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Mr. SWEENEY. I would certainly urge its opposition, yes, sir.
Mr. CLEVELAND. I would like to ask you a slightly philosophical question. As I studied this bill which we have before us, I noticed one of its particular features that you referred to, which is the section that gives these areas a direct grant so they can use this direct grant to match Federal funds available under other programs; I believe you referred to this yesterday as sort of the glue of the whole program.
Mr. SWEENEY. As modified by Mr. Cramer.
Mr. CLEVELAND. Remembering and recalling that many of these programs which we have passed, such as the Vocational Training Act, the Manpower Development and Training Act, the Economic Opportunities Act, to mention a few, were passed in hopes that this Federal legislation would do something for the less fortunate people in this country, is not this concept of yours a confession of failure on the part of these previously existing Federal programs?
Is this not a failure, insofar as these previously existing Federal programs have failed in this particular area with which you are directly concerned? They are not doing the job there, are they?
Mr. SWEENEY. Mr. Cleveland, I would not subscribe to what you have said. I don't think it has been a failure at all. I think it has not been enough. I think in the ARA program, which does restrict the spending of dollars to the extremely depressed communities and counties in the Appalachia region, because there has just been really what amounts to a token amount to provide some public facilities and some credit for these depressed communities, this has not been sufficient.
There has been no effort made to concentrate these funds where they can advantage more than just the surrounding areas, even though ARA has taken that into consideration in many cases.
I think the fact the administration has cited their determination to bring in a regional section in the ARA bill is indicative of the fact that a number of communities in the country are moving toward that concept that we hope to espouse in this bill. So I don't think it is a question of failure; I think it is a question that it is not enough as it presently exists.
Mr. CLEVELAND. Let me be more precise in my question. I notice on page 34 of the act that the $90 million you are making available for communities to use to match funds with other Federal programs so they can get the Federal programs working in their area, goes for such programs as those under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act; Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act; Public Health Service Act; Vocational Education Act; Library Services Act; Federal Airport Act; Communications Act; Higher Education Facilities Act; Land and Water Conservation Fund Act; and others.
This is including but not limited to these. Certainly those programs cannot be doing the job in this area, otherwise you would not feel it is necessary to have additional bait money to get the communities to put up the matching funds to get these programs working in these areas.
So to that extent, these Federal programs have failed in this area, have they not?
Mr. SWEENEY. Failed, no. I think the problem is, No. 1, they are not adequately funded and, No. 2, the formula within them is such that many Appalachian areas cannot possibly take advantage of them. That is the reason we believe these programs are absolutely essential, and their continued existence in the region can do much to improve it. But the fact the local communities are too poor to take advantage, is what we are trying to overcome.
Mr. CLEVELAND. What you are saying—and believe me I supported most of those Federal programs—is that we have these Federal programs; we subscribe to them, but because of their terms, areas in Appalachia cannot take advantage of them because they haven't got the funds to do it; is that what you are saying?
Mr. SWEENEY. Yes. Mr. CLEVELAND. Can this not be said of many other areas of the United States, however!
Mr. SWEENEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. CLEVELAND. Now is it fair to give those communities, including several of these very wealthy counties, an extra shot in the arm so they can take advantage of these national programs when there are other counties in the Nation designated under the ARA and the APW which are not getting the same treatment?
We have already discussed the unfairness of giving access roads to Appalachia and not giving access roads to the Ozarks, the Great Lakes region, or northern New England. Here again, is this not basically unfair? If these Federal programs are not working in these Appalachian counties, is it not just as true they may not be working in some of the other areas of this country, and, if so, should not the thrust of this approach be to amend the basic national acts so any disadvantaged county can have better chance of getting the benefits of Federal programs by having to put up less contribution as matching funds ?
Mr. SWEENEY. Mr. Cleveland, I think the Senate debate and I am sure it will be mirrored in the House-has expressed the interest of other regions in achieving similar advantages. I think the Appalachian program, however, has two reasons for its existence and overwhelming passage by the Senate.
I might add, based on the announced preference had those Senators not present, been present, that vote would have been 74 to 26.
The reason I believe is the recognition by the Senate—and I hope by the House this is the largest and most long-lived area of depression in the United States. It has been in this condition for better than a hundred years, and it is going to take a long time for it to get out.
It contains 16 million people, and I think that is the reason why the Senate was more than willing to see this begun, and I think that their debate indicated that perhaps it may be a pilot program which will eventually be extended to other areas of the country such as you describe.
Mr. CLEVELAND. I appreciate your remarks, but these remarks coming as I do from a small region these remarks are ominous, because they indicate it is going to be only the big regions which are going to get a break under this treatment.
Mr. SWEENEY. I don't believe that is true. I think the regions outlined in the Senate debate certainly include your area. I do know it is under consideration, by the Senators from that region at least.
Mr. JONES. Mr. Kee.
Mr. KEE, Mr. Chairman, I would like to highly commend Mr. Sweeney for his excellent presentation here today, which clearly reveals his intimate knowledge gained by his study and experience in the Appalachian region.
In essence all this legislation does is ask the Congress to do what the Congress has always done, legislate for the general welfare.
One point has been mentioned. I would like to state that I am personally delighted with my experience with the proposed power of the chairman of this Commission in order that the chairman will have the authority to insure the maximum value for every Federal dollar invested, and for that you are to be highly commended.
Mr. JONES. I take it West Virginia will not dissent?
CRAMER. West Virginia is 100 percent in this bill. Mr. Jones. Thank you very much, Mr. Sweeney. You made an excellent witness. You were very considerate of the committee, and certainly your knowledge of the bill and what it seeks to accomplish are very obvious.
Nr. CRAMER. I do want to compliment the gentleman for the presentation of his point of view. He did a very fine job.
Mr. JONES. Yesterday we had two questions raised. Mr. Cleveland, you raised the question about the structure of the bill dealing with the forest management question.
We have Mr. Fred Ritchie of the Department of Agriculture here, and I am sure he will be anxious to answer the questions.
Mr. Ritchie, I wonder if it would be convenient to come back at 2 o'clock. We will also hear Mr. Bridwell of the Department of Commerce.
The committee will be in recess until 2 p.m.
(Whereupon, at 12:25 p.m., the committee recessed, to reconvene at 2 p.m. the same day.)
Mr. JONES. The ad hoc committee will be in order.
We were supposed to start with Mr. Ritchie, but Mr. Ritchie is not here, and Mr. Cramer had some questions about the road program, so Mr. Lowell K. Bridwell, of the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Public Roads, is here to answer them.
STATEMENT OF LOWELL K. BRIDWELL, DEPUTY UNDER SECRE
TARY OF COMMERCE FOR TRANSPORTATION; ACCOMPANIED BY STEDMAN T. HITCHCOCK, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF PLANNING, BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS
Mr. Jones. Mr. Bridwell, will you identify yourself for the record and also identify your associate that you have with you?
Mr. BRIDWELL. Yes, sir.
Mr. Chairman, my name is Lowell K. Bridwell. I am a Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Transportation, and I am appear
ing here today as the Commerce Department representative to the Federal Development Planning Committee for Appalachia.
I have with me Mr. S. T. Hitchcock, the Deputy Director of the Office of Planning, Bureau of Public
Roads, who was designated by the Highway Administrator, Rex M. Whitton, to accompany me to the hearing:
Mr. Jones. Mr. Cramer asked you to appear for the purpose of questioning
Mr. CRAMER. I wanted to get some information for the record in regard to the highway section, which is the largest portion of this entire package, approximately three-quarters of it, as a matter of fact.
Let me first ask you, is it true that in the past your highway systems have been authorized on a nationwide basis with all States participating?
Mr. BRIDWELL. Yes, sir; except for defense access roads, that is true.
Mr. CRAMER. Therefore, this is a departure from the general concept that if you create a system of Federal-aid highways, there should be a formula available to all States on an allocation basis?
Mr. BRIDWELL. Yes. This is the first time that a regional concept has been applied to a Federal-aid highway program. Of course, we have forest highways and public lands highways that to a certain degree have been regional in character, but as a regional concept you are quite accurate, Mr. Cramer, that this is the first time that such a program has been developed and proposed.
Mr. CRAMER. It is a further departure, is it not, from the standpoint that the justification of this system is not necessarily based upon the standard presently used, and that is the estimated traffic or the traffic actually using the facility and expected to use it in the future as being the basic justification for building a highway?
This is on the basis of anticipated industrial or other economic development; is that right?
Mr. JONES. Let me interrupt; what system are you talking about? The Secretary has never used the general formula of justification by population or traffic index. What do you mean, Mr. Cramer?
Mr. CRAMER. The development highways which are supposed to be constructed to primary standards, are they not?
Mr. BRIDWELL. Yes, sir.
Mr. CRAMER. In the present primary highway system, in determining mileage, it is dependent upon traffic use to a large extent, is it not?
Mr. BRIDWELL. Not in determining the mileage; no, sir. "In determining the design, type of construction, and so forth, that would be true.
Mr. CRAMER. In determining the necessity for it, it is based on the traffic justifying the construction of a highway?
Mr. CLARK. Or anticipated traffic.
Mr. BRIDWELL. Yes; I think this criteria is altered. I would certainly agree with you, Mr. Cramer, it is altered criteria. I don't believe I could agree with you that it is a departure in the sense of a radical departure.
Mr. CRAMER. Would you explain what you understand the purpose of the amendment to be relating to access highways as compared to the bill voted last year by this committee? I am obviously referring to the language on page 13, beginning at the bottom of the page through lines 6 to 14 on page 14.
Mr. BRIDWELL. Mr. Cramer, I am sure you will recall from the hearings last year there was considerable discussion as to what constituted an access road, and we tried to explain at that time that what we had in mind from the very beginning of this Appalachian planning activity was to provide access roads relatively short in nature that would connect the development system, or another primary highway—this would include interstate—with a specific facility or development that required good highway access.
Mr. CRAMER. What is the effect of the amendment then? What is the change in language? What is accomplished, comparing, what was in the House bill last session and the Senate bill in this session, as it relates to these access roads?
Mr. BRIDWELL. The principal effect of the amendment is to increase from 500 to a thousand miles the amount of mileage authorized for access roads.
Mr. CRAMER. It also has the effect, does it not, of removing the access roads from the "highway system"?
Mr. BRIDWELL. The access roads were never thought of as being a part of the development system, Mr. Cramer, or development road system.
Mr. JONES. Mr. Bridwell, that is not right.
Mr. BRIDWELL. Mr. Jones, I don't believe there is any disagreement; I believe it is only my inability to define so far what I mean by the development system.
The development system, or the development roads, is a connecting system
Mr. JONES. Why do you use the word “development”? Why does that word apply to this type of roads?
Mr. BRIDWELL. Development in the sense, Mr. Chairman, of providing new or superior access to specific parts of the Appalachian region to aid in their economic development.
Mr. JoNEs. Why should they be characterized in such a fashion so they become different from the rest of the road program? What criteria would you employ in their construction ?
Mr. BRIDWELL. The principal factor that went into the selection of a development system was to provide either new or higher quality access than that which now exists, or which likely would exist under the regular Federal aid highway program in the near future.
Mr. JONES. Mr. Cramer.
Mr. CRAMER. As I read the draftsmanship of last year's bill, there was included in the highway system the following:
Development highway system : not to exceed 3,350 miles in length, of which total not to exceed 1,000 miles, which shall be local access roads which shall serve the specific purpose.
In reading that it appears access roads were a part of the highway system. Now you have changed the language and it appears to me the effect is to take access roads out of the highway system.
Mr. BRIDWELL. Mr. Cramer, the development system, as we have testified last year, and as we testify again this year, consists of a connecting system of highways, and a system which is interconnected