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You will remember that at the time of the resolution there was some uncertainty what the President's position was. This statement seems to clear it up. It reads as follows:
Preparations for the atomic bomb tests in the Pacific are being pressed forward and I have been assured that the present target dates for the explosions will be met. I am in complete agreement with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy in their view that these tests are of vital importance in obtaining information for the national defense. Without the information from these experiments, designers of ships, aircraft, and military ground equipment, as well as our strategists, tacticians, and medical officers, will be working in ignorance regarding the effects of this revolutionary new weapon against naval and other targets not previously exposed to it. These tests, which are in the nature of a laboratory experiment, should give us the information which is essential to intelligent planning in the future and an evaluation of the effect of atomic energy on our defense establishments.
Also, the President wrote to the chairman of this committee on April 4, 1946, asking to have section 3 of the bill stricken out. I will read what he says about section 3, I will not read the whole letter into the record.
Section 3 would provide that before the use of any vessel of the Navy under authority of section 1, the Secretary of the Navy shall come into agreement with the Naval Affairs Committees of the Senate and of the House of Representatives with respect to such use. I believe this latter provision is unconstitutional and that it should therefore be stricken from the measure.
The Constitution of the United States divides the function of the Government into three great departments: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial. It establishes the principle that these departments should be kept separate, and that no one of them should exercise functions properly belonging to either of the others. It is apparent that section 3 of the measure, by requiring the Secretary of the Navy to come into agreement with the Naval Affairs Committers of the Congress violates this principle by entrusting to the legislative branch of the Government executive functions properly belonging to the executive branch.
The Congress has the power and the right to enact or refuse to enact a law, but once the law is passed it should be executed by the executive branch of the Government. In no other way can the Government be efiiciently managed and responsibility for such management definitely fixed.
As President Washington stated in a message to the Congress, "It is essential to the due administration of the Government that the boundaries fixed by the Constitution between the different departments should be preserved."
I believe that the provision in question, if enacted, would result in an invasion of the province of the Executive, and, accordingly, I strongly urge that it be stricken from the pending measure.
I communicated this information to the chairman of the House Committee on Naval Affairs and he agreed that section 3 would be eliminated, although I think he has some reservation as to whether the position taken by the President was sound or not, as to the matter of section 3 being in violation of the Constitution. In any event, he agreed that it shall be eliminated.
Without objection, that will be done.
The number of combatant vessels, exclusive of those received from foreign governments, which may be employed as targets for the purposes set forth in section 1 of this resolution, is limited to 33. The term "combatant vessels" for purposes of this section is defined as naval vessels of the following categories : battleships, cruisers, aircraft carriers, destroyers, and submarines.
As I understand it, you have no objection to that?
The CHAIRMAN. Now, gentlemen, what do you say about reporting the bill?
Senator SALTONSTALL. May I ask a question before it is done!
Senator SALTONSTALL. We just eliminated section 3 without objection. If this resolution is now reported back into the Senate it will go through?
The CHAIRMAN. We hope.
Senator SALTONSTALL. We hope. Then it is through, as far as Congress is concerned. Now, if this amendment is adopted, it will have to go back to the House and I was wondering whether the thing would be delayed.
The CHAIRMAN. It would have to go even if section 3 is stricken out; it would have to go back even if we did nothing else, and I see no harm in putting in that amendment.
Senator SALTONSTALL. It will go back to the House anyway?
The CHAIRMAN. Because we have changed the bill. The House has one bill and we have a different bill. They passed this bill with section 3 in it.
Senator SALTONSTALL. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. And we are taking out section 3; therefore, we present a different bill.
Senator SALTONSTALL. Well, suppose we leave section 3 in?
The CHAIRMAN. Then it would not have to be changed, but then, probably, you would get a veto.
Senator ROBERTSON. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask a question on a point of information.
On line 18 of section 3 (a) "is authorized to” are deleted and "in his discretion may" inserted. Is that an amendment of this committee?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; I think we put in that amendment in the previous hearing, before the bill was reported.
Senator ROBERTSON. Anyway, it would have to go back to the House whether we did anything or not?
The CHAIRMAN. That is right. Is there any objection to reporting the bill?
(Whereupon, at 11:50 a. m., the committee retired into executive session.)
ENACTING CERTAIN PROVISIONS INCLUDED IN NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACT FOR 1946, AND
COMMITTEE ON NAVAL AFFAIRS
UNITED STATES SENATE
RELATING TO PAY AND ALLOWANCES OF OFFICERS ON THE
TO CORRECT THE MILITARY RECORD OF ROBERT J. CLARK
TO ESTABLISH THE CIVILIAN POSITION OF ACADEMIC DEAN OF
TO ENACT CERTAIN PROVISIONS NOW INCLUDED IN THE NAVAL
APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 1946, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
PRIATE RANK AND RESTORATION OF PAY AND ALLOWANCES
MARCH 27 AND 28, 1946
Printed for the use of the Committee on Naval Affairs
COMMITTEE ON NAVAL AFFAIRS
DAVID I. WALSH, Massachusetts, Chairman MILLARD E. TYDINGS, Maryland
CHARLES W. TOBEY, New Hampshire RICHARD B. RUSSELL, Georgia
RAYMOND E. WILLIS, Indiana HARRY FLOOD BYRD, Virginia
C. WAYLAND BROOKS, Illinois PETER G. GERRY, Rhode Island
OWEN BREWSTER, Maine CHARLES O. ANDREWS, Florida
EDWARD ROBERTSON, Wyoming ALLEN J. ELLENDER, Louisiana
LEVERETT SALTONSTALL, Massachusetts JOHN L. MCCLELLAN, Arkansas
WAYNE MORSE, Oregon
M. E. GALLAGHER, Clerk
Knighton, Col. Joseph W., United States Marine Corps Headquar-
Nunn, Capt. Ira H., Office of the Judge Advocate General, statement
S. 1917 (continued)
Nunn, Capt. Ira H., statement of (resumed)
American Osteopathic Association, statement of.