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Letter to the Chairman, Civil Service Commission, on the Need for Maintaining Rosters of Former Mobilization Personnel.

November 25, 1952

My dear Mr. Ramspeck:

During the present fiscal year sharp reductions are being made in the number of personnel employed in the administration of programs under the Defense Production Act, and it is expected that by the close of the third quarter employment will have been reduced to approximately 11,000 from a peak of over 26,000 during fiscal year 1952. These and other programs both at home and overseas have benefited to an extraordinary degree through participation of persons with special training from outside the Government. Consultants, members of advisory committees, and part-time and full-time employees have demonstrated, as they did in World War II, their willingness and ability to serve their Government in time of emergency. Many of these executives and specialists are now returning to positions out-side the Government.

In addition to persons employed in connection with these programs, nearly all Government agencies utilize persons from outside the Government on a continuing basis, many of whom would be valuable in the event of a future emergency.

It is, therefore, important that there be an adequate record as to who these people are, in what capacity they can best serve, where they can be reached, and, if a practicable means can be devised, an up-to-date record maintained as to their subsequent work experience. Defense mobilization planning may ultimately require creating a reserve pool of key executives who can help activate mobilization programs on short notice.

I would appreciate your requesting appropriate departments and agencies as a part of their manpower planning activities for both regular and mobilization programs to maintain suitable rosters, including especially former employees of the sort I have mentioned. These rosters should be maintained under such general guidance as you find necessary to assure that they include persons possessing skills most needed in the Government, and that the information is maintained in such manner as to be available to other departments and agencies as the occasion may arise.

In determining, from time to time, the talents and competence most needed for existing and potential major defense mobilization programs, please consult the Bureau of the Budget, the National Security Resources Board, and the Office of Defense Mobilization.

We are all acutely aware of the importance of skilled personnel in a period of rapid mobilization. The success of defense mobilization efforts depends in very large measure upon the leadership and participation of persons recruited from private life for public service. I am concerned that the program outlined above be initiated at the earliest practicable date.

Copies of this letter are being forwarded to the Director of the Budget, the Chairman of the National Security Resources Board, and the Director of Defense Mobilization.

Sincerely yours,

HARRY S. TRUMAN

[Honorable Robert Ramspeck, Chairman, Civil Service Commission, Washington 25, D.C.]

Harry S. Truman, Letter to the Chairman, Civil Service Commission, on the Need for Maintaining Rosters of Former Mobilization Personnel. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231173

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