Page images

Senator Cain. I should think those three would just about take up Tuesday morning.

Mr. Masox. And put the schools over?
Senator Caix. I would appreciate that, and Mr. Bates would.

Mr. Bates. What we would like to do, Mr. Chairman, is to finish up these hearings so far as an examination of the financial structure of the District is concerned, as quickly as we can, and then get down to the witnesses. There may be some representatives of civic organizations that have some thoughts relative to the expenditures which they would like to bring before us.

Senator Caix. We will adjourn until 10 o'clock Tuesday morning.

(Thereupon, at 11:45 a. m., an adjournment was taken to Tuesday, March 25, 1947, at 10 a. m.)

(Statement later received for the record from the Department of Corrections.)

Department of Corrections


Number of




Number of Appropriaemployees tion

1637 1935 19.39 1910 1941

314 323 345 380 409

$996, 670 1,073, 640 1, 198, 420 1. 290, 960 1, 363, 130

1942. 1943. 1944 1915 1946.

415 430 452 402 395

$1,379, 313 1, 558, 630 1, 790, 395 1, 631, 000 1, 674, 498

1938: Nine new employees allowed-1 parole officer, 2 clerks, 1 storekeeper, 1 electrician, 1 farm supervisor, 2 guards, and 1 cook for an expanded program and for population increase. An increase for supplies for increased population.

1939: Twenty-two new employees allowell-21 guards and 1 clerk, allowed for greater security. An amount allowed ($61,000) for support of District prisoners confined in Federal institutions.

1940: Thirty-five new employees allowed-32 guards, 1 engineer, 1 supervisor of the Sewage Division, 1 stenographer, and 1 parole officer. The additional employees to permit an expanded program and to give greater security. There was an increase in the amount for support of District prisoners in Federal institutions.

1941: Twenty-nine additional employees allowed-25 guards, 1 assistant chief guard, 1 superintendent, Women's Division, 1 chief steward, and 1 farm superrisor. A further increase in support of District prisoners in Federal institutions. Additional enployees to give greater security.

1.842: Six additional employees allowed-3 guards, 1 operating engineer. 1 mail clerk, and 1 nurse, for an expanded program. Additional funds allowed to cover increased cost resulting from Public Law 200, authorizing within-grade proniotions.

1943: Fifteen additional employees allowed—9 guards, 2 clerks, 1 classification officer, 1 electrician, 1 principal operating engineer, 1 assistant clerk. Additional increase for supplies and materials for rise in costs.

1944: Twenty-two additional employees allowed 45 guards, 1 cook, 3 clerks, 1 captain of the watch, 1 baker, 1 assistant stewart, 8 senior officers, 1 nurse, 1 director of education. These additional employees permitted a reduction in work-hours at the jail, and for expanded operation.

Additional costs incurred by reason of 40-hour workweek.
1945: Reduction of 50 employees by reason of inability to fill vacancies,

1946: Further reduction of 7 employees. Additional costs occasioned by 40-hour workweek and increase in cost of provisions.







Washington, D. C. The joint subcommittee met at 10:05 a. m., pursuant to adjournment, in the Senate District Committee room, Capitol, Washington, D. C., Senator Harry P. Cain (chairman of the joint subcommittee) presiding.

Present: Senator Cain.

Present also: Parker L. Jackson, special adviser to the House Committee on the District of Columbia.

Senator Cain. May I call this morning's session to order, please.

We shall recess at approximately a quarter of 12, reconvening tomorrow morning at this time. As some of you know, Congressman Bates is out of the city and will not be here this morning, but is expected to be here tomorrow. I think our first witness tomorrow will be the one concerned with the educational system of the District.

Helping us out this morning, at the outset of this morning's session, is Senator O'Mahoney, whom we have asked to come here to discuss, as he sees fit, the substance of his formula bill which was recently introduced in the Senate.

I know that every citizen in this room will have a deep regard and interest in what the Senator has to say about this proposed piece of legislation. I would only say to the Senator in connection with our interest, that the joint committee, sir, feels that we cannot very well be successful with proposed pieces of tax-raising legislation until we have solidly made up our minds as to what the reasonable contribu. tion of the Federal Government to the District ought to be on a continuing basis, so we are tremendously grateful for your appearance, and would like you to proceed in your own way, sir.



Senator O'MAHONEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

At the outset I think I should say that I think the citizens of Washington and the people of the United States are fortunate that a joint committee has been established this year to study this problem. I note by the reports in the public press that you are going about the

task in a very workmanlike manner, and I have no doubt that the result of your labors will be highly beneficial to all concerned.

My own feeling is that this problem of governing the District of Columbia or the city of Washington is something far beyond the concern of the people of the District itself because Washington is the Federal city; it was established by the Constitution, I need not remind the committee, as a Federal city, the city for all of the people of the United States as the seat of the Federal Government.

George Washington, whose name was given to the city, I think, had a vision of what it might become when, at the very outset, he arranged for the planning of the city itself:

I think that Washington is the greatest capital in the whole world now, but I doubt very much whether it is maintained as such. It would not be an exaggeration if we were to call it an orphan city, governed by lot and by neglect. Members of Congress to whom are delegated in the organization of Congress the responsibility of taking care of the government of the city, shed the responsibility just as soon as they can, and it is only natural that that should be the case, because as the government of the United States grows, as there is greater and greater concentration, Members of Congress are busy about national problems and they slough off very readily and easily the drudgery of municipal government which, of course, it is, a drudgery.

I speak as one who has had personal experience in that matter. I know from my own experience how difficult it is to lay aside other matters of great national importance and come here, sit down with the citizens of the District and with the officeholders and employees of the District government, and discuss municipal affairs.

Now, because Washington is the Federal city, it is different from any other city in the whole United States; and, yet, there is a great temptation to regard it as like any other city. It is not.

In the first place, Washington has no possibility of expansion because the creation of the District of Columbia put a strait-jacket around this District, around the Federal city, so that it cannot expand, and yet, as the Government grows, the benefits which naturally arise from the gathering of a large group of people in one center accrue to all the surrounding territory.

Real estate is the primary, and has been for many, many years, the primary source of wealth, and the primary source of taxation. Of course, in our time it is becoming less so because the production of wealth nowadays comes more from industrial organization than it does from the utilization of land, and that is the reason why I think every city in the country is face to face with a tremendous problem of raising sufficient revenue to carry on the very necessary services which the city must carry. I do not think there is any municipality of any size from coast to coast that is not struggling with the problemi of how to get the revenue to carry on absolutely necessary services.

By reason of the fact that there is this strait-jacket around the real property of the District of Columbia, the amount of land which is subject to taxation has been constantly and steadily decreasing. When you take into consideration the amount of land owned by the United States, and used for strictly Federal purposes, and the land used for parks, why it becomes evident that at this moment scarcely 50 percent of the land area of the District of Columbia is subject to taxation.

[ocr errors]

The report, fiscal report, which was prepared by Mr. Feeney, Mr. Merrick, Mr. Scott, and Mr. Cooper for the Appropriations Committee in the second session of the Seventy-ninth Congress, contains a very illuminating statement of real-estate assessments. It appears beginning on page 8 of this report, which is designated Document 203, Seventy-ninth Congress, second session, Fiscal Relations Between the Government of the United States and the District of Columbia.

In 1935, 56.9 percent of the land area of the District of Columbia was taxable; in '36 that had fallen off to 56.7; in '37 it dropped to 56.2; in '38, to 55.7; in '39, to 55.1; in '40, to 54.4; in '41, to 53.6; in °42, to 52.4; in '43, to 51,8; in ’44, to 51.2; in ’45, to 50.3. I have no doubt that if the computation were made today, now, it would be found to have fallen off again.

Senator Caix. I think it is a trifle less than 50 percent which is presently available.

Senator O'MAHONEY. I am not surprised. Now, here is this steady decrease of the land area which is subject to taxation. I need not speak of the amount of land which is given over to the Federal Government.

Many people say that that is an asset to the city and, of course, it is, and it increases the value of business property and residential property in the District. There can be no doubt about that. Of course, that happens in many communities; the vital business of any city is the chief factor which draws people to the city and, of course, therefore, it has great effect in building up the values of the land. But, at the same time, a review of what has happened in the District through the many years shows that the Federal Government has never had for any long period of years a hard and fast rule by which its contribution was measured.

Now, I wanted to point out that in addition to the land area which is used by the Federal Government, there is another great land area which is used for public parks; about 22 percent, as I recall it, of the land area of the District of Columbia is devoted to parks.

Now, it is interesting to note that several years ago a bill was passed appropriating some $16,000,000 to buy park land for the Federal city. Everybody who comes to Washington enjoys that park land. If you traveled through Rock Creek Park you would find more automobiles bearing Maryland licenses and Virginia licenses passing through the park probably than bearing District of Columbia licenses. My point is that that park area is enjoyed by the whole community inside the boundary and outside the boundary of the District of Columbia, and yet the law which provided for that expenditure of $16,000,000 to set up this park area also provided that it should be repaid to the Federal Treasury at the rate of about a million a year; a little bit later Congress modified that and cut it down to three hundred thousand. I do not know whether that has all been repaid or not. Perhaps, Mr. Fowler can tell us that.

Mr. FOWLER. Yes; it has currently.
Senator O'MAHONEY. It has.
Senator Cain. Moneys were all to be repaid by the District ?
Mr. FOWLER. That is correct. All that we owe on that is paid.

Senator O'MAHONEY. That, I take it, is an illustration of an expendi. ture which was for the benefit of the Federal city. It was a proper


« PreviousContinue »