« PreviousContinue »
1 SEC. 2. Subparagraph (f) of section 3 is amended by 2 striking out “one hundred and twenty days after the sub3 mission of the final report of the Commission pursuant to
4 subparagraph (h) of section 5” and inserting in lieu thereof
5 "on June 30, 1969".
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT,
AND ENGINEERING DEVELOPMENT,
Washington, D.C., November 16, 1967. Hon. EDWARD A. GARMATZ, Chairman, Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : The Vice President has asked me to reply to your letter of October 5, 1967, requesting comments on H.R. 13273, “To amend the Marine Resources and Engineering Development Act of 1966, as amended, to extend the period of time within which the Commission on Marine Science, Engineering, and Resources is to submit its final report and to provide for a fixed expiration date for the National Council on Marine Resources and Engineering Development.”
This bill would amend the Marine Resources and Engineering Development Act of 1966, as amended, to provide for 24 months in which the Commission can present its report rather than 18 months, and further to provide a fixed expiration date, June 30, 1969, for the National Council on Marine Resources and Engineering Development.
On August 29, Dr. Julius A. Stratton, the Commission's Chairman, wrote to the Honorable Hubert H. Humphrey, who as Vice President, serves as Chairman of the National Council. After reviewing the Commission's initial steps to organize and set about its tasks, Dr. Stratton stated that "the Commission is now in a position to assess what work can feasibly be accomplished within alternative time periods. On the basis of this assessment the Commission has come to the conclusion that it would be wiser to avail itself of additional time, if possible, in order that it may render a complete, documented, fully considered, and printed report than to attempt to rush our work to completion in order to meet the present July 9, 1968, statutory deadline. Accordingly, the Commission is considering proposing draft legislation to amend the present law to provide it an additional six months within which to render its report.” Dr. Stratton noted that the provisions of the Marine Resources and Engineering Development Act of 1966 tied the expiration date of the National Council to that of the Commission.
The extension of the Commission's reporting date under the present legislation would also extend the life of the Council another six months. However, since the exact date of submission of the Commission's report is uncertain it would be desirable to have a fixed date set for the expiration of the Council. This would provide for more firm planning and scheduling of Council work in assistance to the President. We recommend the date in the proposed legislation, June 30, 1969, as a most appropriate termination date. This is, in fact, only an additional seven weeks more than would have been provided should the Commission report on January 9, 1969.
We, therefore, recommend that H.R. 13273 be enacted.
The Bureau of the Budget advises that there would be no objection to the submission of this report from the standpoint of the Administration's program. Sincerely,
EDWARD WENK, Jr. Mr. LENNON. This is not legislation that is controversial. This legislation simply, as I have just indicated to you, extends the life of the Commission for a period of 6 months, and extends the life of the National Council.
While it is true that there was an official request for this extension, I want to make it crystal clear for the record that the members of this subcommittee and members of the full committee, and those Members of Congress, both in the House and Senate, who are interested in this field, recognize that this Nation, this Congress, and this administration would benefit tremendously by the extension of this time.
I commented on the same subject matter at a previous hearing, in which I stated that if it was not the complete consensus of this committee that this was in the national and public interest that this be done, that this committee would not be interested in extending the time of the report of the Commission nor extending the life of the National Council.
The National Council, headed by the Vice President, has exceeded in their concern, their interest, their dedication, and the time they have spent, the most hopeful expectations we could have had of them.
Mr. Mosher, the ranking member of the subcommittee, and I have been privileged to participate frequently in the Commission's monthly meetings, which have been held since their appointment by the President.
We have been tremendously impressed with the depth with which they have gone into this subject matter, and we recognize that if they continued their panel investigations and then submitting the individual panel investigations to the full Commission for their consideration, for the subsequent editing and publishing, that they could not meet the date of the deadline set under the existing law.
We are happy to have with us this morning the Executive Director of the Commission on Marine Science, Engineering, and Resources, as well as the other distinguished friend, Dr. Edward Wenk, the Executive Director of the National Council. Between these two distinguished gentlemen who are here to testify for their respective agency or commission, and for the total concept of the marine science field, I am sure that they can answer any questions.
Now, Dr. Wenk, or Dr. Lawrence, or we will put it the other way, Dr. Lawrence and Dr. Wenk, if you gentlemen would both come forward, we would be delighted to have your respective statements in support of this legislation.
I believe, Dr. Lawrence, you have a prepared statement which is reasonably short. STATEMENT OF DR. SAMUEL LAWRENCE, EXECUTIVE DIREC
TOR, COMMISSION ON MARINE SCIENCE, ENGINEERING, AND
Dr. LAWRENCE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I would like first to express our chairman's very deep regret that he was not able to come down. This morning he is participating in the Governors' Conference on Marine Science in New York State, and he had other commitments during the day that made it impossible.
If it is suitable, I will very quickly read this prepared statement.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee: I am pleased to appear before this committee to present the views of the Commission on Marine Science, Engineering, and Resources regarding H.R. 13273, a bill introduced by the Honorable Edward A. Garmatz, the chairman of your committee, for himself, Mr. Lennon, Mr. Mailliard, and Mr. Mosher, to extend the period of time within which this Commission is to submit its final report and to provide for a fixed expiration date for the National Council on Marine Resources and Engineering Development.
Because the substance of this proposed legislation has already been rather extensively discussed before the committee, I shall make my remarks very brief.
The legislation on which we are reporting this morning was proposed to the Congress by the Director of the Bureau of the Budget on behalf of the Commission and the National Council. In his letter, dated September 29, 1967, the Director notes that:
* * the proposed extension of time for rendering the Commission 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.
Last month, in reporting the Commission's progress to your committee, Dr. Julius A. Stratton, the Commission's Chairman, listed some of the questions with which the Commission must come to grips in formulating its recommendations for a national marine science program.
Many of these questions strike closely to basic issues of national policy. There is no certain sequence of actions through which answers to such questions can be developed by the Commission. Indeed, as Dr. Stratton stated, the Commission harbors no illusion that it can provide final answers to these, or to a multitude of other related questions.
We are, however, convinced of the importance of our task, and that a thorough and careful consideration of all factors bearing on the formulation of a strengthened national program is warranted in order to assure the realism and workability of the Commission's recommended plan.
It is always difficult to judge just how great an investment of time and effort is most desirable to accomplish a task such as that set for this Commission. Our judgment that the work of the Commission would profit substantially from a 6-month extension of time is based chiefly on an analysis of the sequence of steps which we feel are necessary to develop, write, edit, and print the Commission's report.
In order to provide the Congress with a complete, printed report within the 18-month period now provided in Public Law 89–454, the Commission would have to conclude its panel activities within the next 3 to 4 months and compress its review of panel findings and proposals into a span of about 45 to 60 days prior to preparation of a final report in April 1968.
This schedule can be accomplished. However, with additional time, the Commission would be able to:
Develop its findings and conclusions on a significantly broader base of factual information,
Test the soundness of its premises more adequately with its congressional advisers, members of the National Council, and other key individuals, and
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.
The Commission believes that the Congress expects and deserves such a report, and will do its utmost to realize this expectation within whatever timetable is established for its work.
I am available for your questions, or perhaps you would like to turn to Dr. Wenk's testimony.
Mr. LENNON. Thank you very much, Dr. Lawrence.
With your permission, we will hear Dr. Wenk, and then we will direct questions to you as the case may be.
STATEMENT OF DR. EDWARD WENK, JR., EXECUTIVE SECRETARY,
NATIONAL COUNCIL ON MARINE RESOURCES AND ENGINEERING DEVELOPMENT
Dr. WENK. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I am indeed honored by this opportunity to testify on the matter of an extension for the final report of the Commission on Marine Science, Engineering, and Resources.
The committee has before it H.R. 13273, a bill introduced by the Honorable Edward A. Garmatz, chairman of the committee, for himself, the Honorable Alton Lennon, chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceanography, Mr. Mailliard, and Mr. Mosher.
This bill would extend the time within which the Commission must submit its final report, and would provide a fixed expiration date for the National Council on Marine Resources and Engineering Development.
I will confine my remarks to a chronological report of the major steps recently taken by the Executive branch in this matter, and then I should be quite happy to answer any questions.
On August 29, Dr. Julius A. Stratton, the Commission's Chairman, wrote to the Honorable Hubert H. Humphrey, who as Vice President serves as Chairman of the National Council. After reviewing the Commission's initial steps to organize and set about its tasks, Dr. Stratton stated that:
The Commission is now in a position to assess what work can feasibly be accomplished within alternative time periods. On the basis of this assessment, the Commission has come to the conclusion that it would be wiser to avail itself of additional time, if possible, in order that it may render a complete documented, fully considered, and printed report than to attempt to rush our work to completion in order to meet the present July 9, 1968, statutory deadline. Accordingly, the Commission is considering proposing draft legislation to amend the present law to provide it an aditional six months within which to render its report.
Dr. Stratton in the letter also noted that the provisions of the Marine Resources and Engineering Development Act of 1966 tied the expiration date of the National Council to that of the Commission.
The ensuing steps are best described by the Vice President in his reply to Dr. Stratton of September 26, which I would like to read in its entirety. This letter, addressed to Dr. Stratton, begins:
I have read with considerable interest your August 29 letter concerning initial activities of the Commission on Marine Science, Engineering, and Resources, and the extensive scope of marine sciences that must be analyzed to complete the task assigned by the Congress. I fully concur in your observations that it would be a disservice to the President and to the Congress to rush your work to completion. 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.
Any extension of the Commission's reporting date, as you note, affects the life of the Council. For this reason, I have discussed your proposal in Executive Session with the Council, together with some additional considerations regarding the Council termination date.
I am pleased to report to you their affirmative response.
In short, they concur in your judgment that it would be advisable to extend the reporting date of the Commission to January 9, 1969, recognizing that such an extension would not preclude an earlier submission of your report. They also support the notion that the Council expiration date be similarly extended, in order that the Persident would have the present Council mechanism available