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I have a telegram from the chairman of our committee, Mr. Fallon, which I shall read:
Following the initial meeting at the conference of Appalachia, Appalachia Governors, held in Annapolis, Md., in May of 1960, it is my desire as chairman of the Committee on Public Works that you extend the courtesy of hearing as your first witness before the Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Appalachia Gov. J. Millard Tawes, of the State of Maryland, who I understand will testify on Thursday, February 4. Thank you for your courtesy in this matter.
Signed "George Fallon, chairman of the committee."
Governor Tawes, on behalf of the chairman and on behalf of the members of the subcommittee, you are a most welcome witness before this committee today.
Governor TAWES. Thank you.
Mr. JONES. And we appreciate the great interest that you have shown and displayed in the consideration of this bill. And your contribution to this section has been, as I understand it, one of tentive duties and your draftsmanship.
So we are pleased to have you.
STATEMENT OF HON. MILLARD J. TAWES, GOVERNOR OF THE
STATE OF MARYLAND; ACCOMPANIED BY HARRY A. BOSWELL, CHAIRMAN, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION, AND DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND
Governor TAWES. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, when I appeared before this committee last May, I recalled that on May 19, 1960, the Governors or their representatives of all the Appalachian States convened at my invitation in Annapolis, Md.
The general purpose of this meeting was to call for the organization of the Appalachian Governors conference, so that together we could accomplish what none of us effectively had been able to do singly in coping with the economic distress which for decades has persisted throughout the length and breadth of Appalachia.
Today, nearly 5 years after the meeting in Annapolis, I appear before you again, this time to testify in support of bills H.R. 4 and S. 3. These measures are designed to initiate public works and economic development programs for the benefit of the Appalachian region.
Needless to say, I am gratified to have this opportunity to testify again in behalf of a program with which I have lived so long, and about which I have expressed myself so often as being one of the most important steps which the Federal Government can take to eradicate conditions of poverty and wanton neglect of our human and physical resources in the midst of general prosperity and affluence.
The aims and objectives of the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 are inextricably related to the aspirations of an enlightened era which our President has aptly called The Great Society. The procedures and projects called for by the act will surely establish an important beachhead in the successful conduct of the war on poverty. Thus, beyond personal gratification, I also believe that your deliberations here are, in a very real sense, concerned with a subject of historic proportions.
Not too many years ago, it was a platitude of resignation to say, “The poor are always with us." I should like to pay tribute to the spirit of this administration which rejects this ancient notion and calls for the kind of courageous action which will make it possible for all Americans to share equitably in the good life with which providence has endowed
The State of Maryland is already well advanced with the plans to implement this proposed legislation when it is enacted into law. For the past several years, the Maryland Department of Economic Development has been working with the economic development agencies of Maryland's three Appalachian counties in perfecting ways and means to enable us to make the best possible use of such an authority.
The promise of this much-needed aid has been made over and over again to our people. Now is the time for action, not words. I urge the passage of this bill with all the forcefulness at my command.
I have reiterated my position so often that it is not possible for me to testify without repeating myself, but I believe the importance of this subject bears repetition for the sake of emphasis. Therefore, I respectfully request your indulgence.
On May 19, 1960, when I called the organizational meeting of the Conference of Appalachian Governors to order, I made this statement:
Nothing significant can be accomplished for our distressed counties of western Maryland except as part of a program whose aim would be to rebuild and revitalize the economy of the entire Appalachian region.
Today this committee has such a program before it. It is a program which has been evolved during the past 41/2 years through continuing effort by the Appalachian Governors Conference and by many agencies of the Federal Government. It is a program which has been developed from the bottom up, not from the top down. It is a program based on the recognition by the Governors of 11 States that they were confronted with a common problem which could only be solved by common effort.
The conditions in the Appalachian area are familiar to all of you, and I will not take your time to detail them here, but I repeat what I said at our meeting in Annapolis in May 1960:
It is shameful and intolerable that in this year (1960) there should be children in the United States dying of malnutrition-entire families living on government handouts far short of minimal nutritional needs. It is intolerable that we should have whole counties with yearly family incomes less than $400, and where children can't go to school because of lack of clothes and shoes.
To me, one of the most significant features of the present bill-in addition to its being based on a cooperative Federal-State-regional approach—is the fact that it is aimed specifically at the causes and not merely the symptoms of the economic distress of the region.
For a third time, I will quote from the remarks which I made before the first Conference of Appalachian Governors 412 years ago:
We can neverI said at that time arrive at a permanent solution to the problems of the Appalachian region until we stop thinking of the mountains as a "distressed area," and begin to think of them as an underdeveloped region with vast untapped human and physical resources—a region that can only find its rightful economic level through a plan
of overall development, programed for a period of 5, 10, or even 20 years. This program must not only deal with the basic problems of correcting the growing imbalance between manpower and job opportunities, but should also concentrate on the building of new highways, flood control projects, and * * * upgrading educational and vocational training levels throughout the region. The approach called for in 1960, I am happy to say, is exactly the
, one to be found in the proposed 1965 act.
In that connection, I am especially pleased to note the emphasis which this bill has placed upon highway construction. Here we see an approach to roadbuilding that was first developed by the ancient Romans—the use of roads not simply to serve traffic already there, but to open up or to develop the potential of a region for future economic development and growth.
Isolation is the prime curse of Appalachia. The high mountains running north and south effectively block out the region from the east-west current in the flow of American trade and commerce. Highway and rail builders usually found it easier to bypass Appalachia than to traverse it. Only a good modern network can end these age
a old conditions.
And these conditions must be ended, not only for the good of Appalachia, but for the welfare of the trading areas that lie both east and west of the mountains. Our port of Baltimore, and the productive centers of the great Ohio Valley, for example, would benefit greatly from free access through Appalachia. More prosperous trade and commerce would inevitably result from new highways that could carry products to the port for export, and carry back to the interior market the goods and supplies that enter the port.
As a Governor of a State which has only three counties in the Appalachian region, I can only add my voice to the call for urgency which has been sounded so clearly by our President.
The people who live in the Appalachian area are no strangers to promises. They have stood on their street corners and outside their homes for many a year in the past and listened to the brave promises of well-meaning candidates for political office.
All too often, these promises were not fulfilled because, once in office, the former candidate found himself frustrated by the limited means at his disposal to do what had to be done to wipe out the hunger, disease, illiteracy, and general demoralization which affects an area of about 165,000 square miles, inhabited by more than 15 million citizens of 11 States.
No one State has the money or other resources to cope with adverse economic conditions that are so widespread and as deeply seated as we find in Appalachia. This is what makes a Federal program necessary. This is also why the people of Appalachia--for the first time-have permitted themselves to believe that at last something effective is really about to be done.
I travel frequently in the three Maryland counties in the Appalachian region, and I can assure you gentlemen of the committee that the usual skepticism of the people has been put aside as far as this program is concerned.
They have faith in President Johnson and in the 89th Congress of the United States.
As far as this bill is concerned, they have laid aside their normal protective shield of pride and silence. They have exposed themselves and their plight for all to see. It would indeed be a cruel hoax if we let them down now when their hopes are highest.
We who have portions of our States in the Appalachian region regard the spirit which motivated this bill to be one which stemmed from local necessity rather than from Federal fiat.
The people of these hills conceived the regional approach, they formed the pilot organization, they hammered out the details of the program in meetings held first at the grassroots level in Annapolis, Cumberland, and Hagerstown, Md., Pittsburgh, Pa., Charleston, S.C., Lexington, Ky., and Atlanta, Ga., and finally around their own council tables here in Washington, D.C.
These were the closing words with which I adjourned the first meeting of Appalachian Governors in Annapolis:
I believe the time is ripe for the launching of some forceful interstate action in regard to the pressing problems of the Appalachian region, and I regard this conference today as the seedbed out of which will grow a new awareness of our obligations to the mountain areas of our States.
Now, in February 1965, that wish is about to be fulfilled. The bill before you is like a sapling grown in the seedbed prepared on a day in May 1960. I cannot urge you too strongly to nurture its growth so that a mighty tree will live and flourish for the lasting benefit of Appalachia, U.S.A. Thank you. Mr. Jones. Thank you very much, Governor Tawes.
Governor, during the course of our hearings, we have had repeated statements to the effect that the Governors of the 11 States in the Appalachian area have been in accord with this total bill and its objectives, and I think that is one of the most refreshing things that could be presented to the Congress, that the Governors themselves feel a sense of responsibility in making these improvements and can agree on a program of mutual interest and benefit to the respective States involved.
Governor Tawes. Thank you.
Mr. JONES. And certainly you are to be commended as being a guiding force in this great direction.
Governor Tawes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Is the State of Maryland prepared to match, for instance, the highway construction money, some $90 million for some 129 miles of development highways?
Governor TAWES. Yes, sir.
Mr. CRAMER. If this bill becomes law at this 50 percent of the cost thereof?
Governor TAwes. Yes, sir.
Governor Tawes. Yes, sir. Our highway department has been working on this program. They informed me that we are prepared to match the Federal money.
Mr. CRAMER. Have you had to legislate additional tax revenues, or do you contemplate doing so, in order to provide the necessary match
Governor Tawes. We have not reached that point yet, but, if it is necessary, our legislature is in session. The director of our highway commission is prepared to do that.
Mr. CRAMER. Good.
Governor Tawes. But we feel we will not be called upon to have legislation.
Mr. CRAMER. I see. You do not expect to be called upon to have legislation ?
Governor TAwes. Well, I cannot say that positively this morning, because the director of our highway department has not given me the assurance yet. But he gives me the assurance that either through legislation or through acts of the highway department, the money will be available for matching purposes in that region.
Mr. CRAMER. Do you contemplate any additional new taxes being needed in Maryland to provide these matching funds, Governor?
Governor TAWES. No. We raised our gasoline tax to provide more money last year. So we have revenue that we think is ample.
Mr. CRAMER. Then if this program were put in effect, you would have possibly a surplus in your highway funds?
Governor Tawes. No. We have plenty of needs to use it for, but we could divert the money to this area from other sections of the State if we found it necessary to do so.
Mr. CRAMER. Well, it is the plan of Maryland, in order to conform to the Appalachian $45 million, if that is the amount, matching funds, the plan is to divert highway funds from other highway construction and use it in the Appalachian region, is that correct?
Governor Tawes. Over the period, yes. I do not think the State would be called upon immediately. I mean we would not be able to initiate, complete a program of that magnitude in 1 year. It would probably take 2 or 3 years to complete the program. We would have the money to match the Federal funds. We have never failed to do that in any of our highway programs.
Mr. CRAMER. All right. I would be a little concerned if the results of this program would be a diversion of highway funds from other needed highway construction in other areas of the State of Maryland or any other States that are participating in this program.
Is that what I understand will be the result over whatever period of time is involved ?
Governor Tawes. We have a 6-year program. We must go to the legislature for certain highway programs. And we have a 6-year program underway now, but we only dedicate the money on a 2-year basis. Then at the end of the first 2 years, we dedicate the money for the second 2-year program, until we have finally completed a 6-year program,
Mr. CRAMER. I presume you are familiar with section 221 of the Appalachian Regional Act?
Mr. JONES. Will the clerk of the committee give the Governor a copy
of the bill so that he can refer to it? Just a moment. Governor, you have one of your associates with
Governor Tawes. I might say that Mr. Boswell has been working on this program constantly for 5 years.