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Mr. FOGARTY. Between now and July of next year.
Mr. FOGARTY. Because 1957 will carry on from the first of July next year. For that you need the authorization for this supplemental appropriation. General FLEMING. We need the money, sir. Mr. FOGARTY. You need the money.
General FLEMING. We need the money. Somebody has got to reimburse us this $24 million or whatever it is eventually. Just cleaning up this mess is coming out of the civil-works appropriation with authority to divert which was given by all the Members of Congress or, rather, all the leaders of Congress when the disaster hit. The first thing we have got to do is get that money paid back to us.
Mr. FOGARTY. That will be in the form of a supplemental appropriation.
General FLEMING. Supplemental of some kind; yes, sir. The next thing we need is a supplemental 1956 appropriation just to get money to spend, and the next thing on that supplemental we need is the authority to spend it on certain specific projects, in order to make what we call new starts.
Mr. FOGARTY. That is right. It is the same authority that you received to start the survey of this Narragansett Bay area.
General FLEMING. Yes, sir.
Mr. FOGARTY. And this hurricane study that was put through last year.
General FLEMING. That is right.
Mr. FOGARTY. Do you foresee any trouble developing in Congress in opposition to such a program as this on such an emergency basis as we are in at the present time?
General FLEMING. I don't
Mr. FOGARTY. The reason I ask is that I expect to have a supplemental bill ready at the first of the year to carry out what you claim you need in this $2 million amount at this time to make these preliminary plans and surveys.
General FLEMING. I don't feel competent to comment, sir, on the opposition that might develop to it. Purely as an individual it seems to me so reasonable to do that that it should be done.
Mr. FOGARTY. Well, I agree with you. It was done in the Missouri River flood. We were in session at that time, though. But we have to go through the same procedure. That went through with no opposition at that time to take care of that particular situation because it was of an emergency nature.
Are there any other steps that you know of in your capacity as Chief of Engineers in this section that we can take as Members of Congress to expedite this particular program?
General FLEMING. There are no steps that occur to me, sir, that we have not already told, for example, the conference of governors that we thought should be done and that we told the three delegations separately that we thought should be done. There is nothing additional I could think of right now.
Mr. FOGARTY. The 2 steps or 3 steps that have to be taken in January are, first, a supplemental bill to repay you the $24 million or whatever the amount is going to be.
General FLEMING. Yes, sir.
Mr. FOGARTY. Second, another supplemental bill of $2 million for what you have just talked about, and, third, the authorization to spend that money for those new starts or new projects in fiscal 1956.
General FLEMING. Yes, sir.
Mr. FOGARTY. Are there any other steps we should take on a supplemental basis or on an emergency basis or a temporary basis that should be taken in January or February when we reconvene the Congress? General FLEMING. I do not think of any additional steps, sir.
I would like to correct the supplemental of $2 million. The $2 million, the million and a half for New England and $500,000 for the North Atantic Division, came in there for advance planning only. At that time when we said we wanted the million and a half we also said we wanted a supplemental of $4.5 million. Because we did not get the million and a half, sir, or the $2 million, that $4.5 million will be different.
I would like to give you the figures separately. Involved in this thing is this: On a couple of projects, had we been able to get the money last October, we could have started certain design work, particularly on a project in Massachusetts and one in Connecticut. We could have started the railroad in the wintertime, making the design for relocation, which they then could have started on in the spring. We did not get the money, so now actually we have almost one construction season because we cannot get the thing designed in the wintertime. We cannot pay for the design; therefore, we cannot start work when the ground thaws in the spring. There will be a difference in those figures just due to that change in time, sir.
Mr. FOGARTY. If you don't know what that amount will be
Mr. FOGARTY. You say that from the percentages of amounts spent on flood control throughout the country that New England has been lagging behind the rest of the country!
General FLEMING. Very definitely, sir.
General FLEMING. I think it is largely due to a lack of local demand for the projects. For example, on two of them I am talking about here, the Worcester diversion tunnel was definitely objected to. Rather, it was not objected to but it was never concurred in by the city of Worcester. They would never put up the cash previously to put up the assurance they would pay their expenses. The same thing is true on the Thomaston Dam in Connecticut. It was objected to by the local people who would be somewhat inconvenienced by it.
Mr. FOGARTY. Well, as I understood Mr. Finkelstein this morning, his statement was that one of the reasons that this flood-control project in Woonsocket had not been put into operation sooner was because of the refusal of local interests to put up their share until 1952 when this administration agreed to put up their share. Is that not correct?
Mr. FINKELSTEIN. I would like to clarify that if I may.
General FLEMING. I think the date was later than 1952 when we got them. I think actually it was about a year and a half ago when my office got them.
I would like to make one point, sir. Until we get the local concurrences and the local assurances on these projects under the floodcontrol laws they must be held in an inactive status and they are not even in line to compete for appropriations. So actually that has been one of the big roadblocks.
Mr. FOGARTY. That is right, but that was straightened out a couple of years ago in Woonsocket.
Mr. FINKELSTEIN. That is right, when the citizens of the community found out we had an authorized project. Then we immediately got to work, and our present city government and the State government immediately came through with the concurrences. There was no delay when we were made aware of the fact that Congress had given that as an authorized project.
Mr. FOGARTY. But we did lost about 3 or 4 years from 1949, as I remember your testimony, up until 1953. Is that correct?
Mr. FINKELSTEIN. That is correct.
Mr. FINKELSTEIN. May I add something? In connection with the Woonsocket project the general has mentioned that it could be expedited if certain funds were available. Is it possible and I ask the question of people who know here—for the State government to provide the funds on a loan basis which could be later reimbursed by the Federal Government? Is that possible under our laws to hasten the Woonsocket project?
Mr. FOGARTY. Well, you can correct me, General-you know more about the law than I do—but I do not know of any provision that would allow a State or a municipality to go ahead and build something. The Federal Government would not guarantee they would be reimbursed.
General FLEMING. I know of no precedent.
Mr. FOGARTY. We are appropriating money for specific projects, and that is the only way they can be expended. Is that correct, General ?
General FLEMING. That is correct.
Mr. FINKELSTEIN. How much is involved in expediting the Woonsacket project as far as the Corps of Engineers is concerned !
Mr. FOGARTY. I do not know the answer.
General FLEMING. I do not know the answer. It sticks in my mind though it is around $150,000.
Mr. FOGARTY. One way it can be accomplished is if the administration does not ask for additional moneys in this coming budget which is in process now I believe before the Budget Bureau in Washington that we try as Members of Congress from this State to get that particular appropriation increased on the basis of or the knowledge of the engineers that it can be expedited if a certain number of dollars extra is appropriated this coming fiscal year.
Mr. FINKELSTEIN. Don't we consider it tragic though, for the sake of approximately $100,000, that the Woonsocket project will be held up until Congress convenes and makes available $100,000 or $150,000, which may be 7 or 8 months from this time, and great damage can still be done to Woonsocket for the sake of $100,000?
Mr. FOGARTY. I know, but
Governor ROBERTS. What Mr. Finkelstein is pointing out is that for $150,000 approximately the planning and design work can be done on a project in Woonsocket. Is that right, General?
General FLEMING. It could be greatly expedited.
Governor ROBERTS. So he is suggesting the State not build the project but the State finance the engineering and research and design so that it will be that much more advanced by the time congressional funds are available and then the State be reimbursed for the planning funds, actually which ties in to the demand that the New England governors made, General.
General FLEMING. Yes, sir.
Governor ROBERTS. The demand on the President to advance a million dollars for this type of planning and engineering. Wasn't that correct!
General FLEMING. Yes, sir; a million and a half, sir.
General FLEMING. Yes, sir. We had started the discussion, sir, before you came in on that point. That is what opened up this. discussion,
Mr. FOGARTY. I do not think I have any further questions other than this one final one, General. I just wanted to get from you if there was anything further that we could do as a congressional delegation to expedite your work in this area, to bring it to a quicker conclusion, so that we can have better protection from floods and hurricanes, other than those 3 or 4 steps that I enumerated earlier on what we can do as far as supplemental appropriations are concerned in January and February.
General FLEMING. Sir, I am not trying to be facetious at all. You are well aware that I greatly appreciate all the moral support I have had from everybody in New England since this thing happened. I think the only thing we need right now is some financial support.
Mr. FOGARTY. Financial support and, as you say, there has got to be that public demand from New England as well.
General FLEMING. Yes, sir.
General FLEMING. Yes, sir. I might add there that all roadblockslack of concurrences which blocked the thing in the past-have now been removed.
Mr. FOGARTY. I see. The demand is there?
Mr. FOGARTY. And all we need now is the funds. Of course, we have to get that information from your people now-how much is needed and what you can do with it if you get it. So you had better tell us that, and then it is up to us to try to get the money for you.
General FLEMING. Yes, sir.
Governor ROBERTS. Would Rhode Island be reimbursed if we put up the $150,000 for planning!
General FLEMING. I cannot answer that question, sir. I know of no. precedent for it.
Mr. FOGARTY. I do not believe it would, Governor.
General FLEMING. I do not know any way a State or municipality could be reimbursed for a particular project like this unless it was: authorized by the Congress, because the funds that have been already appropriated for this fiscal year have been appropriated for specitio projects and have been earmarked by the Congress. Unless we had an emergency fund of 3 or 4 million dollars, something like that; that is the only way you could do it. We do not have that available.
Mayor COLEMAN. Mr. Chairman?
Mayor COLEMAN. A few minutes ago you informed us that we could not ask General Fleming questions from the floor but that you would be only too happy to ask a question of the general. Since then one has come to mind and I would be very pleased if you would ask the general this question.
Senator LEHMAN. Well, Mayor, I would be very glad indeed to lo so. I do want to point out, however, that this is an inquiry that affects the Nation. It is terribly important, of course, to consider each area separately, and I have been very glad indeed that Congressman Fogarty asked these questions, but we do have to consider this thing on a national basis, not exclusively on an area basis. But I will be glad to ask this one question.
Mayor COLEMAN. I will try to be brief, Senator. Assuming that the Congress acts favorably upon the supplemental appropriation that Congressman Fogarty has spoken of-not the one under terms of which the Corps of Engineers would be reimbursed for the funds it has already spent but the one which would give them additional moneys to construct the authorized projects-if that is done how long would it take approximately to construct the authorized project along the Blackstone River within the city of Woonsocket?
Senator LEHMAN. General, will you consider that I have asked you that question?
General FLEMING. I think it would probably take about 2 years to do it. However, the big point is that we could start 1 year sooner than if we waited till the 1st of July. There is one specific job down there in that thing, removal of the rock ledge. We know regardless of what the final plan is going to be we have to get that out. If we got a supplemental 1956 appropriation with authority to start that, we could get that work started and I think we could advance the thing 1 year in doing it.
Mayor COLEMAN. Thank you.
Senator LEHMAN. I just want to read one thing before we proceed to the next witness which I think is of very great interest. This is a part of a statement made by Prof. Seymour E. Harris, of Harvard, who appeared before the committee yesterday in Boston. He had only the figures for three New England States. He did not include New York, but I believe that the situation in New York is at least as conclusive, that the figures in New York State are at least as impressive as those quoted for the three New England States. He said the following:
Over a recent period of almost 20 years the 3 major industrial States in New England, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, received back but one. third as much relative to what was paid into the Federal taxes as 5 major southern industrial States, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee.