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Pago 182 24
Women's Division of Christian Service of the Methodist Church, statement
of (H.R. 2260) Wool, Harold (H.R. 2260) Yorktown, Va., authorizing Coast Guard to accept, operate, and maintain
housing facility at (H.R. 7943). Zircon, disposal of certain (H. Con. Res. 166)
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES,
Washington, D.C., Wednesday, January 21, 1959. The committee met at 10 a.m., Hon. Carl Vinson, chairman of the committee, presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. Let the committee come to order.
I congratulate each of you upon your election to the Congress and to the membership of this committee.
This is the first meeting of the House Armed Services Committee in the 86th Congress, and our sole purpose today is to organize the committee.
The beginning of the 86th Congress marks 12 years of devoted effort by this committee in defense of America and the free world. It also signals the continuation of those same devoted efforts in the future.
During the past 12 years the committee has carried a heavy responsibility.
When the committee was originally created it was thought and devoutly hoped that the Nation was facing a long period of peace. However, for the entire period of this committee's existence we have been faced with the sobering and vexing problems of war, both hot and cold.
Perhaps this is the reason that the leadership of the House has made this the largest standing legislative committee in the entire Congress.
As in the 85th Congress, we will continue to have 37 members. We will have 23 members representing the majority and 14 members representing the minority.
Thirty of the members have been reelected to this committee. Seven members have been elected to the committee for the first time.
At this time I want to extend a particular welcome to our new members, and to take this opportunity to present each of them to the committee.
I will ask each one, as I read his name, to stand so the members can recognize them and become acquainted with them.
Mr. LeRoy H. Anderson, of Montana. (Applause.)
Members of the committee, I know that the older members fully realize the heavy responsibilities of this committee. But, I want to stress to them, and particularly to the new members, the fact that more than 60 cents out of every tax dollar will continue to be spent directly or indirectly in support of national defense.
Much of this expenditure must first be authorized by this committee. But even in those cases where new authorization is not required, the subject matter will remain in the jurisdiction of this committee aid we will have a continuing responsibility.
On this committee there is no room for narrow or partisan considerations. As in the past, our sole objective is the defense of America.
Our legislative program for the first session is beginning to take form. Among other legislative proposals we will consider the following-not necessarily in order, but this is what we will have to deal with:
1. Extension of the Universal Military Training and Service Act, commonly known as the Draft Act.
2. Extension of the Dependents' Assistance Act.
3. Extension of the so-called Doctors' Draft Act, and special pay for specified categories.
4. Further suspension of the limitation on the size of our military forces in peacetime.
5. Extension of the 6-month enlistment program in support of our Reserve forces.
6. Extensive amendments to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
7. A military construction authorization bill which will probably involve in excess of $12 billion in new authorizations.
There will be many other bills, but I think this will give each of you some assurance that you will be busy during the 86th Congress.
While it may surprise the reelected members and come as some shock to the new members, I would like to give you a short résumé of our activities in the 85th Congress. Bills and resolutions referred.
667 Bills and resolutions considered.
275 Bills and resolutions reported.
115 Bills and resolutions passed House
112 Real Estate and Construction Subcommittee: Real estate projects considered and approved.
313 Housing projects considered and approved..
182 Meetings held: Full committee..
153 Special investigations Total.
374 All of our work will be important to the national defense and to the morale and welfare of our military personnel. By the same token, it will be of much interest to the general public. It will require the best efforts of all of us to give proper consideration to the committee's business in a timely and intelligent manner.
In this connection, I want to say something about the attendance of members to full committee and subcommittee meetings. Each of you has a responsibility to attend all meetings of the committee and its subcommittees, in accordance with your assignment.
The honor of being a member of this committee carries with it a commensurate responsibility. I know you will not shirk that responsibility.
Under the rules of the House, it is required that we maintain an accurate record of the business transacted by the committee. This includes a record of each member's attendance.
That record is a public record. It is available to the press upon request, except for matters involving national security.
So, the record which each of you will make is strictly a matter of personal responsibility.
At the beginning of each session of the Congress it is normal procedure for the committee to be briefed on the overall military situation by appropriate representatives of the Department of Defense. I had . hoped to begin such a briefing on January 26, but other considerations have made it necessary to start the briefing on February 2.
Due to this change in schedule, the week of January 26 becomes available for committee work. Therefore, on January 26, next Monday, the full committee will begin the consideration of the extension of the Draft Act, H.R. 2260, an administration and departmental bill, and other pertinent items in that bill.
I hope we will be able to report that bill within a week. In the event the bill is not reported during that week, we will suspend hearings on the bill in order to begin the military briefing on February 2.
In the past the military briefing has required about 1 week. It will give all of us the current status of our military forces, and their plans for the future. In general, it will give us a most valuable background of information which will be important to all of us in our future efforts in behalf of national defense.
Because those hearings will involve a great deal of classified information, it will be necessary to conduct them in closed session. However, it will continue to be my policy to conduct a maximum amount of the committee's business in open session.
Most of the witnesses who appear during the military briefing will have prepared statements which are classified. I have requested that such witnesses bring a nonclassified version of their prepared statement. I will release the nonclassified version to the press. This will insure that the maximum information consistent with security considerations will be released to the public.
As in the past, I take this position because the people of this Nation are paying the bill. This is their country and we must inform them where we stand on matters of national defense, to the maximum extent consistent with national security.
Now, members of the committee, I want to say a word of caution in connection with classified or security information received by the committee during the course of its work.
It is true that some of the information which we receive under security classification often appears in public print. But, I want to stress the fact that it is not within the responsibility or authority of this committee to declassify documents or information submitted to us under classification.
If the Defense Establishment should lapse into a policy which produces overclassification or improper classification, we should change the policy. But unless and until that is done, it shall be the policy of this committee to respect the classification.
Now, members of the committee, I again want to extend to you my warmest welcome and sincere congratulations. While I am mindful that we will work together in the accomplishment of our objectives, I want to give special recognition to the harmonious and cooperative