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Mr. RAMSPECK. Senator, as far as I am concerned, I feel this way about it, that if the Senate committee feels that that provision should be left in the bill for the purpose of permitting those types of employees to remain in the service, then we ought to eliminate the House amendment which provides removal of those who do not pass the examination. As a matter of fact, the history of the extension of civil service indicates that, generally speaking, with few exceptions, I think perhaps only one or two, extensions have been made by the blanketing process by both political parties, and I think the principle of extension is so much more important than the method that while I personally like the competitive system, and I indicated it in the Seventy-fifth Congress by the introduction of such a bill. I am willing to go along with any method to get these jobs into the merit system for the future, due to the fact that it makes our entire public service come under the merit system, it makes it flexible and gives. some security of employment to these people who have given their services to the Government, and I think it is so much more important to get them under that I certainly will not quibble, so far as I am concerned, with whatever the committee may do with respect to that.
Senator MEAD. Generally speaking, I think it would be better to deprive the bureau head or the agency head of the authority that he may now exercise under the law, provided that he make certain wellmerited exceptions and not deprive an older worker or crippled worker of a position that he fills very efficiently and that he fills very deservedly.
Mr. RAMSPECK. I do not think the age limit would apply. Is that correct, Mr. Mitchell?
Mr. MITCHELL. It would not apply, but the physical condition might.
Senator Mead. The physical condition would?
Senator MEAD. Well, if we can get around that inhibition it would be all right.
Mr. MITCHELL. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. With reference to the Works Progress Administration, was there any special reason why that was omitted ?
Mr. RAMSPECK. Yes, sir. This bill, Senator, was reported to the House in May 1939. I think just prior to that time the House had passed a bill appropriating funds for the Works Progress Administration and had written into the appropriations bill a specific prohibition against the President's Executive order of June 1938. The feeling in the House was so strong against W. P. A. at that time that the committee felt that it would hurt the bill to include them, and a good many members of the committee, in fact, I think a majority of the House committee, felt, with the charges of political activity and other things that had been made against the W. P. A., that they ought not to be included, and that was the reason why they were left out.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any other questions? Thank you, Congressman Ramspeck.
Senator MEAD. Mr. Chairman, this is Representative Keller, of Illinois.
The CHAIRMAN. We will hear Congressman Keller.
STATEMENT OF HON. KENT E. KELLER, REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS
Mr. KELLER. I am interested in this bill. I am interested in the principle involved. I am interested in the civil service when it becomes a merit service. I am against that part of it which is not merit service, and there is a lot in it that is not. I am against any lifetime job for anybody except those who earn it through long years of promotion, step by step, until they become indispensable to the department in which they work.
I am going to present a bill at the next session of Congress that will provide something of this character, that when a boy or girl takes the little examination they do take, when they first start into this business, that gives them 5 years of service in this Government, that during the 5 years if they show special ability along the line of their work they will get another period. The number of years I am not trying to set, of course, because that is something I want to find out. I want the Civil Service Commission to work with me on this, and I am going to draft them so that they shall work with me. They know their job. Then when a man has shown his ability to go forward he will be continued in his job. If he does not, at the end of 5 years, show that he ought to be sent forward because of merit, he goes back to where he belongs. He takes an understanding with him of this Government, this city, and this capital of the world, as this city is, back to the community that he comes from in the United States, and there it will do the most good.
The whole thing is not a question of getting a career service into this Government. The fewer careers we have to operate the Government properly and efficiently the better for this Government. If the forefathers had expected, or wanted anything beyond the_Supreme Court to be a lifetime job, they would have said so. Even the judges, as you understand perfectly, are not in a lifetime job. Their job depends on good behavior, which, of course, has to include competency.
I shall put that bill forward and every one of you will hear from it. I assure you that, because by doing a thing of that kind you can appeal to every constituent in the United States, every highschool boy and every high-school girl. They will look out for their districts. I refer especially to the House, of course, because they come from the districts in the States. They are going to go to you with this plea that I am trying to make to you this morning. and that is that we ought to provide an opportunity for the young men and young women in this country. That is our principal job, in my judgment. We ought to provide an opportunity to let them take care of themselves. If they cannot make good and earn promotion let them go back home where they belong. They will do more good back there and they will not be hanging around here watching the clock when they get past 58 or 60, or something like that.
That is not meant in any unkind sense, I assure you, but when I go down to these departments, as I have been doing for some years, and I see the conditions, as you all do, you see women there that must have been beautiful and fine, and they are fine still, who ought to be home playing with their grandchildren, enjoying life, bless
ing the world instead of dragging out a little existence here and probably sending money home to somebody that does not deserve it, or some that might, it impels me to want to do something about it.
What I am saying to you is we ought to do these things individually. These jobs belong to the young people in this country to do all of the valuable work that most of the civil service is, and that, gentlemen, is what I am driving at.
Now, this point that we are coming to here. I have observed that Washington has about 8,500, I think I am just guessing at the number—about 8,500 Government employees and it has a right, I think, to 182, if I remember rightly, Virginia and Maryland have the rest, except what New York and a few other States get. I am not blaming the Senators from Virginia, because they are go-getters, both of them, and they know how to get jobs for their constitutents in Virginia, but nevertheless, being an Illinois man, I cannot agree to have take place what is taking place here at the present time, and that is to see a lot of people promoted contrary to the law that really exists at the present time.
I cannot sit by and see some of the boys and girls from my district, which has 50 percent of its quota or a little more now—Illinois has a little more now than 50 percent, but it has been running about 50 percent for many years—I cannot sit by silently and have these boys and girls in my District, when the reorganization is taking place, denied positions when a Washington, D. C., resident is in civil service, his father and grandfather were in civil service, and whose great grandchildren will also be in civil service. I am not for that. That is wrong. I am not going to stand for that as far as my vote and whatever little influence I have go.
Let me stop here and say I have the highest respect for the Civil Service Commission. It is made up of men and women of the very highest class, who believe thoroughly in what they are doing, and I have no criticism here on that account, I assure you, but it is a matter of judgment in which I cannot agree with what is happening. What is happening is this: Constantly the State which I represent and other States have their quota reduced and Washington, Maryland, and Virginia are getting additional appointments. Well, you may shake your head, but I will tell you you are wrong. I know some of them. I do not know them all, but I know some of them, and if the Civil Service Commission cannot find it out, I can, because a little congressional committee will check into it mighty quickly and point it out. I can point out a few instances at the present time where there are three in the family who are working for the Government in Washington presumably because of some influence. They step in and go right along. I can show you one or two, and I presume I could show you more. I do not think that is right. I think that is radically wrong and I am against it. That is the reason this amendment was put in there.
Bob Ramspeck and I are the best friends in the world except two, my wife and his, I guess. I like his idea of doing the right thing as he sees it, but I cannot agree that it ought to be done this way.
I am in favor of blanketing in while the Democrats are in, just like the Republicans felt when the Republicans were in. We all are. We ought to be honest about it and just tell the truth about it. [Laughter.] That is not unusual over in the House.
So I am saying to you that what we ought to do is to make this law effective and make it effective now. While I was good-natured and easy-going as I am, I permitted Bob to talk me into a much easier amendment than ought to be passed. When it got to the House, the House got up on its hind legs and by a very large vote added' the Nichols amendment to my amendment. When it went over, it went over with a bang.
Senator BYRD. What is your amendment ?
Mr. KELLER. My amendment kind of leaves the future up to the judgment of the Civil Service Commission. So, therefore, if it be done that way through the years, and Congressman Ramspeck assures me it will be done that way hereafter, it might be all right, but the Nichols amendment simply provides there shall be no appointments from overquota States at the present time.
Senator BYRD. Was your amendment consolidated with the Nichols amendment ?
Mr. KELLER. My amendment was presented first and the Nichols amendment came in to strengthen it.
Senator BYRD. Where is your amendment in the actual language of this bill?
Mr. KELLER. Senator, I do not know. I presume it would be here because it was under discussion.
Mr. VIPOND. This is a substitution for it.
Senator BYRD. This is the Nichols amendment? This is not the Keller amendment ?
Mr. KELLER. This is an agreement between them. It is part of the two put together, really.
Senator MEAD. The Nichols amendment struck out the future application and required immediate application. It is an amendment to your amendment and therefore was adopted first and your amendment as amended was later adopted.
Mr. KELLER. Yes.
Senator MEAD. As I understand it, the employees of the Internal Revenue Bureau, for instance, if they were taken into the civil service, would all be taken in under existing law rather than under your amendment.
Mr. KELLER. Yes.
Senator MEAD. But now, under the Nichols amendment to your amendment, they would all be taken in in accordance with the quota laws applied strictly and rigidly.
Mr. KELLER. That is exactly right, Senator.
Senator MEAD. Under your amendment the present employees would be eligible for civil-service noncompetitive examinations but hereafter all employees would be subject to the rigid requirements of the quota law.
Mr. KELLER. Yes; and, since the amendment was put into the bill, I have had a few experiences along that line which make me believe that the Nichols amendment to my amendment is the correct thing. I have a girl who came into my office who is a first-class stenographer. She has a civil-service status but has worked in one of the departments where it was not required. Recently that department reduced its force tremendously and a number of workers were let out and now a lot are coming in after her who have not been here as long or are as efficient and there is somebody else taking the place that she had at an increased salary from a State that has much more than its quota. I am not for that, I am against it.
Mr. VIPOND. That is not under the civil-service system, of course.
Mr. KELLER. That is under the civil-service system, unquestionably. Now she is going around applying for a job. She has a civil-service status.
Mr. MITCHELL. Was she employed in some agency under the civilservice law?
Mr. KELLER. She was employed in an agency that receives money from the emergency appropriation.
Mr. MITCHELL. That is it.
Mr. KELLER. I understand, nevertheless, if you are going to blanket one you are going to blanket all. Why should that department be kept out of it?
Mr. MITCHELL. It was Congress that did that. We did not do it. We would
have brought them in if Congress would not have stopped us. The Executive order would have brought them in all right.
Mr. KELLER. I am trying to state to you what my impression is after my experience in the last 4 or 5 weeks. My experience, gentlemen, is this: Illinois has a perfect right to its quota. You have no right to put people in from other States, or the District of Columbia, especially, with its 50-time multiplication over the other parts of the country. It just is not right, that is all, and I am not going to be for it.
Senator MEAD. Congressman, has Illinois its quota at the present time?
Mr. KELLER. No, sir: it has not.
Mr. MITCHELL. I would like to call attention to the fact, if I may, that Illinois went ahead since 1933.
Mr. KELLER. Oh, yes; because I have been kicking with both feet ever since I came here.
Mr. MITCHELL. Illinois had 54 percent in 1933, and now has 77.4 percent.
Mr. KELLER. I only want 23 more. Well, gentlemen, I do not mean to appear more belligerent than I am, but I cannot agree to the idea that you put one State ahead of another any more than that you put one man ahead of another. It is a vital matter, and certainly I will vote that way and do what I can to have the Nichols amendment passed. I will serve notice on you now that I will not vote for this bill if you do not include the Nichols amendment.
Are there any questions?
The CHAIRMAN. You stated you were preparing a bill to introduce at the next session.
Mr. KELLER. Yes, sir.
Mr. KELLER. With this amendment in, I am for it. Without this amendment, I am not.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Byrd, do you have any questions?
Senator BYRD. One thing I want to say to Mr. Keller is this: Speaking of the Virginia quota—and I think Mr. Mitchell will bear me out in this—the increase, as you know, was made in the last World War. A lot of people would not come to Washington from the outlying States because the salaries in private industry then were larger than the salaries in public service, and in that way they accumulated