The employes on the Geological Survey at the close of September, 1884, were as follows:
Appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate (Director), 1.
Appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, on the recommendation of the Director of the Survey, 134.
Employed by the chiefs of parties in the field, 148.
Three classes of appointments are made on the Survey. The statute provides that "the scientific employes of the Geological Survey shall be selected by the Director, subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, exclusively for their qualifications as professional experts." The provisions of this statute apply to all those cases where scientific men are employed who have established a reputation, and in asking for their appointment the Director specifically states his reasons, setting forth the work in which the person is to be employed, together with his qualifications, especially enumerating and characterizing his published works. On such recommendations appointments are invariably made. Young men who have not established a reputation in scientific research are selected through the agency of the Civil Service Commission on special examination, the papers for which are prepared in the Geological Survey. About one-half of the employes, however, are temporary, being engaged for services lasting for a few days or a few months only, largely in the field, and coming under two classes: Skilled laborers and common laborers. Such persons are employed by the Director or by the heads of divisions, and are discharged from the service when no longer needed.
It will be seen that the Director is responsible for the selection of the employes, directly for those whom he recommends for appointment, and indirectly for those selected by the Civil Service Commission, as he permanently retains in the work. If, then, improper persons are employed, it is wholly the Director's fault.
The appropriations made for the Geological Survey for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1885, aggregate the sum of $504,040. This sum does not include the amount appropriated for ethnologic researches - $40,000. Nor are the expenses for engraving and printing paid for from the above appropriations, but from appropriations made for the work under the direction of the public printer. It is estimated that the amount needed for engraving and printing for the same fiscal year will exceed $200,000.
The United States Geological Survey is on friendly relations with the various State Surveys. Between the Government Survey and the State Survey of New York, there is direct co-operation. The State Survey of Pennsylvania has rendered valuable assistance to the Government Survey, and negotiations have been entered into for closer relations and more thorough co-operation. The State Surveys of North Carolina, Kentucky, and Alabama are also co-operating with the Government Survey, and the director of the Government Survey is doing all within his power to revive State Surveys. The field for geologic research in the United States is of great magnitude, and the best results can be accomplished only by the labors of many scientific men engaged for a long term of years. For this reason it is believed that surveys should be established in all of the States and Territories. There is work enough for all, and the establishment of local surveys would greatly assist the general work prosecuted under the auspices of the government, and prevent it from falling into perfunctory channels.
Its vigor and health will doubtless be promoted by all thorough local research.
It may be of interest to scientific men to know that the Director finds that in presenting the general results, interests, and needs of the Survey to Congress, and to Committees of Congress, a thorough appreciation of the value of scientific research is shown by the statesmen of the country. Questions relating to immediately economic values are asked, as they should be; but questions relating to sound administration, wise methods of investigation, and important scientific results are vigorously urged, and the principle is recognized that all sound scientific research conduces to the welfare of the people, not only by increasing knowledge, but ultimately by affecting all the industries of the people.Communicated to the National Academy of Sciences at the October meeting in 1884.