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directors of the State educational agencies in each of the respective States.
We have 43 States in the Union which participate in this national organization. The committee itself is comprised of 2 representatives from each of the 8 Army areas; there are 16 members on the committee.
We have been interested and are interested in the acquisition and disposal of Government surplus property of all types to educational institutions, and we are intimately interested in certain features of the proposed bill under consideration here, H. R. 2781.
We have some recommendations that we would like to make for the consideration of the committee in that respect, in order that the interest of education may be protected. If
you will allow me I would like you to refer to page 15 of title I and suggest that immediately following line 20 of title I that subsection () be added, which would make it possible to continue the transfer of property usable and needed for public benefit alone. This proposed subsection was approved by the committee in considering the proposed Property Act for 1948, and it can be found in that proposed act. It would make possible that continued use.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. When you say committee, you mean your committee ?
Mr. MOORE. No; it was approved by the committee; I have the actual statute, the proposed statute, which died because of the expiration of the Eightieth Congress, that is, the 1948 proposed act. It was accepted by the committee in the hearings and made a part of the proposed statute.
If you would permit me to go into title III, which I realize you are not considering at the present time, but in which we are very much interested and we will not be here, I am afraid, when you have your committee hearing on that, I would like to go to page 30 of the proposed act, and refer to line 10, and suggest that immediately following the figure."13," in line 10, the letters "(a) and (b)" be added.
That refers to subsections (a) and (b) of section 13 of the Property Act of 1944, which would make it possible
Mr. BURNSIDE. Would you mind giving that to me again?
Mr. MOORE. Yes. On page 30, line 10, immediately following “13," between the “(g)" and the figure "13" insert "(a) and (b).” Those are the subsections of section 13 of the Surplus Property Act of 1944.
Sections A and B provide for public beneficiary alone, to education and health.
Now I am not prepared to speak for health. I do know they have received tremendous benefits because of that, but I can speak for education.
We are intensely interested and we know how much benefit the schools throughout the country have been deriving as a result of that particular feature of the program, and we would like very much to see those two subsections placed in this measure.
Another thing that we are very vitally concerned with is in line 14 on the same page.
You will notice that in lines 14 and 15 the bill cuts off the effective date of this act on December 31, 1949. We would like to have the committee consider the advisability of eliminating the dead line, and beginning with the word "effect” add these words: with respect to benefits for educational use, when their utilization is certtified to by the United States Commission of Education.
In other words, there is not much use of putting in subsections (a) and (b) referred to above if you are to leave the dead line at December 31, 1949, and provision should be made to continue it.
Then, we have another thing: There has been approximately $475,000,000 worth of real property transferred to education in the United States as a whole. That represents about 5,000 schools and colleges that have received property under the Surplus Property Act. Quite a bit of that property has been transferred on a reverting clause in the transfer instrument, and we would like to know that the educational people are going to have the refusal in case of noncompliance that might be claimed, before any decision is made to take away their property.
For instance, there might be a neighbor school right next door which could make use of the property that is no longer needed by the original institution, and we would like to see that made possible.
Then another thing that we are vitally interested in is the effect that this legislation may have on the present donation bill, Public Law 889.
Mr. BURNSIDE. This property is only taken back when it is needed for national defense: is it not?
Mr. MOORE. No. If a school fails to comply with the utilization requirements, as established in the application, on which public benefit alone is granted.
Mr. BURNSIDE. You mean, you might get into difficulty because you may have a classroom you no longer need, and they want to convert it to a garage or something of that kind?
Mr. MOORE. You might have a classroom that was needed for veterans under the emergency program, but which the school does not need for that purpose now, but actually under the terms of the con. tract it goes back to the Government without the refusal of education to come back and say whether or not they need it. The school can get the Government's approval for the transfer of the building, you see, and we have had numerous cases where that has been worked out very satisfactorily. We have had institutions which have got portions of installations, including lands and buildings, where the original transfer, it developed, was more than the institution could actually use.
Mr. BURNSIDE. Yes.
Mr. MOORE. In which case we have been able to secure permission, with the approval of the Office of Education, of transfer to another institution, and we would like very much to see that benefit continued if that possibly can be done.
As I started to state, we are very much interested in the present donation bill which the Congress, the Eightieth Congress, enacted as Public Law 889, being protected by this bill in every way possible, and we further call attention to the fact that the House at the present time has under consideration a bill which was submitted by your chairman, Mr. Holifield, H. R. 3238, which would broaden the base of the present donation statute, that is, Public Law 889 of the Eightieth Congress.
I do not know whether it is possible to write this legislation to protect the program as we hope it will be when that statute becomes law or not. I might say that under the donation statute, the existing law, that is, Public Law 889, only the Military Establishment can donate property for educational use. We have had some other agencies of the Government manifest an interest in making their contributions of excess surplus property which is no more use generally to the Government, to their agency, and has no more use to the other establishments, and we know that the schools can use it, or a major portion of it.
We are interested in making it possible for the different governmental agencies, at the discretion of the administrative office, to donate such of that property as may become available. That is the purpose of the bill, H. R. 3238, which the chairman has introduced, and we would like very much to see that protection in this proposed legislation.
Mr. Chairman, I think briefly that covers our statement. We will prepare for the committee, be glad to at your request, a brief of what I have tried to give to you verbally here, and place that in your hands.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. I would like to have a written brief with the contents of the amendments which you have suggested and the acts to which it will apply outlined for the benefit of the committee.
Mr. MOORE. I will be glad to give that to you.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. That has been referred to the Armed Services Committee, and I believe that some action will be taken on that bill either by the Armed Services Committee, or for referral back to this committee.
Mr. MOORE. I might say that we have information that it has been referred to the Armed Services Committee, which will handle it. We are to have a conference with the subcommittee possibly this afternoon, late this afternoon.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. These suggestions, Mr. Moore, will be looked into by our committee. We will also want to get the expression of views from the Bureau of the Budget, as we should, on the amendments, and also as to whether they should be included in this proposed bill or should be considered in a separate bill.
Mr. MOORE. We appreciate that, and I might make this statement that the same general problem that we have been going over here has been taken up with the Senate committee and the committee over there is considering the same thing. It is our hope that the measures can be brought into line, both the House and the Senate measures, in such way that they will not require any reconciliation by the committees.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Are there any questions from members of the committee?
Mr. HARVEY. How much are you presently acquiring in materials?
Mr. MOORE. We are still acquiring materials under these two programs. We are acquiring real property through the War Assets Disposal program. They are still disposing of real property, which was declared to them prior to June 30, 1948. We are acquiring personal property from the armed services, through the donations program, under Public Law 889.
Mr. Harvey. You are still acquiring considerable property materials now?
Mr. MOORE. Yes; we are. The committee might be interested in knowing that since the inception of the donation program there has been approximately $140,000,000 worth, acquisition cost, of property transferred to education on a strictly donation basis by the armed
services, and I would like to make this statement that there is no way of estimating the benefits to education in terms of dollars and cents. You would have to come out and see what has been done under this program, with this property, to realize what it has meant to the school people.
Take a refrigerator, for instance, that is banged up and looks as though it has no eventual value, and it is taken off the hands of the armed services, and taken to one of these vocational shops, where it is reworked and comes out as a useful unit to go into a cafeteria or a lunchroom, thus providing two uses—one, it gives an opportunity to the youth in the vocational school who do this work to receive trade training, and it has another useful purpose of helping out in the lunchroom or the cafeteria, as the case may be. And that illustration can be multiplied by many types of property that has been used.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Mr. Moore, we thank you for your suggestions, and we assure you that the committee will give close consideration.
I might point out this factor that is involved, the matter of policy as to whether it should be included in this bill or handled separately, and also refer to the subsections you have indicated, since the present law pertains to the Army, Navy, and Air Force disposal of surplus property directly to the ultimate receiver, and that that policy be extended to the several executive agencies. There is some conflict in that, in that the present bill seeks to have these executive agencies declare that property to the central agency, and then after screening by the Government agencies, make it available to non-Federal agencies, I should say. That element is involved, and I think we will have to have some more information before we can decide, and with the permission of the committee we will have some further studies of this proposal and also as to whether it will have to be considered by the Armed Services Committee.
Mr. MOORE. Mr. Chairman, may I say just one other thing?
Mr. MOORE. There would be no difference from the condition that exists now. The property, that is, the excess property and surplus property, is screened by other branches of the Federal Government before we ever know that it is excess. In other words, it is actually excess to the Government's needs before we ever get a chance to see it.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. That is true, but I was referring to the principle involved in this bill.
Mr. MOORE. Yes.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Which seeks to correlate the disposal activities under one head.
Mr. MOORE. Yes.
Mr. MOORE. Yes. There is one other point I would like to make: Indirectly there are two distinct programs. The donation program does not cover real property and never has covered real property. We have only been able to get real property for education through the public beneficiary load through the surplus-disposal program.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. That is right.
Mr. MOORE. There is no provision made in the donation law, and none is anticipated, to cover real property.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Thank you very much for your statement, Mr. Moore.
Mr. MOORE. Thank you; we appreciate the opportunity to appear.
STATEMENT OF MAXWELL H. ELLIOTT—Continued
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Mr. Elliott, is there any further statement you wish to make ?
Mr. ELLIOTT. With reference to the matter presented to the Budget: That was brought to our attention at the last hearing, but I have not had an opportunity to discuss it with them at this hearing, but I shall be glad, if the committee wishes, to make a statement now giving our informal conclusion.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. I think probably we will have this matter considered by the FWA and the Bureau of the Budget, and you may present the statement to the committee, if that is agreeable with you, Mr. Elliott.
Mr. ELLIOTT. I would like to say at this point for the record, while Mr. Moore was testifying, I was thumbing through the bill which was worked out by the subcommittee last year, and I was unable to find the amendment which Mr. Moore spoke about.
Mr. MOORE. Mr. Chairman, may I make a correction about the amendment being included in the bill? It was in the hearings on the
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Thank you very much, gentlemen. If there is nothing further the committee will adjourn subject to the call of the Chair.
(At 11:30 a. m. the committee adjourned subject to the call of the Chair.)