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in the salary of the disbursing clerk, making the salary $2,500 instead of $2,250.
The salary of the disbursing clerk, Post Office Department, is now $2,250 per annum. From 1877 until 1904 the salary was $2,100, the increase of $150 being the only one which the office has received in 35 years, while the growth of the business of the office has been con stant and is still increasing. From this salary a bond of $40,000 must be paid for annually, which diminishes the salary very considerably.
The present disbursing clerk with the small force of four clerks is disbursing annually more than $2,000,000, and has under his supervision 13 different appropriations, consisting of “Salaries,” “Postroute maps,
“Official Postal Guides,” “ Rent of buildings,” “Stationery, fuel
, repairs, etc.,” “ Lights," - Telegraphing,” “ Painting," “Horses and vehicles," "Furniture and filing cabinets," "Miscellaneous items," ": Establishing postal savings depositories. The lastnamed appropriation, consisting alone of more than $600,000, has now been disbursed by the office for three years and has consequently greatly increased the duties and responsibilities of the disbursing clerk, for which no extra compensation has ever been granted. Furthermore, the disbursing clerk receives and receipts for all moneys in connection with the sales of post-route maps and old material, from each of which the department derives a considerable revenue annually, the business in connection with the sales of maps having been largely increased during the last two years by reason of the publication of the rural delivery maps.
By comparing the amount of business transacted in this office with that of other offices it will be found that this office receives much less than other disbursing offices which transact an equal amount of business and in some cases not as much as offices which do a less amount of business.
While some of the offices may disburse a larger amount of money than the Post Office Department inquiry has shown that such offices employ many more clerks.
The following list of the salaries paid to the several disbursing clerks in other departments is submitted herewith for comparison : Treasury Department disbursing clerk, $3,000, deputy, $2,750.
$5, 750 Department of Agriculture_-
4, 000 Interior Department
3, 250 Department of Commerce and Labor.
3,000 Department of Justice
2, 750 War Department
2, 750 City post office__
2, 600 Coast and Geodetic Survey.
2,500 Bureau of Engraving and Printing
2, 400 State Department-
2, 450 Navy Department
2, 250 Post Office Department
ASSISTANT TO THE CHIEF CLERK.
The next item is for a contemplated increase of $500 in the salary of the clerk who is assistant to the chief clerk of the Post Office Department. The Postmaster General believes that the high character of business ability required of the assistant chief clerk, who is required to act as chief clerk in the absence of that officer, makes desirable an increase in the salary from $2,000 to $2,500.
INCREASES IN CLERICAL FORCE.
There are numerous increases submitted in the office of the Postmaster General, as well as in all the bureaus and other offices of the department, for a slight increase in the number of clerks. The Postmaster General submitted estimates for this increase in the number of clerks with the idea of being able to take care of the increased business in connection with the parcel-post system. He believes there will be such an increase in the work of the department incident to the establishment of the parcel-post system as to warrant an increase in the number of the clerks throughout the department. Mr. Joh NSON. I notice the total increase is about 12. Mr. THOMSON. Twelve in the office of the Postmaster General, and in each of the bureaus there is a slight increase. Mr. Joh NSON. And that reason applies to all of them? Mr. THOMSON. I am endeavoring to apply that reason to all the bureaus and offices of the department. The Postmaster General would not consider an increase in any bureau except for the reason of taking care of the additional work incident to the parcel-post system. Mr. Joh Nso N. Will the work of administration of the parcel post increase the work of all the bureaus where the force has been increased ? Mr. THOMSON. Yes; it is thought there will be an increase in almost every office in the department. Mr. Joh Nso N. That is what I was curious to know, whether every bureau and division in the Post Office Department will have something to do with the operation of that law. Mr. THOMSON. I would not make the positive statement that it applies to every office in the department, because there are perhaps some of the smailer divisions which really will not have any direct relation with the parcel-post business; but in the main it is a true statement, that all of the bureaus at least are affected by the parcelpost law. ASSISTANT POSTMASTERS GENERAL.
The Postmaster General has also submitted an increase of $1,000 for each of the four Assistant Postmasters General. They now receive $5,000, and Mr. Hitchcock believes that the salary attached to each of those offices is inadequate, all things being considered. As is well known, a man holding the position of Assistant Postmaster General is required to possess a high order of administrative and executive ability. He is called upon to handle the largest kind of problems, and in comparison with salaries paid in the outside world for work of a similar character the salaries are very small. The Postmaster General believes it will be eminently fitting and proper to increase the salaries of Assistant Postmasters General $1,000 each, making the salary $6,000 instead of $5,000, and he said to me that he would like to have the matter urged to the fullest possible extent. He also wished to call attention to the fact that he is not urging this increase for the present incumbents of the offices, but rather for the office itself. He believes the office should be paid $6,000.
Mr. Jon NSON. That is a very unselfish view to take of it, but it would perhaps be somewhat embarrassing for us just at this time.
Mr. THOMSON. That may be; but at any rate he wanted his views submitted, because he believes they are proper.
Mr. JoHNSON. I say it is unselfish in him, but perhaps it would be embarrassing to us.
CHIEF CLERKS OF BUREAU.S.
Mr. THOMSON. Then for practically the same reasons the Post1master General believes the salaries of the chief clerks of the several bureaus should be increased from $2,500 to $3,000. The designation “chief clerk’ in each of these four bureaus is more or less a misnomer. He is not a chief clerk, but rather an assistant to the Assistant Postmaster General. Of course, that would be a cumbersome title, and we could not refer to them in that way. If the Assistant Postmasters General were called directors, the chief clerk, as at present designated, could be called assistant director. That is what he is. He is an assistant to the Assistant Postmaster General, and in the absence of the Assistant Postmaster General he is obliged to assume all the responsibilities of the office and take care of all these great problems that confront the office. The Postmaster General also believes that the salary of the chief clerk of the four bureaus should be increased from $2,500 to $3,000 each. Mr. JoHNSON. How long since their salaries were increased ? Mr. THOMSON. I can not answer that question offhand. Mr. Stewart, are you able to answer that? Mr. STEwART. It has been at least 12 or 15 years. Mr. THOMSON. There are numerous increases in salary for each of the bureaus asked for, for superintendents of divisions and other officers, and I would prefer to leave the answering of questions or making of statements in connection with those to the different Assistant Postmasters General who are here, either in person or by representative.
Now, if you will permit me, I will go to the item of contingent expenses, Post Office Department, on page 258, and following. I have prepared a brief statement, which contains the explanations of the reasons for submitting increases in each of these appropriations.
Mr. Johnson. I would like to hear that, because I notice there is an increase in almost every item. First is the provision for stationery and blank books, index and guide cards, folders, and bindin devices. The appropriation for the current year is $20,000, an the estimate for the next year is $40,500, an increase of more than 100 per cent. What is the reason for that increase, Mr. Thomson 2
Mr. THoMson. In the fiscal year ending June 30, 1911, the appropriation under this item was $25,000, which was reduced to $20,000 for the fiscal year 1912, while a balance of $2,000 will be found for the fiscal year 1912. The appropriation should be increased to $40,500 for the reason that besides the natural growth of the service the installation of card-index filing systems throughout the departments, the cards for which are purchased from this appropriation, is steadily increasing. The increase in use of envelopes and stationery supplies taken in connection with the other items I am mentioning will more than overcome the additional $20,500 asked for in this appro#." Had the funds been available for the purchase of the ling cabinets needed there would have been no balance in the last year's appropriation. The demands on the Postal Savings System are increasing in proportion to the growth of that service, and it at present has its supplies under this item purchased under its own appropriation, using a large amount of supplies of all kinds, and it is not thought desirable that supplies of this character should be purchased from more than one appropriation, and an amount equal to that which is estimated would be required for their appropriation is diverted from their estimates to the estimates for the contingent expenses of the Post Office Department. In other words, we have included in our estimates for stationery in the Post Office Department the amount considered necessary to take care of the stationery requisitions from the Postal Savings System, which are now taken care of in this lump-sum appropriation which you have just mentioned. Mr. Johnson. Have you the figures as to how much has been expended out of the lump-sum appropriation for that purpose? Mr. THOMsoN. No: I have not that with me; but I can very readily get it together and send it up to you. (See p. 225.)
Mr. JoHNSON. The next is an appropriation for fuel and repairs to heating, lighting, and power plant, including repairs to elevators, etc. The appropriation for this year is $35,000, and I notice you want $7,000 additional. What is the reason for that? Mr. THOMsoN. The appropriation for this item for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1911, was $40,000. There was an unexpended balance of $48.99. This amount was cut in the fiscal year 1912 to $35,000, when there was an available balance of $48.22. It was found early in March that the appropriation would not be sufficient to operate the power plant, and during the last quarter of the fiscal year practically one-third of the lighting service was discontinued and the clerical force subjected to considerable inconvenience in the effort to prevent a deficiency.
Owing to the increased cost of fuel, which alone will amount to $2,340, over last year's expenditure for this item, there were no purchases made of electrical supplies, wires, etc. The appropriation of $35,000 for the fiscal year 1913 will not be sufficient to operate the
lant. p In addition it is also true that during the last quarter of the last fiscal year I was obliged to cut out all electric fans in the Post Office Department Building because of a lack of fuel and a lack of money with which to buy fuel.
GAS AND ELECTRIC LIGHT.
Mr. JoHNSON. The next item is so very small I do not care to take up much time with it, but I am curious to know what it means.
e provide for lighting in the paragraph we have just been discussing, and yet here is a small appropriation for gas and electric light; where is that used?
Mr. THOMSON. That is used in our rented building. We have an annex at the corner of First and K Streets, and this is to take care of that building.
Mr. JoHNSON. There is a considerable increase in the amount of the appropriation asked for for telegraphing. Mr. THOMSON. The explanation for that, Mr. Chairman, is that we want to meet the demands of the service in connection with the parcel post and also to take care of the Postal Savings System, now paid out of a lump-sum appropriation. Mr. Johnson. All telegraphing done for the Post Office Department is done at the rate fixed by the Postmaster General? Mr. THOMSON. Yes, sir; in response to the requirements of the law.
PURCHASE, HIRE, ETC., OF HORSES AND VEHICLES.
Mr. JoHNsoN. The next item is for purchase, exchange, hire, and keeping of horses and vehicles, etc., $5,000. The appropriation for this year is $2,500.
Mr. THOMsoN. We have asked an increase of $2,500 for the purpose of installing a motor truck in place of the two-horse wagon now in use.
Mr. JoHNSON. What is the cost of a motor truck?
Mr. THOMSON. Between $2,000 and $2,500.
Mr. Johnson. You think it will be economy in the end to dispense with the use of the wagon?
Mr. THOMsoN. I surely do, for many reasons. One reason is the cost of maintenance of these horses and the wagons, and inasmuch as we are able to use the wagon only for freight purposes, and it is entirely inadequate, we are obliged to send messengers to and from the department, using a lot of street-car tickets, simply because we have not any means of transporting messengers between the main building and our annex.
TJSE OF AUTOMOBILES.
Mr. Johnson. I suppose it does not come under your supervision, but I am anxious to know what the experience at the Post Office Department has been in your experiments with automobiles for gathering mail. Mr. THoMson. Mr. Bushnell, who is here, will be very glad to tell you about that. He is here representing the First Assistant's office, and that service comes under the First Assistant’s office, so far as the collection and delivery of mail in cities is concerned. Mr. Johnson. I suppose you have been experimenting with that with a view to introducing it on a larger scale if found necessary? Mr. THOMSON. Yes, sir. Mr. Stewart also has a lot of automobile service to take the place of what was known as screen-wagon service.
Mr. Johnson. Now, on page 260, there is an increase of almost 100 per cent asked for for miscellaneous items. Why such a large increase?