« PreviousContinue »
the Foreign Minister of France have been in consultation here on the future of western Germany, and they have called me in, and I have just been crazy trying to do three jobs. They have called me in as an adviser on it, and I have been devoting a great deal of time to that."
Mr. Hoover is a busy man, and Mr. Forrestal is in the hospital today. Dean Acheson is a busy man, as he is Secretary of State and he has a man-sized job without this work. Then there is Mr. Flemming, who is president of Ohio Wesleyan University, and he has neglected his work out there. Mr. Flemming was originally the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission. The Commission asked Mr. Flemming and Mr. Manasco to continue on the Commission. We were able to prevail upon them to do so as a matter of public service.
We drafted for these task forces, asking them to give 3 months or 6 months to do this work. It might be interesting to you to know how some of this work was done.
They would call in some outstanding man, perhaps a president of some company. Mr. Hoover or Mr. Forrestal or Mr. Kennedy, or someone else, would say to him: “Anderson, we want you to help us. We knew
did not have a dime and you were a poor boy just like the rest of us. You came up through the ranks, and you made good and you have a fortune. You can afford to give some of your time to your country. We want your knowledge and your experience and ability. You come in here and give 3 months of your life and forget this other thing that you have been doing." We got those men. It was amazing. Just look at the lists of the men we got. You could not hire those men for love or money but only for love of country.
I think they are entitled to all the honor and respect we can give them.
Then, in back of those men would come some of their aides that they had brought in. For example, we had several of the presidents of large insurance companies take a look at the Insurance Division of the Veterans Administration. I think Mr. Manasco will tell you that first they threw up their hands. Then they brought in their best actuaries, so they could find out what the situation was and what could be done. They did not come back with the report that we destroy the agency and turn the business over to them. They came back with the recommendation that we put in efficient types of business machines and new methods; that it be set up as a separate corporation with the head of the Veterans' Administration being authorized to name some outstanding career man to head it; that it was not a political question and it should not be handled as a governmental activity but as a business activity by the Government.
Those are the kind of men we had; and those men will come here, I am certain. Do you not feel that way, Mr. Manasco?
Mr. MANASCO. Yes.
Mr. Brown. But you men have to have this assistance just as we had it. We were not long in session before we found out that 12 fellows could not go out and do all this job. At times we had several thousand people working on it, and you have to have a staff.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Of course, you have done a great deal of the ground work, and you brought together facts and certain conclusions; but if this committee discharges its responsibilities, and it certainly wants to do it, we are going to have to have additional help to assist us in evaluating the reasons behind the conclusions which are presented in
your report, and I want you to know, Mr. Brown, that this committee is approaching this in a completely bipartisan manner just as you gentlemen on the Commission did.
Mr. BROWN. Yes.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. We are going to try to bring out of this committee, if possible, a unanimous bill. It may not go as far as an individual may want it to, but we are going to try to bring out unanimous reports and bring them to the Congress to start whittling away at this committee's job.
Mr. Brown. May I make this comment for the record, and I think this should be made here. I am rather proud of having been the father of this Commission and responsible for legislation which by the way you know went through this committee by unanimous vote and through the Senate and House by unanimous vote and then was signed by the President. This Commission, as you know, is made up of 12 men, six from civilian life and six from public life, so that there would be a balance there. Six of the men were Democrats and six were Republicans, and I am very proud.
Mr. Manasco, another member of the committee, is here and I am sure he joins with me in that. I am proud of the fact that never once in all of the different meetings of the Commission in all of the discussions that came up and the different divisions that came up was thrre erar a single division that was drawn between those from civilian life and those from public life on the Commission or between those of the Democratic Party faith or those of the Republican Party faith.
We never divided once along either line, and there was never to my knowledge a single time when partisanship entered into the work of this Commission, and
I am extremely happy to hear you say that the the same approach, as I am sure will be used, will be given to this job because this job is bigger than any of us.
We had divisions sometimes, very, very peculiar and sometimes very laughable divisions. You would see two Republicans fighting to beat the band on their views, and the next day you would see some fellow that might be called of a liberal mind lining up with a fellow that might be considered more conservative in thought against somebody on the other side of the table. You will have that same thing here. But you must bring out the composite thought of your committee, and it should be that everybody is willing to give and take just a little. Your work cannot be perfect, just as our reports are not perfect.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. I certainly want to thank you for your testimony this morning on behalf of the committee. If there are any other questions at this time that any members of the committee wish to ask of Mr. Brown, they certainly have the opportunity.
The CHAIRMAN. I just wanted to say at this time that I am sorry I was not here to listen to my distinguished colleagues and I feel that I am the loser for it.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. There is one thing I want to call to your attention, Mr. Brown. In your further consideration of this bill, I know you will give it some thought.
Mr. BROWN. Yes.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. There is one point--the records management point in your chart here is not included or provided for in any of the bills before us, I believe.
Now I would like for you to either briefly testify at this time or if you prefer perhaps you can give us more testimony at a later time at greater length on the advisability or the desirablity of having the record management within this correlation of groups that we are trying to get together.
Mr. Brown. I do not think at first blush, at least, that the record management agency should go into the supply agency that you would set up under this bill. However, I do think that there should be legislation for it so as to fit it into the Office of General Services or into some office of that type.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. What we are doing here, you see, in this chart you have Federal supply and you have public buildings and you have, of course, your function of the FWA which is included in there.
Now in the grouping of these things together as the first block, you might say, in this structure which we are trying to build, you have grouped them together.
Mr. Brown. We have grouped them together under the general services.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. That is true.
Mr. BROWN. In other words, there would be bureaus, the Bureau of Supply, the Bureau of Records Management, and so forth and so on. You are setting up one agency which I hope you will call the Bureau of Supply which deals primarily and solely with the problem of products and the disposal of surplus property.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. We go much further than that; we go into your whole function of FWÄ, the custodianship of space.
Mr. Brown. Do you go into the public buildings?
Mr. Brown. Well, I had not studied it. My understanding was that you had
wanted me to testify on this report. Mr. HOLIFIELD. We will furnish you with that analysis. We have almost the picture you have here.
Mr. Brown. Then I would certainly change my title a little bit here and broaden sufficiently to cover the whole field.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. We were certainly going to consider that, but we also have to consider the reorganization plans that will come up later that perhaps we will want to hit together and certain Presidential orders.
Mr. Brown. I can see where you could leave out for the present at least the incorporation in here of the Smithsonian Institute and the District of Columbia and other agencies that would report through this direction.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. That can be very easily added.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. There is one part that you may not want to testify on, but this question comes to my mind. This committee did pass out the Reorganization Act providing for the two-House veto. From reading the newspapers it seems that there is a division over in the other body.
Mr. Brown. The Senate committee has reported the bill a little differently.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. With one-House veto as I understand it.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Would you care to comment, assuming that there will be reorganization plans come up here and on the basis on which you developed a minute ago, that if a bill of this kind did come up to the floor, it would come under closed rules unless you wanted it chopped up?
If a reorganization plan is brought up here for this committee to defend, in case it has to be defended by a resolution against it, would you care to give us your opinion as to whether this two-House veto should obtain or the one-House veto?
Mr. Brown. Well, Mr. Chairman, as a member of the Commission when we discussed this problem I was very strongly in favor of two limitations on the President's power to reorganize. You must remember that in giving the President the reorganization power the Congress is in effect giving him the power to legislate. They are reversing the constitutional procedure. Under the Constitution the Congress is the legislative branch and the President is the executive branch.
By the Reorganization Act we are saying to the President, “You can in effect legislate for us and we reserve the right to veto what you do." Whereas, the Constitution says that the Congress shall legislate and the President shall have the power to veto. So, I opposed two things—I supported the thing on the floor because I thought the over-all goal to be accomplished was of such importance that I thought I should subjugate my own thoughts.
First of all I do not think the reorganization power should be a permanent power; that Congress should in its wisdom extend it or be in a position to cut it off.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. I am of that opinion.
Mr. Brown. I am of the opinion that Congress very often finds it easy to give away its power and finds it difficult to get it back and that, therefore, we should be very zealous in protecting the powers, authorities, and privileges of the legislative branch.
Second, I felt that inasmuch as we were reversing the procedure that we should permit any reorganization plan to be held up or set aside if one House refuses to approve. Now there is a reason for that. Suppose the President wants to do something under the reorganization plan. He does it by sending up his program. If we were
. to try to do it by law, we would have to have the approval of both Houses or there would be no law, plus the approval of the President.
The CHAIRMAN. That is because the Constitution requires it.
BROWN the Congress cannot do certain things except by the majority vote of both Houses we should not permit the President to do it. In other words, if one House were to reject the bill, that is the end of it. If one House should reject the reorganization plan, there should be some new reorganization. I feel rather strongly that the Congress will not reject any reorganization plan, or either branch of the House will not reject any reorganization plan, unless there is some strong compelling reason for it. It is the one check that the Congress and the public do have on the Presidential power that we confer.
Let me go a little further on that. There is a 60-day limitation on here and it takes pretty fast movement. You know, to move to vote through both Houses and get consideration in both Houses can take time. It is very easy to delay it so that if there is no rejection in both Houses within 60 days, you can go ahead.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. There will be a deadline within which these reorganization plans can be submitted. One of the reasons I brought this question up was in view of that fact.
Mr. BROWN. There should be a dead line.
Mr. Brown. Yes. But 60 days is a rather short time for your committee and the Senate committee and the House and Senate to act, and it has been easy, and in the past it has been done, where one House would show that they did not want some plan and then immediately the orders would go out to just slow down over in the other body and not consider it and therefore both Houses had not rejected it.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. You see if we are going to be faced with that, one of the reasons I brought it up is because it will have a dircet bearing on the work of the committee. The theory of giving the President the reorganization plan with the disapproval of both Houses, if that is going to be changed and we put it on a one-House basis, we might just as well go into the job and try to do the whole thing on the legislative basis.
Mr. Brown. You save a lot of time. Mr. HOFFMAN. If you are going to get the money this committee will render many of these reorganization plans which might otherwise be unnecessary.
Mr. BROWN. A lot of it has to be done,
Mr. Brown. May I make one suggestion and then I am through. I think that the members of the Hoover Commission, so-called, and the leadership on this committee should discuss this very problem, this very difficulty with which this committee is faced with the leaders of the House and Senate of both parties.
In other words, I think if it becomes necessary that proper staffing of your committee is of such importance that the Democratic and Republican leadership in the Congress, if necessary the policy committees of the Congress, should take action and fix what is to be done so as to expedite it.
Mr. HARVEY. I think that is an excellent suggestion.
Mr. BROWN. I think the leaders on both sides would be in favor of it.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. I think the House should not be criticized for not allowing more money for this operation. I think if they know the importance of these things which face the subcommittee and the members are aware of the fact that you are trying to do a job there will not be any question as to the amount of money that can be made available.
The CHAIRMAN. I would like to say that that matter has already been taken up with the leadership and we are assured that we will have amounts of money as needed.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. I am glad to hear that assurance.
Mr. Brown. I hope that you will have these funds available as soon as possible and that before the Commission organization breaks up you will avail yourselves of their services.
The CHAIRMAN. I would like to say that in regard to the $50,000 that they gave us, if necessary we will spend it in 1 month because the money will be available.