Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Statement to the Cabinet on Manpower Utilization and Control.

December 11, 1963

IN MY memorandum of November 30, I asked each of you--

"To press ahead vigorously with your program for manpower control and utilization which you developed in response to President Kennedy's directive of October 11, 1962.

"To hold agency employment at or below the personnel targets established in response to President Kennedy's statement to the Cabinet of September 23, 1963."

You and I know we can hold the line on employment without causing real damage.

I am depending on you personally to deal with this problem.

Nine out of ten Government employees do a full day's work for a day's pay--but I want that tenth man to measure up also. We need to:

--Cut out excessive paperwork because it breeds overstaffing.

--Measure workloads carefully.

--Strip down overly elaborate organizations.

In short, I want you to give as much attention to management as you do to your programs.

For fiscal year 1965, the Budget Director must have your full support in carrying out my directive to hold down Government employment. The 1965 Budget total for yearend civilian employment must be held below the levels in the 1964 and 1963 budgets. This can be done.

Your budgets should reflect economies from better management and higher productivity resulting from improved methods, procedures, organization, and employee incentive. A good manager can do all of this.

I intend to disapprove any budget request for more personnel except where the facts leave me no choice.

This means that I will grant increases only when they are absolutely necessary to meet fixed commitments, to properly carry out new legislation, and to do work of the highest national priority.

Federal employment has, by your efforts, been held well below the growth rate of our population and our economy.

Regular civilian employment grew only by 686 persons from October 31, 1962, to the same date in 1963.

If it had followed the trend of State and local government it would have risen by 106,000.

But these facts do not justify a continued upcreep in Federal employment.

They do not justify us in having ten thousand, or one thousand, or even one hundred more employees than we need.

Note: For the President's memorandum of November 30, see Item 16.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement to the Cabinet on Manpower Utilization and Control. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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