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The CHAIRMAN. I think it would be a wiser policy if we didn't put anything in the record until that part of the report has been declassified.
In other words, put in everything that pertains to what has already been made public, but don't put in anything that pertains to that part which has not been made public. Otherwise, we would be in the position of criticizing something that may be corrected before it is made public.
Secretary ROYALL. If I may proceed now with my statement on the bill, I will.
The CHAIRMAN. Go ahead.
Secretary ROYALL. Almost 2 years ago I appeared before this committee in connection with the then pending legislation for unification of the armed services and at that time I stated to the committee that the bill in its then form could in my opinion result in efficiency and economy if the full powers given by the bill were exercised. Subsequently, the bill was amended, subsequent to my testimony, in several respects, which I think it unnecessary to detail here, although the two principal ones I would like to mention.
There was a weakening of the power of the Secretary of Defense by insertion of the word "general," with which you are familiar.
The CHAIRMAN. A compromise arrangement.
Secretary ROYALL. That is right; and by provision that all powers and duties not specifically conferred upon the Secretary should be retained by the three Secretaries.
The CHAIRMAN. That is right.
Secretary ROYALL. The second principal change was in specifying the composition and functions of the three departments. Those changes were, in my opinion, both material and harmful and at that time I stated to Judge Patterson that if called on again to testify, I would oppose the enactment of the unification law, and that resultedor at least, thereafter I was not called on the amended law.
I feel that the history of the statute
Senator JOHNSON. Was anybody else called to present the Army view point!
Secretary ROYALL. I think there were people called from time to time to testify after I did—I know there were—from the Army, but I was Under Secretary at that time, and I testified and I was not called again.
I don't know who made that decision-I am not suggesting who— but I merely state that I did not favor and have never favored the unification bill as now drawn, although the Army, beyond question, has supported it to the fullest in an effort to make it successful. When I testified before the Eberstadt committee in September of
made the statement that in my opinion—and I would like to read that briefly, if I may:
"In my opinion, unification has not resulted in either increased efficiency or in reduction of costs.”
This was testimony of October I am reading. I made this statement in September, and I repeated it to add emphasis. The committee called me twice. To continue:
"I feel strongly that unification has left this country less prepared to meet a war emergency than if the National Security Act had never been passed. Some progress has been made in joint planning as well as in other fields, but in my
opinion a considerable part of this progress could have been accomplished if there had been no únification. Furthermore, the accomplishments that have been made are more than offset by the elaborate overhead, including four rather independent headquarters, instead of two, and by the complexity and uncertainty of the present organization. I am seriously alarmed at the situation in which our defense establishment would find itself if war should come in the near future."
Now, I repeat that today. I believe that is true. I think we have lost ground.
The CHAIRMAN. Right there, if I may interrupt you, Mr. Secretary: Generally, is it your thought that the bill that is before us would help us to recapture some of that loss?
Secretary ROYALL. I think it would, and I unqualifiedly approve the legislation that is now proposed. I would not be fully frank with the committee if I didn't add this: That I would have preferred a stronger bill than is now proposed to this committee.
Senator KEFAUVER. Stronger in what respect? Secretary ROYALL. Stronger in the emphasis upon the Secretary of Defense and stronger in that the importance of the organization in the three departments would be further decreased. I recommended, among other things, that the three departments be headed by Under
I recommended that the number of assistants in the Department be reduced and that the policy making be placed under the Secretary of Defense and pure administration in the three departments. This bill which is proposed to you today is based upon
the recommendation I made.
The CHAIRMAN. You are talking about civilian administration ?
Secretary ROYALL. Yes; the bill which you are now considering reached its present form by redrafting and change in the proposals which I made last September. The changes have somewhat weakened the central organization, but it has left it strong enough, in my opinion, that with a strong administration—and I want to compliment Mr. Johnson upon the strong administration he has so far exercised—with a strong administration and the bill we have now got, I believe unification can be a success.
Senator JOHNSON. Is the present bill as strong as the bill you originally favored before it was watered down?
Secretary ROYALL. I haven't made a detailed comparison, but I would say it was approximately as strong. I would say they are about the same.
I have thought, though, Senator Johnson, as the year has shown by experience I have thought that the bill ought to be even stronger than I was willing to agree to 2 years ago.
Senator CHAPMAN. Mr. Secretary, do you believe that if this bill is enacted, our national defense will be in a stronger position than it would have been if no start had ever been made in the direction of unification?
Secretary ROYALL. I think so, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. That is a good question. In other words, you believe in unification, assuming that the principles embodied in this bill are applied to unification.
Secretary ROYALL. I do, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. But you would rather have the old system if it is to be halfway between?
Secretary ROYALL. Yes. I said that before this committee-before the Eberstadt committee and in my recommendations to Mr. Forrestal, and I made a specific recommendation with the detailed bill attached upon
which this bill is based. I said that if we were going to stay under the present legislation, I would rather try to go back to two departments, which I realized was a difficult and maybe an impossible thing to do.
Now, fundamentally, I can't state my opinion of the defects of the present Unification Act any stronger than to read you one short paragraph of my Eberstadt testimony and one short paragraph of the statement I made to the National Defense Establishment nearly a year ago. To the Eberstadt committee I said:
Whenever an organizational reign is based on the theory that decisions will be reached through consultation by coequal parties, each of these parties having conflicting self-interests at stake, you can expect only one of two things to happen on important questions: Either no decision at all or else a watered-down compromise, which is rarely better than no decision. There is a tremendous difference between coordination reached under a single decisive authoritywhich we needand coordination based on mutual cooperation.
If I may put it in a little more earthy words, you can't run a circus or a business or national defense by committees or by coordination. You have got to have a man with authority at the head.
The CHAIRMAN. Somebody in your opinion must have the ability to say “Yes” or “No” finally?
Secretary ROYALL. That is exactly right, sir. As long as you give these rights of appeal and go around behind him, it just cannot succeed. It is a very beautiful theory to say we ought to have free speech and consultative assembly—and that is fine in a deliberate body, and we ought to have it in the United States Senate—but when you have an administrative task as enormous and as important to this country as national defense, then you have got to have a boss.
Now, the other point I would like to make in connection with our unification up to this time is the concept of interdependence among the services as compared with independence. I would like to paraphrase to you what I said last fall.
On the basis of complete independence—which one of our services, I am afraid, believes in—but on the basis of complete independence, the Army would have to have its own transport aircraft, it would have to have its own transport vessels to take its troops, it would have to have fighter planes to support its own troops in action, it would have to have fighter planes and submarines to support its transports and its transport vessels. We would have in effect in the Army all three functions performed, and that would go for all the others.
Now, if that is the way unification is to be run, then we are never going to get out of the confusion.
The CHAIRMAN. Never going to get out of the expense either.
Secretary ROYALL. Or the expense that we have been confronted with.
The CHAIRMAN. Could you give us another illustration that would apply to one of the other services?
Secretary ROYALL. Well, sir; I would a little rather not.
Secretary ROYALL, I would rather not talk about any service but the Army, but I believe it is perfectly obvious that if the Army had air, navy, and land, that the other services would pretty nearly end up with the same thing.
Senator JohnSON. The Air Force would have to have marines to get its bases.
Secretary ROYALL. Sure.
The CHAIRMAN. You have to have your gasoline transported by vessels quite often by the Air Force, don't you ?
Secretary ROYALL. Well, sir; I think you do.
The CHAIRMAN. So the duplications and overlapping are interminable.
Secretary ROYALL. That is exactly right, sir. Senator CHAPMAN. Do you think genuine savings can be effected if a bill like this becomes law, Mr. Secretary?
Secretary ROYALL. If the bill becomes law and is administered with decisive action under this bill; yes. We can have a sounder national defense, and I believe we can save some money. It is hopeless today. We are spending too much money for such national defense as we are getting today. There is no doubt in my mind about it at all.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, I would like to ask you a question. I would like for you to give us a pretty full answer on it.
Is there much hope of effecting any substantial economies in either one of the three branches of the armed services without this tightening up of unification, as exemplified in spirit, by the pending proposal?
Secretary ROYALL. Yes, it could be done by both or perhaps by one of two means. If you departed from the entire theory of the present law, which builds
a theory of "let's be good fellows and work this thing out together, if you departed from that theory, and if you just took the law in your own hands, and by such other means as could be resorted to, forced cooperation, like the threat of dismissal and things of that kind, you might accomplish it, but it would be by indirection and it would always be subject to just criticism and attack.
The CHAIRMAN. And the extent of the economy would be limited.
Secretary ROYALL. The extent would be limited, but I think you could probably do it by those means. But you cannot properly legislate, if I may get over into your field, by assuming that attitude as a constant attitude, and one that could be successful or should be successful. The bill as now drawn would make that the
and normal attitude.
Senator JOHNSON. It would be coercion versus proper administration.
Secretary ROYALL. That is right. That is the best way I know to put it. Now, I am not going to try to becloud the issue by discussing the provisions I would have liked to have seen in this bill," because I think we have got a bill here that we want passed and I believe it would merely confuse the matter by seeking, unless the committee wants me to, to discuss strengthening changes which I would like in there.
Senator KNOWLAND. Mr. Chairman, I would like to have the Secretary express himself on that because I think we are embarking on an important step in national policy, and I have never seen a bill yet come to the Hill that might not be subject to some improvement.
The CHAIRMAN. We would be very glad to have the Secretary give
us what he has today and to supplement it for the record with any other suggestions he might have to strengthen or improve this bill in his estimation.
Secretary ROYALL. If the committee desires, I will talk some about it today, but I would like to furnish to the committee for the study of your staff, and possibly some of them for the study of this committee, a comparison which I had drawn some time ago of this bill, with the bill I suggested, which high lights the differences. I used that comparison in discussing this matter with the Bureau of the Budget and with the President.
Then I would like to give you for study for your committee the full testimony that I gave in the two appearances before the Eberstadt committee and the formal recommendation that I made to Mr. Forrestal with a copy of the proposed bills attached last September.
The CHAIRMAN. We would particularly like in line with Senator Knowland's suggestion any specific proposal. You could even put it in amendment form, if you wish, select the language, anything you can suggest to improve this bill.
Secretary ROYALL. The competitive columns will give that exact language, which I will furnish. However, I will mention one or two of them or leave it to the exhibits.
The CHAIRMAN. I think it would be better, because we will have to leave in about 4 minutes, we can come back later. What would be your pleasure, Mr. Secretary?
Secretary ROYALL. I am entirely at your disposal.
Senator KNOWLAND. If, without going into detail, the Secretary could mention one or two of what he feels to be most important, that would be well.
Senator JOHNSON. I think where he points up his bill it might be well to have an explanatory note on those sections as to why he thinks that increased authority is desirable over what is contained in the present bill, some little discussion, some argument for the draft. You can look at the two drafts and you may not see the reason for it.
Secretary ROYALL. The most important single one, I think, that I suggested, if you want me to discuss it—is that I think the Secretary of Defense, with the approval of the President, should have a right to prescribe the roles and missions and the functions to be performed by the three services and to change them from time to time as developments indicate a change.
If you wanted to add to that, “subject to a veto action by Congress," there would be no objection.
The CHAIRMAN. You don't want them spelled out in the bill?
Secretary ROYALL. Absolutely, sir. No one is farsighted enough or has an unbefogged crystal ball good enough to look at national, defense 25 years from now.
The CHAIRMAN. Or even three?
Senator CHAPMAN. You mean you can't put national defense in a strait-jacket?
Secretary RCYALL. You certainly cannot and you ought not to have a bill perpetuated which will keep it in a strait-jacket.