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A JOINT RESOLUTION MAKING AN ADDITIONAL
APPROPRIATION FOR RELIEF PURPOSES
Printed for the use of the Committee on Appropriations
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1938
SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
ALVA B. ADAMS, Colorado, Chair man CARTER GLASS, Virginia
FREDERICK HALE, Maine
JOHN G. TOWNSEND, JP.., Delaware
KENNEDY F. REA, Clerk
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
FEB 2 4 1990
SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION, RELIEF AND WORK
RELIEF, FISCAL YEAR 1938
Thursday, February 27, 1938.
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C.
Present: Senators Adams, Glass, McKellar, Hayden, Overton,
STATEMENTS OF AUBREY WILLIAMS, DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR,
WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION; CORRINGTON GILL,
Senator ADAMS. Mr. Williams, we have before us the House Joint Resolution 596 making appropriation of $250,000,000 for additional relief appropriations for the year ending June 30, 1938, and you being the active head of the Works Progress Administration, we would be glad to have such statement as you might make in connection with it.
Mr. WILLIAMS. Mr. Chairman and Senators, in the absence of Mr. Hopkins, I have prepared a statement which I would like to use as the basis of what I have to say in discussing this measure.
Under the terms of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1937, a total of $1,743,400,000 was available for obligation during fiscal year 1938 by the several agencies operating under the Works Program, including $1,500,000,000 appropriated in the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1937, $133,700,000 in unobligated balances from prior acts available for transfer and reallocation by the President, and $109,700,000 in unobligated balances from prior acts which were not available for reallocation but continued to be at the disposal of the agencies to which the funds were originally allocated.
The War Department Civil Appropriation Act of 1938 specified that $52,500,000 of these funds should be allocated to the Corps of Engineers to finance flood-control work. This left a net balance of $1,690,900,000 available for allocation by the President during the
Senator Adams. Will you give that amount again?
In accordance with the requirement contained in the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1937 that these funds be so apportioned and distributed over the fiscal year ending June 30, 1938, as to constitute the total amount that would be furnished during such year for relief and work relief, the President on July 1, 1937 apportioned the available funds among the Works Program agencies, setting up limitations on the total amounts that could be obligated during the four quarters of the fiscal year. There has been set aside $1,300,000,000 for the Works Progress Administration and the National Youth Administration; $134,300,900 is earmarked for the Farm Security Administration, and $214,400,000 is apportioned to other Federal agencies operating under the Works Program, leaving a reserve of $42,200,000 available for contingencies and emergercy situations. The Bureau of the Budget has indicated that it is intended to increase the allocation to the Farm Security Administration by $30,000,000 to provide additional loans and direct relief for families in extreme need in rural areas. Accordingly, all of the available funds, excepting some $12,200,000, have been earmarked or set aside for specific purposes.
Senator MCKELLAR. What was that amount?
Senator TOWNSEND. Have you a break-down as to what portion has actually been spent?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir.
Mr. WILLIAMS. Out of the total of $1,690,900,000 available for the Works Program during the fiscal year, $776,300,000 had been obligated by December 31, 1937, leaving a total balance of $914,600,000 available for obligation during the last half of the fiscal year.
A definite schedule of expenditures for the W. P. A. over the fiscal year was authorized by the President on July 1, 1937, when he set aside $1,300,000,000 for the W. P. A. and N. Y. A. This schedule was determined by several considerations.
First, it was to remain within the limits of the appropriation. As a safeguard, an immediate reduction in the W. P. A. rolls was instituted, although it was hoped at that time that expanding business activity and private employment would continue and that the W. P. A. rolls would decline naturally in sufficient numbers over the fiscal year in accordance with the recovery trend to avoid arbitrary lay-offs from projects. This reduction, amounting to 350,000 persons, was spread over a three-month period, from July through September, to avoid leaving so many workers destitute at one time and flooding local labor markets before jobs actually became available.
Second, provision was made for adjustment of employment during the winter in anticipation of possible seasonal increases in relief needs.
In view of these considerations $350,000,000 was authorized for expenditure in the first quarter of the fiscal year and $300,000,000 in the second and we were able to remain within these limitations.
Senator HALE. Did you spend about that or more than $650,000,000 for the first two quarters?
Mr. WILLIAMS. On December 31, 1937, a total of $635,000,000 had been obligated on the programs of the Works Progress Administration
and National Youth Administration. During the month of January, additional obligations totaling $120,000,000 were incurred, leaving an unobligated balance of the apportioned funds amounting to $545,000,000 available to the W. P. A. and N. Y. A. on February 1, 1938. . $24,000,000 of this balance will be used to carry the National Youth Administration through June 30, 1938, and $28,000,000 has been set aside for administrative and project supervisory expenses, leaving a net of $493,000,000 for W. P. Å. work projects. With the funds available, employment on W. P. A. projects could average approximately 1,700,000 workers per month from January 1 through June 30, 1938. On February 5, employment had increased from the low point of 1,450,000, in October to 1,945,000 persons, in accordance with our original plan to take care of the increase in need during the winter, insofar as was possible with the $1,300,000,000 available. However, immediate reductions in employment will be necessary if additional funds are not appropriated. It will be necessary to reduce employment to 1,800,000 in March; to 1,600,000 in April; to 1,530,000 in May; and to 1,500,000 in June.
Senator HALE. And with those figures you would still be within the amount allowed by you in the appropriation?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes. The proposed appropriation of $250,000,000 additional funds for the W. P. A. would permit an increase in employment to 2,500,000 in March. The schedule of employment, after reaching 2,500,000 in March, calls for a reduction of approximately 100,000 persons a month until the end of the fiscal year which would bring employment to 2,200,000 in June. This money will be spent on the same types of project that the W. P. A. has been operating. The accomplishments on these projects are impressive.
Senator Hale. The figures that you estimate are 200,000 higher than you expected in the original allocation are they not?
Mr. Williams. Employment would have to be reduced by 200,000 in March, that is 200,000 below the number of people that we now have employed.
Senator HALE. Yes; but you will employ more than you expected to for that particular month, will you not?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Well, we are not in March yet. We have not employed more than we expected to in February. We are within our schedule.
Senator HALE. Then you did not expect the figure to go up to 2,000,000?
Mr. WILLIAMS. In February?
Mr. Williams. Yes, sir; and we expect it to come down by the original schedule to 1,800,000 in March. This new money will permit us to increase the number to 2,500,000, but it will require that we institute reductions after that-amounting to 100,000 each month until by June we will be down to 2,200,000 persons.
Senator HALE. Which would still be 700,000 more than you anticipated?
Mr. WILLIAMS. Yes, sir. Spread over those months, the schedule is 700,000 above what we otherwise could do.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I would like to put in the record a list of some of the things that have been done with the W. P. A. money. I shall