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uously to giving any one individual official such extensive authority, In our opinion, if Reorganization Plan No. 2 is permitted to be placed into effect, political favoritism and political patronage will reach a new high in American political history. The result will be a superduper bureaucracy in this country and the rights and interests of the American public and the employees of the Post Office Department will suffer severely.
In closing, we want to again urge your committee to favorably report out Senate Resolution 317.
We greatly appreciate having had the honor and privilege of testifying here this morning:
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much.
. . I comments made by Mr. Keating. The Citizens Committee for the Hoover Plan has created the impression that plan No. 2 would entirely remove politics, because, apparently, of the malicious influence of Members of the House, who recommend appointments or have some influence in the selection of postmasters now, and because the Senate has the right of confirmation. It just occurs to me that it is a sad commentary on the political background of Members of Congress if we cannot trust 435 Members, or at least the majority Members of the House, to influence the selection of postmasters; but at the same time we are willing to set up one man in the executive branch and vest in him complete authority to take over the appointment of more than 20,000 postmasters.
We are assuming that Members of Congress cannot be trusted from a political standpoint, but that we can take a member of the President's Cabinet and assume that he will be completely aloof and removed from the field of patronage in making these selections. That does not sound logical, does it?
Mr. KEATING. No; and it is entirely foreign to our basic political thinking in this country and the principles upon which this Government was founded, entirely foreign.
The CHAIRMAN. Incidentally, it might be well to observe in that connection that postmasters in the past have served as national chairmen of national political party committees. I do not know when that practice will be resumed.
Mr. KEATING. As a matter of fact, in my experience in the Post Office Department, I think the most competent Postmaster General we ever had was Postmaster General Farley. He had a broad understanding of public welfare and relationships and service, and he had a kind and keen insight into the welfare of the employees. And he gave us, I would say, the most efficient administration we ever had. Of course, he was an official of a political party.
I might also say that Postmaster General Will Hays, while he served a relatively short period of time, would have given a similar type of administration. He did splendidly as Postmaster General in the period that he served.
So somehow or other in this country we have come to talk about politics as being an evil. Well, it is a sad thing if it gets to be an evil. It is an evil in Russia. They don't have it. And it is an evil in all countries where they don't have democracy. But if you are going to have a democratic government, you are going to have politics, and we should make politics good rather than talk about eliminating politics. You are not going to eliminate politics as long as you have people,
Senator DWORSHAK. Very briefly, Mr. Keating, can you give us some comment on your statement that the morale of the postal employees has never been lower than at the present time?
Mr. KEATING. I think that is generally conceded. The morale is extremely low. The service is poor. There are a lot of complaints from the public. And the letter carriers are taking a beating from the public. It has kind of knocked down their interest in their jobs.
The best thing we have had throughout the years of the postal service has been the feeling of the postal employees that they wanted to serve the people, give them good service. When they are discouraged from doing that, and regulations and curtailment orders are put into effect that make it impossible, mail is received when it is late, and the people criticize the employees, morale can't be good. It is absolutely impossible. And there has been more official indecision and confusion under the present Postmaster General than ever in my experience in the postal service.
Senator DWORSHAK. It is generally assumed, of course, that the incumbent Postmaster General is a career man and that patronage and partisanship had absolutely nothing to do with his selection to fill that post in the Cabinet, and that consequently morale has been on a higher plane among the employees. But that is not true?
Mr. KEATING. No; that is not true. The opposite is true at the present time.
The CHAIRMAN. Do either of you gentlemen care to make a statement, Mr. Delany or Mr. Kremers?
Mr. DELANY. Senator, I might make a brief statement, which will be supplementary to the staff memoranda, which, as I said before, were so excellent and so comprehensive.
They demonstrate quite clearly that from a legal standpoint not only was it never conceived that the Reorganization Act of 1949 would authorize such action as is taken in the reorganization plan before the committee, but in fact it was declared unanimously that the opposite was true, that there was no authority to do this. And it was later so declared by all interested people.
Now, here we have an attempted exercise of that authority.
I would like to point out one provision of the Reorganization Act, dealing specifically with the matter of appointments, which I don't believe is mentioned in those memoranda. That is found in section 2 of the act, which is section 1332–2 of the United States Code, title 5.
Now, in subsection 2, it is stated that any reorganization plan transmitted by the President may include provisions for the appointment and compensation of the head and one or more other officers of any agency, if the President finds, and in his message transmitting the plan, declares, that by reason of a reorganization made by the plan such provisions are necessary. In other words, this authorizes provisions for appointment as a corollary and a subordinate part of other structural changes in the agency to be affected.
The CHAIRMAN. There is actually no structural change made by this plan.
Mr. DELANY. This might be described as an effort to lift oneself by one's bootstraps.
The CHAIRMAN. I mean, there is no change, no structural change, whatsoever, except the change in the method of appointment.
Mr. DELANY. This is not necessary to something else, because there is nothing else in the plan.
The CHAIRMAN. It does not tie to anything else in the plan, because there is nothing to tie to. If an authorized structural change were being made, and it were necessary to appoint some official or create some office to meet those changed conditions in order that the functions might be performed, then they have the authority to create an office.
But where no structural change is made, you make the point that there is no authority to creat an office.
Mr. DELANY. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, let us say tomorrow the President decided that there ought to be a new office in the executive branch of the Government, a new agency and a new office. He just sends down a plan creating an agency and an office, without transferring any functions of any other agency or anything else. Do you think he would have authority to do that under this plan, under the Reorganization Act? It would not be reorganized or anything. It would be establishing something new.
Mr. DELANY. That is true, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, this does not reorganize. It just purports to establish a new office and sets up the manner of appointment.
Mr. DELANEY. The sole effect is to transfer to the Executive powers formerly exercised by the legislative branch of the Government. The purpose of the Reorganization Act was to allow the President to make order within his own exclusive household.
The CHAIRMAN. Any other questions?
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Johnston, come forward, please, sir. Senator, I believe you are the author or one of the coauthors of Senate Resolution 317, which is a resolution expressing disapproval of Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1952. The committee is very glad to hear you, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, because the plan which is before us deals specifically with the Post Office Department, over which your committee would normally have jurisdiction. We have it before us because the Legislative Reorganizations Act of 1946 gives this committee jurisdiction over all reorganization plans. In other words, if this proposal had been submitted as a bill, your committee would have jurisdiction over it. I am sure this committee wants your views as chairman and those of the members of your committee; because we feel that you are more familiar than this committee with the Post Office Department, its set-up, its functions, the service it gives, and legislation that is appropriate for its proper and efficient management.
We are glad to welcome you, and to have your views in support of the resolution, and your discussion of the plan before us.
STATEMENT OF HON. OLIN D. JOHNSTON, A UNITED STATES
SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
REORGANIZATION PLAN No. 2 OF 1952 AND SENATE RESOLUTION 317
Senator JOHNSTON. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the remarks made by you, and I further appreciate the opportunity of coming before your committee.
The CHAIRMAN. I may say to you at this point that I am sorry more members are not here, and I know they would like to be here to hear you testify. This is a Monday, and many of them do not get back from out of town until about noon on Monday. We thought these hearings should continue, however, because we have four plans before us now, the committee has other work, and there is a deadline or a limitation of time. We want to meet this deadline, and develop a record here which will enable the Members of the Senate to have all the information that is pertinent to their consideration of this issue.
Senator JOHNSTON. I appreciate what the chairman said in reference to me being chairman of the committee that studies matters of this kind. I would like to say to the chairman and to this committee that my committee has been studying this very thing. We had a bill introduced, and it was referred to the committee at the suggestion of the administration. We held hearings and came to the conclusion that it was not for the best interests of the people of this Nation to pass any such legislation.
The CHAIRMÁN. You mean your committee has already considered a bill?
Senator JOHNSTON. Yes; and when we had that bill up, the Postmaster General appeared, and we asked him at that time whether it would be necessary to pass a law on this subject, and he stated in reply that he thought it would be necessary to pass a law rather than just a reorganization plan.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, at all times prior to the submission of this plan, every agency and representative of the executive branch of the Government has maintained that it would be necessary to have legislation and that it could not be accomplished by à reorganization plan?
Senator JOHNSTON. That was the conclusion I reached from hearing the testimony.
The CHAIRMAN. I think that was true with reference to the Bureau of the Budget, the Post Office Department, and the Chairman of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government, Mr. Herbert Hoover.
Senator JOHNSTON. You will also note that this resolution introduced is introduced by Senator McKellar, Senator Neely, Senator Langer, Senator Carlson, and myself. They happen to be the ranking members of my committee. The CHAIRMAN. Of both parties?
Senator JOHNSTON. Of both parties. And we did not have an opportunity to meet. So, if you will recall, the chairman asked me about this matter and said he thought it would be appropriate for my committee to bring some resolution before this committee for this committee to act upon.
The CHAIRMAN. As I recall, I stated that I thought your committee should express itself regarding this plan, since your committee has jurisdiction over this subject matter.
Senator JOHNSTON. So we did introduce, then, this resolution: That the Senate does not favor the Reorganization Plan Number 2 of 1952 transmitted to Congress by the President on April 10, 1952.
The CHAIRMAN. May I ask of the clerk of the committee: Is that language in exact conformity with the act, the Reorganization Act?
Mr. REYNOLDS. Yes; it is.
Senator JOHNSTON. It is my understanding that it is. Briefly, my opposition to the proposed plan is based on the following five points:
i. This change should be effected, if at all, by passage of a specific bill and not the introduction of a reorganization plan.
2. The plan does not place postmasters under civil service. Public Law 720, Seventy-fifth Congress, the O'Mahoney Act of 1938, does this by express language.
3. Whatever politics, good or bad, now existing in the appointment of postmasters are not removed by this plan.
4. The present law with regard to postmasters in offices of the first, second, and third class (Presidential offices, 21,618 on January 1, 1952) has given to us a high standard of efficient public officials. To change this procedure is, I think, unwise.
5. There is an important protection to the public by this final review on the part of the Senate with regard to the appointment of such important public officials,
I shall discuss rather briefly each of above points in order listed.
1. If my only objection to Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1952 was solely on the ground that it is not a matter for consideration in a reorganization plan, I would not take up your valuable time, but I think at the very outset the question of the legality of the plan should be considered. Your committee staff have ably considered this matter in staff memorandum No. 82-2-28 and you have reviewed the testimony of the Postmaster General and the Chairman of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government, the Honorable Herbert Hoover. I will only add that when appropriate legislation was introduced in the Eighty-first Congress and reintroduced in the Eighty-second Congress to accomplish exactly what is contemplated in this plan, public hearings were held thereon. The subcommittee on postal service of my committee is presently studying the current bills and will in due course make a report to the full committee.
2. Prior to the enactment of Public Law 720 of the Seventy-fifth Congress, Presidential postmasters were appointed to 4-year terms, by being nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. For many years before that time, however, the Civil Service Commission held competitive examinations in connection with such nominations. However, Public Law 720—the O'Mahoney Act–inter alia, reads:
That postmasters of the first, second, and third classes shall hereafter be ap pointed in the classified service without term by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
It is misleading to state that a change in the appointing officer, and that is all that this plan does, changes the rigid requirement of pending