Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letter to the Chairman of the Civil Service Committee on Extending Civil Service to New Government Employees.

July 09, 1936

My dear Mr. Gordon:

Thank you for your letter of June 27th, which I have read with much interest.

As to the classified service, I find that in the past two or three years the positions brought within the competitive classified service by Executive Orders outnumber by more than 9,000 the comparatively few which have been taken out of the classified service. During the fiscal year ended June 30, 1935, there was an increase of about 4,600 in the number of classified employees in the regular branches of the service; and when the annual tabulation is prepared as of June 30, 1936 (which it is hoped will be early in August), it is certain that there will be a further marked increase because of the fact that either by Act of Congress or by Executive Order the following agencies have been added to those which operate under the Civil Service Law:

Alien Property Custodian

Bituminous Coal Commission

Farm Credit Administration

Federal Communications Commission

Labor Relations Board

Securities and Exchange Commission

Railroad Retirement Board

Motor Carrier Bureau of the Interstate Commerce Commission

Social Security Board

Public Utility Regulation

Soil Conservation Service

U.S. Railroad Administration

National Training School for Boys

Certain positions in the C.C.C. Camps

Rural Electrification Board.

As to the exemption from the classified service of positions of attorney by Congress, you will, of course, appreciate the fact that when Congress takes such action there is no power resting in the President to bring such positions within the competitive classified service. I have recommended to Congress approval of bills which have been introduced in both the House and the Senate which would give to the President authority to issue Executive Orders which would bring within the classified service groups of positions and Federal Agencies which are now exempt by statute. As to the Social Security Board, Congress has stated that appointments to positions of attorney and expert in that Board may be made without regard to the Civil Service Act and rules, and the President is without power to direct the Board in the matter of making appointments to these positions.

Very sincerely yours,

Charles Gordon, Esq.,

Chairman of Civil Service Committee,

Lawyers' Security League,

New York, N.Y.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter to the Chairman of the Civil Service Committee on Extending Civil Service to New Government Employees. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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