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PRINTING AND BINDING OF CONGRESSIONAL DOCUMENTS.
COMMITTEE ON EXPENDITURES IN THE
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., January 5, 1907. The committee met this day at 9.30 o'clock a. m., Hon. Charles E. Littlefield in the chair.
Present: Messrs. Littlefield, Samuel, and Flood.
The CHAIRMAX. Gentlemen, inasmuch as this is the first time that this committee has met for the purpose of doing any work, unless there is objection I think it may be well enough to have stated, as part of the record, the provisions of the law, the only provisions of the law that have reached my attention or been called to my attention, in relation to the reports of the Department of Agriculture in connection with their expenditures. They are as follows:
In 1878 the Statutes at Large, volume 20, page 203, contain this paragraph :
The Commissioner of Agriculture shall present a detailed statement of the manner of the expenditure of this sum, to accompany his estimates to be presented at the next regular session of ('ongress.
And on March 3, 1885, chapter 338, Statutes at Large, it was provided :
And in addition to the proper vouchers and accounts for the suns appropriated for the said Department to be furnished for the accounting officers of the Treasury the Commissioner of Agriculture shall, at the commencement of each regular session, present to Congress a detailed statement of the expenditure of all appropriations for said Department for the last fiscal year.
In this connection also it may be well to have the rule of the House under which this committee acts appear in the record, and that is as follows:
POWERS AND DUTIES OF COMMUTTEES.
All proposed legislation shall be referred to the committees named in the preceding rule, as follows, viz: Subjects relating,
42. The examination of the accounts and expenditures of the several DepartInents of the Government and the manner of keeping the same; the economy, justness, and correctness of such expenditures; their conformity with appropriation laws; the proper application of public moneys; the security of the Government against unjust and extravagant demands; retrenchment; the enforcement of the payment of moneys due to the United States; the economy and accountability of public officers; the abolishment of useless offices; the reduction
or increase of the pay of officers, shall all be subjects within the jurisdiction of the nine standing committees on the public expenditures in the several Depart. ments, as follows:
43. In the Department of State: to the Committee on Expenditures in the State Department;
44. In the Treasury Department: to the Committee on Expenditures in the Treasury Department;
45. In the War Department: to the Committee on Expenditures in the War Department;
46. In the Navy Department: to the Committee on Expenditures in the Navy Department;
47. In the Post-Office Department: to the Committee on Expenditures in the Post-Office Department;
48. In the Interior Department: to the Committee on Expenditures in the Interior Department;
49. In the Department of Justice: to the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Justice;
50. In the Department of Agriculture: to the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Agriculture;
51. On Public Buildings: to the Committee on Expenditures on Public Buildings.
In addition to this rule this committee thought it wise to have a special additional resolution on the part of the House, which may well appear here:
Whereas no examination of the expenditures in the Department of Agriculture has been made by the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Agriculture for a number of years and such an examination is now necessary in the interest of the public service; and
Whereas said examination can not be had by said committee unless authority therefor be conferred upon said committee: Therefore,
Resolved, That the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Agriculture is hereby authorized to examine, so far as the Department of Agriculture is concerned, all of the matters referred to in paragraph 42 of Rule XI of the House of Representatives, and for that purpose it may send for persons and papers; and said committee is authorized to employ a competent stenographer while conducting said examination and to sit during the sessions of the House, and to report the result of its examination with any recommendations to the House.
Any expenses incurred hereunder to be paid from the contingent fund of the House on the certificate of the chairman of the committee and approval of the Committee on Accounts.
Learning that under the legislation hereinbefore quoted the Secretary of Agriculture had been making reports to each regular session of Congress, and learning also that as a rule these reports had been published as public documents, I have made inquiries of the Public Printer for the purpose of ascertaining what the expense of such publications has been from time to time. In reply I have received from him a letter under date of May 11, 1906, giving the cost of printing and publication up to and including House Document No. 448 of the Fifty-ninth Congress, which letter may become a part of the record :
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE,
Washington, D. C., May 11, 1906. SIB: In compliance with your verbal request, I have the honor to give below the estimated cost of printing 1,850 copies each of the documents named by you: House Miscellaneous Document No. 154, Forty-ninth Congress, first session
$357. 05 House Miscellaneous Document No. 20, Forty-ninth Congress, second session.
House Miscellaneous Document No. 122, Fiftieth Congress, first session
662. 55 House Executive Document No. 104, Fifty-first Congress, first session
800. 25 House Executive Document No. 35, Fifty-first Congress, second session
772. 15 House Executive Document No. 55, Fifty-second Congress, first session
1, 091. 85 House Executive Document No. 14, Fifty-third Congress, second session
1, 697. 80 House Executive Document No. 8, Fifty-third Congress, third session. 1, 465. 40 House Document No. 25, Fifty-fourth Congress, first session -- 1, 519. 35 House Document No. 26, Fifty-fifth Congress, second session.
1, 782. 30 House Document No. 23, Fifty-fifth Congress, third session..
1, 747. 10 House Document No. 173, Fifty-sixth Congress, first session
1, 912. 10 House Document No. 29, Fifty-sixth Congress, second session.
2, 014. 25 House Document No. 29, Ffty-seventh Congress, first session.
2, 227. 10 House Document No. 31, Fifty-eighth Congress, first session.
3, 542. 20 House Document No. 256, Fifty-eighth Congress, third session.
3, 873, 20 House Document No. 48, Fifty-ninth Congress, first session.
a 4, 753. 60 Copies of the publications mentioned above submitted by you are returned herewith. Very truly, yours,
Chas. A. STILLINGS,
Public Printer. Hon. C. E. LITTLEFIELD,
House of Representatires, W’ashington, D. (. The following resolution was also adopted, conferring additional authority upon the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Agriculture, March 19, 1906 :
Resolved, That the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Agriculture be authorized to have such printing and binding done as may be required in the transaction of its business.
That is found on page 3976 of the Congressional Record, volume 40, Part IV, Fifty-ninth Congress, first session. STATEMENT OF MR. JOEL GRAYSON, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DOCU
MENT ROOM OF THE HOUSE. (The witness was duly sworn by the chairman.)
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have charge of the document room, Mr. Grayson?
Mr. Grayson. No; Mr. Sumner has, but I have charge of it when he is not here, all through the summer. He is the superintendent, but I have charge of the document part of the work.
The CHAIRMAN. How long have you been there?
Mr. Grayson. I have been in the document room since 1881. 1. have been in the Government service since 1875.
The CHAIRMAN. Calling your attention to Document 448," Expenditures in the Department of Agriculture," I want to inquire how many copies of such document are printed by the Printing Office?
Mr. Grayson. Of this the regular number is 1.854.
The CHAIRMAN. That would cover documents of that character during the last session of Congress and during the preceding Congresses up, say, to the Forty-ninth Congress?
Mr. GRAYSON. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. How many copies of such documents are forwarded to or deposited with the document room of the House ?
a The total cost, including all binding, etc., was $5,305.96.
Mr. Grayson. Four hundred and twenty copies of a House document; 360 of a Senate document.
The CHAIRMAN. The “Expenditures in the Department of Agriculture" is, however, a House document, is it not?
Mr. Grayson. Yes; but it does not necessarily follow that all the expenditures are House documents. Some are referred to the Senate. Whichever body gets them first prints them.
The CHAIRMAN. Does the Senate committee get any report from the Department of Agriculture, so far as you know?
Mr. Grayson. No, sir; I do not think they do. The Chairman. So that the public documents which consist of * Expenditures in the Department of Agriculture " would be House documents?
Mr. GRAYSON. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. And they would be reports that would be referred to the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Agriculture and then printed?
Mr. GRAYSON. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know how they have been printed—under general order or by special direction of any officer of the House?
Mr. Grayson. İ think they have been printed under a general order. There was a law for it, at least up to that time. I do not know whether that law has been changed or not.
The CHAIRMAN. Could you give the committee any idea of the extent of the use that is made of this public document? That is, how many are taken out and distributed!
Mr. GRAYSON. I do not think, Mr. Littlefield, that we have calls for over 15 or 20 at any time.
The CHAIRMAX. And from whom do those calls mainly come?
Mr. Grayson. Mostly from the Department, or from newspaper people who are trying to get something.
The CHAIRMAN. Your judgment, then, is that 15 or 20 copies would be practically all the use that has ever been made of this document since the Forty-ninth Congress?
Mr. GRAYSON. Yes.
The CILARMAN. What is done with the balance of the 420 copies that are filed in the document room?
Mr. GRAYSON. Up to last year we got the full number. Now, this year, as you will see there submitting printed tabulation], we get 50 copies.
The CHAIRMAN. That is, since 1905 you get only 50 copies of the detailed “ Expenditures in the Agricultural Department ?
Mr. GRAYSON. Yes, sir. This shows it. It is 1.851. I thought I had it 1.850. The usual total number is 1.854.
Mr. SAMUEL. That is the number printed?
The CHAIRMAN. Prior to the last session of Congress you were getting 420 copies?
Mr. GRAYSON. Yes; of everything that came in.
The Chairman. Four hundred and twenty copies out of a total of
Mr. GRAYSON. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And now you are getting in the document room 50 copies out of a total of 1,100?
Mr. GRAYSON. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. So that there is now being printed as a House document 1,100 copies of the detailed statement of " Expenditures in the Department of Agriculture?”
Mr. GRAYSON. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And you say there have never been more than 15 or 20 calls for that document since the Forty-ninth Congress?
Mr. GRAYSON. Yes; and sometimes there has been no call, unless it is from some newspaper men. Last year, for instance, there was an inquiry in regard to it—in regard to Mount Weather. That was gotten up for the newspapers. There is a little demand for that.
The CHAIRMAN. What is done with the copies not called for?
Mr. GRAYSON. Under the act of Congress, under the direction of the Committee on Accounts, we have authority to go into this matter. It is thrown out, and put in the waste paper and sold, and the money put in the Treasury.
The CHAIRMAN. That is, copies over 15 or 20 are sold for waste paper ?
Mr. GRAYSON. Yes; it goes into the waste paper sale.
Mr. Flood. You say prior to the past year they printed 1,854 copies and last year only 1,100?
Mr. GRAYSOX: Yes, sir.
Mr. Grayson. It was brought about in this way: I went to the Committee on Printing and complained of this stuff being printed and being left down in the room there rotting and
The CHAIRMAN. You called their attention to it as being perfectly useless?
Mr. GRAYSON (continuing). Yes; they saw it themselves, packed away in the vaults and water getting in on it. It would come in there one day and be thrown out the next. It was absolutely useless. They got together and formed this table sindicating printed tabulation)
The CHAIRMAN. And reduced the numbers?
Mr. GRAYSON. Yes. They said we could make an order, if we found that any document was called for, and they could print it and put it back on the press.
Mr. Flood. Did you state to them that only 15 or 20 copies were called for?
Mr. GRAYSON. I think I put down the number of each document in blue lead pencil.
Mr. Flood. Why, then, did they still order so large a number?
Mr. Grayson. They did not interfere with the reserve at all. That would be interfering with books that belong to you Members of Congre-s.
It would take a law to do that, just the same as taking them out of the folding room. The committee is a joint committee. They have power to change, but I do not think if it was insisted on they could cut any of it out. It was simply done to save money.
The CHAIRMAN. As I understand it, there has been no affirmative change of law, but the committee have undertaken to make a regulation and reduce the amount of printing?