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NEW YORK, N. Y., July 30, 1958. JOHN J. GUINNESSY,
National Federation of Settlements,
619 D Street SE., Washington, D. C.: Strongly urge favorable consideration H. R. 9522 with hopes that favorable action on this legislation will be taken by present Congress.
ERNEST F. WITTE, Executive Director, Council of Social Work Education.
NEW YORK, N. Y., July 30, 1958. JOHN J. GUINNESSY,
619 D Street SE., Washington, D. C.: Very much favor seeing bill H. R. 9522 passed dealing with surplus property for recreation and welfare agencies. It would greatly assist all nonprofit agencies.
DERGAST, Executive Director, National Recreation Association.
NEW YORK, N. Y., July 30, 1958. JOHN J. GUINNESSY,
619 D Street SE., Washington, D. C.: Urge adoption of bill H. R. 9522. Eligibility for Federal surplus property should be broadened to include other similar qualified and worthy organizations.
VIVIAN C. McCollom, Chairman, National Board of YMCA'S.
NEW YORK, N. Y., July 31, 1958. JOHN J. GUINNESSY, National Federation of Settlements,
619 D Street SE., Washington, D.C.: The National Jewish Welfare Board strongly supports passage of H. R. 9522 in behalf of 350 Jewish community centers and YM-YWHA's helping one-half million Americans to wholesome citizenship-developing activities. Access to surplus properties important need in providing essential services.
SAMUEL D. GERSHOVITZ,
Executive Vice President. Miss COLBURN. I just want to read you the names of those organizations.
National Board of the YMCA; National Jewish Welfare Board; Child Welfare League of America; National Recreation Association; Council of Social Work Education; the Salvation Army; National Board of the YWCA; United Community Funds and Councils of America.
Now we have on our committee, national organizations from all three faiths. I do not happen to have telegrams for the reasons that I said, from that group.
We have had several committee meetings about this, and Mr. Lund or one of his staff has been present at most of our committee meetings, and we have talked this over and tried to work out a way that would make it possible to administer surplus goods in as equitable a way as possible, and to assure that they would not be wasted, because we agree fully with Mr. Lund in his desire along this line, and commend him for his leadership.
Accordingly, we then worked with Congressman Keating, who has put in a bill along the lines that our committee worked out.
Now I might say for your information that on the committee we have several people who were connected with the priorities system in the last war and who did distribute materials so they have some background in this, and I would add further that at no time has Mr. Lund or any of his staff raised questions about this with us that we did not feel could not be worked out and our committee is ready to work with him in working out a system so that this material could be equitably distributed and so that it would not be wasted.
Now, right now all of the agencies that I have named are eligible for surplus foods, surplus milk, and we are using this program to great advantage, and if we can handle perishable stuff without waste and for the benefit of the taxpayer rather than have it spoil, we surely ought to be able to handle this material, you see.
Now we recognize the business of scarcities and we have a lot of experience on surplus foods with that.
Sometimes we get practically nothing, sometimes we are loaded up with turkeys. Other times we are loaded up with cheese and so on but we have been able to work through this successfully so that the material was used and we are willing to take our chances on surplus goods, knowing that we won't always get the things that would be useful to us at a given time, but feeling we would get a great many things that would help all of our budgets and use the surplus goods to better advantage than is the case now.
We think it is better that they be used than that they rust away, as we all know is the case with some of them.
I should add in view of the fact that Congressman Baldwin testified here about public recreation, I should add a word on behalf of the National Recreation Association and explain that they have worked with our national committee and have been backing H. R. 9522 because it would provide for the goods to go to both public and nonprofit private welfare or recreation agencies, and they are very anxious to have the goods for public recreation just as the rest of us are for our general work.
That is all, sir, that I have to say unless you have questions to ask me.
Mr. McCORMACK. Any questions!
STATEMENT OF LOUIS B. TRAYCIK, FLINT, MICH. Mr. TRAYCIK. Mr. Chairman, I am Louis B. Traycik. I am a member of or a resident of Flint, Mich., part of the Sixth Congressional District of Michigan.
I have turned over to Mr. Ward a copy of the statement which I would like to present to this committee today.
I am happy to have the privilege of speaking to you today on behalf of two organizations with whom I have been closely associated; namely, the YMCA and the Salvation Army, who are two entities who would qualify under the terms of H. R. 9522, now before you.
Both of these organizations are subject to standards set by the Michigan State Health and Welfare Department, are nonprofit and tax-exempt voluntary agencies, and receive their funds through 'a
local community federated fund-raising body and are affiliated with and are a part of national standard-setting organizations.
These fine service agencies are now being looked to for unprecedented help due to the economic conditions that now exist.
And I might paraphrase particularly in my location of Flint which is hard hit because of the decline of the automobile industry.
They could use surplus food and other kindred commodities to help the needy in our communities.
The Salvation Army in my home of Flint, Mich., gave 1,353 emergency food and milk orders in 1957, which has stretched its budget to the breaking point. The Salvation Army is expanding its facilities to rehabilitate and train, in a Christian manner, human derelicts who would otherwise be a drain upon the public coffers. It could use surplus items in the training of these men in skills which will make them assets to the communities in which they reside.
The economic decline has particularly affected those in the over-45year class and many of these men have been coming in contact with the Salvation Army. It needs help to take care of these unfortunates. This bill, if passed by Congress, will greatly assist it to meet the present challenge.
The YMCA operates boys' camps, having 90 resident and day camps serving 10,000 boys and girls in Michigan alone. Also, in my community it operates a boys' farm for boys homeless and emotionally upset. It could use not only surplus foods and kindred products, but also such surplus items as road-grading equipment, buses, sports equipment, and such other items.
The boys' farm I have referred to is an experiment in family living which places a limited number of boys placed by the juvenile courts.
These boys come from broken homes or homes in which family living is nonexistent. We try to give home living, home discipline under a house mother and father, and provide them with good schooling as well as religious training. We also attempt to provide adequate recreational facilities.
This boys' farm or home idea is spreading throughout the country and is helping to solve our juvenile-delinquency problems. It has helped in our community to such an extent that we have 85 percent success with our boys compared to about 30 percent success in those boys sent to the State boys' vocational school in Lansing, which is a reform school.
Our boys' farm is being assisted by another organization, namely, the Downtown Flint Optimist Club, which is an affiliate of Optimist International, whose slogan is "Friend of the boy.”
It either cooperates with other organizations or operates boys' homes throughout the country.
These homes need assistance such as this bill will provide. It is respectfully urged that you give favorable consideration to this worthy proposal before you.
Mr. McCORMACK. Any questions, Mr. May?
Mr. McCORMACK. Have you tried to get approval of the Department of Defense ?
Mr. TRAYCIK. No; we have not, sir.
Mr. TRAYCIK. No; we frankly did not know we could do so.
Mr. McCORMACK. Well, the Boy Scouts have been approved by the Department of Defense and they are given a preference over the donable property by reason of being classified as a military school; is that what it is, Mr. Ward ?
Mr. WARD. It is an activity of special interest and coming under section 203 (j) (2), Mr. Chairman.
Mr. McCORMACK (reading):
In the case of surplus property under the control of the National Military Establishment, the Secretary of Defense determines whether such property is usable and necessary for educational activities that are of special interest to the armed services, such as maritime academies or military, naval, Air Force, or Coast Guard preparatory schools.
If such Secretary shall determine such property is necessary and usable for such purpose, he shall allocate it for transfer by the administrator for such educational activities. If he shall determine such activity is not usable and necessary for such activity, it may be disposed of in accordance with paragraph 2 of this subsection.
Under that, what organizations, for example, the Secretary of Defense has determined, the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts, and the boys' clubs, are three.
Mr. LUND. Campfire Girls, the Boys Clubs of America you mentioned.
Mr. McCORMACK. Yes.
I simply call your attention to that fact and that the Secretary of Defense makes a determination in accordance with what I have just referred to—in the law I have just read you have even a preference over the other aspects of the donable property law.
Mr. TRAYCIK. That would assist us in the Y, but I doubt very much whether it would assist us in the Salvation Army.
Mr. McCORMACK. I agree.
Mr. McCORMACK. It could, but certainly in the YMCA and YWCA, and
Miss COLBORN. Mr. Chairman, may I comment on this point since I am representing those agencies?
Mr. McCORMACK. Go ahead.
Miss COLBURN. Prior to the time we set up a joint committee the national board of the YWCA wrote to the Secretary of Defense and asked if they might be included.
He replied that this whole matter was under study and therefore he could not include them.
We then set up the committee that began working with HEW, and while they were doing this the Boys Clubs of America said they were not going to work with our committee but they thought they would work directly
They applied to the Department of Defense and they were granted property.
Mr. McCORMACK. This committee does not see any reason why the Secretary of Defense—this is on the record—should not treat all of them equitably. Having made a decision that we recognize has meritorious results—we question the decision in some of those cases, but that is their headache.
They made it, and if I was in an ogranization and where others had been approved, I would undertake to put into operation the voice of public opinion within your organization that would demand on the part of the Secretary of Defense equitable consideration.
Now they started something that they probably stretched a lot but they made the decision.
In other words, they said they are an educational-give me that law again, Mr. Ward.
The Secretary of Defense or somebody down there has determined that these organizations are eligible for property necessary for educational activities and that are of special interest to the armed services.
It seems to me that the YMCA and the YWCA, I could name some others, are just as much in that category as those who have received favorable consideration.
Miss COLBORN. They have been very active in the USO.
Mr. McCORMACK. I recommend that you start a drive to convince them of the equity of your situation.
Miss COLBORN. Well, Mr. Chairman, you have a very good point. Mr. McCORMACK. And not of the inequity of their prior decision. Miss COLBORN. We discussed this a lot in our committee.
As a matter of fact, we had the representative of the head of surplus goods from the Boy Scouts present who told us all about his experience and so on, and as we discussed it, we felt that we did not want, as a group of agencies to be in competition with the education and health agencies.
We preferred, therefore, that we get this through the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, so that we all might be working together on it rather than any of us swiping from somebody else, so to speak.
Mr. McCORMACK. I might say the Comptroller General has ruled that the Secretary of Defense has wide discretion under this act, because this select committee asked him for his opinion on the action of the Secretary of Defense.
We were very much interested, because of the bills coming before this committee, and naturally if the Secretary of Defense has the discretion, and he has already exercised it, giving certain fine organizations a preferential status, we also felt he ought to give consideration to other organizations similarly situated.
And of course I can easily visualize what has happened.
Mr. LUND. I was just going to ask the gentleman a question. If they had explored possibilities through the department of educationyou made some comment here I just do not locate it here—about having a good school.
Have you tried to affiliate on the local school side?
I think it would be possible under the regular program to get assistance under existing law in addition to that which has been suggested.
Mr. TRAYCIK. Our boys attend a public school.
Mr. TRAYCIK. They do, and they have some tutoring in the evening by special tutors but we are under public schools. We try to give them the same type of home training as your children and mine would have only we limit our boys to 12 boys to each dormitory.