« 이전계속 »
I hope I have made it clear that I do not think there is anything sacred in the organization chart as prepared by the Hoover Commission. All I suggest is that it is a chart for our study; that it is specific and concrete and that we try to make it workable by studying the Department's support for or objections to the ideas that have been advanced with the full understanding that the Chief Executive or the Congress in providing for the reorganization of the Department should feel perfectly free to make revisions or corrections wherever, in the judgment of either, the Commission has failed to suggest the most effective arrangement.
For example, there is the question of the number of Assistant Secretaries. The Department is now administered by the Secretary, aided by an Under Secretary and one Assistant Secretary. I have heretofore recommended that there should be two Assistant Secretaries. It may be there should be three. If so, by all means provide them, but don't let the question of the number of Assistant Secretaries hold up the decision on the functional organization of the Department. Personally, I think there should be three-one who might watch the development of programs in research and the transmission of the fruits of that research to the farmers of this Nation through the Extension Service, another who might find his responsibility primarily in the field of the conservation of agricultural resources, and a third who, in my opinion, should deal with the subject of agricultural credit in a very broad and overall way, bringing under his supervision not only the agricultural credit services but also that specialized agricultural credit service known as rural electrification.
So much for reorganization topside. You will see at once that I could differ from the Hoover Commission recommendations if they would establish an Assistant Secretary for Administration. My limited experience in the Department did not persuade me that finance, personnel, management, legal supply, publications, and library, came close to approaching in importance to the Secretary such problems as research and extension, the conservation of resources and establishment of a policy on rural credit. The Librarian of the Department, Ralph Shaw, is unquestionably one of the top men in America in that field. He never got in a Secretary's way in his life, and he never will. You need no one to supervise him. The work of the General Counsel runs through every service and agency of the Department, and I could speak as enthusiastically of Judge Hunter as I have of Ralph Shaw. Certainly W. A. Jump, who was chief budget officer during my period in the Department, knew more about the workings of that department than I could ever hope to know. He was my strong right arm. No administrative assistant secretary could have supervised his work because it was upon his budget presentations to Congress that the entire structure of departmental activity was built. So I may dissent from the recommendations of the Commission as to how the Assistant Secretaries should be used, although I feel the report leaves their utilization to the Secretary. Surely that is a problem that each Secretary must settle for himself, just as each President must decide what responsibilities he throws upon his Vice President.
Let us now drop below the top administrative level and discuss the proposals of the Commission that operational functions of the Department in Washington be grouped into eight major units.
The first is staff services. I think the Commission has done a good job in pulling out from the general activities of the Department the financial officer, the personnel officer, the general counsel, the supply officer, the publications officer, and the librarian. I am glad they have recommended the establishment of a management research officer, whose function I assume is across the whole waterfront and who would be trying to improve efficiency in any service. If I may be permitted a purely personal comment, it would be this: I would suggest that when the management research office is set up, it would be required periodically and regularly, to give tests to the employees of the Department to see if they are qualified to hold the positions under the respective classifications granted to them. For example, a stenographer whose rate indicates that she has substantially more qualifications than a beginner should be able to take dictation. I learned that many top-flight secretaries were forced to explain regretfully that their work consisted chiefly of making appointments, receiving and transmitting reports, dispatching documents and letters, and that because of that specialized work they had lost their knowledge of shorthand and sometimes their knowledge of typing. So many automatic promotions take place as a result of long service that it is frequently difficult for proper recognition to be given to that employee who has continued to advance in proficiency as he has accumulated seniority.
I am definitely not making any charges against the qualifications and qualities of Government employees, but most of the disputes over personnel that came to my desk resulted from the circumstance that once an employee has obtained a steady job there were few future yardsticks by which he could be judged other than the yardstick of long service. I think that a periodic reexamination of his knowledge and proficiency would be a stimulant to better service, would be a protection to the many wonderfully fine people in the Government and would quickly weed out the people who do not appreciate the opportunities in their daily tasks.
The second suggested service is the Research Service. I have had my fingers burned on that subject previously. The Forest Service wants to carry on its own research; the Soil Conservation Service wants to carry on its own research. I never saw anything in their claims that really denied the possibility of establishing a consolidated research service. After all, industry farms out research projects in this country every day. A steel manufacturing company may ask an efficiency expert in New York to make a study of a plant operation in the Middle West. Similarly the Forest Service can properly bring its research problems to a central agency and that agency, having regard for all the other research work going on in the Department of Agriculture, in the State land-grant colleges, in the experiment stations and elsewhere over the Nation can decide which would be the most advantageous method to handle the particular reserach problem involved. I know that the Department of Agriculture has already moved in that direction by putting the head of its Research Administration in charge of the administration of the Research and Marketing Act. But it can and should go further. There is still a lot of research in PMA, in the Forest Service, in Soil Conservation-yes, all over the Department. Time will dissipate the objections now being presented, and with the passing of time a completely unified Research Service, with appropriate branches, will be one of the great treasures of a streamlined Department.
The third is the Extension Service. We have much room for controversy in that field, but after we have listened to all the discussions we usually come back to the point of view that the individual farmer has some rights in the controversy over Extension. I believe that he wants a single place to which he can turn for agricultural information. I have been trying that out recently on my own farm and I like pretty well my present situation where I am dealing with my county agricultural agent and through him with the State land-grant college. I believe I am getting better advice than I was getting when more than one agency came to forest and range lands are inseparable from and often intermingled with croplands in their influence on erosion control, streamflow, and floods. That to me presents a cogent reason why forestry and grazing belong in the Department of Agriculture. I am pleased that the Hoover Commission takes the same stand. But whatever finally is selected as the wise course will be completely acceptable, I am sure, to the users of the range, the forest, and the farmlands.
Fourth, it is proposed that there be established an Agricultural Resources Conservation Service, into which all major soil, range, and forest conservation agencies should be brought. In October of 1947 in testimony before the House and the Senate Agricultural Committees, I referred to the interdepartmental committee of the Department of Agriculture. It had made a study of the conservation of soil, water, and forest resources, and had stated in recommendations in terms which could apply under 2 or 3 different administrative organizations, but recommended “the consolidation of the agricultural conservation program activities and the Soil Conservation Service acti 'ities into one conservation program and agency.” I told the Congress that I concurred and made that recommendation to it.
I did not refer to range conservation or the administration of the Taylor Grazing Act, because I was then determined not to spend my time quarreling with the Department of the Interior over whether I could steal from it the Grazing Service and it could steal from the Department of Agriculture, the Forest Service. It does not seem to me that it is a question as to who shall steal what from wiom. The decisive factor should be where the functions and activities are more properly grouped, and in my own heart right now I believe that the Grazing Service most properly belongs with the Department of Agriculture. This much may be said: 75 percent of the commercial forest land of the United States is privately owned and 40 percent of this is in farms. Farm forests have a greater acreage than all public forests. Timber is a crop-a farm crop--and forestry should not be removed from the Department of Agriculture. Three-fourths of the commercial forest lands lie east of the Great Plains where the Department of Agriculture lias almost complete Federal responsibility.
In my opinion, grazing is likewise inseparable from the Department of Agriculture. Livestock and forage production will always be a part of our farm economy No line can be drawn between range livestock and livestock grown on the farms. We need effective watershed management and to have it we must. have fully coordinated treatinent of cultivated range and forest land. The
Fifth, we come to the Commodity Adjustment Service. You may have noticed that in my description of the activities of the Assistant Secretaries, I did not suggest that it be assigned to any one of them. That is because of my belief that the responsibility for the support of agricultural prices and the establishment of programs under which loans are to be made and support prices proclaimed, is the primary responsibility of the Secretary of Agriculture, under policies established by the Congress of the United States. I do not think he can delegate that responsibility successfully to anyone under him.
I am sure no discussion nor argument is necessary on the proposal to make No. 6 the Regulatory Service.
No. 7 is the Agricultural Credit Service. And here we have room for vigorous argument. I am sure that in the past I have questioned the advisability of consolidating the Farmers' Home Administration with the Farm Credit Administration, on the theory that it was unwise to mix hard and soft credit. I must admit that I am inclining less and less to that point of view, and more willing and ready to accept the recommendation of the Hoover Commission. The biggest reason why I have come to that change in position is that I see the day approaching when many of these farm credit agencies will have retired their Government stock and become completely farmer-owned cooperatives. That is happening in my home State and I am sure it is happening in every State.
As that process continues we tend to bring out from under close Government supervision the production credit agencies, the land banks, and services of that nature. Surely the reduced expense by the operation of consolidated appraisal agencies, unification of offices, integration of efforts, would justify the establishment of a single agricultural credit service.
Which brings me to what on the organization chart is called Rural Electrification Service. That term jars me just a little. On a million light poles all over the rural section of the United States, there are the letters “REA.” Our farmers have come to know and love the Rural Electrification Administration and properly so, in my opinion. I hope we don't try to make REA change its name even if we change its designation within the Department. It needs to be closely tied to other agricultural credit services.
Finally, I agree with the Hoover Commission that there are too many separate field services at the county level. I think we need one strong farmer-elected committee in each county. We need a consolidation of offices so that a farmer does not go to one town to check with the Soil Conservation Service, to another town to talk to the Farmers' Home Administration, and to a third town to arrange for a loan on his crop through the local triple A committee. I would put more power, rather than less, in the hands of a committee of farmers elected by farmers to supervise farm activities within a particular comty. I know how hard it is to break down the programs so that a national program can be adapted to local conditions, but we need to continue to try to accomplish that. We may be improvising for a while; we may be playing by ear; but I think that the trialand-error method will show us how to establish a county committee truly representative of farmers which can administer farm programs not only for the complete benefit of the farmer, but as a protection to the Treasury of the United States.
I am thinking of an experience we had in crop insurance, where the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation paid losses on cotton that was seeded in dust one season in a county where drought had made the production of a crop impossible that year. Some farmers seemed to think it was all right to plant cotton just to collect the insurance until we checked the matter back to the farmers themselves and had them set up their own strong advisory committee.
When these taxpaying farmers took charge, they insisted on a change in underwriting rules and most of our difficulties were over. The home folks know the score on their own neighbors better than Washington can.
We will not take the step to a single farmer-elected committee with administrative power in each county overnight. There will be too many problems to settle--whether each farmer gets only one vote or whether the votes are based on acreage; whether the administrative head of the county committee is paid by the Federal Government and is the einployee of the Federal Government, or whether he is the executive administrator for the county committee; whether the program laid down by Washington must be taken just as formulated there or whether it can be substantially adapted in the light of farming conditions within the county and the experience of the men who represent the county's farmers.
Finally, we must settle the question as to whether the members of each county committee are to be appointed by and paid by the Federal Government or whether they are elected from the farms, represent the farmers, and, therefore, the matter of pay is pretty largely incidental to them. You will find strong support for the point of view that the members of the county committee should not be paid, and in fact that the members of the State committee should get very little other than their actual travel expense in attending meetings. There is a sound basis for that in the experience of building the community. We establish in our home communities a chamber of commerce. We hope it will expand the industrial opportunities of our city. We do not expect that the owner of the department store, the publisher of our leading newspaper, the ablest merchant up and down our streets, the doctor, or the lawyer, will ask for pay as he sits upon that chamber of commerce board. He is there to serve his community, and the better his service to the community, the better he fares as a member of it. There are those who believe that payment to the triple A committee members dilutes the quality of the committee work.
I hope we may move toward the strengthening of the independence, the responsibility, and the quality of our county committees, and that through that action we may strengthen as well the personnel of our State committees as it throws upon them greater importance in the development of programs to be carried out in the field. I am thinking particularly of the trouble we have had during this past fall on the question of price supports for cottonseed. It would be hard to calculate how many meetings have been held on the Hill as the representatives of farming areas have sought to suggest or devise a new type of cottonseed-support program. When farm representatives of the various States came into Washington in July, they found a program ready for them. It had been approved by the Board of Directors of the Commodity Credit Corporation the week previous. They took it, carried it back to their States, and tried to make it work. I don't think the farmers like it. I don't think the committees find it easy to administer. I don't think its results have been particularly good. I wonder if it does not suggest to us that when the next cottonseed price-support program is developed and approved it will be one which has started at the grass roots, one which the cotton farmer himself relies upon and one which the operator of the gin or of the neighborhood cottonseed-crushing plant feels to be one which experience indicates will work.
My discussion may have been more general than you would have liked, but I do not regard it as important to debate today such recommendations as one "that the Department of Agriculture be required to report to the President and the Congress on all irrigation or reclamation projects about their use and timeliness.'
What, to me, is important is that we decide to press for a pattern of simplification in the Department of Agriculture. When we examine the committee's study of that Department, we observe that any activity heretofore carried on, now being conducted, or needed in the future will fit into that pattern under 1 of the 8 units. It permits the Department to care for new developments in an orderly manner.
If there is no such pattern and a new law such as the Research and Marketing Act is passed, there is no place for the action agency and a reorganization is indicated. Reorganizations are bad, even if required. Employees become worried about their jobs. Morale is at a low point for months.
The pattern proposed for the Department should make unnecessary any sweeping reorganizations in the future. There will be adjustments, yes--maybe some adjustment every year-but there will not need to be any more basic changes. Assurance that permanence of that nature could be given to the structure of the Department would be helpful to those who administer its programs as well as those who work far down the line in its services and agencies.
I think that alone would be a fine contribution. I am not unmindful of the money that might be saved. Clarification of functions and a regrouping of services might save $200 million in PMA in a single year, and a price-support program on eggs at too high levels could cost that in the same period.
That is why I praise the pattern of simplification that promises a more orderly and serviceable Department, why I suggest that this format for the future may be the finest contribution that the Commission has made the finest and the more enduring.
Senator SMITH. Thank you very much, Senator Anderson.
Senator SMITH. The question has been asked: "How drastic is this proposal to enlarge the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture?”'
Would you care to comment on that?
Senator ANDERSON. Madam Chairman, I think probably the present Secretary of Agriculture could comment better. But I hope I will be pardoned if I say that I do not think it is drastic at all. As a matter of fact, in this present Department of Agriculture, the authority now exists to reorganize the Production and Marketing Administra tion. That is the largest of the groups, probably.
The authority exists to reorganize the Foreign Agricultural Service, the Agricultural Research Administration, and that is a very important department that has many groups within it.
The authority exists to reorganize the Commodity Exchange Authority and many of the little offices which deal with personnel. They are not so small, as a matter of fact, but even the library--why, it is only a few years ago that we reorganized the library. I did not do it. I think somebody did it ahead of me. I have forgotten how it happened, but, anyhow, they brought together all the libraries that existed—the Soil Conservation Library, the Forest Service Libraryand put them into one Department of Agriculture Library, a very wonderful library, with Ralph Shaw in charge. That library exists
Now, the agencies that might be involved in this are the Forest Service. God help a Secretary of Agriculture who starts out blindly to reorganize the Forest Service. It has been there a long time. It is well established. It has its friends; it has its enemies. But it is a functioning organization that now clearly contemplates what its responsibilities are. And I do not think that it would be reorganized very drastically under this bill.
The Soil Conservation Service: There is a national association of soil-conservation officials, meaning the elected officials of these soilconservation districts. My farm is in the soil-conservation district in my home community, and the head of that particular activity is a young man that I tried at one time to bring to my farm as its manager.
Let me tell you that anybody who tries to change and wipe out the activities of that Soil Conservation Service is going to have a lot of people on his back. There could be reorganization under this bill of the Farmers' Home Administration. I brought into the Department the man that now heads the Farmers' Home Administration. I think he has done a capable job. I believe that he ought to be kept there. I do not approve-I am not asked this question, but I want to volunteer it-I do not approve of joining the Farmers' Home Administration to the farm-credit agencies because I think there is a vast difference between what I call hard credit and soft credit. There is a difference between what you do for a farmer who needs the help, in the Farmers' Home Administration, and what you do for an established farmer who can use the facilities of the Farm Credit Administration.
The only agency that I hate to see anybody have a chance to reorganize is Rural Electrification Administration. I adopted a protective device when I became Secretary. My immediate predecessor had been named as Administrator of REA, with my full approval and at my urging. And I left him in full charge of RÉA. He did a fine