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It only covers observation I have made in my travels around the world in the last few months.
But I think there is little wonder that Russia has some impact in these developing countries they are helping out.
It must be plainly noted that whatever military, diplomatic, and political benefit Russia derives from all of this abroad, the whole operation is soundly based on a competent, expanding fishing industry at home and it does not appear to me to be operating at anything except a profit from the fishing activities themselves.
5. The tactical defense posture of the United States suffers vis-a-vis Russia because Russia has fishing operations where it needs them for these purposes and the United States does not. Some aspects of this were reported upon by President Johnson in his news conference April 3.
It is no accident that the fishing base in Cuba is in a good position to interdict commerce headed for the Panama Canal, if need be. The same is true of the fishing developments in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea in their relation to transit through Suez; and the gift of a merchant marine and navigation academy to Indonesia, which lies athwart the routes of access between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Russia has sought for years, at times with success but not so much now, to aid Iceland and the Faroe Islanders in fishery matters and by so doing win them as allies. It is no coincidence that these islands lie adjacent to the main commercial artery between North America and Western Europe. Having numerous and large fishing vessels working normally off West Africa makes them handy to keep an eye on what is going on down the Atlantic Missile Range. Russian fishing vessels turn up wherever the United States is shooting off something of interest, and for the most part they are making a living fishing there at the same time. Russia fishing fleets and fishery research vessels send back constantly to home data centers in Moscow oceanographic and meteorological 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 world wide 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 operational 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, swifty, 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 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 experiment 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 1979, 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 fragment 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 wellbalanced 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 what ICO recommended originally to the executive departments and agenices. Accordingly we have no coordinated national ocean program or 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 inescapably.
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 seems 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 full-fledged 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 hureaus, 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 of 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 seals. 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 subsubstantial 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 the military interest of the United States.
2. The Department of the Ocean, representing the civilian industry; and 3. 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 Fisheries 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.
ACADEMIO FISHERY INSTITUTIONS
An anomaly has turned up in the provisions for the national ocean program. Under the surge forward of new interest in ocean research, the academic oceanographic institutions have done well. Academic oceanographers have access, on a project basis, to funds of the National Science Foundation, Atomic Energy Commission, Office of Naval Research, National Institutes of Health, and some others. Under this treatment the academic oceanographic institutions have responded wonderfully well, and one of the more encouraging aspects of our ocean activities is the fact that this mechanism has worked so well that one can certainly say that more money put into the system will produce proportionately more and better results, almost as far as the Congress will wish to go.
When an academic fishery scientist files a project with one of these Federal funding agencies, however, he is ordinarily asked to take his business to the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries. BCF has got the authority to make such grants and it does so from time to time. What it lacks is the money and a clear directive from the Congress that this sort of thing is desired. Its appropriations, for the most part, are quite closely earmarked by the Congress for particular projects. The Director is hard pressed when he has a project before him from an academic fishery scientist because the money to pay for that grant must come out of the appropriation which would otherwise go to his own laboratory director and scientists for a project which the Congress has specifically authorized and for which he has the direct responsibility. The choice is hard for the Director to make, and whichever he makes, this situation does not make for smooth working relationships between academic fishery scientists and the BCF laboratory directors.
More importantly to the business at hand, academic fishery intsitutions have not grown commensurately with the growth in other aspects of ocean research.
Not only does this deprive the fisheries field of the splendid auxiliary scientific support which the national ocean program is getting in that field from the academic oceanographic institutions, but it also hampers training in the fishery science-a lack that is now being felt.
This is also another aspect of the problem of getting ocean fishery research input at the State level, rather than the Federal level, for the guidance of State fishery officials, legislators, and the local general public.
I am aware that some members of the committee are attempting to get some funds earmarked for this purpose in the fiscal year 1966 budget for the Department of the Interior. My purpose is to laud that attempt and encourage it.
OCEANIC MINERAL RESOURCES
Senator Bartlett, for himself and others, introduced S. 1091 which has been referred to this committee. It provides for a program of marine exploration and development of the resources of the Continental Shelf. It would establish a Marine Exploration and Development Commission, define its duties, and provide what I feel to be a rather modest appropriations authorizations for its work.
The objectives sought by this bill are of the utmost importance to the development by the United States of the use of the ocean. This may be one field in which we can actually get the jump on the Russians for a variety of reasons. Without in any way wishing to detract from this important measure, I point out that it has many features in common with S. 944 and it would appear to me that competent legislative drafters could combine the features of these two bills into one which would suit the Nation's interests perhaps even better than if the two were adopted separately.
One feature of S. 1091 which might benefit S. 944 is the appointment of two members to the Council from private life by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. This would provide two members whose attention was fully devoted to the tasks of the Council without the important diversions Cabinet officers have to other duties.
I suggest that the deposits of the deep-sea bed may turn out to be as important to the United States as those of the Continental Shelf and that the broader features of S. 944 would improve S. 1091 in this respect.
In any event the objectives of S. 1091 are of great importance, in my view, to the welfare of the United States and I hope that they will be adopted in one form or another.