A small group of Republicans in the House this week engineered a legislative slap at Paul C. Warnke, the new director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, in a little-noticed amendment to the ACDA authorization bill.
The amendment, offered by Rep. Edward J. Derwinski (R-Ill.) and adopted 159 to 148, would require the ACDA director to personally attest to the verifiability of any future arms control proposals made by the United States.
The amendment also would require the director to report to Congress on the number of federal employee assigned "to analyze arms control verification" and on the amount of money spent by federal agencies to analyze verification issues.
If adopted by the Senate and signed into law, the amendment would require Warnke, as ACDA director to tell Congress about the personnel assignments of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and others that do most of the government's verification work, and also about those agencies' budgets.
Several congressional sources said the amendment was prompted by recent publicity about Warnke's reorganization of the arms control agency, which resulted in part in a dispersal of the old verification office. In two newspaper column (Evans and Novak, and William Safire in The New York Times), Warnke has been accused of trying to eliminate the office and some of its employees because it took a hard line on verification matters.
Derwinski said yesterday he was not motivated by this publicity, but that it "stirred up the troops" on Capitol Hill.
Rep. Robert J. Lagomarsino (R-Calif.), who supported the amendment in the brief debate that preceded its passage, charged that Warnke's reorganization of ACDA could create the impression that he is not really interested in the degree to which the Soviets actually adhere to future agreements.
Rep. Clement J. Zablocki (D-Wis.), chairman of the House International Relations Committee, opposed the amendments as unneccessary and redundant. ACDA officials also argued that the measure would have no significant effect and would force the director to intrude on the territory of the director of central intelligence and other officials.