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CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF WITNESSES—Continued
Leonard, Richard T., assistant to Walter P. Reuther, president, Industrial
Union Department, AFL-CIO.
Townsend Plan for National Insurance.
Retired Teachers Association and American Association of Retired
Baltz, Florence L., president, American Nursing Home Association -
Cruikshank, Nelson H., director, department of social security, prepared
Dunn, William, assistant to President Joseph A. Beirne, and Mrs. Helen
Berthelot, legislative representative, Communications Workers of
Hoffman, Mrs. Helen Duey, the Friendly Seniors of All Souls Church
Larsson, Mrs. Nelda Ross, American Dietetic Association -
Union Department, AFL-CIO.
Spilman, Joseph L., first vice president, National Association of Retired
Williamson, Kenneth, associate director, American Hospital Association.-
Williamson, Kenneth, associate, American Hospital Association,
dated August 19, 1959, to Senator McNamara.
identified by project number -
Table 1.- Population in adult age-groups, 1947–57-income position of
Bates, Harry C., president, Bricklayers, Masons, and Plasterers In-
Dunn, Stephen F., vice president, National Association of Manu-
Hymes, Mrs. Charles, national president, National Council of Jewish
and Infirmary for the Aged, Clifton, N.J..
Report of Major Eagle National Programs, 1958–59.
NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN THE FIELD OF AGING
TUESDAY, AUGUST 4, 1959
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10 a.m., pursuant to adjournment, in room 4232, New Senate Office Building, Senator Pat McNamara (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Senators McNamara (presiding) and Randolph.
Subcommittee staff members present: Sidney Spector, staff director, and Dr. Harold Sheppard, research director.
Committee staff member present: Stewart E. McClure, chief clerk; and Raymond D. Hurley, minority professional staff member.
Senator McNAMARA. The hearing will be in order.
Today, tomorrow, and on Thursday, the Subcommittee on Problems of the Aged and Aging will begin to hear from national organizations working with older persons. Up to now we have heard from experts on the problem, and from the Federal agencies whose activities include services and programs for the aged in the United States.
One of the reasons we want to hear from the groups appearing these 3 days is that we are more and more becoming convinced that our older citizens resent bitterly the minority status that other Americans are imposing on them.
Their own organizations, cropping up around the country, as well as other organizations concerned about their problems, want some action to reverse this condition. Obsolete ideas about their inability to contribute to society must be discarded along with such notions that they can get along on a mere subsistence income; or that their housing can be dilapidated; or that the financing of their health needs can take care of itself.
Just yesterday I received one of the many letters which make no attempt to hide their bitterness. This one is from California. Two sentences will suffice to indicate what I am talking about here:
You men of the Senate are well fed, well clothed, and well housed. You live like kings on the taxpayers' backs and lack the decency and sense to treat our cheated impoverished old citizens like human beings in this richest country on
We need to include our aged in the mainstream of American social and economic life, rather than to segregate them as a hostile class apart. The specific measures involved in such a program of "desegregation” include issues like discrimination in employment; effective financing of their health needs; providing adequate public and private housing; insuring an adequate income; and raising the standard of nursing homes and homes for the aged.
When inviting the organizations appearing in these hearings, we requested that they address themselves to the following items:
(1) A summary of their interest and work in the field of aging. (2) What additional responsibilities they should undertake.
(3) The specific problems of aging as their own organization sees them,
(4) The responsibilities of voluntary groups, local communities, and the State and Federal Governments in meeting these specific problems.
The first group we want to hear from is the United Steelworkers, Committee of Retired Workers—Mr. Nathan Cowan, chairman, and Mr. James O'Brien, his assistant.
Will you gentlemen come forward, please?
STATEMENT OF NATHAN COWAN, CHAIRMAN; ACCOMPANIED BY
JAMES C. O'BRIEN, ASSISTANT CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE OF RE-
Senator McNAMARA. Good morning, gentlemen. I see you have a prepared statement. Do you want to present your entire statement for the record and summarize it for the committee?
Mr. Cowan. I have a prepared statement here, Senator McNamara. We would like to have it presented for the record. I will not attempt to read from it. It is lengthy and I know that you are rushed for time.
Senator McNAMARA. That will be done. It will be printed at this point in the record.
(The prepared statement of Mr. Cowan follows:)
PREPARED STATEMENT OF NATHAN E. COWAN, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE OF RETIRED
WORKERS, UNITED STEEL WORKERS OF AMERICA Gentlemen, I am happy to be here today and it is with a great deal of satisfaction that I approach the role of witness before this committee. At age 73, I have behind me over 60 years of activity since that day at age 12 when I signed my first card in the Miners' Union. It is my understanding that those testifying as witnesses from national organizations are to describe their respective groups' activities and plans, as well as to give their views on needed Federal action. Certainly, I intend to do just this but I would feel remiss, if I did not take this moment to point out that we have come a long way the past half century, for while there are areas of definite need and the financial resources of millions of senior citizens are inadequate or nonexistent, thanks to the growth of social consciousness in our great country, to the legislative revolution that took place through the New Deal, as well as to the tremendous contribution of organized labor, the far blacker picture that existed earlier has been altered considerably. Nearly 1 million members of the United Steelworkers Union are covered by collectively bargained pension agreements. However, it is all too easy to forget that the breakthrough on this front was won only after a long and difficult strike in 1949. Most other unions have undergone similar struggles to obtain and then improve the pension, insurance, hospitalization, supplemental unemployment and other benefits for their members, including of course, the aged and aging among them.
At our eighth annual convention in Los Angeles in 1956 the following resolution was passed : “We recognize that the provision of a pension for our members who retire still leaves unanswered many problems. We recommend that the officers of the union seek to develop programs to make comfortable, enjoyable, and fruitful the lives of pensioners.”
Shortly after my staff and I made a preliminary report to President McDonald and acting on this brief survey he wrote a strong letter to all our directors, local unions, and staff which I think is worth quoting from.