« PreviousContinue »
“Nowhere in our American Government do we have a fact-finding body which approaches the prestige of the British royal commissions. We have had some notable commissions of inquiry but 'by and large, the experience and tradition of the British royal commissions are lacking in the United States' (Frankfurter, Felix, the Public and Its Government, pp. 162–163.) Dimock pointed out the need for commissions of specialists with only a small portion drawn from the legislative body to find facts and study basic problems (Dimock, Marshall E., Modern Politics and Administration, pp. 149–150.) Royal Commissions, according to W. F. Willoughby, are recognized as one of the most effective means for the handling of complicated questions requiring legislative action and the harmonizing of conflicting interests' (Willoughby, W. F. Principles of Legislative Organization and Administration, Washington: Brookings Institution, 1934, pp. 586-587.) Royal commissions have been criticized as well as praised, but their tradition now is established not only as effective fact-finding devices, but as catalysts in major social conflicts (Webb, Sidney and Beatrice, Methods of Social Study, New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1932, p. 45. Smith J. Toulmin, Government by Commissions, Illegal and Pernicious, London, S. Sweet, 1849.)
“What stands in the way of the development of a similar instrument of government in the United States? Court decisions have recognized that Congress has a broad authority to create commissions. There is little doubt that Congress can engineer as broad an investigation as any royal commission. One difficulty with legislative commissions, however, is that in the United States they have exhibited a 'definitely partisan and political bias alike in their membership, their proceedings, and their reports.' (Clokie, H. M., and Robinson, J. W. Royal Commissions of Inquiry, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1937, p. 21.) Not only are legislative commissions set up for personal or partisan motives, but such commissions tend to be overloaded with congressmen and scarce on experts.
“A second difficulty in the United States in the development of any fact-finding instrumentality similar to the royal commission can be traced to the principle of the separation of powers. In England, royal commissions bear a relationship to the executive and to the legislature which cannot be duplicated in a compartmentalized government like our own. The Cabinet is either the master or the servant of Parliament. The two can never be at odds for long. No royal commission operates without the actual or implied consent of Parliament; no royal commission would be suggested by the Cabinet unless Parliament would approve. In the United States, Congress is free to have its own commissions but lacks both the tradition and the perspective for great success. The President can, within limits, engineer his own investigations but proposals for legislation which may grow out of such investigations may be met by an indifferent Congress—made so perhaps by reason of the feeling that the President has encroached on a legislative prerogative."11
GEORGE B. GALLOWAY,
Advanced Research Section. JANUARY 31, 1947.
The CHAIRMAN (continuing). Now, Senator Lodge is the principal witness this morning. There are representatives of the Budget Bureau and I believe someone from the Brookings Institution here, but Senator Lodge, will you proceed with your discussion of this bill?
STATEMENT OF HON. HENRY CABOT LODGE, JR., UNITED STATES
SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS
Senator LODGE. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I am very grateful to you for giving me this hearing, and I appreciate having such a fine attendance on the part of this committee.
I am not familiar with the appraisal of the Library of Congress to which the chairman refers and so cannot comment on it. I do not know what their view is, and it may be that after I have read it I might want to file a letter with the committee, or something of that kind.
11 Marcy, op. cit., pp. 4-5.
The CHAIRMAN. I am not sure all the members of the committee read it either, Senator. I am sure one of them has not. Senator LoDGE. As far as the letter from the Bureau of the Budget. is concerned, I am glad to see the statement made that if the bill is enacted the President will extend his full cooperation to see to it that the objectives are to be attained. There is a statement in this letter, which is a mere assertion and is made without any proof at all or without adducing any evidence, that “if past experience with methods generally similar to those contemplated by the present bill is a valid gage of its probable results, a substantial degree of success cannot be expected to attend the efforts of the proposed Commission.” Now, I do not know to what they refer. I would be interested to know on what basis that statement is made. The CHAIRMAN. A representative of the Bureau of the Budget is here and will probably be willing to explain that. Senator LoDGE. Yes. Well, I think that is an important enough assertion so that it ought to be supported by some proof, because the method which is embodied in this resolution is one that has been very successful in many, many cases, as we all know. The CHAIRMAN. The Chair thinks that that explanation might well come at the conclusion of your testimony. Senator Lodge. Yes. Senator RobHRTson. I have not seen the letter, but no doubt it refers to the numerous previous efforts of the Congress to put through a reorganization plan, but I do not believe any of them were exactly along the basis you are proposing. Senator Lodge. Yes; I think that is very true. Of course, I agree with this statement of the Budget Director that organization is not a one-time effort and a single report, and this resolution of mine in no way forecloses a constant review and a constant study of this subject. In fact, it is going to be my contention, which I hope to demonstrate to you, that the work of a Commission of this character will facilitate a continuing control through this committee of the organization of the government. Now, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I have quite a concise statement here. Some people were kind enough to offer to me to testify in behalf of this bill, but I recognized how busy you all are and I felt that the argument for this thing could be stated in a succinct fashion, although, of course, there is no limit to the examples that can be given for the need of such a survey. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, I am not going to ask you to hear any witnesses in my behalf, and I will simply make this statement of my own, - This does not appear to be a very colorful or very dramatic subject, but the more I think about it the more I feel that there is no piece of legislation before this Congress that surpasses this one in importance, and, if you leave out maybe some legislation on the foreign situation I don’t think there is any piece of legislation before this Congress that equals this one in its far-reaching effect and its possibility for good in strengthening this Government and making it effective in terms of its relationships with its own citizens and in making it effective in its relations with the outside world.
First of all, I want to read a few figures into the record to show the need for a reorganization of the executive branch of the Government. I was told sometime ago that the President of the United States had 90 high officials who reported directly to him. Well, that seemed like an awful lot. Then, I started looking into it, and I was advised that there are actually 150 members of boards and commissions, 15 heads of departments and major agencies, 5 people in the Executive Office of the President, 7 people in the White House staff proper, 11 persons in those emergency agencies which are still functioning, and 3 persons pertaining to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who all have direct access to the President of the United States.
In order to be complete, I should add to that list The Tax Court of the United States, certain offices of the District of Columbia, members of the International Boundary Commission, and all ambassadors ministers, and personal representatives of foreign governments.
Now, of course, we know that some of those people have a purely nominal amount of reporting to do. But, even if you allow for that and cut it down, it still is probably true that there are 90 officials having important functions who have to report direct to the President of the United States.
Senator FERGUSON. Senator, have you seen the chart on the President's wall in his office showing those w.ho should report? The large .chart?
Senator LODGE. No; I have not.
Senator FERGUSON. As I understand, if they were reporting for a period of 30 minutes it would take him 3 months.
Senator LODGE. Well, there you are.
Senator FERGUSON. Three months to get his report in from those that are to report directly to him.
Senator LODGE. Well, I am very glad that you mentioned that, Senator.
I notice that some of you here have been governors of States, and all of you have had active and successful experiences in business endeavors or have been in the armed services, and you know very well that in any human undertaking which is going to function with efficiency, the number of people to whom the head man has to talk has to be much smaller than that.
When General Eisenhower was commanding the ground invasion of Germany he talked to three people. He talked to Field Marshal Montgomery who had the northern group of armies. He talked to General Bradley who had the central group of armies. He talked to General Devers who had the southern group of armies. That was an efficient set-up.
You find that same principle carried out in any other human under: taking where one person has to exercise control and supervision over a great many others.
Then, we know the way this bureaucracy still is mushrooming and still growing.
Senator Byrd, who is I think an admitted authority on this question of economy and overlapping, stated recently, and I quote:
The conclusion iş inescapable that the cessation of hostilities has brought little reduction in the tremendous war expansion of the Government. It is inconceivable that the departments and old line agencies extended to 777 component parts at the height of the war should now need to expand still further to require
920 principal component parts. There is no justification for having 1,200 field offices in New York, 1,000 in Chicago, and over 500 each in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, to mention only a few.
Senator McCARTHY. May I interrupt, Senator?
Senator McCARTHY. I think you will find this committee will unanimously agree with you that there is definitely a need, an immediate need, for reorganization. The question that will occur, I believe, to quite a number of us, is whether we should appoint a special commission to do that or whether that should be done by this committee on expenditures or the House Committee on Expenditures, or perhaps by joint action of both committees.
As we understand the reorganization bill, this committee is given that definite job to do.
Senator LODGE. Yes.
Senator McCARTHY. Now, the question, I think, will arise in our minds as to whether it can better be done by the type of commission that you suggest or whether it can be better done by this particular committee.
Senator LODGE. I realize that that isSenator McCARTHY (interposing). I just wanted you to know that. I believe from our conversations we all quite heartily agree that there is tremendous need for reorganization. The question is how can we best do it.
Senator LODGE. I quite agree with you, and I would say
Senator McCARTHY (interposing): I might point this out so you have it in mind as you go along. You have not read this report, I understand, nor the staff's memorandum on the report which we received. If you do not mind, I will call it to your attention. No. 4 is that such commission would amount to the same thing as a committee of Congress and is thus a contravening of the reorganization of Congress under Public Law 601.
Seantor LODGE. Who makes that statement, Senator?
Senator McCARTHY. This is the Library–no, this is the staff memorandum.
Senator LODGE. I totally disagree with that.
Senator McCARTHY. I am merely reading this so you will have it in mind as you testify.
Senator LODGE. I am very glad you are.
Senator McCARTHY. The House and Senate Committees on Expenditures in the Executive Departments might well jointly undertake such a study or special joint committee might be established. These are alternative suggestions. Another choice would be not to create a new committee but let both existing committees continue as at present and rely on them to work out reorganization and economy and efficiency measures.
Senator LODGE. Who did you say was the author of that statement? Senator McCARTHY. This is merely our staff memorandum.
Senator LODGE. I think you put your finger on the most important question involved in this thing, and, of course, I will come to it in a few minutes.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand you are covering this later in your testimony.
Senator LODGE. Yes; I am covering it, because that is the heart of this whole thing. Should we do it this way or through the standing committees of Congress?
Senator O'CONOR. In fairness to the staff, I think the memorandum is just a pointing out of any possible argument on one side or the other. It is no definite conclusion.
Senator FERGUSON. It is more of a suggestion of questions involved. Senator O’CONOR. That is right.
Senator LODGE. I am not criticizing the staff. I welcome those questions, because I think this is so important we ought to go into it thoroughly, and we ought to be sure we are doing it the right way, If this resolution of mine is not the right way to do it, let's not do it.
Senator McCarthy. I am not expressing an opinion here. I do not know. I am merely raising the questions that are currently in my mind so you may have those in mind as you testify.
Senator LODGE. am very glad you did, and I will come to that and try to deal with it, I hope, to your satisfaction.
I just would like to go on for a moment with just a few facts to show the need for this kind of a study. The annual pay roll of the executive branch approximates 674 billion dollars. This is 1% billion dollars more than the entire Government spent for all purposes in 1933. The executive branch now employees more people than all the State, city, and county governments of the entire 48 States.
Now, I would like to just make one quotation from Representative Wigglesworth who in the House of Representatives is a great student of this problem. He quotes the Comptroller General as saying there are no less than 29 agencies lending Government funds, 3 agencies insuring deposits, 34 engaged in the acquisition of land, 16 engaged in wildlife preservation, 10 in Government construction, 9 in credit and finance, 12 in home and community planning, 10 in materials and construction, 28 in welfare matters, 14 engaged in forestry matters, 4 in bank examinations, and 65 agencies engaged in gathering statistics. There are in many
StatesRepresentative Wigglesworth saysmore Federal employees than there are State employees. Excluding Army and Navy, there are more Federal employees on the pay rolls today than there were on VJ-day. The Comptroller General of the United States has recently reported the loss of many billions, particularly in connection with cost-plus contracts, renegotiation, and contract termination. He has castigated the procurement agencies of the Government for laxity and lack of ethical standards. He reported the Maritime Commission in War Shipping Administration failed to account properly for over $8,000,000,000.
Then, he points out what we are facing in the immediate future: That it is proposed to appropriate $947,000,000 as compared with an actual appropriation this year of $723,000,000 for the Department of Agriculture; $264,000,000 as compared with $194,000,000 for the Department of Commerce; $313,000,000 as compared with $272,000,000 this year for the Department of the Interior. All these amounts are up.
111 million as compared with 99 million for the Department of Justice; 352 million as compared with 295 million for the Post Office Department. And so it goes through the independent agencies, Civil Service Commission up from 12 million to 12 million 7, Federal Communications Commission up 5 million 5 to 7 million 3; Federal