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COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS
FRANCIS MALONEY, Connecticut, Chairman MILLARD E. TYDINGS, Maryland
ROBERT A. TAFT, Ohio DAVID I. WALSH, Massachusetts
OWEN BREWSTER, Maine TOM CONNALLY, Texas
CHAPMAN REVERCOMB, West Virginia HARRY S. TRUMAN, Missouri
KENNETH S. WHERRY, Nebraska
GEORGE A. WILSON, Iowa
VARIOUS BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS
THURSDAY, JANUARY 20, 1944
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C.
Present: Senators Maloney (chairman), Gillette, and Andrews. The CHAIRMAN. The meeting will come to order.
I should like to take the time now, at the opening of the meeting, to pay tribute to Senator Warren Barbour, who was the ranking Republican member of this committee, and 'who died since our last meeting.
The members of this committee, like all other Members of the Senate, had a great admiration and affection for Senator Barbour.
He devoted himself wholeheartedly and conscientiously to the work of this committee, and he was most helpful to me as chairman. We are going to miss him, and he will be missed by all Senators, as well as the people of New Jersey and the country.
I have not the gift of language to express my own feeling of sorrow over his death, but I do want the record to show, and I know that my colleagues on the committee want the record to show, that his death is a great loss to the Public Buildings and Grounds Committee of the
Now, the first measure on the calendar is Senate Concurrent Resolution 19 which was introduced by Senator Langer.
I would like to say first that I have been endeavoring for some time, without much success, to get a meeting of this committee. We were interrupted by the recess and time and again delayed by almost constant major and special committee meetings, and even today, after a month's notice, it has been impossible to get a quorum.
It so happens that the Republican caucus is being held this morning and Republican members of the committee are for that reason necessarily absent. Other members of the committee have notified me within the last day or two that meetings which they felt were more important would keep them from attendance here this morning.
I have felt, in view of the fact that this is an executive session, that we had best go ahead and have the report of the meeting printed and send it to the absent members of the committee for their consideration.
We will probably at some near date need to take some action on the measures to which we will refer this morning. The thing that has concerned me most is Senator Langer's resolution. He is unable to
be present this morning but he told me yesterday that his secretary had actually been handling this matter in his office for him and was fully informed, and she would be here this morning to testify. We will now hear Miss Clara Hjerpe.
STATEMENT OF CLARA HJERPE, SECRETARY TO SENATOR
WILLIAM LANGER OF NORTH DAKOTA The CHAIRMAN. Proceed in your own way, Miss Hjerpe, to discuss Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 19.
Miss HJERPE. Last fall Senator Langer's attention was called to the deplorable situation with regard to sleeping facilities for the servicemen coming to Washington and he was told by people whose word could not be questioned that soldiers were sleeping on the floor in the Union Station, in the streets, and in all sorts of places; that they were being turned away at midnight from centers where you would expect them to have a chance to sleep: Of course, the Senator was very much disturbed about this, especially so, since this is the National Capital and he felt that the Congress ought to take some responsibility in this deplorable situation.
His attention was also called to the fact that the Senate garage was only being partially used, even for cars, and that there was much space available there.
The question arose whether this unused space could not be utilized in some way for the benefit of the servicemen. However, I am almost certain that the Senator is not making any special brief for the Senate garage. What he is concerned about is decent sleeping space for our servicemen.
The question is, Where are the soldiers going to sleep when they come to Washington?
When the men in our armed forces have a furlough and are stationed anywhere near Washington, they want to come to the National Capital.
It seems only reasonable that the minimum requirements for decent housing should be available to them in the Nation's Capital.
Senator Langer introduced the resolution with the hope that either the garage or some other place would be provided for them, that recognition would be given to the problem and something would be done about it.
Since that time there have been many meetings. We met with the Servicemen's Lodging Committee of the War Hospitality Committee last summer. It was their opinion at that time that there was no immediate or crucial need for additional sleeping facilities, because on the very evenings that soldiers were found sleeping anywhere and everywhere, there were vacant beds available. But I understand since that time this committee has come to different conclusions and have decided that there is now great need for additional sleeping space.
This is probably brought about because of the weather. Many places that might have been possibilities for sleeping before the weather was cold cannot be used now.
We have reports from the Public Health and various other agencies in regard to the suitability of the garage for sleeping purposes, and the cost of transforming it into a safe place for sleeping. These reports could be incorporated in the record if you so desire.