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moving. To freeze the real-estate economy by controlling all home sales or all real-estate sales will retard and not increase production and will weaken and not strengthen our economy.
Under present credit control, great stimulus could be given to defense housing in critical areas if the various Government agencies involved will act intelligently and expeditiously in the matter.
Senator Maybank recently had inserted in the Record a list of areas designated by the Army in which housing might become critical. Only a few of these have so far been designated as critical areas.
With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I should like to submit for the record this list of 94 different areas in the United States that have been submitted by Senator Maybank as areas of the Army where there might possibly be some need for housing.
(The document referred to follows:)
(Excerpts from remarks of Senator Burnet R. Maybank, on S. 349, national-defense housing and com. munity-facilities and services bill, Congressional Record of April 5, 1951, pp. 3443-3444
HOUSING AND HOME FINANCE AGENCY,
Washington, D. C., March 27, 1951. Hon. BURNET R. MAYBANK,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR MAYBANK: In accordance with your oral request, we have obtained information as to (1) installations which have been reactivated by the Department of the Army since July 15, 1950, (2) industrial plants under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Army which have recently been reactivated or augmented, and (3) private corporations which have received contracts from the Department of the Army in connection with the current-production program.
In this connection, the Department of the Army has informed us as follows:
“The activation or expansion of private facilities as well as Government-owned plants creates a tremendous housing problem. The Department of the Army is currently faced with this situation at all of its activated facilities, since it is not possible to construct housing at these stations under the Wherry Housing Act, inasmuch as they are of a temporary nature.”
The detailed information requested (which the Department of the Army has informed us is not “restricted” information) is as follows: I. Army posts reactivated since July 15, 1950 Fort Jackson, Columbia, S. C. Camp Breckinridge, Morganfield, Ky. Camp Atterbury, Edinburg, Ind. Camp Cooke, Lompoc, Calif. Camp Picket, Blackstone, Va. Camp Polk, Leesville, La. Fort Leonard Wood, Newburg, Mo. Camp Edwards, North Falmouth, Mass. Camp McCoy, Sparta, Wis. Camp Roberts, San Miguel, Calif. Camp Rucker, Daleville, Ala. Camp Kilmer, Stelton, N. J. Camp Stewart, Hinesville, Ga. Fort McClellan, Anniston, Ala. Camp Crowder, Neosho, Mo. Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, Pa. Fort Huachuca, Ariz. Norfolk Army Base, Hampton Roads, Va. II. Industrial plants under jurisdiction of the Department of the Army Kingsbury Ordnance Plant, La Porte, Ind. Iowa Ordnance Plant, Eurlington, Iowa. Radford Arsenal, Radford, Va. Nebraska Ordnance Plant, Waboo, Nebr. Ravenna Arsenal, Apco, Ohio. Red River Arsenal, Texarkana, Tex.
Joliet Arsenal, Joliet, Ill.
St. Louis Core Plant, St. Louis, Mo.
B. T. FITZPATRICK,
Acting Administrator. Mr. SNYDER. We sent this list to Mr. Ralph R. Kaul, Chairman of the Critical Areas Committee, Defense Production Administration, suggesting that similar lists for the Navy and Air Force must be available. We urged that such areas be declared defense areas and that regulation X be removed to stimulate production.
We were quite surprised to learn that the Department of Defense apparently had not initiated action to have some of these areas declared defense areas for the purpose of housing. Mr. Kaul indicated that some action was being considered by the Critical Areas Committee on some of the communities included in the list. He commented, however, that he had sent the list to the Defense Department with the request that the Department initiate "action on any additional areas where defense activity is being seriously delaved or threatened to be delayed due to a shortage of permanent housing in the area.” That was on May 1st. This is June 4th and still no critical areas.
We recommend, Mr. Chairman, that regulation X and FHA and VA credit controls be removed if there is or threatens to be a housing shortage in areas which any of the armed services have reactivated as military installations, where the Federal Government is or anticipates operating a defense plant, or where private industry has been or will be assigned defense contracts.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS
A. We respectfully recommend that instead of a new section 202, section 201 (a) of the Defense Production Act of 1950 be amended to read:
Whenever the President determines in the interest of national defense (1) that the use of any equipment, supplies, or component parts thereof, or materials, facilities, or real property necessary for the manufacture, servicing, or operation of such equipment, supplies, or component parts thereof, is needed and the remainder of this subsection be continued as presently written, starting with (2).
B. We recommend that section 103 (e) be amended limiting the Federal Government's authority to construct and operate to only those types of plants with such special and unusual characteristics that financing by private or existing Government credit sources is not available.
C. We recommend that the existing Federal rent-control law be allowed to expire June 30, 1951, and that no new Federal rent controls be imposed on either residential or commercial property. We respectfully recommend that the matter of rents be left to the discretion of local and State governments.
D. We recommend that regulation X and FHA and VA credit controls be removed if there is or threatens to be a housing shortage in areas which any of the armed services have reactivated as military installations, where the Federal Government is or anticipates operating a defense plant, or where private industry has been or will be assigned defense contracts. Intelligent and expeditious action by the various Government agencies involved can insure speedy and economic construction by private enterprise of the housing that may be needed.
The CHAIRMAN. Does your organization advocate that all controls be removed; that is, wage control, price control, and rent control? Do you think we need any of those controls?
Mr. SNYDER. Mr. Chairman, we have not so testified. I do not think we are qualified in the field of economics, wages, and prices of all other commodities to offer arguments either pro or con.
On our own subject, I think we can qualifiedly say “Yes.”
The CHAIRMAN. You say that wherever the local communities have decontrolled there has not been any great rise in rents?
Mr. SNYDER. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course, there are a great many communities that have not decontrolled rents.
Mr. SNYDER. The Congress said it wanted the local communities and States to do it last year.
The CHAIRMAN. In many of those local communities they have taken no action, which means that they want controls to continue.
Mr. SNYDER. They did not indicate that that was the case.
The CHAIRMAN. They indicated it by having the power to decontrol and they have not decontrolled. So, I assume they are satisfied with the present conditions.
Mr. SNYDER. Mr. Chairman, by the same token they have the right and power and authority to ask for continued controls, which they did not do.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. SNYDER. So you can assume on both counts they did not want any further controls or they would have asked for them.
The CHAIRMAN. They have let the controls remain and they could have taken them off immediately if they so desired, and they did not do it.
Mr. SNYDER. That is right. That is why I say the State and local governments are perfectly capable of taking care of their own problems.
The CHAIRMAN. What do you think of the necessity of controls because of the shifting population by reason of the defense effort? There is going to be a great shift in population to certain areas where the defense effort will be great. Do you not agree that rents are based on the supply and demand with respect to housing? Where there is a shortage of housing—and I imagine there will be in a great many cases where there is an increase in population-do you not think there should be control in those areas?
Mr. SNYDER. Mr. Chairman, even the Housing Expediter admitted that controls will not be the answer. The problem is production, and if you remove controls you will get production.
There was a "watchdog committee," I believe, Mr. Chairman, which
said before the Rules Committee at one time had rubber teeth, and up to the present time the “watchdog committee” has not
been able to smoke out the critical defense areas. There have been only 9 or 10 designated so far.
We have urged removal of controls in those critical defense areas, or that at least the areas be so designated so that housing could be constructed there. I count here 10 areas in the United States that thus far have been declared critical areas since October of last year. We have lost all that time simply because of the tremendous volume of people saying, "We need more controls, we need more controls.” At the same time we need more housing. But the industry is not free to build it. You have tied our hands in knots. If you untie our hands, Mr. Chairman, we will give you the housing when and where you want it. We said that last year and we say it again.
The CHAIRMAN. But it takes a while to build a house.
Mr. SNYDER. Whose fault is it? The industry's, which wants to build, or the planning agencies which have not told us where the houses are needed.
The CHAIRMAN. If we are going to prosecute the defense effort, we cannot wait until they build these houses; we must make the best use of the houses in these areas.
Mr. SNYDER. That is precisely what we have been saying since October.
Mr. BROWN. I might say, Mr. Witness, that this committee is not responsible for it.
Mr. SNYDER. Absolutely not, sir.
Mr. BROWN. We passed a housing bill-H. R. 2988—in this committee, which was not considered by the House. Unless that housing bill is passed, you and all your associates are tied down.
The CHAIRMAN. I might say, too, about the housing bill that the housing bill stimulated private housing, or so we thought. By reason of the defeat of that bill, if they are going to construct these defense plants such as in South Carolina and Kentucky, all of the housing built inside these reservations will be built by the Government and owned by the Government and rented by the Government under the present law.
Mr. SNYDER. I do not think that the housing bill had any effect at all on the designation of critical areas where housing could have been constructed right now.
The CHAIRMAN. It will have on the houses that are going to be constructed unless some adequate power is given.
Mr. SNYDER. There will be snow in the mountains if they do not hurry up.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, on another point, you express some apprehension about the powers that are granted to the President; that is, to take over defense plants which he has ordered to prosecute the defense effort. You have talked about the taking of these things.
Of course, the Constitution of the United States will prevent the taking of any private property except by due process of law and not without compensation to the owner. I do not think you have any need for apprehension that the President will use this power for the purpose of aggrandizing his own power and authority.
Mr. SNYDER. Mr. Chairman, he has the power to delegate and redelegate again and redelegate some more, and that is the cause for our apprehension; plus the fact that the very safeguards that this