Good Men for Government

November 1, 1952

Report Outline
Task of Finding Able Lieutenants for New President
Risks in Makeshift Remedies for Low Pay
Ways to Draw Good Men into Government

Task of Finding Able Lieutenants for New President

Wilson's Arrangements for Subsidizing Diplomats

When the new President enters his White House office for the first time next January, he will find on his desk letters of resignation from the members of President Truman's cabinet and a number of other high officers of the outgoing administration. Policy-making officials, serving at the pleasure of the President, submit their resignations to the incoming Chief Executive as a matter of course, so that he may select individuals of his own choosing to carry out the policies of the new administration. The new President is not likely to have serious difficulty in finding well qualified men to fill cabinet posts and some other top offices, the prestige of which alone makes them attractive, but it may be a different story in the case of less prominent but at the same time highly important jobs.

The fact that the call to public service will come from a new President, and will offer the opportunity to take a responsible part in launching a new administration, may make it easier than otherwise to persuade persons of superior ability to accept proffered appointments. However, if individual qualifications rather than purely patronage considerations are to govern the selections, the incoming administration, in time if not at once, will run up against the same staffing problem as that which has long plagued the Truman administration. The problem, of course, is how to induce first-class men to lay aside private and more remunerative pursuits to devote their talents to public service.

Nixon-Stevenson Funds and Pay of Public Officials

The question came sharply, though only momentarily, to public attention during the presidential campaign. Disclosure that Sen. Nixon, the Republican vice presidential nominee, had had a special fund, contributed by California constituents, to finance political expenditures during his term as senator led to disclosure that Gov. Stevenson, the Democratic presidential nominee, also had had a special fund made up of a surplus left over from his 1948 gubernatorial campaign and of additional contributions. The Stevenson fund had been utilized to supplement the public salaries of a number of men who had made financial sacrifices to accept appointment to important offices in the Illinois state government.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Public Employees
Apr. 08, 2011  Public-Employee Unions
Sep. 19, 1975  Public Employee Militancy
Oct. 25, 1967  Organization of Public Employees
Jul. 10, 1957  Unionization of Public Employees
May 18, 1955  Government Jobs
Nov. 01, 1952  Good Men for Government
Oct. 12, 1951  Government Employment
Jan. 19, 1942  Pay of Public Employees
Jun. 26, 1939  Extension of the Merit System
Jan. 20, 1932  Compensation of Public Employees
Charities and Philanthropy
Civil Service