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The Chair will direct the Clerk to have inserted in the record a selection of the letters that we have received regarding this plan. I do not want to have all of them inserted in the record, but would like to get a cross section of the sentiment from the interests that are directly affected by the plan.
Mr. BEITER. It is my understanding that a number of customs employees throughout the country have sent in such letters.
The CHAIRMAN. We are not going to burden the record with all of them, but we will take a cross section of them.
(The matter referred to is as follows:)
UNITED STATES SENATE,
May 20, 1952.
Washington, D. O. DEAR SIR: I am enclosing a communication which I have received from one of my constituents. I will appreciate your giving serious consideration to this problem, based on its merits.
Please let me have as prompt a reply as possible, returning the enclosure, in order that I can inform the writer. Sincerely,
LYNDON B. JOHNSON
FISHER G. LORSEY INTERESTS,
Houston, Tern, May 13, 1952. Hon. LYNDON JOHNSON, United States Senator,
Washington 25, D. C. DEAR SIR: I was very much surprised when I learned that the hearing to be conducted by the Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments is to be held Wednesday, May 14, on the President's Reorganization Plan No. 3, which provides for the reorganization of the United States customs service, placing the entire personnel of the customs service under civil service.
Since practically no publicity has been given the President's Reorganization Plan No. 3, or to the hearing in respect thereto, it is urgently requested that sufficient publicity be given this program, together with an opportunity for the opposition to express its views at a later hearing.
It is only by accident that the writer learned of this hearing at this late date, although I try to keep posted on all matters affecting transportation, international trade, and those matters affecting our port. I have discussed this program with many of my associates and find that they are also completely in the dark as to the provisions of the President's Reorganization Plan No. 3 and its probable effect on international trade.
Due to the corrupt practices uncovered in several of the Government agencies recently, we naturally welcome a general housecleaning, but let's let the customs service alone, at least for the present, and see what improvement, if any, results from the reorganization of those departments where reorganization has been authorized, since tbe United States customs service not only pays its way but makes a profit.
There is no doubt that the main objective of the President's recommendation for the reorganization of the Customs Service, and placing it under civil service, is under the guise of economy. However, economy and civil service cannot be associated together so long as the present civil-service law, and the regulations in respect thereto, prevail.
I refer specifically to the basis for rating supervisory employees whose rating and compensation is based upon the number of employees under their supervision-supervisory employee's incentive therefore being to find ways and means of adding employees under their supervision rather than reducing the number,
The only possible economy that the most visionary optimist could expect, as a result of the President's recommendation, would be the elimination of 50 percent of the present 44 customs collectors. There is no reduction in the workload in each district; therefore, the number of employees will certainly not be less under civil service and the net results being that all collectors would be placed under civil service with the same incentive for adding personnel under their supervision rather than holding personnel to a minimum.
This very important matter should be brought to the attention of all interested parties, in order that they might be given an opportunity to study the effect upon commerce and international trade, before approval by Congress; and again I urge that you give all interested parties this opportunity, in order that they may be prepared to express themselves before your body at a later date.
In making this request, I am sure that I am expressing the opinion of many had they been familiar with the provisions of the President's recommendation and its possible effect. Sincerely yours,
(Signed) F. G. Dorsey.
UNITED STATES SENATE,
May 26, 1952.
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: With reference to a telephone conversation between members of your committee and my office, I am attaching á letter from Mr. Sydnor Oden, of the Houston Chamber of Commerce.
I would appreciate your consideration of the remarks contained in Mr. Oden's letter and a reply thereto in order that I may advise him more fully of information regarding Reorganization Plan No. 3. With best wishes, I am, Sincerely,
LYNDON B. JOHNSON.
HOUSTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,
Houston, Ter., May 23, 1952. Hon. LYNDON B. JOHNSON, Senator from Texas,
Senate of the United States, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR JOHNSON: The attached resolution regarding Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1952, as affecting the customs service, was drafted by direction of our world trade committee in its May 14 meeting and subsequently approved by the executive committee of the Houston Chamber of Commerce on May 20. In offering this resolution for your consideration, we would emphasize our first purpose to be governmental economy and to that end we urge you to devote your best and unrelenting efforts.
The customs service is one of the few self-liquidating agencies of the Federal Government; if its operation be impaired, by whatever good intention, not only will our imports be delayed and our importers injured monetarily but the Government will lose revenue,
Our copy of Reorganization Plan No. 3 as it affects the customs service, gives no specific or detailed explanation of its general proposals so that it is impossible to calculate the probable effect on imports, importers, and the Government. This chamber of commerce has repeatedly urged passage of the Customs Simplification Act as a practical and sound approach to efficiency and economy in the customs service. The proposed plan might have some sound provisions to recommend it and it might contain objectionable features deserving congressional rejection; our purpose in presenting this resolution is to urge a complete and detailed study to determine the merits of the proposed plan No. 3 and the degree to which it might actually increase efficiencies and economies without jeopardizing the operation of the customs service.
We feel that this matter should be widely publicized to all interested persons, particularly importers, and that those most directly affected be invited to appear before appropriate congressional committees. When both opponents and proponents have argued their respective positions, the Congress can in its wisdom act in the best interests of all the people.
To that end we respectfully invite your attention to the attached resolution and urge you to give it all appropriate consideration as an expression of our continuing and increasing interest in sound governmental economies. Sincerely,
SYDNOR ODEN, President. P. S.-The World Trade Committee of the Houston Chamber of Commerce has expressed a direct interest in studying the provisions of this proposed plan as outlined in Senate Committee on Government Operations Staff Memo 82-2-30, Subject: Reorganization Plan No. 3 for 1952 affecting Bureau of Customs in the Department of Treasury. We would very much appreciate as many copies of this study as can be made available to us, up to a miximum of 45. Since time is running out for the 60-day consideration afforded this plan No. 3, we are hopeful that you will be able to have the Senate committee send these to us as soon as conveniently possible.
RESOLUTION REGARDING REORGANIZATION PLAN NO. 3 OF 1952 AS AFFECTING THE
"Whereas Reorganization Plan No.3 for 1952 affecting the customs service was, on April 10, 1952, submitted to the Congress and referred to Committees on Expenditures in the Executive Departments without sufficient publicity to alert the public interest; and
"Whereas the plan proposes sweepingly drastic changes in the self-liquidating customs service one of the few governmental agencies producing an income exceeding its cost-without detailing the specific changes which it generally authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to make; and
“Whereas time has not permitted a detailed study of the probable effects of this proposed plan as it applies to the Gulf coast or of the economies and efficiencies now being claimed for the plan without specific supporting details; and
“Whereas the plan will become effective unless rejected within 60 days in the House of Representatives by 218 votes or in the Senate by 49 votes; and
“Whereas the Senate committee began hearing the proponents of the bill on May 14 without provision to hear the opponents of the bill : Be it therefore
"Resolved, That the Houston Chamber of Commerce, having repeatedly recorded its interest in increased economy and efficiency in the customs service by supporting the Customs Simplification Act, urges that ample time be provided for thorough study of this proposed Reorganization Plan No. 3 and that both sides of the issue by given congressional hearing before final action is taken."
Drafted according to minutes of World Trade Committee meeting Houston Chamber of Commerce, May 14, 1952.
Approved by the executive committee of the Houston Chamber of Commerce, May 20, 1952.
TAMPA, FLA., May 28, 1952. Hon. John L. MCCLELLAN,
Senate Office Building: Our association feels that acceptance of Reorganization Plan No. 3 would result in a lowering of the present high standards of efficiency, service and morale attained by customs through 170 years of experience. The practice of modern business and industry, specialization and division of labor have been adopted by our service as an instrument of efficiency and as a safeguard against fraud and collusion. We feel justly proud of the efficient and courteous service rendered the public at all times. We know that you are agreeable to the maintaining of these high standards and urge you to vote for the rejection of the proposed plan.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, TAMPA BRANCH,
NATIONAL CUSTOMS SERVICE ASSOCIATION. 99820—52— 15
UNITED STATES SENATE,
May 31, 1952.
Washington 25, D. C. DEAR MR, CHAIRMAN: Please let me enclose for the information and consideration of your committee a letter addressed to me by Mr. Lorenz F. Broecker, president of the Pittsburgh Branch of the National Customs Service Association. With the best of wishes and the kindest of regards, I am, always, Faithfully yours,
M. M. NEELY.
NATIONAL CUSTOMS SERVICE ASSOCIATION,
Pittsburgh 19, Pa., May 23, 1952. Hon. MATTHEW M. NEELY,
Senate Office Building, Washington 25, D. C. DEAR SENATOR NEELY: Reference is made to the President's Reorganization Plan No. 3, which is now before the Senate Committee on Government Operations, and the effects it will have on the United States Customs Service.
Being employees of the Customs Service at the port of Pittsburgh, which serves western Pennsylvania and the State of West Virginia, we are very interested and have studied this plan thoroughly.
The proponents of this plan speak much of the economy to Government to be derived, but upon close scrutiny by those who know the workings of customs, such claims seem unfounded.
The abolishing of the positions of collector, comptroller, and surveyor, and in their stead creating 20 positions of district supervisor, at higher rates of compensation makes for very little saving. A big factor in filling these positions of district supervisor, is how they are to be selected. Will they be people who have a real working knowledge of customs or some favorites of the incumbent administration?
In abolishing the office of comptroller and turning their functions over to some other Government agency lies a great danger. The employees of the comptroller's office are highly trained in customs laws, tariff rates, and merchandise classification, and it would take years before any other Government agency could audit customs entries with the same degree of efficiency. This could lead to a great loss of revenue to the Government by fraud, collusion of some employees with importers or in court cases brought by importers.
The plan also proposes only spot checking of baggage at ports of entry. This would lead to an increase in smuggling of articles of value and contraband as the law of averages would be on the side of those who seek to defraud the Government.
It does not seem consistent with good supervision that plan No. 3 seeks to remove checks and balances whereas plan No. 1 for the Internal Revenue Bureau puts on these precautions.
This plan also proposes taking the entire control of customs out of the hands of Congress and turning it over to the Secretary of the Treasury. In our opinion this control should not leave the Congress.
We solicit your influence with the members of the Committee on Government Operations and the Members of the Senate to defeat Reorganization Plan No. 3. Very truly yours,
LORENZ F. BROECKER, President. Attest:
NICHOLAS A. FORSTER, Secretary.
Los ANGELES, CALIF., June 3, 1952. Hon. John L. McCLELLAN, Chairman, Senate Committee on Government Operations,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C.: Strongly urge rejection of reorganization plan No. 3 with respect to placing collectors of customs under civil service. This association representing leading
southern California foreign traders and business allied thereto is in complete accord with views expressed by Mr. Philip Stein, chairman of our legislative .committee in his letter of May 6, 1952, addressed to Hon. Richard M. Nixon.
FOREIGN TRADE ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA,
WENDELL SHORE, President. Mr. Sanders, will you come forward, please.
I trust you will have your prepared statement printed in the record and then comment upon it.
I note that you have a very brief statement. You may proceed. STATEMENT OF J, T. SANDERS, LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL, THE
REORGANIZATION PLANS Nos. 2 AND 4 OF 1952
Mr. SANDERS. At each of the last three annual sessions of the National Grange, we have approved in general the recommendations of the Hoover Commission providing for reorganization of the executive branch of the Federal Government. In general, and specifically in nearly all cases, we believe these recommendations are sound and will lead both to increased efficiency and economy in the Federal Government.
We believe that if the selection of postmasters can be completely removed from political influence
The CHAIRMAN. Do you believe that? Mr. SANDERS. Do you mean that we believe that they can be completely removed ?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Mr. SANDERS. I doubt it. The CHAIRMAN. I do, too. Mr. SANDERS. At least, maybe they can be removed to an extent more than they have been at present.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, this will not do it. It puts them deeper in. It hides what would really be going on.
Mr. SANDERS. I have not studied the plan as well or as much as you have. My impression is that it will.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, go ahead. Mr. SANDERS. We believe that, if the selection of postmasters can be completely removed from political influence, in time this will work not only to the relief of an already overburdened membership of Congress, but also will in time insure a more competent and better satisfied personnel in the postal service.
As long as Senators and Congressmen are called on to pass political judgment on the qualification of postmasters, no Member of the Senate or the House can afford to overlook the appointment of a postmaster who serves in his home district or State. To do so would mean criticism and loss of influence. But if Members can once and for all be relieved under law of this responsibility, in a short time most of them will be pleased, we believe, with this change. Their reputation and local strength can then be established more on their record for constructive legislative work and not on their record of rewarding their friends with patronage.