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ployees from civil service. This action was taken deliberately and without prejudice to civil service. The council asserts that all the merits of civilservice, namely, tenure, competency of employees, and elimination of favoritism are now fully achieved at the Tennessee Valley Authority. Moreover, the Tennessee Valley Authority plan of employee relations guarantees and implements collective bargaining. The Tennessee Valley Authority is a government corporation unlike other government agencies, and we urge your committee to take these facts into consideration. Seven years of good employee relations at the Tennessee Valley Authority would be swept away by inclusion in civil service.
SAMUEL ROPER, Chairman.
GORDON M. FREEMAN, Secretary. Here is a copy of a pamphlet that I would like to file with the committee.
(The pamphlet referred to was filed with the committee.) Mr. McDonagh. Mr. Herbert Rivers, secretary of the Building Trades Department, American Federation of Labor, is here jointly appearing with me on this question. The CHAIRMAN. Do you want to be heard ?
Mr. Rivers. I have nothing to say only to corroborate the statements of Mr. McDonagh. We have a workable understanding with the T. V. A. Authority, working I think to the advantage of the Authority and labor, and the department and all organizations affiliated with the department would like to have it eliminated from this bill.
Mr. McDonagh. I believe, Mr. Chairman, that the relationship down there, as far as the mechanical force goes, is even better than what you have here under the classification act. You have electricians, carpenters, boiler makers, and so forth, doing similar work to that they are doing in other agencies of the Government, and are getting a great deal less compensation under the classification act. I just wanted to point that out. The CHAIRMAN. We are very much obliged to you. Mr. Brown?
STATEMENT OF EDGAR G. BROWN, PRESIDENT, UNITED GOVERN
MENT EMPLOYEES, INC. Mr. Brown. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am representing the United Government Employees, Inc. I want to first commend you and assure your committee we are 100 percent for a strict merit system in the Federal system. We wish to testify at this time that Senator Hatch's law and the specific prohibition of any discrimination on account of religion, politics, or race has been very effective in giving better protection to all American citizens both in employment and security of their rights.
The administration of the law has been definitely improved since the inclusion of that particular language. We are therefore very anxious to have this law, which will eventually include 200,000 employees under the classification act and the merit system, add to the present language of the Civil Service Act prohibiting discrimination on account of politics or religion, a no discrimination clause on account of race.
We would like to suggest that the so-called rules and regulations be abolished which require pictures of all applicants desirous of
competing in examinations for the Federal service under the Classification Act as now administrated by the United States Civil Service Commission. We hope it will be eliminated by your committee so that there will be no necessity for applicants so identifying themselves in the future. It is obvious to every one that finger prints are a modern and proper means of identification and an accurate one. Mr. J. Edgar Hoover has enlightened all of us considerably on that point. Since the Government eventually takes the finger prints of all appointees to the Federal service, why not have them take the finger prints at the outset! They will have them then and there will be no possibility of anyone getting in who hasn't any right to be in, or his identity being confused, or used to the disadvantage of applicants.
We particularly want to put emphasis upon this matter and the possible hurt to the fullest confidence of 15,000,000 Negro citi
Whether it is true or not, and we do not think it is true personally, from our experience with the Civil Service Commission, we are convinced that the members of the Civil Service Commission have not only the heart but the spirit of the Constitution and law in mind, and there has been no effort, studied, subversive, or otherwise that we have been able to personally discover, and we have made considerable inquiry into it, that the Negro is especially discriminated against per se.
The Civil Service Commission, however, cannot follow through as has been indicated here, and keep up with all the people who may have something to do with these appointments, and as long as the Government has nearly a million people employed, and thousands of supervisors who have a great deal to do with the selection of people, there might be a number of people who might not like the applicant's picture, length of a person's nose, his hair, or his complexion. Discrimination might not always be effective only against Negroes. The present practices might be effective as far as other nationalities of the true Caucasian type who happen not to be born perfect. No biologist, or person who has gone into this, in fact Dr. Boez, scientist at Columbia University, says there is nothing that pictures prove as to worth or character. That is why I want to emphasize that the 15,000,000 Negroes, whose citizenship has never been questioned by anyone familiar with the record in this country, feel that the pictures should be eliminated and their identity not known, their papers graded, free of any other possible consideration except knowledge of the subject.
A strict merit system for the Federal Government ought to be, as in New York, Illinois, and other progressive States, under civil service laws. There the person making the highest mark must be appointed, not one out of three as is done by the United States Civil Service Commission in accordance with the present law. As to the discussion that we have to give some leeway and discretion to these selective agencies and their representatives so that they can pick and choose, why 1 out of 3, we might as well make it 1 out of 10 and we would have a greater choice of selection, but is this in keeping with the principle of the merit system?
Senator Hatch with the fullest backing of Congress if I may refer to him again, because the whole country is indebted to him as
will generations yet unborn, has pursued this matter of eliminating everything but strict Americanism on another front. While we are at this reform business let us finish it, while the country is in the spirit for it. When we look at what is happening in the world, it is a comforting thought that we still believe and practice democracy in this country. Why not add more along this line in 1940 ? Write it into the law that the person making the highest mark on the examination must be given the appointment regardless of politics, religion, or race. Justice dictates that priority ought to be given to the most competent individual in a merit system. That would be a strictly merit rule and practice. In our opinion, we believe that the public service would thus be improved.
We hope, too, the Senate committee will include W. P. A. employees and approve Senator McCarran's $1,500 minimum yearly wage for all Federal and District Government employees as part and parcel of this legislation, H. R. 960 now before you. This is the time for such action.
I wish to thank the committee and Senator Bulow particularly, because we have waited patiently for several years to appear before your committee on this matter.
We are seeking to make a constructive contribution toward a real improvement of the merit system. May I, also, thank Senator Hatch for his contribution here today in clarifying this phase of the law. We are approaching this subject as Americans and not on any other basis, and we appreciate very highly the sincere consideration of this committee.
The CHAIRMAN. We are much obliged to you.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any one else who wishes to be heard today?
STATEMENT OF DR. ESTHER COLE FRANKLIN, AMERICAN
ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN Dr. FRANKLIN. The American Association of University Women is an organization composed of 67,000 college and university graduates organized in 870 branches within the United States, the Philippines, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and in China and Japan.
Last June at its biennial convention, the association adopted as a legislative principle, the extension and improvement of the merit system in government. This action was the direct outgrowth of widespread study and interest in public personnel problems.
Branches in a number of the States have for several years been concerned with the problem of personnel in the State governments and have worked actively for State merit legislation. The association has had a long-time interest in good government and considers the merit system one of the first requisites of good government. It is believed that the Ramspeck bill represents the most practical approach to the extension of the civil-service system to employees working in the non-civil-service agencies. By placing the time element for covering these agencies in the hands of the President and providing noncompetitive examinations for the employees, the measure under consideration enables the Civil Service Commission to provide appropriate classification and to give qualifying examinations without a large additional staff and without too great additional cost.
It is our belief that the qualifying examinations, as they have been administered the past year, adequately test the capacity of the persons examined. No other method assuring continuity in service and fairness to the present employee has yet been suggested.
By permitting the present incumbents of positions to take noncompetitive examinations, we are achieving our aim of extending the merit system without any disruption in service. Many of the positions not now under the civil-service system are in those agencies whose work, because it is new and substantially different, require practical skill and experience. For the most part, persons who have so far done this work will be best qualified to continue in the position. It is our firm conviction that the qualifying examinations will remove incompetent workers, whose places can then be filled from the qualified lists of eligibles.
All of us who are interested in the selection of the best qualified personnel must protest the Keller-Nichols amendment as impracticable and undesirable. The Civil Service Commission has a splendid record in attempting to enforce the quota system during the past few years, when appointing new employees. We are confident that the Commission can be trusted with the task of selecting personnel from all geographical areas. But it must not be restricted in securing good personnel by the hard and fast quota system proposed in the amendment. The Ramspeck bill presents a splendid opportunity to extend the merit principle to the majority of Federal employees. It is difficult to see how anybody interested in efficient administration of our complex governmental functions could be opposed to this measure.
The American Association of University Women urges the Senate committee to give favorable consideration to the Ramspeck bill.
The CHAIRMAN. We will have included in the record a statement by the Federal Emergency Employees, Inc. (Statement referred to is as follows:)
FEDERAL EMERGENCY EMPLOYEES, INC.
WASHINGTON, D. C.
1. Congress to ask Civil Service to change legal residence, all who have lost such residence because they were forced to claim the District of Columbia.
2. Grant status to each employee who has taken civil-service examination and who has passed, and who has worked at least 3 years in the Federal service.
3. Oppose blanketing for others not included in the above sections, although we favor noncompetitive examinations for all.
4. Favor a $1,500 minimum salary level for all affected by H. R. 960.
5. We disapprove the Nichols-Keller amendment to H. R. 960, because it is unfair to deserving employees.
We feel experience and satisfactory record should entitle incumbents to at least two examinations for those who fail to pass the first, since many have never taken examinations of any description before. This provision would be in line with equity, inasmuch as those covered by the Executive order of June 24, 1938, can be retained by their offices though without status, in case they fail to pass the noncompetitive examinations. Respectfully,
LILLIAN SPURR BROWN,
The CHAIRMAN. At the request of Mr. Luther Steward the following two wires dealing with the requested exemption of T. V. A. employees will be inserted in the record.
APRIL 10, 1940. C. D. GREENE, E. FLORENCE,
Florence, Ala.. At Senate hearing today on H. R. 960 McDonough and Rivers, representing A. F. of L., presented statement urging T. V. A. be excluded from terms of bill purporting to be signed by 14 operating unions and included as signers National Federation of Federal Employees. Advise immediately by wire whether our local signed such request.
LUTHER C. STEWARD.
FLORENCE, ALA., April 10, 1940. LUTHER C. STEWARD, President, National Federation Federal Employees,
Washington, D. C.: National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 216, Muscle Shoals, Ala., signed no such request. Have contacted members of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, operating engineers and machinists of American Federation of Labor, they deny request made by locals in this area.
C. D. GREENE, President. The CHAIRMAN. We will recess until Friday at 10 o'clock.
(Whereupon, at 12 noon, a recess was taken until Friday, April 12, 1940, at 10 a. m.)