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to my district. I think we have plenty of people in Arkansas who would like to have the job who are competent, and I think it is better to have folks who are local people and who know local customs and traditions, and so forth.
Mr. ANDRETTA. As you know, Senator, when we put the deputies under civil service, one of the requirements was that he had to come from the area in which he was to serve and be appointed. The examinations were held on a local basis, you remember.
The CHAIRMAN. Maybe the law protects us on that.
The CHAIRMAN. That is a point, though, that we are interested in and want to know about. It is not specifically in the plan.
Mr. ANDRETTA. I am sure that when civil service comes over to discuss the plan they will tell you, probably, that they will follow the same thing we did on the deputies, and that would be to hold examinations in the area in which they are to be appointed.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, that is all right as far as it goes, but this legislating by promise, “You give me this authority, and I will do so and so," without spelling it out. This is not sound legislative process, in my judgment.
Now, we took their word in the reorganization of the Bureau of Internal Revenue that they would do so and so. But that is nothing in the world but a promise. I do not mean to imply that they are not sincere, but that is not a sound legislative process—to legislate authority simply on a promise that he will do it this way or do it that way, without spelling it out in the statute.
Certainly when it comes to the question of eligibility of citizens, we are somewhat derelict in our duty when we adopt a plan or pass a law that allows such discretion, just simply making a promise that they will do accordingly, even though the promise may well be kept by those who make it.
But we are legislating permanent legislation. Yet the statute makes no such requirement when this plan is enacted, unless it is tied into existing law so as to make existing law applicable to this new position.
Mr. ANDRETTA. I am certain that the plan provides that.
The CHAIRMAN. Since you are certain about it, let us have placed in this record an official opinion from the Attorney General. Will you supply that? Mr. ANDRETTA. I will try to get it, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Maybe that is all you can say, that you will try. But I think the committee will want it.
Senator SCHOEPPEL. Mr. Chairman, what you have reference to now possibly is the next highest official in that Department, the Assistant United States Attorney General.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, we have an Acting Attorney General, Mr. Perlman. Mr. ANDRETTA. Yes, we do. The CHAIRMAN. We will take his word, then, if we can get it.
(The information requested appears in the hearing of June 4, 1952. See letter from Mr. F. J. Lawton, enclosing material from Assistant Attorney General, Executive Adjudications Division, p. 161.)
Senator SCHOEPPEL. There is one more question I would like to ask, if you are through with that one question, Mr. Chairman.
- Are you sure that if this plan goes into effect the United States district judges, the men who are on the bench, will not lose some control or have a change in their relationship with these men, that would not be to the best interests of carrying out all of the responsibilities of the Federal Judiciary?
Mr. ANDREITA. There will be no change, Senator.
Mr. ANDRETTA. That is right. Under this plan there would be no change in that relationship.
Senator SCHOEPPEL. That is one thing I want to be crystal clear about. Mr. ANDRETTA. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Andretta and Mr. Miller.
I think your prepared statement is an excellent presentation of the merits from your viewpoint of this plan.
Mr. ANDRETTA. Thank you, Senator.
Do you wish to testify on all three plans ?
· REORGANIZATION PLANS Nos. 2, 3, AND 4 OF 1952 Mr. LAWTON. That is correct, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you identify your assistants who are with you for the record, please?
Mr. LAWTON, I have with me Mr. Edward B. Strait, Mr. William F. Finan, and Mr. Fred E. Levi.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have a prepared statement? Mr. LAWTON. I do, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. Do you have a separate statement for each plan? Mr. LAWTON. I have one statement that covers the general features, and then a separate part of that statement that deals with each plan.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. You may proceed in your own way. Mr. LAWTON. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I welcome this opportunity to speak in support of the President's Reorganization Plans Nos. 2, 3, and 4 of 1952.
These plans were prepared in accordance with the Reorganization Act of 1949 and provide for reorganizations in the Post Office Departinent, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Justice.
Briefly stated, Reorganization Plan No. 2 vests in the Postmaster General the appointment of postmasters at first-, second-, and thirdclass post offices; Reorganization Plan No. 3 abolishes all offices in the Bureau of Customs now filled by Presidential appointment and permits the work of that Bureau to be performed by persons appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury; and Reorganization Plan No. 4 authorizes the Attorney General to appoint United States marshals, All future appointments will be made under the classified civil service,
In the President's message of April 10, accompanying the transmittal of these plans to the Congress, he stated their primary objective, as follows:
The primary objective of these three organization plans is to make the executive branch of the Federal Government more efficient by permitting the Congress and the people to hold it more clearly accountable for the faithful execution of the laws. This objective is accomplished, in practical effect, by transferring from the President to the heads of the respective departments the function of appointment of numerous field officers who have heretofore been appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
As your committee is well aware, efficient administration requires the establishment of clear lines of accountability from the top to the bottom of the executive branch. This is a fundamental objective of good administration. In recent years we have taken several steps toward clarifying executive accountability. Reorganization Plans No. 3 of 1949 and Nos. 2 and 26 of 1950 vested in the Postmaster General, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of the Treasury, respectively, substantially all of the functions of their departments and granted them authority to delegate their functions to their subordinates. Other reorganization plans in 1950 and other legislation enacted by the Congress have extended this principle of making the department heads more fully responsible for running their departments. The three reorganization plans now before your committeelike Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1952 affecting the Bureau of Internal Revenue in the Treasury Department—continue these efforts to increase the accountability of department heads by giving to three of them an essential additional authority; namely, the authority to appoint subordinate officers for whose performance they are responsible.
Both the President's Committee on Administrative Management and the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government have recommended the changes embodied in these plans as steps toward more accountable administration.
In addition to meeting the primary objective of providing greater accountability in these executive departments, these plans will gain for us the advantages which will come from filling these offices under the merit principle of the classified civil service. Since all the offices affected by these plans are non-policy-forming in nature and are, in fact, offices requiring technical and administrative skills, much advantage to the public service is to be gained by requiring civil-service examination, merit selection, and promotion on the basis of ability.
The President in his message cited another “vitally important advantage” to be obtained from these three reorganization plans. He referred to the opportunity stemming from these plans to relieve the Presidency and the Congress of “the burden of minor personal actions" and to permit the President and the Congress to devote their "efforts to the greater issues confronting our Government today.”
Before discussing each plan individually, I would like to make one further general comment. The plans do not provide for an immediate separation from Government service of the thousands of incumbents now on the job. Each plan contains specific provision for the gradual application of the changes, so designed that changes in the appointment of officials will occur, in the main, at such times as the present offices become vacant. The plans neither grant additional tenure to any officer beyond what he may now have, nor curtail the tenure of any officer now serving for a specified statutory term of office. The complete change-over to the new method of appointment, there- . fore, may be expected to require several years.
Senator SCHOEPPEL. Mr. Lawton, might I ask you a question ? There is probably no way of finding out about how many years as a whole in each Department would elapse before this transition in the main would be made, is there?
Mr. LAWTON. There is in the Treasury, with the exception of one office, the Appraiser of the Port of New York, but that is provided in the plan. The marshals and the Customs officials in these plans have terms of office. The post offices have no terms. So that with respect to postmasters, you cannot tell. It is when the vacancy occurs in the office.
With respect to marshals, you can.
Senator SCHOEPPEL. After 4 years, we would know that there would be a complete change-over?
Mr. LAWTON. Yes. It will occur during that period of time.
REORGANIZATION PLAN No. 2 OF 1952
POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Reorganization Plan No. 2 provides for the gradual abolition of all existing offices of postmaster at post offices of the first-, second-, and third-class and the establishment of new offices of postmaster to be filled by appointment by the Postmaster General under the classified civil service. Under the present law, postmasters at post offices of the first-, second-, and third-class are appointed, pursuant to civilservice examination, by the President and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that the only actual change in this plan? Mr. LAWTON. That, plus a minor transfer of functions to the Postmaster General, two functions that have been added since the last plan.
The CHAIRMAN. Two functions that have been added since the last plan?
Mr. LAWTON. Yes. And they are transferred to the Postmaster General.
The CHAIRMAN. They have been added by statute ?
At the end of the last fiscal year there were 2,732 post offices of the first class, 5,905 of the second class, and 12,801 of the third class-a total of 21,438 offices. The Postmaster General is already authorized by law to appoint postmasters at post offices of the fourth class. At the end of the last fiscal year, there were 19,755 such offices.
The CHAIRMAN. They are not civil service? They are not required to take a civil-service examination ?
Mr. LAWTON. They are civil service. But the Postmaster General appoints them rather than the President.
The CHAIRMAN. Are they appointed for an indefinite term? . Mr. LAWTON. Yes, all postmasters of all classes are appointed for indefinite tenure.
The CHAIRMAN. The fourth class as well?
When Reorganization Plan No. 2 becomes fully effective, the Postmaster General will appoint postmasters of all classes.
The plan provides for a gradual and orderly change-over to the new method of appointment. All present offices of the first three classes which are vacant at the end of the regular 60-day period of congres: sional consideration of this plan will be abolished and new offices of postmaster established at that time. All other present offices of the first three classes will be abolished at such time as they next become vacant, and successor offices will then be established.
By providing the change-over in this manner the plan offers two benefits. First, it does not cause the immediate separation of some 21,000 postmasters from the service and the consequent interference with the smooth operation of the postal system that that would entail. Second, the plan does not thrust upon the Civil Service Commission the immense burden of examining and rating immediately such a large number of postmasters. Rather, it continues the normally expected workload of examinations.
In addition to improving accountability in the postal service by permitting the Postmaster General to appoint the subordinates for whose performance he is responsible, Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1952 has the objective of placing all postmaster appointments fully under the merit system so that they will be comparable to other civilservice positions. Under present law governing the appointment of postmasters, the act of June 25, 1938—the O'Mahoney-Ramspeck Act, postmasters at post offices of the first, second, and third class are appointed after civil-service examination but are required to be appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The President in his transmittal message stated that “this procedure injects a hybrid mixture of political and merit considerations into appointments to offices which should be in the career service."
From the beginning of our Republic in 1789 until 1836 the Postmaster General appointed all postmasters. The existence of “Presidential postmasters” began with the act of July 2, 1836, which required that postmasters at all “post offices at which the commissions allowed the postmaster amounted to $1,000 or upwards” be appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Later, post offices were divided by statute into classes according to their revenues, and it was provided that the President would appoint and the Senate confirm postmasters at post offices of the first three classes and the Postmaster General would appoint those at offices in the other classes.
In 1883 the Pendleton Act was enacted providing for the establishment of a permanent civil service. Ever since, there has been a continuing movement to place postmasters under the civil service and fully under the merit system. By Executive orders of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Taft postmasters at post offices of the fourth class were brought under the civil service. Because the statutes required the appointment of postmasters at post offices of the first three classes to be made by the President and confirmed by the Senate, the Presidents could not bring these offices fully under the civil service.
Beginning with President Wilson in 1917 and including every President up to the enactment of the O'Mahoney-Ramspeck Act in 1938, each Chief Executive provided by Executive order that, prior to nomination of a postmaster by the President, the candidate must either be a person promoted under the rules governing noncompetitive civil-service examination or be a person who qualified under com