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Senate action on reorganization plans, 81st and 82d Congs.
REORGANIZATION PLANS OF 1949
Aug. 20, 1949
REORGANIZATION PLANS OF 1950
Department of Welfare.
Department of Treasury.
May 24, 1950
May 17, 1950
July 1, 1950
1 Bureau of Internal Revenue. 2 Post Office Department. 3 Bureau of Customs, Treasury Department. 4 Department of Justice (United States Marshals).
District of Columbia.
July 1, 1952
1 Senate rejects resolution by less than the necessary 49 votes, and the plan became effective.
i Superseded by Public Law 216, Aug. 10, 1949. 3 Senate approves resolution by voice vote.
* Same as plan No. 1 of 1950, excluding Comptroller of the Currency.
Designed to overcome objections to plan No. 1 of 1949. 6 House adopts disapproving H. Res. No. 647 by vote of 249 to 71 on July 10, 1950.
Senator Smith. Senator Kerr, of Oklahoma, wishes to present a statement in the record at this point. The Senator expected he was coming in, but has been unable to get here. Without objection, his statement will be inserted in the record at this point. (The statement of Senator Kerr is as follows:)
UNITED STATES SENATE,
May 15, 1953.
Senate Office Building. DEAR MADAM CHAIRMAN: I wish to herewith file my protest to Reorganization Plan No. 2.
In doing so, I do not object to proper reorganization of the Department of Agriculture, nor any other department of Government, when a precise plan is submitted which clearly demonstrates the advantages to be gained. In fact, I believe improvements can be made in the operation of the Department of Agriculture.
Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 is not a plan at all—but a grant of power to the Secretary of Agriculture to do any and all things as he chooses, with the services and functions of the largest executive department of our Government. As I read the proposed plan, it is a delegation, to any man who has been appointed by the President of the United States to the Cabinet post as Secretary of Agriculture, of authority to change or abolish the functions of the Department at his will, without approval of either Congress or the President.
If I could find out what the plan of the Secretary of Agriculture embraces, I might not oppose it. I do not know what it is-I doubt that he does. If he does-he is keeping it a secret.
The plan should be returned to the President with the suggestion that the Secretary of Agriculture submit in detail what he expects to do with the various and sundry services, functions, and operations of the Department of Agriculture, and provide an analysis of what such proposed changes will accomplish. Then Congress and the farmers of this great Nation may know what is proposed for our greatest industry-agriculture. That would, in my opinion, comply with the spirit, as well as the letter of the Reorganization Plan of 1949. I urge rejection of plan No. 2 as presently before your committee. Sincerely yours,
Rob'r S. KERR.
Senator Smith. The subcommittee, unless there is something further, will stand adjourned until Monday morning, May 18, at 9:30 a. m., at which time we shall hear Senator Aiken, of Vermont, chairman, Senate Agriculture and Forestry Committee; Congressman Hope, of Kansas, chairman, House Agriculture Committee; the Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. Benson; William F. Finan, Assistant Director of Management and Organization of the Bureau of the Budget; Dean H. P. Rusk, of the Task Force on Agriculture of the Hoover Commission; John Stuart, chairman of the Agricultural Committee of the Citizens Committee for the Hoover Report, and there may be one or two others whose names have not been presented yet.
(Whereupon, at 3 p. m., the subcommittee adjourned, to reconvene at 9:30 a. m. Monday, May 18, 1953.)
REORGANIZATION PLAN NO. 2 OF 1953
(Department of Agriculture)
MONDAY, MAY 18, 1953
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to adjournment, at 9:30 a. m., in room 357, Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C., Senator Margaret Chase Smith (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Senators Margaret Chase Smith (Republican, Maine), Everett M. Dirksen (Republican, Illinois), Henry C. Dworshak (Republican, Idaho), Hubert H. Humphrey (Democrat, Minnesota), and John F. Kennedy (Democrat, Massachusetts).
Present also: Senators John L. McClellan (Democrat, Arkansas) and Stuart Symington (Democrat, Missouri); Representative Clifford G. McIntire (Republican, Maine); Walter L. Reynolds, chief clerk and staff director; Ann M. Grickis, assistant chief clerk; and Glenn K. Shriver, professional staff member.
Senator Smith. The subcommittee will come to order.
We are holding hearings on Reorganization Plan No. 2, having had hearings last week and continuing this morning.
First on the agenda is our very distinguished colleague, the senior Senator from Vermont, Hon. George D. Aiken. Senator, as former Governor of your State, chairman of this committee in the 80th Congress, a former member of the Hoover Commission and its committee on agriculture, and chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, you are preeminently qualified to discuss this matter.
Senator, Secretary Benson is here, but scheduled to appear later this morning. I think he wants to hear what you have to say, so please don't feel hurried.
STATEMENT OF HON. GEORGE D. AIKEN, A UNITED STATES
SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF VERMONT Senator AIKEN. Madam Chairman, I appreciate being able to testify early because we are having a hearing before the Agricultural Committee this morning, across on the other side of the building.
I am glad to appear here in support of Reorganization Plan No. 2. It seems to me that the time is here when the Secretary of Agriculture, who is held responsible for the operations of his Department and for applying the agricultural laws enacted by the Congress, should also have full authority to run his Department. Also we should get away
from the practice, which was started some years ago, of legislating for and delegating authority to the subordinate agencies within the Department of Agriculture.
Under this proposed reorganization plan, the Secretary of Agriculture can change no laws, and he can make no appropriations. Congress will do that. But the Secretary can so organize his Department as to make it function in the best interests of United States agriculture and in the best manner to carry out the laws enacted by the Congress.
This reorganization plan will, in general, give to the Secretary of Agriculture the power over the different agencies now housed in the Department of Agriculture that he has at present over the Agricultural Research Administration, the Production and Marketing Administration, the Commodity Exchange Authority, the Extension Service, and the Office of Foreign Agricultural Service.
I have heard that the reasons advanced for opposing this plan are partly because a similar plan, alleged to be similar, was defeated by the Senate 3 years ago.
I would like to point out that the plan which was defeated 3 years ago, or rather the vote 3 years ago, was in part a protest against the rapidly accelerating Government controls of that time and a protest against the centralization of government in Washington generally.
It may be recalled also that we were having frequent interpretations of laws enacted by the Congress by the executive agencies in a manner different from what most of us in the Congress knew those laws to mean when we enacted them,
Now, I opposed the reorganization plan of 3 years ago for the reasons given. Further than that, this plan is different in its effect from the plan which was defeated 3 years ago.
We find in this plan No. 2 of 1953 this statement in paragraph (b) of section 4, which calls upon the Secretary of Agriculture, to the extent he deems practicable, to give appropriate advance public notice of delegations of functions proposed to be made by him and shall afford appropriate opportunity for interested persons and groups to place before the Department of Agriculture their views with respect to such proposed delegations.
I do not say that that paragraph could not have been worded a little better, but I feel that Secretary Benson will assure you, as he has assured others, that he would consider the committees of Congress proper persons to be notified whenever he contemplates making important changes within the Department itself.
This plan differs from the one of 3 years ago in that it directs the Secretary to place the administration of farm programs close to the State and local levels and to adapt the administration of the program of the Department to regional, State, and local conditions.
I think the intent of that statement well known, and this statement was not included in the plan which was defeated 3 years ago.
The third difference between this plan and plan No. 4 of 1950 is found in section 5, which prohibits the use of transferred unexpended balances for any purpose other than that for which the appropriation was originally made.
Now, I think the enabling act itself, the Reorganization Act, as it is called, never intended that funds appropriated for one purpose could