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of the Army be the service organization. What would you think of such a set-up as that?
Secretary WILBUR. Well, my own idea would be that this should be an independent service to which Army engineers could be assigned for specific work, such as flood control and that sort of thing, rather than to have the Army become the construction service.
The CHAIRMAN. How about the Army engineers participating in the activities that are now being performed by your department?
Secretary WILBUR. If you analyze it, it has in it these public buildings here'in Washington or elsewhere, which are not primarily Army functions. In the construction of dams sometimes on navigable streams, where the Army is concerned, and the Army is engaged in flood control; it amounts to this, that dam construction requires men who specialize on it and make it their life's work. I doubt whether the Army would want to take on the building of dams as something that they would assign Army engineers to for life.
The CHAIRMAN. Who constructed Wilson Dam!
The CHAIRMAN. General Martin, did not General Brown supervise the construction of Wilson Dam? Mr. MARTIN. I do
o not think so. Mr. WHITTINGTON. Whether he did or not, Mr. Chairman, the Army Engineers did construct Wilson Dam.
Mr. MARTIN. I beg your pardon; yes, they did. That is where General Brown won his reputation, was down there, and before him was Governor Burgess on the Panama Canal. Yes, the Army engineers did construct Wilton Dam; they did the whole business with the assistance of several experts on geological formations and things of that kind, and so on. They brought in the assistance of highpaid experts, but the actual construction which the Secretary refers to was all done by the Army engineers. In fact, the original appropriation for Wilson Dam was in the Army appropriation bill.
Secretary WILBUR. Yes; it was a war matter.
Mr. MARTIN. As a matter of fact, that was the way Senator Chamberlain got through his national defense act, was by giving $10,000,000 in there to build that dam. That is how he aroused the interest of certain Members of Congress in the national defense act by using Wilson Dam as a sop to them.
Secretary WILBUR. That was primarily for the fixing of nitrogen for the preparation of explosives.
The CHAIRMAN. In war times, and for fertilizer in peace times. Mr. MARTIN. That is it.
The CHAIRMAN. As I stated at the outset, this bill was drawn for the purpose of getting the matter before the committee. We had no direct information as to what the President wanted included and what he did not want included. It will be a very easy matter to eliminate the National Park Service and personally I see the wisdom of your suggestion of keeping the National Park Service out, but letting the service, organization construct the roads and bridges, as they are doing now. And I think the committee can get - a good deal of information frm Mr. MacDonald when he comes down here, as to how you work together.
Secretary WILBUR. Yes; it has been very satisfactory.
Secretary WILBUR. It has the basis, I think, of how the whole thing could be done.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there anything left out of this bill that you would suggest should be in?
Secretary WILBUR. Which one are you talking about?
Secretary WILBUR. Well, the reports I sent in on the bills made certain suggestions. We thought it was a mistake to put purchasing in there. As far as purchasing for construction is concerned, it requires a different type of mind and man.
The CHAIRMAN. But if you had one purchasing set-up to buy for all, would not that mean economy?
Secretary WILBUR. It is a different thing from letting plans and contracts to buying lead pencils and paper for a department.
The CHAIRMAN. I mean to let the operating office remain where it is, under you, but in the work of the construction, in the purchase of the materials for the construction, the larger the amount of material you buy, would not that have a tendency to reduce the price?
Secretary WILBUR. I quite agree if your purchasing is confined to the material used in the construction activities, that that should be done either by contract or under the auspices of this board. But I was thinking more of the broader purchasing bureaus for the activities of the Government.
Mr. COLTON. Did I understand, Mr. Secretary, you would favor the setting up of a Bureau of Public Works with rather broad powers in the Executive and then, later, that we ought to have the actual transfers confirmed by Congress!
Secretary WILBUR. Yes; have them worked out the way we have by experience worked out our plan with the Bureau of Public Roads, but have it worked out with the understanding that it must be worked out. You see what I mean. If you try to do it by legislatiye fiat in detail, I think it will tangle things up; while if you lay the course, I think each department can gradually shift all construction activities into the Bureau of Public Works.
Mr. MARTIN. I think I understand what the Secretary means; he would rather court the lady than otherwise.
Secretary WILBUR, I do not know whether that has gone into the record, or not, but I agree with it.
The CHAIRMAN. The first part of your suggestion, Mr. Colton, is to give the President the power and then is it your viewpoint to come back to Congress for confirmation?
Mr. COLTON. I understand the Secretary's suggestion is that he would have Congress create the framework and give the Executive the right to work out the parts of each bureau, or an entire bureau, that could be transferred to the public-works administration. Then, when that is worked out, he would come back to Congress for confirmation of the act.
Secretary WILBUR. If I may just outline it in this way: We will take the Reclamation Service and say the bureau of public-works administration is set up. The question then comes up what parts of the Bureau of Reclamation Service can wisely be transferred. The building of dams, the building of roads, the building of large ditches-yes; but when it comes to the development of plans for the
Reclamation Bureau, or payment on the economic side, that needs to be left in a different area than construction. So that it would take a little time to decide what parts of each one of these bureaus should go into public-works administration, in order to give the right set-up for economical operations.
Mr. COLTON. Would you have that become effective without act of Congress, or would you provide in the original law that the final set-up should be approved by congressional action?
Secretary WILBUR. My idea would be to set it up within the lines that are laid out by Congress and for the President to be able to handle it by Executive order, otherwise you would be pestered to death by details.
The CHAIRMAN. To come back to Congress with a proposition of that kind means years of delay. Now, if you are going to give the President the power, if you are going to pass a resolution of that kind, why not say in the resolution that the President shall do this. shall do that, and specify what he can place under one head and let him go ahead and do it.
Mr. Colton. I was just trying to get the viewpoint of Secretary Wilbur.
Mr. Cross. Mr. Secretary, aside from theory and getting down to conditions and practical results, you appreciate the fact, of course, that the Cabinet officers are just temporary; they go in and they go out, and you have to look to the key men for your information fargely, for no man can go in there for just a few years and grasp and understand all the details of the department. Another thing, when you turn it over to the President-I am just getting your idea about this he has got to turn around and look to his head men, the Cabinet officers, and they in turn have to look to theirs. Now, immediately when you commence to talk about saving money and eliminating certain branches, wont you immediately have the very fellow you have to look to for information fighting to keep intact his outfit and his number of men, and there is a certain amount of politics comes into it, too; and would it not put the President in a very embarrassing position, and at the same time would it not be practically impossible for him to get the true facts, or even for the Cabinet officers to get them? Here is what occurs to me now, while I am sitting here; it just happens to pop into my '
mind—I do not know whether such a thing would be possible, but if you had real, constructive business men, who have no touch with politics and who have nothing to do with it, say, three such men, just in a businesslike manner to get out and familiarize themselves and say, 66 This is the plan," and let the President submit that to the Congress, so that he could keep away from the Congress, but to be something like a jury and disallowing and putting back-he could keep away from an embarrassing situation of the political angle of the thing. What do you think of that?
Secretary WILBUR. I would say this, that there is much merit in the point of view you bring out. This is the most difficult task in Government; it is the most difficult in every organization, to bring about reorganization with the consent of the people who are to be reorganized. I have gone through that with several institutions myself and you can never get the group itself to agree to let anything go. They form a defense organization to protect themselves. It is just a natural human reaction. But here comes the President and says: “ I am willing to take the gaff; I am willing to go down with this thing; I have been studying it for a dozen years; I see a chance to make great economies, and if Congress will let me set up certain procedures here I am willing to take the trouble and put the thing through.” My personal belief is that only the Executive, knowing the situation and willing to take the trouble and to stand the pains of the thing, will ever bring this about. It will never become automatic. Take my own position as head of a department: I can not recommend that any head of department, any bureau, be transferred to another department. I would lose the loyalty of that bureau at once. I can not recommend that some other bureau be given to us from another department,
because I will get the enmity of that department at once. But the President sitting up there, and knowing all of the different factors of the Government, can say to me, “I think you must arrange matters so that everything that has to do with construction is elbowed out of your department, and I want you to tell me how it can be done,” and then I tell him how it can be done, and he takes the pain and the medicine; I do not have to take them.
Mr. DALLINGER. Mr. Secretary, is it not a fact, if Congress prescribes the details, that Congress is going to be lobbied to death by all these bureaus and departments that are affected?
Secretary WILBUR. If you go into detail, when it is all through, it will be just the way it has been for the last 20 years.
Mr. ĎAVENPORT. And if you present this thing as Mr. Cross suggests, in toto finally to the Congress, you will get the combined pressure of each group that opposes any phase of it, exerted upon the whole of it?
Secretary WILBUR. Yes; that has been done without success, and the President recognizes it is never going to be done that way.
Mr. DAVENPORT. That was the experience, for example, of the State of New York in reorganizing its departments. A constitutional convention met in 1915 under the presidency of Mr. Elihu Root and a good plan of reorganization was worked out and put up to the people, and it was overwhelmed in the voting, because everybody who had any opposition at all joined with everybody else and destroyed it. And then along came Mr. Smith, as governor of the State, and picked those things out by chapters and presented them to the legislature and the people, and nearly all of it went through.
Secretary WILBUR. You see, if you take the set-up in Mr. Cochran's bill and Mr. Williamson's bill, which had to do with one phase, construction, then comes along the question of personnel. That is another phase. Then the President, in his message, outlines certain things that can be conglomerate-agricultural research, education, health, and conservation. He sees them as units that can be brought together. They are scattered throughout the whole Government in departments, commissions, and so on, and they are simply little lateral points—as you say, chapters. Nobody can write that whole chapter at once, and if you try to get a combined authorship to write it, it will be going in every direction. But if Congress can give the chapters and headings-
Mr. DAVENPORT. Have you examined this bill of Mr. Cochran's carefully enough so that you think the general set-up is sound?
Secretary WILBUR. It seems to me both Mr. Cochran's bill and Mr. Williamson's bill cover the ground as to what shall be done. Mr. Cochran's covers a little too much, as I have indicated, in bringing in certain things, such as the National Park Service. But I think it all comes back to this, Mr. Davenport: This Congress wants to outline the paths along which the reorganization shall go and to set up the headings for those paths and let the Executive work it out.
Mr. MARTIN. In other words, you simply want the Congress to give directions ?
Secretary WILBUR. To give the directions, but not the details. You will get lost in the brush if you start with the details; but if you give the general directions-do you want public works; do you want to combine health, education, agricultural research, and so on; if you do, I think the details can be forced through.
Mr. WILLIAMSON. Mr Secretary, my bill does not attempt to set out the details.
Secretary WILBUR. No.
Mr. WILLIAMSON. It simply sets up the general plan for bringing together the construction work activities of the Government. Do you think that is a better method than to name the bureaus that are to be consolidated ?
Secretary WILBUR. I think it much better to set out the general path, rather than to try to get together all of the things that are going down that path, because you can not foresee the difficulties. I think the best phrase I have seen in connection with this is that one used by the President when he says it is "study and experience gained in the actual process of reorganization." It has been my experience, in the reorganizations I have been through, that you have to deal with a hundred different people and persuade them what shall be done and get places for them when they are forced to drop out; and, in that way, in a couple of years you have gotten it without having a terrific turmoil, and you have made the savings that come with an amalgamation of interests.
Mr. WILLIAMSON. You would experience a great deal of trouble, would you not, because the men you desire to get the information from that would enable you to economize by coordinating activities are likely to be personally affected; is not that true?
Secretary WILBUR. If you will permit me, it is a good deal like the organization of a university. You can not ever expect the head of a department to admit that he can get along with less money. or fewer men than he had before. He always thinks in terms of growth. He would look on it as his failure if he did not want more money and more professors in the work. And in every bureau it is the same way. It is as natural as can be.
Mr. WILLIAMSON. The job is always in the mind of the people doing it.
Secretary WILBUR. Naturally; and, if the job does not grow, it is not important or interesting.
Mr. SCHAFER. Mr. Secretary, is not this also a fact, that when one of the executive departments tries to economize and to remove some fellow from the pay roll, the Members of Congress are vitally interested and raise the very old dickens if one of their constituents or a