Journal of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers
No one believes that we are, and yet our bill is so large that it pinches us to pay. The answer is that we are paying too much for what we get. The appropriations committees in Congress will spend the greater part of their time for the next three or four months in pruning those estimates-a laudable and necessary thing to do under the circumstances. But those hardworking men are saving at the spigot and wasting at the bunghole. We here assembled are asking them to do the obvious thing. Give the
... us thing. Give the Government a business-like organization. Coordinate the functions so that the processes of Government business shall dove-tail. Cut out the wastes and the duplications. Abolish the rivalry between departments. We advocate a Department of Public Works not merely to secure technical symmetry in our Federal organization, desirable as that end may be. Our advocacy is in its essential features an attempt to stop some of v these leaks. When this organization was set up at Chicago I think that none of us-certainly not the speaker-had an adequate idea of the scope of the movement. We saw a loose and inefficient public works organization, divided and sub-divided into many different provinces. As technical men we knew how organically wrong that was. Of the wastes and inefficiencies we were well aware. With the necessity for a coordinated structure, by virtue of which the technical and semi-technical fields of the Government could be rendered efficient and business-like we were profoundly impressed. But that our effort, our idea, our legislative bill would become the cornerstone of a structure embodying efficiency in all Departments of Government we could hardly foresee. As an organization our effort is still focused on a Department of Public Works and that alone. But we realize that with that principle established-that example setreform in other provinces of Government business activity will occur by the mere logic of events. We are pioneers. This is the reason why our project for a Department of Public Works strikes straight home to the business man, the manufacturer, the contractor and the merchant, all of whom are represented he r e today. The technical men wdio met at Chicago last April to set up this organization built better than they knew. While the project retains all the virtues that appealed to us when it was launched-of technical excellence, of rational government organization, of economy and efficiency, we now see that it reaches to National and to business prosperity, to the fiscal welfare of the Nation, to the individual welfare of the productive business.