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Mr. BYRNs. How far behind are you in that work?
Mr. ALLEN. At the end of July, with borrowed help, we managed to get the statements out for the month of June. We managed to finish them up about the 2d day of August.
Mr. BYRNS. You have not rendered the statements for July!
Mr. Byens. Ordinarily, before the work increased, as you have stated, when was it possible for you to make statements for the preceding month?
Mr. ALLEN. We had them all made by the 26th of the month, as a rule.
Mr. Berns. Of the following month?
Mr. BYRNs. Then, as a matter of fact, you are not very far behind in rendering statements if you render them by August 26 ?
Mr. ALLEN. The reason we can do that is because we have 10 borrowed people, because all leave has been canceled, and because the people on leave have been called back. No one is on leave now, and we are working every Saturday afternoon. We did not close last Saturday until 5 o'clock, and during this last month we have frequently worked until 7 o'clock at night. Those women who are engaged on that work are exceeding by far the eight-hour law.
Mr. BYRNs. Does that include all of your force?
Mr. ALLEN. Not the whole force, but all of them were called back from leave. The whole force is working overtime and Saturday afternoons when we have to have them, and a part of the force, or half of the force, is working every Saturday afternoon. Every afternoon the overtime is from one hour to an hour and a half, and some clerks frequently work until 8 o'clock at night.
Mr. BYRNS, I understand that this increase of the work has been 51 per cent. I believe that is what you stated.
Mr. ALLEN. That is the increase in July over July a year ago.
Mr. BYRNs. Is that due directly to the increased expenditures made by the Government on account of the present emergency or the war?
Mr. ALLEN. Yes, sir. There probably would have been an increase anyway. We figure on an increase of 5 per cent in normal times. There is an increase of from 3 to 5 per cent in normal times, but the rest of it is due entirely to the war. The most of that increase is in the checks of the Navy paymasters and of the quartermasters of the War Department.
Mr. WARNER. The increase in the work has been three times that of 1900, under normal conditions.
Mr. Byrxs. But you have a much larger force for that work now than you had then.
Mr. WARNER. Yes, sir; but the force has been reduced greatly in the last few years.
Mr. BYRNs. I recall that a year or two ago the work in the Treasurer's Office was greatly in arrears. In fact, there was an estimate submitted up here for quite a number of clerks. On complaint about the matter, the Treasurer called on Mr. Brown, of the Efficiency Commission, to come in there and assist him, as you gentlemen know, to see whether or not some arrangement could be made to do the work with a less number of clerks, and after a short period of time you were able to entirely withdraw the request.
Mr. WARNER. Yes, sir; and not only that, but in the last few years our force has been decreased by the return of between 30 and 40 detailed employees.
Mr. Byrns. In view of that experience, which was very beneficial to the Government, I wanted to ask whether you had conferred with the Efficiency Commission in regard to this increase of clerks, in order to see whether or not you could so arrange the work as to avoid it.
Mr. ALLEN. We have done so informally. In the two divisions of accounting, for which 38 of these clerks are asked, there were on the 1st day of January, 71 less clerks than there were on the 1st day of January, 1914. That was brought about by the introduction of a different system and efficient methods of handling the work. We had 113 employees in the two accounting divisions on the 1st of January last, and on the 1st of January, 1914, there were 181 employees, making a decrease of 71. That decrease has been made by the introduction of efficient methods and a change in the system brought about by the help of the Efficiency Commission. The work has been brought clear up to date, and the normal increase in work has been taken care of. Mr. BYRNs. I understood you to say a moment ago that
had conferred informally with the Efficiency Commission?
Mr. ALLEN. Yes, sir. I was, as chief of the division, closely in touch with the Efficiency Commission while they were installing the new methods, and they have kept in touch with our office, being interested in the system that they put in there. I can not state officially that they have not any better methods or more improvements, but I am certain in my own mind that everything of that kind that can be done has been done. We have improved on the system that they put in there.
Mr. BYRNs. This estimate represents quite a considerable increase in the force. As I understand it, the present force in the Treasurer's Office is 326 persons, and this estimate calls for an addition of 65 clerks, which is an increase of 20 per cent.
Mr. ALLEN. Of course, I am only speaking for the accounting division where an increase of 51 per cent in the work has already occurred.
Mr. BYRNS. Of course, in addition to the clerks I have mentioned, there are 200 clerks in the National Bank Redemption Section and 10 employed in the Postal Savings System, making a total of 536 persons employed in the Treasurer's Office.
Mr. WARNER. In 1900 we had 308 employees and in 1915 we had 615; but, with the work three times as great, that force has been reduced to 536 clerks. In addition to that, we have 19 employees engaged on the liberty-loan work.
Mr. Byens. Did I understand you to say that all leave has been cut off this year!
Mr. WARNER. Yes, sir; only four people are away; and two of them are 80 years of age, another is 75 years of age, and the other is in the sixties. Those who were away on leave were called back.
Mr. Byrns. You stated awhile ago, I believe, that it had been necessary to borrow 10 clerks?
Mr. ALLEN. Yes, sir.
Mr. ALLEN. From different offices. We borrowed some from the public moneys division, and some from loans and currency, but those details are temporary. They are subject to call at any minute, and we have been warned that they will be called back very soon, in which event we can not possibly keep our work up.
Mr. Byrns. How long have you had those clerks!
Mr. ALLEN. We have had some of them about three or four weeks and others we have had two or three weeks. Some of the clerks we had borrowed have already been called back.
Mr. BYRNs. You have explained why you needed those 30 clerks, but the estimate, as I understand it, is for 65 additional clerks.
Mr. ALLEN. They are for the other divisions.
ADDITIONAL CLERKS FOR LIBERTY-LOAN WORK, DIVISION OF BANKS, LOANS,
AND POSTAL SAVINGS.
Mr. ELLIOTT. Mr. Chairman, we have estimated that in our division we need 10 additional clerks, which is largely on account of the increased number of interest vouchers that we have to handle. I refer to the interest checks and coupons on account of the liberty loan that is being put out, and we have based our estimate on the minimum number that we think we can get along with, having in view only the $2,000,000,000 of liberty bonds that were issued under date of June 15. As you know, of course, it is contemplated that there will be issued an additional liberty loan, and possibly there will be one in the fall, but we have not considered that in making our estimate of the additional help we will have to have on account of handling the interest vouchers.
Mr. BYRNS. Just what class of clerks do you need for that work under this estimate?
Mr. ELLIOTT. Well, we have estimated for two clerks at $1,600, two at $1,400, two at $1,200, two at $1,000, and two at $900. At the present time we have on this particular line of work, which is just one of the lines of work we handle in that division, three clerks-one at $1,600, one at $1,200, and one at $900. I think people employed in that line of work should not be paid less than $1,200, but we have estimated for two at $1,000 and two at $900.
Mr. Byrns. How do you arrive at the estimate that yoa need 10 clerks for the additional work in connection with the liberty loan?
Mr. ELLIOTT. At the present time it is not possible to figure just exactly the number of holders of United States bonds who will have to present either checks or coupons for payment, but I have estimated--and I think the estimate is a very conservative one that we have about 100,000 holders of United States bonds at the present time, not considering the new liberty loan. For the fiscal year ended June 30, 1916, we handled 540,028 interest vouchers, coupons, and checks, which are the last complete figures we have available.
Mr. BYRNS. With how many clerks? Mr. ELLIOTT. We had three clerks that were engaged on that line of work, and those three clerks were able to get the accounts tabulated and arranged and examined, and to send them over to the auditor within, say, a month's time after the close of the month preceding. Now, it has been estimated, as you no doubt know, that 4,000,000 people have subscribed to the new liberty loan. Those 4,000,000
people have gotten bonds in denominations from $50 up to the larger subscriptions, which run into the millions. Each one of those people will have to present at least one interest check or interest coupon twice each year in order to get his interest on his bonds. We will say that a man has several bonds—that he has $1,000 worth of bonds represented by two bonds of $500 each. He will present four coupons instead of two coupons for each $1,000 worth of bonds. The tendency of this loan has been to break up into very small pieces, and there have been a great many $50 and $100 bonds issued.
I understand that the Secretary has already had printed 4,000,000 coupon bonds for distribution to the public. That would entail the payment of 8,000,000 coupons each year, because they are payable seminnually, and I understand that they will order 1,000,000 more printed, because they do not think they will have enough. In addition to that, we must take care of the interest checks of the holders of the registered bonds, which have to be handled also. We have estimated that the minimum number of additional interest vouchers (checks and coupons) that we will have to handle in the next 12 months will be 10,000,000 instead of the 510,000 we handled during the last fiscal year. That is an increase of 2,000 per cent in the number we will have to handle. We have to be very careful with the coupons; they are very small, about an inch wide by 2 inches long, at the maximum, and they are very easily lost. We have to handle them very carefully, because if we misplace one or lose one, then the auditor makes the Treasurer put up $17.50, or whatever amount it happens to call for.
Mr Byens. Now, it is very evident, of course, that we have not by any means reached the limit in the issuance of bonds.
Mr. ELLIOTT. No, sir.
Mr. ELLIOTT. No, sir. We have made an estimate of 333 per cent increase in the force for handling this work, and, according to what I consider to be a conservative estimate, we are going to have an increase of 2,000 per cent in the volume of work coming in. In other words, instead of having 510,000 interest vouchers (checks and coupons) to handle, we will have 10,000,000 to handle on account of the $2,000,000,000 liberty loan already issued.
Mr. BYRNs. That is, taking into consideration only the issue already made of $2,000,000,000 ?
Mr. ELLIOTT. Yes, sir.
Mr. BYRNS. And it is not taking into consideration the $3,000,000,000 more provided for under that act, and it is very possible that there will be authorized a larger amount?
Mr. ELLIOTT. No, sir; it does not take that into consideration. We only took into consideration the $2,000,000,000 of bonds already issued under date of June 15. Those bonds began to bear interest on the 15th of June, and on the 15th of December, at the end of the first interest period, the coupons and interest checks will begin to come in from all parts of the country, to be paid by the Treasurer, to cover the interest on that $2,000,000,000 of the liberty loan.
Mr. Byrxs. It is evident that that will largely increase the work of your division, and, in view of that fact, don't you think that it would be the part of wisdom and economy to pursue every possible
method in order, if possible, to devise some scheme for simplifying or systematizing the work incident to those bonds? With that idea in my own mind, I was wondering why you have not taken this matter up with the efficiency commission, to see whether or not they could offer some suggestions, of which you might approve, which would enable you to handle this additional work, because, unless something of that sort is devised and we continue to issue bonds, as now seems to be very likely, it will necessarily increase the force of the office to a very great extent.
Mr. ELLIOTT. The efficiency commission made a very close examination of the Treasurer's office, and several departmental committees have gone through the Treasurer's office and made a very searching examination, and various recommendations have been made.
Mr. BYRNS. That was with reference to the work or the business of the office heretofore, and not with particular regard to this increased work of which we are now talking.
Mr. ELLIOTT. There will be no change in the character of the work at all, and the same conditions that these committees who investigated the office, including the efficiency commission, found and passed upon will obtain in this additional work that will come. We will follow the same methods that have been followed and have been found efficient. The departmental committees and the efficiency commission gave the office close scrutiny, as you know, and they suggested some changes that we have made, and we have made some changes ourselves. But the character of the work remains the same, and it is just an increase in the volume of the work.
Mr. Byrns. As I understand, your present work is current, and these clerks are asked for owing to the increased work brought on by the issuance of these bonds?
Mr. ELLIOTT. Yes, sir. Of course, we have had quite an increase of work incident to the redemption of certificates of indebtedness, but we have handled them by means of temporary employees obtained from the Liberty Loan fund—the appropriation that accompanied the authorization for the issuance of the Liberty bonds.
Mr. BYRNS. That work, of course, is merely temporary!
Mr. ELLIOTT. Yes, sir; we are still working on it, though; but we have handled all of the certificates of indebtedness
Mr. BYRNS (interposing). And you are not asking for any permanent clerks for that work?
Mr. ELLIOTT. No, sir; that is all temporary work.
Mr. Byrns. Then there are 25 more clerks in addition to those referred to ?
Mr. Gates. In the redemption division we handle the old and mutilated money as it is sent in from the banks for redemption. It is of the utmost importance to the work of the banks of the country that this money should be handled quickly and efficiently and returns made to them, because if the money is kept out of circulation the banks do not have it with which to transact their regular business. As a comparison of the work, in July, 1916, we handled 10,760,703 notes in that division, and in this last July we handled 16,155,280 notes, an increase of 50 per cent. This rate of increase holds good