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istration and its controls, which were beginning to wear thin. A lot of the Secretary's time had to be given to price and control matters. During that period the top price authority in the Department, Bart Boyd, was in and out of my office more often than any other official. The Assistant Secretary checked the old-line agencies of the Department, such as the Forest Service, the Bureau of Animal Industry, and the Soil Conservation Service. I was putting in full time on price levels and dates for the decontrol of farm products.
But the big job soon was trying to feed Europe, and other areas of the world, to shore up the economies of friendly countries and check the spread of communism. I was Chairman of the Combined Food Board, the allotting agency, and it seemed to me I saw more ambassadors in my office than did the Secretary of State. There was serious drought in the Mediterranean area, the Danube Basin, Australia, India, and other areas. England, France, Italy, and Austria had troubles every day. Things were pretty desperate for a while. A big share of the Department's services were geared into this emergency effort. Under the general leadership of a Famine Emergency Committee, many steps were taken. These involved production, price incentive, grain conservation, shipping, and a whole lot of related considerations. The job somehow got done through a lot of action which would have been difficult or impossible without the flexible authority then available. Shipments of United States food to a hungry world reached a rate of more than 20 million tons a year. During this period, the man who came through my door most often was Dennis Fitzgerald-top authority on famine needs and supplies, and ways of relating the two. I saw him every day and many times a day. I rarely saw Bart Boyd.
By early 1948 when I left the Department the wheel had turned almost completely—as it has a habit of doing in agriculture—and instead of worrying about producing enough to feed our allies we were coming face to face with the problem of surpluses. This brought production control machinery, acreage allotments and marketing quotas, back into the picture. It brought a great increase in Commodity Credit Corporation activities on the price-support front. By the spring of 1950, CCC's total holdings—both inventory stocks and commodities held as security for price-support loans-reached a peak of more than $4 billion. Potatoes were running out of everybody's ears, and stocks of other perishables were causing trouble.
Then came Korea, followed quickly by another major shift in program needs. Once more the problem was how to produce enough to meet heavy demand at home and abroad and to have enough in the marketplace to help hold down inflation. Department of Agriculture agencies were concerned with production goals, supplies of materials and facilities, and all the other programs and services needed for highlevel output from our farms.
And now once more we are back to a period where it is necessary to take steps to hold down production, which has started to run ahead of demand. Acreage allotments and production quotas will apparently be needed on some major crops for next year. The Department is already starting to gather the crop information from 2 million wheat farms and a million cotton farms which will be needed soon if controls have to be ordered for 1954. I feel we should have had controls on
wheat in 1953, and must have controls on wheat and probably on cotton in 1954.
In addition to these major shifts in program and service needs which are forced by economic conditions or international difficulties, there are more developments which call for flexible authority in handling administration of the Department.
On January 26, 1946, an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease was reported in Vlexico. As Secretary of Agriculture, I moved to close the border within an hour and even then there was some criticism because we had not moved fast enough. Within a month plans were made to use the full facilities of the Department, in cooperation with the Mexican Government, to combat the disease. For months I scheduled a conference every day with someone just going to or coming back from Mexico. After a long, hard fight, the outbreak was brought under control. The border was opened again in September 1952. A lighter outbreak of this disease was reported in Canada in February 1952, but it was cleaned up fast enough so that Canada could be declared free of the disease a year later.
The great floods of 1951 and 1952 brought another emergency, calling for revision and reorganization of Department services to help meet the needs of stricken areas.
I will mention one more major development, of a different nature, which brought with it the need for important adjustments in Department administration. I refer to the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 which opened the door on a whole new outlook for Department research. New laws of this kind can call for vast reorganization steps, especially if they do not fit into the existing pattern of organization.
I might just interpolate there to say that one of the authors of that act is present this morning, the distinguished representative of the State of Kansas, Mr. Hope. His part of that program was an insistence upon marketing research. It is not achieved in the Department yet, and it should be achieved. We should spend a great deal of time on marketing research.
One of the reasons that it has not been achieved, I think, is that it is so difficult now without wartime authorities to reorganize and change and reorient the Department.
My point in citing these developments and shifts during just a few short years is to emphasize the fact that the Department of Agriculture does not deal with programs or services which can stand still
. They must be adapted and adjusted constantly to meet changing needs. Inelastic authorities, which can be changed only through time-consuming steps to secure new legislation, can be ruinous.
Most people recognize these facts. They want assurances, however, that any broad authority for the executive department to make changes will not be abused. Reorganization Plan No. 2 gives such assurance, particularly if hearings are made the rule.
In the first place, the plan provides that any funds affected by a reorganization transfer may be used only for the purposes for which the appropriation was made originally. The plan makes it very clear that transfers may not alter the use. This is a very important provision. It assures expenditures in line with the intent of Congress.
This plan also contains a provision which has not appeared in other plans of this type. It requires the Secretary, to the extent practicable, to give appropriate advance public notice of delegations of functions,
and to afford opportunity for interested persons or groups to place their views before the Department. In view of this very clear mandate, it would be most unrealistic to think that any Secretary of Agriculture might disregard the will of Congress by using the "to the extent practicable” provision as an excuse to avoid the notice and hearings. Actually, hearings should generally be required. This is a sound provision which will insure careful consideration of any proposed transfers or delegations.
Further, and possibly most important, the plan definitely spells out a policy directive with regard to decentralization of the programs, close to State and local levels. The Secretary is also directed to adapt the Department's programs to regional, State, and local conditions, to simplify them as much as possible, and to seek increased efficiency.
These provisions are sound assurances against misdirection in the use of the authority which would be granted. The Congress would of course retain the full control of the appropriation authority. As long as Congress keeps the power of the purse, it will give up none of its broad policy control. The areas involved have to do with the administration of those programs and services which the Congress itself has authorized.
There is no question but that the great collection of agencies which serve the farmers of the United States can be simplified to the benefit of everyone. Once this preliminary work is done, there will still be need for constant adjustment and revision to meet the needs of changing conditions. The Secretary must have the necessary authority to carry out these assignments. In fact, we should insist that he be given and accept such authority so that he can be held fairly accountable for needed action,
No possible reorganization or transfer of functions which is worthwhile can be entirely painless. Some who feel thay have a vested interest in jobs or services are certain to object to any proposal for change. These objections must be set aside, however, in the broader national interest. The important thing is to make it possible to work toward simplification and greater efficiency in the Department of Agriculture. If we provide the means through adequate authorization, it will be the responsibility of the executive branch to develop and carry out the necessary improvements. Farmers have a right to expect these improvements to the end that programs may give the greatest possible service with the greatest possible economies in administration.
Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 holds this promise. I therefore feel that it is not a partisan issue. The plan should be permitted to become effective to pave the way for needed action. If Congress does not like some future development, it will have ample means to change the course of things promptly.
I think I can see some problems ahead. We have some farm programs that were tested in good days and bad-in the depression of the early thirties and the war boom of the 1940's. Those programs, with proper administration, will work. It would be unfortunate if any Secretary was in position to say: "I could have done the job if Congress bad given me the tools.” If responsibility is to be loaded on any man, he should be allowed to discharge it in the fashion that suits his habits-in the way that he works best.
Let the Secretary of Agriculture deploy his men and his resources where his programs are meeting the test. Then responsibility for success or failure is then fixed.
There are difficult days ahead for agriculture. I favor giving the Secretary the tools.
Madam Chairman, on December 13, 1949, I spoke before the National Reorganization Conference of the Citizens Committee for the Hoover Report here in Washington, D. C., and at that time I tried to explain, since I was very recently in the job, some of the reasons why I thought the reorganization program carried in the Hoover report for the Department of Agriculture ought to be established.
I do not want to read it all, but I want to read 2 or 3 lines that are still of interest.
I said: Nothing has happened, actually, during the years that I was in the Department or since I have left it that changes my conviction that the great sprawling collection of agencies that serve the farmers of this country can be simplified in its organization to the benefit not only of the people for whose guidance and help it was created, but as well to the taxpayers of the country.
I pointed out that before I had taken the oath of office, I had communicated with Milton Eisenhower, then the president of Kansas State Agricultural College, and asked him to head a committee to study the problems that would arise when we tried to put the War Food Administration back in the Department of Agriculture. He did come to the Department. We did have reorganization. We shifted thousands of people. We had some trouble with the individuals who were shifted out of a position that they liked. But I think it was an effective reorganization, and it was a very enlightening experience to me.
I said in that talk that upon the solid rock of that experience I had based my observations that morning. I had learned then that any change that is suggested will find its immediate opponents. Whenever there is a suggestion that the particular office to which they are attached should be merged with another or eliminated outright, these people turn at once to their friends, and the Administrator quickly thereafter learns that the removal of these favored people from a public payroll or their transfer from positions of substantial responsibility to those with less authority virtually makes certain that the office, service, or agencies involved will not thereafter do a proper job for the farmers of this country.
That is argued every time you try to move someone out of a job.
If the chairman would be willing, I would like either to submit this as a report or ask that it might be printed in the record.
Senator Smith. Without objection, it will be so placed in the record of the hearing.
Senator ANDERSON. Thank you.
SIMPLIFYING THE STRUCTURE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (By Senator Clinton P. Anderson, of New Mexico, former Secretary of Agriculture)
There are some lines in the Rubaiyat which I find expressive of my situation this morning. They proclaim that:
"The Moving Finger writes, and having writ,
Moves on; nor all your Piety nor Wit
Nor all your Tears wash out a word of it."
This morning I am speaking on the simplification of the Department of Agriculture. During the 3 years that I was Secretary of Agriculture, I commented many times on the reorganization of the Department and upon those things which I thought or others suggested could be useful in the simplification of its tasks and the streamlining of its functions.
This morning I may need to contradict something which I have heretofore said, but the purposes of this meeting will be best served if I am not chained to my previous utterances. I take comfort in the words of a philosopher who suggested that when consistency came to regulate completely our thoughts the development of character was at an end.
Nothing has happened, actually, during the years that I was in the Department or since I have left it that changes my conviction that the great sprawling collection of agencies that serves the farmers of this country can be simplified in its organization to the benefit not only of the people for whose guidance and help it was created, but as well to the taxpayers of the country. That conviction came to me in the summer of 1945 when I contemplated the responsibilities I was about to assume. Even before I had taken the oath of office I had communicated with Milton Eisenhower, then and now president of the Kansas State Agricultural College and long a brilliant and skillful planner within the Department of Agriculture, urging that he head a committee to study the problems that would arise when the tasks of the War Food Administrator were reassigned to the Department of Agriculture and an attempt made to assimilate the many thousands of employees of the War Food Administration back into the fold of the Department from which they had been borrowed.
This is not the occasion to review the work which Dr. Eisenhower and his committee did. It should be sufficient to say that they spent weeks within the Department, interviewing employees, studying organization charts, investigating possible economies, and recommending without hesitation the character which they felt the reorganization should take. I accepted their recommendations, as I recall it now, almost in the very words submitted by the committee. As a first fruit of their endeavor we set up a Production and Marketing Administration which consolidated a whole host of scattered functions into a unified administration. I am indebted to the committee for working out a procedure which greatly reduced the number of people reporting directly to the Secretary. We eliminated a great many positions, and my mind at least is clear that we not only saved money, but improved the service that we were giving to the people who had business with the Department.
Upon the solid rock of that experience I base my observations this morning. I learned then that any change that is suggested will find its immediate opponents. Countless people have moved into the Department because they have or had a friend on Capitol Hill. Whenever there is a suggestion that the particular office to which they are attached should be merged with another or eliminated outright, these people turn at once to their friend and the Administrator quickly thereafter learns that the removal of these people from a public payroll or their transfer from positions of substantial responsibility to those with less authority virtually makes certain that the office, service or agency involved will not thereafter do a proper job for the farmers of this country.
If we approach every proposed reorganization of the Department of Agriculture with the condition that no employee is to be separated from his task, that no responsibility is to be lessened, that no services are to be regrouped, then no progress will be made either toward increased efficiency or reduced costs. It is only when there is determination that simplification must and will be achieved regardless of who is involved or how many positions are abolished that there can be any effective result from the organization charts we draw and the redefinitions of authority that we devise.
Therefore, I suggest that we start by agreeing that reorganization is possible and should be undertaken. The plan proposed by the Hoover Commission may not be the only one that could be developed. It is, however, available and specific. It deals directly with conditions as they now exist. In the absence of a current and better proposal, it deserves a trial. Experience may teach that the functional approach suggested in the report could be improved by a regrouping of agencies or objectives. If it does indicate that to the administrator of the department, then he or the Chief Executive or the Congress can correct those errors that come to light. But we have to start somewhere and it would seem desirable to accept as a basis for immediate discussion and action the proposed organization submitted by the Commission on Reorganization of the Executive Branch of the Government.