DEFENSE: Conform or Be Purged

"Silly, stupid, ridiculous!" sputtered a Pentagon official, commenting on last week's flap between Defense Secretary Neil H. McElroy and Georgia's Senator Richard B. Russell. Scenario:

Act I. Testifying before the Russell-chaired Armed Services Committee, Chief of Naval Operations Arleigh ("31 Knot") Burke views the House-revised defense reorganization bill from his own bridge, endorses two House changes sharply limiting the Defense Secretary's authority over the services—changes that Commander in Chief Eisenhower had rapped as a "legalized bottleneck" and an "endorsement of duplication and standpattism" (TIME. June 23 et seq.).

Act II. Prodded by newsmen at a press conference, McElroy comments on Burke's...

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