« AnteriorContinuar »
, Link be amenable to reason. in the legally as an Acting Secretary is the Chief of the Weather Bureau.
The CHAIRMAN. We have a pretty good judgment on that from the amount of money that is being expended.
Secretary WALLACE. Yes, sir; the office work is in proportion to that.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any other bill pending before that committee that this provision could be put on?
Mr. Jump. I do not know of any other pending bill to which this would be absolutely germane.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you not have a bill before that committee providing for the expenses of county agents?
Mr. JUMP. That is something to relieve the disbursing officers from being held liable on his own bond on account of payments made by the emergency county chairman under the Adjustment Act. Of course this might be put in as section 2, but in a bill relating to the bonds, it might look peculiar.
The CHAIRMAN. Sometimes we have to do peculiar things in an emergency. We are doing some peculiar things in Congress now because of the emergency.
Mr. Jump. This is a real emergency. The situation down there is such that it cannot be handled satisfactorily by two men. I have
not seen any pressure approaching it in the 27 years I have been with w the Department.
The CHAIRMAN. I wanted the Secretary to know that this is a
matter of legislation. Of course, the Committee on Agriculture will 1 do anything necessary for the welfare of the Department. Of course,
on this bill it would go out on a point of order, if it were made.
. Jump. Yes, sir; at the mercy of any one Member of the House. her We realize that, but we would have at least that one chance. I think that if the situation were made known to that one Member he would
We could show him a list of other Departments with as many as four or five officials such as we are trying to
provide for, and if the responsibilities of those positions were shown slati in comparison with the responsibilities that exist and must be met hing right now in the Department of Agriculture, I think any Member
who made that point would consider withdrawal of it. Of course,
Mr. SINCLAIR. You would prefer to leave it in this bill, and take
At the present time the only third officer we can call upon to function e offee He sits over near Georgetown, but he is the only one who can come dmin over and sign documents as the Acting Secretary of Agriculture.
Obviously, he can have very little idea of what these documents are: for the reasons that the Secretary has mentioned whereby a man keeping in close touch with the work is hard put to it to digest what he is called upon to sign under present conditions. That is the weakness of our structure at this time. The reason the Chief of the Weather Bureau may sign papers as Acting Secretary is that he is a Presidential appointee. Aside from the Secretary and Assistant Secretary he is the only other Presidential appointee in the Department of Agriculture, and, consequently, no one else can legally function in the absence of the Secretary and Assistant Secretary.
Mr. CANNON. What is the salary that is proposed?
Mr. JUMP. $10,000, which is the same salary paid for similar positions in the State, Treasury, and War Departments. The Solicitor General in the Department of Justice, who exercises the same authority and rank, receives $10,000. I am anxious to have you look at this list of similar positions when you are ready to consider the estimate.
ESTIMATED SAVINGS IN CONSOLIDATION OF BUREAUS
Mr. Sandlin. You may proceed with your statement, Mr. Secretary.
Secretary Wallace. The committee will be interested, I am sure, in the consolidation of the Bureau of Entomology, the Bureau of Plant Quarantine, and the control and eradication work of the Bureau of Plant Industry. All of that work has been consolidated and is presented in the Budget as one organization unit, under the title of Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine. Three different bureaus are involved in that merger, and I think the consolidation means more effective administration, as well as a certain amount of economy. These combined groups in 1932 had an appropriation of $7,500,000, and for 1935 it is reduced in the Budget that you have before you to $2,800,000. This is a decrease of 62 percent. I simply mention that in passing.
APPOINTMENT OF NEW BUREAU CHIEFS
You will be interested in knowing also that there have been four new appointments of bureau chiefs since the last Budget hearings. Mr. Strong is the new Chief of the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine. Mr. Ryerson takes the place of Dr. Taylor as Chief of the Bureau of Plant Industry, and Mr. Silcox succeeds Mr. Stuart as Chief of the Forest Service. Mr. Gregg has been nominated as the Chief of the Weather Bureau, and his nomination is before the Senate. It happens that a number of our bureau chiefs are reaching the retirement age, and there is a rapid turn-over at the present time.
Mr. CANNON. Have all of these new chiefs come up from the ranks?
Secretary WALLACE. All except Mr. Silcox. Mr. Silcox comes from the outside.
Mr. JUMP. He was formerly in the Forest Service, serving through the various grades up to regional forester when he resigned some years ago.
Secretary WALLACE. He was connected with the Forest Service in the old Pinchot days for a number of years.
STATISTICAL WORK IN BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS.
Mr. Thurston. I see that for the Bureau of Agricultural Economics
you have had an appropriation of $7,000,000. That amount has D
been reduced to $4,887,000. With the exception of the Forest Service and the Bureau of Animal Industry, that is the largest item in the estimate for the Department. Will it be possible to reduce the statistical endeavors over there, and probably apply their activities more to real research work? Would it not be better to have less statistics and more real research and scientific investigational work?
Secretary WALLACE. The only sound way to reduce the statistical
work over there--and I do not think this would be a very sound wayle
would be to transfer it to the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, because there we need more statistics rather than less. Doing the kind of thing that we are doing in the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, we need more statistics. For that reason, the work of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics has been increased enormously. We have hired a number of men away from them to go into the Agricultural Adjustment Administration. It is over there that we have the kind of men that are required to do the new work that we are doing under the Agricultural Adjustment Administration.
The Agricultural Adjustment Administration is constantly calling
upon them for assistance. They have the records that are required B. in the work of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration. As long
as we are engaged in that Agricultural Adjustment work, we need more of that kind of work rather than less.
Mr. Hart. Along that line, Mr. Secretary, I want to call your attention to the activity of constantly changing statistics with reference to certain crops and issuing them. For instance, we will say that in the case of the potato crop, after you get the statistics of the total production and they are issued, you have a lot of people scattered around over the United States who keep on making more figures
with reference to that crop. Perhaps there will be a freeze down xen i South somewhere, and they will go to work immediately to prepare
a statement of the balance on hand and a statement as to the shipd Pauments. They will get out a statement of the shipments and the hield balance on hand, and will issue a bulletin which does the farmer a waris considerable amount of damage. The farmer, as a rule, does not get tit, he pays very little attention to it, but the big buyer of potatoes
will take that bulletin and begin a bear propaganda for a reduction petere in the potato market. Of course, this is injurious to the farmer.
Now, if you take the Michigan bean crop, the same thing is true.
Secretary WALLACE. I think a freeze might have the effect of sir increasing prices
Mr. Hant. A freeze ordinarily would have; but immediately following the freeze these people will go to work and compute the old crop. They will then put out a bulletin saying that there is more than enough potatoes to carry the market up to the coming of the early crop anyway. I have seen those bulletins, and they are not helping the
Secretary WALLACE. I do not know, but I have been under the impression that if there was any bias in the activities of the people over there, they would be on the side of leading to an increased price, rather than to a bear market.
Mr. HART. I am familiar with the situation in regard to the Michigan bean crop. They go to work and compile figures for the marketing season, and they may show an increase of 200,000 bags or 300,000 bags in Michigan, or an increase of a million bags for the entire crop during the season and it will affect the market, of course. The farmer pays little or no attention to it, but if the statement shows an increase of 1,000,000 bags throughout the United States, immediately that report goes to such concerns as A. & P., Campbell's Soup, Van Camp's, and so forth, and is given wide publicity in the grocery trade. That acts as a detriment and has a bearish influence upon the market. I think it has been said that this is helpful to the farmer, but the farmers do not use that sort of thing.
Secretary WALLACE. Both the farmer and the trade ought to know the facts at all times. It ought to help the farmer for the trade to know the changing facts so that the price will represent the true situation instead of a false one.
Mr. HART. The very fact that that information is put out is emphasized by those people who are interested in bearing the market.
Mr. SANDLIN. Suppose we did not have anything at all. Then they could get out any sort of propaganda they wanted to.
Mr. Hart. I am not questioning the final estimates on the crops. They are perfectly all right. It is these bulletins that are put out that do not do the farmer any good. If you are trying to raise farm prices, I do not believe in bringing out those things that are passed on by those who are endeavoring to influence the markets adversely to the farmer. That is the only use they make of them.
Mr. SINCLAIR. That sort of thing is much more pronounced in the grain trade than in the bean trade, and the big operators have their own special estimators who go all over my part of the country and give estimates on the wheat crop. We as farm dealers need the reliable information furnished by the Department of Agriculture.
The CHAIRMAN. That is what brought the estimating activities into existence.
Mr. Hart. I think it is very proper to have that for crops that do not have exchanges.
Mr. CANNON. It seems to me that when statistics are issued they ought to be in a form in which they may be understood by the average farmer. Sometime ago I addressed a letter to the Department of Agriculture asking for comparative quotations on Northern wheat of a specific variety at Winnipeg and Minneapolis.
They sent me a very elaborate report which showed that every day covered by the quotation wheat sold higher at Minneapolis than at Winnipeg. I went over to the Congressional Library and took the daily quotations of the Chicago Tribune, which showed that for 2 years in succession there was not a day on which wheat did not sell higher at Winnipeg than it did at Minneapolis. I have been unable to reconcile these two statements. The Department explained that their prices were weighted. What is indicated by that?
Secretary WALLACE. Mr. Cannon, on questions of fact of that kind it ought to be easy to get together, and I should be glad if you would come down some time, when we can get hold of the man who deals
with this particular thing, and we will dig into it; because figures of her that particular sort happen to be a specialty of my own, and I would - like to know all about it, if somebody is wrong.
I shall be happy to be at your disposal at any time.
DISTRIBUTION OF APPROPRIATIONS FISCAL YEARS 1932, 1933, 1934, AND
ESTIMATES FOR 1935
Mr. SANDLIN. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. I think we will put in the record at this point the summary of appropriations and estimates which you have submitted. (The statement referred to is as follows:)