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COMMITTEE ON LABOR
WILLIAM P. CONNERY, JR., Massachusetts, Chairman MARY T. NORTON, New Jersey
RICHARD J. WELCH, California ROBERT RAMSPECK, Georgia
FRED A. HARTLEY, New Jersey GLENN GRISWOLD, Indiana
W. P. LAMBERTSON, Kansas KENT E. KELLER, Illinois
CLYDE H. SMITH, Maine MATTHEW A. DUNN, Pennsylvania
ARTHUR B. JENKS, New Hampshire REUBEN T. WOOD, Missouri JENNINGS RANDOLPH, West Virginia JOHN LESINSKI, Michigan JAMES H. GILDEA, Pennsylvania EDWARD W. CURLEY, New York ALBERT THOMAS, Texas JOSEPH A. DIXON, Ohio WILLIAM J. FITZGERALD, Connecticut WILLIAM F. ALLEN, Delaware GEORGE J. SCHNEIDER, Wisconsin
TO MAKE THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS A
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14, 1937
Washington, D. C. The committee met at 10:30 o'clock a. m., Hon. William P. Connery, Jr. (chairman), presiding.
The committee had under consideration the bill, H. R. 6180, which is as follows:
(H. R. 6180, 75th Cong., 1st sess.) A BILL To establish a Civilian Conservation Corps, and for other purposes Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there is hereby established the Civilian Conservation Corps, hereinafter called the Corps, for the purpose of providing employment, as well as vocational training, for youthful citizens of the United States who are unemployed and in needy circumstances, and to a limited extent as hereinafter set out, for war veterans and Indians, through the performance of useful public work in connection with the conservation and development of the natural resources of the United States, its territories, and insular possessions.
Sec. 2. The President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, is authorized to appoint a Director at a salary of $12,000 per annum. The Director shall have complete and final authority in the functioning of the Corps, including the allotment of funds to cooperating Federal departments and agencies, subject to such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the President in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
SEC. 3. In order to carry out the purpose of this Act, the Director is authorized to provide for the employmen of the Corps and its facilities on works of public interest or utility for the protection, restoration, regeneration, improvement, development, utilization, maintenance, or enjoyment of the natural resources of lands and waters, and the products thereof, including forests, fish, and wildlife on lands or interest in lands (including historical or archeological sites), belonging to or under the jurisdiction or control of, the United States, its Territories, and insular possessions, and the several States: Provided, That the President may, in his discretion, authorize the Director to undertake projects on lands belonging to or under the jurisdiction or control of counties, and municipalities and on lands in private ownership, but only for the purpose of doing thereon such kinds of cooperative work as are or may be provided for by Acts of Congress, including the prevention and control of forest fires, forest tree pests and diseases, soil erosion, and floods: Provided further, That no projects shall be undertaken on lands or interests in lands, other than those belonging to or under the jurisdiction or control of the United States unless adequate provisions are made by the cooperating agencies for the maintenance, operation, and utilization of such projects after completion.
Sec. 4. There are hereby transferred to the Corps all enrolled personnel, records, papers, property, funds, and obligations of the Emergency Conservation Work established under the Act of March 31, 1933 (48 Stat. 22), as amended.
SEC. 5. The Director and, under his supervision, the heads of other Federal departments or agencies cooperating in the work of the Corps, are authorized within the limit of the allotments of funds therefor, to appoint such civilian personnel as may be deemed necessary for the efficient and economical discharge of the functions of the Corps, in accordance with the civil-service laws and regu
lations made thereunder and their compensation shall be fixed in accordance with the Classification Act of 1923, as amended: Provided, That employees of the Emergency Conservation Work and of the cooperating Federal agencies whose compensation is paid from Emergency Conservation Work funds, as of June 30, 1937, and for at least two months prior thereto, shall be eligible for transfer to the Corps, and employees so transferred who do not have a competitive classified civil-service status appropriate for the positions to be occupied shall be permitted to take an appropriate noncompetitive examination to be given by the Civil Service Commission within a period of ten months and those employees who do not receive an eligible rating as a result of said examination shall be dropped from the rolls not later than June 30, 1938: Provided further, That the provisions of this section shall not apply to Reserve officers on active duty with the Corps, enrollees of the Corps, or unskilled labor: Provided further, That notwithstanding any contrary provisions of this or any other Act the employment of Indians shall be in accordance with section 12 of the Act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 984).
Sec. 6. The President may order Reserve officers of the Army and officers of the Naval and Marine Reserves to active duty with the Corps under the provisions of section 37a of the National Defense Act and the Act of February 28, 1925, respectively.
SEC. 7. The Director is authorized to have enrolled not to exceed three hundred thousand men at any one time, of which not more than thirty thousand may be war veterans: Provided, That in addition thereto camps or facilities may be established for not to exceed ten thousand additional Indian enrollees and five thousand additional territorial and insular possession enrollees.
SEC. 8. The enrollees in the Corps (other than war veterans, enrollees in the territories and insular possessions, Indians, not to exceed eight thousand mess stewards and cooks, and not to exceed one thousand five hundred leaders) shall be unmarried male citizens of the United States between the ages of seventeen and twenty-three years, both inclusive, and shall at the time of enrollment be unemployed and in needy circumstances: Provided, That the Director may exclude from enrollment such classes of persons as he may consider detrimental to the well-being or welfare of the Corps, except that no person shall be excluded on account of race, color, or creed.
SEC. 9. The compensation of enrollees shall be in accordance with schedules approved by the President, and enrollees shall be permitted, under such regulations as may be prescribed by the Director, to make allotments of pay to dependents, to make deposits of pay in amounts specified by the Director with the Chief of Finance, War Department, to be repaid in case of an emergency or upon completion of or release from enrollment and to receive the balance of their pay in cash monthly: Provided, That Indians may be excluded from these regulations.
SEC. 10. Enrollees shall be provided, in addition to the monthly rates of pay, with such quarters, subsistence, and clothing, or commutation in lieu thereof, medical attention, hospitalization, and transportation as the Director may deem necessary: Provided, That burial, embalming, and transportation expenses of deceased enrolled members of the Corps, regardless of the cause and place of death, shall be paid in accordance with regulations of the Employees' Compensation Commission applicable to employees injured in line of duty: Provided further, That the provisions of the Act of February 15, 1934 (U. S. C., title 5, sec. 76), relating to disability or death compensation and benefits shall apply to the enrolled personnel of the Corps.
SEC. 11. The Chief of Finance, War Department, is hereby designated, empowered, and directed, until otherwise ordered by the President, to act as the fiscal agent of the Director in carrying out the provisions of this Act: Provided, That funds allocated to Government agencies for obligation under this Act may be expended in accordance with the laws, rules, and regulations governing the usual work of such agency, except as otherwise stipulated in this Act: Provided further, That in incurring expenditures, the provisions of section 3709, Revised Statutes (U. S. C., title 41, sec. 5), shall not apply to any purchase or service when the aggregate amount involved does not exceed the sum of $300.
Sec. 12. The President is hereby authorized to utilize the services and facilities of such departments or agencies of the Government as he may deem necessary for carrying out the purposes of this Act.
SEC. 13. The Director, and under his supervision, the cooperating departments and agencies of the Federal Government are authorized to enter into such cooperative agreements with States and civil divisions as may be necessary for the purpose of utilizing the services and facilities thereof.
Sec. 14. The Director may authorize the expenditure of such amounts as he may deem necessary for supplies, materials, and equipment for enrollees to be used
in connection with their work, instruction, recreation, health, and welfare, and may also authorize expenditures for the transportation and subsistence of selected applicants for enrollment and of discharged enrollees while en route upon discharge to their homes.
Sec. 15. That personal property as defined in the Act of May 29, 1935 (49 Stat. 311), belonging to the Corps and declared surplus by the Director, shall be disposed of by the Procurement Division, Treasury Department, in accordance with the provisions of said Act: Provided, That unserviceable property in the custody of any department shall be disposed of under the regulations of that Department.
SEC. 16. The Director, and under his supervision, the heads of cooperating departments and agencies are authorized to consider, ascertain, adjust, determine, and pay from the funds appropriated by Congress to carry out the provisions of this Act any claim arising out of operations authorized by the Act accruing after the effective date thereof on account of damage to or loss of property or on ac. count of personal injury, caused by the negligence of any enrollee or employee of the Corps while acting within the scope of his employment: Provided, That the amount allowed on account of personal injury shall be limited to necessary medical and hospital expenses: Provided further, That this section shall not apply to any claim on account of personal injury for which a remedy is provided by section 10 of this Act: Provided further, That no claim shall be considered hereunder which is in excess of $500, or which is not presented in writing within one year from the date of accrual thereof: Provided further, That acceptance by any claimant of the amount allowed on account of his claim shall be deemed to be in full settlement thereof.
SEC. 17. There is hereby authorized to be appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, such sums as may be necessary for the purpose of carrying out the provisions and purposes of this Act.
Sec. 18. This Act, except as otherwise provided, shall take effect July 1, 1937.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. Congressman Johnson of Oklahoma has an appointment with the Secretary of Agriculture, and with Mr. Fechner's permission we will hear Mr. Johnson first.
STATEMENT OF HON. JED JOHNSON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA
Mr. Johnson. I appreciate the courtesy of your chairman and also of Mr. Fechner and will endeavor to make my remarks as brief as possible. I am glad to be the first witness in connection with this hearing on H. R. 6180, a bill to place the C. C. C. camps on a permanent basis. May I say in the outset that I have read the bill and endorse the general purposes of it. In fact, I am whole-heartedly and
Ι unreservedly for the measure, but I am going to suggest at least one amendment. The bill as written proposes to reduce the personnel of the C. C. C. camps from 350,000 to 300,000 by July 1. It proposes also to reduce the number of camps from 2,000 to 1,456 within less than 3 months time.. I believe that the C. C. C. camps ought to be made permanent. Irrespective of future economic conditions, it is reasonable to expect that we will constantly have considerably in excess of 300,000 young men unemployed, in needy circumstances, and looking for jobs they are unable to find. To reduce the personnel 50,000 at one time and the C. C. C. camps approximately 550 seems to me unreasonable and unnecessary.
It is needless for me to go into the history of this legislation. It will suffice to say that it is generally agreed that the C. C. C. camps have made good and have justified their existence. May I say in the presence of Mr. Robert Fechner, Director of the Camps, that in
my judgment he has done an outstanding job. He has rendered a splendid patriotic service to more than 2,000,000 of young men, who have been