Page images

a great many of these people. They are not recent appointments. That condition has existed for a long time. The opportunity was, perhaps, given to these other States but they did not desire to come here to be stenographers at $1,200 a year or whatever it was at that time, when they could obtain more in private industry by reason of the improvement in business that then existed.

Mr. KELLER. Gentlemen, that is a beautiful theory, but I was on earth and among men at that time and my district could have furnished as many as the State of Virginia did and not have missed them, educated young men and women who would be tickled with the jobs.

Mr. VIPOND. We were holding examinations at that time, Mr. Keller, every week for stenographers throughout the United States and they literally would not come here. They would come and go, come and go, but we invariably, and have for many, many years, certified from the States in arrears before we certified from the States in excess, right straight through. The table that was presented to the committee here day before yesterday by Commissioner Mitchell shows that the District of Columbia has lost nearly half of its percentage that it had several years ago.

Mr. KELLER. Because of increased population, I presume.

Mr. VIPOND. No; because of the reduction of some 2,000 regular positions held by the District of Columbia people. Virginia lost about 200 people and Maryland lost about 100 people in the last seceral years, in apportioned positions.

Mr. KELLER. You have appointed people from Virginia since the World War surely. All your appointments are not 23 years old. I am not shooting at Virginia any more than New York and the others.

Senator BYRD. Take the period from 1920 to 1930, that was a very prosperous period in the business of the country. The salaries paid in business then were higher than those paid by the Government.

Mr. KELLER. Even during the last 10 years, Senator, you have been getting a good many appointments from Virginia.

Senator BYRD. I am not familiar with that.

Mr. VIPOND. Of course, there are many agencies not under the civilservice system where many appointments were being made. Under the civil-service system Virginia has lost in the last 7 years.

Mr. KELLER. They lost in proportion?
Mr. VIPOND. They lost in the total number of appointments.

Mr. MITCHELL. Virginia has 200 less positions than it had on February 28, 1933.

Mr. KELLER. How many did they have then?
Mr. MITCHELL. They had 10,778.
Mr. VIPOND. That is the District of Columbia.
Mr. KELLER. I thought so.
Mr. VIPOND. Virginia has 200 less.

Senator BYRD. The fact remains we have 200 less positions in Virginia now than we had in 1933.

Mr. MITCHELL. Virginia has 250 less positions than it had in 1933.

Senator BYRD. You know, Mr. Keller, of course, that that situation exists in regard to all State employment. Take Richmond, for instance, when I was Governor, the great complaint then was that all the employees in the State were in Richmond. There are always more applicants from the proximity where the employment is given. Mr. KELLER. The good government you had down there I am sure did not extend that power while you were Governor. You reached to Roanoke and the other cities.

Senator Byrd. There is no way to avoid that. It always has existed.

Mr. KELLER. There is a way to avoid that if the Civil Service Commission will refuse to certify anybody from a State or territory or section that is over its quota.

Senator BYRD. Another thing, your good Illinois people came over to Arlington County and became citizens of the State, and they have their children credited to Virginia.

Mr. KELLER. But they are still appointed from Illinois, if they were appointed from there first.

Senator BYRD. Not the children, and not their wives, if their wives have not been employed.

Mr. VIPOND. If they take up residence in Virginia and start to vote in Virginia, they are charged to Virginia.

Mr. KELLER. We all stay at home and vote there. You saw that from the records the other day.

Mr. MITCHELL. Mr. Keller, we do not certify people from Virginia if there are eligibles from any State in arrears. Practically speaking, we do not certify anybody from Virginia, Maryland, or the District of Columbia except in some special cases where there is nobody else available, and that is very rare.

This table shows that we have persistently pursued that policy, with the result that the District of Columbia has 2,000 less than it had 7 years ago, Virginia has 250 less, and Maryland has about 100 less. Maryland has not gone down as the others have.

Mr. KELLER. They have more effective politicians in Maryland. Mr. MITCHELL. No; I do not think that is the reason.

I do not know what the reason is, but Maryland has not gone down as much. I suppose they have younger people in there, there are not as many who have reached the time of retirement, and so forth.

Mr. KELLER. I am not for the promotion of anybody from the over-quotaed States over anybody from the States under quota, and I think that this committee will agree with me heartily on that. As to how it should be carried out, well, I drew a soft-headed amendment because Congressman Ramspeck talked me into it, I confess because I am good natured and we are on more committees than one. It was a soft-headed amendment just the same, but when it had the Nichols addition to it, it suited me very much.

Gentlemen, I thank you.

The CHAIRMAN. Much obliged to you. We will next hear from Colonel Stengle.

Senator MEAD. Mr. Chairman, before the colonel takes the floor, I should like to state that I have a meeting of the Post Office Committee on the longevity bill at 10:30. I shall be back, however.



Mr. STENGLE. I do not know why there should be so must excitement about the enactment of this bill into law. It is not an unusual thing to bring men and women into the civil service, the classified civil service, by other means than open competitive examinations.

Over a period of years, indeed since the inception of the Civil Service Act, a large proportion of the employees of this Government have been brought into the classified civil service either by an order blanketing them in or by noncompetitive examinations. This is not a political question, as some would choose to term it, because under all kinds of administration that rule has been carried out.

I want to say it is not a political question for another reason. Some people say that this is a move simply to bring into the service those who were appointed under this administration. I know of numerouse cases of men and women in the departments here that have been here for many years but who have never yet had an opportunity to come into the classified service except by the open competitive test and beginning at the bottom again. There are in the office of the collector of internal revenue many men who have made it, a career and who, because of their ability, their efficiency, and their faithfulness to duty, have been carried on under both administrations, and if they were not, the Government would suffer by reason of putting a political ax to an efficient employee who assists in bringing in revenue to the Government.

The same is true in regard to the United States marshal's deputies. Many of those have been in the service for years and you, Senators, will no doubt recall, I think it was back in about 1912, an amendment on an appropriation bill took these two groups out of the civil service. They had been in once, they were taken out and we want them put back where they belong, because they are important people in the Government service.

Now, as to the quota, I personally do not like people to attack Virginia. I was born and raised there and I deny the allegation and I am ready to attack the allegators who say that Virginia is getting more than its share. I recall, and so do you, when the World War came you could hardly get anybody to do work here outside of the immediate neighborhood. What would we have done had Virginia refused to come to the support of the Government at that time? We ought to be praising Virginia rather than condemning her because it so happens that now, at this late date, she is above quota.

I am opposed to this quota amendment offered by Congressman Nichols. It does not work, and it will not work. As I said to him yesterday, the Virgin Islands have a quota of nine and appointees nothing. We would have to wait until the Virgin Islanders became aroused and wanted to come up here to fill a job before you could certify any State. It is nonsensical, and I do not believe he understood the quota when he proposed it. I ask this committee to strike that quota as it applies to the existing incumbents because they have rendered yeoman service.

I deny another allegation that so frequently is thrown across the board, that we have a lot of tax eaters, time servers, and loafers in the Government service. I have, for the last 20 years, been in close contact with Government work both in New York City and here and I want to say to this committee today that, taking the group as a whole, it will compare most favorably with any group in the United States, either in private or public employment, and it is an indictment that ought not to lay, any more than to say that because some man committed murder that everybody in the State of Georgia is a murderer or that because somebody committed larceny in South Dakota, that makes everyone there a convict and a man who will steal his brother's purse. I will admit that they are human, that here and there there may be some who do not measure up, but remember this, Senators, the law provides a way to get rid of them if they are not satisfactory, and if there is any fault the fault lies not with the employees but with the administrator who will not get rid of an inefficient or an unfaithful servant. So do not indict us, the employees, but indict those who are guilty, if guilt lies at anybody's door.

Now, we talk about this proviso that is in the first part of the bill, that this act shall not apply-I do not know as I have the exact words, but I will give you the substance—this act shall not apply to those who work for the W. P. A. or in connection therewith. You have in this room a very able upstanding American who is able to hold his head high along with any other men in this Government, who has served faithfully in the W. P. A. Why should he be denied, if he is still there, the benefit of this classification? Congressman Ramspeck gave you the real reason why that proviso is there. An investigation was going on. You recall it. Because of that investigation and the state of mind that was created at the time the committe thought it would be wise to leave them out. I want to ask you to put them in. I can show you hundreds of administrative employees working under W. P. A. in this country that are the equal of most of us who are sitting here when it comes to efficient public service.

Now, I have been asked my opinion about the 6 months, that clause that raised contention here the other day. I think that section will have to be rewritten leaving 6 months out. The Executive order of June 24, 1938, provided for a noncompetitive examination and let the others stay on, but not in the competitive classified civil service. I have no objection to that, if the Government needs their services, but I want to bring into the classified civil service every man and woman who has served here long enough to render themselves efficient to the Government, whether they come from Kamchatka or Kalamazoo, that is immaterial to me in this instance.

I do not object to quotas in the entrance stage, but here are men and women who have been here for years, they have rendered faithful service.

There is one feature in that clause I never liked, and that is that only those who are certified shall receive the opportunity to take tht test. Who is to certify! The supervisor. Now, if those persons not certified are not faithful and efficient, and he does not certify him, it is an indictment of the supervisor, because if they were not faithful and efficient, he ought to have gotten rid of them long ago. The very fact that he continues their services and permits them to work there daily is presumptive evidence that they are performing their duties and ought to have an equal opportunity with those who are certified by him, in order to get an opportunity to get into the classified civil service.

I do not like to concentrate in the hands of a supervisor the power of life or death, as it were, upon an employee working under him. He may not be a blonde and they will turn him out, or she may not be a brunette and out she goes. We are human, so let talk humanly. There are supervisors in the Government who have their favorites and would certify them, and they have some they dislike and they

would refuse to certify them, and the one they dislike may be the better of the two. So let us open the gate to everyone who is there when this becomes a law, and let them stand or fall on the questions that there are given and the ratings they receive.

Now, I do not know as I could add anything to the “gayety of nations” here. I wanted to get this much in for the record. I am for this bill. I am for it because I think this is a step in the right direction. We ought not to carry on a government half civil service and half non-civil service.

We have had here over 50 years the competitive civil service, and merit system. Let us extend the merit system not particularly for the benefit of these employees who will take this test, but for the benefit of our Government, that we maintain here a force that is efficient, qualified in all directions to perform public service, the service that we are constantly, as taxpayers, demanding of them.

I hope this committee will rise above these petty objections and put this bill on the calendar in its proper shape and pass it in the Senate, and I will assure you it is my humble judgment that the conferees on the part of the House will meet you more than half way.

The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions to be directed to the Colonel? If there are not, we are much obliged to you.

Mr. Baker?



Mr. BAKER. My name is Jacob Baker I am president of the United Federal Workers of America, affiliated with the Congress of Industrial Organizations.

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, the Congress of Industrial Organizations has, in its past two conventions, passed strong resolutions favoring the continued extension of the merit system. I simply want the committee to know there is a very widespread labor support for continuing the extension of the merit system of the civil service, of the classification act, and all of the legislation necessary to build a meritorious career service in the public service of the Federal Government. Consequently there is no question of our general approval of this bill. The United Federal Workers of America is fully in accord with the desirability of the bill and strongly urges its adoption.

I should like to discuss, rather briefly, some of the things that have been discussed by others, but I have one or two points that may not have been thought of. In connection with the expansion, the agencies to be included, we feel that there should be no exemptions, although. suggestions have been made, for example, that the T. V. A. should be exempted. Our unions in the T. V. A. carried on a poll of all of the employees and we found that there was a majority of the employees of the T. V. A. that objected to this bill for a rather specific reason. They have established down there an extremely satisfactory working relationship between the Administration and the employee organizations, and the unions are very much concerned that they shall not be disturbed, but I should like to point out that there is nothing in the bill that would interfere with that. By Executive order, the

« PreviousContinue »