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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 itis—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 your 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.
Senator GREEN. Then that would be the outside limit.
Mr. BECKER. I would say 10,000 miles could well be taken as an outside limit, although we have never taken any exact position on the point.
Senator GREEN. A good point is if you do reach an agreement with the Soviet Government whether or not you can use any of these terms, the difference between the Russian and the English language as well as the difference in ideas have to be agreed upon; have they not?
Mr. BECKER. Well, Senator Green, I think in all fairness that the discussions between the Soviet Union and ourselves, if they once begin, can avoid some of these problems of definition of things like outer space or airspace because you might take another approach. You might, for example, concentrate on the type of objects that you have in mind and say that this general class of objects will be devoted to peaceful purposes and you may well accomplish your objective there without defining these other terms. That is not, may I say, unusual in our own law. As you undoubtedly well know, you sometimes make rules depending on the characteristics of the activities you engage in.
For example, you have one rule relating to the extraction of petroleum, another rule relating to mining, and another rule relating to subsurface waters. They are all activities underneath the earth.
So, too, you might say that an orbiting object has characteristics that are very definitely different regardless of whether it is in the airspace or the outer space.
Senator GREEN. There are so many new discoveries and inventions that it is very hard to plan for the future with a vocabulary appropriate for it. That is one of the things.
Mr. BECKER. That is one of my difficulties.
Senator GREEN. You speak, in another place, about the atmosphere-rights outside the earth's atmosphere. It is very difficult to define by reason of definition; isn't it?
Mr. BECKER. In parts, yes.
Senator GREEN. And you speak about until such time as mankind has demonstrated the capability of existing outside of atmosphere. Well, now, in addition to the experiments—at least the Soviets are experimenting. They have sent up a dog and I think a man.
Now I read in the paper the other day about men going to higher heights than they have ever reached before. We have got to change our terminology continuously as they proceed to advance. I can imagine easily an invention of some sort or another, a machine, in which a man might go beyond this 10,000 miles, might he not?
Mr. BECKER. He might indeed, sir.
Senator GREEN. And we will have to take that into consideration in this agreement if we ever expect to reach any.
Mr. BECKER. We would have to take that into consideration, and one of our difficulties here is lack of factual knowledge as to what the conditions are when you get out that far or how men react when they get out that far. That is why to some extent we have been inclined to say if you can only agree that you will act peacefully when you get out there, if and when you do, you have made a great step forward.
EFFORTS TOWARD PROPOSALS
Senator GREEN. Well, is any effort being made now to reach such an agreement?
Mr. BECKER. Well, Senator Green, we have indicated that we are prepared to discuss the question and we would do our best to do so. We have not been able to obtain the agreement with the other side that they want to sit down and discuss with us.
Senator GREEN. But have you made any new proposal or do you expect to make any new proposal?
Mr. BECKER. I daresay that there are always different proposals under various stages of preparation in the Department. prepared to say exactly what we may do in a particular context.
Senator GREEN. Are you now planning such a proposal?
Mr. BECKER. I won't say we are planning a definite proposal to be put out on a certain day. We have the subject under constant study as to what proposal we could make.
Senator GREEN. You hope to make a proposal as a result of all this study, I suppose. Is that right?
Mr. BECKER. Well, I would say, “Yes, we hope to."
SOVEREIGNTY CLAIMS IN THE ANTARCTIC
Now on page 7 you talk about Antarctica. We have never made any claim anywhere there; have we?
Mr. BECKER. No, we have not, Senator.
Senator GREEN. While other nations have made them and maintained them, have they not
Mr. BECKER. That is correct, Senator.
Mr. BECKER. The other day—it was about a week or so ago—the United States made a definite proposal with respect to the Antarctic. We addressed a note to 11 nations having a direct interest, or claims of sovereignty, there. In that note we pointed out that, although some nations had made such claims, we had not, and we proposed-we expressly reserved our rights, because we do have rights in Antarctica because of our activities, and in that note we proposed that the nations agree upon an international administration for the Antarctic, and as a part of that agreement. They would all agree that the position with respect to sovereignty would become, you might say, frozen for the duration of the agreement, so that any activities engaged in during the period of the agreement would not be relied upon later as a basis for claiming sovereignty. Therefore, here was a situation where we felt that we could forget for the moment about claims of sovereignty, each of us reserving our rights, we not recognizing any claims heretofore made, they not recognizing any rights we may have, although we reserved all our rights, but we could get on with ihe administration of the Antarctic and continue the scientific cooperation that had existed previously with respect to the International Geo
physical Year and also agree that that area would be devoted to peaceful purposes.
Senator GREEN. How many nations have claimed soverign rights there?
Mr. BECKER. I would have to get that figure. I think it is about 5 or 6, Senator Green.
Senator GREEN. Have those 5 or 6 all agreed in refusing to recognize this proposition of the United States that they give up some of the rights of their claim in favor of us who have made no claim to rights there? Is that right?
Mr. BECKER. We are not asking them to give up rights. We are asking them to put their rights, you might say their claims, in escrow.
Senator GREEN. Give up their sovereign rights?
Mr. BECKER. No. We are not asking them to give up their sovereign rights. We have never recognized sovereign rights. They have made a claim of sovereignty.
Senator GREEN. They don't care if you do or not, do they? They have got them.
Mr. BECKER. A claim of sovereignty makes no difference. You have rights, and a claim of sovereignty does not increase your rights.
Senator GREEN. How early did the first nation claim rights there, sovereign rights?
Mr. BECKER. I don't know that offhand, but it was a number of years ago.
Senator JOHNSON. Senator Green, could I make a brief statement? I am going to have to leave for the floor and ask you to conclude the hearing, and when you conclude your questions, counsel may have some questions he may want to ask.
I should like to announce that because of the illness of one of the witnesses scheduled this morning and a conflict of engagements on the part of another, the committee will resume its hearing in this room tomorrow morning at 10 a. m. The first witness will be Dr. Detlev Bronk, Chairman of the National Academy of Sciences.
Thank you, Senator Green. You may proceed with your examinaand, if you will, please preside.
Senator GREEN. Thank you.
I think it would be helpful if you give us a little summary of the history of the Antarctic and the claims of sovereignty.
Mr. BECKER. I will be very glad to do so, Senator Green.
Senator GREEN. Well, a number of nations—we don't know exactly how many-have made claims and maintained them for a good many years now. What proportion of the area have they claimed?
Mr. BECKER. A very large proportion. I think it is a relatively small porportion that hasn't been covered by one claim or another.
Senator GREEN. So if we put in a claim consistent with theirs, it would be a very small area, would it not?
Mr. BECKER. Not at all, Senator Green. We have engaged in activities within the areas that have been claimed by a number of other nations, and we would always have the right to claim sovereignty depending on the activities upon which we had engaged.
Senator GREEN. Well, has that sovereignty ever been challenged by anyone, even ourselves?