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85 percent of the dollar volume of all construction in the United States of all kinds, and it is not exclusively or anywhere near exclusively confined to heavy construction.
Furthermore, these projects of large dimensions, built for the Government, and for the military, the armed service installations, would appeal very strongly under normal circumstances, to members of our association.
Mr. FOLEY. I am glad to stand corrected on that point. The witness will recall that I said, “were not known to us as members of the association.” They have normally come to us through the members of the Residential Builders' Associations.
The CHAIRMAN. If there is a witness here connected with the military who can answer Mr. Talle's question, I wish he would come forward.
Mr. DONALDSON. I am Scott Donaldson of the Air Force. For the purposes of this hearing I represent the Military Establishment, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, Mr. Talle.
Mr. TALLE. My question is this: What has happened since September 2, 1945, let us say, the date on which the President stated that the war had ended in the Orient, to require legislation of this sort? In other words, what need is there now that did not exist in the fall of 1945?
STATEMENT OF SCOTT DONALDSON, SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO
THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE
Mr. DONALDSON. I think, if I understand correctly, you are asking me, in effect, whether or not we have taken steps to alleviate a situation which might have existed at that time as well as today, in the way of asking for appropriations specifically for that purpose; is that correct? Mr. TALLE. Yes, in a sense.
I have in mind that we were not asked for this sort of thing in the fall of 1945. Why are we being asked for it now?
Mr. DONALDSON. I would like to call, if you do not mind, upon Lt. Col. William Lapsley, who is with the Logistics Division of the General Staff, in the Department of the Army.
I think he can answer that for you to your satisfaction.
STATEMENT OF LT. COL. WILLIAM LAPSLEY, LOGISTICS DIVISION
OF THE GENERAL STAFF, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY Lieutenant Colonel LAPSLEY. During the war, we had, of course, as you know, a much larger Army and Air Force and Navy than we have now, but our people were transient, they went from one station to another, and it was not in the Government's interest or in the interest of the military to try to carry their families with them. So, as you probably will recall, each person was given one move to which he could send his family, early in the war. They would send the family to any place where the family wanted to stay for the war. But then the Government would not nuove the families, and there was no attempt made to build family housing at the various installations for two reasons: first, it was very costly for the Army. Secondly, we were having greatest difficulty building troop housing for our troops.
As you know, we could not get the materials and the money required was tremendous.
Now, the situation is that people are not being drafted into the Army. There is not the patriotic urge for people even above draft age to come into the armed services, and they will not come unless they have a place where they can lead a normal life with their families. So the requirement today is not as large as it was then, but we are trying to meet the requirement now.
Mr. TALLE. And do I understand that such construction as might be carried on under this legislation will be at points where the military expects permanent installations to be maintained?
Lieutenant Colonel LAPSLEY. That is correct, sir, that certification must be made, and before we in the Army-I speak now for the Army-we have instructions out as to the type of information that will be furnished to the Department of the Army before that certification is made—that is, to take into consideration all of the civilian communities that could support the installation, so that a project of this size would not be putting out of business anything that is already established and working satisfactorily, or that is furnishing satisfactory accommodations at satisfactory distances from the installations, and after examining all of that very detailed information concerning the specific installation, we then weigh against that its planned future utilization with the complement at that installation, as best we plan it, and determine the amount of quarters based on that that we would certify that we needed permanently. And I do not think, sir, that we would ever certify that we need everything we think we need, because we do not want things to go sour.
Mr. Talle. I assume, then, that the military has gone over the situation carefully so if money is expended at a certain point, let us say, in 1949, the installation will not be withdrawn in 1950 or 1951, leaving a ghost town.
Mr. DONALDSON. We are going over that carefully every day, sir, to make sure that where a certification is made, the installation will remain as permanent as it can possibly be permanent, since we still operate from year to year on appropriations from. Congress.
Mr. TALLE. I think that answers my question, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, a letter received from congressman Wesley A. D'Ewart of Montana will appear at this point in the record. (The letter referred to is as follows:)
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., June 6, 1949. Hon. BRENT SPENCE, Chairman, Committee on Banking and Currency,
House of Representatives, MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Because the consideration of several of my own bills in another committee prevented my appearance at your hearings today, I wish to state for the record my interest in and support of S. 1184 and H. R. 4491, measures to encourage the construction of rental housing on or in areas adjacent to Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force installations.
The Great Falls Air Force base at Great Falls, Mont., in the District I have the honor to represent, is one of the most important Air Force bases in the United States. It is the continental terminus for the only inland, all-weather flying route to Alaska. Throughout the war it furnished the necessary facilities for uninterrupted communication with our Alaska outposts, free from enemy interference. Since the war it has done a similar job and has proved its peacetime value.
In these days of world strain when polar warfare is a subject of frequent discussion, Great Falls Air Force base is in the first line of our defense.
It has also served as the training base for the pilots who have made history in the Berlin Airlift.
These activities and future expansion which is contemplated have brought a great many Air Force men into the Great Falls area in search of housing for themselves and their families. The need for rental housing is particularly urgent. The Great Falls Chamber of Commerce has asked me to support S. 1184, the measure by Senator Wherry which has passed the Senate, and I am certain would want me to express their support of H. R. 4491 which has the same purpose.
I sincerely hope the committee will recommend enactment of this important legislation. Very truly yours,
WESLEY A. D’EWART. The CHAIRMAN. I am sure we are all delighted at the return of Dr. Smith, after his long illness, to resume his duties with the committee, and we have solicitously inquired about your condition while you were ill, Doctor, and I am sure I speak the sentiments of the whole committee when I say we rejoice that you are with us again, and we wish you health, happiness and long life.
Mr. Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. That' concludes the testimony. Thank you, gentlemen.
The committee will recess at this time to reconvene tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.
(Whereupon, at 12:30 p. m., the committee recessed, to reconvene at 10 a. m., Tuesday, June 7, 1949.)