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Mr. BROWNLOW. We are not suggesting what the legislative committee should do or should not do in their wisdom. We have said in the report, with respect to the service, if the Government is going to get the services of able people--you cannot go all the way in competition with private business—but we thought, as we said in the report, there should be better compensation for the people in those higher administrative positions, and since we do it in the report it is also carried into the bill.
Representative COCHRAN. Do you not think it would be more advisable for the legislative committee of the House and Senate to handle that question rather than this committee ?
Mr. BROWNLOW. Perhaps it would be. We were concerned, in the drafting of the bill only in getting into bill form what was in our report. We are not presuming to advise the legislative committee on what procedure they should adopt in their consideration of the report, or this tentative bill as another facet of the report.
Representative COCHRAN. In other words, if the bill only applied to increases for the higher positions and it should reach the floor, amendments would be offered to take care of those in the lower bracket, and you would have a very hard time to keep the amendments from being tacked to the bill, so before you got through you would have a bill raising the salaries of all Government employees rather than a reorganization bill, you had better remember that.
The CHAIRMAN. You might just as well recognize the fact that the increase proposed in salaries of Cabinet officers and bureau heads, and certain other groups of important employees means an increase all down the line, and a substantial increase at that. In my judgment the Congress could not, with due regard for the entire salary system and classification system, increase a few salaries without reviewing the entire subject, and it would be unconscionable to do so. You could not say, "We will give a bureau head $15,000 a year," and then say to another man that he must work for $1,440 a year.
My judgment is, and I have said that before, as you will recall, Mr. Brownlow, that it is a great mistake to confuse the question of increases in salaries with the question of reorganization.
Mr. BROWNLOW. That was the point.
The CHAIRMAN. Whenever you do it the salary question becomes the controlling consideration, by reason of the general public interest in the subject.
Mr. Brownlow. On the theory you just set forth, it could be treated entirely separately.
Senator BYRNES. Or forgotten.
Mr. BROWNLOW. I cannot quite say that ultimately it ought to be forgotten without stultifying ourselves.
Senator BYRNES. May I ask one question? You made a statement that in your opinion it would take 2 or 3 years to make an investigation to determine the bureaus that should be merged. Did I understand you correctly?
Mr. BROWNLow. Yes. Senator BYRNES. Why? Mr. BROWNLOW. Because it would require intensive study of each of them that would be affected, and I do not think it could be done in less time. I say 3 years—perhaps 2 years—but it would take a considerable length of time. Now, in the work that has been done in cities and States, it took 18 months or 2 years even in the State, where a much smaller establishment is necessary, for the type of survey that these services should receive.
Senator McNARY. I haven't read the provisions of your bill; it would probably take me a day to do so, but probably it is a good bill. Have you been given carte blanche in these expenditures and in making these allocations of these bureaus and divisions of Government quite apart from the provisions established by the Congress?
Mr. Brownlow. Those expenditures are set up and this bill follows almost exactly in the language of the Economy Act of 1932 or 1933.
Senator McNARY. The President can take from one department and place in another department any division of the Government he desires ?
Mr. BROWNLOW. Yes.
Mr. BROWNLOW. Just as he had power under the old bill, with certain exceptions. It is the langauge of the other bill.
Senator O’MAHONEY. Senator McNary, in answer to your question let me read from the bill.
Senator McNARY. Yes; I would be very glad to have it.
Whenever the President, after investigation, shall find and declare that any transfer, retransfer, regrouping, coordination, consolidation, reorganization, segregation, or abolition of the whole or any part of agency, or the functions thereof, is necessary to accomplish any of the purposes set forth in section 1 of this title he may, by Executive order:
a. Transfer or retransfer, the whole or any part of any agency, or the functions thereof, to the jurisdiction and control of any other agency ;
b. Establish any agency to receive the whole or any part of any other agency, or the functions thereof, and this shall include the power to establish Federal corporations and direct that such action be taken as may be necessary to effect the transfer to any such corporation of the assets and liabilities of any federally owned and controlled corporation or corporations and empower any such Federal corporation to exercise such functions as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes for which the federally owned and controlled corporation or corporations were established ;
c. Regroup, coordinate, consolidate, reorganize, or segregate the whole or any part of any agency, or the functions thereof: or
d. Abolish the whole or any part of any agency, or the functions thereof, and this shall include the liquidation and dissolution of any federally owned and controlled corporation in accordance with the laws of the United States, or of any State, Territory, or possession of the United States (including the Philippine Islands), or the District of Columbia, under which such corporation was organized; and
e. Perscribe the name and functions of any agency transferred, retransferred, established, regrouped, coordinated, consolidated, reorganized, or segregated under this title, and the title, functions, tenure, and method of the appointment of its head, or of any of its officers or employees.
Senator McNARY. Thank you. That seems to be the heart of the matter. I do not think you would need much more legislation if you carry that out. What is the need of Congress considering any other provisions of the bill ?
Mr. BROWNLOW. That does affect the regrouping of the operating agencies. That does not affect the fiscal or personnel, managerial agencies, independent auditing, and the other features of the report. There are very few changes there. It follows exactly the line that Congress has twice adopted. It is just the same old bill. The changes—I haven't the original text with me—are so as to facilitate one or two things. For instance, you have got a lot of federally owned corporations that are now under State charter. This would put them under Federal charter.
Senator McNARY. Just let me ask you this as a matter of personal enlightenment. You recommend the Departments of Conservation and Public Works. Is there a clear line of demarcation between the activities of those two organizations?
Mr. BROWNLOW. This is not a definite, clear line, as there is not between many of the groups of organizations that we have. The clarity of that line eventually, over a period of years, would be determined only after research into what are the necessary divided functions that are now in a particular bureau, and putting somebody in one and somebody in another.
Senator McNary. I was speaking of that, you know, just because in the last year Congress has decided upon a new venture in looking after flood control as a national problem. Formerly it was limited to the Mississippi River, maybe to the Sacramento River, where we are putting in dams, impounding the waters, holding them back. That is public work; that is conservation.
You might say the same thing in the development of power. We are now building huge dams at tremendous expense, on some navigable streams; we impound the water for reclamation, for domestic uses, or navigation. There is a lot of work going on like that.
I am interested to know whether, in your opinion, or the opinion of your associates, if there is any clear line of division between conservation and public works when you come to major projects and a great Government work of that kind ?
Mr. BROWNLOW. I think it would vary with respect to the particular work. It might very well be, even in these other large things, that the Department of Public Works might be the constructing agency, and possibly another department the operating agency thereafter.
Senator McNARY. Now, I am not arguing with you, I am just getting your view, but if you are attempting to simplify government, effecting retrenchments, what is the use of having the departments of public works and conservation ?
Mr. BROWNLOW. The Department of Public Works has a direct connection with what we conceive the conservation of resources, but there are such public works as the highways, for instance, which are of a different character.
Senator McNary. I do not know. They lead to these projects; they lead to the national parks; they lead to our great forests. There is a very intimate connection between highway construction, public works, and conservation, as far as that goes.
Mr. BROWNLOW. Of course, in one way you can look at that very closely, when it comes to actual operation and the use of the different type of organization that you need, but sometimes there is a great difference between construction and operation, because you need a different type of organization, even when they all have one single, general, ultimate purpose.
Senator McNARY. I do not want to take more than my time in arguing this, but did the President review this bill that you have now, that is part of our record ?
Mr. BROWNLOW. We showed it to him.
Mr. BROWNLOW. The President has not specifically said anything to me personally about the details of the bill. We said we had a bill that carried out the same things that we had in the report, and I cannot undertake to speak for the President.
Senator O'MAHONEY. The President did not recommend the bill in his message, did he?
Mr. BROWNLOW. No, he makes no specific recommendation.
Senator O'MAHONEY. So the President has not sponsored this particular measure.
Senator HARRISON. Our people are vitally interested in flood control along the Mississippi River. Always the Army engineers have had control of those public works. It would be very disheartening to them if a Public Works Department should be created and it should be found, under the bill, impossible to let this particular character of work be carried on by the Army engineers. Would your bill keep that from being done?
Mr. BROWNLOW. Under our bill, even if carried on as public works, they could bring the Army engineers to do the work.
Senator HARRISON. They could assign to the Public Works Department Army engineers to carry on river and harbor work?
Mr. BROWNLOW. Yes.
Mr. BROWNLOW. In fact that was one illustration that the President used in his press release on this measure. You can use the skill of the Army engineers in a great many cases.
Senator BYRNES. There is no difference in what you have drafted and the legislation that was reported by the Senator from Mississippi in the committee back in 1933 ?
Mr. BROWNLOW. No, we just followed the same line.
Senator McNARY. Now, let me read this from page 60 of your report [reading]: The Department of Conservation.
To advise the President with regard to the protection and use of the natural resources of the Nation and the public domain.
To administer the public lands, parks, territories, and reservations, and enforce the conservation laws with regard to public lands and mineral and water resources, except as otherwise assigned.
Now, that language contemplates a transfer from the Department of Agriculture to this Conservation Department of the great forests of the country, does it not?
Mr. BROWNLOW. It could, or it could not be assigned that way.
Mr. BROWNLOW. It does not say anything specifically about this at all.
Senator McNary. You consider this just as a recommendation!
Mr. BROWNLOW. The only thing that the bill has about any department at all is with reference to the two new ones.
Senator McNARY, I am speaking of a new department, the Department of Conservation.
Now, let me say this to you: For a great many years there has been some controversy between the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture with respect to the control of the
public domain, we will say the forests. Personally I have taken a great interest in the forest service staying with the Department of Agriculture. One-half the State of Oregon is Government-owned, and one-third of it is in national forests. They have done a complete job, and I would oppose any change from that policy, taking from the Department of Agriculture and placing in any other department the forests of this country.
This whole scheme places the national forests, all the mineral resources, in one department of conservation, as you call it. That is what you recommend. I haven't read the provisions of your bill, it probably carries this idea out.
Mr. BROWNLOW. The provisions of the bill do not go as far, because we do not have a set-up about all the departments.
The CHAIRMAN. Some discussion developed this morning on the subject of proposed increases in salaries, such proposals being carried in the report. I think it has been disclosed that there is a general feeling on the part of the committee that that controversy ought not to be injected into this legislation. Everyone with whom I have talked entertains that view. Hereafter in the hearings, if it meets with the approval of the committee, we will omit discussions of the question of salaries, at least until some further necessity arises.
Senator BYRD. I second the motion.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any objection to meeting in the morning at 10 o'clock? The Chair hears none. We will meet at 10 o'clock in the morning
A BILL To provide for the reorganization of agencies of the Government by transfer,
retransfer, regrouping, coordination, consolidation, segregation, and abolition, to extend the merit system, to reorganize the auditing and accounting functions of the Government, to establish the Departments of Social Welfare and Public Works and the National Resources Board, to change the name of the Department of the Interior, and for other purposes
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled.
POWER TO REORGANIZE AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT
DECLARATION OF STANDARD
SECTION 1. The President shall investigate the organization of all agencies of the Government including the agencies established or affected by this Act, and shall determine what changes therein are necessary to accomplish any of the following purposes:
(a) To improve the effectiveness of administrative management of the Government;
(b) To reduce expenditures to the fullest extent consistent with the efficient operation of the Government;
(c) To increase the efficiency of the operations of the Government to the fullest extent practicable within the revenues;
(d) To group, coordinate, consolidate, reorganize, and segregate agencies and functions of the Government, or any part thereof, as nearly as may be, according to major purposes :
(e) To reduce the number of such agencies by regrouping or consolidating those having similar functions under a single head, and by abolishing such agencies or such functions, or any part thereof, as may not be necessary for the efficient conduct of the Government;