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COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
JOHN TABER, New York, Chair man RICHARD B. WIGGLESWORTH, Massachusetts CLARENCE CANNON, Missouri CHARLES A, PLUMLEY, Vermont
LOUIS LUDLOW, Indiana EVERETT M. DIRKSEN, Ilinois
JOHN H. KERR, North Carolina ALBERT J. ENGEL, Michigan
GEORGE H. MAHON, Texas KARL STEFAN, Nebraska
HARRY R. SHEPPARD, California FRANCIS CASE, South Dakota
ALBERT THOMAS, Texas FRANK B. KEEFE, Wisconsin
JOE HENDRICKS, Florida NOBLE J.JOHNSON, Indiana'
MICHAEL J. KIRWAN, Ohio BEN F. JENSEN, Iowa
W. F. NORRELL, Arkansas H. CARL ANDERSEN, Minnesota
ALBERT GORE, Tennessee WALTER C, PLOESER, Missouri
JAMIE L. WHITTEN, Mississippi HARVE TIBBOTT, Pennsylvania
GEORGE W. ANDREWS, Alabama WALT HORAN, Washington
JOHN J. ROONEY, New York GORDON CANFIELD, New Jersey
J. VAUGHAN GARY, Virginia GEORGE B. SCHWABE, Oklahoma
JOE B. BATES, Kentucky IVOR D. FENTON, Pennsylvania
THOMAS J. O'BRIEN, Illinois RALPH E. CHURCH, Illinois
JOHN E. FOGARTY, Rhode Island P. W. GRIFFITHS, Ohio
HENRY M.JACKSON, Washington LOWELL STOCKMAN, Oregon JOHN PHILLIPS, California ERRETT P. SCRIVNER, Kansas CHARLES R. ROBERTSON, North Dakota FREDERIC R, COUDERT, JR., New York CLIFF CLEVENGER, Ohio
GEORGE Y. HARVEY, Clerk
SUBCOMMITTEE ON DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
ALBERT J. ENGEL, Michigan, Chair man FRANCIS CASE, South Dakota
JOHN H. KERR, North Carolina HARVE TIBBOTT, Pennsylvania
GEORGE H. MAHON, texas
W.F. NORRELL, Arkansas
CIVIL FUNCTIONS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
APPROPRIATION BILL FOR 1949
HEARINGS CONDUCTED BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE, MESSRS. ALBE.
MONDAY, JANUARY 12, 1948.
Mr. ENGEL. We will take up this morning hearings on the civil
General LARKIN. Mr. Chairman, the submission of the estimate to cover the requirements of the civil functions of the Quartermaster General for the fiscal year 1949 is in two sections. The first section represents the funds needed for the operation and maintenance of national cemeteries and includes the estimated cost of the establishment of a national cemetery on the island of Guam. The second section concerns the funds required to continue the work of the evacuation and return of World War II deceased through the fiscal
OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF NATIONAL CEMETERIES
The estimate for the appropriation, “Cemeterial expenses, Department of the Army,” for fiscal year 1949 amounts to $7,077,355. This estimate is divided into four major projects as follows: (1) Procurement of headstones, $2,997,888; (2) construction, $2,344,467; (3) utilities, service, and maintenance of buildings and grounds, $835,000; (4) operating expenses, $900,000. Compared to the estimate for fiscal year 1948, the requirements for fiscal year 1949 reflect an increase of $2,886,968.
Additional headstone requirements and an increase in price of approximately $3.50 per headstone amount to $1,338,921. An increase of $180,048 is due to transportation costs of the additional headstones, increased freight rates, and additional travel of headstone inspectors.
There is an increase of $1,160,027 in the construction project, of which $815,402 is for the establishment of a new cemetery in Guam. The construction of this cemetery is essential in order to provide a final resting place for approximately 9,500 remains from the Pacific area. A total of approximately 83,000 remains have been recovered in the Pacific area and, at the request of the next of kin, 48,400 are to be returned to the United States and the remainder of 34,600 are to be buried overseas. In order to provide sufficient burial space and to reduce transportation costs, it has been decided that those remaining overseas will be interred at Guam, Hawaii, and in the Philippine Islands. The site selected at Guam has been approved by the Army, Navy, and Air Force authorities.
An increase of $344,625 is required for special projects of deferred maintenance which are essential in continuing the long-range programs for the maintenance of various national cemeteries.
An increase of $213.461 in utilities, service, maintenance, and operating expenses is due to increases in prevailing wage rates and to increased prices for fuels and utilities. In addition, the increase in size of the majority of cemeteries makes necessary the hire of 22 additional personnel to meet the over-all expansion. Cemetery occupancy has expanded from 386,831 grave sites on June 30, 1940, to 451,989 grave sites occupied on December 31, 1947, with an anticipated occupancy of approximately 500,000 sites by June 30, 1949. Thus, it will be noted that the interments during the 18 months' period subsequent to December 31 amounted to 75 percent of the interments for the 7 years prior to that date.
There is no provision in this section of the estimate for the evacuation and return of World War II deceased from overseas.
EVACUATION AND RETURN OF WORLD WAR II DECEASED
The funds contained in this section of the estimate are for the purpose of continuing the evacuation and return of World War II deceased as authorized by Public Law 383, Seventy-ninth Congress, and amended by Public Law 368, Eightieth Congress. To date, the Congress has appropriated $152,500,000 and the request for fiscal year 1949 amounts to $38,369,000. In addition to the amounts mentioned, an estimated $23,606,000 has been deferred to take care of future requirements, all of which reflects an estimated $214,475,000 for the total program.
It will be noted that the total estimated program exceeds the previous estimate by approximately $35,176,100. The majority of this increase is accounted for by (i) price redetermination of casket contracts which has increased the cost per casket from approximately $125 to $183; (2) withdrawal of troops from overseas areas which requires independent action of graves registration units; (3) drastic increase in rental rates and salaries of indigenous personnel in unoccupied areas overseas due to action of foreign governments; (4) additional travel of military and civilian personnel in connection with identification and final disposition of remains and for providing burial honors; (5) delay in casket production and delay in obtaining replies to letters of inquiry sent to the next of kin; (6) initial development of permanent cemeteries in foreign countries; (7) unanticipated difficulties and delay occasioned by indecision on the part of the next of kin which requires special individual handling of the cases involved.
While expenditures to date have been comparatively small in relation to the total program, they will increase rapidly with the movement of remains for final interment.
As of January 1, 1948, the status of the program is as follows: (1) 227,049 letters of inquiry have been dispatched to the next of kin and 85,379 acceptable replies have been received. All remaining letters of inquiry will be dispatched to known addresses by February 1, 1948, and it is anticipated that replies will be received by June 30, 1948: (2) 53,611 disinterment directives have been dispatched to Overseas areas. All disinterment directives for the mass movement of remains will be dispatched by January 1, 1949; (3) as of January 1, 1948, approximately 14,000 remains have been return United States. It is anticipated that 50,000 additional remains will be returned during fiscal year 1948 and that 78,000 will be returned during fiscal year 1949; (4) based on experience records, it is estimated that of the remains buried in overseas areas due to nonreceipt of replies from next of kin, the return of approximately 28,600 remains will be requested subsequent to July 1, 1949, after completion of the regular program.
Mr. ENGEL. Does that conclude your statement?
NUMBER OF DECEASED OVERSEAS
Mr. ENGEL. General, you furnished us last year a statement showing, first, the number of men who died in the service or were killed in action overseas.
General LARKIN. Yes, sir.