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No visitor or guest book was kept, however, nor have we found any records identifying the DOD personnel who visited there.
I should explain that most of the cost to the company of the facility during each season was covered by a flat rental for its use including lodging and meals payable whether or not the facility was fully used—and we do not know how many visitors there were during each season. Accordingly, in view of the foregoing, it would seem impractical to try to estimate the "value" or the added cost incurred by the company for incidentals, such as the ammunition which might have been used, as a result of any visit by any individual DOD employee, but it would appear to be minimal. Sincerely yours,
WILLIAM L. CLARK. Senator PROXMIRE. Now I have introduced legislation which would temporarily ban after retirement the employment of any government procurement official by a company which had a direct interest in a contract which he had helped award or administer. Do you have any comments on this proposed legislation ?
Mr. ANDERSON. No. I'm not familiar in detail with the legislation. I think I tried to express our feeling on this as well as I could in the prepared statement. I think to categorically bar Federal employees who have perhaps spent a lifetime in advanced technology developments from serving a useful job within industry within the ground rules that are set up now
Senator PROXMIRE. Mr. Anderson, you must recognize the problem we have here. You make a strong point on your side and I think it is sensible that we want to employ our most gifted people in Government or industry or in both. It's helpful to have some experience on both sides, but there's a very, very serious conflict involved here. The conflict which you don't approach in your statement is that a procurement official who can retire from the Army, Navy or Air Force, at the age of 50 or 55, and look forward to a very lucrative job with a firm with whom he's been dealing is very likely to be compromised or to have that in mind. It's not the discipline of holding costs down that you have in the private sectorwhere that's the name of the game. That's the bottom line. You don't have that nearly as firmly in the government.
Mr. ANDERSON. It's pretty strongly disciplined because certainly profits aren't even measuring up to the commercial area in aerospace businesses. So it would seem to me we have every incentive we can to keep costs down and we are doing everything we can to keep costs down.
Senator PROXMIRE. If you have a procurement official who thinks he can go to work for you for maybe $30,000 or $40,000 a year after he gets his pension and retires, that's a mighty attractive possibility for him and that would tend to make him very friendly, very helpful, very cooperative.
Mr. ANDERSON. Friendly before or after he went to work?
Senator PROXMIRE. Friendly in anticipation. That's why I think legislation that would prohibit this so he cannot go to work for the firm with whom he's dealt would be helpful in maintaining an arm's length relationship.
Mr. 'ANDERSON. First, I'd say we have very few people like that in our company that are in major positions of importance, almost none I can think of now and, second, we have a flat rule we will
not discuss with any Federal official the possibility even of him coming to work for us until after he's left, unless, having decided to leave, he has received permission to discuss prospective employment. There's never any
Senator PROXMIRE. I'm talking about you and other defense contractors, too. Other defense contractors have hired substantial numbers of former defense officials and you have defended that in your statement to us this morning. Now I understand that one of your vice presidents was at one time the head of a social club made up of aerospace industry and military officials known as the Conquistadors. Can you tell me a little about this organization's membership and purpose ?
Mr. ANDERSON. Well, the Conquistadors is a membership of people interested in flight. It goes back some 40 or 50 years and it's made up of people from the airline industry, people from the manufacturers, some of the subcontractors, people from the press, people who believe in flight, in the advancement of flight and find a joint community of interest in this sort of organization.
Senator PROXMIRE. Who were the aerospace and DOD members?
Mr. ANDERSON. I can't recall them all offhand. There are about 100 of them. I'm positive there are no DOD members, active, current DOD members. They are not—under the bylaws, I believe they are not permitted.
Senator PROXMIRE. There are no military members of this organization you say?
Mr. ANDERSON. No active military members.
Senator PROXMIRE. But they could have been guests of the organization?
Mr. ANDERSON. I think they frown on that sort of guest, but I couldn't say positively that none of them have been guests.
Senator PROXMIRE. Now some committee staff members have had conversations with some of your employees concerning an organization known as "Operation Common Sense.” Can you tell me a little about this group and what its purpose was?
Mr. ANDERSON. I have to go back into the memory some 3 or 4 years. "Operation Common Sense” was an effort within our
“” company to make our people, the legislators that represent our various plant communities and the world at large, I guess, familiar
, with the programs that we have, what it means to their community, and the importance of these programs to the country,
Senator PROXMIRE. Now the committee staff has reviewed the minutes of some of this organization's meetings and, while it did discuss intracompany cooperation at times, the organization seemed to spend the bulk of its time discussing lobbying, public relations, and coordination with the Air Force. For instance, your group discussed methods for countering congressional opposition to Rockwell programs; prepared a list of B-1 bomber subcontractors in the State or districts represented by members of the House and Senate Armed Services and Appropriations Committees; developed strategies to persuade Congress to increase the Minuteman-III missile authorization from 550 to 700; discussed plans to sell Congress and the Air Force on a Minuteman-III missile production program that would maximize use of autonetics division facilities; discussed methods for learning the plans of the American Friends Service Committee and the “Ban the B-1 Bomber Campaign,” and how to cope with these organizations; developed plans to mobilize support for the B-1 among veteran and civic groups; assigned research or lobbying tasks to various committee members; discussed possible threats to the B-1 bomber program if too many improvements in the Minuteman-III and associated programs obviated the need for a strategic bomber; discussed Air Force and Rockwell efforts to obscure the true costs of the B-1 bomber program and delays in B-1 development schedules; discussed improved spirit of cooperation with Air Force resulting from Air Force personnel changes; discussed possible "competitive threats” to the B-1 bomber program from other companies pushing "standoff” missile concept; discussed plans for maximizing public relations impact of Arkansas plant groundbreaking and B-1 bomber rollout.
Am I correct in my understanding that until recently no officials of the company's Washington office had registered as lobbyists despite the fact that many were engaged in lobbying activities that come under the requirements of the Lobbying Act? “Operation Common Sense" material that I have just gone through, the specific activities of your corporation in this area, seems to me there's no purpose at all unless they were engaged in lobbying-lobbying legislators, lobbying the Air Force. So would you please provide for the record information as to all Rockwell employees who are lobbyists and the date they were first registered as lobbyists?
[Additional information submitted by Mr. Anderson follows:] Ralph J. Watson, an employee of the Company, has been registered since January 1975 as a lobbyist with the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate. The Company records do not show that any other of its employees, or any of its consultants, has been so registered.
Mr. ANDERSON. I think I can answer that. As far as I knowand I'm certainly not a lawyer or an expert on what is or is not legally interpreted as lobbying according to the statute. A year ago our people advised me that they did not feel even at that point that we were strictly speaking--the man that we're concerned about now-strictly speaking was a lobbyist, but to be very conservative and make sure we were within the law we registered one of our representatives here in Washington as a lobbyist. These other areas
Senator PROXMIRE. When did you do that?
Senator PROXMIRE. And how long was this "Common Sense" organization engaging in all these activities?
Mr. ANDERSON. I can't remember. I wish I had known you wanted to discuss that. I would have gotten more up to date on it.
Senator PROXMIRE. Well, our information is that it's since at least 1973.
Mr. ANDERSON. I said earlier I would think at least 3 years. ago
and “Common Sense" is an effortSenator PROXMIRE. It would seem-and I would like you to indicate why it would not—it would seem in view of the fact that only one individual has registered as a lobbyist, only one individual, and that was a year ago, there was a long period of lobbying activity in which you didn't register your lobbyists.
Mr. ANDERSON. It seems to me at that point we are into a definition of what is strictly interpreted and legally a lobbyist. I'm not prepared to discuss it. In the broad context I think some of the things you're talking about certainly by the dictionary definition could be considered lobbying and to us we have a vital interest in these programs. I think, for example, the space program, we do everything we can by talking to rotary clubs, by talking to chambers of commerce, by talking to our employees, by putting it in the employee newspapers of the importance of space to this country. We are dedicated to it. We believe in it and I can see nothing wrong with that. We would certainly intend to continue that sort of work. There are cases where our contractors or subcontractors have plants and facilities in a congressional area and in that case we try to make sure that that Congressman or that Senator understands that his constituency has this many jobs in his area and he has an opportunity at least to learn more about space from us.
Senator PROXMIRE. I think that's right and that's done and that's expected and that's part of your right of petition and so forth, but it's also a matter of lobbying. Your people are paid and they go out—they are paid people and try to influence legislation or try to influence governmental decisions in any way that is lobbying or there isn't such a thing as lobbying.
Mr. ANDERSON. If we had a whole paid cadre of people in this area, I guess I would have to at least give consideration to that and review it with our counsel, but as far as I know we don't. Most of our people are doing this as a part of their job. We expect our plant manager, for example, who's running an axle plant in Kentucky, to talk to his local Congressman about some of our programs. So many of these people, particularly in the space area, are doing it on their own time. They are very, very dedicated people.
Senator PROXMIRE. IS "Operation Common Sense" still meeting?
Mr. ANDERSON. I don't believe so. I haven't heard that word for at least a year or two, but I will certainly check and get back to you.
[Additional information submitted by Mr. Anderson follows:] The Company, in support of its major programs, has engaged and continues to engage in such activities as communicating to the public, to the Congress, to its employees and to its stockholders its views about the importance of these programs to the country. Operation Common Sense was formed to establish a single committee to coordinate these activities. This committee was discontinued about the end of 1974 and no successor or similar group has been formed.
Senator PROXMIRE. Let me see if you can help us on one aspect of the revelation of these minutes which I think may be disturbing. Reading from the minutes of January 16, 1974, we find, and I quote, "The consensus of the committee discussion appeared to be that all members will consider and give comments on the possible impact on the B-1 program in pushing certain elements of Minuteman-III with particular reference to, for example, Minuteman-III being piggybacked on 747's. The committee has recognized in the past, and recognizes now, that possible program conflicts of this type could arise. We must be continually watchful to avert such conflicts."
Any company can be expected to advocate their production programs. That's entirely proper, Mr. Anderson. But if a company knows of some improvement that can make our national defense more efficient or more secure, then does it not have a duty to submit that suggestion to the Department of Defense so it can be considered? However, in this case, it seems that Rockwell was discussing the avoidance of an optional use of one of the company's production programs that might have better served our defense but which would have been less profitable, piggybacking your Minuteman-III as a substitute for the B-1 bomber. You will make a whale of a lot more money out of the B-1 bomber.
Mr. ANDERSON. From what you say, it sounds like we have a couple of arm-chair Kissingers around and I don't agree.
Senator PROXMIRE. I'm talking about the fact you indicated in these minutes that there would be a policy of not permitting the Minuteman-III program to conflict with the B-1 bomber. I can't see how that would have any other effect than to deny the Defense Department this kind of information.
Mr. ANDERSON. Excuse me. I don't think I have read those minutes, but I think what would be proper is to make sure that the advantages and the superiorities, if in case there are, of the B-1, be thoroughly discussed with our people and with the Members of Congress we come in touch with.
Senator PROXMIRE. Well, I certainly get the impression that the thorough discussion of the advantages of Minuteman-III, your program too, but a far less profitable one, one that would interfere with the B-1 bomber, would not be discussed and that was a matter of policy.
Mr. ANDERSON. I guess, by and large, up to within any reasonable degree, we would be advocating a program that we have the responsibility for because I think we would believe that is a very important program and I think that's normal.
Senator PROXMIRE. Am I correct that at the January 15 meeting of Operation Common Sense executive committee it was stated that effective with a certain general's assumption of responsibility for B-1 matters at the Pentagon, a new cooperative spirit would result. Most of us, I think, were under the impression that the Air Force and Rockwell had been retting along pretty well all along. Is this impression incorrect? Were there B-1 problems with the Air Force before January 1974 ?
Mr. ANDERSON. I just have to-T don't know who wrote that. I don't know what it refers to. I think that's at quite a low level