« 이전계속 »
Mr. MEADER. My answer would be in section 1 of the plan: there are hereby transferred to the Secretary of Agriculture all functions not now vested in him of all other officers, and of all agencies and employees, of the Department of Agriculturewith certain exceptions. That is a change, and it is a change in the line of carrying out the recommendations of the Hoover Commission of tightening up the lines of authority so that the head of the agency has, in fact, the direct control over his subordinates.
That is a change. I admit it is a general change and if you ask him specifically what he is going to do every day in carrying out his responsibilities as the Secretary of Agriculture, then, it seems to me, you are invading the field of administrative rather than policymaking matters.
The question, as I say, is one of degree, and this is admittedly a general proposition. But its aim is to give control over the Department to the head of the Department, to whom the Congress and the people look for the administration of the Department.
Mr. Cooler. Let me suggest that the Congress never adopted the Hoover report. The Congress adopted this reorganization law in 1949. The law does not deal merely with the transfer of great powers and functions. It deals with agencies and with certain determinations which the law requires the Executive to find, such as certain facts. It is like a judge rendering a judgment without a finding of fact. He has not made any findings or made any determinations, and it seems to me it would take only a few minutes to read the pertinent sections and it would be plain to see that this is not a compliance.
Mr. McDonough. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. McDonough. Mr. Cooley, in the President's message to Congress, and you probably have a copy of it there, on this plan he states near the end of the message:
After investigation I have found and hereby declare that each reorganization included in Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 is necessary to accomplish one or more of the purposes set forth in section 2 (a) of the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended.
Mr. COOLEY. Where are you reading from? Mr. McDonough. I am reading the President's message of March 25.
Mr. Cooley. I have that, but where in the message?
Mr. McDonough. On Reorganization Plan No. 2. It is the third paragraph from the end.
Mr. COOLEY. I see it.
Mr. McDonough. He declares there that after investigation he has found contrary to your belief.
Mr. COOLEY. He says:
I have found and hereby declare that it is necessary to include in the accompanying reorganization plan, by reason of reorganizations made therebyWhat are the reorganizations made thereby?
Mr. McDonouGH. Wait a minute. I am not reading the same sentence. He says: is necessary to accomplish one or more of the purposes set forth in section 2 (a) of the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended.
That is the end of the paragraph.
Mr. COOLEY. I see.
After investigation I have found and hereby declare that each reorganization included in
Mr. McDonough. Included in Reorganization Plan No. 2.
Mr. COOLEY. Just name me one reorganization named in the plan. Secretary Benson says there isn't any.
Mr. McDonough. Who says it?
Mr. McDonough. As far as reorganization is concerned, he is certainly authorizing the consolidation of certain functions of the Department that are not now consolidated. That is certainly a reorganization, is it not?
Mr. COOLEY. No.
Mr. McDonough. I mean, get down to the point of what reorganization means.
Mr. COOLEY. No. This just gives him the power to reorganize. That is what they are doing.
Mr. McDonough. That is right.
Mr. Cooley. It proposes to give him the power to reorganize without first telling us what his plans are.
Mr. McDonough. You mean the Secretary of Agriculture as to how he is going to reorganize?
Mr. COOLEY. Yes.
Mr. McDONOUGH. Of course, we discussed that frequently this morning, and undoubtedly that will come out when he comes to the committee to explain that.
Mr. COOLEY. That is my position. If this committee will do what you have indicated, you will be rendering a real service to me and every other Member of Congress, and every other man interested in the welfare of agriculture.
Mr. McDoNOUGH. Is the Secretary to come before the committee?
Mr. McDonough. Further to review your discussion with Mr. Meader a moment ago, you referred to the FHA head who is head of an independent agency, and responsible to the Congress and subject to all at any time the committee wants to call him in.
Under this plan you think if he is made responsible to the Secretary of Agriculture that he would not be subject to the same demand on the part of a committee of Congress? You certainly do not believe that, do you?
Mr. Cooley. Here is what I mean. Suppose he transfers Farmers' Home Administration to the Farm Credit Administration, which is now headed by a Governor, and we are now considering the advisability of putting in an advisory board? Suppose he switched the Farmers' Home Administration to the Farm Credit Administration? Of course we could call the Administrator in but if we did he would say, “I am not responsible, Mr. Chairman. I take orders from the Governor.” When we call the Governor in he would say, "No, I did not give the order. He made the decision on his own."
As it is now there is no shifting of responsibility. That Administrator has to stand or fall on what happened. If the Secretary is
going to bring them in, and bring the Rural Electrification Administration and Farmers' Home Administration all under Farm Credit Administration, I do not want it done; but he has not told us that is what he will do, and I do not know whether or not he will.
Mr. McDoNOUGH. You mean you do not want it done because you cannot get at the facts in all these organizations as quickly as you could otherwise?
Mr. COOLEY. No. There is more reason than that.
Mr. McDonough. Even if he did, then the responsibility would rest with the Secretary, would it not, if he did that?
Mr. COOLEY. The Governor of the Farm Credit Administration would be the one if he were vested with the power. But even if it is desirable I still want to know whether it is going to be done or not.
Mr. McDONOUGH. Of course, we will find that out when we call him in. I doubt very much, with these Department heads being responsible to the Secretary of Agriculture that they would be less available or less responsible to the Congress or to any committee of Congress than they are now.
Mr. COOLEY. I do not know that they would be less responsible, but suppose you take those two agencies and bring them together? I will say now the Republicans on my committee are just as eager to keep soft credit away from hard credit as I am.
Mr. McDonough. I understand what you mean by that.
Mr. COOLEY. If you put that in there and let the Farm Credit officers and board of directors, and what not, run it, it will ruin it in my opinion. In just the same way I think the Soil Conservation Service's efficiency would be impaired if you consolidated it with the Extension Service.
Mr. McDonOUGH. I do not want to see any reorganization act passed that will give the Secretary of Agriculture the power to perform functions that were not the intention of Congress when the original act of that Department was passed.
Mr. Cooley. The chairman, or Mr. Meader, asked me what caused me to be apprehensive about the possible merger of these agencies dealing with the soil, like the Extension Service and Production and Marketing Administration and the Soil Conservation Service. I told you that probably it was just an apprehension on our part, but actually there has been some agitation for that.
I think one of the big farm organizations favors it; and that farm organization is pretty close to the Department of Agriculture at the moment; and that organization might persuade the Secretary of Agriculture to do that. I do not think it should be done, and if it is going to be done I would like to know it.
Mr. MEADER. I have just one more question. Mr. Cooley, I was struck by your statement that if this reorganization plan becomes effective all of the employees of the Department of Agriculture would tremble with fear because of what might happen, or something to that effect. I am not sure I am quoting you exactly.
Mr. Cooley. You have the substance of it right.
Mr. MEADER. I happen to be of the philosophy that the boss has control over his subordinates, and that there ought not to be too much independence in those who are supposed to be taking orders. Your statement made me wonder if you have a different view about it than I have.
Mr. Cooley. No. I have thought this even during Democratic administrations, when Government employees were so afraid that they were not capable of performing their duties efficiently. They were in fear and trembling that tomorrow morning they would not have a job. I can point out the agencies and name them. It was the Farm Security Administration.
Even the telephone operator was in fear she might not have a job, and everybody in that building was subservient to the man at the top. That was back in the days when you might speak of their political patronage. They would fire them just like that.
I do not think it is good. I think when you have a civil service that gives some degree of security, and when they do not think they are going to be kicked out of their jobs for political purposes, they can do better work. I am not saying these departments are not loaded down with Democrats. There has been great effort to put them in there, and I do not blame the Republicans for taking over jobs where they can take over. I do not mean to say that Mr. Benson would send the hatchetman around to wield the hatchet in ruthless fashion, but I do say if you give him the power it is calculated to frighten the employees to the point where they will not know whether they are secure or not.
Mr. MEADER. Let us say there is a happy medium; that there should be a certain amount of concern on the part of the employee about his tenure in his position to spur him on to the best performance of his job; and on the other hand, there should be some protection against whimsical abuse on the part of the head of the agency. But it seems to me that the protections we have thrown around the employees in the Federal civil service are such that perhaps a little movement in the direction of greater control on the part of the top administrator would be a desirable thing. Mr. COOLEY. I would not argue that with you.
I can tell
you how I feel about it. I had a meeting of the postmasters in my district and I admonished all of them that they had better cross every "" and dot every " " in the functioning of their office because I knew they would be carefully investigated and checked on regularly. I think that will tend to spur them on to better efforts.
Mr. McDonough. Isn't that what keeps the Congressmen alert?
Mr. COOLEY. Surely. It is the same thing. There is nothing I despise worse than an arrogant employee. I have told my appointees at every opportunity I ever had that if they did only the things the law required them to do that they were not fit to hold their jobs. Because, if a Congressman just did what he was supposed to do he would stay on the floor of the House and in the committee room and not look after a thousand and one things he is called on to do all over the place, and which he is glad to do. I think any postmaster who fails to be accommodating and lets himself become arrogant is sooner or later going out.
I voted once to impeach a judge not because I was convinced he was dishonest, but because I thought he was arrogant.
Mr. McDonough. That is all.
Mr. Condon. I am disturbed a little bit about this plan, Mr. Cooley. It is one thing to set up the line of command as Mr. Meader was quoting from the Hoover report, and to add a couple of assistant secretaries. I do not think there would be any objection to that. But section 4 (b) of the plan says in effect that where there is going to be major assignment of functions, the Secretary of Agriculture, whenever practicable—whatever that means shall hold some public hearings upon notice and allow interested groups to appear and be heard. Presumably persons who felt that the change of functions from the Forest Service to the Soil Conservation Service would be wrong, could come before that hearing and make their position known, but they would not have any veto power. In other words, it is a hearing, but the Secretary can pay no attention to it whatever, or as to what was developed in that hearing.
It seems to me the theory of the reorganization plan was to have that hearing before Congress so that if we felt it was an unwise change of function then we could, by raising a sufficient number of votes, veto the change in function.
Instead of having a hearing before Congress we are having what is, in effect, a mroot court with no possibility of any final action being taken to change the plan.
That, I think, is the major inconsistency in this plan and the theory as set forth in the reorganization plan itself.
Mr. Cooley. I think you are exactly right. If you knew he did not intend to make that change then you could have an official hearing with some force. But if you give him the power to make the change and then he makes it, you cannot undo it except by an act of Congress signed by the President.
Mr. Condon. That is what occurred to me would be quite inconsistent with the theory of the Reorganization Act; that they contemplate holding hearings, and if they are going to make some major changes in assignment, then the hearings are futile, because the major changes in assignment, even if Congress thought they were wrong, could not be vetoed, because it would be a hearing by the Secretary himself on a course of action on which he had made his mind up at the time he announced the hearing:
Mr. COOLEY. That is right, and it would be almost impossible to change it because it would take a veto.
Mr. CONDON. It seems to me if they would set forth in this plan that on every major change they will present a new plan to Congress under the Reorganization Act, then that objection would be removed.
Mr. COOLEY. Yes. I agree with that. And if in this proposed plan there were certain definite changes to be made you could evaluate them more intelligently than you can now.
Mr. Condon. Here is another thing. Obviously we are not dealing in personalities here with Secretary Benson or anyone else because this will be effective for future Secretaries of Agriculture, even after Mr. Benson leaves the service. So it seems to me this is quite a possible thing that could happen.
Congress could set up a function in a certain department of the Department of Agriculure and those people would administer it in a certain way. If a Secretary of Agriculture came along who was out of sympathy with that program that Congress established, he could change the administration over to some other portion of the