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STATEMENT OF WILLIAM H. HARSHA, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF OHIO
I also say
Mr. HARSHA. Mr. Chairman, let me say at the outset that I deeply appreciate the work of this subcommittee and the opportunity afforded me to present my views on S. 3 and related bills, and
may that I have introduced H.R. 2209 which is in sum and substance practically the same bill as introduced by the chairman of the Committee on Public Works. However, my bill differs in two small respects from either S. 3 or H.R. 4.' Nevertheless, Mr. Chairman, while I would prefer to see my bill enacted into law, I wholeheartedly support the enactment of the Appalachia Regional Development Act of 1965.
Mr. Chairman, there is a dire need for the passage of this legislation and I respectfully submit to this subcommittee that as a whole it is a worthwhile, realistic approach to the needs of the people and communities in the Appalachian area.
This bill is a program for physical resource development of the area and not the usual approach of Federal handouts. Its purpose is to assist the region in meeting its special problems, to promote its economic development and to establish a framework for joint Federal, State, and local efforts toward providing the basic facilities essential to its growth.
This measure, in contrast to the war on poverty bill, retains the historic concept of Federal, State, and local participation.
I believe in and have always believed in fiscal responsibility, particularly on the part of government, and I consider the provisions of this act to be consistent with these views. The additional funds which will be spent in Appalachia represent a positive investment in the region's economy. These funds will be used to build the types of facilities which can generate employment and economic growth. It is my hope and expectation that the kind of expenditures called for in S. 3 and H.R. 2209 will inevitably mean reductions in the enormous amounts of money the Federal Government now spends for public assistance in Appalachia.
Almost 6 percent of Appalachia's total population are receiving welfare payments as against 4 percent in the rest of the Nation, and the price tag for Appalachia has been running at almost $500 million per year. As the President's Appalachian Regional Commission has aptly pointed out, the cost of welfare relief is high in these areas where the roots of free enterprise have been undernourished.
This bill will make Appalachia more attractive to industry, to recreation seekers, and to its own people through such provisions as the construction of sewage-treatment plants, restoring strip mined lands, and construction of adequate highways.
It has been said that this program creates highways looking for traffic rather than the usual approach of constructing highways to take care of existing traffic. I must agree in part with this, but this is one of the basic problems of the Appalachian area. It is inaccessible, in its present state, to industry and recreation seekers and it is because of this inaccessibility that many of the communities are not keeping abreast of the growth of the Nation.
In an effort to make it accessible to industry, recreation seekers, and others, this road construction program is greatly needed. Surveys by industry and highway users have indicated that economic growth and industrial growth usually generate around areas readily accessible by highway and adequate roads, and it is for this reason that the road
program was placed in the Appalachia bill. Being near a good highway and access to markets are factors of increasing importance in the location of today's industrial plants.
Highways assist in developing new and vacant land, improve production efficiency because of better access to markets and are shaping the locational patterns of today's industry much as rails and water did generations ago.
The highways and access roads provided for in this legislation should enhance the industrial development of the Appalachia region.
Among the most sensible and most essential sections of this act are those which will provide direct benefits to the communities of Appalachia in the form of flood control works, hospitals, vocational education schools, and other necessary public facilities. Economic development at the local level has been difficult in Appalachia—not because the people lack either the desire or the know-how, but because they do not have sufficient financial resources.
Further, Mr. Chairman, I might add that the Governor of Ohio is deeply interested in the passage of this legislation and he and his representatives have conferred with me from time to time on this matter. The Governor is vitally interested in the welfare of the Appalachia region of Ohio and is doing all within his means and within the financial limits of the State to do what can be done to assist this area but because there is a limitation to the available State finances, all that needs to be done has not as yet been done and, of course, this legislation will help immeasurably to improve the situation in those counties in Appalachia.
I would further say, Mr. Chairman, that the Governor and his representatives have contacted me many times relative to my support of this legislation and have asked my advice and help in seeing that it pass, because as I have said earlier the Governor is deeply concerned with the welfare of the citizens in those counties which comprise Appalachia, Ohio.
I appreciate the time the committee is taking with this problem and
Mr. JONES. The other statements on behalf of the Governors will be made a part of the record after being properly identified by the clerk.
Mr. McNEAL. I will submit for the record a telegram from the Governor of South Carolina, a statement from Governor Harrison of Virginia, the statement of Governor Sanders of Georgia, the statement of Governor Brethitt of Kentucky, a telegram from Governor Rhodes of Ohio, and a statement of Carlton R. Sickles of Maryland.
(The documents follow :)
COLUMBIA, S.C., January 29, 1965. Hon. ROBERT E. JONES, Chairman, Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Appalachia, Washington. D.C.
DEAR REPRESENTATIVE JONES : I regret that previous commitments preclude my appearance before the Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Appalachia next week. However below is a statement which I authorize you to place in the record in support of the proposed Appalachia legislation :
Passage of the Appalachia legislation will supplement the existing programs and permit more complete road and utilities development of certain areas in South Carolina that are principally mountainous and now in need of road and utilities development. It will accelerate economic growth and help this area, to uplift the standard of living of its citizens. Through the construction of roads and scenic highways, it will join up heretofore inaccessible scenic wonders of the region such as the beautiful Whitewater Falls which lie across the boundary of our State and North Carolina.
The development of the area should stimulate investment by private industry to bring new opportunity to the people of Appalachia physically and educationally, as well as economically. For these reasons, I, as Governor of South Carolina, support the passage of the proposal legislation.
DONALD D. RUSSELL.
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA,
Richmond, January 29, 1965. Hon. ROBERT JONES, Chairman, Special House Public Works Committee, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. JONES: Responding to your invitation to appear before your Committee in support of the Appalachian Development Act of 1965, please be advised that I have heretofore submitted statements in support of this legislation and have enclosed a copy of our statement to the Senate Public Works Committee to be made a part of your record. With kindest regards, I am, Sincerely,
ALBERTIS S. HARRISON, Jr.
STATEMENT BY ALBERTIS S. HARRISON, Jr., GOVERNOR, COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
Mr. Chairman, and other distinguished members of the committee, I am grateful for the opportunity to make this statement. I regret that I cannot appear in person.
I have endorsed generally the objectives of the Appalchian Regional Development Act, for I am of opinion that many of the proposals will promote the growth and development of the Virginia Appalachian counties, and the entire Appalachian region. While there are areas in Appalachia whose economy is at a low ebb, I feel it unfortunate that the “depressed” label has been applied to such a large area of our Nation. The Appalachian region is not homogenous; there are areas of very considerable prosperity while others are relatively depressed. The value of this program is that it represents a concerted effort in attempting to alleviate the conditions found in the Appalachian region. By and large, many past efforts, though sincere in purpose, have not been able to solve the region's difficulties simply because they tried to cope with only one aspect of the problem. This bill holds promise since it brings together and accelerates the efforts of many Federal and State programs now in existence. The necessary essentials for improving the development potential of Appalachia are covered by the act. I agree that the Appalachian program should remain separate from the pending “poverty bill."
My executive assistant, Mr. Joseph G. Hamrick, will be the Virginia representative on the Appalachian Regional Commission and I assure you of his continuing interest in this program.
I favor and shall support any sound program that will expedite the construction of modern, safe, and adequate highways in the Appalachia area. Certainly, there is no area of greater importance to the development of the region than a
vigorous and well-balanced highway program. Industrial development and the industry of tourism cannot be promoted without adequate network of roads. The 1964 session of the Virginia General Assembly provided for the beginning of a new network of arterial highways, a system of main, dual lane roads intended to complement and serve large areas not covered by the Interstate System. A high percentage of this arterial mileage was allotted to the southwest Virginia area. The Development Highway System as proposed in section 201 of this bill, when coupled with our regular programs, will provide safe and efficient transportation facilities into the heart of our most inaccessible Appalachian areas. The Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 can be of inestimable value to Virginia if the highway funds available to this State under it can be expended to expedite the construction of this arterial system.
With reference to section 202 of title II of the proposed act, we have a wellorganized and well-directed public health program in Virginia, but admittedly we do not have in southwest Virginia sufficient numbers of physicians, nurses, dentists, or other health personnel. For example, there is only 1 M.D. for every 5,000 people, as compared to the national average of 1 for 700. Additional health personnel need encouragement to locate in the area, and those already located there need auxiliary personnel in the care of patients. The development of medical clinics, home nursing care programs, and the provision of additional financial assistance for required hospitalization obviously are steps which can alleviate these conditions.
The basic structure to develop these proposals already exist in Virginia through complete coverage of this area by full-time local health departments.
A preliminary survey of the 106 communities in the 7-county area revealed that only 12 have approved sewage treatment facilities. For example, 8 communities discharge all or a portion of their sewer wastes directly to the Big Sandy River ; 24 to Clinch River; 8 to Guest River; and 28 to Powell River. Based on conservative figures, it is estimated that at least 1,500,000 gallons of untreated sewage per day are discharged into secondary streams or directly into these 4 rivers. The provision for grants under section 212 will be of considerable benefit.
Public water supplies are not available in 39 (36.7 percent) of the communities. Public water supplies in the remaining 67 communities vary in adequacy and degree of treatment.
Sections 203 and 204 of title II refer to programs for improving the economic level of our farmers. Agriculture and related activities have long been of vital importance to our economy in Virginia. For example, the designated counties in Virginia included in the Appalachian region possess a natural ability to produce bluegrass. This grass is one of the most desirable and easily established forage crops in the area. The bill's provision to improve pasture should be an aid to small landowners desiring to increase, as well as diversify, livestock production.
While investment in the highways, waterways, the soil, timber, and recreational resources is of strategic importance in the development of the Appalachian area, it provides only a partial answer to the future of this region. In the fina) analysis it is the people who make a region, a State, or a nation truly great. We can build a more vigorous Appalachian region only as the human resources are developed.
The fundamental key to the development of these resources is education. Section 211 of the bill provides some needed assistance in this direction. Through sound education aspirations are raised, the dignity of the individual is enhanced and his spirit is quickened, knowledges and skills for effective citizenship, including vocational competency are acquired, the development of a concept of the good life is fostered, and doors to unlimited opportunities are opened.
While progress in education in the Appalachian region is constantly being made, the skills and knowledges of its people have not kept pace with the benefits and vocational opportunities afforded by the rapid growth of industry and technology. The rate of improving education in this area must be accelerated. For the year 1963–64, 20.2 percent of the accredited high schools of the Appalachian region in Virginia offered courses in industrial education; more than 50 percent offered courses in agricultural education; almost 50 percent provided work in business education; more than 25 percent provided courses in distributive education; and more than 90 percent offered home economics. Apprenticeship-related instruction was provided through evening programs in onesixth of the high schools. Instruction under the manpower development and training program has been provided for more than 240 unemployed adults. Two area vocational-technical schools are located in this region.
The high school dropout rate in the Appalachian area exceeds slightly the rate for the State as a whole. The percentage of high school graduates of the region entering college is less than that for the State. The percentage of persons 25 years of age and over who have not completed the fifth grade of school is well above the percentage for the State and the Nation,
The Commission on Vocational Education in its 1963 report to the Governor and the general assembly presented forcefully the need for more persons trained as skilled craftsmen and technicians. The Commission further set forth recommendations for strengthening instruction in vocational education at the high school level, developing on a pilot study basis special courses for potential dropouts and courses involving a study of clusters of closely related occupations, and establishing additional area vocational-technical schools. Although time does not permit more detailed discussion, it is obvious that there is great need in the Appalachian region for expansion of vocational education for high school students and adults. There is also a great need for expanded programs for teaching out-of-school youths and adults basic skills in order that they may be better prepared to benefit from instruction in vocational education.
Suitable and remunerative employment is clearly an essential solution to the problems of low-income or disadvantaged people able to enter the labor market. Several counties in southwestern Virgina have substantial numbers of both men and women without any encouraging prospect of finding jobs through their own efforts, but who are readily adaptable to work opportunities if work can be found for them.
Such people form a reservoir of unutilized manpower, and their referral to gainful employment would contribute immeasurably to their own status and satisfaction in life, as well as to the prosperity of their community and State.
While the Employment Service cannot create jobs, it can be effectively instrumental in searching out vacancies which exist, in helping to attract new industries, and in guiding jobseekers to appropriate openings with a minimum of wasted effort. I, therefore, agree that adequate services for registration, counseling and placement responsibilities are indicated and would be beneficial.
It is recognized that the water resources of the Virginia portion of Appalachia can contribute toward improvement in the general economy. Projects involving flood control, pollution control, and water-oriented recreation would be helpful in advancing the economic health of the region.
The encouragement of timber growth through improved fire control and extension of access roads and trails is a desirable objective in Appalachian Virginia.
Acceleration of State programs in topographic and geologic mapping would be desirable in developing the mineral resources of the region.
Whenever the subject of water resources is discussed, the question of public power arises. I am opposed to any development of electric power facilities by public-owned, non-tax-paying bodies.
Water resource development should embrace only recreation, conservation and flood damage prevention. The efforts of the President's Appalachian Regional Commission can most constructively be directed to improving the needs for transportation, education, health, recreation, agriculture, and human uplifting.
With reference to the general provisions of title II, part C, I can assure the committee that Virginia will not reduce the expenditure of public funds in this region of our State.
Section 222 of the act is a wise provision in that it properly gives each State and political subdivision the power to decide if it shall engage in or accept any program. Surely, not every proposal will be suitable for every Appalachian State.
Apparently under title III, the operation of local development districts is regarded as a key proposal in this legislation. However, for such local development districts to participate financially would require enabling legislation by the General Assembly of Virginia, and a State-issued charter to such districts. I cannot here speculate on what action the Virginia legislative body will take when it meets next in regular session in 1966.
In the preparation of this statement I have deliberately avoided commenting on all provisions of the proposed legislation. I am very conscious of the fact that, with the exception of a few counties in southwest Virginia, the need for the assistance and aid contemplated by this bill is not imperative in Virginia.