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GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE,
Washington, D.C., April 15, 1965. Hon. WARREN G. MAGNUSON, Chairman, Committee on Commerce, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This letter is in reply to your request for the views of this Department with respect to S. 944, a bill "To provide for expanded research in the oceans and the Great Lakes, to establish a National Oceanographic Council, and for other purposes."
S. 944 would set forth national objectives for oceanographic and marine activities and would establish a national oceanographic council composed principally of Cabinet level officers. The council would advise and assist the President by surveying present oceanographic activities, developing an oceanographic program, coordinating the agencies' oceanographic activities and annually comparing Federal oceanographic accomplishments against the council's oceanographic program. The council would be authorized to employ an executive secretary and staff. S. 944 would also require the President to report annually to Congress on his oceanographic program and on present accomplishments.
The Department strongly supports improvement in and greater emphasis for the national oceanographic program. However, we doubt that S. 944 would have enough beneficial effect upon oceanographic activities to offset the detrimental effect it would have upon the administration of oceanography as a whole.
The Interagency Committee on Oceanography has had considerable success in coordinatnig and stimulating Federal oceanographic activities, and we are therefore, not aware of overriding reasons for replacing it. The proposed national oceanographic council would not change the realities involved in setting priorities and apportioning limited funds among less limited demands within the agencies. There is no reason to believe that council review of the national oceanographic program before its submission to the agencies would keep any agency from balancing its oceanographic program needs against the needs of its other programs. On the other hand, creation of the proposed council would place additional demands directly upon Cabinet officers and agency heads who already have heavy burdens of responsibility.
If the council supplants the Interagency Committee on Oceanography, the limited amount of personal time which the council members could devote to council activities might result in less consideration of oceanography within the executive branch than presently exists. If the council and the Interagency Committee on Oceanography both exist there will be substantial duplication of efforts and possible conflict of proposed programs. We think it is better to leave oceanographic planning and coordination in the hands of the policy and operating officials who work with the oceanographic program, serve on the Interagency Committee on Oceanography and who are thus most qualified to advise the President on its needs.
For these reasons, the Department strongly favors the objectives of the bill but is opposed to the establishment of a council to accomplish these objectives. If the bill were amended to permit the President to establish such mechanisms as he believes necessary to accomplish these objectives, we would favor the bill.
We have been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that there would be no objection to the submission of our report from the standpoint of the administration's program. Sincerely,
ROBERT E. GILES. The CHAIRMAN. The first objective of the hearing today, however, is to ascertain how the program presently has been formulated, how it is functioning, how the varied activities and missions of the many Departments and Agencies participating in the program are coordinated, and how the funding of these activities with relation to each other is determined.
It may be pertinent to note that the budget for fiscal 1966 in its tabulations of obligations and expenditures for major research and development programs places oceanography next to the bottom. Requested funding for aeronautics and space research and development is 36 times that asked for oceanography; that for atmospheric sciences exceeds oceanography by 50 percent, and that for atomic energy research and development is 85 percent greater. Only water resource research and surveys of the programs listed would receive less funding.
The appropriate committees before which to discuss these disparities, however, are the Appropriations Committees of the House and Senate, and I merely note them to indicate the present status of our oceanographic program with respect to other national scientific endeavors.
We have a group of highly qualified witnesses in this field here today, and we will proceed to call on them and move as fast as we can at the initial hearing. But I want it understood that this is only the first of the hearings on this subject, because it is a broad and complex subject.
Now, Dr. Hornig, I think we would like to hear from you first. Dr. Hornig is Director, as we all know, of the Office of Science and Technology and Chairman of the Federal Council for Science and Technology.
Doctor, just before you begin your testimony the Senator from Michigan wanted to add a word to the opening statement of the Chair
Senator Hart. Mr. Chairman, my apologies for doing this, but I have a 10:30 committee meeting, and I am sure others do here, and I must ask to be excused. I just wanted to thank the Chairman and those who joined in cosponsoring this bill for the concern and interest and awareness the bill reflects in the problems of the Great Lakes.
If I might, for the record, read a brief excerpt from testimony that was given by the dean of the School of Natural Resources of the University of Michigan, Dean Fontanna, some 5 years ago to the Select Committee on Water Resources chaired by Senator Kerr, of which our chairman was a member. Dean Fontanna testified-I ask, Mr. Chairman, unanimous consent that the full statement be added to the record.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, without objection.
STATEMENT OF STANLEY G. FONTANNA, DEAN, SCHOOL OF NATURAL RESOURCES,
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
The program of research I would like to present to the committee is an area of research in which some very effective work has been accomplished but one in which a tremendous amount remains to be done. I am speaking of the waters of the Great Lakes which serve so importantly in the matters of commerce, water supply, waste disposal, recreation, and commercial fishing. The completion of the St. Lawrence Seaway only serves to increase this importance and to intensify many of the problems already presented.
eat Lakes research programs include such matters as determination of currents, study under-lake sediments, the productivity of the waters, water quality, waste dispersion and pollution, shore erosion problems, fish food organisms and the factors regulating their distribution, water transport, lake levels, chemistry and physics of water and meteorology over the lakes. The results of such research studies can be of major benefit to navigation, to municipalities, and industries using the lakes for water supply and waste disposal, to the construction of harbors and channels, to the prevention of beach erosion, to recreation, to fishing, both sport and commercial, and to the training of students in oceanography.
The Great Lakes Research Institute of the University of Michigan is one of the most active agencies doing work of this kind, yet it operates on a token budget from the university, augmented by some National Science Foundation grants to individual staff members. The institute works closely with such State agencies as the Michigan Department of Conservation and the Michigan Water Resources Commission, with such Federal agencies as the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Public Health Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey, and with the Department of Lands and Waters of the Province of Ontario, so that there is good correlation of work programs. The institute has been in operation since 1956 and despite its small working budget, has already produced and published the results of some very important studies.
Requests to the legislature for special State appropriations to widen the scope of the work of the institute have been made annually and have received sympathetic consideration but no appropriations have been forthcoming due no doubt to the condition of State finances.
The point I would like to leave with the committee is that the total of all research programs presently in operation in the Great Lakes in effect merely scratches the surface of the need. The importance of this work to the Lake States and the Federal Government merits far greater State and Federal support than it is receiving.
Senator HART. Dean Fontanna made this remark:
One of the remarkable things about the Great Lakes is the tremendous lack of knowledge of the waters of the Great Lakes. This is truly remarkable. The knowledge is very, very minimal. We have almost no biological information, we have little current information, we have practically no water quality information. We do not have enough knowledge of the waters themselves to know what is going to happen when we put water into the lakes. There is a question of commercial fisheries. Yet the biological aspects of the lakes themselves, the amount of food that is furnished for fishes, and so forth, and so there is very, very little knowledge. I think the Canadian Government has done better in this regard than we ve.
Mr. Chairman, all of us in the Great Lakes region appreciate the leadership you are giving to insure that U.S. treatment and interest in this great resource is at least equal to our Canadian neighbor.
Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. We also have a letter accompanied by a telegram, and a statement on S. 944 which has been submitted for the record by Hon. Hiram L. Fong, of Hawaii, it will be inserted in the record at this point.
Washington, D.C., February 19, 1965. Hon. WARREN G. MAGNUSON, Chairman, Senate Committee on Commerce, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I received today a radiogram from Dr. Thomas H. Hamilton, president of the University of Hawaii, with reference to the proposed Oceanographic Act of 1965.
I would appreciate it if the enclosed text of the radiogram is printed in the hearing record of S. 944. Thank you for your assistance. Sincerely yours,
HIRAM L. FONG.
FEBRUARY 18, 1965. Senator HIRAM FONG, U.S. Senator, Washington, D.C.:
S. 944, establishing a National Oceanographic Council places responsibility for oceanographic planning, conduct, and coordination of programs at highest level in Federal Government. Passage will accelerate growth of oceanography in the United States.
THOMAS HAMILTON, President.
STATEMENT BY HON. HIRAM L. FONG, U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF HAWAII
I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically support S. 944, a bill to provide for expanded research in the oceans and the Great Lakes, to establish a National Oceanographic Council, and for other purposes.
As a cosponsor, I endorse the proposed National Oceanographic Act of 1965 for several reasons. It gives oceanography the national status and stature it deserves. It provides for high-level coordination in this important field for the entire Federal Government. It is patterned after the successful National Aeronautics and Space Council. It is being urged at a time of widespread interest in oceanography and its importance to the national welfare and security.
I wish to call attention to the fact that Hawaii is launching an oceanographic effort that can contribute to the national program contemplated in S. 944. In turn Hawaii hopes to share in the benefits anticipated in this legislation.
The proposed National Oceanographic Act of 1965 places the study and research of our oceans where it should be at the highest level of our Government. It provides for the creation of a National Oceanographic Council chaired by the Vice President and composed of six Cabinet officers and the heads of four agencies involved in oceanography.
The Council would, among other things, provide the very necessary coordination of oceanographic and marine science activities of the many Federal depar ments and agencies engaged in these activities. When it is realized that 6 departments and 22 agencies, offices, and bureaus have a direct interest in the seas, a high-level council is most necessary to bring about the greatest degree of cooperation among them, to resolve differences, and to prevent costly duplication of efforts.
In carrying out these and other services, the Oceanographic Council would be performing in its field what is now being done by the National Aeronautics and Space Council in the space program. The Oceanographic Council would have a small, competent staff much as the Space Council is now staffed.
If the high-level Council and expert staff are set up as contemplated in the bill, I have every confidence that oceanography will be given the impetus needed for a national breakthrough. Its future direction would be guided-in the words of the bill—toward “major oceanographic and marine science activities, including, but not limited to, exploration, exploitation, and conservation of marine resources, oceanographic engineering, studies of air-sea interaction, transmission of energy, and communications."
The people of Hawaii want to participate actively in any national program to advance the vast and complex field of oceanography. As an island State, Hawaii is constantly reminded of the almost unlimited resources of the largest ocean on the face of the earth. At the same time we are aware of our limited knowledge of the ocean around us and of our very limited capability at present to develop and use the abundant, untapped resources.
There is a growing feeling that much of Hawaii's future is in the sea. Those who are most enthusiastic believe that marine technology may surpass the space effort as an American endeavor sooner or later. Because of Hawaii's mid-Pacific location with great depths immediately at our shores, we can serve as America's field station in the sea. We look to the day when Hawaii can become a world center for marine research and development.
Several recent events indicate Hawaii's involvement in oceanography:
1. The interim selection of the Hawaiian area for deep-sea drilling of Project Mohole, our Government's unprecedented effort to reach the mantle under the ocean.
2. The Governor's Conference on Science and Technology, held in Hawaii, which was attended by some of the Nation's leading scientists and executives of America's largest science-oriented industrial corporations. Oceanography received a major share of attention at the conference.
3. The expanded program of oceanographic studies at the Univ ity of Hawaii.
4. The report on the oceanics field and its potential for Hawaii-a study prepared for private business by one of the Nation's foremost research firmswhich confirmed that Hawaii has many fine and some unique attributes which qualify it to become one of our country's major centers of oceanics activity.
5. The formation of a Sea Life Park for educational and entertainment marine display activities, and the founding of a related private, nonprofit oceanarium research park called the Oceanics Institute.
6. The projected establishment of an Oceanographic Research Center, a unique marine research complex for oceanic industrial development.
Other oceanographic programs and projects are underway or on drawing boards in Hawaii. There is much excitement in this field among knowledgeable people in government, private industry, and academic circles in Hawaii.
Thus, Hawaii is a small State with big opportunities in oceanography. We want very much to make our contributions to the national program to be developed under this legislation, and we hope also to share in the benefits which are sure to follow enactment of this bill.
In closing, I wish to quote the farsighted words of Rear Adm. Denys W. Knoll, Oceanographer of the Navy:
"We are working now to utilize the seas, including the ocean depths, to an even greater advantage, both in the areas of national defense and the general public welfare. It is not too much to say that our preeminence as a world leader, even our very survival, depends upon the success of this effort.”
The CHAIRMAN. All right, Dr. Hornig, you have an assistant with you. Give his name to the reporter.
Dr. HORNIG. Mr. Kidd.
STATEMENT OF DR. DONALD F. HORNIG, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, AND CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL COUNCIL FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Dr. HORNIG. Mr. Chairman am I making myself heard? I usually have no difficulty raising my voice.
It is a privilege to appear before the Committee on Commerce to discuss oceanography. This is my first opportunity to explore this subject with the committee, and this is an opportune time to review recent developments in oceanography, the present status of this field, and the outlook for the future. With the permission of the committee, I shall concentrate on broad developments over the last 5 years or so, including some of our major national accomplishments, the nature of oceanography as both a basic and an applied science, and as an area for development.
The CHAIRMAN. Now right there, for the record, Doctor, the Intergency Committee was formed what date? Four years ago, is that correct?
Dr. HORNIG. I think that is correct.
Dr. HORNIG. It is of recent origin, yes. I would have thought it was 1959.
Mr. Kidd. That is correct.
The CHAIRMAN. It was 1959? Well, it was after the Space Agency was created ?
Dr. HORNIG. Yes, it was after the Space Agency. The CHAIRMAN. All right, just to get this in perspective. Dr. HORNIG. Dr. Morse, who is both Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research and Development, and the Chairman of the Interagency Committee on Oceanography, will then outline for you our existing governmental structure for dealing with oceanography. Finally, Dr. Haworth will present to the committee some of the solid accomplishments of the past 5 years or so. His presentation will include but will not be limited to the research conducted with the aid of National Science Foundation funds. The committee may wish to question each of us after our prepared statements or to wait and have us respond to the committee's questions as a panel, whichever you desire.