that figure.

The CHAIRMAN. 16,000?
Admiral MAHER. Yes, approximately.

The CHAIRMAN. That would include those at sea, also, would it not?

Admiral MAHER. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What would become of their families?

Admiral MAHER. 51 to 52 percent of all naval personnel, officers and men, require no housing. They are on sea duty, and they get no housing from the Government. They provide their own housing. This 16,000 are personnel

The CHAIRMAN, I see.

Admiral MAHER. That are within our housing policy because they are shore-based. They are living on the beach, at naval bases, and they are provided with housing.

The CHAIRMAN. I understand.

Senator CAPEHART. Mr. Chairman, may I ask the admiral this. Under the Lanham Act you are entitled, are you not, meaning the Navy and all armed forces, to priority under the Lanham Act projects?

Admiral MAHER. Yes, sir.

Senator CAPEHART. What has been your success in securing housing for naval personnel under the Lanham Act projects?

AdmiraÌ MAHER. That comes in the next sentence, sir. The Navy has acquired 39,812 temporary low-cost rental units. Now, they are not all Lanham Act units. I think some 27,000 are Lanham units. The additional units that are included in that 39,000 are Quonset huts and the last type of unit that we have been able to provide. I mean some of them are utterly inadequate, but the Lanham Act housing, the 26,000 units are fairly good housing, the FHA housing, and that is the total number, approximately total number that we have been able to acquire.

Senator CAPEHART. Could you use all of them, all the facilities?
Admiral MAHER. We could use a lot more than we have.
Senator CAPEHART. Why don't they give them to you?

Admiral MAHER. We have had in for housing in a number of areas for some time. I might add a year ago I appeared before this committee and tried to sponsor a project in Tonomy Hill in Newport, which we were unable to acquire, some 528 units. We have had other projects that we have been stressing and trying to acquire for the Îast 2 or 3 years, which we have been unable to acquire.

But, of course, in there we are in competition with the veterans and with the civilians and, of course, there are many reasons—Mr. Foley can explain all that better than I can as to why we don't get them, I am sure, but we haven't been able to get them.

The CHAIRMAN. Admiral, there is a veterans' preference, of course, but outside of that has the Navy got any preference at all on these housing projects that are being sold where there were large navy yards or large naval establishments?

Admiral MAHER. Well, within the bill the naval personnel had the same priority as veterans; yes, sir; but the projects that the Navy itself goes for are only the ones that we require within our budget plan for the particular years that the basic naval establishment planned. And we have to figure out how many units are required in each area, so in many instances we wouldn't be able to aquire those units. We wouldn't have the need for them or the priority for them wouldn't be high enough, or we wouldn't have the money to maintain them.

The CHAIRMAN. Why should you not have a higher priority? They have the same priority as veterans, to that I agree. I mean, but when you get away from the veterans, have priority over, perhaps

Admiral MAHER. You mean why are we unable to obtain more projects under the FHA?

The CHAIRMAN. Why do you not have a priority with the vet-
Admiral MAHER. We have a priority with the veterans.
The CHAIRMAN. On individuals.

Admiral MAHER. Well, no; in the bill the armed forces had the top priority. We were given in the bill the first priority to acquire that housing, but it is within the administrative decision of the FHA Administrator as to whether we get it or not.

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The CHAIRMAN. And you have not got it?

Admiral MAHER. In many cases the projects have not been obtained from the Commissioner.

The CHAIRMAN. Have any projects been given to private people over them?

Admiral MAHER. I do not know that they have. In many cases where they are held by communities, private individuals, we have been unable to obtain them.

The CHAIRMAN. You say “held by communities.” Do you mean the local housing authority?

Admiral MAHER. That is right.

The CHAIRMAN. Of course the Administrator cannot under the law make them deliver it to you, can he?

Admiral MAHER. Yes, sir. We have the priority. The bill was so constructed that the military services were supposed to be given first priority if they had the need for those housing units at the end of the

And we put in for certain units which we justified before the Bureau of the Budget and we have justified before Congress, but we have been unable in many instances to acquire those projects.

Senator Cain. Why?

Admiral MAHER. It is within the jurisdiction of the FHA Administrator.

Senator Cain. Projects that you have applied for that would serve your housing need?

Admiral MAHER. In every case where we have requested; yes, sir. There are many different reasons, and I would prefer Mr. Foley

Senator CAIN. Certainly; and he will come along tomorrow for that. Admiral MAHER. We have a backlog of requests.

The CHAIRMAN. Admiral, I think you may not be able to answer this question, but would you get for the record for us by tomorrow if you could, the places where private individuals or corporations bought Lanham housing or lower-cost housing—that is what you are talking about-projects, where the law gave you and the veterans—you had the priority and the veterans had next priority and private individuals got them?

Admiral MAHER. Yes, sir; I will attempt that. I do not know now that any individuals have acquired it. In other words, these projects are held in the community under the FHA, under the local housing administrator, the ones I am talking about. I am not sure any have been liquidated and sold to private owners that we have attempted to acquire, and I think Mr. Foley could give that answer very rapidly.

(The following was later submitted for the record in response to the above:)

Question. List all housing projects for which formal request fo transfer to the Navy pursuant to section 4, Public Law 409, Seventy-seventh Congress has been made and which have not been transferred as of this date.

Answer. By letter dated October 13, 1947, the Acting Secretary of the Navy requested certain war-housing projects totaling 9,159 units be transferred to the permanent jurisdiction of the Navy Department. All of these projects with the exception of those listed below totaling 3,824 units have been transferred. It is understood that the delay in effecting the transfer of these projects has been occasioned by the strong representation from the locally affected communities

that the transfer to the Navy not be made because of the inability on the part of the communities to provide other housing for the present occupants who would be displaced by military personnel.

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The CHAIRMAN. I wanted to ask Mr. Foley about it, because I certainly know of no instance where you applied, that is, where the Navy applied

Admiral MAHER. Yes, sir.

Senator CAPEHART. Well, it does not have a lot of bearing on this legislation anyway.

Admiral MAHER. It is not anything directly affecting this bill; no, sir. It does not have an effect on whether we have extra housing or not.

Senator CAPEHART. It has no effect on this legislation.

The CHAIRMAN. I am informed that it is not a question of lawit is simply a question of discretion on the part of the FHA Administrator. Even at that, I would like to know why the FHA Administrator would have that left up to him and then turn it over to private people if the Navy really needed it.

Senator Cain. You were before our committee a year ago, Admiral!

Admiral MAHER. Yes, sir.

Senator Cain. At which time you expressed a strong hope that a project-I have forgotten where

Admiral MAHER. Tonomy Hill, Newport.

Senator Cain. We understood then that that was an administrative decision to be made by the Housing and Home Finance Administrator's office, and his decision, so far as I know, was in favor of the private occupants of the establishment.

Admiral MAHER. That is right, but that was one of the projects that was under a local housing administrator, and all of these as far as I know have been—I do not know of any project that has been liquidated as such and sold to private owners. That is the way I interpreted the chairman's question.

Senator Cain. Well, to the extent that you were able to have them made available to you, Lanham projects, it would reduce—

Admiral MAHER. Our needs for housing.

Senator Cain. Your needs for housing under this or any other proposed legislation?

Admiral MAHER. That is correct; yes, sir.

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