« PreviousContinue »
self is adequate for the purpose. Before we get away too far from the statement by the Representative from California, Mr. Holifield, certainly I for one, and I express only an individual opinion, would not particularly want the special assistant to screen everything that goes on, dependent upon what you mean by "screening,” but I would want the special assistant to ventilate his views in the interest of sound medical programs so that if on the one side somewhere you have a tendency to move further and further to the socialized health field. I do want that special assistant, because of the very character of the assistant, to give the department head full benefit of his information and belief and convictions in that field.
Senator HUMPHREY. This plan is not being drawn up for one administration.
Senator DIRKSEN. That is correct.
Senator HUMPHREY. I think it is very important that we have a pretty good idea, a clear-cut idea as to the responsibilities, the obligations, the privileges and prerogatives of the special assistant in this particular area of health and medical service. It is entirely probable at some future date someone may attempt to appoint one who has different attitudes. I wouldn't want to see a precedent established through these hearings or through an interpretation of this reorganization plan that would give this special assistant medical services authority which the law does not prescribe. As I understand it, it is advisory. That is all there is to it. There is no screening. It isn't a road block in the direct relationship between the Secretary and the unit head, such as the Surgeon General or the Food and Drug Administration. Am I correct in that, Mr. Dodge!
Mr. DoDGE. I believe, Senator, that the President specifically mentioned that in his message. Also I believe it would be unreasonable to assume that a person in this position would be asked to give advice in areas that did not particularly apply to health and medical services; and insofar as some segment of the organization was involved, their services which are not directly in that area, I would assume that his advice would not be a material factor.
Senator HUMPHREY. I want to comment, too, on your expressions and comments, which I consider to be a fair and objective opinion. I have seen other medical
programs in Government where that has not always been exercised. Once
you establish a position by nomination of the President and the advice and consent of the Senate, that individual gets to be a very important person in the Government. We went through this with the Veterans Administration for years and years, and only recently has it been corrected, or rather, on the way to being corrected. I want to be quite sure we are not establishing in this department a supercommissioner of health over the Surgeon General. While this person may be the most delightful and fairminded person, at some later date we might find someone who digs back into the legislative history of his department and says, "Look, I am running
the show. I will tell you what you are going to tell the Secretary.” Our very able and charming Secretary may find herself blocked off, if somebody sets himself up in that kind of a position.
Mr. DODGE. All I can say, the language of the act has been drawn as near as possible and in general terms, so that what you are concerned about is certainly not invested in the plan presented.
Senator Smith of Maine. I would like at this point to include in the record, if I may, Mr. Chairman, the provision under the Reorganization Act having to do with abolishing and creating of new functions. Without objection, it will be included unless someone wants to have it read. It will go in the record as it is taken from the Reorganization Act.
(The provision is as follows:)
SEC. 3. Whenever the President, after investigation, finds that
(1) the transfer of the whole or any part of any agency, or of the whole or any part of the functions thereof, to the jurisdiction and control of any other agency; or
(2) the abolition of all or any part of the functions of any agency; or
(3) the consolidation or coordination of the whole or any part of any agency, or of the whole or any part of the functions thereof, with the whole or any part of any other agency or the functions thereof; or
(4) the consolidation or coordination of any part of any agency or the functions thereof with any other part of the same agency or the functions thereof; or
(5) the authorization of any officer to delegate any of his functions; or
(6) the abolition of the whole or any part of any agency which agency or part does not have, or upon the taking effect of the reorganization plan will
not have any functions, is necessary to accomplish one or more of the purposes of section 2 (a), he shall prepare a reorganization plan for the making of the reorganizations as to which he has made findings and which he includes in the plan, and transmit such plan (bearing an identifying number) to the Congress, together with a declaration that, with respect to each reorganization included in the plan, he has found that such reorganization is necessary to accomplish one or more of the purposes of section 2 (a). The delivery to both Houses shall be on the same day and shall be made to each House while it is in session. The President, in his mes.sage transmitting a reorganization plan, shall specify with respect to each abolition of a function included in the plan the statutory authority for the exercise of such function, and shall specify the reduction of expenditures (itemized so far as practicable) which it is probable will be brought about by the taking effect of the reorganizations included in the plan.
Senator SMITH of Maine. Also, I would like to ask unanimous consent to include as exhibit B, following the comparison sheet which is already in the record, a partial list of the executive positions and authority for establishing such positions. If there is no objection, it will be included in the record at the point requested.
(To be inserted following comparison sheet.)
The CHAIRMAN. Under this new Department, will the functions of the Food and Drug Agency, which determines what percentage, for example, of mold goes into processed food, be superseded? Will this new Department have jurisdiction over that function of the Food and Drug Agency?
Mr. Donge. I assume so, insofar as it is already under the jurisdiction of the present Agency.
The CHAIRMAN. Of Food and Drug?
The CHAIRMAN. May I ask the Senator a question? The Senate has under consideration legislation to transfer some of the functions of the Food and Drug Agency to the Agriculture Department, has it not?
Senator HUMPHREY. No; the Senate Agriculture Committee at the present time is making an investigation of what is known as the second phase of the Food and Drug Administration investigation into grain elevators for the purity of wheat used in the manufacture of flour.
The CHAIRMAN. That answers it, I think. As I understand it, the House of Representatives has under consideration similar legislation.
Senator HUMPHREY. That is correct.
? Mr. HILLELSON. I have no questions.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Miller of New York, do you have any questions? Mr. MILLER of New York. No questions. My question was answered. The CHAIRMAN. Senator Dirksen, do you have a question?
Senator DIRKSEN. Before we get away from Mr. Dodge's answer, I want to be sure about the clarity of the record on this point. The question was whether the Special Assistant would have jurisdiction. He would have jurisdiction only insofar as he advised on the health and medical aspects of a problem that may go back to the Food and Drug Administration, but he would assume or exercise no administrative jurisdiction over it.
Mr. DODGE. That is correct. The CHAIRMAN. Who will determine, for example, what percentage of mold will be tolerated in the processing of berries?
Mr. DODGE. I am not technically competent to answer that question. The CHAIRMAN. Do you know?
Senator DIRKSEN. I would give this offhand answer, that if that situation is turned up by the investigators of foods and drugs, certainly there will be an investigation. All the scientific data will be adduced on that point, but surely in a Department of this kind it will at least come to the attention of the Special Assistant for such observation and such opinion as he may want to render, and that opinion, of course, would be rendered to the Secretary. It might go to the head of the Public Health Service, to the Food and Drug Service alike, because that would be a very proper routing of information of that kind.
The CHAIRMAN. I had in mind a decision of the Supreme Court with reference to the inspection in a processing plant.
Senator DIRKSEN. I think, and we ought to have the record clear, and perhaps Senator Humphrey could answer it, and that is with respect to a physical condition as it relates to grain as between the impurities of one kind and another that come into stored grain. It is hardly a therapeutic question. It is something that could be determined without scientific test.
Senator HUMPHREY. I do not think we need belabor the point. I think Mr. Dodge has made his position quite clear that it is not contemplated there will be any jurisdiction in this or anything else.
Mr. DODGE. Except that the act is contemplating giving advice in the medical field.
Senator SMITH of Maine. It must be remembered that the rules of the House Committee are that each member is to be given 5 minutes and then come back and finish later on.
It is thought of the committee that we recess at 12 o'clock and come back at 2 o'clock in the hope that we can complete the hearing this afternoon. I only mention that at this time before we go on. Will you go on, Mr. Chairman?
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. St. George, do you have a question?
Mrs. ST. GEORGE. As I understand Mr. Dodge, the Secretary has the power to consolidate and to abolish functions under the law; is that correct; and under the Reorganization Act?
Mr. DODGE. No; she cannot abolish functions under the act. That was discussed earlier.
Mrs. St. GEORGE. Under section 3 of the Reorganization Act it states:
(2) The abolition of all or any part of the functions of any agency; or
(3) The consolidation or coordination of the whole or any part of any agency, or of the whole or any part of the functions thereof, with the whole or any part of any agency or the functions thereof.
That is in Public Law 109 of the 81st Congress, which I take it is in the Reorganization Act.
Mr. DODGE. Yes, if it is proposed in the plan, but it is not proposed in the plan.
Mrs. St. GEORGE. The plan calls for it.
Senator SMITH of Maine. Are there any further questions, Mrs. St. George?
Mrs. ST. GEORGE. No further questions.
Senator Smith of Maine. Senator Symington, do you have any questions?
Senator SYMINGTON. No questions.
Mr. Dodd. Has this plan been submitted to the Hoover Commission ?
Mr. DODGE. The Hoover Commission is not functioning at the moment.
Mr. Dond. I know that.
Mr. DODGE. But it was submitted to the Special Committee on Organization, headed by Mr. Nelson Rockefeller.
Mr. Dond. I understand that, but did you get the comments and opinions of the members of the Hoover Commission on that?
Mr. DODGE. One of the functions of the special committee was to review the Hoover Commission plans and embody whatever recommendations were considered appropriate.
Mr. Dod. Do you know whether that subcommittee sought the advice of the Citizens Committee?
Mr. DODGE. Not that I am aware of.
Mr. DODD. Am I correct in my understanding that the Hoover Commission was not, according to its recommendation, in favor of the appointment of a special assistant or medical adviser ?
Mr. DoDGE. That I don't know, sir.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. It is completely out of line with the Hoover Commission recommendation.
Mr. Dond. That is my understanding. Any proposal like the appointment of this special assistant is wholly objectionable to the Citizens Committee. All these good people, the Hoover Commission people and the Citizens Committee people, have been against it.
Senator SMITH of Maine. Did you hear the telegram from President Hoover this morning?
Mr. Dodd. I couldn't hear it.
Senator Smith of Maine. May I state that President Hoover endorses the plan 100 percent as it is before us?
Mr. Dopd. My question and my thought is this; that all these people, as far as I know, and I was a member myself and chairman of the Citizens Committee in Connecticut, were always opposed to anything of this kind and this was the sort of thing we were trying to correct, and now you come up with a plan that we didnt want to have any more of. The question is, How does that happen?
Mr. DODGE. The answer is that this plan was developed according to what were believed conditions appropriate to the present circumstances.
Mr. Dawson of Illinois. I think the answer to your question is seen in the activities of those sponsoring this plan when they went before the American Medical Association and pointed out to them that “We will give you this sop
if you don't oppose us.” And that was shown by the results of their meeting.
Mr. HOLTZMAN. Mr. Dodge, throughout the past years, there has been a great hue and cry against bureaucracy. "Would you say that this was a better way to reduce the bureaucracy that has come about over the past years by adding something which was not recommended by the Hoover Commission?
Mr. DODGE. I don't think it is material from that standpoint, the reduction of bureaucracy, a staff of some 37,500 people in this agency.
Mr. HOLTZMAN. You have an extra Under Secretary, and under the 1950 plan you would have eliminated the Surgeon General; is that correct?
Mr. DODGE. I think there is a substitution, not an elimination.
Mr. HOLTZMAN. Under the 1950 plan the office of Surgeon General would have been abolished. Now, would you say this is a good way to reduce the bureaucracy?
Mr. Dodge. I don't think actually that the elimination of one position is a complete answer to that question.
Senator Smith of Maine. Have you completed ?
Mr. McDonough. As I visualize this plan, raising the Administrator to Cabinet status is going to emphasize the importance of that office greatly in the minds of the public. In my opinion, there is no
, office at the present time in the Cabinet that affects as many people so intimately as this office, especially so far as social security and oldage insurance is concerned. Can you inform the committee what the public can expect in the way of improved efficiency as a result of this change?
Mr. Donge. As I said earlier, the improvements are subsequent to the establishment of a broader and higher level administrative and executive staff. That is the first move in any business in attempting to get more efficiency, better service, lower costs.
In this particular type of an effort we have to begin there as we do in a private enterprise. The actual measurement will be the product of the efforts of the new Administrator and the new officials of the Department.