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often to nearly illiterate rural workers, or 4-5 week residential classes. In addition, advanced training is offered in the United States. The self-help projects funded by the AFL-CIV or the AID range from a potable water system for a rural village to a community center, or a health clinic. In Peru a worker-owned lowcost housing bank was founded which has financed more than 1,000 workers' homes. In many countries in Latin America low-cost housing has been built with AIFLD technical and AFL-CIO-AID financial assistance. In Latin America and Africa vocational schools have been constructed for workers.
Funding for these organizations also comes directly from the AFL-CIO and in the case of the AIFLĎ, a helpful contribution from more than 70 U.S. business firms operating in Latin America. These labor assistance programs are vital to the growth of democracy in the developing countries. They are making a real contribution. They are education in its most basic and fundamental sense.
Now, let me speak about some trade union programs which do not receive government assistance, but are funded entirely by U.S. trade unionists or by international trade unions.
In 1959 the Communication Workers of America began “Operation South America”, under the direction of our late Vice-President, Ray Hackney. The purpose of the program is to support democratic trade union leaders in the communications fields in Latin America, and to involve local unions in this country and Canada in the development of trade unions in Latin America. Each of the 10 local districts of the CWA sponsors the work of a trade unionist who otherwise would be confined to union activity on a part-time and voluntary basis. The CWA locals make an extra contribution each month to their district, in addition to their regular duties, for this purpose. This assistance does not go through the CWA national office nor through the Inter-American office of the Postal, Telegraph and Telephone International. Each district sends its financial assistance directly to the person or union being sponsored. Through financial assistance and through advice from experienced trade unionists, these Latin Americans have been able to substantially change and improve their own trade unions.
Just one example of many will give you an idea of the kind of progress that can be made with a small amount of money combined with the will of the peoples of the developing nations. In 1963 Romulo Marinho, a national officer in the Telegraph and Cable Workers Union in the state of Guanabara, Brazil, was defeated by the communists. Since he had demonstrated a real dedication to democratic trade unionism, the AIFLD brought him to one of their courses held in Washington, D.C. He was then chosen by District 2 of the CWA for support in Operation South America.
The modest salary he was paid from District 2 enabled him to devote full-time to organizing new unions and recovering the union from the hands of those who would use it for political purposes. Through an education program he directed for the local unions, he was able to regain through an election the leadership he had lost. Within a few years he had emerged as a national leader in the Telegraph and Cable Workers Union. He was instrumental in organizing the National Confederation of Communication Workers with a membership of over 44,000.
From his position as a national leader, he has been able to stimulate the unions to engage in collective bargaining in the communication fields. The first collective contract for communication workers in Brazil was signed through his efforts.
In spite of the difficult conditions under which the unions must work in Brazil, Marinho has been able to make a real contribution to the well-being of the labor movement.
Existing programs of assistance to trade unions in the developing countries are excellent, as far as they go. But they are only scratching the surface of immense problems: that of mobilizing the masses of people so that they can apply constant, effective and pacific pressure on those who control the wealth of the nation; that of mobilizing the manpower of the country so that it can more effectively contribute to the economic development; that of mobilizing political strength of the workers so they can share in political processes of the state. Until these problems are solved, neither the U.S. nor the governments of the developing nations can claim that economic progress is being made or that the political process is approaching the democratic ideals so often voiced.
I think that the bill before you is correctly addressing itself to some of these problems when it states in Section I as one of its purposes: “to strengthen the capacity of the other peoples of the world to develop and maintain free, independent societies in their own nations.” The word "capacity” is broad in its
meaning: it signifies willingness and ability. The willingness to achieve a just society is not absent among the workers of the developing countries, but all to infrequently, the ability is. The organizations which I mentioned earlier are striving to assist the unions develop the skills so that they can more effectively represent the workers before management, and government. But their efforts must be expanded and supplemented by other programs, if real progress is to take place.
In the present foreign assistance act, one section, Title IX, specifically instructs the Agency for International Development to emphasize programs which will stimulate the development of democratic institutions. While there are some programs already underway which fulfill this description, I feel they represent a far too small portion of the total foreign assistance program. I am hopeful that AID can and will effectively bring its resources to bear on this area of activity. However, new, imaginative approaches are needed. I think that this bill could fulfill many of these needs. But in my opinion to do this, you will need to change some of the language, particularly in Section 4, page 5. Too often conferences, meetings, seminars of trade unionists, students, or cooperative officials do not allow for the even more important follow-up, or continuing assistance. Without a skilled staff to provide continuing program, the knowledge and techniques discussed in a seminar are soon forgotten or are not utilized. From the description of the trade union programs you can see that one of the most important functions is to provide support to a conference participant when he returns to his union. This support requires an American and host country staff.
So I suggest to you that this foundation would be doing only part of its job if it just provided funds for conferences or exchanges of persons.
Another aspect of the proposed legislation should be changed if you decide that this bill will address itself to the broader problems of the development of democratic institutions. Section 4 authorizes grants to be made “to private, non-profit agencies, associations, and organized in the United States, and to public or private non-profit educational institutions located in the United States and to individuals or groups of individuals who are citizens of the United States.” This proviso would prohibit assistance to local institutions such as cooperatives, trade unions, community development centers, and others which must form the foundation of democracy at the grass-roots level. It would also exclude from the participation in the foundation's activities the International Trade Secretariats such as the Postal Telegraph and Telephone International (PTTI). These secretariats are the international organizations to which national unions such as the CWA are affiliated.
Frequently, the US foreign assistance program has ignored or has been unable to assist the small, but very vital community development or cooperative movement in a city. Often the US AID mission does not have the time or the money to help them. A foundation such as the one you propose could fill this gap.
I recommend, then, that the U.S. origin provisos on page 5, lines 16-19 be deleted to read:
"... to make grants to private, non-profit agencies, associations and organizations, to public and private non-profit educational institutions, and to individuals or groups of individuals who are citizens of the United States..
In most of the countries where there is a US AID mission, a fund exists called the Special Development Activities Fund or the Ambassador's Fund. Most of the time it is used for small projects such as building a bridge, a community center, or helping a cooperative get started. The trade union development programs with which I am associated have been able to use this fund in many countries. The results have been outstanding. The AFL-CIO, even before this public fund was started, began its own Impact Projects Fund. Hundreds of small projects have received assistance from it in Africa and Latin America. You have before you a publication describing some of the projects in Latin America.
However, the public and private monies available fall far short of the need. This bill could also include the establishment of a large loan and grant fund for small projects of immediate impact for democratic organizations. US based on international organizations could administer the loans or grants in behalf of this foundation.
I suggest the following language be inserted in the bill on page 6:
"A special grant and revolving loan fund will be established for use by the participating agencies, organizations or persons mentioned in Section 4(a). This fund will be available for projects in host countries to further the purpose of this bill. Recognizing the need for tangible examples of modern development, this grant-loan fund will be used for projects such as construction of community, centers, potable water systems, health clinics, seed capital for cooperatives, and classrooms."
This committee is considering a new approach to foreign assistance and to development. The foundation that emerges from these deliberations must avoid one of the worst errors of other programs: red-tape the inability to respond to new situations, the timidity of risking a novel method to solve the complex problems of development. This foundation must studiously avoid intra-government competition if other agencies see it as threatening their field of operation.
In conclusion I want to empasize my support for the concept of the complete independence of any non-profit organization participating in a foreign assistance program. In trade unions we fully know the need for independence from government or political parties in this country. In our programs in the developing countries the necessity is even more pronounced. If we are to be effective donors, then we must approach the workers of other countries not as representatives of our government, but as representatives of the workers of this country:
The very important role being performed at the Government level in the foreign aid field would be enhanced with this new emphasis on private citizen participation.
Mr. BEIRNE. First I would like to say I come before the committee with clean hands. There was an awful lot of publicity some time back about the involvement of the CIA in certain organizations, and I can assure you that as far as this witness is concerned, I wouldn't be able to recognize a CIA man if I was sitting besides him, nor would I be able to recognize the present head of the CIA, Mr. Helms or whatever his name is.
Senator YARBOROUGH. I doubt that any of us would recognize them, if they were sitting beside us, President Beirne. If we did, they would change their agents.
Mr. BEIRNE. Now, the history of the American labor movement stands on its own merits; I don't want to go into that. The AFL and CIO, even before they merged established, I think, a very worthwhile record in the field of international relations.
My own experience dates back to the 1950's, before there was such a thing as an Alliance for Progress. My interest centers specifically in Latin America, more than in any other part of the world, simply because it is tied to our continent. It is part of our hemisphere. And if we cannot succeed in our own part of the world, then I wonder what we are doing in far off places.
I say quite frankly that I was one of those in the labor movement who made no bones in the fifties about publicizing the fact that we were receiving money from the Federal Government. At that time there was the International Cooperative Association. Harold Stassen was at the time the head of it, and I had no hesitancy in negotiating with the ICA at that time to get funds my own union could not produce, to bring Latin American Communications Workers to the United States, to put them in our educational institute at Front Royal, Va.
We gave them a 6-months' training program. There were initially 16 people. Ten years after that program had ended, 15 of the original 16 were still active in the democratic trade union movement in their respective countries in Latin America.
Senator MORSE. Not only that, if I may interrupt, your Government asked labor to do it, too. We needed your help, and we came to labor and we asked for this kind of assistance.
Mr. BEIRNE. Correct.
Senator YARBOROUGH. I want to say this, Mr. Beirne. From what I read and heard, I think the money that went through the CIA, so far as I can tell, was used for very laudable and many highly motivated objectives in the interests of freedom. The unfortunate part was that since it came through an unknown channel, that fact was used by people opposed to us overseas to blacken the concept.
This money was used for very high purposes of raising the standard of education, of living, the worker's interest in his work, his capabilities, his participation in the whole economy of his country.
I think it was used for good purposes, but unfortunately the method was secret so we could get the money from Congress. Congress didn't appropriate the money openly back there as we should have.
Mr. BEIRNE. This is the very reason that prompted me to not only support the bill that you introduced, Senator, which is supported by Senator Morse, but to testify on it and say strongly how good it is to see you coming openly and saying, “All right, let us do something that is needed."
When the Alliance for Progress came into existence, and when Congress appropriated huge sums of money to spend in foreign assistance, we made no bones about openly coming to AID. We hold a contract with AID right now. We receive some $4 to $5 million a year through an organization we set up, the AIFLD, an organization that is referred to in my testimony. There is a pamphlet before you that shows some of the work that can be done with a few dollars.
Now the value of the Government's help falls into a number of categories. One, it permits organizations like my own, the Communications Workers of America, to go to our own people for contributions over and above the dues to our organization, as we have done since 1955, and collect from them dollars that permits us to, right at the moment, conduct what we call in CWA Operation South America. Every one of our 10 districts is supporting either a man or a project in one of the countries of Latin America, and has supported a man or a project for the last 10 years.
We get hundreds of thousands of dollars voluntarily, only because we are able to say, this is a field our Government cannot operate in as successfully as we can. This is where people can talk to people. This is where we can come and implement the foreign policy of our own Government, the foreign concern of our own Government. People become more generous when they know you are doing something that is in the interest of our Nation.
I might say, Mr. Chairman, that one of the founders of our great work in Latin America was a Texan like yourself, Ray Hackney. He is dead now, but he was an officer for a good many years. He founded Operation Latin America. In Mexico a room is laid out to his memory. He has left an impact. There is no place you can go among the workers in the communications field in Latin America without having somebody come to talk glowing about an American, Ray Hackney, a person. This does more for the overseas efforts than many of the dollars we spend on the basis of government-to-government, although I hasten to add I am behind the government-to-government efforts. We are not doing enough in support of the private enterprise part of our foreign operations.
We now have S. 1779, a bill to have the Government openly suggest the aid that can be given by the students, by the farmers, and by the cooperatives. I think it is a good beginning in firming up the great responsibilities we have worldwide, and I certainly hope that the Congress will find the interest in this that will match the good that will come from this kind of work.
I have but a few suggestions. It seems the emphasis on the bill seems to go more to the exchange of people, students, exchanging with one another, having conferences, having meetings, having seminars. I think this bill would be greatly strengthened, and amendments have been proposed in my statement, and we don't hold fast just to the kind of amendments we propose, but we just suggest the kind of language that may be needed, and the proposed amendment that we suggest is on page 8. It would be to amend the bill on page 5, lines 16 and 19.
Here we suggest broadening it a little bit to permit direct help through organizations and through citizen's projects which may engage an American and host country citizen, to carry out projects.
I am thinking of these projects we have created through AFL-CIO; in Latin America we call it an "impact project.” Now mission directors have ambassadors' funds to be able to finance the digging of a sewer in a small town, putting a roof on a dilapidated school, buying the chairs needed for a kindergarten, buying the chalk that is needed to give to teachers, buying paper pads for children, buying pencils for children, and so forth. The need of the underdeveloped countries and the undeveloped countries is great, so great that there is no area you can think about where something couldn't be done.
The bill, as it is presently written, would restrict funds from being used in these areas, and we would hope that you would see the value of some of the things that have already proved to be successful; but, the funds are so small, and the need is so great, that I think it would take all of our lifetimes to do what needs to be done in a much shorter period of time.
The ironic part of what we do, with all of the money and all of the help we give to people, is that we are playing with the people in power. We forget the people we want to help, who are the "people” of this country. I know of no organization, aside from the cooperatives, the farmer organizations, the universities, and the labor movement, who will get down to dealing with people on a people-to-people basis. It is in this area that there is no provision made for the kinds of dollars that would bring back so great a return to the people involved, to the country in volved, and to the United States, so great a return in the respect that we seem to lack in the world today.
The things we do seem to turn to ashes in our hands, and Americans can properly wonder whether all of the dollars and all the generosity they are showing is really being appreciated.
It really isn't important whether it is appreciated or not. It is important as to how it is being spent and who is benefiting by it, and we don't have the right machinery; this bill is an opening wedge to provide the machinery to get down where history is really made, and history is going to be made in these countries by the people in revolt.
We traditionally deal with the “top," the power structure, and with nothing much changing, except the changing of the guard, and as in Brazil today, the ones really paying for the stability are the people, the peasants, the ones who cannot get a voice in their own 'affairs.