"It's a sound bill and an essential one; every other President has tried to reform the executive branch, and none of them have gotten to first base," William Y. Elliott, professor of Government and a member of the President's Business Advisory Council said yesterday as he discussed the Byrnes Bill in an interview.
The cry against "dictatorship" which is being raised over the measure in certain quarters, the author of "The Need for Constitutional Reform" explained as essentially an expression of an anti-Roosevelt reaction, not of real animosity to the Bill.
F. D. R. Had Power in '33-'34
"In 1933 and 1934 the President had all the power to carry out the proposed reforms, and didn't use it. As a matter of fact, the Mobilization Day Bill goes further toward dictatorship than anything I've seen, and doesn't fulfill its avowed purpose of "taking the profit out of war." There's where it might be justifiable to shout 'dictator'."
Stressing the merit of the Bill's provision for six presidential assistants, Professor Elliott said, "If I were looking for faults, I would criticize the abolishment of the Civil Service Commission; I think it should be retained as an examining body. In the second place, the Byrnes Bill makes no proper provision for the independent commissions."
"Borah's charge that the Bill is unconstitutional is unfounded; he says everything's unconstitutional," Professor Eliott said. "The President is empowered to see that the laws of the land are faithfully executed. There's more ground for proving that Congress's interference with his appointment power is unconstitutional."
"I think the Bill's over the bumps now; it ought to pass in the House, which is better organized than the Senate," he predicted in conclusion.