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Senator McCLELLAN. I meant security in his position, not in a financial way.
Mr. Price. Not in his job.
Senator McCLELLAN. No; I appreciate that. But a lot of folks take a great deal more pride in the acquisition, if I may use that term, of authority and power than they do, necessarily, in financial gain.
I'm not arguing the question. I'm just trying to evaluate here what we are doing and, if the circumstances, the world conditions, the challenges that confront us, and the emergency are such as to warrant our taking this very-I regard it as a very unusual, extraordinary course of action. Maybe they do. I'm not saying that they don't. I want to weigh it in that light.
Mr. PRICE. I think the considerations you have outlined, Senator, are very important ones. It seems to me that here, if the present state of world affairs warrants the setting up of this kind of agency at all, it warrants setting it up on the basis where the head of the Agency is in a position to be one of the leading figures in the total executive councils of the President. I think the record, generally, shows that if a man is serving as an executive under a Government board, it is impossible for him to pull any real weight in the President's inner councils.
Now, I don't think that this would lead me to say that this bill ought to prescribe that the head of this Agency should have Cabinet rank or sit in the Security Council. I think that kind of provision is unwise in legislation. But I think, if this man is of the stature he should be to do the job, the President ought to want to have him frequently at his elbow, and present at meetings when the fundamental policies of the Government dealing with new scientific and security and educational developments are being considered.
Senator McCLELLAN. Well, in this area that I have been interrogating you about, I may go along, and I may very well, and wisely, I think, defer my own personal wishes to the judgment of those whose counsel I am confident I can rely on. But I do feel we are taking a very far-reaching step. It may be fully justified; it may be imperative. Thank you, sir.
IMPORTANCE OF PUBLICIZING DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AMERICAN AND
Senator SYMINGTON. Mr. Price, you have had a great deal of experience in the administrative side of government, as I can see from reading your record, and you have been interested in Government organizations, as I gather from your book. A lot of your work has been in the Department of Defense and the Research and Development Board. Were you here when Dr. Pickering testified?
Mr. PRICE. Yes sir; I was.
Senator SYMINGTON. Don't you think we ought to do something about alerting the American people to the difference between our satellites and the Soviet satellites?
Mr. PRICE. Well, on this, you have me out of my depth, Senator. I am a layman in these matters, and I have only a layman's opinion. But, as a layman, my answer would be, certainly, "Yes."
Senator SYMINGTON. You are a layman, but you are also a newspaperman of considerable experience, and you have also been in the
Government. Dr. Pickering points out that our satellites mean nothing, from the standpoint of a possible weapon, while as for their satellites, it has been proven conclusively that they have the thrust of an ICBM. I believe that he said in his testimony that the feeling of the people back home, where he comes from, and † think it is also fair to say that of the people where I come from, is that the score now is 3 to 2. But the things being counted are not the same, and yet the people don't seem to realize that.
What would be your thought as to how that could be clarified in the minds of the people? I base that question on the premise that, if the people are alerted to the danger, they will be more willing to sacrifice to meet it.
Mr. PRICE. Well, Senator, I don't see any way other than by the accommodation that always has to take place between the leadership of the President and the Secretary of Defense, on the one hand, and those Members and committees of the Congress, on the other, who also have an interest and responsibility in this field. I would have to confess, in answer to your question, that I have been alarmed about the comparative state of our weapon developments in certain fields, and I do not think this is adequately taken into account, either by the current defense budgets or the support for certain parts of defense technology.
COMPARISON WITH DEFENSE REORGANIZATION PLAN
Senator SYMINGTON. Haven't you been interested in the President's defense reorganization plan?
Mr. PRICE. Yes, sir; I have been personally interested, and as an informal consultant. I was staff director of the 1953 Committee on Department of Defense Organization. Since then, I have tried to keep up with the subject as an outsider, but I haven't had any formal responsibility in the matter.
Senator SYMINGTON. Do you believe that this bill reflects the aims and objectives that are outlined in the reorganization bill? That is, location of power and responsibility together?
Mr. PRICE. I do. I don't see anything incompatible between this bill and the recommendations that have been made with respect to the Defense Department reorganization this year at all.
Senator SYMINGTON. Thank you very much, Mr. Price. We appreciate your having given us the benefit of your views this morning.
Mr. PRICE. Thank you, sir.
Senator SYMINGTON. Our next witness this morning is Dr. Harry Wexler, Director of the Office of Meteorological Research.
Dr. Wexler, you are here to testify about a field which has extremely important potentialities.
We consider you a very important witness and we are looking forward to your testimony.
I am asking unanimous consent to insert in the record a biography setting forth your experience and qualifications.
(The biography referred to is as follows:)
BIOGRAPHY OF DR. HARRY WEXLER, DIRECTOR OF METEOROLOGICAL RESEARCH
OF THE UNITED STATES WEATHER BUREAU Dr. Wexler was born in Fall River, Mass., on March 15, 1911. He received a bachelor of science degree from Harvard in 1932. He did graduate work at MIT and obtained his doctor of science degree in 1939.
He was a meteorologist with the United States Weather Bureau from 1934 to 1940, 1941 to 1942. He was assistant professor of meteorology at the University of Chicago, 1940–41. He served as a meteorologist with the Air Force, 1942–46, attaining rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1946 he returned to the United States Weather Bureau and was made Director of Meteorological Research in 1955.
He has been active on a number of IGY panels including the United States Expedition to the Antarctic as chief scientist. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a subcommittee of the NACA. He is a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Science, a member of the American Geophysical Union and the Royal Meteorological Society. He has published more than 50 scientific papers on meteorology.
Senator SYMINGTON. You may proceed with your statement.
STATEMENT OF DR. HARRY WEXLER, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF
METEOROLOGICAL RESEARCH, UNITED STATES WEATHER
I am sorry that I don't have a prepared statement to make, but I just arrived from an out-of-town trip last night.
Since I have been living with this subject now for 4 years, I believe I can speak off the cuff.
We meteorologists can be compared to creatures living at the bottom of a vast ocean of air and trying to surmise what is happening above our heads by sending up balloons with instruments attached to tell us the pressures, the currents, the temperatures, and so on. We try to piece together the information to see what is happening to this ocean of air and make predictions for the welfare of the people.
The comparison might be drawn further: that over this ocean-for the time being, let's consider it a liquid ocean—we have an airplane flying which obtains a bird's-eye view of currents, waves, and other phenomena that can be seen at one snapshot and which can then be interpreted in terms of storms, and weather in this vast ocean.
Well, what we meteorologists would like to do is get above this ocean of air and to observe the storms by means of the cloud cover.
From the cloud cover, a very distinctive signature of storms, we can deduce the size of the storms, the nature of storms and their motion.
Only about one-fifth of this vast ocean of air is adequately probed by means of balloons and other instruments sent up aloft from the bottom of this ocean.
The large oceanic areas, the North Pacific and the North Atlantic, are inadequately probed by observations.
The polar regions have, even during this period of the International Geophysical Year, a rather sparse network.
The vast areas of the Southern Hemisphere, which is predominantly oceanic, have very few observations.
We do not know the answers to outstanding weather problems; for example, what caused the end to the prolonged dry cycle of weather in the Southwest and formed the current wet period.
We try to piece together the scattered bits of information that we do get, but they cover less than one-fifth of the total mass of the atmosphere.
We would like to have a vehicle which is comparable to the global coverage of the atmosphere to give us an overall picture of what is happening, which we need in order to make better forecasts.
A satellite vehicle offers for the first time an observing platform commensurate with the global scale of weather.
The problem of observing the weather by the satellite is one primarily of observing the cloud cover and identifying storms in terms of cloud cover.
But the satellite vehicle offers something more than just a means of observing clouds and interpreting them in terms of storms.
Adequately equipped satellites which will actually be sent up during the International Geophysical Year will also give us a measure of the useful energy received from the sun, which, in the final analysis, drives weather.
Weather forms from the ceaseless attempt by the atmosphere to compensate the unequal heating from the sun. The atmosphere receives too much heat at the equator, too little heat at the poles. In trying to equalize this heating, wind and weather are created.
If we can keep an accurate bookkeeping account of the amount of energy received from the sun, part of which is reflected by the clouds, part of which is absorbed by the atmosphere, but most of which is absorbed by the ground, and, if we can also measure the outgoing energy which the earth sends back to space, then we can find out how much fuel is coming into this heat engine of ours, which drives the atmosphere and creates weather.
In recognition of these principles, two International Geophysical Year satellites will be equipped with instruments: one to measure the cloud cover, and the second to measure the energy balance which we need to find out how much fuel drives the engine.
This is merely the beginning, however. We think that by the development of improved instruments, we can measure other properties of the atmosphere, such as temperature, winds, total amount of water in the atmospheric columns, so necessary for precipitation forecasts, and other important properties that cannot be undertaken during the present short International Geophysical Year.
For the past 4 years the Weather Bureau has been studying this problem of making use of satellites in weather observing and prediction, and it looks forward with a good deal of anticipation to a remarkable advance in our knowledge of the atmosphere and its ways, and the ability to predict more accurately, not only the day-to-day weather but even longer range weather, once we are able to survey globally the atmosphere.
Senator SYMINGTON. Thank you, Dr. Wexler.
RAMIFICATIONS OF BETTER WEATHER PREDICTION Senator McCLELLAN. Dr. Wexler, do you agree that weather control may have considerable military significance?
Dr. WEXLER. Yes, Senator, I believe weather control can have significance in any form of human activity. This would include the military application as well.
Senator McCLELLAN. Then it might be very vital in a military operation, if one adversary had the information and the other did not?
Dr. WEXLER. Yes, sir; that is correct.
Senator McCLELLAN. If, as a result of space research, it became possible for man to reliably determine weather conditions, as you say, at any point on the earth's surface, would you consider that as a means by which such control as was exercised should be defined as military, or would you define it as civilian?
Dr. WEXLER. Well, sir, it seems to me that if a weather control system could be devised, it would have ramifications in all activities.
Agriculture would be a very obvious application; transportation, and, of course, as for any improvement in technology, there are almost inevitably military applications.
In working very closely with military meteorologists and, in fact, during the war, I served 4 years as a military meteorologist, which was inadvertently omitted from my biography, I can say without any hesitation that both military and civilian meteorologists need essentially the same body of information. Once they have received that, the uses to which they put it depend on what they are trying to accomplish.
Senator McCLELLAN. Would you say the military or civilian need for this information predominates? Dr. WEXLER. This is very difficult to answer.
It is like asking whether you need your heart more than your lungs. It is impossible to give a preferential answer to that.
Senator McCLELLAN. Then do you think that if we could dispense with the military need completely, there would still be justification from the civilian standpoint?
Dr. WEXLER. Yes.
Senator McCLELLAN. If we never needed it for another war, if we never needed it for that purpose, the need for this exploration and acquisition of the information that we hope to get would still persist for civilian purposes, for the whole human race?
Dr. WEXLER. That is correct, Senator.
WEATHER BUREAU REPRESENTATION ON BOARD
Senator McCLELLAN. As the spokesman for the United States Weather Bureau, do you feel that the Bureau should be represented on this Space Board?
Dr. WEXLER. Very definitely. I think that we have a real, immediate interest and stake in this satellite, and we would like to insure the placing of suitable meteorological instruments upon the satellites that will be launched during the next several years, and in fact, indefinitely:
Senator McCLELLAN. If representation is not given to the Weather Bureau on this Board, would you feel that its importance is being relegated to a position that is less than it deserves?
Dr. WEXLER. No, sir. I think this would be a rather adequate representation if we had one member on the Board.
Senator McCLELLAN. I say that if it is not given that recognition and placed on the board, would it not be, in your judgment, relegating it to a position of lesser importance than it really deserves?