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(29) WHITE, H. C. 1904. REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. Assoc. Amer. Agr. Cols.

and Expt. Stas. Proc. (1903) 17: 17–20, 30. (U.S. Dept. Agr.,


and Expt. Stas. Proc. (1904) 18: 15–19. (U.S. Dept. Agr., Off. Expt. Stas. Bul. 153.)

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Born in the same year, the Federal Department of Agriculture and the land-grant colleges also grew up together. Confronted by a mutuality of problems, the colleges and the Department matured into a nationwide system of agricultural research and education. None of the many relationships that were to follow served better to delineate interest differences on the one hand, and, on the other hand, to promote the wholesome spirit of give and take than did the early experiment station movement. In the debates that took place in the early conventions and later in the more convenient section and committee meetings, we find the amalgam of an enduring cooperative Federal and States relations system.

The elements of conflict and compromise came to the surface in the proceedings of the first decade of annual conventions, led principally by the experiment station leaders; subsequently, in the meetings of the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP). These and the intersectional meetings of the Association served as the vehicles through which the station directors sought protection against encroachments on the mission of the experiment stations. Their ideal was the "conception of the experiment station as a research institution-one for discovering, verifying, and establishing the practical bearings of scientific facts and principles in agriculture” (7). Members of the Federal Department's staff sat in on all these discussions.

The personnel in the Office of Experiment Stations (OES) especially sympathized with the viewpoints of station spokesmen. From the moment it was established in 1888, that Office carefully refrained from taking, any action which the members of the Association could consider authoritarian, despite the directive power inherent in the provisions of Federal legislation. Commissioner Colman of the Department and Director Atwater of OES followed the principle that the Association, rather than the Department, should enunciate the advisory role of the Federal Government in the station enterprise. The Association, from the time of its first general session in 1887, (14), and later in its section on experiment station work, undertook the responsibility of formulating “advisory propositions” for ethical patterns of behavior and Federal-grant administration applicable to its member institutions. Within the Association there early developed under Alvord's leadership a movement to amend the Hatch Act for the specific purpose of assigning to OES the function of ascertaining that the expenditure of Federal funds conformed to the requirements of the Hatch Act.

Congress acceded to requests from the Association for legislative action; in the departmental appropriation for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1895, Congress directed the Secretary of Agriculture to “prescribe the form of the annual financial statement required by section three of the Hatch Act” and to "ascertain whether the expenditures under the appropriation hereby made are in accordance with the provisions of the said [Hatch] Act and shall make report thereon to Congress." This Congressional stipulation did not initiate a program of Federal dictation, nor did it alter the policy of sympathetic assistance anticipated in the Colman convention of 1885, established in Departmental practice during the Colman commissionership, and administered after 1888 by OES.

* Italic numbers in parentheses refer to Literature Cited, p. 139.

The Secretary of Agriculture, made responsible by Congressional fiat for administering Federal funds, delegated responsibility to OES. Thereafter, the Department established policies via the issuance of Secretary's letters and the publication of rules, regulations, reports, and similar documents. Nevertheless, the traditions established in the mideighties held firm. Full and free discussions within the Association always preceded the establishment of Departmental directives applicable to the stations. Moreover, at OES, Director Alfred Charles True, as dedicated a missionary as his mentor, Dr. Atwater, to the cause of freely functioning stations in the States, reaffirmed with quiet conviction in 1896 that the administration of the stations would continue to follow "the principle of local control” (32, p. 196). He justified this principle as valid for experiment stations in the following words:

The principle of local control with a view to meeting the varied needs of the different agricultural regions is in harmony with our governmental and educational system, and in the long run will undoubtedly produce the best results. The responsibility resting upon the State and Territorial authorities to maintain these stations will lead to their development in proportion to the interest taken in them by the people, and when once this interest is sufficiently awakened it will conduce to the building up of strong stations.

True's associate and subsequently his successor, Dr. Edwin West Allen, commented many years later (as quoted by Fletcher (19) that "thus there came about in the years that followed a unique example of national administration, in which influence, rather than coercion is the policy."

The principle of local control did lead, as the years passed, to strengthened local support for the stations; yet, conversely, that growth induced the enlarging stations to use Hatch funds for nonresearch purposes. This situation prompted a policy statement from Director True, perennially faithful to his official responsibility and responsive to the appraisals made by ESCOP. Director True on February 25, 1909 3 called the attention of station directors to a growing tendency in the States to use Hatch funds for such non research work as printing, correspondence, administration, and miscellaneous purposes connected with general business operations at the station. He attributed this to various reasons, such as the increase of State appropriations for the stations, which in many cases had taken the form of

* Major Federal policy statements, including letters issued by the Secretary of Agriculture regarding the successive Federal-grant acts that were to govern Federal administration, are included in the appendix of the main text of this publication. Also in the appendix is a record of Miscellaneous Publication 515 and its predecessors that provided Federal interpretation of the governing laws and use of funds.

3 Letter to Directors of State Experiment Stations. Mimeographed copies on file in Cooperative State Experiment Station Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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appropriations for special investigations, demonstrations, or substations, without provision for printing and general administrative duties of the station. The tendency, he averred, in many cases practically amounted to a diversion of the Hatch fund from the purpose for which it was intended. Director True then issued the following instruction :

Each station shall, as far as may be necessary, change its policy of expenditure of the Hatch fund so as to devote a large share of that fund to definite experimental work, restrict the expenditures for printing as indicated above, and put administrative expenses as far as possible on other funds. . . . Beginning with July 1, 1909, it will be expected that all charges for extension work and printing of compilations will be eliminated from the Hatch fund account. action is not intended to hinder the development of extension work, the value of which I greatly appreciate. This Office will always be glad to do anything in its power to aid the agricultural colleges in securing funds with which to thoroughly organize and develop extension work along the lines of agriculture and country life.

In reading Dr. True's letter, it should be kept in mind that no Federal authorization for extension work had been enacted and that many institutions considered the liberal use of Hatch moneys for printing and demonstration work a part of the experiment station's responsibility. The Association by this time had a standing committee on extension work out of whose deliberations later came the SmithLever Act of 1914. Nevertheless, Director True, who later was to head up agricultural extension work in the Department, stood with ESCOP, which from 1905 on was responsible for the function previously held by temporary committees, volunteer spokesmen, and individual directors. He voiced the tradition of the American experiment station movement, namely that public funds appropriated for research were for scientific investigation and for no other purpose. Only by this interpretation could be satisfied the never-ending quest for new scientific knowledge of permanent and basic benefit to agriculture.

The Joint Committee on Projects and Correlation, established in 1913 (12) with three members representing the Association and three members appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, outlined its functions in a memorandum issued in 1914. Principal among these was consideration of the regulatory, investigational, demonstrational, and other extension work of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the State Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations insofar as such work may bear upon agricultural practice or industries, in distinction from general agricultural education. The Committee announced that it had undertaken a survey of "work done under the various appropriations of Congress to the United States Department of Agriculture and the state agricultural colleges and experiment stations.” Requests had been sent to the member institutions "that information regarding their investigational, extension, and regulatory work be furnished” (25). The Federal Smith-Lever Act authorizing Cooperative Extension Work had been enacted and approved on May 8, 1914 (38, p. 7). Commenting on its passage in Congress and concerning its joint sponsorship there by the land-grant colleges and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Secretary D. F. Houston said during the 1914 Association convention, “We are in reality one family, working in different jurisdictions to serve the same people” (22). One outgrowth of the deliberations of the Joint Committee was establishment in the Department of Agriculture of the States Relations Service.

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