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ment or to weight the average for the number and severity of changes in unemployment during a period. Stability of employment is important, as well as percentage of employment.

Over the 3 years, 1953, 1954, and 1955, Evansville area unemployment exceeded 6 percent during 18 months and exceeded 9 percent during 8 months. It exceeded 9 percent 5 months in a row, and exceeded 6 percent for 15 consecutive months. Currently, unemployment has exceeded 6 percent for only 3 consecutive months, but nevertheless has reached a very high figure, as I mentioned.

We hope and believe that this situation in Evansville will be alleviated before the community falls into the depressed-area category as defined in these bills. However, the people now without work there are suffering just as surely as those in areas where great unemployment has continued for a longer period.

Many people cannot exist for as much as 18 months without either employment or charity. They do not want charity, so probably they will leave the depressed community, thus dissipating a valuable reservoir of skilled labor there and causing a severe housing shortage in the areas to which they move. Human distress cannot remain confined.

We learned from the experience leading up to the great depression of the 1930's that when there was a distressed area it did not remain static, but the conditions fanned out to other communities. For the good of the entire country something should be done to relieve these distressed areas so that the unemployment and depression of these areas shall not spread to the entire country.

It is not a healthy condition to have intense business activity in some communities and distress in other areas. This condition could be alleviated, I believe, with localized programs of public works, by channeling defense work to distressed areas, and by providing rapid taxamortization and Government loans to encourage industry.

Again may I say that I think you are dealing with one of the most important problems before this Congress, and I think the measures before your committee present a most positive program for dealing with this problem. Let me thank you again for the privilege of appearing before your committee.


Mr. BASS. Mr. Chairman, I should like to make a few comments in support of H. R. 8555, the so-called Areas Assistance Act of 1956 endorsed by the President and his administration. As a Representative of New Hampshire, this bill is of particular importance to me and the people I represent in Congress-so much so that I have introduced an identical bill, H. R. 8532. The main purpose of this legislation is to start a program of assistance to depressed areas.

New Hampshire is fortunate in that we now enjoy a comparatively high level of prosperity and employment. But some of our important industries are vulnerable in the event of a slight decline in business.

We are one of the first States to achieve a high degree of industrialization. We still have a predominance of old industries which tend to grow slowly, or even decline because of changes in the markets and

competition from newer industrial areas. Our two major industries, textiles and shoes, today receive a smaller portion of the national industrial market. Add to this the imbalance created by recent Federal agricultural, public works, and tax policies-all of which tend to take cash from New England and spread it elsewhere. For example, New England received less than one-half of 1 percent of flood control outlay in recent years, or one-fifteenth of what might be expected on the basis of our economic position.

Certainly it is time that a bill such as the proposed Areas Assistance Act be enacted to help us help ourselves create the kinds of industry and employment which can best use our highly trained New England labor, and permit us to grow and flourish with the same speed which so many other areas of the Nation are now experiencing. This is not a proposal which calls for Federal controls or the Federal Government taking over in depressed localities. On the contrary, it emphasizes and preserves local initiative and responsibility in handling the problem of depressed areas. This is a self-help bill and a practical bill. I sincerely urge its favorable adoption by this committee.


Mr. SILER. Mr. Chairman and committee members, thank you for allowing me to come before you in support of my bill, H. R. 8283, which would create a corporation called Employment Restoration Authority, or ERA for the sake of brevity, and which would help restore normal industrial employment in certain depressed areas over the whole United States.

Very frankly, I myself come from one of these areas located down in southeastern Kentucky, but this bill is by no means a local bill nor a partisan proposal. My bill is national in its scope and nonpartisan in its character.


Various spots over the country and within the fabric of our industrial economy are facing hardship and depression at the present time in spite of the prevailing prosperity that exists in the general picture of our present status here in America. Some of these spots are in the textile areas of New England and in the soft coal areas of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Illinois. The President himself took cognizance of these depression spots and the need to assist them in an economic way when he spoke the following words in his annual message to Congress:

We must help deal with the pockets of chronic unemployment that here and there mar the Nation's general industrial prosperity. Economic changes in recent years have been often so rapid and far-reaching that areas committed to a single local resource or industrial activity have found themselves temporarily deprived of their markets and their livelihood.

Such conditions mean severe hardship for thousands of people as the slow process of adaptation to new circumstances goes on. This process can be speeded up. Last year I authorized a major study of the problem to find addititonal steps to supplement existing programs for the redevelopment of areas of chronic unemployment. Recommendations will be submitted, designed to supplement with Federal technical and loan assistance local efforts to get on with this vital job. Improving such communities must, of course, remain the primary

responsibility of the people living there and of their States. But a soundly conceived Federal partnership program can be of real assistance to them in their efforts.


My bill provides for a Federal corporation in the Department of Labor, somewhat on the pattern of TVA, except that it would not run on indefinitely nor after completion of its specific mission, viz, that of helping settle industrial employers in the sick areas of unemployment in the different States throughout our country. The corporate name would be Employment Restoration Authority or ERA and its organizational setup would be a three member Board of Directors appointed by the President, which Board would in turn run its affairs like a business and hire the managers and employees needed for the complete operation.

The operation would be prosecuted only in surplus labor areas as classified by the Department of Labor.

The operation would contemplate a three-way cooperative enterprise by the (1) local communities or areas, by the (2) Government through ERA, by the (3) private industrial enterprises to be attracted into the areas. Local communities would furnish plant sites; ERA would furnish buildings suitable to be leased to private enterprises at reasonable rents; private enterprises would take over the buildings, pay the rentals, furnish the management and know-how and employment. Then after 10 years of operation and rent payment and furnished employment, the private companies so doing would be entitled to deeds to the properties on which they would have already satisfied the equivalent of the construction expense in the form of rentals paid back to the Government through ERA.

The bill provides for rentals to be paid at the rate of 10 percent per annum on the construction expense of the industrial facility used. The bill provides for a limitation on construction expense of not more than $1 million for each facility and a further limitation of not more than three facilities for each labor surplus area.

The bill would require each industrial tenant or business enterprise to maintain a payroll averaging not less than 50 employees each month during each month of the rental contract.

The bill would require ERA to fold up its activity and move away if and when any area of its operation is taken out of its surplus labor classification by the Department of Labor.


The final net cost of ERA to our Government would be small, in fact only its administrative cost, for it would be a self-liquidating proposition through the rentals collected from private industries. The only free subsidies would be those of plant sites donated by local communities in interest for construction of buildings.


It is considered that the entire purpose and operation of ERA and this proposed legislation would be terminated in about 15 years and after surplus labor areas had been assisted and after industrial employment had been satisfactorily built up in depressed areas. Again, I thank you for your reception and forbearance.


Mr. HALE. I am appearing here today in support of H. R. 8681, introduced by me on January 23, 1956, and referred to the Committee on Ways and Means. I am informed that this Committee on Banking and Currency is hearing evidence on and giving consideration to those aspects of the bill which do not directly involve taxation.

I was prompted to introduce this bill which is similar to that introduced by a number of other Members by the acute conditions of unemployment prevailing in those parts of the First Maine District where textile industries have been closed down or have sharply curtailed employment. Much the most critical area in the district is the community of Sanford which formerly employed around 4,000 people in the Goodall Mills. These mills were purchased in 1954 and the manufacture of textiles in this area has been terminated. The inhabitants of the town with great energy and determination have organized to replace this large textile industry and their success in finding other and diversified industries cannot be too highly praised. At the same time, the loss in employment has nowhere near been made up. There must be at least 3,000 jobs needed in this area at the present time if the deciency is to be made up and the population of the town anything like maintained.

While I have no fixed ideas as to the form of legislation best adapted to the relief of depressed areas, the provisions of H. R. 8681 would seem to me to offer a reasonable approach to the problem. I am satisfied that the definition of "depressed area" found in section 6a of the bill would include the town of Sanford, Maine, and possibly other communities in my district. I believe that a depressed area administrator would be most helpful to the inhabitants of this community who certainly do not expect the Federal Government to solve their problems but who in meeting their difficult situation would welcome the sympathetic assistance and cooperation of a depressed area administration.

I therefore very much hope that some legislation of this general character will be favorably reported by your distinguished committee. STATEMENT OF HON. AIME J. FORAND, A REPRESENTATIVE IN


Mr. FORAND. Mr. Chairman, I thank you and the members of your committee for allowing me to testify upon a subject that certainly should be given as much attention by the Congress as Congress would give any piece of legislation concerning the public welfare and the national good.

I refer to legislation designed to alleviate unemployment in depressed areas of our country. There are within our country approximately 21 textile areas alone which have suffered substantial reductions in employment over the past 5 years.

The 1956 list published by the Bureau of Employment Security, shows these areas and makes particular note of those which are considered "substantial labor surplus areas." I invite your attention to the fact that Rhode Island is classified as one of these "major areas,"

that is to say, Rhode Island has been hit hard by this problem of unemployment.

I am not unaware that other parts of the country are suffering from the same malady; Massachusetts, parts of Pennsylvania, and North Carolina, to name but a few.

The problem is upon us and we must face it. To procrastinate any longer would only lend more flame to the burning decay of our economy. I was taught, and I still maintain, that every integral part of our country is necessary to constitute a healthy economy. The economy of any one city, or of any particular State, is so interwoven into the national economy that to disregard an illness in any one of these areas would leave the sore festering, with its malignancy upon the overall economy of the United States. We do not have a healthy economy while we have chronic unemployment in these distressed areas. The question arises, What can we do about it?

Federal leadership and assistance is needed to bring these areas to their feet until they are able to fend for themselves. Local efforts in many cases are just not sufficient to vitalize the industries and inject into the people of those areas a feeling of security and confidence in their jobs, State and country. In my own State, Rhode Island, wonderful work has been done by our Governor, Dennis J. Roberts, to diversify the industries, to replace and relocate the labor force that was cast into the ranks of the unemployed by textile-mill liquidations and migrations.

In most cases the hands of these local people are tied by circumstances remote from their immediate areas by policies established by the Government-shift in markets for various goods-depletion of natural resources, and the like. For those intangible factors, changes fostered changing habits of the people, we certainly cannot change their desires nor press upon them articles or material, just because someone says they are good for the American economy. To do so would be tantamount to Russia's 5-year plans, wherein they tell the people what to wear, what to eat, and what to buy. America is a free economy, a country made great by the spirit of free enterprise, initiative, and ingenuity. But let us be realistic for a moment and ask ourselves, What can be done now?

One of the policies that we can change, without destroying any of our principles, is our tariff policies. I realize that we must have trade with other countries and, up until last year, I voted for the extension of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act whenever the subject was brought before the House for a vote. I interpreted the word "Reciprocal," in the title of the act, to mean: "to give and take mutually"; but I have found, to my regret, that, as interpreted by those who administer this law for our Government, it now seems to mean "give until it hurts" and then some.

I opposed H. R. 1, when it was before the House last year, because I felt then, and I feel now, that many of our industries, who were struggling for survival were being traded away without regard for the welfare of the owners and workers, whose products had already been deprived of the protection they needed, by repeated reductions in the tariff rates, thus permitting other countries to flood our markets with competitive items, produced at which we, in this country, would consider slave labor rates.

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