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has authority to put certain departments into being and the Congress having so many days to veto the proposal.
Since there is some-well, it is unusual for anyone to have to set his own wages. It is a problem for some Members of Congress to do it, even though they think it should be done and want it.
In fact, back in 1955, when we passed the salary increase up to $22,500, some Members opposed the increase and actually wanted it to pass. In fact, I sat in the cloakroom and one of the Members said, "Thank God it lost.” He was glad Congress did overrule his recommendations not to pass the increase.
Is there anything that could be done or has the bar association given thought to the possibility we could set up some Commission to automatically set the salaries of Members of Congress? We have the wage board to set the wages of blue collar workers so it is not without precedent that some other branch sets wages.
Mr. SEGAL. We had given thought to that in 1950, 1951, and 1952. We came up with this idea of having a nonpartisan Commission, drawn from among leaders in agriculture, labor, business, and the professions, which could do two things with the aid of the American Bar Association and the other organizations the association would gather together.
The first was to have an objective, noncongressional appraisal of what the salaries should be, so that the Congress would not appear to the public to be acting at its own whim concerning its own salaries, Instead, it would have a careful, objective study and the considered recommendations of a disinterested group of leading citizens upon which to found such increases.
Second, there would be the public discussion and support inspired by the Commission's hearings, periodic public statements as its work progressed, and finally its report including its recommendations. Also, there would be a continuous education of the public by the Commission and by the American Bar Association.
Both of these hoped for benefits eventuated.
I might say that some of us studied the effect on the Members of the Congress of their having voted for these last increases. I remember a meeting I had, as Commission Chairman, with leaders of the Senate and of the House. Speaker Rayburn, of beloved memory, told us that when he first came to Washington, the salary of a Congressman was $7,500.
He said that Congress raised the congressional salaries to $10,000. When he came home, his niece said, “Uncle Sam, do you think they will send
you back to Congress after you raised your own salary?” Mr. Rayburn added that having more confidence in his niece's political hunch than his own political sagacity, he became worried. He wondered what he would find in his mail. There was one letter signed jointly by three friends. This is what it said: "Dear Sam, what a fool you were. As long as you were doing it, why didn't you make it $1,000 a month?"
In the campaign, first thing off the bat, his opponent chided him for having raised his own salary. This was at a smoker in a small Texas town.
Congressman Rayburn replied in colorful language which I won't quote verbatim here. In general, Mr. Rayburn's reply which he said
was appropriate at a Texas smoker ran along these lines. "When the salary was $7,500, my opponent chose to stay in Texas. He wasn't interested in going to Washington then. Now that the salary is $10,000, he suddenly becomes interested in the job. Well, I was willing to go to Congress at $7,500. I would have been willing to go at $5,000. I shall be delighted to receive $10,000."
He never heard the subject mentioned during the rest of the campaign.
Senator Kefauver was chairman of the Senate subcommittee considering the legislation and our committee's report. I seem to be talking of great men who have passed on. Senator Kefauver was in the limelight. He conducted the bearings and came out foursquare for increase of $10,000. That was the year be came up for reelection. Senator Kefauver certainly did not suffer in the election because he was one of the leaders in securing favorable action on the legislation for increases in congressional and judicial salaries.
I say with conviction that I do not believe there was one Member of the Congress who was seriously affected in his reelection campaign because he had done his duty in this way nor in my opinion would the situation have been different had the Congress enacted the full increases recommended by the Commission.
Mr. BROYHILL. In my campaign I said facetiously on a previous occasion that those Members who feel their constituents would not support them in advocating a pay increase should not be required to accept the pay increase if voted.
I am not certain it would not be a good idea to put it in the act, those Members of the Congress who feel they are not worth the increase, or their consitutents
don't feel they are worth it, or they don't want it, they don't have to take it. They can turn it down and go back to $22,000 or work for nothing.
The CHAIRMAN. Any other questions?
Mr. Pool. I have one observation to make. The bar association mentioned it can act on this by lawyers educating the people back home and people locally, which would be very helpful. Bring the public up to date on what this is all about.
There is a problem of a fellow making $5,000 or $6,000 a year, and when you talk about $35,000 a year it sounds like a lot of money to him. After all, the public does comprise our bosses. We are the one group under him-not the Federal judges or Federal employees but Members of Congress. There is the difference.
Mr. CRAIG. I might say it has been the policy of the American Bar Association, when it has been in favor of legislation pending before the U.S. Congress, to alert State and local bar associations with respect to the proposed legislation and the position of the American Bar Association and to urge activity on the part of such associations in support of that legislation. We would do that in this instance.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, gentlemen.
Mr. CRAIG. May I say in behalf of the American Bar Association we greatly appreciate the opportunity to appear before you this morning and to express our views.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. It has been a great pleasure to have you with us.
The next gentleman to appear before us will be Mr. Woodrow Jones, president of the National Association of Stabilization and Conservation Employees, New Boston, Tex., accompanied by Mr. Clyde R. Payne, secretary-treasurer, Jasper, Fla.
STATEMENT OF WOODROW JONES, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ASSO
CIATION OF STABILIZATION AND CONSERVATION EMPLOYEES,
Mr. Jones. I am Woodrow Jones, president of the National Association of Stabilization and Conservation Employees.
We realize the time of this distinguished group is most valuable. In order to consume as little time as possible I will ask that the brief statement that I filed for your consideration be made part of the record and I would like to take a moment so that you might recognize the people who are with us this morning.
Of course, we have Mr. Payne, our secretary-treasurer, and Mr. Nelson Barker, of North Carolina, our vice president, and Mr. Warren, of Louisiana, who is the chairman of our legislative committee, and also Mr. Durham, who is the president of our Louisiana State Association. They are here with us this morning.
The CHAIRMAN. We are glad to have you gentlemen here.
Mr. JONES. We know you have access to the very best of data and we trust the wisdom of your group implicitly in the analysis of this data.
We thank you for being generous to us in the past when we appeared before you. We will ask you to treat us exactly as you have in the past.
(Mr. Jones' statement follows:)
STATEMENT OF WOODROW JONES, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ASCS
COUNTY OFFICE EMPLOYEES, (NASCOE) Mr. Chairman and distinguished committee members, my name is Woodrow Jones. I am president of the National Association of ASCS County Office Employees. We commonly refer to our organization as NASCOE. Mr. Clyde R. Payne, our secretary-treasurer, will furnish you some facts and statistics on our association, its officers and membership in his statement which follows.
We have appeared before this committee on numerous other occasions and I want to thank you for the consideration you have given us each time. It is indeed a distinct pleasure to avail ourselves of the opportunity and the privilege of expressing our view on the proposed legislation.
We want to commend this committee, the Congress, and the executive branch for their good judgment in providing, in last year's Salary Reform Act, for a continuing study of the Federal pay structure by comparing it with compensation in business and industry. Pay levels comparable with those in competing fields will provide a means that will enable government to retain its trained and efficient employees. In the past our ASCS offices have faced the constant problem of seeing trained people leaving service in our administration of your farm programs to take positions in business and industry where pay scales and fringe benefits were more attractive. You have provided a means that will make it possible for us to keep these people if you can see fit to continue the comparability feature you have initiated.
Our views on the amount of increase needed at this time coincide with those that feel that the lower paid employees should also receive increases justified by the most recent data available which includes consideration of the very latest salary scales in industry. However, the good judgment of your committee is most highly respected by all in our organization and our willingness
to accept your decision on the amount of the increase is assured. You have sufficient reliable data and we know that your analysis will be correct and in the best interest of everyone.
We feel it is most important that you specifically include ASCS county office employees in any legislation that you approve. All our duties evolve either from congressional action or U.S. Department of Agriculture directive but sometimes in the past we were not recognized as having Federal functions. I think, in our earlier appearances, we have established to the satisfaction of this distinguished committee that all our duties are Federal-not State or county-in administering the farm programs in the field that have been provided for by the Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If you do not specifically include us in the legislation that you approve, you will be making our ASCS offices not only subject to unfair competition from business and industry but also our sister agencies of Government. During the years prior to the time this committee saw fit to recommend that our people be included under the civil service retirement program, it has been estimated that some 40,000 people who had been employed by our offices had moved to other Government employment to say nothing of the number leaving to go into other work. Unless you include us in your action we will again face this type of employee loss. Your farm programs provide a service to agriculture of which we feel you are proud and we hope you will help us retain our trained people to continue to give good service.
It is our understanding that some of the proposals being considered at this time provide specifically that our ASCS people be treated the same as other Government employees. In the event your committee approves any pay raise for Federal employees we beg you to provide that the rates of compensation of persons employed by the county committees established pursuant to section 8(b) of the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act (16 U.S.C. 590H(b)) shall be increased by amounts equal as nearly as practicable to the increase provided by this act for corresponding rates of compensation in the appropriate schedule or scale of pay. We are asking that we be given the same consideration that you were nice enough to give us when enacting Public Law 86–568 and last year's Salary Reform Act.
I wish again to express our appreciation for the courtesies you have shown us and the opportunity of appearing before this committee to explain the position of our organization on this proposed legislation.
Mr. JONES. I think Mr. Payne has a very short sentence he would like to pass on to you at this time.
The CHAIRMAN. We shall be glad to hear from Mr. Payne.
STATEMENT BY CLYDE R. PAYNE, SECRETARY-TREASURER OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIA
TION OF AGRICULTURAL STABILIZATION AND CONSERVATION SERVICE COUNTY EMPLOYEES (NASCOE)
I am Clyde R. Payne, Hamilton County ASCS office manager, Jasper, Fla., and secretary-treasurer of the National Association of ASCS County Employees.
The National Association of Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service Employees (NASCOE) is a voluntary organization of county agricultural stabilization and conservation service employees—hereafter referred to as ASCS employees. Approximately 90 percent of ASCS employees are members of NASCOE. The sole purpose of this organization is to promote the welfare of its members. Each State of the United States, except Alaska and Hawaii, has a State organization of ASCS county employees and is affiliated with NASCOE. Each State affiliated with NASCOE has two members on the board of directors. NASCOE has national officers and an executive committee representing the six ASCS geographic areas of the United States and the past president is, also, on the executive committee. They are:
Northwest area : Jerry Rees, Spokane, Wash.; southwest area: R. L. Christensen, Red Bluff, Calif.; southcentral area : Joy Flud, Durant, Okla.; southeast area : R. L. Carpenter, Hartwell, Ga.; northeast area : W. L. Jones, Segreganset,
Mass.; middle west area: Ray Vanderhorst, Bussey, Iowa; president, Woodrow Jones, New Boston, Tex.; vice president, Nelson Barker, Trenton, N.C.; secretarytreasurer, Clyde R. Payne, Jasper, Fla.; past president, C. T. Norris, Marks, Miss.
All officers, committeemen, etc., are ASCS employees with no salaried personnel but we do have on a retainer basis Mr. Dillard B. Lasseter, Post Office Box No. 381, Washington, D.C., who keeps us advised on legislative activity and assists us in legislative work.
The Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service employees carry out various Federal programs assigned to them by the Congress, Secretary of Agriculture, Executive orders, etc. The headquarters for ASCS is in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Building, Washington, D.C. There are, also, State and county ASCS offices who administer only Federal programs. County, city or State governments have no connection with the national, State or county level of ASCS.
ASCS employees on county level administer directly to farmers of the United States a great number of the complex USDA farm programs, such as the soil bank, agricultural conservation, marketing quotas (tobacco, cotton, wheat, peanuts, and rice) commodity credit loans, wool incentive payments, sugar, feed grain, etc. This is practically all the action programs of USDA.
Previously this committee has determined and the Congress agreed-and we ASCS employees shall always be grateful to you-we, the ASCS employees on the county level, would have retirement, health, and life insurance previously given to other Federal workers and you included us in your last two pay adjustment bills. Today, we are before you representing our appoximately 15,000 county ASCS employees asking you to include ASCS county employees in any pay raise bill you deem advisable to submit to the Congress. We ask for no special favors in the various salary proposals you are considering. We only ask you to treat us like you do other Federal workers and from past experience we know you will do this.
We do not desire to make suggestions on the amount of upward salary adjustments for the various grades. It is realized the higher grades of employees in Government, especially in executive jobs, and Members of Congress need upward salary adjustments. The amounts, etc., for these people is something we are not familiar with and can make no recommendation, but we feel we can speak for the people in the lower grades of employees and particularly in county ASCS offices. These people are underpaid for the responsibilities they have and we feel upward salary adjustments are in order for them to meet the rising cost of living. We must increase salaries for these people or lose them to private industry.
We urge passage of salary adjustment legislation which takes in consideration the people in lower classifications and we feel the Morrison or Olsen bill does an adequate job in this respect.
The 15,000 ASCS employees thank you for your consideration and again ask you to be sure we are in any salary adjustment legislation you recommend.
Mr. PAYNE. My three pages merely state, “Please include county ASCS employees," with any pay legislation that might come up.
That will summarize it.
Mr. Pool. I want to tell Mr. Jones I appreciate his appearance here. He is from Texas. He also brought me good news today that they had good rains in east Texas. I hope we get some in southwest Texas. We are having trouble there.
The CHAIRMAN. Questions?
The next witness is Mr. James W. Raffensperger, national president, National Society of Federal Engineers, Scientists, and Allied Professionals. He is accompanied by Mr. Edward G. Batty, executive secretary, and Mr. James J. Cliggett, president-elect.