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for advice and assistance during the time he is determining an appropriate course of action, based on your Commission's recommendations for the future Federal structure. The Council believed, however, that the expiration date of the Council should be made more definite than is currently provided for. As a consequence, we are proposing the Council's expiration date be made June 30, 1969. This, of course, is only some seven weeks later than the May 9 date otherwise involved if the present four-month time interval for the Council following the Commission's report were unchanged, and the Commission reported on January 9, 1969. The spirit of the legislation is thus still maintained that the Council be an interim body so as not to inhibit recommendations by the Commission as to an optimum permanent body.
This course of action has subsequently been discussed with officers of the Bureau of the Budget, and with Congressional advisors of your Commission who are also the chairmen and senior minority members of the two committees having jurisdiction.
I have accordingly informed the President of this action. With his approval, the appropriate legislation will be forwarded to the Congress by the Director of the Budget, acting for the President, at an early-date.
May I take this occasion to express my congratulations and appreciation for the thoughtful and conscientious approach of the Commission to its task of analyzing the Nation's needs and preparing recommendations as to a national plan and Federal organization. Your deliberations and your findings will surely constitute a critical landmark in this Nation's "return to the sea.” Sincerely,
HUBERT H. HUMPHREY. The President approved these recommendations and this course of action, and on September 29, Charles L. Schultze, Director of the Bureau of the Budget, transmitted to the Congress, on behalf of both the Commission and the Council, a draft of legislation which would accomplish the objectives outlined by Dr. Stratton and the Vice President.
Mr. Schultze wrote to the Congress:
The proposed extension of time for rendering the Commission's report is needed to insure adequate and effective discharge of the Commission's responsibility to recommend an overall plan for an adequate oceanographic program that will meet present and future national needs. The later expiration date for the National Council on Marine Resources and Engineering Development would continue for a brief period the existing mechanisms for assisting the President in carrying out his responsibilities under P.L. 89–454 and P.L. 89–688.which is the Sea-Grant Act.
The amendment would further provide a fixed expiration date for the Council rather than relating the Council's expiration to the indefinite date of the Commission's report.
In conclusion, I feel that an extension such as that provided in H.R. 13273 is in the public interest. An extension will enable the Commission to produce a more carefully considered report, and will assist the President and the Congress in the period of transition to a rational, progressive, long-term marine science policy and program—which also will be in the public interest.
Thank you very much.
a . (Discussion off the record.)
Mr. LENNON. If I might return to you first, Dr. Lawrence, I think you made some very significant and important points with respect to the need for this legislation, which to my way of thinking is wrapped up in the language at the end of page 4, in which you state:
* * * provide the President and the Congress with a more fully considered, complete, and documented proposal designed to provide concrete guidelines for legislative and administrative action.
Certainly that is the feeling I believe of the members of this subcommittee, and the members of the full committee.
The gentleman from New York may direct a question at either of the two witnesses.
Mr. Dow. I think both Dr. Lawrence and Dr. Wenk have made themselves very clear.
They have offered brief statements, and I will certainly be brief my
comment. Just as a matter of information in relation to the date of January 9, 1969, without this legislation, the date for conclusion of the Commission and the Commission's report would have been sometime in 1968. Is that correct?
Dr. LAWRENCE. July 9, 1968.
Mr. Dow. Then there is another thought here, perhaps. If a report came forth by July 9, 1968, then the Council was to have 120 days after that, is that correct, which would be sometime in November, I guess ?
I Dr. WENK. Yes, sir; that is correct.
Mr. Dow. The point I am trying to make is the fact that, if legislation was envisaged or recommended in any of the reports, they certainly could not be handled in any case by the present Congress. They will have to go over to the next Congress, and certainly the advance the date that you offer does not preclude the next Congress from having adequate time, a year and a half, to answer your recommendations with proper legislation.
Would you say that that is a fair statement ?
Mr. Dow. For my part, gentlemen, I think any reasonable person hearing your recommendation, would say that our committee wants to see a report that represents a proper performance, that represents the very best that can be offered in this very difficult field, and therefore I am sure we would be willing to sacrifice more time in exchange for quality, so that I might say that I endorse this legislation.
Mr. LENNON. Thank
you, Mr. Dow. I think that in addition to the points that have been made by the distinguished witnesses, that the Chairman of the National Council, being the Vice President of the United States, wraps it up in his response to Dr. Stratton's letter, Dr. Stratton being the Chairman of the National Commission.
In appropriate language he states, and I quote from his letter, which is part of the last line found on page 2, in the Vice President's letter to Dr. Stratton :
Your proposal to extend the interval for study by an additional six months to a period of two years is certainly reasonable, and it brings to mind the fact that a two-year duration of study was contemplated when the legislation to establish a Commission was first introduced.
The gentleman from New York and I know the Council will remember that in the consideration of the legislation before it was passed, particularly in conference, that we did anticipate a 2-year study, but, as the gentleman recalls the Council had its first meeting on August 17, 1966. The Commission did not come into being until this calendar year, this year, so that the Vice President is recognizing the legislative intent by his concurrence in what the Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Stratton, said.
I am reminded of the colloquy that took place in the consideration of this legislation, and especially when we came to the point that the Council would automatically expire, it was 60 days in one bill, and we worked out a compromise to make it 120 days.
I think there is an important point in the language found on page 3 of your statement, Dr. Wenk:
The spirit of the legislation is thus still maintained that the Council be an interim body so as not to inhibit the recommendations by the Commission as to an optimum permanent body.
Meaning the governmental structure, because that was one of the directives of the mandate in the legislation, which directed the Commission to recommend a Government structure, if any, and the type thereof.
I think that is an important point.
I find myself in total agreement that the life of the Council ought to be extended for a period of 6 months from the date that the new legislation proposes that the Commission make its report.
I say that primarily because the Council has just done such a fine job, and we need that governmental structure from the time that the Commission makes its report for a period of at least 6 months.
Hopefully during that 6-month period, the Congress can reach an area of agreement sufficient to pass legislation that is acceptable to the administration, based on the Commission's report. We need this governmental structure to hold the goal in the direction in which we are moving now, that we had not, frankly, been moving in until the National Council was brought into being. A coordinated national marine program will be developed in spite of the proliferation of activities in so many of the Government agencies and bureaus. Some of these agencies we will hear from this week, beginning tomorrow with the Navy.
Mr. Counsel, do you have a question?
Mr. DREWRY. Mr. Chairman. Dr. Wenk and Dr. Lawrence, for the sake of our report, has there been any estimate of the additional cost, if any, that the extension of time will result in, or is this something that is really just absorbed by virtue of the fact that there was such delay in getting the Commission formed?
Dr. LAWRENCE. If I can speak to this for the Commission, Mr. Drewry, first budget estimates for fiscal 1969 are just now being formulated.
Second, we did lag somewhat in the process of getting organized, and underway in fiscal year 1967. The Commission was appointed later than what was anticipated during the fiscal year, with the result that in that year we did not expend as much as the President's budget had anticipated.
The result, I hope, will be that it may be possible for us to complete the Commission's tasks within a total outlay that is consistent with, if not less than, the amount that might reasonably have been anticipated for the Commission's work under the present statutory timetable.
One has to make some estimate of what would have been expended within the 2 months during fiscal 1969, for which not figure was ever set.
Am I clear on that, sir?
Mr. DREWRY. Yes. If it is possible to put any kind of a rough estimate dollar tag on it, if you could furnish it for the record, it would be helpful.
The House likes to have an indication of any additional costs resulting from legislation which comes up. I think the general statement such as you have made may well be adequate, but it would be helpful if you can put a range or an indication of the nature of such additional expense, saying that the additional expense may not exceed so many dollars, or will be limited only to certain types of activities which would be within the range of what was originally contemplated.
Dr. LAWREXCE. Our estimate is that the job will be done at an expense which is less than the original contemplation.
(The statement follows:) The Marine Resources and Engineering Development Act, Public Law 89 454, is permanent legislation which establishes objectives for a national marine science program and which places certain responsibilities in the President to assure the program's successful execution. Two temporary bodies also are provided by the legislation: a uncil to assist the President in meeting these responsibilities and a Commission appointed by the President to make a comprehensive study of all aspects of marine science in order to recommend an overall plan for an adequate national program.
Section 9 of Public Law 89–454 authorizes appropriation of up to $1.5 million per year to carry out the purposes of the Act. Amounts are not specified within this total for the separate activities of the Council and the Commission. Rather, it is the intent of the Act that the President plan and conduct a coordinated marine science program even in the absence of the Council and Commission, and the authorization for appropriations is accordingly provided without limit of time.
The extensions proposed in H.R. 13273 will not require any amendment to the authorization now provided by Section 9 of Public Law 89_454. Furthermore, it may be assumed that funds comparable to those provided for the Council and Commission would also be needed following their termination to assist the Pres: ident in meeting his responsibilities. Thus, the extension of the life of these two temporary bodies appears unlikely to have any significant effect on costs to the government.
Throughout the period of Council and Commission operation, appropriation requests have been less than the $1.5 million authorization. The following table shows amounts requested by the President and appropriated by the Congress in Fiscal Years 1967 and 1968 for activities pursuant to the Act.
Mr. DREWRY. I have just one observation, which is not a question. It is in line with the chairman's comments on the maintenance of the spirit of the legislation so as not to inhibit the Commission's recommendations.
Of course, in the event the next Congress should act expeditiously enough to come up with legislation prior to June 30, 1969, then of course the problem can readily be disposed of at that time by eliminating the Council in the new statute.
I mention this only because there have been a number of questions that have come from people to me wondering what is going to happen if the legislation should come, and we decided we wanted to do something else : Does the Council keep on going?
That is totally within the hands of the Congress and the President. That is all I have, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.
Mr. LENNON. Thank you, Mr. Counsel. I think for the record, too, gentlemen, that these questions that counsel has referred to are rather important. Assuming we put this bill on either unanimous consent or some other method of the procedural aspect, the question may be raised as to what the Council and Commission have cost to date, and what costs are anticipated with this extension of time.
The act, Public Law 89–454 did provide for authorization not exceeding $1,500,000 in any one fiscal year. I would appreciate it if you gentlemen could furnish for this record the first appropriation, which I assume was for fiscal 1967.
That is right, is it not?
Dr. WENK. Mr. Chairman, it was. It was requested, though, as a supplemental appropriation, and the amount provided by the Congress was $1.1 million, which is less than the $1.5 million authorized.
For fiscal 1968, for which we had a full year to request funds, the appropriation was $1.3 million, also less than the $1.5 million authorized.
This is for both the Commission and Council.
Mr. LENNON. For fiscal 1967 it was $1,100,000, and for fiscal 1968 the budgetary request was for $1,300,000. Is that correct?
Dr. WENK. With one minor footnote. The budgetary request was $1.33 million, and the Congress appropriated $1.30 million.
Mr. LENNON. Within $30,000 of what you requested.
We have some Members of Congress who are cost conscious right now, and I happen to share some of their views with respect to the area we are moving in.
So if the gentleman from Ohio and I handle the bill on the floor, it is nice to have available the figures, so that we will not have to say: "I believe it is so-and-so, or I understand it is so-and-so." That does not make a very satisfactory answer to sharp questions from conscientious Members of Congress who are thinking in terms of x dollars these days.
Gentlemen, I see no purpose in keeping you here for any further testimony.
I regret that we cannot take final action on this bill today, but it would be more appropriate to try to get the matter brought up at a very early date. But we can assure you that the bill will be reported out of the subcommittee, and certainly from the full committee for floor action during the present session of Congress.
We congratulate you for what you are doing, and urge you to continue your dedication and enthusiasm which you represent in the Council and in the Commission.
Thank you so much.