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COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, SIXTY-THIRD CONGRESS.
DUDLEY M. HUGHES, Georgia, Chairman. WILLIAM W. RUCKER, Missouri.
JAMES F. BURKE, Pennsylvania. ROBERT L. DOUGHTON, North Carolina. CALEB POWERS, Kentucky. JOHN W. ABERCROMBIE, Alabama.
HORACE M. TOWNER, Iowa. J. THOMPSON BA R, New Jersey.
EDMUND PLATT, New York. JOHN R. CLANCY, New York.
ALLEN T. TREADWAY, Massachusetts. THOMAS C. THACHER, Massachusetts.
SIMEON D, FESS, Ohio. STEPHEN A. HOXWORTH, Illinois.
ARTHUR R. RUPLEY, Pennsylvania. JAMES L. FOBT, Clerk.
O. OF D.
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION,
Tuesday, February 17, 1914. The committee this day met, Hon. Dudley M. Hughes (chairman) presiding
ADDITIONAL STATEMENT OF HON. S. D. FESS.
Mr. Fess. In 1908 the Secretary of the Interior, who is really the head of the Education Department of the Government, since that department is only a bureau of the Interior Department, authorized an investigation of the facilities here in Washington for graduate students, and Dr. Arthur Hadley, president of Yale, made the study. Dr. Elmer E. Brown, Commissioner of Education at that time, was the person
who really started that work; I suppose that he stimulated President Hadley to do it, and he asked that those findings be printed by the Education Department. They were printed in Bulletin No. 1 of 1909. It is really a very valuable piece of work. I studied it last evening, although I had been fairly familiar with it. It gives a brief history of the establishment of the various departments here, such as the museums, the laboratories, and these special research centers. I think it is conceded that Washington now is the greatest scientific center in the world with reference to facilities for study.
He goes into that and gives a fairly good statement of it, and then he discusses in detail the administrative side as against the education side of this work. For instance, there is a feeling that the man in charge of a department might be interfered with if he had students and that he could not very well be both a research director and a teacher of students. Of course, that would be true if we had a lot of undergraduates here, but the men who would come here would be matured, and instead of interfering with the head they certainly would be of great service to the head. That feature is brought out, and then the possibility of conducting training classes in the departments is also entered into. The opportunities for individual research is another feature of his report, he going into that in detail. There is also a very thorough discussion of the obstacles that would be met. One obstacle would be lack of space, for example, and another obstacle would be the administrative difficulty, and still another the educational difficulty that was mentioned a while ago. The first part of it is a discussion of these topics under the subheads that I have mentioned, and then the second part consists of the letters received by the Secretary of the Interior from the various departments of the Government here setting forth what is in the departments that might be utilized for study. Mr. POWERS. That would be important.
Mr. Fess. Yes; it is very valuable. There are 43 pages of that. It was worked out as follows: A letter was sent out by the Secretary of the Interior to various heads of bureaus, as well as heads of departments, and these letters from the departments in reply received by the Secretary have been printed in the bulletin, but, as you know, it will be difficult to find many of those bulletins now. Therefore, Í wondered whether, in connection with our work here, it would not be possible to incorporate that bulletin in our hearings.
Mr. TOWNER. Certainly it would. I should think that would be the way to get at it in order to make it available.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course, we do not want to make our record cumbersome, but it appears to me that is very important indeed. If there is no objection, that report will be printed in the record.
Mr. Fess. I wonder whether, in connection with that, it would be a good thing for the record to give a detailed statement of the various scientific societies that are domiciled in Washington. I refer to independent associations for the advancement of knowledge. I think a statement of that kind ought to go in the record with a statement of the facilities for study.
Mr. POWERS. You mean a statement of these various-
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, such a statement will be incorporated in the record.
Mr. Fess. Then, Mr. Chairman, I offer the following statement of the facilities for study and research in the offices of the Federal Government prepared by Dr. Arthur Twining Hadley in 1908:
FACILITIES FOR STUDY AND RESEARCH IN THE OFFICES OF THE
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AT WASHINGTON, BY ARTHUR T. HADLEY.
From the very beginning the United States Government has been called upon to provide facilities for advanced study and scientific research, and has shown itself active in meeting these demands.
In the year 1800, when the seat of government was established at Washington, provision was at once made for establishing a library of Congress, under the direct control of the United States authorities, which should be the best institution of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. In spite of two fires-one in 1814 and the other in 1851–by which the collections of books were destroyed or greatly impaired, these intentions have been consistently realized. The
Library of Congress is not only the largest collection of books in the country; it is, of all the large libraries in the world, the one whose collections are made most readily available for the scientific investigator of every grade. More than once in the history of the institution the question has arisen whether the Library of Congress should be treated as a circulating library for the casual reader or as a reference library for the serious student, and the answer has been in favor of the latter principle.
Simultaneously with the establishment of the Library at the beginning of the last century there was a recognition of the scientific importance of the census, of the probable necessity of Government in
vestigations in American ethnology, and of the need for the establishment of an adequate coast survey. In the year 1800 the American Philosophical Society, under the presidency of Thomas Jefferson, presented a memorial to Congress stating that “the decennial census offered an occasion of great value for ascertaining sundry facts highly important to society and not otherwise to be obtained,” and praying that this object might be held in view in taking the next census. A similar memorial was presented by the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences during the same year. Six years later the project of a coast survey was taken up by Secretary Gallatin and received the sanction of law in 1807.
The results of these early endeavors were not wholly satisfactory. The war with Great Britain and the political and material developments which followed it turned men's minds in other directions. Though the census schedules were somewhat enlarged, the methods employed were faulty and the results obtained were of little value until after 1830. The work of the Coast Survey during these years, in spite of the ability of its superintendent, Mr. Hassler, was scarcely more effective. But about 1840 there was a revival of scientific interest and scientific activity on the part of the Government which led to the accomplishment of large results. The census of 1840 showed a distinct improvement over its predecessors, and that of 1850 was a work of great positive value. The Coast Survey was reorganized in 1843 under the headship of Prof. Bache, and its work was pushed with vigor and success. The Naval Observatory, established in 1842 under the title of “A Depot of Charts and Instruments for the Navy," gradually developed into a scientific institution of the first rank. The establishment of the Smithsonian Institution in 1846, by which the leading members of the United States Government became responsible for the administration of a large trust for the increase and diffusion of knowledge, marked another step in the direction of public encouragement of research.
After the year 1850 scientific interests at Washington were again somewhat crowded out by political ones. The good work of the institutions just described was continued, but few new ones were established (if we except the Weather Bureau, the Hydrographic Office, and certain specific surveys of importance) until after the close of the reconstruction period.
The organization of the United States Geological Survey in 1879 can perhaps be taken as marking the beginning of a new era. This era, which has continued to the present time, has been characterized by the gradual development and coordination of technical bureaus and technical researches in a large number of different linesbiological, chemical, and industrial. Starting usually on a small scale, as auxiliaries of the operations of some department of the Government, these bureaus have acquired independent importan and have been so organized as to facilitate their development as separate institutions instead of subordinating it to the administrative needs of the department in which they originated. The investigations dealing with biology and chemistry, wherever they may have originated, have tended to go into the charge of the Department of Agriculture. The investigations in industrial and statistical science, wherever they have originated, have similarly gravitated toward the Department of Commerce and Labor. Under the Department of Agriculture we
now find the Weather Bureau, the Bureau of Animal Industry, the Bureau of Plant Industry, the Forest Service, the Bureau of Chemistry, the Bureau of Soils, the Bureau of Entomology, the Bureau of Biological Survey, the Office of Experiment Stations, and the Office of Public Roads. Under the Department of Commerce and Labor we find the Bureau of Corporations, the Bureau of Manufactures, the Bureau of Labor, the Bureau of the Census, the Coast and Geodetic Survey, the Bureau of Fisheries, the Bureau of Standards, and the Bureau of Statistics.
ADMINISTRATION VERSUS EDUCATION.
Of the extent and value of the researches made by these various offices and bureaus there can be no doubt whatever. The scientific results are admirably alike in quantity, quality, and range of subjects. Of the investigations which have given American science its credit and its standing in other countries, a surprisingly large proportion have been conducted in Government departments. But it has been felt in many quarters that these bureaus were not administered in such a way as to have the maximum educational value. The work has not been done by students but by officials. The very fact that its scientific and administrative usefulness is so great has emphasized its lack of direct connection with the educational system of the country. It has been felt that if a larger number of students were trained in the Government offices at Washington, this would form a natural development and culmination of our whole system of public instruction.
Under these influences the Fifty-second Congress, in the year 1892, passed the following joint resolution “to encourage the establishment and endowment of institutions of learning at the National Capital by defining the policy of the Government with reference to the use of its literary and scientific collections by students”: Whereas large collections illustrative of the various arts and sciences and facilitating
literary and scientific research have been accumulated by the action of Congress through a series of years at the National Capital; and Whereas it was the original purpose of the Government thereby to promote research
and the diffusion of knowledge, and is now the settled policy and present practice of those charged with the care of these collections specially to encourage students who devote their time to the investigation and study of any branch of knowledge by allowing to them all proper use thereof; and Whereas it is represented that the enumeration of these facilities and the formal
statement of this policy will encourage the establishment and endowment of institutions of learning at the seat of government, and promote the work of education by attracting students to avail themselves of the advantages aforesaid under the direction of competent instructors: Therefore,
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the facilities for research and illustration in the following and any other governmental collections now existing or hereafter to be established in the city of Washington for the promotion of knowledge shall be accessible, under such rules and restrictions as the officers in charge of each collection may prescribe, subject to such authority as is now or may hereafter be permitted by law, to the scientific investigators and students of any institution of higher education now incorporated or hereafter
to be incorporated under the laws of Congress or of the District of Columbia, to wit: .
1. Of the Library of Congress.