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State Department Stops
"Clamming Up" on News It Is Easier Now for Press to Report Timely Developments, but the Public Still Is Not Getting the Full Story By Garnett D. Horner Top State Department officials are working hard to step up the flow of Information to the public about foreign policy matters. They are making some headway in the right direction. But much remains to be done to make sure that all the information American^ need to form intelligent opinions about problems* con fronting the State Department is available in time to be most useful. At Secretary of State Acheson's direction, Undersecretary of State Webb has dug deeply into the problem of making it easier for newspaper and radio reporters to get timely news at the depart ment. He has welcomed advice of delegations from the State Department Correspondents’ As sociation. One basic result is adoption of a positive, affirmative policy for putting out all the news that officials concerned believe safely can be published. This policy should, in the long run, overcome one of the things reporters cover ing the State Department have complained most about over the years—a tendency by some offi cials to hold back any information they control until a “leak” in some foreign capital or other circum stances forces its publication.' There is some hedging even in the new policy. It calls for giving the public all possible information on this Governments relations with other countries except in cases where there are valid se curity reasons for secrecy or where officials believe negotiations in progress would be prejudiced by disclosure of information. Most Overworked Excuse This leaves plenty of room for possible undue censorship at the source by officials who still have a personal “negative” attitude to ward news. Of course, there are bound to be real security reasons for not making public some in formation in the State Depart ment’s possession. But many other things are classified "secret” with out a valid reason. A study is going on now of the possible over classification of cables exchanged with the department's overseas missions. In the opinion of many veteran reporters in the State Department pressroom, the most overworked excuse of some officials for hold ing back news is that it might Jeopardize negotiations in prog ress. There may be occasions when this may be a valid excuse. But it too often is abused. Deli cate judgment is necessary at times in weighing the advantages of “secret diplomacy” against the advantages of an informed public opinion supporting the objectives sought by American negotiators. Former Secretary of State Byrnes appeared to like the idea of secret negotiations during his first few months in office, but he learned fast. Soon after he left the State Department, he pub lished a book, “Speaking Frankly,” in which he asserted: “We must leave behind the era of secret diplomacy. We must make sure that our people have an opportunity to know the problems their diplomats confront so that they can judge properly the pro posed solution. The right of the people to know is a basic element in the developmerft of a people's foreign policy. . . . Efficiency Improves “The people can exert their full influence in the conduct of foreign affairs only if they know more about them. That basic demo cratic right, the right of the people to know, must be applied increasingly in the conduct of foreign affairs. . . . To carry this policy into action involves a break with the diplomatic habits of the past. Such habits are not easily broken. Time, effort and a con stant demand by the public to know what is happening will be needed.” Mr. Acheson, Mr. Webb and many other top officials in the State Department now appear to be as much against secret diplo macy as Mr. Byrnes was at the end of his experience of directing foreign affairs. * But they still have a long way to go in breaking some other officials away from the "diplomatic habits of the past".” At first glance, ft would seem that the Acheson-Webb attitude would be controlling. It usually is on major issues. But under the new decentralized organization of the State Department, there are many matters that do not come to their attention directly. Some Assistant Secretaries ener getically pursue the idea of making available to the public all possible information. Others pay lip serv ice to the idea, but for one reason or another shy away from making it really effective in their areas. The State Department reor ganization of the past year has increased greatly the efficiency of most operations. It has relieved Secretary of State Acheson of up to 90 per cent of the routine paper work that used to go to the Secretary’s desk, leaving him more time to handle the major cold war problems and consider broad policies. Under the reorganization, As sistant Secretaries have full re sponsibility for most day-to-day decisions. Their responsibility covers economic and informational as well as political activities in their areas. Formerly, economic and informational matters were handled separately by officials re porting to the Secretary level. Sectional Responsibility Now, one Assistant Secretary has charge of everything in the de partment pertaining to the Far East; another for Europe; another for Latin America: another for the Near East and Africa, and another for United Nations affairs. Mr. Weob calls these "operating vice presidents.” They are the key figures in his “decision mill” that takes the burden of routine decisions off Mr. Acheson. Other Assistant Secretaries for Public Affairs, Economic Affairs, cetera, operate on a "policy I i j level,” considering broad questions of policy affecting all parts of the world. In each “operating” Assistant Secretary’s office is an information officer, whose job is to search out j information that the public should know and arrange for get ting it released. The "area” in formation officers also are re sponsible for operation of the in : ternational information program in countries in their area. i Formal press releases are chan neled through the office of Michael J. McDermott, veteran “spokes man” of the department in deal ing with reporters. He ranks as a special assistant to the Secretary. Theoretically, each operating Assistant Secretary is responsible foi clearing information concern ing his area. For example, some newsworthy development occurs in our relations with a country in Europe. It is the job of the in formation officer in the office of the Assistant Secretary for Euro pean Affairs to see that Mr. Mc Dermott gets the information to give to reporters—if it is cleared by the responsible officials in his area. On paper, this is an improve ment in the system for getting out news. It is working better now for some areas than in others. It results in more prompt clear ance of a great bulk of routine news. Officials Easier to See On major issues, complications sometimes develop. The bulky system may not work fast enough to meet newspaper deadlines. An Assistant Secretary might want to hold up clearance on the story for relatively unimportant reasons. As a special assistant, Mr. McDer mott can take the problem to Mr. Webb or Mr. Acheson for a quick decision. I Aside from formal press re leases and news channeled through Mr. McDermott, much news from the State Department is written on the basis of individual or group “background” talks with respon sible officials. One of the improvements un dertaken by Mr. Webb is to facili tate access to responsible officials by reporters covering the depart ment. Reporters are encouraged to have individual talks with As sistant Secretaries and Mr. Webb himself. When some major prob lem arises in which several re porters want more information than the department is willing to release formally, the Assistant Secretary or other official directly concerned will hold a general “background” conference. What is said in these talks cannot be attributed to the official talking or directly to the State Department, but reporters may use the infor mation "on their own.” In addi tion, sometimes there is com pletely “off the record” informa tion which cannot be printed but does serve as useful guidance for reporters who have to write stories about the issue. The value of these “back ground” talks depends largely on the attitude of the official being interviewed. Some are frank and open, providing useful informa tion. Some talk in glittering gen eralties, careful not to disclose any real news. Part of Mr. Webb's program involves steps to “educate” de partmental officers generally on relations with the press. A regular class in public relations has been started in the Foreign Service In stitute. Delegations of reporters from the State Department press room have tried to explain their needs to groups of office directors and country “desk” officers. Barrett Good Influence One factor for improvement in the department’s attitude general ly in the last few months is the influence of Edward W. Barrett, former editorial director of News week Magazine, who became As sistant Secretary for Public Affairs in January. At the top policy level, he participates in staff meet ings held by Mr. Achesoa and Mr i Webb, is fully informed in the development of all policy deci 1 sions and wields a powerful influ ence for informing the publicr There is co-operation all along the line between Mr. Barrett and his staff and Mr. McDermott and his staff in preparing for the Sec retary’s weekly press conferences. Mr. Acheson decides himself, of course, what he shall say or not say in a news conference. But the task is simplified by advance preparation of information dis tilled from various sources in the department, with recommenda tions from the operating officers on what should be released. On the days when Mr. Acheson does not hold a news conference, Mr. McDermott meets reporters at noon to give out whatever news the department has to volunteer and to answer questions. These sessions provide the bulk of day to-day news from the department. They generally are productive. But there still are many times when reporters feel frustrated by a "no comment” answer to a ! question | The complaints are loudest when news is on the wires from a foreign capital about some de velopment involving the United | States and still there is “no com ment” at the State Department. A frequent excuse in such a situa tion is that negotiations in prog ress might be jeopardized by com ment here. There has been improvement in the situation in recent months, however, and there should be less and less reason for complaint if the “affirmative” news policy ordered by Mr. Acheson and Mr. Webb is pressed forward. . k I 4J.S. Is Cementing Pakistan Amity Prime Minister's Visit Provides Good Opportunity By Creston B. Mullins The state visit of Pakistan's Prime Minister Liaquat All Khan to Washington this week, long hoped for in Capital diplomatic circles, provides the American Gov ernment the opportunity to cement relations with a country which is in an increasingly strategic po sition for us. Pakistan, the product of a long struggle by the Moslems of the Asiatic subcontinent for a father land of their own and of the Brit ish government’s compromise in partition of India, occupies those ' lands on the northwest and north east borders of India which could be critical in any Asiatic unheaval. When the Prime Minister and the Begum Liaquat Ali arrive in Washington Wednesday they will be the center of a round of fes tivities which will attract the at tention not only of official Wash ington but of a large part of the country. A transcontinental tour has been arranged for them when they leave here Saturday. Likewise their state visit to President Truman will be watched closely wherever the press and ra dio penetrate in Pakistan and, in deed, in India. The visit being ceremonial and not for the primary purpose of diplomatic negotiation, no agenda has been devised. There will be no formal conversations between the Pakistan chief and the American officials. There will, however, be plenty of opportunity for chartty, informal discussion, both of Pak istan’s problems and her place in the world, of the kind that can produce great understanding. One aspect of Liaquat Ali Khan's visit is pleasing to Ameri can officials. It is that his visit here does not follow—as was origi nally scheduled—a similar state visit to Moscow. The Prime Minis ter was invited to Moscow nearly a year ago and accepted the invi tation, but since then nothing has happened. Wants to Be Understood The Prime Minister does not come to Washington with his hand out for American largess. He is on no mission of appealing for American dollars or American supplies. What he does want is American understanding of Pak istan's problems, both political and economic, and of its position in world politics, for Pakistan faces certain geopolitical realities which all the wishing in the world can not conjure away. Pakistan is not a nation at rest and in complete peace with her neighbors. Pakistan is a nation at work, striving to complete the task of building an efficient gov ernment for 80,000,000 people who inhabit her divided territories. Coming into existence less than three years ago, she had prac tically nothing of the machinery of government — buildings, per sonnel and fiscal system. All these have been erected or are being erected The domestic problem of in augurating and carrying on the work of government over a nation which is twice the size of France and w'hich never knew self-gov ernment before has been tre mendous, but has been matched by Pakistan’s problems in its re lations with its neighbors. Because of the manner of its creation, Pakistan's principal diffi culties have been with India, whose vast superiority in numbers —many of whom are agressively hostile to Pakistan—casts a con stant shadow over the Moslem nation. It was communal hostility be tween Moselm and Hindu which made illusory the hope of welding India and Pakistan into a single nation and which foredoomed every kind of solution for old In Pakistan’s Prime Minister and His Wife. dia’s woes except partition. It is this same communal enmity, blaz ing in divided Bengal with its large minorities on each side of the line, which raised the most serious recent danger of war be tween the two countries. Kashmir Main Issue Direct negotiations between Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan and India’s Prime Minister Nehru have recently brought an agree ment for the mutual control of violence in the rich Eastern' terri tories. Those negotiations have demonstrated the good will and the peace-mindedness of both prime ministers. How the agree ment fares in practice will dem onstrate the extent to which their peoples are like-minded. But not all India's and Pakis tan’s differences are subject to such ready settlement. In the West they are so far apart on some questions that all the states manship which they and their mutual friends can muster will be required to prevent a flareup which could set off world-wide chain reaction. Kashmir, of course, is the great burning issue between the two peoples, for in it repose the na tional pride and hopes of Indians and Pakistanis. The troops of both nations hold cease-fire lines in this great princely state and the struggle for possession is dead locked now at the United Nations, which has appointed its own rep resentative to see what can be done toward mediation for mili tary withdrawal from the terri tory, conclusion of a truce agree ment and the holding of a plebiscite. The conduct of the United States has been extremely cautious in the Kashmir dispute, for we cannot afford, with India and Pakistan under the very nose of Soviet Russia, to let either side regard us as supporting the other’s claims. We don’t want another Trieste on our hands, with its opportunity for Russian interven tion. Russia, too, has kept its hands pretty well off the Kashmir dis pute up to now for the same rea son. But it may not always be so. Other Disputes President Truman will have the opportunity when he sees the Pak istan Prime Minister to urge as he undoubtedly did with Prime Minister Nehru, continued nego tiation toward a settlement and careful avoidance of any overt acts which might touch off an explosion. He can be of no direct help to Pakistan oh this score, ex cept as we press continually for the use of United Nations pro cesses in settlement of this issue. Nor can the American Govern ment do a great deal directly to help Pakistan in its trade war with India which grew out of India's devaluation of its currency last fall, and Pakistan's failure to do so. India felt itself obliged, for rea sons of foreign trade expansion and its close tie to Britain's economy, to devalue the rupee. Pakistan, under no such necessity, felt itself free to keep its rupee at 30 cents to the dollar. Pakis tan's finances are in excellent condition, considering all its po litical trouble and the vast capital investment it has had to make in building a government. The result of the divergent courses of India and Pakistan on devaluation was a sudden sharp increase in the price India had to pay for Paikstan's jute and wheat. Thus confronted with greatly higher prices, the New Delhi goverment ceased buying these two chief exports of Pakistan. No Financial Emergency The log-jam is being broken a bit in a barter agreement by which India will get some jute and wheat in exchange for equivalent amounts of her own products. Besides the trade war there are other disputes which lie strictly between India and Pakistan. These are the question of water rights on rivers which rise in Indian territory but which are vital to the irrigation of Pakistan's land; Pakistan's still unsettled claims against the assets of the Reserve Bank of India, which were to be divided on partition, and trade balance in New Delhi, and the question of compensation for the property of refugees who have moved between India and Pakistan. Although the Karachi govern ment's principal disputes are with New Delhi, it is having its troubles, too, with Afghanistan, which claims territory occupied by Pak istan along the border of the northwest frontier. In all these political disputes with Pakistan's neighbors the United States is unable to exert any direct pressure, except for the use of peaceful processes for their settlement. There is. how ever, a more fruitful field for American effort in assistance to Pakistan's domestic economy. This does not mean direct economic aid similar to the Marshall Plan, for although Pakistan has a dollar problem, since its currency is not directly Desire for Better Understanding Seems Mutual convertible Into dollars. It is not the kind of dollar problem which is plaguing the nations of Europe. She is in no distress which re quires emergency action. Its trade balance with the United States is favorable—that is. it sells more here than it is presently buying. With all due regard to its finan cial health and its continuing proof—contrary to predictions in 1947—that it is “viable” country, able to stand on its own feet, Pakistan is among those under privileged countries which Presi dent Truman had in mind when he made his “point four” pro posal last year. The Moslem dominion has a standard of living keyed to its agricultural economy and the basic needs of its people. Its agricultural methods are centu ries-old and out of step with present-day efficiency methods. These can be modernized and its standard of living raised, and in so doing Pakistan, like all under developed areas, will become a greater market for the world’s goods. The raising of her standard of living, however, will require vast sums of investment capital from abroad, which means primarily the United States. Pakistan is eager for private foreign capital to invest in her future, but as in India the process has been slow. Perhaps the biggest deterent to private foreign investment in Pakistan haS" been the fear that the Kashmir dispute might erupt into war with India, leaving for eign investors unable to take out their capital and unable to obtain return on it. U. S. Wants Peace The fear, too, of government controls and nationalization of certain industries undoubtedly has had an adverse effect on invest ment of foreign private capital. Pakistan undoubtedly will have to apply, in the long run, for in ternational loans, and must resort eventually to the World Bank and even the Export-Import for loans to get work started on Its vast hydroelectric and river-con trol program. It has made appli cation for membership in the In ternational Monetary Fund. All these items of Pakistan's foreign and domestic affairs will oe in the background when Presi dent Truman and Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan meet. What is there that Mr. Truman can tell the prime minister the United States would like to have? There is little that we want from Pakistan except peace and a con tribution to its preservation which is in keeping with Pakistan’s abili ties. We want only a continued honest effort on her part to avoid fighting and disorder In the trou bled lands south of Soviet Central Asia. \j[e are vitally interested to see that Kashmir does not erupt and thus provide Russia with condi tions of chaos which she finds so suitable for promotion of her own schemes. There is thorough understanding in Washington of the precarious position in which Pakistan exists, practically bordering one of the world's two great power centers, yet under the necessity of avoid ing every sign of provocation or inimical intent toward either. It is in our interest, too, that Pakis tan not arouse Russian antagon isms at this time, when our atten tion is concentrated on more active fronts in the cold war. There is no question at this time of Pakistan being a candidate for American armed aid. That is why President Truman would find it extremely embar rassing even to broach the subject ot Pakistan associating itself di rectly with the West's cause in the cold war. Trade With Latin America Has Strategic Importance Our Southern Neighbors Would Be Only Sure Source of Raw Materials Should Russia Push Us Into War By Edward Tomlinson The United States is in a critical period in tts economic relations with the 20 nations and the 150 million people of Latin America. Our trade with there countries, which last year amounted to more than five billion dollars, is gradually falling off In 1949 wa sold them 14 per cent less than we did the previous year. Our im ports from most of them have been steadily declining since the war. Now there is talk cf imposing tariffs, quotas or other restrictions on the products of some of those with which we are still doing a good business. Except for Canada, this trade with the Latin American countries is the only normal, healthy com merce we now have with any part of the world. We do not provide a Marshall Plan or a subsidy by which they get the money to pay us for our goods. Not only does every dollar we pay them for their own products come back to us in payment for our exports to them, but even more. Normally', we buy more from them than they buy from us. But last year the tradp balance was in our favor. Investors Hold Off Our present investments in these southern republics, which originally amounted to more than six billion dollars, are shrinking both in profits and in value. Aside from Venezuela and Cuba, there are not enough dollars in any of them to pay for the critically necessary agricultural, mining and other machinery and equipment from this country and at the same time allow American companies to send out earnings and profits to their stockholders. The only way for them to get dollars is to borrow? them from us. for our people to invest new cash capital in them, or to sell us their products for dollars. It is not good business to lend them money unless they can pay it back. Re strictions on their goods, or failure to buy more from them, make it impossible for them to get enough dollars through trade alone. In vestors won't put up more money, new dollars, if they are not as sured of being able to send out their earnings in dollars, or at least to ship the products of their mines, factories and other es tablishments to this country for sale in dollars. Washington tells us we must not only continue to put up huge sums of money but that we must buy more and more goods from i Europe to prevent those countries from falling into economic chaos | ahd being overrun by communism. For the most part, this means ! buying manufactures, things we do not particularly need. Europe has few of the great raw materials we must get from abroad. Strategic Value j In case we do not succeed in keeping Europe's economy afloat and Russia should push us into war. we will not only need the friendship of the nations and peoples next door, but the Latin American countries will be our only sure source of raw materials. Southwest Asia and the East In dies, from which we bought rub ber, tin, fibers and other indus trial necessities in the past, would be cut off, as they were in the last war. In fact, they are already threatened. Not only does Latin America possess most of the min erals, metals and other foreign products we need in vast quanti ties, but United States capital al ready controls a major portion of them. Many of our statesmen, as well as business leaders, see the neces sity of vigilance on the pan American econmic front. But some of our politicians, and even a number of our high officials in Washington, are luke-warm on tha necessity for a positive, con structive. economic policy in tha Americas. Some of them even dispute the vital importance of Latin American resources to tha United States. There is quite often difference of opinion between the executive and legislative branches of the Government on this subject, as well as conflict between the views of the State Department, which is responsible for our foreign policy, and other governmental agencies. Certainly, the Latins do not understand what we are trying to do. As a nation we play up to them and make eloquent speeches about solidarity and collaboration, but often contradict our words by o?ir actions. When we are in w ar, we urge them to produce more sugar, more grain, more oil and more metals As soon as the emergency is past w e cut down our purchases of all of these product* and even prohibit the importa tion of some. Oil Demands As one of our most experienced diplomats expressed it. "President Truman invites the President of Chile here on a state visit. They exchange flowery phrases about being good neighbors. Meantime, there is talk ip Congress of im posing a tariff on Chilean copper, one of that country's two main sources of income. More impor tant still, the copper is produced by United States companies.” “Venezuelans,” he went on, "think it equally inconsistent that we talk about placing heavy tar iffs or quotas on United States purchases of oil from that coun try, yet in wartime we constantly urged them to allow more and more wells to be drilled so as to have greater and greater produc tion. And it is difficult to stop wells from flowing once they have been drilled. Yet today our in dependent oil producers, and Rep resentatives and Senators from oil producing States, are demanding restrictions on the imports of Ven ezuelan oil. To make matters even more confusing, such men as Senator Chavez of New Mexico, Representative Wolverton of New Jersey and other legislators, along w’ith influential White House ad visers, favor a big loan from the j Import-Export Bank to the Mexi can petroleum monopoly for the expansion of the oil industry in that country.” At this very moment the admin istration is urging the Congress to provide funds for the “point - four program.” This program looks to the expansion of the pro ductive capacity and the im provement of the standard of liv ing in these and other so-called “underdeveloped areas." The pro gram specifically provides that the Government furnish technical as sistance in the fields of public health, education, agriculture and so on. At the same time it urges private capital to invest more and more in these countries. In fact, the President himself has said that private capital must play the major role in the.ambitious enter prise. Yet, we are talking of im posing heavy taxes and quotas on the product of companies that al ready have billions Invested in these various nations. Scowling Is Part of Controller General Warren’s Job By Francis P. Douglas Lindsay Carter Warren, Con troller General of the United States, might be most conveniently described as a rock. To his admirers he is a rock helping make firm the founda tions of Government. To his critics—and they include backers of the Hoover Commis sion's recommendations for Gov ernment reorganization—Mr. War ren is a rock in the path of prog ress. From this it may be inferred correctly that there is nothing colorless about Mr. Warren. When he moves or speaks he does so with emphasis. He has a passionate conviction that the agency he heads, the General Accounting Office, is one of the cornerstones of the Govern ment. “The General Accounting Office is the last remaining bulwark in ! the Government for the protection of the taxpayers against the illegal and erroneous expenditure of the public substance,” he said in an interview recently. He said also that legislative control of public funds is the basis of the Government’s fiscal policy. Once Congress surrenders this control, exercised through the GAO, an agency of the legislative branch, it "will never, and I re | peat, never, get it back.” ! Position Explained By surrendering control he meant turning it over to the exec utive branch of the Government. He holds that is not even a debatable subject. His reaction to such a suggestion is the reaction of a man-of-war captain in the day of sails who sees an enemy vessel closing on him and shouts. “Stand by to repel boarders.” The leader of those who cur rently would board Mr. Warren’s ship is former President Herbert j Hoover. One of the Hoover Com | mission’s reports recommended that an accountant general be set. up in the Treasury. He would 'have authority to prescribe ac counting systems for the executive agencies, subject to the approval of the Controller General. This, according to Mr. Warren, would mean that Congress would be surrendering its control. His position is this: i The act which set up the GAO in 1921 made the Controller Gen eral responsible for prescribing systems of administrative ac counting. But there was nothing in that law which required the executive agencies to use the ac counting systems prescribed. Fur thermore, the Budget Bureau and the Treasury have an interest in this and their co-operation is necessary. Hoover Disagrees Therefore, if modem account ing systems are to be set up in the executive agencies it must be done as a co-operative project. Mr. Warren talked it over with Secretary of the Treasury Snyder and the budget director, then James E. Webb. There resulted in December, 1947, what is known as the Joint Accounting Improve ment Program, now being '.arried on. ' “We are getting 100 per cent; co-operation from the agencies of Government where we never; had it before,” Mr. Warren said. I "There is much to do, and it takes time to do it. But the program is a success. And you can’t argue against a success.” Mr. Hoover is not in agreement. He testified recently before the Senate Expenditures Committee in support of a bill <S. 2054) to carry out the Hoover Commission's ac counting recommendation. He said he considers it a structural weakness of Government “that; there is-no enforcement’agency in! Government to impose any system of accounting that may be agreed upon.” . If there is going to be an en forcement agency it should be in the executive branch, he said, add ing: “I have always felt that the act t>f 1921 in some particulars, especially in methods of account ing, was an absolute invasion of the executive arm by Congress.” Mr. Warren followed Mr. Hoover as a witness before the * committee. He discarded a pre pared statement he had in his pocket and launched himself into his testimony, saying Mr. Hoover was merely renewing his assaults on the GAO. “In 1932 he made, and Congress rejected, his proposal to destroy the General Accounting Office,” Mr. Warren went on. "I hold in my hand executive order No. 5959 signed by Mr. Hoover on December 9, 1932, which would have practi cally done away with the General Accounting Office.” He asked the Senate committee to note that a House committee had rejected Mr. Hoover’s order in 1932, finding that the order would “irrterfere with work specifically given by law to an agency spe cifically created to function inde pendently of the executive branch and on behalf of Congress.” The proposal, the House committee held, “would break down the means of obtain ing a uniform accounting sys tem throughout the Government by dividing the work between two agencies.” Mr. Hoovers proposal at that time was to transfer from GAO to the Budget Bureau the power of prescribing and installing ac counting forms in the executive agencies. Mr. Warren himself has a long record in behalf of Government reorganization. > “There is no difference between the Hoover Commission and me in our objectives,” he said in the interview. “There may be a difference in how much congres sional control shall be surrendered in some matters.” He has described the execu tive branch as: “A hodge-podge and crazy quilt of dupl&ations. overlappings, inefficiencies and In consistencies, with their attendant extravagances. It is probably an ideal system for the tax-eaters and those who would keep them selves perpetually attached to the public teat, but it is bad for those who have to pay the taxes.” He made this statement in 1945, two years before the appointment of the Hoover Commission. It is similar to the language used now by those pressing for adoption of the commission's recommenda tions. Mr. Warren was a member of the Joint Committee on Govern Controller General Warren. ment Reorgani-, zation from 1936 to 1939 when he was in the House. He was author of .the Reorgani f zation Act of 4 1939. It was a | sequel to some turbulent re-| i organization his- j 1 tory — and a | distinguished re- 1 f port. In 1936 Presi dent Roosevelt appointed a 1C o m m i ttee on Admin istrative Management headed by Louis Brownlow. The committee re-, ported in the fol-1 lowing year and, a number of its ,recommendations are iouna again] in the Hoover Commission’s re ports. One of the Brownlow commit tee's recommendations was to transfer to the Treasury this mat-1 ter of prescribing accounting. It was only one of many, but it loomed large to members of Con gress, jealous of the powers of their agency. . An attempt to enact a reorgan ization bill in 1838 failed by eight votes and tore the Democratic party wide open. “The defeat of the bill wrecked the whole program,’’ Mr. Warren recalled. After the session he re turned to his home at Washing-1 k ton, N. C. Relating subsequent events, he said. "President Roosevelt telephoned me and asked me to come up to Washington <D. C.) When I got here he asked me if I could draft a bill that would meet with the approval of Congress.” Mr. Warren accepted the as signment and went to work. He polled every member of the House, canvassing the objections to the bill that failed. It was a tre mendous task. Mr. Warren re calls that it took from five minutes to half an hour per mem oer. He reported back that Mr. Roosevelt would never get through a reorganization bill that included the GAO. Mr. Roosevelt yielded the point. Mr. Warren drew up the bill and it was passed. It gave the president power to reorganize ac cording to plans submitted to Congress and not vetoed by the legislative branch. It specifically excepted the GAO and 20 other agencies. In the House since 1925, Mr. Warren was kr • vn to have a thorough knowledge of paths through the labyrinth of Govern ment agencies. Mr. Roosevelt had offered him the job of Controller General in 1936 on the expiration of the 15-year term of John R. McCarl, the first to hold the of fice. Mr. Warren declined. Accepted on Condition In 1940 Mr. Roosevelt was in sistent. In July of that year he repeatedly urged Mr. Warren to take the position and on the fourth occasion Mr. Warren ac cepted, although he had just been renominated without opposition j for his ninth term in the House He made a stipulation, however: "Knowing that President Roose velt had tried to abolish trife of fice, I told him I was not getting out of Congress to liquidate the General Accounting Office. He said my appointment was notice that he had abandoned the fight on that agency.” The GAO does more than audit ing and accounting. In the state ment Mr. Warren prepared for the Senate Expenditures Commit tee—and which he discarded— ne listed tne achievements or tha last fiscal year. The QAO ex amined thousands of money war rants. audited 23 million vouchers, examined 1.2 million contracts, settled claims and accounts, reconciled 459 million checks and rendered a variety of other services. "Our collections for the fiscal year 1949 were $86,669,776, and collections from 1941 to date total $660,199,422,” he said. "These amounts were either erroneously or illegally paid out and if it had not been for the General Account ing Office they would never have seen the inside of the Treasury again.” Misses Congress GAO methods were discussed in a Hoover Commission task force report on the procurement of Government supplies. It started • out this way: "On the wall of every respon- , sible supply official, particularly of contracting and certifying officers, is, figuratively, a pho tograph of the Controller General with a scowl on his countenance.’*/ Mr. Warren said calmly that ha took that “more or less as a com pliment” and asked: 'Why should not the man spending your money feel. ‘If I don’t spend this legally somebody is going to go after me about it?’ ’* He boasts—and there is no seri ous challenge—that his office is non-political and non-partisan. He admits he misses service in the House. No longer does he wade into Re publicans as he did when his 1939 reorganization bill was being de bated. He said then of one of the Republican opponents of the meas ure: “As soon as he enters the Pearly Gates he is going to protest the plan of salvation itself and wul offer amendments to change it. and they are going to throw nim out.” Nowadays his chief connection with Congress is through commit tees and he gives equal attention to Republican and Democratic committee members. When called to testify he moves to the witness table like a full back. Staff mem bers accompanying him form tha rest of the backfleid.