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as I understand the basis for preparation, these estimates largely reflect direct costs.
Senator LEHMAN. Not indirect costs.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I would like first to commend all of the Federal agencies for their generous assistance to us in this program, and I in particular want to thank the Corps of Engineers for their help and effort in New England; and now with your permission I would like to comment briefly on some of the things that some of the agencies did, not in detail but just to give you an idea of what they accomplished.
For example, with reference to the Department of Agriculture approximately 50,000 persons were fed through welfare agencies—and here welfare agencies include the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and other agencies that do this kind of service-such as school-lunch
programs and distribution of food to individuals.
some counties along the coast, it will be necessary to continue providing food for farmers for several months.
Under the emergency feed program, assistance was provided to farmers in maintaining their basic herds. Crop insurance payments for losses are being made. The total for this cannot be determined until the spring price of insured crops is known.
In the Department of Commerce, the Bureau of Public Roads has coordinated and supervised emergency highway restoration and provided estimates and analyses of overall highway damage.
It is estimated that the States will probably ask for about $10 million to be equally matched by the States to finance the reconstruction of highways and bridges damaged by these disasters.
The Business and Defense Services Administration surveyed the industrial damage in the affected States and provided assistance in obtaining machine tools and other equipment from Government stockpiles to expedite the return to production of plants having defense contracts. It also assisted the industrial plants in obtaining Government contracts and supplies of raw materials.
Now I have already mentioned the Corps of Engineers, and for your information the functions assigned to them by our agency were as follows:
We asked them to (a) perform on public or private lands protective and other work essential for the preservation of life and property; (b) to undertake the removal of debris and wreckage; and (c) to undertake the emergency repair to and temporary replacement of public facilities, except as reserved to other Federal agencies.
With respect to the Executive Office of the President, the Office of Defense Mobilization authorized the Department of Commerce to provide materials priorities for defense-supporting industries in disaster areas.
ODM arranged with procurement agencies to give the same preferential treatment to disaster areas in placement of contracts under provisions of DMO VII-7 as is given to surplus labor areas. Activities under this arrangement have resulted through October 19, 1955, in channeling of contracts of $10,000 or more to the aid of the disaster areas in these amounts: Defense, $80,839,718; Atomic Energy Commission, $2,525,224.
The Office of Defense Mobilization has received Treasury approval of six Production Act loans totaling $13,491,000. In addition, a large number of actions have been taken by procurement agencies to adjust contract delivery schedules for firms in disaster areas.
Now with reference to General Services Administration : GSA has made available surplus Federal property for use in disaster relief, including trailers and school buses for emergency houses, as well as numerous items of supply and equipment. GSA announced that surplus Federal property may be sold to the States at 10 percent of original acquisition cost for use in replacing furniture, fixtures, or inventories of small businesses in disaster areas.
GSA provided records-management assistance to State and Federal agencies in the disaster areas for protection of Government and other important records, and they also provided space, supplies, and equipment to Federal agencies working in the disaster areas.
The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare provided technical experts to our regional offices to assist in coordinating disaster activities. In addition, 13 sanitary engineers were assigned to the American Red Cross to assist in the rehabilitation of housing.
Supplies of food and drugs in disaster areas were inspected and contaminated foods amounting to over $17 million were ordered destroyed.
Surveys were made of food damage to water-treatment plants and assistance and advice provided as to measures necessary to restore them to operation. Typhoid-immunization programs were undertaken in the affected States as well as rodent- and insect-control measures.
The Department of Labor: The Department of Labor coordinated and directed the State employment services in surveying the labor situation and in providing estimates of unemployment as a basis for Red Cross and other welfare agencies to determine their relief loads.
The unemployment services provided emergency manpower assistance to employers and civil-defense officials in the disaster areas by referral of workers. They also helped to alert workers as to employment possibilities.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics prepared reports on the employment and general economic situation in the disaster areas.
The Housing and Home Finance Agency: The Housing and Home Finance Agency administered Public Law 875 until January 1953 and has been most cooperative in assisting disaster victims particularly in such things as easing credit and providing temporary housing.
The representatives of the Agency are here and I am sure will be glad to furnish details with respect to their activities either today or for the record if desired.
Now with reference to Small Business Administration: The Small Business Administration opened emergency offices throughout the disaster areas to provide assistance to small businesses and homeowners affected by the floods. Representatives of this agency are here, and I think they, too, sir, will furnish the details if you want them.
The Department of the Treasury: The Coast Guard during August and October carried out rescue operations along coastal areas affected by the hurricanes and floods, evacuating large numbers of persons from positions of peril. Amphibious vehicles, portable boats, and helicopters were used in these operations.
Now with reference to disaster insurance: The Administrator of the Federal Civil Defense Administration personally inspected the disaster areas in the Northeastern States following the August and the October floods, and he inspected eastern North Carolina following the flood there. He saw firsthand the cruel handiwork of the forces of nature when released in a relentless disaster. He saw case after case where a wall of water literally demolished and erased the home or business for which individuals had worked a lifetime. He has expressed a sincere sympathy for some kind of insurance or other plan that would make it possible for a man to fill the gap in the family of security measures necessary to afford some protection against such disasters.
We are hopeful that some feasible plan may be developed to serve this purpose.
Senator LEHMAN. Thank you very much, indeed.
I think we will recess now until 2 o'clock. Will you be back at that time?
Mr. AITKEN. All right, sir.
Senator LEHMAN. I am sure Senator Bush as well as I will want to ask questions.
(Whereupon, at 12:25 p. m., the hearing was recessed to reconvene at 2 p. m. the same day.)
Senator LEHMAN. The hearing will be in order.
I am glad you are back, Mr. Aiken. Have you finished your testimony?
Mr. AIKEN. Yes, sir.
Senator LEHMAN. Mr. Aitken, will you explain just what the function of the Civil Defense Administration is in connection with a disaster? What is their responsibility? How do they carry out their responsibility ?
Mr. Aitken. Senator, are you referring specifically to a natural disaster such as a flood ?
Senator LEHMAN. What was that?
Mr. AITKEN. Are you referring to such a disaster as a flood for example?
Senator LEHMAN. Well, I am referring to a flood situation as was the case of the ones up in the Northeastern States, where both the damage and the suffering cross State lines. I am also referring to the functions and responsibilities of your organization in the event that there should be an atomic attack or something similar.
Mr. AITKEN. Well, first, Senator, with reference to natural disasters, under Public Law 875 at any time that the Governor of a State thinks that his State or a part of it has suffered damage to the extent that he wants Federal assistance, then the law provides that the Governor should ask the President to declare a major disaster. If the Governor so requests, such request goes to the White House and then to our agency for recommendation.
At this point we rely on the recommendations of our field offices and the knowledge and data available with reference to the scope of the disaster. If it is quite significant, then we make a recommendation
for a declaration of major disaster by the President, and the President so notifies the Governor.
Now, with reference to possible atomic
Senator LEHMAN. Before you get away from that, the President notifies the Governor. Does that completely let the Civil Defense Administration out of the picture? Have they no other duties at all?
Mr. AITKEN. No, sir; the declaration of a major disaster by the President is a prerequisite to the availability of any funds from the President's disaster fund. It also is a prerequisite for disaster assistance on the part of many of the Federal agencies.
Now, as soon as an estimate can be made of the charges, say, in Connecticut, incident to a flood that might likely be paid out of the President's fund—these would be charges for the things and only for the things that can be paid out of the disaster account, i. e., emergency repair, temporary restoration, removal of debris, and such things as are in keeping with the philosophy of the enactment clause of the act. Now, as soon as we get an estimate of the probable things that could be financed from the President's fund, then we recommend that the President allocate dollars to cover those estimated expenditures. Our agency is responsible for handling the administration of the funds and the accounting of the funds to the President and to the Congress.
Senator LEHMAN. Well, now, we don't know exactly what the damages amount to in dollars and cents. We have had some testimony here that they were $558 million, which, of course, would under any circumstances be now increased by reason of the flood 2 or 3 weeks ago, the second floods, particularly in Connecticut and other parts of the Eastern States. That is one estimate. The other estimate is $1.6 billion.
I don't know which is correct, but they are both mighty big figures. How much has been advanced out of disaster funds in total?
Mr. AITKEN. Mr. Chairman, thus far we have allocated from the President's fund approximately $6 million. That includes an allocation of a million dollars to each of the following States: Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Approximately one-half million dollars was allocated to the State of New York, and approixmately one-half million dollars was made available to the Department of Agriculture, $300,000 of which has been allocated for the rehabilitation of land in eastern North Carolina.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to offer this comment: That both the enactment clause and section 2 of Public Law 875, as well as section 3, limit and restrict quite drastically the things that can be done with these funds. For example, section 2 as enacted by the Congress says in specific terms that the Federal Government is to supplement State and local efforts. That is, this particular legislation does not anticipate that the Federal Government will supplant or replace but, rather, that we will supplement State and local efforts.
It also is quite restrictive in the sense that even in the repair of public facilities the repairs and the replacement thereof are restricted to essential public facilities.
It provides in section 3 for distributing through the Red Cross, as I mentioned this morning, food and other consumable supplies. It provides for the donation to States and local governments of equipment and supplies. And it provides in paragraph (d) of section 3 for the performance on public or private lands of protective and other work for the preservation of life and property, clearing debris and wreckage, making emergency repairs to and temporary replacements of public facilities of local governments damaged or destroyed in such major disasters.
So you see, sir, the language is very restrictive in the kinds of things that the funds can be used for.
Senator LEHMAN. I understand that fully. What I am getting at is that regardless of the language of the legislation now-Congress, of course, can always change that—the President is always in the position to make recommendations covering the change. It does seem to me that here we know that in this year the damage done by floods, including South and North Carolina, which was not included in the figures given us earlier in the day by one of the witnesss, the loss by reason of floods amounts to somewhere between $600 million and $1.6 billion. Against that, all that the Federal Govrnment has done to l'elieve the situation is to provide $6 million?
Mr. AITKEN. Well, sir
Senator LEHMAN. That seems to me certainly a distressingly small degree of help that the Federal Government has given to the States that are so sorely tried.
Mr. AITKEN. Well, sir, I'd like to offer this comment: That in addition to the funds allocated from the President's funds under this law, it is estimated that the Corps of Engineers will undertake work now estimated to cost about $27 million.
Now, this too is only a part of the total expenditure. It is difficult, at least at this time, to evaluate the value of services, services provided by the various departments that I described this morning. And the Bureau of Public Roads probably will obligate in the neighborhood of $10 million for assisting the States in reconstructing highways and bridges.
So there will be a great deal more than $6 million, but it is difficult at this time to put a total reasonably accurate figure on it.
Senator LEHMAN. Well, now, leaving that for the moment, supposing there is an atomic attack on the city of New York, what would the function and responsibilities of the Civil Defense Administrator be?
Mr. AITKEN. Well, sir, in the event of an atomic attack upon this Nation, it is assumed that title III of the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950, Public Law 920—_would come into effect, either by action on the part of the Congress or by a declaration by the President. And then the Administrator would have more authority with reference to coordinating assistance among the States and in lielping various political subdivisions of the Nation.
He does not now have authority to direct or command action. He can order the Federal agencies to do things—that is, things that are not required particularly by the Department of Defense—but he cannot order the States to do any particular thing.
You will recall, Senator, that this legislation provides that the primary responsibility for civil defense rests with the States while the Federal Government provides overall guidance, technical assistance, and coordination. The real job of organizing the people and providing the necessary equipment rests at the State and municipal level.