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STRUCTURE OF THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE UNITED NATIONS
TUESDAY, MAY 4, 1948
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The committee convened at 10 a. m., in the caucus room, House Office Building, Hon. Charles A. Eaton (chairman) presiding.
Chairman EATON. The committee will be in order.
In order to have Mr. Hays meet another engagement, I will ask Mr. Judd to present Mr. Hays first.
STATEMENT OF HON. WALTER H. JUDD, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MINNESOTA
Mr. Judd. Mr. Chairman, I am exceedingly grateful to you and to my colleagues on the Committee on Foreign Affairs for the decision to hold full and thorough hearings on a question which is foremost today in the minds of millions of Americans, namely, how to strengthen the United Nations so that it can become what the war-weary, disillusioned and apprehensive peoples of the world believed it was and want it to be, namely, a mechanism whereby disputes between nations can be settled equitably, with sufficient moral and military force to prevent aggression and maintain peace.
Mr. Chairman, before I proceed with my own statement, I should like to yield to the gentleman from Arkansas, Mr. Brooks Hays. Four years ago he and I began working on formulation and development by both political parties of an American foreign policy that would be continuing and dependable, no matter which party was in power. We introduced identical resolutions to that effect in 1944 and 1945. We sponsored the present identical resolutions, House Concurrent Resolutions 59 and 60, and 163 and 164. They are now before the committee and we have been joined by a good many of our colleagues, with others planning to join this week.
Mr. Hays must leave immediately to take a plane to Lexington, Ky., where he is to participate tonight, along with Mr. Javits, in a Town Meeting of the Air broadcast on the very subject under consideration here this morning.
It is indicative of the intense public interest in this subject, that this is the second broadcast on the question that the Town Meeting has arranged in less than 1 month.
Mr. Chairman, I ask that the gentleman from Arkansas be permitted to make his statement at this time.
STATEMENT OF HON. BROOKS HAYS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ARKANSAS
Mr. Hays. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the courtesy of the committee and of my good friend Mr. Judd in permitting me to make a brief statement at this time.
Our case for a revised United Nations is a simple one. It rests upon the obvious fact that the organization as now constituted is not succeeding in its principal purpose, that of removing the threats of war. I believe that nothing less than a world tribunal, established by a charter defining aggression, authorized to determine judicially when an act of aggression is committed or threatened and empowered to stop such violations of the peace, will suffice.
We do not want to junk the United Nations; we want to save it.
We admit that this involves some delicate questions and requires an analysis of our relations with the Soviet Government. We want Russia as a participant in any agency for peace but if Russia defeats every move for perfecting the United Nations we must take steps without her. These steps would not be anti-Russian, they would be propeace.
Now, it is stated that the United Nations is making headway. Its friends say, "Look at the trouble spots it has removed; Indonesia, for example."
That is conceded. Also the United Nations is doing good work in humanitarian and cultural pursuits, but its procedures have not embraced the intransigent attitudes of those nations who apparently are not yet committed to judicial and cooperative means of keeping
It would help if we of the United States committed ourselves more forthrightly to a sound program of meeting aggression through the United Nations.
The next decisions are ours to make. Unless we make them intelligently and announce them vigorously we cannot complain if the only means we have for peace on a world scale deteriorates.
Now, in order to face the issue squarely, we have included in the resolutions a reference to exploring, under section 51, the possibilities for action with nations outside the Soviet sphere.
Let me emphasize the fact that what we want is a real United Nations with Russia and until we make sincere efforts to get that kind of United Nations we cannot define the issues related to the question of constructing a non-Russian world system for peace.
It involves the veto, of course. We complain because Russia has abused the veto, but Mr. Chairman, the issue is deeper. It is the veto itself and not its abuse that has caused some of the trouble. We would, however, carefully circumscribe its surrender. Vetoes would be left but not the power to invoke the veto where aggression is threatened.
Are we willing to chisel just a little of our own sovereignty away for the sake of another sovereignty, not a superstate but a peace sovereignty to serve defense ends?
If we proceed on that basis who knows but that Russia will revise her own policies and recognize that her interests look in the direction of cooperation with non-Soviet states, if not in economic affairs, at least in the ways of peace.
We have a breathing spell. The Marshall plan is unfolding and I would like to interpolate, Mr. Chairman, thanks to the brilliant leadership of this committee and its work in the European recovery plan.
The success of democratic elements in Italy enables us to attack this problem of organizing for peace, but it must not be a half-hearted attack. It must be all-out, if we escape armament races, world bankruptcy, and all the other penalties of power politics. Chairman Eaton. Thank you, Mr. Hays. Mr. Judd. Will the gentleman yield to the chairman for a statement? Mr. JUDD. Yes, indeed.
Chairman EATON. I would like to have the attention of the press to this statement:
I wish to have it understood what these hearings are and what they are for,
We are meeting to have hearings, according to a vote in the Foreign Affairs Committee, on “the structure of the United Nations and the relations of the United States to the United Nations.'
Because of the urgency of this great problem, we have taken up this first in our agenda, but as soon as we have finished the hearings and taken action thereon, we propose to have hearings on the equally difficult and far-reaching problem of the Palestinian situation, not only in relation to the United Nations, but in relation to the peace of the world.
I would like to have that statement in the press, as it clears the situation as to our program.
We had planned today to have with us the American Ambassador to the United Nations, Mr. Austin, but owing to problems over which he had no control, including an illness, it became necessary to have him here tomorow, so tomorrow morning, we will hear the Secretary of State and in the afternoon we will hear Ambassador Austin.
I have asked Mr. Judd, who is profoundly interested in all these matters, to bring the witnesses together from our membership in the House, many of whom are profoundly interested with him, and he will introduce them to us, the first witness being Mr. Judd himself.
Mr. Judd. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
STATEMENT OF HON. WALTER H. JUDD—Continued
Mr. Chairman, the Congress of the United States with the support of the country has already embarked on a great threefold program:
1. Resistance to any further spread of the glacier of tyranny and slavery moving from the Soviet Union over large parts of Europe
2. Assistance to independent nations struggling to recover their economic stability against determined efforts to subjugate them either by organized minorities within, or aggressive pressures from without; and
3. Rebuilding enough of our scrapped military strength to enable us to fulfill our commitments overseas and to meet any probable emergencies or dangers.
These three are essential to the preservation of our own and the world's peace and freedom—but they are not enough. They merely
buy time-give us a last chance to get the world organized on a better, sounder basis. They are three components of the comprehensive, over-all foreign policy and program which we must develop and carry out with skill and efficiency if we are to win the fierce political war now raging throughout the world before it degenerates into an atomic war with unforeseeable destruction, if not extermination.
There is a fourth component of that over-all program, equally important and perhaps the most fundamental of all. We must take immediate steps to get the United Nations structure and procedures revised or reformed, either under article 109 or article 51 of its Charter, so that it can take on the burden of resisting aggression, which we are compelled to assume in this emergency, but which we cannot long carry alone. We had to assume it last year when Greece and Turkey were threatened. We have to assume it now when Italy, Scandinavia, and others are threatened. We are at present the only force in the world with the resources and strength for that task, and concern for our own security requires that we take such a firm stand.
But we have neither the resources nor the wisdom to carry such a burden indefinitely. Furthermore, even if we were strong enough to perform this world policeman's job indefinitely, the world would come to hate us in the process.
I see no hope of establishing a just peace on a reasonably secure basis except through a world organization so revised and strengthened that it can effectively handle all threats to the peace from whatever source, on the basis of world law, and in the name and in the organized strength of freemen everywhere.
The common people of this world placed their faith in the United Nations as such an agency. It is clear from the experience of the last two and a half years that in its present form it cannot do the job. In fact, it is so constructed that any one of the Big Five, by its veto, can use the United Nations machinery to prevent the making of peace, to defeat the very things it was supposedly set up to promote, yes, to guarantee.
Mr. Chairman, when the United Nations Charter was adopted in June 1945, I was unhappy about some of the provisions, especially the veto, and said so. It seemed to me the veto arrangement was a monkey wrench carefully placed in the United Nations machinery in such a way that it could block turning of the wheels, beyond discussion, if any one of the Big Five so desired. Nevertheless, I worked for the adoption of the Charter as the best it appeared we could get at the time. The machinery was workable for peaceful settlement of disputes, if there were the will and the good will to make it work. We earnestly hoped that all the nations would have the will and the good will to make it work.
Our own purpose in agreeing to the big power veto was to make all nations sure that the new organization would not be able to make war unjustifiably, or otherwise impose its will, on any member nation.
We were too naive to realize and too trustful to suspect that the Soviet rulers had a totally different idea. They were coldly planning to use the veto, not to block war but to block peace. They have not used it once to prevent war; they have used it repeatedly to defeat measures or decisions that were in the direction of peace.
At Tehran, Yalta, and elsewhere our leaders, in order to get Russia to come along into the United Nations, yielded to her on matters of principle and on solemn pledges, including those in the Atlantic Charter, apparently assuming that if Russia joined it would be for the same reason we and others joined, namely, to help solve world problems. But it soon became clear that the Soviet Government came in, not to get solutions to problems but to block solutions; not to make the United Nations work but to be in the best possible position to make sure that it does not work.
President Truman at San Francisco had rightly said that the Charter was only a first step. But Russia has insisted on blocking the necessary next steps. Surely the part of wisdom now is to recognize frankly that as long as one Big Five nation obviously does not want the United Nations machinery to work, then the machinery, no matter how good it looks, is useless for such a crisis as we face today—until the monkey wrench is removed.
The Kremlin already has a world-wide organization—the Communist Party. It has a dozen countries under its complete control, plus trained, disciplined units in every other country. Its world organization is already functioning, efficiently and at full speed. It intends to win, and in order to do so it must keep any other world organization crippled and ineffective.
Mr. Chairman, that is an intolerable situation for those who really want peace
and freedom. There are three things we can do about it.
One is to scuttle the United Nations, abandon it entirely. That, at least, would be honest.
The second is to continue to give lip service to it and use its machinery for marginal, relatively unimportant matters; but when we face à really vital issue, find ourselves compelled to take direct action, bypassing the United Nations because it does not have the men, or the money, or the authority to act—in fact, is usually prevented by the veto from acting.
The third course is to try to get its structure modified so that it can and will work-with Russia if possible but without her if necessary; not against Russia, but for world order under law.
The deep desire of the people of this country and of most of the rest of the world is not to abandon the United Nations, or to bypass it, but rather to fix it, to strengthen it. That is mankind's only hope of securing the things for which two World Wars were fought. At least three-fourths of the peoples of the world would join us, I
I believe, in an effort to revise the United Nations to make it capable of functioning as an instrument to preserve peace and freedom. But they cannot move without our active initiative and leadership.
Last July 10 Members of the House of Representatives, of both political parties, and including 4 members of this committee, joined with a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing identical resolutions urging the President to take the initiative immediately in calling under article 109 of the Charter, a general conference of the United Nations for the purpose of improving its machinery so that it could move ahead in developing world order under world law and with world force organized to prevent aggression or other violations of such law. I regret that the administration did not see fit to take any action.