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COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS.
House OF REPRESENTATIVES.
SIXTY-EIGHTH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION.
MARTIN B. MADDEN, Illinois, Chairman. CHARLES R. DAVIS, Minnesota.
FRANK H. FUNK, Illinois. DANIEL R. ANTHONY, JR., Kansas.
JOHN TABER, New York. WILLIAM S. VARE, Pennsylvania.
MAURICE H. THATCHER, Kentucky. SYDNEY ANDERSON, Minnesota.
JOSEPH W. BYRNS, Tennessee, WILLIAM R. WOOD, Indiana.
JAMES P. BUCHANAN, Texas. LOUIS C. CRAMTON, Michigan.
JAMES A. GALLIVAN, Massachusetts. EDWARD H. WASON, New Hampshire.
JAMES F. BYRNES, South Carolina. WALTER W. MAGEE, New York,
GORDON LEE, Georgia. GEORGE HOLDEN TINKHAM, Massachusetts. BEN JOHNSON, Kentucky. BURTON L. FRENCH, Idaho.
CHARLES D. CARTER, Oklahoma. MILTON T. SHREVE, Pennsylvania.
EDWARD T. TAYLOR, Colorado. L. J. DICKINSON, Iowa.
WILLIAM B. OLIVER, Alabama. FRANK MURPHY, Ohio.
ANTHONY J. GRIFFIN, New York. JOHN W. SUMMERS, Washington.
THOMAS W. HARRISON, Virginia. HENRY E. BARBOUR, California.
JOHN N. SANDLIN, Louisiana. ERNEST R. ACKERMAN, New Jersey.
JOHN J. EAGAN, New Jersey. GUY U. HARDY, Colorado.
WILLIAM A. AYRES, Kansas.
MARCELLUS C. SHEILD, Clerk. II
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
WAR Z to 1924
AGRICULTURAL APPROPRIATION BILL, 1925.
HEARINGS CONDUCTED BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE, MESSRS.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 11, 1924.
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT, DEPARTMENT OF AGRI-
FISCAL AFFAIRS OF DEPARTMENT. Mr. ANDERSON. We should be glad to have you give a general statement, Mr. Jump.
Mr. JUMP. The Secretary asked me to express his regret that he is unable to be present this morning. He has had to make a trip to the West to keep engagements of some weeks standing involving important agricultural conferences at St. Paul and Omaha. I believe he communicated with the chairman a few days ago, before leaving. He desired me to state that he will be glad to appear before the committee prior to the conclusion of the hearings, if desired. Before proceeding to the discussion of the Budget I think I should say that we are very much gratified that the estimates covering the Department of Agriculture are to be considered by the same subcommittee as in the past two years. Your intimate knowledge of the activities of the department and its future needs greatly facilitates the presentation of the estimates and we feel assured the careful considered merited by the very direct relation of the work of the department to the basic agricultural industry of the country. From the study which I understand has been made of the estimates and in view of the availability of the very comprehensive summary prepared by the clerk of the subcommittee, I will not burden you with any lengthy statement on the estimates in general. I will just touch upon one or two points which perhaps should be taken into account. In the first place, if there is no objection, I should like to place in the record an informal summary showing comparisons between appropriations for 1924 and the estimates for 1925, as follows:
From a fiscal standpoint, as shown by the foregoing summary, there is a clear reduction recommended of $15,470,878 as compared with the appropriation for 1924.
Mr. ANDERSON. How much of that is represented by a reduction in the road fund ?
Mr. JUMP. In the matter of Federal aid there is a reduction of $15,800,000. At the same time there is an increase of $2,000,000 recommended in the forest-road fund. There was an appropriation of $3,000,000 last year for forest roads, and we are asking $5,000,000 this year. Both years, you will recall, are under the $6,500,000 authorization for forest roads in the last legislative act on the subject.
There is also an increase of $550,000 recommended for acquisition of lands under the Weeks law.
In anticipation of the effects of salary classification the so-called statutory salary rolls of the department have been reduced by $167,643 below the appropriations for the current year. This will involve a reduction of between 150 and 175 employees on that roll. While there are a few instances where the contrary is the case, we will be able to make that reduction in the funds in most cases without serious detriment, in view of the fact that the statutory rolls now are submitted in the form of lump sums, subject, of course, to the provisions of the salary classification act of 1923. This change will make for efficiency and economy and the reductions proposed can be taken care of in most cases by the fact that the fund will be in the more flexible form, doing away with the lapses to the Treasury heretofore occurring and permitting the lump fund appropriated to be used to the best possible advantage.
There are numerous reductions and certain increases in the bill. Some of them are real and others are apparent. Many of the increases are due solely to the application of the classification act.
If, for the purpose of analysis, the Budget is stripped of all of the purely fiscal features and consideration is had as to how its provisions affect the "regular" activities of the department, as distinguished from such projects as acquisition of lands, Federal aid to the States, where the department administers rather than expends, etc., and omitting the increase of $197,530 asked on the meat-inspection workat first glance that would seem to be an increase for meat-inspection work, but the character of the item I think is understood by the committee-it is seen that there are 99 items involving reductions in the regular work of the department amounting to $976,926. Analyzing from the same angle, there are increases involving 32 items amounting to $420,396 in the regular work. It is hardly necessary to state that these increases are found to be for only the most urgent items, which were included by the Budget Bureau after its consideration of the department recommendations. The detailed discussion of these items by the chiefs of the bureaus concerned will develop further their urgent character. I hardly think it is necessary to say anything more at this time, Mr. Chairman, the members of the committee being so familiar with the bill and the work of the department; it would merely be taking up time unnecessarily.
If you are interested in the reclassification matter, we might begin with the discussion of that by Doctor Stockberger, the department classification officer, who has given the matter constant attention
since the work has been taken up and who will be in a position to discuss it from any angle you desire.
Mr. ANDERSON. We shall be glad to hear him.
CLASSIFICATION OF EMPLOYEES.
Mr. STOCKBERGER. Mr. Chairman, the classification work has proven to be quite complicated. Instead of attempting to take up your time making a general statement, I would be very glad indeed to have you indicate particular features which you would like to have me discuss.
Mr. ANDERSON. That presupposes some knowledge on our part of the proposition, which, as far as I am concerned, I do not possess, so I think you had better start at the beginning and tell us all about it.
Mr. STOCKBERGER. Mr. Chairman, if you care to listen to a brief recital of the way the classification work has been handled in the department, I should be very glad to give you an outline of it.
After the classification act was passed and the classification board promulgated the rules under which employees should be classified, the Secretary of Agriculture appointed a classification officer for the entire department, whose duty it became to coordinate and direct all of the classification work. That coordination was effected through the appointment of committees for each bureau or office in the department.
The committee was made up of members chosen partly from the scientific staff and partly from those who were familiar with the personnel work of the bureau. In practically all cases the chief clerk or the administrative assistant was a member of the committee.
The classification of employees was then begun, following the lines laid down by the classification board. An attempt was made to analyze, as closely as the committee could, the positions within the various offices and bureaus, and to coordinate them relative to the specifications of the grades of the classification act.
After that work was done the committees' material was sent into my office, where it was subjected to another comparative review. I may say that it was necessary to bring about a number of reductions in the estimates made in some of the bureaus in order to bring them into harmony.
Mr. ANDERSON. You mean by that, that the average salaries in one bureau or department were relatively higher than in others, so you had to make a reduction in one to bring them on a comparative basis?
Mr. STOCKBERGER. That is true in part; yes. As a matter of fact, it turned out that the average of the salaries in the various bureaus, or rather the percentage cost of classification in the various bureaus differed widely and does still in our estimates, for the reason that in certain of the older bureaus, as, for example, the Weather Bureau, the personnel there occupied statutory positions which were fixed many years ago and were of relatively low rank, as compared with the positions of similar character in some of our newer bureaus.
The aim was not so much to attempt to bring the bureaus all to the same level, because that would have perpetuated any inequality which exists at the present time, as to keep the entire cost of classification down.
I may say to you that I attempted to work to the figure of 5 per cent for the entire department. I think the last analysis shows that we are well within that figure.
Mr. ANDERSON. What is the figure ? Mr. STOCKBERGER. On the basis of the Budget estimate, it is 4.5 Mr. ANDERSON. That is for the entire department ? Mr. STOCKBERGER. For employees in the District of Columbia, yes. The efforts of coordination were directed more toward securing as nearly as possible the equal placement in grades; as for example, in one þureau, the chiefs of the divisions would be assigned to a certain grade, and in another bureau the chiefs of divisions had been assigned to higher grades.
An effort was made to equalize the grade assignment of positions of equal rank.
Mr. ANDERSON. What the classification really did was to classify the jobs, classify the work, the man doing the particular work taking that particular classification. It is classification of work rather than classification of men, is it not?
Mr. STOCKBERGER. It is extremely difficult, Mr. Chairman, in the last analysis, to separate the man entirely from the job. I may illustrate that by reference to our scientific work, where this difficulty is greatest.
We may have in mind what we will call a group of ideal positions, but the men in them are not all equally efficient. They have not all the same breadth of view, or capacity for developing work. One man in a particular line of work will develop it to a point where he attains results of very great importance. Perhaps another man for some reason has not the same background of education or experience, or point of view, and he does not make good. The positions may be almost identical, looking at it purely from a position standpoint. Yet, when we come to the classification, if we confine ourselves solely to an arbitrary paper plan of organization, we would have positions all placed on the same ranking level which obviously are not so, either in the performance of the men or the results which the department seecures from their activities.
Mr. ANDERSON. I do not want to argue the question, but I do not see why that is so where you have an overlapping range of salaries in different classifications. In your professional grade, for example, you have a wide range of salaries which would cover, I suppose, a very consideragle range of ability. I understood you to say that you might put a man in a different classification because of his ability, even though he did the same class of work as somebody else.
Mr. STOCKBERGER. I did not mean to give that impression, Mr. Chairman. If I may refer to my illustration again, I would say that it is work of a similar kind, but not necessarily of the same class.
RESULTS OF CLASSIFICATION OF EMPLOYEES.
Mr. STOCKBERGER. The net result of the classification work has been to bring about what appears to be the beginning of a satisfactory readjustment of the inequalities which have heretofore existed. In those bureaus, where the statutory positions were lower than in *he newer ones, the classification will bring them now to an approxi