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the bill was intended to deal with other things that concerned the panel.
Mr. CONABLE. I wondered if you had any comments about what might appear to be omissions.
Dr. LAQUE. I don't have any concern about the omissions. I think many problems that we faced are better dealt with specifically rather than in an omnibus bill trying to cover everything in one activity.
If I may, I would like to clarify some questions that were raised about the commodity standards activities of the Bureau which were dealt with and if you think this is appropriate, I will do so.
Mr. CONABLE. Yes. Dr. LAQUE. Strangely enough, the panel found that as compared with the procedures used by the voluntary standards organizations such as the American Society for Testing Materials and the ASA, the formerly described and implemented procedures of the commodity standards section of the Bureau gave less protection to the consumer and the general interest people than the private organizations were doing and one of the recommendations of our panel which has since been implemented was that the procedures of the commodity standards activities that the Bureau have been made as rigorous as those of the other organizations. Maybe Dr. Hollomon developed this in his testimony.
There is another thing that I think is vital to this discussion. We found that although as in the case of the plywood industry, the commodity standards activities of the Bureau were vital to them and no doubt essential because of their background. But nevertheless only 3 percent of the industrial and commodity standards of the United States are dealt with by the commodity standards section of the Bureau and it would be inconceivable to me that the Burean could equip itself technically to be proficient in all the rest of the 97 percent of all these other fields which engage the attention of thousands of technical people organized through the private voluntary organizations. If we were to have recommended that everything be done this way, assuming it has all the advantages which have been attributed to those, then presumably those advantages should be made to the whole of American industry and since this was manifestly impractical and we had to suggest that the activity be continued for the people who felt they must use them, but the whole of the work shouldn't be placed in those hands.
Mr. CONABLE. Can you think of any industries which, because of the narrow participation in the voluntary associations, may be seriously limited to the standardmaking procedure if you left it on a voluntary basis?
Dr. LAQUE. The voluntary procedures are being and have been used in this country and have resulted in the United States having by far the best standards program of any country in the world.
Mr. CONABLE. Are there other countries that use the voluntary standards approach? Most of them are heavily subsidized, I understand.
Dr. LAQUE. They vary in relation to the strength of the central government, which is an extreme in the Soviet Union, and at the other end of the spectrum is the United States, and off toward the Soviet end is the United Kingdom where the British Standards Institute plays the role that we visualize for the USASI. That British Stand
ards Institute is supported to the extent of one-third by grant of the British Government on a matching basis with industry.
Mr. CONABLE. Where do the other two-thirds come from?
Dr. LAQUE. The other two-thirds come from industry grants and sales of publications and services, but the Government does not dominate the committees which are still voluntarily organized under this institute.
Mr. Roush. Dr. LaQue, if international standards could be more restrictive than tariffs as barriers to American exports, as you suggest in your testimony, and if U.S. participation has been deficient in the past, and if this can be traced to the inadequacies of our present voluntary system, then why wouldn't it be better for the United States to follow the example of some of these other nations and let the Government do the job?
Dr. LAQUE. Perhaps I haven't caught exactly what you mean by "inadequacies,” but certainly it isn't the inadequacy of American standards developed through the voluntary association, it is the inadequacy of their presentation to the international bodies, inadequacy of representation to the committees that are drafting these international standards. There is nothing wrong with U.S. standards.
Mr. Roush. Well, other governments apparently have participated more vigorously in these various international committees which have heen established, and have done so through government subsidy or through direct government participation rather than as the United States has done. We have relied entirely upon private voluntary participation. If others have been so successful, and if it is so important to industry, why don't we just follow their way of doing it rather than continue doing it as we have to date?
Dr. LAQUE. I would say that the reason is that the important detail is the technical quality of the standard that you offer for international acceptance and this technical quality is based and will have to be for years to come, I hope forever, on the product of the voluntary standards organizations which marshal the technical competence to achieve this required quality.
I visualize the Government as perhaps being of some assistance, both technical and financial. I think technical assistance is implied here, the authority to devote Government personnel to participation in some of the standards development activities and adding to the technical content of the standard, but I think we must make the distinction between the development of the substance of the standard and the means of conveying the susbtance to the international bodies. I think it is in the latter area where Government help is needed.
Mr. Roush. Then wouldn't it be better if the Government presented our case on an international level?
Dr. LAQUE. I think all that has been done is that the American Standards Association has been recognized by the international organization as representing the United States, but it hasn't had explicit authority from the United States to play this role and by giving it the superior status of a new name and designation, the United States of America Standards Institute, it then will be as effective and perhaps more effective than a government agency would be doing exactly the same thing.
Mr. Roush. Why would it be more effective?
Dr. LAQUE. Well, I think because it would be considered as representing very directly the best product of American industry through its technical organizations rather than simply the best product of Government agencies concerned with standards which play an important but not a very large role in the total technical standpoint.
Mr. Roush. Concerning the establishment of the clearinghouse, do you contemplate a clearinghouse which is operated by the Government or a clearinghouse which is operated by, say, a private institution?
Dr. LAQUE. I would hope that the Government might feel it was desirable to handle this through the coordinating institutions established for the purpose, having this mission which must get its content again from the voluntary organizations from which it is made up.
Mr. Roush. I have no further questions. Thank you, Dr. LaQue, for your fine statement and for the work you have done in the past on this particular subject.
Dr. LAQUE. I must assure you that the members of our panel represented the interests of our country, not the interests of small or big business. Mr. Roush. Thank you. (Biographical statement on Dr. La Que follows:)
BIOGRAPHICAL STATEMENT ON DR. FRANCIS L. LAQUE F. L. La Que is Special Assistant to the President of The International Nickel Company of Canada, Limited, and a Vice President of The International Nickel Company, Inc., assigned to executive support of various activities. He had served as Manager of the Development and Research Division from 1954 to 1962. A native of Gananoque, Ontario, Canada, Mr. LaQue received the degree of Bachelor of Science in Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering from Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, in 1927, and an honorary L.L.D. degree from that university in 1964.
Mr. LaQue joined International Nickel in 1927, and has since specialized in the field of corrosion and corrosion-resisting materials. Under his leadership, Inco's well-known corrosion testing stations were established at Kure Beach and Harbor Island, North Carolina.
He is a member of many technical societies and has served as President of the American Society for Testing and Materials, The National Association of Corrosion Engineers and The Electrochemical Society. He is Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Welding Research Council and a past Chairman of the Corrosion Research Council.
Mr. LaQue was presented with the Frank Newman Speller Award in 1949 by The National Association of Corrosion Engineers and delivered the ASTM Edgar Marburg Lecture in 1951. In 1962 he was awarded the Howard Coonley Medal by the American Standards Association.
A well-known speaker, he is the author of over one hundred articles and publications on corrosion and other topics. His book, “Corrosion in Action," published in 1965, was the basis for a film of the same title which has been shown to hundreds of student and technical society audiences throughout the world. He is co-author of the American Chemical Society's Monograph, Second Edition, “Corrosion Resistance of Metals and Alloys" published by Reinhold and Co.
Mr. Roush. Our next witness is Mr. Thomas A. Marshall, Jr., executive secretary, American Society for Testing & Materials.
We are happy to welcome you here this morning, Mr. Marshall.
Mr. MARSHALL. I am happy to have the opportunity to appear in support of H.R. 17424.
STATEMENT OF THOMAS A. MARSHALL, JR., EXECUTIVE SECRE
TARY, AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TESTING & MATERIALS
Mr. MARSHALL. My name is Thomas A. Marshall, Jr. I am the executive secretary of the American Society for Testing & Materials: (ASTM) with headquarters in Philadelphia, Pa.
ASTM is a scientific and educational nonprofit organization founded in 1898 and incorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1902. Its chartered purpose is "the promotion of knowledge of the materials of engineering, and the standardization of specifications and the methods of testing.”
I appear before you today in support of H.R. 17424. The board of directors of the American Society for Testing & Materials at its meeting on Tuesday, September 20, 1966, authorized me to inform you of their support of this bill for the Secretary of Commerce to provide (a) technical and financial support through private U.S. standards organizations or bodies to assure adequate participation of the United States in international standardization, and (6) cooperation with private U.S. standards organizations or bodies in the estbalishment and maintenance of a clearinghouse service or national index of standards and standardization activities and including information on foreign standards.
ASTM, through its more than 100 technical committees, functions under regulations to assure a balanced representation of producers, consumers, and general interest groups in the development of more than 3,700 widely used standards-specifications and methods of testing.
I might digress to say it has been an inviolate rule since its beginning that any technical committee where the standards have commercial overtones that the producers on the committee may not outnumber the nonproducers and they endeavor to get a balance between the producers on the one hand and the non-producers, which include consumers and those representing the general interests, representatives of the consulting engineering firms, educational institutions, and those Government agencies that are not consumer agencies.
The society's research and standards cover the full range of materials from acetate to zirconium including textiles, materials for surgical implants, modern housing and construction, highways, heavy industry and durable consumer goods. They include general analytical and testing methods for such things as industrial chemicals, petroleum, water quality, air sampling and analysis, and measuring the skid resistance of highways.
The society is the largest single producer of nationally recognized standards in the United States. A 1964 survey by a task force of the Panel on Engineering and Commodity Standards of the Commerce Technical Advisory Board showed nearly 25 percent of the more than 13,000 nationally recognized standards identified by the survey were ASTM standards. Its standards are used throughout the world by engineers, scientists, architects and builders, industries, and governments in specifying and evaluating materials of all kinds. They are
applied in design, manufacturing, research, construction, and maintenance.
The society has a membership drawn from a broad spectrum of individuals, agencies, and industries concerned with materials and with standardization. The nearly 14,000 members include 10,000 individual engineers, scientists, researchers, educators and testing experts; 1,000 institutional members, education institutions, libraries, and gorernmental agencies and departments—Federal, State, and municipaland nearly 3,000 companies, trade associations, and research institutes.
ASTM has been assigned responsibility by the U.S.A. Standards Institute for sponsoring the technical participation of the l'nited States in more than 24 of the technical committees of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The society participates technically in 12 additional committees of ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Three of the ISO technical committees for which ASTM has responsibility are committees where the United States holds the secretariat. These are Petroleum Products, Plastics, and Determination of Viscosity. The society also has been assigned the responsibility for sponsoring the technical participation of the United States in 12 of the 16 technical committees of the Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT).
This bill conforms to certain specific recommendations of the Panel on Engineering and Commodity Standards of the Commerce Technical Advisory Board, on which I had the privilege of serving. Its task group appointed to study the U.S. participation in international standardization recommended a plan for cooperation between government and industry in fulfilling the need of the United States to participate in international standardization even when international trade in à given commodity is currently relatively insignificant.
The Panel became aware in its study that the United States of America has not participated in work on international standardization at a level commensurate with our real economic interests and capabilities. The Panel concluded that the basic reason for this appears to be a lack of awareness of the economic importance of international standardization. - International trade is a great dialog for which nations must find a common language. That common language is standards-industrial and commodity standards. It is axiomatic that "differences in national standards can be a more effective trade barrier than import quotas, currency restrictions, or high tariffs.” International standards tend to reduce differences in national standards. Furthermore, the newly emerging nations of the world tend to turn to ISO recommendations and standards as the basis for their own national standards.
ASTM, along with several other societies, has long recognized the need for a clearinghouse for information on standards and standardization work in the United States of America and foreign countries. We believe that once established such a clearinghouse could provide a sufficiently valuable and marketable information service as to become nearly, if not completely, self sustaining.
If I might digress here again to point out in one industry an important industry in this country, there was no participation in international standardization until all of a sudden they realized that ISO