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Department of Agriculture, that would not administer it to the same extent as the other department had.
Could that be possible?
Mr. Condon. So, apparently by continuing functions and shifting them from one responsible agency to another you are in effect making possible real substantive changes in the program because of the different types of administration that could be given.
Mr. COOLEY. You are exactly right. And even if Congress hereafter created an independent agency in the Department, the Secretary the next day could transfer those functions to some other agency.
Mr. ČONDON. Thank you. I should have prefaced my remarks with the statement that although I have quite a bit of agriculture in my district I probably know less about the organization of the Department of Agriculture than any other man on this committee.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. Any other questions, Mr. Condon?
. and for permitting me to present my views. I hope and I am sure that the committee will give serious consideration to the matter and see just what a dilemma we are placed in because of our lack of knowledge as to the details of the proposal.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. Members of the committee, we have some important people to testify, and we also have Secretary Benson coming here Monday. The hour is a little bit late, and I am not satisfied to have these other important gentlemen testify before such a small group of our committee members.
It is mainly due to the fact that we have this appropriation bill on the floor of the House. I am inclined to postpone these hearings until Monday morning at 10 o'clock. It is my understanding we can have the use of this room at that time.
I think there is an understanding that we could have this room at that time and we will extend again to the members of the Agriculture Committee an invitation to be here when Mr. Benson comes to testify. Then I would like, if possible, to have the other 3 or 4 gentlemen who have already requested to be heard to come back on Monday morning. I am sorry we cannot hear you this afternoon, but I do not feel that we are giving proper attention and consideration to your remarks with so few members of the committee available to hear them this afternoon.
So, with the permission of the other members we will stand adjourned until 10 o'clock Monday morning, May 25, in this room. Before closing, Mr. Fountain will be given permission, without objection, to include certain statements in the record.
Mr. FOUNTAIN. I would like to invite to the attention of members of this Committee, the testimony of a number of witnesses who appeared before the Senate Subcommittee on Reorganization of the Committee on Government Operations of the United States Senate, 83d Congress, 1st session, on Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953, Department of Agriculture, and Senate Resolution 100, disapproving Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953, hearings occurring May 12, 13, and 18, 1953.
They are as follows: Senator Richard B. Russell, Senate hearings, page 17; a letter from Senator Lester C. Hunt to Senator Margaret Chase Smith, dated April 22, 1953, Senate hearings, page 12; testimony of Senator James E. Murray, Senate hearings, page 47; and comments by Senator John L. McČlellan during the Senate hearings on Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953.
From the same record of hearings, statement of Paul W. Opsahl, president of the South Dakota Farmers Union, Huron, S. Dak., on page 52 thereof;
From the same record of hearings, letter of Senator Robert S. Kerr to Senator Margaret Chase Smith, dated May 15, 1953, page 106.
Also, from the Congressional Record of May 14, page A-2784, letter of J. Lee White to Senator Willis Smith, of North Carolina, dated Thursday, May 14, 1953.
I understand that the Senate Subcommittee's Record of Hearings on an identical resolution will be printed and available for our use on next Monday, May 25, 1953.
In the interest of economy, and to eliminate unnecessary duplication, I have decided not to ask that such testimony be made a part of this record of hearings.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. Without objection we will adjourn until 10 a. m., Monday morning in this room.
(Whereupon, at 3:35 p. m., the committee adjourned until 10 a. m. Monday, May 25, 1953, in room 1310, New House Office Building.)
REORGANIZATION PLAN NO. 2 OF 1953
(Department of Agriculture)
MONDAY, MAY 23, 1953
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The committee met at 10 a. m., in room 1310, New House Office Building, Hon. Clare E. Hoffman (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. Will the committee come to order, please.
As the first witness this morning we have the Secretary of Agriculture. We are very glad to have you here, Mr. Benson. Before you begin, permit a statement. When the Secretary first brought this matter to my attention he asked me if it was my purpose to hold hearings and I assured him it was not. Apparently some resolution was introduced and Mr. Riehlman called the hearings, which I assume he had to do. The resolution was introduced on the 14th. The time has expired. A motion to discharge the committee is in order on the floor today. So I don't know what the committee should do. As far as I am concerned, if someone wants to have testimony introduced and make a record, that is all right. However, I think that under the rules, a resolution to discharge the committee is in order. Whether the author of the resolution wants to do it or not I don't know.
If it is agreeable to the minority and the Secretary of Agriculture we can permit the record to be made and have it printed and it will be done. Mr. Hope is here. What do you think we should do, Mr. Hope?
Mr. HOPE. I would hesitate about suggesting anything to this committee, but since the hearing has begun and since the Secretary is here and the other witnesses are here, I think we should get the information so that if the matter comes up in the House the information will be available to the Members of the House.
The CHAIRMAN. What do you say, Mr. Dawson and Mr. McCormack?
Mr. McCORMACK. I think we should go ahead with the hearings. Mr. Fountain stated he would not call it up. Mr. FOUNTAIN. I stated I would not call it up today.
The CHAIRMAN. As I understand it, it is effective on the 4th unless it is rejected by either the Senate or the House.
Mr. Dawson. It seems that we have no alternative except to go ahead, unless someone takes the initiative to have the committee discharged.
Mr. McCORMACK. I think you can go ahead, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, Mr. Secretary, we will be pleased to hear you.
STATEMENT OF HON. EZRA TAFT BENSON, SECRETARY OF AGRI
CULTURE; ACCOMPANIED BY KARL LOOS, SOLICITOR, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Secretary BENSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have a prepared statement and if it meets with your approval I would like to present that first.
The CHAIRMAN. Whatever you wish.
Mr. BENSON. I am very glad to meet with the Committee on Government Operations to discuss Reorganization Plan 2 of 1953. I am very happy to note also that members of the House Committee on Agriculture are also present. This plan for the reorganization of the Department of Agriculture was transmitted to the Congress by the President on March 25, 1953.
While this is a plan prepared by the President and transmitted by him to the Congress, under the provisions of the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended, we in the Department of Agriculture have participated in its consideration and drafting. We accept the responsibility of supporting it. On May 18 I appeared before the Subcommittee on Reorganization, Senate Committee on Government Operations, in support of the plan.
The plan you are now considering differs from plan No. 4 of 1950 which was rejected by the Senate (S. Res. 263) on May 18, 1950. No action was taken by the House on that plan. I shall refer to the differences between the two plans in the course of my testimony.
As soon as the President asked me to serve as Secretary of Agriculture, I began giving serious thought to the problems with which I would be confronted. One of the most important among these was that of administration of the Department. It consisted of some 20 agencies and about 55,000 full-time and 12,000 part-time employees. I made an extended trip, not at Government expense, visiting all parts of the Nation and discussed this subject of administrative organization, together with many other matters, with farmers, farm leaders, processors, and handlers of farm products, and others interested in the welfare of agriculture.
Some weeks before the inauguration a study of the organization and functions of the Department was undertaken by a committee established for that purpose. It held conferences with farm organizations and others interested in agriculture, including Members of Congress, and worked with the President's Advisory Committee on Government Reorganization. The Interim Agricultural Advisory Committee of farm leaders appointed by the President at my request on December 28, 1952, also gave careful study to the matter.
REGROUPING OF THE DEPARTMENT AGENCIES
As a result of this preinauguration study and after consultation with Members of Congress, a regrouping of the Department's agencies was announced on January 21 as memorandum No. 1320. This was later revised by supplement 1 to that memorandum under date of March 10, 1953. If agreeable to the committee, I should like to submit copies of these memoranda for the record. Copies have also been made available for each member of the committee.