Page images
PDF
EPUB

(Witness: Pinchot.)

Mr. PINCHOT. But for that alone I would never promote him.

The CHAIRMAN. That is, you would not let the fact that a man remained in the service at the end of twenty or thirty years—simply the fact that he had held on-entitle him to go up two or three grades?

Mr. Pinchot. I would not. If he is not any more useful at the end of that time than he was at the beginning he certainly ought not to be promoted.

The CHAIRMAN. You do not think it is necessary to have that inducement held out in order to have efficient service!

Mr. PINCHOT. I think it would, on the contrary, be a decided detriment to the service.

The CHAIRMAX. You think it would deteriorate it rather than improve it?

Mr. Pinchor. I think a man, to rise in the service, ought to have to do something besides live. A man ought to have to do something besides that to earn his promotion. The mere ability to escape dismissal is no reason why he should be promoted.

The CHAIRMAN. Your idea is that seniority and routine have no place in an efficient public service!

Mr. PINCHOT. That is it.

Mr. SAMUEL. Have you developed any plan that will prevent political influence in promotions?

Mr. Pinchot. I do not make such promotions in the Forest Service.

The CHAIRMAN. You mean you do not make them as the result of political influence ?

Mr. PINCHOT. No. A Congressman sometimes comes to me and says, " Here is Miss So-and-so, who has been with you a long time, and I would like to have her promoted.” I say, “I will look her case up, and if she deserves promotion I will be very glad to recommend it.” Then I look up the case and write him the exact facts. I say: " Here are so many clerks who better deserve promotion than this clerk in whom you are interested. It would injure the service to have her promoted over their heads, and therefore I can not do it."

Mr. SAMUEL. That does not obtain in all the Departments?

Mr. PINCHOT. I do not know about the others, but that is what I do; and I have found that such a statement of the facts invariably settles the question. Nobody comes back. They say it is all right; that they do not want to interfere with my system.

The CHAIRMAN. I suppose, in the case of two persons who are understood to be in line for promotion to a higher grade, everything else being equal, you might then give the preference to the man who had been longer in the service?

Mr. PINCHOT. Yes, sir; I think I would.
The CHAIRMAN. But further than that you would not go!

Mr. PINCHOT. No. I have constantly jumped men over others who have been longer in the service.

The CHAIRMAN. Why should there not be a uniform system of efficiency records prevailing in all the Departments of the Government, so that when a clerk is transferred from one Department to another he would land in the same degree of clerkship, unless his record showed that he was entitled to promotion to the next higher grade?

(Witness: Pinchot.)

Mr. Pinchot. It is a good idea. The CHAIRMAN. And, in case of jumping up three or four grades, why should not the clerk, under those circumstances, take an examination which would be open to all desiring to enter that grade, and either get the promotion or lose it on the basis of the results of that examination!

Mr. PINCHOT. Because, as a rule, you can not ascertain fitness for an advance in work by examination. It is right to let people into the service on examination, but after that the personal equation is so important that it seems to me promotion by examination would not work out well. I have never tried it; but that is my opinion.

The CHAIRMAN. Your idea is, however, that the general rule applying to all the Departments would be a wise one! Mr. PINCHIOT. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN. And would not that tend to allay a great deal of the unrest and dissatisfaction that now exists in the various Departments, which cause these applications for change from time to time; that is, if they knew that when they reached the other Department they would land there on exactly the same level?

Mr. Pinchot. It would. It would be a very useful thing. Of course there is another reason for this unrest, and that is that the scale of salaries paid for similar work varies greatly from one Department to another at present.

The CHAIRMAN. That, of course, ought to be unified.
Mr. PINCHOT. That ought to be unified.

The CHAIRMAN. If the matter was on the lump-fund basis there is no reason why coordination on the part of the heads of these Departments should not absolutely unify that proposition.

Mr. PINCHOT. Absolutely none.

The CHAIRMAN. And if it is a question of statutory provision, there is no reason why Congress could not unify it?

Mr. PINCHOT. It would be hard to get at.

The CHAIRMAN. It would be hard to get at; but with the lumpfund proposition there is no reason why that should not be done.

Mr. PINCHOT. None whatever.

The CHAIRMAN. It is within the power of the Civil Service Commission to-day to make general rules in relation to efficiency, so far as that idea is predicable upon the question of promotion, and to make them applicable to all Departments?

Mr. PINCHOT. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, why should that not be done?
Mr. PINCHOT. It should be done.

The CHAIRMAN. Your judgment is that that would promote the efficiency of the service to a marked degree?

Mr. PINCHOT. Decidedly.

Mr. SAMUEL. Have you been embarrassed in your Department by other Departments taking good men from you at better salaries?

Mr. Pinchot. Yes; to some extent; but we have lost very much fewer people than we would if we had not made a very definite effort to make the surroundings of the clerks in the Forest Service agreeable. We have tried to keep only a high grade of people, to have everything clean and neat and decent, and to treat our clerks

(Witnesses: Pinchot, Price.)

like ladies and gentlemen, and we find that people like to stay, as a rule.

The CHAIRMAN. As to the statutory salaries relating to clerks, is there much differentiation between your Bureau and others?

Mr. Pinchot. I think we pay a lower rate of salary for the same service than do any of the others.

Mr. PRICE. That was ascertained by actual comparison of the various bureaus in the Agricultural Department and also of other Departments in the preparation of material for the Keep Committee.

The CHAIRMAN. That was about 30 per cent below, I believe.

Mr. Price. I mean, in addition to that, an average clerical salary was taken for practically all bureaus in the Government service, and the Forest Service was found to be very close to the minimum.

Mr. SAMUEL. That would not indicate that you had a class of men that possessed less ability, would it?

Mr. PINCHOT. I certainly do not think it does. The CHAIRMAN. What is the character of the work that you do with your Bureau here in Washington ?

Mr. PINCHOT. We have here the clerical work to support the field work, a certain proportion of the executive officers necessary for the same purpose, and the administrative officers of the Forest Service.

The Chairman. That covers the ground pretty well?
Mr. PINCHOT. That is mainly the work we have here.

The CHAIRMAX. The work of your Bureau is of such a character that you have no experimentation ?

Mr. PINCHOT. Oh, yes.
The CHAIRMAN. That expert work can be localized here?

Mr. PINCHOT. Yes. If you would like to have a description of that, that is a totally different matter.

The CHAIRMAN. What I wanted to get at was the scope of your Bureau's operations in Washington. Then we will go into the matter of the outside service.

Mr. PINchot. The experimental work in Washington is limited at present mainly to work on the Arlington Experimental Farm, where we are doing certain things with willows, and a few other small pieces of work. Then the men in the field, who have been conducting field examinations, come in here to prepare their reports. They find it necessary to consult the library, or talk with other men, in order to summarize and put down the results of their field work. The actual experimental work is very largely, of course, in our Service, in the field outside of Washington. I am trying to reduce the Forest Service in Washington to three things: Record, which ineans principally accounts and correspondence; inspection, which is keeping in touch with the field work from the head office; and administration. All the rest of the work I should like to have done away from Washington, on the ground.

The CHAIRMAN. Is it not practically essential to have it done that way, in order to have it done effectively and usefully?

Mr. PINCHIOT. The only reason why so much of it remains here is that when the transfer of the forest reserves to the Department of Agriculture was made we took over a large number of men who were untrained in forestry. The policy which should guard and

(Witness: Pinchot.)

control the whole of such a service had not been developed in the Interior Department, and it was necessary, at first, to keep more men in Washington, during the period of training and the constructive work, than will be necessary later.

The CHAIRMAN. That is, in order to develop the personnel ?

Mr. Pinchot. In order to develop the personnel and to develop the policy.

The CHAIRMAN. Have you any experimental work except this at Arlington ?

Mr. PINCHOT. Not at Washington.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the character of that?

Mr. PINCHOT. It is a small piece of work on willows mainly; developing American species of willows to help the basket industry. It is a small affair.

The CHAIRMAN. It is rather incidental?

Mr. PINCHOT. Incidental, yes. The most of our work is away in the woods, where it ought to be.

The CHAIRMAN. With reference to your work right here, you have an editorial branch, in the publication of results, which requires something like $9,000. What is the nature of this editorial work?

Mr. PINCHOT. The knowledge which we get from our field work is valueless, of course, unless it is made known. Most of the investigators are not capable of stating their results in as readable and exact a form as is necessary if they are to be widely read. Consequently we have a few men whose duty it is to assist the field men in the preparation of their material and to get it out in the best shape. That is substantially what this editorial work is for. It is not nearly as large a part of our work as it ought to be.

The CHAIRMAN. They are the men who put into final literary shape the results of the investigations of the men who have personal contact with the experiments?

Mr. PINCHOT. Shall I give you an individual case! The CHAIRMAN. If you please. Mr. PINCHOT. A man comes in here from studying a forest, we will say, in Arkansas. He has been anxious to find out certain things about the growth of that forest and the way it should be handled. He has been away, say, six months. He comes back to the office ready to prepare his report, which is to be published. The first thing he does is to make a table of contents, showing exactly what he wants to cover. He takes that up with his chief, who is directing the investigation, and with the editor. They go over that table of contents and agree upon any necessary changes. Then the investigator writes his report, with constant reference to the editor. When that is done the editor, the writer of the report, and the chief who is directing the investigation form a committee and together go over the report and lick it into shape. When they have finally gotten it into proper condition, it is turned over to the editor, who sees it through the press, attends to the proof reading and all the rest of the routine, and has charge, finally, of the distribution of it through our mailing lists.

The CHAIRMAX. In the Division of Publications we discovered that there was an editorial corps there of six or eight people.

Mr. PINCHOT. Yes.

(Witness: Pinchot.) The CHAIRMAN. And that this work is done, for instance, by your Bureau and then submitted to one of their editors, who goes over it again.

Mr. Pinchor. The reading by their editor, so far as I understand it, is for two things. One of them, of which there is very little now, is to see that the form, the type directed to be used, and all that, conform to the custom of the Government Printing Office.

The CHAIRMAN. That is purely mechanical?

Mr. Pinchot. That is purely mechanical. The other is that the Secretary must have some one who reads this material, in order to protect him against mistakes in policy.

The CHAIRMAN. Is it not feasible to have a man of sufficient breadth of intelligence so that one editor can discharge all those duties and eliminate this duplication of work?

Mr. Pinchor. I do not think there is much duplication, although it sounds as if there were.

The CHAIRMAN. We found, in the first place, that the scientist wrote the article. The editor in that department went over it and licked it into literary shape. That was twice. Then it came up to his division and his editor. He went over it again. Now, there were three men reading this material from end to end. Of course it may not be feasible to have a man of sufficient intelligence and capacity to do all this work, but why is it not?

Mr. PINCHOT. In the Bureau ?

The CHAIRMAN. Either in the Bureau or in the Division of Publications, so as to eliminate at least one of these readings.

Mr. Pinchor. The Bureau of Publications is not equipped with men who could handle the publications of the Forest Service, because they do not know anything about forestry. We must have men who are experts in form and style and know something of forestry at the same time. I do not know of any reason why the Bureau should not turn out fairly complete material, so that the editorial work under Mr. Hill need not be very large. My impression is that when our material goes to them it is in such shape that comparatively little else has to be done to it.

There is one reason why an editorial body of some kind is absolutely needed in the Department as well as in the Bureau, and that is that it happens not infrequently that two bureaus get the wires crossed. For instance, somebody in the Forest Service prepares a bulletin about the white oak, we will say, and he finds that to treat his subject he has got to refer to insects that prey on that tree and make the timber unsound. He writes what he thinks is true about it, but he is not an expert on insects, and before the bulletin is published it ought to go to the Bureau of Entomology to be checked up.

The CHAIRMAN. Is not that a matter that ought to be attended to by your Bureau ?

Mr. PINCHOT. No; there ought to be somebody to enforce that cooperation. If two bureaus were left to settle that themselves, there would many times be trouble.

The CHAIRMAN. Your idea is that it is not practicable to have that determined by the bureaus themselves; that there ought to be an intermediary?

« PreviousContinue »