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Admiral SMITH. That is a difficult question to answer. Mr. WATKINS. No, it is not. Admiral SMITH. This is our budget that will be presented to the Sopropriations Committee at the proper time for our requirements for **, as part of the President's program. Mr. WATKINS. Who trimmed you down, Admiral? Admiral SMITH. Well, it is hard to say that anybody trimmed us doan, Mr. Watkins. We of course submit our preview estimates, and the final figure is arrived at after conferences with the Treasury Deartment, conferences between the Treasury Department and the Bureau of the Budget, and readjustments on our part within new total moner boundaries.
Now, as Mr. Betts has pointed out, the Coast Guard is not instructed as to just how they handle the total amount that they will be permitted to include in the budget.
In this respect, we have to make the decision, how much of it should go toward ships, and floating units, how much toward aviation, and so forth.
Vír. WATKINS. I understand that. There is no argument at all. That is why I cannot understand. The figure that I had was $96 milTon, and you gave me a figure of $101 million, and I cannot see how you can be so happy and settled.
I don't see how you can accomplish the things that should be accomplished with a tremendous cut like that. I am trying to help you, myself. I would like to amend the distinguished chairman's figure here, myself, if you can substantiate it, and I am certain that this $101 million figure that you put in was a correct figure. You know about it.
With all respect to everyone here, our distinguished Secretary, they are very capable and able people, but who cut this down? Did the Treasury Department cut it down?
Admiral SMITH. Mr. Watkins, our procedure on the budget, of course, is that we present first to Treasury a preview estimate, and this is the figure we are talking about here, our $101 million, and I think perhaps this is true with all the other agencies within the Department, and I think this system is also used in other departments.
Then I am sure that the Department must review this requirement along with our other parts of our budget, the operating expenises, in light of the total departmental budget, and that again in connection with the President's budget, which finally will be approved by the Bureau of the Budget.
We go from our preview estimate figures to the new figures after a series of conferences between the Coast Guard and the departmental representatives, and I am sure they in turn in arriving at the departmental budget arrive at this after a series of conferences with the Bureau of the Budget.
I would like to ask Mr. Betts to comment. Mr. WATKINS. You have given me a very fine explanation of the procedure, which I know. Are you satisfied with $39,776,000 ? Admiral Smith. We would prefer to have a larger amount, naturally. Mr. WATKINS. How much more do you want?
Ask me. I am ready to amend it. I don't know how I will make out.
The Secretary very probably will be after me, or someone would be on top of me, but I might amend it. I could, you know. It is possible.
I am not asking for anything up in Pennsylvania. I am leaving it all to Alabama and other sections.
You give us good service up there, and we respect you and love you very much.
I am not satisfied with coming in with a cut like this. I think the service that I read to you from lines 6 and 7 is something there to me that is important. I don't want to think that anything is being cut, that we are not going ahead.
I don't want to think that there is going to happen to the Coast Guard what has happened to the merchant marine, in this country, I hope we don't get down where we are practically scrapped, and that is what we have done with the merchant marine.
With this wonderful service that you give, which I like, and know something about, I am wondering how much you are being crippled.
If they are going to cut the programs in this country today, I don't want to see it cut here.
I have a grandson that is in Vietnam. I want them to have everything that they need there, and I want the protection of life and services to the people in this country kept up. I don't want to see the cuts on them.
I am a rather conservative Republican. I am disturbed. We are talking about so many things that people are interested in here today. I want to get the meat of it.
Is this what you want? I will forget it, if you want me to. Admiral SMITH. We look at these programs very carefully, Mr. Watkins, and this we felt was what we would need to carry out the plans we have made.
Mr. WATKINS. Are you getting it in this figure?
Mr. WATKINS. Why don't you write me, if you don't want to tell me, and tell what you think you ought to have, and let this committee have something to go on.
Mr. LENNON. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. LENNON. Have you ever heard of that phrase, “institutional restraint" ?
Mr. Watkins. That is the thing I am shooting at a little now, and I want to know where this institutional restraint is on this Coast Guard appropriation. I don't think it is enough.
Thank you very much, Admiral. Don't forget to write me. I am going to see what your figure is, because you have not told me here.
I asked you, and you have not given me a figure that you want me to amend this bill for.
Mr. LENNON. Mr. Chairman, Betts, the budget officer, has just furnished me, for your information, Mr. Edwards, and mine, a comparative table of fiscal 1967 and 1968 respecting acquisition, construction, and improvements, which is related specifically to the legislation we are considering.
I think it is interesting to observe for the record that the average annual requirements estimated by the Coast Guard in these categories for fiscal 1968 is $201,300,000; that the preview estimate by the Coast
Guard for its needs in dollars in these categories under this legislation for fiscal 1968 is $188,500,000.
It is more interesting to observe that in spite of that estimate by the Coast Guard of its needs, that when it got up to the Treasury, under which the Coast Guard is now a subsidiary, the Treasury requested of the Bureau of the Budget only the sum of $103 million, or $85,500,000 less than in the judgment of the Coast Guard was needed in these categories for fiscal 1968.
Now, just for the record, too, I think it interesting to observe that for fiscal 1967 that the preview estimates of the Coast Guard's needs in these categories in dollars was $196,918,000. When it got to what We referred to that year as the departmental task force recommendation for specific projects, the figure was reduced to $162 million. When it came, then, finally, to the Coast Guard's fiscal year 1967 revised budget, it was raised to $174,560,000.
Then it went from there up to the Treasury Department, and the Coast Guard is under their jurisdiction. The Treasury only asked the Bureau of the Budget, for fiscal 1967, for $131 million. The Bureau of the Budget allowed $103 million.
Getting back to the specific line items with respect to fiscal 1968, the Coast Guard asked for five high-endurance cutters, at a cost of $72,500,000.
They lost three when they went upstairs at the Treasury Department, in which they are housed, so that the Treasury requested the Bureau of the Budget for only two high-endurance 'cutters. The President's budget cut them to one. (The information follows:)
3. STORE UNITS A. Replacement of existing fretlities:
1. Construct replacement facilities, Station, Umpqua River, Oreg. 2. Construct replacement administration and operation building, and family housing,
Station, Coos Bay, Oreg.
Fort Point, Calif.
Relocate station to St. Ignace, Mich.
Complete construction of station, Grand Isle, La..
1. Improve communications, 11th Coast Guard District, California.
14. Improve communications, Washington Radio Station, Alexandria, Va. See footnotes at end of table.