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Representative WOLVERTON. Now, I notice, is the criticism that your department has made with respect to character of books and magazines and newspaper publications, or is it as to the amount that has been expended?
Now, for instance, I saw here some place that they had sought to purchase the Nation's Business, of the United States Chamber of Commerce, and that the voucher had not been approved by the Comptroller; and I find in other instances, there is a magazine entitled "Nurses on Horseback," and "Who's Who in America," and "The World Almanac'—that is getting a good ways out of the Tennessee Valley.
Well, I won't go through all of them that are here, because there are several hundred of them,
and some of them are exceedingly interesting from the standpoint of trying to understand how the Tennessee Valley Authority would be interested in books of the character that some of them seem to be.
It further shows that newspapers from all over the country have been subscribed for. I can understand subscriptions within the Tennessee Valley region, but this would indicate that newspapers from all over the country have been subscribed for.
Has their answer been given on a basis that would indicate justification for these subscriptions and purchases, or merely on the basis of the right to do what they please?
Mr. Tulloss. Solely on the interpretation of the law as I understand it. I see no explanation here or other justification for the transaction.
Representative WOLVERTON. Well, I won't read all of these titles; it might seem as if I were trying to make a matter more or less serious a facetious one, but it certainly would adapt itself to that very readily if a study is made of the different books and magazines and their titles that have been objected to by the General Accounting Office. Does that practice continue?
Mr. Tulloss. Yes, sir. Representative WOLVERTON. Did I understand, from your reading of the law, what was the outside limit that should be expended? Was it $100?
Mr. Tulloss. As copied in this reply of the T. V. A., the law reads “shall not exceed $100."
Representative WOLVERTON. What was the the total amount of your exception, for the year 1934? That is, the fiscal year 1934?
Mr. TULLOSS. $10,078.
Representative WOLVERTON. Do you happen to know at this time what has been the cost of the library that is built up by the T. V. A., legal and otherwise?
Mr. Tulloss. No; we do not know.
WITNESS' VIEWS RE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S PRIOR APPROVAL OF TITLE
TO LANDS PURCHASED BY AUTHORITY
Representative WOLVERTON. Before I forget, I wanted to ask a question that doesn't have a relationship to what I am now on, but so that I won't overlook it-we discussed a day or two ago the provision of law that seems to require that land, title to which is taken
in the name of the United States Government, should first be approved as to title by the Attorney General.
Mr. Tulloss. Yes, sir. Senator SCHWARTZ. Would that apply to the flooded lands? I was going to say
Mr. Tulloss. I think the rule extended to flooded lands. No distinction was drawn as far as I recall.
Representative WOLVERTON. That was the very question that I had in mind when I brought it up at this point. The other day we discussed it with the purchase of property and lands from the Mississippi Power Co., and I overlooked asking at that time whether the millions of dollars worth of property furnished for reservoir purposes, and taken in the name of the United States Government, as to whether that property has had the approval from the standpoint of title from the Attorney General's office.
Mr. Tulloss. I understand that it has not.
Representative WOLVERTON. How much has been spent already, in purchasing lands, by the T. V. A.?
Mr. Tulloss. I understand that it exceeds $10,000,000. Representative WOLVERTON. I was under the impression from some testimony that had been given that it was about $25,000,000, and it would run as much as $25,000,000 more--a total of about $50,000,000, in the aggregate. Mr. BIDDLE. I think it is about $50,000,000.
Representative WOLVERTON. That is what I thought. Now, you see that is a very considerable item, when we look at it from the standpoint of the entire program. Therefore, it seems to me to | become necessary to give consideration to the question of title. It may be that the T. V. A. can make just as good an examination of title and pass upon it as the Attorney General's office would, but in view of the fact that there seems to be a provision that requires it to be done by the Attorney General's office, it seems to me when you get to an aggregate sum of $50,000,000 it takes—the question takes on considerable importance.
As I understand, the General Accounting Office, having in mind the statutory provisions, has seen fit to raise that question with the T. V. A., is that right?
Mr. Tulloss. Yes.
Representative WOLVERTON. That question was raised in the 1934 report, as we already know. Has it been necessary to continually raise that question in your subsequent examinations, because of the continuation of the practice by the T. V. A.?
Mr. Tulloss. I think the practice has been continued and I do not know the status of the exceptions as to those items.
Senator Schwartz. Could you tell us about how many pieces of land, separate pieces of land, have been acquired by the Ť. V. A.?
Mr. Tulloss. I don't know.
Mr. Biddle. Somewhat over 4,000. I understand, without stating it very accurately, it is somewhat over 4,000, but I am not certain about that.
Senator SCHWARTZ. Can the witness tell us about how many attorneys they have in their title-acquisition department down there, examining titles? Do you know how many lawyers they employ in their land acquisition department?
Mr. Tulloss. I wouldn't know, sir.
Mr. BIDDLE. I would like to ask the witness this question: Isn't it true that you have withdrawn exceptions to acquisition of land based solely on the fact that the Attorney General should have examined the titles? If that is not true, I should think that since, as Congressman Wolverton suggested, far more than $25,000,000 of land has already been acquired, and your exceptions, if based solely on the fact that the Attorney General should have approved those titles, would be triple what they now are.
Mr. TULLOSS. I do not know.
Mr. Tulloss. The auditors may have stopped making exception because of the futility of their efforts in that respect, since we couldn't get anywhere with it.
Mr. BIDDLE. You mean it is a practice of your office, if you can't get the office that is being audited to agree with your exceptions, to simply stop making them on any particular ground?
Mr. Tulloss. No, that is not the practice. I do not know just what has been done in this instance.
Mr. BIDDLE. My understanding was that exceptions based solely on the fact that the titles were not accepted by the Attorney General were not being made, and that those exceptions have been withdrawn. You don't know about that?
Mr. Tulloss. I don't know; no, sir.
Mr. BIDDLE. Now, just with reference to this before I overlook it. Do you know whether or not the exception taken to the item of some $10,000 of printing for the year of 1934 has been recommended for removal?
Mr. TULLOSS. I am not familiar with that.
Senator SCHWARTZ. Did I understand the witness to say that they bave not filed exceptions to the acquisition of these different lands, not having the opinion of the Attorney General? Have you made exceptions to that?
Mr. Tulloss. We made exceptions in our 1934 report, and now what has been done since that time
Senator SCHWARTZ. I mean, you haven't filed separate exceptions to each piece of land; you filed a general exception to the practice, is that right?
Mr. Tulloss. Our exception-we began on individual exceptions, that is, voucher by voucher, and our exceptions run always to the expenditure
Senator SCHWARTZ. I was just wondering. The remaining 4,538 exceptions that haven't been acted upon, how many of them, if any, include exceptions based entirely upon the proposition that the Attorney General has not passed on the title?
Mr. Tulloss. I don't know. We are trying to find out how many of them relate to that particular subject.
Representative WOLVERTON. Have you finished?
Senator Schwartz. The thought that I had was that it was said by counsel that he thought that there was some 4,000 pieces of land acquired, and I was wondering whether the remaining objections were based on those exceptions?
Representative WOLVERTON. I thought that it would be one general exception. In view of the way it was handled in 1934, they didn't take each piece of property there and make a separate exception, it was a general exception that applies to the whole situation.
While we are speaking about the Attorney General, this further thought comes to my mind. I have understood from your testimony that there is provision in the law for obtaining from the Attorney General an advisory opinion, with respect to matters in controversy between departments-am I correct in that basic thought?
Mr. Tulloss. I think to the extent that it might be an administrative controversy between two executive departments, or establishments, that would come within that law; yes, sir.
Representative WOLVERTON. In view of the fact that there has been a long-standing difference of opinion between the T. V. A. and the General Accounting Office, with respect to the proper jurisdiction of the latter, has any effort been made either by the T. V. A. or the General Accounting Office to obtain an advisory opinion with respect to whether the T. V. A. is a governmental department in the sense of the statutes that you have used and the thought that you have in mind as to their applicability or whether it is a distinct agency of Government, the same being the position taken by the T. V. A?
Mr. Tulloss. I know of no such request for opinion by the Comptroller General. I cannot speak for the T. V. A.
Representative WOLVERTON. Maybe in view of the fact that neither of these contending armies have seen fit to obtain information in that respect, it might be advisable for the committee to ask.
Mr. BIDDLE. I think that that is a very good suggestion, as I think that the committee could be considered a department of the Government which would come under the construction of the statute.
Representative WOLVERTON. It seems unfortunate that within a period of 5 years this controversy would go on, each claiming that the other handicaps the other; and maybe we could break that Gordian knot with such an opinion.
APPLICATION OF ECONOMY ACT PROVISIONS TO AUTHORITY
Now, getting back to the basis of the exceptions that appear in your 1934 report-before I do that, I want to ask this question:
When the Economy Act went into effect in 1933, I think it was, affecting employees of the Government, including members of the legislative branch, did the T. V. A. respect that economy order of the President?
Mr. Tulloss. We bave some exceptions in instances where it did not.
Representative WOLVERTON. Well, I wasn't quite clear in my mind after reading an exception which I noted in your 1934 report; it is related to a classification order that had been made by the President, and it seemed as if upon the announcement of that order by the President that the T. V. A. took steps to comply with it insofar as the salaries up to and including $4,000, but that it did not apply beyond $4,000.
Now, I was not able, in reading that criticism, to understand whether that was the economy order issued by the President or whether that was some other order that had been issued by the President, but in either instance, it raises the question in my mind, that why was there a limitation to the $4,000 limit of salaries, and that if it was applied to the lower salaries, why wasn't it applied to the higher salaries?
Mr. Tulloss. There was some question on it, and I think that that has relation to the President's order classifying emergency employees, but just why that distinction was drawn, I am unable to say.
Representative WOLVERTON. Let us come back to the other question åbout the economy order that was given. Did that apply to all employees of the T. V. A., the same as it did to the other departments of the Government? You see, I am asking the question again because the T. V. A. has at all times taken the position that it was not the same as other departments of Government, and I am wondering whether in connection with the Economy Act, whether that was effective on the employees of the T. V. A. or only on the employees of other departments?
Mr. Tulloss. I understand that the T. V. A. generally gave effect to the principle laid down in the Economy Act. I am reminded that it wasn't the recognition of the duty, but a good practice at that time, that is a proper procedure for the Authority. I am not
, Representative Wolverton. That doesn't answer my question just as accurately or as fully as I would like, because you qualified it with saying that generally speaking, or words to that effect. Now, what I want to know is whether the Economy Act of the President was recognized by the T. V. A. Authority and made as effective of the employees of the T. V. A. as it did with respect to other departments of Government, including Senators and Congressmen?
Mr. Tulloss. I do not know the position of the T. V. A. in this respect. I am advised that the deductions were made in most all
There were a few exceptions. Representative WOLVERTON. Who advised you as to that? One of the two gentlemen sitting alongside of you?
Mr. TULLOSS. Yes, sir.
Representative WOLVERTON. Well, I saw a gentleman out in the audience when I asked the question, whose manner indicated that he might know the answer, and if there is any T. V. A. official in the audience that could answer that question accurately, as a result of the position that he holds, I don't think that the committee would object to him rising and giving us that information.
Senator SCHWARTZ. I would prefer to get it from T. V. A. officials who are responsible for the situation, rather than volunteers.
Representative WOLVERTON. I think the ones I have in mind in the audience are responsible enough, and I won't ask it from some bystander.
Senator SCHWARTZ. Or bysitter.
Representative WOLVERTON. I assume some of these present are in a position to know.