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Reprinted from the Department of State Bulletin of October 26 and November 2, 1947
United States Government Printing Office
For sale by the Superintendent of Governments, U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C.
EIGHTIETH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION,
AND THE UNITED NATIONS
by Sheldon 2. Kaplan
It is the well-established policy of the United States to place major reliance on the United Nations as the central organization for the maintenance of international peace and the promotion of international cooperation. The article which follows is the first of a series of two describing the activities of the First Session of the Eightieth Congress in fulfilling the obligations which flow from this policy.
Students of American foreign policy will remember the Seventy-ninth Congress of the United States as the legislative body which made possible the beginning of a new era in international relations: the participation of this Government in the world organization upon which rests the hope of mankind for the achievement of international peace and security—the United Nations. " But the Eightieth Congress will be remembered for the excellent beginnings made by its First Session 2 toward the enactment of municipal legislation needed to implement the responsibilities which flow from that participation. Notwithstanding a congested legislative calendar, due in part to the application of the new machinery of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, and
* United Nations Participation Act of 1945, Public Law 264, 79th Cong., 1st sess. (Dec. 20, 1945); 59 Stat. 619 (1945), 22 U.S.C. sec. 287 (supp. 1946).
* The Congress convened Jan. 3, 1947, and adjourned at 3:50 a. m. Sunday, July 27, 1947, under a special agree ment which permits the Republican leadership, consisting of the president pro tempore of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the majority leader of the Senate, and the majority leader of the House of Representatives, all acting jointly, to notify the members of the Congress to reassemble in special session whenever in the opinion of those four leaders the public interest shall warrant it. See S. Con. Res. 33, providing for the adjournment of the two Houses of Congress until Jan. 2, 1948, as amended by the House. (Cong. Rec., July 26, 1947, p. 10599.)
Without such a provision a call could be issued only by the President of the United States, who always has that right.
* Public Law 601, 79th Cong., 2d sess. (Aug. 2, 1946), the major provisions of which became effective Jan. 2, 1947 (see sec. 142 of the act).
in part to the fact that a Republican majority for our Government and the American public share a the first time since 1932 was in control, the First continual concern. This becomes readily apparent Session came to grips with many important legis- upon a review of the activities of the First Seslative proposals bearing upon our foreign relations sion of the Eightieth Congress in this regard, and generally, and, in particular, cementing and for- serves to buttress the statement made by Secretary tifying the participation of the United States in of State Marshall that “It is the recognized policy the work of the United Nations, in whose success of the United States Government to place major
reliance on the United Nations as the medium for * Hearings Before Committee on Foreign Affairs on H. R.
achieving international peace and security.”+ 3836, 80th Cong., 1st sess., p. 6 (1947). See also BULLETIN
The United Nations, the public international of Sept. 21, 1947, pp. 539-543. The argument advanced in some circles that Public Law 75, 80th Cong., 1st sess.
organization established under that name by the (May 22, 1947), "An act to provide for assistance to Greece Charter of the United Nations, is, of course, the and Turkey", is in clear derogation of the United Nations
major international organization in which the policy enunciated by the Secretary of State and implicitly
United States participates. There exist, however, bypasses the United Nations was completely answeredat least to the satisfaction of Congress-by the then Under many other public international organizations in Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, in his memorandum on which our Government enjoys membership and to "Questions and Answers Relating to the Greek-Turkish
which it makes substantial contributions. Though Aid Bill", Hearings Before Committee on Foreign Affairs on H. R. 2616, 80th Cong., 1st sess., pp. 341-386 (1947),
retaining separate legal entities and operating particularly pp. 341-344. S. Rept. 90, 80th Cong., 1st sess. under their own internal constitutions, several of (1947) at p. 16 makes it abundantly clear that assistance these organizations have been brought into close to Greece and Turkey will constitute a fulfilment of a basic
relationship with the United Nations, in accordobjective of the United Nations Charter; to create conditions of political and economic stability which will pre
ance with articles 57 and 63 of the United Nations serve the freedom and independence of its members and
Charter: thus safeguard their sovereign equality. “The United Nations was not created to supersede friendly relations 150391 between states through assistance from one state to an
Article 57 other to carry out the purposes set forth in the Charter."
1. The various specialized agencies, established by *The Charter was submitted to the Senate as a treaty
intergovernmental agreement and having wide internaand approved July 28, 1945, by a vote of 89 to 2 (91 Cong.
tional responsibilities, as defined in their basic instruRec., p. 8329 (1945)). Upon deposit of ratifications by ments, in economic, social, cultural, educational, health, China, France, the U.S.S.R., the United Kingdom, the and related fields, shall be brought into relationship with United States, and a majority of the other signatory stateş, : : the United Nations in accordance with the provisions of it became effective Oct. 24, 1945, .when:." game Article 63. into force as a fundamental law for the peoples of the 2. Such agencies thus brought into relationship with the world ..", in the words of the President in his first United Nations are hereinafter referred to as specialized annual report on the activities of the United Nations and agencies. the participation of the United States therein for the year
Article 63 1946, submitted to Congress pursuant to sec. 4, United
1. The Economic and Social Council may enter into Nations Participation Act of 1945, Public Law 264, 79th
agreements with any of the agencies referred to in Article Cong., 1st sess. (Dec. 20, 1945), cited supra in note 1. See
57, defining the terms on which the agency concerned Department of State publication 2735, the United States
shall be brought into relationship with the United Na. and the United Nations Report Series 7, for complete text tions. Such agreements shall be subject to approval by of report.
the General Assembly. * For a comprehensive list see Department of State pub- 2. It may coordinate the activities of the specialized lication 2699, International Agencies in which the United agencies through consultation with and recommendations States Participates. For contributions authorized by the to such agencies and through recommendations to the first session, see Department of State Appropriation Act, General Assembly and to the Members of the United 1948, title I, Public Law 166, 80th Cong., 1st sess. (July 9,
'One of the six principal organs of the United Nations. The other five are: the General Assembly, the Security
Thus, only public international organizations Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court
which have been, or are expected to be, brought into of Justice, and the Secretariat (U.N. Charter, art. 7,
relationship through appropriate agreement with par. 1).
the Economic and Social Council' should be classi11 U.N. doc. A/64/Add. 1, Jan. 31, 1947, p. 196, and U.N. doc. A/277, Dec. 13, 1946.
fied as “specialized agencies”,in the technical sense. But, in this summary of the activities of the First Session of the Eightieth Congress with regard to the United Nations, it is appropriate to include not only the specialized agencies affected by Congressional action but also other public international agencies affected thereby, whose objectives are clearly in accord with the Charter of the United Nations, notably the Caribbean Commission and the South Pacific Commission.
York would donate to the United Nations that part of the site not covered by the option obtained by Mr. Rockefeller from the owners, and another that his gift would be exempt from the Federal gift tax. To achieve this exemption meant an amendment to the Internal Revenue Code by Congressional enactment, and the matter had to be acted upon promptly, since Mr. Rockefeller's option on the land in question was to expire February 28, 1947.
The Eightieth Congress, aware of the responsibilities of the United States as "host" nation and of the excellent opportunity afforded the United Nations to accept an extremely generous offer from a public-spirited citizen, did act promptly. Within twenty days from the date of the letter of the President of the United States (February 6, 1947) to the Congress on this matter, a joint resolution of Congress 12 became law, with two days to spare before the expiration of Mr. Rockefeller's option.
Under the terms of the amendment to the Internal Revenue Code enacted by Congress, gifts made in the period beginning December 2, 1946, and ending December 1, 1947, to the United Nations"
· to be used exclusively for the acquisition of a site in the city of New York for its headquarters
"are exempt from Federal estate and Federal gift tax.13 Such gifts are
II. Responsibilities of the “Host" Nation
the Rockefeller gift The Congress, by concurrent resolution passed unanimously by the House of Representatives, December 10, 1945, and agreed to unanimously by the Senate the following day, invited the United Nations "to locate the seat of the United Nations Organization within the United States": The United Nations decided in February 1946 to accept the invitation and to establish its headquarters in this country. There followed deliberations and discussions within the Organization as to the exact location in the United States of its permanent headquarters. Rumor shifted from Westchester County, New York, to Fairfield County, Connecticut, then to Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York City, and so on. The matter, virtually one of the most difficult and vital organizational problems with which the United Nations has been confronted, was finally concluded during the second part of the first session of the General Assembly, when on December 14, 1946, it was resolved “That the permanent headquarters of the United Nations shall be established in New York City in the area bounded by First Avenue, East 48th Street, the East River and East 42nd Street”.11
This resolution was adopted in almost immediate response to a letter dated December 10, 1946, from John D. Rockefeller, Jr., to Eduardo Zuleta Angel, Chairman of the Permanent Headquarters Committee of the United Nations, in which Mr. Rockefeller offered to donate the sum of $8,500,000 for the purpose of making available to the United Nations as its permanent headquarters a site in New York City located and bounded by Fortysecond Street, Forty-eighth Street, First Avenue, and the East River. Certain conditions were specified in the offer: one being that the city of New
'The specialized agencies, as of the date of this writing, include ILO (International Labor Organization), Fao (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), Icao (International Civil Aviation Organization), all of which have actually been brought into relationship with the United Nations by agreements with the Economic and Social Council, approved by the General Assembly, and the Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development), the Fund (International Monetary Fund), Who (World Health Organization), IBO (International Refugee Organization), the proposed ITO (International Trade Organization), UPU (Universal Postal Union), and Itu (International Telecommunication Union), which agencies are expected to be brought into relationship with the United Nations. H. Con. Res. 75, 79th Cong., 1st sess. (1945).
See in general U.N. docs. A/69, October 1946, and A/311, July 1947.
* H. J. Res. 121, which became Public Law 7, 80th Cong., 1st sess. (Feb. 26, 1947).
10 Without such an amendment to the Internal Revenue Code, a donor making a taxable gift of $8,500,000 would be required to pay a gift tax ranging from $3,700,000 to $4,800,000. See S. Rept. 35, 80th Cong., 1st sess., p. 2 (1947).