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exempting language. The Commission in its reports to the Members of Congress sponsoring the legislation and to the committees to which the bills were referred, stated its objections to excepting the employment of technical and professional personnel from competitive procedures and the Classification Act of 1923, as amended, on the grounds that the Commission is able to recruit such personnel and further that such legislation would violate the principles of the civil-service merit system.
The merit system established by the Civil Service Act of 1883 provides that positions in the executive establishment shall be open to competition among qualified applicants. The act also permits any necessary exemptions from competition by Executive order. The Commission therefore urges that the principles of the civil-service merit system and of the Classification Act of 1923, as amended, be adhered to in the appointment of technical and professional personnel to be required by the Foundation, and that the bill be amended accordingly.
Similar personnel provisions appear in the bills H. R. 12, H. R. 185 and H. R. 311. This report is based on the reports submitted to your committee on those bills to which the Bureau of the Budget found no objection. By direction of the Commission : Sincerely yours,
HARRY B. MITCHELL, President.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
Washington, April 1, 1949. Hon. ROBERT CROSSER, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House of Representatives. DEAR MR. CROSSER: Further reference is made to your request of February 2, 1949, for a report on H. R. 359, a bill to promote the progress of science and the useful arts, to secure the national defense, to advance the national health and welfare, and for other purposes.
This is one of a group of bills having the objective of stimulating scientific research and scientific education through the establishment of a National Science Foundation. We have heretofore reported to your committee on H. R. 311, H. R. 12, H. R. 185, H. R. 1815, and H. R. 2308, and have expressed our support of the basic principle of such legislation.
The form of organization proposed in H. R. 359 differs quite materially from that proposed in the other bills referred to. Under this bill, the National Science Foundation would be an independent agency of the Federal Government consisting of an administrative organization headed by an Administrator and operating in much the same manner as other Government departments and agencies. The Administrator would consult and advise with a National Science Board of nine members plus the chairmen of several divisional scientific committees
In view of the fact that the duties of the Foundation largely relate to the determination of grants and contracts for research and the awarding of scholarships and fellowships, it is suggested that the form of organization provided in the five bills previously referred to would be better adapted to the type of Foundation provided for in this legislation. A Foundation of 24 members (as proposed in the other bills) can appropriately be given the responsibility of taking into consideration the wide variety of factors required in the allotment of grants and the awarding of fellowships, and advising the Director accordingly.
The Department questions the detailed requirements specified in section 8 (a) of H. R. 359. The inventory of all current federally financed research and development projects, the publication of significant data, inventions, discoveries, and findings and the establishment of the proposed central register might burden the Foundation to the degree of reducing its usefulnes in the development of its principal objective, that of stimulating nongovernmental research and development. If such responsibilities are imposed, it would be difficult to avoid duplication of activities already conducted by other Government agencies.
Subsections (b), (c), and (d) of section 8 go beyond the establishment of a National Science Foundation, in enacting new provision into patent law that would apply to all Goverment agencies of the United States with respect both to research conducted within their own laboratories and that contracted for through other public or private research organizations. With certain closely restricted exceptions, it would require all inventions produced in the course of federally financed research and development to be made freely available to the public and if patented to be freely dedicated to the public. The experience of this Department indicates that such a provision is unwise, as certain types of patents relating to the public health and welfare can be more advantageously be controlled through a license system than if they were to be freely dedicated to the public.
It is further suggested with respect to these three subsections, that a National Science Foundation Act would be an inappropriate piece of legislation in which to include general statutory provisions covering the patent policy of all Federal investigational work. Such legislation is a separate subject and would require careful and detailed examination on its own merits.
The committee's attention is also respectfully directed to section 11 (e) relating to the transfer of the Office of Scientific Research and Development. This paragraph is presumably obsolete in view of the liquidation of that Office some time ago.
For the reasons given, as well as other features in which it seems to us that various pending National Science Foundation bills have more advantageous features, the Department does not recommend the passage of II. R. 3 9.
The Bureau of the Budget advises that, from the standpoint of the program of the President, there is no objection to the subinission of this report. Sincerely,
CHARLES F. BRANNAN, Secretary).
UNITED STATES ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION,
Washington 25, D. C., March 15, 1949. Hon. ROBERT CROSSER, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House of Representatives, Washington 25, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN CROSSER: This is in response to your request for comment on H. R. 359, a bill to establish a National Science Foundation. We have previously indicated our support for the establishment of a Science Foundation in commenting on a number of other bills on this subject. In our letter of March 3, 1949, we stated, however, that H. R. 359 raised certain questions as to which we would comment in a subsequent letter.
The principal points we would like to make relate to the effect of the passage of this bill on the Atomic Energy Act of 1946, to the coordination of the proposed Foundation's activities with the Atomic Energy Commission, and to the patent provisions in this bill.
At the time Congress was considering the Science Foundation bill (S. 526) in the first session of the Eightieth Congress, the chairman of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy introduced an amendment, which was adopted, which dealt with the question of coordination of the Foundation's activities with those of the Atomic Energy Commission. The same provisions were also included in S. 2385. in the second session of the Eightieth Congress and have been included in almost all the Science Foundation bills introduced in the present session, including Senate bill S. 247 which was recently reported out of committee. We recommend that if H. R. 359 is used as a basis for Science Foundation legislation by your committee that such a section be included in this bill. The section provides that:
“The Foundation shall not support any research or development activity in the field of atomic energy, nor shall it exercise any authority pursuant to section 10 (e) [section dealing with property acquisition] in respect to that field, without first having obtained the concurrence of the Atomic Energy Commission that such activity will not adversely affect the common defense and security. Nothing in this Act shall supersede or modify any provision of the Atomic Energy Act of 1916."
In considering the patents section of H. R. 359, it is our feeling that even with the above-quoted section in the bill, which would insure that the patents provision of the Atomic Energy Act would not be amended or superseded, the patent provisions of H. R. 359 are sufficiently comprehensive substantially to affect operations of the Commission in this field, and would raise many new problems for the Commission in its relation to industry and in the negotiation of its research and development contracts. If the committee is planning to go into the patent provisions of H. R. 359 in detail, we would like to have the opportunity to comment further on these provisions at a later date.
The Atomic Energy Commission has not been advised by the Bureau of the Budget as to the relationship of these bills to the program of the President. Sincerely yours.
UNITED STATES ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION,
UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION,
Washington 25, D. C., March 28, 1949. Hon. Robert CROSSER, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House Offire Building, House of Representatives. DEAR MR. CROSSER: This is with further reference to your communication of February 2, 1949 in which you requested an expression of the Commission's views on H. R. 359, a bill for the establishment of the National Science Foundation.
Section 3 (b) of the bill proposes the establishment within the Foundation of a number of divisions, each to exercise such duties and perform such functions as are presrilled by the Administrator upon advice of the Board. Each division would be headed by a Director to be appointed by the Administrator', the compensation of the Director to be $12,000 per annum.
Section 3 (c) of H. R. 359 would also empower the Administrator to employ expert scientific, technical, and professional personnel without regard to the civil service laws, and to fix their compensation without regard to the Classification Act of 1923, as amended.
During the last Congress the bills introduced to establish the National Science Foundation, one of which (S. 526) was vetoed by the President, contained language also exempting technical and professional personnel from the provisions of civil service laws and regulations and the Classification Act. When the Commission reported on the bills introduced in the Eightieth Congress, it expressed its objections on the ground that the proposed legislation was violative of the principles of the civil service merit system, particularly that ample provision is had under the system for any necessary exemptions by Executive authority. The Commission must therefore reiteraté its opposition to any departure from the civil service merit system in the method of effecting appointments to the positions considered in sections 3 (b) and 3 (c) of H. R. 359.
Furthermore, the Commission believes that as a general rule, legislation which specifically fixes salaries for individual positions, agency by agency, is not as desirable legislation as a salary measure of general coverage. There will shortly be presented to the Congress a proposed revision of the Classification Act which will, among other things, propose the raising of the present. salary ceiling of $10,330 per annum for the career service. General legislation of that type will not ouly meet current needs but will set for the future new salary levels which in individual cases have been recognized as desirable by Members of Congress in bills introduced in the Eightieth and Eighty-first Congresses. At the time when such a revision of the Classification Act is before the Congress for actual consideration, the Commission would feel itself obliged to object to any special action for a single group of positions in a particular agency which necessarily would fall under such a Classification Act. In the meantime, the Commission would not object to the consideration of the provision of H. R. 359 fixing the salary of $12,000 per anuum for the Division Directors of the National Science Foundation.
The Commission, in accordance with established procedure, has been informed by the Bureau of the Budget that there would be no objection to the submission of the proposed report to your committee. By direction of the Commission. Sincerely yours,
HARRY B. MITCHELL, President.
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT,
BUREAU OF THE BUDGET,
Washington 25, D. C., March 29, 1949. Hon. J. PERCY PRIEST, Chairman, Subcommittee on Publir Health, Science, and Commerce, Committce on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
United States House of Representatives, Washington 25, D. C. MY DEAR MR. PRIEST: I note that S. 247, a bill to create a National Science Foundation, has recently passed the Senate, and that your subcommittee is now considering several bills on this subject, including H. R. 12. On February 7, 1949, I transmitted to the chairman of the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee the views of the Bureau of the Budget on the bill then before the Senate committee, and you may find it helpful to know the attitude of the Bureau
of the Budget toward H. R. 12. We have, as you know, given thoughtful consideration to science foundation legislation since the first bills on this subject were introduced in the Seventy-ninth ('ongress. Through this legislation, which the President has frequently and earnestly requested, the Congress is recognizing that the growth and leadership of our Nation in scientific knowledge must be encouraged by a positive national policy. Consistent with this aim, a National Science Foundation created as a central element of this national policy must take its proper place within our system of responsible and democratic government.
Generally speaking, H. R. 12 appears to provide a workable basis for the establishment and operation of a National Science Foundation. However, I am somewhat disturbed by certain structural rigidities imposed upon the Foundation by the provisions of the bill. I refer to (1) the mandatory provision of an executive committee in section 5, (2) the establishment of a specific divisional structure in section 7, and (3) the establishment of special commissions for specific diseases in section 4 (a) (7). I believe that the purposes of the Foundation would be better served by substituting in each of these instane's permissive language which would serve to guide the members of the Foundation in approaching the problem of organization, while recognizing the essential need for flexibility in a major undertaking of this nature where organization must be readily adjusted to the changing frontiers of scientific research. I believe that the details of internal organization should be left up to the good judgment of the Foundation. I refer particularly to the mandatory provision for an executive committee because this provision, different from the other two cited, would not be subject to administrative revision. In this connection, the permissive provision in S. 247 appears to be distinctly preferable.
You will recall that the extent of the Director's authority, particularly with reference to his role in the initiation and approval of contracts, was under discussion between the Senate and the Bureau of the Budget a year ago. This issue was the subject of a letter which my predecessor, Mr. Webb, addressed to Senator Smith last year as the Senate approached final action on the then-pending S. 2385. A copy of this letter is attached for your information. Subsection 6 (b) of H. R. 12 appears to be in accord with the recommendation which Director Webb urged in his letter, and I recommend strongly that this provision be retained in the legislation.
Certain changes in H. R. 12 might be made advantageously with a view toward both the clarification of internal relationships within the Foundation and improved drafting. A list of such possible changes, with further reference to certain points mentioned in this letter, and a marked copy of H. R. 12 are attached for the Committee's consideration.
Representatives of my staff will be glad to discuss these points with you or members of the committee staff.
I trust that these comments will prove useful in the committee's consideration of this important legislation. Sincerely yours,
FRANK PACE, Jr., Director.
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT,
BUREAU OF THE BUDGET,
Washington, 25, D. C., May 5, 1948. Hon. ALEXANDER H. SMITH,
United States Senate, Washington 25, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR SMITH: The discussion of National Science Foundation legislation in the Senate on May 3 has been called to my attention. In particular I have noted your remarks that the bill, S. 2385, meets the objections raised by the President in his veto of S. 526 last year.
S. 2385 in its present form has not, to my knowledge. been referred to any agency of the executive branch for comment. The Bureau of the Budget memorandum commenting on S. 2385 in its original form made certain suggestions for clarifying the role of the Director, the Executive Committee, and the 24man Foundation,
It appears that the bill as presently drawn, vests complete authority to make grants and contracts in the 24-man Foundation. By including specific reference to functions of the Director in sections 7, 9, and 12 and striking out the reference to the Director's authority with respect to grants in section 5 (b), it could easily be inferred that it was the intent of the Congress that the Director should have no responsibility with respect to grants and contracts. As you know, in
all of our discussions concerning the organization of the Foundation, the awarding of contracts had been vested in the Director with the concurrence of the Executive Committee. In this way, both the interest of the scientists and the interest of the Government were adequately safeguarded. Without the safeguarding of both of these interests the bill is subject to one of the major criticisms advanced by the President in disapproving S. 526. This was a key point in previous drafts of the bill to which Dr. Shapley and Dr. Bush fully agreed.
It is my impression from reading the report of the Senate committee, that the above resulted from an oversight in revising the original bill. In order to remove any doubt as to the role of the Director in the making of grants and contracts, I recommend, strongly, that the following language be included as a new section 5 (b) in the revised bill:
"The Director shall carry out the policies established by the Foundation and is authorized to exercise the authorities vested in the Foundation in section 10 of this Act: Provided, That he shall exercise the authority granted in paragraph (c) of section 10 only with the approval of the Foundation." Sincerely yours,
JAMES E. WEBB, Director,
SUGGESTED DRAFTING REVISIONS IN H. R. 12
1. Clarification of internal relationships
Throughout H. R. 12 as presently drafted, the bill confers functions and authorities upon the "Foundation" without making it clear that these powers are conferred in certain instances upon the 24-member group and in other instances upon the Foundation as a governmental agency. It would appear that these ambiguities could be cleared up through the process of redrafting. One workable approach to the problem would involve the following changes:
Section 2: A second sentence would be added to what already appears in this section, which would read “The Foundation shall consist of a National Science Board (hereinafter referred to as the 'Board') and a Director."
Section 3 would be given a new title heading to read “Membership of the Board.” Throughout section 3, the word “Board" would be used in lieu of the term “Foundation.”
The word “Board" would be substituted for the term “Foundation" (and in some cases for the words "Executive Committee,” as indicated in the third section of these suggestions, below) elsewhere throughout the bill at each point where it is intended to refer to the 2+-member group. It is believed that the following list covers all of these points:
[Page 2, lines 1, 2, and 19; page 3, lines 4 and 9; page 4, line 18; page 5, lines 3, 7, 12, 19, and 21; page 8, lines 2, 4, 7, and 22; page 9, lines 5, 7, 12, 15, 20, and 21; page 10, lines 12 and 24; page 14, line 18; page 15, lines 14 and 22 ; page 16, lines 9, 14, 16, and 23; and page 17, line 13.)
It is not intended that this change in the designation of the 24-member group should in any way diminish the authority of that body as already provided in the bill, nor change the authority of the Director. It is simply a clarifying revision, resembling in some outward respects the structure of the Tennessee Valley Authority, which consists of the Authority itself, a Board of Directors, and a General Manager. There would result a useful distinction among the Foundation as an agency, the Board, and the Director. 2. Establishment of special commissions
Section 4(a) (7) would specifically require the initial establishment of special commissions on cancer, on heart and cardiovascular diseases, and on poliomyelitis and other degenerative diseases, as well as authorize the Foundation to establish such other special commissions as it might deem necessary. It would appear that the purposes of the legislation would be better served by omitting reference to specific diseases and providing simply for the establishment of such special commissions as the Foundation may from time to time deem necessary. 3. Creation of executive committee
Section 5 creates and gives certain powers and duties to an executive committee. In subsequent sections of the bill specific additional powers and duties are assigned to this committee. This mandatory provision of an executive committee and the assignment to it of specific functions introduces an undesirable degree of rigidity into the statutory framework of the Foundation. While