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highly desirable or even necessary social result cannot be obtained under the present economic order, with modifications that are possible within the near future.
That, gentlemen, has been the philosophy of NHA since it was established. And I would point out that Mr. Woodbury is still Assistant Administrator of NHA.
The record shows that NHA's authoritarian philosophy has been expressed in action. I cite some instances :
1. The Defense Homes Corporation had been created to assume part of the risk in areas where free enterprise could not be expected to take full risks in war-enlarged communities. Here's what NHA did with it, according to Miles Colean-I quote from American HousingInstead of providing a means for supplementing private capital, as seems to have been intended, the Corporation finally adopted an exceedingly complicated plan for producing dwellings wholly owned and operated by the Government.
2. FHA, which was doing an excellent job of encouraging volume production of defense housing under title VI came under control of NHA. Through a system of programing which NHA set up, activities of free enterprisers and of FHA were sharply curtailed. The men called in for consultation on programing were drawn almost exclusively from the ranks of Government housers and the allocation of priorities was done on the basis of 50 percent to be built, controlled, and managed by men in Government, with only 50 percent left to free enterprise. Every time I asked NHA for housing to be programmed in Milwaukee, it was pointedly suggested that I accept some Government housing. Because I repeatedly insisted that free enterprise had the labor, the funds, the materials, and the market for all the housing it could properly expect, Milwaukee was discriminated against to the point that I had to publicly resign my pay—though not my job—to force the programing of a bare minimum of war housing. The records of NHA will show that less housing was programed for Milwaukee than for any city of comparable size, war activity, and establisted need in the country. · Mr. BARDEN. If you do not mind an interruption at this point,
I would like to say that I knew that that situation was going on in my section, but I did not know that it was national in scope, and that was that the whole idea was to get as much Government housing as possible, and suppress private investments as far as possible. There were people in my section who wanted to build houses, but they would not let them build houses. Anybody could get in on the Government housing building program. I thought that was the fault of local administrators, but it was the same situation in Milwaukee as it was in North Carolina, evidently. It must have been national.
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. I am sure it must be, sir.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. What was your statement there, now, what was avaliable to public housing that was not available to private housing?
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. My statement is that because I insisted that we could produce all the housing needed with free enterprise, and production, and refused to obstruct the programing of the Government housing in Milwaukee and in Milwaukee earlier because I did not think it was required and saw no need for the expenditure of those funds, I say that Milwaukee was discriminated against in the program of housing.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. In other words your statement is that the materials were allocated to the war housing, it was called, whether it was located in Chicago or somewhere else before it would be allocated to the private housing in Milwaukee?
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. It was all war housing, sir, whether it was created by free enterprise or under the Government, it was all war housing and all had the same purpose.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. We understand that generally, but were you authorized to construct housing for war employees alone as war housing?
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. That was the only basis upon which any housing was constructed during the war.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. In other words, you could construct none for anything but war housing ?
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. With the exception of hardship cases, and they were few.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. You were unable to obtain materials or priorities where you employed an application for construction of war housing?
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. That is correct, sir.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. You have cases there where you applied and could not get them?
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. I have a long record, sir. I was director of war housing in Milwaukee, and an employee of the National Housing Agency.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. It is not clear to me. If you were the Director of the National Housing, were you a Federal officer?
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. Yes, sir; I was a Federal employee.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. You had nothing to do out there because you had no housing projects, is that right or wrong, I do not understand it.
Mr. BARDEN. Here's what the idea is that he put across, and did so very clearly in my mind, and that was that all the emphasis was laid upon spending public funds in the town, and there was no encouragement nor cooperation where private capital wanted to be spent. The idea was to spend as much public money as possible. If someone wanted to produce the same results, the same housing, the same facilities, war housing with private capital, the signal was "No." It was cheaper to move very smoothly if you were spending
Federal t was ties, was
That was the idea I got from his statement, and that was exactly the situation in my section which I did not like at all but I thought it was local, because I put all my criticism on the local folks. Mr. WHITTINGTON. I got that point.
Mr. BARDEN. I did not know it was the underlying philosophy of the Department.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. I did not know how the witness could be a Federal official out there if the Federal Housing had nothing to do in that area or did no work in the Milwaukee area.
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. Well, they did a great deal of work, sir, if the chairman will permit me to digress.
For one thing, we were supposed to get people whose sons and daughters were in the service, to give up their dwelling units, double up so as to house war workers. That was one thing. Another thing we were supposed to do was to encourage conversions with Federal funds or with private funds. It was conversion of existing structures. Another job I had was to get the cooperation of all real-estate men and all managers of properties to house war workers. We housed in something like 2 years I canot say how many we directly housed, but we handled over 19,000 families so we did many things, including the encouragement of construction of new housing.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Do you mean by individuals? Mr. KIRKPATRICK. Yes, sir. Mr. WHITTINGTON. Did you encourage or not? Mr. KIRKPATRICK. Very definitely, when we could get the program from National Housing Agency, but my point is we found it extremely difficult and at times impossible to get NHA to program housing because no man could build a house, regardless of who it was, unless he had permission of the National Housing Agency. That was a wartime regulation and in fact it has now gone back to that at this present moment, sir.
Mr. BARDEN. You see, Mr. Whittington, when there was a call for housing at a particular point, the Housing Agency would, in the language of the witness, program 50 houses. They would come in and say, "There are 50 houses needed." There was quite a difference in getting those 50 houses programed for private construction and for Government subsidized construction.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. I am painfully aware of that.
Now the National Housing Agency comes back and tells me that they did no such thing in my area and I want to know if you had any instruction from them in your capacity out there as director not to approve this construction by private agencies and only to do the work for which the Federal money was being spent. They denied that to me. What I want is the proof. Mr. KIRKPATRICK. I have the proof; reams of it, sir. Mr. WHITTINGTON. Just pass a little of it across the table, will you? Mr. KIRKPATRICK. I do not have it right here. Mr. WHITTINGTON. I am not questioning your statement.
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. Let me get one thing straight: I have no authority to approve or disapprove. That was done at Washington. The programing was done in Washington. I did have authority to ask for the housing and present the need for it and that I constantly did and was consistently refused.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. That is to say, now, where the private housing according to your reports, provided for housing for national defense, war workers and veterans, and at the same time it was at the same cost to them, guaranteed at the same cost and the same rental, that the National Housing Agency consistently refused permission for that work to be constructed ?
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. Yes, sir.
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. The reason was, according to them, that we did not need it.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Was that because you had already constructed national housing there?
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. They said we did not require any housing in Milwaukee.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. What bothers me is, did they offer to construct national housing there?
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. Oh, yes; several times. It was suggested to me that what we needed was a project of temporary housing, so-called. Temporary war housing by the Government only was what we needed, according to them.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. It was because you did not follow these suggestions to ask for war housing in federally subsidized war housing?
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. It was all war housing, sir, but because I did not ask for both types of housing at the same time, I was refused the type of housing I wanted.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. In other words, what you thought would suffice and be sound was the private housing?
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. Yes, sir.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Therefore, they said, because you did not ask for the public housing, private housing was not needed ?
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. That is right.
Mr. Henry. I think that what he is saying is, that the Government's attitude on the whole proposition was so inconsistent at times, that it is almost unbelievable.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Who was the Administrator of the National Housing at that time?
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. It was John B. Blandford.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. He is not at the head of the organization anymore?
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. That is correct.
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. I cannot insert them now, sir, but I would be happy to send them to the committee.
Mr. WHITTINGON. It would be very helpful.
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. The Government wartime conversion program sponsored by NHA was one of the most needlessly wasteful actions taken during the war. Its aims, I regret to say—for I helped Phil Klutznick try to make a success of it—was to kill off free-enterprise conversions, get control of more property in urban areas, and keep the personnel of HOLC in jobs. When this program was started NHA deliberately stopped all free-enterprise conversions and in areas like Milwaukee where so-called private conversions ran ahead of Government conversions NHA repeatedly interfered with accomplishment of free-enterprise production by orders and curtailment of programs.
A study of the records of NHA will disclose that NHA circumvented almost every attempt of Congress to insure that its warhousing appropriations were not used as capital by Government housers to set up lucrative real-estate management businesses for themselves. The so-called errors of NHA in building temporary housing to an extent that much of it never had an occupancy ratio of 70 percent were deliberately committed in anticipation of the postwar use to which this housing is now being put. This housing is now
being used—at tremendous cost in public funds and scarce materials, to enlarge the sphere of and increase Government control of the shelter and the lives of Americans.
It is my considered opinion that NHA personnel, in joint action and agreement with OPA personnel, has deliberately created a large portion of the present housing shortage. It is also my belief that this was done to encourage a demand for authoritarian control of most of the real property in this country similar to the controls proposed in the Uthwatt report in Great Britain, which report proposes, asthe first assumption
that this involves the subordination to the public good [sic] of the personal interests and wishes of land owners for every aspect of a nation's activity is ultimately dependent on land. I think we can all agree, gentlemen, with the last statement of the Honorable Dr. Uthwatt, because it was the refutation of government ownership of land on which Thomas Jefferson based his fundamental philosophy of Americanism. Of course, the plea is made that this control is desired for the public good, but the public is not some yague, indefinable thing, but on the contrary, is made up of millions of individual human beings; and men are free only as individuals. All you have to do to make this Uthwatt statement à completely Fascist statement is to substitute the word "state" for the two words “public good” and you have the basic philosophy of Hitler and Mussolini. The record of this joint effort by OPA and NHA can be traced with reasonable clarity. I suggest to you that it was no accident that the following actions have been taken.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. How long were you director under the National Housing in Milwaukee?
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. I started in the fall of 1942, resigned, I think, in April 1943—I resigned my pay, I did not resign my job, I maintained the office out of my own pocket, continued the functions and continued the cooperation with the National Housing Agency and went back on the pay roll in, I think it was November 1943, continued and resigned in January or February-February, I think, 1944, but even after that, I continued to pretty much direct its affairs.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Did you do so without pay?
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. I am a builder of houses. I have been such for many years.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. You did that before you went into this work? Mr. KIRKPATRICK. Yes, sir; I did.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. When they declined to permit private building out there, and you were convinced of the Fascist, communistic, or whatever other description you desire to use of the National Housing Administration or Agency, why did you continue with that sort of an organization?
Mr. KIRKPATRICK. It was a wartime agency, sir. Many things I put up with on the basis of war. Many citizens, millions of them,
did many things during war that they would not think of in peacetime. There are many controls necessary in war that are not necessary in peace.