Conflict on Practicability of Weather Control
New Fedral Commission on Weather Modification
By authorizing appointment of a new federal commission on weather modification at its 1953 session, Congress took the first serious step toward denning national policy on the rapidly expanding efforts of individuals and private enterprises to alter weather conditions to suit their own purposes.
Under an act approved Aug. 13, the President is to appoint a commission of eleven leaders in science, agriculture, business and government which will study present and prospective weather-changing practices and recommend appropriate legislation to safeguard the public interest. The commission will have power to subpena private records and to compel testimony. The subpena power was deemed necessary because of the refusal of some of the commercial weather-makers to disclose their secret processes.
The commission is to report to the President and to Congress from time to time and to submit a final report not later than June 30, 1956. It will then pass out of existence, although Congress may have decided in the meantime to to establish a permanent body, corresponding to the Federal Communications Commission or the Civil Aeronautics Board, to regulate future activities of professional weather-makers.