CONGRESSIONAL RECORD - SENATE
FEBRUARY 5, 1962
GOV. NELSON A. ROCKEFELLER AND THE PROPOSED DEPARTMENT OF URBAN AFFAIRS -- COMPLETING THE RECORD
Mr. McGEE obtained the floor.
Mr. MUSKIE. Mr. President, will the Senator from Wyoming yield?
Mr. McGEE. Mr. President, I am happy to yield to the distinguished Senator from Maine.
Mr. MUSKIE. Mr. President, on February 1, 1962, Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, of New York, addressed a partisan fund-raising dinner in Des Moines, Iowa. He took that occasion to attack President Kennedy's Reorganization Plan No. 1, which would combine the Housing and Home Finance Agency and related agencies in a Department of Urban Affairs and Housing. According to the Friday, February 2, issue of the New York Times:
Governor Rockefeller of New York charged today that President Kennedy's proposal to create a Department of Urban Affairs "is being used as a smokescreen."
"If President Kennedy wanted a Negro in the Cabinet, why did he have to create a new department?" the Governor added as he arrived by plane to address a Republican fund-raising dinner tonight.
"States can meet their own problems on urban affairs," Mr. Rockefeller contended. "The States should give leadership in this matter. I don't think a department should be set up in Washington to bypass the States."
He expressed the view that such a department should be set up as part of the executive branch instead of as a Cabinet post.
This appears to be an unequivocal position on the urban affairs issue by Governor Rockefeller. But the record of his position will not be complete if it stands on the Des Moines statement.
As an addition to that record, I offer for the consideration of Senators a document dated July 2, 1957, including a covering "Memorandum for Governor Adams, Subject: Proposed Department of Urban Affairs," signed by Arthur S. Flemming as Acting Chairman, and a "Memorandum for the President, Subject: Establishment of a Department of Urban Affairs" from the President's Advisory Committee on Government Organization, and signed by Nelson A. Rockefeller, Chairman.
In the covering memorandum, Mr. Flemming states that the memorandum to the President "represents my views and Nelson Rockefeller's." The following statement is taken from conclusions in the memorandum to the President:
It is our conclusion that a Department of Urban Affairs is already needed and that the need will rapidly become more urgent.
It is our further view that the imaginative leadership taken by the administration in securing the enactment of the Housing Act of 1954 and the institution of the urban renewal program logically require that the Housing and Home Finance Agency be superseded by such an executive department.
As I have noted above, that recommendation was signed by Nelson A. Rockefeller as Chairman of the President's Advisory Committee on Government Organization. I ask unanimous consent that the complete texts of both memorandums be printed in the RECORD at the conclusion of my remarks.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
(See exhibit 1.)
Mr. CLARK. Mr. President, will the Senator from Maine yield?
Mr. McGEE. Mr. President, the Senator from Wyoming has the floor. He will gladly yield for a comment by the distinguished Senator from Pennsylvania.
Mr. CLARK. I thank the Senator from Wyoming. I merely wished to inquire of the Senator from Maine whether I had not seen something in the newspapers recently to the effect that the Governor of New York appears to have changed his mind.
Mr. MUSKIE. He certainly has changed his mind since 1957. I have here another statement, to which I shall refer in just a moment, of the state of his mind last August.
Mr. CLARK. Does not the Senator from Maine agree with me that Governor Rockefeller's first conclusion was a sound one?
Mr. MUSKIE. Since he repeated it again last week, I would agree.
Mr. President, on August 28, 1961, it was my privilege to speak to the American Municipal Congress at its meeting in Seattle, Wash., and on the same day Governor Rockefeller delivered the principal address.
Commenting on the proposed Department of Urban Affairs, Governor Rockefeller had this to say:
We hear much these days about the decline of State and local government and the concentration of power in Washington.
The best way to stop this decline is for those of us who are the heads of State and local governments to have the courage to assume our full responsibilities. In New York, governments at all levels are working together in an effort to solve our own problems without constantly throwing up our hands and turning to Washington. Frankly, I think that is a pretty good objective for any State, or county, or municipality.
However, this does not mean that I am opposed to the creation of a Department of Urban Affairs in the Federal Government.
As a matter of better organization in Washington, it would make sense to coordinate scattered functions of the Federal Government related to urban problems. But it would be a tragedy if such a new department or agency were merely to become a handy instrument for the surrender of local responsibility, the bypassing of State government, or a substitute for courage and for making of difficult decisions back home.
Mr. President, as one who was intimately involved in the development of S. 1633, a bill to establish a Department of Urban Affairs and Housing, as reported by the Committee on Government Operations, I may say that Governor Rockefeller's August 28, 1961, statement is an accurate reflection of the intent of S. 1633, and I am happy to associate myself with his comments on the importance of local and State responsibility.
But returning to the history of Governor Rockefeller's statements on the issue of a Department of Urban Affairs, I must observe that the inconsistencies in his record are obvious. They need no elaboration by me. However, the motivation behind those inconsistencies is something Governor Rockefeller may want to clarify.
July 2, 1957. Memorandum for Governor Adams.
Subject: Proposed Department of Urban Affairs.
The attached memorandum represents my views and Nelson Rockefeller's as to a possible solution to the problems of Federal civil defense organization and organization of Federal housing activities, based on our studies to date.
Due to his recent Illness, Milton Eisenhower has been unable to attend the last two or three Committee meetings and has not participated In the development of this Committee paper.
Do you believe that the idea we have outlined has sufficient potential to justify my discussing it informally with the President? If so, and if he should feel that this approach merits further consideration, our Committee feels that it should consult with heads of the agencies principally concerned (Albert Cole, Governor Hoegh, and Gordon Gray) in developing a definite proposal.
ARTHUR S. FLEMMING,
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT,
PRESIDENT'S ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION,
Memorandum for the President.
Subject: Establishment of a Department of Urban Affairs.
In recent years the problems of planning, building, and conserving our cities and metropolitan areas have become increasingly acute, and demands have multiplied, in and out of Congress, for the establishment of a new executive department to take the lead in those aspects of urban affairs. At the same time, the Housing and Home Finance Agency has come to be charged with programs which go far beyond the encouragement of housing and which involve the Agency in the general physical planning and development of communities. To these trends must be added the growing belief that the reduction of urban vulnerability through community planning, zoning, shelter construction, and other measures should be given greater emphasis in our civil defense program. It has also been urged that civil defense should be focused more directly on the critical target areas, most of which are large cities, and on the use of the resources of the fire, police, public works, and other full-time personnel of local governments.
The question thus arises: Should the administration recommend the establishment of a Department of Urban Affairs to carry out the functions of the Housing and Home Finance Agency and the Federal Civil Defense Administration?
The Housing and Home Finance Agency was given its present status by a reorganization plan approved In 1947. Except for a modest low-rent housing program and the operation of war housing projects, the Agency was initially concerned chiefly with mortgage insurance, the promotion of savings associations, and the insurance of the deposits of savings and loan Institutions. Subsequently, reorganization plans and acts of Congress (particularly the Housing Acts of 1949 and 1954) have broadened the functions of the Agency. A large-scale slum clearance activity was instituted and, during your administration, has been broadened into an imaginative, diversified urban renewal program.
The responsibility for assisting local governments through advances for the planning of public works and loans for the construction of public facilities was lodged In the Housing and Home Finance Agency. Also added were such functions as making loans for college dormitories and related facilities, administering grants to assist metropolitan area and general community planning, and providing flood insurance. Although the Home Loan Bank Board has been removed from the supervision of the Agency, the Housing and Home Finance Agency's housing finance functions have grown with the greater utilization of mortgage insurance, the acquisition of secondary market responsibilities, and the initiation of a voluntary home mortgage credit program.
Consequently, the Housing and Home Finance Agency has become a serious contender for departmental status. It employs more than 10,000 persons, most of whom work in the six great bureaus of the Agency: the Federal Housing Administration, the Public Housing Administration, the Urban Renewal Administration, the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Community Facilities Administration, and the Federal Flood Indemnity Administration. The new obligational authority of the Agency for the current fiscal year exceeds $1 billion. New commitments to insure mortgages and home improvement loans are running at a rate of $5 billion per year, and the total amount of mortgage and loan insurance outstanding is now in excess of $24 billion. Nearly 400,000 units of low-rent public housing are being partially financed through annual contributions to local authorities totaling $93 million per year.
In the course of administering its existing programs, the Housing and Home Finance Agency has developed close relationships with the officials of cities, towns, and other local authorities. Its staff understands the problems of the explosive metropolitan growth now taking place in this country and is helping in the solution of those problems with the tools now available. It is, therefore, already in important respects the Federal urban affairs agency.
There is more justification for a new department than merely the present size of the Housing and Home Finance Agency and the cost of the programs which it administers. Departmental status would carry with it representation in the Cabinet, which has become increasingly important as a council for the consideration and resolution of important issues of national policy.
At present agriculture, health, education, natural resources development, and other fields of Federal concern have spokesmen in the Cabinet and have the prestige of inclusion in an executive department. Such representation and status are now denied to the Agency most directly concerned with conserving and developing our cities and communities, which now include approximately two-thirds of the population of the United States.
Those civil defense functions which relate to reducing urban vulnerability to attack are closely related to the existing planning, urban renewal, mortgage insurance, and community facilities functions of the Housing and Home Finance Agency. If placed within a Department of Urban Affairs, they could be administered through the same staff and field organization, with reasonable augmentation, which would perform other community development functions of the Department. These vulnerability reduction activities, which may eventually include a shelter program, could be performed either through a delegation from a separate civil defense agency or as a direct statutory responsibility of the Department of Urban Affairs.
Civil defense activities relating to planning and organizing for post-attack relief and rehabilitation could continue to be administered in a separate agency. However, experience with such an agency has not been satisfactory to date. Placing the disaster relief activities for both wartime and peacetime disasters in a major constituent of the Department of Urban Affairs would continue Cabinet representation for civil defense and would at the same time associate civil defense with important peacetime programs in an executive department. The new constituent could be called the Federal Emergency Administration.
Civil defense affects other departments and agencies such as those concerned with medical services, military operations, food supplies, maintenance of industrial production, and so on. Yet the largely urban focus of most civil defense activities may justify the exercise of Federal leadership by an urban oriented department able to promote Federal-local cooperation because its peacetime programs require an understanding of urban government, its resources, and its methods of operation.
It should be noted that only a few years ago it was the Housing and Home Finance Agency which coordinated peacetime disaster functions and directly provided much of the assistance required to restore services in affected communities.
A number of important problems will still be faced should civil defense responsibilities be lodged in the new department. The role of the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization in the coordination of civil defense planning with other aspect of mobilization and nonmilitary war planning will need clarification. Fallout problems will not be limited to urban areas, but they will have to be dealt within terms of rural home and community shelters which could logically be handled by an extension of housing functions. Evacuation and support of damaged communities will require regional measures not limited to particular metropolitan areas. The supervision and coordination by one executive department of civil defense responsibilities delegated to other departments and agencies will continue to give rise to difficulties. Adequate arrangements for the performance of early warning functions by the new department will be necessary. Finally, it must be recognized that organizational measures, however soundly conceived, cannot substitute for forceful Federal leadership in generating and executing a truly national, up-to-date civil defense plan.
In certain respects the Inclusion of civil defense disaster relief functions in a Department of Urban Affairs could impede future progress in this area. First, there is the danger that such a reorganization would be interpreted as demoting this phase of civil defense to bureau status. Should such an impression be created, other Federal agencies, State and local authorities and the public might conclude that civil defense was being de-emphasized and that energetic preparations to deal with enemy attack were no longer necessary. It is our feeling that the proper explanation of the role and purposes of the Department of Urban Affairs can prevent such misconceptions and that the Secretary of the new department could give enhanced status and representation to the civil defense as well as the other urban affairs activities of the Government.
In the last Congress a number of bills were introduced to convert the Housing and Home Finance Agency into a Department of Urbiculture or a Department of Urban Affairs, and hearings were held by the House Committee on Government Operations. This year a number of similar bills are pending. On May 27, 1957, Senator CLARK Of Pennsylvania and a number of cosponsors (including Senator JAVITS of New York and Senator CASE of New Jersey), introduced S. 2169, to establish a Department of Urban Affairs. This bill is the first to include the functions of the Federal Civil Defense Administration as well as those of the Housing and Home Finance Agency in the proposed Department. Outside the Government, the demands for a Department of Urban Affairs have come from such sources as the American Municipal Association, which passed a formal resolution on this subject at its last annual congress.
The administration, in reports submitted to the Congress on the various urban affairs bills and in letters to interested persons and groups, has acknowledged that the case for a Department of Urban Affairs is a strong one meriting serious study and consideration. The specific bills have, however, been opposed on the grounds of inadequacies in approach or content. It will not be possible to maintain this stance much longer, and a decision for or against the new department on its merits will have to be taken.
It is our conclusion that a Department of Urban Affairs is already needed and that the need will rapidly become more urgent.
It is our further view that the imaginative leadership taken by the administration in securing the enactment of the Housing Act of 1954 and the institution of the urban renewal program logically require that the Housing and Home Finance Agency be superseded by such an executive department. We also believe that the Department of Urban Affairs will have the means, the competence, the relationships and the status required to carry out a shelter program and other physical measures for reducing the vulnerability of metropolitan areas to enemy attack. It is likewise probable that civil defense disaster relief functions can be administered more successfully in the setting of a powerful executive department with active peacetime programs than in a separate agency, as is now the case, or in a new department concerned solely with civil defense and emergency relief.
It is recommended that you request the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, in cooperation with this committee and in consultation with the Director of Defense Mobilization, the Homing and Home Finance Administrator, and the Federal Civil Defense Administrator, to proceed with the development of a reorganization plan to create a Department of Urban Affairs to carry out the conclusions noted above. The reorganization plan should be prepared in time to permit its transmittal to the Congress early in 1958.
NELSON A. ROCKEFELLER,
Mr. MILLER subsequently said: Mr. President, will the Senator from Wyoming yield?
Mr. McGEE. The Senator from Wyoming will be glad to yield for a question.
Mr. MILLER. I have been trying to get the Senator's attention ever since the colloquy between him and the Senator from Maine took place. I wonder if I could ask a question and make a comment, which comments could be inserted following the colloquy between the Senator from Maine and the Senator from Wyoming.
Mr. McGEE. If I yielded 2 minutes to the Senator, would that be sufficient?
Mr. MILLER. I would very much appreciate that courtesy.
Mr. McGEE. I yield for that purpose.
Mr. MILLER. I ask unanimous consent that the comments appear in the RECORD following the colloquy between the Senator from Maine and the Senator from Wyoming, relating to the Rockefeller speech.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. MILLER. I think it is unfortunate that the Governor of New York could not be here to defend himself in this situation. It so happened that I was in Des Moines and heard the speech. I recall the Governor of New York stated very precisely he was opposed to the reorganization plan and the proposed Department of Urban Affairs in its present form as submitted under the reorganization plan.
I hope the Senator from Maine will at the appropriate time see fit to insert in the RECORD a comparison between what the Governor of New York previously approved of, as proposed by the Eisenhower administration, and the reorganization proposal that has come from the White House now under the reorganization plan. I would hazard a guess that there would be a substantial difference between the two, and that one could well be for the first and be against the second.
In this connection, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the RECORD at this point an article which appears in today's Washington Evening Star, entitled "Real or Fancied Need for Urban Department?" by John C. Williamson, director of the departmental relations, National Association of Real Estate Boards.
There being no objection, the article was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:
REAL OR FANCIED NEED FOR URBAN DEPARTMENT
The Star's editorial of January 31 on the proposed Cabinet-rank Department of Urban Affairs airs and Housing misses the point. The issue is not to pull together under one executive head a multiplicity of functions now exercised by a variety of agencies. The agencies covered by the President's Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1962 are already under one executive head, namely, the Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency.
The issue is much broader -- whether it is in the public interest to create an executive department which will have the responsibility of coping with the problems of urban dwellers which the President states "are as complex as they are manifold."
The few functions of the Housing and Home Finance Agency directly and immediately affected by the reorganization plan don't begin to cover the complex and manifold problems of the urban dwellers. However, when we examine these problems we discover that they run the gamut of American life. Here are a few of these urban problems cited by proponents of a Cabinet rank Department of Urban Affairs airs before the 1960 Democratic Convention platform committee and in testimony before Senate and House committees: Juvenile delinquency, water and air pollution, slum clearance, housing, mass transit, airports, public roads, relocation of industry, education, immigration, public health, unemployment, marketing of agricultural products, consumer protection, strikes, water, sewage and snow removal.
The issue then is whether it is practical to create a Department of Urban Affairs to devote its efforts to coping with the complex and manifold problem of the urban dweller.
The reorganization plan purports also to bring the housing functions of the Federal Government into the Cabinet department.
Here, too, the plan falls woefully short of its objective. The veterans' home loan program and the Federal Home Loan Bank System together contribute to 63 percent of the Nation's residential mortgage financing. Yet, they are left out of the grand design to give the problems of urban dwellers an adequate voice in the highest councils of Government.
It has been suggested that because the Department of Agriculture looks out for the farmer, ergo, a Department of Urban Affairs and Housing would look out for the urban dweller. This analogy does not stand up even under cursory examination.
The Department of Agriculture concerns itself with a major aspect of the economy, the production and marketing of food and fiber. Certainly the marketing of agricultural products is an urban interest when one reflects the havoc wrought when a teamster strike (Department of Labor) causes the hijacking (Department of Justice) of milk (Department of Agriculture) trucks using the Interstate Highway System (Department of Commerce) to bring nourishment (Department of Health, Education, and Welfare) to the schoolchildren of New York City (Department of Urban Affairs).
The most recent evidence at hand that the Department of Agriculture concerns itself with urban interests is the recent address of the Secretary of Agriculture in which he stated: "The Department of Agriculture plays an exceedingly important role in the daily life of every American -- not just those who live on the farm. Yet, the impression which many urban families have is that the Department of Agriculture is concerned only with farming, and therefore, rarely touches their day-to-day activities."
Congress should therefore first direct its attention to the feasibility of bringing together the problems of the urban dweller into one executive department. Unfortunately too much political emotion is being generated over a proposed Department of Urban Affairs (which Includes only a fraction of urban affairs) and Housing (which includes only a fraction of housing).
Thus the proposal has become a symbol -- a political symbol -- and the public's emotion is being directed toward the symbol oblivious to its faulty identification with the problems of the urban dweller. In the final analysis these urban problems are the problems of all Americans and their voice in the highest councils of government is the President of the United States.
JOHN C. WILLIAMSON,
Director, Department of Governmental Relations,
National Association of Real Estate Boards.
Mr. MILLER. I would guess that, it the Governor of New York were here and could speak for himself, he would continue to ask the question which has not been answered either by the White House or by any Member on the other side of the aisle in the Senate, which he asked pointedly the other night: That if indeed the President is so concerned about having Bob Weaver a member of the Cabinet, why has he not appointed him to the Cabinet in the first place?
Mr. McGEE. I wish to commend the Senator from Maine for his efforts to set the record straight. I think it is well we bear in mind that one of the distinguished "professors" at the Republican school of political knowledge, conducted last weekend and also this weekend in Washington, was forthright enough to say that one of the difficulties of the Republican Party is that it has been maneuvered into the position of being against, all the time. So perhaps he will agree with me that because this proposal now has come as a proposal from the President of the United States, it behooves some, in their attempts to be the opposition, to be against, even though in their freer moments they believed it to be a good idea and a sound approach to good government in the field of urban affairs.
Mr. MORSE. Mr. President, will the Senator from Wyoming yield?
Mr. JAVITS. Mr. President, will the Senator from Wyoming yield?
Mr. McGEE. I am in the midst of a colloquy with the Senator from Maine, at the moment; and then I shall be glad to yield.
Mr. MUSKIE. I thank the Senator for his remarks. I think his observation is appropriate and is supported by the record at this point.
Mr. McGEE. Yes. Now I yield to the Senator from New York.
Mr. JAVITS. Mr. President, I have heard enough of the remarks of the Senator to understand their purport. It so happens that I am a sponsor of the Urban Department bill, and I shall stand by that position. But I say in good spirit to the Senator that I question very much the taste or the validity of naming the person whom the President may desire to put at the head of the new Department, and reading into it the implication that anyone who in good conscience is opposed to the reorganization plan or to that bill is therefore opposed to having a Negro appointed to the Cabinet.
To the extent that Governor Rockefeller made that point very strongly, I agree with him. As I have said, it is well known that I am one of the sponsors of this bill; and I intend to continue to support the proposal, whether it is in the form of a reorganization plan or in the form of a bill. But in all fairness to others who may not feel as I do about the bill, I do not think any Member should be dragooned into voting for a proposal in which he does not believe, simply because he is concerned about a possible implication that he is opposed to having a Negro serve in the Cabinet.
Personally, I would welcome the appointment of a Negro to the Cabinet; but I must agree with Governor Rockefeller that this method is not the single and only one which can be used to achieve that result, and that therefore such an argument should not be used to intimidate one not in favor this bill although I repeat that I am in favor of it; I have been before, and I am now.
Mr. MUSKIE. Mr. President, will the Senator from Wyoming yield again to me?
Mr. McGEE. I am glad to yield.
Mr. MUSKIE. I believe I should make two points in regard to the comment made by the Senator from New York: First of all, the bill to create the proposed new Department was before the Senate all last year, and its merits were considered by the Committee on Government Operations and by the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. During all that year, no mention was made by any of the proponents of the bill of the proposition that a Negro might be appointed to head the new Department. There was a desire on the part of the proponents to bring the bill to the floor of the Senate in August of last year. One of the reasons why that was not done was that in our judgment there were not then available sufficient votes to pass the bill. One of the reasons why there were not then available sufficient votes to pass the bill was that the opponents of the bill made no secret of their argument against the bill, to those who might otherwise have supported it, namely, that the President intended to appoint a Negro as the first Secretary of the new Department. So the race issue -- if one is involved in the debate -- was raised, not by the proponents, this year, but by the opponents, last year.
The second point I should like to make is that President Eisenhower was the first to use a reorganization plan in order to create a new Department. As Senators are well aware, in the creation of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, no secret was made at that time -- indeed, it was disclosed by the President or by his spokesmen -- that if the proposed Department were created, the first Secretary would be Mrs. Hobby. No objection was raised then to the disclosure, in advance of the implementation of the reorganization plan, of the name of the first Secretary. If it was then appropriate, I suggest that it is now appropriate. Since the opponents have made use of it, in an attempt to weaken the support of the bill, if it is fair game for the opposition to use this issue against the bill, then I suggest it is fair game for the President to disclose that there has been such speculation as to whom he will name, and to take advantage of it -- if that was his intent in support of the bill.
Mr. JAVITS. Mr. President, will the Senator from Wyoming yield again to me?
Mr. McGEE. I yield.
Mr. JAVITS. I should like to say that I think the Senator has referred to a very different situation. Perhaps there are some persons who are opposed to the proposed new Department for the reason the Senator has stated; but I do not think they can properly be lumped with the persons who have no such views, but who happen to be opposed to the creation of such a new Department for other reasons. Therefore, I think the idea of lumping together, in one mass, so to speak, all the opponents is very unfair, because certainly the negative of discrimination is very different from the positive of good-faith opposition to a bill.
In the second place, I wish to say that I do not quarrel in any way with the President about stating the name of the one he intends to appoint. That is his business. I only wish to make clear, so far as I can, because I am well known to favor civil rights legislation, and also to favor the enactment of this bill that, I repeat, if my voice can be of help, I wish to help in the effort to prevent people from being tagged with the label of being opposed to having a Negro appointed to the President's Cabinet, when the record of such persons is directly to the contrary, even though in good conscience they may be opposed to this reorganization plan.
So my only purpose is the affirmative one of wishing to have this matter placed in proper focus. Citizens may judge whether a Member of the Senate had that point in mind before, or not. But I simply wish to be sure that it is not assumed that all those who oppose the creation of the proposed new Department should be considered as being in one big, amorphous mass of persons opposed to the appointment of a Negro to the President's Cabinet.
Mr. MUSKIE. Mr. President, if the Senator from Wyoming will yield further to me, let me say that I said that issue was used last year by the opponents -- although I did not say it was used by all the opponents -- in an attempt to hurt the chances of enactment of the bill. I also said that the proposed reorganization plan should stand on its own merits, without regard to any race issue.
Those are the two things I wished to stress.
Mr. JAVITS. I thank the Senator.
Mr. McGEE. Mr. President, on the front page of yesterday's edition of the New York Times -- one of the greatest newspapers in the Nation, in my opinion -- the following appeared:
Governor Rockefeller attacked the Kennedy plan Thursday in a speech in Des Moines that was carried by closed-circuit television to a series of Republican fund-raising dinners across the Nation.
The article describes his attack, not as one confined to the particular appointee proposed to be given the job, but to the idea itself; and that was really the point which was being approached by the Senator from Maine, if I understood him correctly -- namely, that it was not an attempt to becloud the issue by referring to a personality, but that Governor Rockefeller was quoted by the New York Times -- an outstanding newspaper published in his own State -- as suggesting that the form used by the President "might well be used 'as a subterfuge to bypass the constitutional sovereignty of the States and to gain direct political control over the Nation's big cities.' He did not state what form he thought the Department should take."
I think the Senator's point is that such judgment seems to depend upon which administration is in office, regardless of how good the proposal may be.
Certainly we should not lose sight of the merits of the proposal.
Mr. JAVITS. I am grateful to my colleague who has the floor for allowing us to separate the
wheat from the chaff. I think one's attitude toward a person must stand on his own record. As I
have said, I am in a unique position to speak on this matter because of my views on both
subjects. I am grateful to the Senators who have helped unscramble the issues one from the other.