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(Witnesses: Zappone, Burch.)
Mr. ZAPPONE. They must get them out for the benefit of the Government, in accordance with the instructions of the Secretary, which are as follows: UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,
Washington, D. C., May 8. 1905. To the Officers and Employees of the Department of Agriculture:
Hereafter when any employee of the Department makes any new and useful discovery or invention of any machine, device, or process connected with the work of the Department, through the expenditure of Government time and Government money, you are directed to cause a patent to be applied for on the said discovery or invention, through the law officer of the Department. The patent will be taken out in the name of the inventor, without any expense to him, and will allow to any citizen of the United States the use of the patented article or process without payments of royalty.
All employees of this Department are prohibited from patenting any device or process or discovery connected with the work of the Department except in the manner above described.
Secretary of Agriculture. The CHAIRMAN. What was that you read from in regard to the duties of the solicitor?
Mr. ZAPPONE. I read from the Congressional Directory, the part prescribing the duties of the various officials of the different departments; those who are secretaries, chiefs of bureaus, chief clerks, etc.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. ZAPPONE. The solicitor is attached to the Secretary's office and works under the Secretary's personal direction. He investigates all the legal questions that arise, and when he finds that a matter requires action by the Department of Justice, he submits all the facts in the case to the Secretary of Agriculture for reference to the Department of Justice for further action; he then assists in the classification of the evidence, and upon request in the trial of the cases.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; that was the statement of Professor Moore.
Mr. ZAPPONE. IIe calls no witnesses nor does he prosecute any case through the courts, except when requested by the Department of Justice. That is all done by the Department of Justice.
The CHAIRMAN. He simply makes the preliminary investigation ? Mr. ZAPPONE. He makes the preliminary investigation.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, we have here Mr. Jasper Wilson and Mr. Reese, one of whom is private secretary to the Secretary of Agriculture and the other is stenographer and executive clerk to the Secretary of Agriculture.
Mr. BCRCH. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. One at a salary of $2,500 a year and the other at a salary of $2,000 a year. Will you explain to the committee briefly what the duties of the two men are?
Mr. Burch. The private secretary to the Secretary is the one who looks after his personal affairs, has charge of the anteroom, or the room next to the Secretary, introduces people to the Secretary, holds them in check when there are many in the anteroom to see the Secretary, and performs various other duties that the Secretary may direct.
The CHAIRMAN. How about the stenographer and executive clerk? Mr. BURCH. He is his stenographer and takes all of his dictation. The CHAIRMAN. Does he do anything else except take dictation?
(Witnesses: Burch, Zappone, Moore.)
Mr. BURCH. Oh, yes; of course he writes communications for the signature of the Secretary, and looks over his mail, and performs various other duties of that character.
The Chairmax. Then he is really simply a stenographer?
Mr. ZAPPONE. Mr. Chairman, may I interrupt there, with Colonel Burch's permission? Mr. Reese is more than a stenographer. He not only indicates action to many of the different bureaus and divisions on important papers, action that is suggested by the Secretary or by the Secretary's policy, but oftentimes he initiates, directs, or suggests action. He is a most valuable executive man in addition to being a stenographer. You might almost say that he is an adviser relieving the Secretary of much routine work. He reports all hearings held by the Secretary in carrying out the meat, pure-food, and other laws.
The CHAIRMAN. Does the private secretary do any of that kind of work?
Mr. ZAPPONE. The private secretary does some of it; yes, sir. His duties, however, are confined more exclusively to confidential work and the receiving of the many committees and individuals calling upon the Secretary, particularly at the present time, in regard to the pure-food and drug law and the meat-inspection law. There is a constant stream of people passing into the Secretary's office all day, many of whom can be deflected from the Secretary, their business being such that it can be transacted with the chiefs of the different bureaus and divisions. The private secretary to the Secretary must have experience and extensive knowledge of the entire workings of the Department in order not only to answer the inquiries of the Secretary, but to relieve him of that great pressure resulting from the visits of employees of the Department and of outsiders.
The CHAIRMAN. Returning to Mr. Reese. Your suggestion is that he has to have more than stenographic ability; that is, he has to be a man of high capacity?
Mr. ZAPPONE. Yes; he must be both a stenographer and an executire clerk to the Secretary. The heads of all Departments have such officials to assist them.
The ('HAIRMAX. What do you understand that a good, fair, stenographer, I will say, is able to earn or receive in ordinary private employment?
SIr. ZAPPONE. In ordinary private employment?
Mr. ZAPPONE. You can get them at all prices, sir; from $600 a year up, according to their ability.
Mr. Flood. This man takes the Secretary's dictation, does he?
Mr. ZAPPOXE. He does. In the case of stenographers receiving about $600, usually that is all they are worth. They can only do the most ordinary amanuensis work, and very poor work at that.
Professor Moore. This man is capable of reporting a convention. The CHAIRMAN. Oh, I am not criticising this man at all; but as we go through, I shall want to inquire in relation to these matters. Of course I want to know as we go along through, as a rule, whether the employees of this Department are receiving as much as men of
(Witnesses: Burch, Moore, Zappone.)
equal caliber and capacity would be likely to receive in private employment.
Mr. Flood. He certainly receives too much for a stenographer.
Mr. BURCH. But he is really an executive officer. The Secretary indicates to him just the outline of a letter and he prepares it. He is a man of ability. All the Secretary has to do is to indicate his wishes.
Mr. Flood. He does not have to dictate the letter?
Mr. Burch. He does not have to dictate the letter at all. He answers more than half the correspondence, I should judge, without having anything more than just an indication of what the Secretary desires.
Professor MOORE. I have frequently been acting secretary, Mr. Chairman; and this man is, I have found, an unusually valuable man in the office. As Colonel Burch says, I can give him a paper with a word or two and he will know what action is necessary, and will get the letter ready for signature. Then, in the case of the many hundreds of papers coming daily to the Secretary's desk, to be signed by the Secretary, it is difficult for him to read them all. This man runs all through them, and if there is anything there that the Secretary ought to see before he signs it, he calls his attention to it. As he is so well informed in regard to the work of the Department he is something more than a mere secretary. I used to sign, day after day, several hundred papers, simply because I knew that this man, Mr. Reese, had gone through them, and if there was anything wrong with them I knew that he would bring it to my attention. I simply did not have time to read them.
Mr. SAMUEL. That is an established salary?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Well, I do not understand that the salaries are statutory, except as they are fixed in the appropriation bill from time to time.
Mr. SAMUEL. Yes; but that makes them, for the time being, The CHAIRMAN. How long has that salary stood at $2,000, in that
Mr. ZAPPONE. I think during the past three years, sir. May I add just another remark?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. ZAPPONE. It is a little irrelevant, and is something that for the present is confidential, that perhaps I should not disclose. I am a member of one of the subcommittees of the Keep Commission, the committee on personnel, and this very matter of comparison of the salaries received in the Government service with those paid in the commercial world has been a subject of considerable discussion and consideration by that committee. Stating the results in a general way, I will say that it was found that the lower-salaried positions, such as watchmen, messengers, and charwomen, were paid more in the Government service than in the commercial world, but the positions of responsibility and trust and positions of a supervisory character requiring executive ability were all underpaid by the Government—that is, paid less under the Government than in the commercial world.
(Witnesses: Zappone, Burch.)
The CHAIRMAN. Would you go so far as to say that that covers every single office!
Mr. ZAPPONE. Not every single office.
Mr. ZAPPONE. I mean positions requiring supervisory and executive capacity, as a general rule, and this fact was disclosed by the correspondence received from large corporations and commercial houses over the country and from the mayors of quite a number of the principal cities.
Now, stenographers are rated at all prices in the Government service, from $720 up to $2,500, the latter being men who also act as executive clerks. I will also say that it is a very difficult matter to get, through the Civil Service Commission, a stenographer for less than $1,000. I have had experience, and Í think Professor Moore and Doctor Melvin would bear me out in this statement: It is most difficult to get a stenographer and typewriter at anything less than $1,000 through the Civil Service Commission. They will not accept the positions. That shows that they must be paid all of that in the commercial world if they are any good. Of course you can get a lot of women at $40 or $50 a month, but their work is very poor. It would not answer for the Government service.
The CHAIRMAN. It rather seems to me that Mr. Reese performs more responsible duties and renders more efficient service than Mr. Wilson does, from the description of the duties of the two men.
Mr. ZAPPONE. Their duties are entirely different and can not be compared. Mr. Wilson must have excellent judgment, he must enjoy the complete confidence of the Secretary, and he must be skilled in handling the people who call on the Secretary. The duties of one are executive and the duties of the other confidential. The other Departments have similar positions.
Mr. Flood. He has to have tact to keep us from getting mad with the Secretary
The CHAIRMAN. Well, that is perhaps an element that is entitled to weight. We are not fixing salaries, of course; I am simply making this inquiry as we go along, for the purpose of getting information. Now (unless there are some other questions on that point), we have here Mr. Price and Mr. Mowry. Mr. Price is the stenographer to the Assistant Secretary, and Mr. Mowry is the private secretary, Price getting $1,400 and Mowry $1,600. Are the duties of these two men substantially like the duties of the other two men, with the exception that they refer to the Assistant Secretary, while the others relate to the Secretary?
Mr. BURCH. Similar; yes, sir.
Mr. BURCH. No; Mr. Mowry has more responsible duties than Mr. Price, I think.
The CHAIRMAN. No. I mean have these two men, this stenographer and this private secretary, equally responsible duties to perform as the other stenographer and private secretary?
Mr. Burch. Not as a rule. Whenever the Assistant Secretary is acting as Secretary, Mr. Reese is his stenographer.
The CHAIRMAN. I suppose, judging from the item of expenses, that the private secretary for the Assistant Secretary has to do more or less traveling. That is what I infer from this item.
(Witnesses: Burch, Zappone.)
Mr. Burch. Yes; he has been with the Assistant Secretary on various trips.
The CHAIRMAN. Just for the purpose of illustration, I should like to inquire about this telegraph and telephone operator. Is there anything about a telegraph and telephone operator for the Department, to start with, that differentiates him from the ordinary telegraph and telephone operator, so far as the responsibility of the duties to be performed is concerned ?
Mr. BURCH. They have to use judgment as to whether the messages are proper or not. The ordinary telegraph operator, when he is given a message, sends it; but in a Department—in' our Department-especially in the case of the telephone operator, where charges are made, she has to differentiate between the private messages and those which are public.
The CHAIRMLAN. Where charges are made, you say?
Mr. BURCH. Yes, sir; we are charged so much a message for the use of the telephone.
The CHAIRMAN. Oh, yes.
Mr. BURCH. And it is necessary to determine what is official and what is personal.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. That is simply a question of differentiating between private and public employment or private and public service?
Mr. BURCI. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. How about your telegraphers? The telegrapher does not write his messages, does he?
Mr. BURCH. He does not write his messages?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; I mean your telegraph operator. What is there about
Mr. BURCH. It is the same person.
Mr. BURCII. No; there are two. They are both telegraph operators.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; there are two, one at $1,400 and the other at $1,200.
Mr. BURCH. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Sometimes you require three, on account of the volume of business being done?
Mr. BURCH. Yes, sir. Hundreds of telegrams are received and sent.
Mr. ZAPPONE. We have a large switchboard at the Departmentsimilar to the one you have here at the Capitol.
The CHAIRMAN. You may be familiar with that, Mr. Zappone. What does a telegraph and telephone operator receive in responsible private employment?
Mr. ZAPPONE. From $1.200 to $1,400, I should say.