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Senator JOHNSON. Do you mean we may have had some negotiations or made some proposals that the Department wouldn't want the committee to know about?
Mr. BECKER. That we would not want to be made public; yes, sir, Mr. Chairman.
Senator JOHNSON. Could you so indicate, if that is the fact?
NATIONAL SPACE POLICY AND DEFENSE SPACE POLICY
Senator GREEN. In the first place, let me congratulate you on the very interesting and illuminating paper which you have submitted.
Mr. BECKER. Thank you, sir.
Senator GREEN. I would like to ask you a few questions, largely only to make clearer the contents.
You speak at the very beginning, the first paragraph about the posing of highly important questions of national policy and of defense policy. Where do you draw the line between the two?
Mr. BECKER. The line I meant to draw, Senator Green, was between civilian and military activities in outer space. I was thinking of national policy as being the civilian aspect of it that would not necessarily be included in the defense policy. I think you could define national policy to include defense policy.
Senator GREEN. I don't know whether you are using policy in the defense field and the national field in different senses when you apply it to outer space and when you apply it to the earth.
Mr. Becker. No; I did not intend to do that.
Senator GREEN. That there shall be a national policy and a defense policy.
Mr. BECKER. Yes, sir.
DISCUSSION OF SPACE “OBJECTS"
Now, you are saying:
In concert with our allies, we formally proposed beginning measures to control for peaceful purposes the sending of objects through outer space.
What do you mean by objects?
Mr. BECKER. That word was used to be as all-inclusive as we could make it. It would include, to take the things that are most commonly thought of now, either a missile or a satellite.
Senator GREEN. Yes; but those are illustrations of objects. I don't know that they are all-inclusive.
Would you call a sound wave an object?
Mr. BECKER. No; I would not.
Senator GREEN. Where do you limit objects? How do you define it?
Mr. BECKER. I would say something having mass in the generally colloquially accepted sense.
Senator GREEN. What is the generally accepted sense, in your words?
Mr. BECKER. Something tangible, something that you can feel.
Senator GREEN. Is it generally in all languages? What would be the Russian for "objects?”
Mr. BECKER. I don't know that.
Senator GREEN. In your proposals to Russia, have you used the word “objects?''
Mr. BECKER. Would you repeat your question, Senator Green?
Senator GREEN. In discussions of this subject with Russia, have you used the word "objects” as having a specific meaning?
Mr. BECKER. No; I think we have used—this is a proposal that was brought out in the United Nations. I am not aware that we have had any other than letters or discussions of the subject in published letters, any discussions on this point, any definition of this particular term.
Senator GREEN. Do you think that the United States and the Russians use it as having the same meaning?
Mr. BECKER. I don't even know what the Russian term is.
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND ELIMINATION OF FOREIGN BASES
Senator GREEN. Let me see, I have just jotted down questions as you read your paper.
On page 11, you say: Further, we see no link between international space cooperation and elimination of foreign bases.
What do you mean by that? What had you in mind?
Mr. BECKER. We believe that cooperation in outer space can be discussed separately and apart from the elimination of foreign bases of the United States.
Senator GREEN. But they cannot be discussed together; is that what you mean?
Mr. BECKER. We are not prepared to discuss the elimination of our foreign bases in that context. We have overall disarmament proposals.
Senator GREEN. That is what you have done. Aren't you capable of discussing them both together?
Mr. BECKER. My answer to that, Senator Green, would be that we reject the inference that in order to discuss cooperation in outer space, we should be prepared to concede that that may be a quid pro quo for the elimination of our foreign bases.
Senator GREEN. Yes; but you see you say you see no link. That means there is no link yet agreed on, but doesn't mean that there could be no link?
Mr. BECKER. Everything is possible, but we are not prepared to admit that link.
Senator GREEN. You are not prepared to concede it?
Senator GREEN. You are worried that with the discussion linked with foreign bases, elimination of foreign bases might result from agreement on international space cooperation. Is that right? Mr. BECKER. Not in our view, Senator Green. Senator GREEN. It couldn't follow?
Mr. BECKER. We think before we eliminate our foreign bases, we are going to have to have a basis of constructive progress in disarmament as a whole.
Senator GREEN. That is just what I asked you, and I thought you answered it the opposite way.
If there is established a link between international space cooperation and foreign bases, in other words that was agreed upon, couldn't it follow that that would result in elimination of foreign bases?
Mr. BECKER. Oh, I understand you now.
Mr. BECKER. The only proposal of which I am aware is this Soviet proposal.
Senator GREEN. Have you made any counterproposal?
Mr. BECKER. Because we felt our position was clear when we indicated that the primary objection we had was to the linkage between elimination of bases and cooperation in space.
It is the purport of my testimony today, I believe, that we are willing to discuss cooperation in space exploration independently of the elimination of the foreign bases.
Senator GREEN. Well, have you made such a proposal?
Senator GREEN. You have made no other proposal. You haven't made any proposals to Russia; have you?
Mr. BECKER. We have, as I have indicated.
We have asked them to sit down on what we regard as an even more important question: the guaranty that space will be devoted to peaceful purposes only.
That is the proposal we have affirmatively made.
Mr. BECKER. Well, we have included in the items that were suggested for a possible summit conference discussion of that general question, too.
Senator GREEN. Now, have they acted on both of those proposals?
Mr. BECKER. Their position up to this point--as I understand it, is—and this is according to the most recent word we have had on the question--is that any discussion of joint exploration of space will be linked with the elimination of United States military bases abroad.
Senator GREEN. What is your reply to that?
Senator GREEN. Then, have they made any other proposals besides that common proposal?
Mr. BECKER. No; I do not believe they have.
Senator GREEN. You have reached a deadlock, then, on the question of whether that should be included or not, and, otherwise, no proposals have been made on either side, as I understand it.
Is that right?
DEFINITION OF "OUTER SPACE" AND "AIRSPACE"
Senator GREEN. How do you define outer space, which you have used in various places?
Mr. BECKER. I am not prepared to define outer space exactly at this time.
There are a number of definitions that could be suggested.
One is that it is the area outside the atmosphere. There is no generally agreed definition of the atmosphere or the airspace.
As I indicated in my testimony, it might be said to extend as high as 10,000 miles.
Other proposals have been made that it should be thought to be that area above the earth's surface where there is some aerodynamic lift. That would be, of course, a much more limited definition.
Insofar as the proposals are concerned, we would intend to discuss all types of what are now known as space missiles or orbiting objects.
Senator GREEN. Well, in what sense do you use it in this statement, this written statement you have submitted?
Mr. BECKER. We use it in the sense to include discussion of what are now missiles or satellites, to include discussion of what shall be done with respect to those objects.
We haven't made any final definition of the specific area, and would like to discuss the pacification of the objects, because it may take us some time to reach a generally agreed-upon definition of outer space, as distinguished from airspace.
To some extent, there are facts lacking in order to make a final determination on that point.
Senator GREEN. Well, on page 12, for instance, to use an illustration-you were using it as fairly definite. You say: whether that attack originates in outer space or passes through outer space in order to reach the United States.
So you make a definite distinction between the two, whether it originates in outer space or passes through outer space. Then you give a very vague statement that it is incapable of definition.
Mr. BECKER. With regard to that statement, it doesn't make any difference how far out outer space it, because the right to protect yourself against an attack would extend out as far as an attack could originate.
Senator GREEN. No; but it implies delineation of some--you speak of originates in outer space” or passes through outer space.”
You must have some more or less definite idea as to what you are talking about.
Mr. BECKER. Senator Green, I think you are reaching for preciseness in an area where, today, because of lack of adequate facts, we cannot be precise.
I think that we are using these terms in a rather colloquial sense, as I have said, to include the area where your satellites and ur space vehicles penetrate. We cannot be a great deal more exact at this time, but I think people generally understand what we have in mind.
Senator GREEN. Well, it is so difficult for them to understand it, if you don't yourself.
On page 15, you say that you have never taken a definite position as to this term "airspace.
Mr. BECKER. That is correct.
Mr. BECKER. "Airspace" is a term that is used both in the Paris Convention of 1919, which relates to civil avaition—that particular convention was never ratified by the United States—and, also, in the Chicago Convention of 1944, relating to civil aviation, which was ratified by the United States.
The International Civil Air Organization was set up under the Chicago Convention of 1944. There is not contained in that convention any definition of "airspace," so that there isn't any generally agreed definition.
Some of the difficulty I am having is that even the scientists don't agree as to how "airspace” should be defined. That is certainly joined in by the lawyers who try to interpret these conventions, because there just is not agreement as yet on that point.
Senator GREEN. So when you use it, you use it without definition and it is a vague term.
Mr. BECKER. It is indeed. Senator GREEN. And it is a case of any atmosphere or no atmosphere?
Mr. BECKER. Well, one possible definition is as far as the atmosphere extends. I may say that aside from this rather extreme 10,000 miles, there was an article the other day indicating that some responsible scientist said that there were indications of atmosphere up to 40,000 or even 200,000 miles from the surface of the earth.
Senator GREEN. And you might use it—the term might be used having that meaning
Mr. BECKER. I think the latter is a little too extreme, Senator Green, to be in context.