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that it was really intended to discourage the idea of our circularizing offices and saying that we have certain reports because the committee felt that congressional offices would ask for multiple copies in order to send to constituents.
Consequently we did stop notifying offices when a report of general interest was done. I would personally not advocate a resumption of the right to publish. A very substantial number of our reports are published in the Congressional Record, in the form of committee prints, or in the form of House or Senate documents.
I think there is ample opportunity for Members to publish.
Senator Monroney. Don t you think it would be nice for the Members to have a list of the reports to know what you have in mimeographed form? A lot of our offices may feel like mine does that there is no use if it is going to take too long to get something from the Library of Congress or when you get it, it won't be what you want, and for that reason you just try to find it from CQ or your various research sources that you might have on hand in the office.
If you knew your research girls knew what was there they could perhaps get it by telephone.
"i I.I ll.n II WORK FOB USE OF CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERSHIP
Mr. Elsbree. We do prepare a list of multilithed reports of which we have extra copies and the joint committee has said these are not publications. We multilith them in whatever quantity we anticipate the Members may use, but it has become customary for an office to ask us, "Do you have something on this subject."
Senator Monroney. The system seems silly to me. We can't read your mind. We don't know what you have over there. Someone is working in our office on maybe monetary problems or international finance problems and maybe you have done a paper on it.
We don't know and as a consequence, knowing the workload and knowing how many inquiries are coming in, you just don't even have it for your office files.
Mr. Elsbree. We have a list, of multilith reports available in quantity and upon any request of any office we do make that list available. I think this is desirable and I, as a matter of fact, intended to propose wider circulation if it does not appear to be, well, hi spiritual violation, let's say, of the earlier action of the Appropriations Committee.
They were trying to discourage our advertising.
Senator Monroney. I agree with you. We don't want a Member of Congress to say send 500 to all of his bankers in the State.
MISUSE OF REFERENCE SERVICE
It is the misuse of the Legislative Reference Service that I complain about and I think it is one of the things that has cut your quality down. This mailing business of producing 500 copies I hardly think is compatible with what you are supposed to do, but I do think it would be very fine and I know my office would like to have a list of the papers that you have available for that month and buy maybe a couple of «opies or order a couple of copies of each.
Mrs. Hamer. I think we have been inhibited, Senator, by the language of the Appropriation Act which says under the "Legislative Reference Service" appropriation heading:
That no part of this appropriation may be used to pay any salary or expense in connection with any publication, or preparation of material therefor (except the Digest of Public General Bills), to be issued by the Library of Congress unless such publication has obtained prior approval of either the Committee on House Administration or the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.
DIGEST OF GENERAL BILLS
Senator Monroney. The Digest of Public General Bills is printed. We can always add something to the appropriation bill to include the lists so that they would be available to member offices.
I think we could change language in the bill. That is not legislation in appropriation bill.
Airs. Hamer. The question is whether these reports are "publications," or whether they are just multilithed extra copies of reports. Although we have felt constrained by the language of the bill, we do not really consider these reports as publications—that is, material for general distribution—and we would prefer that the language of the bill not be changed because we don't want—and I am sure you don't want—to put LRS in the publications business. If the record of these hearings and the committee's report showed the intent of the committee, that would be sufficient directive to the Library to make these multilithed reports known to Members, wouldn't it?
Dr. Elsbree. I am 100 percent in favor of our getting out some kind of list if we have the approval of the Appropriations Committees for doing it, if they will take us off the hook, so to speak, by saying this is not a publication.
Senator Yarborough. You say most of these end up in the Congressional Record, anyway, but I think if these lists are published too diligently, too rapidly, you are going to have complaints.
Somebody would have a study made preparatory to introducing a bill or using that statement or working his own up out of it and if these lists are circulated diligently somebody else will take the Library's research made on his inquiry and put it in the Record and spoil what he is doing in advance.
I think there is some advantage, if you have asked for something done, in not having every other office on the Hill notified that you have just gotten a paper prepared.
Senator Monronet. I think those individual requests would not Ik» on this list.
Dr. Elsbree. That is right. There would l>e a great many rej>ort»; that we would not be able to put on this list because they relate to a Member's particular needs. This is, incidentally, one "of the very serious problems we face. I think almost the most striking changV that has come about in the last 15 years in terms of Member requests is their increasing specificity.
SPECIFIC MEMBER BEQ VESTS
In other words, it is all right to prepare a general report on the Eurojiean Common Market, but most Members want to know what the impart of the European Common Market is apt to be on this or that industry, on this State or this district, or this region, and consequently we have to tailor make a very heavy proportion of requests for the Members.
I don't know whether we ought to get into a discussion here of the question of draft statements, but we have taken this up with the Joint Committee on the Library.
Members' insistence that material be presented in a form "serviceable" to them, as the Legislative Reorganization Act provides, very often means "give us a draft."
We do about 2,000 draft statements going all the way from very minor Nationality Day statements to elaborate presentations, preparation of the draft of a committee report or a minority report, or a rather elaborate statement for presentation at a hearing in support of or in opposition to a bill, or a statement on public policy matters or other matters to be made before a public audience.
There would have to be a great many exceptions, but I still thoroughly agree that if it is not considered a violation of present restrictions, we ought to notify the Members of Congress of up-to-date reports on general problems that might be of interest, with the understanding that the more elaborate of these reports would not be available for distribution to constituents. We can't tell the Member what to do with it once he gets it.
Senator Moxroney. You are not going to prepare it for him anyway. You can't order 500 from the Library and send them out on a hank mailing list or something.
Dr. Elsbree. "We can say we have a limited number. Of course if a Member says, "I want it for my own use," then we would have to Xerox a copy if we didn't have a processed copy.
Senator Monronet. I am talking about in the hundreds—of sending them out by the hundreds to a mailing list. I think what you do is furnish it maybe for the Member and maybe if he wants to he can Xerox it and send it to two or three people, and the cost of doing that will limit the circulation materially.
Dr. Eljsbree. I think there are dangers. Very often some offices who use us a good deal find it better when a problem comes up to say, "I want you to search your files and find anything you have, but don't send me some report that is out of date."
Sometimes his interest will be pointed enough so that some reports we have of general interest are too elaborate for his use. He has to look all through it to find what he wants and he is irritated, whereas we may have done something for another Member which comes closer to his interest.
We perhaps could make it available to another Member by tearing off the name, perhaps modifying it a little bit, but we could still send him the essence of a job done for another Member. This is not, however, an argument against making available a general list. I just point out that it is still, I think, useful for a staff member or staff persons to call and say, "What else have you done" besides this particular thing that might be useful on this particular request.
FCKTHEB DISCUSSION ON CONSTITUENT KEQUE8T8
Senator Yarborough. Mr. Chairman, I would like to clarify a statement I made a few minutes ago about constituent requests.
I didn't mean that you weren't to answer constituent requests of course. We send those often. We have them from a high school student saying, "I am going to debate this subject." We send it over. We don't expect you to write an essay for them, but to give them a list of bibliographical material and if you have free pamphlets that cover that subject just send them a pamphlet.
Dr. Elsbree. We never write an essay, or at least we don't do it knowingly.
Senator Yarborott.h. In writing a speech, or a statement or a declaration of policy, you are to write those only for Members of Congress. If somebody is writing a book and wants a chapter written on education in Russia, we have no right for that constituent to ask the Library of Congress to give me a 30-page summary of education in Russia and then give it to a constituent to put in his book.
That is what I had reference to.
Senator Monront.y. You cannot keep from it, though, if a Member wants to misuse the Library of Congress, and that was one of my questions earlier, how many of these requests from Members of Congress knowingly are constituent requests, and I am sure quite a lot get through.
Dr. Elsbrke. We do within the limits of discretion, Mr. Chairman, press them. If thev ask for 20 pages with elaborate footnotes, it raises some doubts in one's mind and we do try to find out whether it is a constituent request.
Now, if the Meml>er's office insists, we must do it. we have to. But my honest opinion-—I can't know, of course—is that increasingly over the years the Members and their staffs have played very fair with us on this and they do, I believe, nearly always tell us the request is for a constituent.
I1U8INE88 TYPE RKQfESTS CURTAILED
There are some constituent requests which a Member virtually makes his own. We don't get very much casework, so called. We are very much interested in the proposal for adaptation of the Swedish ombudsman, which would curtail our business in this type of request.
We don't get very many of these because we are not an investigative agency, but they are very time consuming when we get them. A Member quite often contemplates even introducing a private bill and so ho says, " I want you to look into this matter" and this we generally label as a constituent request.
That perhaps is not properly labeled. Also. State and local officials will quite often ask a Member of Congress to help him out on something or for other reasons a Member will say. "I wish you would really go into this fairly seriously. This is a responsible request and I want very much to help this individual."
Out of about 4.r>00 requests in 1064 that took over a half day of research and reference work, there were S9fi requests labeled "constituent." About 74 percent of constituent inquiries were handled in 15 minutes or under, and the others in ir» minutes to 4 hours.
Senator Yarborouoii. Mr. Chairman, I would like to jjo off the record a minute.
(Off the record.)
Senator Montioxet. Back on the record.
MISUSE OF LIBRARY FACILITIES
Senator Yarborough. I think it is a good rule that they not furnish material from which some writer is going to write a book. I think this would be a misuse of the Library of Congress and the public funds.
Senator Monroney. These should be screened very carefully first by the Congress and the Senate officials themselves. This is our research division and the more we overload it with constituent requests or requests for information of a frivolous nature, the more we are going to destroy the capability of handling the genuine job.
I am a little surprised that these committee staffs don't do more research of their own. In the original concept of the Eeorganization Act we thought we were getting specialists on the committee staffs who would be somewhat of a research mind and then all the members who are not on the committees would use the Legislative Reference Service.
Dr. Elsbree. Senator, perhaps I ought not to comment on the staff situation in Congress in general, but I think in reality it is very hard to calculate the extent of the increased workload of the Congress.
Of course we are just feeling the impact of that. The number of committees and subcommittees has increased, I don't think just erratically, but because of the tremendous increase in the number and complexity of both domestic and foreign issues, and it is pretty hard for :• committee if they stick to the old four permanent staff members, or even if they have subcommittee staffs, to handle the routine committee business and at. the same time take on an extensive study, let's say, of the situation in Vietnam. We are a pool and a reservoir for them, and from all our indications they are working probably harder than we are, and still the number of bills to be processed and the number of hearings multiply—I have no idea what the mathematical increase has been.
As you know, in the Reorganization Act we were directed to prepare summaries of public hearings. That was dropped almost immediately because it began to appear obvious that the cost would be astronomical.
Senator Moxroxet. We are using it now under the Reorganization Act.
Dr. Elsbree. Yes, sir; we do it on request. Your Reorganization Committee is one of the few we have been doing it for. I think Dr. Griffith once made an estimate several years ago of what the cost would be and the Appropriations Committee felt that it would be too much.
INCREASE IN COMMITTEE WORKLOAD
In every manner committee business has increased at a fantastic rate and of course ours has just gone along with it. One must add to this the tremendous increase in the Memoers' constituency business, and I don't mean just constituent requests, but his contact with his ronstifuents, newsletters, broadcasts, visitors, relationships of every iort. intercession with the bureaucracy, which of course has increased at a great pace as the size of the Federal Government has increased.
In all of these ways the Member's business has increased so that his office is overwhelmed and they ask us to help and we, too, are in the position of doing too much of everything.
I am very much aware of that and it is a very serious danger, but I think every committee office and most Member's staffs are in a worse boat than we are.