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Department of Agriculture—Statement of appropriations 1932 and 1933, and Budget
Mr. BUCHANAN. Did the Budget carry into its estimates the savings under the economy bill and other savings that you have made this year? In other words, did the Budget decrease these estimates by that amount?
Mr. DUNLAP. Yes.
Mr. JUMP. A further explanation would perhaps make that clear. I think it is a good idea to get that cleared up right now. The clerk and I were talking about it before the hearings started.
At Mr. Byrn's request, we have filed with the committee a statement that lists various sections of the economy act and the estimated savings thereunder during 1933. There is a separate statement for each bureau, by subappropriation items, and a summary of the department by bureaus, in which we take each section which applies to our department and show the estimated amount of saving this year under that section of the economy act.
Now, it is impossible at this time of the year, or when these estimates were made up, in the last of October, to get an absolutely accurate estimate, because everything here depends upon what may happen to an individual, let us say, who dies or who resigns or who is transferred, and so forth. The entire estimate is constructed on what may happen in individual cases. But we have done the best we could, as an estimate, and it shows, on that basis, a total for the department of $4,717,220, estimated to be saved under various provisions of the economy act this year.
Mr. BUCHANAN. That is in addition to the reduction in the McKellar amendments?
Mr. Jump. Yes. That is below any of the amounts that you appropriated for 1933.
REDUCTION IN 1933 APPROPRIATIONS FOR ORDINARY ACTIVITIES
Mr. BUCHANAN. Have you any statement that will show the estimated savings under the economy bill and added to that the reductions that this committee made under last year's appropriation?
Mr. JUMP. Yes. Including the Economy Act savings, there is a reduction of $14,000,000 in ordinary activities. Mr. Dunlap has just filed a statement showing that Congress made a reduction of $10,000,000 on regular activities and with this $4,000,000 that we are saving under the economy act, it will increase that $10,000,000 item to $14,000,000, speaking roughly.
Mr. BUCHANAN. Does that include public roads?
Mr. JUMP. I am talking about ordinary activities only. I do not believe the real reductions that were made by the last Congress are generally realized. The public does not seem to realize, and I doubt if Congress itself realizes the extent of those reductions. The fact is that the appropriations for the ordinary activities of the department were reduced from $70,527,294 to $60,404,600, a reduction of 14 per cent and the economy act took $4,000,000 additional, making a reduction, in all, of $14,000,000.
Mr. DUNLAP. The bill this year carries salaries for only 11 months instead of 12 as it did last year. Last year it carried the salaries for 12 months and the salaries for one month were impounded.
Mr. BUCHANAN. Are the ordinary road funds included here?
Mr. JUMP. Yes. The only thing that is not in the statement you now have before you is the money that was in the emergency relief and construction act. That is covered, however, by the paragraph at the end of the statement that you have in your hand. That was passed after the regular agricultural appropriation bill.
Mr. BUCHANAN. That makes a reduction under last year of $115,668,990, is that correct?
Mr. JUMP. Yes; for all purposes. You add to that the $4,000,000 that we will save under the economy act.
Mr. BUCHANAN. That would make it
Mr. BUCHANAN. You have not figured out the percentage, have you?
Mr. JUMP. No.
Mr. Jump. It would be above 40 per cent. This year you are getting a budget estimate that provides for a reduction of more than 50 per cent, by reason of these road funds. The amount that we are taking off for 1934, compared with 1933, is greater than the amount that is left for 1934 as Mr. Dunlap has pointed out.
Mr. DUNLAP. There is a reduction of more than $80,000,000 greater than the present budget estimate itself.
Mr. JUMP. In other words $118,814,909 is the Budget estimate for 1934, against $317,883,236 appropriated thus far for 1933.
FEDERAL AID HIGHWAYS ESTIMATE FOR 1934
Mr. BUCHANAN. We are having a general discussion now, and will take up these items later on. But as to your estimate for public roads, $39,000,000?
Mr. Jump. It is $39,814,387.
Mr. JUMP. Originally we estimated for Federal aid $51,559,256, the entire unappropriated balance of the authorized apportionments. Later on we got our heads together with the Bureau of the Budget and the Bureau of Public Roads agreed that $40,000,000 ought to cover the actual cash payments, through 1934, on the program authorized thus far, according to our best estimate. You understand, of course, there is no specific authorization beyond 1933 as matters now stand and this estimate applies only to carrying out the 1933 authorization.
Mr. BUCHANAN. That is $40,000,000?
Mr. BUCHANAN. Of course, you did not take into account any reductions to take care of advances to the State for charitable purposes?
Mr. Jump. No. That was not considered. I do not know about that at all, but, in any event, feel sure 1933 would not be involved in any such consideration. Even as to the $120,000,000 advances to States under the emergency relief and construction act, it was stipulated that 1938 would be the first year for repayments, by deduction from the regular apportionments, to begin.
Mr. BUCHANAN. It may be set away ahead, I do not know about that. We can look that up when we get to those items.
Mr. JUMP. Yes.
Mr. SANDLIN. They have to wait until 1938 in order to get rid of this $80,000,000 item.
Mr. Jump. Yes, sir; they ran that five years beginning with 1933.
Mr. BUCHANAN. With reference to the extra authorization that is not included in your estimates for public highways, will that be lost?
Mr. JUMP. The extra authorization for 1934, you mean? It depends on what Congress does.
Mr. BUCHANAN. I mean the extra amount already authorized, something like $51,000,000. Is that the amount?
Mr. JUMP. $51,000,000 I think will finish it up. That is on Federal aid; $40,000,000 is estimated for 1934. The remaining $11,000,000 will not be lost, because it will be included in future estimates. The estimate for 1934 is merely the estimated amount of cash needed to make actual payments until the next appropriation bill. There is always a lag in the final payments coming in on some of these items but they will not be lost.
Mr. ŠANDLIN. How much will have to be carried in a deficiency bill this year; anything?
Mr. JUMP. Nothing.
Mr. Jump. It is indefinite. It can be appropriated any time. We have authority to enter into contractual obligations and the appropriations are made as necessary to meet payments thereunder.
Mr. BUCHANAN. And if the States do not match the appropriation in a certain number of years, it reverts back to the fund.
Mr. JUMP. Yes; for reallotment to the other States. But no factor like that is involved here. This is just a cash estimate without any complications of any kind.
Mr. BUCHANAN. We used to have an act authorizing the Secretary to obligate this fund.
Mr. JUMP. We still have that as a law. This money is all being obligated. The full 1933 authorization has been obligated.
ECONOMIES EFFECTED AS RESULT OF REDUCED APPROPRIATION FOR
FISCAL YEAR 1933
Mr. BUCHANAN. Will you tell the committee how you got along on this $115,000,000 reduction?
Mr. Jump. That included $22,000,000 nonrecurring items on emergency drought relief loans. You will notice that item in the summary before you. The real question is, How did we get along on the $10,000,000 cut on ordinary activities?
Mr. BUCHANAN. That is, $10,000,000 plus $4,000,000.
Mr. JUMP. Yes. How did we get along on that? Probably each person would tell that story differently. In general the answer is that we have affected additional operating economies in every possible direction; we have had the benefit of the general drop in prices of everything-in short, the purchasing power of the appropriation remaining has increased somewhat. In addition, as we explained before the committee last year, when these decreases were under consideration, we have curtailed and postponed projects wherever possible and necessary. Another thing I will say helped us and it helped the public to get adjusted to these decreased funds was the fact that during 1932, by administrative action, to meet the need for immediate reduction, we saved nearly $5,000,000 from the appropriations for ordinary activities. We just did not spend it. The money was appropriated for 1932. That reduction during 1932 meant that by the opening of the fiscal year 1933 we had already put into effect a rather sweeping policy of retrenchment. That $5,000,000 saved in 1932 was continued into 1933 and lessened the shock of the $10,000,000 reduction in the 1933 appropriations.
Mr. BUCHANAN. In other words, the effects of the provisions of the economy bill were gradual.
Mr. Jump. By reason of the retrenchment during 1932, they became more gradual; yes, sir. We have had plenty of difficulties under the economy act but we realize that this is a time when there have got to be difficulties; necessarily there has got to be a reduction in expenses of the Government and this can not be done without difficulties. We are doing just as every one else, saving wherever we can and taking advantage of the drop in commodity prices and expenses of every kind that have been reduced. After that has been done we are just cutting the garment according to the cloth we have.
I think it can be said that while we are not making any forward progress in the direction of taking up new things, or in the direction of expansion of existing work, I think we are all agreed that we are holding our own and doing as well as can be expected under the reduction we have had. Do you not think so, Doctor Woods?
Doctor Woods. Yes. I think we have held remarkably well and have utilized the opportunity to dispense with some things that probably could be gotten along without.
Mr. Jump. We regret the necessity for curtailing the work of the department. We believe in this work and consider it a paying investment of public funds. But we are not in a complaining mood. If we can keep the work of the department together and on an effective basis in the main through this trying period, we will feel that we have done all that could be done under the circumstances. In other words, we want to economize to the limit, and recognize we must do that, but we do not want to see the constructive progress of years of beneficial public service disrupted or wiped out.
SAVING EFFECTED ON TRAVEL EXPENSES
Mr. DUNLAP. There is one item of saving, travel, that amounted to over $400,000.
Mr. JUMP. I think that it amounted to more than that. I think the amount saved was a million dollars if we go back to 1931. The estimates for 1934 under the headings of travel are $1,029,198 below the actual expenditures for travel in 1931. At the same time, Mr. Chairman, we show very little reduction in the economy act report on account of the travel section of the act, only $19,782 to be exact, under section 207. The economy act changed the maximum travel allowances. But, many months before the economy act passed, in fact before the estimates were submitted for 1933, we had already reduced travel allowances in the department by order of the Secretary to the same maximum per diem allowance as contained in the economy act. This $19,782 that you see listed as savings in travel, under the economy act, section 207 consist chiefly of the little change that occurred in the way the regulations issued under the economy act provisions affect Pullman and station porters fees.
A few years ago a Government employee traveling would be allowed a per diem of three, four, or five dollars a day, or whatever allowance was stipulated, in lieu of subsistence expenses, and then he would be allowed Pullman and other porters' and baggage fees at the railroad station and hotel, as a transportation charge, in addition to the per diem for subsistence.
When the economy act went into effect, the regulations and Comptroller's decisions changed all that. The employees are required now to include the Pullman porter and the station porter and the hotel baggage fee, if any, within the limitation on per diem. In other words, the traveler now pays that out of his own pocket or out of the per diem allowance. That small change which might amount to perhaps two or three dollars for each trip that a man makes, or a dollar or a dollar and a half on a small trip, was picked up in the change of the regulations affecting porters' fees and is reported here as a savings of $19,000 under the economy act.
CLOSING OF STATIONS
As to other economies, you gentlemen know that certain stations were closed last year and certain services were curtailed. But the shock of that now has been assimilated, I think.