MAY 28, 1949
NEW YORK, Friday—Mayor William O'Dwyer's announcement that he will not run for reelection has certainly created great excitement here.
From the Democratic party's standpoint, of course, those of us who have an interest in the party will regret that such a good public servant will retire because we know how important the post of the Mayor of New York City is. From his own standpoint, however, if he is doing it for reasons of health one cannot help but applaud his wisdom in making the decision before it is too late. No one can look upon the office of Mayor of New York City as an easy job.
I only hope that he is not lost to the political scene entirely and that we may find him at work again in the public interest when he feels able to undertake it.
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I have been very much interested in information which has been coming to me about a committee appointed by the Civil Service Commission in Washington, D.C., to pass on examiners who serve on various judicial boards for Washington departments.
This committee, made up of three conservative members of the American Bar Association, two judges and one member of the Civil Service Commission, not only has decided on the type of examiners that are to be left at work in the ICC and the labor board, and in various other positions, but passes on the eligible list from which people are chosen to fill new positions.
I am told that those retained and those passed on the new list are carefully selected by this committee, with an eye to their social and political views. I understand also that the Jewish organizations have had to protest the fact that so few Jews are accepted. And though there have not yet been any protests, there also are no colored people apparently who are acceptable.
On the other hand, I am told that no one need worry about this committee appointed by the Civil Service Commission to take over the burden of choosing examiners and creating an eligible list because safeguards are amply provided by the right of review. There undoubtedly will be reinstatement of any people who were unfairly screened out and those who were kept off the eligible list will, of course, be reconsidered.
All this seems very confusing to me. I know that we passed a new Administrative Procedure Act and that all administration is being reconsidered and, where possible, improved. But to the outsider, such as I am, it is poor administration to take out of the hands of the people, who are properly responsible, certain work which is important and which it would seem should be done by them. I can't understand why this work should be put into the hands of an extracurricular group, called in from outside the government, which cannot possibly have the experience or the knowledge that long training in government would give them.