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on the amount involved, Captain? This is a broad grant of authority here.
Captain ROBERTS. I am not prepared to say at this time about putting a dollar limitation on it. The ship might need a major overhaul job to get him back home or to get him ready for an exercise, you might say.
Chairman RUSSELL. I though you said that it has only been $1,200,000 last year; did you not?
Captain ROBERTS. Yes, sir, over the fiscal year, that is that part of fiscal 1956 and fiscal 1957.
Chairman RUSSELL. I was of the opinion that we never would have had any great difficulty if the ship was really in trouble, for example, if two ships rammed each other, I did not think that we waited for a whole lot of formality; I though that we tried to get it into a dock and fixed it up-and we have been doing that for a hundred years; haven't we?
Captain ROBERTS. Yes, sir; but when we are in a port and there is no emergency, then the procedure is to go through the channels of those nations and after the amount of the estimate of cost is reported.
Senator Bush. I cannot see why it should take very long with the communication facilities we have.
Captain ROBERTS. The vessel must have the cash. Now, we have had cases where we have had exercises and we have had a ship in our port which did not go into the exercise and it was necessary to delay the exercise because of the time to get the money from his country.
Senator Bush. But is that not a question of being embarrassed ? Captain ROBERTS. That is correct.
Senator Bush. It is a question of social embarrassment more than anything else.
Captain ROBERTS. That is a part.
Captain ROBERTS. Well, there are two parts. We have had embarrassment with Great Britain on that.
Senator Bush. I frankly do not object to the bill itself, but I do not think that it is too important a matter.
Senator CASE. Mr. Chairman, the existing law provides that this can be done on a reimbursable basis without advance of funds if there was a prior agreement confirming reciprocal rights to the United States.
Captain ROBERTS. Yes, sir; but we have tried to negotiate reciprocal agreements with friendly nations.
Senator CASE. With Èngland ?
Captain ROBERTS. Èngland has negotiated, but will not sign an agreement.
Senator SALTONSTALL (presiding). In the absence of the chairman may I ask another question ?
Suppose you put on page 2 under subparagraph (b) this limitation:
“The Secretary may authorize any United State naval activity," and then insert "in territorial waters of the United States or waters
under its control to furnish on a reciprocal basis”--that would eliminate any question at all of our doing it without cost, things such as pilotage, garbage removal, and so forth, in any port outside the United States?
That, I think, is the purpose, as you have explained it. That would tie this bill down a bit. If you agree that might be helpful.
Then the question is whether we ought to put that same language in under (a). I am not sure that it should go under (a) because you have got those ships in the Mediterranean and you might want to do it on a reimbursable basis over there.
Captain ROBERTS. At this time I see no reason why it should not be done under (b). I do not think it would be appropriate under (a) inasmuch as we are operating in those waters with friendly naval vessels, and that is where we need the services.
Senator SALTONSTALL. Mr. Chairman, I was asking:
Captain, would it be perfectly agreeable to you on page 2, subparagraph (1), at line 3, supposing we said, "supplies and services of repairs and alterations” instead of "supplies and services such as”?
That would be clear as to what the supplies and services were to do, it would seem to me that was essential.
Senator CASE. Supposing you use the language of the present law. Mr. Chairman, the present law gives them the authority to furnish foreign naval vessels in ports of the United States (1) routine port services, including pilotage, tugs, garbage removal, line handling, and utilities, on a reimbursable basis," and so forth.
I do not think that it is quite true that this is merely proposing to do what is now done, when you come to the words “routine port services, including pilotage, tugs, garbage removal, line handling, and utilities," strike that out and use the language "supplies and services such as overhauling, repairs, and alterations, including the installation of equipment”_"overhauling, repairs, and alterations, including the installation of equipment” is a much broader thing than providing routine port facilities including pilotage, tugs, garbage removal, and so forth.
Chairman RUSSELL. I think that we will want to look this bill over a little bit before we take any action on it. Are there any further questions of Captain Roberts at this time?
(The committee agreed to consider the bill (H. R. 5237) at a later date.)
(Whereupon, at 12:10 p.m., the open hearing was concluded.)
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