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job for me. He will not be in the Department any longer, but I am sure that someone equally qualified will be there. And I am of the opinion that if the Secretary of Agriculture lets that person pretty well run REA, with the help he will get from these fine, well-organized farm groups over the country who believe in REA, it will function pretty well. But he ought to have authority to reorganize it if he needs to.
So, I say that I do not think that this is too drastic, because for the great bulk
of groups there already exists the authority, or they are exempt. The Commodity Credit Administration is exempt. The Farm Credit Administration is exempt, and I think properly so. The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation is exempt, and I do not think properly so, but that is a matter of personal opinion. The insurance is my business, and I wanted to stick my nose in the Crop Insurance, when I got there, and did. I got it into the black, I am happy to say, for a brief period.
But that is a matter of personal opinion, and it goes to what I said a minute ago: that I think a Secretary of Agriculture ought to be allowed to reorganize the Department the way he works best and with the tools that he has.
It so happened that I cannot delegate authority. I have run a one-man business all my life, and it kills me to think that somebody else is going to have any authority. My own son is coming up in this business now, and I tremble for its safety, you see, when somebody else is trying to administer it.
The result is that I could not delegate authority around the Department of Agriculture as it should have been delegated, and I paid for it with my own personal health. But that is a matter of the individual. Let the individual who happens to be there run it the way he thinks it can be run and the way he will be responsible for its results; and, if the results are bad, he need not worry. There are always agencies and organizations that are happy to recommend that he be kicked out.
I know I answered your question in a long-winded fashion. I do not think that this is very drastic, Madam Chairman.
Senator SMITH. Senator Dirksen.
Senator DIRKSEN. Senator Anderson-I was about to say “Secretary Anderson,” from the days of long ago—I think the principal contention that has been made against the plan was made the other day by Senator Russell to the effect that it had no time limit. Of cɔurse, one answer is that the five plans approved in 1950, which conferred identical authority upon other Cabinet members, had no time limit, either. And another answer, of course, is that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, and Congress can grant such authority and can quickly have it rescinded.
But do you see any really substantial objection to a plan that has no time limit, particularly as it applies to Agriculture, where you have such fluidity of conditions and the necessity for perhaps many changes over a period of time?
Senator ANDERSON. I say that it does not worry me in the slightest. I do not see how permission that you are giving to someone is any good unless it can be passed on to his successor. I do not think that the man who happens to sit in the Department of Agriculture at a given time is the only person in the history of the world who can run
the Department. It was not true when I was there. I do not think that it will be true even with Secretary Benson. I think that he is going to be a fine Secretary of Agriculture, but there can be another one also who can be a good one.
Therefore, I would not limit it as to time. If it is necessary for one man to be able to operate the Department the way he thinks it ought to be operated, then for heavens' sake, it may be necessary for the next man to do the same thing.
For example, when I came into the Department, as the Senator from Illinois will well remember, the only question was: Where do we get any meat?
I went to Cincinnati to address a meeting of food people, and after the meeting was over, my plane did not leave for several hours, and it was suggested that I go out to the ball game. And I did, and sat in Happy Chandler's box, and the loudspeaker said that I had just gone down there, and a wave went up across that place, and in the habit of the American ball fan, they said, "When do we get meat? When do we eat? When do we eat?"
Instead of yelling something, and crying for somebody to hit the ball, or to put it across, or to walk him or something else, it was, “When do we eat?"
And when I left, it was just a chorus of, "When do we eat?''
Now, anyone whose skin is even reasonably thin spends his time trying to find out how we get greater supplies of meat and when we do eat. And he allows agencies that he thinks are running well, like the Bureau of Animal Industry and the Forest Service and others, never to come within the scope of his attention. I stayed as far away from them as I could, literally for months.
But when we got into the foot-and-mouth disease in Mexico, I think I got acquainted with everybody in the Bureau of Animal Industry over 22 years of age. The people who had just moved in, probably I did not get to know. But Dr. Fladness and Dr. Simms and all the rest of them came to my office regularly with their theories about vaccination.
We had to take a whole Cattle Growers' Association that believed the only way to stop foot-and-mouth disease was to slaughter every animal. And you could not get the Mexican Government to agree to slaughter every animal. We had to try to develop a vaccine. And Senator Thye and other Members of this Congress helped in establishing a program that successfully handled foot-and-mouth disease! But I did not do anything else for weeks but foot-and-mouth disease.
So I say to you that if you are going to give this authority, you had better go ahead and give it without regard to the time, and take it away if something happens to it.
For months, as many people know, there was a farm group that went regularly to the White House every day to suggest that I should be removed as Secretary of Agriculture. I did not resent it. I thought it was a fine thing. It was an expression of good American democracy, and it helped to look after my job. But if I had maybe been a little worse than I was, there would have been another group or 2 joining, and then 3 or 4 groups, and before long someone else would have been in that spot.
I do not see how having authority merely to reorganize BAE and the Soil Conservation Service and the Forest Service and the Farmers? Home Administration and REA is going to have a great deal of difficulty, because the real job of the Secretary of Agriculture in the next few years, as I see it, will be this troublesome question of price supports and the imposition of acreage limitations. And I think that those are already covered or else are exempt.
PMA is now covered by the reorganization program, with permission to reorganize. Commodity Credit is not touched by it, and Farm Credit is not touched by it.
Therefore, I think within the next few years, the fields of greatest interest are not vitally concerned with this reorganization plan, and if it is tried for a short time, I think they will not be disposed to take that authority away from a succeeding Secretary of Agriculture.
Senator DIRKSEN. Of course, I do not quarrel about the exemptions in the plan. But I suppose if I had written it, there would have been no exemptions, because you remember the long difficulties we had with Federal crop insurance, and once I got it abolished in the House, but could not make it stick in the Senate.
Senator ANDERSON. Surely. I was there for the resurrection. I am not sure, but I think if we had followed the program we decided upon in the resurrection, it might not have been too difficult. wanted to experiment. I do believe that farmers are entitled to crop insurance, but I think that you have to be extremely careful how much of it you cover at any one time.
I fully agreed with the Senator from Illinois that at the time it was done, it was completely out of hand. Farmers were using crop insurance as an extra lever to dip into the Federal Treasury. It was
And that is why I say that I would have kept that pretty closely under the powers of the Secretary of Agriculture to reorganize.
Senator DIRKSEN. I have no further questions.
Senator HUMPHREY. My only question is-I am just reading the hearings on plan No. 4, Senator Anderson-I read these once before, and I asked for a copy to be brought to my attention again today so that I could refresh myself. And I read these hearings, and I read the transcript of this plan, and the charges that were made against plan No. 4–I am particularly reading here from Senator Schoeppel and Senator Thye where the carte blanche authority, the delegation of power, the almost unrestrained authority of the Secretary of Agriculture.
Now, I did not happen to concur in that view, you see. But the thing that bothers me is that it just seems to depend upon who is Secretary of Agriculture, how the attitudes stack up here.
The same charges are made against this plan that were made against the plan some 2 years ago. But they are made by completely opposite people.
Í hestitate to remonstrate to my friend from Illinois, but I think I recall that he was in behalf of the 1950 plan.
Senator ANDERSON. I do not think that he was here at that time. Senator DIRKSEN. That is right. I was not here, and so
Senator ANDERSON. But I do say this to the Senator from Minnesota, that that frequently happens. We point with pride while we are in and view with alarm when the other party is in.
That goes on year in and year out.
But what I do say is that there was a very hot controversy going on at the time the other reorganization plan came up. It involved a
somewhat different concept of price supports than had been established by the country over a period of years. And I think it was due to that fact that the Senate, at least, was as divided as it was.
I, for example, have always been in favor of reorganization. I have tried to vote for every reorganization plan. I issued statement after statement in general support of the principle of reorganization and in support of the Hoover plan, even though I personally questioned some of the things that were in it.
I did not approve of the transfers that the Hoover plan suggested between departments. But nonetheless, I felt that you had to have reorganization and reorganization powers, and I took what was there because I felt that that is probably what we might hope to get from the Congress of the United States.
Senator HUMPHREY. I have great respect for your views on this, Senator Anderson, as I do Senator Aiken's. However, I just notice that in looking over Senator Russell's general presentation to this committee in opposition to this program, I can go back to the period of 1950 and find very much the same views expressed by people who are now supporting the present plan.
For example, let me just read you a quotation from the hearings when the former Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. Brannan, was testifying. My colleague, Senator Thye, very interested in agriculture,
The question I have in mind, and which has worried me somewhat, is the broad blanket authority that is given. Can you spell out what you intend to do?
And this was the whole line of questioning all the time that Secretary Brannan was before this committee. I remember. I was on this same subcommittee. And Secretary Brannan said:
Well, we have lots of studies made. My predecessorspeaking of the Senator from New Mexicomade studies. Some reorganization has been effected.
But everybody wanted the blueprint. Now, that is exactly what people want now. And I remember the day that we debated the former proposal on the Senate floor, and the reorganization plan was defeated primarily because the blueprints of the study were not there.
Now, I was somewhat moved, I must confess; by that argument at the time. I spoke on the floor of the Senate that evening, and I said that I was really impressed with the argument made by those who were in opposition to the reorganization plan because of the failure of the Secretary to present anything but a desire and a request for broad blanket authority.
Now, the Secretary made a very moving and very compelling speech before this committee, in his statement before this subcommittee, just as I am sure that other witnesses have in this reorganization plan and as the Secretary will. But the Senate turned down that plan, not because of any dateline, not because of the lack of hearings or anything, but I submit that anybody who will examine that recordand I have examined it page by page will see that it was turned down because the Secretary of Agriculture did not present a specific, outlined proposal before the committee of the Congress or to the Senate.
Senator ANDERSON. I am sure the Senator from Minnesota is correct as to what appears on the surface. I also think it would be correct to say that the question of a new method of price supports involving what many people thought to be a change from our established situation-I am trying my best to keep out from the discussion of the plan itself-had something to do with the difficulties.
I call this to your attention. I read Senator Russell's testimony word for word, with great interest, because I have the highest respect for him. Nobody ever had finer support from an appropriations group in my life than I had from the Senator from Georgia. Therefore, I read his words with a great deal of interest. I saw on page 21 where he talked about the extension of the 90-percent support plan from time to time, with power in the Secretary to control production. But the law expires next year. And so far as I am advised, the Secretary of Agriculture and his Director of Commodity Markets and adjustment assistants have never yet disclosed to the American people the plan that they would recommend to this Congress to be applied to the farmers of this country after 1954.
I found on page 46 where he begins saying:
I am very much opposed to what I assume to be his views with respect to the support on the basic commodities.
I am just wondering if he again is not worried somewhat by what is going to happen as to agricultural programs. But I do say that I am not worried about agricultural programs. Personally, I think it would be a wonderful thing for this country if the Agricultural Act of 1948, as amended by the Agricultural Act of 1949, with which Senator Aiken's name and my name are connected, might have a chance to be tried out once by the American people. But that is another subject entirely. At least, I am not distressed over what will be the program of the Secretary of Agriculture to the point where I begin to say that he should not have authority to reorganize the Department.
Senator HUMPHREY. Senator, I want to say that there are honest differences of opinion about the nature of price supports, and those are differences held honestly by men of integrity and of experience.
Senator ANDERSON. I could not agree with you more.
Senator HUMPHREY. I agree that the undertones and overtones of the alleged Brannan plan, et cetera, were involved at the time of the 1950 hearings. But also there are some undertones and overtones now,
too. Senator ANDERSON. I just tried to point out that they are also in this hearing:
Senator HUMPHREY. That is right. However, my point is that when I read the hearings of 1950-and I want to make clear that I was on the side of the reorganization, as a member of this subcommitteewhen I read those hearings and reread them, I must say that it was quite interesting to me to see this sudden change of attitude on the part of Members of Congress. All at once there is no fear of this centralized power; there is no fear of this lack of blueprint. And I just ask anybody to examine the record.
I have before me here the comments of the Senators that were on this committee, and every one of them brought up the same thing, namely, that the Secretary was getting too much authority.
Now, I appreciate what Senator Aiken has pointed out to us, that the req'uirement of public notice is not a mandatory requirement. I make note of that. It is permissive.