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in order to revitalize fully the Department of Labor. These changes, however, require special legislation in each field, and bills to that effect have been introduced in the Congress which would effect these purposes. But they are beyond the reach of the President's authority.
The President's Plan No.3 relates to the post office. Again it is a preliminary step, going as far as the President's authority under the Reorganization Act of 1949 permits. However, since this plan was sent up, the President has sent certain recommerdations to the Congress covering the entire reorganization of the Post Office Department, including the preliminary steps above. A bill for reorganization has been introduced. I am appearing later today at hearings before the Post Office and Civil Service Committee of the Senate.
The President's Plan No. 4 as to the National Security Council and the National Security Resources Board conforms to the Commission's recommendations and accomplishes the Commission's major purpose. Again, in this case some legislation is probably required to effect the Commission's further recommendations which included the elimination of statutory membership on these two councils.
The President's Plan No. 5 relates to the civil service. Again, it it is a very limited step. The reorganization of the personnel of the Government requires extensive and searching legislation. The President's powers can hardly make a dent into this question. A bill for these purposes is before the Congress.
I might emphasize that the President's plan centralizes more administrative authority in the Chairman and is a very useful and helpful step in the civil service.
The President's Plan No. 6 refers to the Maritime Commission. It proposes to reorganize and centralize the authority over business operations of the Commission in the Chairman. Such a step of centralization of authority is vitally needed in that Commission. The Commission, however, recommended that a large part of these functions should be transferred to the Department of Commerce as part of a major purpose: collection of transportation agencies from many parts of the Government into that Department. A further reason for the transfer of these functions from the Maritime Commission is that it is a regulatory body having these great executive functions, yet also has certain independence from the executive arm of the Government.
The President's Plan No. 7 refers to the Public Roads Administration, which is transferred to the Department of Commerce. That, together with other transport agencies, is part of the Commission's recommendation for the reorganization of that Department, and this step conforms to the Commission's recommendations.
I might say generally that the task of reorganization of the executive arm proved on investigation to go much further than can be carried out by any delegated authority to the President, and that, while I entirely agree and support these plans, I do want to emphasize the fact to the committee that if we are to have real organization it is going to be necessary in practically every case to have definite legislation of important and searching order.
Mr. Chairman, are there any questions I can answer?
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Hoover, you speak of the limited authority of the President under the Reorganization Act. You mean the authority is limited of necessity; that is, we have delegated about as much authority under the act as it is possible for the Congress to delegate. Is that not correct?
Mr. HOOVER. I did not want to criticize or imply criticism of the Congress in the limitations in the authority, because I think this authority goes as far as Congress could delegate.
The CHAIRMAN. That is what I wanted to emphasize: That the Congress has not been derelict in its duty or in its willingness to cooperate to the end that we may get reorganization, because the 1949 act is broader in scope and actually delegates greater authority to the President than any previous Reorganization Act has. Is that not correct?
Mr. HOOVER. I agree thoroughly with that, Senator, and I am sorry if I gave any implied suggestion that the Congress did not delegate all of the authority that it could have delegated. I think it has delegated all of the authority that was possible.
The CHAIRMAN. I did not necessarily mean that you had implied that, but I did want to clarify it for the record, because I feel that in the Reorganization Act the Congress has delegated all of the power and authority that it could delegate, and, by reason of the fact that there are no exemptions or limitations as to any agency of Government, the President does now have the greatest opportunity that any President has ever had under previous acts to submit reorganization plans that can be put into effect, and that will actually achieve the great objective of better organization of the executive branch of the Government.
Mr. HOOVER. I am informed that the Congress could not delegate to the President the right to alter statutory law. It has delegated to him authority to move bureaus and consolidate bureaus, and straighten out the rotation of administrative officials, all of which are executive functions. But, as I said before, the real problems run into greater depths than those which are entirely beyond delegation and must be dealt with in separate legislation.
The CHAIRMAN. There is another problem which I wish to clarify. The people generally throughout the Nation want reorganization. They feel that some material savings, great economies, will be effected if the recommendations of the Hoover Commission are put into effect, but they are not well advised as to the necessary actions that have to be taken to put these recommendations into effect. A great many people seem to think that all we have to do is to have Congress pass a simple resolution adopting the Hoover Commission reports, and that puts them into effect, but it is going to take, as you have emphasized here this morning, considerable legislation. Many bills will have to be considered and passed to implement the Commission's recommendations, in addition to the reorganization plans that the President submits, and also to effectuate certain reorganizations that the President cannot possibly achieve by reorganization plans; is that correct?
Mr. HOOVER. Mr. Chairman, I think the Commission's recommendations run to somewhere between 18 and 20 special pieces of legislation. It is a long, hard road. It means a tremendous amount of committee investigation, committee hearings. It is not to be accomplished overnight. I think the progress made already is rather creditable to everybody. For instance, the legislation reorganizing the State Department has been completed. The Federal Property and Administrative Services Act has now passed the House and is before the Senate.
The CHAIRMAN. The conference report was adopted yesterday in both Houses, and should be on the President's desk today.
Mr. HOOVER. A very important job has been completed there. The armed-services bill seems to be on its way, and is a very important one of these issues. The public should not complain that the Congress has not been industrious when we consider the amount of labors that are before the Congress and the committees, and that this is an added load to general legislation.
The CHAIRMAN. These bills necessary to carry out these recommendations in many instances are highly technical, and it is not easy to draft them. They require considerable study before enacted in order to actually get the results that we desire. They are very difficult. I know from the experience of this committee that on some legislation on which we have worked, about the time we think we have it perfected and believe that it will accomplish what has been recommended, and what we are trying to accomplish, we find there is something else needs to be included, some missing provision has to be added or something else bas to be done; so it has taken and it is taking a great deal of study and effort to get this legislation in proper form for enactment.
Mr. Hoover. I can give a little emphasis to that, Senator. A few days ago I looked over one of the proposed bills drafted by the Commission at this committee's request, and I found that there were in it repeals of some 18 previous acts. Every one of those has to be the subject of investigation and study of all of the previous laws before even a draft can be presented to the committee. So that I hope the public does not get the notion that this can be done overnight.
The CHAIRMAN. Some people do have that impression, and I was hoping that the press would place more emphasis on the magnitude of this job, and let the people know that it cannot be accomplished so simply.
Mr. HOOVER. On the other hand, the public is greatly interested, and is economy-minded, naturally, and I hope that it will continue its interest and its support of the committees in the work which they are doing
The CHAIRMAN. May I ask you about the plans now specifically? I understand from your testimony that you recommend that these seven plans be approved, or that the Congress does not disapprove them.
Mr. Hoover. That is my recommendation, provided it is well understood by the Congress that it is only the first step.
The CHAIRMAN. You emphasize that these plans, of course, will have to be implemented with legislation or with further reorganization plans by the President.
Mr. Hoover. Yes, sir.
Senator O'CONOR. Just in that last connection, as to the necessity for further legislative and other action, may I ask you just one or two questions in respect to the proposed Plan No.7, relating to the transfer of the Public Roads Administration to the Department of Commerce? I think the task forces first suggested possibly the creation of a separate Department of Transportation, Was that not true?
Mr. HOOVER. That is true.
Senator O’CONOR. Would you be good enough to give us the benefit of your thought as to the relative advantage or disadvantage of the creation of a separate department, rather than the transfer of the related transportation functions and components to the Department of Commerce?
Mr. HOOVER. It was our thought that it was bad governmental policy to set up a Government department for a special industry. While these functions were related to each other, they related to other issues that they could be handled better in an existing department. The proposal was to combine the Government air, the highway, the railroad, and water transportation questions all in the Department of Commerce, excepting of course the regulatory functions which are not touched, the object, first, being to secure some coordination between these transportation services. The Commerce Department deals with commerce in other aspects than transportation, and with industry in other aspects than transportation. Therefore, we felt that the Department was the better setting for such an agency.
Senator O’CONOR. Would you think that it would be desirable to have the President complete and first establish the proposed transportation services within the Department, and then to transfer them as a unit, rather than to have it done in this way; which do you think would be the preferable method?
Mr. HOOVER. I would naturally like to have seen the transfer, so far as the President's authority goes, of all of the transportation agencies into the Department of Commerce, That would håve mostly completed the setting up of this function. There are some matters connected with this new transportation division in the Department which will require legislation.
Senator O’ČONOR. I was just wondering what assurance the Congress might have that if this plan were approved that the consolidated transportation program would be submitted.
Mr. HOOVER. That assurance I cannot give you.
Senator O’CONOR. I can well understand that. I thought it ought to be understood that, of course, further action is necessitated. I think that is all.
Senator McCARTHY. Mr. Hoover, in regard to the Department of Welfare, there have been a great many arguments made in the past that the health functions should be separate from the welfare functions, and that each should be separate from education. I have the feeling that in the President's present plan sent down to us that he has ignored the Hoover Commission recommendation to a very great extent. Would you like to give us any thought on that? What he has done may be a step forward. He has given Cabinet status to a very important function, but he seems to have made some very unfortunate groupings. Would you care to comment on that?
Mr. HOOVER. I do not think the President has ignored the recommendations, because the whole problem of reorganization is so greatly interlocked. For instance, in order to carry out the Commission's recommendations, it is necessary to set up a United Medical Service Administration in the Government before the health functions in the Federal Security Agency can be transferred. The creation of that Agency, I am advised, will require specific legislation before the President could transfer agencies to it. The whole reorganization is very much interlocked. Some transfers recommended by the Commission can be made by the President, such as the Indian Bureau to the Federal Security Agency and some of the labor bureaus could have been transferred out, which do not appear in this plan. That, of course, is a matter of the President's judgment. He has the major responsibility. I am only pointing out to you what the Commission's conclusions were.
Senator McCarthy. Do I understand, then, that your thought is that plan No. 1 is definitely a step forward and that when we pass the necessary legislation to make it possible, that can be improved to the extent that it will conform substantially to the Hoover Commission's recommendations?
Mr. Hoover. They can be if the rest of the program is carried out; yes.
Senator McCARTHY. One further question. As you know, we have introduced 19 of the bills that embody the recommerdations of the Hoover Commission. I believe it will take a twentieth, having to do with Government corporations, and such like, to cover all of the Hoover Commission recommendations, or most of them. Three of the nineteen have been enacted. That leaves 16 to be acted upon. Do you agree with me that it would be a mistake for this Congress to adjourn until we have acted on a substantial portion of the Hoover Commission's recommendations, and if we do adjourn, that then the various committees continue their work on these Hoover Commission bills, if I can call them that, and if the legislation is ready then, that the President call the Congress back into special session? In other words, it is important enough to try and save the 2%, 3%, or 4 billion dollars that your Commission has said we can save, and many of us think it is rather conservative as an estimate, that it is important enough that we do stay in session to accomplish most of those recommendations?
Mr. Hoover. I would like to see the whole process move as rapidly as possible, but I would hesitate to make a suggestion that so many Senators and Congressmen should not have a little breathing speil between sessions.
Senator McCARTHY. No other questions.
Senator Long. Mr. Hoover, when you appeared before the committee the first time, as I recall it, you seemed to feel tbat a substantial amount of positive legislation from Congress is necessary to put these plans into effect.
On the other hand, I was under the impression that these reorganization plans would have the effect of law; that they would actually have the effect of legislation unless the Houses turn them down. Do you actually feel that these reorganization plans would not be constitutional or would not be valid if they were in conflict with legislation already on the books?
Mr. HOOVER. Oh, no. They have the effect of law under the authority given by the Congress.
Senator LONG. Of course, the latter law would then be in effect, would it not? In other words, if the reorganization plan had the effect of law, it would supersede any legislation that was already on the statuto books.
Mr. HOOVER. Well, I assume that legislation on the whole of one of these questions might supersede one of these plans.