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Senator DONNELL. He does have that right, does he not, in your opinion as a lawyer!
Secretary ACHESON. I do not want to go into a discussion as to the relative position of the Commander in Chief.
Senator DONNELL. If you do not want to go into that subject we will not trespass on your desire.
COMMENTS ON THE ATLANTIC TREATY
Turning again to what other persons as to this document have construed to mean, do you agree with Mr. Bevin's observation as reported in the New York Times of March 20, 1919, as follows:
In London British Foreign Secretary Bevin told the House of Commons : *This is the first time that the United States has ever felt able to contemplate entering into commitments in peacetime for joint defense of Europe, and it is a most famous historical undertaking."
Do you agree with that statement ?
Senator DONNELL. Do you agree with this statement in the New York Times of March 20:
In Paris Foreign Minister Schuman said: "Today we obtain what we sought between two wars. * * * The United States * * offers us both immediate military aid in the organization of our defense and a guarantee of assistance in case of conflict.”
Do you agree with that statement?
Secretary ACHESON. Within the terms of article 5. We have been all over article 5.
Senator DONNELL. We have gone over that?
Secretary ACHESON. Yes; I do not want to use the loose word "guarantee." I have explained exactly what is involved in article 5.
Senator DONNELL. I take it this morning with your testimony you went into that question, did you not?
Secretary ACHESON. Yes; I have just been into it also with you.
Senator DONNELL. Did you do it any further this morning than you did this afternoon? Did you bring out any other points!
Secretary ACHESON. I do not recall. I had quite a long statement on that, and I think I was asked some questions on it.
DETERRENT EFFECT OF THE TREATY
Senator DONNELL. Mr. Secretary, I would like to read this observation, if I may, from Senator Vandenberg in his speech to the mayors, delivered in March of this year, reading as follows: "The Neutrality Act of 1939 told Hitler that the United States would keep out of any such conflict, would keep our vessels out of belligerent ports, would refuse credits to warring nations. The North Atlantic Pact, wholly to the contrary, will tell any aggressor in 1949 that from the very moment that he launches his conquest in this area he will face whatever united opposition, including that of the United States, is necessary to beat him to his knees. I assert that this is the greatest war deterrent ever devised. No itching conqueror would care to face such odds."
Do you care to state whether you agree with the statement so made by Senator Vandenberg!
Secretary ACHESON. I think that is correct. And that is carried out in the Senate Resolution 239.
The whole purpose, as you know, Senator Donnell, as expressed in Senate Resolution 239, was to make clear in advance what the attitude of the United States would be.
Senator DONNELL. And you regard the treaty, as I gather, from your letter to the President, as having been carried out pursuant to the wishes as shown in Senate Resolution 239 ?
Secretary Acheson. That has been our constant guide.
PROCEDURE UNDER ARTICLE 5
Senator DONNELL. Mr. Secretary, I would like to ask you
question: Both in your radio speech-in your committee paper and again in your letter to the President, of April 7, you indicate this view: That this provision, "as it deems necessary" is one which means, in substance, the exercise of honest and genuine judgment. That is correct, is it not?
Secretary ACHESON. Yes, sir.
Senator DONNELL. I ask you to state, please, who is it, in the case of an attack being made against one or more of the signatories, the President or the Congress, that in your judgment has the right to exercise that honest judgment to which you refer in these various documents?
Secretary ACHESON. Both the Congress and the President have their constitutional responsibilities, and each one in carrying out its responsibility would exercise that judgment.
Senator DONNELL. Would you care to indicate in the suppositious case which I have given you, of the 500,000 troops being marched in by Russia into Norway, whether or not the President would have the constitutional right to put this country into a state of war without the actual formal declaration of war by Congress!
Secretary ACHESON. I would prefer not to go into cases of that sort. I should think if you take one which is fairly clear-I am not the Attorney General and I do not express legal views on this matterbut if you will take the case of an attack upon our own forces, suppose they were attacked, then obviously it is the responsibility of the Commander in Chief at once to take steps for the safety of the forces. And obviously that would be his initial responsibility, and the Congress would then come in later to see whether further steps were necessary to protect the forces.
Senator DONNELL. And of course, as article 5 indicates, and you have indicated yourself, the parties agree that an armed attack against any one or more of them, shall be considered an attack against them all; is that correct?
Secretary ACHESON. That is correct.
MUTUAL AID AND SELF-HELP UNDER THE TREATY
Senator DONNELL. Mr. Secretary, referring to article 3 of the treaty, under which it is providedthat in order more effectively to achieve the objectives of the treaty the parties, by means of continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid, will maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attackeffective to do what? What does the word “effective” mean?
Secretary Acheson. That expression, as you know, Senator Donnell, has a history. It first appears in Senate Resolution 239. It is in paragraph 3. And there the view of the Senate was that it should advise the President to follow several courses.
Paragraph 3 was: Association of the United States, by constitutional process, with such regional and other collective arrangements as are based on continuous and effective selfhelp and mutual aid, and as affect its national security. That language was adopted in the treaty from the Senate resolution.
Senator DONNELL. Might I interrupt to ask you please, if you know whether or not that language was placed in Senate Resolution 239 by representatives of the State Department ?
Secretary ACHESON. I have no knowledge of that. Senator DONNELL. Pardon me for the interruption. Go ahead, please.
Secretary ACHESON. In its report the Senate committee says: United States association with arrangements for collective defense must supplement rather than replace the efforts of the other participants on their own behalf. Such arrangements must be based upon continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid. This means, in practice, that the participants must be prepared fully to carry out their obligations under the charter, resolutely to defend their liberties against attack from any source, and efficiently to develop their maximum defense potential by coordination of their military forces and resources.
Effective, I suppose, means competent, not ineffectual efforts, but effective efforts.
Senator DONNELL. Does it contain within it the idea of sufficiency? That is to say, by means of continuous and sufficient self-help as to accomplish the maintenance and development of individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack?
Secretary ACHESON. No. It cannot mean that, because probably the provision of "sufficient forces” at the present time is impossible for everybody. Otherwise if you were trying to get sufficient forces you would have to maintain military establishments which would be quite impossible both for Europe and for us.
THE MILITARY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Senator DONNELL. May I ask you whether or not, on April 5, 1949, there was made a reply by the Government of the United States to a certain memorandum from the Brussels Treaty powers, which memorandum inquires whether the United States will provide military assistance in the form of military equipment and financial aid to the Brussels Treaty powers?
Secretary ACHEsox. Yes; there was.
Senator DONNELL. May I ask you, Mr. Secretary, whether the following few sentences, two, I think it is, constitute paragraph 2 of that reply:
The executive branch of the United States Government is prepared to recommend to the United States Congress that the United States provide military assistance to countries signatory to the Brussels treaty, in order to assist them to meet the material requirements of their defense program. Such assistance will be extended in recognition of the principle of self-help and mutual aid contained in the Atlantic Pack under which pact members will extend to each other such reciprocal assistance as each country can reasonably be expected to contribute, consistent with its geographical resources and in the form in which each can most effectively furnish such assistance.
Is that correct?
COMMITMENT TO SEND MILITARY AID UNDER THE TREATY
Secretary ACHESON. There was a suggestion, in one of the long quotations that you read to me before, that there may have been some commitment or other on the part of the executive branch of the government to these other governments in regard to military assistance. Now, there is absolutely no committment of any sort except the committment which you have read, and that is that the executive branch would recommend to the Congress a military assistance program of the kind you have described. That is being done.
There was no commitment by me or anybody on behalf of the executive branch that anything would be done beyond recommending to the Congress, recommending this program.
Senator DONNELL. I do not want to repeat this if you prefer not to answer. I am not certain whether you indicated a desire not to answer this. You have only to indicate your desire one way or the other and I will be guided accordingly.
PROCEDURE IN THE EVENT OF AN ATTACK
In the suppositious case of the 500,000 troops from Russia converging 6 weeks after this treaty shall have been ratified, on to Norway, are you willing to say whether or not, in your opinion, the President would have the constitutional power to send a large number of American troops instantly to repel that advance, without any action by Congress whatsoever?
If you prefer not to answer that question, that is all right.
Secretary ACHESON. I am quite clear that I prefer not to answer it, and I want to make it perfectly clear why I do not. It is not for the purpose of engaging in any fencing match with you. We are here dealing with one of the questions of the highest prerogatives in Government, the constitutional powers of the President and the constitutional powers of the Congress of the United States.
It is not my function, not being the chief legal officer of the Government, to make any statement whatever which might either prejudice powers of the President or undertake to prejudice powers of the Congress.
AREA COVERED BY THE TREATY
Senator DONNELL. Very well. I shall not pursue that inquiry further. This matter I should like to ask about as a matter of information. It may have no bearing whatsoever on the merits of it. I would like to know why it is that this document is called the “North Atlantic Treaty." What is the reason for that!
Secretary ACHESON. It has to do with the defense of the North Atlantic area. Obviously that does not mean that you are defending water. This is not a treaty that has to do with water and not with land. It has to do with that area of the world which is concerned in the North Atlantic, and that means those countries which border on it or border on countries which border on it.
And it has to do with that area of western Europe which, with the United States and Canada, constitutes the whole North Atlantic defense area.
TREATY NOT A REGIONAL ARRANGEMENT Senator DONNELL. Was the thought in the minds of those who prepared the pact-originally, I should say, in their work upon it-that the justification under the United Nations Charter for such a pact would at least in part lie in that portion of the United Nations Charter which refers to regional arrangements! Senator HEMESON. And not 52?
Secretary Acuesex. No. It lies in article 51.
Senator DONNELL. So the appellation of “North Atlantic Treaty did not in any sense indicate a desire on the part of those who framed the pact to bring the pact under the aegis, so to speak, of the regional arrangement contemplated by the United Nations Charter? Secretary ACHESON. That is correct. We were concerned with an
This was not a universal commitment, widespread commitment all around the world. It had to do with a particular area, and an area of great importance to the United States.
Senator DONNELL. And as previously indicated, the governments which entered into these negotiations which culminated in the treaty, originally included only those either fronting on the North Atlantic on the Atlantic Ocean, or close at hand, as, for illustration, Belgium, Luxemburg, et al., and did not include a country as far removed from the Atlantic as Italy. Am I correct in that?
Secretary ACHESON. The point is not whether it is removed from the Atlantic. That is what I was trying to get at a moment ago. You are not defending some water here. You are talking about a defense area. And Italy is very closely connected with the defense of that western European area, which in turn is what we call the North Atlantic area.
Senator DONNELL. Mr. Chairman, did the committee desire to continue at this time in view of the vote call that has come in?
The CHAIRMAN. We do not pay any attention to votes, but I will consult the committee. What is your desire, to recess or go on?
Senator DONNELL. I will be very brief. It will take me only a few more minutes.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well. Let us go on.