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MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 1937.

INCREASE IN WAGES OF WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION WORKERS

STATEMENT OF HON. GERALD J. BOILEAU, A REPRESENTATIVE

IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF WISCONSIN

Mr. Boileau. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I want to say that I agree almost entirely with what Mr. Lasser has said. I agree with the position the unemployed of the country is taking in asking Congress to increase wages of W. P. A. workers to a point where they can have a decent standard of living. If this were only a temporary matter, or if we could assume that unemployment would cease in the near future, I can see where it would be, perhaps, the part of wisdom for the Federal Government to try to reduce these expenditures; but I cannot see how it is possible for a change to come in these conditions in the immediate future. I think something can be done through a reduction in the hours of labor, but Congress has failed to accomplish this result. Until we deal with this matter by removing the cause of unemployment, I believe that it is the obligation of the Federal Government to give those people, who, through no fault of their own, are in need, the assistance they require. They cannot find jobs, and they cannot create jobs. There has been a tremendous increase in the volume of business in the past few years, but there has not been a proportionate increase in the volume of employment.

The Secretary of Labor recently issued a statement indicating that in the year 1936 there was an increase of 25 percent over 1935 in the volume of business done in the United States, but that in the same period there was an increase of less than 8 percent in employment. I do not think it is possible for these men to be given employment until Congress reduces the hours of labor. Until that time comes, or until we attack the problem from that angle, we will have the duty of providing at least a decent standard of living and a decent wage rate for our unemployed citizens. The wage level of the W. P. A. does not enable those workers to maintain a decent standard of living. Therefore, I heartily endorse the demands of the Workers' Alliance of America for a minimum wage of $40 per month. It seems to me that no man should be expected to support a family on the low wages that are now paid by W. P. A. in some parts of the country. There has been a great increase in the cost of living since the wage levels were fixed, or since W. P. A. was first organized. There has been an increase in the cost of living of at least 20 percent. I believe it is around that figure, but, of course, that can be ascertained by statistics. It seems to me that with this amount of increase in the cost of living, there should be a proportionate increase in the wages paid to these men and women who are forced to accept such employment. When W. P. A. was first organized, the President of the United States said that all employables would be given W. P. A. jobs. It was intended that employables would get Federal aid, and unemployables would be cared for by their respective localities. That formula should be carried out, and those employables who are now on direct relief should be provided with jobs under W. P. A.

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The Wisconsin State Federation of Labor has endorsed this program, and, also, I understand that it has the endorsement of the American Federation of Labor. It also has the endorsement of Mr. Lewis, of the C. I. O., and of organized labor throughout the country. They are all in accord with the proposition that it is necessary to bring up the standard of living of the W. P. A. workers if there is to be any increase in the wages of those employed by private industry.

We have every reason to believe that this will continue to be a problem. It will be a continuous problem until such time as we can remove the cause by reducing hours of labor in industry. It is impossible for private industry to put these men to work under present conditions of long hours.

Even though it is highly desirable to balance the Budget at an early date, it should not be done at the expense of these men and women who are at the very bottom of the economic structure. These people, in my judgment, are entitled to the consideration of Congress, and Í recommend to your favorable consideration the program that has been advanced here. If you gentlemen of this committee will report out an appropriation sufficient to carry this program into effect, the Members of the House of Representatives will be glad of the opportunity to support your recommendation, and I might say that the people of the country would also be very glad to give support to the administration in carrying out that kind of program until such time, at least, as the problem of unemployment is solved. It is a long way from being solved now. With these people at the foot of the economic ladder, living in abject poverty, I hate to think what will happen if these conditions prevail much longer. The Government has not yet assumed its full responsibility. The issue has been compromised thus far. Those people who cannot find jobs in private industry should be given jobs by the Federal Government at wages in keeping with American standards.

I thank you.

CONTINUANCE OF WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION

TESTIMONY OF JUDGE ALVIN R. ALLISON BEFORE THE HOUSE

COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS On this, the 19th day of January 1937, the Honorable George Mahon, Congressman from Texas, and the Honorable W. D. McFarlane, Congressman from Texas, presented to the Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives Judge Alvin R. Allison, county judge of Hockley County, Tex., and president of the West Texas County Judges' and Commissioners' Association, and Judge M. G. Poteet, county judge of Wilbarger County, Tex., when the following testimony was given:

Judge Allison. My name is Alvin R. Allison, and I am county judge of Hockley County, Tex., and also president of the West Texas County Judges' and Commissioners' Association, which is composed of approximately 116 counties of west Texas.

At a meeting of that named organization, Judge Poteet and myself were sent to Washington to present the need to Congress of an immediate appropriation for the continuance of the Works Progress

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Administration. At the said meeting, which was held in Lubbock,
Tex., on the 8th day of January 1937, the following resolution which
I am reading was drafted and passed unanimously, and is as follows:
STATE OF TEXAS,

County of Lubbock.
To the President and to the Congress of the United States:

Whereas the West Texas County Judges' and Commissioners' Association, together with the mayors of the towns of west Texas, chamber of commerce representatives, and other officials have this the 8th day of January, A. D. 1937, met for the purpose of discussing the continuation of the Works Progress Administration and the great benefits that the cities and counties have received from this program; and

Whereas from press reports it is apparent that the money allocated for the Works Progress Administration is exhausted and the Congress of the United States will very shortly consider the continuation of the Works Progress Administration and an additional appropriation of money for the said continuation; and

Whereas the Honorable Harry Hopkins, Administrator of the Works Progress Administration, has indicated that at least $750,000,000 will be needed to carry the program to June 30, 1937, which is the end of the fiscal year for the Federal Government; and

Whereas we, the above-described officials of 116 west Texas counties, realize that without the continuation of this program our people would suffer from the lack of food and clothing and other necessities of life, and realize further that our counties and cities are not financially in a position to assist our people without the continuation of this program; and

Whereas during the past 30 days there has been a gradual increase in the relief loads of the 116 counties represented, which increase will continue until the latter part of March, which said load has increased due to the drought in this part of the State of Texas the past year, and to the further fact that the properous condition which is apparent in the eastern part of our country has not as yet reached this drought-stricken area; and

Whereas the Works Progress Administration now has under construction hundreds of projects in these counties that are incomplete and cannot be completed without further aid from the Federal Government: Now, therefore, be and it is hereby

Resolved by the officials of these 116 counties assembled here today, That we, as such officials, ask Congress to take cognizance of our desperate condition and consider immediately the appropriation of a sufficient sum to carry the Works Progress Administration through this fiscal year, and that this appropriation be made as quickly as possible to relieve the people of our country during a period of the year through which it is most difficult for them to exist.

E. L. Covey,
Chairman, County Judge, Knox County,

Ross EDWARDS,

Mayor, City of Lubbock,
IRA WEAKLEY,
County Judge, Garza County,

W. T. STRANGE, Jr.,
Manager, Big Spring Chamber of Commerce,

H. G. RICHARDS,

Editor, Anton News,
L. M. RANKIN,
Commissioner, Hale County

HAROLD M. LA FONT,
County Judge, Hale County,

Resolutions Committee.

It is my further belief that an immediate appropriation should be made because of the reliable information that I have as presented to me from various county judges throughout west Texas in which they state without exception that relief rolls are increasing daily due to short crops and because of the continuation of tractor farming which

is driving small tenant farmers to the small towns and villages. An immediate appropriation is further needed because the various municipalities are unable to care for the relief rolls should Works Progress Administration be discontinued or stopped for only a few days. The different county judges throughout west Texas have continually been pressed with their work because of the increase of the relief rolls. In my official position as county judge we have great numbers who come to my office daily seeking relief and it is absolutely urgent that Congress take immediate action to produce funds for a continuation of Works Progress Administration. I believe that the relief rolls will continue to increase through the winter and it is alarming to think of conditions that might exist should Works Progress Administration suspend operations entirely or for any short period of time due to the lack of funds.

The above statements of Judge Allison are hereby concurred with by County Judge M. G. Poteet.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 21, 1937.

SPRINGERFIELD, ARIZ., FORESTRY AND POST OFFICE BUILDING

INCREASE IN LIMIT OF COST

STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN R. MURDOCK, A REPRESENTATIVE

IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ARIZONA

Mr. MURDOCK. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, allow me to call your attention to a recommendation of the Acting Director of the Bureau of the Budget for an increase in the limit of cost of the proposed Federal building at Springerville, Ariz., which appears in Supplemental Estimates of Appropriations (Doc. No. 108).

Seventy-five thousand dollars has already been approved for construction of the building which will house the forestry offices and post office, but was found insufficient because of increasing cost of materials since the original estimate. Hence, all bids for the project were rejected, the lowest being $27,500 in excess of the limit cost.

The post office is now located in a rather unsightly corner of a mercantile establishment, and the forestry office is in temporary quarters in a bank building. The owners of the bank building are anxious to regain possession of the property in order to resume business. Springerville is conveniently located in the forested area of Arizona. The great pine forests in this portion of Arizona constitute the pride of our national timber reserves.

The fact that Springerville is in the scenic mountain area of Arizona and the center of vacation land, tourists are attracted to it. Accordingly

, it is becoming more significant as a postal center. Mail is dispatched from Springerville to several other more isolated mountain communities. I urge the committee to allow an increased appropriation adequate to meet this need.

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