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February 15, 1950.

Honorable John L. McClellan,
United States Senate*
«s*hlngton 25, D, €.
Dear Senator MoClellaat
sorry that I have riot had m earlier opportunity to reply
to your letter of January
19^0, asking for any views I might have regarding the bill S. M 9 $ , which you recently introduced in the Senate.
I have given considerable thought to tne provisions of your bill m & hav*
discussed It with *o&e of the members of our staff here*
I note that the bill provides lor & Joint Committee of ten a em*
b©rs — five from each of the Appropriations Committees of the House and
Senate. this eosadttee would be required to keep itself informed of all
matters relating to the annual budget of Q#w*mmm% agencies, to provide
the Appropriation® Committees of the House «nd beo&tw with information ma
Justifications concerning budgets of the various Oovenanent agencies, to
consider all available information relating to estimated revenues, eeaenti&l
programs and changing economic conditions, and to report to the appropriations Coasaittees findings relating to adjustments or revisions in appropriation* m may be required to bel&nce the budget, and. to recommend changes in
the law to effect greater efficiency &nd economy in Gov«m
K&ch agency
of the Government would be required to supply the Joint Coif&itt- e *ith
duplicate copies of budgetary requests submitted to the Bureau of the budget
with the detailed Justifications in support thereof. Also the bill provides
that employees of the Joint Coaadttee, upon the written authority of the
chsirman or vice chairmen, would have the right to t x m d m all the records,
except those classified for security purposes, of any agency of trie Governsent.
a® you may well understand, 1 am not sufficiently close to the
budgetary or appropriation procedures in the Congress to discuss all the
points covered in your bill, but I have lon^ fait th&i some changes of a
constructive character in budget procedure have been needed. The Congress
of course has the primary responsibility for making funds available for the
operations of the Government and in the exercise of this responsibility, the
Congress should through appropriate comlttees h«v« the benefit of ail necessary inforaation relative to the operations of the Government.
I think the b&aic idea of your bill is sound in that it conteisplates a small, working —- or as you refer to it, *service* — committee to
be so staffed and to be provided with such info m & t ion as will enable it to
function continuously and to supply information to the appropriations
Committees which will give such committees a more caapr*n«n«ive and detailed
understanding of the budgetary requirements of Governaent agencies* iith
the present huge size of the Federal budget, I hardly see ho* the members

Honorable? John L. m Q l ^ U m

of the Appropriations Committees, without soat* arrangement auch u» is proposed in your bill, cut adequately c«rry out their rcsponsibi Lities and
perform the functions mhich the public looks to turn, to perform . n passing
upon the necessity for appropriations of the tremendous volume of fund® Involved in the operation of our Government. The mechanism which is proposed
by the bill seems to me to be on© nil!eh is well adapted for this purpose.
The establishment of such & Joint Consult tee to consider appropriations should result in the elimination of such duplication of nork
at the saae time permit & more careful basic study by the Congress of appropriation requests. the existing Appropriations Coiaa.ittees would doubtless in many instances be able to accept the studies and conclusions of the
Joint Coiaraittae without the necessity for going into th« details of ail such
matters themselves, this would save suach time and effort on the part of the
members of the Appropriations Committees and there is every reason to believe
that the results obtained would be as good or better than under present procedures.
I mb impressed with the fact that the proposed Joint Committee
will have a gre«*t volume of work, if it is to be able to perform the functions which are contemplated for it. accordingly, it seems to me that the
work of the Joint Committee can be effective only II it has an adequate and
competent staff large enough to analyse and study the various detailed items
of the budget, to inform the Committee thereon and to perform the numerous
other functions necessary for It to do a good job.
Mnce you ask my frmk opinion upon the proposed legislation, I
would like to comment specifically upon one or two of the detailed provisions of the bill. X note that each agency of the Government would be
required to supply the proposed Joint Committee with duplicate copies of
budgetary requests «nd of the detailed justifications in support thereof
which it submits to the bureau of the Budget. It seems to me that it is
very desirable to have a provision of this kind, in order that the Appropriations Committees may hove the benefit of the judgment of the particular
agencies as to what expenditures they fee.! s>re necessary and as to why such
expenditures are needed. I think It would, be well to make certain that the
information furnished to the Joint Committee by the agencies is so related
to the final, budget as submitted to the Congress by the President that each
item of tlie final budget can be identified with the particular agency request
upon which the item was based. Only in this way will the Joint Committee
have adequate information and be able readily to determine what changes were
made in the particular request in the course of the Budget Bureau's consideration of the matter.
X have noted the provision of the bill which states that properly
autftorised employees of tne Joint Committee shall have the ri&nt to examine
the books, documents and records of any agency of the Govtramant,except records classified for security purposes, this provision appears to be mors
comprehensive than authority which is ordinarily given to other committees
of Congress, and it aay well be that it is not essential to the general
purposes of the bill, &ince many documentr and records in the executive
agencies are, of course, not related to 'budgetary »atiers, it is possible

Honorable John L. Mct'lellan

thst this provision sight be looked upon as permitting what
referred to
"fishinf expsd.itions11, and it sight well tend to create controversy in actual operation. If any such provision is to be included in
the bill, consideration might be given to limiting the authority of tne
employees of the committee to examining records *hicn ar- directly related
to the determination of budget requirements.
One final basic comment. as on© who has
urged the importance
of fiscal policy as & «euis of helping to achieve economic stability, I ssould
hope that the Congress and the proposed Joint Cobalttee would not be satisfied with a mere "balanced budget11 at tises when capacity production and employment are being maintained and there is upward pressure on prices or m
ovj--r-ex;WM&m of private credit not necessarily reflected in ..rices. At
such times there should be an appropriate cash surplus.
In conclusion may I commend you for initiating and supporting a
constructive measure of this kind, ishich has as its purpose a method of
bringing about an adequate check by the legislative branch upon expenditures proposed by the executive branch.
I appreciate this opportunity to comment on the bill *nd if at
any tiae 1 can be of any assistance to you or to the coaaittee, do not
hesitate to call upon me.

fcith kindest personal regards, I am
Sincerely yours,
(Signed) M« b, Eccles
M. S. Kccles.