|Table of Contents|
Table of Contents
Letter of transmittal
/ V -
94th Congress I
2d Session I
THE SOUTHWEST PACIFIC 1976
SPECIAL DELEGATION OF
MEMBERS OF TIHE SENATE
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
Printed fr the use of the COmnmittee on Foreign Rel.itio l!
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFi(CE
WASHINGTON : 1'.76
ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, South Carolina, Cochairman
ROBERT P. GRIFFIN, Michigan, Cochairman
JOHN C. CULVER, Iowa HOWARD H. BAKER, JR., Tennessee
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Letter of Transmittal---------------------------------------------- v
I. Introduction------------------------------------------------- 1
II. Overview---------------------------------------------------- 2
III. Northern MArianas Cunmmonwealth----------------------------- 3
IV. Australia---------------------------------------------------- 4
V. New Zetalaind------------------------------------------------- 5
VI. Operation Deepfreeze------------------------------------------ 5
Digitized by the Internet Archive
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
FEBRUARY 25, 1976.
Hon. NELSON A. ROCKEFELLER,
President of the Senate.
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Pursuant to Senate Resolution 331, the
Presiding Officer of the Senate appointed a delegation of Senators
to conduct a study of United States security and foreign policy
interests in the Southwest Pacific.
Attached is a copy of the delegation's report.
ERNEST F. HOLLINGS.
ROBERT P. GRIFFIN,
THE SOUTHWEST PACIFIC 1976
S. Res. 331, adopted December 16, 1975, provided for a special
delegation of Memnbers of the Senate to visit certain countrie- in the
Southwest Pacific to conduct a study of United States security and
foreign policy interests in that area.
Accordingly, the President of the Senate appointed a delegation
consisting of Senators Hollings and Griffin, co-chairmen, and Senators
Culver and Baker. The delegation left Washington January 2 and
returned January 17. It visited the headquarters of the Commander-
in-Chief Pacific, in Honolulu, Saipan in the Trust Territory of the
Pacific Islands, Guam, Australia, and New Zealand.
This was the first group of Senators in 10 years to make an official
vi-it to Australia and New Zealand, our valued partners in the
ANZUS Pact and in every major war of thi. century. Saipan was
included in the itinerary because there is pending before the Foreign
Relations and Armed Services Committees H. J. Res. 549, to approve
the Covenant to establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana
Islands in Political Union with the United States of America. This
will bm diced ore fully below.
In Honolulu, the group had an opportunity for extended di-cussion
of the security situation in the Pacific and Indian Oceans with Admiral
Noel Gayler, Commander-in-Chief Pacific (CINCPAC).
In Saipan, the delegation met with Edward Johnston, High Com-
missioner of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and other
American officials; members of the Marianas Political Status Com-
mission; and leaders of the Congress of Micronesia.
In Guam, there were conversations with Governor Ricardo J. Bor-
dallo and with leaders of the Legislature. In addition, inspection visits
were made to several military installations on the island.
In Australia, besides receiving an extensive briefing from the
country team in the American Embassy, the delegation met with
Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, Foreign iMinister Andrew Peacock
andl members of his staff, senior officials of the Ministry of Defense,
and Leader of the Opposition Gough Whitlam.
In New Zealand, the delegation met with Prime Minister Robert
Muldoon, Foreign Minister Brian Talboys, and Deputy Leader of the
Opposition Robert Tizard, as well as American officials. The visit to
New Zealand also afforded an opportunity for a thorough briefing on
Operation Deepfreeze, the U.S. Antarctic re.-earch program based in
Ch"is tchu r"ch.
Every where the delegation was received with warm and grnicious
ho-pitalitv for which it willies to express its deep appreciation.
Aside from taking a first-hand look at the problem of the political
status of the Northern Marianas, the delegation was particidai'y iln-
tere-ted in exchanging views with Australianii and New Zealand officials
on the situation in the Southwest Pacific, Southeast Asia, and the In-
dian Ocean in the aftermath of Vietnam. These discussions were espe-
cially valuable with respect to the proposed U.S. naval base at
Diego Garcia, the matter of port calls by nuclear-powered U.S. naval
vessels, and sundry bilateral problems, mainly involving trade.
Both Australia and New Zealand have for some time declared the
South Pacific as a zone of peace, vehemently objecting to nuclear test-
ing by friend and foe alike. Australia in 1971 and New Zealand in 1972
highlighted this objection by declaring that their ports would no longer
receive nuclear-powered United States naval vessels. In addition to the
embarrassment and expense exacted upon the United States, this also
developed an incongruity in the ANZUS Treaty. How could the best
of allies, Australia and New Zealand, count on the protection of the
United States Navy without its presence? We emphasized this incom-
patability and as a result, the delegation is most gratified that during
the course of the trip the Governments of both New Zealand and
Australia announced the lifting of the ban on visits by nuclear-powered
The delegation is in accord with the Pacific Doctrine announced by
President Ford in Honolulu December 7, and particularly that portion
which holds Japan to be the key to U.S. Pacific and Asian policy. But
as Japan is the northern anchor of our Pacific security, so Australia
and New Zealand are the southern anchors. With the dissolution of
the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (though the treaty itself
remains in effect), the Security Treaty between Australia, New Zea-
land, and the United States (ANZUS Pact) assumes added importance..
This is recognized in both Australia and New Zealand.
There is not, nor can there be, a NATO-type alliance covering the
Pacific generally; rather, there is a network of bilateral arrangements.
In existing and foreseeable circumstances, this serves U.S. interests
The Indian Ocean is another matter. There is ground for concern
in the buildup of Soviet power based in Somalia. Although the precise
scope and purpose of this buildup are not yet clear, the fact of the
buildup is indisputable and has to be taken into account in deciding
what to do about expanding the U.S. naval facility on Diego Garcia.
For geographical reasons, there is more concern over the Indian Ocean
in Australia than in New Zealand, but in both countries there is an
interest in establishing and maintaining a U.S. presence. At the same
time, there is an interest in avoiding a U.S.-Soviet naval race there and
in reaching, if possible, a situation of mutual self-restraint at the
lowest practicable level. Official Australian Government policy with
respect to Diego Garcia changed as a consequence of the December
13 election which brought a Liberal-Country Party coalition to power
in place of the Labor Party which had governed since 1972. Whereas
the Labor Government had opposed expansion of Diego Garcia, the
present government supports it-but both sides, as noted above,
would welcome mutual U.S.-Soviet self-restraint. It should also be
noted that the matter was not an issue in the electoral campaign. The
Australian Government announced a speedup in construction of a
naval support facility on its western (Indian Ocean) coast at Cockburn
Sound which could be utilized by United States or British naval forces
as well as Australian.
III. NORTHERN MARIANAS COMMONWEALTH
In 1947, through an agreement with the United Nations Security
Council, the United States became the trustee for the Marshall,
Caroline, and Mariana Islands extending 3,000 miles through the
Central Pacific west of Hawaii. The Trust Territory of the Pacific
Islands was designated a strategic area under the terms of the U.N.
Charter, meaning that the United States was authorized to fortify
it and otherwise use it for military purposes. The only significant
military use to which the United States has put the Trust Territory
is the Kwajalein Missile Range in the Marshall Islands.
Although the Trusteeship Agreement with the United Nations has
no termination date, the Charter contemplates that all trusteeships
will be temporary and will end in some arrangement which respects
the principle of self-determination. The TTPI is the only remaining
U.N. trusteeship. Talks have been going on for a number of years
with the people of the Trust Territory in an effort to reach agreement
on a new status which would be satisfactory to all interested parties.
These talks have resulted in an agreement which would provide
commonwealth status for the Northern Marianas while talks continue
with representatives of the rest of the Trust Territory.
The agreement has been approved by the people of the Marianas
in a plebiscite in which 90 percent of the people turned out and 78
percent voted in favor of the agreement. The plebiscite was observed
by the United Nations and supervised by Erwin Canham, the dis-
tinguished former editor of the Christian Science Monitor. Legislation
approving the agreement has passed the House and is now pending
in the Senate.
The principal interest of the United States in the Marianas, as also
in the Marshalls and Carolines, is not so much use of the islands
ourselves as the denial of them to others. The Covenant with the
Northern Marianas achieves that purpose, though at the expense of
several disadvantages. It leaves unsettled the status of the Marshalls
and Carolines and makes no provision for future change in the status
of the Marianas should the people so choose, though there is no doubt
that the Covenant has overwhelming popular support at this time. The
Covenant provides for the people of the Marianas to become American
citizens, but specifies that only certain provisions of the Constitution
will apply-an arrangement the constitutionality of which may be
questioned. Through dividing the Trust Territory, the Covenant will.
mean that the physical facilities of the capitol, now in Saipan, will
have to be duplicated somewhere else at a cost variously estimated at
from $25 million to $50 million and that some way will have to be
found to divide the other assets of the Trust Territory government.
There is some opposition within the MNarianas from the ethnic minority
of Carolinians who fear that their rights may be not fully protected
in the transition to commonwealth status.
The Congress of Micronesia, the members of which have been
elected by all of the Trust Territory, is not enthusiastic about the
Covenant but supports it as the best practicable solution in the
Guam is geographically a part of the M[arianas and its people are
ethnically the same. There is some interest in Guam, and perhaps in
Saipan as well, in political union, though it is not clear whether this
"would be through Guam acquiring the status of the Marianas or the
Marianas acquiring the status of Guam.
Australia is re-evaluating its interests and its role in the region of
which it is a part. It has just (December 13) come through an election
which resulted in a dramatic change in government, but the principal
issues in that election had to do with the domestic economy.
Australia has fought several foreign wars, but in the Australian view
Australia itself was threatened in only one of them-World War II.
Further, in the Australian view, only two powers-the United States
and the Soviet Union-are now capable of launching an attack on
Australia and neither is considered likely to do so. Nor is any regional
power considered capable of mounting a significant threat.
The logic of this analysis puts more emphasis on sea and air power
and less on ground troops. Australian defense policy is to maintain a
force adequate to deal with low level contingencies and capable of
rapid expansion if needed. The policy relies on the ANZUS alliance
and in the Australian view, the existing ANZUS relationship is an
appropriate arrangement for their requirements. Australia has a small
air unit in Malaysia and a small naval presence in Singapore. By far
its principal overseas defense effort is in Papua New Guinea for which
Au.tralia was the U.N. trustee prior to independence last year. For
obvious reasons of geography, Australia also devotes special attention
in its relations with Indonesia and encourages selective U.S. military
aid to Indonesia as a means of precluding Soviet aid. The question of
Timor was discussed. This is clearly a difficult problem and it was
generally hoped that the United Nations would be able to find a
Australia itself is one of the larger purchasers of American military
equipment, having bought $1.2 billion worth over the last 25 years.
American officials anticipate $1 billion more over the next four years.
JIn most cases, even though it pays cash, Australia insists on buying
through the foreign military sales (FMS) program, because it wants to
tie into the U.S. logistics and procurement systems. Australia also in-
sists in most cases on offsetting U.S. procurement in Australia. The
,overall agreement between the U.S. Defense Department and the
Australian Defense Ministry sets an objective that 25% of Australian
military purchases from the U.S. will be offset by U.S. procurement
of components of comparable items in Australia.
The principal bilateral concerns in United States-Australian re-
lations have to do with trade. Australia would naturally like to sell
more to the United States and particularly dislikes U.S. restrictions on
the import of beef. Although a highly developed country, Australia
relies primarily on the export of agricultural products and raw ma-
terials and therefore shares the interest of the less developed countries
in arrangements for maintaining raw material prices. It is, indeed, a
member of some producers' organizations-bauxite, for example-
where it has exercised a moderating influence. Some Australians see
their country as having a larger role to play as honest broker between
the industrialized countries and the third world.
One more bilateral problem should be mentioned, and that is the
absence of an American Ambassador in Canberra for six months. To
the Australians, this looks like neglect at best, or at worst, like a ges-
ture of disapproval of Australian policies. Australians also take an
unusual interest in the professional qualifications of diplomats ac-
credited to Australia.
V. NEW ZEALAND
Like Australia, New Zealand has recently (November 29) gone
through an election which saw a Labor government replaced. In the
case of New Zealand, the party ratios in the 87-member unicameral
parliament were precisely reversed: Labor had held a 23-seat majority
and now the National Party holds a 23-seat majority.
As in Australia, the principal issues were economic. Although un-
employment is less than 1%, inflation is 15% and rising. There is a
budget deficit of $1 billion and a deficit in the balance of payments of
$500 million-very large figures for a country of 3 million people. The
new government is attacking the budget deficit by reducing govern-
ment subsidies. It will be more difficult to correct the deficit in the
balance of payments as only 20% of imports are for personal consump-
tion, the remainder being for use in agricultural and industrial pro-
Agriculture-beef, lamb, wool, and dairy products-accounts for
80% to 85% of New Zealand exports. This statistic, taken in conjunc-
tion with the difficulty in restricting imports, explains the importance
New Zealand attaches to restrictions on agricultural imports in both
the United States and the European Economic Community.
In New Zealand, unlike Australia, there was another set of issues in
the election in addition to economic questions. Thes-e can best be
described as social. They included such things as abortion, laws con-
cerning homosexuality, and especially migration and race. Auckland
is now the world's biggest Polynesian city.
New Zealand, like Australia, puts strong emphasis on the ANZUS
Pact. This is understandable. In fact, New Zealand with only 12,000
men in its Army, Navy, and Air Force, places great importance on
the overall relationship with the United States for its defense.
VI. OPERATION DEEPFREEZE
The U.S. Antarctic Research program began with the International
Geophysical Year in 1956 and is closely related to the Antarctic Treaty
which came into force in 1961 and which seeks to preserve the Ant-
arctic as an international zone of peace. Original signatories of the
treaty are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan,
New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Soviet Union, United Kingdom,
and the United States. Subsequently the following countries have
adhered to the treaty: Czechoslovakia, Denmark, German Demo-
cratic Republic, Netherlands, Poland, and Romania.
U.S. scientific work in the Antarctic is done under the auspices of
the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration Foundation. The Arms Control and
Disarmament Agency monitors compliance with the diarniamemnt
aspects of the treaties, and the Navy provide, logistical support.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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6 3 1262 09113 1762
The U.S. maintains four bases in the Antarctic---at McMurdo Sound,
which is the principal supply base at the other end of the air and sea
lift from Christchurch and which also has a biology laboratory, an
earth science laboratory, and a program of research in cosmic rays;
at the South Pole, where research is done in meteorology, geophysics,
and biomedicine; at Siple which was built for research in upper
atmospheric physics and is now closed because of a hepatitis epidemic
but which will reopen next year; and at Palmer which does research
in biology. Palmer is directly south of Argentina and is supplied from
there instead of from McMurdo and Christchurch.
The total U.S. program in the Antarctic amounts to approximately
$32 million a year. This program is carried out in the world's most
climatically hostile environment, and the ingenuity and dedication
of the men involved are indeed impressive.
The surface of the Antarctic's secrets has only barely been scratched.
It contains 90% of the world's freshwater and almost certainly signifi-
cant mineral resources as well. It is important that international
law keep pace with technology as these resources are identified and
exploited. Otherwise, instead of an international zone of peace, the
Antarctic will become just another zone of international rivalry and of
uncertain legality of the ownership of resources. The delegation recom-
mends that the appropriate agencies of the executive branch and the
appropriate committees of the Senate review the situation so that
timely action can be initiated to keep the Antarctic, if possible, from
becoming as contentious as the law of the sea.