POSTWAR ECONOMIC POLICY AND PLANNING
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON POSTWAR ECONOMIC
POLICY AND PLANNING
HOUSE OF EEPEESENTATIVES
H. Res. 408 and H. Res. 60
RESOLUTIONS CREATING A SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON
POSTWAR ECONOMIC POLICY AND PLANNING
JULY 27, 28, 1944; MARCH 13-16; APRIL 4, 1945
POSTWAR PUBLIC WORKS AND CONSTRUCTION
Printed for the use of the Special Committee on Postwar
Economic Policy and Planning
GOVERNMENT TRINTING OFFICE
99579 ■ WASHINGTON : 1945
\j;S. SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUV.EHTO
NOV 1 1945
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON POSTWAR ECONOMIC POLICY AND
WILLIAM M. COLMER, Mississippi, Chairman
JERE COOPER, Tennessee
FRANCIS E. WALTER, Pennsylvania
ORVILLB ZIMMERMAN, Missouri
JERRY VOORHIS, California
JOHN R. MURDOCK, Arizona
elseif (getClientWidth() > 430)
WALTER A. LYNCH, New Yorii
THOMAS J. O'BRIEN, Illinois
JOHN E. FOGARTY, Rhode Island
EUGENE WORLEY, Texas
HAMILTON FISH,i New York
CPIARLES L. GIFFORD, Massachusetts
B. CARROLL, REECE, Tennessee
RICHARD J. WELCH, California
CHARLES A. WOLVERTON, New Jersey
CLIFFORD R. HOPE, Kansas
JESSE P. WOLCOTT, Michigan
CHARLES S. DEWEY,2 Illinois
Subcommittee on Public Works and Construction
WALTER A. LYNCH, Chairman
JOHN R. MURDOCK
JOHN E. FOGARTY
HAMILTON FISH ^
B. CARROLL REECE
JESSE P. WOLCOTT
Marion B. Folsom, Director
A. D. H. Kaplan, Consultant
Haery E. McAllister, Consultant
1 Replaced in 79th Cong, by Jay LeFevre, New York.
^ Replaced in 79th Cong, by Sid Simpson, Illinois.
statement of— ^"g^
LaGuardia, Fiorello H., mayor, city of New York 1709
Lyons, James J., president, Borough of the Bronx 1725
Nathan, Edgar J., Jr., presiden^^, Borough of Manhattan 1732
Fitzgerald, Maurice A., commissioner of borough works. Queens 1735
Catherwood, Martin P., State of New York Commissioner of Com-
Walton, Harry M., Jr., Delaware County, N. Y 1753
Pirnie, Malcolm, president, American Society of Civil Engineers 1757
Upham, Charles M., director, American Road Builders Association.. 1767
Moses, Robert, park commissioner, city of New York 1773
Church, Stanley W., mayor, city of New Rochelle 1810
McSpedon, Howard, president, Building and Construction Trades
Brutschy, Fred, chairman, Joint Committee of Building Trades Em-
ployers and Building and Construction Trades Council 1818
Sheridan, Arthur V., editor, American Engineer 1824
Taft, Thomas K., Cornwall, N. Y 1828
Jonas, James A., president, Orange County Chamber of Commerce.. 1830
Shipp, E. Maltby, chairman, Newburgh (N. Y.) Planning Board 1832
Bush, Peter H., executive chief engineer, Orange County Planning
Heins, Oscar J., staff supervisor, Rockland County Planning Board.. 1844
Ambrev, Richard F., member of board of supervisors, Rockland
Ruml, Beardsley, chairman, National Planning Association Business
Colean, Miles L., consulting architect 1848
Holden, Thomas S., president, F. W. Dodge Corp 1865
Palmer, Edward P., Chamber of Commerce of the United States 1889
Cleary, Edward J., managing editor Engineering New-Record 1901
Dick, Harry A., president, the Association of General Contractors of
America, Inc 1916
Hedges, M. H., director of research, International Brotherhood of
Electrical Workers 1929
Kelly, Edward J., mayor, city of Chicago, 111 1951
Weeks, Donald C, director of Michigan Planning Commission 1970
Sabath, A. J., Congressman from Chicago, 111 1989
Gorski, Martin, Congressman from Chicago, 111 1991
Link, William W., Congressman from Chicago, 111 1992
Bonner, John F., assistant to city attorney, Minneapolis, Minn 1992
Anderson, Robert L., superintendent of public works, Winnetka, 111.. 1998
O'Brien, T. J., Congressman from Chicago, 111 2000
Wallace, James E., city manager, Kenosha, Wis 2000
Rhomberg, A., city manager, Dubuque, Iowa 2001
Richards, Glenn, director of public works, Detroit, Mich 2002
Bossert, H. Dale, director of planning, Illinois Postwar Planning Com-
mission , Chicago, 111 2006
Kinsey, Milton N., president, board of public service, St Louis, Mo_. 2010
Hurless, V. H., construction accountant and auditor, Milw^aukee, Wis. 2018
Ames, John, city manager, Ames, Iowa 2023
Ludwig, C. T., secretary, Minnesota League of Muncipalities, Min-
neapolis, Minn '. 2023
Howell, Leonard, city manager, Port Huron, Mich 2028
Chatters, Carl, executive director, Muncipal Finance Officers Associa-
tion, Chicago, 111 2032
Statement of — Continued Page
Bean, George, city manager. Pontiac, Mich 2040
Beams, R. C., Fort Wayne, Ind 2042
Youkey, W. Vincent, mayor, Crown Point, Ind 2043
Graham, Ralph C, superintendent of public works, Davenport, Iowa. 2046
SCHEDULE OF EXHIBITS
at p. —
Report of proposed public works for the city of New York.
Postwar projects in work for the Bronx
Statement by James A. Burke, president, Borough of
Report of the New York State Postwar Public Works
Sample report of dollar volume of postwar construction
plans (public and private) under way or completed
Supplementary statement by Coinmissioner Robert Moses_
Letter of transmittal from Hon. Walter H. Judd, Member of
Congress, Fifth District, Minnesota; resolution adopted
Apr. 16, 1945, by city council of the city of Minneapolis.
St. Ivouis A: Postwar public works program for St. Louis
for which financing is already available
St. Louis B: Expanded ])rogram which could be put into
operation with Federal aid
Statement of Herbert D. Fritz, associate director, American
Public Works Association
Statement of Earl D. Mallery, executive director, American
POSTWAE ECONOMIC POLICY AND PLANNING
THURSDAY, JULY 27, 1944
House of EErRESENTATivEs,
Subcommittee ox Public Works and
Construction of the Special Committee on
Postwar Economic Policy and Planning,
New York, N. Y.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a. m., in the United
States Courthouse, Foley Square, New York City, Hon. Walter A.
Lynch, chairman, presiding.
Present: Hon. Walter A. Lynch, New York; Hon. John R. Mur-
dock, Arizona; Hon. Eugene Worley, Texas; Hon. John E. Fogarty,
Rhode Island; Hon. Hamilton Fish, New York; Hon. B. Carroll
Beece, Tennessee ; Hon. Jesse P. Wolcott, Michigan, and Hon. William
M. Colmer, Mississippi.
Also present: Mr. Marion B. Folsom, director; Dr. A. D. H. Kap-
The Chairman. This is a hearing of the Subcommittee on Public
Works and Construction of the House Special Committee on Postwar
Economic Policy and Planning.
The purpose of this hearing this morning is to learn the points of
view of a large municipality concerning the necessity for postwar
construction as a means of solving the problem of employment for
the demobilized soldiers and servicemen and those who will give
up their jobs in the munitions factories and return to peacetime
The committee thought that the best representative to express the
viewpoint of the municipality, as it were, would be the distinguished
mayor of the city of New York, Mayor LaGuardia ; and Vv^e have in-
vited him here this morning to give his views on public works and
Mayor LaGuardia, you may make your full and complete state-
ment and then, if there are any questions, they will be asked at the
conclusion of your statement.
STATEMENT OF HON. EIOEELLO H. LaGUAEDIA, MAYOE,
CITY OF NEW YORK
Mr. LaGuardia. Mr. Chairman, and gentlemen of the committee,
I am very happy to have you gentlemen in our town, and I do hope,
before you leave, that you will give us an opportunity to show what
we have done with respect to this matter of public work, and also
to show the progress we have made in our postwar program.
1710 POSTWAR ECOXOMIC POLICY AXD PLANNING
I always feel quite at home with a congressional* committee, and I
know that every member of the committee will understand if I speak
very frankly, it is only my desire to get things going.
This is the fifth time that I have testified before a congressional
committee on this same subject. I am very fretful that we may not
be ready when the time comes.
The appointment of this committee by the House was a great step
forward and I believe will be very helpful.
I do want to say that, from my 14 years' experience in the House,
the happiest period during my 40 years of public office, I do not
believe the House went far enough. I would like to see this com-
mittee have full and complete jurisdiction over the subject matter,
and the power of standing committee of the House to submit legis-
lation and not merely recommend.
I have been before several committees. It is my feeling that the
jurisdiction should be given to one committee. I need not tell you
gentlemen how each committee of the House will guard its own juris-
diction, and the jealousies of jurisdiction. I have seen bills of merit
fought on the floor because of the question of whether or not the
committee bringing in the bill had jurisdiction. I just can't make
that too strong.
As I see it, this war may be over before many anticipate. That
does not mean that we can let down for a single moment, but it does
mean that we should step up our postwar planning.
We have never, in the entire history of our country, faced as
gigantic, as far-reaching and transcending a situation as will face
us when the war is over. The sudden stoppage of war production,
the reconversion of industry back to peacetime production, the dis-
location of millions of men and women now in war factories, demobili-
zation of the largest armed force we have ever had, create problems
that must be frankly and courageously faced.
In stating New York City's postwar program I shall dwell upon
the public-works program which we are planning. That program,
gentlemen, is coupled with the Federal program. There is not a city
in this country, including my own, that is able to fully and completely
finance a postwar public-works program to the extent that it would
make itself felt in this postwar period without generous aid in the
form of grants from the United States Government.
Now, I want to make this statement without any equivocation at
all, and in that statement I speak for all the cities of this country.
We have gone beyond any other city, and even the Federal Govern-
ment, in preparing for the postwar ])ublic-works prograni.
Wlien I talk about New York City's plan, I want you to know,
gentlemen, that it is not a list of desirable projects; it is not a few
sketches ; it is the preparation of the actual construction plans, enabling
us to go to work the minute the war ends and materials are available,
provided we do get aid from the Federal Government. To prepare
these plans, gentlemen, costs money. We have authorized the ex-
penditure of some $30,000,000 for these plans.
Some of you gentlemen were in the House in 1933 and 1934 when
Congress appropriated funds for PWA. I do not mean WPA. I
mean the PWA. And they felt at the time that having made these
POSTWAR ECONOMIC POLICY AND PLANNING 1711
huge appropriations for loans and orants for public works, the wheels
of industry would be spinning. If you will look back at the record,
you will fiiid that impatience was expressed 6 months, 12 months, and
18 months after the appropriation because the impact was not yet felt.
You may also remember that I came in for some criticism because
New York was getting grants. And why were we getting grants?
It was because we were ready to go to work. That was the only
reason. We had several large projects going before others were even
started, including those of the Federal Government.
You must constantly bear in mind that it takes from 12 to 18
months to prepare plans for any sizable construction. I do not mean
a little $20,000 building, but the kind of public works that reverts
back to the mines and the forests, to the industries, and to construc-
tion requires from 12 to 18 months' preparation.
While that is going on, the acquisition of the sites and the land in
many, many places is a long drawn-out procedure, and the land should
be acquired during this time.
I, therefore, as my first recommendation, ask this committee to
recommend an immediate appropriation to aid States, counties, and
municipalities in the preparation of plans for approved projects. I
would suggest that the locality or State be required to make some
appropriation in order to avoid getting a flood of projects that may
never be constructed.
The projects, of course, should be approved by the Federal Works
Agency, first, as to the ability of the applying authority to carry its
share ; and, second, its ability to maintain and operate, after construc-
tion, in good faith, the project itself. That, gentlemen, should be
done without delay.
I am quite certain that when General Fleming makes his report to
your committee, you will find that 96 percent of your States and coun-
ties and municipalities know what they want but have not the means
to prepare the necessary construction plans. That means that if it
is delayed, and later Congress appropriates funds for grants, it will
take, as I said before, from 12 to 18 months to get started. That is
I started out in the latter part of 1941 preparing for this postwar
program. New York City, as you know, is governed by a board of esti-
mate, consisting of elected officials : The mayor, comptroller, the pres-
ident of the council, and five borough presidents. The board of
estimate approved the program which included more projects in cap-
ital outlay budget ; and each year apropriated money for the prepara-
tion of these plans.
Our present postwar public works building program as of today,
July 27, 1944, contemplates the program of $993,000,000. That does
not include the programs of authorities, such as the Port Authority,
as they have a separate program, and the Bridge Authority.
Of this program, today, 221/2 percent of the plans are completed,
gentlemen, and we are ready to go to work; 221/2 percent of the plans
are over 50 percent completed ; 36 percent are under 50 percent com-
pleted, leaving 19 percent not yet started.
With your permission, I will file a chart showing the progress on
these construction plans.
POSTWAR ECONOMIC POLICY AND PLANNING
(The chart referred to is as follows :)
Chart 1. Postwar Works Pbogr.\m Summary of Planning Progress as of
JANUAHY 1, 1944
Estimated cost of program, $993,000,000, not including study projects for which
estimated costs have not been determined
Note. — This total estimated cost and groupings shown in chart have been adjusted to
include revised estimates and new projects added to the program as of January 1, lt)44.
Source : City of New York City Planning Commission.
The board of estimate from time to time adds new projects to the
postwar program, and the percentages, therefore, vary with the addi-
tion of the total amount. That does not include housing, and to that
you add $126,000,000, and I will give you those projects. In the
housing program we have already acquired the land for several of the
projects. Two of the projects were discontinued because of the war.
We are acquiring land for the others. I want to stress that every
project authorized was approved as a necessary, desirable public
Now, this is our plan. We would like to get in full swing w^ithin
a few months after the bars have been lifted on material, and when
labor will be available. We want to work up so that at the beginning
of the third year, we will have 200,000 men at work on the site. You
can estimate that those 200,000 men will occupy 800,000 men back of
the line in the production of raw material, in the manufacture of
building material, and in transportation. We cannot proceed on this
program on a 3-year basis or a 5-year basis. That would depend a
gj^eat deal on the condition of the country as to labor.
I do not say that public works is the only solution of our postwar
economic problem. It is not. It is one of the very important factors
in getting things going. It cannot be kept up indefinitely. Every-
body knoAvs that. But, it plays an important part during the first few
years. I would say that we should have at least a 5-year program.
There are other parts of this postwar rehabilitation to which Congress
will have to give painstaking attention, consideration, and action.
If time will permit, I would like to discuss some of these other fac-
tors. We have made a survey here in New York City as to what private
POSTWAR ECONOMIC POLICY AND PLANNING 1713
industry and business plan to do. We have covered but a small per-
centage of industry and business, but we have included all of the
largest concerns. It was a very thorougii survey, made by a corps of
engineers which we borrowed from industry, under the supervision
of the city department of commerce.
There, too, we did not register any projects unless the corporation
was sure that it was part of its expansion, extension, deferred main-
tenance, or new activity. That shows that in our city $15300,000,000
will be spent in postwar programs of private industry and business. I
do not want to venture a guess as to how much that would be increased
if we had surveyed evei-y industry and business concern in this city.
Now, in the projects in complete state of plan preparation, accord-
ing to the definition of the Federal Works Agency, I am able to report
on highways, roads, streets, bridges, viaducts, and grade separations,
airport terminals, sewer, water and sanitation facilities, schools and
other educational facilities, hospitals, and health facilities, public
buldings other than those mentioned, parks and other recreational
facilities, miscellaneous public facilities — 215 projects, completed
plan preparation totaling $196,000,442, exclusive of land. The land
values total $21,000,000. I have inserted the break-down of each of
these so that vou will know exactly how much there is in each category,
exhibit No. 3^ p. 2048.)
I want to point out that we have not included in this No. 1 all of the
new airports, because $11,000,000 has already been spent or appro-
priated. We do not go into postwar at all. And $50,000,000 more
in that airport is included in this other category of the Federal Works
Agencies because the plans are not completed.
For projects in design stage of plan preparation, the same break-
down is $213,000,932, exclusive of land.
Projects in preliminary stage of plan preparation — that was the
third that I gave you from the chart of the progress of our plan
preparation — the same list of public works is $310,275,000, exclusive
Projects in the idea stage — you are going to find a great deal of that
throughout the country, but we have the authorization for the appro-
priations for the preparation of these plans. It is more than authori-
zation now. In a sense, it is actual appropriation, which amounts to
The total number of projects is: 215, 136, 111, and 165, totaling 627
In housing, we have Amsterdam Lillian Wald, Jacob Riis, Browns-
ville, Morrisania, Abraham Lincoln, INIarcy (combined), Gowanus
(combined), James Weldon Johnson, St. Mary's, Astoria, and Gover-
nor Smitli — authority for which finances have already been arranged.
That is $126,000,000.
Now, in the totals that I gave you, we did not include the Federal-
State highway. State parkway program, city and State matched-
money program — and there are 1,500 of those — sewers, sewer connec-
tions and streets. Federal grade-crossing program. State grade-cross-
ing program, and the wliolesale produce terminal market.
The Federal-State highways totaled $93,000,000. The State park-
ways totaled $8,818,000. The city-State matched money totaled $69,-
000,000. The Federal grade crossing totaled $2,500,000. The State
grade crossing totaled $9,000,000. And the wholesale produce termi-
1714 POSTWAR ECONOMIC POLICY AND PLANNING
nal market totaled $20,000,000. That, I think, should be financed by
the city, State, and Federal Governments, It is a vast terminal mar-
ket. We hope we will reduce the cost of handling produce at least 25
to 30 percent. We are working on the preliminary plans now. The
board of estimate has appropriated money for that. It wdll require
the demolition of some 20 blocks of existing run-down property. That
is a $20,000,000 project. The United States Department of Agriculture
has been working with us in the study and is very deeply interested in
Now, gentlemen, we are progressing every day, and more of these
construction plans will be completed.
If the war blows up in Germany — as some of us think it will, and as
all of us hope it will — we are ready to go with $223,000,000 at the drop
of the hat. But you have to give us some money. We have invested in
our hopes that Congress will recognize the necessity of this vast public-
I want to repeat that without any delay at all Congress should give
appropriations for plans, and also state its policy as to grants. That
W'ill enable States, counties, and municipalities to see what they can
do, knowing how much in grants they will receive.
I would appropriate for the first year immediately following the
end of the war a 20 days' cost of the war, and I would double that
for the second year. I am speaking now of the cost of Federal, State,
and municipality public- works programs, and a 5 -year program of at
least $40,000,000,000. It w^ill help considerably, and it may do the
Gentlemen, if we do not do that, then I predict now we will spend
more money and get less for it, as we did with WPA.
Now, I have a great deal to show in this town for WPA. I would
say it would save the country. It provided help to millions of Ameri-
can families when there was no other help in sight at all.
If you came to New York by air, you undoubtedly saw our airport,
which is a monument to the WPA. We put $18,000,000 into it. It
was WPA labor.
I will take you all through this town and show you permanent monu-
ments to the industry of the unemployed people of this city during that
unhappy era. It was costly. It was inefficient and it did not solve
any problem permanently, but it was the only remedy we had at that
time to save the country.
That is why I want to stress that if this public-works program is
provided for in time, the country will get its value for every penny.
It will give us that necessary push to get things going on a peacetime
If Congress does not do that in time, it will have to make huge appro-
priations to take care of millions of people who will be out of work.
Now, to give you an idea of what this program means, not only to us
locally, but to industry, if a program benefited only the locality, then
it would be difficult to make a case.
I need not tell you gentlemen that we are not a heavy industry
city here, nor do we have any of the natural resources that go into
the material that is needed for public works.
The program would require 081,500 tons of structural steel, 1G3,-
625,000 square feet of rough and finishel lumber, G7,000 cubic yards
POSTWAR ECONOMIC POLICY AND PLANNING 1715
of stone" masonry, 3,948,000 cubic feet of cut stone, 787,500 square
yards of block pavement, 4,437,500 square yards of concrete pave-
ment, 5,000,000 square yards of asphalt pavement, 3,975,000 square
yards of bituminous pavement, GG,900 tons of cast-iron piping, (5^,700
tons of wrought iron and steel pipe and fittings, 2,702,000 feet of
vitrified pipe, 777,000 feet of precast concrete pipe, 19,775,000 feet of
timber piles, 170,800 tons of steel piling, 15,225,000 barrels of cement,
5,702,000 square feet of windows — frames, sash, and glass, 103,000 units
of doors and bucks, 2,025,000 pounds of finished hardware, 11,498,000
cubic 3^ards of stone — broken and riprap, and so forth, 5,880,000 cubic
yards of sand, 4,130,000 cubic yards of topsoil, 340,900 tons of reinforc-
ing steel, 344,750,000 brick, 42,525,000 square feet of tile, 25,025,000
square feet of flooring, terrazo, asphalt, tile, and so forth.
Those are some of the chief materials thut go into building construc-