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INTER-AMERICAN CONFERENCE ON BIBLIOGRAPHY
JANUARY 27, 1930.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
state of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. MORGAN, from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, submitted
[To accompany H. J. Res. 229]
The Committee on Foreign Affairs, to which was referred House Joint Resolution 229, authorizing an appropriation to defray the expenses of participation by the Government of the United States in the Inter-American Conference on Bibliography, to be held at Habana, Cuba, on February 26, 1930, having had the same under consideration, reports thereon with the recommendation that the resolution do pass with the following amendment:
Page 1, line 4, after the word "States”, insert the following: "by means of delegates to be appointed by the President.'
The passage of this resolution is recommended by the President in his message to Congress of January 21, 1930, which follows: To the Congress of the United States:
I commend to the favorable consideration of the Congress the inclosed report from the Secretary of State, to the end that legislation may be enacted to authorize an appropriation of $5,000 for the expenses of participation by the United States in the Inter-American Conference on Bibliography, to be held at Habana, Cuba, on February 26, 1930.
HERBERT HOOVER, THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 21, 1930.
In compliance with a resolution of the Sixth International Conference of American States and later resolutions of the governing board of the Pan American Union, an Inter-American Conference on Bibliograph will be held in Habana, Cuba, February 26, 1930, for the organization of bibliographical cooperation among the nations of America as a means of promoting solidarity of thought and thereby creating a bond of union.
Those who are in touch with the intellectual life of the United States and of the Latin American countries are aware of the rapidly increasing interest of these two sections of the Western Hemipshere in each other. The study of the Spanish language and of Latin American subjects in colleges and universities and other institutions of learning is rapidly increasing. If such studies are to be carried on successfully with the greatest results for any given amount of effort it will be by close intellectual cooperation between the two sections, the English-speaking United States and the Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries of Central and South America.
Bibliographies, the briefest summaries of the literature relating to any subject, prepared in each section will inform the other of the various sources of information. They answer the first question an investigator asks—What has been written on a given subject? The factors and scope of bibliography as a science are as numerous and as extensive as knowledge itself. So complete is the recognition of bibliography as an eliminator of waste that invariably the first step in any investigation or study is a scrutiny of existing bibliographies and the preparation of a bibliography where none exists.
In preparation for the forthcoming conference the governing board of the Pan American Union appointed a special committee to take the steps necessary for the execution of the resolutions on the organization of bibliographical work. This special committee in turn requested the Governments of the States members of the Pan American Union to appoint technical cooperating committees to be composed of outstanding bibliographers, including in each country the Director of the National Library and the Director of the National Archives. The special committee, after much research and in cooperation with the advisory committee on bibliography of the Pan American Union and the technical cooperating committees above referred to, has prepared a program for the Inter-American Conference on Bibliography, which comprises the following topics:
I. The Science of Bibliography.
III. American Union finding list (catalogue) as the best definite basis for compiling bibliographies and as the necessary instrument for interlibrary lending.
IV. Indices currently issued.
X. Coordination of international promoting agencies for intellectual cooperation.
XI. Permanent organization.
Under date of November 16 the ambassador of Cuba transmitted an invitation from the Secretary of State of Cuba to the Government of the United States as well as to the other Governments of the Americas to send delegates to this conference.
In view of the laudable aims inspiring the invitation from the Cuban Government, and of the closer understanding among the countries of the Americas which would undoubtedly result from the holding of such a conference, I have the honor to recommend that the Congress be asked to enact legislation authorizing an appropriation of $5,000 for the expenses of delegates of the United States to the Inter-American Conference on Bibliography, to be held in Habana, Cuba, on February 26, 1930. As a matter of convenience, a tentative draft of the proposed legislation is inclosed herewith. Respectfully submitted.
J. P. COTTON. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 21, 1930.
COORDINATION OF THE PUBLIC-HEALTH ACTIVITIES
JANUARY 28, 1930.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
state of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. MAPEs, from the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Com
merce, submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 8807]
The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 8807) to provide for the coordination of the public health activities of the Government, and for other purposes, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass.
This bill in its general scope and purpose is the same as H. R. 11026, Seventieth Congress, first session, which was reported by the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, passed by both Houses of Congress, and vetoed by the President.
The President in his veto message gave as his reason for vetoing the latter bill that (1) it "is so framed as to undertake to take away and limit the constitutional authority of the President to make appointments” and (2)“there should be eliminated from the legislation any provision which gives a military status to officers or employees of the service engaged in scientific pursuits.” These two objections of the President to the former bill have been eliminated in the present one.
The present bill omits the provision contained in the former bill creating a nurse corps in the Public Health Service and adds a provision providing for the compulsory elimination of unqualified coinmissioned personnel. Other minor changes have been made in the present bill from the one passed in the last Congress but they do not, in the opinion of your committee, change the substance of the legislation.
Because of the similarity of the two bills the committee did not think it necessary to conduct hearings on the pending bill. It is believed that it is fair to assume that the witnesses who appeared before the committee on the bill in the last Congress would express the same opinion as to this bill as they expressed on the bill before the committee at that time.
The Public Health Service advises the committee that the necessity for the legislation is becoming increasingly important and that it is becoming more difficult to obtain and retain medical officers in the regular corps. During the past year there has been a loss of 19 officers from resignations, etc., and only 16 successful candidates have been appointed. Meantime, there is a constantly increasing need for additional officers because of the demands of the Department of State for officers abroad, requests of other departments for loan of experienced officers, and the increasing number of patients in service hospitals.
The report of the committee on the bill in the Seventieth Congress was full and complete, and the committee adopts the language of that report as its report on the pending bill in so far as the same is applicable and with such changes as are necessary to bring it up to date.
The bill aims better to coordinate the public health activities of the Government, especially of the Public Health Service; to give more specific statutory authority for certain activities of the Public Health Service and, to a limited extent, to broaden others; to improve its administrative procedure; to change the name, increase the personnel, and enlarge the functions of the Hygenic Laboratory board and to authorize the establishment of new divisions in the Hygienic Laboratory; to increase the pay of the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service; and to place the dental sanitary engineer and certain pharmacist personnel of the service upon the same commissioned basis as the medical officers in it now are.
Public health work is carried on, and necessarily so, to a greater or less extent by a great many different branches of the Government as an incident to their major activities. It is often found desirable for the other departments, in establishing or reorganizing their health activities or in doing advanced research work, to have the assistance and advice of the Public Health Service. In certain cases the law now authorizes the detail of personnel from that service to other departments for such purposes, as, for example, to the Bureau of Mines, the Bureau of Fisheries, the Bureau of Immigration, the Consular Service, and in connection with the pure food and drug activities in the Department of Agriculture.
The first section of the bill would authorize such detail of personnel to any department or independent establishment of the Government carrying on public-health activities, upon the request of the head of such department or independent establishment. It would simply extend the policy already adopted by Congress in certain cases and followed in others without express authority of law. If enacted into law, it is believed that it would tend to bring a bouta better correlation of health activities of the Government and to produce economies. It seems the part of wisdom to give the other branches of the Government the opportunity, if desired, to take advantage of the superior knowledge and experience of the personnel of the Public Health Service.
Section 2 (a) would authorize the detail of public health personnel to educational and research institutions for the purpose of making special studies of scientific problems relating to public health and for The para
the dissemination of information relating to the same. graph would also give the reciprocal right to public health officials and scientists engaged in special studies outside of the Public Health Service to use the facilities of the Hygienic Laboratory. As scientific research is perhaps the most important public-health function of the Federal Government, the desirability of this provision seems apparent.
Section 2 (b) would authorize the establishment of new divisions in the Hygienic Laboratory. The act of 1902 reorganizing the Hygienic Laboratory established three divisions in it, namely, chemistry, zoology, and pharmacology, in addition to the division of bacteriology and pathology, the only division in the laboratory up to that time. No new divisions have been established since that date. There is need for additional divisions to permit of greater specialization in research. Problems arising since the passage of the act of 1902 require new divisions, such as industrial hygiene, sanitary engineering, physiology, and the like. As stated by one of the witnesses before the committee, “As knowledge grows, various branches of scientific study are developed.” The service would, of course, be controlled and limited as to the number of divisions established by the appropriation, as it is in all other respects.
Section 3 provides that the administrative offices and bureau divisions in the District of Columbia shall be administered as a part of the departmental organization, and the scientific offices and research laboratories, including the Hygienic Laboratory, whether in the District of Columbia or not, as a part of the field service. That is the present practice, but there is fear that the Comptroller General may hold that the practice can not be continued under existing law. This section would make certain the continuance of the present practice and is deemed necessary to insure the most efficient administration by enabling the ready transfer of personnel between the central and field laboratories as occasion requires.
Sections 4 and 5 would put dentists, sanitary engineers, and pharmacists on the same basis as to appointment, pay, promotion, disability privileges, etc., as medical officers. This is one of the major objects of the bill. Public-health work is, or should be, a career service. It has come to be quite as dependent upon these other professions for its success as upon the medical profession. For the good of the service and to encourage members of these other professions to engage in it, it is considered necessary that they should be put upon the same basis as the doctors. Surgeon General Cumming testified (p. 14 of the hearings):
The greatest single administrative need of the Public Health Service is uniformity of method of appointment and status of this scientific personnel.
Other witnesses before the committee expressed the same thought. Such appears to be the general opinion of those familiar with the service.
The Public Health Service has 236 regular medical officers in the regular corps. In addition, there are 24 sanitary engineers, 31 dentists, and 100 physicians, all of whom are on full-time duty and available for general service. The sanitary engineers and other technical officers, other than the medical officers of the regular corps, as well as certain medical officers of the reserve corps, are on civil-service status