« PreviousContinue »
(GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE),
AU VORIGHTS COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
UNITED STATES SENATE
(PURSUANT TO S. RES. 62, 86TH CONGRESS, 1ST SESSION)
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
JAMES O. EASTLAND, Mississippi, Chairman ESTES KEFAUVER, Tennessee
ALEXANDER WILEY, Wisconsin OLIN D. JOHNSTON, South Carolina
WILLIAM LANGER, North Dakota THOMAS C. HENNINGS, JR., Missouri EVERETT MCKINLEY DIRKSEN, Illinois JOHN L. MCCLELLAN, Arkansas
ROMAN L, ARUSKA, Nebraska
KENNETH B. KEATING, New York
SUBCOMMITTEE ON CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
THOMAS C. HENNINGS, JR., Missouri, Chairman JOSEPH C. O'MAHONEY, Wyoming
WILLIAM LANGER, North Dakota SAM J. ERVIN, JR., North Carolina
ROMAN L. HRUSKA, Nebraska
ALEXANDER WILEY, Wisconsin
CHARLES H, SLAYMAN, Jr., Chief Counsel and Staff Director
SUE H. McCANDLESS, Research Assistant
Rights Subcommittee from Joseph Campbell, Comptroller General
Excerpts from “Availability of Information from Federal Departments
and Agencies," hearing before a Subcommittee of the Committee on
Letter to Hon. Joseph Campbell, Comptroller General of the United
States, from Robert Dechert, General Counsel, Department of De-
Department of Defense Directive 7650.1, July 9, 1958-
Exhibits for the record:
No. 1. Army Regulations 345–15 and 345–20..
No. 2. Executive Order No. 10501..
No. 3. May 17, 1954, letter to Secretary of Defense from President of
the United States...
No. 4. Section 161 of the Revised Statutes (5 U.S.C. 22).
No. 5. Budget and Accounting Act of 1921.-
No. 6. Section 206 of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946.-
FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 1959
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10 a.m., in room 457, Senate Office Building, Hon. Sam J. Ervin, Jr., acting chairman, presiding.
Present: Senators Ervin, O'Mahoney, and Hruska.
Also present: Charles H. Slayman, Jr., chief counsel, and William D. Patton, first assistant counsel.
Senator ERVIN. The committee will come to order.
I regret very much that illness will prevent the subcommittee chairman,
Senator Hennings, from presiding today. For the past several years the Constitutional Rights Subcommittee has been making a broad study of freedom of information and secrecy in Government. Our chief purpose has been to determine to what extent constitutional rights are being infringed by present-day restrictions on the dissemination of information in this country.
Today, we resume public consideration of an aspect of secrecy in Government which, in my opinion, raises a number of vexing constitutional problems—the asserted power of the President and his subordinates, under the Constitution, to withhold information from the Congress and the public. Among the many difficult questions raised by the exercise of this alleged power or "privilege” are: To what extent does such a constitutional power or "privilege” actually exist ? Who may exercise it and under what circumstances ?
To whom may it be delegated, and how? And, finally, to what extent may it properly be invoked by officials in the so-called independent regulatory agencies?
The subcommittee already has some testimony on this subject. On March 6, 1958, Attorney General Rogers appeared in person before the subcommittee and spelled out his views in considerable detail. Now we want to have the benefit of additional views.
Today's witnesses will include Prof. Joseph W. Bishop, Jr., of the Yale Law School; Mr. Robert Keller, General Counsel of the General Accounting Office; and Mr. Lawrence Powers, also of the General Accounting Office.
In addition to the testimony of these eminent gentlemen, we had hoped to hear testimony from Prof. Edward S. Corwin, who has long been one of the country's leading writers and students of the Presidency; and from J. Russell Wiggins, executive editor of the Washington Post, a leading authority on the entire subject of freedom of information. Unfortunately, illness has prevented Professor