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APPROPRIATION BILL FOR 1941
SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE
Printed for the use of the Committee on Appropriations
INTERIOR DEPARTMENT (EXCEPT BUREAU
CLARENCE CANNON, Missouri
JOHN TABER, New York
INTERIOR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION BILL, 1941
HEARINGS CONDUCTED BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE, MESSRS. EDWARD
T. TAYLOR (CHAIRMAN); JED JOHNSON, OKLAHOMA; JAMES
Monday, JANUARY 29, 1940. conduct of HEARINGs for THE DEPARTMENT of THE INTERIon g :
Mr. Johnsos of Qklahoma. Members of the committee will regret very much that Chairman Taylor is unable to be present at this time. We hope, however, that he will be able to be with us very soon. As acting chairman of the subcommittee I am continuing the practice of Chairman Taylor in dividing the work among the several subcommittee members, and also of continuing the custom of having each member of the subcommittee preside while the Bureau assigned to him is being heard. Incidentally, we are delighted to welcome Mr. Sheppard of California as a new member of this subcommittee on appropriations. I am sure he will enjoy his service. He has been assigned to handle, the estimates of appropriations for the Bureau of Mines. We will now take up the consideration of the Interior Department appropriation bill.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 1940.
STATEMENT OF HON. HAROLD L. ICKES, SECRETARY OF THE
Mr. Scrugha M. We are pleased to have you with us this morning, Mr. Secretary.
Secretary Ickes. Thank you.
Mr. Scrugh AM. As you know we have deferred requesting you to come before us on account of the illness of our Chairman, Mr. Taylor. He has sent word that he would not be here today and has requested
us to proceed.
Mr. Scrugh AM. We will be glad to hear any statement you may
care to make. -
COMPARISON OF ESTIMATES FOR 1940 WITH APPROPRIATIONS MADE
Last year when I appeared before this committee the Budget estimates for the Interior Department for 1940 carried increases aggregating approximately $21,000,000. This year the estimates as carried in the 1941 Budget show decreases, as compared with the 1940 appropriations, aggregating almost $38,000,000. The decreases for 1941 include $29,805,166.60, in various items contained in the committee print which you have before you and the balance is made up largely of two relief items amounting to $8,350,000 for which appropriations are not being considered at this time. The major cuts made by the Bureau of the Budget are reflected in construction items of the Bonneville project, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the National Park Service. Other reductions are also reflected in items involved in the reorganization transfers and in several appropriation items of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. During the last year several changes were effected in the Department pursuant to the Reorganization Act of 1939. The Office of Education was transferred to the Federal Security Agency. The United States Housing Authority and the Branch of Buildings Management of the National Park Service were transferred to the Federal Works Agency. In return we received the Bureau of Biological Survey from the Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Fisheries from the Department of Commerce, the Bureau of Insular Affairs from the War Department, and the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Commission which was carried as an independent agency during the fiscal year 1939. We have also established in the Secretary's office a division designated as the Bituminous Coal Division to carry out the functions of the National Bituminous Coal Commission which was abolished under Reorganization Plan No. 2. Another division designated as the Consumers' Counsel Division has also been established in the Office of the Solicitor to assume the duties of the Consumers' Counsel of the National Bituminous Coal Commission, which office was also abolished under the same reorganization plan. From an administrative standpoint these changes have greatly improved the organization of this Department and, as will be noted in the Budtestimates, economies in operating expenses, notably in the administration of the National Bituminous Coal Act, are being effected. There are several items which I would like to mention especially at this time. :
DIVISION OF PERSONNEL SUPERVISION AND MANAGEMENT
In the estimate for salaries of my immediate office there is an increase of $45,340 for the Division of Personnel Supervision and Management. I wish to stress the fact that this item is urgently needed irrespective of the policy which Congress may adopt concerning personnel procedures contemplated in the Executive order of June 24, 1938. With the growth of the Department's activities since 1933, involving an increase of over 135 percent in the number of employees, from 19,615 in that year to over 47,000 at the present time, there has developed the need for an enlarged staff and for improved methods for handling personnel matters. Early in 1938 I established the position of director of personnel with a view of realigning the functions of our personnel work. Several months thereafter, on February 1, 1939, the Division of Personnel Supervision and Management was established to further the plan and at the same time conform with the procedures proposed in the President's order. Through savings in lapses and at the temporary sacrifice of positions needed in other units we have carried for approximately one year, a nucleus of the increased staff needed in the Division. e organization is of the staff type, maintaining a central control of personnel policies and procedures and coordinating them among the bureaus. The results obtained during this short period have been most satisfactory. To revert to our former system, which will be necessary if the increase allowed by the Bureau of the Budget is not approved, will mean that two administrative employees, the Director of the Division and an Assistant Director, without sufficient help to handle even the routine details, will be called upon to assume responsibilities of over-all personnel management for over 47,000 employees distributed throughout the several States, Territories, and island possessions.
OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR
When I appeared before the committee last year, I emphasized my uneasiness over the situation caused by the lack of sufficient personnel to perform the legal work of the Department. A recent critical examination of the Office of the Solicitor discloses that although my uneasiness was fully justified at that time the present situation is one to be viewed with alarm, because the legal work has continued to accumulate despite the large amount of overtime worked by the staff, and it is evident that unless the Solicitor's staff is enlarged the work of the Department will be slowed down seriously.
Last year a o was made for an increased appropriation of $26,120 to provide personnel for a new legislative unit. $9,180 was appropriated for this purpose, a sum entirely inadequate to provide sufficient personnel for the important work on legislation.
he overload of work on the personnel of the Solicitor's Office
has been increased greatly as a result of the transfer to the De
artment on o 1 of functions administered previously in other §o of the Government. This additional responsibility has been placed on the office of the Solicitor without adequate provisions for increased personnel. This is true particularly concerning the activities of the Division of Territories which now include the functions performed previously by the Bureau of Insular Affairs.
This year's estimate is $314,340. It includes an increase of $23,440 over the appropriation available for the fiscal year 1940. The increase is to provide legal service essential to the effective work of two activities of the Department, and to relieve the Solicitor in some measure of the burden of the many business and personnel details arising in connection with the administration of his office. Previous appropriations have made no provision for legal services to the Division of Territories, and since July 1 the legal work of