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base it on efficiency and they can go no higher. We can not turn them loose; it would be inhuman. The Government is not getting fair value received for what they are paying out for these clerks. On the other hand, we have clerks there 70 years of age whom I could not get along without.

It amounts to this: In my opinion we ought to have an age after which the Secretary of War can retire those clerks who have outgrown their usefulness on, say, half pay, or three-quarters pay, whichever the Congress sees fit. After, say, 65 years, he should be authorized to retire them if they are not suitable for the purposes of the office and not giving the Government fair value. After 70, or some set age, the clerks should be required to retire; but it should also be provided that any man need not retire and may remain if he desires and if the Secretary desires him to remain.

The CHAIRMAN. You mean there ought not to be any age limit at which they must necessarily retire; is that the idea ?

Gen. MCCAIN. I think so, except at the option of the Secretary. I have one of the best clerks, 83 years of age, as an assistant to the chief clerk, and he is just as capable as anybody, I think, able to do duty, and he is doing duty of the very highest class. I have others over 70 who have been invaluable to me in this crisis. It would be a very great mistake to fix it so that clerks like that must get out.

Senator SMOOT. I do not think there is any contemplated legislation to compel them to go without some investigation made by some board that will be created under the law. I do not think that ought to be left to one man. I think there ought to be a board that they can appeal to or make application to, and then that board decides that question, not any one particular person.

. Gen. McCain. We have an efliciency board composed of the chiefs of divisions, and an officer in my office goes over these every six months, and it is a question of administrative efficiency.

Senator Svoor. I would want that board to pass upon the employees of all the departments of the Government.

The CHAIRMAN. You mean the general board, Senator?

Senator SM0ot. Created by law for the purpose of passing upon just such cases as you have cited. There may be hundreds of them in the Government; in fact, I know of dozens of them myself, that it would be a great loss to the Government if their services were dispensed with. In all legislation along this line that I have had anything to do with, I have always insisted that that provision be put in the law, and I want a board appointed to pass upon all employees not from any one department but from all the departments of the Government, in just such cases as you cited.

Gen. McCain. The difficulty about that would naturally be that that board would not have a direct knowledge of the work the clerks are doing

Senator Smoon. It is their duty to find out.

Gen. McCain. If they do, they are liable to interfere in a business that does not really concern them.

Senator Smoot. Your idea is that it ought to be under the department, the particular department?

Gen. MCCAIN. Each particular department. The Secretary can convene such a board as would satisfy him and have it work, if necessary, in the same way as retiring officers from the Army on a retiring board.

Senator Smoot. I want that board nonpartisan, so that a man who may be forced out who desires to remain in the service can not say that the head of the department here is against him and has some pique against him and therefore wants to get rid of him. I want some kind of tribunal that will have the respect of all the employees of the department, so they will have nothing whatever to say, and that a man disposed of can not say “I was unfairly dealt with."

Gen. McCain. I think, Senator, if you constitute this board in any of the departments, just as we constitute a retiring board for Army officers, and fix it so, if necessary, that they shall not be passed upon by a clerk who is junior to them, who will be benefited by their retirement-have it composed of clerks and officers who are in nowise benefited by the retirement, I do not see that there would be any question of unfairness.

Senator Smoot. We have got to look at the thing from the legislative standpoint. I do not think that could pass through Congressa provision granting the heads of every one of the departments in the Government power to create a committee to pass on these cases. I think that is impossible. I think that we should here, in a legislative capacity, state that there shall be created a board for this purpose. As to the appointments, let the President appoint them, with the consent of the Senate, or, for that matter, name them in the law and provide for their successors. I think the proper thing to do is to have a à board appointed for all. I have studied this thing for a good many years.

Gen. McCain. That is a detail, Senator, that can be worked out. Senator SMOOT. Yes.

Gen. McCain. The main interest I have is to provide a way to dispose of the clerk who has ceased to give full value to the Government and not to turn him loose in his old age.

The CHAIRMAN. How would you pay for it, General?
Gen. McCain. I would have the Government pay for it.
The CHAIRMAN. The whole amount, and no contributions?

Gen. McCain. The whole amount, without any contributions. would base it, we will say, for instance, that you are going to make it a certain percentage of his pay at the date of retirement_I would make it that way—but base it on the average pay he has received in the last ten years. That will prevent

The CHAIRMAN (interposing). You mean, if there was no contribution?

Gen. McCaix. Yes. If you retire them on 75 per cent, and base it on the clerk's pay at the date of retirement-base it on 75 per cent of the average pay for the last 10 years, as I stated, that would prevent the sudden promotion of anybody.

Senator Smoot. General, you would prefer, however, to have some legislation with some contributory plan than none at all? Gen. McCAIX. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN. Your idea is that it is very much needed by the Government?

Gen. McCaix. Yes; because I have clerks I can not turn loose ;: it would be inhuman.

Senator Smoor. Doing the Government no service at all.


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Gen. McCain. They are doing all they can. Their condition and age are such that they can not possibly perform their full duties.

The CHAIRMAN. Would the Government save anything by discharging these employees or retiring these employees and taking others in at a lower grade of salary to do the work!

Gen. McCain. We take them in now at $1,000. I do not think you would get anybody lower than that who would be of value.

The CHAIRMAN. Not much saving on that?
Gen. McCain. No. I do not think I have anything further to say.
The CHAIRMAN. We are very much obliged to you, General.

Mr. Alcorn. Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Ewing is here and in somewhat of a hurry to get away.

The CHAIRMAN. We will hear him now, then.



Mr. Ewing. Mr. Chairman, we have in the Patent Office altogether 952 employees. Seventy of them are over 65 years of age and 30 are over 70 years of age.

The CHAIRMAN. How many?
Commissioner EWING. Thirty are over 70 years of age.

The CHAIRMAN. I was talking to Senator Smoot and got that mixed up. I beg your pardon.

Commissioner Ewing. Seventy are over 65 years of age-I beg your pardon; I misread the figures; 14 are over 70 years of age; it is about 5


cent. The CHAIRMANN. How many altogether!

Commissioner EWING. Nine hundred and fifty-two. Now, we have the same situation that The Adjutant General was just stating. We have some people who are very efficient and could hardly be spared, and we have a good many who if they were retired for three or four of them retired we could put in one good, well-paid clerk in their places, with the difference between their retired and their present salaries, who would do the work better. I do not believe, however, so far as my own experience goes, that the retirement ought to be in any way left to the discretion of the heads of the departments. I agree entirely with Senator Smoot's suggestion that it ought to be one general board, which would take care of these particular cases of people whose services are invaluable, and therefore to be kept on.

The CHAIRMAN. Ought there to be any preliminary work in the department, or any preliminary hearing of any kind before the department, or ought it to be entirely extraneous!

Commissioner Ewing. Of course, the recommendation of the department ought to be most weighty with the board.

Senator Smoot. It necessarily would be.

Commissioner Ewing. It necessarily would. And there ought to come a time when the question of retirement is passed on without any chances of ill feeling either by the head of the office or by the clerks, because I have not simply in mind the possibility of feeling of being dealt with harshly; there is a humiliation which comes from Leing treated as superannuated and retired, which humiliation will not exist if it is a question simply of age. Now, I had in the office a very tragic experience, of which I wish to speak. There were four people of the examining corps in the office whom I reduced one grade, a difference of $300. One of these men went from my office directly home and didn't get out of his bed and died the second day thereafter, of nothing in the world but mortification. Another of these men went from my office to an undertaker's place on Pennsylvania Avenue and blew his brains out. Fifty per cent of these cases are proud men. They have been capable men. It was one of the harsh things that I felt that I had to do. Perhaps it was a mistake, but none the less I thought it the best.

Now, I am not familiar with this matter as a general piece of business. I do not know myself whether it ought to be a contribution by the Government altogether or by the employees partly. I think it is something the Government ought to be a party to. But to introduce a system in which the employee pays a part would be difficult in its applicability to existing conditions. I think in any event the existing conditions ought to be taken care of. You can not require a contribution as a condition of retirement when the people ought to be retired at once. I do not know whether that has been

Senator SMOOT. That could be taken care of in any legislation that would be even submitted, and particularly will it be taken care of if it ever passes and becomes a law.

Commissioner Ewing. Yes; because there are many instances at the present time. There is one aspect of this business that I think might also be mentioned. It is not merely that the elderly people can not do as good work as they have been doing. There is a certain disorganization that comes about from their being there. They can not be held as strictly to the work, and the younger people are likely to try to get the same sort of treatment for themselves. They talk a great deal, for they like to reminisce. They are people of dignity, and it is not easy to discipline them, and the mere removal of them from the corps would enable the application of a stricter discipline, so that from that point of view I think the retirement plan would be very good.

I am glad to answer any questions that you wish to ask, but I have not given very much study to the matter, as it does not come in my ordinary work.

The CHAIRMAN. We are very glad, indeed, to have your views, Mr. Commissioner.

Mr. ALCORN. Mr. Satterfield, of the Department of Justice, would like to be heard, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. We will be very glad, indeed, to hear Mr. Satterfield.

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DIVISION OF ACCOUNTS, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. Mr. SATTERFIELD. Mr. Chairman, the Department of Justice force is one that is not very much affected at the present time. I think we have in the department about 16 employees or clerks that are over 63, 7 of whom are 70 and over, and out in the field we possibly have 20 or 30.



The attitude of the department in the past has been very favorable to the pensioning of employees, and favors the payment by the Government of entire expense instead of the assessment plan.

Senator Smoot. You mean the employees of the Department or the heads of the department?

Mr. SATTERFIELD. The employees of the department, and the Attorney General's attitude is-I am representing him in this-favor

— able to as liberal a policy as can be obtained. I personally have had some little experience in outside work with some commercial houses in pensioning their employees—in some cases assessments, in others earnings of the business and my personal experience has only been here for two or three years that the clerks are not getting enough salary now to justify the assessment of any considerable amount.

The CHAIRMAN. How many clerks have you altogether in your department?

Mr. SATTERFIELD. Between 250 and 300, all told.
The CHAIRMAN. How many of them are over 70?
Mr. SATTERFIELD. Only seven over 70.
The CHAIRMAN. How many unfit for work?

Mr. SATTERFIELD. Only one or two unfit for work. We lost one or two in the last year, and one of them was over 80–83—and he has been wholly unfit for work for several years, but he considered that he didn't have enough to live on, and he stayed on.

I do not think that there is anything that I could add, except that it seems to me that the act itself ought to say what is necessary to be done in the retirement, and any mooted questions should be left to the board that may be provided. Let the board inquire into and consider each individual case. That is all I have to say.

The CHAIRMAN. We are very much obliged to you. We will hear from Col. Birmingham.



Col. BIRMINGHAM. I would like to say that Gen. Gorgas is out of town and asked me to come here and represent him.

I have very little to add to what Gen. McCain has already told the committee. He has set forth so clearly the needs of the clerks of the War Department that I can hardly add to it. The conditions are much the same for them all. They are very much similar in the Surgeon General's office and in The Adjutant General's.

The CHAIRMAN. How many employees are there in the Surgeon General's office?

Col. BIRMINGHAM. I couldn't state just now, Mr. Chairman. We have been adding so many lately, and I came here unprepared.

The CHAIRMAN. Have you any that are incapable of working? Col. BIRMINGHAM. They are all doing some work Mr. Chairman, with one exception; there is an old man 80 years of age--I forget his name—who for six months has been unable to do anything, and of course is not drawing pay. It is a sad case and one of the cases that particularly call for the action you gentlemen of the committee are contemplating.

The CHAIRMAN. You favor this kind of legislation?

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