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operation led first by the Appalachian Governors Conference. It is now our duty to complete the task they started, and we hope we can obtain swift congressional approval, and the signature of the President, and when this is done it is just the beginning. It is necessary that the 11 Appalachian States and the Federal agencies which are involved must move immediately to forge a smooth and effective team relationship, so that the actual work of this cooperative undertaking can begin at once.
Steps in the right direction are now being taken. Acting under Presidential directive, the interim planning agency is maintaining a constant and continuing dialog with the several States on the ways and means to start an action program before the ink of the President's pen is dry on this bill.
In the States themselves, efforts are beginning to take form to identify the programs and projects which can be started at the earliest possible date.
West Virginia, at this moment, is undertaking a total inventory of the projects which might begin in a reasonably short time, and which would give the greatest forward thrust to the economic development of the State.
I want to emphasize this matter of economic development and the restoration of economic vitality to the Appalachian region, because this is the principal reason for the existence of this program.
The national economy is healthy, and moving forward at an unprecedented pace. The Appalachian States, which have made vigorous efforts to solve their own problems, are not removed from this general well-being.
But difficult problems remain.
The age-old struggle for good transportation and communication systems in a rugged geographic area continues to plague us.
The scars of decay and decline, which characterized our region during the postwar era, still are graphically evident in too many places.
Too many communities, with a real desire and incentive to help themselves and redevelop their economies, are hampered and, indeed, often frustrated, because of the lack of good public facilities, roads, and a better capital base.
Too many of our people remain in need.
Too many of them lack the education to make them productive and employable.
Too many of them live on less-than-adequate incomes even when they cannot be classified as unemployed.
Too many of them do not have access to decent health services and skilled doctors.
These are a few of the problems that are still with us.
This is the legacy of neglect—an inheritance of the dreadful problems which we faced in the 1950's.
This is why the slightest downturn in the national economy probably would be felt first and would hit hardest in the Appalachian region.
For it has been said that “when the national economy sneezes, West Virginia gets pneumonia."
It is imperative that we act now, during a time of great national prosperity, to provide West Virginia and all of Appalachia with the tools to enable us to catch up with the rest of the Nation.
If Appalachia can succeed in this catching-up process of economic development, then the whole Nation's economy will benefit.
Unemployment compensation payments will decline. So-called crash programs of assistance will not be necessary. The lines of people waiting to receive surplus food commodities will shorten, and finally disappear, welfare payments from the Federal Government will taper off.
Appalachia will become a fully self-sufficient member of a Great Society—the most prosperous nation on earth.
This bill is one means to that end. For that reason, it has my support. It ought to have the support of every American, because it is a good investment in our country's future.
This bill is the result of great stu ly, long effort, and it represents the thoughts, ideas, and philosophies of a great many people.
I was present when this Appalachian Commission first started in April 1963. For a period of time I served with the men who started drafting the Appalachian program, and there is not a single section of this program I cannot accept, because every portion of the legislation holds promise of benefits to West Virginia and its people.
But I believe it could be made better, and thus do its job more efficiently. Therefore, I respectfully would like to propose more alterations which seem to have great merit.
I have just returned from the other side of Capitol Hill, where I testified before the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare in favor of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
This is consistent with the guiding policy of my administrationto put education first and foremost among our objectives.
But if the problems of education are first in West Virginia, then the problems of roads are equally as important.
The proposed Appalachian bill has been revised to allow the construction of 1,000 miles of new access roads, instead of the shorter system contained in the bill you considered in 1964.
This is a desirable addition, and I am fully aware that it would provide its major benefit to States which do not fare as well as West Virginia in the allocation of the basic highway network. West Virginia would hope, of course, to obtain some portion of this access mileage.
I also am concerned with the mining restoration section of the program and, in my testimony before the Senate, I proposed expansion of this section to encompass a full-scale inventory of all the mineral resources of Appalachia and their potential for economic development of the region.
The Senate committee did not adopt this suggestion but did add an additional $15 million to enlarge the scope of coalfield reclamation activity: I applaud their action and trust that the House may accept this revision.
In view of the Senate's action, I still would like to propose one refinement in section 205.
The present bill enables an immediate program to extinguish underground- and outcrop-mine fires. Control of these fires certainly is commendable because it will help to stop the senseless destruction of priceless coal reserves and eliminate health and safety hazards.
But this bill needs to be amended to permit us to undertake similar action on the burning coal mine refuse heaps which pollute the atmosphere and mar the beauty of our countryside. These "gob piles," as they are commonly known, often burn for years. Until recently, they were regarded as almost uncontrollable.
New techniques, however, have given new hope for controlling these smelly and obnoxious fires.
A technique developed in recent months has proved highly successful. It not only puts out the fires; it also reclaims the coal particles which feeds these refuse piles.
Five hundred of these "gob piles” are now burning in the United States. Two hundred and eighteen are in West Virginia and virtually all of them are in Appalachia. Some have been burning for more than 50 years and all of them smell like Hades.
I hope we might see this bill include the means to begin efforts to put out these miserable mounds of smoldering fumes, just as the bill presently permits an attack on underground fires. I hope that your committee will give this concept its attention.
Finally, I want to speak of a serious problem not covered by this bill, and perhaps not proposed to be included in this act, but yet
Mr. Jones. Governor, I do not want to interrupt you but I might add at this point, as I have pointed out to other witnesses, that problem is being considered by the Bureau of Mines, the Department of the Interior and, I think, they are trying to attack the problem on a broad front. It is, therefore, not as conclusive in their findings so far as they would like it to be and the reports have been withheld
until such time as they feel findings will be substantial. That is my understanding. Governor SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I appre
, I ciate this information and we will certainly follow this matter along with you. I know you are interested in this problem, too.
Mr. Jones. The whole problem is vested in so many departments and agencies of the Government it is hard to corral them all and put them into one bunch but that is being done.
Governor SMITH. Thank you, sir.
Governor SMITH. As I was saying, there are virtually no provisions for the construction of new public facilities to make life decent and attractive; to lure new industry to a community; or help it to increase its tourist traffic.
I concede that some types of public facilities can be constructed under certain sections of the bill. For example, sewage treatment facilities can be built under section 212.
This section provides $6 million for such facilities in all of Appalachia. The total inadequacy of this figure is borne out by the fact that, in West Virginia alone, we have more than $5.5 million in sewer facility applications pending from the APW program.
There is no money at all for water systems, sewer interceptor lines, street paving, parking facilities, and conservation projects—items that are gravely needed by the Appalachian region.
West Virginia communities still are left with more than $25 million in pending applications for accelerated public works assistance. I am sure that there are many pending projects in your home State, Mr. Chairman.
Public facilities are such an urgent need that I believe any Appalachian regional development program would be incomplete without some provision in this respect.
I would prefer to see the APW program renewed for the entire Nation. But reality makes us concede that the chances for such a program this year are not bright.
Therefore, I propose that $100 million in new and immediate obligational authority for accelerated public works be written into the bill by this committee and be approved before this session of Congress adjourns. With the possible exception of the highway system, no program
is so important to Appalachia. I implore this committee to give my proposal serious attention.
These suggestions which I have respectfully offered would make the Appalachian Regional Development Act a better program; more responsive to the needs of the area and its people. I commend them
consideration. And on that note, and with full confidence that this committee will give top-priority consideration to this bill, I close my remarks with my thanks to you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to appear before you to state our case for a promising and progressive program for the Appalachian region.
Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, West Virginia supports fully and completely the bill before your committee at this time.
Mr. JONES. Thank you, Governor. I can inform the people of West Virginia that you are a great advocate and certainly the testimony you have submitted to us today, I assure you, will be very help
I ful to the members of this committee.
I note the fact that you are going about a lot of these program which are in the Appalachian bill now but what you are hopeful of is exceeding those programs and accelerating them to meet these pockets of distress.
Governor SMITH. I think, sir, what I had in mind is: Things have run right along with the Appalachian program and, if they can be added to or dovetailed, we are going to get a much stronger economic development program in Appalachia and, perhaps, it will also benefit other parts of the country when they become authorized.
Mr. JONES. I heard Senator Randolph last year at the time he made the statement that this was a long-range program; one that goes to the
n heart of the problem and the fundamentals of the problem. He stated that this program can be brought about in such a fashion that it will encompass the whole community effort and State effort.
I think that is one of the major aspects of this whole bill and I think you also pointed that out today.
Mr. Kee. Mr. KEE. Mr. Chairman, I would like to join you in welcoming and highly complimenting Governor Smith for his excellent presentation today.
I would also like to pjoint out, if I may, sir, that the Governor is extremely fortunate in that he has a very charming lady-one of the most attractive ladies in the State of West Virginia—as his wife, and Mrs. Hulett Smith is in the audience today.
Would you like to stand and take a bow?
Mr. JONES. If you stand, please don't bow [laughter] Mrs. Smith. Mrs. SMITH. I will sit. Mr. JONES. We are delighted to have you. Governor, it is a pleasure to have had you with us. Governor SMITH. Thank you. Mr. CRAMER. Mr. Chairman, may I ask one or two questions? Mr. JONES. Yes. Mr. CRAMER. In the light of the chairman's suggestion, it is rather difficult for me to pose a number of questions I was going to pose. I will try to save as much time as possible. There are several things, though, that I would like to have clarified which relate to West Virginia.
No. 1, could West Virginia provide the same information I requested of the other Governors ?
Governor SMITH. Yes, sir.
Mr. CRAMER. That is, what you anticipate your expenditures in programs will be under the different sections of the hill and costs thereof.
Governor SMITH. Yes, sir.
What would be the attitude of your State relating to the Kennedy amendment concerning the 13 counties in New York ?
Governor SMITH. Looking at the amendment, it would be similar to the thought expressed by Governor Scranton, that when the basis is determined, as I see by the Commission having the right of determining the requirements and the ability of these areas to be a part of this program, I can see if they meet the same problems we have in West Virginia, West Virginia would have no objection to the inclusion of certain counties in New York which might be needful of this help.
Mr. CRAMER. Would you object to an approach on the basis of an approach of the Commission recommending to Congress what its attitude would be, and let Congress decide whether or not to add the counties and, if so, how many, as we are doing in this act!
Governor SMITH. I would think that the judgment of the Commission might be applicable at the time, although I have no objection to that type of change being added.
Mr. CRAMER. I understand you are a newly elected Governor of West Virginia.
Governor SMITH. Yes, sir.
Mr. CRAMER. Did you have a capacity in the previous planning of this legislation ?
Governor SMITH. Yes, I did, sir, in the early stages of it in 1963, but I was out of the political arena from that standpoint in the year 1964 when most of the planning was done on this act.
Mr. CRAMER. If you had an opportunity to recommend, would you recommend that the Federal Government have a veto power in this Commission setup? Is that your choice, as the Governor of the State of West Virginia, or do you think he should have equal voting rights with the States?
Governor SMITH. Sir, as pointed out to me, this was arrived at after considerable discussion and great thought by the various members of the interim Appalachian Commission as a means of providing