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we had a doctor once in the Senate, and I do not know whether we still have one or not, but that was the Senator from my home State in New York, Dr. Copeland, and my recollection is that he made a pretty good Senator and a pretty good politician.
I don't see anything too wrong in a good politician. I think politics is essential in the administration of our Government, and Ì think professional direction has its own place, and for that matter I think there are some doctors today who are getting pretty political.
The CHAIRMAN. You prefer political direction to the professional direction, as I understand it.
Mr. WEITZER. Not necessarily. I see nothing wrong in having somebody who has a political sense as a member of the Cabinet get advice and guidance on professional questions and receive that from his subordinates. There are men with strictly professional abilities in all big industry. I imagine there are plenty of first-rate chemists and engineers in the United States Steel Corp. and General Motors Corp., but the man that is chosen to head up such situations is not necessarily a professional man.
I think the major problem here in discussing this plan is really one of whether there is a real advantage for these activities in having Cabinet representation. I think the job is to get on with providing the advantage, even though it may not be a perfect plan or it may not be the kind of a plan that we might want to have 5, 10, or 50 years from today when each of these activities might conceivably require Cabinet department status.
The CHAIRMAN. You oppose a separate Cabinet department, do you?
Mr. WEITZER. At the moment I do. In other words, I think this apparently looks like a feasible plan to get approval. I hope that is
The CHAIRMAN. You do not mean to imply that the only reason you favor this plan is because you could not get the others as separate departments? You do not mean to imply that?
Mr. WEITZER. Not necessarily, but right now it seems
The CHAIRMAN. In order to get action, you favor this plan?
Mr. WEITZER. I learned long ago, if you wait to do a thing perfectly, you never get it done; and it is better to do it half right right away than to wait forever to get nothing done.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions?
Thank you, Mr. Weitzer.
Mr. WEITZER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
STATEMENT OF ANGUS MCDONALD, ASSISTANT LEGISLATIVE SECRETARY, NATIONAL FARMERS UNION
Mr. McDONALD. Mr. Chairman, in response to a letter I wrote to the committee, I received a telegram to the effect that it was desired I summarize my statement. Now I am prepared, Mr. Chairman. either to read my statement or to give a brief summary.
The CHAIRMAN. The principal purpose of that was we were hoping to try to expedite the hearings and conclude them tomorrow. We have about 24 witnesses that wanted to appear, and you have apparently a short statement, and if you prefer you may read it.
Mr. McDONALD. I merely said that because I wanted to cooperate with the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. You have a statement that is not too long, and if you prefer to read it you may do so.
Mr. McDONALD. Thank you, sir.
My name is Angus McDonald, and I am the legislative representative of the Farmers Union, and I live here in Washington.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, the position of my organization in regard to Reorganization Plan No. 27 was presented to the House Committee on Executive Expenditures on June 20, 1950. In summary, we approve Reorganization Plan No. 27 because it would retain statutory authority now vested in the Surgeon General and Commissioner of Education and would provide for a uniform method of appointment of these officials as well as the head of the new Department of Security and the new Cabinet official. All of these officials would be subject to confirmation, which would be a guaranty that the Senate would not be obliged to accept a Cabinet official who was not the best qualified for the position.
As indicated, the views of the National Farmers Union were presented in somewhat more detailed form to the House committee. The statement read to the committee is as follows:
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, as a representative of the National Farmers Union, I am here to testify in favor of Reorganization Plan No. 27, and against the resolution which would disapprove it.
As we understand the revised plan presented by the President, the Surgeon General and the Commissioner of Education would retain in the newly created Department of Health, Education, and Security all of the statutory authorities and duties now vested in them. The existing Federal Security Department would also not be disturbed by the creation of the new Department.
The new plan, it seems to us, although it will not disturb or upset existing agencies, has an advantage in that it provides for a uniform method of appointment for the positions of Surgeon General, Commissioner of Education, and Commissioner of Social Security. It is further provided that these three positions must be filled with qualified individuals and subject to Senate confirmation.
Creation of a new Department elevating the existing health, education, and public welfare agencies is not a new idea. It has been recommended by previous administrations and was approved by a Senate committee during the Eightieth Congress. The bill creating a new Department was reported favorably by the Senate Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments on June 6, 1947, and was similar to the present proposal. This bill, incidentally, referred to as the Taft-Fulbright bill, was a bipartisan measure which had the support of both Republicans and Democrats.
Proposals to create a new so-called Welfare Department have been considered in relation to the possible appointment of the present Federal Security Administrator. We feel that whether or not the present Administrator would be appointed should not enter into consideration of Reorganization Plan No. 27. The plan should be considered on its merits alone. The new Cabinet official is subject to Senate confirmation and, as previously pointed out, the three commissioners under him must also be approved by the Senate. This, we feel, is sufficient guaranty that the President would not appoint, or the Congress be obliged to accept, a Cabinet officer who was not the best qualified for the position.
In conclusion, I would like to repeat that enactment of this proposal into law is long overdue. It has been entertained by practically every administration since 1920 and has been recommended repeatedly by congressional committees, by Members of Congress, and by authorities on administration. It has been repeatedly pointed out that under the present set-up there is much duplication, confusion, and waste due to the fact that welfare agencies are scattered all over the Government. Approval of Reorganization Plan No. 27, we feel, would be a long step in the right direction to remedy this situation.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much.
Mr. McDONALD. Thank you, Senator.
STATEMENT OF GEORGE F. ZOOK, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN
Mr. Zook. I have prepared and submitted a statement which I think I will leave with you and comment very briefly if I may on what seems to me to be the most important points.
The CHAIRMAN. Your statement may be printed in full in the record at this point.
(The statement referred to follows:)
STATEMENT OF GEORGE F. ZOOK, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION
My name is George F. Zook, and I am president of the American Council on Education.
In order that I may qualify myself somewhat further with regard to the matter, may I say that I served during the year 1933-34 as United States Commissioner of Education, and have been president of the American Council on Education since that time.
One of the chief responsibilities which the president of the American Council feels is an intense interest in whatever happens here in Congress with respect to matters educational. So I have had occasion to follow these proposals all during the past years. I am, therefore, asking for the opportunity to testify in favor of the recommendation which the President has presented.
I would like to say just one word with respect to the composition of the American Council on Education, with which perhaps not all of you are familiar. It is our attempt in American education to bring together the representatives of practically all of the important organizations in the field of education. It is also a sincere attempt on our part to bring together the representatives of all types of institutions and school systems. I have commonly said that it is our attempt in American education to federate activities in the field of education, and is therefore, I do believe, the most representative organization in the field of education that there is. We have 72 of these national educational organizations, and practically every important national education association is a member of the council. There are 59 associate member organizations and 975 institutions of higher education and school systems that are members of the council, making a total membership of 1,106.
We have in our organization a committee which is known as the problems and policies committee, which is composed of individuals whom we think of as being especially important and wise in the field of education. It is through that committee that practically all of the major problems that have to do with education are sooner or later channeled. And, so this committee has had occasion a number of times during the past 15 years to discuss the organization of education in the Federal Government.
I shall not go back into the history of all of the consideration that has been given to the matter, but only to some of those things that have occurred most recently.
On October 10 and 11, 1946, a discussion of the then bill, S. 2503, to create a Department of Health, Education, and Security, resulted in the following action by that committee:
"With respect to this bill, the committee observes, first, that the expanding relationships of the Federal Government to education through legislation already enacted and through other steps now contemplated, make it desirable to give additional recognition to education in the Federal Government.
"Secondly, that there now exists a need for greater coordination of educational activities carried on by the Federal Government. Therefore the committee
recommends the enactment of the bill, 'with the provision that the name of the Department as proposed be changed to Department of Health, Education, and Security; and with the further understanding that the creation of this Department will not extend the control of the Federal Government over State and local school systems.'
I hope that you will pardon our feeling that education is so important that it might very well be the first in such a proposed department.
The statement of the problems and policies committee was presented to a meeting of the delegates of the constituent members of the council-65 in number they are the national and regional education associations-in Washington, on
January 25, 1947. A substantial majority of the delegates of the constituent members were present and after extended discussion adopted the following motion by a vote of 38 to 6, with 4 individuals present not voting.
66* * * with the provision that the name of the Department as proposed be changed to Department of Education, Health, and Security, and with the further understanding that the creation of this Department will not extend the control of the Federal Government over State and local school systems.'
In the following year, 1947, the American Council on Education joined with the National Social Welfare Assembly in the appointment of a joint committee to consider these very problems, and after a number of extended meetings, this committee jointly appointed by these two organizations reached the following conclusions:
"1. That an executive Department of Health, Education, and Security headed by a Secretary of Cabinet rank be established at this time by the Congress of the United States.
"2. That such Department be assigned responsibility to promote the general welfare of the people of the United States by aiding and fostering progress throughout the Nation in the field of health, education, and security, and related services contributing to individual, family, and community well-being.
"3. That this objective be accomplished by legislation converting the existing Federal Security Agency into such an executive department, and transferring the powers and duties of the agency and its administrator to the new department and its Secretary. The matter of transferring to the department any additional functions or units of other governmental agencies performing related services should be left for subsequent legislative action by the President under his powers dealing with Government reorganization."
I am omitting the fourth paragraph, which is rather long and not quite so important, it seems to me. I will go on to 5.
"5. That legislation should provide for the appointment of an Under Secretary and at least two Assistant Secretaries who can aid the Secretary in the over-all management and direction of the affairs of the Department. The committee believes that functional operating divisions or other units of the Department should be headed by career officers with high professional and administrative competence in their particular fields. These latter positions should be nonpolitical in character.
"6. That the legislation include a provision which would make clear and assure that the creation of such an executive department does not confer any powers upon the Department or its officials to supervise or control State and local agencies. public or voluntary, operating in the field of health, education, and security, and related services."
That, I say, was the product of the work of a joint committee appointed by the American Council on Education and the National Social Welfare Assembly.
Two years later, namely, this past year, the problems and policies committee of the council again reaffirmed its stand with regard to this matter by passing the following motion:
"It was voted that in order to increase the autonomy and effectiveness of education at the Federal level, the committee reaffirms its action of 1946-in support of departmental status for education at the Federal level; that further study be given to the component parts, in addition to education, of the proposed Department, including the desirability of including science in a Department of Health, Education, and Science; that the Office of United States Commissioner of Education be abolished, and there be an Assistant Secretary of Education under the general supervision of the Secretary of the proposed Department; and that there be established a National Advisory Committee of leading citizens to advise the Assistant Secretary of Education on matters of general policy, and that there be formed under the chairmanship of the Assistant Secretary of Education a Federal Council of Education, composed of representatives of the various Federal agencies having responsibilities in the field of education."
Now, Mr. Chairman, may I say again that these do not represent by any means all of the actions that the American Council on Education has taken with respect to this matter; and furthermore, I probably do not need to point out that even during the past 4 years, there has been a certain amount of chance of opinion with regard to this matter, even in our own resolutions, but all pointing in exactly the same general direction, namely, departmental status for education.
Possibly I might elucidate that a little further by saying that one of the problems with respect to the situation in education in the Federal Government has been the recommendation by some that there might be a Federal Board of Edu
cation quite separate and apart from any department of any kind. So that when the problems and policies committee of the council has consistently taken the position that it ought to be in departmental status, it has in effect said that it does not believe that a separate, independent Federal Board of Education is a desirable thing or one that could be brought about.
Now, may I say, of course, that since May 31, 1950, when this plan which you now have before you was recommended, we, of course, have not had any further opportunity for any study of this problem. But I have taken the opportunity to communicate with members of the committee which passed these resolutions, and I feel sure as a result of those conversations that they would be entirely in favor of accepting this recommendation by the President.
Now, if I may, sir, I would like to have just a few moments to go into the arguments, as I see them, for this situation.
I am here to testify this morning in favor of the reorganization of the Federal Security Agency into a Department of Health, Education and Security. I would like to say that I arrive at that conclusion in considerable part out of my own experience and in part out of the observations which I have had the opportunity to make with respect to educational matters here in Washington, D. C.
It seems to me that it almost goes without saying that the Federal Government, the same as the State Governments, should be organized into as few major departments as is at all possible, I am sure that you are all well acquainted with the fact that at the State level there have been continuing efforts in a number of States to organize the various divisions of work into a small number of major departments. That same situation to an even greater extent is called for here in Washington, and while it may sometimes seem desirable to set up a relatively new activitity as an independent agency in order that it may have an opportunity to show the character of its work and its relative importance, it seems to me that it soon becomes evident that each of these independent agencies should be organized into the regular scheme of Federal departments. Hence, in the interest simply of good administration, it seems to me that this is a very good suggestion. I would like to say that I was in favor of the transfer of the United States Office of Education from the Department of the Interior, in which it was located at the time I was Commissioner of Education, to the Federal Security Agency, because it seemed to me that that increased the status of the Office at a time when that was extremely important. I believe our experience has shown that to be the case, because it has since that time been a major division of an agency whereas in the previous years it had always been a relatively small organization buried within a department.
May I call your attention next to the perfectly well-known fact that at the Federal level education has, especially within recent years, become increasingly important. We started out, of course, with the passage of the act setting up the United States Office of Education. Even prior to that time there had been passed what we know as the Morrill Act providing for the support of colleges of agriculture and mechanical arts in the various States of the Union. Since that time, we have had, one after the other, the passage of numerous other acts having to do with education at the Federal level. I am thinking, of course, of the GI legislation in Public Laws 346 and 16. I am thinking of the temporary housing legislation at the colleges that was necessary during the war, and recently the setting up of a so-called Science Foundation.
May I also point out that in the recent two wars, and particularly in the Second World War, we found that education at the national level was playing a surprisingly important part, because it was in the universities and colleges of the country, both public and private, and in the vocational schools of the country that a large proportion of the persons who participated in that war were prepared, sometimes in lengthy courses of study, sometimes in shorter ones. Hence, even in the area of national defense there is hardly an activity that the Federal Government engages in which is more important than that involving education.
I would like to say that a number of these activities which have been set up in recent years or which are now contemplated to be set up are being placed in various divisions of the Government quite separate and apart from the United States Office of Education. In many instances, you will find that people regret that a great deal, and I have no question in my own mind that more of that had taken place that should have taken place. On the other hand, a number of these activities are thoroughly germane to the particular divisions to which they are attached. I think no one would think, for example, of separating the function of education so far as Indian affairs are concerned from the Indian Bureau and putting it in the Office of Education. Neither do I think that anyone would ever