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Strobel highly ethical, honest, and proper in all respects and consider him a person of excellent moral character and reputation.
IRWIN S. CHANIN, Head of Chanin Organization, Chanin Building, New York 17, N. Y.
NEW YORK, N. Y., October 31, 1955. Hon. EMANUEL CELLER, Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary,
Room 346, Old House Office Building, Washington, D. C.: I was greatly surprise to read recent press reports about Peter Strobel and the conduct of his office. I do not believe the criticism is justified and since I cannot personally appear to speak in his behalf I take this opportunity to say that I have known him about 20 years and assure you he is an able engineer with a fine reputation in the construction industry. In my position as executive vice president of the Turner Construction Co. I have had many business relations with him and have always found him a man not only of the highest technical ability but also of high personal character and integrity.
GEORGE E. HORR, Turner Construction Co.
NEW YORK, N. Y., October 30, 1955. Hon. EMANUEL CELLER, Chairman, House Judiciary Committee, oid House Office Building,
Washington, D. C.: Understanding that your committee will continue tomorrow its investigation of Peter A. Strobel, Commissioner of Buildings,,General Services Administration, I take this method, in view of my inability to be in Washington tomorrow, to acquaint you with my knowledge of and opinion of the professinal standing and character of Mr. Strobel. Should your hearings be postponed to later this coming week I will be glad to appear personally before you. I have known Mr. Strobel for 12 years, solely in a business and professional relationship. The consulting engineering firm of which he is the senior partner has had for several years a high standing in the engineering and building construction in and radiating from New York City. Mr. Strobel has been a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers since 1944. As I have served as a director of that society and am a life member thereof, I can assure you that Mr. Strobel's full membership is a sound measure of the integrity of his professional performances. Personally I have been in a position for the last two decades to know pretty well the capacity and the character and integrity in New York City of engineers practicing in the manner that Mr. Strobel has. am retired now but for 30 years prior to 1951 was vice president and a director of the Turner Construction Co., of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Cincinnati. For most of 1952 and 1953, . I was deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the United States Air Force, charged with responsibility of stimulating the construction of United States airbases on a worldwide basis. For nearly a year previous I was chief of construction of the Munitions Board of the Department of Defense and had several dealings with some of Mr. Strobel's predecessors in the General Services Administration, and can assure you that from some contacts I have recently had with Mr. Strobel in his functioning with that organization the Congress and the United States Government should consider themselves exceedingly fortunate by contrast to have Mr. Strobel doing his present job.
JOHN P. H. PERRY. Now, Mr. Chairman, we have two witnesses who have come down from New York to tell you what they know about Mr. Strobel. May I call them?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. Robb. Colonel Value and Mr. Manley, would you step forward, please?
Does the Chair wish me to examine these gentlemen, or does the Chair wish to do it?
The CHAIRMAN. I beg your pardon?
The CHAIRMAN. Will you raise your right hand, please? One at a time.
Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. MANLEY. Í do.
TESTIMONY OFF. MASON MANLEY, NEW BRUNSWICK, N. J. The CHAIRMAN. Just give your name and your address.
Mr. MANLEY. Frank Mason Manley, Hilcrest River Road, New Brunswick, N. J.
Mr. ROBB. What is your occupation, Mr. Manley?
Mr. MANLEY. I am a member of the board of directors of Johnson & Johnson, and director of construction.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me say, Mr. Robb, that this is very unusual to have a rebuttal of this sort, and we feel that we owe it to you and to your client that this proceeding be developed this way, because inferences may be drawn from the testimony that may be deleterious as far as your client is concerned, and you should have the right to rebut these inferences or any testimony that has been given.
I hope this is going to be a precedent for other congressional committees to follow.
Mr. Robe. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the courtesy
Mr. Manley, what is your company's business?
Mr. MANLEY. We are manufacturers of surgical dressings and allied products.
Mr. ROBB. Could you tell us something of the scope of your company's business, the size of your company?
Mr. Manley. We have plants in 28 nations and do business in 100 nations.
Mr. ROBB. And how long have you been with the company, sir?
Mr. MANLEY. My particular duties are to supervise the construction and the choosing of architects and engineers throughout the world.
Mr. ROBB. And do you know Mr. Strobel ?
Mr. MANLEY. I am not entirely clear, but I think it is 1946, the first association I had with Mr. Strobel.
Mr. ROBB. And how have you happened to know him, sir?
Mr. MANLEY. He built a new plant in New Jersey, and we had Shreve, Lamb & Harmon as the architects, and Mr. Strobel was an associate with that organization at that time.
Mr. ROBB. And do you also know others in the building industry and the engineering profession who know Mr. Strobel ?
Mr. MANLEY. Yes.
Mr. ROBB. And what can you tell us, Mr. Manley, about Mr. Strobel's reputation for honesty and integrity?
Mr. MANLEY. Well, as you might suspect, gentlemen, a company who is progressing as we have been fortunate to are looking for the best possible talent to enlarge our facilities. We made a very diligent search of all types of talent. We have tried to use them in many ways. Therefore, we found Mr. Strobel and we gave him an opportunity and we have hired him direct in some instances; we have hired him through contractors in other instances; and we have hired him through architects in other instances.
His work has always been well done. We are extremely proud of the units which he helped build, and we have found nothing but distinct honesty and integrity in our dealings with him throughout the years.
Mr. ROBB. And would you say that others in the industry hold the same view of him?
Mr. MANLEY. Yes. In our search we found the same thing.
The CHAIRMAX. Will you raise your right hand? Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God!
Mr. VALUE. I do.
TESTIMONY OF BURNSIDE R. VALUE, NEW YORK, N. Y.
The CHAIRMAN. Give your name and your address.
Mr. VALUE. Burnside Value; Seelye, Stevenson, Value & Knecht; partner.
Mr. ROBB. Burnside R. Value?
Mr. Robe. Could you tell us something about the size of that firm and the scope of its work?
Mr. VALUE. We cover the field of structural, civil, mechanical, electrical, industrial, water supply, and sewage disposal.
Mr. RoBB. How many employees do you have?
Mr. VALUE. Not all over the world. We have offices in the United States, in New York, in Connecticut, and field offices in France and in England.
Mr. Robb. Would you say that your firm is in the same line of work that Mr. Strobel's firm is in!
Mr. VALUE. Our structural division is.
Mr. Robs. In other words, if such a thing were ethical in your profession, you and Mr. Strobel's firm would be competitors; is that correct?
Mr. VALUE. Correct.
Mr. ROBB. Colonel, could you tell us something of your own background, very briefly?
Mr. VALUE. I am a licensed professional engineer, an Army officer in the Corps of Engineers in World War I. I have occupied many positions prior to my going into partnership in this present firm, which occurred in 1947.
Mr. ROBB. How long have you known Mr. Strobel ?
Mr. VALUE. I was assistant chief engineer of the New York World's Fair, and early in 1938 we needed a highly competent structural engineer to take charge of the structural work which we were designing at the time in the New York World's Fair organization. Mr. Scott, of Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, and I got together and tried to find the best one we could. We picked Mr. Strobel. He was engaged as an employee, and carried on until the end of the job, which he did very excellently.
He is a very fine technician, a fine engineer.
Mr. ROBB. And do you also know other engineers who know of Mr.
I neers in New York City and a great many of the architects.
Mr. ROBB. And what can you tell us, Colonel Value, as to the reputation of Mr. Strobel and his firm for honesty and integrity?
Mr. VALUE. As far as my own views are concerned, I can tell you that I consider him absolutely honest and ethical.
Mr. ROBB. And
Mr. VALUE. And from the viewpoint as president of the New York Association of Consulting Engineers for 2 years
Mr. Robb. You were?
Mr. VALUE. I was. He was held in highest esteem by the other engineers in that organization. They were all engineering firms.
Mr. ROBB. And would the same thing be said about his firm!
Mr. ROBB. By the way, Colonel, there has been some mention made here from time to time about engineering fees of $6,000 or $7,000. Let me ask you, sir, as something of an expert, if that is a large fee in the engineering field.
Mr. VALUE. No; it is very small.
Mr. VALUE. I don't think he will reap any great benefit from those fees.
Mr. RoBB. That is all I care to ask him, sir.
Mr. Robb, the record will be held open for anything that you want to insert therein, either you or Mr. Strobel, for a reasonable length of time.
Mr. ROBB. Yes, sir.
Now, Mr. Strobel, I think there are perhaps 2 or 3 things in the record that you might like to comment further on.
Does the Chair intend to hold further hearings, or would you like to have him do it now?
The CHAIRMAN. Suppose he does it now. Would it take long?
FURTHER TESTIMONY OF PETER A. STROBEL
The CHAIRMAN. Do you want to make some comment on the testimony, Mr. Strobel ?
Mr. Robb. Mr. Chairman, it occurred that it might be well to have from Mr. Strobel a complete, coherent, and cohesive narrative of his activity in connection with the so-called extras on the warehouse contract. And with the Chair's permission, I would like to have him give that to you very briefly now.
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
I might ask Mr. Strobel, to save time, if this statement which he prepared
The CHAIRMAN. Let us run through it quickly.
That is perfectly all right to put in the record. It will be accepted in the record.
Mr. FINE. May it be placed in the record as if it were testified to? The CHAIRMAN. As if it were testified.
Mr. ROBB. I might ask Mr. Strobel one question, as to whether or not he and I worked that statement out together, and whether or not it is accurate. Is that right, Mr. Strobel?
Mr. STROBEL. That is correct.