From the S&S archives: Bridges, Symington confer with Forces, HICOG chiefs
FRANKFURT — Two U.S. Senators arrived here today for a bipartisan fact-finding visit to learn about production, construction and U.S. defense activities in Europe.
Sens. Styles Bridges (R-N.H.) and Stuart Symington (D-Mo.) were greeted by U.S. military and civilian leaders prior to a briefing at EUCOM Hq. They were met by Dr. James B. Conant. U.S. High Commissioner to Germany; Gen Thomas T: Handy, deputy commander-in-chief, EUCOM; Lt Gen William H. Tunner, commander-in-chief, USAFE; Metre J. L'Heureux,. HICOG executive director; and Col Harry S. Bishop, commander of Rhine-Main Air Base.
Bridges is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and both are members of the Armed Services Committee. They arrived from Paris and returned there this afternoon.
Also attending the briefing were Gen William M, Hoge, commander-in-chief. USAREUR; Rear Adm Robert B. Pirie, deputy commander-in-chief, U.S. Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, and Maj Gen Thomas S. Timberman, U.S. commander in Berlin.
The two Senators were accorded military honors on their arrival by personnel of the Rhine-Main Air Bata complement. Taking part was the 686th AF Band under WO Franklin J. Lockwood.
"We hope to study the plans, programs and investments for our defenses in Europe," Bridges said. "We're going to take a good look at this prior to approving the Armed Forces budget."
Symington jokingly dodged questions.
"We're here to get information and not give it," he said.
He said they expected to confer "with our generals here to formulate judgments on Armed Forces appropriations for next year."
Asked if any reduction in Armed Forces strength was planned for Europe, both refused comment.
Symington said neither planned to see any West German officials, "but we are willing to talk to them."