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sionary or medical outposts, or by personnel or educational, profes. sional or diplomatic assignments have been especially welcome.
Hardly a day goes by but word is received of some new humanitarian or good-will service they have performed. Since they have been able to enjoy their scientific avocation to the fullest while overseas, these Americans have returned with undoubtedly a better impression of the host country than otherwise would have been the case.
Such arrangements are not reciprocal, however, foreign amateurs visiting the United States are denied the privileges of amateur communications because of the present restrictions in the Communication Act of 1934. This has been the source of irritation and ill will over a period of many years.
The telecommunications officials of several countries, particularly in Latin America, have informally expressed the view on many occasions that the U.Ś. refusal to enter into a reciprocal amateur agreement such as now exists with Canada labels them as second-class citizens.
A good example is Mexico. This is a most friendly country and it already allows a few U.S. citizens to operate their amateur stations within its border. But our Mexican friends cannot comprehend why, in view of our protestations of good neighborliness, we will not extend the same privileges to them. The citizens of Mexico who would like the privilege of operating here are for the most part substantial, responsible people who have considerable influence in their Government and their home communities. They are individuals who may be on the diplomatic staff in Washington, New York, or elsewhere; or they are professional men, publicists, educators, or students temporarily residing in this country.
The fact that we will not grant Mexican citizens such privileges in the United States is well known in Mexico, and it is difficult for them to understand. It is doubly difficult when they are told that the reason we will not do so is because of our concern for our national security and to prevent espionage. The fact that we give full reciprocal privileges to Canadians gives rise to suspicions and recriminations. The Mexicans are proud people and they do not like to be discriminated against. I cannot blame them. The same attitude is expressed in many other Latin American countries, as well as elsewhere in the free world.
It is interesting to note that we already have bilateral agreements with some 18 nations, mostly in Latin America, permitting our radio amateurs to exchange noncommercial third-party messages with amateurs licensed in their territories. In view of this free flow of information back and forth, it seems only logical to them—and to usthat when our amateurs are visiting in their countries, or theirs in ours, operation should be permitted under temporary and reasonable restrictions.
Our Department of State has negotiated the message-handling agreements through regular diplomatic channels and they have received full concurrence from all other agencies of our Government.
I believe the Department is fully competent to negotiate reciprocal operating agreements with these and other friendly countries if authorized to do so.
The league is aware that national security is a factor which must be considered in connection with the proposed amendment. We believe, howerer, that a practical examination of the proposed procedures will remove, to all intents and purposes, this concern.
The present proposal does not in any way alter the real problem of national security. Whatever security problem there may be in the radio spectrum exists already, and has for many years. It would not he compounded by adoption of the present proposal. If a person wished to engage in espionage, it is most doubtful he would (1) obtain a permit for an amateur station from our Federal authorities, with all the detailed procedures involved, (2) use call letters which immediately identify his citizenship, and (3) operate in the amateur bands where the suspicions of thousands of amateurs might be aroused.
If a foreign agent wished to engage in subversive communications, he may buy transmitting and receiving equipment on the open market, from an unlimited number of sources, without any need for identification. He may operate such equipment at any spot of his choice in the frequency spectrum. He runs the risk of immediate detection, of course, because of the efficient surveillance and monitoring system operated by our Government, a program in which the amateur body cooperates by helping to police its own frequency assignments.
To the best of my knowledge, no espionage or other subversive communication has ever taken place in the amateur bands. But the license itself is no deterent, and it seems absurd to envision a subversive agent calling attention to himself by the process of application for an official amateur authorization.
The benefits of the proposed legislation will be much greater to the United States and to U.S. amateurs than to amateurs of other countries, as indicated by the following figures: During the year ending March 31, 1963, 1,272 U.S. amateurs obtained authorizations to operate in Canada.
During fiscal year 1963, ending June 30, 1963, only 453 Canadian amateurs obtained authorizations to operate in the United States. Based upon the relative number of amateurs in various countries and far more extensive travel by U.S. citizens, I expect many more authorizations will be issued to U.S. amateurs than the United States will issue to foreign amateurs.
In brief, we believe that by enactment of this legislation amateur radio will become an even greater and more positive force for international understanding and goodwill without creating any additional hazards to our national security.
We hope your committee will look with favor upon the proposed legislation. If I could answer any question, Mr. Chairman, I would be delighted to do so.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Hoover.
Mr. FRIEDEL. In other words, this would be limited to the nations of the free world?
Mr. HOOVER. Yes, sir. As I understand this, and I believe that this would be quite parallel to the present agreements we have for exchange of amateur communications between countries the United States would be in a position of choosing those countries with whom it wishes to negotiate a bilateral agreement, executive agreement, and I assume, as in the case of the other agreements which have been executive agreements which have been concluded, these would be cancellable on 24 hours notice by either country and'if at any time we feel that our relations with that country or the amateurs in that country our executive department would be free to cancel it immediately.
Mr. FRIEDEL. Thank you.
Mr. HEMPHILL. You say would be free to cancel. What would be the effect of the cancellation?
Mr. HOOVER. I would presume, sir, that such a cancellation would only be in the event that diplomatic relations became strained with that country.
In other words, if a country were to change, as Cuba had been a friendly country up until the time we got into difficulties with them, we would at that time be perfectly free to cancel that agreement with the Cubans and any outstanding authorizations to Cuban amateurs in this country would be automatically terminated as of that moment.
Mr. HEMPHILL. And they would no longer be allowed to communicate as amateurs from that moment?
Mr. HOOVER. That is correct, sir; as I understand it.
Mr. SCHENCK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First, Mr. Hoover, I would like to express my personal appreciation to you for this very fine statement and all your deep and helpful personal interest in this entire matter. I would also like to express for myself, and I am sure all the other members of the committee, our very best personal regards to your illustrious father and our hope for his continued good health and happiness,
Mr. HOOVER. Thank you very much, sir.
Mr. SCHENCK. I have only one question, Mr. Hoover. Do any of these stations operate on mobile units?
Mr. HOOVER. Yes. That is permitted under our rules and regula tions of the Federal Communications Commission.
The CHAIRMAN. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. HOOVER. Yes, sir. It is, of course, necessary to notify the Commission where operations are going to be carried on in accordance with their rules and regulations in certain cases.
Mr. ScHENCK. Then there is no particular problem or surveillance from the standpoint of necessary and required security because they happen to be in mobile units rather than fixed units?
Mr. HOOVER. None that I am aware of at all, sir; no.
The CHAIRMAN. Any other questions by any members of the committee?
I think just this one other question. Was not this legislation, originally at least, sponsored and supported by the amateur people through the association that you just mentioned !
Mr. Hoover. Yes, sir. It has been sponsored over a period of several years by the American Radio Relay League, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. And I might say to our colleagues that while I was in Geneva as a delegate to the International Telecommunications Conference—I don't know whether our colleague, Mr. Sibal, went out and observed the amateur radio facility operations or not
Mr. SIBAL. Yes, I did, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAX. The people there interested in communications, of course worldwide communications, seemed to know a lot more about this legislation than I did, even though it had been referred to this committee of which I have the honor of being chairman. They expressed great concern in it, and they felt that it was important insofar to amateur radio operators throughout the world. Because of the facilities that I saw and the interest manifested by so many of the people at the ITU I became interested enough to inquire about this legislation when we got back.
Senator Goldwater called and talked to me about it and gave me a rundown on how this started and how long they have tried to get this authorization. That is the way it was brought to my attention.
Jr. Hoover, we want to join Mr. Schenck in extending to your father our best wishes for continued good health and happiness. We want to thank you for your appearance here and for your interest and your testimony in making the record on this matter.
Vr. HOOVER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate it very greatly.
The CHAIRMAX. I wonder if your Mr. Huntoon or Mr. Booth have any further comments? Mr. HOOVER. I don't believe so. No, Mr. Chairman; but if there are
. any questions that you members of the comunittee would like to ask them they are available of course for any answers.
The CHAIRMAX. Thank you very much.
Mr. KORNEGAY. Mr. Chairman, there is one question. It probably has been answered this morning, but I don't recall hearing it. Reference has been made to the fact that the prohibition against granting licenses as contained in the Communications Act of 1934, but that there is a reciprocal agreement between the United States and Canada, and I just wanted to get some statement from somebody about how that came about.
Is that the result of a treaty or a reciprocal executive agreement?
The CHAIRMIN. Commissioner lyde spoke to that a moment ago when he was testifying. The Commissioner may again, if you would like, answer Mr. Kornegay's question, and of course Mr. Hoover just explained it too in his statement. Maybe you can clarify it a little more.
FURTHER STATEMENT OF HON. ROSEL H. HYDE, COMMISSIONER,
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Mr. Hyde. The reciprocal arrangement with Canada is the subject of a formal treaty. This was necessary not only because of amateur interest, but because of certain aviation services we required reciprocal rights in order to handle the air traffic. It is the subject of a formal treaty.
Mr. KORNEGAY. That is all, Mr. Chairman.
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C., January 6, 1964. Hon. OREN HARRIS, Chairman, Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: You have before your committee a bill, H.R. 7309, which permits the authorization for alien amateur radio operators to operate their stations in the United States, if there is a reciprocal agreement between he United States and the alien's government.
I believe we should promote the interchange of ideas between persons in the United States and those in foreign countries. If this bill would help encourage this type of communication, am interested in its passage and hope that you may schedule hearings on this measure at an early date. Respectfully,
BURT L. TALCOTT,
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C., February 19, 1964. Hon. OREN HARRIS, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : I am enclosing a copy of a statement by Mr. Raymond E. Meyers that I would appreciate your including in the record during the hearings on H.R. 9035 on Thursday, February 20, 1964.
Your assistance in this matter will be greatly appreciated. I regret that I will be unable to attend the hearings personally. Sincerely,
GEORGE E. BROWN, Jr.,
Member of Congress.
STATEMENT OF RAYMOND E. MEYERS, DIRECTOR, SOUTHWEST DIVISION,
AMERICAN RADIO RELAY LEAGUE
My name is Raymond E. Meyers, lieutenant commander, U.S. Navy, retired, of San Gabriel, Calif., director of the American Radio Relay League and regional vice president of the Armed Forces Communications Association, Inc., both dedicated to the improvement of the art and strengthening our national security: Vice Chairman of the Amateur Section of the Federal Communications Commission's National Industry Advisory Committee; Chairman of FCC's 11th Radio District's Cooperative Interference Committee; sponsor and coordinator of the International Handicapped Amateurs' Radio Net; a communications consultant by vocation, and an amateur radio operator for some 50 years with the present call letters of WOMLZ.
I shall attempt to give you what is considered as pertinent information and facts, which may have some bearing on the proposed legislation.
In 1959, at the request of the State Department's Government-Industry Committee, it was my pleasure to accept an appointment as Chairman of the Amateur Committee for the State Department sponsored ninth plenary assembly of the International Consultative Committee on Radio (CCIR) which was held in the city of Los Angeles, Calif., during the month of April in that year.
Our Government, appreciating the fact that amateur radio, almost as old as radio itself, and having been highly instrumental in popularizing and advancing the radio art, believed that these pioneers should be represented at this most important assembly.