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UNITED STATES RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION
To adjust, settle, liquidate, and wind up all matters, including compensation, and all questions in dispute, of whatsoever nature, arising out of, or incident to, federal control of the railroads.1
The President, under section 211 of the Transportation Act of 1920,1 on February 28, 1920, delegated to the Director General of Railroads all the authority conferred upon him, the President, by the said act, except authority to act as agent under section 206 of said act relating to "actions at law, suits in equity and proceedings in admiralty, based on causes of action arising out of the possession, use, or operation by the President of the railroad or system of transportation of any carrier (under the provisions of the Federal Control Act of August 29, 1916),of such character as prior to federal control could have been brought against such carrier. *
By proclamation of March 11, 1920, the Director General of Railroads was also designated agent under said section 206.
Federal control of the railroads terminated at 12:01 a. m., March 1, 1920.1
The act provides that the President shall have the right at all reasonable times, until the affairs of federal control are concluded, to inspect the property and records of all carriers whose railroads or systems of transportation were at any time under federal control. It also provides that the carriers, at their own expense, upon the request of the President or those duly authorized by him, shall furnish all necessary and proper information and reports compiled upon the records made or kept during the period of federal control affecting their respective lines. The act provides that any carrier which refuses or obstructs such inspection or which willfully fails to provide reasonable facilities therefor or to furnish such information or reports shall be liable to a penalty of $500 for each day of the continuance of such offense.
Under these provisions the United States Railroad Administration has been winding up the affairs incident to federal control and its labors are so nearly completed that the Railroad Administration itself may be regarded as in a state of liquidation. As no new matters will be brought before it, its existence has little more than historic interest.
1 Act Feb. 28, 1920 (41 Stat. 456). 2 Act Aug. 29, 1916 (39 Stat. 645 (Comp. St. $ 1974a]).
In its liquidating state the organization of the administration is: (a) Director General's Office.
(1) Chief Clerk.
(1) General Solicitor.
PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD 1. Mission
To provide for the classification of civilian positions within the District of Columbia.1
The Joint Congressional Reclassification Commission was appointed in March, 1919. The commission spent a year or more investigating the subject of reclassification of civilian employees of the United States government in the District of Columbia. The commission made a report showing categorically that the government had no standard to guide it in fixing the pay of its employees and no working plan for relating the salaries appropriated to the character and importance of the work for which such salaries are to be paid, and that inequalities existed resulting in impaired moral, excessive turn over, waste and inefficiency in government services. In May, 1921, a meeting of the two Committees on Civil Service (for the House and Senate) followed the work of the Joint Congressional Reclassification Commission above mentioned. A bill was presented to the Senate March 22, 1920, and to the House about the same time.
But it was not until March 4, 1923, that the Personnel Classification Act was passed. 3. Activities
(a) The allocation of 60,000 positions in the District of Columbia to a classification grade.
(b) Allocating newly created positions, or positions created through changes in assignment or on account of change in duties.
(c) Investigating appeals from assigned classification grades.
(d) Passing upon reductions and dismissals from the service on account of inefficiency. 4. Organization
(a) The Classification Act of 19231 requires that the Personnel Classification Board shall consist of the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, or an alternate from that bureau designated by the Director, a member of the Civil Service Commission, or an alternate from that Commission designated by the Commission, and the Chief of the Bureau of Efficiency, or an alternate from that bureau designated by the Chief of the Bureau. The act also specifies that the Director of the Bureau of the Budget shall be Chairman of the Board.
(b) The Secretary.-Office in Pettus Building 19th and D Sts., N. W., Washington.
1 Act March 4, 1923 (42 Stat. 1488).
2 Report of Congressional Joint Committee on Reclassification of Salaries. (H. R. Doc. No. 686.)
3 Joint Hearings of the Commission on Civil Service, 67th Congress, 1st Sess., May 17 to June 11, 1921; also see Hearing before Subcommittee of the Commission on Appro. priations of the United States Senate on H. R. 8728.
UNITED STATES COUNCIL OF NATIONAL DEFENSE
The act creating the Council of National Defense imposed the duty of "coordination of industries and resources for the national security and welfare and with the creation of relations which render possible in time of need the immediate concentration and utilization of the resources of the nation.” 1 It was composed of the Secretaries of War, Navy, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor.
2. Present Status; Inactive
The War Industries Board was created under the Council, and authorized as a separate executive agency by the President on March 20, 1918, by virtue of the Overman Act. The President, in a letter of November 30, 1918, accepted the resignation of the Chairman of the War Industries Board, which board ceased to exist on January 1, 1919, due to the passing of the emergency.
The law providing for the existence of the Council of National Defense has not been repealed, but there has been no appropriation for its activities since the World War. Its activities could be revived by such an appropriation in case of need.
By executive order in 1920, the records of the Council of National Defense and of the War Industries Board were consigned to the War Department for security, and are kept intact under a custodian at Room 2547, Munitions Building, Washington, D. C.
As Chairman of the Council, the Secretary of War makes a brief report annually, which, in the present status, is merely a statement that there have been no activities during the year so reported on.
1 Act Aug. 29, 1916 (39 Stat. 649), amended by Act Nov. 9, 1921 (42 Stat. 212). 2 Handbook of Economic Agencies of the War of 1917, p. 102.
NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR AERONAUTICS
The Committee is required to supervise and direct the scientific study of flight problems, with a practical end in view, to determine the problems which should be submitted to experimentation, to discuss their solution and their application to practical questions, and to direct and conduct research and experiment in aeronautics in such laboratories as may in whole or in part be placed under the Committee's direction.
(a) The Committee has formulated rules and regulations which have been approved by the President, under which technical subcommittees have been established. Their duties are to aid in selecting the problems in their respective branches of the aeronautical field to be scientifically attacked in the light of practical knowledge derived from experimental investigation conducted in all parts of the world, and to aim at co-ordination of the research and experimental work involved in the study of problems agreed upon.
(b) The Committee serves in an advisory capacity for the determination of questions in general policy for the Army and Navy Air Services.
(c) The Committee is at the service of any department or agency of the government interested in aeronautics, to furnish information or assistance in regard to scientific or technical matters relating to aeronautics.
(d) It may also exercise its functions for any individual, firm, association, or corporation within the United States undertaking to defray the cost involved.
(e) It institutes research, investigation, and study of problems which, in the judgment of its members or of the members of its various subcommittees, are needful and timely for the advance of the science and art of aeronautics in its various branches.
(f) It keeps posted in the progress of research and experimentation in aeronautics throughout the world, particularly in England, France, Italy, Germany, Holland, and Belgium.
(g) Information thus gathered is brought to the attention of the subcommittees for consideration in connection with the preparation of programs for research and experimental work in this country, and is promptly made available to the military and naval air services and other branches of the government, university laboratories, and aircraft manufacturers interested in the study of specific problems.
(h) The Committee, holding itself at the service of the government, has made special reports and recommendations regarding the Air Mail Service, the development of a system of transcontinental airways and landing fields, the extension