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Mr. BROUGHTox. Yes, sir; but you must recall that the work that is current now includes the refunding which has just started, and every time they make an issue, it means more work for our office to continue it. There will be some issues next year and still more the
Mr. Good. Is this proposed increase for the money counters all that is necessary from the standpoint of the increased cost of living!
Mr. BROUGHTON. I do not think that it would meet the increased cost of living. The cost of living has increased 60 per cent in 20 years, and this increase is from $800 to $900 a vear. I think that is the minimun to pay the expense of living. We would particularly like to have these grades, unless they are all to be put at $1,000. We would like to have the three grades because it increases the efficiency of the office to make provision for promotions.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 1916.
DIVISION OF PRINTING AND STATIONERY.
STATEMENT OF MR. F. F. WESTON, CHIEF.
Mr. Byrxs. Mr. Weston, the estimates under the division of printing and stationery involve certain increases in salary and also increases in the force.
Mr. WESTON. Yes, sir.
INCREASE IN SALARY OF CHIEF AND ASSISTANT CHIEF.
Mr. Byrns. The first is an increase in your salary from $2,500 to $3,000 and an increase in the salary of the assistant chief of division from $2,000 to $2,500.
Mr. WESTON. Yes, sir. I would be glad for somebody who knows to speak for me on that personal matter. I have no wish to magnify the duties of the Chief of the Division of Printing and Stationery, but I believe his duty is one of the most important and exacting in the Treasury Department, for the reason that he has charge of the furnishing of supplies used by the great army of Treasury employees both in Washington and in the outside service, which means printed matter of all kinds, books, blanks, stationery supplies, etc., the latter embracing about 550 different articles. All of these supplies must be furnished promptly, of good quality and in the right quantity at the proper time, and that involves a work of large detail. Appropriations to the amount of about $600,000 a year are administered in the division for this purpose. Many new questions arise constantly in the division which must be decided not only quickly, but rightly, in order that the Government may be protected. I have been able to save the Government many thousands of dollars in this work, because I had training in it for many years, even before coming to the Government service, which was 20 years ago. I have been in this position for 6 years. The first year i occupied the position I saved on the printing appropriation alone over $40,000 by the direction of printing in an economical manner in regard to paper, binding, and general form.
What I say in regard to myself is also true of my assistant, who is a worthy officer who has been in the Government employ longer than I have. Of course, there is the additional reason, that is familiar to us all, the increased cost of living. That, of course, has entered into this increase which is asked. When the position was created 40 years ago, it carried the present salary for both the chief and the assistant chief. There has been no change in all that time, but, of course, the duties have increased with the growth of the country and the growth of the Treasury Department, until they are now very much greater than they were in past years.
Mr. Byrns. How long have you been the chief?
Mr. Byrns. How long has the present assistant chief occupied that position?
Mr. WESTON. He came in with me six years ago.
Mr. WESTON. He has been in the service in the neighborhood of 35 years; I can not say exactly.
Mr. BYRNs. Is that all you care to say on that subject?
Mr. Weston. I think so, except that the salaries of these two positions should be raised regardless of the present incumbents. What I have said would apply if any other person than myself were chief of the division. I do not believe that I have at all exaggerrated its importance in the economical administration of the Treasury Department. I would like also to further allude to the high cost of living which so vitally affects us Government employees. While commercial enterprises throughout the country are increasing salaries and wages, the Government employee must look to Congress for relief in this direction. The almost extortionate prices that prevail at the present time make the antiquated salaries of 30 or 40 years ago entirely inadequate, and I desire to add my plea to those of hundreds of others for relief in this matter.
CLERK OF CLASS 3.
Mr. BYRNS. You are asking for an additional clerk of class 3.
Mr. WESTON. Yes, sir. That is brought about largely by two factors: One is the duties which have been added to the division from time to time affecting the position of clerks of class 3, notably the accounting in the division for forms furnished to the public and sold by the collectors of customs, which were formerly a perquisite of the collectors of customs. They are now printed by the Government Printing Office and furnished to the collectors of customs by whom they are sold to the public at the uniform price of onehalf a cent each. This accounting has been placed upon the Division of Printing and Stationery. Further accounting has been occasioned by the adoption of a standard Government check for all disbursing officers, the numbers of which used by each officer are required to be kept in the Division of Printing and Stationery. The disbursing officers' checks are printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and ordered by the Division of Printing and Stationery. Requisitions are made for them through the Secretary of the Treasury. I act for the Secretary of the Treasury in that matter. We keep an account of the numbers of the checks that are issued to each officer, no matter in what service he may be.
Another factor is not exactly a detail out of the office, but general department committee work takes three of our clerks, two of class 4 and one of class 3. One of those clerks of class 4 is the Treasury Department's member of the General Supply Committee, and he gives rather more than half of his time to that work. He goes to the committee every day in the afternoon. Another clerk is a member of the department's standing committee on blank forms, and he gives two or three hours each day to that work. The clerk of class 3 is a member of the carpet inspection committee. He does not give any regular time daily to that inspection, but some days are entirely used for that purpose. On other days he gives only a small part of his time.
Mr. Byrxs. How long have these clerks been serving on those committees?
Mr. Weston. These are permanent committees, and the work is continuous.
Mr. BYRNS. I know; but how long since they have been detailed to that work?
Mr. Weston. Mr. Norwood has been on the General Supply Committee nearly a year; the other clerk of class 4 has been on the blank forms committee about a year and a half, and the clerk of class 3 has been on the carpet inspection committee about three or four months. Those clerks are absent so much that we need another clerk of class 3 to take up the bookkeeping work that they were accustomed to do. They are doing it now by overtime work, but they are not keeping it up to date.
Mr. BYRNS. How far behind are you?
Mr. Byrns. Does the same reason apply for the increase of another clerk at $900 ?
Mr. WESTON. No, sir; that clerk is designed to be used downstairs in the receiving and shipping section of the division, where supplies are taken in at the door and sent out by freight and mail. He will be a shipping clerk. That duty devolves now on two clerks who are stationed on the floor below and whose time is fully occupied in other matters. The $900 clerk would do that work, and keep it methodically and up to date.
Mr. Byrns. Does that work require the constant attention of one clerk?
Mr. Weston. Nearly his entire time, yes, sir; because there is a great deal of that sort of thing being done. We have large shipments, both incoming and outgoing, every day, amounting to many wagonloads.
Mr. Byrys. Have you any details to your office or from your office to other offices?
Mr. WESTON. Yes, sir; we have some to our office and should have more, but owing to the scarcity of help in the department, the Assistant Secretary is unable to get them for me. We have one now, and we had two last week. We should have four in order to keep the work current.
Mr. BYRNS. Of what class are they?
Mr. Weston. They are laborers in the packing room. They are detailed from time to time, but the one we have now we have had for two or three months.
Mr. BYRNS. Where are they detailed from?
Mr. WESTON. This one is detailed from the Internal Revenue Bureau, and we have had another one from the Bureau of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Mr. Good. What do you propose to do with this increase of five laborers?
Mr. WESTON. When these estimates were made up in August it appeared that that increase would be necessary, but since then it appears that it could be reduced to four. I never have, in appearing before your committee, asked for any more than was absolutely needed, and I do not wish to do so now. The reason why I put that at seven was because just at that time, in the latter part of August, the Postmaster General had issued an order enforcing the act of May 18, 1916, section 11 of which provides that no article or package exceeding 4 pounds in weight shall be admitted to the mails under the penalty privilege unless it should come within the exceptions named in the act of June 8, 1896, and the act of June 26, 1906. The enforcement of that new law hit us pretty hard in the Division of Printing and Stationery, because we have been in the habit of sending out daily several hundred packages of books, blanks, and stationery articles to the large number of outside employees in the Treasury service. Three-fourths of the employees of the Treasury service are outside of Washington. The New York customhouse alone is larger than the department in Washington, and we provide all of their supplies. The alternative of doing these packages up in a way so as not to exceed 4 pounds was to pay postage on them. We had no appropriation out of which to pay postage, so we had to do them up in 4-pound packages. Since that time the Postmaster General has modified to some extent the exactness of that requirement, and we are going along a little easier. That is why I say now that four laborers will be sufficient instead of seven.
Mr. Good. At the present time you figure on having four laborers in the department besides the two additional detailed laborers?
Mr. Weston. No, sir; we need three more. We have had two details a good part of the time, but I need the two additional ones to keep the work current. The work is about a month behind.
Mr. Good. I am speaking of the two details that you have had.
Mr. WESTON. Yes, sir; and we want to get two more if possible. It is important that these orders from the outside offices for what you might call their tools shall be promptly filled.
Mr. Good. So that your estimate is made on the theory that in addition to the number of clerks and laborers estimated for, there will be given you two additional laborers-that is, two laborers in addition to what you have estimated for?
Mr. Weston. No, sir; not in addition to what I have estimated for.
Mr. Good. So that, if you get the four laborers, you will not need any details?
Mr. WESTON. That is right.
Mr. BYRNs. Your next item is on page 111, for stationery for the Treasury Department and its several bureaus and officers. You are asking for an increase of $10,000. You had $50,000 for the current year and you want $60,000 for next year.
Mr. Weston. Yes; by reason of the increased cost of stationery articles, which ranges up as high as 200 per cent in some cases, and averages about 33} per cent. have written on a sheet of proof the increases in percentage of the different items. In several of them there is no increase, but those that have increased run from 10 per cent to 200 per cent. Another reason for the increase in the department is the recent creation of a new bureau, the Bureau of the Federal Farm Loan, which by the act is made a bureau of the Treasury Department.
Mr. Byrns. Their stationery will be paid out of this appropriation?
Mr. WESTON. Yes, sir. The increases in transfers from other appropriations are based on expenditures last year, together with an estimate of the increased cost of the leading items furnished, and total $104.000.
Mr. Byrås. Have you a statement showing the increases?
Mr. Weston. I will put that in the record.
penses, stationery, fiscal year 1917, and estimates for deductions for fiscal
Title of appropriation.
Assay office at New York.
200 2,500 6,000 35,000 14,000 22,000
200 3,000 6,000 33,000 14,000 32,000 104,000