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and then the committee would deal with him as the Chairman of the Commission.
I would assume that this same thing would happen in this instance, that if whoever is chosen as the Director had something which was of interest to the Congress, he would then be subject to call where he is not subject to call now. He could refrain on executive privilege.
But by establishing this by statute he assumes certain obligations to the Congress, among which is the right of the Congress to call him to testify.
We would have no right to ask him as to private conversations which he might have had with the President. But certainly if those private conversations go to the point of needing any kind of implementation, appropriation, or anything like that, then the Congress would have the right to question him on that.
I think this can be resolved as it was resolved in that particular case. I take this time because of my knowledge of this parallel situation which could exist if the President should appoint this man and give him, as we say, two hats.
Mr. STAATS. I think your point is a very good one. I think it has to be resolved in terms of the particular issue that is involved at the time and the extent of the President's personal involvement in the matter and the extent of security involved.
There are many factors that enter into it. But, by and large, as I would anticipate it, there would be very few matters which would fall in that category, just as there have been very few matters that have fallen into that category that involve the Director of the Budget, for example.
There is another factor here arguing for retention of a second title. The plan contemplates that the President's Science Advisory Committee, a group of 18 eminent scientists from private life, would continue as a part of the White House staff.
At the present time the science adviser is the Chairman. They elect their own Chairman, you see; but they have elected the science adviser as the Chairman. By retaining a second hat or a second title, it makes it a little easier for the science adviser to be Chairman of that Committee. I think it has no significance really beyond these two points.
Mr. ANDERSON. I do have one other basic concern that I would like to share with you, Mr. Staats. The Hoover Commission Act was originally sponsored and adopted, of course, with the idea that it would provide for economy in Government and better coordination of existing activities of Government.
I am wondering if by the establishment of yet another office we are not planting one of these little acorns that is going to grow into a mighty oak after a while.
I appreciate that you testified that the present staff has a budget of around $700,000 only. But when you consider the extent to which science and technology enters into every field today—we are living in a scientific age as never before-are we really, by establishing this office and setting up this staff, going to be truly carrying out the purposes of the Hoover Commission Act in your opinion?
Mr. Staats. My own personal view is that if this office continues in an effective way, we will save many times over the cost of this operation in terms of the research dollars that are spent.
The increase in the Federal outlays for research and development have increased very fast, as you know. They have increased $2 billion in the 1963 budget over 1962; and something over $1 billion in 1962 over 1961. It has been heavily in the Department of Defense and in the space agency, but it has been true also through all of the other agencies because science and technology is now becoming more and more an important part of our Federal programs.
But I would like to make a second point. That is, I know it is the President's view and I know it is Dr. Wiesner's view—and it is certainly our view—that this office can perform most effectively if it is kept very small and makes maximum use of outside consultants and interagency panels which are established on particular problems.
Mr. ANDERSON. You don't feel, in other words, that this is just laying one more layer of bureaucracy on top of an existing layer, that this really is streamlining and is going to achieve better coordination and therefore greater economy even than we have at the present time?
Mr. STAATS. That would be my view about it.
Mr. Staats. Excuse me for interrupting, but there is one point Mr. Seidman here reminds me of which I would like to bring out at some point here.
In the budget review process, in the Bureau of the Budget's own work, we have been handicapped in the past years by not having available to us people who are independent of the agencies, who can look at some of these expensive scientific research and development programs of the Government.
For the past 2 years, going back to the time when Dr. Kitsiakowsky in the Eisenhower administration was science adviser, we began to lay the plans whereby we could utilize this staff to look at some of these expensive fields across the board.
Take the field of oceanography, or the field of atmospheric research, the Weather Bureau services, and so on. We found this extremely helpful. While these programs have grown overall, we have also been able to eliminate a great many things which are of lower priority. We think we can improve this process a great deal in terms of really what ought to come first in terms of our national welfare.
The priority problem in these problems is an awful tough one because there are so many ways that you can look at them in terms of what ought to come first.
I wanted to make this point, that we found this is helpful to us in the Bureau of the Budget in reviewing budgets for science programs.
Mr. ANDERSON. Just to make sure I nail this down at this point, Mr. Staats: You don't feel, then, that with the adoption of Reorganization Plan No. 2 we would see—by virtue of the plan and the offices that it sets up and the personnel that it provides for—any net increase at all in the present expenditures of the office that is now operated out of the White House?
Mr. Staats. If there be any increase, I would personally be inclined to think it would be in the order of $100,000 or $150,000—in that order of magnitude-rather than in terms of any large increase.
They will have to provide their own security investigations, for example, now. They will have to handle their own administrative services, which have all been provided for in the White House before. So there will be some, but it would be relatively minor increases.
Mr. ANDERSON. I would be awfully happy if you were able to answer the question by saying it would save $100,000.
Mr. Staats. I think overall it would save a good deal more than that in the agencies.
Mr. Anderson. But not as far as personnel
Mr. STAATS. In the Executive Office, no. I think I would be misleading you if 'I said we could save that in the Executive Office of the President in total, because I don't think that is really what is going to happen.
Mr. ANDERSON. The savings you project, then, would be in the nature of savings how—from better coordination of present research activities?
Mr. Staats. In the critical review of the programs and elimination of those which don't have a really good promise or good potential.
Mr. ANDERSON. As I understand it, policymaking in the basic research activity of the Federal Government at the present time is basically under existing law lodged in the National Science Foundation. Is that correct?
Mr. Staats. That's right.
Mr. Staats. There are two things involved there. One is the one that we discussed with Congressman Smith a minute ago—the policy formulation function, which we think could better be carried on at the Executive Office level than it can at the level of a single agency that is in the business of making grants, contracts, and carrying on programs.
The other is a function which is included in the National Science Foundation Act of 1953 to evaluate the science programs of the Federal agencies—that is, for basic research. This is really very difficult for one agency to do when you are talking about evaluating the programs of another agency.
If it is to be done effectively, I think it has to be done at the Executive Office level in the budget process, and through an office of the kind we are describing here.
Mr. ANDERSON. So there is in effect, then, a transfer of the policymaking function in this broad general field of science and technology?
Mr. STAATS. Right.
Mr. ANDERSON. From the Foundation to this new Director of the Office of Science and Technology?
Mr. STAATS. That's correct.
Mr. ANDERSON. Would he with this Director review, for example, programs of research that are conducted by the NIH ?
Mr. Staats. Yes, some aspects of it. I think there is now in existence a panel on the life sciences, which is concerned with some aspects of the NIH work. But the standard detail review of the NIH programs, I think, would depend a good deal on what seemed to be productive and how far the President wanted to go into it; and as far as that is concerned, whether there was an interest in the Congress in having him do that.
Mr. ANDERSON. I think there have been some bills in this committee from time to time to establish a Cabinet post or a department, a separate executive Department of Science and Technology. If we see the establishment of this Office of Science and Technology, do you see that as forestalling the creation of a Cabinet post or obviating the necessity for that? Or would we in time see this process whereby the Office is supposed to be elevated to a Cabinet post? Can you project your thinking on that?
Mr. Staats. The Department of Science has received a great deal of discussion and study in the Bureau of the Budget. It has received a great deal of discussion and debate outside the Government in organizations like the American Association for the Advancement of Science and elsewhere.
I might say one of the reasons we have not come to Congress with a recommendation at an earlier stage is that there has been so much discussion. I think until this discussion began to crystallize in some form, it would probably have been premature.
I believe at this point it would be fair to say that the prevailing view, both in and out of Government, is that a Department of Science would neither be necessary nor feasible.
Science is so much a part of the programs of so many agencies. It is theoretically possible that you could pull loose certain activities from elsewhere in the Government and group them together administratively. But the query would be whether you wouldn't lose more in terms of the contribution that those agencies can make to the basic programs that their agencies in which they are located are charged with.
Take the Weather Bureau. You could pull the Weather Bureau out of the Commerce Department and locate it separately. But the Weather Bureau is only part of the weather picture in the Government. We have weather activities in the Defense Department; we have weather activities in the Science Foundation; weather activities in the Space Agency; and many other agencies.
There are io agencies altogether that have some part to play in the weather program. The question is, What would be gained by pulling the Weather Bureau out of the Department of Commerce in an effort to pull the meteorological science activities together!
What we have concluded in short is that the President needs a strong staff agency available to him which can work with the agencies through the Advisory Committee, and particularly through this Federal Council, which the Science Adviser now chairs. Better coordination will be achieved as a result of that approach as against trying to pull them all together in some large, central Cabinet department.
Mr. ANDERSON. I have just one final question: I note in the reorganization plan that it provides for certain salaried positions—the Director and Assistant Director, I believe it is. Has provision been made in the 1963 fiscal budget for these positions and the personnel that would be required to carry out this reorganization plan?
Mr. Staats. There has been no provision made for budgeting this office for 1963 because the plan had not been submitted. If this plan is approved by Congress, we would contemplate sending up in the last supplemental appropriation funds to carry this office forward into 1963.
As of now, there is nothing in the budget for this activity, either in the White House or otherwise.
Chairman Dawson. Mr. Holifield.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. I think the real saving that would come from this will be in the screening of scientific programs and projects and the elimination of duplication.
We have a tremendous expenditure in NASA, for instance, and we have also a $2.6 billion expenditure on the Atomic Energy Commission. I think NASA's budget will run over $3 billion this year, won't it?
Mr. Staats. That's right.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Within our own limited field of experimentation in nuclear propulsion and in the building of reactors, we have observed parallel efforts taking place in NASA and in the Atomic Energy Commission. There has been some attempt to coordinate that by calling it to the attention of Mr. Finger on the one hand and Dr. Seaborg on the other.
There is a joint coordination between them to attempt to eliminate duplicative projects. However, it is a voluntary arrangement. No one has the authority. I have in mind a reactor that was built by the NASA people which I think was unnecessary, where reactors could have been used probably for their purpose which were already built by the Atomic Energy Commission.
It would seem like to me that if a central head were scrutinizing all of these scientific projects—and now they have run, as you say, into $12 billion a year, in just a very few years; it has jumped up to where we are talking in billions now-a saving could occur which would be considerable by the screening of projects and making one agency use the facilities of the other agency where it wasn't being used to the fullest extent.
My judgment would be that if the proper staffwork was done by this agency with power to go into all the different scientific programs of the different agencies, they could save many times the cost of the salaries that are involved here.
Mr. STAATS. I am confident of that.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. It would depend a whole lot upon the staff's activities, but they would have the authority, as I see it, under this act to go to the Navy, for instance, and say, "Here, you don't need to build this reactor; there is one over here that we are closing down at the Commission."
I have a specific fact in mind right now. “Why not use this reactor in place of building a new one?” Right there you save several millions of dollars in one project because it is fantastic the amount of money that is going into some of these projects.
It is nothing to see a project come in with a projected expenditure over the next 4 or 5 years of $150 million or $300 million. I am thinking of the Rover project, for instance, nuclear propulsion of rockets, which is being done jointly by the Commission and the NASA people. This project is going to run, I estimate, $300 million or more.
If separate agencies were carrying on parallel projects without coordination, you could see what the duplication in facilities and expenditures would be.
Mr. Staats. We can all think of individual projects that run into the millions, even hundreds of millions, of dollars, which once embarked upon are extremely costly commitments.