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Senator McCLELLAN. I find the Farm Bureau, which is the large farm organization in my State, now in the same position. I may say that I got a letter from one of its distinguished officials a few days ago complaining about a letter campaign, a drive being put on and pressure being put on the Congress and the committee to reject this plan, and I regret to say, or maybe I was pleased to adivse him, that all of the pressure or all of the letters that I have received, practically all of them are from members of the Farm Bureau who are supporting the plan.
So if I am getting any pressure, I am getting it from that source and not from those who oppose the plan.
Mr. SANDERS. We have an organization in your State, of course, not as strong as the Farm Bureau in numbers.
Senator McCLELLAN. That is correct. But the point that I am making is that I hope in weighing these plans and voting on them I am trying to adhere to what I regard as basic principles. Now, the question I would have to weigh from your standpoint is simply, Do the changes and differences between this plan and the one previously submitted justify a change from opposition to support.
Mr. SANDERS. We feel so, Senator.
Senator McClELLAN. Do you not think, in view of your having opposed, or your organization's having opposed, the plan before, and now supporting this plan, that the committee and the members of Congress should look into those changes and determine whether, where you found them sufficient to warrant a change of position in your organization, whether they warrant the Congress changing its position?
Mr. SANDERS. Here is another viewpoint that has not been expressed, Senator, that I believe is important in considering this plan. If this plan passes, it is not a constitutional amendment. The Congress can immediately take up any undesirable things that the Secretary does and pass legislation impelling him to do what Congress wants him to do.
Senator McCLELLAN. They may have to do it by a two-thirds majority vote of both Houses, though. You recognize that, do you not? Mr. SANDERS. Yes, possibly so, in this case.
possibly so, in this case. They might have to do it if the President objected to it, of course.
Senator McCLELLAN. We assume that the Secretary is going to conform to the President's policies. We must assume that.
Mr. SANDERS. That is probably true, yes, sir. Nevertheless, it is not as final as some of the remarks here seem to indicate to me.
Senator McCLELLAN. It is not wholly irrevocable.
Senator McCLELLAN. But it certainly puts the Congress in the position of handicapping itself if it does not agree with it, because it might be compelled to assert its legislative responsibility and authority by a vote sufficient or adequate to override a Presidential veto. It might do that.
Mr. SANDERS. Our organization and I venture to say nearly everybody connected with this hearing-has at times criticized the
Department very strongly for duplications and overlapping. Some of these duplications under the present authority of the Secretary cannot be eliminated. But I think under this he could eliminate a lot of these undesirable things that now he does not have the power to eliminate; and it seems to us that in all justice an administrator that is trying to do the right thing--and we must assume that the Secretary is trying to do that-will try to eliminate a great many of the difficulties that we have heretofore had.
Senator McCLELLAN. May I make this observation? It is not a case of distrusting the present Secretary of Agriculture or the next
But good people, well-intentioned people, often disagree on what is best and right as a program and as a policy. And so the primary responsibility rests with the Congress.
Now, we can abdicate it. I am not quarreling about duplications and so forth. Surely, that is the purpose of the Reorganization Plan. One of the main purposes is to try to eliminate those things. All I am asking for here is that the Secretary come down here with a plan that shows how he is going to carry out this delegation of authority and power that is conferred upon him by this reorganization plan. Now, I do feel that we are entitled to see it and know what it is. I think you would agree with that.
Mr. SANDERS. There are some things that we would like to know,
Senator McCLELLAN. You agree with that, do you
not? Mr. SANDERS. Yes. There are some things that we would like to know. In the first place, we heartily agree with the very strong expression that Senator Russell made here yesterday, namely, that we did not believe that PMA and SCS should be consolidated with the Extension Service. We do not believe that the Extension Service can perform those functions. We believe it would ruin the function of the Extension Service to make such a combination.
Now, of course, we would be unalterably opposed to such a combination as that, and we believe that the Secretary would consult us, and we would not hesitate to say very strongly that, to our way of thinking, that was very, very poor administration.
Senator McCLELLAN. Now, let us raise one other question there. I am just trying to get a record on this thing so that we can appraise the good and the bad in it and then try to determine where our duty lies in supporting or opposing it.
This is a continuing authority. You have the present Secretary, and you might persuade him that it would be bad to make that consolidation. He may not do it. At the end of the year he may resign. I do not know. He may do it before the end of the year, and then we will have a new Secretary, or at least he is not to be the Secretary in perpetuity. We know that some day he will be changed. But if this reorganization plan becomes a law it becomes a law just as if it is written on the statute books. And until the Congress does take affirmative action to withdraw that power and that authority it will continue through this present Secretary's successor and on down the line
I do not know. Some day we may get a Secretary in there who will do some of these things that you say right now you object to, and that would ruin the program.
The point is that I would feel reasonably certain that the present Secretary is going to consult and is going to listen to the leaders of farm organizations in this country and not do anything so radical or that would be so harmful. I feel that way about it. But I hate to put my stamp of approval on legislation that will permit him to do otherwise and give my advance sanction of his authority to do it.
That is the problem that confronts us, who have the responsibility for legislating. I just do not think it is wise to do that. And for that reason I think these powers here ought to be limited to a reasonable period of time. I believe you will agree with that.
Mr. SANDERS. As I stated, I think that reorganization is a continuing process, and logically we believe that he should have that authority at all times. But I do not think that we would have any serious objection if the bill were resubmitted with a time limitation on it. I do not think that we would object to that. I have discussed that with our national master, and he says that
Senator McCLELLAN. I hope that as we develop these facts, if there is a lack of proper controls retained in the Congress by this plan, and a lack of definiteness as to what is going to be done under it, the administration will withdraw the plan and submit a plan to us that will eliminate these objections, and let the Congress approve it and let it go into effect, and let us get reorganization under way. That is what I want to see. I think that it could be done.
I am reluctant to vote against it. I will say very frankly that I am very anxious to see some action taken to reorganize where it is necessary and to get some results. But I do not want to be confronted here a year from now with my farmers all torn up and unhappy and saying, "You have wrecked the Department," and this, that, and the other. And I will say, "Well, the Department did."
“Yes; but you gave them the authority. They could not have done it if you had not voted for a plan that you knew was defective."
Mr. SANDERS. Senator, as I see it
Senator McCLELLAN. We cannot abdicate responsibility. We can abdicate authority, but we are still accountable.
Mr. SANDERS. Senator, this is just a case where you cannot have your cake and eat it, too. It is necessary to give the Secretary some right to iron out the duplications and straighten out some of the defects of the Department, and the only way that you can give him that authority is to give it to him.
Senator McCLELLAN. We can give him the authority
Senator McCLELLAN. We can give him the authority, but do you not think that it is advisable for him, if he is competent to reorganize it, if he needs this plan-do you not think that he should be capable of coming down here and laying a blueprint before us and saying, “This is what I am going to do if you give me the authority”?
Mr. SANDERS. I feel somewhat about that as I do about the price support laws in the present case. The present Secretary is saddled with a definite law until the end of next vear. And if I were Secretary of Agriculture I do not think that I would go all out in stating exactly what sort of price-support law I was going to advocate. I would take the time that I have, that I have to take, anyhow, and study this thing rather carefully.
Senator McCLELLAN. We are not talking about that.
Mr. SANDERS. Now, I think that maybe the reorganization is in the same category, too.
Senator McCLELLAN. We are not even talking about that.
Mr. SANDERS. I know that we are not. But it is the same thing. The reorganization of the Department of Agriculture is a colossal job, one that takes time to learn what is best to do.
Senator McCLELLAN. I agree.
Senator McCLELLAN. The farm program and the price-support programs are a colossal job, too.
Mr. SANDERS. Yes, I think so, too.
Senator McCLELLAN. But I am not willing to delegate that power to the Secretary. I think that is the Congress' responsibility.
. Mr. SANDERS. Now, if the Secretary does not come up here with a definite plan, aside from what is inserted in the law, and I have no idea whether he will or not, or whether he feels that he can conscientiously do so at the present time, but it does seem to me that there is a time limit to the ability of a new administration ascertaining all of the things that it would like to do in reorganizing the Department of Agriculture. And I do not know whether the Secretary will come up here with a full plan or not, but it seems to me that that ought not to keep him from having the authority to reorganize the Department.
Senator McCLELLAN. I would not expect every detail, but we certainly should have the basic structure of the changes he intends to make.
Mr. SANDERS. We, like you, would like to know some of those things ahead of time.
Senator McCLELLAN. We will give him some latitude, of course, and he must have some. But I am just unhappy when I am asked to vote for a plan that delegates all this power, and you say, "Well, the Secretary does not know yet. He is not prepared yet to tell us just exactly what he is going to do."
Well, if that is true, if he does not know what he is going to do by now--and I am not criticizing him if he has not had the time—then I would criticize sending the request up here for this power until he does know what he is going to do, or wants to do.
Thank you, Madam Chairman.
Senator SMITH. Mr. Sanders, as I understand it, as legislative counsel for the National Grange, you are speaking for the National Grange, are you not?
Mr. SANDERS. Yes. I made that statement, I think, at the first. At least, I intended to make it.
. Senator Smith. Thank you very much. The subcommittee appreciates having your views, and especially appreciates your waiting over until today to give us the benefit of them.
Mr. SANDERS. Madam Chairman, of course we appreciate the opportunity of expressing to the committee our views on this important subject, because we live with the Department of Agriculture. We were organized almost at the same time as the Department of Agriculture, and I suppose more than any other organization we have been right with it in all of its changes, and we have advocated nearly every basic change that has taken place in the Department throughout its entire history.
Senator SMITH. And you feel that there are changes needed?
Senator Smith. Mr. Gavin W. McKerrow, of the National Milk Producers Federation.
Will you give your name and your title, and whom you represent? We shall be very pleased to hear from you.
STATEMENT OF GAVIN W. MCKERROW, NATIONAL MILK
Mr. McKERROW. Madam Chairman and members of the committee, I am Gavin McKerrow, of Pewaukee, Wis., and I am appearing here today to support the President's Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953.
My appearing is as chairman of the committee representing the National Milk Producers Federation. This federation is the oldest and largest agricultural commodity organization in the United States. It consists of 97 farmer-owned cooperatives and some 600 submember associations with a combined membership of approximately 460,000 dairy farm families in 46 States. The volume of milk and cream sold or manufactured in various forms by these cooperatives exceeds 22 billion pounds a year.
I am a Wisconsin dairy farmer and president of a dairy marketing cooperative, Golden Guernsey Dairy of Milwaukee, which is made up of 528 farmers who produce and market their own milk; and together with the cooperation of their employee members, we have been successful in developing a business which totals about $10 million per year.
My coming to Washington to support this plan to reorganize the United States Department of Agriculture is not the result of a sudden impulse. You might say that I got an active urge to do something about the reorganization just about 4 years ago.
Early in 1949, the Hoover Commission issued its report. The public expenditure survey in Wisconsin acts as a sort of Government information clearinghouse and research agency for many local taxpayer associations in Wisconsin on a strictly nonpolitical basis. The Hoover report was a tailormade bipartisan research report aimed at more efficient Federal Government. We organized our bipartisan committee to promote adoption of the Hoover report. So I am also present as spokesman for the Wisconsin Committee on Hoover Commission Findings of which I am proud to be chairman.
Our committee had representatives of industry, labor, government, women's organizations, civic groups, and farming. You could not get a more representative cross section of Wisconsin population.
We studied and discussed every bill introduced with a Hoover Commission label. We found that in our membership we usually had someone who was some sort of expert on every subject that came up. Of course, at first industry and labor glared at each other across the table; then they both glared at the farmers. Then, maybe, the farmers and industry and labor all looked suspiciously at our college president. I might say that one of the industry representatives, our first chairman, was Walter Kohler, now Governor of the State.