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Mr. ROGERS. I just desire to have permission to file a statement.
The CHAIRMAN. He asks permission to file a statement at this time in the record; and that will be done. (The statement referred to is as follows:)
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., January 31, 1949. Hon. WILLIAM L. DAWSON, Chairman on Expenditures in the Executive Departments,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN: At the request of Mr. J. E. Gilliland, president of the Alabama, Tennessee & Northern Railroad Co., Mobile, Ala., I am submitting herewith his letter to me, dated January 27, 1949.
I shall appreciate your including his views in the report of any hearing which may be held in connection with the Hoover Commission recommendations. Yours very truly,
FRANK W. BOYKIN, M. C.
ALABAMA, TENNESSEE & NORTHERN RAILROAD Co.,
Mobile 8, Ala., January 27, 1949. Hon. FRANK W. BOYKIN,
Washington, D. C. DEAR FRANK: I have followed with considerable interest the report of the Hoover Commission. I am very much in sympathy with most of the things it proposes to accomplish excepting one. The one exception is that it is proposed to place the United States engineers under the Department of the Interior and from where I sit this means that the district engineer in charge of each district will become a political appointee. I have been able to observe through my railroading career a great deal of the work performed by the United States engineers. I watched the splendid work performed by them on the Missouri, Kaw, and North Platte Rivers when I was with the Missouri Pacific Railroad in Kansas City, Mo., during the years 1929 to 1939. I have also observed closely many of their other projects elsewhere throughout the Middle West and during the past 3 years have seen the fine performance of the district office here in Mobile, who, as you know, are charged with the responsibility of our harbor improvement and maintenance program as well as other assignments. I cannot by any stretch of my imagination visualize the American public continuing to receive the high standard of efficient work of this important branch of the Army if political appointment takes precedence over the present method of staffing the engineers' organization. The men in their staffs who now perform so ably were placed in their particular assignments by virtue of their highly technical training and were progressed upwardly in accordance with their ability and performance. If the public is to continue to benefit, this arrangement cannot be destroyed by disturbing the set-up as it now is.
I should be most grateful to you if you will use your good influence to preserve this set-up in every way possible. I should like to write Hon. Wm. L. Dawson, chairman of the House Committee Expenditures in the Executive Departments, who I understand is handling this matter, but since I am not personally acquainted with him I thought you might be better able to pass along my views to him and at the same time lend your own good efforts.
I hope to be in Washington the latter part of February and hope that your
J. E. GILLILAND. (The committee recessed at 11:40 a. m.)
(The hearing resumed at 2 p. m.)
In accordance with our agreement this morning, we have met again for the purpose of continuing the hearings on H. R. 1569, and we have with us at this time as our witness Congressman Vinson, who comes
from a State of which I am very proud, and which in my secret thinking I regard as home. He is the dean of the Georgia delegation, and as all of us do know, one of the most able Members of this Congress. He is chairman of the Committee on Armed Forces, and we are happy to have him appear before us.
STATEMENT OF HON. CARL WINSON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF GEORGIA
Mr. WINSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. At the outset I want to return the complimentary statement that you made. All Georgians are proud of you and proud of the great record that you have made for yourself. May I have permission to sit, Mr. Chairman, while I am presenting my statement? The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Mr. WINSON. I want to thank the committee for affording me this privilege and opportunity of discussing a certain phase of this bill, H. R. 1569. I have, in accordance with the rules of the House, prepared a brief statement, but later on I shall ask permission to discuss it on my cuff, as it might be said. In section 3, page 3, of the committee print, there are enumerated six items which the President may include in any reorganization plans affecting the agencies and functions of the executive branch of the Government. These include the transfer, abolishment, and consolidation of all or parts of any executive agency as defined in section 7 of the bill, or all or part of the functions of any such agency. The language of the bill is substantially the same as that of the Reorganization Act of 1945, and while it may not be readily apparent to the layman, it confers exceedingly broad powers on the President. I do not mean to infer that the President should not have the statutory authority to cope with the complex organization problems which have resuled from the tremendous expansion of the functions within the executive branch of the Government. However, I should like to point out that there are certain features of the bill in its present form which, in my opinion, do not adequately recognize the singular importance of the National Military Establishment today, nor the constitutional responsibility of Congress relating to such matter. While everyone hopes that we may soon solve the international difficulties which require the retention of the large Military Establishment which is consuming o one-third of the Federal budget, I know of no responsible person who will predict that such a desirable result is within the foreseeable future. In such perilous times, I cannot escape the conclusion that the Military Establishment is a most vital and necessary agency of the Government. In spite of this fact, the present bill will permit the President to submit in one plan a desirable reorganization of some nonmilitary agencies of the Government, together with a very contl oversial proposal for the reorganization of one or more agencies of the National Military Establishment.
Section 204 (b) of title II of the bill provides that the Congress cannot amend any plan submitted by the President. We must vote it up or down, take all of it or none of it, regardless of the fact that the Congress may wholeheartedly support a portion of the plan and with equal conviction oppose the balance of the plan. Witnesses who have already testified on this bill before the House Committee on Expenditures have stated that if this bill in its present form becomes law, the President may propose a transfer of the United States Marine Corps to the Army Ground Force, and that he may propose a transfer of the naval air arm to the Air Force. I accept this as a correct interpretation of the President's power under this bill as it is now written. Those who are familiar with the past consideration and debate on these two subjects are well aware that they are highly controversial, and I need not point out that there are equally controversial issues within the National Military Establishment, such as the civil functions of the Department of the Army, which refer principally to the Corps of Army Engineers. In order that my position on this subject may be made perfectly clear, I want, to state that I do not oppose the giving of adequate authority to the President to reorganize the executive branches of the Government. On the contrary, I heartily support the general principles of the proposed legislation. However, I do oppose the granting of any authority which will permit any single reorganization plan to combine a reorganization of the National Military Establishment with a reorganization of other less vital and less controversial agencies in the executive branch. I submit that any proposed reorganization of the National Military Establishment should be presented to the Congress in a plan which relates solely to the National Military Establishment, so that the Congress may consider and debate the issue affecting the national defense on its own merits, to the exclusion of any other unrelated matter. Now, so much for my prepared statement. And carrying out that thought, Mr. Chairman, I have prepared an amendment which seeks to ive to the President the authority to reorganize the national defense, the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force, but when he does so he submits that to the Congress in a separate package. It should not be tied up with reorganization of the Agricultural Department or the Commerce Department or any other department or agency of the Government. Now, the Constitution places upon the Congress the responsibility, and it cannot be delegated, of providing and maintaining a national defense. How can you adequately carry out that constitutional mandate if you are mixed up and tied up in other reorganization plans? All I am asking for is that you adopt an amendment, not excluding the Military Establishment from this bill—and I might say if you are going to exclude any agency, the most important one to exclude would be, in my judgment, the Military Establishment, for the reason I have just stated, because it is our duty to provide and maintain the national defense. But my amendment does not propose that. We merely say to the President by this amendment that, “If you desire to transfer from the Army its civil functions, principally the engineers, to the Commerce Department or to the Interior Department or to any other department, that relates to the national defense and you must submit that to the Congress in a separate package.” Then Congress, under this bill, will debate it for 1 hour and vote it up or vote it down, and the issue is clear-cut. But we do not want such an important issue as that included in a plan which also proposes the reorganization of some nonmilitary agency or agencies ..}the executive branch. Now, the reason for that is very apparent. The responsibility of the Army engineers is a very important one in the defense of the country. In wartime they are the ones that build the railroads; they are the ones that build the bridges; and in peacetime they have jurisdiction over rivers and harbors and over bridges spanning navigable streams, and of course that is very important to the whole sphere of national activity. Now, suppose the President should say, “I want to transfer, in the interest of economy from my viewpoint, the air arm of the Navy to the Air Force.” That is one of the most important questions that could arise. Let Congress determine that on its own merits and not mix it up with anything else, and that is the whole basis of this amendment. May I say to the members of this committee, I am speaking by direction and authority of the House Armed Services Committee. This is not only my individual view, but it is the view of the Armed Services Committee. They are behind this proposition to have a separate day in court on any reorganization of the national defense. We want to have it debated on its own merits, and then if Congress agrees to do so, it is all right. But Congress does not want to be put in a position of approving or disapproving a o which, in its opinion, is partially desirable and partially undesirable. Now, it seems to me, in the interest of getting a bill through, that you should eliminate the only complaint that you hear about this biii. If this amendment is adopted, in my judgment it will eliminate about two-thirds of the opposition that might be directed against this bill. The proposed amendment is this: Any reorganization plan under the authority of this act affecting the National Military Establishment (including the civil functions of the Department of the Army), as set forth in the National Security Act of 1947, shall not include any transfer of any agency of the Army, Navy, or Air Force or the functions thereof unless such transfer or reorganization be submitted in a separte reorganization plan which relates solely to the departments or agencies or the functions thereof of the National Military Establishment. That makes it as clear as the noonday sun. It is simply to say to the President, “Now, Mr. President, you may reorganize the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, or the Department of the Air Force, we have no objection to your doing it because you may be able to bring about greater economy and efficiency. But you just send that to Congress in one separate plan, and do not go and tie it up with your reorganization of the Agriculture Department, your reorganization of the Commerce Department, or your reorganization of the Post Office Department. We want you to do this because Congress has been charged by the Constitution to provide and maintain a national defense, and we can better maintain a national defense when we are dealing with the national defense separate and distinct from other agencies of the Government.” So I am hoping that this distinguished committee, when you take this bill up section by section, will look with favor upon this amendment, which has been approved by the Armed Services Committee and which they have directed me to appear here and present to you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. You say, Mr. Witness, that that is your opinion and it is backed up by the opinion of all of the members of your committee, that this amendment should be included in our bill? Mr. WINSON. It is endorsed by what is known as the policy committee of the Armed Services Committee. That is Mr. Kilday, Mr. Brooks, Mr. Sasscer, Mr. Durham, and myself, Mr. Arends, Mr. Cole, and Mr. Short. That constitutes the policy committee. Mr. Short was not present as he is out of the city. I drafted this amendment with the aid of our legal adviser, and submitted it to them, and then I called it to the attention of the full committee; and as a result of that I am here asking the approval of this amendment. If you do that, you are going to eliminate all of the fussing that is going on about the civil function. You are going to eliminate all of the apprehension on the part of men who debated and wrote in the bill which your distinguished predecessor introduced last year, the Unification Act, the positive statement that the Navy should control its own Air Force, and that the Navy should control the Marines. You eliminate all of those issues. And the more issues you eliminate, the easier it is to get your bill through Congress. b The CHAIRMAN. You are in favor of the general purposes of our illo Mr. WINSON. Yes. I hope to be able to support this bill without offering any amendment to it if the committee adopts this amendment. That is notwithstanding the fact that I recognize here an immense power given to the President. You cannot reorganize the Government unless the President has some power. I am perfectly willing, as far as one Member of the 435, to go down the line and give him that power, providing he gives us one day or one opportunity to express our views on national defense, to the exclusion of other matters. The CHAIRMAN. We can appreciate the trouble we will have with your 35 members if your amendment is not embodied in this legislation. Mr. WINSON. One of my colaborers, Mr. Hardy, of Virginia, is a member of your committee too, and he knows the sentiment of our group. #. CHAIRMAN. We would appreciate, in reverse, if our bill did embody your amendment, we would want their active support. Mr. WINSON. As far as I am concerned, without committing anybody, it is always my policy as chairman of a committee to back up other chairmen, because if you do not you are sowing bad seed, and it is a bad thing. The CHAIRMAN. Your amendment is not an exemption and does not ask for an exemption, and I hope that your 33 members will fight to help us in our fight. Mr. WINSON. I ask for no exemption at all. I want what anyone is entitled to, a day in court. That is all I am asking for. Just give us 1 day and if Congress wants to approve the plan, it is all right. We would have only 1 hour debate on it. I think my amendment will strengthen your bill, and I think the bill can go through without any amendments having to be adopted on the floor if you let the House