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could he get repairs, if he had to land and wanted to get repairs under the present law, or would that pilot have to furnish the cash?
Captain ROBERTS. Well, that would be an emergency and he would be taken care of and those repairs would be made.
Senator SALTONSTALL. All right, suppose it was not an emergency landing. Do I understand correctly under the present law he would have to pay cash in advance ?
Captain ROBERTS. Technically, sir, he would if it is not an emergency
Senator SALTONSTALL. And what you are trying to do now is to make it possible for us to go ahead and repair and then say, "Here is the bill, now you pay?”
Captain ROBERTS. That is right, sir.
Chairman RUSSELL. I am perhaps a little obtuse on this, but under the existing law if a foreign naval vessel of a friendly power puts in to Norfolk
to refuel, would he have to pay cash on the barrel ? Captain ROBERTS. Yes, sir; if not a signatory.
Chairman RUSSELL. And he would have to pay the cash before we could refuel him?
Captain ROBERTS. Yes, sir.
Chairman RUSSELL. This is a pretty broad bill in some respects. I think I am in favor of what you are trying to do.
I notice in the report that it says that this bill would authorize furnishing “supplies and services to foreign naval vessels and military aircraft."
That could be construed to mean bombs of most any kind.
Captain ROBERTS. I do not believe that ammunition would be considered, although it is possible, but it is meant to supply services and repairs to aircraft of foreign nations, naval aircraft that operate with our task forces and we have repaired ships, where there are air tenders and supply boats which supply aeronautical material and this would enable us to assist those planes.
Chairman RUSSELL. Well, if these ships of the other nations that were going through maneuvers or exercises with our people, if they were to run low on food for the crew, we could furnish them food under this law ?
Captain ROBERTS. Yes, sir; and as it is now there is no provision for so doing it.
Chairman RUSSELL. You could not do it even if in United States ports under existing law?
Captain ROBERTS. No, sir; not under existing law we could not.
Chairman RussELL. And, so, apparently there was no great rush under the act of 1953 to sign those agreements ?
Captain ROBERTS. I think the primary purpose of the act of 1953 was to enable us to have authority to make repairs to these ships in port but it did not take care of overseas activities which are on a worldwide basis with joint operations of the warships of more than one nation operating together.
Chairman RUSSELL. Are these reimbursements by funds appropriated by the Congress for military support, or are the funds that are cleared through the recipient nation coming back to us in their currency, or how?
Captain ROBERTS. The services are made and they are billed and they come into the United States, and they get into the Accounting Office and the embassy of the foreign nation is billed for that service, and I might say that we have a very remarkable record on the ships of the nations who have entered into the agreement with us.
The last figure I have was about $1,244,000 up through fiscal year 1957, and of that $1,244,000 my check shows that there was less than $10,000 outstanding, and none of that was for arrears.
Senator Bush. 100 percent?
Captain ROBERTS. It was practically 100 percent, and those that do hold out, it is, we will say, for 4 or 6 months.
It is a matter of the nation receiving the service getting substantiation from the commander of that vessel.
Chairman RUSSELL. You have discussed this, Captain, on the theory, and of course that appeals to all of us, of joint maneuvers and operations, but there is nothing in the bill that limits it to that; this could supply them if they ever operated with American ships under this bill.
Captain ROBERTS. It could, sir, but that is at the discretion of the area or task force commander, and only insofar as it would assist the United States in doing its job.
Chairman RUSSELL. Can you give any estimate of the amount of money that is likely to be involved in this
Captain ROBERTS. Well, we have tried to estimate it. I think that the amount expended would be a little more in that period because of the fact that we do have an increasing number of exercises overseas as NATO and our joint naval facilities get more useful to each other, and they operate in larger areas and in greater numbers of units. There is a possibility that it will.
Chairman RussELL. I do not like to appear suspicious, but I am getting pretty leery of all legislation of this type. I realize that the appropriations made for this purpose will be reimbursed by these funds.
Captain ROBERTS. Yes, sir.
Chairman RUSSELL. But that brings the question of where the funds are going to come from that is going to reimburse it. We have got all kinds of aid programs going on where we are spending an awful lot of money and then we are reimbursed by the appropriations to that fund, but in the last analysis the supplies and services are gone are taking out of one pocket and putting it into another.
This is pretty broad language:
Supplies and services, overhauling, repairs, and alterations, including the installation of equipment.
Captain ROBERTS. That is right.
Chairman RUSSELL. You can remake a ship, practically, with that language. You could modernize it, could you not?
Captain ROBERTS. Of course it may be interpreted that way, sir, but I think it is permissive only on the part of the United States and it is done for the United States only as an assistance to the United States in accomplishing its purpose. There is no desire to hand out our supplies; we only do it as necessary to facilitate operations.
Chairman RussELL. I realize that is the way you have operated up until now, Captain.
and you This includes also miscellaneous supplies such as fuel, provisions, spare parts, and general stores.
That would cover most anything except ammunition that went aboard the ship, would it not?
Captain ROBERTS. Yes, sir. That would cover supplies that contributed to the operation.
Chairman RUSSELL. And on a reimbursable basis routine port services such as pilotage, tugs, garbage removal, line handling, and utilities; and (2) routine airport services such as landing and takeoff assistance, use of runways, parking, and servicing.
Under those conditions, if I understand them, we could defray the cost incurred by other countries in foreign ports for port services, pilotage, tugs, garbage removal, and so forth.
Captain ROBERTS. Incurred by United States vessels at foreign ports?
Chairman RUSSELL. We do that now, you are talking about for other countries. This authorizes us to furnish all of this to foreign countries. I want to know if that includes in foreign ports.
Captain ROBERTS. No, sir; that is on a reciprocal basis, that we would furnish it in the United States port and they would furnish it overseas, and I think that NATO has done that, there is a NATO agreement and those will be on the reciprocal basis. Chairman RUSSELL. This is not limited to NATO powers, Captain. Captain ROBERTS. No, sir.
Chairman RUSSELL. It could be any foreign country and under the literal interpretation you could deal with the Soviet navy on this. Captain ROBERTS. Well
, it is limited to friendly foreign nations. Chairman RUSSELL. Where do you find that word “friendly”? I do not find it.
Captain ROBERTS. It says, aircraft of any foreign country which makes available comparable assistance.
Chairman RUSSELL. Well, as I say, we could enter into an agreement with the Russians just as quickly, if they made it available to us.
Captain ROBERTS. But I feel that it is still permissive upon the United States. In other words, at the discretion of the commander.
Chairman RUSSELL. I know, but we are legislating here.
Senator SALTONSTALL. There is some language here, Captain, that I call to the chairman's attention which is unusual language and it is this at the top of page 2:
* * * any foreign country which makes available comparable assistance
(1) Supplies and services such as overhauling, repairs, and alterations, including the installation of equipment; and (2) miscellaneous supplies.
Now, you use the words "supplies and services such as overhauling, repairs, and alterations."
That, of course, is very broad terms, and that is shown only as an example.
Why could you not strike out the words “supplies and services,” because there would not be any question of ammunition, and say "comparable assistance (1) overhauling, repairs, and alterations, including the installation of equipment"?
Then you would not have them as examples. That is a very unusual form of legislation.
Captain ROBERTS. That is acceptable.
Chairman ROBERTS. We have not taken any action on that and we will not until the executive session, but Senator Saltonstall has made a suggestion.
Senator CASE. I would like to ask some questions.
Senator CASE. Under this legislation in the form in which it now is, would the planes which had been supplied to France and which were used in the bombing of Tunisia, would they be able to come to a naval station or ship and ask for replenishment of their bomb supplies?
Captain ROBERTS. No, sir; that is not the purpose.
Senator Case. That is not the purpose, but under the act it could be done under this legislation!
Captain ROBERTS. I think that bombs are not included, sir. “Supplies,” in that terminology-aircraft equipment.
Senator Case. Could the aircraft itself be repaired if it was one of the aircraft used in that bombing in North Africa, say that were injured in some way, could they come to the naval ships.
Captain ROBERTS. Any services and supplies from a naval ship; yes, sir—that would be aircraft of a friendly foreign nation.
Senator Case. I recall Admiral Radford coming and advising that a couple of dozen American airmen were being loaned to France to repair aircraft being used in the struggle that they had 2 years ago on a temporary basis and we were fearful because those mechanics and airmen were placed with the French to service the aircraft which they were using that they might be bombed by hostile aircraft and some of us were wondering if the American airmen on loan were injured in retaliatory bombing if that would not involve the United States in a struggle where we had no declaration of war. Chairman RUSSELL. I recall that incident. We wound up with sev
. eral hundred airmen that stayed there much longer than we thought they would.
Senator CASE. But we did serve notice on the French, I think, we would only go so far and I think that if we are in the business of Joaning military aircraft or turning over military aircraft to other countries and then have incidents of this type, that it is a direct invitation for them to be repaired and to be supplied by our stations and our bases and our ships and gives us less and less control over incidents which could involve the United States in maintaining colonial outposts of some other countries.
Senator STENNIS. Would you yield ?
Senator STENNIS. If we are going to have these foreign aid programs as between the naval forces, is not something along this line almost necessary!
Senator CASE. If you could put in some phrase to make sure that the supplies were being used not when the other country was engaged in military activities, I would then agree, but I do not think we should be put in a position to giving supplies to the other countries when they are in the midst of a military operation.
Senator Bush. Let me ask the captain if he would comment on that. I am impressed with the observation of Senator Case.
Captain ROBERTS. Senator, the purpose of this bill is to facilitate the commitments of our own naval ships overseas and in ports to operate jointly, for one, and to make it easier for the foreign warships in the United States.
It is not intended as a free-for-all, or an open door for periodic supplies, or supplies to maintain their warships; it is to assist in the joint operations and in our commitments with our friendly foreign naval vessels.
Senator Bush. On a reimbursable basis?
Captain ROBERTS. Yes. We do it now under the present bill; we are merely asking that it be put on a reimbursable basis so we could facilitate our operations.
Senator CASE. I think that one of the most effective bits of propaganda which was injected in the United States today is the statement that we are furnishing the aircraft which were used in the bombing of Tunisia, and this would permit those aircraft to be serviced or ships to be repaired or craft in other military operations, independent military operations in which we had no voice in starting and were not directly involved.
Captain ROBERTS. I can only say, sir, aircraft of a friendly foreign nation that requires service in their operations with the United States is intended.
Senator Bush. We have got a naval base down at Rota ?
Senator Bush. The Senator has got a very interesting point. The French aircraft would be able to fly in there and be repaired?
Captain ROBERTS. I do not think that we would offer service, inasmuch as this bill is permissive on the part of the naval commander or the area commander.
Senator STENNIS. You think we could be satisfied that there was no such mission in mind, or problem, before he got it?
Captain ROBERTS. Yes, yes.
Senator STENNIS. You say you are doing this now except not on the reimbursable basis?
Captain ROBERTS. It is being done only on advance of cash.
Senator STENNIS. Is that accepted in naval parlance as being the proper thing to do with friendly nations, “I will help you along the road” proposition?
Captain ROBERTS. To help us, primarily.
Senator STENNIS. I know, but it is on a reciprocal basis, reciprocity is involved.
Captain ROBERTS. Very much so. Great Britain has objected. They state that we have used their coaling station at Hong Kong and various places around the world, and they have got the use of our Honolulu base, from time immemorial.
Senator STENNIS. You mean they object to the present law?
Captain ROBERTS. No; they object to signing the agreement. Our purpose is to put it on a reimbursable basis to facilitate the operations and procedure and make it more flexible for our area commander.
Chairman RUSSELL. Do you think it would be harmful for the purposes of this bill if we were to put in some dollar limitation in here