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of the Department administration in 1950. Would you care to expand upon this point?
Dr. Rusk. Madam Chairman, I personally believe that the attitude of the Department on organization in 1950 was to a great extent responsible for the opposition that developed to Reorganization Plan No. 4 of that year. Frankly, I believe that attitude had much more to do with developing opposition than fears regarding the future of price supports that were mentioned in the hearing here today. For example, let me read one paragraph from an official mimeographed committee report presented at the National Conference of PMA held in St. Louis, Mo., December 6-9, 1948. I quote:
We recommend that procedures for all price support programs including loans, purchases, and purchase agreements, provide for the use of the State and county committees to the maximum practical extent in formulating and servicing these programs. All contractual relations with agents utilized in the program such as cooperatives, banks, lending agencies, processors, handlers, warehouses, and others that are essential in proper handling of any commodity should be developed in a uniform manner using to the fullest possible extent State and county committee supervision and assistance.
I have been led to understand that some Members of Congress, especially from the tobacco and cotton areas, and a great many farm leaders bluntly interpreted this plan as an effort to put farm cooperatives, banks, and other agencies serving agriculture under the domination of PMA, and to make every farmer realize that his economic destiny rested in the hands of this Washington bureau. This appeared to be an unprecedented effort to centralize control of our whole agricultural industry, and place PMA in a dominating position over the farmer and the business interests that serve him.
This type of attitude greatly influenced the seven members of the Agricultural Task Force of the Hoover Commission who, before your committee, protested approval of Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1950. Obviously, the steps already taken by the present Department administration to decentralize, rather than to centralize, administrative functions indicates a marked change in attitude, and one that I believe is much more acceptable to the rank and file of farmers and to Members of Congress.
Senator Smith. Thank you very much, Dr. Rusk, for coming here today and giving us your thinking in this matter of plan No. 2.
There are two members of the Committee on Agriculture of the Citizens Committee for the Hoover Report, Ward Quaal and Ed Holter. Are they in the room?
Do you wish to come forward together or testify separately?
Senator Smith. All right, we will hear you separately. Will you give your name to the reporter?
STATEMENT OF WARD L. QUAAL, REPRESENTING THE AGRI
CULTURAL COMMITTEE OF THE CITIZENS COMMITTEE FOR THE HOOVER REPORT
QUAAL. Ohio. am presenting today the views of the Agricultural Committee of the Citizens Committee for the Hoover Report at the request of Mr. John Stuart, chairman, who is unable to be present. While I am an official of the Crosley Broadcasting Corp., I am not representing that organization. I am speaking as a member of the Agricultural Committee of the Citizens Committee.
For many years I was director of the Clear Channel Broadcasting Service, and worked closely with the Department of Agriculture and with farm organizations at the national, State, and local levels. I am very active at present, working with the farm organizations of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana; and the company with which I am now associated maintains a large experimental farm, and I have thereby kept in close touch with developments in the agricultural field.
At the request of Mr. Stuart, I would therefore like to read the following short statement, which presents the official position of the agricultural committee of the Citizens Committee for the Hoover Report.
Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 provides for a much-needed reorganization of the United States Department of Agriculture.
WHAT THE PLAN WOULD DO
The following changes are the more important ones provided in the plan:
(1) Transfer to the Secretary all departmental functions not now vested in him, except those of the hearing examiners, the corporations of the Department, the Advisory Board of the Commodity Credit Corporation, and the Farm Credit Administration.
(2) Authorize the Secretary to redelegate functions.
(3) Permit transfers of records, property, personnel, and appropriations.
(4) Creo te 2 additional Assistant Secretaries and r Administrative Assistant Secretary. These represent new titles for existing offices and will not increase existing personnel.
The plan represents a fundamental step in the first thoroughgoing departmental reorganization in many years.
Madam Chairman, the following is what would be accomplished.
This plan would make possible several organizational proposals made for that Department by the Hoover Commission. First, a reduction in the number of officials reporting directly to the Secretary. As the Hoover Commission pointed out, well over 20 major entities now report directly to the Secretary. Second, ending the organizational autonomy of major units. The Hoover Commission called the Department “a loose confederation of bureaus”, and recommended most strongly that the Secretary should be in full charge of his Department. Third, reorganization of the Department can be accomplished right down to the county level. Fourth, conflicts in the Nation's agricultural policies can be reduced or eliminated. During World War II, for example, one agency of the Department was recommending that production of certain crops be increased while, simultaneously, another was recommending their curtailment.
The Hoover Commission pointed out numerous specific anomalies in the services provided by the Department. A few are listed below:
(1) One Missouri farmer is recorded as having received advice on the use of fertilizer from five different agencies of the Department. The advice each gave was different.
(2) In one rural county in Georgia, 47 Federal employees, found to be representing 7 instrumentalities of the Department, were servicing 1,500 farmers.
(3) In one fruit and grazing county in the State of Washington there were reported 184 Federal employees working with 6,700 farmers.
(4) One dairy county in Maryland was found to have 88 Federal employees working with less than 3,400 farmers.
(5) All told, there were reported to be at least a dozen Federal agricultural activities serving farmers at the local level.
The plan would make it possible to correct situations like those set forth above.
Madam Chairman, the following are the conclusions:
(1) The plan is in conformance with the recommendations of the Hoover Commission.
(2) Approval of the plan is fundamental to reorganization of the obsolete structure of the Department.
(3) If approved and implemented energetically, savings running into the millions may be achieved.
(4) The plan will make possible greatly improved services for the American farmer.
Therefore, the agricultural committee of the Citizens Committee for the Hoover Report strongly recommends that the plan be approved by Congress as quickly as possible.
Thank you, Madam Chairman.
Senator Smith. Thank you very much, Mr. Quaal. We appreciate having you give us this very clear statement.
Mr. Molter, will you give your name and position to the reporter, please?
STATEMENT OF EDWARD F. HOLTER, MEMBER, AGRICULTURAL
COMMITTEE OF THE CITIZENS COMMITTEE FOR THE HOOVER REPORT AND LECTURER, THE NATIONAL GRANGE
Mr. HOLTER. My name is Edward Holter. I am a member of the agricultural committee of the Citizens Committee for the Hoover Report, and am lecturer of the National Grange. I live in Middleton, Md., where I operate a dairy farm. My experience in agricultural matters runs back over 50 years. I have been deeply interested in reorganization plans growing out of the report of the Hoover Commission.
I believe that Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 represents a cardinal step in the long historical development of the Department of Agriculture and I hope that your committee will, therefore, reject the resolution of disapproval (S. Res. 100).
Three principal objections have been raised to this plan. First, it is said that the plan might lead to abuses. It was a major premise of the Hoover Commission's report that an official charged with heading a department should have reasonable authority to direct the affairs of that department. Otherwise the President, the people, and the Congress would not be able to hold the Secretary responsible for obtaining results or for the lack of results obtained.
The principle embodied in this plan has been accepted by the Congress in the case of every major executive department, except Agriculture. The principle has been tried for 3 years; so far the Congress has not been faced with the problem of abuses predicted by opponents of the 6 departmental reorganization plans enacted. What better evidence have we than the fact that the Congress has not been asked to pass remedial legislation due to abuses of the authority in any of those six cases? Hence it can be proven that the principle does work without abuse. If there had been notable abuses elsewhere, I would not be urging you to approve the plan. It does not seem reasonable to me, therefore, to make a special case out of Agriculture by defeating this plan No. 2 and hence excepting Agriculture from a principle
which has worked in other departments. Second, it has been said that the plan just gives a blank check to the Secretary and that the Congress does not know what use would be made of it.
This argument was raised in the discussion of Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1950, which was defeated. However, in the instant case, there is a substantial difference. Right after the inauguration, the Secretary did indicate the direction toward which he would move in reorganization. It met with general approval on the part of farm groups and Hoover Commission and citizens committee experts. Furthermore, President Eisenhower has shown his general approval of the Hoover Commission's proposals. In effect, this approval has already been picked up and partially acted upon by the Secretary, so that one can assume that further changes will follow the broad pattern already adopted. Parenthetically, I might point out that the steps already taken cannot be fully implemented without this plan. In addition, I note that the plan is quite specific in its requirements of greater decentralization of Federal agricultural activities. In this case there is a definite indication from the President, both in the plan and in his message.
Third, it has been implied that the plan would lead to elimination of functions of the Department.
There is no authority set forth in Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 for elimination of functions which have been authorized by the Congress. In effect, section 5 of the plan requires that appropriations granted by Congress must follow the functions in any transfer from bureau A to bureau B, or from one official to another; and section 4 (h) of the Reorganization Act covers the same point.
Furthermore, I would like to point out that some 30 plans in 6 departmental reorganizations of the same general nature have been approved by Congress in the last 4 years. In not one case has a function been eliminated. There have been subsequent transfers, mergers, and redelegations, but no elimination of agencies or functions.
While it might be argued that the Reorganization Act of 1949 carries with it the authority to abolish functions, this authority, if it exists, would apply only to the submission of plans to Congress for that purpose. Since plan No.2 does not even mention "abolition of functions" it is clear that the President has not here sought such authority for the Secretary, even were it lawful for him to do so.
Hence, I cannot identify any reason that might lead to the conclusion that the plan would permit elimination of functions. That would have to be done by Congress.
Several features incorporated in this plan differ from those of Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1950. These give to the Congress the safeguards which it did not have in the case of the predecessor plan. These are:
1. The Secretary is obligated to consult with leaders of farm organizations and leaders of the Congress before making any major reorganization moves.
2. The Farm Credit Administration is exempted from the plan.
3. The Secretary, in any reorganization action under authority in the plan, must simplify and make more efficient the functioning of the Department.
4. The Secretary is instructed, in effect, “to push out” the administration of farm programs to the State and local level, so that the farmers themselves can have more participation in these programs.
5. The requirement of adapting the programs to regional, State, and local conditions would safeguard the farmer against future heavy-handed impositions of an authority from Washington.
Former President Hoover, speaking as the greatest expert on reorganization, has urged adoption of the plan, for, without it 7 of the 16 recommendations of the Hoover Commission cannot be acted upon. The great nationwide farm organizations, speaking for the American farmer, have urged adoption of the plan. I therefore commend it to you, because I believe that unless this plan is enacted, the Secretary will not have the authority necessary to give the kind of economical and efficient service that the farmers of America need and want.
Senator Smith. Thank you very much, Mr. Holter. We appreciate your coming in with this statement.
Mr. HOLTER. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
Senator Smith. Is D. W. Brooks, of the Cotton Growers Association here? He stated that he would like to include a statement in the record. If it comes in during the day it will be included in the record of the hearings.
Is there a representative of the National Cotton Council in the room? A representative of the National Cotton Council was reported wanting to be heard, also. Perhaps a statement will come in later. .
(Subsequently, the clerk of the committee was advised that neither the Cotton Growers Association nor the National Cotton Council desired to submit statements.)
Is there anyone else here whom the chairman has not called upon who wishes to appear?
If not, the Chair would like to include, at this point in the record of the hearings, a copy of a letter that went out over her signature on April 16, 1953, to all members of the Senate, notifying them of hearings on Senate Resolution 100 disapproving Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953, and of the opportunity for them to testify or to suggest witnesses they felt should be heard.
The letter will appear in the record at this point, so that it will be shown that all have been given an opportunity to be heard, who wanted to be heard.
(The letter referred to follows:)