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in saying that, insofar as I am concerned, I shall not support a bill out of the committee unless it provides adequate accounting procedures and purchasing procedures in the armed services.
I would like to ask, Mr. Hoover, relative to this recommendation the Commission made which I understand he did not personally approve, of making the three services' Secretaries Under Secretaries.
As I understood, your chief objection was to the fact that their ceremonial duties, you might say—if such were involved, then they would not be in quite as good a position, being Under Secretaries, as they would be if they were Secretaries of the Air Force, the Navy, or the Army.
That was the primary objection?
Mr. HOOVER. Well, I think it goes a little further than that. Here we are dealing with a very critical job of trying to preserve the identity of the services, and at the same time get complete coordination, and we felt it left itself to the identity of the services, to dignify them with those titles.
This is an area of intangibles and imponderables—matters of judgment.
Senator KNOWLAND. I would like to direct your attention to the case of the Marine Corps and the Navy. As far as that military arm is concerned, historically, the Marine Corps has preserved its identity and yet, of course, it does not have a civilian Secretary at its head. I was wondering if it would not be possible to preserve the identities of the services and at the same time get the coordination which appears to be so necessary by having the Secretary of National Defense and three Under Secretaries, one for the Army, one for the Navy, and one for the Air Force. I am not sold on that idea by any manner of means, but I wanted to explore it with you a little, and see if we would necessarily lose the identity of the services by making the Secretaries Under Secretaries.
Mr. HOOVER. You might not. As I say, you are in an area of difficult judgment. There is another phase pertaining to the present titles, that is the difficulty in getting competent men to come to Washington at a great personal sacrifice, and that sometimes depends a little on the title and dignity attached to the office.
Senator KNOWLAND. Yet, we did get a man of the type of Mr. Lovett, the Under Secretary of State, and we have had over the years Mr. Patterson, who will be here today and who for a time served as Under Secretary of the Department of the Army, rather, the War Department at that time, so that that would not necessarily be an insurmountable obstacle, and I don't know whether you followed the hearing the other day, but the Secretary of the Air Force testified here, and at least my interpretation of his testimony was that he felt that since in fact the proposed amendment would practically make them Under Secretaries, he could see no objection to actually making them Under Secretaries, rather than Secretaries of the Departments.
Mr. HOOVER. Well, I think that you will find it is easier to obtain men of eminence in wartime who are willing to occupy junior positions in the Government than it is in peacetime.
Altogether, it is an area which is an area of opinion, not a matter on which you can have conclusive judgment.
Senator KNOWLAND. That is all.
The CHAIRMAN. I would like to say right now, we have Mr. Patterson here and we have Senator Lodge with us as a guest. I know he wants to ask a question or two, but I will appreciate it if we could finish with the present witness as soon as we could, so that we won't impose on Mr. Patterson too long,
Senator LODGE. I won't take but a moment. The CHAIRMAN. Go ahead. Mr. PATTERSON. I have plenty of time, Senator. Senator LODGE. I appreciate the opportunity very much, and I would like to associate myself with President Hoover's recommendations, insofar as they lead to economy and efficiency, because national defense is the biggest single Government expenditure we make, and nothing would please our potential enemies more than to have us bankrupt ourselves in trying to arm ourselves.
I am not, for a minute, in any sense of the word in favor of merger, but I do think we can have more unity and control than we have had.
Listening to some of the statements today reminded me of the days some 20 years ago when I was in the middle of a hot argument in the Army as to the relative merits of horses and trucks, and there was considerable argument as to whether you should pull the gun into position, or push it, and those men sincerely felt that the whole defense of the United States hinged on the answer to that question. They seriously thought so, and I can remember the argument between the Army and the Navy as to where the range of the coast artillery ended and the functions of the Navy began, and you always have those hot arguments and people sincerely feel sometimes that the safety of the United States depends on it; but it seems to me, if everybody in the services is going to be free to go out and make speeches as though they were Members of the Senate, you will never get any place or get any discipline at all.
I don't mean that facetiously. That simply leads me up to my first question: that if you are a junior in a military organization, for instance, in a division, an infantry division or an armored division, and the commandng general has to make a decision prior to combat, he will have his chiefs of staff there, and he will have his assistants, and the practice is, in my experience, to ask the juniors to speak first. In other words, the fact that he has got a chief of staff does not in any way deprive the commanding general of the division from getting the advice of officers who were junior to that chief of staff, and that is true in divisions, true in a corps, in a field army, and I imagine it is just as true in the Navy.
Why, if you do have a Chief of Staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and if we do have a Secretary of Defense, why should we deprive the President of the power to listen to the advice from juniors and subordinates when we don't deprive a division commander or a two-star general of that power?
In other words, hasn't the President got the power to ask anybody for advice, no matter what his rank is? And hasn't Congress got the power to get the advice of anybody they want, regardless of what their rank in the hierarchy of the Government may be?
Mr. HOOVER. Certainly the President has that power, and Congress has that power, and both of them make use of anybody in the administration.
Senator LODGE. Yes. I have heard the statement made that the defeated countries had unity of command and unity of control; and, therefore, because they had unity of control and got defeated, we ought not to have unity of control. If that is true, then ought we not to abolish our tanks and planes and conscription because they too had planes, tanks and conscription, and got defeated ? So, the fact that a defeated country may have had unity of control is no argument against doing it; is it, Mr. President?
Mr. HOOVER. No.
Senator Lodge. I understand at the present time, under the present system, there are 13 people at the secretarial level in the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force and Defense, and it seems to me that, if you wanted to set up a debating society and see how difficult it was to get action, that is the way to do it. As I counted here on this chart "Organization for national security," showing proposed amendments, and adding the newly authorized Under Secretary of Defense, you have got 14. You have got Secretary of Defense; Under Secretaries, 2; Secretary of the Army, 3; Under Secretary of the Army, 4; Assistant Secretary of the Army, 5; Assistant Secretary of the Army, 6; Secretary of the Navy, 7; Under Secretary of the Navy, 8; Assistant Secretary, 9; Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 10; Department of the Air Force, 11; Under Secretary of the Air Force, 12; Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, 13; another Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, 14; and my question is, how can we expect the economy, or have real civilian control if we have so many people out there free-wheeling and independent of each other? Should we not really go further in getting these separate departments down to size and building up the Assistant Secretaries who have the job of implementing the factors which all the services have in common. Doesn't this proposal still perpetuate too much individualism in the services?
Mr. Hoover. One of the great and broad problems is to get enough capable administrators at the top of these gigantic agencies.
The real question is whether such men are administering functions of importance. If the function is of no importance, it ought to be done away with. Here is a gigantic business of $15,000,000,000 per annum, and here are maybe 14 or 15 civilians, of what you might call top rank, in charge. That is far less in numbers than there is in any business organization in the United States with even $2,000,000,000 of expenditures.
One trouble in the Government is lack of sufficient brains at the top, administratively. I would not be alarmed by having 15 in this Department. The whole question of numbers is what sort of functions do they have to administer. That is the real problem involved, not the numbers.
Senator LODGE. Thank you very much.
Is it not true that there is a difference, and a fundamental difference, between a chief of staff of a group of staff officers who are engaged in making policy decisions, and the man who is out there commanding the field forces, or commanding the fleet, or a civilian adminstering the department? Isn't that a fundamental distinction?
Mr. HOOVER. I should think so.
Senator LODGE. And that is why, it seems to me, that you don't run any risk of having a militaristic United States, if you have one man who is head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In fact, it seems to me that you run a greater risk of militarizing the United States if you do not have such a man and then the separate military departments can operate independently of each other.
Mr. HOOVER. Well, there is lot of different ways to judge the matter. My views has been to the contrary.
Senator LODGE. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Bridges would like to ask one more question.
Senator BRIDGES. Mr. Chairman, I listened to what my friend from Massachusetts had to say here, and, of course, in theory what he says is true; but, Mr. President, from a very practical point of view, how is Congress going to be informed and get an honest opinion of the officials of the Air Force, or the Army or Navy, when he may, and I know that he has been under orders as to what he should say when he came up here? I mean that is the case we are faced with.
I just think it is a terrible thing, and while I agree in theory with what Senator Lodge has said on this matter, nevertheless from a very practical viewpoint, the man in the services who has strong convictions is many times not able to reach a party, an outside party like the Congress, because he is under wraps, so to speak; and those are the things that may count, and that individual's information might be very essential to this country in an emergency.
Is there any way that we can reach the people who are perhaps not some of the big brass hats down there, who have grown antiquated in their ideas, but some of the keen young men coming up in the services who have new ideas and on whose shoulders will fall the defense of the country in a great crisis? Why shouldn't we be able to reach them without having them under wraps and orders?
Mr. HOOVER. Senator, I can only repeat that if you want to have an effective organization, you must have subordination. Otherwise it is utterly impossible to conduct an organization.
So far as anything might affect the whole fate of the Nation is concerned, a man's ideas cannot be worth anything, in my opinion, if that man is not willing to resign to put his ideas before the country. I would state that once more. I don't think any official has a right to go behind his superior and make an appeal to the country or to the Congress.
As a matter of fact, if you have competent officials in the department, everybody is listening to every constructive proposal. One ambition of the true superior official is always to find out from among his junior officials, everything that will improve the service. Com petent men do not start with the idea that they are going to stifle all progress, or stifle all the ingenuity, or stifle all expression in their departments. A competent official starts with the conviction that he needs to inspire everything of that kind that he can. But he must have the right of judgment as to whether the suggestion is of value or not. That is the basis of organization. That has been the whole experience of successful organization in the world.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Hoover, I want to take this opportunity to thank you on behalf of the committee for your testimony this morning, and I hope you will not consider it flattery when I say that your
grasp of the situation and diagnosing of the weaknesses in the present administration and your recommendations have been extremely impressive. I, as one, am astounded that you have retained, in an offhand manner, so much of the information that is pertinent to this very great subject, and I certainly want to thank you again for your contribution and for coming to meet with us this morning.
Mr. HOOVER. I deeply appreciate your remarks, Mr. Chairman, and thank you very much for your consideration.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, we are fortunate to have with us the former Secretary of War, Mr. Robert Patterson, who will testify for us this morning on the bill, and I would like to tell the committee that I don't know what will happen on the Senate floor this morning, but I imagine we will have a call of the calendar, or sometime shortly, and I know we all want to be there, so I think we can be serving our own ends and conserve the time of Mr. Patterson at the same time, if you will allow him to proceed and reserve your questions until after he has finished his statement. Perhaps it will not then be necessary to bring him back another time. So, if it is possible, I think we should allow Mr. Patterson to proceed through his statement, until he has completed it, before asking any questions.
We are glad to have you with us, Mr. Secretary.
Mr. PATTERSON. I deeply appreciate your kindness in bringing me here.
The CHAIRMAN. We want you here, Mr. Patterson, because we know you can help us to achieve what we all want, a sound, strong national defense establishment.
Mr. PATTERSON. I have a statement that I have prepared. I no longer have those excellent mimeographed facilities that were provided before, but I do have four or five copies of my paper, and I will distribute them around the room, if I may.
The CHAIRMAN. Divide them up as best as you can. Two members of the committee can use one copy, so if you will just pass them around, and then you may proceed.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT P. PATTERSON
Mr. PATTERSON. I urge passage of the Tydings bill, S. 1269, being an amendment to the National Security Act of 1947, being designed to convert the National Military Establishment into an executive department with the title of Department of Defense, and also designed to strengthen the authority of the Secretary of Defense.
I will outline the reasons why I support this piece of legislation. Let me say briefly that the armed forces-Army, Navy, Air—if they are to provide the utmost in protection to the country, must be organized so as to operate as a team; that operation as a team is impossible without unified direction, unified authority, unified responsibility; and that the enactment of this bill will be a long step and a strong step toward unified direction, authority, and responsibility over the armed forces.
May I add this comment at the outset? The principles of sound organization in any executive agency of the Government are simple. One of the basic principles is comprehensive control by the man at the head of the agency. These rules, important to the successful administration of any branch of the executive government, are of