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Do you think you might be finished with flood control then, Senator McClellan?

Senator McCLELLAN. Madam Chairman, I do not know. The hearing starts at 2:30. But how many will be there, I do not know. I have a group from my State, and I must be present when they testify. Whether they are scheduled first or last, I do not know.

Senator Smith. Will it be convenient for you to come up at 4 or 4:30, Mr. Secretary?

Secretary Benson. I have a rather important conference then. If the Senators are agreeable, I would stay on and ask one of my associates simply to call the White House and tell them I shall be a bit late, if that would accommodate them.

Senator Smith. Is this agreeable to the committee?

Senator HUMPHREY. I have just two more short questions, and I yield.

Senator Smith. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. I do not
ant to press you, but I think it is a very important part of the record.
Senator HUMPHREY. Yes.
Senator Smith.' And I want the Secretary to complete his testimony.

Secretary Benson. I do not believe I answered your question fully. But I would like to say that it certainly is my feeling at the present time that these agencies which you have mentioned would probably continue as independent agencies.

Now, I have felt for a long time that the soil-conservation program must continue. I think it is a very important one. I think the Extension Service is a very important service.

Now, whether we could bring about some better coordination at the State and county levels or possibly even at the national level, I do not know. I am not prepared to say, Senator. But I do think that the services have been very useful to farmers.

Senator HUMPHREY. Yes.

Secretary BENSON. And I would think that those services should be continued.

Senator HUMPHREY. The apprehension, Mr. Secretary, that seems to me evident in some of the letters that one gets-I have some here with me in my file—is developed around the feeling that possibly the Soil Conservation Service will be more or less dovetailed into or absorbed by the Extension Service, the County Agent Extension Service.

Secretary BENSON. Oh, no.

Senator HUMPHREY. And I think some words on your part as to your intentions on that would be of great help here.

Secretary BENSON. I have no such intentions, Senator. And I might say that I have had letters in the Department which came from people who seemed to have some anxiety that I was going to permit the Extension Service to be absorbed by the Soil Conservation Service.

Senator HUMPHREY. I have had those, too, sir.
Secretary BENSON. So I presume that is only natural.

Senator HUMPHREY. Now, finally, Mr. Secretary, as somebody once said to me I have never practiced it, as you can well understand-it is all right to vote on these measures around here, but never explain why, because that really gets you in trouble. It is hard to live down those explanations, but you can always explain away a vote. When Mr. Short testified that this was not a plan, he said that the weakness of the reorganization plan was that it was not a plan, and I gather that he was referring to the lack of detailed organizational outline that the committee of the Congress or the committees or the Congress itself should have.

Is it your intention, Mr. Secretary, before a reorganization proposal is initiated, that is, before it is put into effect, to bring that proposal before the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry? I would assume that would be the committee that would be most vitally concerned. Our committee here is not a committee on general policy. We are an administrative structure.

Is that your intention?

Secretary BENSON. I would certainly want to do that, Senator, and I hope the committee would welcome it.

Senator HUMPHREY. I am sure they would.

Secretary BENSON. I would want to consult with them and also with the comparable committee in the House, as we have done on every move we have made so far of any importance. Of course, there would be a lot of detailed moves that probably we would not want to concern them with or bother them with, but any major move, certainly we would want to consult with the members of those two committees on, as a minimum.

Senator HUMPHREY. I recall that when we had the hearings on the reorganization of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, where there are still some people who are unsatisfied even with the efforts that were made, we did have the then Commissioner of Internal Revenue present us with pretty much of a basic outline of what he intended to do. We had charts such as you have, not only the charts of the existing agency, but charts of the proposed reorganization, with the field offices, with the many groupings, functions, and services. I am of the opinion that that would be very, very helpful in this situation.

I want to say that I believe in reorganization. However, even though I supported the reorganization plan of 1950, after having listened to the arguments of my colleagues on the floor of the Senate, which I remembered very well, I had some apprehension. That is one time where a debate almost persuaded an individual member of the Senate. Because such apprehension still exists, I wonder if you could bring before this committee any broad general program that you may have as to groupings or transfers of functions, so that we could have something more definite at our disposal and for our study before we act upon this reorganization authority.

Secretary Benson. It seems to me that that would be very much in order, Senator. Before even this grouping that you see here on the chart was put into effect, even though the Secretary had the authority without any new legislation, or without a reorganization plan, we did submit it to the members of the committees of the House and the Senate, and consulted with them, as well as with the leaders of the farm organizations and the National Agricultural Advisory Committee.

I would certainly hope that we would follow the same procedure in the future. I think there is safety in it. I would personally appreciate the opportunity of doing that very thing.

Senator HUMPHREY. Mr. Secretary, I wonder if you understood what I said, in reference to submitting such a proposed reorganiza

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tion structure before the adoption of plan No. 2. I am referring again back to Senator Russell's statement before the committee. Secretary BENSON. You mean, within the next few days? Senator HUMPHREY. That is correct, sir.

Secretary BENSON. I doubt very much, Senator, if we have a detailed plan. Frankly, we do not. We look upon this as a continu

a ing thing. These changes that have come about have been after rather prolonged study. And as far as we have gone in our thinking and our study, I do not believe that we are ready with any blueprint, if that is what you have in mind. I am sure we are not. But some time later if the committee would like to have us come here with some recommendations we have in mind, I am sure we would be happy to do that.

Senator HUMPHREY. Of course, at that time, the authority would be vested in the Secretary.

Secretary BENSON. Yes; I guess that is true.
Senator HUMPHREY. I have no more questions, Madam Chairman.
Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
Senator Smith. Senator Kennedy?
Senator KENNEDY. I will be very brief.

Mr. SECRETARY. One of the questions raised by previous witnesses was that there was really no obligation for you to give appropriate public notice, but, rather, that the words were, “If deemed practicable by the Secretary.

Secretary BENSON. If you think that the words are not needed, I have no objection. But I understand that the plan cannot be amended, Madam Chairman.

Senator Smith. The Secretary is correct. The plan is approved or disapproved as it stands.

Secretary BENSON. It would seem to me, though, Senator, a bit superfluous.

Senator KENNEDY. Yes, I see.

One of the other questions that was raised was whether or not we were entitled, as Senator Humphrey just discussed, and which I think you answered very satisfactorily, to know in advance "which functions would be abolished and which ones would be subordinated and which functions would be enlarged to cover other functions created by Congress."

You stated that you had planned, if you were going to make any basic changes, to come before the appropriate congressional committees and give us advance notice.

Secretary BENSON. Yes, I would be very happy to consult with members of the committees most directly concerned. I think, however, under the plan that the Secretary does not have authority to abolish any functions.

Senator KENNEDY. I was quoting from one of the witnesses. Of course, your answer is that no functions can be abolished which were set out by the Congress.

Secretary BENSON. Yes.

Senator KENNEDY. But the other question is, would we not receive from you some information in advance about what steps you planned to take to reorganize the Department? Would you come before the appropriate committees?

Secretary BENSON. Yes, I have made this statement before. I said that

We shall respect the right of the Congress to know what this Department is doing at any time. We shall remember that the Congress is not only interested in receiving reports of our stewardship it is entitled to them, and in time to act upon them. To this end we shall welcome constant and full consultation with the Congress.

Now, I cannot be any plainer than that. And that is what I intend to do. . And I think there is safety in that, Senator, from our standpoint.

Senator KENNEDY. To one of the statements made by Senator Humphrey, your answer was that really one of the basic safeguards in this matter is the attitude of the Secretary. You suggested too that there were other safeguards. One of the questions raised by witnesses is that while you may be careful of your authority, others might not be in the future, and therefore we should put a time limit, or we should consider efforts to put a time limitation, upon how long this act would go. But your basic point is that there are many other basic safeguards beyond the attitude of the Secretary in this plan, and that while Secretaries may change, those safeguards will continue.

Secondly, you really feel that every Secretary who might be nominated and approved by the Senate would have some regard for the responsibility that he must observe to the Congress and to the President and to agriculture, and therefore that we are not giving, as has been suggested by one of the witnesses, an unlimited grant of power for an unlimited extent of time.

Secretary Benson. Yes, that is my feeling.

Of course, I feel that this job cannot be done once and for all. It is going to require continuing attention, and I do feel, from my experience before the Senate Agriculture Committee, before I was confirmed, that they are going to know pretty well what a man thinks even before they confirm him, which I think is a good thing, as a safeguard. There are many others.

Senator KENNEDY. My last question is this:

Senator Russell stated that if we give the Secretary this power, he can absolutely stifle any functions that he wants to by subordinating them to other agencies. He was suggesting that while you would not change the functions set up by the Congress, you can stifle them by the reorganization powers granted by this act. Would you agree with that?

Secretary BENSON. Such a thought has never entered my mind. Senator KENNEDY. Is there that possibility?

Secretary BENSON. Of course, I have great respect for the judgment of Senator Russell.

Senator KENNEDY. I do not mean to make this a discussion between you and Senator Russell, but other witnesses have raised the point that while you cannot change the functions, nevertheless a Secretary, by using these powers, could stifle the functions.

Secretary BENSON. If he did that, then he would not be carrying out the intention of the Congress, and I certainly would not want to be in that position, as far as I could possibly avoid it.

Senator KENNEDY. Do you think that it is possible for a Secretary to do what is suggested by this statement, "stifle the functions through these powers,” or do you feel that the powers

Secretary BENSON. I think that it may be possible for a limited time. But I think that it would be of very short duration.

Senator KENNEDY. What would prevent it?

Secretary BENSON. Because the Congress would not permit it. And I would not want to be a party to it.

Senator KENNEDY. And what power does the Congress have? The appropriation powers? Is that what you consider the main sanction?

Secretary BENSON. Yes, the appropriation powers. They could have hearings and investigations. There are many things that the Congress can do.

Senator KENNEDY. I think that basically, to sum up, Mr. Secretary, the objections that we have found I think were best expressed by Senator Russell; that it is a very extensive grant for a long time, and the personality of the Secretary can change. But your statement is that the powers that the Congress still retains are extensive enough to check any effort by a Secretary who was not completely responsive to the wishes of the Congress within limitations?

Secretary Benson. Yes, I feel that way, and I have so expressed myself to Senator Russell. We have had a good visit about this.

I might say that he was one of the first Senators with whom I consulted after I was appointed.

Senator KENNEDY. Thank you very much.
Secretary Benson. I have a very high regard for his judgment.
Senator KENNEDY. Thank you.
Senator Smith. Senator McClellan?

Senator McCLELLAN. Thank you, Madam Chairman. I appreciate the courtesy extended me to ask a few questions of the Secretary and make some observations.

Out of deference to his crowded schedule, I shall be just as brief as possible, and shall not cover all the matters that I had intended to ask about.

The first thing, Mr. Secretary, I want to call your attention to your statements on pages 4 and 5 of your prepared statement. If you will turn to that, as I understand from your statement there, there are 20 agencies of your Department.

Secretary BENSON. I think that is the number. There are a lot of them.

Senator McCLELLAN. You say in this statement:

There are presently in the Department some 20 agencies. Of these, one-half have been created in such manner that their functions are vested in the Secretary, and he has the present power to redistribute or redelegate them.

Then you name or list those 10 agencies.
Secretary BENSON. Yes, sir.

Senator McCLELLAN. I want to ask you, Mr. Secretary, then, if this plan confers upon the Secretary any additional authority or power over that which he now has with respect to the 10 agencies named.

Secretary BENSON. No. I think you are correct, that it does not. That is my understanding.

Senator McCLELLAN. Then you have already the authority that you are seeking in this reorganization plan for 10 of the 20 agencies that are now in the Department?

Secretary BENSON. That is my understanding, Senator.

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