John F. Kennedy photo

Letter to the Chairman, Advisory Panel on Federal Salary Systems.

January 29, 1963

Dear Mr. Randall:

At the time of approving the Postal Service and Federal Employees Salary Act of 1962 (Public Law 87-793), I emphasized that there was need for prompt action by the executive agencies to follow up on additional salary reform matters which the Congress had recognized needed further action, and that corresponding reforms in the salary structures in the Legislative and Judicial branches should be accomplished early in the Eighty-eighth Congress.

The Senate Post Office and Civil Service Committee specifically urged recommendation of appropriate revisions in Federal executive salaries at all levels for consideration in this session of the Congress. The revision of these top salaries is a matter of high priority now that we have established an objective standard for judging the proper pay levels for the top career positions.

As the Report of the Senate Committee suggests, our proposals should include a rational relationship between top executive salaries and those under other schedules. It is important, therefore, that the partial adjustment of top career salaries made last year now be completed, and that the salary plans for top executive and top career personnel be determined together. It is equally important that executive salaries be properly related to those paid to the members of the Congress and the Judiciary.

I am indeed pleased that the Advisory Panel on Federal Salary Systems, of which you are Chairman, has agreed to review these highest governmental salary structures and to recommend such reforms and adjustments as appear to be required now. The advice given by the Advisory Panel has been of great value to me in formulating the career salary reforms recommended to the last Congress and in reviewing the military pay adjustments now pending before the Congress. I have every confidence in the integrity of the Advisory Panel and its firm commitment to objective analysis and recommendations in the public interest.

I know that this confidence is widely held not only in the Executive branch but also in the Congressional and Judicial branches. However, in order that the Advisory Panel may have the views of persons having special knowledge of legislative and judicial salary problems, and after consultation with the leaders in the other branches, I have asked Mr. Robert Ramspeck, former Member of Congress from Georgia and former Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, and Mr. Justice Stanley F. Reed, retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, to serve as members of the Panel.

With best wishes,



[Mr. Clarence B. Randall, Inland Steel Company, 30 West Monroe Street, Chicago 3, Illinois]

Note: A White House release of the same date listed the following members of the Panel: Clarence B. Randall, Chairman, director and former president, Inland Steel Co.; Gen. Omar Bradley, former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; John Cotson, professor of public administration, Princeton University; Marion B. Folsom, vice chairman, Committee for Economic Development, and director, Eastman Kodak Co.; Robert A. Lovett, former Secretary of Defense; Theodore Houser, former president, Sears, Roebuck and Co.; George Meany, president, AFLCIO; Don K. Price, dean, Littauer School, Harvard University; Sydney Stein, Jr., partner, Stein, Roe, and Farnham, investment counselors, Chicago; Robert Ramspeck, former Member of Congress from Georgia; Stanley Reed, retired Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court.

An interim report, in the form of a letter to the President from Mr. Randall, was released by the White House on April 29. The report stated that the information made available to the Panel had impressed the members with the wide differences between compensation paid at the top levels in the Federal Government and that paid in State and local governments, in colleges, and in nonprofit institutions. The report further stated that the members of the Panel believed that there was need for early action to authorize increases, but that a final report must be based on more detailed information.

See also the President's message to Congress on the comparability of Federal and private salary rates (Item 148).

John F. Kennedy, Letter to the Chairman, Advisory Panel on Federal Salary Systems. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under


Simple Search of Our Archives