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clerks, the National Association of Letter Carriers, and the American Federation of Government Employees, who have the custodial people as their jurisdiction membership, in the National Federation of Post Office Clerks, the National Special Delivery Messengers, and the Postal Supervisors. And all of these groups are unanimous in their opinion that Reorganization Plan No. 2 will not strengthen but weaken the merit system in the field service of the Post Office Department.

Now, with your permission, Mr. Chairman, I would like to file a letter that is dated May 12, a copy of which was mailed to each Senator, and in this in a condensed form there is given the opinion on Reorganization Plan No. 2 that was approved by a special committee that has made a study of this. And I would like to submit that for the record.

The CHAIRMAN. I may advise you, Mr. Walters that it is already a part of the record. (See p. 37.) Mr. WALTERS. Thank you very kindly.

That short statement, Mr. Chairman, concludes what I had in mind to say, with emphasis on the fact that the council is strong in their opinion that Reorganization Plan No. 2, if it becomes law, will not strengthen the merit system, which we would like to see strengthened, but would, in our opinion, cause the system to be set backward rather than forward.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Walters.
Are there any questions?

Senator MONRONEY. Was any attempt made other than through the Government Employees Council to ascertain the individual views of the working members of those unions!

Mr. WALTERS. Yes, sir. For some 2 years now, this has been a live issue before the Senate Post Office and Civil Service Committee, and at many conventions this has been discussed and talked about with the people throughout the United States.

Now, we don't feel that the adoption of Reorganization Plan No. 2 would in any way change the many ramifications of making the appointments or promotions to any position in the field service.

We simply think that it is taking away, from 96 people who are elected by the voters of this Nation, an opportunity to look at the situation, and placing it into an appointive one-man pocket. This is the objection that we have to this plan.

Senator MONRONEY. You are assuming, of course, that that one man would violate his oath of office and try to make a political personal patronage system out of it.

Mr. WALTERS. The temptation would be very, very great.

Senator MONRONEY. But you do know that today under the present system it is customary to give political weighting to appointments for postmasters?

Mr. WALTERS. That is true.

Senator MONRONEY. I mean, we are not children. We know that is a fact.

Mr. WALTERS. But this plan doesn't change that, as we see it.

Senator MONRONEY. At least it puts it in the hands of the principal executive official who is charged with the operation of the postal service.

Mr. WALTERS. That is right.

Assistant Postmaster General. And he had no great previous experience, at least, with the postal service before he served in that position.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Hallbeck.

Mr. HALLBECK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Walters, will you come forward, please ?

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STATEMENT OF THOMAS G. WALTERS, REPRESENTING THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES COUNCIL OF THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR

REORGANIZATION PLAN No. 2 OF 1952 Mr. WALTERS. Mr. Chairman, for the record, and I will make my statement very brief, my name is Thomas G. Walters, representing the Government Employees Council of the American Federation of Labor.

This council is made up of 25 member unions whose membership in whole or in part are Federal employees.

I would like to endorse the general principle of Senator Johnston's statement and Jerome Keating's, E. C. Hallbeck, and George Riley's, as well as the comments made by the chairman of this committee this morning

One thing that we, in the council feel very keenly, is that Reorganization Plan No. 2 does not change in any way that we can see, the many ramifications of the method and procedures of making the selection of who is to be postmaster. In fact, we are of the opinion that it would increase the possibility of returning more to the spoils system, if the plan, Plan No. 2, is adopted, than under the present system.

Now, the men who are the officers of the postal unions that make up this council are men with many years of experience in the postal service, most of them having more than 20 years' service in the post office work in the field service.

As for myself, in 1923 I was appointed rural carrier in my home town back in Toccoa, Ga., and we have over the years supported legislation that would improve the merit system.

But I would like to mention this fact in connection with Reorganization Plan No. 2. The more than 21,000 postmasters of the first, second, and third class have in their power the responsibility and the duty and the privilege of making approximately 500,000 appointments, or the supervision of that many employees, and to fill the vacancies from time to time, under the procedures as laid down by the Civil Service Commission.

Now, if Reorganization Plan No. 2 becomes law, and the power of appointing the more than 21,000 postmasters is placed in the hands of one individual, he indirectly and directly would likewise or could likewise have a lot to say as to who would be appointed clerks and carriers, and to other positions in the field service of the Post Office Department.

In the council we have such organizations as the National Postal Transport Association, commonly referred to as the railway postal

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clerks, the National Association of Letter Carriers, and the American Federation of Government Employees, who have the custodial people as their jurisdiction membership, in the National Federation of Post Office Clerks, the National Special Delivery Messengers, and the Postal Supervisors. And all of these groups are unanimous in their opinion that Reorganization Plan No. 2 will not strengthen but weaken the merit system in the field service of the Post Office Department.

Now, with your permission, Mr. Chairman, I would like to file a letter that is dated May 12, a copy of which was mailed to each Senator, and in this in a condensed form there is given the opinion on Reorganization Plan No. 2 that was approved by a special committee that has made a study of this. And I would like to submit that for the record.

The CHAIRMAN. I may advise you, Mr. Walters that it is already a part of the record. (See p. 37.) Mr. WALTERS. Thank you very kindly.

That short statement, Mr. Chairman, concludes what I had in mind to say, with emphasis on the fact that the council is strong in their opinion that Reorganization Plan No. 2, if it becomes law, will not strengthen the merit system, which we would like to see strengthened, but would, in our opinion, cause the system to be set backward rather than forward.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Walters.
Are there any questions?

Senator MONRONEY. Was any attempt made other than through the Government Employees Council to ascertain the individual views of the working members of those unions?

Mr. WALTERS. Yes, sir. For some 2 years now, this has been a live issue before the Senate Post Office and Civil Service Committee, and at many conventions this has been discussed and talked about with the people throughout the United States.

Now, we don't feel that the adoption of Reorganization Plan No. 2 would in any way change the many ramifications of making the appointments or promotions to any position in the field service.

We simply think that it is taking away, from 96 people who are elected by the voters of this Nation, an opportunity to look at the situation, and placing it into an appointive one-man pocket. This is the objection that we have to this plan.

Senator MONRONEY. You are assuming, of course, that that one man would violate his oath of office and try to make a political personal patronage system out of it.

Mr. WALTERS. The temptation would be very, very great.

Senator MONRONEY. But you do know that today under the present system it is customary to give political weighting to appointments for postmasters?

Mr. WALTERS. That is true.

Senator MONRONEY. I mean, we are not children. We know that is a fact.

Mr. WALTERS. But this plan doesn't change that, as we see it.

Senator MONRONEY. At least it puts it in the hands of the principal executive official who is charged with the operation of the postal service.

Mr. WALTERS. That is right.

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Senator MONRONEY. And takes it away from not 96 Senators, because they have very little to do with originating these appointments

, but it takes it away from probably the 250 or 255 Democratic Congressmen, and then the balance usually named by political organizations, or at least the nominations are made by political organizations.

Mr. WALTERS. Well, under Reorganization Plan No. 2, would not that procedure, or some similar procedure, most likely be continued ?

Senator MONRONEY. I certainly do not think so. As I understand the plan and the program, the Civil Service Commission will come up with a list of three, rated according to their best information on who would be the best out of the candidates who have passed the examination and received the ratings, that could best serve that community.

Now, one of the heavy weightings in that civil-service report on the list of three is the interviews handled by the civil-service investigators as to whom the people of the community feel, of the list of candidates, in the eligibility range, would best serve them.

So you do not take away the chance for the local community to recommend the best man. You merely take it out of the political arena, where the best man usually is considered the best member of the majority party in that community.

Mr. WALTERS. Well, Senator, can you find anything in the proposed reorganization plan that would say they are going to do that?

Senator MONRONEY. Well, I think it is ridiculous to assume that the appointing officer, if he be the Postmaster General, is going to reach down into that community and find out who is the local manager for the majority party in that area, or give a 100 to 1 weighting in his recommendations over maybe the average guy in the street who uses the postal service.

Mr. WALTERS. I think I come from an average community in perhaps an average section of the country down in the hills of north Georgia, and I can't for the life of me ever believe that the people of that section of the country or most any other section of the country are going to let get away from them some control as to whom they are going to recommend to be in charge of the affairs in their community.

Senator MONRONEY. Well, I think they certainly allow that in their county agents. We do not have anything to say about the appointment of county agents or soil conservationists or the PMA.

Mr. WALTERS. Your county commissioners back home do, though. Your county commissioners, or whoever has charge of your local county.

Senator MONRONEY. It probably is true to a certain extent on county agents, but not on the other governmental operations. Because we do not know where a soil conservationist is going, a head man for the Farmers Home Administration. He is shifted from county to county.

We do not know where the soil conservationist group is going to be sent. And yet they are doing good work, and they are able to render the service.

And I think it is just as important to have a merit system at work in the post office as it is among these agricultural workers.

Mr. WALTERS. We are for the merit system, if you will find a plan whereby it will improve what we have.

But we just cannot see, for the life of us, where a reorganization plan will improve anything. There is nothing in the reorganization plan as we see it that would take away any of the political implications that now exist or might exist in the future.

Senator MONRONEY. You assume, of course, that it would be mishandled by the top officer of the post office ?

Mr. WALTERS. No; we are not assuming that it is mishandled now. But it will not change it in the future, as we see it. Senator DWORSHAK, I just wanted to say, Mr. Walters, that appar

. ently the Democrats in Oklahoma are a little different from the Democrats in Georgia.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much.

The committee will stand in recess until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning, when we will resume hearings on Reorganization Plan No. 5.

(Whereupon, at 12:14 p. m., Monday, May 19, 1952, the hearing was recessed.)

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