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of its publication, must pay the bills, supervise the amounts to be charged, and carry it along through all the processes until it is a bound volume. When it is finally printed and bound it will be turned over to the Government Printing Office for distribution.
Secretary FISHER. It would never come to our office at all.
Mr. UCKER. Suppose the Freedmen's Hospital want to get out a particular blank for the purpose of enabling them to keep track of pay patients, as they are required to do. Before printing that blank it would be read in the office of the chief of this division.
Secretary FISHER. Yes; he would read the proof.
MAILING OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS.
Mr. Johnson. If you receive a letter requesting any particular document, what is done with it?
Mr. UCKER. Your question must assume whether it is an inquiry relating to one of the documents in the superintendent's hands.
Mr. Johnson. Well, if some one writes to you asking you to send a document, with nothing else in the letter-
Mr. UCKER (interposing). If you will state what particular character of document he is asking for—
Mr. JOHNSON (interposing). Any document—say, Document No. 248.
Mr. UCKER. If it belongs to the superintendent of documents, we send it to him, and if it belongs to us we answer it.
Secretary FISHER. You are not talking about past work. We still have some old documents
Mr. GILLETT (interposing). Would you simply send the letter to the Government Printing Office?
Mr. UCKER. Yes, sir.
Mr. Johnson. Some of the other departments have not put that construction on the provision. Some of them have turned over their documents together with their mailing equipment to the Government Printing Office.
Secretary FISHER. Do you mean old documents also?
Secretary FISHER. Then, why would there be any of it left with us? Why should not inquiries of that kind be referred up there at once?
Mr. UCKER. I am not sufficiently familiar with the matter, Mr. Secretary, to answer whether there are any particular documents left or not, but I am assuming that there are particular classes of printed matter still remaining in that division. This law did not go into effect until the 1st of October.
Mr. BURLESON. Then there might be documents not intended for general distribution and never contemplated to be distributed throughout the United States. Now, of course, if requests for documents of that kind were received, they would be compelled to answer them without referring them to the Public Printer.
Mr. UCKER. If a classification of them is desired, Mr. Johnson, I can get it for you, but I can not tell you off hand about that.
Secretary FISHER. If it just happens that a man comes into my office and asks me for a copy of my last annual report, they can be
obtained right there from Mr. Schmeckebier. I do not know whether he has any number on hand to send out. Mr. GILLETT. The question, I think, is this: If you get a letter from somebody requesting a document, what do you do with it? Mr. UCKER. We send it to the Public Printer. Mr. JoHNSON. And you do not file it in your office or make any record of it? Mr. UCKER. No, sir. Mr. JoHNSON. This act is very clear, it seems to me, and I do not See any necessity for any misunderstanding about it. The act provides: That no money appropriated by this or any other act shall be used after the 1st day of October, 1912, for services in any executive department or other Government establishment at Washington, D. C., in the work of addressing, wrapping, mailing, or otherwise dispatching any publication for public distribution, except maps, weather reports, and weather cards issued by an executive
department or other Government establishment at Washington, D. C., or for the purchase Of material or Supplies to be used in such work.
Secretary FISHER. How would you construe that in this connection, for instance: If you come into my office and ask me for a copy of my last annual report and I have a bunch of a dozen or so of them on my desk, and I send you one or have my stenographer to send you one, would that be a violation?
Mr. GILLETT. Giving it a literal construction, I think you would have to send them to the Public Printer.
Secretary FISHER. Then, I am afraid that we have violated the law constantly since the 1st of October, if it happened to be something of that kind that was requested. If it happened to be somethin peculiarly personal that was requested, we would probably atten to it at once.
Mr. JoHNSON. I thought that when that clerk was mentioned it was a good place to make this inquiry.
Secretary FISHER. I think you will find that Mr. Schmeckebier, who was the particular clerk in charge of publications, has his hands quite full with documents left there and with reading over proof and things of that sort. He will have quite a sufficient amount of work to keep him busy.
Now, with regard to the next item of confidential clerk, one for the Secretary and one for the First Assistant Secretary, at $2,000 each, this request was made last year so far as my office was concerned. The situation is this: We are very much crippled for stenographic assistance; we have to have a man detailed, I think, from the General Land Office now in order to keep up with the work. Is he still there, Mr. Dennett?
Mr. DENNETT. Yes, sir.
Secretary FISHER. The increase of stenographic work there, as it has been in almost every other branch of business, has been enormous.
Mr. JoHNSON. Have all of the assistant secretaries in the department been provided with confidential clerks?
Secretary FISHER. I think not. None of them have them now. They have to have stenographers detailed to them.
Mr. GILLETT. Is the reason you want to have these confidential clerks that you want to have them made exempt from the civilservice rules? Secretary FISHER. No, sir; I do not care anything about that, Personally I think that a confidential clerk ought to be exempt from the civil service, because any man who occupies the responsible position of Assistant Secretary ought to have a man whom he can select outside of the civil service if they do not have a man available for that work. As a matter of fact, he nearly always finds some one already in the service who is qualified for the position, but if he can not find a suitable person in the classified service then he ought to have the privilege of appointing some one else. Mr. GILLETT. Then the reason you want confidential clerks is not to have them exempted from civil service, but to increase the salaries of the men that you now have? Secretary FISHER. Not so much that as to create the position. Mr. GILLETT. You practically create the position now by detail, do you not? Secretary FISHER. We do; but we do it, as I say, because the work is behind. For instance, the chief clerk's office is a week behind with the stenographic work there. The demand for a stenographic force is greater than the supply, and we are crippled very badly in our general stenographic force. We are constantly taking men from places where they will be least missed and taking them from bureaus on detail from time to time, but we are still crippled in that respect. Now, it so happens that this position of o clerk to the Secretary is provided in the Departments of State, War, Navy, Commerce and Labor, Agriculture, and Justice at salaries ranging from $1,600 in the Department of Justice to $2,250 in the Departments of the Navy and Agriculture. Now, in my judgment, there is no greater necessity in these departments for confidential clerks than I have in my department, and I think, as a matter of fact, that we have more necessity, because the mass of correspondence there is simply enormous. When you come to consider the variety and extent of the duties of the Secretary of the Interior and how much of it is of a semipersonal character you will appreciate the reasonableness of this request. Now, you would not want to have matters of that nature handled by an ordinary stenographer who might be with you this month and assigned somewhere else the next, but you would want to have some man who could get in touch with your point of view and handle these matters along general lines. I do not think so much that the position of an employee who occupies this confidential relationship to his chief should be exempt from civil service, except from the fact that occasionally it would be desirable to appoint some one from the outside. My private secretary at present, who was my confidential clerk, was with me in the Department of Commerce and Labor, and then he worked for the Railroad Securities Commission before I became Secretary of the Interior. Then when I went in as Secretary of the Interior I wanted a man, and as I had become acquainted with him I took him, over in this capacity at that time. He served in that capacity of confidential clerk until the position of private secretary became vacant and he was appointed to that position. I got another man from the Department of Commerce and E. because of his personal acquaintance with my private secretary. If he had not known a man there in whom he had confidence to handle my official personal matters, I might have wanted to go outside and make the appointment. Of course, the familiarity of a man with the service makes him much more valuable #. you know somebody in the service and have perfect confience in him. We need that position both there and in the office of the Assistant Secretary. There are notes there (f and g) which, I think, set forth the necessity for these positions.
Mr. JoHNSON. I want to ask you about a position at the bottom of page 199. You are asking that certain people there shall be promoted to the position of copyist without standing a civil-service examination.
Secretary FISHER. Without a civil-service examination? The purpose of that, as I understand it, is to take certain men that are already in the service and whose qualifications the chief clerk knows personally, he having charge of the detail work, handling the labor force, etc. He thinks these men can fill this position and that they ought to be promoted. They have not got a civil-service status, but they have experience, and he wants to make an exception in their favor. If you will permit, he will take up these matters of detail peculiarly within his knowledge and explain them to you.
Assist ANT ATToRNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE.
There is one item that I am very anxious to call your attention to in the office of the Assistant Attorney General. You will find it on page 206 of the bill. The Assistant Attorney—that is, the man who is immediately under the Assistant Attorney General for the department—now receives $3,000. He has been in the department for about 30 years. He came up through the Land law office, and he bas been there dealing with all kinds of law questions. He is a man on whom we rely when a question comes up involving law. When such questions come up, he knows where the decision is, and, particularly, what the statute is that relates to the matter. He can find the law relating to matters coming up in that office in one-half or onequarter the time that would be required by anybody else to find it. He is a particularly efficient man. He is the best-equipped man under the Assistant Attorney General for the handling of the class of legal questions coming there, and he ought to be paid a higher Salary. Mr. JoHNSON. What does the Assistant Attorney General receive? Secretary FISHER. $5,000, and the next man drops down in the scale to $3,000. That is a pretty big drop for a place of that kind. Mr. JoHNSON. How long has this man been there? Secretary FISHER. He has been in the service for 30 years. He has not been in that position for 30 years, but he has been in the service that long. He has been in the office of the Assistant Attorney General about 21 years. If you could see and talk with him, I think you would be convinced that he is entitied to this increase. He is like some other men who go into the Government service and are content because they are given responsible work to do. Now, there is a certain return in that—they are given a chance to demon
strate their individuality and capacity. That keeps them in the service. They handle important questions and they like it. On the other hand, they hesitate to go out of the service, not knowing just exactly what will happen to them in the general practice, and they prefer a certainty to an uncertainty. A man like that ought to have a reasonable increase, and we think that certainly should be allowed,
Mr. Johnson. While you have that particular paragraph before you, I want to ask you a question relating to a provision on page 199. On page 199 it is proposed to transfer three people who are now in the office of the Assistant Attorney General to the Secretary's office. In find that the total amount asked for the office of the Assistant Attorney General, with these three men eliminated, is $7,700 in excess of the current appropriation.
Secretary FISHER. Yes, sir.
Mr. Johnson. That is, for 34 men instead of 31. In other words, there is an increase in the total amount, notwithstanding the fact that you take out these three men.
Secretary FISHER. Yes, sir; that is right. As you will see, on page 199, the Board of Pension Appeals is to consist of seven members, and while we do transfer three from the Assistant Attorney General's office, that leaves four to be added. As you see, we want to detail seven instead of three. That is the situation, if I understand it correctly.
Mr. GILLETT. I do not understand that.
Secretary FISHER. We want a board of pension appeals created to consist of seven members, and three of these members are transferred from the Assistant Attorney General's office.
Mr. GILLETT. Well, if they are put on this board, they are eliminated from the Assistant Attorney General's office.
Secretary FISHER. You create a reduction of three before you begin to add anything on.
Mr. GILLETT. Well, that would reduce the pay roll of the Attorney General's office just so much.
Secretary FISHER. Yes, sir. The increase consists of this: There is one salary at $3,750 instead of $3,000; then we have three at $2,750 each instead of two, as now. Now, we have explained that in a note below, that in order to pay the three men who are doing the same work on the same basis they should be paid $2,750 instead of $2,500. We have there three men at $2,750 instead of one at $2,500. That is a promotion up from that amount. The next is an increase from four to five assistant attorneys at $2,500 each-that is, we want another man at $2,500. Next, we want to have nine instead of seven at $2,250. That is explained in the note fully, particularly with regard to the increase of work in mining matters.
Mr. GILLETT. That is an increase of four.
Secretary FISHER. Well, then, we now ask for 9 instead of 11, at $2,000 each, which is a decrease of 2. Two of these are transferred to the Board of Pension Appeals in the Secretary's office. The medical expert at $2,000 makes three of these transferred to the pension board.
Mr. GILLETT. That reduces it to one.
Secretary FISHER. That is a total of one down to date. Now, the confidential clerk to the Assistant Attorney General makes an increase of two. Now, the next is no increase, except that we provided