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In the second place, as stated above, the Farm Credit Administration is exempted from the operation of the plan, which was not the case in the 1950 plan.
In the third place, there are some important principles or objectives written into the current proposal that were not incorporated in the 1950 plan which we think are very important. They are: The Secretary in undertaking any new reorganization must
(1) Seek, thereby, to simplify and make more efficient the functioning of the agency;
(2) He must seek to place the administration of farm programs as close to the State and local levels as possible; and
(3) He must adapt the programs to regional, State, and local conditions. All of these are sound principles or objectives of good government that the National Grange has long stood for.
In conclusion I would like to emphasize that the sound reorganization of the Department of Agriculture, along the lines as laid down by the Commission on Reorganization of the Executive Branch of the Government, is long since overdue. We have great faith in the sincerity, integrity, and motives of the present Secretary, and believe that he should be given the full bipartisan support of all Members of the Congress in this matter. We believe that the present proposal follows out in letter and spirit the general principles set out in the Reorganization Commission's recommendations. We sincerely trust that the committee will recommend approval of the plan No. 2 of 1953 as it has been submitted by the President.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. Thank you, Mr. Sanders.
In the first place, the present proposal has a specific provision written into it which obligates the Secretary to consult with general farm organization leaders and the appropriate committees of the Congress before he makes any major reorganization proposals.
Suppose the Secretary doesn't do it and made changes in his Department. What redress would you have?
Mr. SANDERS. We would have no direct redress. If he made a grave error, though, the Congress could easily correct it by simple legislation.
Mr. Dawson. Congress can correct it if he makes a slight error.
Mr. Dawson. But do you place so much stress upon that statementI have heard it repeated quite a few times today and given great weight, seemingly that it obligates him—which obligates the Secretary to consult; and if he is obligated and he doesn't do it, there is no provision here making his act illegal; is there?
Mr. SANDERS. No; that's right.
Mr. SANDERS. I know, but quite often the history of legislation has a vital influence or effect on its interpretation; and I think if the Secretary sits here, as he did, and pledges that he will do that, we have considerable faith in that being done.
Mr. Dawson. I am for the plan; but sitting here this morning, listening to the testimony, I was intrigued by the fact that there were so
many witnesses representing certain organizations, who had voted against the 1950 plan and now are for it, and some leaders or members of these organizations are now on the Secretary's staff.
Was your organization one of those ?
Mr. ŠANDERS. No; we don't have any members on the Secretary's staff, but we were in opposition to the 1950 plan.
We have at least part of one of those classifications.
Mr. FOUNTAIN. Mr. Sanders, I appreciate the statement in which you attempt to distinguish between the present Reorganization Plan No. 2 and plan No. 4 of 1950, and the reasons which you give for supporting this plan and not supporting the plan of 1950. I want to ask you: Does this plan eliminate the objections which you raised to it in 1950 ?
Mr. SANDERS. Principally, yes, sir. Those that I just quoted we think do introduce pledges that we did not have from the previous Secretary at all.
Mr. FOUNTAIN. Well, in 1950
Mr. SANDERS. In fact, we were not consulted at all. In this case, we were. We did meet with the Secretary's representatives and discuss this plan before it was introduced.
Mr. DAWSON. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. FOUNTAIN. Did the present Secretary make any commitments to you as to what he would do?
Mr. SANDERS. Not any commitments, except what is in the bill. We didn't even ask for such commitments.
Mr. FOUNTAIN. Were you legislative counsel of the National Grange in 1950, as you are now?
Mr. SANDERS. Yes, sir.
Mr. FOUNTAIN. I want to ask you if you recall these words of yours in 1950 before the Senate committee:
We trust the Senate will reject plan 4 for reorganization of the Department of Agriculture.
It grants to the Secretary of Agriculture practically complete authority to reorganize any of the agencies in the Department in any way he sees fit without regard to the express wishes of Congress or the express recommendations of the Hoover Commission.
The theory that we should place full responsibility on an executive and then hold him responsible to get favorable results is merely theory when applied to governmental operations of this kind and does not work out in practice.
The only way to avoid the possibility of such abuse is for the Congress itself to lay down in the law the broad course it desires to be followed in the administration of the law.
Plan 4 would abolish all these safeguards and policies and give the Secretary power to do anything he wants.
We feel this is a most dangerous grant of power.
I am wondering if the differences which you have explained between the present plan and the plan of 1950 are sufficient to eliminate the very strong and potent argument which you presented against the plan in 1950 ?
Mr. SANDERS. Yes. If we didn't think so, we wouldn't be here-
Mr. FOUNTAIN. Of course, circumstances and conditions and changes of seasons and things of that nature frequently have their influence, don't they?
Mr. SANDERS. Change of seasons?
Mr. SANDERS. No, sir; not that. We don't get upset by change of seasons that way.
Mr. FOUNTAIN. Change of political seasons, maybe I should say. Mr. SANDERS. We are a little bit more stable in that, Mr. Congress
Mr. Dawson. A beautiful public-relations job has been done.
Mr. Meek, will you identify yourself for the record, please? STATEMENT OF J. H. MEEK, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF MARKETS,
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND IMMIGRATION, RICHMOND, VA.
Mr. MEEK. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, my name is J. H. Meek, director, division of markets, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Immigration, 1200 East Main Street, Richmond, Va.
I was secretary-treasurer of the National Association of Marketing Officials, 1941 to 1944, inclusive, and president in 1951. I am now secretary-treasurer of that association.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. Do you want to proceed to read your statement, or would you like to have it inserted in the record ?
Mr. MEEK. If there is no objection, I will proceed to read, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. All right.
Mr. MEEK. While I speak with the experience gained from my association of nearly 33 years with representatives in charge of State market work in other States, United States officials, and others, and believe my statement has the enthusiastic approval of practically all of the representatives in other States, my remarks are not binding upon any representative of any other State, since the National Association of Marketing Officials does not pass resolutions or take votes of its members on such matters.
The broad field in which we are interested is the improvements in the distribution of foods and farm products from producers to consumers. I shall not burden you with details.
In the early years of our activities, representatives of the States and the United States Department of Agriculture were doing pioneering work, principally the establishment of standards and providing official inspection based on those standards on wholesale lots, market news, and so forth. We did not have much money but we collected fees on a voluntary basis to help finance these services, although the States over the years have put considerable money in these services to promote and supervise them. We harmoniously joined our forces in teamwork and developed services that have been indispensable for years, many of which are practically self-supporting.
Most of these services were joint Federal-State services, which is proper. When preparations for World War II were being made some of us thought that the Federal services should have been coordinated with the State agricultural colleges or the State departments of agriculture, where reasonable cooperation could be secured. Some of us even offered space for these activities. However, Federal officials seemed to have money they wanted to spend. They went out and established independent offices. In this development there were new persons paid high salaries. Many of them had little background, experience, or knowledge in the field for which they were employed. These offices grew rapidly and some activities coordinated with the colleges and State departments of agriculture were brought into them for direction and control. A glaring illustration of this situation is the book entitled "Food Crisis,” published in 1943, by Mr. Roy F. Hendrickson, Director, United States Food Distribution Administration. Please note a quotation from page 239 of that book:
Moreover, it was still difficult to face up to the possibilities and implications of the "newer" knowledge of production efficiency. Few people would openly and fully espouse a program for any reduction of hog and poultry numbers and urge in their place more cereals, potatoes, vegetables, and oilseeds. We were being pushed in that direction by the force of events, but we were not boldly and quickly going in that direction.
This urge was to get rid of all livestock and force the people to live on cereals—soybeans, if you please.
Then, permit me to quote from page 261 of the same publication, as follows:
In war we have to hold back the increases in livestock production in order to increase the production of crops that can be consumed directly. That is the only way to get quick increases in production and maximum nutrients for human consumption. For peacetime we can concern ourselves more directly with what people want. We know they want more livestock products, so the all-out production will be a conversion to increase livestock production, particularly at the expense of cereals and other direct consumption crops. These changes will not have to be made at once-in fact, could not be but they will have to be the new goal for agriculture,
Please note from this he predicted that the big job after the war would be to bring back livestock. There was much ridiculous thinking and many ridiculous policies in the United States Department of Agriculture at that time. Large sums of Government money were being spent and in the words of one of the most practical and experienced men there, the most these people seemed to think about was to purchase something for which they seemed to think they had unlimited funds. This sentiment prevailed to the extent that some of us felt that there were people in important positions in the Department who thought that the Government should handle foods from producers to con
However, I am happy to say that the thoughts in some minds at that time for the Government to take over the food and farm products did not prevail, yet we all knew that considerable activity had been going on in that field, and large sums of money have been spent, which many of us believed could have been saved.
During years following the war, a sentiment for Federal domination instead of teamwork with the States existed, although many cooperative agreements have been continued and are still in effect.
For the last few years State representatives have considered the inatter of taking this
situation up with proper committees of Congress,
but due to the instability of Congress this was not done, and it was left to see what would happen to increase the possibilities of getting the United States Department of Agriculture reorganized. Plans have been made to go along on some activities in some States independently.
Immediately upon the appointment of Mr. Ezra T. Benson as Secretary of Agriculture, the executive committee of the National Association of Marketing Officials approved a brief statement relating to the reorganization of the United States Department of Agriculture. Please permit me to read that statement which I submit as exhibit 1.
Many men engaged in State marketing activities, some of which are joint Federal-State activities, particularly those relating to marketing services, believe that marketing activities should be separated from crop controls and price supports. Since these items have been handled under the same heading, where training, time, and thought are on crop controls and price supports, various marketing services appear to have been neglected. Therefore, Mr. E. T. Benson, newly appointed Secretary of Agriculture is urgently requested to give serious consideration to separating marketing activities of the United States Department from crop controls and price supports. It is also important that Federal services. be coordinated more closely with State services.
Men in charge of State marketing services will cooperate enthusiastically with Mr. Benson to bring about these changes.
Subsequent to that I submitted a chart proposing a reorganization plan for the Department of Agriculture, and a chart proposoing a plan for an Agricultural Marketing Administration, with a tabulation of the services suggested to be handled by the proposed Agricultural Marketing Administration and showing agencies presently responsible for these activities. It is our feeling that there should be a dynamic marketing program direct from the Secretary.
Some of the big problems that this marketing program has to solve is worldwide distribution and exchange, identification of quality from producers to consumers, and consumer education. These each might be discussed in detail, but I will leave this off unless you have questions relating to them.
The important problem as some of us see it is not so much to get rid of deadwood in the Department, as many of those who have been there for many years are more capable and deserving than many who were brought into the Department during the war hysteria and put over those who have rendered faithful and efficient services in their respective fields for years, but it is a matter of reassignment or getting rid of much of the new growth that is not fruitful. In recent years when a problem is taken up it may be discussed by a whole group, none of whom know much about it. They have their differences and usually nothing is done about it. I was much impressed with a recent radio comment stating that Senator Richard B. Russell, of Georgia, stated something to this effect: That the people in the United States Department of Agriculture held too many conferences—that when he calls up to talk to the technical men they are often in conference. That is exactly what we find—that they will sit around in conference with one another, have their differences on problems and do nothing about it. Frankly, in some cases they have 5 men that do that while 1 man with an assistant could actually take the problem, decide on what to do about it, and often have it practically solved before the group arrives at any conclusion. We are getting tired of this kind of treatment and kind of domination and we hope that a reorganiza