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Mr. YATRON. Can you tell us why the United States Government agreed to allow the Japanese Government to renege on its earlier commitment to withdraw its objection by April 1, 1985?
Mr. MCMANUS. To renege on its earlier commitment? Mr. Chairman, I don't believe Japan reneged on an earlier commitment. The Secretary of Commerce told the Japanese Government, in November of 1984, that if the Japanese withdrew their objection by April 1, and conducted whaling only in accordance with the exchange of letters of November 13, then the Secretary of Commerce would not conclude that their whaling was diminishing the effectiveness of the IWC, and they would not be certified. They have not reneged. If you are asking, Mr. Chairman, why it is that the United States did not lower the boom on April 1 when the Japanese had not by that time withdrawn their objection prospectively, I would say the answer is obvious: Judge Richey ruled against us.
Mr. YATRON. Have they withdrawn their objections or haven't they?
Mr. MCMANUS. No. They have announced their intention to withdraw their objection should the authority of the Secretary of Commerce to enter into the exchange of letters be upheld by the court of appeals. If Judge Richey is upheld by the courts, then the Japanese are under no legal, moral, or ethical obligation, as far as I can see, to withdraw that objection. And then they will face another decision. The other decision will be whether or not to capitulate.
Mr. YATRON. It just seems that the Japanese get out of it either
Mr. MCMANUS. You mean to get out of whaling either way?
Mr. McMANUs. Well, under the agreement they will get out of whaling. It seems to me there are a lot of people, including those who have testified earlier at this table, who believe that if the Japanese are certified they will get out of whaling. So as far as I can tell, Mr. Chairman, they will get out of whaling either way. The question is when.
Mr. YATRON. Thank you.
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
You know, Mr. McManus, I think the fact that the Japanese are not bound by the IWC accords only underscores the glaring inefficiency in those accords in and of themselves-
Mr. MCMANUS. May I respond to that?
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey [continuing]. And it underscores the need and the reasons why we must have Packwood-Magnuson and the Pelly statutes. I think there are many members concerned that they be very effectively implemented, since they are the law, and I don't think there is any move in the House or the Senate to undo those laws.
I do have just a couple of questions. The previous panel indicated a concern-which I share-about subsistance whaling. The Japanese may try to reclassify their commercial whaling as subsistance whaling, and this does represent a compelling threat to the whale population. At this upcoming meeting in July there may be a move
by some of the nations, led by Japan, to have new regulations promulgated.
What will be the U.S. position—and maybe it hasn't been hammered out yet, I don't know-concerning subsistance whaling?
Mr. MCMANUS. First of all, may I respond to the first point you made?
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Surely.
Mr. MCMANUS. I asked, as a matter of curiosity before coming here today, where we were about 10 years ago at the time the Pelly amendment was passed. This is the first of the two statutes which are at issue in this lawsuit. The total number of whales taken by all whaling nations in 1973 was 45,673. We are now down to 6,623. You talk about the fear that an international arrangement like the whaling convention is ineffective. I guess everybody worries about the lack of teeth, as they say, in treaties. But this one seems to be working, perhaps because of the Pelly and Packwood-Magnuson amendments, although the Packwood-Magnuson amendment was not enacted until 1979. There does seem to be an effect. Maybe it's economic, and maybe the whaling nations have simply taken these stocks to the brink of extinction, so that their catch per unit of effort is so low that they have tended to reduce their quotas irrespective of action by the IWC. I don't know.
But we are making progress, and we will continue to make progress. As Commissioner John V. Byrne is apt to say, we are playing here an end game. I think we are now at the end of the end game.
With respect to your question about aboriginal and subsistance whaling, your suspicion is correct. That has not been hammered out yet. As I indicated in my summary of my testimony, the U.S. position for the IWC will be discussed in what is virtually a public forum, the IWC Interagency Committee.
I will take it upon myself to answer a question you put to one of the others, which is what would happen at the IWC. If I were a betting man, I wouldn't put a lot of money on the proposition that the schedule will be amended to permit what is now considered commercial whaling under a redefinition of aboriginal or subsistence whaling.
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. That's encouraging.
I have one other question. Since the letters of understanding between the United States and Japan were issued on November 13, have any other whaling nations approached the United States with a similar type of arrangement?
Mr. MCMANUS. As I said previously, Mr. Smith, not to my knowledge.
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Not at all?
Mr. MCMANUS. Not at all.
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. OK. Thank you.
Mr. YATRON. Mr. McManus, I have one final question. If the case is decided in the administration's favor, are you fully confident that the Japanese will carry out their part of the bargain and not seek additional clarifications, refinements, or seek other ways to dilute the effectiveness of the letters of understanding?
Mr. MCMANUS. You ask if I am personally confident that the Japanese will not attempt to have the
Mr. YATRON. I guess I'm just asking for your personal opinion. Mr. MCMANUS. Well, then, I'll give you my personal view. I think that the Japanese will carry out their part of the bargain and that they will not subvert the agreement.
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. If the gentleman would yield——
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. In looking at the resolution-and I know you said that the administration opposes it-what, in your opinion, could be added to it or deleted from it to make it acceptable to the administration?
Mr. MCMANUS. I think if you deleted everything after the word "Resolved"
Mr. MCMANUS. Mr. Smith, I apologize for the attempted levity. I really don't know how this nonbinding resolution could be made acceptable to the administration. We all recognize that the purpose of a legislative initiative such as this is to permit Members of Congress to put themselves on record with respect to, in this case, a particular legal position. Since the administration disagrees with the fundamental legal position articulated in House Concurrent Resolution 54, I really am at a loss to reply in a more constructive manner to your question.
I think I have already discussed the other major aspect of this resolution, which has to do with the basket clause. We have used the basket clause and possibly would do so again. But I am not here representing the State Department, and they are not present. I don't know what the State Department's position would be on that aspect of the resolution. But it does ask us to use the basket clause, I guess unflinchingly, with respect to any country which does not withdraw its objections, whether or not it whales in excess of an IWC quota.
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Let me say in conclusion that I appreciate your candor in offering your personal opinion a moment ago. Mr. YATRON. Thank you very much, Mr. McManus, for giving us the benefit of your views.
The subcommittee stands adjourned, subject to the call of the Chair.
Mr. MCMANUS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[Whereupon, at 4 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned, subject to the call of the Chair.]
U.S. POLICY WITH RESPECT TO THE INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION OF WHALES
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19, 1985
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS
AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS,
The subcommittee met in open markup session at 10:25 a.m., in room 2200, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Gus Yatron presiding.
Mr. YATRON. The Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Organizations meets today to mark up House Concurrent Resolution 54, expressing the sense of Congress with respect to the implementation of the International Whaling Commission moratorium on commercial whaling. This resolution is sponsored by our colleague Don Bonker, and is cosponsored by 42 Members. The resolution was jointly referred to the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries.
House Concurrent Resolution 54 was one of three major issues which the subcommittee examined at a hearing on May 8 of this year on U.S. policy with respect to the international protection of whales. The hearing also discussed the United States-Japan agreement and the preparations for the 37th annual meeting of the IWC.
At the hearing, we received testimony from expert witnesses representing several organizations actively involved in marine mammal protection. They unanimously and enthusiastically supported House Concurrent Resolution 54 as necessary to maintain the integrity of U.S. law, as well as the IWC.
House Concurrent Resolution 54 is a most worthy and timely measure, and I want to commend its sponsor, Mr. Bonker, for his outstanding leadership and his initiative regarding whale protection. The resolution opposed the United States-Japan agreement and urges the President to take all necessary actions to assure the full implementation of IWC decisions.
Acting on the resolution now will send a strong message to the administration to renew its commitment to whale preservation. It will also signal America's steadfast adherence to the international whaling regime prior to the 37th annual meeting of the IWC, which convenes in July.
Several environmental organizations took the administration to court seeking to compel the application of Packwood-Magnuson