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can get it the way you propose here with a distinguished commission without spending millions for technical service, and then that they recommend that the main savings can be made by the Federal Government ending things that the State and county governments can do better than the Federal Government.
Then, there is a fight if you end them. And, if you do not end them, you keep on spending money.
Then, we get a new bill, and I assume the President could veto it if he wants to.
Senator LODGE. We will have several bills out of this, and he could veto them.
Senator ROBERTSON. If we get a bill through where we take this initiative to tell the President how to economize and get efficiency in the country, it would go to him
Senator LODGE (interposing). Like any other bill.
Senator ROBERTSON (continuing). And he would say, "I do not think it is a good plan; I return it respectfully with my veto."
Senator LODGE. We would pass some self-denying ordinances. We would stop some things we had been requiring him to do.
Senator FERGUSON. We would take care of that. I agree with the Senator from Virginia that a lot of these expenditures are due to deliberate policies that have been enacted into law by the representatives of the people in response to the demands of the people, but I also say that there is a lot of waste that is not doing anybody any good, and I think there is enough intelligence in this country and enough intelligence in Congress so we can cut out the waste without cutting out functions.
What burns me up is to be in the position we were 2 weeks ago when, in order to get economy, we have to cut off something vital.
Now, we do not need to be on the horns of that dilemma; I do not think that is necessary at all.
Senator ROBERTSON. You are probably right. Have you any rough estimate of what an investigation like you would like to see made would cost?
Senator LODGE. This is going to be expensive. Senator O’Mahoney's Temporary Economic Committee spent over a million dollars. I think this would probably spend as much as that.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Lodge, you will recall a week or so ago you spoke on the floor of the Senate and called attention to the report that the Navy had issued a requisition for unnecessarily elaborate tableware—that is, according to the report. The committee received a letter from the Secretary of the Navy advising us that he had directed the Bureau of Ships to reconsider all the requirements for the Navy with a view to promoting economy and efficiency. Those were not the words he used, but he directed them to requisition less elaborate and less expensive material for the Navy.
Now, it is very apparent in revising this one requisition list alone that several hundred thousand can be saved. If that is continued through the entire requirements of the Navy, it means that a good many million dollars could be saved. If that is extended to other departments of Government it means that the amount eventually would run up into an enormous sum, and this reduction in expenses would be brought about by paring down expenses here and there rather than slashing off great amounts without knowing just what destruction you might possibly cause.
Senator LODGE. You would be taking the surgeon's knife, the scalpel, rather than the meat axe.
Senator FERGUSON. It takes constant, almost daily supervision, which is the executive's duty rather than the legislative, but the executive duty is not performed by the executive. Therefore, the legislative branch has to do it.
Senator ROBERTSON. Mr. Chairman, on the subject of the Navy, it would be an interesting investigation for us to know how much the Navy followed and how much it favored following the recommendations of its management engineers. Now, they screened everybody that came in the Navy that had had any previous experience in management engineering, and they got about 75 of them, and they put them under one of the leading management engineers in the Nation, and he had the rank of captain.
Those 75 men centered their attention on economy and efficiency in the administration of the Navy during the war. Now, they were the best management engineers in the whole United States. There were not so many of them. Maybe they were getting $100,000 to $150,000 a year, but they had to come in the Navy, so they were used for that purpose.
Now, did they find out how to save money? If so, did the Navy ignore it or did they act on the suggestions?
Senator LODGE. I think that is a very interesting question, because Secretary Forrestal for one thing is intellectually interested in modern management and probably more so than most members of the Cabinet are, and he has been there longer than any other member of the Cabinet. Therefore, you come to the conclusion that the Navy is probably better than most other departments in that respect.
Yet, we have an instance such as the one that the chairman just spoke of happening in the Navy, and it just gives you an idea of how much worse it must be in some other places.
But, I must want to say this to the Senator from Virginia that I think this commission should be able to employ industrial engineers and management engineers and experts if they need to. My theory is that if this bill goes through and a commission is appointed, then one of the first things they will have to do is draw up a budget and come in and get an appropriation.
Senator THYE. Mr. Chairman, in connection with that thought, where the Government, as I observe it, is lame is in the lack of administrative responsibility with one individual agency responsible for the administrative function and the supervision of appropriations and budget.
There is no question that if such an agency superseded in this respect any other department or division insofar as that appropriation and that budget expenditure was concerned, and an unreasonable request was filed as an item of expenditure, that agency would immediately find it and call attention to it. It could say, “What is the reason for this?” And, unless a legitimate and a fair explanation were made, the item should not be allowed by that budget division or that administrative agency having the administration of the budget or its supervision.
I think that you are going to have that, and you will have to have it if you are going to have good administration and economical administration. It was for that reason I made mention of having one
individual responsible here, and the others as advisers to him because that is how you would get results in this respect.
Then, if you could carry that recommendation over into the establishment of an administrative agency within the Government that would continue to supervise the appropriations and the expenditures of appropriations that would be an administrative responsibility and the director would have to answer to the Congress because he would be under a specific law as to how he would function.
And then, the Congress would have an opportunity to determine as to how well he had supervised and administered the expenditures of all Federal appropriations.
Senator LODGE. Yes.
Senator Thys. That is where you are going to have to have supervision at the present time to set it up.
Now, I have not checked this to find out the truth of it, but I had a letter from a woman who said her husband, employed by one of the Federal departments has been forced to take a 30-day lay-off without pay because the department had exhausted its appropriated funds. She blamed the Republican majority ior this situation. I advised her to go back to the head of the agency and say that he had been a poor manager because Congress gave him a specified amount of money to run his department for the fiscal year. If now in the third quarter, the agency is out of money, it has been poor management from the very start of setting up operations for the fiscal period.
Senator Lodge. You are never going to get away from the human element. Of course, if Congress does not have confidence in the heads of these departments then we are in tough shape, because they have to be the ones that carry the primary load of responsibility.
Senator Hory. I just want to suggest to the Senator-I am heartily in accord with the purposes of your bill--but I am wondering how we are going to get around the different phases of duplication.
The other day, Chairman John Taber, chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the House, had a meeting with Senator Aiken and other members of this committee and representatives of he Appropriations Committees. He called that meeting for the purpose of discussing the responsibility which the reorganization bill, which we adopted last year, placed on the General Accounting Office. And, the Comptroller was present to point out about the various sections-two sections especially—that made it his responsibility to make all this investigation about the Government.
That was what he was explaining when Senator Robertson explained a while ago about how much money it would take and how long, and all that. At this meeting, Chairman Taber said they had employed a very
I do not remember his name. Senator THYE. Mr. Herbertson.
Senator HOEY, And, he is amassing a staff now to make investigations primarily for the Appropriations Committee covering these various departments of government and how much money they need, and all of that.
Mr. Taber's idea about it was we ought not to proceed too far on this matter of directing the General Accounting Office to proceed until it sees further about the organization which they were effecting and until they conferred with them.
Now, they are going to have a large staff. This committee-I mean if this was authorized-would have a large staff. If the General Accounting Office, under the general Reorganization Act which makes it their responsibility to proceed, would have a large staff, I was just wondering how we would manage to conduct this without having so much duplication of investigation and duplication of effort in arriving at just the facts which your bill contemplates.
I was just wondering if you had given any thought or if it could be worked out some way so there would not be all of these different agencies doing the same thing?
Senator LODGE. I think that is a very important point, Senator Hoey, and I do not think it should cause any trouble, because this Commission that I am advocating would not concern itself with the routine annual expenditures for the current and the next fiscal year. It would be taking a much more fundamental and much more fareaching view, and it ought to be a very simple matter for the chairman of this Commission to have a talk with the chairman of this other body and reach an understanding as to which each one of them would do. I do not think there ought to be any duplication at all.
Senator HOEY. Then, if this was done, this large extensive investigation under the General Accounting Office ought not to be continued if this is to be done; should it, do you think? That is not just with reference to temporary expenditures under the Reorganization Act. It places responsibility on the Accounting Office to recommendinvestigate and recommend-about all of these things with reference to the departments of government, and everything of that sort.
It seems to me that either one or the other ought not to be carried forward. That work ought not to have the General Accounting Office undertake to set up a big staff to do the same thing, and this commission get another staff working on exactly the same thing.
There ought to be some coordination brought about in some way.
Senator LODGE. They certainly ought to be coordinated, and I think they would be, Senator.
The CHAIRMAN. It seems to the chairman that a study made by experts of the Appropriations Committee and a study made by the Comptroller General's staff would apply to the executive departments of the Government as they now exist. As I understand Senator Lodge's commission, however, it would go into not the details to the extent that the Comptroller General's office would, but it might bring in a report recommending changes in the structure of the executive department itself and would make a general study rather than a detailed study.
Senator Hory. You know this Reorganization Act put that responsibility on the Comptroller.
The CHAIRMAN. And it also imposes it on this committee.
Senator LODGE. The Comptroller is a reasonable man, as we know, and I should think it would be a simple matter for the chairman of this commission to reach an understanding with him.
Senator Hory. In that connection, the Comptroller wanted this meeting for the purpose of letting Congress give him advice about it. He was not seeking to have this work done. He was just laying before the Congress the details of it and telling them about the extent and wanting Congress to instruct him as to how to proceed.
Senator LODGE. I agree with you that it ought to be coordinated.
Mr. Chairman, I shall conclude. I simply want to say this, in conclusion, that the Congress has reorganized itself, and I think now is the time to reorganize the executive branch of the Government.
I believe that in enacting this legislation this committee will be doing a very distinguished thing, which will enable it to discharge its functions even better in the future and will earn for it the gratitude of all the people in this country who think about these things.
I am told by responsible students of the problem that this kind of an investigation should make very substantial economies possible. I have heard figures of from seven to ten billion mentioned in this connection, and of course that is important, but even more important in these days of world crises and these days when so many old values are going down, is to make this Government of ours effective.
The reason why popular government is going under in so many countries of the world is because it could not give effect to the aims and aspirations of the people. It ceased to be effective.
This is an attempt to make our Government effective and thereby save and enhance popular government.
Thank you very much for this very splendid hearing.
Do I understand it is your purpose to have the other eight paid members working full time at this job?
Senator LODGE. Yes.
If not, the committee thanks you for your testimony this morning, Senator Lodge. Regardless of what legislation comes out of it, I am sure that every member has found your testimony very helpful indeed.
Senator LODGE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. It simply adds to the already great existing interest in promoting economy and efficiency in government. In fact, through the years I have been in Washington I have observed more interest in this direction in the last 2 months than I did in all the time previous to that, and I think that interest extends through the country as a whole as well as to the Congress.
We thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, there are present, I believe, Mr. Lawton, the Acting Assistant Director of the Bureau of the Budget, and Mr. Lewis Meriam, vice president of the Brookings Institution. We had hoped to get through the testimony this morning so that we might call upon you for your views on this matter at this time.
However, the discussion has been prolonged and, I am sure we all agree, interesting. It does not seem wise to attempt to start more at this time—12:15.
Will it be possible for you gentlemen to be present at 3 o'clock this afternoon?
Mr. LAWTON. Yes, sir; I can.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will recess until 3 o'clock. We are making it 3 o'clock to enable some of the members to keep previous commitments to attend other committees at 2 o'clock. Then, we will resume at 3 o'clock.
(Whereupon, at 12:15 p. m., the committee recessed until 3 p. m.)