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Mr. EBERSTADT. I think the Constitution puts it there.
Senator Johnson. We have an airfield, we will say, at Dallas, Tex. Title is held by the Air Force. It happens that the Navy is manufacturing planes there. Planes are being
manfactured for the Navy there. However, it is administered and operated by the Air Force, and they have a little unit there with a hundred men, we will say.
The big operation is to make those Chance Voight planes for the Navy, and they are down there with that plant.
The Air Force is operating it. The Air Force people cannot be transferred to the Navy, the Navy people cannot be transferred to the Air Force, and you have two outfits operating on the same field.
The net effect is—I do not care whether the Air Force operates it, the Navy operates it, or both of them operate it under one directionbut we manufacture a plane and take it off the line, but before we can test it and fly it we put it on a truck and haul it 30 miles to Fort Worth because we have got a runway there that that plane cannot come out on.
Now, the Air Force says, “We do not need any additional runways. We have all the runways we need. We have got 100 people to train here. We do not need that additional runway.” The Navy says, “We do need it."
The Air Force says, “It is our field.”
The CHAIRMAN. There is not too much brotherly love in some particular places.
Senator Johnson. I do not care which operates it or how long the runway is, but I think it is foolish. I think if the Secretary of Defense would say, “Colonel, whoever you are”-in the Air Force-"you are operating this field, get it in shape where we can perform functions for the Navy and for the Air Force, too, and if I have to transfer you over
to that job, I will transfer you over.” Now, I do not want to say that Chairman Tydings and Senator Byrd have to go down there and hold a hearing because that is a congressional function.
Senator BALDWIN. I would like to say that at one time we had that Chance Voight plant in Connecticut, and I knew when they went to Texas that they would get in an argument.
Mr. EBERSTADT. The same question Senator Johnson raised as between Dallas and Fort Worth exists in the civilian air fields.
The CHAIRMAN. That is right.
Senator JOHNSON. We have got them every day just like it. You have got it in hospitals, recruiting, education, et cetera.
Now, the question is: You have no hesitancy, and I think nobody has, in saying to the Secretary of Defense, “Do anything you want to do, consolidate and transfer and abolish anything that comes in civilian pants, but when you get to somebody who has a ring around his arm or a star on his shoulder, you cannot transfer him.”
I am willing to limit it, if we must. If we can only take half a cake at a time, I am willing to say that the Secretary shall not reassign the combatant functions, but who can justify putting the Secretary in a strait-jacket and say that he cannot make transfers of military personnel from one department to another that will bring the savings and efficiency we need?
Mr. EBERSTADT. Senator, may I say that, of course, the transfer, if followed up by reductions, is sound, but the problem as I have observed it, has not been so much or perhaps alone one of authority. It has been a problem of knowing what to do and where to do it.
The job of the Secretary of Defense is a pretty good sized job, and what we have presented to you today is aimed at giving that man accurate knowledge on which he can act.
If the budget is set up and, for example, there is an airfield program, and he can scrutinize that, he then has before him knowledge on these things as a whole, instead of detailed situations. I do not happen to know of the Fort Worth and Dallas situation.
Senator JOHNSON. I do not want to base it on that. It is not a matter of one illustration. It is all through it, and anybody who has studied the Defense Department as much as you have knows that the overlapping and duplications are not confined just to civilians.
Mr. EBERSTADT. I realize that and, therefore, we are suggesting to you today a tool or spyglass whereby you can find that and whereby you do not need to depend on anybody else to find it. It will come up to you in form simple enough so that you yourself will see it beyond question.
Senator Johnson. I am not only interested in finding it. When it is found, perhaps it cannot be found, you cannot say positively that a transfer will save, I do not know whether he can save or not unless there is duplication which can be cut out, but if there is, and he finds it with his spyglass, and if he determines that it will save us money, he is in a strait-jacket and he has got to turn his head the other way and cannot do it if you restrict him with this language.
All I say is give him authority to do it, to make the transfer, not combatant functions, he will not swallow up the Marine Corps or swallow up the Navy, because we have our little commitments in all these fields, and we want to have our cake and eat it, too, but he can,
if he finds it necessary, take a Navy doctor and put him in an Army hospital.
Mr. EBERSTADT. It is done now to a very great extent. Mr. McNeil, would you comment on that?
Senator JOHNSON. Mr. Eberstadt, we are saying here that the Secretary shall not be construed to be authorized—I am not talking about what is done now or to be done 10 years from now, or what was done 10 years ago, but what will be done when this law is passed which says he cannot make a transfer. I say perhaps we should not put that prohibition on him. I am compromising to the extent of saying that we will still restrain him from touching these combatant functions, but I am asking what economic justification is given for prohibiting his transferring personnel in these related fields? We have a lot of people in public information offices, in the health field, the training program. Maybe he cannot save, I do not know.
Mr. EBERSTADT. Yes; he can.
Senator JOHNSON. But he sure cannot touch them under this. This says he cannot transfer them.
Mr. MCNEIL. If I may speak to that, I think there is a difference between the meaning of the word "transfer," which would mean transferring from the Army or the Air Force or the Navy uniform, and the definition of the word "detail" or "attach for duty.'
The CHAIRMAN. If you put the word “permanent” in front of the word "transfer"
Mr. McNEIL. There is one other example. In Panama today there have been ordered to duty in the Army hospital certain Navy doctors on the Atlantic side. On the Pacific side there are certain Army doctors and others, because they are specialists, detailed to duty in the Navy hospital. They still retain service identity, but they are working full time in a joint effort. That is practicable today, so I think perhaps part of the question is the definition of “transfer” and “detail” or "attaching to the other service for duty.” That authority exists today. I do not pretend to be an expert on this subject, but I do not think that would be prohibited by this language.
The CHAIRMAN. It is getting on to 12:30, and I would like to say we will meet tomorrow morning at 11 o'clock. I hope the members of the committee will come in promptly at 11 because tomorrow is Friday, and we would like to conclude by 12 if we can. At that time I am going to ask Mr. McNeil and the budget people to be available so as to briefly run over what these amendments provide and to get the budget people's point of view thereon.
So I hope that you will all be here at 11 o'clock and that we can pretty well get it roughed out tomorrow because we will take next week to perfect it.
(Whereupon, at 12:25 p. m., an adjournment was taken to reconvene at 11 a. m. of the following day, Friday, May 6, 1949.)
NATIONAL SECURITY ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1949
FRIDAY, MAY 6, 1949
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 11 a. m., in room 212, Senate Office Building, Senator Millard E. Tydings (chairman) presiding
Present: Senators Tydings (chairman), Byrd, Chapman, Johnson of Texas.
Also present: Mr. Ferdinand Eberstadt.
Mr. Cake, we had yesterday and put in the record a letter giving generally the Treasury's position on this bill. We understand you want to make some additional statement.
Mr. CAKE. Yes, sir; I would like to make a statement.
STATEMENT OF GILBERT L. CAKE, ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER OF
ACCOUNTS, TREASURY DEPARTMENT
Mr. CAKE. My name is Gilbert L. Cake, and I am Associate Commissioner of Accounts of the Treasury Department.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, the two matters with which the Treasury Department was primarily concerned that were mentioned in the letter apparently have been taken care of satisfactorily in the present draft of the legislation.
The CHAIRMAN. Good.
Mr. CAKE. The question of whether there should be a statutory provision establishing within the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the three military departments a comptroller through whom accounting and budgeting functions should be performed, the Treasury Department is not in a position to comment upon that because it involves the internal management of another department.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, with the amendments that have been worked out, you are now in agreement with the proposal. When it comes down to the problem of comptrollers' functions in the different departments, you look on that neither one way or the other, but as their own separate function.
Mr. CAKE. Yes, sir. We feel that it is a matter of internal management within another executive department.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Cake.
Next we will hear from you, Mr. Stauffacher. Give your full name and your position.