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(Witnesses: True, Zappone.)
Doctor TRUE. Yes. Mr. ZAPPONE. That must of necessity be so on account of the scientific nature of the work that they are conducting. They alone would have the necessary data in connection with that work.
Doctor TRUE. Yes.
(At this point Mr. Littlefield left the committee room and Mr. Samuel assumed the chair.)
Mr. SAMUEL (in the chair). Are there any duplications in your office of the work in any other Bureau?
Doctor TRUE. I do not know that there are.
Mr. SAMUEL. Do you conduct your investigations along the same lines as those of the other Bureaus or is your work corroborative or is it in a distinct line?
Doctor TRUE. The work which we do is in a distinct line.
Mr. SAMUEL. Will you please simply explain in your own way the work which your bureau does?
Doctor True. Speaking first of our relation to the agricultural stations, it is our business to determine whether the Federal funds given to those stations are properly spent. In order to determine that we prepare for the Secretary schedules for reports on those expenditures, and the stations are required to keep their books in such manner that they can make up their accounts according to those schedules. They are also required to keep vouchers properly made out and marked to show what their actual items of expenditure are under the appropriation acts. Our representatives then annually visit each station and examine the books and determine whether the expenditures have been in accordance with the law, and on the basis of such examination we report to Congress annually regarding each station. In connection with those visits of inspection we hold conferences with the officers of the stations and in some cases with the boards of trustees, and advise them regarding matters relating to the organization of the stations, their buildings, and equipment and lines of work.
Mr. SAMUEL. Are those the stations of the United States Government or of the States?
Doctor TRUE. Those are stations established under State authority in connection with the so-called land-grant colleges, and they receive as endowment from the Federal Government grants of money from vear to year under the so-called Hatch and Adams acts.
Mr. SAMUEL. Are those stations State agricultural colleges ?
Doctor TRUE. The stations are organized under the Federal law as departments of the agricultural colleges.
Mr. SAMUEL. Then they are separate from the State agricultural colleges established by the State ?
Doctor True. No, sir. They are departments of those colleges. Mr. SAMUEL. Of those colleges?
Doctor True. Yes, sir. Now, of course, I have not gone over all cur work, but simply one of the most important features of it.
Mr. ZÁPPONE. I think, Mr. Chairman, you wish Doctor True to speak only of the experiment stations at this time, do you not?
Mr. SAMUEL. Yes, sir.
(Witnesses: True, Zappone.)
Mr. ZAPPONE. You do not wish him to speak of the other work performed by his office at this time?
Mr. SAMUEL. I would ask you to give us a statement as to your work at the State experiment stations.
Doctor TRUE. I have now outlined our inspection service. Besides that we act as a sort of clearing house or exchange bureau for all the stations throughout the United States, conducting correspondence on their behalf with them and with similar stations organized in some 50 countries of the world. We collect the publications of all the stations in this country and throughout the world, and on the basis of those publications we issue publications of our own, summarizing the results of the work done everywhere. Those publications are of two classes. One is the technical class, in which we put the methods and results of experimentation in a scientific way for the benefit of the workers in all our stations and in the Department of Agriculture. Our principal publication of that class is a monthly journal called “ The Experiment Station Record,” which is undoubtedly the most complete summary of the work of agricultural experiment stations and kindred institutions that exists in any country. This journal is made up on the basis of work reported to us by more than a thousand institutions.
Mr. SAMUEL. Directly under your Office ?
Mr. SAMUEL. And you use these reports in the making up of this journal!
Doctor TRUE. Yes, sir. And it serves, as you can readily see, as a great time saver for the men who are engaged in the investigations in the different stations and also in the Department.
Mr. SAMUEL. How is it a time saver?
Doctor TRUE. The literature on the different subjects embraced in this journal is very extensive. We receive, for example, some 1,600 periodicals at the Department giving accounts of such work. Those are in 10 different languages. We go all over those and summarize them in convenient form. Besides that there are probably 1,500 reports of the experiment stations in this country and abroad, and of the Department of Agriculture, which are also summarized in this same publication. You can see that a man working in any particular line at a station would have the greatest difficulty in keeping up with that enormous mass of original publications. But by looking over our journal from month to month, which contains these brief, clear summaries of the work, he can select such things as he desires to look up in detail, and he can also at the same time get a pretty clear view of the progress of work in his own specialty simply by reading our journal. Mr. SAMUEL. How many copies of that journal are printed? Doctor True. Our present edition is 6,500. Mr. SAMUEL. Who receive it?
Doctor True. It is sent to the libraries of the agricultural colleges and experiment stations, to about 250 other libraries in the United States, and all the scientific staff of the Department of Agriculture and of the agricultural colleges and experiment stations. It is also sent abroad to a large number of institutions with which we are in
correspondence and from whom we receive information which we put in the journal.
Mr. Samuel. Have you evidence that it is appreciated by those people?
Doctor True. Yes, sir; we have many evidences that it is.
Doctor True. Perhaps one of the best evidences of its appreciation in this country would be found in the records of the Association of the Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations, where the journal is from time to time discussed. I think you will find there clear evidence that they desire that we should make that journal very complete, and in fact do more than we do at present. The criticism which they make about our work is that our abstracts are too condensed, especially those which are taken from publications in foreign languages.
Mr. SAMUEL. Not enough in detail ?
Doctor TRUE. Not enough detailed. We feel that we are not able to give more detail under present conditions. We are doing all we can with the funds put at our disposal.
Mr. SAMUEL. How many pages do you have in each issue?
Doctor True. Each issue is limited to 100 pages, and we issue 12 or 13 numbers annually. Each volume carries a very complete subject index, so that you can see that if a man has a set of those journals he has a very complete index to all the work of that kind that is done anywhere in the world.
Mr. SAMUEL. Is this journal used as an authority at those colleges ?
Doctor TRUE. Yes, sir. It enters into the work of the professors and students in colleges as well as that of the station men, because there they can find information on any subject connected with such work.
Mr. SAMUEL. Have you any authority to increase the number of pages beyond 100, if you desire to?
Doctor True. Under the general printing law the Department of Agriculture can not increase the publication beyond 100 pages unless it cuts down its edition to 1,000 copies. That would be entirely insufficient in the case of this journal. The operation of that law is unfavorable to such a publication, because it entails what seems to us unnecessary expense--that is, if we were allowed to publish an irregular number of pages—sometimes it might be 95 and sometimes it might be 125—it would not be as much labor to make up the journal. Now, we have to calculate as closely as we can, in the first place, how many pages it is going to make, and then we have to put in or cut out when the proof comes to us, and that involves labor on our part and expense on the part of the Printing Office.
Mr. SAMUEL. How many persons have you employed in the preparation of this journal for the printer?
Doctor TRUE. There are ten men who work on that journal, though no one of them spends all his time on it.
Mr. SAMUEL. They have other duties besides that, have they?
Mr. SAMUEL. What other publications have you, and please outline their scope and usefulness?
Doctor True. The second class of publications is of a popular character and is included in the general farmers' bulletin series of the Department. There we are making what may be called a record of the practical results of the experiment-station work. This is done in order that the farmers throughout the country may be acquainted with the results of experiment-station work done in the several States. These bulletins, as you know, are very largely distributed by Members of Congress, and last year we issued about 2,000,000 copies of such publications, this being about one-third of the entire farmers' bulletin issue of the Department of Agriculture.
(At this point the chairman returned to the room and resumed the chair.)
The CHAIRMAN. Does that include all your leading publications? Doctor True. Those are the leading classes of publications.
The CHAIRMAN. Do those in any sense duplicate any of the publications prepared by the Department of Agriculture?
Doctor TRUE. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Do they treat of the same subjects that are treated by other bureaus? Doctor True. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. When they treat of the same subjects, in what respect are they differentiated from the other publications?
Doctor TRUE. They are merely brief summaries. For example, in the Experiment Station Record we make a brief notice of each of the Department publications. That may be simply a statement of its contents or it may have in addition a very brief summary of the gist of that publication.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there occasion for publications of that character?
Doctor TRUE. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the occasion? That, in a sense, would look like a duplication. Explain the necessity for publications such as you issue.
Doctor TRUE. I am speaking now of the Experiment Station Record, which I have already described during your absence from the
The CHAIRMAN. In some respects, then, that duplicates work already done; or is it simply a notice of work already done?
Doctor TRUE. It is a notice of work already done. The CHAIRMAN. It is a sort of editing and summarizing? Doctor True. Yes. Somebody has called it a “glorified index.” That is put up in volumes with a subject index, so that when a man has a set of that journal running over a number of years he has an immense amount of information readily available. Of course every lawyer will appreciate that. It is like his books of reference to law cases.
The CHAIRMAN. I wish you would explain, as briefly as you can, the methods of the work of your Department with these experiment stations—that is, so that we can understand exactly what you do and how you do it and why your work is necessary in addition to the work done by the representatives of the other bureaus in collaboration with the stations.
Doctor True. That I have already explained to a certain extent in your absence. We are charged with the supervision of the Federal funds given to the experiment stations, and under the law the Secretary must make up the schedules for those expenditures through our office, and we send those out and get the reports. In addition to that we make a personal inspection of the books of the experiment stations, sending a representative to each station once a year for that purpose. In connection with those visits we hold meetings of the station staff, and in some cases we have boards of trustees which meet together, and we go over then the general business of the station and make suggestions regarding the strengthening of their organization and work, their equipment and buildings—any matters relating to their business that seems to be pertinent. In this way we exert a very great influence over the stations, though we have very little absolute authority over them. I think you can see how that may be so. We have a limited supervision of their funds. We do not have anything to do with the appointments on their staffs.. That is done by the local boards, and the lines of work are determined by the local boards. But from our general knowledge of the work that is going on in this country and abroad, by going to the stations and talking to their men and explaining to them what is done at other places and bringing up any point of weakness in their work, we are very often able to help them to strengthen the work and make it better. To do that we must of course employ a certain number of men of broad training and experience along these lines, so that we may have the confidence and esteem of the people with whom we deal. Therefore we do not employ inspectors, in the ordinary sense, but a few of our principal officers make these visits. I go myself a good deal, and a few of my best and most experienced men make these visits.
I dislike to speak of my own work in any commendatory way, but
The CHAIRMAN. State it in your own way, and state the facts; that is legitimate.
Doctor True. The evidence will show—and I will be very glad to have the committee bring in the representatives of the stations for that purpose—that our work has had a very great influence in the building up and the improvement of the station work.
The organization of the agricultural colleges varies greatly in the different States; it corresponds in a way to the general differences in the educational status of the States. At the outset there was therefore great difficulty in many places in getting the right idea regarding the work of these stations as departments of the colleges.
Mr. SAMUEL. Do you think they have the right idea applying to agriculture in those State colleges ? Doctor Trus. In many of them they have.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have anything to do with the colleges, or is it the experiment stations connected with the colleges with which you have special collaboration?
Doctor TRUE. We have to do with the colleges as well; indirectly, and yet in a very important way.