« PreviousContinue »
because municipal and county institutional laundry data could be used which were higher.
Regardless of the effect, however, it does not appear proper that one agency should be able to use certain data and another agency be denied such use. The effect of these differences is quite negligible on the whole.
For the foregoing reasons and in the interest of promoting a closer coordinating relationship of the Navy with other Federal agencies, the Department of Defense requests that H.R. 3367 receive favorable consideration.
Mr. RIVERS. Admiral, I have a number of questions I want to ask. I will only ask a few of them and save some of them for later, so other members of the committee can interrogate you on various aspects of this bill.
I notice that you said, and you were careful to say throughout your statement, that the Department of Defense favors this.
Did the repeal of this thing originate in your office ? Admiral CRONIN. Yes, sir. Mr. Rivers. You were the moving hand behind repealing this law? Admiral CRONIN. Yes, sir. Mr. RIVERS. You want to repeal yourself out of a job? Admiral CRONIN. No, sir. As I indicated in my statement, Mr. Chairman, I don't think this will make any difference at all in the way we handle our wage board practices, our method of obtaining wage data, or the use we put that data to.
We think it will make absolutely no difference whatsoever except the minor differences I mentioned in the statement.
Mr. RIVERS. Are you aware of the widespread opposition to this bill?
Admiral CRONIN. I wasn't until just a couple of days ago, sir. Mr. RIVERS. Do you think that is good for the morale of the people with whom you have been working and the Navy has been working since 1862 ?
Admiral CRONIN. Well, of course, I never like to see the Navy do anything our employees don't understand or don't agree with.
Mr. RIVERS. Do you have any trouble with them in operating under the act of 1862?
Admiral CRONIN. No, sir. As I indicated, the only reason for our recommending that that section be repealed is because it isn't consistent to have two different laws controlling the same actions.
Mr. RIVERS. Why wouldn't it be just as sensible to put the Army and the Air Force under the act of 1862 ? Admiral CRONIN. That would accomplish my purpose, sir.
Mr. RIVERS. If you are getting along fine with them, why couldn't they get along fine with them?
Admiral CRONIN. I don't know of any reason why they couldn't, sir. As I say, in practice there would be no difference in the two
Mr. RIVERS. One time a fellow told me a foolish consistency is a hobgoblin of a small mind, and I wouldn't say that about you.
Just to be consistent, it appears to me if it is going to destroy morale and cause widespread criticism of something that has been getting along well over these years—and if there is anybody in Con
gress who knows something about this thing it is I, because I was raised in the Navy yard at Charleston, as you know. As a matter of fact, the road leading out there was named for me,I was on it so much.
So, I lived in the Navy yard and I sat on this board when they had members over there who were less sensitive to the needs of these people than anyone.
I remember when they had a Captain Fisher down there. He was as cold as a dead Eskimo. And then they had another fellow down there by the name of Nibecker. He was pretty hard to get along with.
But you and Admiral Hague and George Holderness—these people have a very high respect for you and I am reluctant, very reluctant, to disturb something that is working well if it can be avoided, because trouble picks me out of the crowd. I don't live to look for trouble and I like to avoid it.
We have some trouble with people from far off down in our place, telling us how to run business; particularly the preachers. I saw one of my preachers in the Washington paper. We call that the uptown edition of the Daily Worker. An Episcopalian preacher. The only way he could get his name in the paper was by asking for integration. All he could do is talk about my people and not try to save anyone's soul.
We have enough trouble, and I like to avoid it.
I apologize for introducing this bill because we are the arm of the Government, the Congress, which handles the Department of Defense matters. If we don't introduce legislation which they desire, it can't be introduced. That is why we have hearings and that is the way the Congress runs.
So Mr. Vinson has the courtesy to the Department of always introducing the legislation whether he favors it or not, and I want you gentlemen who represent the opposing views of this to understand it. That is why this bill was introduced. Because I think the Navy should have the right to present their views the same as you.
We are the only voice that the Department of Defense has, and we think that it is our responsibility to introduce these pieces of legislation despite the fact we personally may not favor them.
Isn't that right, Mr. Smart? Mr. SMART. Correct, sir.
Mr. Rivers. And that is the only way we can get the legislation before the committee.
I am going to ask some of the other members to express their views.
Mr. Van Zandt is an old Navy man here, who has come up from apprentice seaman to the point where he will soon have flag rank. He ought to have it. He has been one of the greatest exponents of the Navy's destiny on Capitol Hill that I know, and he has done a terrific job for the Navy, and I am certainly glad he is on this subcommittee because I am going to lean pretty heavily on Mr. Van Zandt.
Any questions, Mr. Van Zandt?
Mr. VAN ZANDT. I hope the gentleman will make that same statement this time next year, when we are running for reelection.
Mr. Rivers. I am for you.
Mr. VAN ZANDT. Admiral, you have indicated that the sole purpose of this legislation is to establish a uniformity in the handling of wage questions, is that correct?
Admiral CRONIN. Yes. Mr. VAN ZANDT. There must be other reasons. What would stem from uniformity? Would there be any advantage to the Navy? Would it save the taxpayer money?
At the same time, let's go to the other side: What disadvantages would it develop ?
Admiral CRONIN. Mr. Van Zandt, we very frequently have questions asked of us, sometimes by the interested employees and sometimes by their representatives, why can't we do a certain thing if the Army and the Air Force do it that way. It is a logical question. It is very difficult to answer if we are doing it differently.
The President's Adviser on Personnel has asked all agencies, and specifically the Department of Defense in the case of the military departments, to do all they can to put into line all of their practices with respect to wage matters.
This is just one step in that process of really complying with the administration's directive to be uniform.
Now, I assure you, Mr. Van Zandt, the Navy would never consider suggesting legislation that would in any way have an adverse effect on our employees without having had the employees viewpoint in order to get their reactions. However, we couldn't visualize at the time we requested that this legislation be introduced, nor can I visualize
now, how this can have any effect whatsoever adverse to our employees.
Mr. VAN ZANDT. In other words, you introduced this bill for the purpose of establishing uniformity throughout the Government in dealing with employees at military establishments and that you know of no adverse effects that would be suffered by the personnel concerned?
Admiral CRONIN. Absolutely. Yes, sir.
Mr. VAN ZANDT. Now, am I to understand, then, that the only benefit that the Government will enjoy from this bill if it should be enacted into law, is uniformity?
Admiral CRONIN. Yes, sir, and from that uniformity derives, as I indicated in the statement, a little more logical treatment of certain areas where we have differences now-for example, we do have in a few areas—and I quoted one in San Francisco—where we are actually paying a few of our employees somewhat less than the Army and the Air Force, because of the fact that our law does not permit us to use rates from anybody but private industry.
Mr. VAN ZANDT. Then in the case of San Francisco, if this law were repealed, through the enactment of this bill, it would be possible for you to raise the blue-collar workers to a higher level of pay, is that correct?
Admiral CRONIN. Yes, sir. It would be possible for us to survey the State, county, and municipal institutions where the rates are higher and have resulted in the Army and Air Force paying higher rates.
Mr. Van Zandr. What other area do you have in mind? You said San Francisco. Do you have any other area?
Admiral CRONIN. I have that as one example. Perhaps Mr. Gardner could answer that.
Mr. GARDNER. I am Thomas L. Gardner, Office of Industrial Relations.
We have about three other areas of joint interest with the Army and the Air Force, where there could be an effect. One is MinneapolisSt. Paul, where the Army and Air Force take in certain governmental jurisdictions. However, that again would work to the benefit of the workers of the Navy. There would be a slight increase if we could use the same data.
Another place where it would have no effect, because we actually just take the Army rates, is in Alaska.
Another place where perhaps rates would drop a half-cent or a penny—and this is the only adverse area I know of-would be in our Territory of Puerto Rico.
With our different systems, we probably would just about come out even anyhow, so I don't think even that would be unfavorable.
Now, within the Army and Air Force areas where we have no interests, there are a few small areas where they use governmental entities for information. And in some it might raise a little; in others it might lower a little. I would
say in any case, the difference would be very small. In our San Francisco area on the laundry, that is a special type of survey for a special group. It probably would be to our benefit at the washman level—that is what we use as the standard benchmark, or pegging level.
Mr. RIVERS. What is that?
Mr. GARDNER. The washmen in the laundry. It would probably amount to as much as 4 cents. That is the only area we know of. That is why it was given in the illustration where there would be a difference. "That would be for the special category of workers in the laundry.
Mr. RIVERS. Why wouldn't it be just as sensible for you gentlemen to come in here and ask that the present law be amended to give you the right to take this wider circumference of investigation of wages to determine?
Admiral CRONIN. May I answer that, sir?
Admiral CRONIN. Mr. Chairman, the Navy is the only one of all the agencies, the only one of the three military departments that has this special law, and all of the other agencies with a very few minor exceptions, are covered by the Classification Act.
It seems to us completely logical and orderly to have the Navy, whose employees are governed by other rules, the same as the other agencies, to have the same wage setting law. We see no reason why it should be different. That is the main reason for our making th request for the amendment of that part of the act.
Mr. RIVERS. But it has been going on since 1862, and you say you are getting along very well under it.
It looks to me like you would want a little more latitude and then you would have it made.
Admiral CRONIN. Actually, those aren't too important exceptions. We are not too concerned about those. We have small differences in our treatment, not because of the different law but because of the way
we handle our method of computing with the Army and the Air Force, in other areas, as well.
Those differences aren't significant. It is merely that we feel we should have an orderly, uniform procedure governed by one law for all agencies.
Mr. Rivers. Mainly you want uniformity ? Admiral CRONIN. Yes, sir. Mr. VAN ZANDT. That is all. Mr. RIVERS. Mr. Winstead? Mr. WINSTEAD. Admiral, how many other variations do you have? I know you want uniformity in this. Do you have any other special legislation that affects the Navy differently from what it does the Army and the Air Force, in any other field?
Admiral CRONIN. We have one other law which was codified at the same time as this law of 1862, with respect to the requirement for the Secretary of the Navy to make a determination 60 days before a national election, that it is in the public interest before any additional hires are made.
The Navy is the only agency of the Government, so far as we know, which has that provision. No other agency has that. We are also asking for the repeal of that.
Mr. WINSTEAD. What about the other services, do they have any special legislation in the Air Force and Army?
Admiral CRONIN. Certainly not in this area of personnel. Mr. GARDNER. Could I speak up there, Admiral? We do have one law which applies to the dean of our postgraduate school at Monterey, where his salary has been set by law. That is different than the Air Force school at Denver, or West Point for the Army. But that has no bearing upon the wage board side of the picture.
Mr. WINSTEAD. Do I understand, then, that the Department of Defense will recommend the change of all the laws we have where there is any variation with any of the services! You represent the Department of Defense and you want to change this mainly because there is a difference. ,
I wonder if it would be the position of the Department of Defense that all laws be uniform with all branches of the service.
Admiral CRONIN. Mr. Winstead, I am representing them only with respect to this bill, and I will certainly look into that and see what the attitude of the Department of Defense is with respect to the other laws.
I would like to say it was the Navy, however, Mr. Winstead, which initiated this request, and not the Department of Defense.
Mr. WINSTEAD. As I understand, the main purpose is to have uniformity there and it really won't make any important difference in saving money in our own personnel or anything else, except for the fact that you will have uniformity.
Admiral CRONIN. It is a little more than satisfaction; I think it is an orderly way to do business, but your statement is exactly correct. It is for uniformity that we have introduced the request for the repeal.
Mr. RIVERS. If this bill were passed for the sake of uniformity and if it were to cause widespread dissension in the ranks of the various crafts in these naval installations, would you favor it then!