To the Congress of the United States:

I transmit herewith Reorganization Plan No. 25 of 1950, prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Reorganization Act of 1949. The plan transfers the function of the National Security Resources Board from the Board to the Chairman of the Board and makes the Board advisory to the Chairman. The plan also provides for a Vice Chairman, appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

The function assigned to the National Security Resources Board by the National Security Act of 1947 is "to advise the President concerning the coordination of military, industrial and civilian mobilization." Proper performance of this function requires action by the Board and its staff in two broad areas:

(1) The conduct of advance mobilization planning which identifies the problems which will arise and the measures necessary to meet these problems if and when the Nation moves from a peacetime into a wartime situation.

(2) The formulation of current policies and programs which will help the Nation achieve an adequate state of readiness against the eventuality of a future war.

The role assigned the National Security Resources Board is clearly one of staff assistance to the President. The Congress recently recognized this fact in its approval of Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1949 which, pursuant to the specific recommendation of the Hoover Commission, placed the National Security Resources Board in the Executive Office of the President.

The accompanying reorganization plan is designed to make the National Security Resources Board a more effective instrument. Successful performance of the Board's mission requires a wide range of detailed study and analysis to cover all the major aspects of national mobilization. A committee of department heads or departmental representatives encounters some natural difficulties in providing supervision and leadership in such an extensive and detailed activity. The Chairman has the difficult task of exercising discretion as to which matters shall be submitted for Board approval. The departmental members of the Board cannot possibly supervise or approve the Board's extensive and detailed activities and yet, as Board members, must accept ultimate responsibility for all such activities. Likewise, the departmental members are encumbered by the difficulty of having to reach collective and speedy decisions on a great many matters for which they, as Board members, are responsible.

By vesting the functions of the Board in the Chairman, the difficulties of Board operation will be overcome. At the same time, the reorganization plan provides for the continued participation of the several departments and agencies in the task of mobilization planning. This is not only a matter of established policy but also a requirement of the National Security Act. The departments will continue to have representation on the Board. The Board, in an advisory relationship to the Chairman, will be a useful arrangement for obtaining the necessary participation of departments in mobilization planning and for coordination of their activity. It will enable the departments to keep abreast of the total range of security resources planning. Without reliance on the departments for the execution of much of the actual job of mobilization planning, coordination with the total range of governmental policies and objectives would be lost.

The Congress in passing the National Security Act Amendments of 1949 recognized the difficulty which exists when functions of staff advice and assistance are placed in a board-type agency. The National Security Act Amendments of 1949, in clarifying the role of the Chairman of the Munitions Board and the Research and Development Board, strengthened and increased the effectiveness of these staff agencies of the Secretary of Defense by providing for the exclusive exercise of responsibilities by the Chairman. This plan achieves the same objective for the National Security Resources Board.

The accompanying reorganization plan provides for a Vice Chairman appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The tremendous responsibilities of the National Security Resources Board and the heavy workload on the Chairman fully warrant this. Providing the Chairman with a principal associate for the exercise of his responsibilities is consistent with the usual practice in other agencies of the executive branch.

After investigation I have found and hereby declare that each reorganization included in Reorganization Plan No. 25 of 1950 is necessary to accomplish one or more of the purposes set forth in section 2(a) of the Reorganization Act of 1949.

I have found and hereby declare that it is necessary to include in the accompanying reorganization plan, by reason of reorganizations made thereby, provisions for the appointment and compensation of a Vice Chairman of the National Security Resources Board. The rate of compensation fixed for this officer is that which I have found to prevail in respect of comparable officers in the executive branch of the Government.

The taking effect of the reorganizations included in Reorganization Plan No. 25 may not in itself result in substantial immediate savings. However, the important objective is maximum effectiveness in security resources planning.

The security of this Nation requires that these steps be taken to enable security resources planning to move forward more effectively. It is for that reason that Reorganization Plan No. 25 is today submitted to the Congress. It is for that reason, and that reason alone, that I strongly urge congressional acceptance of Reorganization Plan No. 25.

Harry S. Truman.
The White House, May 9, 1950.

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