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United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Gove.

The Export reorganization act, 1975 : hearings before the Committee on Government Operations, United States Senate, Ninety-fourth Congress, first session, April 24, 30, and May 1, 1975 online

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on foreign policies. It seems to me we have to pin these things down
a little, not just to pin a person down — quite the opposite. I think
this would strengthen a President's hand in foreign policies because
for the first time in modern history foreign countries would now
know that when they have an executive agreement they either get
or do not get the commitment of the Congress to back up the Presi-
dent, They know what they could rely on. Our President would know
what his backing is. There would not be any more of this vague stuff.
We do not have an imperial Presidency in this country.

You are triggering me off into a campaign speech here. I will
cease and desist with this and get on with my questioning.

Admiral La Rocque. Let me say I am glad that the citizens of
Ohio did send you here, Senator.

Senator Glenn. Thank you.

Admiral La Rocqtte. I just might add to your comments, Mr.
Chairman, concerning commitments. "When I was in the Joint Staff
2 years ago, Chairman Max Taylor called me in and two of my col-



55-430 O - 75 - 30



460

leagues and said, "I wish you feflows would try and figure out how
many troops we need to meet our commitments." That meant first
of all we wanted to look at all of our treaty commitments around the
world, including NATO. We came back in 3 days and we said, "Mr.
Chairman, we cannot rationalize one soldier, one airman, one sailor
on the basis of any treaty commitments we have made." NATO is
handled on an annual basis which was then called the "Annual Re-
view Questionnaire" in which each nation, as you may remember,
says this is what we are going to provide to NATO. So it is sort of
an annual commitment. But it is whatever the nation in each of
the countries decides it is going to submit. But there is not one troop
under any of our treaties or executive agreements that can be justi-
fied on the basis of written commitments that are public in any
event.

Senator Glenn. Scientific advances and technical advances no
longer remain in one country. Whether we like it or not, they spread.
Nuclear proliferation is going to follow the advancing knowledge of
nuclear technology and science around the world. Some of our people
have taken the view that the only reason we have as much control
over this as we have is the fact that we have been the principal sup-
plier and are able to deal with people and furnish the equipment and
the enriched uranium.

So by being a part and parcel of this commercial process, we have
literally been able to control what has gone on so far, to a degree,
of course. If we drop out of this, if we stop exporting commercial
nuclear power, the thought is that France or other nations will fill
that gap and might not try to influence as much damp controls for
preventing this power being misused for atomic weaponry develop-
ment.

What are your comments on that ?

Admiral La Rocque. I think, Mr. Chairman, we are going to have
to look down the road a bit to where every nation in the world has
a nuclear reactor. I quite agree with you, there is no way that we
can stem the flow of this technology.

If they have nuclear reactors, it is going to be impossible, even
for neighboring nations, or even powerful nations to prevent them —
the governments of these nations — from taking the plutonium and
developing their own explosive device or whatever they call it.

I think we have to accept that. I do not think there is any way
that we can prevent it. I would hope that we could exercise some
controls through the IAEA. That is the only way I think it can
be done and we would have to accept whatever they are.

Senator Glenn. They do not exercise control.

Admiral La Rocque. True.

Senator Glenn. They supply information. I think it is more for
information than control.

Admiral La Rocque. I stand corrected. That is a very good point
because there is no control. I do not think there can be any control
for observation, the monitoring and perhaps the reporting. Dis-
closure may be of some use, and even there I doubt very much if a
nation wanted to do it clandestingly and did not want to give it to
the IAEA, that organization would not know about it.



461

But I just think we have to accept it as one of the hazards of our
age. Nuclear power is too important to these developing nations.

Senator Glenn. Do you think the safeguards are effective or do
you think they are bad? One of the things this bill deals with, of
course, concerns who will conduct the licensing operations and who
has the final veto power over it. Should NRC have that, as opposed
to ERDA or somebody else ? The bill proposes that since NRC has —
or should have — the technical capability to assess what is and is not
safe and secure, that they should have a veto whether it is licensed,
even though the Commerce Department would be the agency issuing
the actual licenses for the sale of nuclear energy.

Admiral La Rocque. I think that has to be taken out of Commerce
— or not put into Commerce and to be left with some agency that
has some expertise in this field. The new split off of the Atomic
Energy Commission could do it.

But there are two kinds of safeguard measures, and perhaps many
more. There is the safeguard within the country for its own purposes
to prevent an unexplained or dramatic explosion of a nuclear power-
plant. I think each country is going to have to be very concerned
about that themselves. But if it is a danger to them, and we can
assume some assistance perhaps and guidelines that they will take
whatever precautions are necessary to protect themselves.

The other safeguard, which is much more difficult, is where terror-
ists or other groups can divert a portion of the plutonium and make
their own nuclear weapon.

The third kind, really, is where you have nuclear weapons within
a country and they are inadequately safeguarded.

I know our own Defense Department is not happy about our own
safeguarding of our own nuclear weapons overseas. Mr. Schlesinger
has recently said he is trying to improve it, which means to me he
is not happy with it.

Senator Glenn. I think your statement indicates to me that you
look upon, and correct me if I am wrong, you look upon the com-
mercial view for nuclear energy as almost being a prelude to their
developing their own weaponry if they wanted to.

Admiral La Rocque. Yes, sir; I don't think you can stop a sov-
ereign nation that has a nuclear powerplant from developing its own
nuclear device and nuclear weapons.

Senator Glenn. You are probably proposing that we not sell
nuclear powerplants to them.

Admiral La Rocque. I think if we do not sell them, as you point
out — or as you mention — someone else will. I think these impover-
ished nations are going to need nuclear energy to improve their
standard of living. We are going to have to accept the fact that
nations are going to provide their own safeguards.

It gets back to your business that the whole world is getting smaller
and we are going to have to work more closely with all of the
nations of the world who develop these nuclear powerplants.

Senator Glenn. Admiral, I am going to have to go. There is a
vote I must give. I was just about at the end of my questioning. Do
you have any other comment you would wish to make, just so long
as it does not take more than 3 minutes.



462

Admiral La Rocque. This will just take 1 minute. I apologize for
coming in late this morning. I was giving a talk to the Society of
Naval Engineers at a local hotel here this morning.

I would just like to suggest these points as a guideline for any
legislation that you decide to do in connection with our sales, that
is, that our sales be in consonance with our foreign policy. That our
sales and military equipment or weapons not destabilize an area of
the world. That there be some provision for congressional oversight.
And last, that sales of arms contribute in a positive way to our
national defense and not in any way contribute in a negative way to
our national defense.

Senator Glenn. Not to be sold strictly for commercial purposes.

Admiral La Rocque. That is correct.

Senator Glenn. We appreciate having you here this morning. I
know you have been gathering tremendous amounts of information.
We appreciate your expertise.

Admiral La Rocque. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Senator Glenn. The hearing is adjourned, subject to call of the
chairman.

[Whereupon, at 12:20 p.m. the hearing adjourned, subject to call
by the chairman.]



463
APPENDIX



STATEMENT OF JOHN NELSON WASHBURN, Ph.D., LL.B., SUBMITTED
MAY 9, 1975 TO THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS UNITED
STATES SENATE FOR HEARINGS ON S . 1439 - THE EXPORT REORGANIZATION
ACT OF 1975 - CONDUCTED BY SENATOR JOHN GLENN, A COSPONSOR OF
S. 12339, IN HIS CAPACITY AS AD HOC CHAIRMAN OF SUCH HEARINGS
BEGUN APRIL 24, 1975

MR. CHAIRMAN:

I am John Nelson Washburn, a Washington-based international
lawyer, teacher and journalist. During service as an attorney-adviser
(international) from 1958 to 1966 in the Office of the Legal Adviser
of the Department of State U.S.A. I was involved in monitoring
International Atomic Energy Agency matters, including the development,
initiation and administration of international safeguards designed to
prevent atoms for peace from being diverted to atoms for war. Moreover,!
served from October 1958 to March 1959 as a U.S. Delegation advisor at
the three-Power(U.K. , U.S.A., U.S.S.R.) Conference on the Discontinuance
of Nuclear Weapon Tests, which led to the conclusion years later of
The Limited Test Ban Treaty.

In view of my long experience (since October 1945 while on army
occupation duty at the 38th parallel in Korea) as a Soviet affairs
specialist, I have developed "po gor'komu opytu(from bitter experience)"
a healthy cycnism about the prospects for international cooperation
at the United Nations and elsewhere in this field devoted to the
peaceful uses of atomic energy. Accordingly, Mr. Chairman, I find very
refreshing your comments of Thursday, April 24, made in the face of the
reassuring words from the great experts with lofty status before you:

"We could coordinate until breakfast, and all of the
coordination between agencies does not mean anything, unless
we really have a handle on where the plutonium in the world is.

"I do not share your confidence for the moment about
IAEA having a good handle on all of this, nor do I have all of
the confidence that some of you gentlemen have exhibited with
regard to the cooperative efforts of solving our problems."

Regardless of whether you wish to characterize your position
quoted above as "rather harsh indictments" or mere criticism, I would
respectfully propose that you undertake to widen your circle of witnesses
on S. 1439 beyond those you have stated to be "the most experienced
people in the world in this area of regulatory control." Why not call,
for example, in view of the apparent diversion of plutonium by India,
for which the U.S.S.R. is a valuable mentor in nuclear matters, American



464



scientists who have served at the Soviet Union's nuclear center in
Dubna or the skilled Department of State Language Services Division
Russian interpreter William Krimer who has interpreted for atomic
energy delegations in both the U.SoA. and the U.S.S.R.?

If, Mr. Chairman, "We are playing doomsday today here.", as
you warned April 24, then you should make every effort to probe much
deeper into each troublesome aspect in the growing trend toward covert
spreading of nuclear weapons and explosives. This will perhaps be
more difficult than it otherwise would be because of the gross over-
evaluation of the significance of such international legal instruments
as The Limited Test Ban Treaty. As a participant in the most
preliminary stage of the drafting of this legal instrument, I can
assure you that the definitive text acceptable to the U.K., U.S.A. and
the U.S.S.R. in 1963 was tantamount to what the United States Delegation
of 1958-1959 considered prospective language for preambular provisions;
provisions for on-site inspection teams and posts of inspectors located
within the territory of parties to such a legal instrument were absent
when The Limited Test Ban Treaty was signed in Moscow with key United
States Senators in attendance. Both Democratic and Republican
Administrations of the past two decades have used the process of
negotiations and the nuclear agreements concluded in a transparent
effort to convince the American public and indeed the world that a
succession of foreign policy triumphs have been developed. It is high
time to eschew such attempts to equate publicity with genuine progress;
if we realize that we have made little or no progress, then we shall
do much more and better work to reverse the already ominous trend in
the spreading of nuclear weapons and explosives.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I respectfully submit that you
take comprehensive testimony from Admiral H.G. Rickover, for it may be
that in your efforts through S, 1439 to centralize the export licensing
and approval function in the Commerce Department, a Federal department
renowned for its subservience to the Department of State in matters
affecting applications to export to Communist countries in general and
to the Soviet Union in particular, you may actually facilitate without
genuine safeguards applied by tough-minded officials the export to the
U.S.S.R. of strategically sensitive hardware. If you should doubt
the possibility of any such occurrence detrimental to U.S. security
interests, then read carefully the excerpt below from Vice Admiral H.G.
Rickover' s March 19,1970 testimony before the JCAE - a sobering TAB#1«



465

Mr. Chairman, there is now in the files of the U.S. Senate
Committee on Foreign Relations detailed testimony submitted on the
occasion of the nomination of Elliot L. Richardson to be United States
Ambassador to the United Kingdom which specifically identifies him as
the individual responsible for conducting these 1969-1970 State
Department efforts to give away Polaris submarine technology in his
capacity as Under Secretary of State.

Excerpt from hearings before the Joint Committee on Atomic
Energy Congress of the United States Ninety-first Congress, Second
Session, on Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, March 19, 1970,
Testimony of Vice Admiral H. G. Rickover, pp. 2-101 at pp. 9-15
follows :



466

STATE DEPARTMENT DESIRES TO GIVE NTJCLEAR PROPULSION TECHNOLOGY

AWAY

Admiral Rickover. Senator Aiken, despite all of this there is cur-
rently significant pressure from the State Department to give our
nuclear propulsion technology away. The only thing that deters them
is the knowledge of where this committee and Congress stands. I tell
you this, and I tell it as strongly as I can.

Senator Aiken. I am asking this question because I am also a
member of the Foreign Relations Committee, and I intend to find
out more about this as far as the State Department is concerned be-
cause I feel we should not sell our nuclear submarines to other coun-
tries, some perhaps who have very little experience with them anyway.
Undoubtedly there would be some knowledge transmitted to these
other countries. Once that is done, away it goes. The Russians have
undoubtedly gotten a great deal of information already in different
ways from us.

I am also concerned lest our nuclear endeavors be used as a diplo-
matic ploy; a trade to get some imagined concessions from other
countries, and this applies particularly to Russia. Then we had a
consortium. We have had this testimony before this committee so
there is no need of going over it again.

I simply have to say that I don't approve of such a sale. If we lead
the world in one respect it is probably in the naval nuclear submarines
and naval nuclear surface ships today. I think we ought to retain that
advantage and not through an entity of government run the risk of
losing it.

Representative Anderson. Will the Senator yield?

It seems to me the point you are making this, afternoon is particu-
larly valid in view of reports — and this is in the classified domain, I
believe — about the possibility that land based missiles may some day
be obsolete and that we might have to go back to relying largely on
underwater nuclear deterrence as the one thing that would be still
credible.

Senator Aiken. The slogan of the Defense Department used to be
that if it works, it is obsolete, but certainl}* not a slogan to the effect
it is obsolete before it is started. It is usually at least finished.

That is all I have to say. I merely wanted to express my concern,
and I shall take it up with the State Department.

SENATOR CLINTON P. ANDERSON'S STATEMENT

Chairman Holifield. Senator Aiken, I think you are on the right
track, and I hadn't intended to read this. It is a statement by Senator
Anderson. He was called out of the city and asked that it he included
in the record. However, it might be well if I were to read it.

(Reading) "For at least the past 10 years this committee has had
to fend off repeated attempts by the State Department and sometimes
the Defense Department to give away our nuclear propulsion infor-
mation. In all of these cases I cannot recall one single instance, had
this committee gone along, where the United States would have bene-
fited. In fact, had we done what was proposed 10 years ago to share
our technology with all our European friends, there is no question
in my mind that our Polaris weapon system would be completely
ineffective today.



467

"There is no precedent or law which requires one nation to share all
of its military M'cjvts with its allies. Why this concept is so difficult for
people in tin- State Department to understand is beyond me. I would
think that a rudimentary knowledge of history would make this per-
fectly dear. Recognizing that maintaining military secrets in a free
society such as ours is so much more difficult than in a police state, wc
should not go out of our way to give the information away or to use
this information to buy friendship. History should have taught us by
now that you do not 'buy' friendship from your allies especially when
the price is your own security.

"We are often told that if we don't help country 'A' by giving them
information or material, they will go and seek it from country 'B'. The
State. Department tells us this is bad, and we should not let it happen.
I disagree. As far as I am concerned, it is about time those countries
stopped depending on the United States. If they are going to use that
argument, as a threat, we should tell them to go ahead.

"I suspect that in most of these cases, representatives of our own
Government have enticed the foreign governments into asking for
these secrets in the expectation that they will receive a favorable re-
sponse. This makes the U.S. representative look good in the eyes of
the foreign government. The. U.S. representative thinks he is doing a
good job because 'liis' foreign government is happy. Then when Con-
gress will not approve the give-away, the U.S. representative just
shrugs his shoulders and blames Congress. Sometimes I wonder if
our Government representatives in foreign countries understand what
their job really is.

"Of course there is another aspect, which is just as bad. I am sure
there are many private companies in the United States that would be
delighted if this country took on the role of providing the entire world
with everything— especially their own product. If we agreed to supply
20 polaris submarines to some foreign government, there are many
U.S. companies that would stand off in the wings and cheer. In fact,
I expect many foreign governments are encouraged along these lines
through devious channels into the foreign governments and our own."

CONGRESS OPPOSF.D TO GIVING U.S. TECHNOLOGY AWAY

"It is fortunate the Atomic Energy Act has provisions to keep this
from happening. I would like to assure the State Department that I,
this committee, and the Congress are opposed to giving away this in-
formation which is so vital to our protection. It is time the Secretary
of State stopped the 'do-gooders' in his Department from being more
concerned with their client countries than they are with the security of
the United States." [End of reading.]

This fit in so closely with what you had just said that I felt I should
read it. Senator Anderson, as you know, is the chairman of our Sub-
committee on Security.

As long as we are on this subject, I have a question for you, Ad-
miral. Last June, the committee was advised by the State Department
that [classified matter deleted]. The State Department assured us that
they would continue to be in close touch with the committee on this
subject; however, we have heard nothing further from them on this
matter.



468

V.Y! \-<i tell us what has transpired and where the matter stands?
It \.ls i;rv,-r Uvn clear to me who it is within our Government that
j» ui.ind thr-A' recurrent campaigns to give away our Polaris sub-
marine technology.

Admiral Kickovek. 1 will do my best, sir; this is a very involved sub-
ject. If 1 may, 1 will begin with the last part of your question; that
is who is responsible? In this case, the answer is quite clear: it is the
Department of State, and no one else. Each time the matter has been
raised, the other agencies involved [classified matter deleted] have
unanimously recommended against sharing this technology [classi-
fied matter deleted] allies. Only the State Department has kept the
matter alive.

ADMIRAL RICKOVEr's "LITTLE PLAYTHING"

As the committee is aware from the numerous previous hearings on
this subject, the State Department has very little appreciation for
the value of our Polaris submarine propulsion technology and its
strategic implications. They have been trying to give it away for
years. In this connection, there is much significance in a remark made
recently by a State Department official to a Defense Department rep-
resentative; he referred sarcastically to our naval nuclear propulsion
technology as "Admiral Rickovers little plaything.'' This is a very
revealing statement. It implies, first, that the technology in question
is trivial, to the point of childishness; and, second, that 1 am the only
person trying to protect it.

I must say that, in a period when nuclear-powered submarines play
the principal role in our strategic deterrent, the security of this tech-
nology somehow does not strike me as being trivial or childish. I would
also note — contrary to the impression the State Department official was
trying to convey — it is not I alone who feel we must continue to pro-
tect this technology, but rather the State Department alone which
persists in the opposite view. The [classified matter deleted] are wholly
in agreement with my views on this matter, and this committee's po-
sition, which is also opposed to further dissemination of this sensitive
teclmology abroad, is well known.

The idea that I could marshal this level and magnitude of responsi-
ble support, for a childish whim, sir, is manifestly absurd. If I actually
possessed that sort, of influence, I assure you the world would be a
different place. So would the State Department.

I believe this committee is well aware that the only "plaything" I
have or have ever had is the security and well-being of the United
States; I am thankful the members of the committee and the Con-
gress regard these interests as their "plaything" as well.

STRONG EXECUTIVE BRANCH OPPOSITION" TO FOREIGN ASSISTANCE

With respect to the first part of your question, sir, what has tran-
spired has been a classic case of bureaucratic procrastination and ma-
neuvering. Since last June there have been a long series of meetings,
letters, and interagency memorandums on how we should handle [clas-
sified matter deleted] request. At each point of discussion, all the cog-
nizant agencies except the State Department have agreed that we could
arrange general, nontechnical discussions with [classified matter de-



469

ieted 1 on the financial implications and training requirements of a
naval nuclear propulsion program. They agreed unanimously, how-
ever, that it would not be in the national interest to enter into a coop-
erative arrangement [classified matter deleted] in this field, or to
disclose U.S. naval nuclear propulsion information [classified matter
deleted] allies. Their reasons for this position are as follows:

U.S. ASSISTANCE ENTAILS GREAT RISKS, LITTLE ADVANTAGE

First, assistance to additional governments would substantially in-
crease the risk that highly sensitive technology, not otherwise avail-



Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Committee on GoveThe Export reorganization act, 1975 : hearings before the Committee on Government Operations, United States Senate, Ninety-fourth Congress, first session, April 24, 30, and May 1, 1975 → online text (page 39 of 47)