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would lean over and give the decision every time to the infantry. He was too big a man for that, and he had the responsibility of the whole Army on him.
The CHAIRMAN. When the post of Chief of Staff, War Department, was created, was it not a fact that the Artillery and Cavalry and Infantry and Engineers and other branches all felt that the Chiet: of Staff, if it came from one of the other branches, would leave the branches other than his own out of consideration, just as you have got to consider the problem now!
Mr. PATTERSON. Yes. The CHAIRMAN. You said that in effect, but I wanted to bring it out in detail.
Mr. PATTERSON. Yes. The great thing about going to General Marshall as Chief of Staff, Senator, was that on a problem affecting two branches of the Army you got his disinterested judgment because he was responsible for the success of the Army as a whole, and he felt that responsibility.
We had problems, and one of them seemed very vital at the time, as to whether the construction activities should be with the Quartermaster Corps, as the National Defense Act of 1920 provided, or whether it should be with the Corps of Engineers. It seemed to me perfectly plain that it should be with the Corps of Engineers, men skilled in construction work, whereas the Quartermaster Corps had no skill in it at all, but they wrangled their way into it.
I went to General Marshall and asked what his view was, and he said, of course, the Corps of Engineers should have it, and we went down and got a law passed amending the National Defense Act of 1920. That was in the summer of 1911. That gave the construetion activities to the Corps of Engineers.
General Marshall's advice on that was sound and impartial and free from bias, and it has always been that way.
It will be that way with the position of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I would just as soon have a man from the Navy in there as Chairman. He would see the problem as a whole. I would assume that he would be a man of great ability. I think I am warranted in assuming that he would not abolish the Army or the Air Force. I would be sure of that.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Chapman.
Senator GURNEY. One question. Mr. Patterson, you have had detailed experience with many things, so many that I would like your views on one particular problem. We have trouble in all three branches now in that they are all short of medical personnel.
Do you think that we should, in this act or possibly a separate act, seek to unify the medical service?
Mr. PATTERSON. I would unify the general hospitals.
Mr. PATTERSON. I would not unify, of course, or have any common medical service of the medical units with the field forces. They have got to stay, I think, in charge of the people in command of the particular field forces.
Senator GURNEY. You would unify after the patient gets to the hospital?
Mr. PATTERSON. Yes.
Senator GURNEY. You would not unify until the man was no longer fit for active duty, could not be made fit?
Mr. PATTERSON. Well, if it is a temporary case, the measles or the mumps or something like that, he only goes to the post hospital.
Senator GURNEY. I understand.
Mr. PATTERSON. I would leave that right in charge of the service, the Army, Navy, Air Force, or whatever it was, with the post.
Senator GURNEY. You wouldn't have one Surgeon General
Mr. PATTERSON. If he had his leg amputated or something like that, that is a general hospital case, and that I would have under a unified system.
Senator GURNEY. You would not have one Surgeon General ? Mr. PATTERSON. No, sir; I would have one in each of the services.
Senator BRIDGES. Mr. Secretary, I just do not see consistency in that. Why don't we, if we are going to really do this, have one Surgeon General? There is something we can consolidate without affecting the security of the country.
Mr. PATTERSON. I would have consolidation of those services, unification of those services where it was feasible, as it would be in a general hospital.
All TB cases, for example, could go to the Fitzsimons General Hospital. I submit that the color of a man's uniform does not matter in the treatment of that man as a TB patient.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Patterson, I have to interrupt you now, I am sorry to say. We have a call of the Senate, and it is to be followed by a call of the calendar and, unfortunately, there are about 10 or 12 military preparedness bills on it. I don't want to lose out on those.
Thank you very much for coming down. We appreciate it greatly. Mr. PATTERSON. All right, sir.
(Thereupon, at 12:10 p. m., the committee stood in recess until the following day, Tuesday, April 12, 1949.)
NATIONAL SECURITY ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1949
TUESDAY, APRIL 12, 1949
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:40 a. m., in the committee room, room 212, Senate Office Building, Senator Millard E. Tydings (chairman) presiding.
Present: Senators Tydings (chairman), Johnson of Texas, Kefauver, Hunt, and Knowland.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
First of all, I would like to put in the record a very fine letter from Mr. John J. McCloy, who is identified, of course, with the War Department, and he has sent me a letter which is in the nature of a dissent to the Eberstadt report. Mr. McCloy is very emphatic in his espousal of his position based on his own experience. These letters ought to be very valuable to the committee, so I will pass them along to the stenographer. The letters referred to are as follows:) INTERNATIONAL BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT,
Washington 6, D. C., April 7, 1949. Hon. MILLARD E. TYDINGS, Chairman, Committee on Armed Services,
United States Senate, Washington 25, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : Due to a sudden call to London I am unable to be present to testify before your committee on S. 1269, as planned.
Because of my deep interest in the subject I would have been pleased to testify on the bill and respond to the questioning of the committee, but since I cannot, I take the liberty of sending you this letter summarizing my views.
As a member of the so-called task force of the Hoover Commission headed by Mr. Eberstadt, I felt impelled to state my views on a matter which I consider as going to the heart of the case, namely the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Chief of Staff. On rereading the letter dated November 1, 1948, which I sent to the chairman of the committee, a copy of which I enclose, I believe that there is very little I can or would add to it now. If that letter were read to the committee I would be content to allow it to be considered as my statement.
While still the Assistant Secretary of War in November 1945 I testified at considerable length on the issue of unification before the Committee on Military Affairs of the Senate, and that testimony I would also reassert, the more because I feel events since that time have supported the points then taken.
The letter mentioned above stresses the matter of the Joint Chiefs of Staff because, if we are to be serious about achieving the type of military thinking in the broadest sense which the country desires, I think it is the kernel of the problem. Unless you base this thinking in the uniformed services you will not have it at all, and unless you give the highest reward to those in the armed services who are dedicated to think this way, you will not have it in those services. While there are good and sufficient reasons for the elevation to the highest rank of the Chief of Staff or Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff, whatever
you may call him, I feel it is worth reemphasizing the real need for such an individual as a protection against the possible aberrations of civilians who are vested, and properly so, with great military authority. Such an officer, even though he occupies the position of highest dignity in the services, subordinate to both the President and the Secretary of Defense, and with all our checks he is in no position seriously to threaten our libert
As I have said in my letter, history records as many cases where civilians became over adventuresome in the military field as where soldiers overplayed their part. It is perhaps sufficient to recall in our own history the Battle of Bladensburg where a Secretary of War (I believe he was then also the head of the Navy Department) personally intervened in the conduct of that battle, the only result of which was that immediately thereafter the White House stood in even more acute need of repairs than it does today.
On the more general aspects of the bill, I would only say that I think it is obvious that the country wants greater unification and deserves it. Most of the people in the services want it, and this time I feel we should not be too tentative about advancing it. My strong advice is to say: Do it by striking at the roots of the problem or don't tamper further with the Defense Establishment at all. We are in a critical period of history, and we should not risk the time and loss involved in another tenative or half-hearted approach to the problem.
On the issues which are mainly in the minds of the committee as I follow the testimony, I would express my views as follows:
I am strongly in favor of establishing an executive department to administer the national defense as a whole. I am not particularly concerned over the title given to the heads of the Army, Navy, and Air Force Departments. With their subordination to the Secretary of Defense made clear, the title may not be too important, and there is something in maintaining the name of Secretary in order to assist in obtaining high-class men.
I would most certainly not specify a right of appeal to Congress on behalf of the Secretaries of the services. I feel this would be a heavy step backwards. I believe the Secretary of Defense should have a staff composed of top-notch men, whose job it is to think “across the board.” The task force limitation of 200 men may have some merit, however, for this number ought to be ample, and it may moderate too rapid an expansion in this field.
Finally, I would say that we should not be deflected by what I consider to be scare words such as Prussianism, Maginot-line complex and the like. Our liberties are not so tenuously held that one cannot afford to deal with this complex, difficult, and supremely important problem of defense in a modern and integrated manner. Words of the same character were used by the bureau chiefs when the cavalry was brought into proper perspective with the artillery and the infantry in the first part of the century.
These views have necessarily had to be dictated in haste, but I trust that they may be of some use to your committee. Sincerely yours,
JOHN J. MCCLOY.
WASHINGTON, D, C., November 1, 1948. Hon. F. EBERSTADT, Chairman, Committee on the National Security Organization,
Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: The draft report of the Committee on the National Serurity Organization represents such a complete study of our Military Establishment and contains so much in the way of findings and recommendations with which I agree that I am prepared to sign it even though in one respect, which to me seems of real importance, the draft does not reach the conclusions which I feel it should.
If my views do not appeal to my colleagues on the committee then I would ask that you append in whatever form you feel suitable this statement of my views on the issue of the so-called single Chief of Staff and the subject of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with which it is related.
There are many who have had closer preoccupation with the operations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff than I have had. Some of these may differ from my views but my experienre, which is not inconsiderable, causes me to feel that it is i: just this field that the most constructive reforms can now be accomplished.