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Chairman MCKELLAR. I want you to look over these items and see where would be the best place to cut, where we could reduce in the
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
FIFTY-TWO-WEEK BASE; WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENTS; AND
PERSONAL SERVICE LAPSES
Senator McCARRAN. The next item we come to is the item which has to do with the excess of the 52-week base, the within-grade salary advancements, and personal service lapses. What page is that? I guess we understand what is meant by the 52-week base.
Mr. HUMELSINE. That is the leap-year pay.
We have the within-grade salary advancement item up as one item under Mr. Humelsine's testimony.
Going to personal service lapses, what is meant by that?
Mr. WILBER. That is the difference between an annual salary rate and the actual amount paid to employees by reason of their not being on duty for a full year. In other words, there is a gap between the beginning of the year and the time you recruit a person at a particular grade and he reports for duty. That is what we refer to as a lapse saving
Senator McCARRAN. That is not paid out!
Mr. WILBER. That is not paid out, and we make a deduction for it here as a lapse item, so that we are asking you for the actual amount we will require.
Senator McCARRAN. I see.
NEW LANGUAGE REQUEST
I notice that under the appropriation item of “Salaries and expenses," you have requested new language which would authorize the purchase of four busses. What do you need these busses for, and what will they cost?
Mr. Wright. The Department of State is currently forced to occupy over 25 office buildings. They are so far spread that it would take some times as much as 45 minutes to get from one to another by public transportation.
Senator MOCARRAN. Are those here! You mean here in Washington?
Mr. Wright. Yes, sir, right here in Washington. We have better than 25 office buildings.
Mr. HUMELSINE. An example of that, Senator, we have the Far Eastern Commission located in the old Japanese Embassy, and that is way out, as you know, on Massachusetts Avenue. Those people have dealings with our Office of Far Eastern Affairs in the main State Building at Twenty-first and Virginia Avenue. That is just one example.
Mr. Wright. Senator, all of the witnesses who are here before you occupy different buildings in the Department of State. I happen to know where all of them are located because space is one of my problems. Each one of these people occupies a different building, Mr. Humelsine is the only one in the so-called main building which will only house, crowded as it is, less than 2,000 people. So we are forced to go into temporary buildings, into converted apartment houses.
I personally occupy very nice space, but it is in a temporary building built for the First World War, built in 1917.
Senator McCARRAN. Where is that, on Constitution Avenue?
Mr. WRIGHT. That is down on Virginia Avenue at the Twentieth Street temporary building, Temporary Building No. 2, across from the old Washington Auditorium.
We need busses, sir, to improve the efficiency of our employees so as to enable them to get from one building to another.
Senator McCARRAN. How would you operate the busses ?
Mr. WRIGHT. We would make a run and would go from one large building to another in a logical sequence—that is, the State Department buildings. We would go around them in a regular schedule.
Senator McCARRAN. On a regular schedule?
Mr. HUMELSINE. In other words, if someone out in the Japanese Embassy wants to come in and see Mr. Rusk, they would know what the schedule was, and they could make the appointment conform with the bus schedule. We feel that that would provide a real saving to the Government because we do not want to have people here to whom we are paying good salaries spending an hour and a half of their time getting back and forth when they could make the trip in a shorter period of time and get their business over with, thus making them more productive.
Chairman McKELLAR. You would not go to their homes and pick them up?
Mr. HUMELSIN. No, sir.
Mr. HUMELSINE. No, sir. If we found anyone doing that, we would fire him.
Senator McCARRAN. They get from their homes to their office or place of occunation by their own means, by their own conveyance; do they not?
Mr. HUMELSINE. Everyone except the Secretary of State, who is furnished with a car.
Senator ELLENDER. How do you handle the transportation of your employees now from one office to another?
Mr. HUMELSINE. At the present time, I think we have one bus.
Senator ELLENDER. You found it is better to do that than to have them hire taxicabs?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, indeed, sir.
Chairman McKELLAR. The busses would be much cheaper. How much do you want for this purpose ?
COST OF BUSSES
Mr. WRIGHT. The cost of these busses, sir, is $15,000.
Senator ELLENDER. Now, you are going to have to have an operator for each bus, and then you are going to have to provide the gasoline.
Mr. Wright. That is correct, sir. But, on the other hand, we have a small fleet of cars that we use in trying to transport officials from one building to another in order to save time. To run a bus would be a great deal more economical.
Senator ELLENDER. What are you going to do with that small feet of cars?
Mr. WRIGHT. We cannot dispose of them entirely, sir, but we will not ask for additional cars.
Chairman McKELLAR. Will you dispense with any of them?
Mr. WRIGHT. As long as we are forced to occupy so many buildings, Senator, we are up against a rather difficult situation.
Chairman McKELLAR. You have a tremendous job in trying to find space to house your employees.
Mr. Wright. That is right, Senator.
Mr. WILBER. Mr. Chairman, we are not asking for additional drive ers, however, for these busses. It is planned to absorb that requirement by the existing staff.
PASSENGER CARS AVAILABLE
Senator ELLENDER. Well, how many cars do you employ for this purpose now?
Mr. WILBER. Mr. Wright, do you know?
Senator ELLENDER. The passenger cars transporting your personnel from one office in Washington to another.
Mr. W'RIGHT. There are about a dozen cars.
Mr. WRIGHT. We want these busses because we turn down about 10 percent of all the requests we receive to haul people—for instance, to the Pentagon to confer with the Department of Defense people or to the Department of Commerce, the Department of Agriculture. We turn down about 40 percent of all of the requests that come to us day in and day out. That is our average turn-down.
Senator ELLENDER. Why do you turn them down?
Mr. Wright. They hire cabs. I'hey walk. They go there in public transportation. They pay their own way,
Senator ELLENDER. Notwithstanding the fact that they are all on official business?
Mr. WRIGHT. That is correct, sir.
Mr. HUMELSINE. To answer Senator McKellar, on this business of taxicabs, even if we were to try to pay the money for taxicab fares, to police that would be practically impossible, we figure, Senator. You would have so much paper work that it would cost you an enormous amount to follow it up.
Chairman McKELLAR. I feel that it is very much cheaper for the ordinary person to go by taxicab.
Mr. HUMELSINE. Yes, sir; it is. It is cheaper than owning an automobile.
Senator McCARRAN. What is the amount you want for these busses ?
Mr. Wright. I would say that the life of those busses would be 5 or 6 years.
Senator McCARRAN. How many people will they carry?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir; not to the Pentagon, as there is not enough travel to justify it—that is, justifying a bus going back and forth. We would use our passenger cars for that purpose.
Senator McCARRAN. And these busses would touch every one of these buildings occupied by the State Department?
Mr. WRIGHT. Every one where it seemed to be practical, Senator. If there was one building that was remotely situated off from the others and there wasn't too much traffic, we wouldn't waste the gasoline and have the bus run over to that building. But, practically speaking, Senator, the busses would touch all of the buildings.
Chairman McKELLAR. How would you get people to the buildings where it was not practical for the busses to travel ?
Mr. WRIGHT. If we had two or three calls a day, it would be cheaper for us to send an automobile over to transport those people rather than to have the bus each time take 20 minutes to make the trip to that building.
Chairman MCKELLAR. When you get these busses, do you plan on keeping the busses and the automobiles as well?
Mr. WRIGHT. Senator, we are turning down 40 percent of the requests that we receive for people requesting transportation now.
Senator McCARRAN. And you are not asking for any new automobiles?
Mr. Wright. We are not, and our cars are all 4 and 5 years old. We are taking good care of them, but we are not asking for
Chairman McKELLAR. I wish you would go over these items and see where the committee can cut with the least harmful effect.
(The information requested appears on p. 1506.)
Senator McCARRAN. We will suspend here, gentlemen, until tomorrow morning at 10:30, if that is satisfactory.
(Whereupon, at 4 p. m. Wednesday, June 6, 1951, the hearing was recessed until 10:30 a. m. Monday, June 11, 1951.)