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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS
GEORGE H. MAHON, Texas, Chairman
ERRETT P. SCRIVNER, Kansas
GERALD R. FORD, JR., Michigan
CORHAL D. ORESCAN, Staff Director to the Subcommittee
COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
CLARENCE CANNON, Missouri, Chairman GEORGE H. MAHON, Texas
JOHN TABER, New York HARRY R. SHEPPARD, California
RICHARD B. WIGGLESWORTH, Massachusetts ALBERT THOMAS, Texas
BEN F. JENSEN, Iowa MICHAEL J. KIRWAN, Ohio
H. CARL ANDERSEN, Minnesota W. F. NORRELL, Arkansas
WALT HORAN, Washington JAMIE L. WHITTEN, Mississippi
GORDON CANFIELD, New Jersey GEORGE W. ANDREWS, Alabama
IVOR D. FENTON, Pennsylvania JOHN J. ROONEY, New York
JOHN PHILLIPS, California J. VAUGHAN GARY, Virginia
ERRETT P. SCRIVNER, Kansas JOHN E. FOGARTY, Rhode Island
FREDERIC R. COUDERT, JR., New York ROBERT L. F. SIKES, Florida
CLIFF CLEVENGER, Ohio ANTONIO M. FERNANDEZ, New Mexico EARL WILSON, Indiana PRINCE H. PRESTON, Georgia
GLENN R. DAVIS, Wisconsin OTTO E. PASSMAN, Louisiana
BENJAMIN F. JAMES, Pennsylvania LOUIS C. RABAUT, Michigan
GERALD R. FORD, JR., Michigan SIDNEY R. YATES, Minois
EDWARD T. MILLER, Maryland FRED MARSHALL, Minnesota
CHARLES W. VURSELL, Mlinois JOHN J. RILEY, South Carolina
T. MILLET HAND, New Jersey ALFRED D. SIEMINSKI, New Jersey
HAROLD C. OSTERTAG, New York
FRANK T. BOW, Ohio
KENNETH SPRANKLE, Clerk and Staff Director
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS
TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 1956. GENERAL STATEMENTS
HON. CHARLES E. WILSON, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
INTRODUCTORY STATEMENTS Mr. MAHON. Gentlemen, the committee will come to order. We will begin our hearing on the $35 billion defense budget for the coming fiscal year. I would like to say something for the record at this point. The majority members of the subcommittee are George H. Mahon, of Texas, chairman; Harry R. Sheppard, of California; Robert L. F. Sikes, of Florida; W.F. Norrell, of Arkansas; Jamie L. Whitten, of Mississippi; George W. Andrews, of Alabama; John J. Riley, of South Carolina; Charles B. Deane, of North Carolina; and Daniel J. Flood of Pennsylvania. The minority members of the subcommittee are Richard B. Wigglesworth, of Massachusetts; Errett P. Scrivner, of Kansas; Gerald R. Ford, Jr., of Michigan; Édward T. Miller, of Maryland; Harold C. Ostertag, of New York; and Glenn R. Davis, of Wisconsin.
Generally all members are present at all times. At times some members for reasons of great urgency are absent temporarily.
Under the rules of committee procedure which follow the rules of seniority I am privileged to first interrogate each witness, and then recognize in order each member of the majority side. We then proceed to the members on the minority side who are recognized in order, beginning with Mr. Wigglesworth and concluding with Mr. Davis.
Under the procedure Mr. Davis is the last man of the 15-man subcommittee to be recognized for questioning witnesses. Members of the committee with less seniority are entitled to a lot of credit for their patience and loyalty to the country in sitting through these long bearings without having an adequate opportunity to ask questions until most subjects have been covered and the witnesses are about hausted or perhaps are called to other meetings.
The first 2 or 3 committee members ordinarily develop from the witness the major testimony sought-perhaps all the testimony required-and it would be a disservice to the witness and the committee for other members to pointlessly rehash what has been presented to the committee.
The point I am trying to make for the record is this: That those who read this record should not conclude that the failure of any member of the committee to ask questions, or a lot of questions, is no indication of lack of concern and interest by any member of the committee. In the interest of time it is physically not possible for members of the committee to ask as many questions as they might really like to ask. To fully exhaust each subject presented it would require so many months of hearings that the year would be over before we would have the military bill passed and in the hands of the President for signature.
I thought this statement would be helpful for the record, and I know the members of the committee will be willing to cooperate, as in the past, in this very difficult undertaking.
Mr. Secretary Wilson, we are pleased to have you before our committee to day. We are much concerned about the defense budget, the defense expenditures and the defense program. We are spending at the level of $35 billion a year. Naturally we want to be sure we are going in the right direction and that we are on the right track. There are a lot of crosscurrents of public opinion. We are being propagandized on all sides for various schools of thought with respect to foreign policy and military policy. We are being warned from time to time that perhaps in the guided missiles race and in the race for the intercontinental ballistics missile the United States may be behind and not in front in this deadly venture.
We are glad to have you here. We know that as always you will give us your frank opinions and your best guidance. I assure you that we do not want to unnecessarily take your time, but this bill is so important, the cost to the country is so much, and it is so important to the Congress that naturally we will want to ask you many questions.
I am sure you will want to begin with more or less a formal statement before the questioning begins. If you will just take the ball and proceed we will appreciate it.
GENERAL STATEMENT OF SECRETARY WILSON
Secretary Wilson. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I welcome the opportunity to present and discuss with you the defense program and budget proposed by the President for the fiscal year 1957. I understand that Admiral Radford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will brief the committee on the international situation as it bears on our military forces and plans. During the next few weeks the departmental Secretaries, the Chiefs of Staff, and others in the Defense Department will explain in detail the military program and new legislation we are proposing. Assistant Secretary McNeil is here today to assist in answering any questions you may have.
The defense program we are proposing for fiscal year 1957 is not fundamentally different from that outlined to your committee last year. Nothing has occurred in the international situation during the past year which would indicate the necessity for any major change in it. Essentially, it is a further development of the same policies and concepts which have guided our defense program for the past several years, and which are summarized in the President's fisea year 1957 budget message.
ESTIMATED MILITARY STRENGTH, 1957 The orderly readjustment of our military forces has been substantially completed. However, for fiscal year 1957 we are recommending a slightly higher level of active duty strength than presently projected for the end of the current fiscal year. Military personnel on active duty will increase from an estimated 2,814,000 on June 30, 1956, to about 2,840,000 on June 30, 1957. To provide the Department of Defense a measure of flexibility, the President has authorized for fiscal year 1957 a military personnel ceiling of approximately 2,906,000, plus certain specialized Army and Navy personnel. In doing so the President made it clear that this figure is to us a ceiling authorization, that actual strength increases will be made only after complete justification for need and mission, and that where manpower savings can be made without affecting combat units, actual military personnel strengths are to be adjusted accordingly. In the Army, for example, the exact number will be affected by the rate of buildup in our Reserve training, since the number of trainers will be determined by the actual size of the training load.
The Department of Defense is establishing a comprehensive per: sonnel reporting system which will provide the facts and figures required for the proper evaluation of recommendations for changes in personnel strengths. Because of the close relationship in some areas between civilian and military personnel, this system will also apply to civilian personnel.
Considerable progress has been made by all the military services during the last few years in improving the utilization of active duty personnel. The percentage of total military personnel in the operatirg forces has increased from 57 percent on June 30, 1952, to about 62 percent at present. By the end of fiscal year 1957 almost 65 percent of our total military personnel are expected to be in the operating forces. Conversely, the proportion of military personnel in training and pipeline has been reduced from 30 percent to about 24 percent and will be further reduced during fiscal year 1957 to about 21 percent.
A large part of the reduction in training and pipeline was made possible by the end of the fighting in Korea. Of the total reduction to date of about 780,000 military personnel from the Korean war peak, reduction of men in training, in transit and in hospitals accounts for approximately 400,000.
Some of the reduction, however, was achieved through improved utilization of military personnel. This includes the elimination of marginal activities and the consolidation of others, the reduction in duplication between military and civilian personnel, the substitution of civilian for military personnel wherever economical and feasible, the substitution of foreign nationals overseas in place of United States military personnel, reviews of tables of organization and equipment, reduction in travel time, etc. Although the greatest savings in this area have already been realized, our efforts to improve the utilization of military personnel will continue. The improved personnel reporting system I mentioned earlier will be designed to assist in identifying further areas where savings may be made. Essentially, however, the armed services with their presently assigned missions will require subsantially the numbers of men now on active duty.