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Clement A. Norton, a member of the Boston City Council fired the first shot in the Guardian Conference on the Public Service which was opened by President Conant yesterday morning in Winthrop House Senior Common Room.
"The President, who looks at the problem from a national viewpoint, must get Congress, who looks at the problem in a sectional manner, to pass his recommendations. Then the Supreme Court can invalidate them. Then the States may attempt to impinge their sovereignty. What civilized nation has such a hodge-podge of government?"
A paper sent by Robert J. Watt, American Workers' Delegate to the International Labor Organization, reduced the problem of an overcomplex government to a need for a change in ethics.
"It is time that lawyers, accountants, and bankers were required by public opinion to limit their services to that of advising clients how to comply with the purpose of legislation rather than invoking devices whereby the purpose of the law may be evaded with impunity," Watt stated.
"I often suspect the loud criticisms of the Roosevelt administration arise from those whose liberty of evasion has been curtailed," the labor leader added.
Dr. Heinrich Bruening, visiting lecturer and former Chancellor of Germany, and Dr. Arnold Brecht, of the New School for Social Research, New York, were other speakers at the morning session of the conference.
The technicalities of the situation were discussed at a meeting this evening, which followed an afternoon session of the congress in which experts in government, labor, business administration, and civil service indicated their relation with the problem.
Harry A. Hopf, Deputy President of the Seventh International Management Conference, outlined an efficient theoretical administrative organization, and demonstrated on what counts the present administrative set-up fell short, in his presentation last night.
A highly informal spirit has characterized the conference which has been closed to the press in order to allow the invited delegates from public life complete freedom of expression.
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