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experimental drilling phase of the project. In our estimation, this group has been chiefly responsible for the successful carrying out of an undertaking that represents not only a scientific advance of unusual significance, but also a distinguished engineering achievement and a major extrapolation of previous practice and experience."

And thus, with the decision to hire a prime contractor, began the detachment of Bascom and his group from Project Mohole. It began slowly at first, but in less than 2 years the much-acclaimed staff of oceanographers and engineers was completely cut off from the project whose first stage they had carried out so brilliantly.

Within a few weeks NSF announced that it would hold a briefing session for prospective contractors for phase II of Project Mohole. At this point, then, Bascom's group was moving toward a limbo; the Academy was getting ready to disengage itself from the direct operations of the project; Amsoc was seeking for itself an advisory role close enough to be influential but not so close that it would be in day-to-day touch with the project, and NSF was looking for a contractor to carry out the venture. Who was in charge? What was the objective of phase II? It is difficult to say.


In mid-1961, as Project Mohole entered its second phase, the ingredients for misfortune began to accumulate.

The experienced Bascom group, which had successfully conducted the west coast test drillings, was on the way out; the Amsoc Committee, originator of the project, no longer wanted to be involved in day-to-day operations and had prescribed a more remote role for itself; and NSF was shopping for an engineering organization to design, build, and operate the vessel that would carry out Project Mohole.

But what was Project Mohole? Was it a quest for no more than a few lengths of rock core from the depths of the earth? Or was it a comprehensive drilling program that included the mantle among several of its goals? Closely tied to these questions was the issue of technique. Was Cuss I to be followed by the construction of a so-called intermediate ship, a vessel that could go deeper than the Cuss but not all the way to the mantle? Or was the ultimate ship to be built at once? Who was to decide? Was it the part-time Amsoc Committee, which got together no more than a few times a year; or was it NSF, which had to foot the bills and account for its

activities to an often-querulous Congress? And, finally, if NSF did take the decision upon itself, would it not be venturing into proscribed territory? The Foundation was established to "initiate and support basic scientific research"; it was not intended to be an operational organization. Tradition ally, a standing scientific or educational institution was the operating link between the Foundation and the research programs it supported. But with Amsoc backing away to a lesser role, the Foundation was drawing close to becoming the institutional base for Project Mohole.

A nasty and still unresolved fight was to break out on these issues, but in mid-1961 the success of the Cuss I drillings had created an atmosphere of good will that obscured the impending difficulties. With the exception of the Bascom group, whose future had curiously been assigned to a still-unselected contractor, everyone involved feeling quite pleased.


"CUSS I" ACHIEVEMENT The scientific yield of phase I-previously unobtainable ocean bottom cores-was acclaimed by geophysicists around the world; the engineering achievement was similarly hailed, and in this atmosphere of success the

Amsoc Committee sent Academy President Bronk a position paper that has since come to mean all things to all partisans. Hollis Hedberg (Princeton professor of geology and vice president of Gulf Oil), who was to succeed Gordon Lill as Amsoc Chairman-and later to resign in a flurry of rancor-told a congressional committee last spring that the paper clearly supports the position that Amsoc intended an intermediate program to be carried out by an intermediate ship. Leland Haworth, who was to inherit the Mohole controversy when he succeeded Alan T. Waterman as NSF Director, told the same committee that the paper called for an intermediate program, but not necessarily for an intermediate ship to carry it out.

What the paper actually said was this: objective of Project Mohole is to drill to the "We are agreed that the major scientific earth's mantle, through a deep ocean basin. Our immediate objectives are (a) to sample through the second layer and determine its thickness and characteristics; (b) to sample the characteristics of the top of the third layer. Also exciting, and of prime scientific importance, is the fact that we now have a new tool, the floating drilling vessel, with which to explore thoroughly the sediments and upper crustal layers of the ocean basins. We find, however, that the major objectives of the committee will entail work enough, and that we must recommend this possible exploration program to you for separate scientific and financial consideration.

"We agree that an intermediate drilling program is required and should be initiated * The budget for fisduring fiscal 1962. *


cal 1962, based upon the utilization of an intermediate ship, is approved by the Amsoc Committee as a minimum budget. It is contingent upon the findings of the [Amsoc] Drilling Techniques Panel, working jointly with the Amsoc staff and eventually with the prime contractor. This group may very well make decisions which will increase the cost of the intermediate program. Specifically, they may decide that an intermediate ship is not needed and that work on the ultimate ship should start at once. We find that the Amsoc Committee must take as its major responsibility the drilling to and sampling of the earth's mantle. This objective has achieved such worldwide significance that we dare not fail."

Now what did this mean? A reasonable analysis would seem to indicate that the Amsoc Committee was bound for the mantle and wished to share with the prime contractor the decision-making authority on how to get there. But what if-as was eventually to be the case-Amsoc and the contractor were in disagreement? Who was to decide? Apparently quite confident about its role as NSF's scientific adviser on Project Mohole, the Amsoc Committee glossed over the question of authority. So far, things had gone So far, things had gone smoothly, and there was no reason to assume that they would go otherwise. Bascom and his staff, in an Academy document, "Design of a Deep Ocean Drilling Ship," written on the basis of the Cuss I experience, had emphatically recommended construction of an intermediate ship as an indispensable step toward acquiring data for design of the ultimate ship. But the Bascom group was being moved out of the picture, and its influence with Amsoc was diminishing.


The Amsoc Committee's recommendations were forwarded to NSF through the Academy, and now, as NSF began its quest for a prime contractor, the tricky problem of conflict of interest seemed to pop up everywhere to reduce the Foundation's maneuvering room. It was not only essential to avoid conflicts of interest, but with Congress and the press eager to pounce on any real or seeming case of mutual backscratching with Federal funds,

it was essential to avoid even the appearance of conflicts of interest. To do this it was necessary to engage in a delicate juggling act, since much of the competence needed for Mohole was already connected with the project in one way or another.

It thus became necessary to make certain that persons associated with the initiation of the project did not benefit financially from its next phase. Because the Bascom group was supposed eventually to work for the prime contractor, it was deemed advisable to keep it out of the selection process, a decision that helped avoid suspicion but did nothing to assist the selection process. And, of course, it was advisable to avoid giving the job to any firm closely associated with the oil industry, since the conflict-ofinterest alarmists could easily shout "giveaway" on that score.

Thus, with these considerations occupying a prominent place, NSF went looking for a contractor to carry out phase II of Project Mohole.


Now, what was it that NSF wanted the contractor to do? On this point, NSF fell in step with the prevailing imprecision. Up to this time Project Mohole had not occupied very much of the Foundation's attention. Although the project had been under way for 3 years, it was scarcely discussed at NSF's usually exhaustive exhaustive appropriations hearings until it came up for brief mention at the House hearings in the spring of 1961, about the time Cuss I was completing its work. And it was not until nearly a year later that NSF set up its own Mohole Committee consisting of William E. Benson, head of NSF's earth sciences section; Franklin C. Sheppard, executive assistant to NSF Director Waterman; and Paul A. Scherer, NSF Associate Director for Administration. The notification to prospective bidders stated:

"The Mohole project will include: (1) The conduct of deep ocean surveys; (2) the design and construction of deep drilling equipment; and (3) the drilling of a series of holes in the deep ocean floor, one of which will completely penetrate the earth's crust."

From here on, NSF was to find itself on the most difficult political terrain of its decade-long existence, charged with having awarded the Mohole contract with an eye more to congressional favor than to engineering competence. Among the critics was Senator THOMAS H. KUCHEL, Republican, of California, who charged that politically powerful and selfish interests had dictated the contract award, and Senator GORDON ALLOTT, Republican, of Colorado, who declared that the project promises to be a $100 million boondoggle.

Twelve single and combined organizations responded to the bidding invitation, and, on the basis of a 1,000-point scoring system, a specially appointed NSF selection panel concluded that the Socony Mobil Oil Co. (936 points) was the most capable contender. Next was Global-Aerojet-Shell, with 902 points; the Zapata Off-Shore Co., third, with 812; General Electric, fourth, with 811; and Brown & Root, Inc., of Houston, Tex., fifth, with 801.

The selection process was described later in a report by the General Accounting Office, Congress financial investigatory arm, which was asked to study the Mohole contract award by Senator KUCHEL, who was obviously outraged at the fate of a constituent firm, which had lost out on the bidding:

"In its evaluation report, the (NSF selection) panel stated that the proposal of Socony Mobil was in a class by itself-outstanding as to every important aspect and that the proposal of Global-Aerojet-Shell was in a strong second position. Below these two proposals, the panel found no apparent clear-cut order and recommended that preliminary negotiations toward award of a con

tract be started first with Socony Mobil and, if unsuccessful, then with Global-AerojetShell.

"Following the preliminary evaluation, the (NSF) Director appointed a review panel of four senior officials of the Foundation to make a further evaluation. The review panel also found the Socony Mobil proposal to be the best. In a joint report, the two panels stated that they unanimously selected the proposal of Socony Mobil as their first choice and agreed that the proposals of Brown & Root, General Electric, GlobalAerojet-Shell, and Zapata stood out over the others. Following *** conferences with the five (above-mentioned) organizations, the preliminary evaluation panel reevaluated the proposals and gave them numerical scores as follows:

1. Global-Aerojet-Shell..

2. Socony Mobil Oil Co‒‒‒‒‒

3. Brown & Root, Inc.‒‒‒‒
4. Zapata Off-Shore Co‒‒‒‒‒‒
5. General Electric Co-----

968 964




As the evaluations proceeded and additional material was submitted by the bidders, the Comptroller General reported that the fourth and fifth entries were eliminated, leaving Global-Aerojet-Shell, Socony Mobil, and Brown & Root in the running. The panel, in a joint report, then notified NSF Director Waterman that "all three organizations were 'competent to effectively complete the Mohole project' but made no recommendation as to the one which should be selected, because of the panel's inability to reconcile completely varying views of the individual panel members."

The selection process now moved into the final stage, guided by a 14-point set of competence and policy factors. These included such items as ability to bring project to a successful conclusion; research capability and attitude; cost considerations; petroleum producer versus engineering construction company; and consequences of selection considerations.


As for costs and time, Global-Aerojet-Shell estimated $23 million and 33 to 45 months; Brown & Root, $35 million and 5 years; and Socony Mobil, $44 million and about 5 years. It was clearly stated by NSF, however, that because of the engineering uncertainties involved in the project, the cost estimates were to be regarded as no more than estimates.

The Comptroller General's report continued:

"Members of the (NSF) panels, weighing the competence and policy factors in accordance with each member's own views, were equally divided between the selection of Brown & Root and one of the oil companies, with Global-Aerojet-Shell favored if an oil company was to be selected.

"The record indicates that the Director of the National Science Foundation *** awarded the contract to Brown & Root, Inc., as the best qualified, based on (1) Brown & Root's strong management capabiilties, (2) demonstrated capability in successfully completing complex projects, (3) their experience in dealing with the oil industry and other industries with capabilities that could be used in Mohole, (4) and the conclusion that the plan it had presented for going ahead with the work will give the Government the best approach to achieve the scientific and engineering goals.”

In the view of the Comptroller General, was all this cricket?

"While the records are not as clear as might be desired *** it would appear that any advantage Global-Aerojet-Shell and Socony Mobil may have held over Brown & Root in the factors previously considered in the point evaluation was offset by policy determinations favoring Brown & Root. (We) are unable to conclude that the award

to Brown & Root was not in the public interest."

Having made the decision on a contractor, NSF now drew up a contract-cost plus a fixed fee of $1.8 million-which made it clear that regardless of what Amsoc was thinking about, NSF was thinking about Mohole as a program to dredge up a piece of the mantle. Said the contract:

"This project * has as its ultimate aim the drilling of a hole to the Mohorovicic discontinuity. * ** It may prove desirable to expand this broad scope of work ** to include other geophysical surveys, additional shallower holes in other selected oceanic or continental areas. If such is deemed advisable by the Foundation *** it would be accomplished through subsequent agreement with the contractor."

The decision to award the contract to Brown & Root, Inc., now brought into the Project Mohole a highly regarded construction and engineering organization, a multibillion-dollar outfit that had handled everything from the construction of 359 combat vessels during World War II to the construction of a screw-worm eradication laboratory; from the construction of a 24-mile bridge across Lake Ponchartrain, near New Orleans, to the fabrication and emplacement of some 240 offshore platforms for major oil companies. However, the decision also brought into Project Mohole the suspicion that Brown & Root's rise from fifth to first choice (with the accompanying displacement of the firm that was in a class by itself) was not altogether disassociated from the fact that Brown & Root's Houston home is close to the congressional district of Albert THOMAS, the Democratic chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee which holds virtually complete sway over NSF's budgetary prospects; and that George Brown, who succeeded to the firm's presidency last year after his brother's death, was a close political ally of ALBERT THOMAS.


Whatever the effects of these relationships, the contract with Brown & Root became effective early in 1962. At about the same time Bascom's group resigned from the Academy, incorporated itself as Ocean Science & Engineering (OSE), and shortly afterward became consultants to Brown & Root. From the outset the relationship between Bascom and the proud Brown & Root organization was prickly. (Brown & Root has never shown any disinclination to blow its horn. As its Mohole project manager told a congressional committee, "Our policy is that we will do any job anywhere for anybody. There is nothing that we won't contract, no type of work.") Within 2 months, relations between Bascom's group and Brown & Root had deteriorated to a point where OSE quit and returned to Washington. As one Brown & Root official put it, "They had nothing to teach us." Comments Bascom, "We had everything to teach them. They just didn't want to listen." (Upon its return, OSE was engaged as consultants to NSF, to provide advice on the performance of the contractor from whose service it had just been disengaged. The role with NSF lasted 10 months and was abruptly terminated. With his severance from NSF, Bascom was completely out of Project Mohole.)

Meanwhile, Hollis D. Hedberg had suc

ceeded Gordon Lill as Amsoc Chairman, and this change brought into the picture a man who was determined to take the fuzz out of Amsoc's thinking and get it finally settled that Mohole would proceed with two ships. He was also determined to assert Amsoc's leadership of the project, but not to the point of getting the Committee more closely involved with the project. Almost from the outset, Hedberg and NSF proceeded to spar.


At about the time NSF was closing the contract with Brown & Root, Geoffrey Keller, NSF's Assistant Director for Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences, wrote Hedberg that, while it was NSF's "hope and plan that the Amsoc Committee will continue to provide major scientific advice for the project," NSF was considering the appointment of a scientific director who would be on NSF's staff. Wrote Keller:

"He [the scientific director] would be responsible for making necessary scientific decisions concerning the conduct of the project subject to broad administrative, fiscal, and scientific policies that would be formulated by the Foundation on the advice of Amsoc and other interested scientific groups and individuals."

This sounded very much as though NSF was moving in to take over the project and downgrade Amsoc's role, and Hedberg's reply did not indulge in obfuscation:

"As Chairman of the Amsoc Committee, which has been responsible for original planning and progress on this project to date, I can only in behalf of the membership of this Committee strongly protest this proposed arrangement and urge on the contrary that whatever posts are necessary for scientific guidance of the project be worked out within the framework of the Amsoc Committee. Moreover, as an individual who has developed a keen sense of interest in this project but has plenty of better things to do than preside over an empty shell, I can only say that unless it can be clearly spelled out that the guidance of scientific objectives remain with Amsoc, I can see no point in continuing as Chairman of Amsoc."

NSF subsequently decided that Project Mohole could do without an NSF scientific director.

In the meantime, Hedberg labored at bringing precision into Amsoc's conceptsand at finally resolving the question of just what the objective of Project Mohole was and how it should be achieved. His answer, in a letter he sent to the Amsoc Committee,


"The overall ultimate purpose of the project can be simply stated as to contribute to the determination of the nature and characteristics of the as yet unknown portions of the earth's crust and mantle. The project which Amsoc has launched should in no way be considered merely a stunt in deep drilling. And the scope of the project should be such as to take advantage of opportunities*** wherever they may be found-water or land, deep or shallow."

After having proposed enlarging Mohole to extremely broad scope, Hedberg went on

to recommend the construction of an intermediate ship to carry out the intermediate program. The two-ship approach, he said, would permit swift construction of an intermediate vessel that could conduct scientifically useful explorations while accumulating experience for the construction of the ultimate ship. Adding that he had taken up these concepts with NSF and the Academy, he noted that, "without implying any definite commitment on their part, I believe that we of the Amsoc group were impressed with their receptiveness to this proposal."


agreement that Mohole was not only deep but broad and multilevel, Hedberg wrote to Frederick Seitz, who had succeeded Detlev Bronk as president of the Academy, Amsoc's institutional base:

Now, continuing his efforts to obtain

"It is certainly my own strong feeling that this experimental-exploratory state (sometimes called intermediate stage) must be carried out as an integral part of the Amsoc project since in my opinion the achievements to be expected from this stage

are necessary to the justification of the whole project. I do not think, however, that as a part of the Amsoc project it necessarily has to be carried out under the same contractor as the Mohole itself, since the contract signed by NSF with Brown & Root, Inc., refers only to a hole through the crust of the earth.”

Seitz, in turn, forwarded the letter to Waterman, adding:

"From my acquaintance with the extensive discussions of the scope and execution of the Mohole project, I am convinced that the recommendations of the executive group of our Amsoc committee are sound, and I am glad to transmit them to you herewith."

At this point then, Hedberg, as chairman of the group which had originated Mohole, regarded the project as a broad and unrestricted two-ship drilling program, a program which seemingly had the endorsement of the National Academy of Sciences. Brown & Root, on the other hand, was working under a contract which directed it to devise a means for drilling to the mantleand no more. And NSF, as author of the contract, presumably shared this conception, although, in theory, Amsoc was NSF's scientific adviser on the project. Meanwhile, as this confusion of purposes was building up, Members of the Senate, egged on by disappointed constituent firms, were blasting away at NSF for the manner in which it had awarded the contract. Clearly, the engineering problems of Mohole were formidable, but they were beginning to pale alongside the organizational and political problems.


By the spring of last year, Project Mohole was so beset with controversy that the Bureau of the Budget directed NSF to withhold further expenditures "until the situation is clarified."

Presumably, satisfactory clarification has now been provided, for just this week NSF received authority to proceed with Mohole along compromise lines worked out by NSF's new Director, Leland J. Haworth. But in the intervening months, the Bureau-which is the White House's chief agent for controlling Federal expenditures could hardly be blamed for concluding that wisdom called for at least temporarily bringing everything to a halt. Around the time of the cutoff edict, the divergence in thinking between Brown & Root and a majority Amsoc Committee was becoming unbridgeable; Amsoc itself had developed a split on the issue of an intermediate versus an ultimate ship; NSF was being attacked on Capitol Hill for its award of the contract; and Bascom, while employed as an NSF consultant, had taken to public sniping at the performance of Brown & Root, NSF's choice for the Mohole contract. (Speaking at UCLA 2 weeks before NSF suddenly terminated his contract, Bascom declared that phase I, which he had directed, "was a tremendously successful first step. * * *But for 2 years, nothing more has come of it [Mohole]. It's anybody's guess when it will get off the ground.")

As for Brown & Root, its performance at the start was no spring of joy for the besieged NSF. Clearly, the technical problems of moving from phase I (180 meters into the ocean bottom, while operating in 3,300 meters of water) were trivial compared with the ultimate goal (4,500 to 6,000 meters into the bottom through some 4,500 meters of water). In terms of the evolution of equipment and technique, it was not unlike a jump from airborne to space flight, and a quick start was out of the question, regardless of which firm or combine took on the job. In addition to the general fray over scope, technique, and objectives, skirmishes now broke out on the question of Brown & Root's competence. Senator KUCHEL took to the floor

to express his skepticism, and Brown & Root's public relations director retorted that it was Brown & Root's conviction that the Foundation "showed great wisdom" in awarding the contract to Brown & Root. He added, "Certainly our project manager, Bowman Thomas, has had more experience in drilling off-shore than any other human being. I presume the Foundation considered this in its decision to give us the contract." (Whether it did or not, Thomas departed Brown & Root about 3 months later to tend to his own off-shore drilling interests.) Eventually Brown & Root put together a Mohole team that is generally considered to be a fine assemblage of engineering talent, but, as Haworth delicately phrased it when a congressional committee asked him last November to comment on Brown & Root's progress, "This was before my time, but it is my impression that the Foundation, at least individual members of the Foundation staff, probably at one time had somewhat the feeling that *** maybe the start was a little slow."


In any case, in April of last year, 13 months after it received the contract, Brown & Root unveiled its recommendations for carrying out Mohole's phase II. The plan was spectacular, and so was Amsoc's reaction.

Theoretically, Brown & Root was offering no more than informed recommendations on various engineering possibilities for carrying out its contractual obligations to bore a hole to the mantle. But Brown & Root made it abundantly clear that its preference-and the bulk of its effort-had gone into designs for a floating platform, 70 by 75 meters, resting on six huge columns. The columns, in turn, rested on two submarine-shaped hulls, 112 meters long and 101⁄2 meters in diameter. Propelled by screws on the stern of each submarine hull, the platform could travel to the drilling site under its own power. Once there, the platform would be partially submerged by flooding; propellers located in each column would operate to keep the platform stabilized above the drill pipe, in much the fashion that the outboard motors had stabilized Cuss I. The positioning system would be designed to maintain the craft within a 150-meter radius in 5,500 meters of water, even in gale winds of 60 kilometers per hour. Construction cost was estimated at $40 million. It would cost about $9 million a year to operate; drilling time to the mantle was estimated at 22 to 3 years.

The conclusion of Brown & Root was that the drilling art had advanced to the point where the platform could be built without going through Amsoc's proposed intermediate step. Plainly, Brown & Root was living up to its end of the bargain. It had been hired by NSF to chart a plan for drilling through the crust of the earth-the contract stated explicitly that any other objective would be separately negotiated-and the firm had come up with a proposal to drill through the crust of the earth.

However, with Brown & Root proposing to bypass Amsoc's intermediate ambitions, Hedberg lost no time in getting his committee's opposition emphatically on the record.

Having hammered away at the need for an intermediate ship and program ever since he succeeded Lill in 1962, Hedberg now presented the issue to his 19-man Committee in blunt terms. Would the Committee prefer, he asked in a poll, "(a) to get the intermediate-size vessel built now and take its chances on getting the ultimate vessel later, or (b) to get the ultimate vessel built now and take its chances on getting the intermediate-size vessel later." Twelve members voted for an intermediate vessel now; five favored going to the ultimate vessel at once; two did not return their ballots.

A majority of Amsoc was willing to stake the project's future on the intermediate pro

gram, and Hedberg now drew attention to an Academy-Foundation agreement, concluded a few months before, which stated that, while NSF retained final decisionmaking authority, "the project should be aimed to attain as far as possible the scientific objectives conceived for it by Amsoc with whom the project originated."

Mohole had now turned into a seemingly interminable war for NSF. With considerable justification, NSF could contend that it had come into Mohole with the understanding that it was footing the bill for a program to drill to the mantle, not for a general program of deep ocean drilling. At least five of Amsoc's own members seemed to share this conception of the project and Amsoc's own deep drilling panel had concluded, 1 month after the Brown & Root presentation:

"It is our opinion that a properly designed floating drilling platform *** offers the best solution of the requirements for both the intermediate and ultimate objectives of the Mohole project."

On the other hand, Amsoc's naval architecture panel had come to precisely the opposite conclusion. And Bascom's group, now on the brink of success as general oceanographic consultants, was ready and, in fact, eager to supply details for anyone looking into the hypothesis that all was not well with Mohole.

Meanwhile, the congressional critics, amply supplied with information from whatever source, kept up a barrage at NSF. And to the general dismay of the Academy and NSF, numerous snickering articles about Mohole began to break out in the popular prints. Newsweek, for example, came up with a piece titled "Project No Hole?" which asserted that "many-top-ranking scientists have lost faith with 'Project Mohole.'" And Fortune came out with an article, "How NSF Got Lost in Mohole." Politicians would ordinarily shrug off such remarks as a standard occupational hazard (didn't Harry Truman once say, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen"?). But, for the leaders of the scientific community, with their traditional concern for maintaining an appearance of dignity and keeping spats out of public view, Mohole was was becoming an egregiously painful sore. What they did not realize was that things would get worse.

Three Amsoc members, while retaining membership on the Committee, had gone off and formed a private consortium, Oceanic Research and Exploration, Inc., to promote sedimentary and intermediate exploration. Today, nearly a year later, nothing has come of their efforts, but their move did nothing to contribute to an appearance of unanimity within Amsoc. And a month after the establishment of the consortium, the Bureau of the Budget took a long-expected step when it curtly advised NSF that the situation called for putting a brake on further expenditures. Writing to NSF Director Waterman, the head of the Bureau stated:

"You will recall that when this [post Cuss I] phase of the project was brought initially to our attention, total costs of $15 to $20 million were anticipated. Last fall, when a request for $15 million was included in the budget for further funding, a total cost in the neighborhood of $50 million was discussed. Since then your [latest] congressional presentation * states that the Foundation regards $50 million as a minimum figure and that the ultimate total may be considerably higher.

"Given the financial as well as the technical uncertainties, together with the unique administrative problems involved in a project of this magnitude, * * * I believe the Foundation should withhold its approval of further financial commitments until the situation is clarified."

(In August, shortly after Haworth became head of the Foundation, the Bureau of the

Budget, upon his request, released an additional $2 million to prevent Brown & Root's design efforts from coming to a complete halt. But no funds were allowed for construction, leaving total Mohole expenditures, from the very beginning until the present, at slightly over $7 million.)

In the meantime, NSF itself was seeking a way out through a special study convened by its senior advisory body, the National Science Board.

Such was the state of affairs this past fall when both the House Subcommittee on Oceanography and NSF's Senate Appropriations Subcommittee decided to take a long look at Project Mohole. The House committee, which does not have specific jurisdiction over NSF, apparently was just looking into the affair to find out what it was all about, but the Senate committee, with direct money authority over NSF, was keenly interested, and especially so was one of its members, Senator ALLOTT, the Colorado Republican who had been blasting NSF ever since it passed by one of his constituents and awarded the contract to Brown & Root. The effect of these inquiries was to disabuse anyone of the notion that things were so bad that they could only improve.

A star witness at both proceedings was Amsoc Chairman Hedberg, who came on like a rock-eating drill. Informing the com

mittee that "personally I would far rather see this project killed where it now stands

than to see it carried out in a manner not worthy of its potentialities," Hedberg warned that "there must be insistence that it not be allowed to degenerate into merely another publicity stunt." Continuing, Hedberg declared:

"This project can readily be one of the greatest and most rewarding scientific ventures ever carried out. I must say also that it can just as readily become instead only a foolish and unjustifiably expensive fiasco if there is not an insistence that it be carried out within a proper concept and in a well-planned, rigorously logical, and scientific manner.

"It is my opinion that there is a steadily growing ground swell of informed public opinion against the thought of a poorly planned, foolish, and extremely costly attempt to unnecessarily 'shoot the works' by trying to drill an ultradeep hole to the mantle before we have anywhere near enough information on the rocks above the mantle. *** The initial false glamour of the Mohole idea is wearing off in the face of realities, and I am sure that the informed public now finds a much greater appeal in a broad sensible program of crustal investigation carried on at a moderate rate rather than

in a crash Mohole stunt."

Mixed into his emotionally stated position, however, were some extremely compelling arguments for the intermediate-ship approach.

The Brown & Root platform, he pointed out, could not transit the Panama Canal. It could go the long way around, but, clearly, its mobility was limited. Furthermore, Hedberg said, alluding to the argument that the mantle was the agreed-upon and only objective, "even supposing the project had been mistakenly presented in such a shortsighted or misleading way, nothing has happened to date which would preclude its being adequately redefined now."


The case for the intermediate ship, he asserted, rested not only on the need to accumulate data for design of the ultimate vessel, but also on the need to develop an orderly and long-term program:

"We should be thinking of a continuing program in subocean-bottom drilling research which will inevitably be a long process, but which need go no faster than its early results justify. If we get encouraging results from early intermediate-depth drill

ing, this may constitute adequate justification to make everyone glad to go ahead with the preparation of an ultimate Mohole vessel. On the other hand, it is not at all inconceivable that early results may indicate that there is either no need or no possibility of drilling to supposed Mohole depths, in which case it would have been a reckless disregard of taxpayers' money to have prematurely or needlessly built the huge vessel now proposed."

Whatever the technical merit of Hedberg's argument, the impact was enormous. Academy President Seitz promptly reprimanded him for presenting "such formal testimony to the Congress without first clearing your proposed testimony with me." Seitz added that unless Hedberg would agree to consult him on communications with "any organiza* so tion or agency outside the Academy * that I decide whether your communication merits the attention of the (Academy) council * * * I will have no choice but to request the council to permit me to reconsider your own status as Chairman of Amsoc."

Hedberg promptly submitted his resignation in a characteristically tart letter that concluded with the hope that "some of the hysteria which seems to be surrounding this Mohole Project will soon be dispelled under wise leadership by you (Seitz) and Dr. Haworth." He also pointed out that he had

attempted to discuss his forthcoming testimony with Seitz, but the Academy president was tied up at the time with preparations for the Academy's centennial celebration, and he added that in testifying he had made it clear that he spoke for himself and not for the Academy. And thus, Hollis Hedberg, who had headed Amsoc for nearly 2 years, stepped out of the picture.

His testimony, however, seems to have hit home with the Senate Appropriations Committee, for it was soon to issue a report stating that "Such a diversity of scientific and engineering opinion has been presented * * * that it is obvious that construction of a large drilling platform at this time would be unwise." The committee accordingly directed that further expenditures on the platform be withheld, but later retreated from this position when, in conference with Representative ALBERT THOMAS' committee, it was decreed that funds would be provided for NSF and the Bureau of the Budget to "use good judgment and work out a sensible proposition."


been worked on terms devised by Haworth, A proposition, however sensible, has now who, in his first half-year as NSF director, has devoted more time to Project Mohole than to any other Foundation activity. proposed by Haworth, Brown & Root will be given authority to build the ultimate platform, but the platform will initially be equipped with an intermediate drilling rig. By following this coures, he testified, the Foundation was recognizing the mantle as the ultimate objective, but, while minimizing the costs, would benefit from the experience gathered in intermediate drilling.

Haworth went on to say that he favored a "supplementary drilling program," not directly associated with Project Mohole, that would presumably carry out the upper level explorations advocated by members of Am

And, he added, "with the advantages of hindsight, I regret that the work of Brown & Root was not paralleled by a continuous drilling program directed both at the development of equipment and techniques." Haworth also pointed out that it was his hope eventually to turn over Mohole's management to a university or an oceanographic research institution, and thus to have it run on what has come to be the standard basis for handling big projects financed by the Foundation.

The Haworth proposal was, in effect, an attempt to find some common ground among

the parties that had for so long been enmeshed in the Mohole controversy, and, apparently it has succeeded. The Bureau of the Budget has given the Foundation authority to go ahead with an ultimate platform rigged for intermediate drilling. In this tight budget year, however, the supplementary ship had been put aside, but it is understood that the Bureau accepts it in principle. And an effort is now being made to bring an outside institution into the project, though nothing definite has yet been arranged.


As for Amsoc, it's going out of business. At a meeting this past weekend in Washington, Mohole's originators are reported to have agreed that it would now be wise to dissolve the committee and reconstitute it into a group that would be concerned only with the scientific aspects of Mohole. A separate Academy group to provide engineering this means remains to be seen, since it would advice may also be established. Just what

seem to be a difficult matter to dissociate

Mohole's science from its engineering. But with Haworth firmly taking charge, Amsoc was in no position to promote any new squabbles. Nor was the Academy willing to tolerate a continuing source of dissension on its premises. (Academy officials have

long felt that Amsoc, beginning with its whimsical title, was an inappropriate body to be housed under the Academy's prestigious roof.)

One final development is that NSF, in its determination to keep tight control over the project, has engaged Gordon Lill, Amsoc's first chairman, to join the Foundation staff as Mohole director. Lill, who is now with Lockheed, is expected to take up his duties about mid-February.

The sentiment at the Foundation, as ex

pressed by one official long associated with

Mohole, is that "everyone made lots of mistakes." At this point, everyone involved is eager for peace and progress, and it would therefore appear that Mohole now has reasonable prospects for proceeding, with nothing but technical difficulties to occupy its time and energies. However, on the basis of past performance, even the most thoroughgoing optimist could not be blamed for withholding judgment.


MARCH 2, 1964.

Editor, Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington,


DEAR DR. ABELSON: As ranking minority member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee which passes on the National Science Foundation's requests for funds, I have taken a particularly keen interest in Project Mohole. I believe that I am probably more conversant with the subject than is any other Member of Congress. From this vantage point, I would like to commend you, in general, for the series you have printed recently on the subject, and comment on some pertinent points.


Mr. Greenberg says that I have been "blasting" NSF since one of my constituents was passed by for the Mohole contract. any one of the bidders could be considered a constituent of mine, it would be Brown & Root, because that company has a subsidiary corporation located in Colorado. My "blasting" of NSF has been based on the fact that I do not feel Brown & Root was the best qualified of the bidders. Further, I feel that Brown & Root has not progressed at all well since the contract was let. I am concerned with the direction the project has taken, the apparent loss of time in getting the project underway, and above all, the continued esca

lation in cost estimates.

A great deal of the testimony about Project Mohole before our subcommittee this last fall

revolved around the question whether an intermediate ship had been contemplated for the project, as originally conceived. While I personally am convinced that the intermediate step has been contemplated from the beginning, the more important question is whether the intermediate ship is now necessary or desirable. I believe that it is.

Mr. Greenberg points out in his article that Dr. Haworth appears to agree, basically, with this position but feels it is now too late to build the intermediate ship. Mr. Greenberg also mentions, just in passing, that the National Science Board convened a special study of the question. He did not say what the recommendations of the special committee were. Interestingly, I am informed that the committee is now planning to make no final written report. However, its "preliminary" report said that "the panel unanimously urges that an intermediate drilling vehicle be constructed promptly * * *" And I would point out that the great majority of people knowledgeable in the subject have taken the same position. There is no question that from the scientific viewpoint, the intermediate ship is desirable.

From a purely economic view of the project, I think the intermediate ship is worthwhile. Everyone involved agrees there must be a period of testing and experience gaining before the ultimate hole is commenced. To carry out this work with the platform at an operating cost of roughly $8 or $9 million per year is folly. Particularly is this true in view of the offers which have been made to the NSF to construct and operate an intermediate ship-offers which have been neither accepted nor rejected by NSF. Further, carrying out this phase of the project with the ultimate platform will involve a renegotiation of the contract with Brown & Root. Presumably, this renegotiation will include a renegotiation upward of Brown & Root's $1.8 million fee. Parenthetically, I might add that Brown & Root was the only bidder for the contract who asked for a fee. This was another factor in the selection of Brown & Root which I found disturbing.

I would like to set the record straight on one point: The Senate Appropriations Committee did not retreat from its position that Mohole funds should be withheld. A conference report on an appropriations bill is written by the managers on the part of the House. In this case, the chairman of the House subcommittee, Representative ALBERT THOMAS, of Houston, Tex., was responsible for preparing the report. Chairman THOMAS felt that Brown & Root, of Houston, Tex., was doing a fine job on Project Mohole and this feeling, not surprisingly, was reflected in the conference report.

But, the most disturbing factor to me in

this whole project has been the attempt by

NSF, at least until recently, to treat the entire subject as if there were no problems. It may be, as Mr. Greenberg intimates, the "traditional concern [of the scientist] for maintaining an appearance of dignity and keeping spats out of public view." But, as a U.S. Senator directly responsible for reporting to the Senate on the conduct of NSF and making recommendations for funding their activities, I resent the attitude which I have seen displayed by some, that the Senate, or more generally, the nonscientific community, must be kept in the dark if things are not completely harmonious in the household of science. I recognize that there may be sometimes a thin line between unwar

ranted intrusions on administrative deci

sions and legitimate concern for the wise management of Government funds. But, occupying as I do a position of trust with regard to the public funds, I feel entitled to candid and complete answers to my questions on the use of those funds. When I

fail to receive such answers, I become suspicious.

This is a problem which transcends the Mohole question and is important to the whole scientific community in its relationship to the Government. While we who are responsible for appropriating money for research do not expect that every project funded by the Government will be an unqualified success, we are entitled to have the facts so as to assure ourselves that funds are not being dissipated or mismanaged.

This is the context within which I asked Dr. Hedberg and others to lay aside their reticence to make the Mohole disagreement a matter of public record, and testify before our Appropriations Subcommittee. It is a problem on which I believe a large segment of the scientific community might well reexamine their thinking.

Best regards. Sincerely yours,

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This movement has become a force in the world for the betterment of young men. Its active membership consists of young men between the ages of 14 and 21 and senior members who are over 21. The Order of DeMolay seeks to foster the development of good citizenship and sound character among youth. It teaches clean and upright living by inculcating and practicing the virtues of comradeship, reverence, love of parents, comradeship, reverence, love of parents, patriotism, courtesy, cleanness and fidelity. Its supreme purpose is to create leaders and develop character. It is sponsored by recognized Masonic bodies. sponsored by recognized Masonic bodies.

Since its founding in 1919, DeMolay has grown steadily in numbers and in stature. Its alumni have made great contributions to our country. In a little more than three decades after its founding more than 6,000 DeMolay chapters had been launched in the United States and 12 other countries, and nearly 3 million teenage young men had taken vows to be better sons, better men, and better citizens.

I take pride that, in the 1962-63 International Sweepstakes Contest, Arkansas DeMolays won first place. The Governor of Arkansas has issued a proclamation designating this week as DeMolay Week in our State.

I wish to extend my congratulations to this fine organization on its 45th anniversary. I am sure that many more years of service and fellowship lie ahead of them.


Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President, the President's message reflects a hard look at what is needed in the foreign aid program. It seems to me that this time the President has done the paring beforehand instead of waiting for Congress to do it. The $3.4 billion request is the most realistic estimate of financial requirements for aid that has come up in many

years. It would appear to be about what is required and what it is practical to attempt.

The President's emphasis on self-help as the key to development is admirable as is his reference to sharing the aid burden with other prosperous Nations. The proposed program is not a freespending giveaway program but a responsive, prudent, and responsible request which will serve our national interests and help the less developed Nations to help themselves.

I know, Mr. President, that the Congress will give this request most serious and careful consideration. I have every hope that there will be a favorable response to its prudence and its realism.

Mr. President, is there further morning business?

The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Is there further morning business? If not, morning business is closed.


The Senate resumed the consideration

of the motion of Mr. MANSFIELD that the Senate proceed to consider the bill (H.R. 7152) to enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction upon the district courts of the United States to provide injunctive relief against discrimination in public accommodations, to authorize the Attorney General to institute suits to protect constitutional rights in public facilities and public education, to extend the Commission on Civil Rights, to prevent discrimination in federally assisted programs, to establish a Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity, and for other purposes.

The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The question is on agreeing to the motion of the Senator from Montana [Mr. MANSFIELD] that the Senate pro

ceed to the consideration of H.R. 7152, the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that there be a brief quorum call at this time. I am sure there will be a live quorum call later.

Mr. HILL. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, I understand that there will be no objection to a live quorum call following the present brief quorum call.

The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered. The clerk will call the roll.

The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.

Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.

The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered.

Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President, on February 26, by decision of the Chair, H.R. 7152 was placed on the calendar. The decision of the Chair, may I say, was that of one man, the Presiding Officer. However, his decision was upheld, in effect, by the Senate as a whole when it voted to table the Russell appeal. The presence of H.R. 7152 on the calendar, therefore, is entirely in order under the rules, notwithstanding any suggestions

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