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AVAILABILITY OF WORLD WAR II MATERIALS
Mr. MAHON. We have billions of dollars worth of ships and aircraft and ordnance. I do not have the exact figures on my tongue, but I think in our regular hearing we had those figures given.
What would you say to the suggestion, "Well, at the end of World War II you had billions of dollars worth of munitions and weapons. You have not expanded them. Why do you want more?” What is your reaction to that approach
General DECKER. It is true that we have a great many items on hand from World War II, but those stocks are unbalanced.
In the ammunition field, for instance, we have great amounts of ammunition on hand, but we do not have ammunition of certain types that we have to buy at this present moment. An 8-inch" shell does you very little good when you have a 105 howitzer to fire. That is putting it on an oversimplified basis, but that is about what it amounts to.
We had a great deal of equipment in overseas areas at the conclusion of the war. The Army was demobilized posthaste. We had to send the men home. We could not do anything with that equipment in the way of inventorying it, shipping it home in an orderly process, and so on. We had to dispose of it on the spot.
You are familiar with the efforts of the Foreign Liquidation Commission in disposing of that property left in overseas areas. A great deal of it went there. Our depots were choked with it.
Some of that material was needed to help the civilian economy, and it was disposed of in that manner.
Those stocks which existed at the end of the World War were disposed of generally. We kept on hand items which we felt we would need in the case of another mobilization, but there are unbalances in those stocks and there are new items coming in from our research and development program all the time that we have to buy because they were not left over.
Mr. MAHON. Nevertheless, you do have left over vast stores of ammunition and ordnance?
General DECKER. That is correct. We have great quantities of it. We have taken those stocks into account in arriving at these estimates. Wherever the stocks were sufficient to provide for our needs we have not asked for additional funds.
Mr. Mahon. General Reeder, would you amplify that?
General REEDER. I think possibly I can go through and bit by bit pick up just what we mean.
PROCUREMENT OF AIRPLANES
The first thing is that we have bought hardly any aircraft. We are not air-minded, particularly, but we do use liaison planes. We still have the old L-5, the life of which was supposed to be 5 years, as our principal plane. We are replacing a large part of those.
Mr. ENGEL. By “we” you mean the Army as distinguished from the Air Force? General REEDER. Yes, sir. Whenever I say “we” I mean the Army.
Mr. MAHON. The record shows, I believe that the Army has procured about 2,000 planes.
General REEDER. I think the number is a little high. About 500. However, that procurement was placed in June.
Mr. SHEPPARD. What was your answer? The procurement was placed in what?
General REEDER. Last June. They are not planes in hand. Mr. MAHON. Pardon me just a moment. (Reading:] The major procurement of aircraft involved the use of about $6,260,000,000, or 13 percent of the total of about $50,000,000,000 which we have had during a 4year period just preceding this time. This permitted the procurement of 10,238 aircraft; 4,943 for the Air Force, 3,837 for the Navy, and 1,458 for the Army, mostly liaison planes.
The amount which you supposedly have secured from appropriations since World War II is 1,458 planes, I believe. Of course, they are the cheap planes.
General REEDER. Yes, sir; they are the cheap planes.
Actually, until this past fiscal year we have been experimenting to see what kind of a plane we wanted. Finally, at the end of the fiscal year, we placed an order through the Air Force with Cessna for the first quantity of liaison planes we have gotten.
(Discussion off the record.)
General REEDER. The Transportation Corps, which is not particularly romantic, went through the last war in a low priority in harbor craft, tugs and barges, and so on, which were mostly wooden. We have figured up this year that within the next 5 years we must replace that fleet. It is very high in the cost of maintenance, and we will make money in the long run by getting modern craft instead of what we have. This takes a bite out of that replacement program,
Now, when we come to the ordnance aside from ammunition the money lies in large items.
I think this might as well be off the record. (Discussion off the record.)
REACTIVATION OF INSTALLATIONS
Mr. MAHON. I would like to ask about the reactivation of installations-posts, camps, and stations, as the result of this accelerated program.
General DECKER. We are planning at present to activate two additional replacement-training divisions. Those will be located at Fort Jackson and Camp Breckenridge.
Mr. Mahon. Is Fort Jackson now on a stand-by basis?
General DECKER. It was scheduled to be inactivated at the end of August when the National Guard training for this summer will be completed there. It has been reduced to a complement of approximately 50 officers and 350 men to help service the National Guard during their summer training.
Mr. Mahon. You propose now to utilize Camp Jackson?
General DECKER. Camp Breckenridge has been in a stand-by status and is being reopened as a replacement-training division. Fort Jackson is in Columbia, S. C. Breckenridge is in western Kentucky.
Mr. MAHON. Of course, we realize the opening of new installations, or the reactivation of installations, is expensive in itself. As far as
I am personally concerned, I would not feel we should open a station unless it is absolutely necessary, because you have a lot of overhead and it is not fire power and fighting strength.
General DECKER. We appreciate that, and the problem has been thoroughly studied.
We are trying, of course, to reach our strength as quickly as possible. In order to do that we have to have additional installations so as to take care of the training of the men coming into the service.
Now, we are putting the maximum into general reserve units for training, and we will build them up very quickly with the first increments of men coming in.
Thereafter we have to have a steady output of trained replacements to keep General MacArthur supplied, and also to furnish to our other zone of interior and overseas commands. For that purpose we need these two additional training stations.
There is some question as to whether we can get by with just those two. It may be that we will have to request authority to open more.
(Discussion off the record.)
INCREASE IN STRENGTH OF THE ARMY Mr. MAHON. Now, at the end of the fiscal year 1951, you expect to have in the Army 834,000 men, approximately.
General DECKER. Under the present criteria; yes, sir.
General DECKER. That is correct, unless the input is speeded up beyond what it was when these estimates were made.
Mr. MAHON. The over-all increase which will be provided in this supplemental will be how many men?
General DECKER. 204,000.
General DECKER. I mean that will be the end strength—the live bodies.
SERVICES OF MEN NOW ENTERING THE ARMY
Mr. Mahon. Now, is there much likelihood that the men coming into the service now will see service in Korea, or will they be used to “beef up” divisions which are more or less stripped, in order to bring the units to full strength that will participate in Korea?
General DECKER. At the present time General MacArthur's command is considerably under strength and we have just completed a study in the Department of the Army to find out how we can get him up to his strength as rapidly as we can.
(Discussion off the record.)
Mr. Mahon. Now, we have on these two sheets of the justifications the complete supplemental request, and in fact the original request for funds—not exactly the original request, but the Senate figure.
General REEDER. Yes.
Mr. Mahon. And you will be prepared to give us any detail on any one of the items that we may request?
General DECKER. We plan to go right down the list the way the appropriations appear on the sheet before you, and we will call the estimating agencies in that order. You may question them about any of these particular items.
Mr. ENGEL. What you have on this sheet is this—you start out with the estimate by the Senate, and then you add the supplemental request. The supplemental request should be added not to the Senate figuro, but to the budget figures?
General DECKER. The Senate figures. Mr. Mahon. They actually should be added to the budget figures. Mr. ENGEL. What I mean is this: The Budget Bureau starts out with a budget figure as a basis, and adds the supplemental ?
General DECKER. That is right.
Mr. ENGEL. We are starting out with the estimate of the Senate, which may be above or below the budget, and add the budget figure. You see where that leaves us. It should be the budget figure.
Mr. RABAUT. The suggestion is that we have a supplemental request based upon the budget, because you cannot change the whole book. We ought to keep this sheet we have and have another sheet based upon the budget estimate, and then we would have two different figures to refer to for any item that we want to discuss.
Mr. Mahon. The new sheet is the one that we will place in the record when we begin discussion of the individual items.
Before going to the individual items, the Members should have the right to ask general questions about the whole picture.
Mr. SHEPPARD. I think the general discussion has pretty well covered the field I am interested in, with two exceptions.
In analyzing your general statement, it seems to me that you are optimistic. In the first place, the report I have would indicate that a large proportion of your appropriation, from an industrial production point of view, would go into the steel industry. That is a reasonable assumption upon my part; is it not?
General REEDER. Right.
Mr. SHEPPARD. Of course, you are confronted in this instance with a lead time issue on a somewhat comparable basis as heretofore; is that correct?
General DECKER. That is correct.
Mr. SHEPPARD. If you anticipate getting your heavy materials from the steel industry, are you not somewhat optimistic in your timetable under presently existing conditions of availability of steel production ? In other words, the steel situation, as it has been reported by several sources of responsibility, is that our domestic economic requirements that have developed since World War II have literally absorbed the capacity of steel production. In fact, we still have in the domestic market a considerable shortage resulting from construction requirements. With an unregulated steel industry, or without priority procedure, upon what premise can you arrive at the timetable end result indicated in your general statement?
General DECKER. Perhaps General Reeder should answer that question.
General REEDER. We have taken all the steps which the Army can. We have asked the Munitions Boards to ask for voluntary steel allocations, or allocations under mandatory order and priority, as may be necessary to effect war production.
Mr. SHEPPARD. Insofar as the end result pertains in the production category that is the source that is uesed in reaching the expeditious consideration of your requirements ?
General REEDER. That is right.
Mr. SHEPPARD. And that is the method they will continue to use, and you have merely made your request ?
General REEDER. That is correct.
Mr. SHEPPARD. In making your requests did you make them having in mind the lead time element required in production needs?
General REEDER. We made it in the most forceful way we know how, viewed with alarm.
Mr. SHEPPARD. Do you have any way of knowing at the moment, or has it been indicated, a definite interest as to what the conclusion would be?
General DECKER. No, we have not been told. You see our responsibility in that is to lay our requirements before the Munition Board, which then goes to the Securities Resources Board, and I presume from there to the President.
Mr. SHEPPARD. That is generally true as a matter of procedure. I wondered, in order to arrive at it in terms of production, whether you have moved under some definite system as to what you could do, or whether you are still in a rather assumptive position, insofar as you are concerned ?
General REEDER. We have assumed that we will get the steel. And may this be off the record ?
(Off record discussion.)
Mr. SHEPPARD. Aside from the strategic aspects, considering the tonnage involved in your basic metal requirements, what would require the greatest tonnage of any of the individual products; tanks!
General REEDER. Tanks, yes. Ammunition is in that category, of course.
Mr. SHEPPARD. That is true, but heretofore the materials that have gone into ammunition have been more readily accessible, that is, I will say, the domestic requirements, that is, in the metals category, it has been lesser than the basic steel requirements as between the two.
General REEDER. Tha is right.
Mr. SHEPPARD. On the tank problem, considering the tonnage aspect, the problem here is the more serious, I assume?
General REEDER. That is right.
Mr. SHEPPARD. What is your present contract indication as to the lead time element? In other words, I understood you to say in response to an inquiry by one of the members of the committee, that you had already placed some tank orders?
General REEDER. We only placed them on what we call the project order, which means going out and buying the component parts and assembling them for
the production line. There has not been time enough for reaction from that.
As far as the medium tanks are concerned, we have the line presently set up for modifying