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COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
JAMES P. BUCHANAN, Texas, Chairman EDWARD T. TAYLOR, Colorado
JOHN TABER, New York WILLIAM B. OLIVER, Alabama
ROBERT L. BACON, New York ANTHONY J. GRIFFIN, New York
RICHARD B. WIGGLESWORTH, Massachusetts JOHN N. SANDLIN, Louisiana
JAMES H. SINCLAIR, North Dakota WILLIAM A. AYRES, Kansas ti
CLARENCE J. MCLEOD, Michigan ROSS A. COLLINS, Mississippi
LLOYD THURSTON, Iowa WILLIAM W. HASTINGS, Oklahoma FLORENCE P. KAHN, California CLARENCE CANNON, Missouri
JOHN T. BUCKBEE, Illinois OLIFTON A. WOODRUM, Virginia
J. HOWARD SWICK, Pennsylvania WILLIAM W. ARNOLD, Illinois
CHESTER C. BOLTON, Ohio JOHN J. BOYLAN, New York
W. P, LAMBERTSON, Kansas TILMAN B. PARKS, Arkansas
EDWARD W. GOSS, Connecticut
J. WILLIAM DITTER, Pennsylvania
MARCELLUS C. SHEID, Clerk
AGRICULTURAL DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION BILL, 1935
HEARINGS CONDUCTED BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE, MESSRS. JOHN N. SANDLIN (CHAIRMAN), MICHAEL J. HART, CLARENCE CANNON, JAMES À. SINCLAIR, AND LLOYD THURSTON, OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, IN CHARGE OF THE AGRICULTURAL DEPARTMENT APPROPRIA. TION BILL FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1935, ON THE DAYS FOLLOWING
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17, 1934. STATEMENTS OF HON. HENRY A. WALLACE, SECRETARY OF AGRI
CULTURE, AND W. A. JUMP, BUDGET OFFICER
Mr. SANDLIN. Gentlemen, we have met this morning for the purpose of beginning the consideration of the estimates for the Department of Agriculture.
Mr. Secretary, we are very glad to have you here this morning, and if you would like to make a general statement in reference to the work of the Department, the committee will be very glad to hear you.
Secretary WALLACE. I am very glad to have had this opportunity of coming before you in explanation of the budget for the Department. I hope you will let me know whenever I can be of assistance to the committee, in connection with your consideration of the estimates, or on any matter pertaining to the Department.
INCREASE IN WORK OF SECRETARY'S OFFICE AND IN DEPARTMENT
I was referring a few moments ago, in the course of our informal discussion, to the state of the Department under the pressure of the emergency work.
Mr. SINCLAIR. Do you mean, Mr. Secretary, that the work in connection with the Secretary's office bas increased 390 precent as a result of the activities of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, and other burdens?
Secretary WALLACE. Yes. We have practically four times as much mail, to be exact an increase of 396 percent. The telephone traffic has increased 109 percent, and the telegraph business in the Secretary's office as distinct from the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, has increased 96 percent.
Mr. SANDlin. You are discussing the increase in the Secretary's office?
Secretary WALLACE. Yes. The result has been that in the Secretary's office our staff has not been cut down materially, but the burdens have been increased so greatly that a great many of our
people, especially in the Secretary's immediate office, have had to work extremely long hours, to a point where it can very readily result in nervous breakdowns. Our policy is to use the existing resources, already established in the Department, up to the limit on all of the emergency work.
The filing clerks, for example, and the people in Mr. Jump's office, who have to do with the Budget, have had their work greatly increased, and a great many of our fiscal activities have been greatly increased as the result of the three A's. The regular departmental disbursing office, as another example, has been expanded to handle the A.A.A. payments.
The danger in it is this, that while I think we have an extremely efficient staff, we do not have a sufficient number of second men who can keep abreast of the work and really know what is going on. These things come rather in spasms, and with the appropriation as it is, about the only way to handle it, rather than to take on temporary or emergency help who do not understand it, is for these folks
ahead and work into the night and work it out. Mr. Jump was telling me that his folks in the Budget and accounting office were still working there at 11 o'clock last night when he left the office. In my own office, they work until about 7 o'clock every evening, and have ever since I came down here in March, as a matter of fact,
In the Department proper, there have been in a great many different places an increase in the amount of work which they are supposed to do.
For instance, the Civilian Conservation Corps has tremendously increased the burden on the Forestry people, and the Civil Works Administration has increased the supervisory activities of a great many of our people. They have had to supervise their part of the activities, with a reduced central corps.
COMPARISON OF APPROPRIATIONS 1932, 1933, AND 1934, WITH ESTIMATES
You are quite familiar with the reductions that have been made in the Department appropriation. We have prepared a rather concise statement of the whole situation. The statement shows that in 1932 the amount of the appropriation for the ordinary activities of the Department was $68,600,000; for 1933, it was $58,000,000. The appropriation for 1934 was $53,600,000_originally, and when we revised the program of work under the Executive order, we cut it for actual expenditure purposes to $42,700,000. For 1935, the Budget estimate, as submitted to Congress, is $39,900,000.
Mr. Jump. That is for the ordinary activities.
Secretary WALLACE. Those are for what you would call corresponding functions, so the figures for the different years would be comparable, without taking the special activities into consideration.
Therefore, the 1935 figures would be about 41 percent under the 1932 figures. It carries the Department's expenditure program back to where it was in the early 1920's.
The appropriation figures I have just cited include the funds for research work. The amount expended for research in 1932 was about $17,500,000, and for 1935 it will be about $11,000,000.
I happen myself to be extraordinarily concerned with the research work, because, so far as scientific research in the Agricultural Department is concerned, if it is not done there, or is not done by the States, it is not likely to be done. Scientific research in the industrial field can be supported by private funds, but in agriculture it either is done by the use of State or Federal funds, or it is done not at all. There
are very few folks who engage in scientific agricultural research out 1 of private funds.
I have been very fearful, in connection with our crop-control activiVyties
, that the public mind and the congressional mind would say, this
all foolishness, reducing crop production at the same time we are she trying to find more efficient methods; that it is foolishness to appro
priate money for scientific work. My own view on that has been that we should get the maximum efficiency possible, but should control the application of that efficiency so it does not cause damage.
I have been myself particularly sensitive to that because for many years I was a corn breeder, and happened to have rather unusual success in corn breeding, and people used to twit me in regard to
my double attitude. I used to say in those days that a Government K that does not utilize the results of the efficiency it is encouraging,
is criminally negligent. I said that in the paper and said it in speeches in various States.
People used to twit me on doing my best to increase the efficiency ap of the former in my personal activities, while at the same time standher
ing for the adjustment of our production in connection with our relation to other nations, but I do not think it is inconsistent at all. I think in our agricultural work it is quite appropriate to continue to make out farmers as efficient as possible, to discover better strains of grain, better methods of improving soil fertility, and all the vast range of activities along that line, which is not likely to be handled if we do not handle it, while at the same time we work out a sound social scheme for controlling the number of acres or the number of animals
, as the case may be. There is no organized clientele behind the scientific people; there is nobody who is going to put on a great amount of pressure, in case they are hurt.
It will be the Nation which will suffer if the scientific work is dis-
Mr. Thurston. We know that General Motors, United States
, and Standard Oil, all that class of big organizations, allot
Secretary WallacE. Frankly, the one place where I would like to stand on this, above any other place, would be on the scientific end. That is the outstanding thing I would like to defend, and for the Teasons you have mentioned.
Mr. SANDLIN. You may continue with your statement, Mr. Secretary.
Secretary WALLACE. In the estimates for 1935 the reduction amounts, roughly, to $4,000,000 for ordinary activities, and $3,500,000 for payments to states and similar items making a total reduction of about $7,500,000. Then, in connection with that, we must take into account the 5 percent addition because of the salary adjustment, which makes a net reduction of approximately $6,000,000.
UNDER SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE
I would like to put in a brief word with reference to the Under Secretary, which position is provided for in the Budget. It happens that the Department of Agriculture has always had just two administrative officers, the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary. Not another one of the civilian departments is similarly short-handed at the top. The Department of Labor, which is a somewhat smaller department than our department, and with a somewhat smaller appropriation, has two assistant secretaries authorized. The Interior Department and the Department of Commerce each also has two such officers.
The Treasury Department has 4, the State Department 5, the Post Office Department 4, and so on. It means that those men are, of course, appointed directly by the President, and have power to pass on certain matters and sign documents of various sorts. Now, it happens that with the Agricultural Adjustment Act activities we have a rather extraordinary number of documents of one sort or another to be signed, and just the labor of half-way understanding those things that are coming up before putting the signatures on them is appalling. I think that undoubtedly we ought to have another administrative man at the top in the Department of Agriculture.
Mr. SANDLIN. That would give you how many?
Secretary WALLACE. There would be the Secretary, the Under Secretary, and the Assistant Secretary. It would place the Department on a parity in this respect, with the Departments of Commerce, Labor, and Interior, and we still would be below the other civilian departments.
Mr. Sandlix. Would that be proper on this bill, or is it legislation?
Mr. JUMP. I hope the committee will decide it is a proper thing to submit in this bill.
Secretary WALLACE. I do not know about that.
The CHAIRMAN. We are prohibited from carrying legislation on an appropriation bill. We do that sometimes under a rule. Sometimes it is done as an administrative matter with a view to saving money, but as a general rule, we are trying to hold our committee down to its proper function as an appropriations committee. Does it create a new position?
Mr. JUMP. Yes, sir.
Mr. Jump. I hope the committee will see its way clear to approve the estimate.
Secretary WALLACE. We have had an extraordinary increase in the central office work. It would be difficult for anyone outside the office to comprehend the way in which the Agricultural Adjustment Administration activities have increased our office work.