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Senator HUMPHREY. What the Senator from Arkansas was stating as he concluded his interrogation is pretty much the thesis or theme of this statement. It is the concern over the all-inclusive feature of the reorganization proposal.
I think we find ourselves in somewhat of a dilemma, knowing that reorganization is a continuing matter and that it is rather difficult to pin it down in ironclad terms, and secondly knowing that without some general outline, you may find yourself altering substantive policy and not just administrative policy.
I think that is some of our apprehension.
Senator Smith. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. We hope that you will get to the White House on time.
Secretary BENSON. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
Senator Smith. The Chair promised or expected to hear Mr. Finan this morning.
If it is only a matter of placing a brief statement in the record, we shall be glad to receive it now. Otherwise we will recess until 2:15 this afternoon.
Mr. Finan, do you wish to be heard now?
Mr. FINAN. My name is William F. Finan, and I am the Budget Bureau's Assistant Director for Management and Organization.
I am here, Madam Chairman, to read a brief statement of Mr. Joseph M. Dodge, Director of the Bureau of the Budget, on the subject of Reorganization Plan No. 2.
STATEMENT OF JOSEPH M. DODGE, DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF THE
BUDGET (AS READ BY WILLIAM F. FINAN, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Madam Chairman and members of the committee, I appreciate this opportunity to appear before your committee in support of the President's Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953, which provides for reorganizations in the Department of Agriculture.
The Secretary of Agriculture has already presented to you the major points in connection with this reorganization plan. There is little more that I need to add.
The reorganization plan is aimed at making possible better administration of our farm programs. It does that in two principal ways: First, it clarifies the responsibility and authority of the Secretary of Agriculture over functions administered in the Department of Agriculture; second, it provides the Secretary with three additional officers with appropriate rank to assist him in supervising the Department. Both of these approaches were recommended by the Hoover Commission in its reports in 1949.
I believe the reorganization plan is simple and straightforward. I think it stands on its own feet and needs little explanation. One of the key points is that it permits the Secretary continually to seek more efficient and economical ways for carrying on the business of the Department of Agriculture. It sets forth certain objectives toward which the Secretary is directed to utilize his delegation authority. It contains an important provision for giving appropriate public notice and obtaining the views of interested persons and groups prior to making any major reassignments of functions. In my opinion, those conditions laid down on the Secretary's delegation authority strike a practicable balance between giving the Secretary sufficient leeway in running his Department effectively and preventing any hasty or ill-considered shifts in departmental assignments.
Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 will permit a more businesslike management of the Department of Agriculture. It follows the sound principle, which was so sharply emphasized by the Hoover Commission, of vesting functions directly in the Department head so that he may be held more fully accountable for the administration of the Department. It is an arrangement which the Congress has already approved for most of the civil departments. It also provides the Secretary with the high-level assistants needed to give more adequate supervision to the far-flung operations of the Department. I urge the Congress to permit Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 to become effective.
shall be glad to answer any questions in connection with the plan which you may wish to ask.
Senator Smith. Mr. Finan, I appreciate your waiting this long to give us this statement for the record. I think there are no questions at this time.
Mr. Reynolds, the clerk of the committee?
Mr. Finan. If any questions develop later, we shall be glad to come back.
Senator SMITH. We will stand in recess until 2:15.
(Whereupon, at 1:20 p. m., a recess was taken until 2:15 p. m., the same day.)
Dr. James K. Pollock, former member of the Hoover Commission, is here. Dr. Pollock, I do not mean to rush you, but the Senate is in session and we have asked for permission to sit. There are a number of committees sitting and most of the members are on the floor or attending other committees. If you are willing, will you proceed with your statement, so that we can complete the hearings today?
Dr. POLLOCK. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
STATEMENT OF DR. JAMES K. POLLOCK, FORMER MEMBER,
HOOVER COMMISSION Dr. Pollock. I desire to give my strong support to Reorganization Plan No. 2. It follows the recommendations of the Hoover Commission of which I was a member and, unlike a few of the other recommendations of the Commission, there was no dissent whatever in the Commission to the principal recommendation involved in this plan. In other words, the Commission unanimously approved, both in its first report on management and in its later reports on the various departments, the important principle thatthe Secretary shall have the authority from the Congress to organize and control his organization and that the separate authorities to subordinates be eliminated (p. 7).
This basic point interests me more than any other. I am now deeply concerned, and I have been ever since I was exposed as a member of the Commission, to the unique opportunity of seeing the whole Federal executive branch in complete perspective—a rather shattering experience I might say, considering the lack of responsibility which exists and which has been allowed to continue throughout the whole executive branch. Waste is one thing; lack of responsibility and lack of effective control is another. I have never been able to understand why anyone should be opposed to a plan which places responsibility where it can be properly exercised and enforced. I would not like to be a regimental commander without control of my companies, nor an army commander without control of my corps; yet we seem to expect the President and his Cabinet officers to be responsible for an organization which they cannot effectively control. It is to fix responsibility that we recommended the granting of adequate administrative power to the head of the Department. I am acquainted with no one in administrative organization, either in government or business, who does not approve of the organizational principle embodied in this proposed plan.
May I say, parenthetically, on the matter of power and authority, that it is not the concentration of power that we call dictatorshipit is the absence of effective control of whatever power is concentrated. It is to improve the effective internal management of a Department, as well as the effective responsibility and control of the Department, that the President and his principal subordinates should be given powers commensurate with their responsibilities.
Next, problems of organization are continuing. They are not solved today forever. They keep cropping up and unless the Department head has the power to aline his organization to administer whatever policies are laid down these policies will not be effectively carried out.
I think I should also point out that agriculture is the only civil department where this power has not been granted to the Secretary. Why the exception? Agriculture was referred to by our Commission as a loose confederation of bureaus. If you used a bureaucratic telescope you could easily conclude from your own examination that this was a restrained statement. The need for alining the organization of this Department is as urgent as in any other department. In the other six departments where the power has already been given, great improvements have resulted, even in a short time. I recently had a look in one of the other departments and there I think I know whereof I speak.
I say, therefore, that what is good for one department in a matter of this kind is good for all, and I see no justification at all for withholding the power to reorganize the obsolete structure of the Department of Agriculture. I never did understand why the earlier plan of President Truman was rejected. His request of July 31, 1951, to learn what kind of plan would be approved by the Senate committee was, I believe, never replied to.
My belief is that unless this plan is approved there will not be an effective reorganization of the Department of Agriculture, for Congress has shown its inability, in its very busy life, to do the job itself by statute. In other words, it is not a sound objection to say that you are for reorganization but not for this plan. If this plan doesn't go through, in my view, there will be no effective reorganization of the Department of Agriculture.
If there are fears that the present Secretary or any of his successors might make improper use of the power which it is proposed to give him in this plan, Congress by statute can do anything it wants to do, and it always has an effective power in reviewing each year the appropriation of the Department.
Senator Smith. Thank you, Dr. Pollock. We shall hear next from Dr. H. P. Rusk.
STATEMENT OF DR. H. P. RUSK, DEAN AND DIRECTOR EMERITUS,
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, AND MEMBER OF THE AGRICULTURAL TASK FORCE OF THE (HOOVER) COMMISSION ON ORGANIZATION OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT
Dr. Rusk. My name is H. P. Rusk. I am dean and director emeritus of the college of agriculture at the University of Illinois. I was a member of the Agricultural Task Force of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government.
I appreciate this opportunity to discuss Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 and to urge that your committee approve it. I believe that needed improvements in the obsolete organization of the United States Department of Agriculture have been too long delayed. The public interest will be served most effectively by prompt action to dispel the uncertainty and lack of authoritative direction that are hampering some areas of work in the Department.
This plan is directed toward changes that are in substantial accord with the Hoover Commission recommendations. The initial steps already taken by the Secretary are in harmony with the intent of those recommendations. The Secretary has declared that the objectives of Department reorganization should be to reduce the number of major units reporting directly to him, integrate related functions, reduce overlapping of agencies, and establish clear lines of authority, decentralize administrative procedures in a way that will result in closer working relations with State and local agencies, and improve services to farmers. These are fundamental considerations in any plan for sound reorganization of the Department. The Secretary cannot proceed with this highly commendable program of reorganization without the additional authority provided in Reorganization Plan No. 2.
Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 has been criticized as giving the Secretary carte blanche authority for reorganization of the Department with no directives to guide him. It was this same type of objection that killed President Truman's Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1950. But I respectfully point out that in both President Eisenhower's message transmitting plan No. 2 and in the plan itself, the directives are spelled out in more detail and are much more specific than they were in the 1950 proposal submitted to Congress. This is especially true of the President's message.
Of much more significance than differences in the precise wording of the two plans is the difference in the attitude that currently prevails in administrative circles of the United States Department of Agriculture and the policy atmosphere of the Department administration in 1950. In a dynamic democracy administrators must be given authority to meet changing situations and changing needs, but always under the continuous scrutiny of the legislative branch of the Government. It was essentially such legislative scrutiny of administrative policy that killed the 1950 reorganization plan before it got started. If some future Secretary of Agriculture should abuse or make unwise use of the power granted him by Reorganization Plan No. 2, Congressional review and appropriate legislative action may be depended upon to make quick and effective corrections.
It may be remembered that I was 1 of the 7 members of the Agricultural Task Force of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government who formally protested approval of the 1950 plan No. 4. However, I would ask you to recall that our formal statement of April 7, 1950, recommending disapproval, expressed the belief that minimum needs of the situation could be met by adding the following sentence after section 2 of President Truman's plan No. 4:
In carrying out the provisions of this section, the Secretary shall be guided by the purposes expressed in section 2 (a) of the Reorganization Act of 1949 and by the plan of organization proposed for the Department of Agriculture by the Commission on Organization of the executive branch of the Government.
I want to interpolate just enough there to say that this doesn't say "adopt” the suggestions of the Hoover Commission, it simply says be guided thereby.
I believe that the explicit provisions of President Eisenhower's message of transmittal, together with directives of plan No. 2, fully meet the minimum needs for directives which the task force wished to establish, and I urge approval of this plan for the reorganization of the United States Department of Agriculture.
Senator Smith. Thank you very much, Dean Rusk.
It has been stated here during these hearings that former President Hoover, Chairman of the Hoover Commission, was opposed to plan No. 4. I do not recall that he was on record concerning the plan other than being Chairman of the Commission which made the recommendation. Will you comment on that point?
Dr. Rusk. I think, if he had made any public statement or any statement to the members of the task force, I would have known about it. So far as I recall, he did not express himself either way. One or two of his staff did express themselves, and I thought they probably were transmitting his ideas. They expressed some feeling of disappointment that the seven members of the Agricultural Task Force did come out against plan No. 4. But nothing ever came to me directly from President Hoover.
Senator Smith. You know of no place where he made such a statement?
Dr. Rusk. I know of no place where he is on record on that.
Senator Smith. Dean Rusk, you wouldn't think that the absence of a cutoff date would be any concern to anyone since reorganization is a continuing need?
Dr. Rusk. I wouldn't think so. As I stated a moment ago, in a dynamic democracy, the Administrator must have authority to meet changing conditions and changing needs. Some of the recommendations that I was for 4 or 5 years ago I wouldn't support very strongly now. I would recommend some changes. They might have been the thing, the correct thing, at that time. What is correct at one time may not be the right procedure 2, or 3, or 4, or 5 years later.
I have changed my mind in a lot of respects in a lot less time on a number of very important things.
Senator Smith. Dean Rusk, in your statement you emphasized the difference in the attitude that currently prevails in administrative circles of the United States Department of Agriculture and the policy