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construction of roads in the national parks and forests are as closely related to the activities of the Public Roads Administration as they would be if transferred to the Department of Commerce?
Mr. HOOVER. I would approach the problem from a little different angle. We were confronted with the fact that the country has an enormous transportation system in four divisions that have lacked coordination for all these years. The Government has a powerful influence in these matters, through its various subsidies, controls of safety, and its various regulatory bodies, and so forth. Those agencies determine much of the competitive relationship between forms of transportation. We felt that coordination was greatly needed in the public interest. Moreover, these transportation agencies are scattered over the Government. They duplicate and overlap.
One can argue for putting the Public Roads in the Department of Interior, or various other departments, but we considered that this question of coordination of the whole transportation system of the country was the dominant question.
Senator O'CONOR. Thank you very much.
Senator Mundt. I was discussing this with you, Mr. Hoover, in a conference sometime ago, when we had many fewer proposals before us than now, and you said that in terms of savings to the American taxpayer, the biggest single step that this Congress could take would be to pass the reorganization bill for the armed services, which sets up a new system of coordinated accounting and bookkeeping. And I wonder, now that we have substantially more of the picture before us, whether you would still say that the passage of that single bill might do more than any other single step to save money to the American taxpayers.
Mr. HOOVER. That agency involves one-third or rather more than one-third of the entire expenditures of the Government, and for this reason stands out as the most important of all of them. Also, it is an area of great wastes. The Senate approved the introduction of our new proposals on accounting and budgeting into that department, and I hope it will be supported by the House.
I am very anxious for the Congress to enact the reforms in accounting and budgeting in all departments. It would make for a very considerable saving everywhere.
Senator LONG. I have one further question.
Senator Long. Mr. Hoover, insofar as the President has authority to send down these reorganization plans, do you think it would be preferable for the reorganization to be accomplished by Presidential plans rather than by legislation passed through Congress?
Mr. HOOVER. Well, I have a little difficulty in answering that question, because of my anxiety that we make progress as rapidly as possible. If these plans were to suspend action on the fundamental legislative problems involved, that would be unfortunate. On the other hand, the fundamental legislative problems are going to require a lot of congressional time. These preliminary steps are, I think, an advantage.
Senator Long. I should like to ask just one further question. There is a statement in the President's message on which I should like your opinion, if you have had occasion to think it over. He stated this in his transmittal message:
The approval of a reorganization plan or the enactment of a statute dealing with organizational and administrative arrangements does not automatically produce efficiency and economy or reduce expenditures. Only the curtailment or abolition of Government programs can be expected to result in substantial immediate savings.
Are you in accord with that thinking?
Mr. HOOVER. I don't think I would like to start a dispute with the President on this occasion, whether I had an opinion one way or the other.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator McCarthy.
Senator McCARTHY. I know that there is another committee waiting for you, Mr. Hoover, so I shall make this very brief.
In connection with Reorganization Plan No. 6, which is the one that disturbs me more than any other, our committee has been investigating the Maritime Commission, as you know, and I believe we agree wholeheartedly with the finding of your Commission as to the Maritime Commission. I am very much disturbed that the Hoover Commission report was not followed, to the extent of taking practically everything from the Maritime Commission except its regulatory fumctions. I do not want to comment adversely on some of the things the President is doing, in view of the fact that he is at least taking one step forward. · Let me ask you this: Is there any reason as of today why the President could not have followed the Hoover Commission recommendation in submitting the Reorganization Plan No. 6? In other words, is there any reason why he should restrict himself to this one small step forward? Could he not have gone all the way?
Mr. HOOVER. I imagine the President was impressed with the fact that our Commission was proposing to set up a consolidation of all the transportation services of the Government, and that this was only one of those items, and preferred to wait until he could see his way clear to approve the whole Commission's idea of a consolidated transportation division in the Department of Commerce.
Senator McCARTHY. Just one other question, in connection with what Senator Long was asking you. Am I correct in this: That there is no conflict whatsoever between the President's reorganization plans and the 19 pieces of legislation which we have introduced, the 19 pieces that try to carry out the Hoover Commission recommendations; and in effect if we are to have reorganization it must be done through three channels? No. 1 would be through Presidential reorganization plans. There are certain things which we cannot do; certain things which he can, of course, do much easier and better than the Congress can do them by legislation. There are certain other things that the Congress must do, and most of those things are embodied in the 19 bills now in the hopper.
And then there is a third channel, which is the action on the part of the Department heads. So if we are going to put into effect the majority of the Hoover Commission recommendations and save the 3 or 4 billion dollars, we must have action along three lines: No. 1, firm, positive action by the President in sending down his plans; No. 2, action by the Congress in passing the 19 pieces of legislation in the
hopper now; and No. 3, complete cooperation from the Department heads. Is that correct?
Mr. HOOVER. That is true.
The CHAIRMAN. We have with us this morning Senator Anderson. He is not a member of the committee, but he is certainly welcome.
We are glad to have you, Senator. You may ask any questions you wish.
Senator ANDERSON. No, Mr. Chairman, I come here just as one of the citizens interested in the Hoover reports and anxious to support them in every way that I possibly can. I therefore was anxious to hear the testimony of President Hoover.
I want to ask only one question. There have been a great many questions that have arisen over differences in methods of procedure in the Public Welfare Department, or any other department; and you and I, President Hoover, do not agree with all the recommendations as to the Agriculture Department, for example. Do you think it is, important that we have complete agreement on every detail? Or is it better that we have agreement that we are going to get something done and done quickly?
Mr. Hoover. You might put it this way, Senator: That in any plan of organization or reorganization there are certain dominant questions that are involved, and there are then secondary questions, and there are then tertiary questions. If we could get agreement on the dominant questions, we could disagree and compromise on the secondary and tertiary questions, in the hope that the Republic will live for another 500 years, and that we can perfect them.
The CHAIRMAN. Any other questions? Mr. Hoover, on behalf of the committee, I wish to thank you for your very able discussion of these plans. And may I say to you that as other plans are submitted by the President, we shall invite you again to come down and discuss them with us.
Mr. Hoover. Well, now, I was in hopes that you gentlemen would have a little time off for this summer. You will give me a little time off this summer, will you?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, sir.
(Whereupon, at 11:30 a. m., the committee recessed, subject to the call of the Chair.)
(The text of the Reorganization Act of 1949—Public Law 109, 81st Cong., 1st sess. -is as follows:)
[Public Law 109–81st CONGRESS]
(H. R. 2361) AN ACT To provide for the reorganization of Government agencies, and for other purposes Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
NEED FOR REORGANIZATIONS SEC. 2. (a) The President shall examine and from time to time reexamine the organization of all agencies of the Government and shall determine what changes therein are necessary to accomplish the following purposes:
(1) to promote the better execution of the laws, the more effective management of the executive branch of the Government and of its agencies and functions, and the expeditious administration of the public business;
(2) to reduce expenditures and promote economy, to the fullest extent consistent with the efficient operation of the Government;
(3) to increase the efficiency of the operations of the Government to the fullest extent practicable;
(4) to group, coordinate, and consolidate agencies and functions of the Government, as nearly as may be, according to major purposes;
(5) to reduce the number of agencies by consolidating those having similar functions under a single head, and to abolish such agencies or functions thereof as may not be necessary for the efficient conduct of the Government;
(6) to eliminate overlapping and duplication of effort. (b) The Congress declares that the public inteest demands the carrying out of the purposes specified in subsection (a) and that such purposes may be accomplished in great measure by proceeding under the provisions of this Act, and can be accomplished more speedily thereby than by the enactment of specific legislation.
(1) the transfer of the whole or any part of any agency, or of the whole or any part of the functions thereof, to the jurisdiction and control of any other agency; or
(2) the abolition of all or any part of the functions of any agency; or
(3) the consolidation or coordination of the whole or any part of any agency, or of the whole, or any part of the functions thereof, with the whole or any part of any other agency or the functions thereof; or
(4) the consolidation or coordination of any part of any agency or the functions thereof with any other part of the same agency or the functions thereof; or
(5) the authorization of any officer to delegate any of his functions; or
(6) the abolition of the whole or any part of any agency which agency or part does not have, or upon the taking effect of the reorganization plan will
not have any functions, is necessary to accomplish one or more of the purposes of section 2 (a), he shall prepare a reorganization plan for the making of the reorganizations as to which he has made findings and which he includes in the plan, and transmit such plan (bearing an identifying number) to the Congress, together with a declaration that, with respect to each reorganization included in the plan, he has found that such reorganization is necessary to accomplish one or more of the purposes of section 2 (a). The delivery to both Houses shall be on the same day and shall be made to each House while it is in session. The President, in his message transmitting a reorganization plan, shall specify with respect to each abolition of a function included in the plan the statutory authority for the exercise of such function, and shall specify the reduction of expenditures (itemized so far as practicable) which it is probable will be brought about by the taking effect of the reorganizations included in the plan.
OTHER CONTENTS OF PLANS
SEC. 4. Any reorganization plan transmitted by the President under section 3
(1) shall change, in such cases as he deems necessary, the name of any agency affected by a reorganization, and the title of its head; and shall designate the name of any agency resulting from a reorganization and the title of its head;
(2) may include provisions for the appointment and compensation of the head and one or more other officers of any agency (including an agency resulting from a consolidation or other type of reorganization) if the President finds, and in his message transmitting the plan declares, that by reason of a reorganization made by the plan such provisions are necessary. The head so provided for may be an individual or may be a commission or board with two or more members. In the case of any such appointment the term of office shall not be fixed at more than four years, the compensation shall not be at a rate in excess of that found by the President to prevail in respect of comparable officers in the executive branch, and, if the appointment is not under the classified civil service, it shall be by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, except that, in the case of any officer of the municipal government of the District of Columbia, it may be by the Board of Commissioners or other body or officer of such government designated in the plan;
(3) shall make provision for the transfer or other disposition of the records, property, and personnel affected by any reorganization;
(4) shall make provision for the transfer of such unexpended balances of appropriations, and of other funds, available for use in connection with any function or agency affected by a reorganization, as he deems necessary by reason of the reorganization for use in connection with the functions affected by the reorganization, or for the use of the agency which shall have such functions after the reorganization plan is effective, but such unexpended balances so transferred shall be used only for the purposes for which such appropriation was originally made;
(5) shall make provision for terminating the affairs of any agency abolished.
LIMITATIONS ON POWERS WITH RESPECT TO REORGANIZATIONS SEC. 5. (a) No reorganization plan shall provide for, and no reorganization under this Act shall have the effect of
(1) abolishing or transferring an executive department or all the functions thereof or consolidating any two or more executive departments or all the functions thereof; or
(2) continuing any agency beyond the period authorized by law for its existence or beyond the time when it would have terminated if the reorganization had not been made; or
(3) continuing any function beyond the period authorized by law for its exercise, or beyond the time when it would have terminated if the reorganization had not been made; or
(4) authorizing any agency to exercise any function which is not expressly authorized by law at the time the plan is transmitted to the Congress; or
(5) increasing the term of any office beyond that provided by law for such office; or
(6) transferring to or consolidating with any other agency the municipal
government of the District of Columbia for all those functions thereof which i are subject to this Act, or abolishing said government or all said functions.
(b) No provision contained in a reorganization plan shall take effect unless the plan is transmitted to the Congress before April 1, 1953.
TAKING EFFECT OF REORGANIZATIONS
SEC. 6. (a) Expect as may be otherwise provided pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, the provisions of the reorganization plan shall take effect upon the expiration of the first period of sixty calendar days, of continuous session of the Congress, following the date on which the plan is transmitted to it; but only if, between the date of transmittal and the expiration of such sixty-day period there has not been passed by either of the two Houses, by the affirmative vote of a majority of the authorized membership of that House, a resolution stating in substance that that House does not favor the reorganization plan. (b) For the purposes of subsection (a)—
(1) continuity of session shall be considered as broken only by an adjournment of the Congress sine die; but
(2) in the computation of the sixty-day period there shall be excluded the days on which either House is not in session because of an ajdournment of more than three days to a day certain. (c) Any provision of the plan may, under provisions contained in the plan, be made operative at a time later than the date on which the plan shall otherwise take effect.
DEFINITION OF "AGENCY” Sec. 7. When used in this Act, the term "agency” means any executive department, commission, council, independent establishment, Government corporation, board, bureau, division, service, office, officer, authority, administration, or other establishment, in the executive branch of the Government, and means also any and all parts of the municipal government of the District of Columbia except the courts thereof. Such term does not include the Comptroller General of the United States or the General Accounting Office, which are a part of the legislative branch of the Government.