« PreviousContinue »
ments because it is so vital as far as the interests of this country are concerned.
We are a little cautious of how far our Government might go through the United Nations in possibly yielding some of what we might think are our own rights and resources without specific approval of Congress.
In other words, under the Constitution, as I understand, the executive branch can't give away any property without specific approval of Congress. I am personally very happy to have had the joint meeting with the Foreign Affairs Committee in which we participated and the fact that now we have had the chance to put in this resolution expressing the sense of Congress, and I hope that this close working arrangement with the executive branch will continue. Thank you.
LEGAL IMPLICATIONS OF HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 803
Mr. LENNON. Thank you.
At that point may I ask this question. Is it the belief of you two gentlemen that the adoption by the Congress of either the Senate concurrent resolution or the House concurrent resolution would in substance be a legal endorsement for the executive to move into this International Decade of Ocean Exploration? I think that is the point.
Mr. PELLY. It's an interesting thing because, Mr. Chairman, if you don't mind me interposing here, I found the other day that the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, although it had been specifically said it was not a declaration of war at the time the Congress approved it, yet has been held by the military courts that it was in fact a declaration of war, and I think it is a good thing to ask that question as to what are we approving.
Mr. LENNON. Do you gentlemen get the import of our question? Mr. POLLACK. Yes; I do, sir.
Mr. LENNON. Will you respond to it and then have the respective legal departments, the legal department of the Department of State, and I suppose you would have to go to the Attorney General for the National Council, to express their views?
I think the committee is entitled to know the extent to which it is involving itself in endorsing this proposal that would involve us as to expenditures. I do not happen to think that is true, but I do want the positive legal opinions of the Department of State and of the Government through the Attorney General.
INTERPRETATION BY WITNESSES; THAT IS, NO BLANK CHECK
Dr. WENK. Mr. Chairman, if I may comment on that very point, in the absence of counsel, it is my impression that this is a support of the concept, but it is not a blank check.
Mr. LENNON. Would the gentleman from the State Department
Mr. POLLACK. The resolution provides that it is the sense of the Congress that the United States should participate in and give full support to the International Decade. I, too, would interpret this as being literally the sense of the Congress, but not the basis upon which funds might be appropriated, that this would not in itself in my personal view constitute authorizing legislation.
Mr. LENNON. I share that view after reading again section 3, which expresses the sense of Congress that the President is to annually report to Congress pursuant to Public Law 89-454, should transmit to the Congress a plan setting forth the proposed participation of the United States for the next fiscal year in the International Decade of Ocean Exploration, and goes on to state that the plan should contain a statement of the activities to be conducted and specify he department or agency of the Government which would conduct the activity and seek appropriations therefor.
Mr. PELLY. Would the chairman yield at that point?
It seems to me that we should also ask for an interpretation of the sense of Congress as it applies to an arrangement which might be effected possibly setting forth the percentage that each country would contribute.
In other words, is this authorizing an international agreement? Do you say that already the executive branch has the authority to go ahead and set that into a treaty or how actually are we to proceed as far as approving of the arrangements that you may be making in the future? Mr. POLLACK. I would say that I won't rule this out as a possibility, but I think it is highly unlikely that the Decade would ever be established on the basis of a formula of governmental participation. This is such a widely varied concept encompassing both national activities, binational, ocean basin activities, global activities, that it would be, I think, just a physical impossibility to formulate a percentage arrangement that would for the period of a decade be at all feasible for the management of it.
Mr. PELLY. Actually, isn't the sense of Congress just a sort of green light; we approve of the idea, go ahead from here, but not approving any specifics?
Mr. POLLACK. That is correct. It would have a further advantage in that we are now promoting as a government this concept very actively both in international forums and in the capitals of the world and we believe that our hand would be strengthened quite significantly by an indication by the congressional branch of our Government that it was its sense that our national policy called for such an international program.
Mr. LENNON. Will the gentleman yield at that point?
Mr. PELLY. I yield back the floor, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. LENNON. Being specific when you related section 2 to subsection (5) thereof, I can see how it would have been of some concern to the membership not only of this committee, but of the Congress. I will read it:
EXTENT OF COMMITMENT TO TRAIN FOREIGN SCIENTISTS
It is further the sense of Congress that the President should cooperate with other nations in
then going to (5)—
providing appropriate technical and training assistance and facilities to the developing countries and support to international organizations so they may effectively contribute their share to the International Decade of Ocean Exploration.
The gut issue here is whether or not the Congress is expressing a sense that the President should cooperate with other nations in provid
ing appropriate technical and training assistance and facilities to the developing countries and support to international organizations so that they may effectively contribute their share to the International Decade of Ocean Exploration.
That would be construed, gentlemen, by a lot of agencies and departments and bureaus of the Federal Government that the Congress had given its endorsement, almost blanket endorsement to the President to provide, No. 1, appropriate technical and training assistance and facilities" not only to the developing nations but to international organizations in order that they might, and otherwise they wouldn't be able to, effectively contribute their share to the International Decade of Ocean Exploration.
I haven't practiced law in a long time, but that is a pretty broad statement of support which in the judgment of, not the Congress, but in the judgment of a lot of people at the administrative level, they would accept that as almost not an endorsement but more than that an instruction to proceed forthwith to furnish these developing nations and international organizations with funds which would provide them not only technical and training assistance but facilities in order that they might participate.
This is pretty broad. I am not saying it shouldn't be. I am just thinking out loud.
INTERPRETATION BY WITNESSES: ANNUAL REVIEW BY CONGRESS
Dr. WENK. Mr. Chairman, if I might comment on that and explain how we would interpret that particular provision. Let me underscore again my earlier comment that I do not regard the enactment of this resolution as a blank check.
Mr. LENNON. I wish we could get that assurance from everybody else in the Federal Government who may be involved in this sometime in the next decade.
Dr. WENK. Well, this committee is one with which we have sought continuous consultation on these foreign affairs matters, as you know, and have benefited from the consultation and certainly intend to continue. The Congress has a further control over this program in the future through its appropriations actions.
In this regard, to be specific, I should like to recall for this committee that the funding for the International Geophysical Year, which in that case was entirely through one agency, was a line item in order that the Congress would have a very clear picture of the total commitment of funds and that it would not be buried in other budget items.
We have made no commitment, but it is my own personal belief at this time that the same should be true with this International Decade of Ocean Exploration.
U.S. PLANNING FOR DECADE
Mr. LENNON. Doctor, I don't want to ask you to yield, but the record reflects the fact that the National Council has assigned the Committee on Ocean Exploration and Environmental Science Services within the Council the responsibility for defending the framework for the 10-year Decade of Exploration. That is true, isn't it?
Dr. WENK. Insofar as the interests of the Federal agencies are concerned. Let me mention that the decade planning will be undertaken by staff within the Council itself.
Mr. LENNON. Am I correct, Doctor, in saying that, from what I read now and have read in the past, the Council has given its Committee on Ocean Exploration and Environmental Services the task of developing a framework for a 10-year exploration plan? That plan is related to the International Decade of Ocean Exploration, is it not? Dr. WENK. It is indeed, but that is only the Federal part of a national plan for exploration. In other words, there will be both an input from this committee of the Federal agencies and an input from the Academy of Sciences and Academy of Engineering, reflecting the goals and approaches of people outside the Government.
It will be our responsibility within the Council to pull these two together to a consistent, coordinated plan for the United States itself.
BUREAU OF THE BUDGET INTERPRETATION
Mr. LENNON. The reason I asked you that, Doctor, is that on this committee there is a representative of the Bureau of the Budget, Mr. James M. H. Gregg, right?
Dr. WENK. Yes, sir.
Mr. LENNON. He is the representative on the Council of the Bureau of the Budget, is he not, or does the Council have a member from the Bureau of the Budget?
Dr. WENK. Mr. Zwick, Director of the Bureau of the Budget, is observer to the Council.
Mr. LENNON. Could this committee be furnished with a letter from the echelon of the Bureau of the Budget to make a part of this record to dispel my concerns relating to subsection (5) of section 2?
Subsections (1), (2), (3), and (4) I am not worried about; but I am worried about the first sentence of section 2 as related to subsection (5).
If we could get a letter from the Bureau of the Budget that, in the judgment of the Bureau of the Budget, this was not such an endorsement sufficient that it would authorize the executive branch of the Government to provide for "technical and training assistance and facilities to the developing countries and support to international organizations," in order that they might "effectively contribute their share to the International Decade of Ocean Exploration" without the permission of Congress, that would dispel by doubts.
Would you gentlemen do that?
Mr. POLLACK. Yes.
Dr. WENK. Yes.
(The information follows:)
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT,
BUREAU OF THE BUDGET, Washington, D.C., August 6, 1968.
Dr. EDWARD WENK, Jr.,
Executive Secretary, National Council on Marine Resources and Engineering Development, Washington, D.C.
DEAR DR. WENK: This is in response to your July 29, 1968, letter concerning the interpretation of Section 2 of proposed House Concurrent Resolution 803.
It is our view that H. Con. Res. 803 and S. Con. Res. 72, 90th Congress, would not provide statutory authority for the conduct of the activities set forth in the
resolutions. We also do not regard these resolutions as providing authorization for additional appropriations for these activities. We consider these measures to be expressions of the sense of the Congress with respect to the conduct of the activities described therein to the extent that these activities, and appropriations to finance them, are otherwise authorized by law.
Mr. LENNON. The gentleman from California.
PHILIP S. HUGHES,
I wanted to take the opportunity to interrupt you because there were certain points that I wanted developed as we went along.
Mr. REINECKE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Do I understand that this Decade is an outgrowth of the 10-year oceanographic plan that was put forth a couple of years ago? Dr. WENK. Mr. Reinecke, I would say not directly.
As I recall, in the spring of 1963, a 10-year plan for Federal oceanography was submitted to the Congress. It laid out in broad general terms the full range of activities in which the Federal agencies would engage and it also gave some idea as to the costs for the 10 years, but it was not focused as this one is on international cooperation.
RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER INTERNATIONAL ISSUES
Mr. REINECKE. What is your feeling with respect to the various studies that are going on now? I am thinking of the Roosevelt resolution in the United Nations. I believe the Council is going forward with a Federal study, and I believe the Commission is going forward with a Federal study.
How do you propose that these will be correlated, or will they?
Mr. POLLACK. We understand, sir, that the proposal for a Decade, which has been discussed with the National Marine Commission will have their endorsement, so we are tied in with that organization.
The several resolutions which called for studies by the U.N. Secretariat are all, I think, completely in consonance with the concept of a Decade of Exploration. The decade concept is a broader framework than any of the specific activities called for by the earlier resolutions. Mr. REINECKE. This will supersede those?
Mr. POLLACK. Yes; and sweep them off.
COOPERATION BY SOVIETS
Mr. REINECKE. On the subject of the IGY at one point I know the Soviets were reluctant to cooperate on the exchange of information. Did they ever finally cooperate to your knowledge?
Mr. POLLACK. The IGY resulted in the establishment at two locations, one in Moscow and one in Washington, of World Oceanographic Data Centers. I do not have current information on the extent to which information is moving between them, but my general impression is that data is flowing and the cooperation of the Soviets is taking place on the movement of information of basic type.
Mr. REINECKE. Do you have something more on that, Dr. Wenk? Dr. WENK. I would just like to comment, Mr. Reinecke, that it is my impression that the Soviets have been cooperating with us not only with oceanography, but also with meteorological and many other types of data. Neither side seems completely happy as to the speed