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efficiency and without abatement. If we are to avoid on the one hand the dangers of inflation, and on the other the pitfalls of depression, both the Government and businessmen must be kept fully informed of the economic facts. The national security also depends upon the working knowledge of our economy to which the Department of Commerce makes a major contribution.
I am keenly sensitive to the need for rigid economy in all governmental operations. Existing activities should be maintained on a basis of strict efficiency, and program extensions into new fields should be limited to those which are of genuine and substantial public benefit.
At the same time, I believe we should adequately finance those programs and activities which merit public support. I feel that the programs recommended by this Department and the budget necessary to their financing will bear the tests of both public need and economy of operations.
BUDGET ESTIMATES FOR 1950
The budget now before you has been given two careful and intensive screenings. The original requests of the several bureaus and offices of the Department were closely examined by my staff before I approved and transmitted the estimates to the Bureau of the Budget. Many meritorious and useful activities proposed by the several bureaus were eliminated by my office. Were it not for the general international situation and the heavy demands made upon the Nation's fiscal resources for defense and international purposes, I believe that many of these projects would have warranted my approval. However, in the interest of sound fiscal management and in the light of the current situation, they were eliminated. Through this process the Department's total budget estimates were reduced by some $174,000,000 prior to their transmittal to the Bureau of the Budget.
The Bureau of the Budget then gave our estimates a most searching scrutiny and strictly adhered to the President's budget policy in finally approving a total amount of some $291,000,000 cash, and contract authorizations of $67,000,000. This budget, therefore, has already been drastically pared twice, and, in my judgment, represents a bare minimum program.
I believe your committee will find that the appropriation requests for the Department of Commerce for the fiscal year 1950 are soundly based on the requirements of the business community and the public generally and are essential to the fulfillment of the responsibilities assigned to the Department by the Congress. The restricted budget requests submitted at this time have my full support.
It should be noted that the Department's budget requires less than 1 percent of the total for the entire Federal Government. Of this amount, 60 percent is for aviation and related services, and the remaining 40 percent is for the many economic, scientific, and technical services of the Department.
If you gentlemen wish, I will continue to read this statement, but the balance of the statement covers generally a break-down of the appropriation requests for the various officers and bureaus of the Department.
Mr. FLOOD. What we might do, Mr. Secretary-I believe each member of the committee has a copy of your prepared statement and, if there is no objection, we can insert at this point in the record the entire statement, and then you may summarize the remainder from the point to which you have read as you may wish.
Secretary SAWYER. I am quite willing to do that, in fact, if that is your desire.
Mr. Flood. Then at this point in the record we will insert the balance of the prepared statement of the Secretary, and you may proceed to summarize as you wish the balance of the statement or make whatever further statement you care to.
REQUESTS FOR VARIOUS OFFICES AND BUREAUS
Secretary SAWYER. As I say, the balance of the statement covers generally a break-down of the appropriation requests for the various offices and bureaus of the Department.
(The matter submitted for the record is as follows:)
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY
Before I discuss the proposals of the various bureaus of the Department, I should like to say a few words about my immediate office. In the course of these hearings, I am sure you will become fully aware of the heavy responsibilities placed upon the Department and my immediate staff in fiscal year 1950. Since my staff is carried forward into the next fiscal year at about the same strength, this situation will place additional burdens on an already overworked group of people. However, we will make every effort to run the Department and supervise and direct its programs within the funds provided in this budget. I should point out that the Department does not have an Under Secretary at the moment, and I feel certain that the staffing of this office will assist me materially when accomplished.
Office of Technical services.—Our Government is spending approximately $1,000,000,000 annually for research and development which is directed to the field of implements of warfare. The findings from such research are known to possess valuable byproducts for all levels of American industry. However, without a systematic means of dissemination this knowledge cannot find its way quickly to commercial use. Activities of the Office of Technical Services are, therefore, centered on the dissemination of declassified results of the Government research program.
In addition, the Office operates a technical information service on special business inquiries, particularly for the smaller firms, and provides administrative support for the National Inventors Council. The Council is a voluntary group of leading American scientists who serve as a link between individual inventors and the needs of Government agencies, particularly the National Defense Establishment.
The amount of $175,000 requested for this Office is minute in relation either to the Federal research and development expenditures or to the potential economic benefits derived from prompt and full dissemination of technological information to business and industry.
BUREAU OF THE CENSUS
The taking of a census of population, agriculture, irrigation, drainage, and unemployment for the entire United States and its Territories in 1950 will represent the continuation of the basic statistical functions which the Government of the United States has performed for a great many years. The enumeration of the population has been undertaken decennially since 1790 as required by our Constitution.
Our Nation and every group within it needs and uses census facts in order to build and maintain our economic and social institutions, to adjust to the economic and continuous changes that are taking place, to keep informed regarding resources and conditions in our country, and as an authority for deciding policy and problems that affect each and every one of us. The census furnishes an inventory of the resources of our Nation in terms of its people and their characteristics, its farms, and their products. It gives the basic statistical facts on the economic life of our Nation. The $70,000,000 estimate for this tremendous undertaking represents the minimum requirement if we are to discharge fully this responsibility.
In addition to the Seventeenth Decennial Census program, the budget for the fiscal year 1950 makes provision for the current census statistics program of the Bureau of the Census. For the fiscal year 1950 the $5,750,000 requested for this program is almost unchanged from the amount appropriated by the Congress in 1949. The only program increase requested amounts to approximately $95,000, which will permit the resumption of the official annual survey of the foreign commerce and navigation of the United States.
The current census program is designed to meet the most urgent needs of the public and the Government for information on changes in key elements of the life of the Nation.
CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION
As you are aware, the civil aviation program constitutes the largest single undertaking of the Department of Commerce. In this area we are pursuing a policy designed to stimulate the growth of civil aviation and to produce a vigorous, economically sound aviation industry. In these efforts we are collaborating with the military to the end that our civil aviation industries and their supporting facilities and services shall represent a major contribution to our national security. We are constantly striving to fulfill essential aeronautical needs without losing sight of other competing demands upon our national budget and the economy as a whole. Thus we have made every effort in our requests for funds for civil aviation in fiscal year 1950 to maintain our aviation programs at a min. imum level of activity consistent with what we believe to be the essential needs of the public.
In planning the immediate and long-range program for civil aviation, it has long been clear that our primary objective must be to provide for safety and regularity of flights. Only in this manner can we expect to achieve a level of air activity which will fulfill the needs of the Nation's commerce and at the same time provide a strong military reserve so necessary to our national security. Underlying this entire concept, we feel, is the development and installation of a system of air-navigation and air-traffic-control facilities which will permit safe allweather flying.
The general outline for such a system of facilities to serve military as well as civilian needs was developed by the Radio Technical Committee for Aeronautics. This general outline has been endorsed by both civil and military aviation officials, by the aviation industry, and also by the Congressional Aviation Policy Board. The plan provides for the installation of an interim system of air-navigation facilities, and for the long-range technical development and subsequent installation of an ultimate system of facilities.
Three appropriation requests for 1950 tie in directly with the objective of safe all-weather flying. First, under the appropriation "Establishment of air-navigation facilities," funds are requested to permit rapid implementation of the interim system of facilities previously mentioned. Secondly, under the appropriation "Development of air-navigation facilities,” funds are requested for the initial technical development of the equipment to be used in the ultimate system of all-weather flying. This development work, incidentally, is to be guided by a board composed of representatives of the National Military Establishment and the Commerce Department. Thirdly, under the appropriation “Federal-aid airport program,” funds are requested to help local communities finance the improvement and construction of airports. This program has been reevaluated to insure consistence with the plans for all-weather air navigation and to insure more adequate landing facilities at cities having high traffic density.
Beyond these three appropriations, the funds requested for civil-aeronautics activities will permit the continuation of operations at substantially the current level. The only large increase in funds is in connection with the operation of air-navigation facilities to place the 1949 new program on a full-year basis and to operate facilities to be completed in 1950. Nominal increases only are requested to finance a few very high priority items in the other CAA programs.
Aside from specific budgetary requests, I think this committee would be interested in current efforts on the part of the Administrator of Civil Aeronautics to improve the organization and management of the CAA. I have been particularly pleased with his aggressive interest in improving the organization. He and his staff are making a systematic study of all units of CAA toward the end of clarifying the organization structure and improving the effectiveness of operations.
COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY
The Coast and Geodetic Survey protects and safeguards our commerce on sea and in the air. It provides nautical and aeronautical charts, coast pilots, tide tables, and other aids to safe navigation as well as other engineering and scientific services indispensable to the public and governmental agencies. Moreover, the bureau is the agency of the Government responsible for coastal and geodetic surveys and in Alaska the bureau is being urged by the military to accelerate the establishment of controls in support of our national defense program.
The increase of $261,500 for departmental and field expenses will not meet the added cost of operations in 1950 because of wage increases and other extraordinary expenses beyond the control of the Department. Therefore, curtailment of activities below the current level will be necessary to meet this situation. The bureau cannot serve all requirements, but will be forced to establish a priority system in an attempt to meet services indispensable to the public and the Government to the extent possible under the funds available.
BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE
This Nation has just enjoyed another year of bountiful prosperity. I believe that this prosperity can be continued and that the strength of our economy will continue the present high level of economic activity and employment, which is the goal of the administration and the Nation as a whole. The central economic policy of our people in the past few years has become that of maintaining high levels of business activity in the interest of the whole economy.
In order to achieve the best results in our objective of a sustained high level of economic activity, we must have adequate information about the supply of and the demand for our industrial materials and products. We must know where and how the products are produced, what the opportunities are for increasing output, and how much output will be needed in the future. Without such information, business is handicapped and the Government is not able to encourage and assist business in increasing supply and meeting demand.
The Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce is the focal point through which all the services of the Department are made available to the business community. The present organization of the bureau, I feel, is the mechanism through which we will be able to provide to the businessmen that level of service necessary to keep abreast of changing economic conditions.
These estimates include funds for assistance to business in conducting international trade, promotion of domestic commerce, maintenance of the field offices of the Department, preliminary work on industrial mobilization and general economic and business analyses.
I would like to point out that the present request is slightly below the amount appropriated by the Congress in 1949. Any further reduction would in my opinion seriously handicap the Bureau in carrying out its basic responsibilities.
As this committee knows, one of the results of the wartime acceleration of industry was a tremendous increase in the number of patent applications. With the cooperation of this committee, the staff of examiners has been considerably increased in order to handle the backlog. As a result of this increased staff, there has been an increase in the rate of applications disposed of and the office is beginning to reduce the backlog
Although this trend is expected to accelerate and continue in 1950, the accumulated backlog is so large that it will be a serious problem for several years.
The budget estimates for the Patent Office for 1950 provide for a continuation of this staff at the present level in order that the backlog may be reduced to a minimum as soon as possible.
NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS
The research, testing, and standardization services provided by the National Bureau of Standards are indispensable to the development of the domestic economy and the maintenance of national security. It is, therefore, essential that the Bureau implement and keep pace with advancement in all phases of the sciences and maintain leadership in providing more accurate measurements and more effective methods of measurement. As examples of recent developments, you are probably aware of the inventions by bureau staff members of the atomic clock and the magnetic clutch, both of which have valuable military and peacetime application. Such developments may well revolutionize certain segments of American industry.
Approximately 50 percent of the bureau's activities are in the nature of services to other Government agencies, and at least two-thirds of such services are projects for the Military Establishment. It is only because a nucleus of individuals with knowledge in a great variety of scientific fields has been brought together in carrying out the bureau's basic program that such personnel and knowledge are available to serve the public and other agencies as required.
No phase of our national life is unaffected by the weather, particularly the adverse occurrences such as hurricanes, floods, blizzards, frosts, droughts, tornadoes, forest fires, and thunderstorms. The Weather Bureau provides shortand long-range forecasts, warning services, and climatological data so essential to every citizen and indispensable to our national economy. The estimates for 1950 represent an actual reduction even though they show an increase in dollar total. The annualization of certain existing programs requires more than the increase provided. Even with the utmost economy, it is inevitable that (a) weather service to some commônities will have to be reduced or discontinued ; (b) international commitments under international civil aviation organization conventions covering meteorological service to international aviation will be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to fulfill; and (c) the development of programs significant to the further protection of life and property and the conservation of national resources will be deferred.
Gentlemen, in conclusion I should like to point out that the increases provided for in the 1950 estimates of appropriation can be accounted for largely in terms of the requirements for the Seventeenth Decennial Census, the liquidation of prior year CAA contract authorizations and the increases necessary for the modernization and operation of the Federal Airways.
I shall be glad to answer your general questions at this time and throughout the course of these hearings members of the Department will appear to justify more in detail their budgetary requirenients.
Secretary SAWYER. I might say I have endeavored in the time since I have been Secretary of Commerce to apply a rigid screening in the interests of economy to requests which have come from the bureaus. So far as I know, none of the requests have been put in here on the theory that they would be further cut. In other words, there has been no trading position taken on it. In fact, I have urged continuously a reduction in the amount requested, because I am a strong believer in the fact we must have Government economy, and I see no reason why it should not be applied to my Department as well as to others.
Of course, the big item of expense is in connection with aviation. It is rather difficult to see how the other items can be cut substantially or that they could be cut at all, and still go ahead with our program. In the Office of the Secretary, even under this program we are reducing and plan to reduce personnel to a certain extent, although the work load has been greatly increased.
I think I would prefer, if agreeable to you, Mr. Chairman, to have the various bureau heads who are here and available for your inter