March 20, 1970 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD- SENATE S4091
THE WORK OF THE SENATE-TOWARD
A BETTER BALANCE
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President. I ask
unanimous consent that a speech I made
at the ammal convention of the American
paper industry in New York City last
Tuesday, March 17, 1970, be printed in
There being no objection, the speech
was ordered to be printed in the RECORD.
TOWAP.D A BE11 FR BALANCF.
(Remarks of Senator MIKE MANSFIELD Democrat
of Montana, nt the annual convention
luncheon of the American paper iudustry,
New York City, March 17, 19701
I am Yery gmteful for t he opportuul ty to
get away !rom Washington, even for r• dn)
These are busy times in the Senate. The pan·
Is as though the 6esslrs. All the whlle, De-:nocrats
are confronted "'lth the sheriff hold!~ g. I am
told, nine mllll)n dollars In mortgag.~s from
the last election. As It that were not enough,
the Republican National Commltee has made
clear that It will zero In on the Senate as
as the citadel of the rema~nlng Democratic
Influence In the government.
Nevertheless, the Senate's present disquiet
goes deeper than politics. In the first place,
the sentiment Is to be found not only In
members of my party but among Republicans
as well. It atlllcts those who are slated to be
candidates In November and those who are
not. Its origins, I belleve, lie not In partisanship
but In acute sensitivity to what ts a
growing disquiet in the nation.
The current Senate, In fact, Is one of the
least partisan I have known. For the past
year, most of Its members have been inclined
to act on the view which President Nixon
eKpressed In hls Inaugural address. You will
recall that the President suggested it was a
time for lowered voices.
While restraint In speech was an excellent
suggestion, It is not of itself a response to
the nation's dllllcul ties. It wlll not defuse
the economic and social time bombs in our
midst. Our problems wlll not grow less dangerous
by virtue of being soft-pedaled. Nor
wlll neglect, benign or otherwise, solve them.
To manage these problems at all, It seems
to me, requires a combination of thought,
discussion and action, quiet and restrained,
If you wlll, but nonetheless, purposesful. To
achieve that combination throughout the
nation, there Is a need for the consistent apJ1llcatlon
of Presidential leadership supplemented
by the Congress. The past few weeks
of Intense activity offer evidence that the
Senate Is wlll!ng to supply the supplement.
What It Is that produces the uneasiness
and, In turn, the predisposition to action In
the Senate is not dllllcult to find. There Is a
clue to a principal source In the closeness
with which the Wall Street J01Lrnal Is read
these days In the Senate Lobby. I venture to
say that this Interest bas more to do with
stock-taking than stock-holding. The financial
news Is followed because there Is uncertainty
regarding the trends In the nation's
I shall not pre-empt these rna tters when
o~hers here are far more expertly qual!fied to
diScuss them. I would only point out that
Senators are acutely aware that prices have
been rising at an ann~tal rate of six per cent
for the past tvm years. They know, too, that
price levels have reached an all time high and
that Interest rat<:P. are at a 100-year pinnae!!'.
Nor Is there a~y point In mincing words
about the housing industry and, perhaps,
other m.ajor elements In the economy. The
word there Is not recession, it Is depression.
The national unemployment rate Is above
four per cent for the first time In m.any years,
and the factory work week ts shrinking In a
number of the nation's key Industries.
Economists grasp the significance of these
and other Indicators In one way. Bankers In
another. Business managers In still another.
.Senators read the mall from home. We are
well-Informed, for example, on the consequences
of unemployment or shrinking incomes
In terms of personal hardships. We are
well aware of what high prices mean to old
people living o.n Social Security annuities or
pensions of $100 a month or less.
The Senate may acknowledge as Inevitable
some of the actions which the Administration
has taken to combrut Inflation. By the
same token, however, the human Impact of
these actions are not Ignored. In short, senators
do not exclude from their judgment of
the nation's eoonomic situation, the human
plight of Americans who are caught In the
statistics, who are squeezed In the vise or
declining or fixed Incomes as against still
It Ia only too apparent that what began
a year ago as a laudable effort by the Admlnlatratlon
to restrain a serious lntlatton
has not yet succeeded In achieving that goal.
At the same time, a large segment of American
enterprise and many Americans have
been hurt In consequence of those measures.
That Is the reality and I see no point In
whispering or Ignoring lt.
There is no panic reaction In the nation to
this situation. There should not be. There
need not be. I do not believe, however, that
the way out of the dlf!l.cultles lies In whistling
In the dark. The fact Is that there Is no
assurance of what lies just around the next
The economy as a factor of concern has
registered this session on the sensitive litmus
of the Senate for the first time In many
years. It joins the catalogue of carryover
national l!ls which have long been a source
of anxiety. These other difficulties were there
during previous administrations and are
pressing In the current administration. Included,
of course, Is the still-seething Issue
of race-relations. In the Senate, this problem
Is now seen more and more not as peculiar
to the south but one that Is woven Into the
social fabric of the entire nation.
The problem of crime In all of Its ramifications,
Including the condition of the courts
and criminal proceedings, also continues to
stalk the Senate Chamber. There Is great
concern at the loss of the sense of sheer
physical safety especially among the nation's
urban dwellers. So, too, Ia there deep distress
over the proliferating use of dangerous
drugs, particularly among the young, and
the apparent Inability to get at the origins
of this phenomenon or to grapple efiectlvely
with its consequences.
Finally, as you know only too well, the
n~tlon has suddenly awakened to the extent
of the pollution of the environment.
May I say that the Senate has been aware
of this gathering. cloud for several years.
Pioneer legislative work had already been
done In past sessions and effective followthrough
In the Executive Branch Is now
awal ted. In this Instance, the Congress was
able to supply a pre-paid supplement to support
the emergence of Presidential leadership
on pollution a few months ago.
What these difficulties add up to is a long
neglect of the nation's Inner structure. Disintegration
of the physical environment, especially
In the urban areas, Is far advanced.
Furthermore, the social cement of civility,
community responsibility and personal restraint
appears to have given way In many
places. Resort to violence grows. The whole
range of public services-state, local and
federal-seems sometimes Indifferent to the
situation. More often It Is Inadequate and
Ineffective. Whatever the c.ase, the pillars of
the nation's habitability are tending to
weaken-and some at least faster than they
can be reinforced.
Solutions to complex problems In a complex
society costs a great deal of money. We
have spent much and we will, undoubtedly,
have to spend more. Whatever Is spent, bowever,
will not be enough If we do not also
direct to these difficulties a concentration
of Intelligence and skills and a diligent and
determined Industry. That kind of effort requires
leadership In all parts of the nation,
Inside and outside of government.
Do we have these resources? Can we afford
the effort? We have no choice, It seems to me,
but find them and to afford them. The key
to the solution, I believe, Is to be found In
the use of existing resources more effectively
and purposefully. In my judgment, a
prohibitive taxation Is not the sole alternative
to decaying cities or Insecure streets. Nor
Is a run-away Inflation the Inevitable consequence
of providing for the needs of the
old and the Indigent, for adequate health
facilities and services and for a decent education
of the young.
There Is another basic alternMI ve as I see
lt. It is, as I have Indicated, a better use
of the resources which n.re available and,
largely, already available to the federal government.
To that end, or course, a continuIng
Improvement In the productivity or government
Is necessary and I am delighted
that the President has made a start In that
connection. However, while we reach for savIngs
of the millions of dollars which are
spent for outdated tea-tasters and the !Ike,
It is to be hoped that we will not overlook
the billions which are poured out annually
In pursuit of outdated foreign policies and
It Is not only a matter of waste and lnefllclency
In operations. By far, the greater
drain lies In the Irrelevance and excesses
which exist In these main categories o! federal
expenditures. Some would call for a "reexamination
of priorities" In the National
Budget of $200 billion. I thing It Is more
accurate to speak of moving towards a better
balance between expenditures for securIty
against threats from abroad and expenditures
for security against erosion by neglect
For many years, this balance has been
heavily weighted on the side of defendln~
agaln.st foreign dangers-real or presumed.
!mediate or projected. That Is why the co;t
of the Defense Department towers above all
other federal expenditures. At $72.6 billion It
is far and away the greatest single Item In
the current budget. In my judgment, the
balance is lopsided, primarily because, as a
nation, we have acted for too long on tbe
basis of lopsided fears. We have concentrated
on allen dangers and overlooked or disbelieved
the dangers accumulating at home. In
the circumstances, the civilian authoritiesand
that Includes the Senate-have not exercised
fully their responsbllltles to Inquire
In depth Into expenditures for nntlonnl defense.
For years, the checkbook hns been open
!or military expenditures.
Let me cite an example. Cost over-runs
on new weapons systems obviously do not
contribute to the nation's defense: they contribute
to the r.atlon's Indebtedness. Yet, on
38 major weapons procurement systems, over
$20 bllllon above the original cost estimates
was permitted to accumulate without serious
challenge from anywhere In the government
until very recently. This total Includeer amicable contact between East o.nd
W~st. We have not done so, notwithstanding
the consistent disinclination o! the Europeans
to mf'(lt their NATO commitments at
anywhere nel\r the agreed on levels.
It Is not surprising that a majorltf of
Senators are now urging a contra.ctlon In
the U.S. t!"oop deployment In Western
Eurc,pe. What Is surprising is that the Executl>
e Branch l>"S rPslst-" commitment.
The rost of thls en terprlse has been estimated
by S!!nator Percy of IIllnols at •14
billion. It Is a L'Cvere drain on tax resources,
a source of Inflation and, ot course, a major
Item ot outflow In the balance ot payments.
I look to the Senate to press tor a contronta.tloa
on this excess In what Is otherwise a
de:«lrable o.nd. still necessary commitment to
NATO. Together with the President, It seems
to me, thAt we will have to require this confrontation
If we are t.o bPgln tQ redrP.SS the
balance In the use ot the nation's resources.
Unless tbere Is a rP•dlness t<> taco up to Issues
ot thl& kind, the prospects or shifting resources
to desperate domestic needs are dim
What Is transpiring In Soutbenst Asia Is
even more disturbing than the Inertia ot our
policies regarding NATO. To date, the Involvement
has already exacted an Immense
cost--easily over UOO billion tor VIet Nam
alone and that war continues to command
U.S. resources at the rate of about $1.5 to 112
billion a month. More tragic, VIet Na.m has
claimed almost 50,000 U.S. lives and caused
over 250,000 other casuA.ltles. The toll ot
human life continues heavy rrom week tQ
week. There is no definite sign, as yet, that
there Is an end In sight via "VIetnamlza.tlon"
or o.ny other route.
On top of the continuing drain of VIet
Nam, there baa now unfolded the possiblllty
of a deepening Involvement In Laos. I speak
now not o! the U.S. bombing of the Ho Chi
Minh Trails which, just Inside Laos, lead
from North to South VIP.t NA.m. Th<"'e mllttary
operations Mtually have ltttle to do with
the situation inside Lnos t>nt are related dir
ectly to tbP. conftlct In VIet Narn. At this
late date, It Is probably not to be expected
that they will end until there Is an end to
the w~~.r In Viet Nam. In themselves, however,
they do not necessarily Involve an enlargement
of the war In Southeast Asia.
There Is another war within Laos-the socalled
"hidden war"-whlch carries the risk
or a new U.S. entrapment. It takes a great
stretch of the Imagination to relate vital U.S.
interests to this remote confilct In a primitive
land Inhabited by scarcely three million
people. N'ev.,rtheless, we have somehow already
managed, by the way of foreign aid or
otherwise, to sink billions of dollars In Laos.
To that aid ha.s been added U.S. advisors a.nd
those who go beyond advice. U.S. transport
and helicopter support bas been committed.
Even a B-52 homblng raid hM boon undert
aken among the ancient burial urns ot the
so-called Plll.!n of Jars. It Is a tam111ar pattern,
akin to tnat which drove us, beginning
in 1952, ever deeper Into VIet Nam.
The warning flags are flying in the Senate
on Laos. ·They have been raised by
Members ot both parties. They have been
raised, In my jucl.gment, b"C&U~e the Senate
senses that it Is vlt".l to the future of this
nation-and I use the word advisedly-that
what transpired In VIetNam not be repeated
In Laos-<>r anywhere else. Unless thls bleedIng
of men and resources can be halted now,
where on the Asian mainland does It end?
What lies beyond Laos? Thailand? Cambodia?
China? As the drain goes on In Southeast
Asia, where will we find the resources,
nnd the young initiatives and strength and
ideals which nre essential elements for meetIng
the difficulties within the nation? In
the face of thiR war's divisiveness, on what
will we rebuild a firm national unity without
which the stability ot the Republic Is
It seems to me that we must not only
avoid a new enmeshment In Laos but t h at
we must ret Nam. The way Is still open
In Paris; It can be reopened In Geneva. To
that end. It might be helpful, I believe, It
the President would defllgnate to the presen t
peace talks In Paris a represP.ntatlve of stalture
and authority with his full confidence. I
would hope, further , that there would be a
clarion call for a revival of the Geneva Conference
ot 1961-1962 on Laos, coupled with
the proposal that the Conference be
broe.dened In membership and objective In
order to consider the situation or all of Indochina
and the Southeast Asian mainla n d.
Moreover, It may well be desirable that the
call which goes out should go out tor a.
foreign ministers meeting In order to register
From the poln t of view ot the Interests of
this nation, It Is time to seek, I believe, the
neutralization not only or Laos, but or all
of Indochina and the entire Soutbea&t Asian
mainland. It Is time to join with oth er ou t side
powers In bona fide multilateral gu arantees
o! the neutrality of the region.
I do not underestimate the difficulties.
But what Is the ·alternative? This nation
bas everything to gain by trying to revitalize
without delay the dlploma>tlc machin ery
which may bring about a termination of
this tragic situation on the Southea.stern
Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 45, Folder 79, Mansfield Library, University of Montana
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.
Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana. For additional information about our collections visit our website: http://www.lib.umt.edu/asc . To suggest a keyword or share what you know about this item e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Images captured using a Atiz BookDrive Pro with dual Canon EOS Rebel T1i�s at 400 PPI. Dual camera control through BookDrive Capture 5.1. Camera RAW (.CR2) files processed to an Image PDF at 300 PPI using Adobe Bridge CS5. PDF files Downsampled to a web-ready PDF and Optical Character Recognition performed using Adobe Acrobat Pro.
Copyright to this collection is held by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana-Missoula. This image may also be protected by copyright. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections.