New York Times
TO SHIFT CONTROL OF SECRET
Talk of Plan That Would Aid Roosevelt in His Clash with Congress.
BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
With Power to Detail Men as Needed – Friends of President Se Chance to Block
Special to The New York Times.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 21. — A rumor of a new solution of the Secret Service tangle was allowed to circulate undenied around the White House offices to-day. The plan is nothing less than the merging of the Secret Service and the detective agencies of all departments of the Government into a Bureau of Criminal Investigation, a sort of Federal police, to be incorporated under the Department of Justice.
The plan, while seemingly only the bringing about of a long-needed change in the organization of the service, in reality would have the effect of avoiding the restriction Congress at the last session threw around the service by limiting each Secret Service man to his particular department. As the new Bureau of Criminal Investigation would be concentrated under the chief of one department, the power to detail men to all the departments and to any kind of work would necessarily be involved.
Friends of the President see in the proposed scheme a clever way out of the present impasse for Mr. Roosevelt. If such a reorganization could be put through Congress soon enough, much of the bitterness now being distilled for use in speeches against the President when the House and Senate committees make their final reports on the President’s thrust at the integrity of Congress will be exhausted in oblique spurts at the new scheme.
Exactly how the scheme will be proposed is not yet known. As one of the merits of the plan would be to supply a covered way out for the President, it is thought unlikely he will at this stage of the proceedings recommend the reorganization to Congress in a formal message. The other way would be to let one of the President’s friends introduce a resolution ordering the change.
But on the subject of the Secret Service the President does not seem to have many friends at either end of the Capitol. In the House only fifteen members voted against any part of the resolution calling on him for proof, and nobody, except one, voted against the resolution itself. As for the fifteen, they are already marked, and any move of the proposed nature would at once be interpreted as a flank move on the part of the President and be headed off at once.
So far as the Secret Service itself is concerned, it is thought the change would meet with approval. Chief Wilkie is said to have suggested such a change two years ago, and it is known that such a reorganization under one head would save much unnecessary duplication. And a law defining strictly the uses to which the service could be put would prevent the intentions of Congress, as expressed at the last session, from being defeated.