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I refer you to the recommendation of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government of February 1949, as follows:
“We recommend a thorough overhaul of the organization of the Department, at State, county, and farmer levels.”
Our comment on this recommendation was:
“AT THE STATE LEVEL
“The State governments operate effective agricultural departments. They have in the past engaged in effective cooperative activities with the Department at State, county, and farmer levels. In recent years, the Department has not taken full advantage of the established and effective State organizations in performing many agricultural programs and has thereby produced some duplication of national and State effort at local levels.
"AT THE COUNTY LEVEL
“This Commission was unable to conduct a detailed survey of activities at the county level. Sampling inquiries, however, revealed that considerable dupli
tion has developed. For example, employees attached to 7 distinct and separate field services of the Department of Agriculture in 1 cotton-producing county in Georgia were working with 1,500 farmers; a fruit and grazing county in the State of Washington has 184 employees of separate field services working with some 6,700 farmers; a dairy county in Maryland had 88 employees attached to these field services working with less than 3,400 farmers. In these and other counties, representatives of each agency frequently advise the same farmers on the same problems. Farmers are confused and irritated, as climaxed in 1 Missouri county, where a farmer recently received from 5 different agencies varying advice on the application of fertilizer on his farm. There are many separate field services at the county level. These include the Soil Conservation Service; Extension Service; Farmers' Home Administration; Production and Marketing Administration, with its conservation payment program and school lunch program; Farm Credit Administration through its production credit associations and national farm loan associations; and the Rural Electrification Administration. In addition, the Forest Service may be represented by FederalState farm forest management advisers; the Bureau of Animal Industry by specialists on animal-disease eradication programs; and the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine by others who work on plant-disease eradication and insect control.
"Separate from those of the Department of Agriculture, representatives of the Veterans' Administration are usually present to administer the on-farm industrial training program for veterans. The farm labor representatives of the Federal-State Employment Service and the Federal-State Department of Agriculture representatives may also be in the field at the county level.
“A multitude of county advisory committees of farmers has been created and employed by these various activities at a cost exceeding $5 million a year. These local committees have been given administrative functions. The task force on agricultural activities believes that the local committees should be purely advisory on program formulation and operation. All administrative work should be done by departmental or State employees.
“Our task force recommends that only one committee be set up in each county. It estimates their annual cost for the entire Nation need not exceed $700,000."
HERBERT HOOVER Mr. RIEHLMAX. I have also a statement from Mr. John A. Baker, assistant to the President of the National Farmers Union, which I would like to have inserted in the record at this point.
(Mr. Baker's statement is as follows:)
STATEMENT OF JOHN A. BAKER, ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT, NATIONAL FARMERS UNION
DON'T BUY A PIG IN A POKE
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, this statement is in support of the resolution that if enacted would result in disapproval and nullification of the proposal of the administration to reorganize the United States Department of Agriculture. If this resolution is not approved, the reorganization plan will go into full force and effect in early June.
Basically the reorganization plan, which this resolution would nullify, has two major provisions.
One of these would increase the size of the immediate office of the Secretary of Agriculture by the addition of several more Assistant Secretaries and their staffs. While I do not see the great pressing need to establish these additional high level positions, I do generally approve the principle that the Secretary of Agriculture should have sufficient responsible assistants to carry out effectively the duties of the Secretary's office.
I would hope that the establishment of such positions would not block off the access to the Secretary of the agency heads in the Department, nor result in removing the Secretary from close contact with the farmers of this country. Moreover, I would urge that the Assistant Secretaries not be made super-bureau chiefs assigned to control a combination of specific Department agencies but that each be assigned to a functional area that cuts across the boundaries of all the agencies. I suggest that your committee will want to interrogate the Seeretary of Agriculture carefully on this point to see in what maner he proposed to utilize the new positions assigned to his office by this reorganization plan.
The second major change in Department organization included in Reorganization Plan No. 2 is to repeal all legislation granting functions, authorities, and responsibilities directly from the Congress to the agency concerned, such as soilconservation work to Soil Conservation Service, rural electrification and rural telephone loans to RFA, and the agricultural conservation program to the community, county, and State farmer committees. All of these delegations under the proposed reorganization would be rested in the Secretary of Agriculture; granting him full authority to assign and reassign functions from one agency to another within the Department. Under this plan the Secretary would be enabled to assign the private forest protection work of the Forest Service to the Production and Marketing Administration; he would be empowered to require all of the action programs of the Department to be carried out by a single elite corps of newly hired full-time public servants; he would have the authority to transfer the functions of the Soil Conservation Service to the State agricultural extension services; he would have the power to take the ACP program away from the farmer committees and assign that program to the Extension Service or any other existing or newly established agency of the Department. These transfers of function I have just listed are only illustrative of the type of changes that this reorganization plan would grant the power to the Secretary to make. I do not know what the Secretary's plans are in regard to using this huge grant of power that would be given him.
My attitude toward the resolution before you would be largely dependent upon what sorts of major changes in the Department agencies that the Secretary would propose to make if he were given this power. I urge your committee to question the Secretary of Agriculture carefully. We should know whether he means to increase the scope of administrative and operational duties of the democratically elected farmer committeemen or to reduce them to a purely advisory capacity. We need to know whether he proposed to abolish the regional Soil Conservation Service offices, turning their duties and responsibilities over to the State extension services. We should know whether he proposes to remove all research activities from Soil Conservation Service and Forest Service and turn them over to State experiment stations.
I am greatly encouraged by some of the moves that have already been made in the organization of the Department of Agriculture even before this reorganization plan was submitted to the Congress. Notice General 101 of the Production and Marketing Administrator, is a big long step toward pulling the rug from under the farmer committee system. I think that this is unwise and unwarranted. Such changes as are made should be in the other direction to broaden the scope of the work of farmer committeemen. It was a mistake in my judgment to widen the breach between the Department's conservation programs and its agricultural production and income program, as was done when ACP was taken out of the Production and Marketing Administration and it, together with Soil Conservation Service, were lumped together with Extension Service in the Secretary's office.
Moreover, I am inclined to think that the setting up of full-time high paid officials in Commodity Credit Corporation separate from Production and Marketing Administration was both unwise and unnecessary.
My point is Mr. Chairman, I am inclined to think that the Secretary of Agriculture should have authority to run that Department commensurate with the responsibility that rests upon his shoulders. But I hasten to add that I want some assurance that he will not use that power to disrupt and weaken the organizational structure of the Department's agencies nor take unwise action that will destroy the effectiveness of the programs that have been built up over the past year.
I notice that several Congressmen and Senators have taken notice in the Congressional Record of the statements of the Under Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. Morse, concerning the need to remove from agriculture a large number of farmers and allow their land to grow up in grass and trees. That attitude Mr. Chairman, is to my mind completely irresponsible and outrageously brutal. I suggest that your committee will want to assure itself and farmers generally in these hearings that this "plow under the farmers” philosophy will not be the determining criterion under which the Secretary will make use of the great grant of powers that will be given him under Reorganization Plan No. 2. I think you should find out whether the Secretary means to disperse the functions of Farmers' Home Administration as a means of hastening the process of removing what Mr. Morse called the "marginal" farmers. I should think you would want to be reassured on this point before you allow the Reorganization Plan to go into full force and effect.
Frankly and honestly, I must say to you that, so far, I am not well impressed by the performance of the Secretary of Agriculture on these points. If my present impressions are a reliable forecast of wbat additional actions the Secretary might take if given all these new powers, the only tenable position open to me, is to urge you to recommend enactment of the resolution before you that will nullify this proposed grant of power. If, on the other hand, the Secretary of Agriculture is prepared to reassure the committee and the farmers of this country that he will not use this great power to weaken and disrupt the programs, I would reserve my position until I could examine the different proposed changes he plans to make.
Don't buy a pig in a poke. If the Secretary of Agriculture is at this time unable and unwilling to state frankly and fully how he plans to use this power he has asked for, let us turn down this plan now; and instruct him to come up later with another reorganization plan after he has had enough time for making all the studies that will enable him to be more specific.
In hearings before the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Secretary Benson testified that he does not need this reorganization plan to have the authority he feels he needs in our Production and Marketing Administration, Commodity Exchange Authority and 8 other agencies of the Department. Reorganization Plan No. 2 exempts 4 of the remaining 10 agencies from its provisions. The Secretary testified that he currently has no plans for disrupting, dispersing or reorganizing the other 6 agencies. This raises a serious question as to why Plan No. 2 is needed at this time. Congress will have ample time to pass on a new reorganization plan at such time as the Secretary may have specific plans in mind for reorganizing Farmers' Home Administration, Rural Electrification Administration, Soil Conservation Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Agricultural Economics in the Office of Solicitor.
Mr. Chairman, I appreciate this opportunity to have presented my views to you on this matter in this way.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. I also have a statement by Mr. Gavin W. McKerrow, president of the Golden Guernsey Dairy Cooperative, Milwaukee, Wis., which I would like to insert in the record at this point.
(Mr. McKerrow's statement is as follows:)
STATEMENT OF GAVIN W. McKERROW, PRESIDENT, GOLDEN GUERNSEY DAIRY
COOPERATIVE, MILWAUKEE, Wis. Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, I am Gavin W. McKerrow, of Pewaukee, Wis., and I submit this statement in support of the President's Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953.
I am representing the National Milk Producers Federation. This federation is the oldest and largest agricultural commodity organization in the United States. It consists of 97 farmer-owned cooperatives and some 600 submember associations with a combined membership of approximately 460,000 dairy farm families in 46 States. The volume of milk and cream sold or manufactured in various forms by these cooperatives exceeds 22 billion pounds a year.
I am a Wisconsin dairy farmer and president of a dairy marketing cooperative, Golden Guernsey Dairy. Our cooperative is made up of 528 farmers who produce and market thir own milk, and together with the cooperation of their employee members, have been successful in developing a business which totals nearly $10 million annually.
When the Hoover Commission issued its report in 1949, I had an active urge to do something about the reorganization; so my support of this plan to reorganize the Department of Agriculture is not the result of a sudden impulse.
The Public Expenditure Survey in Wisconsin acts somewhat in the capacity of & Government information clearing house and research agency for many local taxpayer organizations on a strictly nonpolitical basis. The Hoover report was a tailormade bipartisan research report aimed at more efficient Federal Government. We organized our bipartisan committee to promote adoption of the Hoover report. Therefore, I am also a spokesman for the Wisconsin Committee on ] Ioover Commission Findings of which I am proud to be chairman.
Our committee studied and discussed every bill introduced with a Hoover Commission label. We found that in our membership, which had representatives of industry, labor, government, women's organizations, civic groups, and farming, we usually had some one who was more or less an expert on every subject that came up.
Of course, at first industry and labor glared at each other across the table * * * then they both glared at the farmers. Then maybe the farmers and industry and labor all looked suspiciously at our college president. I might say that one of the industry representatives, our first chairman, was Walter Kohler, now Governor of the State.
It should be understood, and I want to emphasize that committee support was not given to any proposition unless the specialist involved was satisfied with it and unless all members of the committee understood it. Using these ground rules, we supported most of the Hoover Commission legislation introduced in 1949. The Department of Agriculture bill did not seem to meet all our specifications.
A bill to reorganize the Department was introduced in 1950, along with many others covering areas in the Hoover report. The committee waded through them and practically everyone got our support. We were reluctant about the agriculture bill but finally gave it our conditional approval. The present bill is an improvement in that appropriations cannot be shifted from the purpose for which they are made by Congress itself. Some of the discussion in which it has been maintained that the present bill gives the Secretary wider power than the other bill loses sight of this fact.
The National Milk Producers Federation, at their annual meeting in 1951, had some question as to the desirability of the reorganization bill proposed in the Congress. At that time they appointed a committee of which I was chair
Because of the detailed nature of the bill, and of some objectional features of the parts of it relating to the Farm Credit Administration, the federation did not feel like giving its unqualified support to the bill proposed at that time. However, it is our feeling that the Reorganization Plan No. 2 as now proposed is completely satisfactory and should be passed promptly by this Congress.
It is our firm conviction that while plan No. 2 as now proposed does not carry out all of the details suggested by the Hoover Commission, yet it does give the Secretary of Agriculture the power to so change the plan of organization that the advantages proposed in the Commission's reorganization plan could all be obtained.
It gives the Secretary a clear line of responsibility and authority so that many of the overlapping functions found by the Commission in their study of the Department can be eliminated. The addition of two Assistant Secretaries will make it possible to streamline the organization and get effective supervision.
The Commission found in their study that in many cases farmers received varying and conflicting advice from different bureaus in the Department on the same problem. The many instances of this kind can easily be found in the record of the investigations made by the Commission.
Some of those who have been enthusiastic for the adoption of the Hoover Commission report in full might criticize the present bill because it does not carry out in detail more of the suggestions for reorganization. However, this may have some compensating advantages in that the present plan will give more freedom for constant change and adaptation to new conditions.
Under this plan, as we see it, progress won't go out the window if there are strong objections to some minor change Secretary Benson chooses to make. We
must choose between the rigid pattern that has resulted in no headway toward reorganization and this plan which will permit streamlining and modernization.
After reading the President's presentation, I noted that he refers to some rearranging of organiaztional units which are already taking place. I also noted his desire to handle the separate corporations and the Farm Credit Administration in some other manner which will make this reorganization plan less controversial. The National Milk Producers Federation is favorable to this approach.
Lis not unusual to consider the farmers of America as conservatives. Nor is it incorrect to say that their lives are a gamble. They sow seed and then gamble on the weather. A handful may come back as a bushel if the days are sunny enough and not too wet or not too cold. As part of this gamble is their days of huru wor.. but, hard as they work in their lives that are a gamble, the farmers of America are not wasteful and they do not like to see waste in any form on the part of anybody else.
It is my conviction that the growth of the Department of Agriculture since it began to expand its operations in a large way in the thirties, has resulted in waste-waste of manpower, money, and material. The Hoover report indicates the growth was haphazard. We have been wasting our national wealth.
I am convinced that waste, overlap, and irresponsibility cannot last long in the Department if all lines of authority and responsibility are clear. It is when we have little blind alleys in Government that costs run up unnecessarily.
The dairy farmers in America wish to register in favor of this reorganization plan because they are Americans who are interested in cutting down the costs of government. They hope that all other groups will take the same attitude and support plans which will put all Government departments on a more efficient basis. This is not a matter of changing general policies but a matter of efficient organization.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. I also have a statement from Mr. Homer L. Brinkley, executive secretary of the National Council of Farm Cooperatives, which I would like to insert in the record at this point.
(Mr. Brinkley's statement follows :)
STATEMENT OF HOMER L. BRINKLEY, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, NATIONAL COUNCIL
OF FARMER COOPERATIVES
The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives strongly recommends approval of Reorganization Plan No. 2 for the United States Department of Agriculture.
This plan has been developed after thorough study by qualified persons both within and outside the Department of Agriculture. Its provisions envisage an organizational approach designed to meet the changing conditions within the agricultural industry—both those having occurred during the past 18 months or so and those which may reasonably be expected.
Within the past year or 18 months there have been significant changes in our general farm picture and it is safe to say that more are to come. To meet those situations the Department of Agriculture should be reorganized in such manner as to be able to meet those rapid shifts in a changing pattern. An outmoded structure such as presently exists, constitutes an unnecessary handicap in the adjustment of the Department of Agriculture services to the modern needs of agriculture.
An organization which has ben characterized as a loose confederation of autonomous bureaus with a strong tendency to develop independent, overlapping and duplicating programs, and which "has grown to its present size without sufficient attention being given to integrating its parts into a whole," seems to us an undependable tool having doubtful capacity to serve agriculture in the manner in which it must be served in the critical situation in which we now find ourselves and in the troubled days which loom ahead.
While it is not entirely appropriate to exactly compare the administrative problems of a Government agency with those of industry, neither should we conclude that the basic principles are entirely different. In many respects they are identical. For example, it is difficult to imagine the head of a giant industrial organization permitting the growth of branches and divisions, sections and units with virtually complete autonomy, and yet be charged with full responsibility for their commitments and operations. Substantially that situation has developed over the years in the Department of Agriculture. Responsibility without