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Senator Smith. Thank you very much, Congressman Hope. We appreciate your coming here this morning and giving us the benefit of your views.
Mr. HOPE. Thank you.
Senator Smith. The Secretary of Agriculture, the Honorable Ezra Taft Benson, is here.
Mr. Secretary, the subcommittee is very pleased to have you here this morining. We had hoped to have you just a little earlier, and that is the reason we called the subcommittee at 9:30. The extra half hour spent seems to have been very worthwhile.
You have the people with you whom you want?
STATEMENT OF HON. EZRA TAFT BENSON, SECRETARY OF AGRI
CULTURE; ACCOMPANIED BY RALPH S. ROBERTS, DIRECTOR OF FINANCE; KARL D. LOOS, SOLICITOR; REED FRISHKNECHT, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY; AND JOHN THURSTON, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY
Secretary BENSON. It has been a pleasure to hear the testimony of the other witnesses, and I am honored to follow the distinguished Senators Aiken and Anderson, and Congressman Hope.
I appreciate the opportunity to meet with your committee in your study of the Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 transmitted to the Congress by the President, as a plan for the reorganization of the Department of Agriculture.
While this is a plan prepared by the President and transmitted by him to the Congress, under the provisions of the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended, we in the Department of Agriculture have participated in its consideracion and drafting. We accept the responsibility of supporting the plan.
The plan you are now considering differs from plan No. 4 of 1950 which was rejected by the Senate (S. Res. 263), on May 19, 1950. . I shall refer to these differences as I describe the plan.
As soon as the President asked me to serve as Secretary of Agriculture, I began giving serious thought to the problems with which I would be confronted. One of the most important among these was that of administration of the Department. It consisted of some 20 agencies and about 55,000 full-time and 12,000 part-time employees. I made an extended trip, not at Government expense, visiting all parts of the Nation and discussed this subject of administrative organization, together with many other matters, with farmers, farm leaders, processors and handlers of farm products and others interested in the welfare of agriculture.
Some weeks before the inauguration a study of the organization and functions of the Department was undertaken by a committee established for that purpose. It held conferences with farm organizations and others interested in agriculture, including Members of Congress, and worked with the President's Advisory Committee on Government
Reorganization. The Interim Agricultural Advisory Committee of farm leaders, appointed by the President at my request on December 28, 1952, also gave careful study to the matter.
REGROUPING OF THE DEPARTMENT AGENCIES
As a result of this preinauguration study and after consultation with Members of Congress, a regrouping of the Department's agencies was announced on January 21 as Memorandum No. 1320. This was later revised by supplement 1 to that memorandum under date of March 10, 1953. If agreeable to the committee, I should like to submit copies of these memoranda for the record.
Senator Smith. Without objection, they may be included.
Secretary BENSON. Copies have also been made available for each member of the committee. (The memoranda referred to are as follows:) UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,
Washington 25, D. C., January 21, 1953. MEMORANDUM No. 1320
ADMINISTRATIVE GROUPING OF DEPARTMENT AGENCIES
To All Employees:
To me it is a great, although unexpected, honor to have been asked by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to serve as Secretary of Agriculture. I approach the task humbly, realizing the grave and far-reaching responsibilities I have assumed. I assure you I am fully aware of the important contribution the employees of this great Department have made to its accomplishments, and to the service it has rendered to agriculture and to the entire Nation. It is a pleasure to be associated with the many hard-working, conscientious employees in the Department who over many years have built up a tradition for effective public service. I am looking forward to meeting as many of you as I possibly can in the months ahead.
We can all be proud of the men who have been asked to assume positions of leadership on the Department's staff. They are men of competence, with years of successful experience. Most of them are serving at great financial sacrifice because they have a deep sense of public duty, and a desire to be of service to agriculture.
As public servants, we must recognize the duty and responsibility we have to serve the public efficiently and well. The people of this country have a right to expect that everyone of us will give a full day's work for a day's pay. They have a right to expect that we will find more effective and economical ways of doing our job. In these times of unprecedented public debt and continued high Federal expenditures, the public rightfully expects us to put forth even greater effort to effect savings in Government operations and to reduce public expenses. Fulfillment of this responsibility will require the undivided loyalty and support of every agency head and employee in the Department. We must work as a team if we are to meet the problems that lie ahead and render the greatest possible service to the farmers of America, the entire agricultural industry, and to this great and good country we love so much.
A very careful study of the organization and activities of the Department indicates the need for better and more effective coordination of the various functions and activities. With this in mind, and as an initial step toward improved coordination in departmental direction and management agencies and functions of the Department shall be grouped as indicated below, effective immediately.
COMMODITY MARKETING AND ADJUSTMENT
(Agencies listed report through Mr. John H. Davis) Commodity Credit Corporation Commodity Exchange Authority Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Production and Marketing Administration, except the Agricultural Conservation
Programs Branch which is hereby transferred from that Administration to "Research, Extension, and Land Use"
(Agencies listed report through Mr. R. E. Short)
RESEARCH, EXTENSION, AND LAND USE
(Agencies listed report through the Assistant Secretary)
(Agencies listed report through Mr. Richard D. Aplin)
Agency and office heads within each group will report to their respective group head. Group heads and the Solicitor will report on all functional and operating matters to the Under Secretary.
The Secretary and the Under Secretary meeting jointly with the major group heads and the Solicitor will consider matters of policy determination and longrange planning. Periodically, and as special circumstances indicate a need, all agency as well as group heads will meet to discuss subjects of general interest.
This organizational arrangement will make possible' closer coordination of related activities, and will centralize responsibility for consideration and determination of operating problems and other matters requiring departmental attention within each group.
Except as modified by the provisions of this memorandum, existing Secretary's memoranda, the Department regulations, and other related documents will, unless and until changed by the Secretary, continue in effect.
I know that I can count on strict adherence by agency heads to the lines of authority prescribed herein. A chart of the organizational arrangement is attached.
Ezra Taft BENSON, Secretary. 1 Including Flood Prevention and Land and Water Utilization. ? For an interim period this Branch will use facilities and field services of the Production and Marketing Administration in carrying out the agricultural conservation program.
* Including Flood Prevention and Land and Water Utilization. **The Agricultural Conservation Programs Branch of the Production and Marketing Administration is transferred to 'Research, Extension, and Land Use,"
but for an interim period will use facilities and field services of PMA in carrying out the Agricultural Conservation Program.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,
Washington 25, D. C., March 10, 1953. MEMORANDUM No. 1320, SUPPLEMENT 1
REVISED ADMINISTRATIVE GROUPING OF DEPARTMENT AGENCIES This will supplement memorandum No. 1320 issued January 21, 1953.
Further study of the organization and activities of the Department, with particular reference to the activities dealing with foreign agriculture, has led to the conclusion that these activities should be performed by an agency outside of and unconnected with any one of the operating groups heretofore established.
Accordingly, there is hereby established the Foreign Agricultural Service, with a Director of Foreign Agricultural Service as its head. All of the functions heretofore exercised by the Office of Foreign Agricultural Relations are transferred to the Foreign Agricultural Service. The Office of Foreign Agricultural Relations, now assigned to the Research, Extension, and Land Use Group, is discontinued.
All appropriations of the Office of Foreign Agricultural Relations and such personnel as may be designated by the Director of Foreign Agricultural Service, subject to the approval of the Secretary, will be transferred to the Foreign Agricultural Service.
Mr. R. E. Short, who has been serving as Director of Agricultural Credit Services, is relieved of that assignment and is hereby designated as Director of Foreign Agricultural Service.
Mr. Robert L. Farrington, now serving as Cooperative Bank Commissioner in the Farm Credit Administration, is hereby designated Acting Director of Agricultural Credit Services.
The foregoing changes will become effective immediately. A revised chart of the organizational arrangement is attached.
Ezra Taft BENSON, Secretary.