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Mr. JUDD. Assistance is one thing and leadership is another. I am utterly opposed to Federal leadership. Mrs. MEYER. So am I. Mr. JUDD. You used the words “direction and leadership.”. Mrs. MEYER. Dynamic leadership in setting standards, in calling the attention of the whole country to the fact that we are backward in our social program. You have got to start people up. You cannot expect them to vote money in Congress unless there is a terrific realization of what is going on in this country. That is what I mean by leadership. If we give welfare and education and health the dignity they should have by being in the Cabinet, the people as a whole respect those functions more. We do not respect education nearly as much as we should, or we would pay our teachers more. The CHAIRMAN. I have read your statement. Mrs. MEYER. To cover the ground, you would have to write a book. The CHAIRMAN. It would take us 2 years to thrash this matter out. I am just wondering if your suggestions were carried out, every suggestion you made, if we would not run into the danger of becoming a regimented society like we had in Nazi Germany. They had the best child-welfare program in the world. Mrs. MEYER. Imposed from above. We have got to have a bill of this sort protecting the independence of the States and the localities in these areas to get ahead of the possibility of centralization, because the needs are there and the people are going to insist that those needs be respected and met, and unlesss we act in such way that in the bill, for instance, that comes up before the Congress about Federal department, unless that bill is so written that the independence of the States and localities is preserved, we are going to get a sudden rush for approval or improvement in the Nation which might lead to centralization. This is an attempt to get ahead of that. The CHAIRMAN. That is one of the fears I have. I do not know whether or not following all of your suggestions would have the necessary safeguards to protect our system of freedom in this country. I am sure you have made a careful study of the system in Germany. They had a wonderful health program over there. Mrs. MEYER. They were all imposed from above, especially when Hitler came along. Under the Republic, they did a very good job of decentralization. The CHAIRMAN. But in a democracy, in order to continue to get the votes, do you not have to give a little more, and a little more and a little more, and finally your so-called bureaucrats, do not they get a little drunk with power and do they not disregard and disrespect the local management? Mrs. MEYER. That tendency, I regret to say, always exists. One of the things we have to do is to clarify the Federal-State relationship. The legislation which I mentioned strengthens the role of the State. As a matter of fact, the States are leading the Federal Government in this reorganization. They are hanging behind here in Washington like a drag. The CHAIRMAN. I recall the WPA days when we had the so-called welfare workers investigating the cases. Well, the more cases you have, the more your salaries are. Mrs. MEYER. Mr. Chairman, I am not the person to talk to about the WPA. I fought them tooth and nail in the press and on the radio,
and I fought them in my own county. When they came in there, they said what we are going to do with your county is nobody's business. It was a vote-buying thing, WPA, and deliberately decentralized, and one of the worst things that ever happened to this country. WPA is just the opposite of what we are trying to do here, Mr. Chairman. This is throwing the responsibility out, and the responsibility is there now, but the Federal Government is not helping.
The CHAIRMAN. You could employ in Alabama alone, 200,000 welfare workers and nurses and so forth to carry out a program that some of our people have recommended.
Mrs. MEYER. When it comes to Federal aid, Mr. Chairman, there are definite ways on which it can be computed. For instance, I am not in favor of throwing Federal aid all over this country. I think it should be given according to need. You can have a Commission, for instance, to figure out what is a minimum cost per child in the educational system. Then that same commission can figure what that particular State can do according to its tax situation, and give them the spread between what they can do and what the minimum is.
The CHAIRMAN. I notice in your statement here that if we can eliminate malnutrition
Mrs. MEYER. We are doing a fairly good job on that.
The CHAIRMAN (continuing). And child care and so forth, we would eliminate the cause of racial intolerances. Germany eliminated many of those things.
Mrs. MEYER. I said we would eliminate racial intolerances if we had a well-organized community in which each person can exercise not only his rights, but his duties, because only when you have good organization can all the people make their contributions to the progress of the community. Why can't we do anything in the District of Columbia ? Because there is no set-up by which we can feed our abilities into the total picture, because we have no organization. You need organization for the individual to function.
Mr. GIBSON. Isn't it true there are too many people who overlook their duties?
Mrs. MEYER. I think we are better about that than most any country I know. All the people want is a chance to function.
Mr. GIBSON. Who have they to get the chance from?
Mrs. MEYER. Through good organization in the community, whereby you know your rights and duties. You know what the women say to me when I say, “Why aren't you doing something about these children running around? They say, "We don't know where to start.”
The CHAIRMAN. You are for the reorganization plan!
Mrs. MEYER. As I said, Mr. Chairman, I do not think we can do any single thing anyway that will first of all stimulate morale of the people more if they saw this thing were even going to happen they would feel the country was going ahead. That is what our people need to feel just now. They need to feel that there is leadership here in Washington. I think the stimulus to morale would be tremendous at once, but point number two, I do think that we could stabilize our social structure more quickly in that way throughout the country than in any other way I can think of. That is why I have worked so hard on this thing for years.
Mr. Judd. I would like to just make this comment. I think you will find in this committee, or in the Congress, very little difference of
opinion with you, if any, as to the need. If there is difference of opinion, it is in most cases as to the best way to handle the need. That is done this way, Doctors may disagree as to whether they should operate this way or use that type of medicine or what procedure. There is the real difference. The question is, you can use short-cuts which produce brilliant immediate results, but which destroy the patient's long-term health in the process. We have got to walk between the two extremes.
Mrs. MEYER. I do not look upon it as a short-cut. I look upon it as a permanent improvement of the administrative machinery of the country.
Mr. JUD. But the tendency, as you said in your colloquy with the chairman of the Government bureau, is that we have got to do it quickly, whether it is getting the kind of people you want in the Supreme Court so you will not have to go through the normal processes or another one of the short-cuts, it gets immediate results. But sometimes it has some ultimate bad results.
Mrs. MEYER. I just want to make the point again that by assuring the State and the local government in the legislation
Mr. Judd. There is one place where we have had our most disappointing experience. I am on the Committee on Education where we worked for months getting out the vocational rehabilitation bill. We rewrote it and rewrote it to make sure that the Federal Government could not go in and tell the States how to do it. The language is complete. Nevertheless, it is being done. In my own State of Minnesota, within a few weeks men out of Washington said, “You are not handling this right in Minnesota. You have got to divide the State into nine regions.” That is absolutely violation of the bill. Unless we put in a penalty for these executives, I do not think we will get them to obey the law.
Mrs. MEYER. I think the vocational bill, as I remember it, was not carefully written from the administrative point of view. I cannot get into the details of it with you now, because I do not remember the bill sufficiently, but it had loopholes which permitted just that kind of thing.
Mr. JUDD. It said that each State had to submit a plan. We laid down in the law certain criteria which the plan had to meet. Once it met those criteria, the Federal agency will accept that plan. As far as the administration of the plan, it had nothing to do with it.
Mrs. MEYER. I remember now why it was weak, because it permitted Washington to cut right across the State government in its functioning, and that is what will always produce bureaucracy. We have one or two examples of it left now.
Mr. Judd. The Federal Government was not supposed to do anything except pay the bill.
Mrs. MEYER. You see, in this measure, we are simply following the structure that now exists, and clarifying it and strengthening it. We are not creating anything new, we are simply making more evident what we have.
Mr. Judd. Of course, the difficulty is that we have this situation: Whenever the Federal Government pays the bill, under the law it can't do certain things and compel certain attitudes or policies or procedures in the State, during the year for which the appropriation has already been granted, nevertheless, it controls the thinking in the State by
intimidation. If you do not do what somebody at the top believes, how will you know the appropriation will be coming along next year?
Mrs. MEYER. We are going to have Federal aid whether you like it or not, because we need it to go ahead. Therefore, what we must do is to clarify the Federal-State relationships so that authoritarianisms cannot come about.
Mr. JUDD. I notice your sentence where you said the Federal Security must take steps to clarify the Federal-State relationships. It is always the man at the top. This is the United States of America and the State should be the one to decide how much should be granted.
Mrs. MEYER. In the legislation for the Welfare Department, the States were consulted, the best State governments were consulted, and wrote that part of it.
Mr. JUDD. The other comment I want to make is this: There are other provisions in Reorganization Plan No. 2 besides the one which you are dealing with.
Mrs. MEYER. Which ones are you thinking of!
Mr. Judd. Putting unemployment compensation in this Agency. I want you to understand, if this plan is turned down, as I hope it will be, that it does not mean opposition on the part of the Congress to this particular part. Under the law, as it is written, if we dislike any part of the plan, we cannot knock it out. We can turn it down and send it back to the President and allow him to bring in a revised plan, striking out if he wishes those things we object to. I think you, being an influential woman, ought to make clear that if this Reorganization Plan No. 2 is turned down to your associates that it does not necessarily mean that the Congress is turning down this plan to get health education.
Mrs. MEYER. I think it would be absolutely inexcusable to turn down a plan of such important administrative reform because one little thing like the unemployment does not suit you.
Mr. Judd. You do not think that is very important.
Mrs. MEYER. To begin with, I actually think that these Federal commissions which float in the air with no responsibility to anybody are not sound administratively. To whom are they responsible? Nobody but the Chief Executive. We all know that the Chief Executive has some responsibilities, he cannot possibly keep an eye on these various things.
Mr. JUD. They are responsible more directly to the Congress. They are quasi-judicial. We want to keep them that way so they are not under executive or the head of the department.
Mrs. MEYER. They have to be responsible to someone. If they are not responsible to a Cabinet official, they are responsible to the Chief Executive.
Mr. JUDD. They are independent agencies.
Mr. JUDD. Yes; it is in certain things, where you want to avoid their control by the head of a department who is a political employee.
Mrs. MEYER. This is the report to the President's committee. It says that every independent commission is the responsibility of the Chief Executive. I do not think it is.
Mr. JUDD. The Chief Executive cannot overrule the decision of the Unemployment Compensation Commission.
Mrs. MEYER. If there is any debate about their decision, it is always thrown upon the President, I am told, by these Government experts, and I have to go by what they say.
Mr. Chairman, am I right about that, that these floating commissions, of which we still have several, are always responsible to the President?
The CHAIRMAN. They have independent status. The President cannot veto their decisions.
Mrs. MEYER. No; he cannot veto them.
Mr. Judd. He can appoint Fred Vinson as a new member or that sort of thing if they get into trouble.
Mrs. MEYER. Personally, I do not think it is important whether your unemployment compensation commission stays in or out.
Mr. Judd. I think it is very important. I can see if we turned down you would assume we are against this part of the plan.
Mrs. MEYER. I would certainly think it catastrophic if that important plan were turned down on account of that thing. The sooner we do it, the better for the country.
Mr. JUDD. Under the law as written, we cannot take that which is good without taking some other things which we think are bad.
Mrs. MEYER. Do you have to take the whole thing or nothing?
Mr. JUDD. That is the point. We have to take it all or nothing. Therefore, if we do not like it all, we send it back.
Mrs. MEYER. Do you really think that that one point is so important that you would keep education, health, and welfare from the children of the country? Would you like to see people suffer unnecessarily for an abstract theory of that sort ?. I think it is unimportant, and unpardonable, because we are dealing with human beings and human welfare. That is the thing we must not take our eyes off.
Mr. JUDD. That is the typical attitude that I am objecting to most of all under our recent administration. It is a delay of 60 days.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course, Mrs. Meyer, no new function can be created under a reorganization plan. These agencies that are being transferred to Federal Security Agency or any other agency can now perform all the functions Mrs. MEYER. I do not think it would affect the
of that commission in the least. In fact, it might enhance their efficiency. · The CHAIRMAN. The rejection would not mean the children would be denied medical care or schooling. I do not think you meant quite what you said.
Mrs. MEYER. That agency would not be changed, Mr. Chairman, by being a part of this
organization. The CHAIRMAN. We can still send out the baby books from the Children's Bureau.
Mrs. MEYER. I think cooperation on these things would strengthen everyone's powers and not curtail their powers. It would enhance them,
Mr. Rich. Have you ever traveled abroad?
Mr. Rich. Have you ever seen any country in all your travels that you thought the education system was better than it is in America ?