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ferred to or reemployed by any other department or Government establishment at an increased salary if paid from a lump-sum appropriation, and from receiving any increase within a year from the termination of the first employment.

The principal object of the section was undoubtedly to prevent bidding, by newly established war agencies of the Government, against departments and other Government agencies for the services of employees. It also prevented one department bidding against another, in cases where one of them happened to be more advantageously situated than another with respect to the use of lump-sum appropriations.

But even during the priod when the special conditions obtained which led to the enactment of the section it proved, in operation, to be of questionable utility if, indeed, not of positive detriment to the Government service, by reason of the inelasticity of the provisions of the section. As it applied only to persons already in the civil employ of the Government or who had been so employed within a year its operation was inequitable, placing the civil employees of the Government at a disadvantage as compared with persons who had never before been in the service.

This discrimination was equally to the disadvantage of the Government, as it frequently handicapped heads of newly established bureaus and establishments in compelling them to seek the services of persons unfamiliar with the conduct of the Government's departmental affairs in positions in which persons trained in the Government service could have been used with greater benefit, had it not been for the restrictive provisions in section 7 of the act of October 6, 1917.

The situation thus presented is aptly described in a letter dated July 26, 1919, written on behalf of the United States Civil Service Commission by its president to the chairman of the Committee of the House on Reform in the Civil Service, in response to a request by the latter for the views of the commission. The letter is as follows: Hon. FREDERICK R. LEHLBACH, Chairman Committee on Reform in the Civil Service,

trousconi representatives. SIR: In reply to your letter of July 23, 1919, stating that the Committee on Reform in the Civil Service, to which was referred H. R. 7404, would like from the commission a report of how it will affect conditions in the commission and also an expression of the commission's views as to the desirability of the proposed legislation, you are informed that in the opinion of the commission its enactment will greatly improve and facilitate the efficient administration of the public service.

The bill under consideration proposes to repeal section 7 of the act of October 6, 1917, entitled "An act making appropriation to supply urgent deficiencies in appropriations for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1918, and for other purposes," prohibiting the transfer of employees from one department to another department at an increased salary if paid from a lump-sum appropriation.

In its application the above-mentioned restriction proved embarrassing and detrimental to the best administration of the service, and to the just and reasonable expectations of those serving the Government in ways which could not have been foreseen. It is doubtful whether it was not on the whole more detrimental than beneficial to the service even when the huge lump-sum war-time appropriations were being expended; and now that the service is returning to a peace-time basis there is no doubt that its repeal would be in the interest of the service.

For example, the legislation as interpreted by the Comptroller of the Treasury applied only to a small part of the public service, namely, the departmental service at Washington, constituting less than 10 per cent of the whole, and thereby made an apparently unwarranted discrimination against employees in Washington and in favor of the employees outside. Again the commission and the departments were making every effort to secure additional qualified employees. Those who came to Washington and in their desire to be immediately useful accepted the first temporary, position that offered, regardless of salary, found afterwards that the act under consideration absolutely prohibited their subsequent appointment at greater compensation to any position for which they had qualified by open competitive examination under the civil-service rules or otherwise. It not infrequently happens that young men serving as messenger boys or messengers at insignificant salaries who have demonstrated supe. rior qualifications for clerical and other positions were forced to remain in their old positions or to accept clerical appointments at subclerical salaries.

The classified service in its higher grades may not improperly be regarded as similar to a profession. For many years an employee who is intelligent and faithful steadily increases in value to the Government through his increased knowledge and experience. It is in the best interests of the service that, in establishing a new office or a new line of Government activities, employees should be selected from other departments who by reason of their knowledge and experience in Government methods seem likely to be able to establish the new work and serve as a nucleus for a consistent, orderly organization. No Government employee can be expected to leave a department where he has acquired his reputation and proved his success and assume the obligation of making good in an entirely new office under different conditions unless some inducement is offered in the way of increased compensation; and this, the act under consideration, absolutely prohibits. In fact, it practically forces the appointment to new branches of the service of people who have not had such successful Government experience as to warrant the assumption that they are best fitted to carry on the work of the new organization. By direction of the commission. Very respectfully,

MARTIN A. MORRISON, President. In response to a similar inquiry addressed to the Treasury Department, the Secretary of the Treasury stated, in part, the following:

It was the policy of the Treasury Department prior to the passage of the act of October 6, 1917, to transfer employees from other departments at the same salary, it being of the opinion that greater efficiency was obtained by first giving the transferred employee an opportunity to demonstrate his ability and worth on Treasury Department work. This rule was deviated from in very exceptional cases only. If section 7 of the act of October 6, 1917, is repealed the policy stated above will be adhered to.

That part of section 7 of the act of October 6, 1917, which prohibits the promotion of an employee transferred at the same salary until that employee has served a year in the department has worked hardship in many cases and has resulted in marked inequality of pay in the same grade of work.

As far as the Treasury Department is concerned no objection is raised to the repeal of section 7 of the act of October 6, 1917.

The emergency conditions under which the section was enacted have ceased to prevail. The special war-time establishments have gone or are going out of existence, and there is no longer any advantage to be gained by keeping the section upon the statute books. On the contrary, it frequently results in hardship and inequality to Government employees and to a disadvantage to the Government, for persons whose services might be utilized by one of the regular departments or establishments often find themselves precluded from accepting employment therein unless they are willing to do so at salaries less than those which are customarily paid in such departments for the same grade of work, simply because the prospective employee has on some previous occasion within a year been employed in another department or establishment of the Government at a lower rate of compensation. As pointed out in the letter of the Secretary of the Treasury, such restriction against increases, applying as it does to a limited class of persons in an arbitrary way and for no reason except that they have previously been in the Government service, can not do otherwise than result in marked inequalities in pay.

Numerous instances of this character may be cited. Persons who have resigned from one of the departments prior to the time when the current bonus became effective, and who are paid from lump-sum appropriations in other departments, are absolutely prohibited for a period of one year from receiving an increase in their compensation, although the character of the work performed may amply justify it, and although persons occupying statutory positions of a similar grade in other departments are receiving the benefit of the bonus of $240 per annum. Again it not infrequently happens that a person has taken a temporary appointment of subclerical grade while waiting to qualify for a position of higher grade; having so qualified himself by competitive examination, he then finds that he is precluded by the statute in question from receiving the new appointment in a different department at the rate of compensation which corresponds to it, simply for the reason that he was temporarily employed at a lesser compensation.

The Secretary of War has also approved the proposed legislation in the following letter:


House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. LEHLBACH: The War Department favors House resolution 7404, with the added suggestion that a provision be made prohibiting one department tendering, either directly or indirectly, a position to an employee of another department at an increased salary, without the prior consent of the head of the department desiring the transfer. Cordially, yours,

Newton D. BAKER, Secretary of War. Section 5 of the act of June 22, 1906 (34 Stats., 449), to which reference is made in the section it is proposed to repeal, is as follows:

Sec. 5. It shall not be lawful hereafter for any clerk or other other employee in the classified service in any of the executive departments to be transferred from one department to another department until such clerk or other employee shall have served for a term of three years in the department from which he desires to be transferred.




August 28, 1919.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of

the Union and ordered to be printed.

Mr. STEENERSON, from the Committee on the Post Office and Post

Roads, submitted the following


[To accompany H. J. Res. 151.]

The Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads has had under consideration H. J. Res. 151, to provide additional compensation for employees of the Postal Service where extraordinary and unusual conditions prevail, and recommend that the same be amended as follows, to wit:

Strike out all beginning with the word “That” in line 3, on page 1, down to and including line 8, page 2, and insert in lieu thereof the following:

That because of the unusual conditions which now exist, the compensation provided for in the act entitled " An act making appropriations for the Post Office Department for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1920," approved February 28, 1919, for assistant postmasters at first and second class post offices, inspectors, supervisory officials, clerks at division headquarters, special clerks, clerks at first and second class post offices, and letter carriers in the City Delivery Service, printers, mechanics, and skilled laborers, watchmen, messengers and laborers, railway postal clerks, rural letter carriers, carriers in the Village Delivery Service, and postmosters of the third class, shall be increased $150 per annum, except that no third-class postmaster shall receive more than $2,000 per annum, and that the compensation of fourth-class postmasters shall be increased ten per centum of the amount now authorized by law, except that no fourth-class postmaster shall receive more than $1,000 per annum. That the abovementioned increases shall be effective from July 1, 1919. And that substitute, temporary, and auxiliary clerks at first and second class post offices, and substitute, temporary, and auxiliary letter carriers in the City Delivery Service shall be paid during the remainder of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1920, at the rate of 60 cents per hour for each hour of service performed.

Sec. 2. That in order to provide for the increased compensation herein authorized, so much as is necessary is hereby appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated to supplement the amounts authorized for such employees in the act entitled "An act making appropriations for the service of the Post Office Department for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1920, and for other purposes," approved February 28, 1919.

The committee recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.

The original resolution authorized the Postmaster General, wher extraordinary and unusual conditions exist, to pay, during the fiscal

year 1920, postal employees an amount not exceeding 35 per cent per annum of their basio salary in addition to the compensation now paid. In his letter recommending its passage, a copy of which is hereto attached, the Postmaster General

says: It should be understood, however, that the department does not construe this resolution as intending that flat increases of not exceeding 35 per cent shall be granted all employees in the Postal Service, but are to be paid (nl , where extraordinary and unusual conditions prevail. It is believed that such conditions prevail in only a few instances.

The committee does not share this belief. So far as postal employees are concerned, the unusual conditions consist in the great increase in the cost of living, and this is general throughout the country. The general authority asked for, while enabling the department to retain in the service employees in certain industrial centers, where wages in private industry are unusually high, by increasing salaries, such action would be an unjust discrimination against employees in other localities where the cost of living is equally high, and would result in general dissatisfaction and demoralization. The committee, therefore, concluded that pending a complete revision and readjustment of postal salaries now under consideration by the joint commission, the best thing to do was to make the specific and uniform increases herein recommended. The department estimates the cost of the proposed increases at $40,000,000, while the committee believes they will not exceed $35,000,000; but however that may be, the increases are absolutely necessary now, and further and greater increases will have to be made in order that the service may reach and maintain that degree of efficiency which the public imperatively demands, and postal revenues if insufficient will have to be so readjusted as to meet the increased expense.

The maximum asked for by the Postmaster General would authorize him to expend in his discretion as to persons and places a great deal more than $40,000,000. To grant his request would be to offer a premium on political favoritism and encourage waste and extravagance.

The report of the Postmaster General on H. J. Res. 151, above referred to, follows:


Washington, D. C., July 25, 1919. Hon. Halvor STEENERSON, Chairman Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads,

House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Receipt is acknowledged of your letter of the 21st instant, with which you inclosed a copy of H. J. Res. 151, introduced by Mr. Madden, to provide additional compensation for employees of the Postal Service for extraordinary and unusual conditions prevailing, and in reply I beg to state that it would be advantageous at the present time if the department were granted the authority covered by this resolution. It should be understood, however, that the department does not construe this resolution as intending that flat increases of not exceeding 35 per cent shall be granted all employees in the Postal Service, but are to be paid only where extraordinary and unusual conditions prevail. It is believed that such conditions prevail in only a few instances. The resolution therefore has my approval, and I recommend its passage. Very sincerely,


Postmaster General.

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