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( Witnesses: Pinchot, Zappone.)
tion of this subject, pursued for your own satisfaction and information, but it has been the discharge of positive official duty ?
Mr. PINCHOT. Yes. As a member of the committee on the reorganization of Government scientific work, as a member of the Public Lands Commission, and as a member of the Keep Committee I have been obliged to acquaint myself with the methods of operation of nearly all Government bureaus.
The CHAIRMAN. Are the results you gave us in connection with the question of salaries generally and their comparison with those paid in outside employments the unanimous conclusion of the committee that made that investigation !
Mr. PINCHOT. I will not say that they agree in detail with what I have stated. Mr. Zappone can tell you.
Mr. ZAPPONE. I think we might say that it was the unanimous opinion. Mr. PINCHOT. May I say a word about technical salaries? The CHAIRMAN. Yes; I would be very glad to have you
Mr. Pinchot. I would like to say that the salaries paid for technical work in the Government service are ridiculously small; that they are out of all proportion to the value of the services rendered.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that a statement that applies to the service generally, or to your particular Bureau?
Mr. Pinchot. That applies to the Government service generally. They are very much lower inside the Government service than they are outside, and that discrepancy increases in proportion as the Government salary is higher.
I can give you some examples to illlustrate my point. In the Forest Service, as you know, we have a body of technical men. They come to us at $1,000 a year, the majority of them, and are promoted as time goes on. I happen to have here a few concrete cases. One of our trained lumbermen has just left us. He was getting $1,500; he goes to $2,400.
The CHAIRMAN. Where does he go!
Mr. PINCHOT. To a lumber company. They saw him in our employ, liked him, and gave him a better position, because he is worth more money to them than he was getting in the Government service.
The CHAIRMAN. Was he a professional man?
Mr. PINCHOT. He was a trained lumberman—a technical man. He was one of the best lumbermen we could find. We get them from your State and from other States; wherever we can find them. One of our foresters at $1,800 has just been offered $3,600 by a railroad company and refused it. We promoted him, and he is now getting $2,500; but he refused $3,600 because of his keen interest in his work. Two others at $1,200 have just refused offers of $1,500. Another at $1,500 has just refused $3,000 as superintendent of a lumber company. And I can make this list very much larger.
The CHAIRMAN. Those are simply typical? • Mr. PINCHOT. Those are simply typical. Men are constantly leaving the Department of Agriculture at two or three times the salary that they were getting in it; and when you get to the higher positions the discrepancy is much larger. Newell, as Chief of the Reclamation Service, with the expenditure of $50,000,000 or $60,000,000
depending upon his judgment, is getting $5,000 a year, where he would be getting three or four times that as chief engineer of a com
doing that kind of work. Walcott, the Director of the Geological Survey, is getting $6,000, and to my knowledge has refused $15,000 from private sources. I could give you other illustrations. Take my own case. I have charge of about a billion and a half dollars' worth of Government property, and I am getting $3,500 a year.
The CHAIRMAN. Those are forest reserves? Mr. Pinchot. Yes; but I am not trying to get my salary raised. The point is that the men who are doing technical work for the Government are being paid salaries that are a half, or a third, or a quarter of what those same men could get on the outside; and the Government service is suffering because a great many men who should be held in it are taken away by the higher salaries of private employment. The Government ought to have the very best men there are. Instead of that, the cream is skimmed off by private companies, private enterprises of one sort and another paying very much higher salaries.
The CHAIRMAN. That also involves, I suppose, the consideration which is obviously present at least, so it seems to me--that the great mass of these men who thus have the opportunity to leave the Government service are men that have been educated and trained and developed in the Government service.
Mr. PINCHOT. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. And in a great many of these lines the Government is practically a university for the development of these scientific experts?
Mr. PINCHOT. That is true. The CHAIRMAN. And there is hardly any competition with the Government in that respect, because there are very few even of the great universities like Harvard and Yale that undertake to furnish courses in their curricula that tend to develop the class of men that are developed by the Government?
Mr. PixCHOT. That is true.
The CHAIRMAN. They have not had a forestry course in Yale, I think, except for the last three or four years. I do not know how that may be, but at any rate it has been only recently established; and the same is true of Harvard. So that, as a matter of fact, the Government has really been educating these men and has developed them on those lines. And I suppose it is also true, is it not, that the very fact that they have been in the Government service and "made good” and had this drill and development is the thing that gives to them their value for outside employment, to a large degree?
Mr. PINCHOT. Largely.
The CHAIRMAN. That is to say, taking two men standing side by side, one coming from the academic institutions and the other from the Government service, with equal mentality and capacity, the Government man, on account of the fact that he has had this drill and has practically that certificate of character behind him, can command a larger salary than the other man?
Mr. PINCHOT. He is worth more. He has had more experience. The CHAIRMAN. He has more practical knowledge to sell, which
is of use to these people. And the Government is entitled to some consideration, as to the question of compensation, for the advantages it thus furnishes?
Mr. PINCHOT. There is no doubt of that.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not know whether it could be measured or not; but it is a practical proposition that ought to be considered, ought it not?
Mr. PINCHOT. Undoubtedly it ought. On the other hand, it is a pity that the Government has to lose its best men, as it dioes, when, if it paid, say, only half or two-thirds of what they could get on the outside it could hold them. Most of the men who are lost in this way are men who would rather work for the Government because of the greater opportunities for research, and because they are handling bigger questions and have more opportunities than they can get elsewhere, if they only had a reasonable excuse for staying. But when a man has a family and is offered double or treble what he gets in the Government service he can not in justice to his family refuse it.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course that'is a practical business proposition; but there is another feature involved, and that is that private employment, in a sense, is uncertain. A man has no guaranty that he will remain any great length of time.
Mr. PINCHOT. That is true.
The CHAIRMAN. His large salary might represent employment for a year or two years, while the smaller salary might represent employment for a lifetime.
Mr. PINCHOT. It is just the same as it is with you gentlemen. Everybody who knows anything about it will agree that it is ridiculous to limit your salaries to $5,000. Whatever you may be willing to vote for, the fact is that your earning power is vastly greater than is represented by that $5,000.
The CHAIRMAN. Upon what do you predicate that—upon the value of the public service or the capacity to earn in private life?
Mr. PINCHOT. Both.
The CHAIRMAN. You have to differentiate between individuals somewhat, I suppose, on either of those propositions ?
Mr. PINCHOT. Yes. For example, Mr. Price is getting $3,000. He could be earning three or four times that sum if he were in private business for himself; or, if he were on a salary for a great company, he would be earning at least twice as much, and probably three times, with the capacity he has shown here in handling big questions. He stays because he is interested in the Government service, because he likes the work, and because it is not absolutely necessary for him to get every cent he can as salary. But if he were in another line of work, where there was great demand for his services—if the demand were here now, which will be here ten years from now, from private companies, for trained men in forestry—it would be very difficult to keep him, except for his love of the service, because he would be worth so much more on the outside. And it does not seem to me to be fair that the Government should be willing to use a man's affection for his work to hold him on what is often, in effect, half pay or less.
The Chairman. The Government ought to be willing to pay for value received ?
Mr. Pinchor. It ought to be willing to pay for value received, and it ought to predicate that pay on the fact that it needs the very best men there are, and not the second-raters.
The CHAIRMAN. The Government ought to have the best service, and ought to be willing to pay a fair compensation for it?
Mr. PINCHOT. Exactly. “It does get a very high grade of service in many cases, but not because it pays for it.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course all these other elements necessarily enter into it. I do not suppose it would be practicable for the Government to have a definite term of service that men would engage to render who enter the service of the Government and receive this education and training at its hands!
Mr. Pinchor. No. As soon as one of them was offered a big place and could not take it, his value would be pretty nearly gone.
The CHAIRMAN. That is, his value to the Government, if it insisted on his remaining in the service?
Mr. PINCHOT. Yes. He would be discontented and unhappy, and do the service more harm than good.
The CHAIRMAN. I would like to make a few more inquiries on the line of surrounding the lump fund salary proposition with conservative provisions intended to eliminate the danger of the abuse of discretion by the heads of bureaus. We have so far called attention to the matter of clerks who could be separated into various grades with their duties defined as indicated. Would it not be practicable to divide the service above the grade of clerks into at least two grades, one involving, for instance, higher executive officers with responsibility and the other applicable to scientific, expert, and professional men-men who become expert in the particular service they render the Government?
Mr. PINCHOT. I think it would be difficult; those two classes run into each other so constantly.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, then, they could all be aggregated in one class?
Mr. PixCHOT. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. And while it might not be practicable to define with sufficient precision the particular duties to be performed, the salaries fixed for men of that character would be left with the head of the Bureau ?
Mr. PINCHOT. Yes; within the general lines of Department policy.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, would it not be practicable, in case of the clerks, to add, as a conservative feature, the limitation of the gross amount to be expended; that is, predicated upon the amount that had been expended, for instance, during the preceding fiscal year?
Mr. PINCHOT. Yes.
The CHAIRMAX. And then fix the limit that the chief of a bureau or department might expend for clerks within the various classes defined?
Mr. PINCHOT. If I understand you, you would say, assuming an appropriation of $100,000: “ You may spend $50,000 of that for clerks and $50,000 for technical men and the necessary field expenses.”
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
(Witnesses : Pinchot, Price.)
Mr. PINCHOT. I think that is perfectly practicable and is a sensible thing to do.
The CHAIRMAN. Would not that almost entirely eliminate the danger of the abuse of discretion ?
Mr. PINCHOT. It seems so to me. It sounds to me like a very good plan.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you any further statement that you would yourself like to make with reference to the general question of salaries and compensation?
Mr. PINCHOT. I do not think of anything more.
Mr. SAMUEL. The term “promotion " is used in a number of instances simply to indicate an increase in salary, is it not?
Mr. PixCHOT. Yes.
Mr. SAMUEL. In what percentage of cases would you estimate that it means simply an increase in salary?
Mr. PINCHOT. You mean an increase in salary instead of a change of work?
Mr. SAMU'EL. Simply an increase in salary; no change in the work.
Mr. PINCHOT. I think it has in the past meant just that in a very large number of cases. Of course there is a sense in which that is perfectly legitimate. A messenger, for instance, may keep on doing messenger work at two or three different salaries, and his promotion may be perfectly justified, because his efficiency increases while the character of the work has not changed.
Mr. SAMUEL. You use the term promotion,” whether it is an increase of salary or a change of position?
Mr. PINCHOT. Yes.
Mr. SAMUEL. So there is no line of demarcation to indicate when it is simply an increase of salary for efficient service and when it involves a change in the character of the work?
Mr. PINCHOT. No. The Forest Service promotes many times in character of work before it promotes in salary.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you make any promotions in your Service that are not based upon either increased duties or increased efficiency?
Mr. PINCHOT. No; we do not promote for length of service.
The CHARMAN. Do you think it is necessary to allow length of service to be an important or a determining factor in the fixing of a man's salary?
Mr. PINCHOT. I think it ought not to be a dominating factor. I think it is probably impossible, human nature being as it is, to keep it out altogether: but the ideal method would be to promote purely for efficiency. Now, length of service in some cases is a very important factor in efficiency-that is, the training which length of service gives, even though a man's duties may not change, may be very valuable purely because of the amount of information about his work or about the past history of his work that he has picked up.
The CHAIRMAN. Strictly speaking, that does not involve the question of the length of service; that simply involves the accumulation of information which he has had opportunity to acquire hy reason of his length of service.