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Mr. Fisher, to the suggestion that you were somewhat more timid in your approach to the statutory mission which was put upon your Agency and was entirely necessary, and there was some search to find out why the witnesses who thought that was the case believed that you were being more timid than was desirable.
I do not think anybody challenged your motivations, least of all I. Mr. FISHER. That again is an accusation, I say it is a new one to me, but that fact does not necessarily mean I receive it with relief. I had hoped that the general feeling was that our position on this was one that we thought was right and was the best way to work for peace and disarmament.
I would hope we could persuade the chairman that our letter-which he has referred to in these terms-is a sound letter and that our position on the resolution is a sound one and that the actions we are trying to take
Senator CLARK. My problem is, Mr. Fisher, I do not know what your position on the resolution is, and I do not think your statement
Mr. FISHER. I think our statement says we support:
The Arms Control and Disarmament Agency warmly welcomes the support which Senate Concurrent Resolution 32 gives to the President's efforts to achieve peace and disarmament under legally effective controls and to develop international institutions capable of permanently keeping the peace.
Moreover, we believe that the resolution is useful in restating the necessary relationship between comprehensive disarmament and the establishment of effective means for verification and for keeping the peace.
We seek to point out in the statement that a large number of the studies that the concurrent resolution recommends-and which it apparently assumes are not being undertaken-are in fact being undertaken. I think the chairman will recall the last time I was in this room and appearing at this dais, I had occasion to discuss some of these studies with this committee, a discussion which I must confess took a somewhat different line than the discussion taking place now.
Senator CLARK. The Foreign Relations Committee can present almost any front that the occasion makes desirable.
Mr. FISHER. When I defended those studies at the time, I did so because I thought they were necessary, and if we are permitted to get out our authorization bill and appropriated funds are made available, we will do what we think is right. And as I point out in my statement, the area of studies in this field that we have already undertakenthose apparently are not referred to by the resolution, and one reading the resolution would assume that we are writing from a clean slate, that nothing had been done.
I know that that is not the case, and I know that the people testifying in favor of the resolution are aware that that is not the case.
Also, I believe the resolution has one problem that I would find in addition to the fact it gives basically a false impression with respect to the status of actions now underway and now being defended, however poorly, by those in charge of the program. Unsuccessful may be the term. We are making these studies because we think they are right, and we will continue, if permitted by the Congress, to continue to make them. However, the resolution also takes a look at the disarmament problem solely as a problem of general and complete disarmament, and I would submit that, important though that is and
important though it is to work toward general and complete disarmament under effective international control as a goal-and I support and stand by the treaty outline that has been taken-it should not be called a treaty; it is not. It is an outline of the provisions that would have to be included in some sort of an arrangement.
STEPS ALREADY TAKEN TOWARD DISARMAMENT
This is said with no apology because it does not purport to be anything more than it is. At the same time, we should not underestimate the significance of what may be characterized as the first steps, steps which may be quite substantial.
We have already taken three of those first steps in the case of the test ban, the hot line-actually four-the U.N. resolution on bombs in orbit, and the simultaneous announcement of cutback of fissionable materials.
We continue to work both ways, work toward general and complete disarmament under effective international control, and work for the steps that can be taken in the immediate future. And we basically have an agreement to work both ways. That agreement is the joint statement of agreed principles negotiated by Mr. McCloy in 1961, and I was privileged to assist in those negotiations, and I think what wẹ came up with recommends about a good balance of the ultimate goal and the immediate steps.
Now, I think I would like to add what President Johnson said when the Conference of Geneva concluded last year:
Already the world is somewhat safer because of the efforts of the nations represented here. The air we breathe is no longer being contaminated by nuclear tests. Nuclear weapons are being kept out of space. Announcements have been made that planned production of fissionable material for nuclear weapons is being limited. Better means of emergency communications exist to help prevent an unintended nuclear exchange. For the first time, friends and adversaries alike have taken steps together to bring the nuclear arms race under control.
Limited as they are, these achievements are cause for some satisfaction. They followed 16 years of postwar disarmament talks which produced neither agreement nor the basis for agreement.
So I say that I find the objectives, the general purposes of the resolution quite good. I am saying this. I think they gibe with the very strong support that President Johnson has given to us. I find, however, really about three problems in the area that I am primarily concerned with, Senator, not referring to what Harlan Cleveland said.
Mr. FISHER. The first is the assumption of the tabularasa, a clean slate, starting from scratch. We are already doing these things. I do find it faintly ironic, and I am not suggesting that this government is a place for a man with a thin skin, and I have not got one. I would not have acquired my rather pugnacious nickname if I had. This is not stated in any spirit of complaint but-to the contrary-recognizing your highly developed sense of perspective and humor-it is faintly ironic that in two successive appearances here, one is justifying these studies, and the second is arguing about whether or not we should be directed to make the ones we have already been making and are being criticized for making.
Senator CLARK. I think your comment about the committee is well justified, and I apologize to you as a member of the committee for
having put you in an absolutely untenable dilemma. But now we are on our peacemongering day.
Mr. FISHER. I would say that the purposes are fine. But in dealing solely with what in disarmament jargon is called GCD, it seems to me to be somewhat unrealistic in not taking into account the other things. There is no reference to those.
Senator CLARK. You may be quite right, and I would ask your cooperation with that of Mr. Cleveland in helping us edit this resolution so it will meet this point, which I think is well taken.
Mr. FISHER. And I say I have the basic constitutional problem about whether or not you want to direct the President or merely want to express the sense of the Congress.
It is true that I would not want to be in opposition to congressional resolutions expressing the sense of Congress. I remember one of the resolutions that Senator Humphrey got through back in the period of the prior administration was quite helpful, and actually the resolution that was introduced by Senator Dodd and Senator Humphrey dealing with the limited test ban in the spring of 1963 was very helpful.
Senator CLARK. Let me point out, Mr. Fisher, that we are not directing the President to do anything. We are requesting him to formulate plans.
Now, if you just want to say it is the sense of the Congress that the President should formulate plans, this seems to me to be a purely semantic problem. We are not directing him to do anything.
If you look at page 4, line 6, you will see what I am referring to. We could not direct him under the Constitution.
Mr. FISHER. That being the case, it seems to me, perhaps put on a broader base and perhaps cast in terms of expression of support as is section 1, you might have a somewhat different problem.
Senator CLARK. You may rest assured that this particular Senator would like to support the President in everything he does. Sometimes it is a little difficult.
Mr. FISHER. Subject to that, Mr. Chairman, I have nothing to add to my statement except perhaps to refer to some observations made about consultation with other agencies of the Government.
Senator CLARK. Yes; I would like your views on that, because I hold the present view-which may be wrong, perhaps you can disabuse me that the procedural arrangements under which your Agency works makes it very difficult indeed for it to carry out the function which is given to it by the statute.
ACDA POLICY CANNOT BE DEVELOPED IN ISOLATION
Mr. FISHER. The procedural arrangements, I think, are satisfactory, Senator, because in my view arms control and disarmament measures can never really be developed in isolation from other national policies. I do not think such isolation would either be good or is viable, and I think the Congress felt that way when they passed the act under which we operate. The act states that "arms control and disarmament policies, being an important aspect of foreign policy, must be consistent with national security policy as a whole."
As this act finally shook out in the summer of 1961, with one version in the Senate, another version in the House and the conference and all
the compromises that it involved, the arrangements were worked out under which the Director has the authority to go to the President directly if he so desires. He is required to advise the Secretary of the content of his communication, and he has in fact gone to the President. We do, of course, have elaborate consultation with the committee of principals, and I think far from that being a bad thing, I think it is a good thing.
Senator CLARK. Let me make an observation and ask you to comment on it.
Under section 35 of the act, which is entitled "Coordination," the President is authorized to establish procedures to assure cooperation and consultation and a continuing exchange of information between the Agency and the Department of Defense, and so on.
Then also an arrangement for resolving differences of opinion between the Director and other agencies which cannot be resolved through consultation. And further to provide for presentation to the President of recommendations of the director with respect to such differences.
Now, I take it you are saying that this coordination section has been worked out as a practical matter through the committee of principals and that you reserve your right to go to the President with differences if any there be, and I call your attention to the preamble under "Purpose" in section 2, and I quote:
This organization must have such a position within the Government that it can provide the President and the Secretary of State and other officials of the executive branch and the Congress with recommendations concerning United States arms control and disarmament policy.
Then in section 22 the act says:
The Director shall serve as the principal adviser to the Secretary of State and the President on arms control and disarmament measures. The Director shall have primary responsibility within the Government for arms control and disarmament matters.
Now, my observation, which I would like you to comment on--and I hope and imagine Senator Jackson will be looking into this in his committee or Subcommittee on Government Operations dealing with our foreign policy and our defense policy-is the inherent problem of all bureaucracies where these matters have to be coordinated and coordinated not at the top level but at an intermediate level with the almost inevitable tendency of men of goodwill engaged in that process to seek the least common denominator which will be satisfactory to every member of the bureaucracies, so that there will not be the need for that unpleasant task of taking to higher authority a conflict or a difference of opinion.
My observation is that this normal result of a perfectly human administrative process has been to somewhat water down the recommendations respecting disarmament and arms control which otherwise might have gone directly to the President.
COMMITTEE OF PRINCIPALS
Mr. FISHER. Well, let me give you the level of consultation that normally takes place. The subject of purely informal consultation, the first level of consultation within the Government on an inter
departmental basis, is by and large at the level of the deputies to the principals. I am usually the initiator of meetings of that kind.
After that kind there is of course some
Senator CLARK. Now, Mr. Fisher, is it within the realm of public discussion to name the members of the Committee of Principals?
Mr. FISHER. Oh, that is public. That can be done.
Mr. FISHER. Yes, sir, the Committee of Principals consists of the Secretary of State, who serves as Chairman; the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency; the Secretary of Defense; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Chairman of the AEC; the head of NASA.
Senator CLARK. What is AEC?
Mr. FISHER. Atomic Energy Commission, I am sorry, sir. AEC, the head of NASA, the head of the USIA, and the President's Adviser on National Security Affairs, and the President's Adviser on Science and Technology.
Senator CLARK. Also the CIA.
Mr. FISHER. The CIA is also in there, I beg your pardon. The deputies are basically the representatives of those.
Senator CLARK. This is because, is it not-and it is perfectly understandable the principals are usually too busy to come?
Mr. FISHER. No, sir, it is not. It is because experience has shown that usually you have a better principals' meeting if you had one deputies' meeting before, so that the principal issues-forgive the play on words the primary issues are put up to the principals on decision rather than drafting matters and matters of that kind.
The deputies are at a level that is considered to be high enough to make decisions but not too high to be bothered with basically drafting matters. As a practical matter, Senator, what happens is that after a deputies' meeting, I fall back and regroup and decide which ones we want to put up for decision and which ones do not make that much difference.
Senator CLARK. Normally will the State Department be represented by an Under Secretary or an Assistant Secretary?
Mr. FISHER. Normally the State Department is represented by either an Assistant Secretary or a Deputy Under Secretary, which is roughly the equivalent rank of mine.
Senator CLARK. How about Defense?
Mr. FISHER. It has varied. Sometimes an Assistant Secretary of Defense, sometimes a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense.
The Joint Chiefs may be represented by a two-star general who is head of the staff in the Joint Staff dealing with disarmament matters, and basically deputy representation around the board.
So the representation is of a high enough level to avoid the necessity of dealing with the problem of agreement by compromise, always the common denominator. The purpose of this function is so you can save the principal time for major decisions.
(Discussion off the record.)
Senator CLARK. Back on the record.