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Senator LEHMAN. Isn't there a New York State civil defense administrator?
Mr. AITKEN. Yes, sir. New York State has a very fine civil defense organization.
Senator LEHMAN. What do they do?
Mr. AITKEN. Well, sir, they plan and organize civil-defense operations in the State of New York.
Senator LEHMAN. They do what? I didn't get that answer.
Mr. AITKEN. The State director of New York State, for example, has the responsibility of organizing civil defense units and training volunteers in the State of New York, planning exercises, evaluating resources, providing a communications system to orient and direct people. He is the man who directs activities in New York State in the event of a civil-defense emergency.
Senator LEHMAN. I understood you to say that the Civil Defense Administrator had no authority within the State, that the primary responsibility rests with the State administration, the State Government.
Mr. AITKEN. Yes, sir, that is correct. And there where I said "Civil Defense Administrator” I was referring to the Federal Civil Defense Administrator.
Senator LEHMAN. Well, is that on a voluntary basis? What I am trying to get at is what is the responsibility of the Civil Defense Administration in New York State, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, wherever it may be. That is not quite clear to me.
Mr. AITKEN. Well, sir, in broad terms it is this: The Federal Civil Defense Administration is responsible for the development of national plans for civil defense, for guiding State organizations in their interstate relationships, for furnishing technical assistance and for furnishing intelligence with reference to enemy attacks or probable enemy attacks upon this country.
For example, we have a communications system that will permit us to translate warning information or warning intelligence from the Air Force air-defense control centers promptly to some 200 key points throughout the United States. This is a part of our civil-defense function.
In addition, the Congress has provided funds which has made it possible for Federal Civil Defense to purchase stockpiles of medical and engineering supplies which are strategically located throughout the Nation and could be used to assist the States and the cities in taking care of casualties in the even of such a disaster.
These are some examples of some of the things we do.
Senator LEHMAN. Do you recall what the amount of those appropriations is for medical supplies?
Mr. AITKEN. I beg your pardon, sir?
Senator LEHMAN. I say do you recall what the amount of those appropriations is for the purchase of medical supplies?
Mr. AITKEN. Well, sir, as I recall, about $164 million through this
Senator LEHMAN. Does the Federal Government through the Civil Defense Administrator make any direct grants to any of the States for the construction of civil defenses?
Mr. AITKEN. Senator, we have a contributions program which requires by law that the States and cities match the dollars in this pro
gram, and those dollars have been made available for such things as communications systems, medical supplies, training programs, publications, rescue vehicles, and all kinds of courses that civil-defense people need to become better qualified to do their job.
Senator LEHMAN. But there are no direct grants to the States?
Mr. AITKEN. No, sir; there are no direct grants except for survival and evacuation studies which have now begun.
Senator LEHMAN. For defense ?
Senator LEHMAN. Let me ask you this: Do you think the present legislation is wise in that it places primary responsibility, as far as I can see from your testimony, virtually exclusive responsibility, on the States, and the Federal Government really does nothing or very little? I won't say nothing, of course. Very little to build up the defense of the great centers of this country which constitute, certainly, a national hazard? I mean, after all, if the great centers of this country are destroyed by atomic attack, it doesn't make much difference who has the responsibility.
Mr. AITKEN. Well, that's correct, sir. Our agency has a big job in the interpretation of weapons effects, for example, and in this respect we have the cooperation of the Department of Defense, the Atomic Energy Commission. We are told what these effects are and in turn make them available to the States so they can do a better job of planning
Now, as you probably know, sir, there are some people in the Government, I believe, including the governors' conference and the Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (the Kestenbaum Commission), who think that the Federal Government should have more responsibility in this respect than they now have under our legislation. This is a point that, of course, is under discussion, under debate, and I assume that it will be for the weeks to come.
Senator LEHMAN. I don't know whether you believe that you have answered my question. I do not think you have. I will repeat it. I want to know whether you think that the present legislation is wise in resting primary or almost exclusive responsibility in the States rather than in the Federal Government in connection with an atomic attack?
You mentioned that the governors question that. Frankly, as a former governor of a large State, I share that concern very definitely. It seems to me that such action as may have to be taken because of atomic attack is in great part the responsibility of the Federal Government.
Mr. AITKEN. Well, sir, I think there are many who agree with you. You may recall that in connection with Senator Kefauver's hearings last spring this was one of the points that was reflected in his interim report. He thought that the Federal Government should have a somewhat greater responsibility than it has thus far assumed.
In addition, I recall that when the mayor of Philadelphia testified before that committee he expressed essentially that same view.
Of course, I think it is fair to bear in mind that in the event of a civil defense emergency the scope of the disaster would be so great, or it could be so great, that every level of government would have a vast job to do, and every citizen of the country would have a responsibility.
So, speaking now just from a personal standpoint, I think that the Federal Government may have or should have a greater responsibility, but at the same time it is imperative that the governors and the mayors of our great cities retain, recognize, and develop competence to handle the problems in their respective jurisdictions.
In other words, who could better direct, say, the Public Works Department of New York, of New York State, than the people that directed that department in peacetime? Or who could better direct and get the greatest service and assistance from the health department of that State or from any city other than the people that direct those activities on a day-to-day basis?
Hence, I am saying that we think it is important that civil defense be built into government.
Approximately 1 year ago we made delegations of various civil defense responsibilities to several departments of the Federal Government by order of the President. This authority is included in our legislation. It is an effort at the Federal level to build civil defense into the Federal structure.
We think that it is undesirable—and it is so declared in our legis lation—to duplicate technical competence or abilities that already exist, say, in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare; but, rather, we delegate functions to them so that the Nation can best take advantage of their skills.
We think this similar type of activity or plan for building civil defense into all levels of government is the best way to have this country prepared to meet with such a disaster.
Senator LEHMAN. In the last war, when there was no threat of atomic bombs, but merely from conventional bombing attacks, I happened to have been Governor of my State, and, of course, we were very much concerned with regard to possible necessity of evacuation of the people from New York. We found that in doing that we would have to work with-that it would be necessary to work very closely with—the adjoining States—New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont.
It seems to me that there is a case where you would have to have Federal control, Federal supervision.
Mr. AITKEN. Yes, sir; I think that is correct.
Senator LEHMAN. The Governor of New York could not say to the Governor of Connecticut, "We insist on sending our people into your State," or to Pennsylvania or any of the other States if the governor of the adjoining State refused to accept it.
It seems to me there is a case where it would be necessary to have a central Federal control.
Mr. AITKEN. Yes, sir; I think you are right. And Public Law 920 provides for the development of interstate compacts between the various States. As I recall, 38 States have entered into such compacts as of this time. As required by the legislation, those proposed compacts are transmitted to the Congress and do not become effective until 60 days after they have been transmitted to the Congress.
So there is a mechanism here for the development of interstate cooperation. And you are quite right, the business of coordination of activities between States is an important Federal function.
Senator LEHMAN. Also the financing of these various activities the setting up of shelters. I believe there are fewer shelters today
this is only a personal opinion of mine—in our large cities than there were in 1941.
Mr. AITKEN. Not only that, Senator, but if you were to equate those shelters that are available to the stresses and hazards to which they might be subjected today, I think that we would find that most of them were inadequate.
Senator LEHMAN. Adequate or inadequate?
Incidentally, Senator, related to this discussion is a program which we call our survival plan, research and study program. Last year the Congress appropriated $10 million for this program and for research, and in essence it is intended to do this:
Civil defense at all levels of government needs to know such things as the ability and capacity of our cities to exacuate for different amounts of warning time. And here we are not talking about evacuating everyone from every city. What we are talking about is the plan of doing everything we can to reduce the density of population to the point where population, or people as such, no longer would constitute a target in itself.
Now, we know from the various exercises already held that with the warning time that likely will be available for the immediate future and for some years to come, with planning, our people can move to the point where density of population is drastically decreased.
For example, take the District of Columbia. If you could make a circle with a radius of about 3 miles centered on the White House, on a normal workday there are nearly 800,000 people in that circle. That circle would include the Capitol on this end, it would go almost to Soldiers' Home, almost to the Naval Observatory, and it would include the Pentagon. Now, if an enemy were fortunate and found ground zero, the White House, with even a nominal-sized weapon, say a 5 megaton, we know that something in the order of 90 percent of the people in that 3-mile circle would be dead.
We know that with planning and with testing the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland can disperse their people so that the density of population in that circle can be drastically reduced.
Incidentally, Senator, this afternoon representatives from the District, Maryland, and Virginia are meeting in our office to sign the first agreement under this program to initiate studies in this respect.
Now, evacuation is only a small part of this program. We want to help the State and city directors obtain all the data necessary for survival planning: We want them to identify shelter, not just shelter from possible radioactive fallout but shelter from the elements which you need to have in your State, for example, and in Senator Bush's State, if an attack should come in the wintertime.
We don't want it to be a hit-or-miss proposition. If there is not enough shelter in the State of Connecticut to take care of the people that they find they can evacuate from their cities, then the plan should provide for the movement of these people into their neighboring States.
Then, in addition, this shelter must be evaluated so that we have knowledge—and there “we” includes everyone in civil defense and, finally, all the people—on the relative value of different kinds of shelter for protection from fallout.
Then, finally, we want this program to reflect the capabilities for reception and care. In other words, it would be one thing for people to be evacuated, but it would be something else to see that enough fuel, food, and the necessities of life were in the reception areas to give them a reasonable opportunity to survive.
We have met twice with the city director of New York and the State directors of New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, and we almost have approval of an agreement for the initiation of these surveys in that area. We will accomplish this I hope the day after tomorrow when we meet with them again in Washington.
Senator Bush. Mr. Chairman, apropos of some of your earlier questioning of this witness a few moments ago, I would like to go back and call attention to the statement which the witness made that they had only drawn on the funds of the Civil Defense Authority to the extent of, I think you said, $12 million. Is that right? That you had only drawn—
Mr. AITKEN. No, sir. I said approximately $6 million.
Senator Bush. I want to make a few observations and ask some questions on that point, because it seems to me that gives a very inadequate view for the record as to what the Federal agencies have done.
I would like to make a personal observation that in our State at least, the whole State, the stricken areas were really almost entirely dependent for relief to individuals on the Federal agencies and the American National Red Cross, concerning which I will have something to say later on, perhaps tomorrow.
There was very little in the way of State legislation in our State to cope with the sort of a disaster that we were faced with.
That isn't to say that we didn't have wonderful response from our National Guard and our State police, our highway department, and so forth and so on. The State agencies performed well.
But my impression is—and I think the Governor of our State will bear this out when he testifies—that the response of the Federal agencies was excellent, it was admirable, and our Governor has stated that several times since the disaster.
In Public Law No. 875 it says: In any major disaster, Federal agencies are hereby authorized when directed by the President to provide assistance by utilizing or lending with or without compensation therefor to States and local governments their equipment, supplies, facilities, personnel, and other resources.
Under that language the Administrator of Civil Defense, acting as the President's chief of staff in this disaster, which he did and very ably, directed the help from the Army and the Navy and the Coast Guard and the Marines, all of which sent in equipment, and they did a tremendous job in saving life and property.
And that all is under this authority contained in Public Law 875.
In addition to that, we had the Small Business Administration, which I think as far as individuals are concerned is the most important Federal agency of all. They came in there and set up offices in several of our stricken centers and made loans, all of which will be made clear tomorrow.
Through the Treasury Department the New Haven Railroad was able to get an underwriting of 90 percent of a loan by the Federal Gov