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ORIGINS OF THE DECADE PROPOSAL
You will recall that, in his state of the Union message, the President said that this year he would "propose that we launch with other nations an exploration of the ocean depths to tap its wealth and its energy and its abundance."
Later, in his message to the Congress on March 8, 1968, he recommended that we "explore the peaceful promise of the ocean depths.” He also instructed the Secretary of State “to consult with other nations on the steps that could be taken to launch a historic and unprecedened adventure--an International Decade of Ocean Exploration for the 1970's."
This proposal looks to a broad program during the 1970's under which: all states in a position to do so would make a special effort to acquire knowledge of the oceans, its subsoil and their resources; all states would coordinate their research efforts; would share their studies; and would assist other nations to develop capabilities in marine science and technology.
Dr. Wenk has described the general content and direction of such a program as seen thus far by the executive branch. We believe that this concept stands on its own scientific and technological merits.
In addition, however, it has significant value from the viewpoint of our objectives abroad. For example:
1. It would help to meet the need for greater knowledge and experience concerning the seabeds and their resources—a manifest requirement if the nations are to deal successfully with the sort of issues concerning exploration, control, and use of the ocean floor which were discussed in the General Assembly of the United Nations last fall;
2. In this process, the joint planning and common undertaking should yield a far greater mutuality in their understanding of these issues;
3. Such a program will enhance and enlarge the cooperative experience and capabilities of all the nations involved; and
4. It can be a major step toward the human and economic objectives set by the President. Our international consultations, which commenced on March 8, have included direct discussions with the representatives of more than four dozen countries here and abroad and general presentations at meetings such as those of the U.N. Ad Hoc Committee on the Seabed, the Committee on Fisheries of the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Bureau and Council of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, and the Economic and Social Council of the U.N.
We have also consulted with the nongovernment oceanographic and scientific communities, including the National Academies of Science and Engineering, so that they in turn, through their own nongovernmental associations, will elicit the interest and support of the international scientific community.
In our presentations thus far we have emphasized the concept of a decade without preconceived ideas as to organizational structure or size or scope. If an international program of this sort is to be truly meaningful, it must evoke broad support from many governments and international bodies, and involve wide participation in all its phases, especially in planning the organizational structure and in identifying activities to be included in the decade.
The necessary consultations will be a continuing and lengthy process, for it will take time abroad—as indeed it does in this country, to formulate specific national commitments to such a program. Nonetheless, a pattern of attitudes abroad toward the concept of such a decade is already beginning to emerge:
1. A substantial number of governments have indicated a positive interest. A tally as of this morning indicates that we have had indications of positive interest from 28 other countries.
2. Many are well aware of the need for careful preparatory planning, including the identification of specific areas for investigation which will meet mutual interests and needs.
3. Many would like to avoid a proliferation of new international bodies for implementation of the decade, relying rather on existing organizations such as the IOC expanded as necessary to meet the needs of common planning and coordination.
4. There is generally a recognition of the need to continue and expand bilaterial and regional arrangements, possibly within the
overall context of the decade. It is our hope that the General Assembly of the United Nations will this fall express a view in support of an expanded international program of cooperation as is contemplated by the President's proposal for an International Decade of Ocean Exploration. Positive and timely action by the Congress on the resolution this committee is now considering will measurably strengthen the U.S. efforts to convert this concept to a reality.
That concludes my statement.
PLANNING BY NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
Dr. Wenk's testimony on page 5 says that "for us to have developed a master blueprint would have been completely contrary to the spirit of international collaboration,” and I certainly understand what he means there, but on the next page, Dr. Wenk, you talk about the contract having been let to the National Academies of Sciences and of Engineering to prepare something. What are they preparing? They are preparing sort of an initial blueprint, aren't they?
Dr. WENK. There are two elements involved, Mr. Mosher. The first has to do with the timing in our preparation of our own plans. It is certainly true that the two academies are preparing for us a synthesis of goals of our U.S. scientists and of our industrial organizations, some idea of priorities as between different items to measure the different regions of the world.
Mr. MoSHER. They are preparing some proposals as to what our position should be rather than as to what the overall plans should be?
Dr. WENK. Right; this will help our Government to go to international meetings with a U.S. position that reflects both the views of our Federal agencies and the people outside of the Federal Government. We have wanted right from the beginning to make sure that this does not end up simply a Federal plan.
What then comes out of the international bodies will then be something of a blueprint.
On the matter of timing, what we wanted to avoid was to accompany our proposal for a decade with a blueprint at that time. I mentioned this in my testimony because from time to time people have raised questions, and I might say parenthetically even been critical of our not having a master blueprint to lay on the table right away. This has not been criticism from Congress, but from people outside the Government.
Mr. MOSHER. You are going to the first international meetings to consider this decade with some very positive proposals from our point of view?
Dr. WENK. That is correct, Mr. Mosher. At the moment the first step is that of gaining acceptance of the concept, and the concept is the one set forth in this white paper that has been made available to the international bodies, to the Congress and to those having interest in the United States.
If the concept itself finds endorsement and acceptance at these international meetings, as indeed it is beginning to, as Mr. Pollack has said, we then look for much more detailed discussions by experts in different fields to develop this blueprint.
Mr. MOSHER. Are these studies that you have contracted for with the national academies being paid out of the Council's budget?
Dr. WENK. Yes, Mr. Mosher, they are. This is included within our budget for fiscal years 1968 and 1969.
Mr. MOSHER. When will these recommendations, the results of these studies, be available?
Dr. WENK. The contract calls for the submission of the final report by April 1, 1969. It is our hope to have results prior to that time. There will be some interim advice from this group through the fall.
In fact, the academies have been very prompt in responding to this request for assistance and are holding a 2-week meeting beginning in September with attendance, I believe, of some 35 oceanographers and engineers from all over the country so that we will get interim advice from them. The draft report from this group will be available to us, however, by the end of February. The contract completion date is formally April 1.
Mr. MOSHER. And I assume that this committee will be kept informed as to the results of those studies ?
Dr. WENK. We would be very, very pleased to; yes, indeed.
SCOPE AND FUNDING OF DECADE
Mr. MOSHER. Mr. Pollack, I think, made some reference to the fact that the State Department has no preconceived notion as to the size and scope of the Decade program, but we will begin to have some conception of the size and scope, I suppose as the result of this report.
Dr. WENK. That is correct, Mr. Mosher. We have begun to outline this ourselves within the Government. However, there is no commitment of funding at this time by the executive branch.
Among other reasons we have felt, as I indicated earlier, the need to test this concept with other nations because we do not visualize this being a cooperative program in which only the United States makes a contribution. Therefore it has been part of our concept from the very beginning to gain support by other nations and this support would eventually reach the point of commitment in terms of ships and men and dollars just as we would from the United States.
Mr. MOSHER. I judge from your testimony, and I don't think it was in your printed testimony, but in an aside you made, that you do have a preconceived notion that our share should be about one-third. Dr. WENK. That we do. Mr. MosHER. Has this been publicized to the other nations? Dr. WENK. Yes, it has. Mr. MOSHER. Have you made some suggestion?
Dr. WENK. Mr. Pollack may wish to comment further on this, also, but we felt that it was necessary to have some view of how large a program this exploration program was visualized to be because the words of the concept do not communicate that. We have tried to visualize how broad is the total program, how extensive and what fraction of the total would be a commitment from the United States.
For this purpose, we have gone on the basis of the present worldwide distribution of oceanographic capabilities. At this time the United States and the Soviet Union have roughly about the same size capabilities in ships. As we estimate it, the total of these two nations comprises about two-thirds of the world total. Therefore, it has occurred to us that this could be a good starting point in thinking about the contributions by various nations to a collaborative endeavor; in other words, one-third from the United States, approximately onethird from the Soviet Union, and one-third from the other maritime nations.
This may change during the course of the decade, but we felt this was a good starting point.
Mr. MOSHER. Had you thought in terms of dollars at all or don't you want to mention the figure at this point?
In other words, what are we going to be asked to appropriate?
Dr. WENK. Mr. Mosher, I have really hesitated to be specific about dollars, but I must answer your question candidly. We have really been rather deliberate about avoiding this matter of dollars until we see what the reactions are abroad. Also just looking at the facts squarely we recognize as well that we are not going to be able to increase the funding in this area this current year. We know this; Congress knows this—in terms of the budget squeeze of which we are all aware. This is one reason why we have not reached the point of being too specific. However, members of the press are often very perceptive as well as persuasive, and I felt obliged to tell them the best that we knew in terms of scope, and funds.
UNITED STATES WOULD SUPPORT ABOUT ONE-THIRD
This is the way we have reasoned the answer:
In the first instance our Federal funding of marine science affairs today is somewhere on the order of $470 million or $480 million. Of
that amount, roughly 30 percent, roughly $150 million, is devoted to those activities which would be considered within the concept of this decade if it were ongoing today.
These are data that are collected in waters near our shores but made available internationally. And they are data collected worldwide.
Our own estimate has been that during the 10-year interval the level of this activity must increase, and now I must counsel the committee that I am only speaking for myself, not for the administration. It is my personal view that it must increase by at least a factor of three during these 10 years. That is not very fast. That is not a crash program. This is the most conservative estimate that I believe one could make of the increase in these activities.
Mr. MoSHER. The first appropriation for this, the first specific appropriation would be in fiscal year 1970 ?
Dr. WENK. We are doing some planning in fiscal year 1969, at a level of $200,000. Fiscal year 1970 would be the first year of field activities, and this growth during the next 10 years is based on this estimate and would then give you some idea of what the total would be for the entire 10 years, or the level of funding in the year 1980 as compared to the year
1970. The first few years, incidentally, will be at approximately the present level of funding because we would begin the decade with our existing capabilities, with our existing ships, but, hopefully, with new instruments, the beginning of a buoy network and the use of spacecraft. We have also been well aware of the fact that our agencies will not be able to support this concept unless they are able to have the additional funding necessary for an international program that goes well beyond the present activities.
We do not have a specific commitment. The estimates that I have given you are my personal estimates, and I believe that I am conservative in these. But if indeed this decade is to live up to the expectations for it, we have to realize that the benefits inevitably have to be justified and the investment would have to pay off. Funding would have to be above the present level.
Mr. MOSHER. I judge you are suggesting that we pick up one-third of the tab as sort of an incentive to the other nations, sort of a carrot. Is there any positive response from the Soviets to indicate that they would pick up their one-third or is it too early to state that?
Dr. WENK. Perhaps I could comment briefly on that and maybe Mr. Pollack would also like to comment on that and also the response from other nations.
Vice President Humphrey and the Secretary of State suggested that I visit the Soviet Union soon after the decade was proposed because they would be the other major partner in this enterprise. We approached them with exactly the kind of information that you have asked of us here, Mr. Mosher.
, I might say parenthetically that the meeting with the Soviets was conducted with a high degree of cordiality and interest, free of polem