—Widn World Pholo
Hoover Commission recommendations for economies in tIt«* Departmenl ol'
Defense alone will save about four or five billion dollars, estimates IVeil
eVIaceVeil, formerly an editor of llie /Veic York Times and editorial director
of tbe Commission, wbo bere joins tlie I eee I- Forum Panel in discussing tbe
question: "Should tbe Hoover Commission recommendations be adopted'*'*
Panelists include William F. Buckley, Jr., editor of tlie forthcoming journal
of public opinion. i\ntiinml Review; Commentator George Hamilton Combs;
and Professor Charles Hodges of New York University. Hardy Hurt is llieir
BURT: Mr. MocNeil, |ast
to give us the background
in brief, what are the
principal recommendations of the Hoover Commission?
MacNeiL: We're going to produce, in
all, aliout three million words. We've
r j > i j made' alieiiit lln ea' hun
Probably the most important recommenda-
rgB -^^^ tion we've made was
^k -**M for a senior civil serv-
■a" aaamsl jce. We found that one
of the great problems in government is
the personnel (problem), the difficulty of getting good men and good
women, too, to come into government,
lo develop competence in their work,
and then to remain in government.
They're not paid too highly, at leasl
not comparably to private industry, and
private industry hires them away. 1 hat
applies even to generals, admirals and
so on. So we recommend a senior civil
service of about three thousand career
civil servants who would have personal
prestige and hi' outstanding in lhe community, would have security in their
We want them to be on a level with
assistant secretaries in government now.
That would mean about twenty-five
thousand dollars a year. Now, that
seems out of character with the Hoover
Commission which was recommending
economies in government. Actually
llie-re- s a tremendous turnover in gov-
ernment employees. The governmenl has
about two million three hundred thousand employees, and it has an annual
turnover of about 25 per cent. At least
four hundred fifty thousand people move
out of government each year. Now, you
make government service more attractive when you cut that down to, say, two
hundred thousand a year, and you save'
re-employing two hundred fifty thousand
a year. It costs about three hundred
dollars, and sometimes as high as five
hundred dollars apiece to get them into
government, and to break them into
their work. So there would be a very
large economy there'.
The second most important recommendation, in my opinion, would be lhe
administrative court. The administrative
court, at the beginning, was three departments: a tax court, a labor court,
and a trade court. Various independent
agencies in government have taken on
judiciary functions: they make rules on
their own. make charges against individuals, and then bring these individuals
before them and levy fines upon them
and other penalties, and so on. Hc want
those judicial functions taken away from
the departments and agencies and given
to the administrative court.
BURT: Let's pinpoint this a bit more. In
what areas can the federal government best
conserve the taxpayers' money, Mr. Buckley?
Buckley: Well, by Limiting the function of government. Surely this is what
the Hoover Commission is after. Richard
Revere sums it up in
one simple word —
"Stop." The government ought to stop expanding.
MacNeIL: I Wouldn't agree wilh Mr.
Revere on lhal. I think our major function is to get all we're getting for less,
get more efficient government.
Ill CKLEY: You mean that the Hoover
Commission, for example, supports such
welfare measures as have already been
enacted—federal social security, and . . .
MacNeil: The Hoover Commission'
has not touched social security at all.
It's made no study of it. It has made' no
recommendation on the mailer. When
it endorses something, it is very specific, but social security it has not gone
However, to pinpoint this as Mr. Burt
suggested, I ihink the place to save
money is where money is being spent.
\eiu lhe Department of Defense is where
lln- big hulk of your money is being
spenl. and lhal. naturally, is lhe area
where you can save money. We've
made thirteen reports dealing wilh various phases of the activities of the Departmenl of Defense because it is lln'
BURT: Well now, Mr. MacNeil, could the
Department of Defense carry on all of its
activities that it is carrying on at present,
do you believe, but more efficiently, so that
economies could be made?
MacNeil: Yes, in fact, that's lhe
recommendation of the Hoover Commission. Despite remarks made hv certain
military commentators, we have nol
touched lhe combat fore es uf the I nited
Sleiles. except lo support them.
Hoiic.es: I'm not happy over iln defense setup. I regard il as lhe implementing hand of
sound foreign policy.
An.l I feel thai wc are
not going to get what
the Hoover Commission expects, sn feir ei^
I can judge from the
defense proposals. I lliiiik that iliei are
building up an extension of bureaucracy
by the necessity e>f increasing lln- civilian staffing. Basically we want lhe
civilians lo control lhe mililarv establishment. Ilul lhe' complications of modern war wilh the problems of gelling
the mosl effective use in military terms
FACTS FORUM NEWS, October, /■"■'■'