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sible for the head of a department to say or determine what should be the age at which any particular person should be retired, or whether or not he should be allowed to retire.

Senator WOLCOTT. Of course, if the retirement age were fixed so that retirement comes along automatically, there is no such question involved, even if there are any politics or whatnot to keep a man in.

Mr. NEAGLE. That is one thing I had in mind in retaining a fixed age. Senator WOLCOTT. Yes; I understand.

Mr. NEAGLE. And let there be a zone say, between 60 and 70, if the age be fixed at 70, in which a board might exercise discretion, but have retirement compulsory at 70 or some other fixed age; that is what I mean.

Senator WOLCOTT. I see. I did not quite catch that part of your point.

Mr. NEAGLE. Have I made it clear now?
Senator WOLCOTT. Yes, I understand.

Mr. NEAGLE. In the Navy Department and also in the War Department at this time the exigency of the conditions makes more glaring the incapacity of the incapacitated clerks, and while in ordinary times a man might get by with a certain amount of incapacity, at this time it is more noticeable.

The CHAIRMAN. You say you have 1,000 now. How many of that number are incapacitated to do service!

Mr. NEAGLE. Över 30 are above 60 and 17 to 20 are above 70; so that the proportion is relatively small at this time.


Mr. NEAGLE. If a man is working along ordinarily as well to-day as he was before the war; before the war the shortcomings were glossed over easily enough one way or another, and his fellow clerks helped him with his work, but to-day that is not possible, because every man is going at full steam and has no time to help anybody else do his work. So the condition, if it exists, is noticeable and would stand out just now in the department and throughout the service.

No pension system is the most costly pension system.

The question as to whether a pension system is in vogue now, that the Senator asked one of the speakers about, it appears to me that there is in effect a pension system now-that it may be so regarded.

The CHAIRMAN. It is what we used to say as boys, “Beating the devil around the bush."

Mr. NEAGLE. Well, some pension system is most needed, whether a contributory system or otherwise. If a man is continued on drawing a salary when he is not doing the work, that is a direct loss to the Government, the condition is a direct loss to the Government, because it is thus pensioning its employees at full pay. You may reduce his pay, make his earning power apparently lower, more suited to his salary, and fit his work to the salary, and this would effect a saving to the Government in part, but his incapacity goes along with the reduction, say, from $2,000 to $1,800. If he is incapacitated at $2,000 and relieved of that by reduction, he is still incapacitated at $1,800, compared with his associates at $1,800, so that the incapacity is not cured by reduction. The only way to get rid of that incapacity is to get the man out of the service, and in his place to get

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a man capable of doing his work. If you take, for instance, say, for the sake of convenience, that there are but 10 per cent in any one department, or in the general service, in the neighborhood of, say, 10 or 9, take 10 per cent for convenience's sake-if there are 10 out of 100 incapacitated, the Government is paying on the pay roll for 90 men. If you take out these 10 men and put others in to take their places--capable men—the Government will be getting full service for full pay that is paid. The salaries of the 10 men that have retired will be sufficient to pension them and leave something over; but the Government would be getting full service for full pay and the pensions paid would be less than the loss of service value by reason of keeping the incapacitated men on duty at full pay. The difference would represent a gain on the cost of the work. So in that way it would represent a distinct gain to the Government, not only in the small amount that would be saved but in the proportion of money paid for the work. So retirement in that case, it seems to me, would be a decided advantage.

Somebody-I do not remember who—referred to the understanding—I believe it was the lady from Chicago—that people outside the service have that people inside the service are pensioned. In connection with that I recall remarks frequently heard about Congressmen being unwilling, for one reason, to favor the pension system because the people back home would not approve. I think that is more imaginary than real, because, as has been said, many municipalities pension their employees, and many States do it

The CHAIRMAN. That is all true, but you are mistaken about that. That is a very general feeling outside, especially, of Washington. My own belief is in some kind of equitable pension system. It looks like a necessity and makes for more efficient government, and for that I am frank to say what my own views are about it; no secret about it. But the average person back home thinks those who are fortunate enough to get in the Government service are reveling in every luxury and make so much more than they do and so much less hours of work, so much less hard work than they have back there-take the men on the farms, men in the stores, men and women in the shops and in the factories, they feel that indirectly they are being taxed to pay for these pensions and Mr. NEACLE. Of course, I know nothing of that.

The CHAIRMAN. I am just giving you what the real facts are They feel that you gentlemen who live in the Government service are greatly favored. There is no doubt about that. A great many of them want positions, a great many of them do. At the same time, I think we should look at this thing from the broad general principle of what is right under the circumstances. That is what they think, although those are not my own views.

Mr. NEAGLE. These people back home that think they are being taxed to pay for a pension system to the Government employee, anyone of them would not hesitate to put his helpless grandfather on the Government pay roll at full pay.

The CHAIRMAN. I do not know that anyone would not. That I am willing to say.

Mr. ALCORN. I would like to ask Mr. Neagle a question. Do you not believe, Mr. Neagle, if the Government should retire those at present


superannuated, or, in other words, disabled, that the Government would make quite a saving?

Mr. NEAGLE. I think so, decidedly. Not only in the matter of money, but the work would be done better by the people put in in place of those retired, the people taking the places of those retired would render better service. It has been pointed out frequently that the presence of incapacitated people in an office has a detrimental effect on the work, demoralizing, that the other people are jealous, and finally it leads to a more or less loose routine of conduct of the work. There is no discipline, and it is very hard to control such matters.

The CHAIRMAN. We will adjourn to-day and meet again next Thursday to hear those who may feel that they want to be heard, and I want everybody who is interested in this matter and feels that they want the committee to have their views, I want them to be heard. This is in the interest not only of the employees, but in the interest of the Government, and we would like to have the views of everybody who has any specific information to give. What we want is figures more than anything else. We have got to get these figures from Mr. Brown before we are able to proceed. In the meantime if there are any others who want to be heard, we will meet next Thursday at 10 o'clock.

Senator WOLCOTT. Has anyone collected figures showing the comparison between the Government salaries in certain lines of work and salaries paid by private concerns in similar or analogous lines of work?

Dr. JORDAN. Senator Wolcott, that has been imposed by Congress upon the Bureau of Efficiency, of which Mr. Brown is the head, and he has authority to report these figures to Congress at the regular session.

Senator WOLCOTT. That rough material has been gathered and is now being systematized and correlated ? Mr. BROWN. For the actuarial work to determine the cost of

pensions; the other inquiry concerning comparative salaries in the Ĝovernment service and outside, the facts are being collected in separate inquiries, and have a broad intimate relation to this problem. It would seem as thought the question is as to who shall pay for the pension, and that would depend somewhat on whether the employees are fully compensated.

Senator WOLCOTT. Yes; unquestionably.

The CHAIRMAN. I would like for you to get the figures if you can of two or three of the Governments that already have systems in vogue, so we can compare with them. In other words, if we are going to pass a bill of this kind we ought to do it with the fullest information.

Mr. Brown. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. And pass one that will last for all time, that there won't be any question about, so far as that can be done.

Mr. Brown. Several years ago, Mr. Chairman, in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics I collected figures concerning practically all the foreign Governments and their pension schemes.

The CHAIRMAN. You will have that ready, too?

Mr. Brown. Much of it is ready for publication and some of it has been published. At the instance of the Bureau of Labor, Mrs. Brown and I made a trip to Canada and made a very full and complete report of their experience up there.

The CHAIRMAN. They have a governmental system of retirement there?

Mr. Brown. Yes, sir. That report was ready for the printer and was sent up to this committee several years ago just at the time Congress was adjourning, and so it has never been put in print. You can have it printed.

Senator WOLCOTT. It would also be interesting to collect information concerning the schemes of large private corporations like the Pennsylvania Railroad?


Mr. Brown. We have much material on that also which we gathered in this report.

The CHAIRMAN. We would like to have a comparative analysis of these various schemes and systems if you will, Mr. Brown.

Mr. Brown. It is my intention to make this report we are now working on just as complete from every angle as it is possible to make it, both in respect to actual experience in the Government service and other governments and in private concerns.

The CHAIRMAN. In the meantime I want everyone who is interested in this thing and has something of material benefit to us in advising on the question, I would like for them to submit it next Thursday, because what the committee desires above all things is to be entirely fair in its treatment of this matter.

We will stand adjourned until next Thursday morning at 10 o'clock a. m.

(Whereupon the committee adjourned until Thursday, July 26, 1917, at 10 o'clock a. m.)


JULY 26, 1917.


Washington, D. C. The committee met, pursuant to adjournment, at 10.30 o'clock a. m., in room 226, Senate Office Building, Senator Kenneth McKellar, presiding

Present: Senators McKellar (chairman), and Ransdell.

Also present: Mr. Joseph E. Ralph, Director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and Hon. Porter H. Dale, M. C.; Mr. Lewis Merriam, Miss Cynthia E. Cleveland, Mr. John J. Deviney, and Mr. Robert H. Alcorn.

The committee resumed the consideration of Senate bills 157, 281, and 633, for the retirement of employees in the civil service.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. I was detained at the War Department, on some urgent business. Who is the first speaker to be heard?

Mr. ROBERT H. ALCORN. The first one will be Mr. Ralph, Director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Treasury Department.

The CHAIRMAN. Very well; proceed, Mr. Ralph.



Mr. RALPH. Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, I am very glad of an opportunity to assist you by any information I might convey to your committee after many years experience as a Government employee and in administrative work. I regret that I did not have the time to prepare my remarks, but with your permission I will send to the clerk of the committee some statistical data that I believe ought to be incorporated.

I am in favor of a retirement bill. My experience in an administrative capacity for 14 years leads me to believe that the efficiency · of my organization would be materially improved by retiring superannuated people. I hurriedly ran over my index cards before coming here. I find that we have 147 people who are 65 years of age or over. The oldest employee is 83 years of age. Of those 147 people who are in excess of 65 years of age, I would say that I have 30 inefficient superannuated people.

The CHAIRMAN. How many are over 70? Did you have time to get those figures !

Mr. RALPH. I will give you the figures.


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