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SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Printed for the use of the Committee on Appropriations
CLARENCE CANNON, Missouri, Chairman JOHN H. KERR, North Carolina
JOHN TABER, New York GEORGE H. MAHON, Texas
RICHARD B. WIGGLESWORTH, Massachusetts HARRY R. SHEPPARD, California CHARLES A. PLUMLEY, Vermont ALBERT THOMAS, Texas
ALBERT J. ENGEL, Michigan MICHAEL J. KIRWAN, Ohio
KARL STEFAN, Nebraska W. F. NORRELL, Arkansas
FRANCIS CASE, South Dakota ALBERT GORE, Tennessee
FRANK B. KEEFE, Wisconsin
BEN F. JENSEN, Iowa
WALT HORAN, Washington
GORDON CANFIELD, New Jersey JOE B. BATES, Kentucky
IVOR D. FENTON, Pennsylvania
ERRETT P. SCRIVNER, Kansas
EARL WILSON, Indiana
GEORGE Y. HARVEY, Clerk
HARRY R. SHEPPARD, California ALBERT J. ENGEL, Michigan ROBERT L. F. SIKES, Florida CHARLES A. PLUMLEY, Vermont
REPRESENTING THE CENTRAL SUBCOMMITTEE
LOUIS C. RABAUT, Michigan JOHN TABER, New York
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
HON. Louis JoBINSON, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
Mr. MAHON. We will take up for consideration the supplemental estimates for appropriations for the Armed Forces for the fiscal year 1951, as contained in House Document No. 657. The request is in the amount of $10,486,976,000 for the fiscal year 1951.
Secretary Johnson, we are happy to welcome you and others from the Defense Establishment here this afternoon for the purpose of presenting to us the additional requests for funds for the Department of Defense.
Do you have a prepared statement?
Secretary JoHNSON. I do, sir.
GENERAL STATEMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
Mr. MAHON. I wish you would proceed with your prepared statement without interruption. After that we will want to ask you some questions.
Secretary JoHNSON. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, the last time I appeared before this committee was April 26, 2 months before the Republic of Korea was invaded. At that time I said:
The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, as a working"committee of the National Security Council + 4 + have also appraised recent events which make it entirely possible that appropriations in excess of those which have been requested for the current year will be required in succeeding years, not only for our own military forces but also for the military aid program. Just as it is possible that in future years this Nation will have to devote an increased per
centage of its total budget to these items, it is also possible that our partners in the North Atlantic Pact will be required by the force of events, and by the force of collective planning as well, to take similar action. The events to which I allude include the Soviet atomic explosion, the fall of China, the serious situations in southeast Asia, the break in diplomatic relations with Bulgaria and deteriorating relations with other satellite countries, the Soviet assumption of control over the armed forces of Poland, Soviet naval expansion, the increased Soviet pressures in Germany, the recent attack on a paval aircraft in the Baltic, and the recent Soviet demands relative to Trieste.
None of this presents a happy prospect; but the cold war is not a happy circumstance. The only satisfaction that I can personally derive from the situation lies in the fact that our own Military Establishment is well on the road to becoming a stronger and more powerful organization, and one which-as circumstances require—can utilize increased appropriations in a manner which will provide substantially increased combat effectiveness--whereas, eevn as recently as 1 year ago, large sums of money out of any increased appropriations would have been drained off in the form of unnecessary overhead. It is particularly important that the Armed Forces maintained by the United States shall at all times provide a sound base on which can be built a military, establishment of increased size, should circumstances so require
Gentlemen, circumstances do so require. That is my reason for being here today, in support of supplemental appropriations in the amount of 10.5 billion dollars.
I know that all of you are familiar with the contents of President Truman's message of last Wednesday. That document presents, better than anything I might say, the reasons for our request for this supplemental appropriation. The chairman of the Armed Services Committee, the Honorable Carl Vinson, said of the President's message that it was a “firm message which will be heartening to all Americans. In making this statement, Chairman Vinson added :
I want especially to say that I am delighted to know, from the President's message and from my own contacts with the Defense Department, that what has been recommended has the complete and unstinted support of all the civilian and military leaders of the Defense Department. This is a splendid example of teamwork and efficiency in the Defense Department
I am extremely grateful to Chairman Vinson for his generous support. It is entirely accurate to state that this supplemental appropriation has the unanimous approval and support of the civilian and military leaders of the Department of Defense.
The appropriation problems with which this committee, the Congress, and the Department of Defense have had to deal in recent months have not been easy ones. I know of no better summation of these problems than the one which your chairman, George Mahon, made on the floor of the House in support of this committee's recommended budget for 1950. You will recall that on that occasion, Chairman Mahon said:
"If war comes soon, we are approprating too little. If we have miscalculated the dangers, if the threat of war is just a deceptive mirage on the horizon, we are appropriating too much
The dilemma described by Chairman Mahon was a dilemma which confronted not only this committee and the Department of Defense, but also the President and the people of the United States. It was not a new dilemma. My predecessor as Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal, outlined this dilemma very aptly in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on April 21, 1948, about a year prior to the time that I became Secretary of Defense on March 28, 1949. On that occasion, Secretary Forrestal quoted the following
excerpt from a memorandum he had received from the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
Based solely on military considerations, it is the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the administration should advocate a balanced Military Establishment commensurate with the 70-air-group program for the Air Force. * * * The Joint Chiefs of Staff recognize, however, that the phasing (of this balance Army, Navy, and Air Force program) must be made responsive to such other factors as the capability of the aircraft industry to expand, the impact of the cost of the program on the national economy, and the calculated risk which can be accepted in the light of changing world politico-military situations.
After quoting the foregoing memorandum from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary Forrestal then went on to make the following statement :
“I think that I can say to you, therefore, that the President, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretaries of Army, Navy, and Air Force—as well as the Senate and the House of Representatives, I feel sure— are all in agreement, as a military matter, on the desirability of what the Joint Chiefs have described as “a balanced military establishment commensurate with the 70-air-group program.” The Joint Chiefs “ ” * have also reported to me that a force of the recommended size would require, in fiscal 1949, additional appropriations in excess of $9,000,000,000 . . . *, *. In my opinion, the Joint Chiefs were entirely correct in addressing themselves exclusively to the military considerations. That is their job. But they were equally correct in pointing out that other considerations—“the impact of the cost of the program on the national economy,” for example—are factors which the President and the Congress must consider. The impact on the economy of an additional $9,000,000,000 program is a matter that deserves—and will, I am sure, receive—the most careful attention by both the President and the Congress. My insistence, throughout the consideration of these matters, has been that they must be considered in a rational and Organized manner—and not on a basis of emotional reaction * * *. If the Congress and the President should ultimately decide that the military considerations, at this juncture in world history, outweigh the fiscal considerations—then we should, by all means, embark on the $9,000,000,000 additional program. But if the Congress and the President should ultimately decide that a program of somewhat lesser magnitude is required—in the interest of national solvency and in the interest of avoiding, so far as possible, allocations, rationing, price controls, and a host of other restrictions—then we should proceed in such a manner that we will get the most national security for each dollar we spend * * *. Bearing in mind over-all considerations such as those I have just been discussing, and after receiving the Joint Chiefs' $9,000,000,000 recommendation of April 14, 1948, I asked the Joint Chiefs this supplementary question: Granted the military desirability of the $9,000,000,000 program, what program would the Joint Chiefs recommend—in the general vicinity of $3,000,000,000—as the most effective military program within the limits of the funds that will probably be available to us? Yesterday, I received the unanimous deply of the Joint Chiefs—and I again emphasize the unanimity of the reply. Their specific recommendation—on the more limited basis envisioned by my more recent question—was that the $3,000,000,000 program should be increased by $481,000,000 * * *. The program I am here discussing, therefore, is a program which would increase the original 1949 budget request by $3,481,000,000 * * *
The $3,481,000,000 which Secretary Forrestal recommended, when added to the 1949 budget as originally submitted, gave a total recommended military budget of $13,507,000,000 for the fiscal year 1949. In other words, the dilemma presented by the competing military and economic consideration was resolved at the 13% billion level.
The President, his advisers in the executive branch of the Government, and the Congress solved the dilemma at the time by deciding