• U.S.

U.S. At War: Blueprint for Efficiency

1 minute read

Illinois’s able, forward-looking Representative Everett McKinley Dirksen came up last week with a clear-cut, logical remedy for the time wasted by Army, Navy and Administration bigwigs in giving duplicate testimony before Senate and House committees. His proposal: establish a joint committee on military and naval affairs and appropriations.

Everyone in Washington knew how General George C. Marshall had spent almost a whole day giving testimony on the bill to draft 18-and 19-year-olds; how Admiral Ernest J. King had cooled his heels for 40 minutes in an empty committee room while a Senate committee dawdled at lunch. A Washington gag had it that WPBoss Donald Nelson had already testified before every committee (there are 80) except those on Indian Affairs and the Disposition of Executive Papers.

Two best features of Everett Dirksen’s plan: it would speed legislation, improve Congress’ reputation. Its worst: it is probably too sensible to pass.

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