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amended, on the grounds that the Commission is able to recruit such personnel and further that such legislation would violate the principles of the civil-service merit system.
The merit system established by the Civil Service Act of 1883 provides that positions in the executive establishment shall be open to competition among qualified applicants. The act also permits any necessary exemptions from competition by Executive order. The Commission therefore urges that the principles of the civil-service merit system and of the Classification Act of 1923, as amended, be adhered to in the appointment of technical and professional personnel to be required by the Foundation, and that the bill be amended accordingly.
The Commission in accordance with established procedure has been informed by the Bureau of the Budget that there would be no objection to the submission of this report to your committee. By direction of the Commission : Sincerely yours,
HARRY B. MITCHELL, President.
FEDERAL SECURITY AGENCY,
Washington, March 31, 1949. Hon. ROBERT CROSSER, Chairman, committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : This is in response to your recent letters on the following National Science Foundation bills : H. R. 12, H. R. 185, H. R. 311, H. R. 359, H. R. 1845, H. R 2308 and H. R. 2751. In view of the fact that S. 247, on the same subject, has since passed the Senate and is likewise pending before your committee, we take the liberty of including that bill in this report.
All of these bills have the same basic objectives and all of them, except H. R. 359, are similar in their provisions. For the sake of convenience, this report will refer to H. R. 12 as representative of the group comprising that bill and H. R. 185, H. R. 311, and H. R. 2751, and to H. R. 1845 as representative of the group which includes that bill and H. R. 2308 and S. 247. Of these bills, H. R. 12 is identical with H. R. 6007, Eightieth Congress, as reported out by your committee, and H. R. 1845 is identical with S. 2385, Eightieth Congress, as it passed the Senate during that Congress.
In view of the extended legislative history of these and other bills in the present and prior Congresses and the fact that S. 247 has passed the Senate and is now pending before your committee with an explanation supplied by the report of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, there is no need here for a detailed analysis of the various bills or for a full statement of our reasons for supporting the general objectives of these bills. Suffice it to say that we are in accord with the necessity of strengthening Federal aid for scientific research and development in this country, especially basic research, and for cordinating such Federal aid. We appreciate also that to attain this objective we must train and educate more scientists and potential scientists. In this connection the committee will of course wish to consider the report and recommendations of the President's Scientific Research Board as well as the report on Federal research submitted the other day to the Congress by the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government.
In this report we shall therefore merely attempt to summarize our views on specific aspects of these bills which, in our judgment, require comment as being of particular interest and importance to this Agency.
1. Administration in general.-The present bills strengthen the position of the Executive Director (or Administrator in the case of H. R. 359), principally by providing for his appointment by the President. With the exception of H. R. 359, however, they would still leave the determination of administrative policy and, basically, the administration of the funds, primarily in the hands of a parttime group, consisting of persons whose primary interests and activities are private rather than public in nature and who, in view of that fact, would be far more valuable as advisory boards than in the policy determining and to a large extent administrative capacity in which they are cast by these bills. We feel that any Government organization charged with carrying out a public purpose with public funds should be headed by a full-time administrator or board whom the President, the Congress, and the people can hold fully responsible for the faithful and efficient discharge of their functions.
From this point of view, the administrative provisions of H. R. 359 which would make the responsible head of the Foundation an "Administrator" assisted by a number of advisory boards obviously is preferable to the other bills. If, for any reason, however, the committee should feel that the solution offered by H. R. 359 is not acceptable and that basic policy-making functions should be vested in a part-time general board and an executive committee, we believe that the bills represented by H. R. 12 are to be preferred to those like H. R. 1845 to the extent that the former would make the Executive Director at least a nonvoting member of the Foundation and of the Executive Board and would make it clear, as H. R, 1845 does not, that the Director, with the approval of the Foundation or committee, may not only award scholarships and graduate fellowships, but also make contractual and other arrangements for research provided for in the bills. (Compare secs. 6 (b), 10, and 11 of H. R. 12 with secs. 5, 9, and 10 of H, R. 1845.)
2. Utilization of other Government agencies.--Section 15 (h) of H. R. 12, etc.. section 14 (h) of H. R. 1845, etc., and section 5 (d) of H. R. 359 provide that the activities of the Foundation should be construed as supplementing and not superseding, curtailing, or limiting any of the functions or activities of other Government agencies authorized to engage in scientific research or development. In the light of their context and legislative history, these provisions (see also secs, 10 (c) and 14 (g) of H 1. 184.) and secs. 11 (C) anı 1.5 (g) of H R 12) indicate an intent to avoid duplication of governmental effort and to utilize, whenever feasible, the services and facilities of existing Government agencies which by reason of their functions are best equipped to carry out the Foundation's task on its bəhalf and in accordance with such general policies as it sees fit to prescribe. While the policy of ut lization of our agencies is implicit in these bills, and while ample authority for such utilization would exist under the provisions of the Economy Act, we believe it would be desirable, nevertheless, to make this more explicit by inserting in section 14 (h) of H. R. 1845 and 15 (h) of H. R. 12 a specific provision that "In carrying out the provisions of this Act the Foundation shall utilize, to the maximum extent practicable, the services and facilities of eristing Government agencies having similar functions."
A clear statement of congressional policy on this point is desirable from our point of view for two reasons. In the first place, in addition to the extensive research activities of the Public Health Service carried on in its own institutions and laboratories, that Service also administers the important provisions of the Public Health Service Act for research grants to State agencies, private agencies, and institutions and individuals, and is therefore the logical agency to carry out many of the Foundation's functions in the fields of medical and biological research. In the second place, this Agency has primary responsibility for governmental activities in the field of education and its services and facilities should be used by the Foundation to administer any fellowship or scholarship program which the Foundation is authorized to undertake. Not only is the Office of Education the duly constituted educational authority of the Government, but also the Public Health Service under existing statutory authority makes fellowship and training grants in the health field.
3. Fellowship and scholarships.-All of these bills provide for a program of "scholarships and graduate fellowships for scientific stuly or scientific work in the mathematical, physical, medical, biological, engineering, and other sciences." While we are in full agreement as to the imperative need for training and education in the various fields of science, and while I believe that the objectives of the National Science Foundation could not be realized unless some provision for training and education is made, we are also keenly aware of the disadvantages resulting from the limitation of fellowships and scholarships to the scientific field.
The danger of restricting a scholarship and fellowship program to the sciences lies in the resulting tendency to strengthen this particular field of higher education at the expense of other fields not correspondingly subsidizell. Also, as re. spects undergraduate scholarships particularly, it is difficult to perceive how these can feasibly be limited to students in designated fields, because sololarship awards will normally be made either at the time of entrance to college or very soon thereafter. In a great many cases students will not have reached a final choice as to their field of study. Ideally, in a scholarship program, unusual ability and talent however manifested should be the basis of award, since only in this way can it be certain that the young people who may later be of great aid to the research program of the Nation will be prepared to conduct worthwhile research. Preferably, then, Federal scholarship and fellowship aid should extend to all fields of higher education as an integral part of a comprehensive
program of Federal aid to higher education. Lacking such a comprehensive program the dangers of a scholarship and fellowship program limited to the sciences as provided in these bills can and should be mitigated in these ways: (1) By assuring proper emphasis on the social sciences as a field in which scholarships and fellowships will be awarded, thus giving as broad a scope to the program as possible; (2) by assuring that the Foundation will administer at least the over-all aspects of the program through this Agency with its interest in, and responsibility for, progress in higher education generally; and (3) by including in the bill some appropriate provision which would give assurance that the scholarship and fellowship program will be integrated with a comprehensive program of aid to higher education, when such a program is developed and enacied by the Congress. The first two parts of this recommendation are the same in substance as the recommendations made in points 2 and 4 of this letter.
4. Recognition of social sciences.—The recognition of the social sciences as included among the sciences in which the Foundation is authorized and directed to initiate and support basic research, is implicit in the reference, in H. R. 12 and H. R. 1845 and similar bills, to "other sciences" and in the provision in these bills which requires the Foundation to "appraise the impact of research upon industrial development and upon the general welfare” (sec. 4 (a) (2)). The importance of the social sciences, however, and the fact that the need for basic research in those sciences is at least as great as in the natural sciences, makes is advisable, in our judgment, to stress the inclusion of the social sciences within the scope of the bill by naming them specifically in conjunction with the other sciences designated in section 4 (a) (2) and to provide specifically for a division of social sciences in section 6 (a). Compare section 3 (b) of H. R. 359, which specifically establishes within the Foundation a “Division of Social Sciences."
5. Earmarking and allocation of appropriations.-H. R. 359 would earmark not less than 15 percent of the appropriation for use in the fields of national defense and of health and the medical sciences. While we are not opposed to earmarking for the purpose of health and the medical sciences, we have some doubt that if there is to be anv earmarking, defense and the health and medical sciences should be grouped together. We also doubt the soundness of providing for a special division of national defense as would be done by section 3 (b) of H. R. 359, since national defense would be served by research in most of the other fields and since, moreover, most of the research for national defense is applied rather than basic research.
Section 5 (c) of H. R. 359 further provides that not less than 25 percent of the appropriated funds shall be apportioned among the States, partly in equal shares and partly according to population, and be expended only for research and development activities of tax-supported colleges and universities, and that not less than 25 percent shall be expended in the facilities of nonprofit organizations without regard to these limitations as to the apportionment and as to the taxsupported character of the organization. This approach is rejected by the other bills. Certainly, we can see no justification for a provision that any part of the appropriation shall be apportioned among the States in equal shares.
We are advised by the Bureau of the Budget that H. R. 1845, H. R. 2308, and S. 247 are in accord with the program of the President subject to the reservation that these bills be amended to give the Director the same measure of authority in the matter of awarding research contracts and grants as he would exercise under the bills in awarding scholarships and fellowships. Sincerely yours,
J. DONALD KINGSLEY,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, March 30, 1949. Hon. ROBERT CROSSER, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
Ilouse of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. CROSSER : I refer further to your letters of January 12, 14, 19, and 28, and of February 2. 7, and 16, transmitting for the comment of the Department of State copies of H. R. 311, H. R. 12, H. R. 185, H. R. 1845, H. R 359, H. R. 2308, and H. R. 2751, bills to promote the progress of science, to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare, to secure the national defense, and for other purposes.
The Department strongly endorses the purposes of these bills, which are in accord with the recommendation of the President's Scientific Research Board. In expressing its support, the Department recalls that certain foreign governments, such as Great Britain, France, Sweden, and others, have in recent years recognized the increasing importance of promoting scientific progress and have established functioning organizations toward this end. It is believed that the operation of the National Science Foundation will meet an urgent and important need in this country for this type of activity.
The provisions relating to international aspects of the Foundation's program are particularly significant, from the standpoint of the Department. In general, the Department favors a grant of the widest possible latitude to the Foundation in the field of international interchange of science. Such a grant would be in keeping with this Government's participation in the United Nations and its affiliated specialized agencies. In particular, the Department feels that the Foundation should be vested with sufficient power to enter into such reciprocal arrangements with foreign governments as may be necessary for effecting a desirable interchange of scientific information. The section entitled "Authority of Foundation," in specifically authorizing the Foundation to enter into arrangements for carrying on, by organizations or individuals in the United States and foreign countries, including other Government agencies of the United States and of foreign countries, scientific activities would appear to provide the means for accomplishing this end. This is section 11 (c) in H. R. 311, H. R. 12, H. R. 185, and H, R. 2751; and section 10 (c) in H. R. 1845 and H. R. 2308. Section 11, entitled “Miscellaneous,” in H. R. 359, has substantially the same purpose.
Similarly, subsection (a) of the section entitled "International Cooperation," authorizing the Foundation to cooperate in any international scientific research activities consistent with the purposes of this act, would appear to furnish opportunities for the profitable exchange of scientific knowledge. This is section 13 (a) in H. R. 311. H. R. 12. H. R. 185, and H. R. 2751 ; and section 12 (a) in H. R. 1845 and H. R. 2308. Section 9 (b) in H. R. 359 is substantively identical.
However, subsection (b) of the section entitled “International Cooperation," empowering the Director to defray expenses of participants in international scientific congresses, would appear to give the Foundation legislative authority to request the Congress to provide funds directly to it to enable the United States to participate in international conferences which the Foundation deems necessary to promote its objectives. Regarding this matter, attention is drawn to the fact that the international contingency appropriation is provided to this Department to enable the United States, in the conduct of its foreign affairs upon the approval of the Secretary of State, to participate in international congresses, such as those described in this section of the bills. Accordingly, the Department of State has had established for many years machinery through its respective coordinating areas for carrying on preciselv the functions described in this subsection. This subsection is 9 (c) in H. R. 359.
Finally, the section entitled “Coordination With Foreign Policy," sets forth with sufficient clarity the relation of the Foundation to the Department with respect to international aspects of the Foundation's program. This is section 16 in H. R. 311, H. R. 12, H. R. 185, and H. R. 2751; and section 15 in H. R. 1845 and H. R. 2308. The section does not appear in H. R. 359.
The Department favors the section entitled “l'atent Rights." Subsection (a) would appear to balance, within the framework of our present patent law, the protection of public interest with that of private equities. Subsection (b), by permitting a Foundation employee to asign a patent to the Government, affords this Government an opportunity to follow a policy flexible enough to cope with current and changing international patent conditions. This appears in section 12 nf H R. 311, H. R. 12, H. R. 185, and H. R. 2751; and section 11 in H. R. 1845 and H. R. 2308.
Section 8, entitled “Use and Dissemination of Research Findings," in H. R. 359 requires that all inventions made by employees of the Foundation shall be made freely available to the public, or, if patented, shall be dedicated to the public. It should be pointed out that in March 1947 the Interdepartmental Executive Committee on Economic Foreign Policy transmitted to the President certain recommendations bearing on the patenting of inventions developed pursuant to federally financed research. The Committee found that foreign governments owned substantial blocks of United States patents which might be us: d to interfere with the domestic trade and commerce of the United States. The Committee was therefore convinced of the necessity of negotiating with those foreign governments in order to obtain, for United States nationals, rights under these foreign patents on a reciprocal basis. This Department believes that, until such negotiations are satisfactorily completed, patents acquired as a result of the work of the Foundation either in the United States or abroad should not be made unconditionally available to foreign governments and foreign nationals.
Because of the urgency of the matter, this report has not been cleared with the Bureau of the Budget, to which copies are being sent. Sincerely yours,
ERNEST A. GROSS,
Assistant Secretary, (For the Secretary of State).
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
Washington, March 24, 1949. Hon. ROBERT CROSSER, Chairman, Conimittee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House of Representatives. DEAR MR. CROSSER: Further reference is made to your requests of January 12, 14, and 19, and February 16, 1919, for reports on H. R. 311, H. R. 12, H. R. 185, and H. R. 2751, respectively; also that of January 28, 1949, relating to H. R. 1845. These are bills to promote the progress of science, to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare, to secure the national defense, and for other purposes. The first four of these appear to be identical, and the fifth (H. R. 1845) differs from the others only in several slight changes in phraseology which would not, we believe, materially affect the value of the proposed legislation.
The bills have the objective of stimulating scientific research and scientific education through the establishment of a National Science Foundation which would support research activities and the dissemination of technical information and would issue scholarships and fellowships in science. The Department is in hearty sympathy with the objective of the proposed legislation and feels. that it is in the public interest for the Government to support scientific investigations and education.
The Department considers that the plan of organization proposed in these bills would prove more satisfactory than the one set up in several earlier National Science Foundation bills. Making the Director of the Foundation responsible to the President of the United States would make it possible for the organization to function through clear-cut channels of responsibility.
Our only general recommendation affecting the substance of the proposed legislation is that provision be made in section 7 for the inclusion of a Social Science Division for work in the social-science field. In our own research work in the Department of Agriculture, we have found that research in the social sciences, especially in economics and economic statistics, is essential to a clear understanding of the functioning of the agricultural economy and the development of an adequate agricultural program. We also feel that research in this same field is just as important to an understanding of other segments of our national economy and, as a result, we believe that careful consideration should be given to including a Social Science Division in any National Science Foundation which may be cstablished.
One modification in detail appeals to us as a desirable improvement in the bills. On page 2, lines 5 and 7, of each bill, the members of the Foundation would be required to be eminent in the fields of the basic sciences, medical science, engineering, education, or public affairs. This phraseology might be interpreted as preventing leaders in applied-science iields, such as agricultural research, from being appointed to the Foundation, since medical science and engineering are the only applied-science fields referred to. It is suggested that eminence in science, engineering, education, or public affairs would constitute a broader description of the type of leadership desired.
The Bureau of the Budget advises that, from the standpoint of the program of the President, there is no objection to the submission of this report. Sincerely,
CHARLES F. BRANNAN, Secretary.