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GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN EUROPE
(A Review of GAO Activities in Connection With Certain
Federal Expenditure, Procurement, and Inventory Practices in Europe)
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 1957
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, SUBCOMMITTEE ON EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE REORGANIZATION OF THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS,
Keysign House, London, England. The subcommittee met at 10 a. m., Keysign House, 429 Oxford Street, London, England, Hon. Dante B. Fascell (acting chairman), presiding.
Present: Representatives Harden, Michel, and May. Also present: Christine Ray Davis, staff director; Orville S. Poland, general counsel; Orville J. Montgomery, associate counsel; John W. McGarry, assistant counsel; John R. Buckley, staff member; and John P. Carlson, minority counsel.
Mr. FASCELL. The meeting will come to order. We will now proceed with hearing from the MAAG group in the United Kingdom.
This is a meeting of the Subcommittee on Executive and Legislative Reorganization of the House Committee on Government Operations meeting in open session in London on Monday, September 9, 1957.
The primary purpose of our mission is to go into a field of inquiry on any matters within the jurisdiction of the General Accounting Office. One of the primary fields of inquiry is the military assistance advisory group;
We have with us today Maj. Gen. Ernest Moore and his staff.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. ERNEST MOORE, CHIEF, MAAG, UNITED
General MOORE. Thank you very much. I will be very brief, Mr. Chairman.
I wear two hats. am in command of the rd Air Force here, which has command of all American Air Forces located in England and the United Kingdom. In addition, I am responsible for all negotiations with the British pertaining to American Forces located here. With the other hat, I am Chief of the MAAG, United Kingdom.
I think this is a reasonable setup because I am pretty well informed on what goes on within the entire area.
Our briefing this morning, as you know, will be very short and to the point, and we will reserve time for the question period into those areas which have a degree of classification and which may require some members here to be excused. We have no control over classification, as you know, sir.
I believe that here in the United Kingdom we are fortunate in that this particular MAAG devotes its efforts toward the military aspects purely and simply. How those tie in with the political and economic aspects is not our problem. I may say from my brief experience here, and what I am told by my chiefs, that the military view which we forward has been well received and has never been altered by our political or economic people.
This morning I will turn this session over to my Deputy, Colonel King, who will introduce the various chiefs.
Congressmen, I will have to ask to be excused quite early because I have to be down at the Air Ministry this morning on a status-of-forces agreement which I have to handle with my left hand, and I have to leave and go to Germany tonight and then come back at 2 o'clock in the morning.
Thank you very much. You are very welcome here.
We appreciate the fact that you are extremely busy and I want to express, on behalf of myself and the rest of the members of the committee, our thanks for your taking the time to open this hearing for us. Any time you desire to leave, go right ahead with your business because we know you have plenty of it.
STATEMENT OF COL. VICTOR H. KING, DEPUTY CHIEF, MAAG,
Colonel KING. Congressman Fascell and members of the committee, as Deputy Chief of the MAAG, I sit here and try to keep General Moore from having any more worries than necessary because he is a very busy man. Nevertheless, General Moore does find time—I do not know how-to keep us well up on the policies that we are to follow and he is very familiar with everything that we do. He comes down here often enough to do that.
I want to show you the organization of the MAAG-UK. There is nothing peculiar about it except that, in short, it indicates at a glance what has happened. We have had an authorization of 73 at our high point. We have an authorization today of 22. We have 23 aboard, indicated by the tabs, either showing a picture or the ones in brown that have not yet had their pictures taken. You can see the white spaces there. That reduction had come about as a result of topside direction. We now have 23 people aboard and we are losing 1, so we will be down to 22 in short order.
MAAG-UK is the same essentially as any MAAG. I will not belabor this chart because I know you have already been briefed on this. I think there is nothing particular to talk about except to say that one way or another we are involved in all these aspects of our overall mission, although in various degrees. For example, equipment programing and implementation is somewhat curtailed due to the fact that the program overall has been curtailed. Let us say it
has reached a standstill. However, we have increased emphasis on training programs due to 2 or 3 new items of equipment going into the service in Great Britain. Requisitioning is somewhat curtailed and receipt and turnover are still going on because there is much of the program that is still being delivered.
As to technical and other services, this element of our mission has increased. In fact, I might say it has increased by leaps and bounds in the last 6 or 8 months.
With our reduced staff we find ourselves extremely busy providing technical and other advice to the United Kingdom forces. This is largely due to increased emphasis in the missile program. Surveillance of country capabilities and performance, that has and always will be an important one. The military guidance for United States country team consideration of production and OSP, that also remains an important one.
Mr. FASCELL. It proves that somebody's judgment was correct in the advisability of maintaining a military assistance group in a country even though your personnel reduction went from 73 to 22. You can see the possibilities where you might have to increase your personnel, is that what you are telling us?
Colonel King. From our point of view, sitting here in the MAAG, we do not profess to know all of the answers by any means, but we have consistently recommended to our higher headquarters that they take a longer look at the advisability of disestablishing MAAG altogether. That was at a time back in a period when we were under instructions to disestablish. Bearing in mind that we would go in whatever direction we were told, we were not fighting the problem but merely pointed out that certain things were creeping into it to make it advisable to take a look at it.
The minute the new look was taken, we were given a reduced amount of work in the sense of terms of reference and 22 people to do it with.
Mr. FASCELL. In other words, your problem went from programing over to other problems, such as the utilization of end items and the giving of technical advice?
Colonel KING. Yes, sir.
We have not gotten rid of programing altogether either. Although programing in the sense of a new aid program that is approved by Congress in so many dollars for the United Kingdom, that programing, yes. We say that has disappeared or, rather, leveled off. In the sense of changes within a program, which sometimes cause you more work than the new program itself, such as switching the planned money over to other things-the missile program or the introduction of missiles in the Army-those things are reprograming actions; there is no question about it, even though it is within the same total amount of money.
As I say, the people at the topside and all the way down did take another look at the whole thing and did give us an extenuation of our job, shall we say, for how long nobody knows. We are on the same footing now as any other MAAG. As far as the 22 people are concerned, that is not our busines here whether we need 22, 52 or 10. We can only say this is our workload and present our problem topside. At the present time, we are making the grade.
Mr. FASCELL. If you can present your problem to us, perhaps we may be able to say it for you, if you cannot.
Colonel King. Whatever conclusion you form is up to you.
As far as what we have already put on the record, there is no secret at all that we have already recommended to our headquarters and they, in turn, have recommended topside, a small increase, very small.
Mr. FASCEL!, As we go along, if you could outline with specificity the problem areas with respect to the need for personnel, perhaps that would give us a better understanding of it.
Colonel King. Particularly with regard to the Army
Mr. FASCELL. Before you get onto the next thing, the general made one statement which I am sure interested all the members of the subcommittee. In fact, I know I was very pleased to hear it. I refer to his statement that as far as this military group was concerned, they had strictly military considerations in mind and that is the way the program went forward. At what point in the work effort did political and economic factors come into the discussion?
Colonel King. They come into the discussion usually quite early because almost all of the work we do here within the MAAG is done within the country so that when we have a problem that involves military aid, it invariably will have implications upon the economics too. Therefore, the country team goes into a session, either formally or informally, where there is complete agreement and all recommendations go forward as a country-team message.
Mr. FASCELL. When they are not?
Colonel King. When there is no complete agreement, disagreements are spelled out. We have had only one case in which the country team had a split opinion. That was clearly pointed out in the wire that went forward, the fact that the MAAG-United Kingdom, looking at it from a purely military point of view, had to go on record as saying thus.
You are quite right, and as the general pointed out, we have exceptionally good relationships. We have had exceptionally good relationships in that everything that we have done that they have asked us-for instance when I say "they," I am talking about the l'nited States Embassy here—they ask us to state the military opinion and they respect it. They have never attempted to get us to change that military opinion. If, by the same token, they tell us that there are certain economic and political considerations to put into the paper, we say, “If you so identify it, we have no objection.”
Mr. FASCELL. I think that is a very fine record. There has been only one major disagreement that had to be submitted up the line!
Colonel King. That was clearly understood by both sides of the family. It was one of the things that had to be decided top level.
Mr. FASCELL. I infer from this then that as far as the military reaching an agreement is concerned, they are satisfied in their operations here, since 1952, that the military considerations have been primarily met by the program?
Colonel King. That is a slightly difficult question. I could not say
Mr. FASCELL. I do not mean that all force objectives have been met. I did not mean that at all. What I meant was, and what you sub