Imagini ale paginilor

ment positions are being placed under “Civil Service”which means that the workers must prove their fitness by, examination before getting a job, and afterward are protected from removal for any cause except failure to do their duty properly.

THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, headed by the Comptroller General of the United States, settles and adjusts, independently of the Executive Departments, all claims and demands by or against the Federal Government and all money accounts in which the Government is concerned. It also checks the ledger accounts of all Federal spending and collecting officers.

THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION regulates the rates, rules, and practices in interstate commerce by all common carriers" (such as railroads, ships, busses, trucks, pipe-lines for carrying oil); it also controls the ways in which common carriers raise money by selling stocks and bonds, and enforces laws for the safety of railroad and public motor equipment.

THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SysTEM and the 12 Federal Reserve Banks, which are under the Board's supervision, carry out certain monetary powers of the Congress. They perform central banking functions and have other duties in the field of money and credit.

THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION has the duty of investigating and preventing trade abuses and unfair ways of doing business.

THE UNITED STATES BOARD OF TAX APPEALS has 16 members, who hold hearings and decide cases which are appealed by taxpayers on questions involving income tax, profits tax, estate taxes, and gift taxes.

THE VETERANS’ ADMINISTRATION is responsible for building and managing hospitals for disabled veterans and for many forms of relief and aid to war veterans and their widows and dependents. It administers all pensions, warrisk insurance, National service life insurance, adjusted compensation, and other money benefits for veterans.

THE FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION insures the money deposited in most of the banks in the United States. Each depositor's account is protected to a maximum of $5,000. To preserve its assets and to aid mergers, the corporation is empowered by law to act as receiver for most insured banks which close and to make loans to prevent bank closings.

THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION is established to protect investors who buy stocks and bonds. The laws which it administers require companies which plan to raise money by selling their own securities (stocks and bonds) to file with the Commission true information about the securities and the company. The Commission is authorized to prevent or punish fraud in selling securities. The Commission is also authorized to regulate stock exchanges, where stocks and bonds are sold, and to prevent fraudulent practices by purchasers and dealers who are in the business of buying and selling stocks and bonds.

THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD enforces the law which requires that employers must bargain collectively about wages, work hours, and labor conditions with organizations and representatives chosen by the workers themselves, and also conducts secret ballot elections to choose those representatives.

THE UNITED STATES MARITIME COMMISSION is responsible for developing and maintaining a strong fleet of merchant ships for the United States and for promoting in all possible ways the commerce of this country which is carried in ships. In times of war, merchant ships are needed for national defense.

THE FEDERAL LOAN AGENCY, in which are grouped the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the Federal Housing Administration, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, the Home Owners' Loan Corporation, the Export-Import Bank of Washington, and several other Government lending agencies, is a supervising unit controlling these large and important Government organizations set up to finance many lines of business which may give increased employment to American workers. The agencies named above are authorized by law to lend Government money, under safe conditions, to banks, railroads, insurance companies, business enterprises, local governments, farmers and stockmen, building contractors, home owners and home builders, merchants, exporters and importers, and foreign organizations buying American goods.

THE FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY is a supervising unit responsible mainly for construction work of many kinds in the United States. It does its work through

(1) The Public Buildings Administration, which has charge of the building and upkeep of all public buildings belonging to the Government.

(2) The Public Roads Administration, which plans, builds and maintains many of the roads and highways of the country.

(3) The United States Housing Authority, which clears slums, and builds modern, well-built, low-cost homeseither separate houses or apartment buildings—which it rents to people of small income.

(4) The Public Works Administration, which encourages the construction of all kinds of public works”-roads, bridges, schools, public buildings, dams, park improvements, water and sewage systems, etc.—by State, county, city, and other government units by examining and approving their plans and arranging for grants of money from the Federal Government to cover part of the cost; in giving this financial help, it often cooperates with the Federal Loan Agency. It also tries to make the American people interested in planning public works for the future; and uses its best efforts to create additional employment for American workmen.

(5) The Work Projects Administration, which cooperates with State and local governments to carry on needed work of all kinds, in order to give employment at reasonable pay to men and women who are on the relief rolls. It allots money to States and government units, according to their need, for all sorts of small projects, such as repairing roads, streets, and public buildings, extending water systems, leveling ground for parks and airports, copying and correcting public records-in short, any sort of work which combines public usefulness with a considerable amount of individual employment.

THE FEDERAL SECURITY AGENCY is a supervising unit which directs the work of the following welfare organizations:

(1) The Civilian Conservation Corps, which assists young men who are in need of employment, by assigning them to such outdoor work as preventing forest fires, building dams to prevent floods and erosion (the washing away of soil), fighting plant diseases and insect pests, replanting forests, and improving parks. It provides these young men with food, clothing, shelter in C. C. C. camps, and a cash allowance. All the work they do has as its objective the conservation of the national resources of the United States.

(2) The National Youth Administration, which gives part-time employment to young people who are out of school and cannot find jobs, on useful projects which will train them and help them to get private employment; it also helps boys and girls to work their way through school and college. Young men in the N. Y. A. build youth centers, training shops, school bus shelters, swimming pools, and other useful improvements; they work on farms and in shops. Young women act as recreational leaders, serve in understaffed hospitals and government agencies, make clothes, help in schools, and work on art and handicraft projects. These are a few examples of the useful work and training being done.

(3) The Office of Education, which carries on special investigations and studies of educational problems in the United States and abroad and distributes many valuable reports and bulletins giving advice to local and State school officials as to new improvements in the ways of conducting schools and educating people. It arranges for the payments of money by the Federal Government to help State governments which will cooperate in improving school methods.

(4) The United States Public Health Service, which conducts many hospitals, enforces many health laws and quarantine regulations, combats contagious diseases, regu

lates the sale of viruses and serums, examines the health of all aliens applying for admission to this country, investigates the causes and cure of diseases and infections, publishes many valuable reports and bulletins, and does many other services to protect and promote the good health of the Nation.

(5) The Social Security Board, which provides old-age insurance for workers in commerce and industry; and helps the States to provide unemployment compensation for wage earners, and public assistance for the needy aged, the needy blind, and dependent children. It makes monthly payment to insured wage earners when they stop work at the age of 65 or later, or to their widows or dependent children or parents. It also pays part of the cost incurred by the State in paying weekly unemployment compensation.

(6) The Food and Drug Administration examines and passes upon many classes of foods and drugs to protect the people from impure and dangerous articles.

* We have briefly mentioned above some of the most important independent agencies of the Federal Government. Your class may find it worth while to discuss the services which they render to the people of the United States and to find out more about them. Also, learn the names and objectives of other Federal agencies. A list of all such agencies and the duties of most of them will be found in the very interesting and valuable Congressional Directory, a copy of which your class leader can procure (for $1) from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C.


Complete each of the following:

1. If you were interested in getting information about the American Indians, you would write to the Department of the


« ÎnapoiContinuați »