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2. Federal and State

(a) The immediate construction of low-cost housing to be made available to all flood victims. The housing to be similar to the homes made available under the Bowles subsidized housing program.

(b) The quick reconstruction of bridges, roads, and other public facilities destroyed or damaged by the floods. 3. State

(a) The special session of the State legislature should waive the first weeks waiting period for all those who collected unemployment insurance as a result of the floods and reimburse them for that period.

(b) Declare that the unemployment insurance colected during this period not be counted toward computing credits for normal layoffs.

(c) Immediately institute a special disaster unemployment insurance fund which would reimburse all workers at full pay who are temporarily out of work as a result of a natural disaster.

Mr. EDELSTEIN. Mr. Fred Daley, of Torrington, president of the Torrington Flood Association.



Mr. DALEY. I am Fred P. Daley, president of the Torrington Flood Control Association.

Senator Bush. Mr. Daley is a former mayor of the city of Torrington.

Mr. ĎALEY. Senator, I do not want to take up too much of your time. I realize you have been here for many hours. I do not want to repeat just what has been gone through all afternoon and probably all day, but I do want to go on record here that our association is in favor of flood insurance. We do not care whether you call it flood insurance, or disaster insurance, or whatever handle you put on it. But we believe the only one who can really give it to the people is the Federal Government, because of the cost and because of the area it is going to have to cover. It will have to cover the whole country.

I realize no insurance company can probably afford to carry that type of insurance where disaster might be heavy in one area; but we believe through Federal insurance we, as private citizens and taxpayers, will all have to contribute to it.

If somebody is unfortunate down in South Carolina, or North Carolina, it will mean that we in the East will have to help them out. It is just a matter of cooperation throughout the country to see to it that people who are in the disaster area, or happen to be unfortunate, are covered.

As you know, in Torrington we have had many problems. We have many old concerns that have had their life savings washed away overnight. I myself know what it is to be up with 6 feet of water on your business doorstep. I do not know whether many people have had the experience at 2 o'clock in the morning where you are on a stepladder and have to watch the water come in and wash practically your life's savings away. That is what happens during a flood.

There is no opportunity for you to do anything as an individual. It has to be done before it happens, or afterward. This is one of these cases where we have to do the job after the damage is done. It is unfortunate it is that way and I do hope your committee sees fit to bring in a report to the Senate in favor of disaster insurance. I am sure that

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we, the people in our town and throughout the State, will give you our wholehearted support in any way we can to help you put this insurance across.

I want to thank the committee for their time and do not want to keep you here all night. I know what it is.

Senator Bush. Thank you very much, Mr. Daley. We appreciate very much having you come here and giving us your views. Are there any other witnesses?

Mr. Ekins. Mr. Chairman, I sent a wire to your committee last week.

Senator Bush. I am sorry, I cannot hear you. Will you step forward, please?

Mr. EKINS. I sent a wire to your committee last week asking that I be heard. It may have been delayed.

Senator Bush. What is your name?

Mr. Ekins. Ekins. I represent the Communist Party of ('onnecticut.

Mr. EDELSTEIN. The committee did receive such a wire, but it was the view of the chairman that we were not going to hear representatives of the political parties, as such. So the committee did not schedule Mr. Ekins.

Senator Bush. I had not been aware of it, but inasmuch as Senator Lehman had made that conclusion I am afraid we shall have to stick to it. We have not invited other political parties before this committee and therefore I am sorry but we shall have to refuse your request.

Mr. EKINS. All right, Senator Bush. I would like to point out that I think we do have a thoughtful report, if you want to call it that, to submit. Senator Bush. If you

would care to write us your views we shoukl be glad to hear from you.

Mr. EKINS. Thank you. I should care to do that if I could be permitted to. May I leave with the committee the report that I would like to have read ? Had I known, I should have appeared as an individual perhaps rather than

Senator Bush. Yes. We will be glad to receive the statement. It will be filed with the committee.

I have a telegram and several letters that have been received by the committee and will be inserted in the record. Also any others that may be received at a later date. (The letters referred to follow :)

BRIDGEPORT, Coxx., October 31, 19.73. Senator PRESCOTT Bush,

Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR : Please include wave damage in disaster insurance bill. Spent $15,000 for repairs and replacement since 1938 hurricane on shore-front home assessed for $12,000. Due to frequency of storms impossible to finance repairs without insurance help. Respectfully,

HARRY SILOS. 401 Fairfield Beach Road, Fairfield, Conn.

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November 11, 19.55. FLOOD RELIEF INSURANCE Any plan for so-called flood insurance that does not emphasize insurance principles will either be a failure or simply amount to a Government handout. Insurance principles and practices are not too complicated and are fundamental


to all lines. In the case of flood insurance the three most important principles are simple. First, cost must be very low in order to gain wide acceptance and sales of the protection and thus to have a true experience.

Second, the underwriting rules, while simple, must obviously exclude any property clearly exposed to even normal floods or water damage.

Third, the machinery to sell and service the protection must be in existence in order to keep administrative costs low.

If these principles are followed, it is reasonable to believe that a large volume of protection can be sold to the American public and with little or no final cost to the taxpayer. It could be done by having the protection sold and serviced through regularly constituted property insurance agents. The commission would be very low and would not be truly compensatory. The agent would do it as a public service and to enlarge his contacts and his service to his clients. Second, the coverage should be rather broad disaster protection and not just flood insur

One might say that the coverage should be any disaster hazard the property is subject to not covered in the present coverages now usually written. It might include, for example, atomic explosions, perhaps even war hazards.

A percentage deduction, perhaps as much as 5 percent, would be advantageous. Deductions are very valuable in reducing the handling charges incident to small claims and in the larger claims, they reduce the cost so that the premiums can continue to be low. I am well aware of the fact that the public does not like deduction clauses; nevertheless, they are good for the reasons stated.

The premium should be of the order of a dollar per thousand dollars maximum and preferably 50 cents per thousand dollars of protection per year. Perhaps the best rate would be $1.50 for a 3-year policy. This pool could be administered, as was the war-risk pool, by a supervisory group in Washington at very little cost. The insurance industry should furnish advisers for free. The pool might be backed up in its early years 100 percent by the Government with a total limitation. Under normal conditions the loss rate should be small on an average annual basis.

In a few years the pool should have sufficient strength so that Government guaranty support would not be needed. No Government money would be directly put in the pool. It would be simply a question of backing the program.

A program of this type would, it is believed, be salable, practicable, and would offer protection in reasonable amounts to all who desired and are entitled to protection. Obviously, those people who insist upon building a cottage on the sand or a house or a factory on a low riverbank or flood plain should be excluded.



Hartford, Conn., November 17, 1955. Hon. PRESCOTT Bush,

United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR : Under the theory of disaster insurance outlined in my memo, the underwriting would be by use of the fire maps which are quite complete in most areas. All that would be necessary would be for the local boards of underwriters to mark and areas which have flood records; the same applies to beaches. There might be a few debatable zones and spots, but it wouldn't take much work to straighten them out.

Any property anywhere in the United States would be eligible if they were not in the red-ink areas. In other words, individual underwriting in the normal sense wouldn't be required.

If my plan has any virtue its is because of broad coverage at minimum cost. As the property insurance companies have pointed out, flood insurance has very little national appeal. Disaster insurance, including flood, is something else again. I would buy it and I think you would buy it, and to repeat, the only way you can have a true insurance plan is to have something a lot of people will buy. They are not interested in it unless the cost is low, the coverage is something they can imagine happening to them and the machinery for writing and handling it is available. Sincerely yours,



Merrow, Conn., November 15, 1955. Senator PRESCOTT BUSH, Senate Office Building,

Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR Bush: The legislative committeee of the Connecticut State Grange requested me, as a member and as their representative, to attend the meeting of the United States Senate Banking and Currency Committee held in Hartford, Conn., on November 14, 1955, relative to disaster insurance. Our committee wished me to present a thought we felt should be considered in regards to disaster by flood.

As you know it was found necessary to limit the number of persons who wished to testify in behalf of the citizens of Connecticut. Accordingly, on behalf of the Grange I submit the following thought: We are in favor of the Federal Government undertaking some kind of a program (preferably insurance) wherein the citizens of this country will be protected from loss by disaster. However, in the case of flood we feel a moratorium should be declared prohibiting building or rebuilding in a flood area. We realize the possibility of being flooded (and it happened this year in Connecticut) even though one may not be located in what is considered a flood area. By flood area we have in mind those sections of our country that have been flooded many times and where history indicates one can expect high water at certain times. As a town official I visited a section of my own town where four homes have been flooded, not only last August but on other occasions. My first thought was that anyone who would build in such a location should have their head examined as it was obvious what would happen not only as the result of heavy rains but in spring freshets.

Our committee does not feel that people should be followed to continue to build and rebuild in such areas and expect assistance from the Federal Government or from other sources when it is a well-established fact that floods cannot only be anticipated but will be a reality.

The legislative committeee of the Connecticut State Grange respectfully asks the favorable consideration of this matter by your committee and favorable action by the Congress. Yours respectfully,

IRA F. Wilcox, Member, Legislative Committee.


MERROW, Conn., November 15, 1955. Senator WILLIAM A. PURTELL, Senate Office Building,

Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR PURTELL: The Connecticut State Grange, representing 30.000 members, is in favor of the Federal Government creating a disaster program for the protection of the citizens of this country.

The legislative committee of that organization is interested to the point where the subject has been given considerable time and thought. This committee feels that some kind of a program should be created that would protect our people from disaster. It appears to us that a type of insurance underwritten by the Federal Government and handled by existing agencies could be developed. This would not make it necessary to create any new governmental agencies of which we already have a sufficient number if not a surplus.

In the development of this plan we believe should be included a moratorium on building or rebuilding in areas known to be subject to floods. This committee very strongly feels the public should not be allowed to continue to build in areas subject to floods and receive reimbursement for flood damage.

The committee respectfully requests your serious and favorable consideratica of this matter. Yours respectfully,

IRA F. Wicos, Member, legislative committee.


Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR Bush: I note from the newspapers that you are a member of the Senate subcommittee which is considering the possibility of some kind of national insurance against disasters. This is a most interesting question and I hope that something can be worked out. It would seem to me, however, that you have a major problem in defining what is a disaster.

To give you an example, I grew up in the Ohio River Valley, in a flood area. There was a flood of some kind by the Ohio River every spring without fail. In the town in which I lived there were a certain number of people who, for some reason, inertia or otherwise, continued to live in houses which were flooded every spring-in other words, caught by a flood of any kind. A second small group of people lived in houses which were not caught by the flood each spring, but would be caught, say, every 5 years by a somewhat larger flood. Finally, there were at least three major floods (in 1887, 1913, and 1937, as I recall the dates) which caught the major part of the town. After the 1937 flood a flood wall was built with Federal funds which it is expected would be sufficient to turn away a flood as large as the 1937 flood, this having been the largest up to that time.

From the foregoing, as you will see, there arises a natural question as to what would be the definition of "a disaster.” Would it include the first group of people who deliberately chose to live in an area which was flooded every year, or the second group who could reasonably count on being flooded out once every 5 years, or the third group, who could reasonably expect not to be flooded in view of the flood wall ?

I am bothering you with this letter because I think that the definition of "a disaster" is most important and should take into account situations such as that described above. Sincerely yours,

S. PEARCE BROWNING, Jr. Senator Bush. If there be no further witness, the committee will be recessed subject to the call of the chairman.

(Whereupon, at 6 p. m., the committee recessed subject to the call of the chairman.)

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