Page images
[ocr errors]

is now required of the Department of Justice. I have had an oppor tunity to read the statement of Mr. Palmer, my immediate prede cessor, before a committee when he appeared as I am appearing be fore you, and he was rather accurate and conservative in his state. ments that we might expect the Department of Justice to be required to perform greater service and a greater amount of business for the Government now than at any time in its history.

During the current year we had an insufficient amount of money to pay necessary special assistants to the Attorney General, and the Government's business may suffer accordingly. The more expeditiously you transact business the more economically you can transact it. We had a great many cases during the past year which, due to the lack of sufficient help, were delayed and continued and which ought to have been further along than they are now, and would have been further along if we had had the money necessary to employ a sufficient number of assistants and experts. The Government is at a disadvantage in the postponement of these cases, because testimony is lost, witnesses are scattered, and they become old stories. It is more expensive and more difficult to tell an old story to the court in the way of testimony, presentation, and trial than it is a new story.

Now, I have no disposition to reflect upon anybody who has ever been connected with the Department of Justice and I am not going to do so. I do not think district attorneys in the last few years have transacted as much civil business for the Government as they did formerly. I began instructing district attorneys, immediately upon assuming the office of Attorney General, that they would be expected to do a greater share of the Government's legal business in their localities than they had been doing and I think I have accomplished through them a greater percentage of work done by district attorneys, the United States over, than has been the custom for a great many years. I have the conception that a district attorney ought to be a man who is capable not only of prosecuting the criminal cases, but of giving good assistance to the Government in the discharge and trial of civil business. Of course, that being so and getting from them the best there is in them, requires a vast amount of special assistance to aid them in the trial of important and complicated

I have kept down as low as possible the compensation being paid to special attorneys. The Government is not a very liberal paymaster. If I had my way about it, with the experience of a man who has practiced law for 40 years and who has organized and been responsible for several law firms and who has been, for 20 years, more or less in touch with each of these departments down here and now having had a year's experience, devoting my entire time to the business of the Government-if I had the authority to organize a law firm to take charge of the Government's business, I would not expect to pay any man, as Assistant Attorney General, less than $12,000 a year, and I say to you gentlemen that I have not an assistant who is not capable and who has not the opportunity of making many times more than he is now receiving. The Attorney General himself might increase his earnings if he saw fit to retire.

İ know very well that the compensation we are paying is very much less than attorneys connected with the department would receive if they were engaged in practice with private concerns. Some


times they complain. I want to be as liberal with them as the Government permits me to be, but none of them is being paid enough. If I was organizing a law firm to take care of the business of a client with the requirements of the Government, I would pay better compensation to attorneys on the average, and reduce the number of employees and increase their compensation, and thus transact the business more expeditiously and more economically.


It is probably a gratuitous suggestion, but I believe the civil service is an interference to some extent in the discharge of public business. I suppose I have been voting in party platforms and local elections for the civil-service proposition for a great many years. About one-half of the employees in the Department of Justice are under civil service. While I am Attorney General and while the civil service law is in the Federal statutes I will enforce it and observe it as I expect to enforce and observe all laws. I believe if it were not for the civil service we could get along with less than twothirds of the number of employees under civil service and probably get twice as much work out of them.

Mr. TINKHAM. Will you explain just how that might be done ?

Mr. DAUGHERTY. I suppose the Department of Justice has as good employees, and as faithful, who are under civil service, as those who are under the civil service in any other departments, but they are not as anxious, generally, to be in place to commence work on the dot as they are to quit work before the dot. I do not speak for the administration, but I am giving you the benefit of my observation and judgment, about which I have no doubt, and I am thoroughly convinced that the civil service is a hindrance to the Government. I would rather take the recommendation of a political committee, either Democrat or Republican, a self-respecting committee, for the appointment of a man or a woman, than to be compelled to go through the requirements of the civil service to secure an employee. They are hardly as ambitious, hardly as energetic, under the civil service as are those not under civil service. I discovered, both before I came here as Attorney General and since, that civil-service employees spend too much time in trying to work out plans to make themselves secure in their positions. While this situation can not be remedied at the present time, still it is worthy of careful study.

In connection with the work of the department and as showing the increase and the importance of the work, I desire to state that there are now in the department more than 1,250,000,000 claims against the Government. There is one claim of over $120,000,000. Should the Government lose this case, it would lose a great deal more in dollars and cents than it would cost the Government to run the Department of Justice for several years. It is a very important case, as are practically all of them.

Mr. TINKHAM. What case is that, may I ask?

Mr. DAUGHERTY. That is a patent case called the Lee-Wright case. Now, the attorneys that the Government attorneys are expected to meet, in preparation, in negotiation, and in court, are the best men, the ablest men, that the bar affords. We are compelled to send, in a case involving millions of dollars, one man, two men, sometimes three men, to whom the Government pays $2,500, possibly $7,500, a year. They are meeting two men, three men, five men, ten men, sitting across the trial table, the best men in the country, whose earning capacity is 10 times as much as the Government pays. They do well. I want to compliment the men who are in the Department of Justice now for the splendid work they are doing; but they are not under the civil service; they work night and day. I was myself at the department yesterday (Sunday) a good portion of the day and all evening, and there were many men in the department at work. They were not under the civil service.

Now, I expect, gentlemen, no matter what you allow in these appropriations, to be as economical as it is possible to be. I think these estimates are all under what, as I see the picture of the next year, we will really require. If good fortune should smile upon us and we can save any money we won't hesitate to save it. We do not expect, in the department, to have any policy of expending the money because it has been appropriated; we will only spend it because we think we need it and know we need it and know that we are spending it judiciously.


In the claims department I made up an estimate yesterday. I think we need 25 more men to investigate these cases and prepare them for trial and presentation.

Mr. HUSTED. That is over and above what you have estimated for, General?

Mr. DAUGHERTY. Yes. After going over these matters with the department (and I give personal attention to the Government's business in this connection; I hear a lot of these cases myself and discuss them with the assistants in their respective branches), I estimated yesterday for enforcement of national prohibition we ought to have 25 more men assisting in the prosecution of these cases over the country. I have not the figures here of how many of these cases are pending the country over, but many of them are very important and the district attorneys need help. There is scarcely a district attorney's office in the country that is not clamoring for one, two, three, four, or five additional assistants.

Now, instead of appointing these men permanent assistants it would be economical for the Government to get 25 more men who could be sent as a squadron over the country to assist district attorneys in clearing up their dockets. The more promptly, the more expeditiously you dispose of these cases the better the effect is, the more impressive the punishment is, if it is pronounced immediately, and the more money you get by way of fines, because if the cases are postponed, or the accused are out on bail, or kept in jail, the families and their funds are impoverished. Now, I would say that 25 more men in that department would be very useful. The Government would save money on them.

Mr. HUSTED. I assume, then, you think this is rather a temporary condition?

Mr. DAUGHERTY. I think gradually these cases will be reduced in importance. Many violators of the Volstead Act who formerly were classed as wholesalers are now transacting business as retailers.

[ocr errors]

Mr. TINKHAM. Do you ask for those 25 and the cost of their maintenance and travel in excess of the $150,000 you ask on page 94 for the enforcement of the provisions of the national prohibition act?

Mr. DAUGHERTY. I do not know. In figuring this out I have only made a general synopsis here. There are now 32 men assigned in that department and I think there should be 25 more. I was just thinking of the number.

Mr. TINKHAM. Then that may be included in the request for the $150,000 on page 94?

Mr. DAUGHERTY. I do not know whether it would be or not. We pay these men different sums. Sometimes you can get a very good man for $2,500. I know we started one man in for $2,500, in trying him out, who should be paid $6,000 a year, oughtn't he?

Mr. HOLLAND. I think he would be a cheap man at $6,000. We did increase him, you know, General; we found a statutory position and gave him $3,500.

Mr. DAUGHERTY. I know you did; but we must increase that man again or we can not hold him. You see, it is hard to hold these men. The Department of Justice is a dignified branch of the Government, as it ought to be. These men, after they become efficient and get a good reputation, are soon picked up, and it is not at all unusual that men are offered private employment, within six months after they have been here and shown their worth, at twice or three times as much as they receive from the Government. I try to make arrangements with them to stay a year or two years, when I can; but you can not always stand in the way of a man's own interests, especially when he has a family.

Mr. Evans. "Is it not a fact, General, that very many good men desire an opportunity to demonstrate their ability, looking to a future employment just as you suggest

Mr. 'DAUGHERTY. Oh, very many.

Mr. Evans (continuing). And, consequently, they consider the value of the position in the opportunity which you have to give them?



Mr. DAUGHERTY. Yes. I think we are getting as much service on account of the ambition of the men as we are on account of their necessities, but to educate men and then lose them because of insufficient remuneration is expensive to the Government and demoralizing to the department. Take the patent interference cases, with 31 men now in that department; we figure we ought to have 15 more. There are claims in that department aggregating, I would say, $600,000,000 or $700,000,000.

Mr. HARRIS. $631,700,000.

Mr. DAUGHERTY. And many other claims the department will be compelled to meet, and to beat if it can, have not yet been presented; they are coming along every day.

År. HUSTED. The $600,000,000 and odd to which you refer represents claims that are already in suit?

Mr. DAUGHERTY. In suit and in preparation for suit. Now, we have nine men investigating war contracts. Of course, they are very complicated cases; very important cases, to see to it that no innocent concern or man who did business patriotically and reasonably with the Government is injured by an investigation, and to see, if it is possible, that those who were doing an unconscionable business with the Government are compelled, criminally or civilly, or in both ways, to settle. We need 10 more men, and good men, because those who undertake, in a large way, to commit frauds and crimes, generally are clever and smart and they employ the best lawyers they can obtain.


For the Court of Claims cases we need 25 men.
Mr. HUSTED. In all ?

Mr. DAUGHERTY. Twenty-five more men for preparing cases for trial, making investigations, getting the testimony of witnesses scattered all over the country--men that meet men at the trial table, who earn $25,000 a year and up-men capable of representing the Government in important business of this character, to whom you have to pay a reasonable amount for their services.

We need seven more men in admiralty cases, many of them cases that have come from the Shipping Board.

In interstate commerce cases we only have two men assigned. We need five more men there.

In miscellaneous cases we have 17 men and we need 8 more.

Now, we need, and can use profitably to the Government—and we are not guessing at this—130 more men than we now have in those different capacities, representing those different branches.

We have many cases that involve millions of dollars. The Department of Justice is not an expensive luxury for the Government. I think I would be willing, if I had a free hand, to make a contract with the Government of the United States to transact all its law business, to take the recoveries and the fines, pay all the expenses incident to the Department of Justice, including the judiciary, the district attorneys and their assistants, United States marshals and their assistants, clerks and their assistants, and pay for all stationery and all expenses of every kind in connection with the Department of Justice, and pay annually 5 per cent and probably 10 per cent dividend to the Government on what it has invested in Federal buildings over the United States.

We may have a case for the Treasury Department that involves $2,000,000, and may collect, as we often do, very large sums. Now, there are many cases of a similar character that are held back, pending the decision of the court in that particular case, that goes to the

, Supreme Court and probably back again, then back to the Supreme Court again, for which we do not get credit.

I may say that these gentlemen who are appearing before you representing the department are men I have known for many years, and I have no doubt about their capability and their integrity, and have confidence that these men who are appearing before you, undertaking to present to you the requirements of the department, will impress you that we have no disposition to waste any money and we are not here for the money there is in it to us.

Mr. HUSTED. We take that for granted, General.

Mr. DAUGHERTY. Thank you very much, sir. I am willing now to answer any specific question you may care to ask. I made these

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »