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It appears reasonable to assume that immediate action by Congress to correct the priority status of soil-conservation districts would have very beneficial effects on our entire soil and moisture program. We certainly would appreciate your consideration of this matter. Very truly yours,

H. V. HANSEL, Secretary-Treasurer. Senator MALONE. I also ask unanimous consent that the following publication from the Nevada Association of Soil Conservation Districts newsletter, be made a part of my statement.

Senator KENNEDY. It may be included.
(The document referred to is as follows:)

[Nevada Association of Soil Conservation Districts Newsletter, January 1956)

SURPLUS MILITARY EQUIPMENT District board chairmen will shortly receive a letter from State Association Secretary Harry Russell urging them to write Nevada Congressmen and Senators about the problem of transferring surplus military equipment direct to soilconservation districts. Under current circumstances Federal agencies and State public health and educational agencies have priority for this surplus equipment. Your State association feels that soil-conservation districts, organized under State statute, operate in the public interest and should have consideration in connection with equipment surplus to the needs of the military organizations.

Address communications to the editor, Caleb Whitbeck, Wellington, Nev. Nevada Association of Soil Conservation Districts, Wellington, Nev.

Senator KENNEDY. Do you want soil-conservation districts to have the same priority as civil defense?

Senator MALONE. I support civil defense priority contemplated by the present legislation, but when you get down to the utilization in the communities, I also believe that the soil-conservation districts should be added to the high priority list.

Senator KENNEDY. Thank you very much.

The next witness is Mr. Harold L. Aitken, Executive Assistant Administrator, Federal Civil Defense Administration. He is accompanied by Mr. Charles Manning, Deputy General Counsel. STATEMENT OF HAROLD L. AITKEN, EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Senator KENNEDY. Will you proceed.
Mr. AITKEN. Good morning, Senator.

First, I want to apologize for Governor Peterson. He has been called to NATO, and he could not be here, and he has asked me to testify for him.

Senator KENNEDY. Governor Peterson called me and explained he couldn't be here. You may speak for him today.

Mr. AITKEN. All right, sir.

First, I have a brief statement I would like to present on behalf of Governor Peterson, if I may.

Mr. AITKEN (reading statement of Mr. Peterson):

I strongly endorse S. 3693, which will permit the disposal of surplus property for civil-defense purposes. The legislation before you has the support of the administration and the approval of interested Federal agencies.

This measure, if passed, will give State and local civil defense agencies the tools to work with in building their civil-defense organizations. It will make possible the utilization of public property for civil-defense purposes with a resulting savings to all of our citizens. This property, bought originally for the defense of the Nation, is needed urgently by civil-defense agencies to further the safety of the population.

Equipment in which we are interested, such as litters, mass feeding units, vehicles and emergency field equipment, could be adapted to civil defense as well as disaster use. The ready availability for use of such equipment in case of floods, hurricanes or other major disasters, is a consideration in our support of this measure.

Since passage of the Federal Civil Defense Act in 1950, the Federal Government and the States and their subdivisions have spent over $112 million under the Federal contributions program for civil-defense materials, equipment and training purposes. Many of the items included in the contributions program by the Federal Civil Defense Administration are constantly being sold as surplus. Thus, the Federal Government is in the absurd position of defraying 50 percent of the purchase price at commercial rates for property identical to, or capable of being adapted for civil-defense purposes, but which is being disposed of as surplus.

The two national associations of State and local civil-defense officials, as well as various municipal organizations, favor this legislation, and the governor's conference has “respectfully requested the United States Senate to expedite passage of the legislation.”

My staff has had the finest kind of advice and cooperation from the Senate counsel and from the staff of your subcommittee. I would like to take this opportunity to express publicly our appreciation of their able assistance.

That is the Governor's statement.
Senator KENNEDY. Do you now wish to present your own statement ?

Mr. AITKEN. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to appear before you today as the representative of the Federal Civil Defense Administration on S. 3693, an administration-sponsored proposal, which we feel is vital to the civil defense of the Nation.

S. 3693, which would further amend the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended, will authorize the donation of surplus property for civil-defense purposes, and will fill a longstanding need in the civil-defense field.

We believe the merits of the bill to be so self-evident as to require no elaboration. The measure before the subcommitttee which relates to civil-defense organizations becoming eligible for surplus property, has the approval of many distinguished Members of the Senate and the House, and the approval and support of the National Association of State Civil Defense Directors, the National Association of State Surplus Property Officers, the United States Civil Defense Council, the American Legion, and a great many other public and private organizations.

In the interest of brevity and to conserve the subcommittee's time, I should like to make several major points on the bill, and then make myself available for questions from the subcommittee and staff concerning the measure, if you so desire.

Should the measure be enacted, we feel it important to emphasize that the FCDA does not intend to duplicate or establish competing facilities with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare concerning the relationships with State surplus property offices, nor do we intend to establish separate facilities for the screening and the allocation of surplus property under the program. Rather, we expect to delegate these administrative functions to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and to utilize the procedures which have been worked out and found generally satisfactory by that Department in the distribution of surplus property for educational and public health purposes. Discretion as to categories and types of property usable and necessary would be retained by the Federal Civil Defense Administrator.

Screening, allocation, and transfer would be performed by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, operating under regulations issued by the Federal Civil Defense Administrator, based upon the need of the State for the property for civil-defense purposes.

These factors would be worked out between the State civil-defense director concerned and the regional administrators of the FCDA, acting under guidance from the national headquarters. The DHEW will also be delegated the task of establishing minimum standards of State operation of disposals, the issuance of the minimum standards to be concurred in by FCDA. This will assure that State disposal offices will be conducting relations with only one Federal agency, and reduce confusion and conflict in the conduct of the program to a minimum.

The proposed delegation is consistent with sections 201 (b) and 405 (3) of the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950, as amended. These sections of our organic act authorize the Administrator, with the approval of the President, to delegate appropriate civil-defense functions to the several Federal departments and agencies, and directs the Administrator to refrain from duplicating or paralleling activity being performed by another Federal agency,

The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare has been delegated several civil-defense responsibilities under our program to implement the terms of the act, and is performing these delegations in an outstanding manner.

S. 3693 provides for this proposed delegation, and the proposal has the approval of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

We intend to approach the problems of surplus property disposal for civil-defense purposes from the standpoint that maximum utilization of such property would be made by institutions currently eligible to receive such property by donation and civil-defense organizations, and that any conflict in interest among eligible donees with respect to particular types of property which could be utilized by these organizations will be reconciled at State and local levels. The civil defense of the Nation needs a wide variety and vast

a amount of property if it is to meet a mass enemy attack upon the United States. This requirement would be met in part by the enactment of the proposal before the subcommittee. Some of the property now being declared surplus by the Military Establishment is identical with, or a satisfactory substitute for, certain items in the civil-defense contributions program. Enactment of S. 3693 will make available supplies and equipment usable in the form declared surplus or readily adaptable to civil-defense purposes at a great financial saving to the taxpayer.

The great bulk of Federal property feeding into the surplus chain originates in the Department of Defense. Funds appropriated by the Congress for the defense of the Nation purchased these goods. Before property still badly needed in the civil defense of the Nation is put into the market place, we feel that every opportunity to use it should be exhausted. FCDA therefore strongly urges the subcommittee to give favorable consideration to S. 3693.

As a last point of emphasis, I should like to point out to the subcommittee that the proposal before you, which is a carefully considered restatement of donation authority and will add civil defense to the eligible donees, was drafted by the subcommittee staff with the participation of the interested agencies in the proposal. It has been concurred in by the Bureau of the Budget, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, the General Services Administration, and the Department of Defense, as well as the Federal Civil Defense Administration. We urge your approval of the measure.

And I thank you for the opportunity of presenting this statement. Senator KENNEDY. Thank you.

On the basis of the experience of the past few years, how much property do you think would be available to you, after having gone through the Health, Education, and Welfare Department.

Mr. AITKEN. Well, sir, I don't know that I have knowledge on which to predicate an estimate on that. We do know that during the past several years the State civil-defense directors and the city civildefense directors have obtained knowledge with reference to the availability of surplus property, and have asked us to try to help them get it. We have lists here of typical kinds of items which they could use.

(The material referred to is as follows:)

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Crosscut, Power, Pruning
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Point and Chisel W/Handles

All types, Pipe, crescent, socket Cylinders, Compressed Air----- Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Etc.

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