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local community federated fund-raising body and are affiliated with and are a part of national standard-setting organizations. These fine service agencies are now being looked to for unprecedented help due to the economic conditions that now exist.
And I might paraphrase particularly in my location of Flint which is hard hit because of the decline of the automobile industry.
They could use surplus food and other kindred commodities to help the needy in our communities.
The Salvation Army in my home of Flint, Mich., gave 1,353 emergency food and milk orders in 1957, which has stretched its budget to the breaking point. The Salvation Army is expanding its facilities to rehabilitate and train, in a Christian manner, human derelicts who would otherwise be a drain upon the public coffers. It could use surplus items in the training of these men in skills which will make them assets to the communities in which they reside.
The economic decline has particularly affected those in the over-45year class and many of these men have been coming in contact with the Salvation Army. It needs help to take care of these unfortunates. This bill, if passed by Congress, will greatly assist it to meet the present challenge.
The YMCA operates boys' camps, having 90 resident and day camps serving 10,000 boys and girls in Michigan alone. Also, in my community it operates a boys' farm for boys homeless and emotionally upset. It could use not only surplus foods and kindred products, but also such surplus items as road-grading equipment, buses, sports equipment, and such other items.
The boys' farm I have referred to is an experiment in family living which places a limited number of boys placed by the juvenile courts.
These boys come from broken homes or homes in which family living is nonexistent. We try to give home living, home discipline under a house mother and father, and provide them with good schooling as well as religious training. We also attempt to provide adequate recreational facilities.
This boys' farm or home idea is spreading throughout the country and is helping to solve our juvenile-delinquency problems. It has helped in our community to such an extent that we have 85 percent success with our boys compared to about 30 percent success in those boys sent to the State boys' vocational school in Lansing, which is a reform school.
Our boys' farm is being assisted by another organization, namely, the Downtown Flint Optimist Club, which is an affiliate of Optimist International, whose slogan is "Friend of the boy."
It either cooperates with other organizations or operates boys' homes throughout the country.
These homes need assistance such as this bill will provide. It is respectfully urged that you give favorable consideration to this worthy proposal before you.
Mr. McCORMACK. Any questions, Mr. May?
Mr. MAY. No questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. McCORMACK. Have you tried to get approval of the Department of Defense?
Mr. TRAYCIK. No; we have not, sir.
Mr. McCORMACK. Have you considered doing it?
Mr. TRAYCIK. No; we frankly did not know we could do so.
Mr. McCORMACK. Well, the Boy Scouts have been approved by the Department of Defense and they are given a preference over the donable property by reason of being classified as a military school; is that what it is, Mr. Ward?
Mr. WARD. It is an activity of special interest and coming under section 203 (j) (2), Mr. Chairman.
Mr. McCORMACK (reading):
In the case of surplus property under the control of the National Military Establishment, the Secretary of Defense determines whether such property is usable and necessary for educational activities that are of special interest to the armed services, such as maritime academies or military, naval, Air Force, or Coast Guard preparatory schools.
If such Secretary shall determine such property is necessary and usable for such purpose, he shall allocate it for transfer by the administrator for such educational activities. If he shall determine such activity is not usable and necessary for such activity, it may be disposed of in accordance with paragraph 2 of this subsection.
Under that, what organizations, for example, the Secretary of Defense has determined, the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts, and the boys' clubs, are three.
Mr. LUND. Campfire Girls, the Boys Clubs of America you mentioned.
Mr. McCORMACK. Yes.
Mr. LUND. May I just make a possible suggestion?
Mr. McCORMACK. I am going to call on you, yes.
I simply call your attention to that fact and that the Secretary of Defense makes a determination in accordance with what I have just referred to in the law I have just read you have even a preference over the other aspects of the donable property law.
Mr. TRAYCIK. That would assist us in the Y, but I doubt very much whether it would assist us in the Salvation Army.
Mr. McCORMACK. I agree.
Miss COLBORN. May I comment on that point, sir?
Mr. McCORMACK. It could, but certainly in the YMCA and YWCA,
Miss COLBORN. Mr. Chairman, may I comment on this point since I am representing those agencies?
Mr. McCORMACK. Go ahead.
Miss COLBURN. Prior to the time we set up a joint committee the national board of the YWCA wrote to the Secretary of Defense and asked if they might be included.
He replied that this whole matter was under study and therefore he could not include them.
We then set up the committee that began working with HEW, and while they were doing this the Boys Clubs of America said they were not going to work with our committee but they thought they would work directly.
They applied to the Department of Defense and they were granted property.
Mr. McCORMACK. This committee does not see any reason why the Secretary of Defense-this is on the record-should not treat all of them equitably. Having made a decision that we recognize has meritorious results-we question the decision in some of those cases, but that is their headache.
They made it, and if I was in an ogranization and where others had been approved, I would undertake to put into operation the voice of public opinion within your organization that would demand on the part of the Secretary of Defense equitable consideration.
Now they started something that they probably stretched a lot but they made the decision.
In other words, they said they are an educational-give me that law again, Mr. Ward.
The Secretary of Defense or somebody down there has determined that these organizations are eligible for property necessary for educational activities and that are of special interest to the armed services.
It seems to me that the YMCA and the YWCA, I could name some others, are just as much in that category as those who have received favorable consideration.
Miss COLBORN. They have been very active in the USO.
Mr. McCORMACK. I recommend that you start a drive to convince them of the equity of your situation.
Miss COLBORN. Well, Mr. Chairman, you have a very good point. Mr. McCORMACK. And not of the inequity of their prior decision. Miss COLBORN. We discussed this a lot in our committee.
As a matter of fact, we had the representative of the head of surplus goods from the Boy Scouts present who told us all about his experience and so on, and as we discussed it, we felt that we did not want, as a group of agencies to be in competition with the education and health agencies.
We preferred, therefore, that we get this through the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, so that we all might be working together on it rather than any of us swiping from somebody else, so to speak.
Mr. McCORMACK. I might say the Comptroller General has ruled that the Secretary of Defense has wide discretion under this act, because this select committee asked him for his opinion on the action of the Secretary of Defense.
We were very much interested, because of the bills coming before this committee, and naturally if the Secretary of Defense has the discretion, and he has already exercised it, giving certain fine organizations a preferential status, we also felt he ought to give consideration to other organizations similarly situated.
And of course I can easily visualize what has happened.
Mr. Lund, what have you got to say?
Mr. LUND. I was just going to ask the gentleman a question. If they had explored possibilities through the department of education— you made some comment here I just do not locate it here—about having a good school.
Have you tried to affiliate on the local school side?
I think it would be possible under the regular program to get assistance under existing law in addition to that which has been suggested. Mr. TRAYCIK. Our boys attend a public school.
Mr. LUND. They do?
Mr. TRAYCIK. They do, and they have some tutoring in the evening by special tutors but we are under public schools. We try to give them the same type of home training as your children and mine would have only we limit our boys to 12 boys to each dormitory.
In other words, we have a housemother and house father just like a large family and we try to give them home living rather than institutionalized living.
Mr. McCORMACK. What is your position, Mr. Lund, on these bills, for the record?
Mr. LUND. I think it is—as we have previously stated, I honestly believe that we do not as yet have enough information relating to the total availability of property, and if I can come back just for a moment to the fire-fighting equipment.
Now there are 19 companies in Fairfax and you take the counties around and you multiply that out by the counties in these United States and you would come up with requirements of equipment that are so excessive that we think that you would spread it to a point where the program would lose its real value to any given unit.
We did consider very carefully this matter of the agencies for which Miss Colborn has spoken and we have tried to work with them.
In that area again it is our judgment that one of these times we may come along with a recommendation of some expansion but frankly we just do not have enough knowledge of the quantities to be generated, and knowing the needs of schools, we think our position is
Mr. McCORMACK. When will you have the knowledge?
Mr. LUND. Well, that is a very difficult question to answer, sir.
Mr. McCORMACK. I understand.
Mr. LUND. We are trying and studying it constantly.
I cannot answer specifically.
Mr. McCORMACK. Would you have it next January? I think I will be here next January. I have no opposition, but I think I will be here; I hope so.
Mr. LUND. We hope you will.
Mr. McCORMACK. Well, thank you.
Mr. LUND. We hope you will. The only thing we really can say is we are constantly trying to review and study the problem in relation to that which becomes available.
We are the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. We feel our major responsibility is to service those units, frankly, and if you spread this program too widely no one gets direct benefit.
Let's take generators for fire departments. Currently we have all kinds of orders for hospitals, and lives have been saved because we have had this equipment in hospitals.
Now, which is of the greater value? I am not sure that my judgment is good enough to say that it should be in the local fire department or in the local hospital.
Mr. McCORMACK. Would that not get down to the State level, then to the State directors to determine?
Mr. LUND. Yes, it goes to the State.
Mr. McCORMACK. It has to go back as a matter of administration then and that could be on the State level?
Mr. LUND. Yes, sir. It would have to be under the existing procedure.
But we have so many unmet needs yet in the schools and hospitals that we feel that because of their situation we are rendering a greater
overall service to society and to the citizens of this country by adhering to the policy currently that we have for some little time further. Mr. McCORMACK. Of course, I might just say it all depends on how effectively the several States cooperate, too?
Mr. LUND. That is correct; yes, sir.
Mr. McCORMACK. They have a burden.
Mr. LUND. A good many of the States are very much concerned about that burden of cost and distribution, the cost of some of this equipment
Mr. McCORMACK. My question to you was from another angle. Some of the States are getting property, certainly the acquisition value of which would save them tremendous sums of money.
We know what they have received from year to year, we know that they have received practically within the past few months countless millions of dollars in acquisition which they would have to paythey would have to pay the full value if they had to go out and get it.
So if they establish a State organization and give these funds to the State director, to go to the various camps and so forth, it is all inuring to the benefit of institutions within the State.
Mr. LUND. That is correct.
Mr. McCORMACK. It is all serving a public good.
The very theory upon which we passed the law in the main was rather than sell this usable surplus property for anywhere from 6 to 10 cents on the acquisition dollar it was serving more public good by letting certain institutions obtain it.
But there are certain costs in connection with that.
Mr. LUND. One other thing very frequently overlooked in relation to your educational program is this: Property utilization has a training value.
This is not new- a very small portion of it is new; it goes to vocational schools and is rebuilt and it has the elements of teaching youngsters to reuse material and equipment, and we think that is worthwhile.
A good many of these other organizations are not so established so as to be able to put in the cost of rehabilitation. The educational feature of this would be lost to many children if the schools were denied and property spread too thin.
Mr. McCORMACK. You said you are surveying it and studying it and I was wondering when you might have a report. Of course, that has been going on for some time now. We had it, of course, 2 years ago.
Mr. LUND. We forwarded our report on that to the committee. Mr. McCORMACK. Well, the report is implemented by your report on the different bills so that shows what the report was.
I am not questioning; I know the difficulties and I know the history. If you broaden it too much, it results, as I referred to earlier in the hearing, to abuses and then we have public scandals.
We had it before in the early fifties, you know going back under the old law and certain abuses in effect defeated the purpose of the law, the Surplus Property Act, and where certain abuses were made, it aroused public opinion. Somebody got some property and then sold it to contractors, you know, to use for building roads, a few, not all, but that is the thing that hits the country and there is a reaction which