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Vetter, Col. Fred W., Jr., Directorate of Personnel Planning, Office
Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of the Air Force..
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 1958
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:30 a. m., in room 212 Senate Office Building.
Present: Senators Russell (chairman), Kefauver, Stennis, Saltonstall, Smith, Case, Bush and Barrett.
Also present: Harry L. Wingate, Jr., chief clerk; William H., Darden, E. Edward Braswell, K. E. BeLieu and Herbert S. Atkinson of the committee staff.
Chairman RUSSELL. The committee will come to order.
Chairman RUSSELL. S. 3262 is a proposal by the Department of Defense that was introduced in the Senate by a multiple and bipartisan sponsorship. The bill would authorize the Department of Defense to support the VIII Olympic Winter Games, to be held at Squaw Valley, Calif., in February 1960.
This support would be in the form of providing personnel, equipment, and supplies, and by providing a Federal grant for the construction of a sports arena on Government land in Squaw Valley.
A report from the Comptroller General suggesting several areas in which the bill might be more specific is available and will be placed before the members of the committee.
Without objection, a copy of the bill, a copy of the letter from the Deputy Secretary of Defense, dated February 10, 1958, requesting its introduction, and a copy of the report from the Comptroller General dated February 20, 1958, will be inserted in the record at this point.
(Documents referred to follows:)
[S. 3262, 85th Cong., 2d sess. ] A BILL To authorize certain activities by the Armed Forces in support of the VIII Olympic
Winter Games, and for other purposes
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, (a) notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of a military department may, with respect to the VIII Olympic Winter Games
(1) permit personnel of the Armed Forces under his jurisdiction to prepare courses, fields, and rinks, maintain avalanche control, and provide communications ;
(2) lend necessary equipment; and
(b) The Secretary of the military department concerned may spend such funds for the purposes of this section as Congress may specifically appropriate for those purposes. He may acquire and utilize such supplies, material, and equipment as he determines to be necessary to provide the support authorized by this section.
(c) The authority provided to the Secretaries of the military departments by this section is permissive and not mandatory.
Sec. 2. Out of moneys appropriated by Congress for the specific purpose, the Secretary of Defense shall provide to the Organizing Committee, VIII Olympic Winter Games, Squaw Valley, California, U. S. A. 1960, Incorporated, a nonprofit corporation of the State of California, at its request, funds sufficient to construct, on land of the United States in Squaw Valley, Placer County, California, a sports arena suitable for the conduct of sports and appropriate ceremonies in connection with the VIII Olympic Winter Games. The expenditure of such funds by the Committee is subject to such audit as the Comptroller General of the United States may prescribe.
COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES,
Washington, D. C., February 20, 1958.
United States Senate.
Whether public funds should be made available to a private organization for expenditure such as is contemplated by section 2 of S. 3262 is a matter of policy peculiarly within the province of the Congress to decide. As a general rule we do not favor the enactment of this type of legislation, since private organizations (such as the organization committee) are not subject to the usual regulatory and prohibitory statutes governing the expenditure of public funds as in the case of Government agencies. However, in view of the unusual circumstances present here we have no objection to the instant bill although we do feel that it might be modified and clarified to some extent.
We would like to point out that neither section 1 nor section 2 of the bill contain a dollar limitation on the appropriation authorization or a time limitation on the availability of the funds. Also, as section 1 is now worded it appears that all costs incurred by the military departments in providing personnel and equipment of the Armed Forces for the support of the games, including the pay and allowances, subsistence, and travel of such personnel, and the cost of transporting the equipment to and from Squaw Valley, would have to be paid from the funds specifically appropriated for the purposes of section 1, and regular Department of Defense appropriations would not be available to pay such costs. However, we understand that it is estimated that 160 Army personnel and a smaller number of Navy personnel together with communications equipment, housekeeping supplies, and other equipment, will be provided by the Armed Forces under the authority of section 1 and that it is anticipated that $500,000 will be necessary for the functions authorized by this section. It may be that $500,000 would not be sufficient for the purposes of section 1 if the above specifically enumerated costs are to be paid therefrom, and that the Department of Defense contemplates paying such costs from its regular appropriations. If the Congress intends that the Department do this, it appears that section 1 should be modified to specifically so provide.
Concerning section 2, while it appears that under this section the Secretary of Defense may advance funds to the committee, instead of reimbursing it, the section does not specifically so provide. In view of section 3648, Revised Statutes, prohibiting advance payments, we feel that if it is the intent of the Congress that the funds be advanced to the committee such authority should be clearly spelled out. Also, while section 2 limits the total amount of funds the Secretary of Defense shall provide the committee to an amount "sufficient to construct” (i. e., the actual cost of construction), the sports arena, it does not limit the amount which may be advanced (if such is intended) at any one time. It may be that consideration should be given to limiting the funds which may be advanced to the committee at any one time under section 2 to an amount sufficient to pay the progress or other payments on the arena construction falling due within the 2-month period immediately following the date of the advance.
Further, section 2 is silent as to who shall have title to the sports arena and as to its disposition after the games are over. We assume that title will vest in the United States since the arena will be constructed on land owned by the United States. However, we understand that the area containing the land on which the arena will be built has been leased to the State of California and that the State will operate this area as a State park after the games. In order to dispel any doubts concerning the title to the arena, we feel that section 2 should specifically provide that title shall vest in the United States, if that is what is intended.
We would also like to point out that while under the audit language in section 2 the expenditure of the funds is subject to such audit as we may prescribe, since the organizing committee is not a Government organization our audit responsibility would be limited to determining whether the committee's accounts fully and fairly reflect its expenditures and whether the funds were spent for the purposes for which appropriated. Sincerely yours,
Comptroller General of the United States. (The letter of February 10, 1958, referred to follows:) Hon. RICHARD NIXON, President of the Senate,
Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: There is inclosed a draft of proposed legislation “to authorize certain activities by the Armed Forces in support of the VIII Olympic Winter Games, and for other purposes.”
This proposal is part of the Department of Defense legislative program for 1958 and it has been approved by the Bureau of the Budget. It is recommended that the proposal be enacted by the Congress.
PURPOSE OF THE LEGISLATION
The proposed legislation is designed to enable the Department of Defense to support the conduct of the VIII Olympic Winter Games, to be held at Squaw Valley, Calif., during February 1960. Because of the difficulties peculiar to staging winter games in such mountainous areas, military support is required.
By the joint resolution of June 13, 1955, chapter 138 (69 Stat. 131), the Congress invited the International Olympic Committee to hold the VIII Olympic Winter games in Squaw Valley. This invitation was accepted and the United States has the responsibility of acting as host nation at those games.
Section 1 authorizes the Department of Defense to assist the VIII Olympic Winter Games Organizing Committe by providing personnel, equipment, and supplies for the preparation of courses, fields, and rinks; avalanche control; communications; transportation (through the use of special vehicles designed to operate in heavy snow); and snow compaction; and for the loan of communications equipment and housekeeping supplies.
To provide this support, it will be necessary to move military personnel and equipment to Squaw Valley and establish an Arctic tent camp for quartering, feeding, and administering this group separate from their parent installations. It is estimated that 160 Army personnel and a smaller number of Navy personnel will be required.
For a number of years, the Armed Forces have been engaged in research and training for operations in mountain and cold weather conditions and are capable of providing the required assistance with a minimum of orientation and training. In addition, some training benefits will be derived in providing this support.
So far as they relate to military support and participation, preparation for the VIII Olympic Winter Games, actual conduct of the games, and the closing out of facilities will cover a period of approximately 60 days.
Section 2 authorizes the organizing committee of the VIII Olympic Winter Games to construct a suitable sports arena on Government land in Squaw Valley for use in connection with the VIII Olympic Winter Games and requires the Secretary of Defense to provide funds therefor out of moneys appropriated by Congress for the specific purpose. As a permanent memorial of those games,