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The resolution to which I refer is Senate Joint Resolution 136 and it declares in effect that our 3-mile limit would continue with respect to other nations of the world which also recognize only a 3-mile limit with respect to their shores but that with respect to nations which claim a wider limit that henceforth our territorial limit as to those nations would correspond to the territorial limit that they claim.
For example, North Korea and Russia claim and we respect a 12mile limit off their shorés.
The resolution provides that in no case would we claim a territorial limit wider than 12 miles.
I am not going to ask you to comment on the policy, as to whether or not this is a wise change in policy, but I would like to direct your attention to the problem or the question of enforcement of such a policy which would fall on the Coast Guard to a large degree.
In commenting on that, I would ask you to take into consideration the fact that at the present time the fishing area extends out 12 miles, as I understand it, although under certain circumstances, for example, a bilateral fishing agreement with the Soviet Union allows the Soviets to fish in prescribed areas within 6 miles off of Long Island in New York during certain periods of the year.
Do you have any comment on how the Coast Guard would be affected if the Congress should decide to adopt such a resolution? · Admiral Smith. Senator, we have had a number of discussions of this particular problem. We are well aware of the resolution. And to speak just for a moment on the fishing matter, in addition to the rights of the Russians which you mentioned, United States has agreements with a number of other countries that involve traditional fishing rights.
There is one agreement, for example, with Mexico where there is an agreement on the part of both Nations that the vessels be permitted to fish within the 12-mile limit. Enforcement of the fishing, the new fishing boundaries going out to 12 miles has placed an additional operating program on the Coast Guard. That is, we have to cover a considerably larger area than we covered before.
Senator GRIFFIN. But you have to do that now whether or not we adopt this resolution, don't you?
Admiral Smith. Yes, sir, I was coming to that. But we have been able to do this, and I think we have been quite effective in our patrols, both on the west coast, in Alaska and the northeast fisheries. .
With respect to the change in the territorial waters, it would be difficult for us to anticipate what might happen in the future. But since vessels may pass through the territorial waters, innocent passage if they are carrying out their normal trade, we would not anticipate this would place a particularly heavy burden on us as far as the surveillance of the waters are concerned.
At the present time we do not make a special effort to keep all of our territorial waters under surveillance. It is only on the basis of an incident that requires our attention. And this would not change even though the territorial waters were extended to 12 miles.
Senator GRIFFIN. When a vessel comes within 12 miles, is it the ordinary practice to require it to identify itself?
Admiral Smith. Are you talking about now within the territorial waters?
Senator GRIFFIN. Well, within the territorial waters, that would be within 3 miles now.
Admiral SMITH. Within 12 miles of course they are still outside of the territorial waters, so there is no requirement imposed on them in any way, except for the enforcement of the fisheries rights.
Senator GRIFFIN. If it looked like a fishing vessel and it were within 12 miles, you would seek to identify that vessel ?
Admiral SMITH. We would seek to identify it. But unless it was actually in active fishing we would not disturb the vessel. Only if it was actually fishing within those waters would we challenge the ship.
As far as the territorial waters are concerned, if the vessel is just passing through our territorial waters, is not entering any of our ports, we would not take any special action unless there was something in connection with this passage that required our attention. That is, we would not keep them under surveillance, or we would not make any particular attempt to identify them, if they were just in innocent passage. Senator GRIFFIN. All right.
I realize this is outside of the scope of the legislation before us and I won't pursue it any further.
Thank you for answering the questions. That is all.
Senator BARTLETT. I would like to join with Senator Griffin in his statement that the Coast Guard, of all of the armed services, continues in effect to be whittled down. He said he was a little disturbed and there I differ from him, because I am vastly disturbed. That too is a comment that has nothing to do with the questions I am about to put to you.
Admiral Smith, what is your feeling insofar as the Coast Guard itself is concerned, unrelated to the Bureau of the Budget decision and the Department of Transportation decision, to the action of the House in adding an amendment to the authorization bill for the construction of two additional high endurance cutters?
Admiral SMITH. Senator, as you are well aware, we feel that the replacement of our large ships is an important program as far as we are concerned. So that actually we welcome any indication that this program has the interest and attention and support of our committees in the Congress.
Senator BARTLETT. What is the average age of your high endurance cutter fleet?
Admiral SMITH. We have actually in our inventory now three different classes. The 327-foot cutters, there are six of those. They were built in the mid-1930's, 1936, and 1937.
The second class are the 255-foot cutters, which were built by the Coast Guard and there are 12 of those, and they were built during the war, completed over a period of about 3 years.
The 311-foot Navy vessels, the AVP vessels that were transferred from the Navy to the Coast Guard, were also built during the early part of the war.
So our ships, these three classes, are all very close to 30 years average age. I have a figure here that the whole fleet averages 24.6 years.
Senator BARTLETT. Is a merchant vessel considered obsolescent at that age?
Admiral SMITH. Senator, I am not sure just where they make this decision. I think it would depend somewhat on the trade and the type of ship. But generally merchant vessels after 20 years, with improvements of design and increase in sizes of the ships that we are operating now, would start to fall into the class of being obsolete. Senator BARTLETT. How many new or relatively new high-endurance cutters does the Coast Guard have?
Admiral SMITH. We have 10 vessels that have been funded, four that are delivered and operating and the other six in various stages of completion except that the money for one is presently in reserve in the Bureau of the Budget.
Senator BARTLETT. Is it in reserve in the Bureau of the Budget at the request of the Coast Guard, or at the insistence of the Bureau?
Admiral SMITH. Of course this is not the only item that is in reserve at the present time, Senator. And the amount of money that we presently have in reserve in the Bureau of the Bureau is about $20 million. This came about through a combination of the program of expenditure reductions for fiscal 1968, and the congressional resolution that placed limitations.
Senator BARTLETT. And lack of funding on the part of the Appropriations Committee for the high-endurance cutters?
Admiral Smith. Well, actually we were in a position where if we had been able to go ahead with the construction at that time, of obtaining enough funds from other areas to make up the difference. But this did influence us in placing that item in the reserve.
Senator BARTLETT. Did you place it in reserve or did the Bureau of the Budget?
Admiral Smith. We had a hand in selecting those items that were placed in reserve in the overall picture, yes, sir.
Senator BARTLETT. Did you have any voice in determining the total amount of money that was placed in the reserve?
Admiral Smith. After the figures were arrived at as to how much money must be placed in reserve, there were discussions of course within our Department as to how this would be apportioned, and we participated in these discussions.
Of course we had no control over the final decision as such.
Senator BARTLETT. Are all of the new cutters at home or are some of them in Vietnam? I mean off Vietnam?
Admiral SMITH. The new cutters are all in U.S. waters.
Senator BARTLETT. Your replacement schedule calls for a modern high-endurance fleet to be completed in what year?
Admiral SMITH. The date that we used when we submitted this plan and started this replacement program was 1974.
Senator BARTLETT. To what extent has it lagged in terms of the year of completion?
Admiral ŠMITH. The first vessels that we wanted to replace under this program were the AVP's which were the ex-Navy vessels. And there are still 11 of those in operation that require replacement now with five such replacements still unfunded.
Senator BARTLETT. Actually very, very slight progress has been made; is that not a fact?
Admiral SMITH. I would say moderate progress, Senator. We have now 10 that have been funded which I think is a little better than slight progress.
Senator BARTLETT. Last year we authorized $12 million for the oceanographic vessel and as you said, the Appropriations Committee did not appropriate any money for that vessel, but directed you to build an additional high-endurance cutter. Do you feel that your justification for the oceanographic vessel is strong enough this year so
that you will be successful before the Appropriations Committees if we should authorize funds for construction of such a vessel?
Admiral SMITH. Yes, sir; I am very hopeful that the Appropriations Committee will entertain this request more favorable this year. I think that we have had a chance to discuss it with the committee more thoroughly, I think they have a better understanding of our justification for the vessel.
Senator BARTLETT. You asked for $12 million last year for this oceanographic ship and this year $14% million. Why the very considerable difference?
Admiral Smith. When we made our estimate, Senator, last year for the oceanographic ship we had not really completed the design of the vessel. I would like to ask Captain Latimer to mention some of the factors that have caused this increase in the amount of money that we are asking for.
Captain LATIMER. When we started out making estimates on the oceanographic ship, Senator, we were replacing a converted buoy tender, which has had a makeshift rig which we used in the North Atlantic for a number of years.
We were going to design a good replacement for that vessel. But there have been two areas of development recently in the whole oceanographic business. One is that the entire business has received considerable impetus. Industry has developed much new equipment, much of this on their own initiative and with their own funds, incidentally.
The equipment available for oceanographic research is far beyond what it was only a short time ago. The general increase in interest in the whole program has resulted in the entire governmental and private scientific community generating new needs, new things that they would like to explore, discover, get information on.
We have been in close contact with the National Council on Marine Resources and Development and in order to satisfy our customers, you might say, for this data, we find that it requires a much higher degree of instrumentation and sophistication than we had originally visualized.
Practically all of this increase is an increase in scientific capability.
Senator BARTLETT. Thank you, sir. Admiral Smith, what kind of a patrol on the part of the Coast Guard can we expect along the 175th meridian west line during the 1968 Bristol Bay salmon run? As we all know, that is the delineating line east of which the Japanese are not supposed to fish.
Admiral SMITH. Mr. Chairman, we can expect to cover this area both with a vessel at the scene on patrol and in addition we will use aircraft whenever we can to keep the area under surveillance.
Senator BARTLETT. Thank you. Now, Admiral Smith, the authorization bill before us calls for funding in the amount of $107 million, right?
Admiral Smith. Yes, sir; that is correct.
Senator BARTLETT. Is it true that the Coast Guard request originally mailed to the Department of Transportation was in the aggregate amount of $558,600,000?
Admiral SMITH. Senator, the figure I have here for our 1969 preview estimates with the Department—this was our starting point in talking about our program—was $224 million.
Sedmiral SMITH.. Te is a little misunds million we wes, $107 mill
Senator BARTLETT. Not $558 million?
Senator BARTLETT. Well, in the House hearings, Admiral, page 41, you are recorded as having said, and I quote: "Our total request for fiscal 1969 was $558.6 million."
Admiral Smith. Yes, sir. I understand now, Mr. Chairman, this is our total budget request, not just the A.C. & I.
Senator BARTLETT. Yes. In other words, you got whacked within the Department of Transportation to the tune of over $400 million? Is that right?
Admiral SMITH. Could I go off the record for a moment, Mr. Chairman?
Senator BARTLETT. Sure.
Admiral SMITH. I would like to ask Captain Scheiderer to speak to this. I think there is a little misunderstanding.
Captain SCHEIDERER. Sir, this $558 million we were speaking of consisted of about $392 million for operating expenses, $107 million for acquisition, construction, and improvement, $51 million for retired pay and $9 million for research and development.
So that grossed out at $558 million total budget request of the Coast Guard. Now when you attempt to relate our $107 million A.C. & I. to that total request, I think this is where you came up with the $400 million, sir. But that is not the reduction. No, sir; it is not.
Senator BARTLETT. What was the reduction?
Senator BARTLETT. Well, Admiral Smith, I know the Coast Guard has always been, shall I say a good soldier. But you have been reduced substantially here within the Department of Transportation and within the Bureau of the Budget. So that makes it rather difficult for me to agree entirely with the statement made in the closing paragraph of your presentation, when you said, and I quote:
We feel we have molded a viable package for the Coast Guard's 1969 capital development request.
And I understand fully why you would be motivated to so inform us. But personally I can't quite agree. Senator Griffin will preside during the remainder of the hearing. He has another question or two to ask and our counsel has several questions.
Senator GRIFFIN. Mr. Chairman, before you leave, the Department of Transportation is supposed to be very much concerned with safety and particularly concerned about safety when it comes to automobiles and there seems to be no limit to the expense that the private sector can be put to when it comes to making sure that there will be safety on the highways.
Now the Coast Guard has a very important mission concerning safety except that in this instance it is public funds that are needed to make sure there will be safety on the water. It is very interesting to note that the transfer of the Coast Guard from the Treasury Department to the Department of Transportation which has such a deep interest in safety has actually resulted in what amounts to a reduction