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I would like to pay my tribute to all of the organizations that had to do with the Federal Government, the State, and certainly my city government, in what effort we were able to make in the civil-defense field. That applies to all government agencies.
I am constrained, however, to make this observation. Even though the President had made the appointment of the Administrator of Federal Civil Defense, there was not immediately available the authority for specific leadership other than what came from your Governor and my Governor and others. It was not known whose responsibility certain things were.
In this city we asked for help to go to the devastated areas in both floods, primarily during the first food. There the volunteer civildefense workers, with the equipment which we have—and as you know, that is on a matching basis. We have a reasonably good supply in the
a city of New York-more than 300 truckloads of clothing, food, utensils, kitchen equipment, electrical equipment, was donated by the people of the city of New York and collected from 84 police and civil. defense installations in this city. What amounted to nearly 89 tons was all brought in by civil-defense volunteers. With the assistance of the Salvation Army and other elements, it was segregated and distributed in three States.
Senator Bush. I would just like to say the pumpers you sent up were extremely valuable to us, especially in the town of Danbury, Conn. I think you sent a dozen pumpers up there.
General Condon. There were 22 pumpers, plus 9 other pieces of equipment.
Senator Bush. Those fellows stayed there 2 or 3 days, brought their own supplies and took care of themselves, and they pumped out dozens and dozens of homes and stores and put that community back in shape. I say it was indispensible.
General CONDON. If you will permit me, I took them up there, and was with them.
Senator Bush. I am very glad to hear that. I think that was wonderfuł. I can assure you that everybody was deeply grateful. It was
. just the thing we needed more than anything else at that time.
General CONDON. I would like to make this final observation, Senator. I think that illustrates the point I was attempting to make. We need concentration, both authorized and otherwise, in the authority of all this. We sought the authority of Governor Harriman, and with the enthusiastic assistance on the part of Mayor Wagner-we had to disregard anyone that might have said no—we took 32 pieces of equipment and sent them to Danbury. We sent some to the lower end of the State. We sent that in there, and no one knew, and we have not tried to find out since, just exactly how much authority we did have to do it.
Senator Bush. If you ever need any defenders, let me know.
General (ONDON. I would like to see the Civil Defense Administration charged with authority in natural disaster as well as with enemycaused disaster, because, as I have already said, I believe our perspective must be one of serious and intelligent consideration, and not just an emotional reaction when these things occur.
Incidentally, we spent several thousand dollars turned over to volunteer civil-defense workers and sent into our headquarters here. Being a city agency, we do not solicit funds. Mayor Wagner divided that
money up and sent some to your Governor, the Governors of New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey to dispose of. I take that to be a compliment to the civil-defense volunteer workers in the city of New York.
We call upon them, we call on our public for contributions and use the American Red Cross, whose activities already have been testified to and commented on here. They cannot, of course, resolve this thing with the amount of money they have available. We need Federal assistance as well as State and community assistance to relieve the public of this great burden.
The public will furnish their sons and husbands in the disaster area. They will furnish clothing and donate money. But then to call on them for the restoration work does not seem to be the American way of doing things.
Senator Ives. Mr. Chairman, I am delighted to have the general here this morning. I want to congratulate you, General, on the great job you personally have done in this matter. You took some direction on yourself to do it.
This is a very interesting approach we have this morning. We have all sides. We have flood control, we have the insurance proposals, and we have the whole idea generally of civil defense. It all ties in together.
I am wondering if you do not feel, however, that no matter how much food control we have—and obviously because of these serious floods we have had this year there will be concerted effort to step up the appropriations in the next Congress and any future Congresses to take care of that matter--no matter how much of that you have, or insurance you have, or the coverage, you are always going to have a certain number of floods and disasters, and you have to have your civil defense. I think the civil defense part of it is fully as important as any of the rest of it.
I am very glad to have you here to bear down on that—and also the gentleman that spoke before you.
What do you think of the insurance programs we have outlined and are considering at the present time? Do you think they are too broad?
General CONDON. Senator, I do not want to pretend that I am competent to really answer that question. I do not think they are too broad. I have followed this as closely as one can from the outside. I do not think they are too broad. Were I to have anything to do with it, I might find myself disposed to cut down here and there. But from the concept that I have and the perspective that I hope we all now have about what our people are entitled to, these people who have no control over these things, I would not say they are too broad. I say that without having had an opportunity to analyze it.
Senator Ives. Your idea, then, is that you go beyond mere flood insurance in the first instance and make a general disaster insurance.
General CONDON. Yes, sir. I think we may run into what we did in the Kansas City floods, where we paid very little attention to it in this part of the country. I went out there because some of my family live out there and were affected by it. I came back here, and it was of very little interest to anyone here.
As a youngster, part of my family was lost in a cyclone in Texas, so I know what these natural disaster means. But people up here pay very little attention to that. Now, nature, in its curious way, has
shown them what a natural disaster is like. And this becomes something that we had better look at, it seems to me, rather closely and be as broad as we can in our approach to it.
Senator Ives. By the time this legislation gets through the Congress, it is likely to be pretty broad. We can sit down here among ourselves and formulate a piece of legislation. Then it goes before the committee when they are all assembled. And it is apt to be quite changed at that time. It is apt to come out as a committee bill. Then it gets on the floor of the Senate and it undergoes more changes. The first thing you know, you have covered the waterfront. Then we have to deal with the House, and the same process may have occurred there. Then you have to reconcile the bills. So I think in spite of the fact that we may try to restrain it, for the sake of the trial and error part of it—we are on new ground here. We have had these terrible experiences, but we are not positive where we are going. We think we know, but we are not positive how we are going to get there.
Nevertheless, I think the thing is going to take shape finally so it is going to be much broader than a lot of people might like to have it initially. I do not think you can restrain the Congress on this.
General CONDON. May I make this observation? With regard to civil defense and the part it plays in this, of course, those of us concerned with the civil-defense program believe that a dual purpose will be served by civil defense where they will have the part in natural disasters that seems to be spelled out by the President's recent action, and the action of our various governors in this area. That in itself
would seem to mean that in the case of an enemy-caused disaster, we · will have the confidence of the public, the work of all the volunteers,
and we will have the mental concept on the part of everyone, so that there is somebody to follow, in addition to the regular organized agencies. That seems very essential. I agree with the Senator. I think these things are tied together.
I would like to say to Senator Bush that I have heard about the need of equipment for the barbershop man, the grocery man, the smallbusiness man who has lost everything. As a result, of that, a gentlenian in the city of New York in the furniture business, got together some 6 truckloads of office furniture, through the civil-defense installation here, and arranged to send that into 23 communities, in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, for the little man whose store was washed out and had nothing with which to work to serve his fellow citizens.
So in addition to our food and clothing and pumpers and things, we did supply in some 22 or 23 instances, in various communities, furniture, desks, chairs, tables, kitchen tables, and things.
Whether all that is part of civil defense or not, we have not concerned ourselves. But we believe that we are obligated to give rescue and relief work.
Senator LEHMAX. General, I think what you have said here in these last few remarks, of these truckloads of furniture that were donated, that is fine. I am all for it. I know how cooperative you have always been. But that does not really help solve the problem of a man who has lost his home, and he is liable on one or more mortgages. What you have done is fine—but I think what we are trying to do must go much further than that.
I want to just ask you a few questions. I think I am safe in saying that the first civil-defense program was set up in New York State during the time I was governor.
General CONDON. That is correct, sir.
Senator LEHMAN. We organized it from the years 1940 to 1942. There, through the medium of using not only the Governor's office, but a defense council, on which the Governor sat, and other members of the administration, the legislative leaders, representatives of labor, industry, and the professions, we were very successful in setting it up. And Senator Ives and I served on the first State defense council. But I realize that the problems with which we were confronted were relatively simple, as compared to the problems that face any large community today because of the development of nuclear weapons. But we did have, just as you have had, the finest kind of cooperation from the various local and State agencies, such as the hundreds of voluntary. and paid fire departments, police departments, and other agencies. We thought we were all prepared. I think we were prepared, based on the weapons that could have been used against us.
But now the situation, of course, is very much more complicatedextremely, infinitely more complicated.
Everybody has testified to the need not only of having a large Civil Defense Corps Administration, but a well-trained corps. They have laid particular emphasis on that.
I would like to ask you, Are the local civil-defense directors and personnel kept up to date on such aspects of military developments as atomic and hydrogen bomb damage which will permit them to adjust their activities and plans to these new developments? In other words, I was wondering to what extent you are giving training to the many thousands of people who are in the civil defense.
But before you answer that, I want to make one more comment. If I am asking you any questions that at all affect national security, do not hesitate to tell me, and I will withdraw the question.
General CONDON. May I first make this comment, Governor? The civil-defense pattern that was established in this State under your governorship, and the council on which you and Senator Ives served is still the pattern. Obviously there was much foresight in that, because it is still the pattern of our operation today. We have had to expand it, but we have found no reason to contract it any place. We are still operating on the same pattern that came out under your governorship in the State.
We are just now attempting to revitalize civil defense, I think that is the best word I can use in connection with it, to encompass the very things that you have mentioned—the changes in weapons and all that. We have a new mission in civil defense now.
a The organization in this city, with which I have some little familiarity now, of course was built on the A-bomb idea. It has only been in the last year or two that that concept has had to change because of the H-bomb and the fallout.
I am glad to testify there was fine organizational ability shown in the working out of these plans and operations in an attack of any kind. But plainly they must largely go by the board now because we have a different problem and we are just now into that.
As you perhaps know, there has been appointed very recently a small committee representing the three States, known as the Metropolitan Area Commission, representing northeastern New Jersey, Connecticut up as far as Bridgeport, and our own State up about as far as Poughkeepsie, to try and determine, on this new approach, a survival plan. I have the distinction of being the chairman of that committee, appointed by the three governors and the mayor of the city of New York. I make that statement because I think it is the only answer I can give to you, sir—that we are now trying to do something about that and bring this in.
During the last few months we have revised our thinking. We have not had sufficient training, and we are attempting now to build up a training program. I have the assurance of the military people that we will have access, that there will be people in civil defense who may have access to any of the information we may need in order to evolve our programs here. I have just returned very recently from an opportunity to study that situation very carefully. So that we may bring into our planning here now the latest information.
Senator LEHMAN. Again I want to say that if I am asking you anything that in your opinion would be contrary to the national security, just stop me. But in the original council, of which Senator Ives and myself were members, we spent a lot of time and money on taking an inventory of homes or other shelter which could be made available, not only in New York State, but in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and Connecticut, Vermont and Massachusetts, in the event that we had to evacuate the people of New York.
Fortunately we never had to put that into effect. I do not know whether it would have worked out successfully, even if we had been called upon to do it. Of course, I realize the difficulties of keeping the roads open and things of that sort, making bridges available. But we did do that. Has anything of that sort been done since then? I ask that because every time I make inquiry about this thing I am told “Well, we have gotten away from the evacuation principle and now we have adopted the principle of diffusion of population-in other words, the reduction of the intensity of population.
General CONDON. In the first instance, sir, the shelter system is still in existence and should stay in existence, particularly in the suburban areas. There is nothing classified about the fact that if an area is subject to an H-bomb and it does hit the area, the problem becomes quite different. Some of us believe we must even have shelters in those areas. So that the shelter system is still an integral part of civil defense in this area.
In New York City, the New York City civil-defense director has not only the 5 boroughs, but he has 7 counties to the north as support counties, with a support relationship to 2 other counties. There is nothing classified in this.
If I might make this observation, I think it has a bearing on this. Some of us are not of the belief that if our defenses should be penetrated, that necessarily is the H-bomb going to strike at a given point in the city of New York. We are not quite sure of the accuracy from 80,000 or 85,000 feet. New York City might very well in itself become the support area.
Senator LEHMAN. What do you mean by that?