« 이전계속 »
Mr. Hawk. No, sir.
Mr. Rich. Do you belong to any organization that Harry Bridges is interested in!
Mr. HAWK. No, sir. Mr. Rich. Have you now or at any time affiliated with any communistic organization?
Mr. HAWK. Definitely not.
Merchant seamen are not given to pointing to their deeds during the war, but I wonder how many of you gentlemen recall an item that was on page 1 of most newspapers during 1942. It was the Associated Press “box score of United States ship sinkings," and was run about once a week. Censorship on sinkings was at its height then, and few details of sinkings were given until several months after they occurred.
But there was mounting horror at the way these cold figures mounted each week. Ten ships in a week was a low score for the German subs. The wolf packs played havoc down the Atlantic coast. They picked off the tankers in the Gulf like sitting ducks; the few eyewitness stories that were allowed printed told of the fountains of flame as tankers exploded, or men swimming through a sea of fire.
Then, as our convoys began to move, the scene of operations shifted to the North Atlantic. Every survivor was an exposure case. The North Atlantic is a bitter cold sea, gentlemen.
But, through it all, the merchant seamen went on shipping. I know well dozen men who are four times losers—who have had four or more ships shot out from under them. They always went back. But 6,000 merchant seamen won't go back to sea. They are at the bottom of it. Thousands more were maimed. And
SO, I should like to ask you gentlemen a question. I should like to ask you whether you think the men who sailed the ships through the war zones should be perpetually shackled to the Coast Guard which they hate—as a reward for their services to their country.
I don't think these men are asking for very much when they merely request that they be allowed to continue their chosen pursuit under peacetime controls. I think we all want to get back to peacetime.
No; I don't think it is very much to ask.
But they won't realize that simple desire, gentlemen, unless you make it possible for them and defeat part 1 of the reorganization plan. It is up to you.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Any further questions by Mr. Mansfield ?
Mr. Rich. All I want to say publicly for the record is that this is an awful indictment by the leaders of the merchant-marine organization of our Coast Guard.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. I would like to say, too, without discounting the work of the merchant marine, that I have always been under the impression that we had no more gallant men than the Coast Guard who went to the rescue of the merchant marine. Your indictment here is entirely different and contrary to the statements that have been made by those who appeared before us.
Mr. HawK. I am sure that the seamen feel—whether they have brought out and represented their seamen and carried out their wishes
by telling the truth to this committee, I do not know, but I have talked to seamen and officials of other organizations, and I cannot understand why they have not brought out the facts, the facts that have been brought out here, as to how the merchant seamen hate the continued control by the Coast Guard. Mr. WHITTINGTON. I think you have succeeded very well in emphasizing “hate.” Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. Chairman, the complaints I have received are not from labor organizations, but from large commercial interests, big operators. They think it is more practical for the Marine Inspection ë. §avigation to be under the Department than under the Coast 3uard. Mr. WHITTINGTON. That is a fine way to express it, too. Mr. RICH, Our idea is to be fair to all organizations. I think it is no more than fair that you should refer this statement by the gentleman to the officials of the Coast Guard and let them have an opportunity to have statements made in the record so we can be fair to all people. Mr. WHITTINGTON. Will you give a copy to the Coast Guard? Mr. HAWK. I certainly will. The Commandant of the Coast Guard knows very well how the merchant seamen feel with regard to continued control. Mr. WHITTINGTON. I just asked you about a copy of the statement. Mr. HAwk. Thank you. Mr. CHURCH. Where you refer to “Coast Guard which you hate,” you mean you dislike the procedures and therefore it is not a matter of fundamental hate, is it? Your idea is that Coast Guard knows you want to get back to this other. Your idea also is that the shippers themselves, employers themselves, want to get back under Commerce. It is not a matter of the term “hate,” is it? You do not preach hate, do you? Mr. HAwR. No, sir. Mr. CHURCH. But you have a right to come here and point out dislike for procedure. Mr. HAwk. Maybe “dislike” would be the better word. But the seamen very much dislike this continued control. Mr. CHURCH. We do not like the term “hate” as preached by some people in this country. Mr. HAwk. I have no objection to changing the word to “dislike very much.” Mr. WHITTINGTON. The next witness who desires to submit a statement for the record, as I understand it, is Mr. E. C. Hallbeck, legal representative of the National Federation of Post Office Clerks.
STATEMENT OF E. C. HALLBECK, LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATIVE, NATIONAL FEDERATION OF POST OFFICE CLERKS
Mr. HALLBECK. Mr. Chairman, I have a brief statement which I would like to present for the record. I am appearing in opposition to section 3, Reorganization Plan No. 2.
Yesterday I heard Mrs. Meyer make a statement in support of Reorganization Plan No. 2, to which the National Federation of Post Office Clerks and to my knowledge, all employees organizations are very much opposed.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. You mean to Mrs. Meyer's statement or to the lan. p Mr. HALLBECK. The statement and the plan. She made the statement that despite any wrongs that might be inherent or might be contained in the plan, it was far more important that the plan be adopted immediately than that those wrongs be corrected. I believe Dr. Judd offered some disagreement and I find upon discussing the matter that most of the organization at least agree with Dr. Judd. We believe it is far better to correct Reorganization Plan No. 2 even if it delays for a period of 60 days the application of that plan. Mr. WHITTINGTON. In other words, as I understand it, you are opposed to the section that has to do with the compensation commisSIOIn Mr. HALLBECK. Yes. We have found that to be a very well managed, well organized, group that is operated at a minimum of expense, and with equal justice to the employees and to the Government of which it is a part. Mr. WHITTINGTON. Without meaning to detain you, we are glad to have your statement. Let you keep in mind, as you leave us, that there are many claims that are investigated by agencies that are not denominated as nonpartisan. When the employees’ organization was organized, we had about a billion dollar Government for the first time. Take, for instance, a few of them. The Veterans' Administration has a single head. That examines the claims of probably fifteen to twenty-five million people. They do it with a single administrator, and they do it by appeals boards that have been provided. There is no agency in the Government that handles more claims than the Administrator of the Veterans' Affairs in the United States. Secondly, this method is pursued by the Social Security Board that is being transferred here, and they adjudicate by agencies and committees that they appoint. This method has been pursued in the Board of Immigration Appeals, the method of setting up an agency. I know how you feel and know how others feel, but I doubt personally from my experience in 20 years that any member of the Board of Compensation knows whether the claimant is a Democrat or Republican. I have never heard that matter injected in it. But, anway the Board of Immigration Appeals and these agencies that everybody set up under the Department of Justice provide for this same type of appeal. Then in the case of patents, there is a similar provision. When we came to adjudicate the claims, it amounted to billions and billions of dollars in the more recent legislation; instead of putting up what you might call a nonpartisan board, they provided for these boards of apeals in the contract settlement cases, and in the Department of Interior there have been these cases set up for many, many years where boards of appeals have been set up with final decision by the Secretary. Then in the War Contract Price Adjustment Board, whatever you say about it, instead of these agencies being called nonpartisan as they were when they had just a few adjudications years and years ago—personally, I do not thing the matter of partisan ought to ever enter into it. I want you to keep in mind whatever disposition either the Congress or this committee makes of the matter of transferring one of these boards called bipartisan, that that policy has long ago been abandoned in the Veterans' Administration and in agencies to which I have referred.
Mr. CHURCH. Mr. Chairman, you are referring to activities that have to do with the old-line Federal activities, Veterans' Administration, posttal employees and such. It is different when you come to mattere that affect housing, the work of the individual activity in the States, it's entirely different.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. I understand that.
Mr. HALLBECK. I would saw that the main difference in that is that one is more or less of a welfare activity. Many of those which you enumerated, particularly social security, are of a welfare nature. I do not believe it can be considered that compensation is a welfare agency.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. I understand that.
Mr. HALLBECK. Section 3 reads as follows:
UNITED STATES EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION
The functions of the United States Employees' Compensation commission are transferred to the Federal Security Agency and shall be performed in such manner and under Such rules and regulations as the Federal Security Administrator shall prescribe. Such regulations shall provide for a board of three persons to be designated or appointed by the Federal Security Administrator with authority to hear and, subject to applicable law, make final decision on appeals taken from determinations and awards with respect to claims of employees of the Federal Government or of the District of Columbia. The United States Employees’ Compensation Commission is abolished. The enactment of the Employees’ Compensation Act in 1916 was the result of years of effort by employees of the Federal Government to obtain for themselves and for their families and dependents protection against the misfortunes which follow injury or death from accidents at work or from disease contracted from their employment. Of major concern to all employees is the guaranty of fair and impartial administration of the law. This concern was evident at the time the law was being considered by the Congress. At that time employees’ representatives, the American Association for Labor Legislation, which was active in support of the legislation, the Commissioner of Labor Statistics of the Federal Department of Labor, who administered the old inadequate benefits of the 1908 law, and others stressed the importance of administration by an independent commission. The Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives in its report of May 11, 1916, recommending the enactment of the compensation law stated: t It seemed to the committee that the administration of this act could best be performed by an independent commission. It is a matter concerning the relations between the Government as a whole and its employees as a whole and should. not be placed under the supervision of any one department. It is significant to note that the report of the committee of Congress represented the considered judgment of its members after hearing and weighing the views and recommendations of those whose interests are directly and vitally affected by the administration, of the compensation law and of impartial experts on the subject of workmen's compensation. It is of greater significance to note that in the development of the plan to abolish the bipartisan independent commission form of administration the Bureau of the Budget did not hear or apparently consider the views of representatives of the postal service or of any other organizations of employees or of any interests affected by the law. Mr. Harold D. Smith, Director of the Bureau of the Budget,
testifying before this committee, stated the Bureau was not concerned with the views or opinions of parties outside the Government and that it made no attempt to ascertain how the interests of such parties would be affected.
That the Bureau was not concerned with the administration of the compensation law is clearly confirmed by the letter transmitting plan No. 2 to the Congress which reputedly was drafted by the Bureau for the signature of the President. The letter states that the action abolishing the Compensation Commission and transferring its functions to the Federal Security Agency where such functions will be diffused and integrated with a national welfare and health program is intended "to strengthen its (the Security Agency) internal organization and management.”
There is a very obvious danger to the interest of postal workers and all Federal employees inherent in the abolition of a bipartisan independent commission to consider and decide their rights under the compensation law and the transfer of this function to a single administrator, subject to all the vagaries of partisan coi
Under the proposed new method of administration, the compensation law will be merged with the administration of a general welfare program. This is a new concept of workmen's compensation. It is a radical departure from the universally accepted view that workmen's compensation benefits is a substantial fundamental "right" and not a gratuitous grant or insurance plan for relief or welfare. It is the substituted right of an employee against his employer for the older common law action. While I am not a lawyer, I believe that this represents the judicial view concerning all workmen's compensation legislation.
Concerning the Federal employees' compensation law, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Posey v. T. V. A., stated :
This compensation is the sole remedy ordinarily available to an injured employee of the United States because of the general refusal to permit suits for torts. It is not a gratuity or grace but a measured justice operating on the same general basis as State workmen's compensation laws.
This fundamental right of Federal employees under the plan designed by the Bureau of the Budget is merged with a national welfare program. Decisions affecting such rights are to be made by the administrator of the welfare agency whose appointment is on a partisan political basis. Appeal from his decisions will be to a board of three members appointed by him and consequently subject to his control. The results where partisan administration of State workmen's compensation law has been tried are all well known. It is for this reason that three-fourths of all State laws have an independent commission form of administration and alone is a compelling reason for employees to protect such form of administration. Defeat of Reorganization Plan No. 2 for this reason alone would be justified.
Not least mysterious in the plan of the Bureau of the Budget to abolish the Employees' Compensation Commission is the fact that such action is proposed in the face of overwhelming evidence that the Commission has operated efficiently and economically.