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Mr. WAGNER. Twenty-six years. Mr. HARDY. You have been very familiar with the work of the Army engineers in our harbor and that general idea during all that period of time? Mr. WAGNER. I have. Mr. HARDY. I have not been home in some little while, but judging from the number of communications that I have mentioned earlier, there is a great deal of concern over this proposition down there. Mr. WAGNER. A great deal is right. Mr. HARDY. Is that a spontaneous concern ? Mr. WAGNER. What do you mean by “spontaneous”? Mr. HARDY. It is generally indicative of the fear of the whole area that something is going to happen to the Army engineers? Mr. WAGNER. Mr. Hardy, there cannot be any question about it; from the telegrams you received, you ought to know, certainly, the feelings of your district. There is not any doubt about it. There is not any dissent. Mr. McCoRMACK. You realize that if we legislated on fear, and if ''. lyman race reacted through fear, we would still be in the Dark ges : Mr. WAGNER. I am not so certain that we do not act on fear a good many times. Mr. McCoRMACK. A human trait, I will agree with you on that. But if we reacted to our fears—I am not addressing this to your testimony because I consider your testimony for affirmative value. I think the most important part of your testimony is that the transfer will not result in any economy. That will be the most important part of the testimony in my evaluation. But if we reacted to fears completely, we would have difficulty in making progress. Chairman DAwsON. Are there any other questions? Mr. BLATNICK. I have one or two minor points. In connection with the recent point made by my colleague, Mr. Hardy, has there been any previous experience with Army engineers being threatened to be consolidated or subordinated or reduced in any way at all? Mr. WAGNER. To prevent it in 1945, the Reorganization Act, a specific provision was put in there prohibiting it. Mr. BLATNIK. Asking for provision for exemption. But there is no threat, or no move— Mr. WAGNER. May I ask this? Don't you think somebody had a fear when they put that provision in 2 Mr. BLATNICK. I do not know. But there has been no move at any time? Mr. HARDY. In that connection, the only thing I know of is the one mentioned by Mr. Whittington when he referred to a reorganization plan submitted, I believe, in 1932. Mr. BLATNIK. Point No. 2. Don't you feel, Mr. Wagner, that the door is wide open if there should be any move to consolidate to limit the functions of the Army Corps of Engineers, that we would have ample opportunity to hear testimony from interested people throughout the country before this committee and to be well debated fully on the floor and I feel confident that the Corps of Army Engineers would be overwhelmingly supported in the House.

I am personally familiar with their work, being a member of the Public Works Committee, and I certainly will agree to every one of these fine statements made in behalf of that splendid and outstanding organization. But don't you think you are just a little premature to discuss that particular point here in connection with this reorganization bill? Mr. WAGNER. . That is a question of judgment. But I still say if the Congress feels as it does, or I think it does feel, that the civil functions of the Army engineers should not be disturbed, that the President should be told in this bill. Mr. LANHAM. Irrespective of what it does to our efforts to reorganize? Mr. WAGNER. I would not go that far; no, sir. But I still think that exemption should be in the bill. I do not believe it jeopardizes the bill. Mr. KARSTEN. I missed the earlier part of Mr. Wagner's testimony. He is from your district, Mr. Hardy? How long have you been connected down there, Mr. Wagner? Mr. WAGNER. Twenty-six years. f Mr. KARSTEN. You have a background and experience to speak I’OII). Mr. WAGNER. I may say, beyond that I had a world of experience in the Federal Government before I went there. Mr. KARSTEN. Mr. Harvey—Mr. Hardy is your Congressman? Mr. WAGNER. He is, thank the Lord. Mr. KARSTEN. A very able representative in committee and in the Congress. Mr. WAGNER. We agree 100 percent. That is the reason we send him back. Mr. SADowski. I did not intend to say anything, Mr. Chairman, but I cannot refrain from saying that I do have some sympathy for men who come here with fears. I recall back in 1933 when I was a freshman Congressman, one of the first things thrown at us was the economy bill. At that time, I had loyalty to the Democratic Party oozing out of my ears, and I accepted everything that was handed to us on its face value. I had some fears. But my great loyalty overshadowed my fears. I had great respect for the President, and now again the question has been raised whether you have confidence and respect for President Truman and how he would carry out the provisions of this bill. I had great respect and faith and confidence in President Roosevelt. But it so happens that after you set up these things, it seems that other men and other people get around the administration of an act and seem to have, in many instances, more to say than even the President or at least so direct the purposes of the bill as to mislead, sometimes, the President of the United States. The net result was that I have been saying “mea culpa.” for many years after my vote on the economy bill of 1933, and for about 4 or 5 years after that I was running around with a sheaf of papers a foot high, with these various veterans trying to straighten out their cases which I thought had every reason for fair consideration on the basis of human consideration. The trouble is that so many times, on the basis of economy, when people in administrative positions are given that authority on the basis of economy, they forget all about humanity and human feelings and human rights and they do many things which cannot be justified and are most embarrassing later on to a Congressman who voted in good faith for a measure.

So, today, while I am listening to this testimony and to these hearings, I am blowing on my fingers so I will not get burned again. I do not know what I am going to do.

Mr. Wagner.

Chairman DAwson. Are there any other questions?

(No response.)

hairman DAwson. We are going to adjourn until 2 o'clock, at

which time we will continue i. hearings. We have a few other witnesses.

(At 12:30 p.m., a recess was taken.)

AFTERNOON SESSION

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.

We will proceed further with the hearings on H. R. 1569. Congressman Hardy has a statement which he wishes to make in connection with the testimony given at the morning session.

Mr. HARDY. Mr. Chairman, I would like just for the record to show that Mr. E. D. Peterson, chairman of the Norfolk Industrial Commisision, and Mr. W. S. Harney, manager of the Norfolk Association of Commerce, have arrived and are at the hearing.

Mr. Chairman, unless there is no objection, I would like also to ask that the telegram which the committee has received from the Norfolk Association of Commerce be inserted in the record at this point.

The CHAIRMAN. Are these the two witnesses from your district who were held up on the plane this morning?

Mr. HARDY. That is right. They do not desire to be heard, but I would like for the record to show that they are present.

The CHAIRMAN. We are glad to have them with us.

(The telegram follows:)

- NoRFolk, VA., January 27, 1949. HoN. PoRTER HARDY, Jr.,

Member of Congress,
House Office Building, Washington, D. C.

Have just wired Chairman Dawson of the Expenditure Committee as follows: “The Norfolk Association of Commerce is heartily in favor of legislation that will preserve true economy but the enactment of H. R. 1569, known as the Government Reorganization Act, would not be in the interest of economy unless it carries a clause such as that embodied in the act of 1945 which exempted the Corps of Engineers of the United States Army. This association is definitely opposed to the passage of H. R. 1569 unless it carries such a clause.” Will :See you in your office around 9 in the morning.

W. S. HARNEY, Manager, Norfolk Assooiation of Commerce.

The CHAIRMAN. Our next witness will be Mr. Henry H. Buckman. Mr. Buckman is national director of the National Rivers and Harbors Congress. We will hear from Mr. Buckman.

STATEMENT OF HENRY H. BUCKMAN, CONSULTING ENGINEER, NATIONAL RIVERS AND HARBORS CONGRESS

Mr. BUCKMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My name is Henry H. Buckman. I am a consulting engineer. I appear here on behalf of the National Rivers and Harbors Congress. I am national director and the vice chairman of the project committee of that organization. We come before this committee to urge the specific exemption of the Corps of Engineers and its civil-works functions from any provision of the bill #. 1569 or any similar legislation. We suggest for the consideration of the committee the following amendment to H. R. 1569, to be appropriately inserted in the present text: No provision of this act shall be applicable to the Corps of Engineers of the Army or to any of its civil-works functions. I shall present our argument under two main heads: First, we believe that any transfer of the civil-works functions of the Corps of Engineers or any transfer, however limited, of authority over the corps from the Secretary of the Army to any other executive authority will result in a definite and dangerous weakening of the military potential of the United States. Second, we believe that any such transfer is definitely opposed to the general civilian economy. As to the first of these grounds, it may be said with truth that the wisdom of the long-established policy of the Congress in providing through civil-works functions a training school for the Corps of Engineers has been abundantly justified throughout our subsequent military history. By no other means could these officers be given the responsibility for and experience in undertakings of great importance which they derive from the present system. By no other means could they be developed into executives capable of undertaking, on demand, that vast engineering phases of modern war. Through their duties as district and division engineers, these of ficers of the corps undergo a lifetime of responsibility for and experience in planning, organizing, directing, supervising and operating projects of great diversity and, in many cases, of enormous magnitude. The results have been that in their military service the corps has been able to surpass the best comparable efforts of both our enemies and our allies. It has made contributions to our military efforts without which the success of our arms would have been doubtful. Recognition of the truth of this may be found in the fact that, since our latest war, officers of high rank in the military service of our allies have been sent by their governments to this country to study our system of training our Army engineers through the civil works functions delegated to them. The worth of this system having been proven, we feel that Congress should make certain that it is properly maintained. We are acquainted with the argument of those who say that they agree with this view, but who say that no harm could come to this segment of the Military Establishment, and no threat to the integrity of the Corps of Engineers is indicated because, for the purpose of performing its civil works functions, the corps can be placed en bloc under some existing or to-be-created civilian authority. We think that this is fallacious in the highest degree. I invite your attention to the probable real ultimate effects of such a transfer. The ability to command is the first requirement in an officer. His effectiveness as a unit of the Military Establishment is largely dependent upon the degree to which this ability has been developed in him. The fundamental military dictum that responsibility is a function of command has a corollary. Ability to command is bred by responsibility. It is the pressure of heavy and continuing responsibility that molds our district and division Army engineer officers into men with ability to command great military engineering operations. In the training of these officers, mere familiarity and service with large undertakings could never take the place of sole responsibility for such undertakings. There is no possible legislative assurance that could be given that, if for the performance of its civil works functions the Corps of Engineers were brought under the authority of a civilian department, the responsibility of these officers would not be divided with civilian administrators. We are convinced that with such division of responsibility there would inevitably disappear—in time and in large measure—the splendid capabilities of the corps for military operations. So we submit, that on this ground alone, namely, the danger to the effectiveness of this important branch of the armed services that is inherent in any such legislation, a decision ought to be reached to insure by specific provision in the bill that the Corps of Engineers and its civil works functions are exempted. However, of little less importance is the second ground, namely, that any such transfer would be definitely opposed to the civilian economy. * There are those, many of them in my own profession, who honestl believe that the civil works now under the jurisdiction of the Corps of Engineers could be better planned and more economically constructed by private enterprise. This, however, is not a criticism of the corps but is merely an expression of the generally held opinion that even in its most efficient form government cannot operate so efficiently as can private enterprise. That is a part of the price we have to pay for the institution of government. But I suggest that you consider the fact that in this phase the issue is not between the economy achievable by government and by private enterprise. In this phase the question is whether another agency of the Government could achieve a greater economy in civil works than does the Corps of Engineers. I know of no substantial body of competent engineering opinion that has placed on record its belief that any improved economy could be gained by transferring the civil functions of the corps to another agency of the Government, or by transferring the corps itself, en bloc, So far as its civil functions are concerned. On the contrary, I think that I express the view held by the great majority of my colleagues when I say that the Corps of Engineers has a record of probably giving the taxpayers more for their money than has any other agency of the Federal Government, with the possible exception of the post office and the judiciary.

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