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Mr. COOLEY. That may be perfectly true, but if the man is going to streamline it, it is all well and good, but let him give us an idea of what he is going to do. I have not read all that has been said by Mr. Benson, but I have read enough that has been said by him to know that he has not given Congress any definite information regarding his intentions. I honestly believe that if he came out with a wellconsidered plan that Congress would be inclined to say, "Yes, Mr. Benson, you have this responsibility, and we' will give you this authority.

I would be willing to go a long way to fortify him to do the great job I expect him to do. But to say, "Here is a pistol; go shoot somebody," is something else again. I want to know whom he is going to shoot before I give him the pistol.

Mr. Riehlman. Mr. Meader, do you have any questions?

Mr. MEADER. Yes. I was going to develop this a little later, but it will come in sequence if I bring it up after the statement Mr. Coolev just made. Those who ask that the Secretary come out with the details of his program have a point. The Congress and the country are entitled to know. However, I think this committee is entitled to know also whom they are afraid he is going to shoot.

Mr. COOLEY. I have no idea whom he is going to shoot. I actually do not. I will tell you what I am a little apprehensive about and I will be frank about it. I think it would be very unfortunate if in the use of this power he would attempt to consolidate the Production and Marketing Administration, the Soil Conservation Service, and the Extension Service. I know there are a lot of us who do not understand this thing as well as we think we do, who might think that this is a good thing to do, but I think Cliff Hope will agree with me and all of the Republicans will agree with me, that this should not be done. Yet, the reorganization plan will give him the power to do it.

Mr. MEADER. Has there been some statement made, or some indication, either public or nonpublic, that that is in the Secretary's mind?

Mr. Cooley. It is probably just an apprehension on the part of those of us who are a little bit sensitive about that proposed consolidation.

Mr. MEADER. Outside of that possibility of consolidating all three of those agencies, or any of them, in part or in whole; do you have any other areas of apprehension?

Mr. COOLEY. Well, we do in connection with credit. You see, we have definitely separated soft credit from hard credit, as we call it. This Farmers' Home Administration, the administrative fund of which was under attack yesterday, is what we call a soft-credit agency. It deals with the low-income farmers, that is, farmers who cannot possibly obtain adequate credit elsewhere. They require a high degree of supervision and that accounts for the high administrative costs involved. But the record of that agency has been so wonderful that I think it has amazed even those who were dubious about it in the initial stages.

If he brings that agency under the FCA, that is, under the Farm Credit Administration, I think that would be contrary to the wishes of Congress.

If Mr. Benson would tell us he is not going to do a few things, that is, these big things we are apprehensive about, it might strengthen his position and might even strengthen his efforts to get this plan approved. Mr. MEADER. It is one of my hopes that by identifying these fears or misgivings about this plan, the Secretary might, when he appears, clarify the atmosphere. If there are any more that you have not mentioned I would like to have them.

Mr. COOLEY. As I say, I am hoping that when you have him here Monday you will clarify the very muddled situation that we find ourselves in. If I were to vote against Mr. Fountain's resolution, my constituents would say, "Why did you vote against that resolution which you knew was going to result in giving the Secretary this power?'' Really I would have a difficult time in explaining why I voted against his resolution and why I was willing to confer this power.

If the Secretary could come here and assure me that he is not going to disturb adversely the framework of the Department of Agriculture, I could say that I did it because I had the assurance of the man who was head of the Department that he did not intend to do this and that, but only intended to do thus and so. As it is now, though, I do not think any of us can give a reasonable and rational explanation of what the situation actually is.

Mr. MEADER. Mr. Cooley, I meant to say first, before asking any questions, that I do not pose as an expert on agricultural matters, and that is why I think it is very useful for the committee to have you before it. I have listened to you on the floor and have been impressed by your presentation and your grasp and knowledge of agricultural affairs generally. I do not think I would be competent to discuss the merits or demerits of the combinations you identified as being some of your apprehensions. However, I am concerned about your statement and the statement of Senator Russell, and the statement of the author of this resolution, Représentative Fountain, that Congress is abdicating its authority in approving this plan, and that this plan is in violation of the spirit and intent of the Reorganization Act.

First, I would like to see if we can arrive at an agreement on some general principles as announced by the Hoover Commission. I want to quote from their report on the general management of the executive branch and see whether or not there is any disagreement about these propositions as general propositions. It says:

The President, and under him his chief lieutenants, the department heads, must be held responsible and accountable to the people and the Congress for the conduct of the executive branch. Responsibility and accountability are impossible without authority--the power to direct. The exercise of authority is impossible without a clear line of command from the top to the bottom and a return line of responsibility and accountability from the bottom to the top.

Then, again, somewhat along the same line:

Under the President the heads of departments must hold full responsibility for the conduct of their departments. There must be a clear line of authority reaching down through every step of the organization and no subordinate should have authority independent from that of his superior. Each department head should receive from the Congress administrative authority to organize his department and to place him in control of its administration.

Then again:

We recommend that the department head should be given authority to deterinine the organization within his department.

Then again:

We have urged in our first report that the foundation of good departmental administration is that the Secretary shall have authority from the Congress to organize and control his organization, and that separate authorities to subordinates be eliminated.

With those general pronouncements of the Hoover Commission do you find yourself in substantial disagreement?

Mr. COOLEY. No, sir. Not in substantial disagreement. I think that the Hoover Commission report and that phase of it is probably all right, except I do have this fault to find: Congress itself created certain agencies and gave the agencies certain functions to perform. We now can call the heads of the agencies into the legislative committee room or before the Appropriations Committee, or any other appropriate committee, and hold them directly responsible. If any. thing went wrong with the FHA we do not even have to disturb the Secretary. We call in Mr. Lasseter, the head of it, and put him on the spot, and we know what is wrong. If anything goes wrong with the REA we can call the Administrator in this room and put him on the spot.

Congress deliberately fixed it that way.

The proposition here is to disturb that relationship between the agency head and the Members of Congress and to give it to the Secretary. That I think is a great departure from what Congress has intended.

Let me say one further thing. We have had it proposed to us that we have an overall nonpartisan_board to direct the affairs of certain agencies. For instance, the Farm Credit Administration is now considering the creation of a nonpartisan advisory board. But we have been careful not to insulate the Secretary, or the Administrator, by providing a nonpartisan board. It was proposed, or a great effort was made at the time we had the Farmers' Home Administration up for consideration, to create a board to direct the affairs of that agency. We said, “No. We want that Director to be responsible to us.” There is a direct chain from Congress to the Administrator right straight down the line to every county office, and I think it has worked well and I do not want to disturb it.

Mr. MEADER. I gather from your statement, using the example as you did of Mr. Lasseter, that you would want him to be completely in control of his subordinates within his agency, but that with respect to the Secretary of Agriculture you want him to be completely autonomous and deal directly with Congress and not have to go through the channels of the Secretary of the Department.

Mr. COOLEY. It is an agency in the Department of Agriculture. The Secretary can certainly hold him accountable, and the Members of Congress can likewise hold him accountable, but there is no buffer between us, and no board there to insulate us. We may go directly to him. If that is what is contemplated by this act, that the Secretary will take over the Rural Electrification Administration, and run it, and transfer its functions to the Farm Credit Administration, and put it under this board they are talking about, then we ought to know about it.

Mr. MEADER. Let me get at the problem in a little different way. In your experience with agricultural matters, have you noticed any tendency on the part of these semiautonomous agencies to grow and expand not only in size and in function, but in complete freedom from the nominal head of the Department?

Mr. Cooley. No, sir. I think there is always a tendency for bureaucracy to grow and to spread, but that is constantly watched by the committees of Congress.

Mr. MEADER. I think we could agree that in the Defense Department one of the difficulties has been empire building and efforts at autonomy. For example, in the bureaus of the Navy you have more or less complete freedom from outside control.

I wonder if you do not regard that as a danger in any administrative setup?

Mr. COOLEY. Yes. It would certainly be a danger if it were going to be out from under the scrutiny of Congress. If I could give you one little example of what you have in mind: By Executive order the Farm Security Administration was created years ago. It was one of these high-sounding eleemosynary institutions going out to help everybody from the cradle to the grave. By Executive order, plus powers contained in appropriations, that agency stayed out of this committee room for 7 long years and went out on all sorts of wild schemes, even embracing communal farming along the Russian type. That agency got into trouble and finally was abolished just on account of what you suggested. They got away from Congress, and when we got them back on the mat we investigated them, and discussed what had happened, and immediately abolished that agency.

I do not want to take any power away from the Secretary of Agriculture. I do not want to withhold from him any power that he should have, but I certainly want to know when he asks for power what he intends to do with it. That is all we want to know. Then we can intelligently vote on this proposition.

Mr. MEADER. The plan in vesting in the Secretary of Agriculture the functions assigned to and within the Department of Agriculture seems to me to be somewhat in line with the general proposition that I have just quoted from the statements of the Hoover Commission's report. Would you agree with that?

Mr. COOLEY. If we know what he needs to do, you are right. I do not know that I would take all of the Hoover Commission report. Mr. Ray Blake, I think, was on the task force. He has formally opposed this reorganization or, rather, this granting of the plenary power to the Department of Agriculture,

Mr. R. E. Short in the Department of Agriculture I think heretofore has opposed a similar proposition. Mr. John West has opposed it. He is in the Department of Agriculture now.

As Mr. Poage suggested to me, if the proposal is sound there is no reason in the world why the Secretary should hesitate to let it be known. When I say he does not know what he wants, I am not making wildcat statements about it. He was asked by the Appropriations Committee about his intentions, Mr. Carl Andersen, I believe it was, was asked some questions, and here is Mr. Benson's

answer:

I can say as to your last question, Mr. Chairman, that I do not have in mind any plans which will consolidate any agency at the present time. We have not pursued our studies far enough to reach any conclusions on that.

There is a statement from the Secretary that he does not have any plans in mind.

Yet he asks for the power. It seems to me if this resolution of Mr. Fountain is adopted, and we deny him now the right to reorganize, that does not mean he cannot come back next work with a well laid out plan which we might gladly approve.

Mr. MEADER. I might say that I share your concern over the growing concentration of power in the executive branch of the Government. I would certainly fight just as hard as you would, I believe, to restore to Congress the power and authority that it has lost in the past two decades. But it strikes me when the charge is made that this plan is in violation of the spirit, the intent and the letter of the Reorganization Act, that certainly with regard to the establishment of clear lines of administrative authority, and the resulting efficiency in the administration of the Department, it is precisely in line with the intent and purpose of the Reorganization Act.

Mr. COOLEY. In.answer to that, I think a reading and a rereading of the Reorganization Act would probably persuade you otherwise, because Mr. Fountain read the pertinent parts of that act this morning, and I would just like to repeat the concluding sentence.

Не — speaking of the Presidentshall prepare a reorganization plan for the making of the reorganizations as to which he has made findings and which he includes in the plan

I can challenge anybody to point out to me one proposed change that he intends to make. That is what we want to know. Also, where are the findings? The law says that he shall make findings. There are no findings. The President simply transmits what he calls a plan. But I would like actually to see this submitted to the Solicitor in the Department of Agriculture.

Here is the reorganization law: We can ask him, “Are you of the opinion that this proposed plan complies with the letter of the law?" The Secretary of Agriculture appointed the Solicitor of Agriculture and, I assume, he is a man of legal training. I, for one, as a lawyer, cannot see how there could ever be a suggestion that there has even been a slight compliance with the act.

Mr. MEADER. After all, are we not talking about matters of degree and how much detail must the plan contain? I certainly would not controvert the proposition that the plan and the statement accompanying the plan are couched in general terms. The question is, How far need we go in detail to meet what you regard as the proper interpretation of the Reorganization Act?

Mr. Cooley. The law itself spells it out explicitly and enumerates it step by step. There has been no effort to comply with a single provision of the details of sections which were read this morning by Mr. Fountain: The President shall

examine and from time to time reexamine the organization of all agencies of the Government and shall determine what changeswhat changes therein are necessary to accomplish the following purposes

Mr. Benson admits he has not determined changes to be made, and the President has not determined. It says, “determine what changes.”

I will ask you: Can you tell me a single change he has determined should be made? I ask myself the same question and I get the answer, “No."

If you will read title I and then go down to the reorganization plan in detail

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