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CLARENCE CANNON, Missouri, Chairman CLIFTON A. WOODRUM, Virginia
JOHN TABER, New York LOUIS LUDLOW, Indiana
RICHARD B. WIGGLESWORTH, Massachusetts MALCOLM C. TARVER, Georgia
WILLIAM P. LAMBERTSON, Kansas JED JOHNSON, Oklahoma
D. LANE POWERS, New Jersey J. BUELL SYNDER, Pennsylvania
J. WILLIAM DITTER, Pennsylvania EMMET O'NEAL, Kentucky
ALBERT E, CARTER, California JAMES M. FITZPATRICK, New York CHARLES A. PLUMLEY, Vermont LOUIS C. RABACT, Michigan
EVERETT M. DIRKSEN, Illinois JOE STARNES, Alabama
ALBERT J. ENGEL, Michigan JOHN H. KERR, North Carolina
KARL STEFAN, Nebraska GEORGE H. MAHON, Texas
FRANCIS CASE, South Dakota HARRY R. SHEPPARD, California
FRANK B. KEEFE, Wisconsin BUTLER B. HARE, South Carolina
NOBLE J. JOHNSON, Indiana ALBERT THOMAS, Texas
ROBERT F. JONES, Ohio JOE HENDRICKS, Florida
BEN F. JENSEN, Iowa MICHAEL J. KIRWAN, Ohio
H. CARL ANDERSEN, Minnesota JOHN M. COFFEE, Washington
HENRY C. DWORSHAK, Idaho
WALTER C. PLOESER, Missouri
MARCELLUS C. SHEILD, Clerk
SUBCOMMITTEE ON LABOR DEPARTMENT AND FEDERAL SECURITY APPROPRIATIONS
BUTLER B. HARE, South Carolina, Chairman MALCOLM C. TARVER, Georgia
ALBERT J. ENGEL, Michigan ALBERT THOMAS, Texas
FRANK B. KEEFE, Wisconsin CLINTON P. ANDERSON, New Mexico H. CARL ANDERSEN, Minnesota
561 A6 Y8 V.13
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR-FEDERAL SECURITY AGENCY
APPROPRIATION BILL FOR 1941
HEARINGS CONDUCTED BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COM-
MONDAY, APRIL 12, 1943.
PROCEDURE ON CONDUCT OF HEARINGS
Mr. Hare. We have met this morning to begin hearings on the
It will be the purpose of the chairman, during the course of these hearings, to expedite them as much as possible.
We have been allotted time nearly 3 weeks less than we had last year for the same scope of hearings.
I hope that members of the committee will endeavor to limit their observations as much as possible, consistent with efficiency, and I hope further that in the justifications that are presented and in our discussion of them, we attempt to withhold our inquiries until after the witness has completed his or her general statement.
Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Chairman, I agree absolutely that we ought to limit our observations as much as possible. On the other hand, while I agree that we should try to expedite these hearings as much as possible, I do not believe we ought to try to expedite them to the point of depriving any member of the fullest opportunity of cross-examination of a witness on any material point. I do not think that is the chairman's purpose. Mr. HARE. Certainly not.
We are anxious that every opportunity be given to justify any appropriation request, and I am sure the committee will ask for sufficient justification before it acts on any appropriation estimate,
Mr. Engel. Of course, the purpose of the hearing is to bring out all the facts.
Mr. HARE. Certainly,
We will now proceed with the consideration of the estimates for the Department of Labor.
STATEMENT OF HON. FRANCES PERKINS, SECRETARY OF LABOR;
ACCOMPANIED BY JAMES E. DODSON, CHIEF CLERK AND BUDGET OFFICER; JOHN R. DEMOREST, CHIEF, DIVISION OF BUDGETS AND ACCOUNTS
Mr. HARE. We have with us this morning the Secretary of Labor. Madam Secretary, we should be very glad to hear from you any statement you would like to make with reference to the activities of your Department during the past year.
Secretary PERKINS. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I must apologize to you for a matter which is not at all within our control really, in that our budget is not complete. That is because of changes which have been necessary in various activities aimed at the prosecution of the war. We have a number of supplemental budget applications which are still before the Bureau of the Budget. We regret that.
This budget represents only the straight budget of the Department, without any of the supplemental items. These supplemental items add up to considerable amounts. We do not know, of course, the extent to which the Budget Bureau will approve them, but they will probably be before you in their proper form shortly.
Mr. HARE. Do you anticipate that these supplemental estimates will be available to this committee before we complete these hearings?
Mr. Dodson. We hope they will be. We expected to have them up here this morning. We thought they would come through last Friday.
Secretary PERKINS. We aimed at having them ready at this time, and that is why I am extremely sorry they are not.
Mr. Engel. And it is expected that they will be presented in time for consideration in these hearings?
Secretary PERKINS. Yes; that is the expectation. They are supplemental estimates that have been made necessary by the many and sudden changes which come about in the development of programs for the prosecution of the war.
I am sure most of the members of the committee are quite familiar with the structure of the Department of Labor. I know we have some new members and I am very glad, indeed, to meet them. I want to say to you that we have been very much gratified, in the Department of Labor, by the attention which members of this subcommittee have given throughout the year to the affairs and problems of the Department. We have been happy to see members of the committee in the Department and know that they have been making inquiries and following the work of the various bureaus. I hope that the new members will also feel free to take the opportunity to become familiar with the work of the different bureaus of the Department.
Mr. HARE. It is quite natural that members of this committee should be interested in your Department, because, if I recall correctly, I learned in my early college days, in the study of elementary economics, that land, labor, and capital were the three elements of production. This is a productive age, and it is natural that we should be interested in the labor feature.
Secretary PERKINS. That is quite true. Of course, the chairman has always been interested in the Department of Labor and knows a good deal about its work.
SOURCE OF AUTHORITY AND FUNCTIONS OF DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Mr. HARE. It will be the policy of the chairman of this subcommittee to request each department and each agency of the Department to incorporate in the record a statement of the law under which the Department or the agency is operating; or the order from the Secretary of the Department, under which the agency is operating. In that way, those who read the hearings, will have an intelligent understanding of the justifications that are submitted. Otherwise, I feel that it would be quite difficult sometimes to understand intelligently these justifications. We must know first what are the functions of the agency or the Department.
Secretary PERKINS. Very briefly, the historical function of the Department of Labor as described in the basic act, is stated in these terms:
It shall be the duty of the Department to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners of the United States, to improve their working conditions, and to advance their opportunities for profitable employment.
These were the purposes of the Congress, as expressly laid down in the act, and the Department, in developing its work, has tried to keep that always foremost, in deciding upon the value or necessity of any function which it undertakes; that is, Does it contribute to the purposes as stated in the basic act?
May I say that whereas the requirements that Congress expressly directed us to follow--that is, to foster and promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners of the United States—whereas those requirements are general, we must interpret that as being within the general public welfare. Looking after the general public welfare is a duty laid upon all of us. But this one Department was given this segment of the public welfare to emphasize, and it is presumed that the decisions, when they are important, will be made with a recheck as to the effect of those decisions upon the public welfare, as well as with the idea of carrying out the duty of fostering and promoting the development and the welfare of the wage earners of the United States.
Mr. Engel. When was that law passed, Madam Secretary?
RELATION OF DEPARTMENT TO WAGE EARNERS OF THE COUNTRY
I want to stress, too, that we regard this definition as being a very inclusive definition of the purpose of the Department. As time has gone on, in the United States we have thought more and more of the
wage-earning body as being a body of all the people who work to earn a living. So that, although we do not do very much about farm labor, in the Department of Labor through our connections with the Agriculture Department we have made studies of agricultural and farm labor, the conditions and the relations between farm labor and industrial labor, prices and costs, and working conditions, and so forth; because at a great many points they do over ap, as you know. The same people who work on a farm move over, in some seasons of the year, and work in a cannery. So that the relations between agricultural and industrial labor become very much intermingled at that point.
Although we have a large body of organized labor in this countryand it is an increasing body of organized labor—it still is true that the majority of the working people of the United States—that is, those who are wage earners, get their living by working for wages for somebody else—do not belong to unions. And it is our duty, in the Department of Labor, to look out for the welfare of both of these groups, to promote the welfare of the nonunion as well as of the union labor. Of course, it is clear to anyone who thinks about the historical position of the working people, that those who belong to trade-unions have, on the whole, a form of self-protection which is not available to the unorganized; therefore, the obligations of the Government are pretty direct to promote the welfare and look out for the welfare of those who do not belong to labor unions and often have no opportunity to belong to them.
Of course, the number of wage earners in the United States is constantly increasing. And the swift increase 'which we have seen in the last 2 years, during this drive for defense and war, has raised the total number to unprecedented heights.
It is now estimated that well over 50,000,000 persons are engaged in some form of industrial activity. That is, of course, above the normal.
HISTORY AND FUNCTIONS OF VARIOUS BUREAUS IN LABOR DEPARTMENT
During 30 years' experience, the Department of Labor has developed a group of bureaus and activities to carry out this function. Many of you will remember that the Department of Labor was built around the Bureau of Labor Statistics which had already existed in the old Department of Commerce and Labor. So that when that was moved over into the Department of Labor, as a fact-finding body, it became the nucleus around which the other activities were built, and it has, therefore, laid out a pattern which I think we still preserve to this day, and I think wisely, of developing our activities only in response to a known need, to an established need, to a proven need. That is, not to project out of our emergency something that would be nice, or good for the welfare of the wage earner, but to look at the facts first, to make a study objectively, and determine what the needs are, and then develop appropriate means to remedy unfortunate or disadvantageous conditions.
The Conciliation Service and the Children's Bureau were immediately added to the growing Department of Labor, and have shown their value. As a matter of fact, we have, among the factfinding parts of the Department of Labor today, the Bureau of Labor