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Saving Plans


During the next few days, Congress will discuss the reorganization of the Executive Branch of the government. President Truman started sending plans to rework various sections of the Executive to Capitol Hill last year when he submitted seven, six of which were adopted. He based his recommendations on reports by the Hoover Commission which Congress established in 1947 to suggest ways of untangling the federal bureaucracy. This March, Truman submitted 21 more proposals slated to go into effect on May 24 unless Congress disapproved of them.

Last week, a coalition of Republicans and Southern Democrats defeated two of these, while the others got into the line of Congressional and lobby fire. Opponents of the proposals claim that in some cases the President has modified the original Commission recommendations out of existence. Truman's plan No. 12 (to centralize authority in the NLRB) which they cite as an example, did not have the support of the Citizens Committee for the Hoover Reports. This voluble nation-wide organization, ex-officio publicity outlet for many members of the Commission, states that the Commission never proposed this change.

The group claims that the reorganization along Commission Report lines would save about four billions yearly, and unsnarl a sizable amount of Federal red tape. They point out that the Commission was non-partisan and expert, and argue that the plans would efficiently clean up a chaotic bureaucracy.

In changing some of the original proposals Truman compromised their non-partisan character and laid them open to partisan attacks by certain legislators and by lobbyists who make cash on government confusion. Congress, by keeping its collective head, can still pass all the Commission-backed proposals. But to save these plans, it must survive pressure and outwit the Capitol's balcony quarterbacks in the next few days.

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