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Total projects submitted to and approved for priorities by Government Bureau, Jan. 1, 1944, through Dec. 31, 1944
Federal Works Agency... $28,165,904 294 $13,339,519
istration (not included
Civil Aeronautics Ad
mittee for Aeronautics...
Health Service. War Emergency Program of Puerto Rico....
144,000 Puerto Rico Insular O ce.. Puerto Rico Housing Authority.. .
35, 157 1, 296, 134
120, 738 620,000
1 The Major Part of Public Building Administration Projects are included under Federal Works Agency. : The major part of the highway totals are listed under state, county, and municipal government agencies. DISCUSSION OF ORDER RELATING TO MANUFACTURE OF LOW-PRICED CLOTHING
Mr. CASE. Which division, if any, was responsible for a recent order that had to do with changing the quality of grade of certain textile products, which produced quite a furor over here about ? months ago?
Dr. ELLIOTT. Are you speaking, sir, of the M-388 order?
Dr. Elliot. That did not change the quality of the grade, but it did put a priority on to prevent a further up-grading in prices.
Mr. CASE. It was advertised to produce some children's underwear and also work clothing, but it produced quite a protest on the part of the cotton people and the woolen people.
Dr. ELLIOTT. It certainly did. Mr. Case. And they said it was changing the operations of the factories and in practice was not going to succeed.
Dr. ELLIOTT. Of course we do not issue those orders.
Mr. TABER. For instance, it provided that a clothing manufacturer could get cloth to manufacture whole suits, but he could not get cloth to manufacture extra pants. Is that about it?
Dr. ELLIOTT. No; that is not quite right. There were provisions for some extra pants, but not for extra pants in all price ranges.
Mr. TABER. The cheaper ones you could not get, because the cheaper-pants makers were going to be out of cloth entirely?
Dr. ELLIOTT. The cheaper ones were the ones that were protected by priorities.
Mr. Taber. That is not what I found.
Mr. Case. Was that the entire Textile and Leather Division, or was that the Wholesale and Retail Trade Division?
Dr. ELLIOTT. That was the Textile Bureau of the War Production Board, which is the Industry Division. However, in the working out of the order we will accept our share of the responsibility, because we had to determine in that order what types of garments were most essential for the civilian population that would keep them decently clothed. We also put in special programs on children's clothing. Mr. Case. How long has that order been in effect?
Dr. ELLIOTT. It has just gone into effect. The cotton part of it had been in effect, but was set aside since last summer under M-385. It had not had as large a percentage of set-asides, but it was that to which the industry objected.
Mr. CASE. It has not been in operation long enough to know what is going to happen.
Do you expect that that is one of the orders that will be lifted on VE-day?
Dr. Elliot. No. I am afraid not, because the picture for textiles gets gloomier and gloomier as the Army's requests go up. They will go up until the fourth quarter and remain high in woolens. Rayon is not a very serious factor, and perhaps that part of the order can be dealt with sooner. I hope so.
Mr. Case. Do you contemplate keeping that order under constant study with the possibility of revision?
Dr. ELLIOTT. If at any time we can get production back up to what it was in 1942, and if we could get the military requirements even moderately reduced, and the export requirements stabilized
Mr. CASE. Was thle and Retail Trease
instead of having to increase, I think we could repeal the order, and would be very happy to do so.
Mr. CASE. Would that materially reduce the personnel that you require in any of your divisions?
Dr. ELLIOTT. I think it would considerably reduce the Textile Bureau personnel. But I say, as far as I can see it now, from the requirements with which we are confronted and the production figures, unless there is a changed attitude on the part of industry toward prices, and so forth.
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. I suppose we have all had dozens of letters. I received one this morning which says that the confusion and impracticability of this order is creating a chaotic condition and upsetting all systems in the entire industry.
Mr. TABER. I know a man up home that makes pants. I do not believe he ever made any that sold for more than $3 or $3.50. He told me that he could not get any more cloth. Maybe you would call them high-priced pants?
Dr. ELLIOTT. No; I would not. We are trying to keep him in the amount of cloth that he has been able to get before. The difficulty before was that the high-priced fellows were getting cloth, and it was gradually going out of the hands of the medium-priced and low-priced fellows. However, it is bound to cause grief in the industry.
Mr. CASE. How about those that were producing medium grade or above medium grade?
Dr. ELLIOTT. It protects them. It covers about 80 percent of the production; that is, the priorities did. It leaves the people with only that percentage that they traditionally had left in the market, without giving a big disproportionate share with an increase in the price of cloth and an increase in tne higa-priced clothing that people in the lower income groups could not buy.
Mr. CASE. Did you take into consideration at all that one pair of $7 pants might outwear two pairs of $3.50 pants?
Dr. Elliott. We did. We put the figure at $6.50. We have had very careful advice and controls. You cannot please everybody. We have tried to do the best we could. We had the advice of Kenneth Marriner, a very sound man who does not believe in regimenting industry unless he has to. He felt that he had to protect children and working men and others.
(Informal discussion off the record.)
I would like to emphasize, in closing, that I have been down here 5 years and I am just as eager to close this shop up as anybody else, and perhaps a little bit too much so. The only thing we have to think about is to try to keep people from industry who know enough about these things to handle them decently. That is exceedingly difficult, as you know. We have pared the Budget down to a point where, if we can keep that type of persons it will carry us, but if we have to carry a lot of other people it will be difficult.
Mr. CANNON. I see that you propose to hold your present organization without any material change through 1946?
Mr. ZISKIND. Yes, sir.
a shortage of carbon black at the time that caused this cut-back in tire production.
Those are merely some of the complexities of the situation, and they indicate some of the difficulties with which we have to deal.
Mr. CASE. When you say that you help to explain the War Manpower Commission's policies to the War Production Board, what do you mean?.
Mr. ZISKIND. The War Manpower Commission has a series of programs. To name a few, it has an employment stabilization program with a system of certificates of availability; it has an employment ceiling program, a controlled referral program, and recently it had a forced release program. Its programs all affect employment and production. The production people in W. P. B. need to understand those things in order to regulate their own affairs. So part of the function of our office is to help explain those things in terms of W. P. B. functions.
COLLECTING AND ANALYZING DATA TO DEFINE CHANGING LABOR SITUATION
Mr. CASE. You stated that you accepted the War Manpower Commission's figures and statistics. Yet the statement here lists as the first of your activities collecting and analyzing data so as to define the changing labor situation more accurately. In other words, the figures that are submitted to you are not entirely accurate?
Mr. ZISKIND. The labor data come not only from the War Manpower Commission but also from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Agriculture, and the Bureau of the Census. When we say “collect data,” we mean gather the primary materials prepared by those agencies. We do not do the primary research out in the field ourselves, but in order to appraise accurately the manpower situation throughout the country we must gather together statistics from all these agencies.
Mr. CASE. You mean that there are so many agencies collecting figures on the manpower situation that you put them all together and determine what the fair average is or which one is right?
Mr. ZISKIND. No; it is not quite that. Let me be specific. In order to determine what the unemployment situation is in this country, we must go to several sources. We do not have any detailed surveys of actual unemployment in the cities or States of this country. It is necessary to look at the unemployment compensation claims and to analyze their trend. It is also necessary to look at the registrations or applications with the employment service office. It is necessary also to look at the employment reports compiled by employers for the War Manpower Commission. It is only by looking at all of those different sets of data that you can get a proper understanding of what is happening with unemployment in this country. Unfortunately, there is no one survey of unemployment in this country. I understand that the Bureau of the Census, which wanted to make one had its appropriation reduced by this committee.
Mr. CASE. That is what I was getting at. There is an estimate before this Congress at the present time for an industrial survey. If that should be provided, would that take the place of the work which you are doing?
Mr. ZISKIND. It would simplify our work considerably.