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bills and in the increased morale, public health, and general welfare which will result from the increasing availability of public recreational facilities and areas and programs in the local areas of our Nation.
Mr. Chairman, for these reasons and others which I have not time to here call to your attention, and believing that other witnesses either have or will do so for the benefit of your study, I respectfully urge the enactment of some bill involving the principles of H. R. 7067, which I was pleased to author, involving the principles and objectives of a committee bill which would include the main objectives and purposes of the bills now pending before you so as to permit the donation and other disposal of tax-purchased property to tax-supported public recreation agencies throughout our Nation. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF HON. DEWITT S. HYDE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MARYLAND
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Hon. JOHN W. MCCORMACK,
Chairman, Special Subcommittee on Donable Property of the Committee on Government Operations, Washington, D. C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Enclosed is a copy of my statement in support of H. R. 4107, to amend the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act to permit the donation of surplus property to volunteer fire-fighting organizations, volunteer reserve services, squads, and first-aid crews.
I would appreciate it if you would have my statement inserted in the hearings scheduled for Friday morning, August 1.
DEWITT S. HYDE.
Mr. Chairman, my bill, H. R. 4107, was introduced to supersede H. R. 2552 and I will therefore speak a few words in behalf of H. R. 4107.
I know there have been several adverse reports on my bills and others which advocate the broadening of the donation program for surplus property. Nevertheless, speaking from my knowledge of the volunteer fire departments and rescue squads in my own congressional district, I know that this equipment would be of immeasurable value to the health of our communities. It seems to me that if the Federal Government has available surplus property they need, it couldn't be put to better use. I know how difficult it is for volunteer fire departments in small towns to raise funds to purchase new equipment, and I am always amazed at their ingeunity in improvising fire-fighting equipment from tanks and other property which they now are required to bid on.
The fire companies and rescue squads in my district do an excellent job with the equipment they have. To be able to get needed additional equipment under surplus would help them in their jobs as volunteers.
I sincerely request that in considering amendments to the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act, you will include the volunteer fire departments and rescue squads.
STATEMENT OF HON. HARRY G. HASKELL, JR., A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF DELAWARE
Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before this committee in support of the legislation to amend the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 to permit the donation of surplus property to volunteer fire-fighting organizations.
At the present time, only health, education, and civil defense agencies can receive surplus equipment by paying the cost of care and handling. In the State of Delaware, which I represent, we have only one paid fire company in the entire State; all others, numbering some 59, are volunteer groups, men who give of their time and fire-fighting ability to protect the property of their fellow citizens. I feel that it is important that they be given the very best of equipment and as much as possible to do this important job.
In the area of public welfare certainly neighbors helping each other in a time of distress is a basic concept of such welfare. If through the procurement of surplus property, the local volunteer fire companies would be able to better serve and protect their communities, then I feel that they should be given the opportunity to bid on such equipment.
I strongly urge that favorable consideration be given to this legislation by this committee so that the citizens who give unselfishly of their time and place their lives in danger will have the tools to more effectively do their job. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF HON. W. PAT JENNINGS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF VIRGINIA
Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present this statement in behalf of my bill, H. R. 242, which would amend the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 to allow donation of surplus property to volunteer fire departments and secue or lifesaving crews. This bill was introduced on the first day of the 85th Congress, January 3, 1957. I certainly hope that your investigation of the need for such legislation since its introduction, coupled with the reports from the governmental departments, has convinced you that such amendment to the donable property program is in order.
Toward the end of World War II, Congress enacted the Surplus Property Act of 1944 for the purpose of setting up an orderly procedure to dispose of huge stockpiles of property no longer necessary for defense. The act established a series of priorities, whereby surplus material was made available, first for use by other Federal agencies and, lastly, for sale to private business. Intermediate priority was given to educational institutions. This was made possible through a provision which allowed for the transfer of surplus property by donation or public benefit discount to tax-supported and tax-exempt, nonprofit educational institutions.
The surplus property programs were rendered permanent in 1949, then in 1950 broadened considerably. The expanded act retained basically the same priority arrangement, but provided for the donation of surplus personal property to tax-supported and tax-exempt medical institutions, hospitals, clinics, and health centers, in addition to schools, school systems, colleges, and universities. In 1955, the donation provisions were extended still further to embrace civil defense needs.
I think this brief survey is important, for what it clearly demonstrates is that the scope of that portion of the program which allows for donation of surplus property, personal and real, to organizations and institutions whose chief mission is to serve the public interest has been continually expanded.
That Congress has seen fit to do this is not surprising. We have come to realize that while surplus property programs were initially established to deal with war surpluses alone, a large quantity of surplus property will always exist if only that generated by the normal Federal housekeeping processes.
It has long been recognized that further extension of the donable provisions of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act was desirable. The Hoover Commission, in its report on surplus property, stated that many of the proposed extensions "have considerable merit." The Senate Committee on Government Operations has pledged to promote "full utilization of surplus Federal property in the best public interest" (S. Rept. No. 351, 84th Cong.). A chief reason why the donable provisions have been expanded, but with care, is found in this statement by the House Committee on Government Operations: "The committee feels strongly that it must at this time give first priority to the clarification of the status of educational and public health institutions without prejudice to other causes which may be considered later" (H. Rept. No. 206, 84th Cong.). Implicit in this appraisal is the notion that the list of deserving organizations and institutions now eligible under the law is not necessarily complete.
The benefits to the public of the donation program far outweigh the few defects, which are largely of an administrative nature. The departmental reports received by this subcommittee, all of which oppose extension of the donable property provisions of the program, are based on the fact that administration would be difficult. The worthy objectives of this bill are recognized; it seems to me, therefore, that any administrative wrinkles could be ironed out to everyone's satisfaction.
The case for donating surplus material to certain volunteer emergency organizations, such as fire departments and rescue squads, is self-evident. (I interpret "rescue squads" to include lifesaving and first-aid squads.) While equipment of this type would not be put to steady day-to-day use, it would become when suddenly, tragically needed, more important than food, clothing, and shelter combined-indeed the very difference between life and death.
Hardly a day goes by without the local newspapers in my State publishing a story of the mercy missions of a rescue squad or a volunteer fire department. I'm certain the same is true in every State of the Union.
In 1956, the International Rescue and First Aid Association, which represents approximately 25,000 members throughout the Nation, adopted a resolution at its convention in Toledo, Ohio, as a part of the effort to secure donation of surplus Federal property to these important community organizations. The resolution follows:
"Whereas in recent years our great Nation has suffered enormously from the destructive forces of nature by virtue of hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes, which caused great tolls in loss of life and injury to thousands of our citizens as well as being most destructive to commercial establishments and residential structures; and
"Whereas these catastrophes must be met by the immediate organization of 'disaster squads,' equipped with articles from Federal surplus stockpiles, which would greatly enhance rescue, first aid and transportations so vital at said disaster areas; and
"Whereas, 'disaster squads' should be organized, equipped, and trained within the organizational planning of Armed Forces Reserve training centers, stations and armories, civil defense, Civil Air Patrol and organized civilian rescue first-aid squads; and
"Whereas the release of said surplus Federal equipment would also enhance routine localized functions on a year-round basis and thereby greatly reduce death and injury tolls from the presently high rates; and
"Whereas human misery could be relieved and alleviation of unwarranted delays could be achieved by trained and well-equipped squads which would provide the best in rescue, first aid, and transportation; and
"Whereas within the past 2 years the eastern seaboard and the New England States have suffered high tolls in loss of life and billions in property losses, causing peril to our national security and public safety: Therefore, be it
"Resolved, That this resolution be unanimously passed in conference and proper Federal authorities be notified."
This resolution outlines succinctly the need for this legislation; its statements are also applicable to the volunteer fire departments of the Nation.
Mr. Chairman, we are all aware of the unselfish devotion to duty and to community service exemplified by the members of the thousands of volunteer fire departments and rescue squads. Yes, and the help given by their wives in the auxiliaries. This bill we discuss today can be of great help to these organizations in their efforts to protect and assist their communities.
As you know, many of these volunteer organizations are supported by fund campaigns and donations. It is a common occurrence for members of a unit to contribute not only their time and efforts to this work, but also their money in order that proper equipment will be available. Certainly we should cooperate with these unselfish community servants, if at all possible.
The president of the International Rescue and First Aid Association, Mr. Don Dunnington, of Bethesda, Md., commented to me only this morning on this proposed legislation. He is preparing a brief statement which I will submit to this subcommittee for the record.
Mr. Dunnington pointed out that utilizing surplus property in this fashion is "putting it back to work for the taxpayers who purchased it in the first place." He also raised the point of these volunteer organizations cooperating in the civil defense program, and it is very apparent that their services would prove invaluable in any major mobilization of the civil defense organization.
There is no doubt that extension of the donable property provisions of the surplus program in this instance would be of real benefit to the Nation's volunteer fire department, and rescue, lifesaving, and first aid squads.
I urge this subcommittee to act favorably on this legislation.
STATEMENT OF HON. KENNETH B. KEATING, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Mr. Chairman and members of the committe, I appreciate very much this opportunity to present my views on H. R. 9522, a bill to authorize the disposal of surplus property to certain welfare and recreation agencies. I commend the distinguished chairman for scheduling this hearing on my proposal and other measures dealing with the use of Federal surplus goods.
In the less than 1 year since its introduction, H. R. 9522 has drawn widespread and vigorous support from a broad range of interested groups. I have received endorsing letters from almost all of the 48 States and from numerous organizations working in the welfare and recreation fields. To a man, they have backed strongly the principle embodied in my bill.
Simply stated, H. R. 9522 would broaden the eligibility for surplus property to include a limited number of welfare and recreation agencies. These groups would be in addition to the medical institutions, health centers, schools, colleges, and certain other recreation agencies which now may receive such goods. My proposal contains carefully formulated language to insure that only taxsupported or tax-exempt welfare or recreation agencies would be eligible for this material. Also, a tax-exempt voluntary agency would have to have a license from a State standard-setting agency, or receive funds through a State or local community fund, or be affiliated with or part of a national standardsetting organization.
This language was evolved after careful consultation with highly reputable groups in this field and with the House legislative counsel. It has the approval of the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers. It is designed to prevent, as much as is humanly possible, any abuse of the privilege to be granted by this legislation. I feel it does provide adequate safeguards against fly-by-night organizations and other groups which might not properly utilize surplus goods, but I have no particular pride of authorship about the specific language. If the committee should choose to delineate standards in a different manner, perhaps in consultation with officials of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, I am sure such a revision would be satisfactory to me. In any case, most careful consideration must be given to drafting language which will insure, as much as possible, that none of these precious goods goes to waste or is given to anything less than fully deserving and reputable organizations.
H. R. 9522 grew out of recommendations drawn up by a National Welfare Assembly Committee, which included members drawn from American Foundation for the Blind, Child Welfare League of America, Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, Council on Social Work Education, Girl Scouts, National Council of Churches of Christ in America, National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers, National Jewish Welfare Board, National Recreation Association, Salvation Army, United Community Funds and Councils, Young Men's Christian Association, and Young Women's Christian Association. The following organizations also expressed their interest in this subject in connection with that committee's work: American Hearing Society, Board of Hospitals and Homes of the Methodist Church, National Catholic Community Service, and United HIAS Service. In addition, numerous fund organizations in related fields have since come forward in support of the bill.
Mr. Chairman, literally hundreds of these worthy groups from all over the country have indicated to me their desperate need of low-cost, usable Government material. For example, officials of the YMCA in Rochester, N. Y., have reeled off nearly two score types of equipment and supplies which are needed for the operation of their program and camp and which might be available under terms of this measure.
The Rochester Community Chest, with ever-increasing expenditures for new equipment and replacement of equipment for 43 agencies, exclusive of hospitals-this year's estimate is over $116,000—has indicated clearly the tremendous savings which couuld be achieved through the purchase of surplus property from the Federal Government.
I could cite such examples of proven need among worthy groups endlessly. The point is, of course, that if these fine organizations could receive the cheaper goods for their work, they would have more money left over with which to pursue their good deeds even more widely and in better fashion. This measure could thus serve as an effective budget stretcher. These agencies are doing a
magnificent job of character building and other help to our young people, of easing the paths of our aged, and providing sustenance and security for our needy citizens. Any reasonable way in which we can help these groups in their noble work should be pursued vigorously.
It is true, of course, that some of the organizations which have expressed an interest in this legislation have been declared eligible by administrative ruling. It is possible that other organizations could be given access to such goods by that method. However, it would appear that the fairer and sounder means of resolving this issue is by legislation. This could once and for all end the present confusion and consternation, would insure that all deserving welfare and recreation groups received equal treatment, and that the expression of policy would be one determined by the people's representatives.
Mr. Chairman, I feel we should leave no stone unturned in our efforts to help these fine organizations achieve their objectives. If, by proper legislation, we can ease the strain on their already skimpy budgets and enable them to better carry out their work, we should do so without further delay. I feel H. R. 9522 represents a sound and progressive means for helping our welfare and recreation agencies help themselves. And in the long run, of course, all America will be a better place for this, because the success of these organizations means a safer, healthier, happier, and more secure nation.
Hon. KENNETH KEATING,
NEW YORK, N. Y., July 30, 1958.
House of Representatives,
Washington, D. O.:
United Funds, community chests, community welfare councils, and over 25,000 local health, welfare, and recreation organizations affiliated with them earnestly desire passage of H. R. 9522. Expansion of the list of organizations eligible to purchase surplus Government property as provided for in this bill will be of material help in furnishing more and better service to local communities.
CHARLES X. SAMPSON, Director of Administration.
STATEMENT OF HON. ROBERT J. MCINTOSH, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MICHIGAN
Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the subcommittee, I appreciate the opportunity of presenting this brief statement in support of the pending legislation to amend section 203 of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended, so as to authorize the donation of surplus property to volunteer fire-fighting organizations. Presently, only educational, health, and civil-defense organizations are eligible under the donation program. As you know, our volunteer fire-fighting organizations serve without compensation and give their time unselfishly for training and in the actual protection of local lives and property. The public service they perform, in my opinion, should entitle them to qualify for such donations on the same basis as other beneficiaries under the act. Moreover, it would seem to me that these organizations should be entitled to the benefits of the program because of their close alliance with civil-defense units. It is my understanding that volunteer firefighting organizations answer all civil-defense drills in their localities. It is my further understanding that the local civil-defense organizations rely upon these volunteer organizations for any fire-fighting equipment necessary for civildefense purposes. Certainly, this fact alone should justify including this activity among the list of eligible receivers of donable surplus personal property.
I, therefore, hope that it will be possible for your subcommittee to give favorable consideration to legislation which will permit volunteer fire-fighting organizations to receive surplus Federal property.
STATEMENT OF HON. D. R. (BILLY) MATTHEWS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Mr. Chairman, I appreciate very much the privilege of testifying on behalf of H. R. 10118. Since this is a very technical matter, I do not have the information about it that I would like to have and the reason for the introduction of my