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but after that there will be no trouble with this scheme. Because afterwards the officials will be going out every year, and we find that of that 140,000 men the average would be about 4 per cent of that total number who would be retired every year. Four per cent retired would be 5,600 clerks.
The CHAIRMAX. In that department alone?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes; in that department alone, in the Postal Service. which includes several branches, Senator, it includes the post offices
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). Railway Mail Service, rural routes, and so forth?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes.
Mr. MURPHY. It includes the Railway Mail Service. Of that number, 5,600, we know that they would not all leave. As long as a man is competent to do efficient work he would not be forcibly retired. If he were under the age of 70 or forced to retire after 25 years of service, and if his work were inefficient, he will be forced to retire. We calculate that probably out of the 5,600 men that 4,000 are as many as would accept retirement, for the reason that men, say. 55 years of age or up to 60, and having families and having to provide for them, would rather hold on at, say, $1,200, $1,300, $1,400, or $1,500 a year than they would to accept $600 a year if they are capable of performing efficient service. We calculate on that basis 4,000, and 4,000 men retiring every year at $600 each would be $2,400,000. Now, at $1 each from the clerks, we have $1,680,000, and on the going out of these men there would be men coming into the service. The men going out would average, say, at least, $1,100. Some of them would be over that. But say $1,100, and the man coming in to take his place would be at a lower salary, at $800, and there would be $300 from each one of these employees saved. That would give 300 times 4,000 would be $1,200,000 in wages, a saving to the Government.
The CHAIRMAN. That applies only to the Post Office Department. Would the same principle apply to any other department?
Mr. MURPHY. No; we did not include them in it.
Mr. Murphy. I suppose it would." The clerks are willing to join us in carrying it out. There is no reason why it should not be applied to the other departments.
The CHAIRMAN. Your idea is it should be a contributory plan rather than a Government plan?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. The 1 per cent. Do you think the 1 per cent will cover the entire cost?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes. We have figured it out 1 per cent would cover the whole thing and leave no deficit after the first year.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you prefer that Congress raise your salary in accordance with what it did for the other departments before you agree to contribute that 1 per cent; you would prefer that, would
Mr. MURPHY. Yes; but I believe we have not yet made any such appeals.
The CHAIRMAN. You have not kicked at all?
Mr. MURPHY. At the present time, I am in what is known as the nixie and filing division.
The CHAIRMAN. Any questions?
Mr. JORDAN. I would like to ask him a question, Senator. I doubt very much, Senator and Mr. Murphy, whether the plan outlined could be made workable as regards the general service, departmental, and including the field service. As I follow the speaker, he has taken something like an average of $1,100, and I do not know that that average if worked out on some higher rate, that that average could be made applicable on the same low rate of contribution, in other branches of the service. I interjeeted because you asked whether the plan could be made applicable throughout other branches of the service. A word in conclusion. We have encountered difficulties, Senator McKellar, we are very glad to get a retirement law enacted, because of the fact that these various bills are taking different courses, some of them coming to your committee and some of them going to the Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads. The same experience has been encountered in the House side. If we could have all bills referred to one committee, and that preferably would be your committee in the Senate, where the committee would evolve a general plan as a whole
The CHAIRMAN. That would depend upon the Senate. The bill, if it applies only to the Post Office Department, would naturally go to the Post Office Committee, but if it applies to all the departments, why then it comes here to us. There will be no question about that, as Senator Bankhead and I have arranged about that part.
Who else wants to be heard? We can hear probably one more, anyway.
Mr. Alcorx. Is it the intention to give a chance to all those who desire to be heard ?
The CHAIRMAX. Yes, sir. I just thought that we would get started this morning and then determine a subsequent date to hear those whom you would like to arrange for a hearing. What would be the best time?
Mr. ALCORN. This afternoon.
The CHAIRMAN. You know we are just required to be in the Senate all the time this food bill is on and can only meet in the mornings.
Mr. JORDAN. Couldn't we have night sessions and sit late in the evenings; would that suit your convenience and the other members of the committee?
The CHAIRMAN. How many people want to be heard?
The CHAIRMAN. I know to-day I had another matter. I want to a poligize, because I just had another matter I could not get away from, but we might start in the morning at 9.30 and sit until about 12 o'clock.
Mr. JORDAN. You mean to-morrow?
STATEMENT OF MR. ARTHUR E. HOLDER, LEGISLATIVE REPRE
SENTATIVE OF THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR.
Mr. HOLDER. Mr. Chairman, I did not bring along with me figures like my friend Mr. Murphy did this morning and will not be able to speak to you in detail concerning any particular measure that has been proposed or particular matter in contemplation or any particular actuarial plan, but I do want to deliver myself of a few generalities concerning this bill as it applies to the declarations and sentiments of the American Federation of Labor at their annual convention. I believe that it will at least interest you to know that that great organization, with which you are familiar, its activities, etc., as you have assisted in the past in many of its endeavors and have been successful in behalf of humanitarian legislation-probably no other question that has been proposed to Congress has carried with it a larger spirit of humanitarian intent than this proposed retirement proposition; the American Federation of Labor has not yet committed itself to either of the propositions; the noncontributory or the contributory plan-but, speaking from a general principle, it believes the United States Government should, in all justice to its employees, follow the line of the other civilized nations of the earth and establish a superannuation, a retirement, or old-age pension plan; call it by whatever name you please, it will be a matter of indifference to us. We take the ground that during this day and age, when there is so much study concerning incentive and the word efficiency is very highly worked, that we could very aptly apply both terms in our argument before your honorable committee in behalf of this question.
Our young men and young women who come from the States to Washington to work do not expect to all stay in the same groove. They expect to get some promotion. They expect that by their own industry and their own activity and the growth of their intelligence that they are going to have an opportunity to develop and make themselves useful. It has not always been the happy experience of a good many who have come here. I am not prepared to say what the reasons are. Some may be personal, but the most of them are really departmental, and probably the most of the disappointments occur because the natural openings have not been afforded. It has as a consequence reduced the efficiency of the young and at the same time the Government has been losing the proportionate efficiency of the aged and incapable through sickness, who have already done their part. We believe that by the establishment of an equitable and a reasonable superannuation bill that it would provide a larger measure of incentive. It would be a measure of economy for the Government, because at the present time you are really paying, as Mr. McConnell says, as already referred to, you are really paying a
higher rate of superannuation benefits to those who are struggling to their desks in the morning and who have to be helped away from them at night, and because of that the Government suffers from a loss of service from those who are really incapable of giving this service, and because of a lack of incentive for the younger people, because they feel that their path to progress is blocked.
You asked some of the previous speakers concerning their views of obligatory or voluntary retirement. I think I can make a slight reference to that. We already have retirement legislation in several departments and for certain grades of Government service. The members of the Federal bench,
the Revenue-Cutter officials not the Revenue-Cutter roustabouts, deck hands, and engineer force, but only the officers. The Army and Navy officers have it. There may be some others, but I simply deal with these three branches—with the Army and the Navy. I believe you will find by searching the statutes that retirement in those departments is obligatory at certain ages. Mr. JORDAN. Sixty-four in the Army.
The CHAIRMAN. They can be designated for service after that time, if the President desires.
Mr. HOLDER. You are familiar, because of your service on the Military Committee, so that you know about that. I am merely making the slightest reference to it. With reference to the Revenue-Cutter Service, there is an obligatory retirement. With the bench it is voluntary. A man can stay upon the bench and serve for 10 years. after he has reached the age of 70 if he feels like occupying the position. If I was asked my own personal opinion, I would say that, take it as a whole, the worker should have that same privilege, provided the workers also had a voice in the administration of the division, bureau, or department that might have the management of the superanuated fund, so as to prevent any inequality created in or any favoritism being applied, so that people should not be forcibly retired at an earlier age when they could give satisfactory service if they wanted to perform the work.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, let me interrupt you if I may. If it bothers you, I will not do it.
Assume for a moment that some plan that was both governmental and contributory, a wise plan that might be agreed upon satisfactory to all, how would you administer that? Would you have a board appointed to make assessments and collections and turn the fund over to the board and have them pass upon the question of which employee should be retired and which not; or how would you go about it? Would you care to offer me your views? Are you in the employ of the Government?
Mr. HOLDER. No, sir. I am with the Federation of Labor.
Mr. HOLDER. Yes, sir; and I have been its legislative agent. You are asking now for my personal views.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. HOLDER. I can not commit our organization to any position in reply to a question, so I make this qualification for the sake of the record, and so I shall not be misquoted. We stand responsible before the world on these questions. The feature of administration is one that has scarcely been touched in a serious way in the various bills that have been proposed since the day of the Dick-Austin bill.
The CHAIRMAN. And it is a very essential feature, as we all know.
Mr. HOLDER. It is a very essential feature. I have some rather rigid ideas. I have had a very wide experience with the industrial properties of the world and have been in close contact with executive officials who have had to carry out orders to the letter with the strictest discipline, and I have been left to my own initiative in cases of great necessity and where there were serious situations concerning my fellows, and as a result I have come to this conclusion, that the administrative force should always be reduced to the lowest possible quantity. You have some machinery already in the Federal Government that this duty could be assigned to. You might assign it to the present Pension Bureau; you might assign it to the newly appointed compensation commission. That legislation was approved in the last Congress and the board has just gone into office. It has been assigned to its duties and taken its position. I believe that that board with the administration of the compensation law could also have the added duties of the pension system that might be devised. There are only three, and there is a woman upon the board.
The CHAIRMAN. That is not an objection to it, is it?
Mr. HOLDER. No. I thought the emphasis I gave to it showed that that was a favorable indorsement.
The CHAIRMAN. I agree with you on that.
Mr. HOLDER. The particular reason why I injected a reference to the fact that a woman is on the board is that because in the administration of a fair dealing with the personality of employees where both sexes are concerned it is unfair to the female sex if they have not any of their own whom they can go to and tell their troubles in proper womanly fashion.
The CHAIRMAN. I agree with you on that entirely.
Mr. HOLDER. That board also represents a man who represents labor, and a man who represents in whole or in part the collegiate idea, a man blessed with a splendid education. That is necessary, as well as that a man should be equipped with a large heart. We do not want to make the mistake of having a board of administration that would be very generous, that would work an injustice to the Government, or that would allow any imposters to take advantage of it, and that is not the attitude of the men and women who are here to-day. They are simply asking for a fair, square deal, and give them an opportunity to work out in cooperation with the Government, and when we speak of the Government, we particularly refer to the legislative part of the Government, which during these later days is being almost overlooked. We have the greatest admiration for the legislative part of our Government. We want to be able to do as in the past, to know that we are welcome to come and tell our stories to Senators and Representatives, to make them absolutely familiar if they have the time to listen to all the details, so they can sift out and find the essential truth and what can be discarded and what they can hold to.
So I ask, Mr. Chairman, if the Government employee shall have that opportunity of sharing in the administration of such a bureau,