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Mr. BURRIS. Not necessarily an arbitrary refusal. I don't think
I have not analyzed it with all of them by any means, but I think it dates back some time, and I have the most profound respect for the group that is administering the unemployment service and the whole agency down in Texas. Two of them will be witnesses later on.
I think it dates back probably to during the war period when it was wholly under the Department of Labor. There is a feeling among employers that during that period in particular, probably to a lesser degree since, but at least some of it still exists, because many of the minor employees are still in those offices, and there is a feeling that the wrong type of philosophy is injected into the people that come through those offices.
Whether it is justified or not justified, your opinion is as good as mine.
Mr. LANHAM. What do you mean by “philosophy”? Do you mean that when a man comes in and wants a job, the man who is trying to help him get a job takes time to instil some philosophy into that man who wants a job? Is that what you mean?
Mr. BURRIS. That is exactly what I mean.
Mr. LANHAM. You mean they are running a school instead of an employment agency?
Mr. BURRIS. No, I don't mean that, but I do mean this: This thing that you men were just talking about, about a man being sent to suitable jobs, saying because he made $2 previously we are not going to send him to a 75 cents an hour job for the simple reason we do not believe he should have that job. He should keep his talents for $2 efforts instead of letting the man himself determine whether he wants to go to the 75-cent job or not.
Mr. LANHAM. You are talking about the unemployment compensation. You started out about the USES.
Mr. BURRIS. No; I am not.
Mr. BURRIS. I am talking about the USES and the matter of referring people to jobs. That is what I am talking about.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. BURRIS. Our thinking is that the two agencies certainly should be combined within one group. We feel, as has been stated here previously, that the lesser of the two evils-and I want to emphasize that-is the Federal Security Agency, because it is, or is supposed to be, neutral. We do not believe that the recipients of the benefits of unemployment compensation—the policies governing unemployment compensation allocations should not be directed by the recipients of that fund. It should be directed by those interested in all segments of our society—theoretically, at least.
We think, furthermore, in that same direction—I believe evidence will ear it out—that the USES did not gain so much great power or so much importance as either an employing agency or anything else in our economy until the unemployment compensation, or the unemployment compensation benefits was also developed in the Federal Security Agency.
I think that is enough.
Mr. BURRIS. No, sir.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Unemployment compensation fund comes from the joint donation of employers and employees? • Mr. BURRIS. No, sir; it comes from the employer.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Employees do not pay anything on that. You take the position, then, that because the employer pays all the benefit, the employer should have the sole right of the administration?
Mr. BURRIS. No, sir. I say it should be done by a neutral agency representing neither labor nor management.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Well, would you recommend any particular agency of Government that you would think would be neutral?
Mr. BURRIS. In that respect it might be necessary to create a new one to get an absolutely neutral one, but at the present time, as I understand it, you are considering either the Federal Security Agency or the Department of Labor.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. That is true.
Mr. BURRIS. In that instance we would prefer the Federal Security Agency.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Because you think that is the more neutral of the two?
Mr. BURRIS. That is right.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Notwithstanding the fact that their job is strictly that of giving out checks and not of furnishing any job opportunities? You understand the Federal Security Agency has no job opportunities, no national hook-ups to find out where employment is needed?
Mr. BURRIS. Well, the United States Department of Labor or whichever agency is directing this effort on the Federal level does not. provide jobs. It is strictly an administrative group. .
Mr. HOLIFIELD. It does not provide jobs in the case of a basic provision of the job itself. It provides the information to the USES officials, as to where jobs are available.
Mr. BURRIS. Well, it can still do that.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. But they could not do it unless you take your United States Employment Service out of the Department of Labor and put it over there in the Federal Security Agency?
Mr. BURRIS. If I might clarify my thought on that, the Federal level or the Federal agency allocating these funds is strictly one of the allocation of funds. The job with respect to finding a job for the individual is done on the State level now.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. That is right.
Mr. BURRIs. Therefore, I do not think from that particular angle the Department of Labor has any material advantage over the Federal Security Agency.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Notwithstanding the fact that they supply to the State offices all of the job information which they have on their veterans' training services and the other complementary services to the job program, the rest of those programs are in the Department of Labor and at the present time they can coordinate the whole employment question—the problem in relation to the job opportunities in the different fields that are outside the local level. Mr. BURRIS. Let us analyze that from this angle. It is nothing,
. of course, that we would preclude the Labor Department from supplying that information to the State groups, irrespective of whether or not this fund was allocated from their Department or from the Federal Security Agency.
On the other hand, we do have a State organization of administrators of this particular activity in the various States, irrespective of the name of the agency. Those groups act independently.
On the other hand, I think if you will check into it, you will find that the labor departments of the various States are pretty well domineered, very substantially—that is, the national association by the Department of Labor.
Now, if they inject that same type of domineering over these other agencies where they place it in the Department of Labor, then I think you are getting on some pretty dangerous philosophies toward the centralization of power and too much power in one agency.
Mr. MANASCO. Do you have one in Texas?
Mr. MANASCO. You mean the State Department of Labor is dominated by the Labor Department of the Federal Government?
Mr. BURRIS. I mean to say this, sir: That the national association, whatever the title happens to be- I don't know—that the national association composed of these various State groups meets only at the call of the Department of Labor.
Mr. MANASCO. They could meet anytime they want to.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Do you feel that it is any more of a disadvantage to society as a whole for there to be a comprehensive meeting of minds and State departments of labor than there is in the State departments of commerce, in State associations of commerce throughout the Nation, under the heading of the United States Department of Commerce?
Mr. BURRIS. Certainly not, as long as they are free to make up their own minds.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Has there been any evidence shown in this hearing that there has been domination from the Washington level to the point of coercion?
Mr. BURRIS. Do they ever meet without the call of the Federal Department of Labor?
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Do your State chambers of commerce ever meet with your national association without the call of the national heads?
Mr. BURRIS. Sure.
Mr. BURRIS. We have a State Chamber of Commerce Management Association. They get together whenever they please.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. In the State?
Mr. HOLIFIELD. But your State level is called by your State head and the national by the national head.
Mr. Burris. They are different organizations entirely.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Sure, but the point you are raising is that they should not be called by the national head.
Mr. BURRIS. I think either I have failed to explain it or you have failed to understand it.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Well, I apologize if I seem to.
Mr. BURRIs. What I am trying to say is the directing heads of those respective departments of labor meet in joint session at the call of the United States Department of Labor, and so far as I knowand I think I am correct in this statement—they don't meet
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Now, let us pursue that point. The gentleman seems to make a point of it.
Do you mean to tell me that the department of labor heads in the different States—we will say, for instance, in the Republican States and in certain Southern States that do not go along with the national administration when they are called together, that regardless of the fact that they are appointed by a Republican Governor they take the dominant program of the secretary of labor who happens to be a Democratic appointee? Would the gentleman go that far?
Mr. BURRIS. The point I am trying to make, taking it back just a little, under your present normal department of labor in an average Staté it is financed on the State level by State appropriations, but what the Department of Labor or what this proposed plan of the President, rather, is advocating is the placing of these State agencies under the Department of Labor from whom, then, they would get their allocation of funds and direction as to operation practices, with the tendency on the part of the present Department of Labor to domineer without the authority of controlling the purse strings, some of the practices of the Department of Labor carried to its logical conclusion, giving them the control of the purse strings, they would domineer the other departments or at least we are afraid they would.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. I understand the gentleman's position, and I respect his views, although I do not agree with them.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, there is this fundamental difference, of course. If the procedure of the National Chamber of Commerce and the State chambers was similar to that of the Department of Commerce, their local agencies, the one is spending their own money and the other is spending Federal funds.
Do you wish to question the witness, Mr. Wadsworth?
Mr. WADSWORTH. The witness has indicated the choice between two evils. The Federal Security Agency was the lesser evil potentially, and the plea has been made that a neutral agency be founded. Do you think a neutral agency could ever be found in the Federal structure?
Mr. BURRIS. We have, of course-well, that is a matter of opinion.
Mr. WADSWORTH. Would there be a larger recognition of neutrality?
Mr. BURRIS. I think perhaps within the wisdom of Congress they could provide a way and a means, but at the present time I do not see that you have that choice in this particular decision. You may later.
Mr. WADSWORTH. Do you not think a larger measure of reliability and neutrality would be bad if it were returned to the States?
M:. BURRIS. I personally would favor it.
Mr. WADSWORTH. I have not much faith in the continued neutrality of the Federal agencies.
Mr. BURRIS. I think if I might add there it is high time we all across the board began to think a little bit about decentralizing some of the authority that has been vested in the Federal Government in the past number of years.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Wilson?
Mr. Wilson. Some member has asked you about the information and statistics that the Labor Department has, and has access to. Would there be anything to keep that State, if both the unemployment compensation and the employment service was ordered back to the States and the Federal Government washed its hands of it, as it should do, would there be anything in the world to keep you in Texas from staying in touch with the other respective States to find out about employment?
Mr. BURRIS. There would not be, No. 1; and, No. 2, I can see no reason why the Department of Labor could not continue to serve as a clearing house, if need be, for information on that subject.
Mr. Wilson. They live on Federal funds, too, don't they?
Mr. Wilson. They could give that information out to any State, any State labor department or any interested parties; could they not?
Mr. BURRIS. That is right.
Mr. Wilson. Without any more cost than would be required under our present set-up.
Mr. BURRIS. Probably less.
Mr. Wilson. Just take a wire to find out where these jobs were. If
you wired from Texas to the Federal Security Agency it wouldn't cost any more to wire the Labor Department, would it, or any other department?
Mr. BURRIS. No, sir.
Mr. MANASCO. I would like to ask the gentleman this: If we are transferring back to the Federal Security Agency the employment services, why wouldn't it be more efficient-save money and administrative expenses-if we also transferred the Bureau of Labor Statistics, so they all would be together?
Mr. BURRIS. Well, I can see no particular reason for them being together.
Mr. MANASCO. Well, of course, if you wanted to get some information about the number of surplus employees in Ohio that can come down and pick your grapefruits and things in Texas, you should be able to go to the same agency where you get the information on unemployment, shouldn't you?
Mr. BURRIS. Not necessarily.
Mr. Manasco. Well, it would be more efficient if you had all of them under the same roof.
Mr. BURRIS. Because, after all, it is the same Government. They get the information from the same till, and although we who read the press from a distance sometimes suppose they refuse to speak to each other-
Mr. MANASCO. Don't you think that all the agencies of the Government should be under a Cabinet head?
Mr. BURRIS. Do I think which—now?
The CHAIRMAN. May I ask you, Mr. Manasco—you mean each agency have a Cabinet place?
MANASCO. No. I mean a group together.