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vented from carrying out the objects for which you were established; one, two, three. Now, what has been done? Mr. WEST. I would say that if you would take a private enterprise organization like the Federal Home Loan Bank System, and I am Sure the Congressman meant not the FHA we were under. Mr. WHITTINGTON. The organizations that you represented, those that you have been under, the Housing Administrator for the last 4 years, now where and to what extent have you been damaged in carrying on your legitimate functions, or that you have been hindered or delayed in any way? Mr. WEST. The Federal Home Loan Bank System, Congressman, must have had a good reason for naming a five-man board to operate that system at one time. The board was abolished. Mr. WHITTINGTON. I do not believe I would ask a question that I do not intend to receive an answer to. I did not ask you what Congress had done. The chairman has asked you the question, my colleague from West Virginia has asked you the question. I will repeat my question: I understand, for the sake of argument, that the Board had been abolished and I understand that it has been under National Housing, but what we want to do is get to what we think is an important matter: Wherein under this National Housing Administrator has your organization in any way been impeded in the discharge of your functions, regardless of your fears about what is going to happen in the future, and wherein has money been extracted from your treasury and used by the Federal Housing Administrator? Mr. WEST. I think I can answer your question, sir. In my town, I am dependent on making loans on homes. I think when housing facilities have been afforded to people on a subsidy basis, in my competitive market, with me, to the extent of seven or eight thousand families through the National Housing Agency’s activity, that I am vitally affected, because they took that many people out of circulation. Number two, under the program of seeking additional housing in war, the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, operating for the National Housing Agency, went to your town and mine and carried on a leasing facility with old homes that they could cut up into five or six apartments, and they did that work and performed that service for the National Housing Agency through contracts with the owners on a seven-year basis to rent these properties, giving them up sooner if they so desired, with the money, that the Government spent to make that improvement, so-called, going to the owners. All of that was not only in competition with my business, but when they took a 10room house and a nice old piece of property on the street and cut it up into five apartments, some of which P. the bathroom on the front porch, which you would not approve of, and next door I have a loan on a man's home, or hope to have, I think they affected my business. In the name of war, I could not be much of a complainant. Mr. WHITTINGTON. Your complaint is that the Congress of the United States provided funds for that organization to do that work. Now has that work been done worse by your being under the agency than it would have done if that agency had been independent and done exactly what you complained of and what the members of Congress do not believe in That is my question. Mr. WEST. Mr. Congressman, I think it is a basic fact that fowl do not run with fish, just basically.
I do not agree with Public Housing. I do not agree to any extent with Public Housing. Poor people do not live in public housing projects.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Congress has provided for it and if we make a mistake I think Congress is going to do what they have already done. They have quit the appropriations in peacetime for Public Housing. They have confined it to this war housing that you complain of.
Mr. West. There were, of course, other types of that housing. In other words, every public
housing project now in the country has been solicited by the National Housing Agency through their FPHA in the last year with a set of forms about 4 inches thick, to ask them how much additional public housing that town needed, of what kind, an how soon.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Yes, sir; I agree with you that sort of thing should not be permitted, whether that organization is over you or whether that organization is aside in another organization.
Mr. WEST. Then I do not want to run with it.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Wait a minute. Then that is not confin id to the National Housing I opposed.
Now back to the question: How is the income of your organiz tion down there in the last 3 years, as compared with its income in the prior prewar years?
Mr. West. The interest rate that we charge people has declined for the last 4 years, and according to our last audit, our last interest rate is 4.9, ånd we started off 4 years ago, we were paying a 4 pervent dividend to people for that money. The difference has been wrung out of the savers of this country who generally are regarded as poor people too.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. I think you are making a fair answer now. How does your income on the average for the last 3 years, what item for your organization only, came within your income from 1933 to 1936 ?
Mr. West. Our income has materially increased because our savings have materially increased, incidental to the money people have in their pockets to jingle, as you well know.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Well, if your income is increased even under this set-up that you oppose, you suffered no financial injury, did you?
Mr. WEST. When my mayor went to Miami and made a speech about public housing and came back and found the Public Housing people in my town meeting in the community centers which they had built for that purpose, to tell them to vote against him because he was going to raise their rent, and when man and wife in my town vote, it is half the votes, because in the normal election they live in public housing. There are 33,000 families living in Cincinnati that you helped pay the rent for today.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Don't look at me, I am opposed to it, and I think Congress should quit appropriating for it.
Mr. WEST. I do not want to ride with them in the same coach. Mr. Rich. Mr. Chairman, while you are discussing these questionss of how much it is affecting this gentleman's business, just remember they are all going in debt and the Federal Government is getting in debt so bad that eventually you are all going to be wrecked because you are not going to be able to take care of the enormous expense you are laying on the Federal Government to do these things. There will come a time eventually when you are going to get over the bridge.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. I think the idea is to cut out the funds to the National Housing whether this Administrator is called the National Housing or Farm Home Loan Housing or any other type of administrator. It is up to the Congress to cut that money off. If we don't continue to provide for public housing, there will be no public housing. Mr. WEST. The National Housing Administration says, according to the Atlanta newspapers, that they are going to inspect houses being built before and after construction so the people and veterans getting houses now would not be misled. t We have a city building inspector and a county building inspector. Mr. HoFFMAN. Do you mean private homes, if I am going to build a home they are going to inspect my plans as well as the plans of every house that is built? Mr. WEST. They will inspect every one, that is right. They will inspect every one that is built right now. You cannot build a house now without a permit from the Federal Government anywhere. In order to get that permit they fix the price on it that it can either rent or sell for and you must offer it to a veteran 30 days after it is finished and they are going to inspect your plans before it starts and after it stops, notwithstanding the fact that every city has a building inspector. Mr. HoFFMAN. Day before yesterday a man who has the money to build a home came to me with his plans and with his building material and he said, and his builder said, that he and his brother and his dad are going to do much of the work, that they can build that home for $6,200, but he cannot get a permit out of Detroit, Mich., because they say it will cost him more than $10,000. Now where, if any place, do you come into that picture? Mr. WEST. Well, on the loan man's side, we are not much concerned with all that directly, it is almost like the Congress asking me the question somewhat like, Why don’t you stop beating your wife?; but we are affected by every restriction as a loan man on homes that the Government puts on the construction of homes. Mr. HoFFMAN. You do not come into this veteran's picture because he has the money. Mr. WEST. That is right, sir. What is your question to me? Mr. HoFFMAN. I thought maybe you knew something more about these loans than I do. Mr. WEST. He has the price fixed. You cannot get a permit under PR 33, which requires an HH priority from the Civil Production Administration and the Civil Production Administration employs the §§ Housing Administration to service those priorities up to 10,000. • Mr. HoFFMAN. Do you mean a priority on material? Mr. WEST. I am speaking about a priority to build a home. I am referring to the total cost of house and lot. Mr. HoFFMAN. Well, he has the land and he has part of his material and he has his labor. The people tell him it is going to cost him $6,200, but the Federal office of Grand Rapids says he cannot have priority to get what additional material he needs, that would be in that $6,200, because in their opinion the home is going to cost him more than $10,000. Mr. WEST. Well, in the case of oak flooring you cannot get it except on an HH priority. The total supply must go on HH priority.
Other terms are percentagewise which are changed from time to time by the Civil Production Administration. Your man is in a jam.
Mr. HOFFMAN. Well, if there is some Government agency that can call a block on his plans when he has the money, and knows where he can get the material, what is the use of the GI bill of rights? I must answer this fellow. That is what is the matter with me. He has a broken back, and he and his wife have been after me, and every time I
go home they get after me and I am going home next week and I want your answer or somebody's answer.
I cannot duck it any longer.
Mr. West. The National Housing Agency, Mr. Congressman, has just invoked a plan in which they have said that in New Orleans a house of a certain size can only cost a certain price, one in Atlanta can only cost a certain price, and one in Chicago can cost a certain price, and so forth. It is a very elaborate proposition. I should be 'glad to submit it to you.
Mr. HOFFMAN. I don't want anything submitted to me. I have too much trouble now.
Mr. Rich. Do you not understand that the bureaucrats now tell you everything you can do, even to the extent of telling you whether or not you can have a loaf of bread? If you want a loaf of bread you must get permission from somebody.
Mr. HOFFMAN. How am I going to tell this fellow to get this permit to build this house?
Mr. West. This fellow is probably responding to information he has received similar to that which I give in my territory; I tell them to see their Congressman. You gentlemen passed the law.
That happens to be a right of a free citizen that you cannot avoid, sir, I am sorry.
Mr. Chairman, we still think that these agencies should go back under the Federal Loan Agency, because they have nothing to do with subsidized housing in this country, the housing of poor people, which I choose to call glorified poorhouses.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. You spoke also now about tribute to the Housing Administrator. During the past 4 years, what sort of revenues have been levied against your organization that were not levied for the propaganda or the support of the National Housing Administration when you were under the Federal Loan Agency?
Mr. WEST. It is a very definite sum, sir. I do not have it with me, but it is submitted to Congress in the regular report of the Federal Home Loan Bank Commissioner. I do not have it with me.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Do you mean there has been levied during the last 4 years, against your organization a tribute fund for the propaganda of National Housing by the Administrator of that housing, or an equivalent fund that had never been levied against you when you were under the Federal Farm Loan Agency, is that correct?
Mr. WEST. I was never under the Federal Farm Loan Agency.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Just a minute. Were you under the Federal Loan Agency before you were consolidated under the Executive order?
Mr. WEST. That is right, a superagency.
Mr. WEST. The difference between what we paid the Federal Loan Agency—and we did not like that—and what we now pay the National Housing Agency, I do not happen to have, sir. I am sorry. Mr. WHITTINGTON. What generally did you P". the Federal Loan Agencies, what sort of fees for supervision did you pay them? r. WEST. My institution is the Federal Savings and Loan Association in Atlanta, Ga., that owns stock in the Federal Home Loan Bank System and the Federal Home Loan Bank System in turn pays me a dividend on my stock. It is like the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank pays a dividend to the National Bank of Atlanta that it owns. The Federal Home Loan Bank in Winston, one of the 12, is assessed, incidental to being under the National Housing Agency, it is an amount I could get for you, but I do not know what it is. Mr. WHITTINGTON. I did not ask you that at all. I asked you about the tribute that has been paid for propaganda purposes. Mr. WEST. The National Housing Agency has 90 men on their pres-, ent pay roll. Mr. WHITTINGTON. I asked you a simple question. It was not that. It was as to the amount that has been levied against your agency during the last 3 years for the maintenance of this top administration as compared with the amounts that had been levied by Federal Loan Agency when you were under their supervision, and you opposed being under that, in your statement. That is all I asked you, sir. Mr. WEST. I do not know what it is. Mr. HoFFMAN. Do you think it is important? Perhaps he can find Out. Mr. WEST. I can find out. Mr. WHITTINGTON. I did not mention it, you see, he told me. It was a large amount and very expensive. I just thought we should have the facts. Mr. RICH. He could probably check back on that. * WEST. It is available here somewhere, I imagine, around the table. Mr. JUDD. Under 9070, the board of directors, the board of trustees and the Federal Savings and Loan Corporation—it not abolished, its functions were taken over by the Administrator of NHA. Mr. WEST. I find the Member of Congress is no more confused than I am. Mr. JUDD. I am speaking of the Federal Savings and Loan Cor. poration. Mr. WEST. There is no such thing. There is a Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, is that what you referred to. Mr. JUDD. Did I not read insurance? Mr. WEST. No, sir. Mr. JUDD. I am sorry I left that out. ... The Federal Savings and Loan Corporation, that insures the loan that you have in your company, does it not? Mr. WEST. What is your question about that now? Mr. JUDD. Were not the functions of its board of trustees taken over by the NHA under 9070? Mr. WEST. The functions originally operated by a board of five men, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, as trustees of that insur. ance corporation. That board was abolished. That was abolished