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The CHAIRMAN. Do you approach them in any other way except through the experiment stations!
Doctor True. That is a question difficult to answer directly. It will require explanation. We deal primarily with the experiment station, but the station is a department of the agricultural college, and the whole scheme of agricultural instruction in this country is more and more based on the knowledge which the experiment stations acquire, so that the two things go together, and it is very difficult to make a separation. In going to the experiment stations we also go necessarily to the agricultural colleges. The officers of the experiment stations are in many cases also officers of the agricultural colleges, and in that way we are able to take up matters which are of great interest to the college men as well as to the station men.
The CHAIRMAN. Do these agricultural colleges have in their curricula a preponderance of courses that relate to agriculture as distinguished from general literary training, such as you find in the curricula of other colleges ?
Doctor TRUE. The organization of the courses is quite different in the different States. In our best agricultural colleges a large number of different courses in agricultural subjects are offered to the students, and in some of the smaller colleges, with limited funds, the agricultural faculty is a small one, and they are not able to cover the subjects so broadly or so thoroughly.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any college where the agricultural subjects offered to the students preponderate in the curriculum?
Doctor True. In the general four years' curriculum it is thought best that the agricultural subjects should cover about one-third of the entire number of subjects in the course, and that is done in a good many institutions.
The CHAIRMAN. So that there is no college in which agriculture, pure and simple, preponderates!
Doctor TRUE. Well, now, I do not want to be misunderstood, and yet it is difficult to explain that without going into considerable detail. Let us take as an example one of our best agricultural colleges.
The CHAIRMAN. Where is it located?
Doctor TRUE. Take the college at the University of Illinois. There we have a college of agriculture as one of the colleges of the university, with a somewhat elaborate organization. The student attending that college would find there, I should say, 100 different courses in agriculture offered to him.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that University of Illinois a university with an ordinary literary foundation, or is it one of the organizations of the State college of agriculture and mechanic arts organized under that act of Congress under which these agricultural colleges are ordinarily organized ? That is, is the agricultural proposition one branch of a great university or is the university devoted to and organized on the foundation of the college of agriculture and mechanic arts? Do I make that plain?
Doctor TRUE. Yes, sir. The University of Illinois grew directly out of the land grant made under the act of Congress. It has now developed into a great university through State appropriations, and
is organized into a considerable number of colleges, one of which is the college of agriculture.
The CHAIRMAN. So that that university could not properly be said to be devoted to education on lines of agriculture, but it is a university made up of various branches of education, agriculture being one?
Doctor TRUE. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I suppose they have a law school and a medical branch?
Doctor True. Yes, sir; and a branch of engineering.
Mr. SAMUEL. The study of agricultural subjects is optional with the students ?
Doctor TRUE. Yes.
Mr. SAMUEL. They are not compelled to study agriculture in connection with the other studies?
Doctor TRUE. The student enters and announces his intention to pursue an agricultural course.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any agricultural college in the country that you know of, based on the act of 1862, where the teaching on agricultural lines preponderates in the curriculum? Doctor TRUE. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Has not the tendency been rather to eliminate the agricultural lines and move rather toward the general literary education which has obtained in colleges of different character?
Doctor TRUE. The history of the land-grant colleges shows that in the first place they gave their attention to the natural sciences, which at the time of their foundation were just coming into the curricula of our colleges in this country. Agriculture was not a subject which had been put in pedagogical form, and it was very difficult in those days to organize a proper course in agriculture, so that under various influences it is true that these land-grant colleges gave a larger amount of attention to the literary subjects and scientific subjects. Some of them developed very strong courses in engineering at a comparatively early day, but it is only within the past ten or twelve vears that the courses in agriculture have been put on anything like a proper basis in those institutions. The reason that they can now do that is because the agricultural experiment stations have meanwhile come in and collected data on which the courses of instruction must be founded, because, vou understand, it is not simply the practice of agriculture that is to be taught in a college of agriculture, but also the theory and science of agriculture. Now, until the experiment stations had done their work there was no science of agriculture in any complete sense as there is to-day.
The CHAIRMAN. Are these agricultural courses that have now been developed under these stations attracting their fair proportion of students to these schools, to these colleges, in your experience!
Doctor TRUE. Yes, sir; broadly speaking, I think that is so, now.
Mr. SAMUEL. Have the authorities at those agricultural colleges inaugurated the study of agricultural subjects?
Doctor TRUE. The study of agriculture is now generally encouraged in those institutions.
The CHAIRMAN. Has the percentage of students graduating from those institutions in the agricultural lines increased or decreased in the last ten or fifteen years?
Doctor TRUE. It has increased largely.
The CHAIRMAN. I would be glad if you would give offhand the percentage of increase, if you can.
Doctor TRUE. No, sir; I can not give that.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course whether that shows any work on those lines to any extent would depend altogether upon the number upon which the percentage was predicated ?
Doctor TRUE. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. You might have had two students; and if you had four now, that would be 100 per cent increase.
Doctor TRUE. One hundred per cent; yes.
The CHAIRMAN. That is, the number of students availing themselves of that course?
Doctor TRUE. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Are the students who avail themselves of that course a fair percentage of the total number of attendants on those colleges; does that course get relatively the same proportion that the other branches of the universities get?
Doctor TRUE. No, sir; I do not think, broadly speaking, that you could say that that is so, as yet.
The Chairman. Do you think that the percentage is improving in that respect ?
Doctor True. Yes; and the quality of students is greatly improving
The CHAIRMAN. From personal knowledge, so far as I have any, in connection with the Maine State University, I would say that there are a very small percentage of the graduates who take the agricultural course. Still, that is only an impression. Doctor TRUE. That is true in the State of Maine. The CHAIRMAN. That is true? Doctor TRUE. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. I was wondering whether that was characteristic of the country generally?
Doctor TRUE. It is not characteristic of the country as a whole, and particularly it is not true of the great agricultural States.
Mr. SAMUEL. Does not that same thing apply to the State college of Pennsylvania ?
Doctor True. Yes, sir; in Pennsylvania the number of students has been small. They are now, however, reorganizing that college and putting it on a much better basis, agriculturally.
Mr. SAMUEL. Has not the tendency at the State college of Pennsylvania been toward mechanics rather than agriculture?
Doctor True. Yes; that has been developed largely along engineering lines.
The CHAIRMAN. That is one of the things that is true of the Maine college !
Doctor TRUE. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. You spoke of the fund of which you have charge, in connection with the disbursements at the experiment stations. Do you mean this sum of approximately $195,000!
Doctor TRUE. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What fund do you refer to, over which you have control? By the way, that $195,000 is approximately the total of the expenditures of your department?
Doctor True. Of my office directly.
The CHAIRMAN. Under the appropriations act, by the Government?
Doctor TRUE. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. What fund is this over which you have supervision in addition to that?
Doctor True. We supervise the fund that is granted to the stations under the act of Congress of 1897, known as the “ Hatch Act." Under that act each State gets $15,000 for work at the State stations, and there are 48 States and Territories, so that the total amount.is $720,000 a year under that act.
Last year, 1906, Congress passed what is known as the "Adams Act,” for the further endowment of these stations. Under that act each State received last year $5,000, and this year is receiving $7,000, and the increase will go on in that way at the rate of $2,000 a year for each State until each receives the total amount of $15,000.
The CHAIRMAN. That will be $30,000 a year each, total? Doctor TRUE. Yes. The CHAIRMAN. You say that that fund is expended in accordance with the direction of your Bureau, or under the advice of your Bureau; which is it?
Doctor TRUE. Under the advice of my Bureau. That fund is given to the States. The stations are organized under State authority and are managed by their local boards. We come in to determine whether the Federal funds have been properly spent.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have any real control over that?
The CHAIRMAN. Does the law require your Bureau to supervise these expenditures?
Doctor TRUE. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. And advise with reference to their wisdom and propriety?
Doctor TRUE. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. In what way do you exercise that supervision? Do they consult with you in advance, or do they report to you in the end, or do you look over it from time to time?
Doctor TRUE. As regards the Hatch Act, we simply prescribe in advance the form of financial report which they shall make. Then we come in after the expenditures have been made and examine not only this report, but the books of each station. We also look over their publications and the work that is actually going on at the
station which we visit, and determine as well as we can in that way whether they are making a good use of this money.
The CHAIRMAN. That is, whether the expenditure is wise?
Doctor TRUE. Whether it is wise and whether it is within the terms of the law. If we discover that it is not within the terms of the law, then we suspend the amount which we think has been wrongfully expended, and unless the station is able to show that that has been rightly expended, and that we were mistaken, that amount is deducted from the next annual appropriation. We report that to the Treasury, and the Treasury deducts that in making the payments of next year.
The CHAIRMAN. In how many instances have you had occasion to suspend payments, if any?
Doctor TRUE. Only in a few instances. There have been a few.
The CHAIRMAN. For what purpose, for instance, were they using the money in, say, the principal instance in which you suspended payments?
Doctor True. In one instance I recall now there was a change in the director of the station. The man who went out put into the station account a considerable number of old bills. When we looked over the account we decided that those bills being bygone affairs, and not pertaining to the appropriation of the year for which we were making examination, could not be paid from that fund, and we therefore disallowed them. The amount in that case, if I remember rightly, was about $1,800.
The Chairman. You hold, then, that these appropriations are for current expenditures?
Doctor TRUE. Appropriations under the Hatch Act are annual appropriations made by Congress.
The CHAIRMAN. And you hold that they are made for current expenditures?
Doctor True. Certainly; in the appropriation of the Department of Agriculture from year to year. They are not permanent appropriations continuing.
The CHAIRMAN. Are they carried in the appropriation bills?
The CHAIRMAN. This is that appropriation of $15,000 for each State?
Doctor TRUE. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Is this additional sum that is given to each of the States also carried in the appropriation bill, or is that carried under some general law?
Doctor TRUE. Under the Adams Act.
Doctor True. That is a permanent appropriation under a separate law. But there we have more authority than in the Hatch Act, because the law expressly gives the Secretary of Agriculture the duty of administering the act. We are therefore requiring of the stations that they shall state in advance what they intend to use that money for, and we are going over very carefully this year-this being the