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ical data of prime military value from the whole world ocean, gathered as a normal part of their exploratory and industrial activities. It is paid for by fish.
6. The worldwide strategic posture of the United States suffers in a major way vis-a-vis Russia because Russia has concrete plans for the full use of the ocean, upon the implementation of which it is proceeding effectively, efficiently and somewhat ahead of schedule. The United States has no such plan for using the ocean that I know of.
Our own Admiral Mahan laid down the ground rules for this game long years ago, which can be succinctly summarized as follows: Who uses the ocean in the long run rules the ocean; who rules the ocean rules the world, or at least avoids the rule of others. It is just as simple as that.
Russia set out in the early 1950's to build up its world fisheries. It has proceeded methodically to do so. It passed us a long while ago because we were standing still. It is still picking up momentum. Its worldwide fishery activities now about match those of Japan, and my guess is they will soon exceed those of the Japanese.
It has, from the start, closely and carefully applied science and technology to this purpose at all levels from the education of scientists, marine architects, and fishermen, to daring design and equipment of vessels, and to the development of operation research to maximize their efficiency of operations at sea. It has not spared capital or labor in this endeavor. We can laugh at their agricultural and consumer goods industries, but in space and on the ocean they are good.
I point out that these are two of the areas of human effort in which it is imperative to be competent in today's world power struggle.
The Russians have now set out to do the same thing with their merchant marine. They are overtaking us according to their plan and expect to exceed our carrying capacity on the sea during the 1970's. I see no reason to expect that they will not succeed.
A series of syndicated articles in the daily press during the first week of April succinctly and pungently described once more the sad state of the U.S. merchant marine, and its failure to date to respond to ministration.
The U.S. Congress has had two sick industries on its hands for more than a decade; the merchant marine and the domestic fisheries. These are the industries that Russia is building up strongly, swiftly, and successfully. The strategic content of that message should be lost on nobody.
The economic content of this message should not be lost either. Everybody knows that the merchant marine is a big industry that holds all of the industries of the world together by the transport of raw materials and manufactured articles from one country to another. Few realize how large and valuable the fishing industry of the world is. People talk much about the harvest of ocean resources but actually what is now being harvested now is fish. Last year 50 million tons were landed in the world. These landings were valued at not less than $5 billion, which is a pretty fair business.
However, these are just six areas in my experience where our national ocean program is languishing. Another expert in another field will give you another half dozen. There is no use crying in our beer over how well the Russians are doing. The thing to do is examine what we are doing, or not doing, that needs doing or doing better to correct these trends.
In the first place we do not have a national ocean program or a budget for it. It is dangerously self-deceptive for us to tell ourselves and others that we do have. There is no mechanism in the executive branch to prepare such things, and if there were, there is no place in the Congress to receive and act upon them in a unitary way.
As all hands know, ocean activities in the executive branch of the U.S. Government are carried out by 5 departments, 3 independent agencies, and 22 operating bureaus and offices. The plans and budgets which these entities put forward are considered and acted upon by about 32 substantive and appropriations committees and subcommittees of the Congress. It would be hard for experts to design a worse administrative mess than this, and it is a never ceasing source of wonder to me that we do as well with the ocean as we do.
I am fully aware of the remarkably competent work that the Interagency Committee on Oceanography has done since its organization in 1959, and fully support the wide acclaim it has gained as perhaps the most effective interagency committee on any subject in the executive branch. My observation is that it is steadily improving its work and that the new chairman, Dr. Morse, gives every sign of still improving its performance at an increasing rate.
Nevertheless the Interagency Committee on Oceanography suffers from these basic handicaps with which it is powerless to deal:
1. None of the members is the policy head of the department in which he works, nor does he represent total departmental policy in that department as a surrogate of the department head. Accordingly whatever decision is made by ICO is subject to the independent and individual policy review of several department heads. In each of these departments, for the most part, ocean activities is a minor part of overall responsibilities.
2. Each of the members of ICO has a full-time job in his own department. I know them, and know in some detail the tremendous workload a number of them are carrying in their own shop. They meet from time to time as ICO and for those few hours give it their attention. But their prime hours and paramount attention must be devoted to the day to day responsibilities of their own shop in their own department.
3. The staff of ICO is devoted, diligent, and competent. I know them all. Also it depends for budgetary support upon other operating bureaus and offices, a thing that has impeded its progress.
Since the staff is loaned from other agencies, it is handicapped in its ability to establish the relative importance of programs proposed by the different agencies or the relative merits of different parts of the program within each agency.
Even the most objective public employee finds it difficult to turn thumbs down on a project favored by a bureau chief who may be his boss again next month.
4. A program is not a program unless there is a budget with which to implement it. The budget for the ICO National Oceanographic Program is a conglomeration of the budgets for ocean activities within each of the 22 operating bureaus and offices.
These are considered by ICO together, but then incorporated individually into the budget request made by each department or agency head for the operation of his whole department or agency. Thus each fragment of the ocean budget must compete in some department or agency, where it is a minor activity, with all other unrelated programs of that department or agency.
Each fragment is reviewed not only by the departmental budget officers in the light of the more important responsibilities of that department, but is reviewed at least twice by the Bureau of the Budget (which, I might say, parenthetically, has not yet evidenced any overwhelming preoccupation with ocean matters) first as the fragment comes as part of the ICO overall suggestions and secondly as the frag, ment makes up a part of the overall departmental request, which of course must be cut and then reviewed all over again.
By the time the individual fragments of the ocean budget get into the President's Budget they bear no necessary relationship to what ICO had originally designed, with the firm hand of the Bureau of the Budget helping it soberly and frugally at that stage as well.
5. The ocean program and budget do not go to the Congress as a single package, or even very near to it. The individual fragments are considered individually by a number of different subcommittees of the appropriations committees of the Senate and House.
For the most part these subcommittees spend their efforts on the larger items of the departmental requests, that are of much greater dollar and substantive importance to them. There is little cross communication among these several committees on ocean matters.
The consequence of all this is as stated above: The ICO does the best it can, but within its statutory competence it is unable to formulate a well-balanced ocean program or budget for it.
What it does originate is modified sometimes beyond recognition as it passes through the executive branch, and what the legislative branch at last authorizes the executive to do in respect of the ocean bears no necessary relationship to what the executive recommended, or that ICO recommended originally to the executive departments of agencies. Accordingly we have no coordinated national ocean program nor a unitary budget with which to implement it.
S. 944 when adopted will mark a major step in rectifying the basic errors of this lack of organization. It creates a council chaired by the Vice President and composed of the department and agency heads involved. Thus the main point of policy responsibilities is nailed down tightly, and perhaps even inescapabiy.
It has been suggested to me that the White House will not agree to this because the President wants his Cabinet to be available to work as a Cabinet and not in a great variety of special councils. It has been suggested that if the Council were composed of officers at a lower level than Cabinet officials this format might be agreeable to the White House.
This, I think, misses the factor of departmental and agency responsibility which is the critical point. Furthermore, S. 944 meets this point by providing that each member of the council may designate another officer of his department or agency to serve on the council in his absence. This preserves the key point of Cabinet policy responsibility while relieving the persons of the council from undue burdens. S. 944 provides then for a staff to be employed by and for the council itself, independent of any department or agency, and authorizes appropriations of its own for the council.
These seem to me to be strong steps in mending the present organizational mess our ocean activities are in, and I strongly support the bill. I doubt that the Bureau of the Budget will.
In my opinion, however, S. 944 is only a partial solution to this problem. If it is adopted we will still have too many departments and agencies dabbling in ocean matters, and too many subcommittees of Congress giving advice on too many fragments thereof.
I think that a necessary companion action is to group several of the major ocean-oriented operating offices and bureaus together into a fullfledged Department of the Ocean, having the same status as the Department of the Interior, the Department of Commerce, etc., with a Secretary of Cabinet rank.
I suggest that this new Department of the Ocean should be composed of the following agencies and bureaus, amongst others: U.S. Maritime Administration, U.S. Weather Bureau, Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, National Oceanographic Data Center, Coastal Engineering Research Center, and Sea-Air Interaction Laboratory.
The Maritime Administration is presently in the Department of Commerce, which is concerned mainly with land-based industry problems. The Merchant Marine establishment should be with other major civilian ocean activities in the Department of the Ocean. The sense of this is recognized by the House of Representatives which has a Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. Both of these activities also come within the purview of the Senate Committee on Commerce.
The U.S. Weather Bureau also is presently in the Department of Commerce for no better reason than that there was no other place into which it fitted better. The growing understanding of the controlling part that the ocean plays in climate control makes a move of this Bureau to the Department of the Ocean logical.
The Bureau of Commercial Fisheries started out in the Smithsonian Institution, then went to the Department of Commerce, and lastly was grabbed by Harold Ickes into the Department of the Interior, of all places. An ever-increasing part of its activities has been concerned with the international high seas, relations with foreign governments and their fishermen, participation in international ocean science programs, participation in the activity of intergovernmental conservation agencies covering the high seas, and work with the specialized agencies of the United Nations.
Its field of work is in the exterior, not the interior, and this will be the case increasingly as ocean fisheries of the world continue their rapid growth, whether we participate in that growth or not.
The U.S. Coast Guard is in the Department of the Treasury in peacetime and in the Department of the Navy when the country is at war. It has finally been authorized by the Congress to engage in ocean research other than chasing icebergs and fur eals.
Its ancient reason for being in the Department of the Treasury was to protect the revenues derived from customs. In these days of diminishing tariffs and the free use of alcoholic beverages there seems to be no real reason for it being an orphan in that Department, which has no other substantial ocean interest.
The U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey is in the Department of Commerce for about the same reason that the Maritime Administration is. There was no other better place to put it. Its work is almost exclusively concerned with the ocean. It, with the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, are the two key civilian ocean research bureaus of the Federal Government.
The National Oceanographic Data Center is a recent confection whose organization in some ways typifies the organizational disarray of ocean matters in the U.S. Government. It is in the Office of the U.S. Navy Oceanographer for housekeeping purposes with the clear understanding that he is to have no unique policy control over its operations.
It is funded by contributions of the several executive agencies that use its services. It has no regular appropriations of its own, although its data are the key element in the entire national ocean program.
Its operations are pretty well ordered by an Advisory Board composed of distinguished scientists, some in the Government and some not. Obviously this is the data heart of the Department of the Ocean.
The Coastal Engineering Research Center is a new name for the old Beach Erosion Board and is in the U.S. Army Engineers Corps. The justification for it being in the Department of the Ocean appears plain, as there would not be much beach erosion without ocean action.
The relation of this work to that of the Department of the Army is a little obscure and its scientists are, of
course, civilian. The Sea-Air Interaction Laboratory is a new creation put in the Department of Commerce last year for lack of a better place. Since 71 percent of the earth's atmosphere overlies the ocean, and the ocean is a prime source of the energy driving the winds, the reasons for it being included in the Department of the Ocean are reasonably obvious.
If all of these agencies and bureaus were placed into a Department of the Ocean, ocean affairs of the U.S. Government would be consolidated into three large, well-balanced units, with a number of splinters left in the bureaus and agencies whose major activities are land oriented.
The three major ocean organizations would be:
1. The Department of the Navy-representing military interest of the United States;
2. The Department of the Ocean--representing the civilian indus3. The National Science Foundation-representing the academic group.
This would provide a proper balance between the three basic, large interests that the United States has in the ocean and result in the perfection of a balanced national ocean program and a budget for it for the Congress to examine.
There would still be a number of agencies and bureaus which had activities in respect of the ocean which are necessary for them to continue but minor in scope relative to their total activities. These include the Atomic Energy Commission, the Bureau of Mines, the Geologic Society, the Bureau of Sport Fish and Wildlife, Public Health Service, Office of Education, and Smithsonian Institution. There would still be scope for an Interagency Committee on Oceanography for correlating the work of these entities in the ocean with the three major departments noted above.