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Potential of public works projects which can be started in 1962Continued








250, 000

Wernersville State Hospital : Roadways, curbing, walks, grounds

lighting, entrance approach and bridge--Woodville State Hospital: Storage building, propagation house,

roadways, roof repairs-Hamburg State School & Hospital : Exterior masonry repairs, road

ways, curbing, walks... Laurelton State School & Hospital : Cisterns for fire protection,

water mains, water reservior--Pennhurst State School & Hospital : Roadways, curbing, walks

milking system.Polk State School & Hospital : Water reservior, bull barn, parking,

roadways, exterior painting, curbing, walks-Selinsgrove State School & Hospital: Curbing, walks, farrowing

house, storage and salvage building, exterior buildingYouth Development Center, Canonsburg: Renovate old boiler plant

for storage, impounding dam improvement, exterior painting, point tucking--Blossburg State General Hospital : Parking, roadways, grading and

landscaping-Coaldale State General Hospital : Tuck pointing, exterior painting,

roadways, curbingHazleton State General Hospital : Roadways, tuck pointing, exterior

painting-Locust Mountain State General Hospital : Exterior painting, tuck

pointing, roadways--Nanticoke State General Hospital : Parking, exterior painting and

curbing--Philipsburg State General Hospital : Grade and landscape entrance,

parking, exterior painting and tuck pointing-Scranton State General Hospital : Exterior paintingShamokin State General Hospital : Parking, curbing, walks, and roof

repairs---Grading and landscaping at new institutions (Ebensburg State School

& Hospital, Haverford State Hospital, Western State School & Hospital, Eastern State School & Hospital)






160, 000 50,000




9, 789, 000 Mr. BLATNIK. Will Mr. J. Willcox Brown come forward, please?


CONSULTANT, CONCORD, N.H. Mr. Brown. I am J. Willcox Brown, from the New Hampshire hills.

In the New Hampshire hills a hundred years ago they used to have a saying that people made their living, not on their income but on their lack of outgo, but that was back in the days of subsistence farming and things have changed quite a bit since then.

I am a freelance consultant in the natural resources field, and I just happened to be in the District on other business, and I am pleased to have an opportunity to support these bills wholeheartedly that are before the committee today.

Also I should say, in fairness to the gentlemen on my right, that I am an unpaid volunteer research director of the Democratic State of New Hampshire, engaged in a sustained effort, with many others, to restore the two-party system in New Hampshire.

I believe my friend, Perkins Bass, is aware of that, but I thought it would be only fair to tip off the rest of the party. I would just like to make two points.

As a former chairman and member of the Dunbarton Town Finance Committee, and being currently in my fifth year on the town board of Dunbarton, I would like to say this:

First, the standby bill would have an immediately favorable and beneficial effect in small towns and rural areas such as my hometown of about 600 people, living outside the capital. Dunbarton is a town. It has only 600 people.

But many are excellent workers, and they find it difficult to shift over to city-type jobs when the rural well of private enterprise employment runs dry. This bill could offer them employment on the town forest, which has 700 acres, on a needed school building, and a firehouse, which has a volunteer fire department. We all have to pitch in up there in the hills and work together.

Secondly, this bill would decisively increase the capital asset value of the rural public properties such as State, county, and town parks, State and town forests.

It represents the kind of long-range investment private businesses often make to increase the future productivity of privately owned forest lands in States like California and Florida as well as New Hampshire.

The bill makes a proper distinction between capital counting and current expense.

Finally, these bills are not self-sufficient to stabilize the American economy, but with a problem of this magnitude, of these recurrent recessions, why not have a full complement of counterrecession measures in our public arsenal ?

Thank you, gentlemen.

Mr. BLATNIK. And we thank you, Mr. Brown, and our friend and colleague on the committee was hoping to introduce you, but he was unavoidably delayed.

Mr. Bass?

Mr. Bass. I regret very much I was not here when my good friend and constituent, Mr. Brown, started his statement.

I simply wanted to add my words in welcoming you here, Mr. Brown, and to tell the committee that we have the benefit of a very distinguished constituent of mine here.

Among other things, he is a recognized authority in the field of forestry and conservation. Mr. Brown, I am delighted that you are here to give the committee

I the benefit of your advice and recommendations on this measure that we are considering, particularly as it may relate to our State of New Hampshire and your town of Dunbarton.

Mr. BLATNIK. May the Chair also state that the name of J. Willcox Brown is well known in almost all the conservation areas in the great midwest sections of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

We appreciate your statement.
Mr. Brown. Thank you very much, sir.
Thank you very much, Mr. Bass.

Fortunately, I did not have time to prepare a formal statement, and so I could not even get enough notes down to fill the page. So I will not detain you any longer.

Mr. BLATNIK. Mr. Brown, you will have an opportunity to revise your remarks and we most anxious and happy to have remarks in the proceedings.

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Mr. Brown. Thank you, sir.

Mr. BLATNIK. The next witness is Governor Swainson of Michigan, accompanied by our close friend and colleague, Congressman Jim O'Hara of Detroit.

Congressman, would you prefer to make an introductory statement ?



Mr. O'Hara. Well, Mr. Blatnik, I do not think that Governor Swainson really needs an introduction to the members of this committee. We have among you, of course, our friend, Mr. Harvey, from Michigan.

I would just like to say a few words about the Governor and his own efforts in the field of economic development in our State.

I think that the principal characteristic of Governor Swainson's administration in Michigan has been the across-the-board effort he has made to promote economic development and reduce unemployment in the State of Michigan.

It has ranged through the fields of education, research and science, and technology, economic development, development of the tourist industry, a tax program, and a number of other measures which the Governor has proposed in carrying out an attempt to assist and cooperate with the Federal Government in the efforts that the Kennedy administration is making, Mr. Chairman, to promote economic growth in the United States.

Mr. HARVEY. Mr. Chairman, may I just say this before Governor Swainson starts?

May I join with Congressman O'Hara in welcoming our Governor here today. I am certain that he is aware, of course, as you all are, that I belong to the opposite political party, but I am, nonetheless, honored that he is with us today and will state, for the benefit of all of us on the committee, that although we in the other party will very often differ with him, with regard to what is best for the State of Michigan and the country, I think it goes without saying that we all admire him personally very much, and we are delighted that he is concerned, as I know he is, as all of us are in Michigan, with this problem, and that he has taken the time from his busy schedule to come down here today.

And so with that, I would like to join in welcoming him here.

Mr. BLATNIK. And may the Chair add to that, that Senator Hart wanted very much to be here, and had planned to be here this morning, but committee work has held him on the Senate side.

The Chair would like, for the information of the members of the committee, to express our appreciation to Senator Hart for the splendid cooperation we have received from him personally and from his staff, both as far as the legislation is concerned, and in conferences with administrative agencies and the administrative heads involved.

So Michigan has spearheaded this legislation and helped focus attention on it to the point where it is now being given most comprehensive attention and consideration during the presentations made during this week, and which will continue during the next week.

Governor, we are privileged to hear your testimony.



Governor SWAINSON. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, Jim Harvey and Jim O'Hara. It is a real pleasure for me to be here this morning.

And it is a privilege to be invited to appear before the House Committee on Public Works to express my views on the legislation you are considering to utilize public works programs as an economic stimulant.

Michigan, for the past 6 years, has been faced with the serious problems of continuous high unemployment. Since 1955, many factors have contributed to a persistent high rate of unemployment in Michigan in excess of the national average. Our orientation toward the manufacturing of durable goods, increased decentralization in the automobile industry, the shift of emphasis in defense procurement from wheeled vehicles to electronic devices and missiles-all these tors have operated to boost Michigan's unemployment, even though the national picture has shown improvement.

The recession of 1958 and the business turndown in 1960–61 markedly aggravated the already serious unemployment picture in Michigan. Currently, while national unemployment has declined from 6.9 to 5.6 percent, unemployment in Michigan, according to preliminary figures for February, is 9.2 percent of the total labor force.

We, in Michigan, recognize our unique responsibility in the tasks of diversifying our economy, encouraging industrial expansion, orienting to the changed concepts of defense procurement, encouraging research and development in the quest for new products and new markets. All of these and their related activities are the primary responsibility of a cooperative management, State and local government partnership. And we are trying to meet the challenge which this responsibility imposes.

But, as effective as our own efforts can be, there are still areas in which the Federal Government can make an effective contribution.

The measures which you have pending before you-H.R. 10318 and the $600 million capital program submitted to the Congress on March 26, 1962, by the President-have a legitimate place as tools that can help us do the job.

State efforts to stimulate the economy are of necessity limited in scope and dimension. State-developed programs, soundly conceived and administered, offer much promise over the long haul. But in States like Michigan the size and nature of the unemployment problem makes it extremely difficult to achieve the effects that the programs you are considering could obtain in the immediate future.

As the Governor of a State that has felt the impact of high levels of unemployment over an extended period of time, I know that efforts of significant proportion must be made if we are to get our people back to gainful employment and if despair and defeatism are not to rob us of the necessary vitality of our most important national resource, our people. The human erosion represented by the disuse of the talents and skills of our unemployed is taking a toll that cannot be measured in dollars and cents alone. But even on that scale alone its price tag is too high.

The request of the President for standby authority to trigger a needed public works program before an economic downturn becomes serious provides the kind of authority that should not be denied to the Federal Government if the expenditures to be made in this area are to be most effective.

The President's recommendation for an immediate $600 million capital improvements program appears to me to be designed to provide substantial assistance to States like Michigan which have not yet shared fully in the economic gains of the Nation.

Congressional enactment at this session of this program, directed as it is to projects that could be initiated without delay and which could be completed within a relatively short period of time, would help provide the States and their local units of government with much-needed public facilities, and the unemployed with new jobs and new hope.

We, in Michigan, are ready to translate such congressional action into jobs, payrolls, and public facilities which will meet long-felt needs. We are also ready to direct the available funds into those projects which will not only provide employment over the contract period, but which also will provide those kinds of facilities which will have a lasting effect.

The history of economic recessions indicates the need for quick, decisive action to stem the tide of an economic downturn and to soften the harsh blow of large-scale unemployment. The nature of the Michigan economy is such that a slight decline in the national economy causes a sharp drop in our durable goods industries, the backbone of our economy. While unemployment on the national scale increases arithmetically,

in Michigan increases geometrically.

Two recent recessions offer revealing support of this notion. During the severe recession of 1958, the national average of unemployment was 6.8 percent, while unemployment in Michigan climbed to 13.6 percent, double that of the national average. During the business downturn in 1960–61, the national average of unemployment in March 1961 was 7.7 percent while the Michigan unemployment rate was 14.2 percent.

In these periods of severe economic hardship, we cannot wait for the laborious congressional and legislative machinery to grind out a solution to the problem. We need immediate action, rapid steps that will stem the tide before the recession adversely affects the minds and wills of the workers as well as depress the economy.

Granting the President stand by authority to spring public works projects into operation when the national economy lags by a specified rate, offers us the type of emergency mechanism that we need to turn back an economic recession when it begins, not after it has spawned severe hardships.

In your consideration of the Standby Capital Improvement Act, I would urge that serious attention be given to granting a flexible time limit to the duration of the projects. A limit of 12 months would prohibit the initiation of some public works projects that would meet essential public needs and would contribute significantly to the reduction of unemployment. This is particularly true in those months of the year when construction in a northern State such as Michigan is seriously impeded by the weather.


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