The Public Interest

Taking the Post Office out of politics

Richard J. Willey

Spring 1969

A NUMBER Of signs indicate that the Nixon administration will introduce legislation to the Ninety-first Congress to implement the major recommendations of the President’s Commission on Postal Organization. The Commission, chaired by Frederick Kappel of AT&T, has proposed that the Post Office Department be removed from the President’s Cabinet and reorganized as a nonprofit, government-owned corporation (such as TVA). A businessman’s recommendation (among the ten-man Commission were six top executives of major corporations and the Dean of the Harvard Business School), it has natural appeal to a Republican administration and special appeal to Winton M. Blount, the new Postmaster General. Blount was formerly President of the U.S.  Chamber of Commerce---an organization which surveyed its several thousand members and found that over 95 per cent endorsed the Commission proposals. The administration has already taken a first step in the direction of a nonpolitical post office by announcing the intention to sever postmaster appointments from congressional patronage.

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