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Congress can the next day pass a law repealing the plan. None are precluded from further consideration.
But let me ask you this, so that Congress can proceed now to consider this in the light of existing conditions: Do you favor or does the administration favor, and you are speaking for the administration, the Hoover Commission's recommendations with reference to establishing this general Health Service and placing the Department of Health in that agency? Do you favor it, and have you considered it and rejected it, or do you support it?
Mr. LAWTON. We have not considered it to a point where the President has made any decision to move ahead along that line.
The CHAIRMAN. He has neither accepted it nor rejected it?
Mr. LAWTON. He has neither accepted it nor has he rejected it. There are at least 21⁄2 years left of authority under the Reorganization Act of 1949. This step would have a great many implications, and a great many difficulties are involved in the type of programs that exist. There is the question of shifting and changing the veterans and the military structure, particularly the military at this time. That is one that we certainly cannot approach in any hasty sort of a way. We have to consider the relationships of the medical services there, not only to their hospital services at home, which is one thing proposed by the Hoover Commission, but also the relationships of those medical services in the field, the interchangeability of the personnel, so that they could assign the doctors and nurses, and so on, where they are needed, and there are a great many difficulties. That is something that is requiring a great deal of study.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you this: Is not this action tantamount to at least a tentative rejection of the Hoover Commission's_recommendations with reference to the Public Health Service? It is at least tantamount to a tentative rejection, is it not?
Mr. LAWTON. I do not know whether you can make it as strong as rejection. It certainly is not an acceptance, but whether it is a rejection or not is something else again. It does not foreclose the issue.
The CHAIRMAN. No issue is foreclosed, where Congress has jurisdiction.
Mr. LAWTON. The President also has a function which he can. perform under the Reorganization Act of 1949.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, he can send down another plan tomorrow changing it, if he wants to, and so could Congress.
Mr. LAWTON. It is not foreclosed on either basis.
The CHAIRMAN. Nothing is foreclosed by any plan, except it is presumed that in approving a plan we are enacting permanent legislation, until such time as the Congress decides to change it or the President, under the Reorganization Plan, decides that the law ought to be changed.
Mr. LAWTON. That is correct. And I am not saying that he ever would submit a plan that would make the change, or that he would not.
Senator BENTON. I gathered from Mr. Lawton's testimony that if he cannot get what he wants, which apparently was involved in his last year's proposal, he is willing to take what he hopes he can get, which is the gist of this document that he has just read.
In line with Senator Taft's testimony, I would like to ask one question. Regarding the Surgeon General and the Commissioner of Education, what do these two men give up under this present proposal, apart from the danger outlined by Senator Taft that they will have what he calls welfare officers put over them? What other risk is there to them involved in the proposed plan, as you see it?
Mr. LAWTON. There is none that I see. They lose nothing. The plan clarifies their control over the substantive and professional functions that are administered by their agencies. They lose, if you consider it a loss, through the ability of the proposed Secretary of Health, Welfare, and Security, to definitely establish such administrative, housekeeping-type services, as will produce the most efficient and economical administration.
Senator BENTON. Is there no savings involved?
Mr. LAWTON. Mr. Ewing has testified that the savings will be at least $100,000.
Senator BENTON. For all three?
Mr. LAWTON. Those savings would come largely through the ability to centralize and develop a common pattern of administrative services, budgeting, accounting, procurement, and things of that sort. Senator BENTON. $100,000 annually saved?
Mr. LAWTON. Yes.
Senator BENTON. That does not seem like very much against the great size of this operation.
Mr. LAWTON. Well, if you consider the size of the operation, it is sizeable, but if you take the full amount of funds that are involved, a large part of those, of course, are in the form of grants which you cannot effect. They are monetary payments to the States or to other beneficiaries of the Government which are fixed, and there is no administrative action that can change the amounts of those.
Senator BENTON. Do you feel the Surgeon General and the Com-missioner of Education give up nothing, and they get the advantages. that you have outlined in your presentation?
Mr. LAWTON. They are now under the same general direction and supervision that they would be under this plan. They have the right under this plan, which is clarified, to report directly to the Secretary of the Department without being under the specific jurisdiction of any subordinate such as an Under Secretary or an Assistant Secretary. There is one thing I would want to call attention to because of the point made in the previous testimony as to establishing a great new hierarchy. I might call attention to the fact that the plan alsoprovides for abolition of offices. At the present time in the Federal Security Agency there are authorized the Federal Security Administrator, the Assistant Federal Security Administrator, and twoassistant heads of the Federal Security Agency. Under the new plan you have a Secretary of Health, and you have an Under Secretary of Health and an Assistant Secretary of Health and an Administrative Assistant Secretary. Thus, offsetting four offices created by the plan, you have four offices that are abolished by the plan.
Senator IVES. It has occurred to me that perhaps our Government has reached a condition where we ought to have in each of these particular agencies certain functions. Do you see any relationship between education and security, Mr. Lawton?
Mr. LAWTON. Well, when you say "security," do you mean the Federal Security Agency or the Social Security Administration?
Senator IVES. Except in a very, very broad sense, I cannot see that there is any particular relationship there.
Mr. LAWTON. There are relationships between these agencies, and I will cite some of them.
Senator IVES. There may be technical relationships now, and I am talking about the scope of the operation. What are some of the ones that you were going to say?
Mr. LAWTON. Well, in school health you have got that.
Senator IVES. I am not talking about health. I am talking about education and security.
Mr. LAWTON. The only one that I see where there is very much comity between them is in this question of child care. That involves the Children's Bureau and the Office of Education and the Public Health Service and the Bureau of Public Assistance. That is the primary one.
School health involves the Office of Education, the Public Health Service and the Children's Bureau, which is in the Security Administration.
Senator IVES. Perhaps some of them should be segregated or transferred to their several component parts, but the fact remains that there really is not any fundamental relationship between security and education, is there, except in the very broad over-all sense? I cannot see where it exists.
Mr. LAWTON. There is one thing, and from the administrative operational side that is quite similar, the fact that they are major grant programs, both of them.
Senator IVES. That is true.
Mr. LAWTON. And in dealing with States, there is an advantage in having those grant programs where they are for general purposes, on a social basis as distinguished from a physical basis such as highways or something of that sort-there is an advantage in having them under a policy grouping that is in a line from the President through one of the members of the Cabinet.
Senator IVES. I think that you could construe that today highways have a social aspect, too. That is very definitely true. Mr. LAWTON. It is more economic.
Senator IVES. Certainly, health is involved.
Mr. LAWTON. I grant you that, after the last weekend.
Senator MUNDT. It seems to me, Mr. Lawton, that this thing that you allege may have an advantage administratively but it may produce other disadvantages in grouping education with welfare and security, because I think you used the phrase that it provides for a more harmonious policy grouping from the President right on down to the agencies of the States-is that about what you said?
Mr. LAWTON. I said in the operational aspects of it. I am not talking about the substantive side, because that necessarily must flow from whatever Congress does. Congress decides what kind of grant is to be made, the amount of the grants, and who gets them. I had reference to the administrative operations.
Senator MUNDT. It lends itself to a considerable degree of interpretation. It seems to me it is not necessarily an unmitigated blessing to put the States more firmly under the direction of policies emanating from the executive down through the departments to the school, because if we are sincere about trying to keep the schools free from
Federal control, anything that moves in that direction, in my opinion, is questionable.
Mr. LAWTON. I do not think it moves any more in that direction than the present situation does. If you created a separate Department, you would have the President having one more person in the Cabinet, if it is a Department and it has Cabinet status, and if you do it for one function you might very well extend that into dozens of different functions and get a 25- or 30-man Cabinet, which would be very unwieldy.
Senator MUNDT. That is right, of course, but at least under the present situation you do not have that. You have very little if any Federal control in the field of education. You have a considerably greater degree of Federal control in the field of social security, and a considerably greater degree of Federal control in the field of welfare, understandably, because the Federal Government is putting in its money and it has a right to insist on certain things which are going to occur at the other end of the line.
When you bring education into this same stream of control, as you have so appropriately said, it seems to me inevitable that education is going to tend to have the same emphasis of Federal control placed upon it as that Department will consistently continue to exercise in the field of welfare and social security.
Mr. LAWTON. Only if Congress so writes the laws or changes the law.
Senator MUNDT. Or the Administrator so interprets the law.
Mr. LAWTON. Well, whatever he does in the way of interpretation depends on whether the laws are specifically written or whether they are written with the viewpoint that they will be interpreted.
Senator MUNDT. Probably you had not the experience, Mr. Lawton, that we as legislators have had up here on Capitol Hill as we have tried very hard with great meticulosity to stick in every conceivable comma and paragraph to be sure that this thing is tight, but it is. almost impossible to get laws so tight but what there is still some administrative discretion. That depends on the administrator. Some reach out and seize a considerably greater degree of power than others. But you cannot write a law and say that this is tight and every man from A to Z, no matter who he is, would administer the law the same. That just does not happen, as you know.
Mr. LAWTON. That is correct.
Senator MUNDT. The human equation is in the picture.
Mr. LAWTON. And in a separate operation, successive heads of an Educational Department might be completely different with respect to their interpretation of it.
Senator MUNDT. Under the same law, that is right.
Mr. LAWTON. If the law is susceptible to a substantial degree of administrative interpretation.
Senator MUNDT. That is human nature.
Mr. LAWTON. That is not obviated by this sort of a change in making that a department.
Senator MUNDT. It is aggravated, because you pick the Bureau of Education up and put it into a stream of control which has been established down through the precedents as being considerably greater in the field of social security and welfare than it is in the field of education. But you put it in that environment and you put
it in that kind of stream of authority, and it seems to me inevitably you are going to increase the executive control in the field of education, unless you get a sort of a cross-eyed administrator who can see straight on one side with one eye, and on the other side with the other one, and say, "In social security and in welfare I am going to exercise the Federal control which I always have, but when I deal with educational matters I shall use considerably less control."
Mr. LAWTON. Under this plan, the Commissioner of Education has every statutory function that Congress has placed upon him and that exists in him at this time.
Senator MUNDT. That is correct.
Mr. LAWTON. And none of them is taken away.
Senator MUNDT. This is correct, insofar as statutory provisions can establish a definite channel of action; but insofar as administrative authority tends to expand or decrease that area of control, then it depends in good part upon the individual.
You have stated in reply to a question that you felt that there were no disadvantages flowing through the Commissioner of Education as a result of this reorganization, and that the Commissioner of Education lost none of his existing statutory authority other than certain controls over his housekeeping and administrative functions.
Mr. LAWTON. There is a possibility that certain centralization of those functions will be made; yes, sir.
Senator MUNDT. Those administrative functions or housekeeping details, I suppose, are determined in large part in exchanges of considerations as between the Commissioner of Education and the new secretary, and not set out specifically?
Mr. LAWTON. I think they are spelled out fairly definitely in section 6 of the plan where it reads:
In the interest of economy and efficiency the Secretary may from time to time establish central administrative services in the fields of procurement, budgeting, accounting, library, legal, and other services and activities common to the several agencies of the Department—
with the proviso that
Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to authorize the Secretary to transfer or remove from the control of the Surgeon General, the Commissioner of Education, or the Commissioner of Social Security, any professional or substantive functions.
In other words, the functions that particularly deal with the major activities and major responsibilities of those Commissioners.
Senator MUNDT. That is right; but those are mostly polysyllabic words which are subject to interpretation and definition by someone; it has not spelled out, for example, that it deals with bookkeeping, or deals with printing or with custodial service, those are generalized terms which someone has to interpret, and itemize in detail. That would be done in consultation in the new office.
Mr. LAWTON. They are fairly well defined fields. What constitutes those things is fairly well known. It is not something that has to be interpreted anew. There are regulations from the General Services Administration covering procurement, there are regulations from the Budget Bureau covering budgeting, and regulations from the General Accounting Office governing accounting. Those terms are pretty well known terms.