« PreviousContinue »
largely upon the requests, which sometimes assumed the proportion of demands, for increased offices in the States.
Mr. TAYLOR. Well, this is one step up of over 50 per cent of what you have now. That is a pretty big growth, is it not, at one jump?
Mr. ALPINE. The demand has been very great, sir, and in addition to that I have no hesitancy in saying that I do not believe that there is a State in the Union where one of these offices could not with the greatest advantage be instituted.
Mr. TAYLOR. Really, I do not see why the State should not take an interest in them and pay something.
Mr. MURPHY. That is the point I am trying to make.
Mr. ALPINE. I want to say this, too, sir, if you please: That with regard to the matter of contacting, out of my office, I sent letters that went to every chamber of commerce in the land. We sent them out to the cities of a certain population, to the mayors of those cities,
, and to the governors of the States. We got a very flattering return in the way of replies, accepting the cooperation and proffering some full measure of cooperation on their part. All of our State directors and their assistants were apprised of all of that, and they were urged to continue the work.
In addition to that, we sent out 300,000 questionnaires in connection with the Veterans' Administration, in the effort to find employment for ex-service men, disabled and otherwise; and really the results that we have gained in that regard have been very flatiering and very pleasing.
PERSONNEL REQUIREMENTS FOR ADDITIONAL OFFICES REQUESTED
The CHAIRMAN. As I have understood it, Mr. Alpine, your offices throughout the country act as a sort of clearing house to bring the employer and the employee together; is that right?
Mr. Alpine. That is what we are doing and the requests that are coming in are coming in from labor organizations, from veterans' organizations, from men of prominence in the communities. As has been said, we have budgeted that matter of travel down to the lowest possible working margin.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you this question, if you please. It is a question that I propounded a while ago. These offices, it is hoped, may not be needed after the beginning of the next fiscal year. In other words, this is an extra appropriation which has not been asked for for the next fiscal year, in the regular appropriation bill. Do you not think it would be possible to get along with two employees in each of these offices, rather than three?
Mr. Harsch. The purpose of these offices is to find jobs for the people who apply. There are no jobs in the offices; there are none on the shelves. We have got to get men who will go out and find jobs to turn over to these people who are out of work. If you have a 2-man office, or an office with a man and a woman, if either one of them is sick, who is going to run the office? If you only have two, who is going out to find jobs for those who apply?
The CHAIRMAN. You do not need two in the office all the time to register applicants, do you?
Mr. Harsch. The more people you have at work, the more you accomplish. If you have two people out trying to find jobs, the chances are that you will find more jobs than if you only have one person out trying to do that.
Mr. ALPINE. I can not subscribe to the thought that we can get along with our offices undermanned to any greater degree than they
I have had the manager out doing his daily dozen just the same as his assistant was doing.
The CHAIRMAN. That is the point I had in mind; if you had three in the oflice, the question is whether or not the manager might not think that his job consisted in seeing that the assistant manager got out and did his work.
Mr. ALPINE. Will you let me answer that this way? I have here in Washington, with an office over in the Department of Labor, been running a placement office myself.
Secretary DOAK. I have, too.
Mr. ALPINE. I have been outside, running around, finding jobs for people and I did not feel that the dignity of my office prevented me from doing it and I do not think they see it in that way.
Secretary Doak. The Secretary is in the same boat.
Mr. BUCHANAN. When you establish an office in a town or city that fact is known; it is advertised that there is a Federal employment office there. Why do not those people who want jobs come there and file their application with your office? It would seem to me that in a city the size of 40,000 or 50,000 population everybody would know when you established an office that an office had been established. Why do they not come in and file their applications with you?
Mr. ALPINE. They do.
Mr. BUCHANAN. I am referring to the employers who are looking for help as well as those looking for jobs. Instead of going out and trying to hunt up the places, why do they not let you know where those places are, if there are any?
Mr. ALPINE. They do. It is frequently necessary for the contact man to fix it up for the fellow that has come in. There is not a thing in the world that we have not tried in order to find jobs. One of the reasons why it has been difficult to find jobs in locations of proposed Federal buildings was that there was such a tremendous influx of unemployed, and it was difficult to get a sufficient amount of office space to take care of those who came in, but we have gotten a great measure of free office space.
The CHAIRMAN. What percentage of your 96 offices have three employees per office?
Secretary Doak. I will tell you what the figures are. Sixty of them have 2 employees; 16 have 3; 10 have 1; 7 have 4; now, I am not so sure about this=2 have 5 and 1 has 7. I may be a little off on that. I was just running through these figures.
The CHAIRMAN. I take it that those offices have been established in large measure, if not altogether, in the most important places; that is, where they are most urgently needed.
Secretary Doak. Take Boston and New York, for example. Those account for the offices that have five and seven, I think.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course, with your appropriation you endeavor as best you can to put these offices where they are most needed. Now
you want 54 additional offices which you say are needed by possibly not to the same extent as some of these 96 which you have already established. You have 60 offices with only two employees per office. Why could you not get along with two employees for each of these 54 offices which you are now proposing to establish?
Mr. Harsch. Pardon me; the 60 include 48 State directors in the State directors' offices and have but the State director and his stenographer. That takes care of practically that many offices. .
Secretary Doa K. May I call your attention to this one indisputable fact, that in some States the State director's office is the only office in the State.
Mr. HARSCH. That is correct.
Secretary Doak. As far as I am personally concerned, I am perfectly willing to take care of these places with two employees.
The CHAIRMAN. I would like to distribute this service over as wide an area as possible. In other words, I would rather, for example, give you 5+ offices with two employees per office than give you, say, 25 offices with four employees per office.
Mr. ALPINE. When you refer to a staff of two, Mr. Chairman, do you mean a manager and a clerk?
The CHAIRMAN. I mean a manager and a clerk-stenographer.
The CHAIRMAN. And then whatever you might pay for rent. In that respect I agree with Mr. Oliver. I do not think we ought to have to pay any rent for this purpose.
How much have you estimated for rent, Mr. Secretary?
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Chairman, I would be in favor of inserting a proviso in the legislation to the effect that if a city is not sufficiently interested to furnish quarters free for this purpose, an office ought not to be established in that city.
The CHAIRMAN. How much have you provided for other purposes over and above salaries?
Mr. HARSCH. That does not amount to very much. We have about $5.000 here for supplies and materials.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course, you have to have supplies.
Mr. HARSCH. Yes. We can not very well cut that; then there is communication service, telephone, and so forth.
Mr. TAYLOR. My thought is that these cities ought to take some interest in a proposition of this kind if we are ever going to head off the Government from doing everything under the sun that the States ought to do themselves.
Mr. HARSCH. In dealing with these outside services, the difficulty is as to the matter of rent or anything else that there is no guarantee back of the promise to furnish such a service. We may start in on that basis and, after we have been in there two or three months, they begin to say, “ We can not pay for the telephone, we can not pay rent; you will have to pay rent, you will have to pay this and that."
Mr. TAYLOR. That is why I think you should be able to notify them that under the law you will have to discontinue the service and go to some other city, in that event.
Mr. BUCHANAN. I want to get one thing clear in my mind. Is it contemplated by the administration that after this appropriation is made and this organization is set up, it is to be continued but for six months?
Secretary D.K. That is a fair question and I think calls for a fair answer.
We are in hopes that at the end of six months it will not be necessary to carry on this increased activity. If it is necessary, it is something that we have to meet when we get there.
Mr. BUCHANAN. Of course, your hopes are based upon a return of prosperity in six months, which is a pretty forlorn hope. This occurs to me: If you go out throughout the country and establish these various employment offices and get them functioning, they will be rendering a valuable service; there is no doubt about that. It will be appreciated by many people. It will be a very difficult job to discontinue them through action of Congress.
Mr. Hardy. For instance, we have been hearing about the United States assay offices in Boise and Helena and Salt Lake City and some other places for the last 14 years.
Mr. BUCHANAN. That is correct. You are carrying no estimate for this purpose next year. What is your estimate for next year?
Secretary Doak. $820,000.
Mr. BUCHANAN. This increase is just for six months and it will mean that a curtailment is necessary for next year.
You are proposing to establish this increased activity and at the end of six months in the middle of a depression that no doubt will last for a year or two years you propose to discontinue it
. We have no reasonable hope that the depression is going to end in six months.
Mr. HARDY. We know it will not.
The CHAIRMAN. May I precede this question I am about to ask you with this statement? If you need to establish 54 more offices and they can, really serve a purpose, so far as I am personally concerned, i would like to see it done. I wanted to ask to what extent, if any, the limitation of two employees for these 54 offices would affect the service? To what extent would it hamper you in trying to render the greatest service in these various communities?
Mr. ALPINE. Well, it would be a little difficult to say to just what extent it would hamper us.
The CHAIRMAN. Would it or not very seriously interfere?
Mr. ALPINE. It seems to me that it would, because I have not been able to discover any inactivity on the part of those already engaged. That is why I exacted a weekly report rather than a monthly report for them.
The CHAIRMAN. May I say this? I do not know what the committee is going to do or how the committee is going to look at this proposition of whether you ought to have an assistant manager in any one office or not. I notice that in the statement made by the Secretary there are a great many of these 96 offices which have only two employees. Suppose the committee gave you some latitude with reference to the employment of three employees in each office and reduced the appropriation to such an extent that for a number of them you could not have two? Would it be detrimental to the service?
Mr. ALPINE. In some of the large cities they would have to have three, I suppose. Much would depend upon the industrial importance of the localities where it is proposed to set up these offices. The CHAIRMAN. I understand that, and that was the reason I was asking the question, if some leeway were given you and you were allowed to exercise some discretion, whether or not you could not get along.
Mr. ALPINE. You mean that we would have the discretionary power to appoint three in some places?
The CHAIRMAN. If you had the appropriation, you would have, of course.
Secretary Doak. In some of these offices we have as many as seven employees. I think that is true of New York City. They are not really attached to the office. They are out in that big city circulating around.
The CHAIRMAN. I am not referring to the 96 offices that you have already established. I am talking about these 54. If you are prepared to give us a statement as to where these 54 places are, we might ask you specifically as to those places. Some of them may require three employees. 'I just wondered, if we gave you an appropriation that would enable you to employ an assistant manager in some of these offices, if you could not get along just as happily and render just as effective service as if you had three in each office.
Secretary Doak. We are asking for $168,000, and $12,000 of that we can cut off so far as the rental item is concerned.
The ChairMAN. My idea is this: Your stenographer could keep the records and make all the registrations.
Mr. BUCHANAN. And stay in the office.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; and stay in the office. If the manager was the only other employee you had, he would not feel that he had to sit in the office and hold a reception. He would be out on the job. Of
. course, in a large city like New York or Boston, I realize you have got to have a number of employees. I am talking about the average place of 50,000 or 75,000 population.
Secretary Doak. Of course, it also depends on the kind of clerkstenographers you get. Mr. OLIVER. You can get very fine talent these days for very rea
Mr. TAYLOR. You will not be handicapped by the Civil Service; you can pick these employees?
Secretary Doak. That has been a godsend to us, to be frank with you.