Page images

Mr. KILDAY. Are you leaving that subject?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; I am going to leave it.
Mr. KILDAY. May I ask one question in connection with it?

Mr. Secretary, I call your attention to your prepared statement, about the middle of page 19, the paragraph beginning there.

Secretary McElroy. Yes, sir.

Mr. Kilday (reading): Changes in the manner in which our fiscal year 1960 budget requests are pre sented reflect for the most part a rearrangement of the appropriations for the Department of Defense in terms of major purposes rather than of organizational units.

That is substantially, I believe, the language of the President's message and perhaps of the budget, itself.

May I ask what is meant there by "organizational units”?

Secretary McElroy. Organizational units would be Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Mr. Kilday. So that this language will state, then, that it is requested that the funds be appropriated for major purposes rather than for the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force ?

Secretary McElroy. Well, under each of these functional categories there is a breakdown: Army, Navy, and Air Force. So that while there is a grouping of funds for these various functional purposes, the appropriating is not in one total sum to the Department of Defense for all of the organizational units that would benefit in these areas, like personnel or operation and maintenance or whatever it might be, but it is independently given as a subheading under these five functional categories for Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Mr. Kilpay. Well, of course, you have the major categories, for instance, of personnel-or I think they generally word it pay and subsistence, or maintenance and operations?

Secretary McElroy. That is right.
Mr. KILDAY. Construction and so forth?
Secretary McElroy. Procurement.

Mr. KILDAY. But it isn't proposed that for construction, let us say, that the funds be in one lump sum under the control of the Secretary of Defense only!

Secretary McELROY. No, sir.

Mr. KILDAY. But that construction for the Navy in given amount, the Army in given amount, and the Air Force?

Secretary McElroy. That is right.

Mr. KILDAY. And be expended under the direction of the Secretary of the military department to whom appropriated?

Secretary MCELROY. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN. That is exactly what I had in mind. I am glad to have that cleared up.

Mr. Kilpay. Well, the organizational unit was the thing I didn't quite understand. It is a new term of reference with us.

Mr. Hardy. Mr. Chairman, could I clarify-
The CHAIRMAN. Right on this point?
Mr. HARDY. Just on this point.

Does the proposal carry with it any additional authority to transfer funds within these so-called major functional purposes !

Secretary McElroy. No. As I said here in my statement, the only place in which you might consider that there might be some

expansion of flexibility would be in the fact that in the Navy, operations and maintenance-instead of having 10 separate segments of the Navy operations and maintenance, these are grouped as 1. So if you would consider that that gave the Navy added flexibility, then in that one respect there might be added flexibility. But there is not any as far as the Secretary of Defense is concerned.

Mr. Hardy. I am glad to get that clarified, but I want to be sure that we do understand it. Because when we get into a major change in the arrangement of an appropriations bill sometimes we find ourselves with built-in flexibility that wasn't anticipated.

Secretary McElroy. Well, I haven't discovered that that happens in the Defense appropriations. Because I think it has been kept pretty clearly under the supervision of the Congress.

Mr. Hardy. Well, I am afraid, Mr. Secretary, that a heap of things that the Congress used to supervise have gotten away from us. And I am hoping we can get a little better control over them than we have had in times past.

Secretary McELROY. Well

Mr. Hardy. I don't want to see us do something here even in the guise of improvement which might subsequently whittle away what little bit of authority we do have left.

Secretary McElroy. Well, I am sure that the same concern that this committee would have would be felt also by the Appropriations Committee that deals with these defense matters.

Mr. HARDY. Well, I don't know. Sometimes the Appropriations Committee, itself, likes to take away a little of our authority.

Secretary McElroy. Well, that I would say is between you and them. [Laughter.]

The CHAIRMAN. Now, Mr. Secretary, the second question I want to ask you is on page 15, in the middle of the page.

As a result of these studies, the Joint Chiefs of Staff formally advised the Secretary of Defense that while each individual service Chief had some reservations in respect to the fundand so forth.

Now, the question is: Are you in position to inform the committee what reservation each one of the service Chiefs had, or do you prefer that we obtain that from them?

Secretary McELROY. Well, I would say or suggest, Mr. Chairman, that you yould be more satisfied if you got it from them. Although I might say to you, sir, that this same question was asked in another committee and we file-or we have the information in the course of preparation from each one of the Chiefs for submission for the record. And if you would like us to do so, we would do the same thing here.

The CHAIRMAN. All right. Then we will ask each one of the Chiefs for that information.

Secretary McElroy. And this will be over his signature, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Let's see. I think there is one more question that I wanted to ask you.

Now, Mr. Secretary, I think I should make this kind of a statement before I ask you this question.

It is with reference to the appropriations bill last year. For the information of the committee, and Mr. Secretary, I think you should

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

have the history. So I am going to read it before I ask the question. The House Appropriations provided in H.R. 12739 sufficient funds to sustain Army military personnel at an end strength of 876,000 men on June 30, 1959.

During the floor debate on the bill, Mr. Sikes offered an amendment in three parts to add $99 million to support Army military personnel at an end strength of 900,000. On June 14, 1958, an amendment was agreed to by a vote of 108 to 79.

On June 5, the amendment was adopted on a rollcall vote by 225 to 158.

When the bill reached the Senate, the Senate added a provision that:

The Regular Army shall be maintained at not less than 900,000 strength during the fiscal year 1959.

The conference report stated :

It is the belief of the committee of conference that the national lefense requires the maintenance of a Regular Army of not less than 900,000 men, and it is the intent that the planned strength for fiscal year 1959 be maintained at that level, in accordance with the funds provided.

Now, my question, Mr. Secretary, is how can you justify a reduction of force in view of the conference report setting forth the belief and intent of the Congress?

Secretary McELROY. This becomes a matter of some discomfort to the Secretary of Defense, Mr. Chairman.

There are, of course, two groups in Government to which the Secretary of Defense is responsive. One of them is the Congress and the other is the President.

The President, as is well known here, is the principal officer of the executive branch and also the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.

In this instance the instruction of the Commander in Chief with respect to the size of the forces was in my opinion overriding and it was on that instruction, with which I was in accord, that I took the action of instructing that the size of the Army be reduced to 870,000, June 30, 1959, and 175,000 in the Marines June 30, 1959.

I would like to say a few words, if I might, as to why this seems to me to make sound public policy.

The CHAIRMAN. I think it needs some clarification. That is the reason I asked it.

Secretary McElroy. And I will do this very briefly, sir.

My belief is that there has been as marked an improvement in the quality of the Army, professional quality of the Army, in the last 12 months as probably has taken place in any comparable period in a generation.

This is the result of two things. One of them is the action by the Congress to remove from the Army the obligation to take into itself a sizable proportion of what were known as the lower end of category IV men. These men are relatively low, as this committee would well know, in intellectual capacity. They were the group which not only had the greatest difliculty in learning what is needed to be learned bi the much more skilled Army that we required today than was formerly true, but they also gave us our roughest disciplinary problems. Now, as an example of what I am saying, by having discontinued taking of these man and having eliminated from the forces others which had already been taken in of this lower level of intellectual attainment, we have been able to close three discliplinary barracks.

The CHAIRMAN. That is right.

Secretary McELROY. We have also closed four or five schools which we have operated in the past for the purpose of instructing this quality of personnel in such fundamental things as reading and writing and the simplest form of arithmetic.

Now, in addition to this reduction in category IV takings, again by action of the Congress, last year, we were authorized to put into effect the combination of an improved pay system and the application of proficiency pay.

As we asked the Congress for this authority, we said on the basis of this we expected that we would be able to reduce the turnover of qualified people, that we would increase the reenlistment rates, and that all of this would permit us to reduce the size of the training establishment. The result of the combination of two things I am talking about—this reduction in the takings of category IV and the reduction in turnover of particularly the skilled and qualified people has meant an upgrading of the professional character of the Army. So in my opinion you can very well, Mr. Chairman, have had an improvement in over-all quality and effectiveness with 870,000 of these much better people as compared with the 900,000 of the lesser quality.

Now, I call attention of the committee to the fact that the difference between 900,000 and 870,000 is about 3 percent and my judgment as to the improvement in the quality of the Army, is that it is considerably in excess of that.

The CHAIRMAN. Then to sum up what you said at the very outset, the reason why you were not guided by the belief and intent of Congress was due to the fact that the President, as Commander in Chief, issued the order for you to reduce it to 870,000.

Secretary McELROY. And I said-however, I want to be on record as having been in accord with that.

The CHAIRMAN. All right. That finishes that question as far as I am concerned.

Mr. KILDAY. Are you leaving the question of the numbers in the various services? If so, may I ask a question?

The CHAIRMAN. That is for fiscal 1960.
Mr. KILDAY. I understand.

Mr. Kilpay. Now at the strength of 870,000 in the Army, Mr. Secretary, I believe it is proposed that you would maintain 14 divisions, is that correct?

Secretary McElroy. That is correct, sir.

Mr. Kilday. And this morning General Twining said a division ran from 13,000 to 17,000 men, is that correct?

General TWINING. That is right.
Mr. KILDAY. That is correct, 13,000 to 17,000?
Secretary McElroy. Yes, sir.

Mr. KILDAY. Anyway, taking 17,000. So with 14 divisions at 17,000, you would have 238,000 men. We have always been worried here about

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

the division slice and concerned because we never got as much as 50 percent of the total on the fighting front. I am speaking now specically of the Army.

I understand that with the pentomic division, perhaps the division slice does not give you a true picture because you have corps troops and perhaps army troops and other battle commands that are not organic?

Secretary McElroy. Missile commands.

Mr. KILDAY. So hereafter I suppose we should get to something like the combat slice, rather than the division slice, but even so, if you would say that these other combat troops would be of equal number, and that is 238,000, which I am sure they are not, you would only have 394,000 in your combat elements, leaving some 632,000—no, you would have 632,000 in your combat force if those were doubled, the division strength?

Secretary McELROY. Yes.

Mr. Kilday. Leaving the balance unaccounted for or in logistics and what not.

Now, I realize that you are going to probably refer us to the Army as to the utilization of those, but through the years, I doubt if we are ever going to get the individual services to do much about getting these people into the combat force, itself, and reduce those auxiliary, ancillary and logistic things.

Does the Defense Department propose to do anything toward seeing to it that these cuts do not essentially get out of your combat force but you get down into the noncombat and the areas to put these cuts into effect?

Secretary McElroy. We are pressing in exactly that direction. The kind of thing I am talking about-and it is a very small item relatively-is an indication of the pressures within the Army, itself, to accomplish this. This whole business of closing of schools that are unneeded, and the closing of the disciplinary barracks. While those are not big in total numbers, nevertheless the three barracks together could add up to as many as 600 or 700 spaces.

If you have 600 or 700 men who can go in and be combat people instead of guards for recalcitrant prisoners, you have made a definite gain.

Mr. KILDAY. But on the face of them, the figures out of 870,000, saying that you had the same number in corps troops and other combat troops as you have in 14 divisions, you are utilizing 394,000 in combat and you still have 476,000 not in combat, or it is the reverse perhaps.

Mr. BATES. Reverse.

Mr. Kilday. Reverse. It is 476,000 in combat and 394,000 noncombat.

Secretary McELROY. Yes.

Mr. Kilday. Just on the face of it, it is rather shocking, that a force of this kind will put so few people on the fighting front.

Secretary McElroy. I will have to refer this to the Army, although it is a matter of considerable concern to me as well as to this committee. Because the cutting force is the combat unit.

Mr. KILDAY. But with each of these reductions—we have had a reduction in divisions. I don't know, and maybe you can supply us

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »