JANUARY 31, 1962

Page 1326


The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. HICKEY in the chair). The Senator from Maine is recognized for 2 minutes.

Mr. MUSKIE. I thank the Senator from Georgia.

Mr. President, I find the approaching vote a difficult one to cast. I have followed carefully the debate on Mr. McCone's nomination; I have reviewed the record. From the evidence we have before us, I cannot justify voting against confirmation; and yet as I support the appointment of a distinguished citizen, I have grave questions about the exact nature of the task he is undertaking and the operation of the Agency he will head.

As the distinguished junior Senator from Minnesota [Mr. MCCARTHY] has pointed out, Mr. McCone stated that the Central Intelligence Agency would not be, in his opinion, a policymaking body. But we know from its history and by its very nature that the Agency does influence policy decisions in very critical areas of national defense and foreign relations. To avoid policy advice would require the wisdom of Solomon and the restraint of Job -- and today we are not considering either of those gentlemen.

In the past, Congress has not focused sufficient attention on the delicate and critical position of the Central Intelligence Agency in our national policy structure. The Armed Services Committee did not, unfortunately, explore a number of important questions in connection with foreign policy which must occupy the attention of Mr. McCone, and which, if explored, would have provided this body with a more meaningful record on which to make a decision.

What is past is done, however. The President has expressed his confidence in Mr. McCone. There is no sufficient evidence to warrant a rejection of that confidence. The important question goes beyond the issue of Mr. McCone's nomination. That question is the future nature of the Central Intelligence Agency and the relationship of Congress to that Agency.

For these reasons, I wish to give strong endorsement to the suggestion of the distinguished Senator from Minnesota [Mr. MCCARTHY] that there be established a joint committee of Congress with the specific responsibility of overseeing the operations of the Central Intelligence Agency. We have an excellent precedent in the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy; and I urge that we make use of our experience in that field in fulfilling our responsibilities as the representatives of the people of these United States.

Mr. HUMPHREY. Mr. President, will the Senator from Maine yield?

Mr. MUSKIE. I am happy to yield.