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qualify. We have to prove to them that there were houses there in order to qualify. It is true you have to twist and turn the law and torture it in order to get done what we want done, but the easiest thing, I think, would be to amend it to permit blight which occurs overnight to qualify just as soon as blight which takes a century.

Senator LEHMAN. I think it would be a great thing not only to relieve distress, but also to clean up areas and get people to build on less vulnerable ground.

Mr. BURKE. But people love their homes. We are having trouble getting them out of some of our areas.

Thank you very much.

Senator LEHMAN. Thank you.

Mr. EDELSTEIN. Mr. Joseph M. Rourke, secretary-treasurer of the Connecticut Federation of Labor.


Mr. ROURKE. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Joseph Rourke, secretary-treasurer of the Connecticut Federation of Labor.

I am very happy to appear before your committee and I can assure you I will not take very much of your time.

I shall not attempt to repeat what others have said today as to the extent and scope of losses to the people of this State as a result of the two floods within the State. The scale has been so extensive that it is clearly beyond the ability of almost all affected to recover the complete losses they have suffered.

I am concerned most at this point with effective measures to assist the individual wage earner and his employer to return to their preflood way of living as fast as possible. While the private agencies have been generous in their assistance, the fact is that they have not made individuals whole. At best they supply up to 75 percent of the individual's loss. This has meant that the individual has had to take a loss of 25 percent or more. In some cases it is much more than that.

I doubt if there are many workers who can afford to take this loss. This means, of course, that they will have to borrow money and do everything possible to get back into the position they were in before the floods. We believe that the Federal Government should provide flood insurance to assist them. However, such insurance should not be limited to floods, but should cover other losses due to acts of nature which are not insurable today.

Flood insurance, however, is only one of the many items which are required. The individual worker in such an area faces immediate unemployment, which varies in duration from less than 1 week to several weeks. In a few cases it is permanent. We believe where unemployment does occur under circumstances such as floods that the Federal Government should require the State unemployment fund to make special benefits available to the workers and the employers adversely affected.

This could be done by requiring the acceptance of certain standards by States to meet the requirements of the Federal law. Such standards should assure that wage earners will receive benefits for not less

than 13 weeks over the normal benefit duration, and that they should not lose their eligibility because of lack of earnings in this period, and that they should be given wage credits for the period of their unemployment. In addition, there should be an increase in the benefits payable to assure the worker of at least two-thirds of his average wages.

Employers should not be charged for the cost of these special benefits. Above all, payments should commence immediately.

While this may be outside the province of the committee, we believe that your committee should make such a recommendation to the appropriate committee.

Insurance against acts of nature not otherwise insurable and adequate unemployment compensation together will go a long way to alleviate the losses suffered by an individual. We hope that your committee will recommend both programs.

I would like to discuss briefly with you the subject of disaster insurance and try to tie it in with regional planning for multipurpose control of our rivers and streams because I think they go together. By multipurpose development I mean a program which includes flood control, power development, pollution abatement, soil conservation, reforestation, and recreation. Even if the precise program which has been so successful elsewhere were not practical in these basins, there is still no reason not to undertake an intelligent development of our river valleys. In the New England area the trend so far has been toward single-purpose dams and other projects, in spite of the fact that this region is notorious for high power rates and underdevelopment of its hydro-electric-power resources. The per capita consumption of electricity in the New England States is one-third to onefourth of what it is in many areas to the south and to the west.

The opposition of the private power interests to programs of multipurpose flood control has in the past effectively blocked progress along

these lines.

The flood waters which inundated our six States this fall are sufficient testimony of our shortsightedness. The Hoover Commission's task-force report on water resources and power recommends a restrictive policy which would maintain the monopoly of the area's private power interests at the expense of the flood-control program.

No program of flood insurance can hope to be effective in this region if the recommendations of the Hoover Commission are followed. The New England area will continue to be subject to these disastrous floods unless the region's opposition to Federal multipurpose water-resource programs gives way. The New England region has the smallest share of Federal power projects in the country, and even of flood control. In that program only 22 percent has been completed, compared with 45 percent nationally.

The flood control and power controversy has raged for a long time, and it is still far from being settled. I mention it only because it seems to have the most serious implications for a flood insurance or indemnity program.

I ask you, can the Federal Government undertake to bail out property owners who suffer flood damages in areas which fiight against the very measures which would reduce the damages they seek to be indemnified for? I think the answer is obvious and that in setting insurance rates consideration should be given to this factor, so as to

encourage the vigorous implementation of such flood-control projects as may be needed to afford the maximum possible protection consistent with these costs.

I thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Senator LEHMAN. I want to make an observation on what you have said. You touched on a subject, as you may know, which has been very near my heart for a great many years, that is, the extraordinarily high power rates in New York and in the New England States. It has been testified to by a number of witnesses in our hearings that one of the reasons why the program of flood control has proceeded so slowly here was because of the opposition of the power interests to any project that included the public development of power. I do not think that the extent of the handicap that the States suffer when they have high power rates is fully understood. You have touched on one phase of it.

As I said, in New York and in New England they have the highest power rates in the country. I think New England is a little higher than New York, but not much. They are approximately twice as high in New York and New England as they are in the TVA area, at Bonneville, and in the Grand Coulee area-in other words, the Tennessee Valley area and along the Pacific coast.

The interesting thing is, as you pointed out, that the consumption of power is almost in direct relation, that is, the per capita consumption of power is almost in direct relation, to the cost of power. Whereas the cost of power in New York and New England is approximately twice as high as it is in the areas I mentioned, the per capita consumption in those areas runs from 2 to 3 times as much as in the New England and New York area.

It has been proven that there is a direct relationship between them. That is why I have been fighting so hard for the development of the St. Lawrence and Niagara Rivers in New York. When those are both developed, as I certainly hope they will be, not much power, although some, will flow to New England. From the St. Lawrence I think they have set aside 100,000 kilowatts. That will go to Vermont. The rest of New England cannot be reached economically.

I am glad you brought it up because I think it is of the utmost importance.

Senator BUSH. I am glad Mr. Rourke brought that up too, but I think it should be pointed out that unfortunately for New England, we just do not have the facilities for hydropower that we wish we did have. I have discussed this with the Army engineers in the last 2 or 3 months and they say they have studied the situation over the years and the great misfortune is that we do not have the sites where we can economically use hydropower to a much greater extent than we enjoy it, which is very limited at the present time. I wish it might be otherwise.

However, another point I would like to make is the fact that we cannot develop hydrodams should not interfere with our developing protective dams. As a matter of fact, the hydrodam and the protective dam, such as we have up at Mansfield Hollow, which saved untold lives and millions and millions of dollars worth of damage this last summer-those two types of dams are antipathetic. The thing that saved the big area south of Mansfield Hollow Dam was the fact that that dam was empty when the flood came, and it built up to a height of 53

feet. The dam is 62 feet high. It could have gone up another 9 feet. But if that dam had been full of water, as it would have been had it been operating a hydrodam, it would not have done any good for flood protection.

What we want here right now and for the future is flood protection. I am not taking issue with the gentleman at all, but only pointing out for the record that the two are not complementary, but rather work against each other, that is, hydro and a protective dam.

Mr. ROURKE. After our disastrous flood of 1936 and 1938 the Federal Government offered us $20 million, all the way up to Maine, to protect from floods and furnish hydro power, but the six New England Governors, if I am not mistaken, said "No."

Senator BUSH. I think the gentleman is correct; that there has been some opposition in the past by the public-utility interests to the protective dam, even in the Thomaston area, 10 years ago or 11 years ago. However, I do not believe we will, and I hope we will not, encounter any opposition from that source to the development of this system of protective dams in New England which so vitally affects our future and that of our neighboring States of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Mr. ROURKE. I hesitate to take any more time because my brothers of the CIO are here waiting.

Senator LEHMAN. Thank you very much. It was a very interesting statement.

Mr. EDELSTEIN. John J. Driscoll, secretary-treasurer of the CIO, accompanied by certain people.


Mr. DRISCOLL. My name is John J. Driscoll and I am secretarytreasurer of the Connecticut State CIO Council. I am accompanied by Mr. Fred Racine, who lives in Danielson; and on my left is Mr. Michael Zmuda, president of an auto worker union local, who lives in Seymour.

I will not try to go over the statement I have prepared completely because the hour is so late and you have listened to so much previously, but there are a couple of things I would like to stress from it, while leaving it with you.

Senator LEHMAN. We will receive it. We would like to have your full statement in the record and you may proceed as you desire. Mr. DRISCOLL. All right.

The first thing our organization would like to do, and we know you cannot do it, Senator Lehman and Senator Bush, is to call a special session of Congress. We know that the President must do that, but we believe if your committee recommended it as strongly as you could, that possibly you would have some influence with the administration. I first heard this suggestion from Mrs. Rogers, the Congresswoman from Massachusetts. At the time I thought probably it was out of the question, but as I read and heard more about the problem involved, not only on the question before your committee, the insurance ques

tions, but the problem of appropriations for flood control and dams and dikes and river development, it seems to me that if this gets involved, if this problem is taken up in the regular session, it will be involved with so many other problems and reports and hearings and other things which will be coming up in an election year especially, that we may not get the same kind of attention to it that we could get if the President should call a special session of Congress for it.

I know it will not be popular with you people in Congress to suggest it because I have a vague idea of the burden you labor under anyway, but it does seem to us that possibly in the course of a short session later on in November or early December it could be done in a much shorter time than you would otherwise have to give to it if it were involved with so many other questions.

I think the discussion between Senator Bush and Governor Ribicoff this morning indicated the kind of problem involved in getting bills of this nature through, not to speak of flood-control appropriation and all of the others in a regular session. So I hope you will give a little extra consideration to that idea as a part of your committee work. Senator BUSH. Will the gentleman yield at that point? Mr. DRISCOLL. Surely.

Senator BUSH. I would like to say that when the President came here that Tuesday following our first flood in August, I did recommend then a special session of the legislature. He took that up with the legislative leaders in the Congress in both Houses and it was decided that that would not be appropriate. So I would say that no matter how Senator Lehman and I felt about it, or this committee, it would be hopeless now, I believe, to get a special session before January. Mr. DRISCOLL. Well, we hoped you would give it another try. The more I hear about the problem that faces you on the insurance question, the more complex it seems to be. If you could come up with a solution in your committee of the type that has been offered in the bill that Senator Lehman has prepared, I think it would take a good deal of time to go through that alone.

Our State organization is on record, and our New England Council organization, as being in favor of disaster insurance. We have not taken specific action on that problem which Senator Lehman raised about limiting the coverage, but after hearing the discussion today I would like to call your attention to a couple of things in this statement which bear upon the same problem.

We are in favor not only of insurance for the future in all kinds of disasters, but for these last two floods in the Northeast. Senator Bush asked if we went back to those, how could we stop going back to 1954 and 1951? I think there is a logical date at which you could draw the line. Since the President of the United States in 1952, as you pointed out, Senator Bush, asked the Congress to take up the prob lem of disaster insurance, and the Congress did fail to act upon it, maybe that would be a proper date for the Congress to say that the insurance program which is developed, and we hope will be developed, will take effect, that is, that it will go back to that date.

I know there are problems in raising the money. On page 2 of my prepared statement I have suggested that instead of a tax cut which a number of people have said we can afford, maybe we ought to talk about spending this money to start a reserve fund which Senator Lehman was talking about, or Governor Ribicoff, and start making pay

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